Online reading group and book discussion forum
  HOME ENTER FORUMS OUR BOOKS LINKS DONATE ADVERTISE CONTACT  
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Wed Nov 14, 2018 7:32 pm





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 151 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.  Go to page Previous  1 ... 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11  Next
The Art of No Deal 
Author Message
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 5616
Location: Canberra
Thanks: 2110
Thanked: 2030 times in 1543 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post Re: The Art of No Deal
Obama doubled US national debt from $10 trillion to almost $20 trillion. Not sustainable. Cut the military.

Image


_________________
http://rtulip.net


The following user would like to thank Robert Tulip for this post:
ant
Sun Dec 17, 2017 2:23 am
Profile Email WWW
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Needs a book hoarding intervention

BookTalk.org Moderator
Silver Contributor

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 1945
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Thanks: 68
Thanked: 717 times in 554 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: The Art of No Deal
For about 43.2 seconds I thought Trump might cut military spending when he spoke of "keeping us out of stupid wars" and "America First." But then he also stated "Our military is going to be so strong that no one - believe me - I can tell you this - no one will ever consider challenging us!"

America will never cut the military. Did we ever reap the "peace dividend" from the collapse of the Soviet Union? No, current threats are always evolving and new ones pop up every hour, so spending must always increase. If a politician were to somehow cut military spending by $1.00, any subsequent terrorist attack or military loss would be blamed squarely on that person or group. No matter how preposterous the link, a large network of media and pundits would repeat it constantly for decades until the truism "cutting the US military = weakness and death" became cemented into the American psyche. I'm kidding of course, we are already there.



Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:59 am
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Building a post count to the moon

Silver Contributor

Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 739
Location: Florida
Thanks: 267
Thanked: 416 times in 326 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: The Art of No Deal
It's my understanding that on a global scale the worlds advanced economies are producing substantial increase's in their debt to GDP ratio. So there is no surprises with the increase during the Obama administration. Considering that during the U.S. recovery cycle of the great recession the previous administration did not institute austerity programs on public or private associations. If we also consider the United Kingdom and the cuts to public programs there and the conflicts that resulted, it is no wonder that a natural offshoot would be Brexit and Trump respectively. U.S. debt has been used by the GOP as a campaign issue although mostly as a tool for fear mongering. The GOP's deficit hawk's have clipped their own wings to help accomplish an easy victory for their party, Tax cuts in reality should be an easy pass. They're struggling image wise and they do fear the potential losses from the coming 2018 midterm elections. It is likely that these tax cuts will increase the U.S GDP in the short term which I think is what the GOP is banking on as a positive to campaign on. It seems that thanks to this tax code change they will have to adjust their rhetoric regarding debt through to the 2020 general election.



Sun Dec 17, 2017 10:18 am
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 5616
Location: Canberra
Thanks: 2110
Thanked: 2030 times in 1543 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post Re: The Art of No Deal
Taylor wrote:
It's my understanding that on a global scale the worlds advanced economies are producing substantial increase's in their debt to GDP ratio. So there is no surprises with the increase during the Obama administration. Considering that during the U.S. recovery cycle of the great recession the previous administration did not institute austerity programs on public or private associations. If we also consider the United Kingdom and the cuts to public programs there and the conflicts that resulted, it is no wonder that a natural offshoot would be Brexit and Trump respectively. U.S. debt has been used by the GOP as a campaign issue although mostly as a tool for fear mongering. The GOP's deficit hawk's have clipped their own wings to help accomplish an easy victory for their party, Tax cuts in reality should be an easy pass. They're struggling image wise and they do fear the potential losses from the coming 2018 midterm elections. It is likely that these tax cuts will increase the U.S GDP in the short term which I think is what the GOP is banking on as a positive to campaign on. It seems that thanks to this tax code change they will have to adjust their rhetoric regarding debt through to the 2020 general election.


The world is living in a fool's paradise, fuelled by unsustainable debt and fossil fuel emission. Things that can't be sustained stop. Then there will be military dictatorships, since democracy will demand no cuts.

Better to cut now. Small government is good, like having a lean healthy body. Big government is bad, like how obesity causes laziness, cancer, heart disease and lack of discipline.

Change systems now to avoid much worse grief and conflict later.


_________________
http://rtulip.net


The following user would like to thank Robert Tulip for this post:
Taylor
Sun Dec 17, 2017 4:16 pm
Profile Email WWW
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
critical of books shorter than 1000 pages

Book Discussion Leader

Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1133
Thanks: 1088
Thanked: 533 times in 439 posts
Gender: None specified

Post Re: The Art of No Deal
geo wrote:
It seems to me that a tax cut that increases our deficit by more than a trillion dollars is not a tax cut at all, but a burden on future Americans.

One of the ironies of the disappearance of Keynesian insight from public conversation is that this logic does apply now (since the economy is probably about at full employment) but did not apply in the Great Recession when Nobel wannabe and economic dinosaur Robert Barro was claiming that the deficits of the Obama era would mean higher taxes later.

When unemployment is high and unused resources are ample in general, extra spending and borrowing by government will stimulate general economic activity and replace the missing component which is business fixed investment. Gross fixed capital formation in the OECD dropped from 22 percent of GDP in 2008 to 19 percent in 2010-12.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gross_fix ... ltEngl.PNG
In the U.S. the drop was even steeper, about an 18 percent drop.
https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NE ... cations=US
But in times of full employment, borrowing by the government will crowd out investment by raising interest rates unnecessarily. Until interest rates on US debt are back to around 3 percent this is not a serious issue, but by the time the tax bill takes effect they will be.
geo wrote:
I heard an economist on NPR say on Friday that this tax legislation is designed to reduce the tax burden of corporations in order to keep America competitive in the global marketplace.

That much is true. Of course no one has shown that US industries are not competitive - they hold their own rather nicely. But lower corporate taxes will make some difference at the margin. The problem is this will matter more to attracting foreign finance (Americans do not save, compared to the rest of the world) and thus driving up the dollar and so the trade deficit, than it will to stimulating investment in the US (corporations are hoarding cash in a way not seen before in US economic history).
geo wrote:
All to increase short-term economic growth by a couple of percentage points (and when the economy is already robust).
I doubt that growth will increase at all, but it is starting out pretty good as the recovery gets going.
geo wrote:
The fact that Trump has touted this tax reform as a boon to the middle class is simply not supported by the facts.
Well, it is a Trojan Horse for tax cuts for the rich, but it will actually decrease taxes for many, if not most, middle class Americans. Trump has told many whoppers in selling this, but that's not one of them.



The following user would like to thank Harry Marks for this post:
geo, Taylor
Mon Dec 18, 2017 5:58 am
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
critical of books shorter than 1000 pages

Book Discussion Leader

Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1133
Thanks: 1088
Thanked: 533 times in 439 posts
Gender: None specified

Post Re: The Art of No Deal
Taylor wrote:
It's my understanding that on a global scale the worlds advanced economies are producing substantial increase's in their debt to GDP ratio. So there is no surprises with the increase during the Obama administration.

The increase in debt was created mainly by the fall in revenue during a recession. For a serious recession, greater government borrowing is precisely the right medicine. Look at a graph of US debt sometimes and notice what happened in the early 40s. It is not a coincidence that this was the end of the Great Depression - unemployment was still at 15% going into Lend/Lease.

Taylor wrote:
U.S. debt has been used by the GOP as a campaign issue although mostly as a tool for fear mongering. The GOP's deficit hawk's have clipped their own wings to help accomplish an easy victory for their party.

The theory seems to be the Grover Norquist "starve the beast" approach. Cut taxes first, then claim there is no money for government programs. They certainly proved that they don't really care about deficits, even though those were their excuse for rejecting additional stimulus when it became clear it was needed.

Robert Tulip wrote:
The world is living in a fool's paradise, fuelled by unsustainable debt and fossil fuel emission. Things that can't be sustained stop. Then there will be military dictatorships, since democracy will demand no cuts.

Not really. The debt is much more sustainable than the emissions. The world owes it to itself. Most of the runup is due to demographic changes caused by aging populations. Investment activity has shifted to manufacturing growth in developing countries, especially China, and the income from those investments will pay for retirements in the rich countries.

Robert Tulip wrote:
Small government is good, like having a lean healthy body. Big government is bad, like how obesity causes laziness, cancer, heart disease and lack of discipline.
That proposition depends very much on whether the spending is productive. I would argue that all except the earned spending on the elderly and disabled, an insurance plan for all, is clearly productive. The cost benefit numbers support it.



The following user would like to thank Harry Marks for this post:
Taylor
Mon Dec 18, 2017 6:28 am
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Building a post count to the moon

Silver Contributor

Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 739
Location: Florida
Thanks: 267
Thanked: 416 times in 326 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: The Art of No Deal
Harry Marks wrote:
The theory seems to be the Grover Norquist "starve the beast" approach. Cut taxes first, then claim there is no money for government programs. They certainly proved that they don't really care about deficits, even though those were their excuse for rejecting additional stimulus when it became clear it was needed.


Robert Tulip wrote:
The world is living in a fool's paradise, fuelled by unsustainable debt and fossil fuel emission. Things that can't be sustained stop. Then there will be military dictatorships, since democracy will demand no cuts.Better to cut now. Small government is good, like having a lean healthy body. Big government is bad, like how obesity causes laziness, cancer, heart disease and lack of discipline. Change systems now to avoid much worse grief and conflict later.


I used to wonder...How much money does the federal gov't need...Is it 2.5 trillion or 3.5 trillion. How many trillions does the federal gov't need?

What an ignorant question.

If we listen to the conservative end of the political spectrum they will say something like "Small government is good", the question they do not answer however is...what exactly is a small enough gov't. This libertarian view...this anti-federalist view...this far right thinking is an easy cop-out. I am not aware of any historical time frame where this idea of sound money or a pure capitalist economy was ever anything other than a tool for actions like: monopoly building, mineral or transportation manipulation, labor manipulation. just to point out several examples. Capital crushes any entity that is not itself in control of capital (in any form) . For example, during the potato famine, was it a lack of food or a lack of money to purchase food that caused so many to starve?. I do not want to be one sided here, The left end of the spectrum is equally thoughtless. The far left are very much in a socialist camp. History has amply proved the Bolsheviks were wrong about distribution and management. How long would China last without central control of its economy?. It is no wonder that the political extremes in the U.S. court the centrist, it is strength in numbers. The center is not always smart though, so there is easy manipulation. Manipulation towards what?. Power mostly...The power to control money. This battle between the extremes is what really pisses me off, It is where lies are generated. The truly hard work is at the center, it is where the rubber meets the road so to speak. It's in the center where we manage the unanswerable, How much money is needed? Who/what should we as a society be concerned about? what level should that concern be? what are/is the abuses if abuse is happening?. I get that Co2 reduction is a slippery slope, Decarbonization as it is sometimes proposed carries heavy downside implications for the individual much less the global economy. I can see where decarbonization is a dramatic push to the left as it would be gov't regulation that drives it. It would be heavy handed totalitarianism and the conservatives are correct in their push back. I'm thinking here of penalties... we can not penalize people for merely living, for merely being born.



The following user would like to thank Taylor for this post:
Robert Tulip
Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:55 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
critical of books shorter than 1000 pages

Book Discussion Leader

Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1133
Thanks: 1088
Thanked: 533 times in 439 posts
Gender: None specified

Post Re: The Art of No Deal
Taylor wrote:
Capital crushes any entity that is not itself in control of capital (in any form).
Well, companies and their owners are not reluctant to crush any rival, as well. I used to be confident that we could trust capitalism to act for the general benefit, as the notion of the Invisible Hand tells us, because that is how you get people to pay for products and services. As the benefit from innovation shrinks, and the toll on employment grows, I am beginning to have serious doubts.

Analysis of market failure due to external effects ("side effects" captures the idea) gives a good indication of the way to deal with problems created by capitalists. Usually "cost of production" refers to payment that must be made to bid for resources, that is, to get the resources to work for my firm rather than other firms. Side effects, though, create costs which are not paid for unless government steps in to make it a requirement. So the basic theory of dealing with these externalities is to make producers pay for such costs. Then we get back to a situation in which only the best uses of resources actually get produced.

Effects on demand for labor are harder to sort out. We have never had to treat them as externalities. But the "robot tax" is a serious proposition, because in a society that cares about people (which markets do not), things that contribute to lowering the wage below a living wage are costing the rest of society.


Taylor wrote:
How long would China last without central control of its economy?
Mostly the central control is gone. State-owned enterprises are still a larger share of its economy than is typical, but they are a burden on the rest of the economy, not a necessary element to make things run well.
Taylor wrote:
Manipulation towards what?. Power mostly...The power to control money.
There is a truly compulsive element to this pursuit of power. Normal people become a kind of monster when they are in the grip of corporatism, like something out of the Milgram experiment.
Taylor wrote:
I can see where decarbonization is a dramatic push to the left as it would be gov't regulation that drives it. It would be heavy handed totalitarianism and the conservatives are correct in their push back. I'm thinking here of penalties... we can not penalize people for merely living, for merely being born.
I think you are reading much more into this than you need to. We have used incentive-based approaches to cut down acid rain by 40 to 80 percent, without any need for government control. Regulation of CFC's as propellants and refrigerants has saved the world economy billions with very cost to the lives of citizens. The idea is that if we charge for the side effects ("externalities") just like you charge for damages inflicted by reckless driving, then the economy will voluntarily steer itself toward less harmful methods of getting the goods produced, in order to avoid the charges for the side-effects. This is just responsible production.

Only libertarians who are paranoid about government (or unwilling to consider the matter carefully) reject a reasonable charge for external side-effects.



The following user would like to thank Harry Marks for this post:
Taylor
Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:13 am
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 5616
Location: Canberra
Thanks: 2110
Thanked: 2030 times in 1543 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post Re: The Art of No Deal
Taylor wrote:
the conservative end of the political spectrum they will say something like "Small government is good", the question they do not answer however is...what exactly is a small enough gov't.
An excellent book on this topic is The Constitution of Liberty by Friedrich Hayek, the Nobel Prize-winning economist who was the main inspiration for British PM Margaret Thatcher (Chicagoist summary of Hayek's book). The conservative libertarian view is that the purpose of the state is to secure rule of law. Everything else is better delivered by the private sector. Now I accept that getting to that ideal is difficult, given pervasive market failure, but it remains a worthy goal, since in principle competitive markets will generate greater wealth than a command economy, including for the poor.
Taylor wrote:
This libertarian view...this anti-federalist view...this far right thinking is an easy cop-out.
What do you mean by ‘anti-federalist’? I think it is true that libertarian economics is anti-democratic, just in the sense that most people prefer big government, seen as much in Republican military welfare as in Democrat policies of tax and spend to redistribute wealth. So plans to shrink government to an effective size are not going to win popular elections. I can’t see that as a cop-out, since it presents a moral ideal of self-reliance within a functioning civil society, even if it might take a long time to achieve. Ignoring that goal increases the risk of catastrophic collapse. Having money in the bank is safer than debt.
Taylor wrote:
I am not aware of any historical time frame where this idea of sound money or a pure capitalist economy was ever anything other than a tool for actions like: monopoly building, mineral or transportation manipulation, labor manipulation. just to point out several examples.
I raised this topic of sound money in reply to your comment in the thread on impeachment, but happy to also discuss it here, as it is perhaps more relevant to the art of the deal. My relevant post is at post164064.html#p164064 Sound money is definitely relevant to the whole problem of analysing US politics, in this crazy era of quantitative easing, hundred trillion dollar debt levels with no prospect of repayment, and general cultural escape into fantasy.

Here is the article on Sound Money by the great conservative economist Ludwig Mises that I mentioned. What is fascinating here is that Mises presents sound money as a core ethical principle, while advocates of unsound money cynically suggest that balancing budgets and preserving value is just a corrupt stratagem to steal from the poor.
Taylor wrote:
It is no wonder that the political extremes in the U.S. court the centrist, it is strength in numbers. The center is not always smart though, so there is easy manipulation.
Political centrists tend not to have strong ideological views and tend to believe in compromise, and include swinging voters with either little interest in politics or ability to be swayed by bribery. The further one goes to the extremes of right and left the stronger becomes the 'take no prisoners' attitude. As I said in the other thread, power results from the base persuading the uncommitted to support them.
Taylor wrote:
Manipulation towards what?. Power mostly...The power to control money. This battle between the extremes is what really pisses me off, It is where lies are generated.
Polarisation is politically toxic, destroying respect, dialogue, trust, mutuality, etc. Polarisation is primarily fuelled by corruption, with the perception among the poor and their allies that business has no ethics. That collapse in perceptions of moral legitimacy drove the revolutionary sentiment in Russia and China, seeing politics as class war. From the other side, right wingers think that left wing ethics are corrupt, based on transferring from producers to consumers. Makes me think of Gil Scott Heron B Movie lyrics
Taylor wrote:
The truly hard work is at the center, it is where the rubber meets the road so to speak. It's in the center where we manage the unanswerable, How much money is needed? Who/what should we as a society be concerned about? what level should that concern be? what are/is the abuses if abuse is happening?.
No, that analysis is flawed. Centrism is the locus of compromise and the art of the deal, based on what can command majority support rather than what is true or good. The truly hard work is building understanding of what is true and good.

If the majority believes the nation can ignore major issues, such as climate and debt, the rubber never hits the road, and eventually the car runs into a ditch.
Taylor wrote:
I get that Co2 reduction is a slippery slope, Decarbonization as it is sometimes proposed carries heavy downside implications for the individual much less the global economy. I can see where decarbonization is a dramatic push to the left as it would be gov't regulation that drives it.
Thanks for that comment which I completely agree with. What we have in the traumatised divisions over climate is the politics of class warfare transposed onto the politics of climate change, even though the issues are different and this class approach makes no sense. Decarbonisation, the war on coal, is a policy whose concealed leftist agenda is increasing the power of the state over society. As well, emission reduction just won’t work as a way to stabilise the climate. The sensible elements of the right see these basic problems, but because popular politics only gains traction at the mythic level, the only effective popular counter to climate fanaticism is denial.
Taylor wrote:
It would be heavy handed totalitarianism and the conservatives are correct in their push back.
Yes, except the pushback is quite incoherent, standing in denial of the toxic externalities of fossil fuel emissions. The principle of opposition to totalitarian tendencies of the left is sound, but the right also has its dictatorial traits.


_________________
http://rtulip.net


The following user would like to thank Robert Tulip for this post:
Taylor
Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:32 am
Profile Email WWW
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Building a post count to the moon

Silver Contributor

Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 739
Location: Florida
Thanks: 267
Thanked: 416 times in 326 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: The Art of No Deal
Robert Tulip wrote:
An excellent book on this topic is The Constitution of Liberty by Friedrich Hayek, the Nobel Prize-winning economist who was the main inspiration for British PM Margaret Thatcher (Chicagoist summary of Hayek's book). The conservative libertarian view is that the purpose of the state is to secure rule of law. Everything else is better delivered by the private sector. Now I accept that getting to that ideal is difficult, given pervasive market failure, but it remains a worthy goal, since in principle competitive markets will generate greater wealth than a command economy, including for the poor.


Thanks for sharing the Hayek link: I spent the better part of my Saturday reading the material.

I found it interesting that Hayek rejected conservatives based on their acceptance of supernatural intervention. Similarly Hayek rejects libertarianism on the grounds that he accepts the need for ' a given minimum for sustenance for all' ( Hayek endorses a need for some level of social security). By extension he is agreeing to some level of redistribution. Hayek even includes means testing as part of S.S. requirements.

On the progressive tax Hayek prefers something along the lines of a flat tax as the progressive tax can be used as a weapon by the poor against the rich, which can be true but I think that it is unfounded, in other words it has not been used as a confiscatory tool.
Personally I like a progressive tax as I think when used properly it generates necessary revenues. (Please don't make me get into the weeds of the tax code :) ). Those who have the most to lose should be willing to protect what they have got and they do. It is a feed back loop and posibly a good one.

Hayek also seems to support a public health system: ' the obvious solution is to compel 'individuals' to insure (or othewise provide) against' the hazards associated with old age, unemployment, sickness and so on. Although 'the community may not force a person to act in his own interest it may nontheless compel him to do what is in the communities interest, which is preventing harm to its members, Compulsion is justifiable in this case because people who neglect to make provision 'would become a charge to the public' . Hayek correctly tells us that this system has to be designed so as to accomodate re-evaluation of avaiable resources.

It seems to me that at some level Hayek makes the case for compromise with heavy doses of caution, further I would suggest he is even pragmatic with regards to government and perhaps even laissez-faire. Hayek: 'Laissez faire or non-intervention do not provide us with an adequate criterion for distinguishing between what is and what is not admissible in a free system' further 'it is the character rather than the volume of government activity that is important'. The fundamental question of how big or small is arbitrary.

Robert Tulip wrote:
What do you mean by ‘anti-federalist’?


My meaning here is mostly emotional I admit. It is derived from a revulsion developed over the last several years from 30 years of right-winger fear mongering and exaggeration about the lefts desire to over-throw the U.S. government in favor of some socialist utopia of command control. It simply has not been bourn out. Our system won't allow it, our heritage won't allow it. America is to unique, we have shown the world democracy works, we demonstrate both public and private altruism.

It may seem tentative but Kant's admonition to ' always recognize that human individuals are ends, and do not use them as mere means to your ends"
is secure. So by anti-federalist I have in mind a constant conservative refrain that left wingers are unamerican while right wingers are true and good, they ignore what I call the easy cop-out of their simplistic rhetoric against a federal supremacy, they presume that the individual states should be supreme and it is this very argument that gave us slavery. The individual states will act in their perceived self interest, it is at the state level that heinous laws get enacted, it is where most civil rights violations happen. The founding fathers recognized that the country would grow into a complex organism. It has taken many years to get where we are at and it is good. There is no doubt. So I am willing to give credit where credit is due. The right is a guard rail but they're only blocking one ditch they are not the ones to trust with both sides of the road.

Robert Tulip wrote:
No, that analysis is flawed. Centrism is the locus of compromise and the art of the deal, based on what can command majority support rather than what is true or good. The truly hard work is building understanding of what is true and good. If the majority believes the nation can ignore major issues, such as climate and debt, the rubber never hits the road, and eventually the car runs into a ditch.


Flawed is not that far off the mark. Co2 reduction as a primary tool against AGW isn't the left jumping off the deep end into a fools paradise, It can be looked at from the perspective of the right-wingers jumping off the deep end of uninhibited corporate self-interest. The left is necessary to protect that particular ditch. As to debt, There is more hypocrisy coming from the right, This latest tax revision proves that.

I'd challenge the private sector to commoditize pollution and make a market killing but they are killing it in the market as it is.

Robert Tulip wrote:
What is fascinating here is that Mises presents sound money as a core ethical principle, while advocates of unsound money cynically suggest that balancing budgets and preserving value is just a corrupt stratagem to steal from the poor.


My thoughts on the Mises article: Per head capital invested is through the roof right now, yet wages are stagnant and the wealth gap grows. So I think that currently sound money is looking pretty sound to the corporations that are hording cash while at the same time singing the blues over tax rates. Labor unions are currently not in a position to inflate labor cost and their position only weakens. Sky rocketing stock prices demonstrate that government regulations are not stagnating the private sector from generating huge profits. Inflation has averaged 1.6 percent for the past 10 years, The average rate of inflation from 1914 to 2017 has been3.28 percent.

Robert Tulip wrote:
Political centrists tend not to have strong ideological views and tend to believe in compromise, and include swinging voters with either little interest in politics or ability to be swayed by bribery. The further one goes to the extremes of right and left the stronger becomes the 'take no prisoners' attitude. As I said in the other thread, power results from the base persuading the uncommitted to support them.


Strong ideological views may be necessary but as you say "take no prisoners'" is really more of a last ditch survival technique, we are not living in such desperate times.

Quote:
Taylor wrote:
How long would China last without central control of its economy?

Harry Marks wrote:
Mostly the central control is gone. State-owned enterprises are still a larger share of its economy than is typical, but they are a burden on the rest of the economy, not a necessary element to make things run well.


What I mean here specifically is that China is a single party state. Without the aid of the U.S. it is likely that China would have devolved into the chaos of civil war. I personally fear for any peoples living under single party rule, which is part of the reason why I am trying to hammer the GOP. It would be interesting to witness China become a democracy, and is that even possible?, Is it desirable? .



The following user would like to thank Taylor for this post:
Harry Marks, Robert Tulip
Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:30 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
pets endangered by possible book avalanche

BookTalk.org Moderator
Platinum Contributor

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 4300
Location: NC
Thanks: 1785
Thanked: 1850 times in 1398 posts
Gender: Male

Post Re: The Art of No Deal
Robert Tulip wrote:
Obama doubled US national debt from $10 trillion to almost $20 trillion. Not sustainable. Cut the military.


Obama inherited an economy that was reeling from the real estate bubble, which required the next president to pass a stimulus package. If John McCain had been elected, he would have certainly passed a stimulus package as well. There were other factors at play as this article states . . .

Quote:
. . . While the large increase in borrowing occurred "under Obama," it's an overstatement to blame Obama's actions as the sole cause of the ballooning debt, according to the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

The debt would have risen by $3 trillion because of tax and spending policies that were already in place. Plus, the Great Recession drove up spending on safety net programs, such as Medicaid and food stamps, without the president or Congress doing a thing.

This is not to say that Obama had zero impact on the debt during his two terms in office. His 2009 stimulus plan and his making most of the Bush tax cuts permanent in 2012 contributed to the debt. But the 2011 Budget Control Act, which curbed government spending, helped slow the projected growth in debt.

Also, keep in mind that Obama can't take any financial steps without Congress' approval. And Republicans controlled the House for six years of his term and the Senate for two years.


http://money.cnn.com/2016/10/19/news/ec ... index.html

If you look at deficit spending by president, you don't see much difference between Democrats or Republicans. If anything Republicans since Reagan are more inclined to increase deficits. Republicans have paid only lip service to fiscal conservatism. Now they don't even do that.


_________________
-Geo
Question everything


The following user would like to thank geo for this post:
DWill, Harry Marks
Mon Dec 25, 2017 10:38 am
Profile
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Building a post count to the moon


Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 734
Thanks: 32
Thanked: 397 times in 314 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: The Art of No Deal
Trump gave them cart blanche to blatantly contradict themselves and not give a damn. I watched 60 Minutes during the 2016 campaign and Trump and Pence were being interviewed by Leslie Stahl who asked Trump why he picked Pence when he savages Hillary Clinton over her minimal support of the Iraq War when Pence was a major cheerleader whose efforts to fund it is what got it off the ground. Trump's response? "I don't care." Point blank, that's what he said. People, for some reason, think this is refreshingly honest. Granted, Clinton would have spun and wriggled every which way to make it sound like she didn't support it (but her support was never more than lukewarm) and that's one reason so many people hate her (a pale second to her being a woman). But what is the difference? Waffling is waffling. Trump waffled and brazenly barks, "I don't care!" Hillary tries to spin it. But, in the end, both waffled. The only reason Trump didn't spin it was because he's too stupid. Trump doesn't spin truth, he just lies. When he's called out on his lies, he shrugs and says, "I don't care. Blow it out your ass." He rode that into the White House.

So now Congress is doing the same thing. Let's reverse ourselves and when the democrats call us out, we'll say, "Screw you. Nobody cares." We'll see if that flies in 2018. It does appear at this time that it won't fly. The same base is there for them Trump and the GOP but the fractured base that deserted the democratic party and let Trump waltz in has licked its wounds and is slowly getting to its feet and is massing to deliver an electoral coup de grace. To which party? We'll find out.



The following user would like to thank DB Roy for this post:
Harry Marks
Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:12 pm
Profile Email
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Building a post count to the moon


Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 734
Thanks: 32
Thanked: 397 times in 314 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: The Art of No Deal
In light of the disastrous policy put in place by the Trump White House that mandated the separating of kids from families immigrating illegally or seeking asylum, the republican party may have delivered itself its own coup de grace. For the first time in his presidency, Trump was forced to back down. But he's a con man and someone who must have revenge when someone gets the better of him (then he has has to taunt the other party if he feels he has succeeded). I expect Trump has something up his sleeve. But getting him to back down revealed a major fault: all the while his lackeys were insisting the separations were only temporary, we now see that they had no plan for returning the separated children from their families. The 2300 that have thus been separated will remain so indefinitely. No records were kept. There is no way to know to whom they belong. Their families may have already been deported and these kids may end up in foster care for years--by which time it will be too late. He didn't want DACA kids here so he kidnaps a bunch more illegal immigrants and now has to take care of them.

I have never before saw such a spectacle as we were treated to this past week. Watching Sessions and Nielsen and others defending the detaining of children while Trump suddenly up and decries it--acts as if it were not his idea and that he has heroically arrived to put an end to it. Every manner of outright lie was spoken by Kirstjen Nielsen alone in her efforts to defend Trump who only a short time before shouted at and belittled her in front his cabinet and various guests. Instead of resigning and walking out like everybody else is doing who has any sense, Nielsen has thrown her lot in with the likes of Trump, Bannon, Sessions, Huckabee-Sanders and Stephen Collins. Sessions has likewise been savaged by Trump as of late but couldn't wait to get an opportunity to get back into his good graces and be the puppet AG Trump had appointed him to be but then regretted it when Sessions recused himself from the Russian collusion investigation.

Trump and Nielsen insisted they were only following the law. But there is no such law; it was merely a White House policy put in place by Trump himself. Then they said only congress could fix it but congress cannot fix it because congress didn't create it--Trump did. To end it required Trump to merely tell Sessions to end it. This was an unbelievably bad attempt to force an immigration bill to his liking. This administration actually thought, they could take these kids and use them as a bargaining to chip to get his wall--something the dems were willing to fund if he promised to leave DACA alone. He already had his wall but, no, that wasn't enough for the Master Deal-Maker. No, he had to get his wall and still lay waste to the DACA program by kidnapping migrant kids and putting them in concentration camps. "Give me my wall or these kids will never see their parents again!" Turns out that's going to be the case for many of them anyway whether the dems caved or not.

This has backfired spectacularly and has likely permanently damaged this presidency and the party that has flocked around him when they should have fled. It never occurred to Trump that even many of the insane Christians in his base couldn't support the splitting up of families. Close allies were forced to disparage it. Even corporations have spoken against it (several major airlines recently stated they will not knowingly fly children away from their families). Even law enforcement officers in Texas have refused to allow their cops to moonlight as security guards at these camps. The open hostility thrown at Trump and his toadies by the public is nothing I've ever seen before.

Trump thought it was another example of his brilliant negotiating strategies and has instead turned his presidency from a major embarrassment to a major disaster. And all those who have circled their wagons around him--you will die with him. I have no sympathy for any of them. They all accepted posts in his administration, no one forced them. I will cheer loudly if and when they are sent to prison.

Of course, Sessions didn't help things by spewing bible verse to justify the detention. In fact, I would have to say that that is what really broke it open. Separating children from their mothers and using the bible to justify it--I mean, really. The Christians, who might have remained silent throughout this debacle, couldn't now. They had to speak up and tell Sessions to stuff it. The prestige we have lost around the world may never be recovered fully. Trump is not helping by lashing out at our allies, embracing ruthless dictators and tossing candy at Angele Merkel at the G7 summit. Like I said, this is a guy who HAS to taunt. And we elected this guy as leader of the free world. Unbelievable.

Now his presidency lies wounded and hemorrhaging by his own hand.



The following user would like to thank DB Roy for this post:
Harry Marks
Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:26 pm
Profile Email
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Building a post count to the moon


Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 734
Thanks: 32
Thanked: 397 times in 314 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: The Art of No Deal
The only rationale for Trump to refuse a deal that gave him his wall in return for laying off DACA appears to be a Calvinistic approach of Us v. Them. Trump knows his base. That much you have to give him. After all, he IS one of them--just a lot richer. To them, he preaches his own form of the prosperity gospel: "I am what you long to be and, someday, some of you might even get there." They see him as a god or demigod and the rich evangelist leaders with whom he is in collusion all preach Donald-as-god to their followers. I believe it was Pat Robertson who stated that he dreamed he saw into heaven and Donald was sitting at the right hand of god. Ludicrous? Absolutely. But notice how Robertson has usurped Christ's position by giving it to Donald. To any Christian with a functioning brain (and I'm speaking in a relative manner), this should be the most outrageous blasphemy but, no, they believe it. Donald is god. And if you think Trump is going to dissuade them from that belief then you don't know Donald.

Now, to be fair, MOST Christians do not think Donald is god or even the tiniest bit Christlike but you only need a small number of them to believe it to turn an election--the most fanatical, least educated, downtrodden, poverty-stricken, opioid-addicted, unemployed of them. They LOVE Donald and don't care what he does and they have said so many times now. To them, Donald preaches his prosperity gospel: "You don't have the money or the brains to do what I am doing but I will speak for you and give you the America you so richly deserve but which was stolen from you by spics and niggers and libtard democrats and egghead atheist professors teaching in schools YOU would never be allowed to set foot in! I, Donald, speak for you! Only I have have the guts to say what the others never will--that YOU are the true inheritors of the American Dream! You are the superior ones--the white people who built this great country that rich, buck-nigger athletes want to tear down and filthy, smelly Muslims piss on with impunity and shit-colored spics gibbering in Spanish crowd into and then expect you to take care of their lazy, worthless, germ-ridden asses! I will give this country back to you! I will kick them out! I will make America great again!" That's Donald's prosperity gospel. And make no mistake--YUGE numbers of white people LOVE what he is saying. Not just stupid hicks clutching bibles but middle class and college-educated whites who, underneath it all, are at heart bible-clutching hicks who believe America has been stolen from them.

What Donald knows is that his base is far more effective when they are seething with rage and venomous hatred. Happy dumb hicks are hicks who don't vote. Want then to flock to the polls? Then piss them off, stir them up, fill them with rage, motivate them with hate. Calvin believed that good and evil must always be locked in an eternal never-ending battle. One could never vanquish the other. Even if good triumphed over evil, how would you know? How could you be certain that evil didn't triumph? No. One can never defeat the other. Only by being eternally locked in battle can we be certain that evil hasn't triumphed, that good is still alive and fighting for us. Peace and contentment are danger signs.

Donald's Calvinist approach is to not accept any deal that gives him what he wants. If he accepted the DACA deal now to get his wall, two things would happen: part of his base would be furious at him for selling them out on DACA and decide that he might not be god after all and the rest would get their wall and celebrate in triumph and figure they wouldn't need to go to the polls in November because the war was won. This outcome spells doom for Donald who is currently basking in the glory of completely taking over the republican party. So Donald knows how important it is to get the hicks and rubes to the polls to vote--motivate them--"If you don't vote, we won't get our wall and DACA will be the law of the land! Nigger Obama will be ruling you even after he dies!" I suspect the dems may have caved in to the wall demand on that idea--give it to him now and see if he takes it. Well, he didn't and he won't.

Donald shows us how great it is to be followed by total idiots who don't care what he says or does as long as he keeps talking like an uncouth, uneducated, racist asshole (i.e. as long as he keeps talking like them). He can break any promise and they won't care. Remember when Mexico was going to pay for the wall? When was the last time Donald said that? He hasn't mentioned it since the campaign. He knew he was lying through his teeth and that his base would love it. They just want to hear someone say it. They don't have to do it just say it.

So don't sweat it, Donny-lovers, good and evil are still locked in battle--at least until November.



The following user would like to thank DB Roy for this post:
Harry Marks
Sat Jun 23, 2018 11:38 am
Profile Email
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Building a post count to the moon


Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 734
Thanks: 32
Thanked: 397 times in 314 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: The Art of No Deal
So now we see that many of Donald's followers are a fucked-up cult of personality called Q-Anon which was written up in a WaPo article last week and has since rebounded around the internet. Q-anon started--where else?--on 4chan and 8chan. Some poster who identified himself (herself?) as "Q" and claimed to be somebody working in the govt and holding a high clearance but not too high (otherwise, he would know everything, which wouldn't be much fun, instead just some things requiring him to uncover the crumbs and and disseminate them to Q-anon). This person gathered a following on these nutjob boards and called his followers bakers to whom he would leave breadcrumbs to follow that they could assemble until they could bake the loaf that will become "the storm" that they believe Trump referenced in October 2017 when he met with military leaders and mentioned a "calm before the storm." This storm is something apparently apocalyptic when the "deep state" would be outed and destroyed and the rich liberal elites would be left vulnerable and exposed and that would be the time for the people to move against them to free society or what they call "The Great Awakening." The followers of Q call themselves Anons. Their slogan is "wwg1wga" which stands for "where we go one, we go all."

http://impiousdigest.com/you-are-not-wa ... llowing-q/

It could be as laughable as people chasing down pokemons except it isn't. The breadcrumbs and all that shit don't matter a wit. What matters is that many people fully believe it. Even certain celebrities as Roseanne Barr and Curt Schilling believe it and are Anons actively engaged in following the breadcrumbs. Remember when Edgar Maddison Welch walked into the Comet Ping Pong Pizzeria in DC and opened fire? He was an early follower of Q on 4chan. That should prove that the whole Q thing is a load of shit. Welch himself was quite angry upon discovering the pizzeria had no basement and no children in need of rescue. Luckily, nobody had to die to prove it. Next time, I wouldn't count on it.

So how does Trump feel about Q? As usual, he can't denounce them. When Sarah Sanders was asked about it, she cryptically replied, "The president condemns and denounces any group that would incite violence against any individual." Q has not, to my knowledge, incited any violence against an individual. What Q-Anon believes is that Trump is waging a "Deep State War" against these entrenched government officials who are all pedophiles. Trump enlisted Mueller to actually expose the democrats (all obvious pedophiles) under the guise of investigating Russian collusion in the 2016 election.

Since he is framed by Q as a man fighting tooth-and-nail against pedophiles, Trump remains a hero to his following regardless of whatever else he does. Trump for his part does not ever talk about Q at least publicly. Trump, however, cannot condemn them. They are part of his most loyal base and keeping them is crucial to him. Trump is always careful never step on those who publicly support him whether they be dictators or white supremacists who have committed murder.

Trump cannot distance himself from Q-Anon because they follow his every lead. He calls the media the enemy of the people and you get:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXMAmMItRtk

Q is just made for those weak-minded individuals that revel in conspiracy theory and so they are inherently dangerous people. The more laughable and convoluted their theories are just makes it that much worse. If the idea that Mueller is actually digging up dirt on the Clintons and Obamas and secretly tracking their allies in hopes of exposing them as pedophiles and/or cohorts of Putin don't give them pause about the soundness of their cause then what will?

How certain can we be that the Las Vegas shooting, for example, wasn't inspired by Q? Stephen Paddock wasn't a Muslim or sympathetic to them. He was, in fact, the kid of guy that votes for Trump and who would likely be an Anon. To this day, no motive for the shooting has been uncovered and that's certainly a bit strange. He didn't just wake up one day and decide to kill people. Was he ideologically manipulated into doing it by someone smart enough to leave no traces that can be followed back to them? If so, you just have to wonder who that was. Could Q be run by a group that preaches to large numbers in hopes of netting themselves that individual that can be manipulated into committing extreme violence--the kind of violence that alarms communities, puts them on edge, pits society against itself? How long has this been carried out? Maybe I'm just as bad as they are and there is really nothing to it but someone is posing as Q and they are leading a mass of idiots through surreptitious means. That much can't be denied. And Donald Trump gave birth to them and that can't be denied either.

If they commit major violence that can be laid at their feet, what will that do to Trump's standing? He can't separate himself from them. He did everything in his power to make a group like them and he has to stand or fall with them. How long before they all fall down?



The following user would like to thank DB Roy for this post:
Harry Marks
Sat Aug 04, 2018 5:57 pm
Profile Email
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 151 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.  Go to page Previous  1 ... 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11  Next



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:



Site Resources 
HELPFUL INFO:
Forum Rules & Tips
Frequently Asked Questions
BBCode Explained
Author Interview Transcripts
Be a Book Discussion Leader!

IDEAS FOR WHAT TO READ:
Bestsellers
Book Awards
• Book Reviews
• Online Books
• Team Picks
Newspaper Book Sections

WHERE TO BUY BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

BEHIND THE BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

PROMOTE YOUR BOOK!
Advertise on BookTalk.org
How To Promote Your Book





BookTalk.org is a thriving book discussion forum, online reading group or book club. We read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books as a community. Our forums are open to anyone in the world. While discussing books is our passion we also have active forums for talking about poetry, short stories, writing and authors. Our general discussion forum section includes forums for discussing science, religion, philosophy, politics, history, current events, arts, entertainment and more. We hope you join us!


Navigation 
MAIN NAVIGATION

HOMEFORUMSOUR BOOKSAUTHOR INTERVIEWSADVERTISELINKSFAQDONATETERMS OF USEPRIVACY POLICYSITEMAP

OTHER PAGES WORTH EXPLORING
Banned Book ListOnline Reading GroupTop 10 Atheism Books

Copyright © BookTalk.org 2002-2018. All rights reserved.


seo for beginners