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ACA Repeal/Replace: Progressives Face Moral Dilemma
(09-12-2017, 09:08 PM)pbrower2a Wrote: I have my neo-Marxist theory. We Americans have the original elite of big rural landowners, basically planters without the slaves; the financiers and industrialists that Marx saw as the arch-fiends of capitalism; the managerial elite that Milovan Djilas saw in his The New Class; big urban landlords (Donald Trump is the archetype), and organized crime.   A few people make the money, much of it as economic rent, and the rest of us are expected to put on theatrical smiles as we sweat.

With the possible exception of the mobsters, whose politics are murky, the other elites are reactiona4ry in their political and economic agendas. They want as productive system in which they exact every bit of profit possible. We have been collecting elites devoid of responsibility but demanding of us all. In no way are they in competition; they are in concert. But the concert isn't something like Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto and Brahms' Fourth Symphony. It is a cacophony of cruelty.

Some of Piketty's followers are calling this the second Gilded Age.  A focus on elites, division of wealth and a government that isn't really helping might make link up possible.  I won't argue too much against your basic view from the past.

The question is how to break up the alliance between the elites and the government that allows the division of wealth.

The focus is on the urban - rural divide.  If you get obsessed on that, the division of wealth issue gets lost. This doesn't mean some of the supposed culture war divides aren't real.    I'm guessing that you feel the gun policy question and women's rights shouldn't get shrugged off and forgotten.  However, while people get emotional on issues that would attempt to change cultures, the basic question of whose side are people on somehow gets lost.  Some people will get so enthralled with protecting their culture that they lose track of what is being asked for in exchange.

Then there is a false impression of where the wealth divide is.  There was a sense of many that they are on the wealthy side now, and should vote with the wealthy.  Still, who is getting richer, and who poorer?

Then there is the racist element, Nixon's Southern Strategy and Reagan's pregnant welfare queen.  Part of the notion that people should help each other was lost to the notion that it would be good to hurt people.  The notion that one should cut domestic spending had a strong influence from the Democrats desire for the black vote making certain low riding fruit available to the Republicans.  This quiet link in becoming more obvious now.

It is hard to spend big on the military and domestic services at the same time.  The parties have recently been each pushing their own favorite.  In the US at least, less is getting done for those at home.  We spend heavily abroad compared to most in a time where it is hard to get the obvious financial return on investment.  What are we trying to do?  Are we seeking to force financial reward, containing or opposing ways of thought, or attempting to make lives better?  Too much is said about how much each party wishes to do, not enough about what they wish to do.

A lot of this comes back to Eric's notion of defeating Republicans who are unspeakably evil.  Are the Democrats much better?  Are they any less elite and wealthy?  In the tax and spend period, there was a notion that one party favored Main Street while the other represented Wall Street and Easy Street.   Is that true enough today?  During the national malaise, both parties came to the conclusion that seeking campaign contributions from elites and serving them behind the scenes was more the key to victory than serving the people.  That has to be turned around big time, and it won't happen until the voters become much more aware and reactive about who is giving money to who.

You could wait for old Marx's supposedly inevitable revolution.  I'm not that patient.  While the see saw gives the delusion of major change every few years, the basics are seemingly not effected.  The system is rigged to favor those who can buy the best lawyers, lobbyists, media and politicians.  Both parties are buying, both selling.

Will using Marxist language help folks see the obvious?  If it did, I'd be thrilled to use Marxist language.  He did see some very real problems early, but his fixes prolonged the values of autocratic tyranny.  Given the unpopularity discrediting what fell from him, does using his words help?  This doesn't make part of what he said into lies, but winning ought to mean something.  Does it make a difference if one sets up against the capitalist owners of the means of production, the military industrial complex, or anybody over 30, if they are close to one and the same?  Lots of folks have had to reinvent Marx, to use a slightly different angle to establish plausible denial.

Anyway, I like the basic direction you are heading if not some of the details of how you are getting there.  At the moment, identifying the real enemy is important.  Focusing on the division of wealth seems a decent approach.
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It is just the fact that Republicans represent these elites. Democrats may compromise too much with them, but that is because they have to take account of Republican power. That makes them too cautious to turn left. But if Republican power is reduced, or if the Party crumbles, then the pressure on politicians to conform to the desires of the wealthy elite will be reduced. So yes, as a matter of strategy, focusing on the division of wealth leads inexorably to the fact that Republican policies of the last 40 years have created this inequality that Piketty documents, and so the answer is to dethrone them. You can call that vile partisanship; I just call it realistic strategy.

And that should be obvious from everything I write on this subject.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
(09-13-2017, 12:48 AM)Eric the Green Wrote: It is just the fact that Republicans represent these elites. Democrats may compromise too much with them, but that is because they have to take account of Republican power. That makes them too cautious to turn left. But if Republican power is reduced, or if the Party crumbles, then the pressure on politicians to conform to the desires of the wealthy elite will be reduced. So yes, as a matter of strategy, focusing on the division of wealth leads inexorably to the fact that Republican policies of the last 40 years have created this inequality that Piketty documents, and so the answer is to dethrone them. You can call that vile partisanship; I just call it realistic strategy.

And that should be obvious from everything I write on this subject.

Noted.

CNN has posted a main stream version of it, how Bannon with his GOP populist unraveling memes and Sanders with his lately surging Medicare for all plan are personifying the divide.

I think it encouraging that the populists are surging over the establishment in both parties.  I do think a great deal of the problem is that too many politicians serve the elites rather than the people.  The Democrats are not immune.  If one of the two populist messages, though, is to catch hold and defeat the other, listening and respecting where the others have valid concerns remains important.

I would try to shift your attention more to the division of wealth, less to the rural - urban divide.  Trying to shift the rural culture will not be easy.  Convincing them that the traditional Washington politicians are corrupt and beholden won't be any trouble at all.
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(09-12-2017, 11:59 PM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote:
(09-12-2017, 09:08 PM)pbrower2a Wrote: I have my neo-Marxist theory. We Americans have the original elite of big rural landowners, basically planters without the slaves; the financiers and industrialists that Marx saw as the arch-fiends of capitalism; the managerial elite that Milovan Djilas saw in his The New Class; big urban landlords (Donald Trump is the archetype), and organized crime.   A few people make the money, much of it as economic rent, and the rest of us are expected to put on theatrical smiles as we sweat.

With the possible exception of the mobsters, whose politics are murky, the other elites are reactiona4ry in their political and economic agendas. They want as productive system in which they exact every bit of profit possible. We have been collecting elites devoid of responsibility but demanding of us all. In no way are they in competition; they are in concert. But the concert isn't something like Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto and Brahms' Fourth Symphony. It is a cacophony of cruelty.

Some of Piketty's followers are calling this the second Gilded Age.  A focus on elites, division of wealth and a government that isn't really helping might make link up possible.  I won't argue too much against your basic view from the past.

The question is how to break up the alliance between the elites and the government that allows the division of wealth.

This is a second Gilded Age in which the enrichment and pampering is the program of the Establishment, and that anything that gets in the way is ethically suspect, as those elites (which include the televangelists who fleece and brainwash their followers are a part) define what is good and evil. I've got mine -- $crew you!

The non-elites are the schmucks who have been born to do the work because they are born into disadvantage. For the economic elites one has obnoxious traits of all prior and current elites... and those elites unite in the promotion of their vices at the expense of all else and everyone else.

Good times come for people not in the elites as those elites turn against each other. American democracy worked best when the Southern agrarian elites and organized labor (always a non-elite) shared a common enemy in the owners of industrial sweatshops.  Today the Southern agrarian elites are in alliance with the sweatshop owners.

Quote:The focus is on the urban - rural divide.  If you get obsessed on that, the division of wealth issue gets lost. This doesn't mean some of the supposed culture war divides aren't real.    I'm guessing that you feel the gun policy question and women's rights shouldn't get shrugged off and forgotten.  However, while people get emotional on issues that would attempt to change cultures, the basic question of whose side are people on somehow gets lost.  Some people will get so enthralled with protecting their culture that they lose track of what is being asked for in exchange.

But rural America has its feminists. It has minorities -- like black families deciding that their kids have better chances in school in rural districts that provide better K-12 education less expensively, and like Latino workers in food production and processing. Fairies and slaughterhouses operate much like the old factories with their proletariat.


Quote:Then there is a false impression of where the wealth divide is.  There was a sense of many that they are on the wealthy side now, and should vote with the wealthy.  Still, who is getting richer, and who poorer?

Then there is the racist element, Nixon's Southern Strategy and Reagan's pregnant welfare queen.  Part of the notion that people should help each other was lost to the notion that it would be good to hurt people.  The notion that one should cut domestic spending had a strong influence from the Democrats desire for the black vote making certain low riding fruit available to the Republicans.  This quiet link in becoming more obvious now.


The idea is that if you own and operate a small business, then you are as much a capitalist as the Koch or Mercer families and have a stake in a pure plutocracy. Small business owners have no such interest. They can fail because they have customers unwilling to buy enough despite the desires of potential customers. Mass poverty is not a good friend of small business. Indeed small business most flourished when the working class (with the aid of strong, militant unions) had disposable income.

For American elites, mass poverty is as much of a control on people as was the lash on a plantation.

Quote:It is hard to spend big on the military and domestic services at the same time.  The parties have recently been each pushing their own favorite.  In the US at least, less is getting done for those at home.  We spend heavily abroad compared to most in a time where it is hard to get the obvious financial return on investment.  What are we trying to do?  Are we seeking to force financial reward, containing or opposing ways of thought, or attempting to make lives better?  Too much is said about how much each party wishes to do, not enough about what they wish to do.

But the military needs troops, and  if the social spending is inadequate it can find itself paying to upgrade the "Sad Sack" types that it gets stuck with as troops -- people that it must train to read, write, and do basic arithmetic. Infrastructure? I look at the first country to lose in World War I because of economic collapses, and it was Russia (which had other problems, like mass illiteracy)  -- bad roads gave Russia poor mobility and created bottlenecks for a primitive industrialism.

So far as I can tell, the elites of America would be perfectly happy if workers became destitute. Seventy-hour workweeks and forty-year lifespans for people not in the economic elites? If that is what the elites consider American 'greatness', then I want no part of it.


Quote:A lot of this comes back to Eric's notion of defeating Republicans who are unspeakably evil.  Are the Democrats much better?  Are they any less elite and wealthy?  In the tax and spend period, there was a notion that one party favored Main Street while the other represented Wall Street and Easy Street.   Is that true enough today?  During the national malaise, both parties came to the conclusion that seeking campaign contributions from elites and serving them behind the scenes was more the key to victory than serving the people.  That has to be turned around big time, and it won't happen until the voters become much more aware and reactive about who is giving money to who.

The political process has become fiendishly expensive. It may be possible for someone of modest means to get ahead in the American political system, but today that person must become a stooge of the elites, someone who sells out the common man to the elites for some fame and fortune. Those elites need examples of people risen from nowhere to 'greatness' as a reflection of American opportunity. When corporate lobbyists dictate what is possible in the legislature, we do not have a democracy. We have a Republic in Name Only.

I have my idea of what a better America will look like -- the 1950s with better roads, better technology, and better social attitudes, basically the progress that we have not thrown away in the name of making things great for economic elites. A Crisis Era that goes well for us will lead us in that direction. But we have a very serious problem in this Crisis, and part of it is Donald Trump. Another part is Paul Ryan. To have a Crisis go well, we need leadership more like FDR than like Donald Trump.

Quote:You could wait for old Marx's supposedly inevitable revolution.  I'm not that patient.  While the see saw gives the delusion of major change every few years, the basics are seemingly not effected.  The system is rigged to favor those who can buy the best lawyers, lobbyists, media and politicians.  Both parties are buying, both selling.

Marx thought that the great transformations were the result of political revolution. In that he was very wrong. Technology plays much more of a role, and the End of Scarcity as a consequence of advanced technology is more likely to force a great transformation of economic and political life than is any proletarian revolution. I can see an End of Scarcity making the status symbols and old methods of command and control irrelevant. It could be that the current elites are using fascistic methods (including right-wing demagoguery) to prevent an era in which people can reject their sweatshops and recognize their status symbols as frauds. When people get wise they will reject the appeals of elites who believe that the sole reason for the existence of anyone not in their elite is to suffer for that elite.


Quote:Will using Marxist language help folks see the obvious?  If it did, I'd be thrilled to use Marxist language.  He did see some very real problems early, but his fixes prolonged the values of autocratic tyranny.  Given the unpopularity discrediting what fell from him, does using his words help?  This doesn't make part of what he said into lies, but winning ought to mean something.  Does it make a difference if one sets up against the capitalist owners of the means of production, the military industrial complex, or anybody over 30, if they are close to one and the same?  Lots of folks have had to reinvent Marx, to use a slightly different angle to establish plausible denial.

I used the term neo-Marxist, which indicates that I have adopted an essential part of my theory from Marx. But I am not a Marxist in the sense of believing that there is nothing wrong with capitalist society that a revolution like the Bolshevik Revolution or the Chinese Civil War can't solve. If one accepts that Marx' ideal of communism (which 'socialism' of the Marxist-Leninist manner hastens by cutting out the capitalists from managing the economic development of a nation) is the post-scarcity society, then it is possible to make the transition from capitalism to Marx' ideal without government taking command of the economy. Government controlling the productive activity of the economy has shown itself a failure; social democracy, which America has never tried, needs a productive capitalist system but humanizes it.

At the least let us have capitalism with a human face!

Quote:Anyway, I like the basic direction you are heading if not some of the details of how you are getting there.  At the moment, identifying the real enemy is important.  Focusing on the division of wealth seems a decent approach.

The point is not an imitation of a Bolshevik revolution, something far more likely when the capitalists fail morally. To be sure, Nicholas II was the biggest landowner in Russia and thus even more a feudal lord than a capitalist; much of the anger of the revolutionaries of Russia was against the feudal elements still intact in Russia.

I see in Donald Trump behavior  characteristic of a bad feudal lord. That is much of the problem.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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(09-11-2017, 04:54 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(09-11-2017, 03:43 PM)David Horn Wrote: Economists like Greg Mankiw, among many others in the freshwater school, believed complex models that postulated that the massive expansion of the money supply in the post-2008 period would trigger high inflation and higher unemployment.  It didn't happen did it?  On the other hand, the saltwater school predicted no inflation and slowly declining unemployment.  They also argued for a huge stimulus to expedite the recovery, but the GOP rebuffed that entirely, preferring their typical tax cut method, which did nothing of note.

What are you smoking?  Tax rates have not been cut post 2008.  The last major tax rate cut was in 2001, and was successful in heading off what was shaping up to be a very deep recession - something that Democratic demand side policies failed to do after 2008.

As for the rest of it, you need to learn the math, not just regurgitate political talking points you don't understand.

This is simply wrong.  The savior in 2001, if you wish to see it as such, was massive deficit spending, mostly on the military.  Of course the economy did well. It also lead to the Great Recession.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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(09-11-2017, 04:57 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(09-11-2017, 06:40 AM)pbrower2a Wrote: My college major was economics. I took calculus and know well what functions and scalars (a/k/a coefficients) are. It's telling that much of the mathematics behind economics was worked out by chemists.

The idea of Henry George is of course to tax rents, the easiest large incomes that people can get. Rents are beyond the usual, competitive reward for entrepreneurial activity or onerous toil. Exploiting a permanent and intractable scarcity or a monopoly privilege is far easier than even shrewd investment in honest business.

Interesting about the chemists.  It does make sense, since both economics and chemistry are largely about equilibria and the process by which one gets there.

You can try explaining George's ideas to David Horn if you want.  It would be interesting to see him do a flip flop when the same idea come from a leftist rather than from a conservative.

Joe Stieglitz is a proponent of Georgist taxation, and he's about as liberal an economist as you'll find.  I still find it foolish in a modern economy.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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(09-12-2017, 09:06 AM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote: This is what I meant by people making entirely different assumptions to get to results they had decided on ahead of time.  The math isn't at fault.  Just, both sides can reach for results that make them happy but dissatisfy the other.  If people can throw away things like climate science and evolution, do you expect happy times with economics?  While both factions will make claims to connections with reality, partisanship can and will trump science.

I can agree with this to a point.  I can't agree that ideas that have been tested and shown wrong are still viable alternatives to ones that have held up.  We can argue causation versus correlation, and those are real arguments.  Economics has a lot of hysteresis that makes those arguments hard to resolve.  But expecting A and getting A' is a lot harder to support, and the Business Cycle economists (AKA Freshwater School) have a had a particularly bad run -- especially following the 2008 crash.

Yet here we are, talking yet again about cutting business and investment taxes to trigger growth.  I would think the Kansas experiment alone would give pause to that argument, but it's a zombie.  It won't die.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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(09-12-2017, 06:10 PM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote: I've been vaguely watching the French economist Thomas Piketty.  He is pushing more detailed data, different models and a theory of how it is we end up with wealth inequality.  He has gathered attention, but I haven't dug deep enough to hop on the bandwagon.  His followers are looking into the elites and how their values models encourage the wealth divide.  This, of course, makes him someone I think worth watching.

Piketty is a good example of simple models telling great truths.  He simply looked at something so obvious, its amazing no one else had: that the rate of return on investment must be less than the rate of overall economic growth to lower inequality.  If the opposite occurs, as it has for quite a while, then wealth grows among the investor class faster than the economy in general.  Allowed to run to its natural extreme, all the wealth of the nation (or the world, for that matter) will concentrate in the hands of the investor class.  This does not require more precision than the basic existence of r > g.  The rest is all about how quickly the change occurs, not whether it does.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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(09-12-2017, 11:59 PM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote:
(09-12-2017, 09:08 PM)pbrower2a Wrote: I have my neo-Marxist theory. We Americans have the original elite of big rural landowners, basically planters without the slaves; the financiers and industrialists that Marx saw as the arch-fiends of capitalism; the managerial elite that Milovan Djilas saw in his The New Class; big urban landlords (Donald Trump is the archetype), and organized crime.   A few people make the money, much of it as economic rent, and the rest of us are expected to put on theatrical smiles as we sweat.

With the possible exception of the mobsters, whose politics are murky, the other elites are reactiona4ry in their political and economic agendas. They want as productive system in which they exact every bit of profit possible. We have been collecting elites devoid of responsibility but demanding of us all. In no way are they in competition; they are in concert. But the concert isn't something like Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto and Brahms' Fourth Symphony. It is a cacophony of cruelty.

Some of Piketty's followers are calling this the second Gilded Age.  A focus on elites, division of wealth and a government that isn't really helping might make link up possible.  I won't argue too much against your basic view from the past.

The question is how to break up the alliance between the elites and the government that allows the division of wealth...

You had some other points worth discussing, but let me address just this one.  Let's start with the obvious, that power abhors a vacuum.  If the power over government is weakly held by the public in general, then the most powerful private actors are the ones most likely to hold sway.  Citizens United made that possible, and it's playing out in real time.  As long as the public is kept at each other throats, this will continue. 

ALEC has been successful at rewriting the rules at state and local levels, because the public is simply not paying attention.  Now we have that same methodology being applied at the Federal level.  There will either be a backlash, or the current momentum will continue until the process is complete.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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(09-13-2017, 05:23 AM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote:
(09-13-2017, 12:48 AM)Eric the Green Wrote: It is just the fact that Republicans represent these elites. Democrats may compromise too much with them, but that is because they have to take account of Republican power. That makes them too cautious to turn left. But if Republican power is reduced, or if the Party crumbles, then the pressure on politicians to conform to the desires of the wealthy elite will be reduced. So yes, as a matter of strategy, focusing on the division of wealth leads inexorably to the fact that Republican policies of the last 40 years have created this inequality that Piketty documents, and so the answer is to dethrone them. You can call that vile partisanship; I just call it realistic strategy.

And that should be obvious from everything I write on this subject.

Noted.

CNN has posted a main stream version of it, how Bannon with his GOP populist unraveling memes and Sanders with his lately surging Medicare for all plan are personifying the divide.

I think it encouraging that the populists are surging over the establishment in both parties.  I do think a great deal of the problem is that too many politicians serve the elites rather than the people.  The Democrats are not immune.  If one of the two populist messages, though, is to catch hold and defeat the other, listening and respecting where the others have valid concerns remains important.

I would try to shift your attention more to the division of wealth, less to the rural - urban divide.  Trying to shift the rural culture will not be easy.  Convincing them that the traditional Washington politicians are corrupt and beholden won't be any trouble at all.

While I agree with your point, the urban/rural divide is almost synonymous with the wealth divide, so the two are almost interchangeable.  I also agree that changing the views of rural Americans will be extremely hard, if doable at all.  Its a less extreme version of the resentments we see in parts of the Middle East: cultural norms that are self supporting.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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(09-13-2017, 10:33 AM)David Horn Wrote:
(09-12-2017, 06:10 PM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote: I've been vaguely watching the French economist Thomas Piketty.  He is pushing more detailed data, different models and a theory of how it is we end up with wealth inequality.  He has gathered attention, but I haven't dug deep enough to hop on the bandwagon.  His followers are looking into the elites and how their values models encourage the wealth divide.  This, of course, makes him someone I think worth watching.

Piketty is a good example of simple models telling great truths.  He simply looked at something so obvious, its amazing no one else had: that the rate of return on investment must be less than the rate of overall economic growth to lower inequality.  If the opposite occurs, as it has for quite a while, then wealth grows among the investor class faster than the economy in general.  Allowed to run to its natural extreme, all the wealth of the nation (or the world, for that matter) will concentrate in the hands of the investor class.  This does not require more precision than the basic existence of r > g.  The rest is all about how quickly the change occurs, not whether it does.

It's hard to imagine how that could be anything other than true. Maybe if the difference goes into capital formation we have a possible counter-argument -- that even if economic inequality becomes greater, then at least that will result in more job-creation and hence some compensation for more inequality. More people working at better-paying jobs would be worth it.

But most likely a high return on investment involves either a very new business activity (a dynamic situation) or some scheme to monopolize a market or privatize a part of the public sector (guaranteed profits for a monopolist who still has the right to gouge and to have protection from the market). Most can excuse a dynamic situation, but monopolistic gouging? No.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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(09-13-2017, 04:44 PM)X_4AD_84 Wrote:
(09-13-2017, 12:48 AM)Eric the Green Wrote: It is just the fact that Republicans represent these elites. Democrats may compromise too much with them, but that is because they have to take account of Republican power. That makes them too cautious to turn left. But if Republican power is reduced, or if the Party crumbles, then the pressure on politicians to conform to the desires of the wealthy elite will be reduced. So yes, as a matter of strategy, focusing on the division of wealth leads inexorably to the fact that Republican policies of the last 40 years have created this inequality that Piketty documents, and so the answer is to dethrone them. You can call that vile partisanship; I just call it realistic strategy.

And that should be obvious from everything I write on this subject.

Eric why are you in such denial about which powers that be support the Democrats? Being in Silicon Valley you should know better. The "captains of industry" around here are totally in bed with the DNC. Meanwhile, it's now at the level of street knowledge that Wall Street is another major stream of DNC funding. Stop denying it. You are stuck 100 years ago, imagining Cornelius Vanderbilt.

Funding is just one aspect of things. Without campaign finance reform, most Democrats remain tied to corporate funders. The real issue is who supports reform, and the answer is crystal clear. Again I refer you to the Citizens United decision. 5 justices appointed by Republicans voted against reform. 4 justices appointed by Democrats favored it. With Trump/Gorsuch, this line-up remained. Case made.

Besides funding, it's the policies that the parties support that determines who supports elites. Republican policy is trickle-down economics. That supports the elites lock stock and barrel. Environmental policy is just one indicator. I posted before how congress votes on this. Almost all Democrats support the environment 90% or so; almost Republicans support it 10%. So it is with other issues up and down the line. Republicans support the elites; Democrats support the people. The Dems are by no means perfect; no one on the Left believes THAT. Noone who questions the power of wealthy elites believes THAT either. No, we aren't naive, after 16 years of too many compromises by Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. And don't forget the racial undertones of trickle-down, neo-liberal economics. "All those folks who don't work, why should I pay taxes to give them handouts? So I voted for Trump, Bush et al. They share ma valyas"! We know whom all those "folks" are. That's the favorite dog whistle which folks like Classic Xer respond to.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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Here is another example of the government being there to share risks and costs.  CNN is reporting OJ growers are devastated by Irma.

CNN Wrote:One lifeline he's hoping for: Money from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which issues payouts to producers whose output is curtailed by a natural disaster.

Hancock says he got some disaster relief from the government after about half of his harvest was obliterated in 2004, after hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne struck Florida.

"It really proved to be extremely beneficial," he said.

The USDA says it's anxious to help. The agency said in a press release Wednesday that it's loosening some application rules for federal assistance to give farmers easier access to relief funds.

Whether it's enough to keep him in business isn't clear, but Hancock says he's cautiously optimistic.

"We're tough people. We'll find out some type of way to keep going," he said, pausing before adding, "I hope."
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(09-09-2017, 09:15 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(09-09-2017, 09:53 AM)Kinser79 Wrote:
(09-09-2017, 08:01 AM)David Horn Wrote:
(09-08-2017, 11:49 AM)Kinser79 Wrote:
(09-08-2017, 09:34 AM)David Horn Wrote: We aren't a tiny country poised on the edge of a wilderness in the late Agricultural Age -- not anymore.  Pretending we are is both stupid and dangerous.

We aren't an industrial power with limitless wealth and low debt either and pretending that we are is far more stupid and far more dangerous. Turning vast swaths over to the states is not only doable but the right thing to do.  The Constitution is best understood to be a compact for mutual trade and assistance rather than the formation of a unitary republic, for which even today the country is too large and too diverse to be.

The rest of your post is the usual liberal nonsense.

You fundamentally misunderstand how the economy works.  It's not a zero-sum game.  Economic activity creates more economic activity.  When the economy is slack, like it is at the moment, debt financed activity can start a righteous cycle of additional activity, but only if we actually do it.  40 years of GOP dominance in the economic sphere has created a systemic underperforming economic engine because Republicans refuse to accept the obvious: the private sector only works to its advantage.  Public sector investment is also needed and it's now critical. 

Feel free to pretend that your static view is correct, but answer this simple question: why did the US do so incredibly well for so long, when we exited WW-II with Federal debt equal to ~126% of GNP?  We're well below that now, and you are crying wolf.  

Yes, times are different.  Our population is stagnant now and it was expanding then.  This is a real issue, and more immigration will help with that, but waving the debt flag is both supercilious and flat wrong.  I notice it doesn't seem to apply to Defense spending or to huge tax breaks to the wealthy.  And handing things back to the states?  Really?  How do you think Jim Crow got going in the first place?

And you fundamentally misunderstand that taxation is at its most basic level theft.  But that isn't here nor there.  The fact remains that if you want to increase economic activity you have to decrease taxes, if you really want to accelerate economic activity you decrease taxes on those who produce wealth, which largely speaking means corporations.

Short of that the only real way to accelerate economic growth by government spending is to waste huge sums on a war.  I think we've been trying to blow that bubble back up for some time now--it isn't working out to well.

The GMs and Googles and the GEs don't really pay all that much in corporate taxes because they have and can afford to have armies of lawyers and accountants to reduce their tax burdens through the byzantine mess the tax code is.  So who gets slammed with the high corporate rate?  Smaller companies which actually employs most people.

Until you can demonstrate to me that you have a modicum of economic understanding of an average High School Student then perhaps we could have a reasonable conversation about the tax rate.  Unfortunately I highly doubt you have the intellect for such an understanding.  You can get back to me about corporate taxes when you've run a business.

I agree with you regarding how the small businesses that actually create most jobs are currently getting slammed by the tax system - not just by actually paying the corporate tax rate, which as you point out big business don't generally pay, but also the many subchapter S corporations that pay the maximum "personal" rate, which jumped upward at the end of 2012.

I would, however, point out that workers produce wealth as well, both for themselves and for their employers - and many aspects of the current system actually seem designed to discourage work.  For example with respect to the PPACA, the employer mandate requires employers either to make jobs part time, and thus not requiring health care but limiting the amount of work that can be done in a job, or requires employers to pay for health care, thus reducing the amount the worker can receive and thus making the worker less likely to be willing to work.  The individual mandate is enforced through a tax penalty that scales with income, thus increasing the effective income tax rate and providing less incentive to work.  Less workers doing less work means less wealth creation.

With respect to helping business, I think restoring the Bush top tax rate makes sense, but some of the present ideas that involve taxing workers more so businesses are taxed less are just borrowing from Peter to pay Paul:  they aren't going to improve things overall.

I think everyone who isn't a Dimocrat ideologue understands that Obamacare was a disaster.  However, the point remains that businesses employ workers, as such taxing them less means they have more money to invest in capital, hire more workers  (who can be taxed) and so forth.

Mind you I'm of the view that direct federal taxation should be completely eliminated.
It really is all mathematics.

Turn on to Daddy, Tune in to Nationalism, Drop out of UN/NATO/WTO/TPP/NAFTA/CAFTA Globalism.
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(09-10-2017, 10:43 AM)David Horn Wrote:
(09-09-2017, 09:53 AM)Kinser79 Wrote: And you fundamentally misunderstand that taxation is at its most basic level theft.  But that isn't here nor there.  The fact remains that if you want to increase economic activity you have to decrease taxes, if you really want to accelerate economic activity you decrease taxes on those who produce wealth, which largely speaking means corporations.

Your 'fact' is actually counterfactual.  If it was true, Kansas would be soaring and California would be heading for bankruptcy ... the exact opposite of reality.

Not true. California as a state is more or less bankrupt. They have a larger population and thus a larger economic output than Kansas, but given the choice I'd take Kansas any day. Twisters may not be fun and corn is pretty boring, but at least it isn't Commiefornia.

Quote:
Kinser Wrote:Short of that the only real way to accelerate economic growth by government spending is to waste huge sums on a war.  I think we've been trying to blow that bubble back up for some time now--it isn't working out to well.

The space program and the Interstate Highway system build-out had nothing to do with the military In peace or war, but they created enormous knock-on benefits.

Wrong on not having anything to do with the military. The interstate highway system was sold as a means to rapidly deploy the army throughout the country. Ike could have never got it through Congress without selling it as part of a defense bill.

The space program was directly a result from missile development and a pissing contest between Kennedy and Krushchev.

As for the benefits of both...that is somewhat dubious. The interstate has led to suburban sprawl and an unsustainable car driven economy which heads into major recession every time the price of oil per barrel goes up or a hurricane knocks out the refineries for a week. As for the space program, tang is okay I guess but communications satellites would have been sent up by private businesses eventually. Capitalism always drives those with capital to provide goods and services faster, better and cheaper.

Quote:
Kinser Wrote:The GMs and Googles and the GEs don't really pay all that much in corporate taxes because they have and can afford to have armies of lawyers and accountants to reduce their tax burdens through the byzantine mess the tax code is.  So who gets slammed with the high corporate rate?  Smaller companies which actually employs most people.

Corporations escape taxes because we have systematically gutted any control of their influence on the political process.  It started with Carter, and his first stab at deregulation, but Reagan raised it to an art form.  Add 40 years, and viola!  No one tried to reverse it, and it now considered the default position in both parties, though the left wing of the Dems is starting to make real noise about it ... finally.

So you're a Dimocrat Ideologue. Understood.

The fact remains that even if we had all these magical regulations and mystical business taxes larger corporations would escape them because of three main reasons:

1. They have the deep pockets to buy a congressman or two. Political corruption is as old as the constitution so I figure it must be a feature rather than a bug.
2. Having bought these congressmen those legislators then go about creating arcane tax codes and complex regulations that even accountants and lawyers have difficulty understanding--never mind a lay person.
3. Even if 1 and 2 didn't apply (and they do) they could buy the lawyers and accountants to tie up these magical regulators for months if not years.


Quote:
Kinser Wrote:Until you can demonstrate to me that you have a modicum of economic understanding of an average High School Student then perhaps we could have a reasonable conversation about the tax rate.  Unfortunately I highly doubt you have the intellect for such an understanding.  You can get back to me about corporate taxes when you've run a business.

Your view is frozen in the early 19th century with Says Law and some of the tax theory of that time.  So far, you have not countered any of my arguments, just blustered along.  Unless you have something real, I think we're done.
[/quote]

I think we are. You have no argument other than to say that my views are dated. Otherwise, from what I can tell you have no argument at all, so instead you choose to attack my style of delivery instead.

Typical boomer there Mr. Horn.
It really is all mathematics.

Turn on to Daddy, Tune in to Nationalism, Drop out of UN/NATO/WTO/TPP/NAFTA/CAFTA Globalism.
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(09-11-2017, 04:54 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(09-11-2017, 03:43 PM)David Horn Wrote: Economists like Greg Mankiw, among many others in the freshwater school, believed complex models that postulated that the massive expansion of the money supply in the post-2008 period would trigger high inflation and higher unemployment.  It didn't happen did it?  On the other hand, the saltwater school predicted no inflation and slowly declining unemployment.  They also argued for a huge stimulus to expedite the recovery, but the GOP rebuffed that entirely, preferring their typical tax cut method, which did nothing of note.

What are you smoking?  Tax rates have not been cut post 2008.  The last major tax rate cut was in 2001, and was successful in heading off what was shaping up to be a very deep recession - something that Democratic demand side policies failed to do after 2008.

As for the rest of it, you need to learn the math, not just regurgitate political talking points you don't understand.

It is posts like this that make me wish we had a like button.
It really is all mathematics.

Turn on to Daddy, Tune in to Nationalism, Drop out of UN/NATO/WTO/TPP/NAFTA/CAFTA Globalism.
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(09-15-2017, 10:54 AM)X_4AD_84 Wrote: Where were the Feds when the Freeze of 2007 wiped out many citrus trees here in CA?

Some seem to think sharing risks and costs can be and ought to be partisan. You help your tribe, and don't care about the rest.

Another example of that is representatives of districts hit by Harvey who tried to restrict aid for victims of Sandy.

There ought to be some sort of consistency.
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CNN in an opinion piece On health care, let's do the impossible hints at a true regeneracy.  It suggests a "transormational politics", thus advocates an abandonment of the status quo, a readiness to move on.

It is of course one editorial favoring medicare for all, but seems more atypical for pushing the transformational thing.

CNN Wrote:Transformational politics is not simply a set of rhetorical flourishes that promise a pony, as some Democratic Party insiders have sniffed derisively. Transformational politics resets our social and political priorities by marrying economics and public policy with a willingness to challenge the conventional ways that society and government exercise power. Nelson Mandela summed up transformative politics succinctly: "It always seems impossible until it's done."

For example, I would have thought it impossible in July 2015, when Sanders' presidential campaign was registering in the low-double digits in the polls, that 16 Democratic senators would stand with him two years later as he introduced a sweeping single-payer "Medicare For All" bill.

Recent polling shows a majority of voters supporting "Medicare for All," which expands coverage, compared with an overwhelming majority of voters opposed to Graham-Cassidy, which would take away health care for millions of people.
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(09-25-2017, 08:17 PM)X_4AD_84 Wrote: Trump winning the election did more to move us to Single Payer than any other event I can think of.

Quite likely true.  

I almost think he'll find a way to take credit for it.  Wink
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(09-25-2017, 08:58 PM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote:
(09-25-2017, 08:17 PM)X_4AD_84 Wrote: Trump winning the election did more to move us to Single Payer than any other event I can think of.

Quite likely true.  

I almost think he'll find a way to take credit for it.  Wink

Just a cautionary note: the most strident advocates of Single Payer live in urban areas, and they have the least effective clout in our government.  Here's a good reason why.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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