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A Malaise Speech for the Current Time
#21
(04-05-2017, 08:41 PM)Kinser79 Wrote:
PBR Wrote:Your citations of me are in blue, so that I can prevent some confusion between my old stuff and my newer contributions.

This would imply that you are actually contributing anything, which honestly you aren't.  If we wanted to hear the daily talking points from the regressive left we'd just turn on the idiot box.

Quote:Someone seeking dictatorial power and questing it ineptly? Nothing new. Maybe he does not even understand that his style of rule is dictatorial and has no clue that a majority of Americans now hold his style of government contemptible and unacceptable. He could be out of touch with reality as a solipsistic man-child.

Or you could just be using a word without understanding what it means.  It wouldn't be the first time...this year, this month or hell even today.

I know you're wedded to your "hurr Trump is literally Hitler" (which makes it ironic you call him a man-child since that is the type of argument I'd expect from a child--no scratch that I know children and they can and do make more mature arguments) meme.  Unfortunately at the same time Trump is incompetent.  So he is either a dictator, or he is incompetent.  He can't be a dictator and incompetent in the US simply by virtue of the inertia inherent in the existing system.

Careful there PBR your cognitive dissonance is showing.

Quote:Winning the Presidential election without winning the popular vote has happened before

Is totally irrelevant.  The president isn't elected by the popular vote, never has been elected by the popular vote, it is merely a coincidence that the popular vote often reflects the electoral college votes.  Just like it is merely a coincidence that the World Series is often won by the team that made the most runs.

Quote:<snip>Muh Russia</snip>

There is no there there.  But I do find it interesting that the DNC allowed their servers to be hacked by not adequately protecting them.  I know you don't understand how hacking works--a cracker who wants to hide his tracks is going to use a proxy server through a third country.  Russia happens to have lots of servers.  That being said HRC was never going to be President anyway.  Face it, your team lost, you had a horrible, corrupt candidate, who has the personality of a damp dish rag, for all appearances looks to be at death's door and is likely a criminal.

Quote:Like other demagogues from Robespierre to Lenin to Hitler to Peron, Trump offers a vision of an easy solution (just remove the scapegoats) and no practical means of achieving his goals. We are catching on to him, and when his solution becomes something like "Suffer for my holy greed, you contemptible peons" we resist.

Rolleyes 

If you didn't make regular typographical errors I'd have assumed by now that you are in fact a bot.  Tell me how many times today have you posted this very same paragraph?  No you are not catching on to anything. 

But I have caught onto something:

Trade Deficit down, American Workers winning

In before Odin says something about my source---the numbers were also in yesterday's WSJ.

Quote:<snip> Muh Fascism</snip>

You keep using that word and I don't think you know what it means.  I recommend at least reading the wiki...I've read the book itself.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Doctrine_of_Fascism


Lets put it simply:  Trump is not fascist, and Trump Era America is not fascist either.  Why?  Because it does not conform to the very outline of what fascism is by the very people who created it in the last century.  And this doesn't even get into the fact that fascism is an obsolete ideology just like Marxism-Leninism.

Quote:We will never know what President Hillary Clinton would be like.

Well lets see:  The Neoliberals loved her, the NeoCons love her, she was the darling of both Wall Street and the globalist factions in both parties.  I think we can expect exactly more of the same bullshit we've had since 1992 at least and probably before then.

It wasn't for no reason that the only other candidate that the Dems had who had more than a snow ball's chance in hell at being elected was an ancient open socialist from a suspect religious minority.  It isn't also surprising to me at all that the Sanders crowd and the Trump crowd aren't all that dissimilar.

Internal polls from the campaign said that we picked up around 20% of Dems who were going to vote for Bernie had he been that party's candidate.  Having worked the campaign myself and having talked to people (IE leaving the house) I think that that number was skewed by people not wanting to reveal to us that they were Sanders people.  The moral of this story is that no one who was part of the establishment was going to win.

Quote:<snip>Muh Evil Empire America</snip>

The threat to world peace by the US was neutralized by not electing HRC.  I know you never step back from your canned responses to ever think about a different opinion, or that others might have one--suffice it to say this is how you look to everyone else.  The same also applies to Alphabet Soup too.  You may need to click on it to to see it in its full glory.  I don't feel like editing pictures for this forum.  Too much work, too little reward.



And no you aren't an Aspie either PBR.  First off to determine that you need more than to talk to some half-assed clerk for 10 minutes.  I believe Odin explained the battery of tests he had to go through to get his diagnosis for a disorder that is no longer listed in the DSM.  And it isn't listed for good reason--being an asshole isn't a disease.

Quote:Are you sure that she will be Speaker of the House?

In the unlikely event that the Dim-ocrats take the House in 2018 yes.  The leadership in the Parties go by seniority so unless San Francisco elects a Republican for some bizarre reason, or she chooses to not run then she would be Speaker in that unlikely event.  Also Pelosi is a War Baby cusper, and I judge her potential longevity on the basis of her over all health rather than her generation.  She's a damn elected official not a coal miner.

Quote:<snip>Muh Millennial Generation</snip>

The Dim-ocrats will have to offer them something besides identity politics, screaming racist and (word)-phobic at the top of their lungs at anyone who might have a slightly different opinion to the party line.  I think people are finding that Civic generations have little patience for it.  The Zeds are already trending right--hard right at that. To be expected though, to be punk rock to be rebellious one has to be right wing these days. And yes they will be voting in 2018, probably 2020 for sure. 

I know that there are some that claim that 9/11 was the cut off point of the 3T but they are both wrong and stupid--rather I would say that it is the cut off point for the Millennial Generation.  Boomers, Xers and Millies all know where they were when it happened and what they were doing--even if they were in school.  Zeds like my son have no frame of reference for a pre-9/11 world.  So I don't care what EtI says I say the cut off point is some time around 1998-1999 for the Millies, 2002 at the latest.

Quote:Offer a good health-care proposal

I have.  You it doesn't involve the state paying for it so you're not interested but here's my plan.

1.  Repeal Obamacare cause it is a failure.
2.  Medicare and Medicaide remain the same.
3.  No more employer based health insurance.
4.  Buy your own damn insurance plan (we can discuss details like pre-existing conditions and such like)
5.  ?????
6.  Free Enterprise and access to everyone who can pay premiums.

As for Trump's plan?  Well I don't think you know how the separations of powers work--and since he isn't a dictator--writing laws is on the back of Congress.

Quote:Nope. They are more flexible. Crony capitalism, the Trump way, is extremely inflexible and has only force and fraud (on occasion I like to lift phrases from libertarians) to make its exactions effective.

Yeah they're "more flexible" which is why they coined the term fake news to describe those who don't listen to their offical MSM mouth pieces. :Rolleyes Where did you lift this line from?  PravdaSalon?

Quote:It is hard to understand a plan that does not exist. One might as well try to discuss mythical creatures or oxymora. If one is an atheist one has little use for theology except to prove the non-existence of the Gods upon which theists depend.

If there is no plan then things naturally cannot go according to that plan or against that plan--seeing as it doesn't exist and all.  So which is it PBR you have to make up your mind.  Does Trump have a plan and it is failing, or does he not have a plan at all and things are just happening?

My contention is that there is a plan, and that while I see it as plain as day, and have described it repeatedly, and from where I sit everything is coming together exactly like it should.  I strongly suggest reading Scott Adam's blog.

http://blog.dilbert.com/

You'll be amazed what a man trained in hypnotism has picked up on.  The same things I picked up on and I only ran my African Psychic scam for a few years as a young man--and I didn't even go to school, I'm merely a somewhat talented actor.

Quote:<snip>sports bullshit</snip>

I use sport metaphors but honestly I don't follow sport or know much about it unless we're talking about Soccer (I almost called it football but I knew you'd misinterpret that.  I couldn't give a tuppenny fuck about baseball.  You might as well be using a metaphor from golf.

Granted I used the World Series but unless you're European (which you aren't) you understand the basics of such a major series of major league game even if one does not give a tuppenny fuck about said sport.

Kinser, Trump has a mixed record.

1. The wall.  That's of course a plus.
2. Deporting illegal aliens. Another plus.
3.  Redo of NAFTA/CAFTA.  A plus.
4. The current crap about messing around in Yemen/Syria.  A minus.
5. Health care, [of course not health insurance.]  Another minus.
6. Go with a VAT tax instead of "border tax". Mixed. The medicine goes down better with a bit of sugar, OK? The VAT doesn't ruffle feathers near as much , but achieves the same goal.
7. Sports? Huh? Cool Rags doesn't give a rat's ass about sports. Rags has motor skills issues like Odin. If it ain't simple crap like running/weight lifting, Rags falls on his ass. Dunno if that's a feature, not a bug wrt Bipolar.

Wanna know where said rats' asses are, here they are: Big Grin

[Image: rats.png]

8. $hillery:  Oh Qod, oh holy fuck, why can't that hag just just move in with her coven? I have to go set something on fire in my wood stove to calm myself off every time I see that ugly mug.

9. Yeah, Russia.  Welcome to the Neo-McCartyism.  The Mideast interventions are far more of a greater threat.
I mean , why can't we just kick the oil habit and just leave that hellhole?

10.  MSM :  I agree, there Kinser.  The MSM may as well be Pravda.

Here you go, here's some nauseating shit from Hollywoody.





Oh, holy shit.  Why can't these morons shut the fuck up? You know, I think Hollywoody is in dire need of a 8.0
earthquake.  Damn, I hate these motherfuckers. May they eat shit in die in the rubble of their mansions. Angry


11. Uh, health insurance companies are a racket and and nothing but an additional layer of mindless paperwork.
Ask yourself, do health insurance companies add any value to the provision of healthcare? I'd also add that hedge funds that buy out some right to exclusive marketing of drugs are also a racket.  Like I'd say before, enact the VAT and use that revenue source to set the Medicare age to 0, repeal payroll taxes since we all know that the higher the tax, the more the activity is discouraged. If health insurance companies want to, they can just go off and offer "Medigap" stuff to those who want that. That way, folks can interact with the racket voluntarily.  I do have to ask, what do folks who have insufficient do? We can't afford premiums.  Some cost savings, I'd go with forbidding hedge funds from acquiring "exclusive rights".  Actually, I'd go further and allow folks to access overseas markets in getting their drugs and forbidding "exclusive rights", period.  There's a case where government regulation forces price hikes. So... all regulations that restrict market entry , move the goal posts wrt patents, and forbid import access need to go.
---Value Added Cool
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#22
Rags, I'm not going to quote your post because I can address you point by point.

1-3. We agree on all of them.  I not only want a wall on the Southern Boarder but after that one is built I want one on the northern boarder too.  I'm tired of seeing pasty Frogs on my beach in the winter time when my kid and I are trying to surf.  Oh and you don't speak their heathen language they get upset with you never mind that they are in an English speaking country.

Don't get me wrong I don't mind the English speaking Canadians but the French ones are like France took a giant dump in Montreal and disposed of their worst elements there--oh wait they did that was the French method of colonization.

4.  Yemen and Syria were inherited problems.

5.  The late heath care bill was Paul Ryan's baby.  I'm convinced that so much pressure was put on the House to pass it knowing that the Freedom Caucus would buck.  And they did.  If a health care insurance bill is needed I say we let Rand Paul take the reigns here, take our time, and do it right.

6.  I don't favor a vat tax, but if we are talking about replacing income taxes with vat taxes that may be more acceptable.  Ideally I want to shrink the size of the federal government to the point it can be run on Tariffs alone--states of course can do as they like.  Federalism:  it works.

7.  I don't know about that.  I'm not into sport myself unless you count soccer.  I also surf and watch nascar. 

8.  I've not liked her since 1992.  Back in 2008 I said she wouldn't be president, Xers have long memories and we're taking over everywhere as Silents die and Boomers age out.  Good thing though is I don't expect her to last to 2020 so I think we can put her ever running again to bed.

9.  Kicking the oil habit is difficult to do unless you want to go back to horses and buggies and not having things that are made out of plastic--and lots of things are made from plastics.  And that doesn't even get into food production.  Rather I think we should ramp up fracking and exploitation of our own resources first and cut off the source of the Islamist income.  If we need to import oil, Venezuela could be brought to heel and Canada and Russia would like to do business. 

10.  The MSM is what I often call the Lugenpresse.  It is unfortunate that English doesn't have a nice word for "liar press".  As for Hollyweird....I'd feel sorry for the 8.0 earthquake.

11.  In general I agree.  However, insurance is useful for certain things.  Is it useful for things that are not expensive? No.  Is it useful for things that are expensive but happen on a regular basis so you can plan for them?  No.  Insurance is useful for expensive things that can happen randomly.

For example you shouldn't need insurance to buy a bottle of aspirin.  And having insurance to put a new roof on your house (something that should be done every 15-25 years) is kinda pointless.  But having insurance to cover something you can't plan for but might happen is very useful.  For example having insurance to replace your roof should a category 3 (or more powerful) hurricane comes through your town and rips off you brand new roof.

(Note as someone whose lived in FL a long time I don't run from hurricanes unless they are at least Cat 3.  Anything less than that isn't going to do enough damage to leave once the house has been properly boarded--yard squared away and drainage attended too.  We have state level building codes to address the periodic natural disasters that happen down here--we can't plan for them but we do know one will happen eventually.)

As for the system being voluntary, my "buy your own damn insurance" is completely voluntary.  If someone doesn't think that they need or want insurance and that expensive un-plan-able thing happens then fuck them.  Hopefully before they breed.  Trying to coddle the very lowest elements of society is inherently dysgenic.
It really is all mathematics.

Turn on to Daddy, Tune in to Nationalism, Drop out of UN/NATO/WTO/TPP/NAFTA/CAFTA Globalism.
Reply
#23
(04-06-2017, 08:52 AM)Kinser79 Wrote: Rags, I'm not going to quote your post because I can address you point by point.

1-3. We agree on all of them.  I not only want a wall on the Southern Boarder but after that one is built I want one on the northern boarder too.  I'm tired of seeing pasty Frogs on my beach in the winter time when my kid and I are trying to surf.  Oh and you don't speak their heathen language they get upset with you never mind that they are in an English speaking country.

Don't get me wrong I don't mind the English speaking Canadians but the French ones are like France took a giant dump in Montreal and disposed of their worst elements there--oh wait they did that was the French method of colonization.

4.  Yemen and Syria were inherited problems.

5.  The late heath care bill was Paul Ryan's baby.  I'm convinced that so much pressure was put on the House to pass it knowing that the Freedom Caucus would buck.  And they did.  If a health care insurance bill is needed I say we let Rand Paul take the reigns here, take our time, and do it right.

6.  I don't favor a vat tax, but if we are talking about replacing income taxes with vat taxes that may be more acceptable.  Ideally I want to shrink the size of the federal government to the point it can be run on Tariffs alone--states of course can do as they like.  Federalism:  it works.

7.  I don't know about that.  I'm not into sport myself unless you count soccer.  I also surf and watch nascar. 

8.  I've not liked her since 1992.  Back in 2008 I said she wouldn't be president, Xers have long memories and we're taking over everywhere as Silents die and Boomers age out.  Good thing though is I don't expect her to last to 2020 so I think we can put her ever running again to bed.

9.  Kicking the oil habit is difficult to do unless you want to go back to horses and buggies and not having things that are made out of plastic--and lots of things are made from plastics.  And that doesn't even get into food production.  Rather I think we should ramp up fracking and exploitation of our own resources first and cut off the source of the Islamist income.  If we need to import oil, Venezuela could be brought to heel and Canada and Russia would like to do business. 

10.  The MSM is what I often call the Lugenpresse.  It is unfortunate that English doesn't have a nice word for "liar press".  As for Hollyweird....I'd feel sorry for the 8.0 earthquake.

11.  In general I agree.  However, insurance is useful for certain things.  Is it useful for things that are not expensive? No.  Is it useful for things that are expensive but happen on a regular basis so you can plan for them?  No.  Insurance is useful for expensive things that can happen randomly.

For example you shouldn't need insurance to buy a bottle of aspirin.  And having insurance to put a new roof on your house (something that should be done every 15-25 years) is kinda pointless.  But having insurance to cover something you can't plan for but might happen is very useful.  For example having insurance to replace your roof should a category 3 (or more powerful) hurricane comes through your town and rips off you brand new roof.

(Note as someone whose lived in FL a long time I don't run from hurricanes unless they are at least Cat 3.  Anything less than that isn't going to do enough damage to leave once the house has been properly boarded--yard squared away and drainage attended too.  We have state level building codes to address the periodic natural disasters that happen down here--we can't plan for them but we do know one will happen eventually.)

As for the system being voluntary, my "buy your own damn insurance" is completely voluntary.  If someone doesn't think that they need or want insurance and that expensive un-plan-able thing happens then fuck them.  Hopefully before they breed.  Trying to coddle the very lowest elements of society is inherently dysgenic.
I shall only comment on one of your points right now, as I wish to move the thread back to its original intention. I do believe that if we were to replace the income tax with a VAT tax it just might help cut down on consumption and help the environment. After all, weren't services such as Uber, as maligned as they may have been, formed so that we could break away from the idea of one person, one car?

When I began the thread it was meant to be an updated version of the original so-called "malaise" speech. I really believe that much of it comes from the idea that everyone has to get the mental equivalent of an electromagnetic pulse that has us in supercharge growth mode. Just yesterday Mayor Emanuel of Chicago announced new requirements for high school graduation. They need to either have a plan for further educational pursuits or a definite career path already planned out in order to graduate, beginning with this year's freshman class. Don't know about all of you, but I believe it is a bit of an overkill as people that age are often still in pursuit of trying to find themselves and really what they want to be doing. The ability to understand what radiates from you, and what comes from others' actions can be our individual super power. I was raised in a time when it was more understood that everybody can't always be a super power. And while we're at it, how many of you now feel that malaise has become the new normal?
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#24
I would argue that if your intention is to preserve the environment then you should want to limit deficit spending. In short deficit spending is consuming resources now at the expense of future generations. Therefore, the best method would be to limit federal revenues to primarily tariffs. Which will also limit consumption by raising prices on imported goods, not to mention providing greater employment in manufacturing here.
It really is all mathematics.

Turn on to Daddy, Tune in to Nationalism, Drop out of UN/NATO/WTO/TPP/NAFTA/CAFTA Globalism.
Reply
#25
(04-07-2017, 09:53 AM)Kinser79 Wrote: I would argue that if your intention is to preserve the environment then you should want to limit deficit spending.  In short deficit spending is consuming resources now at the expense of future generations.  Therefore, the best method would be to limit federal revenues to primarily tariffs.  Which will also limit consumption by raising prices on imported goods, not to mention providing greater employment in manufacturing here.

Here is an approach to the environment/global CO2 emissions, implicitly endorsed by one political party in the US, and most in Western Europe:

Have extremely stringent controls for domestic pollution and emissions. Allow free imports from other places, China, also India etc., that don't have such enforced controls.
Then continue to consume, the pollution as well as the jobs will be elsewhere.
In response to that, they would say global agreements are needed. They have no ability to negotiate such agreements, and China, etc., can even agree to some things, but not follow through.
Reply
#26
Then we must not allow imports from other places. Fossil fuels must be discontinued.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#27
(04-07-2017, 09:53 AM)Kinser79 Wrote: I would argue that if your intention is to preserve the environment then you should want to limit deficit spending.  In short deficit spending is consuming resources now at the expense of future generations.  Therefore, the best method would be to limit federal revenues to primarily tariffs.  Which will also limit consumption by raising prices on imported goods, not to mention providing greater employment in manufacturing here.

We are going to see an economy much more based upon services and less upon the production of material goods. Food and fuels are the only physical commodities that one can expect to keep up in demand with a growing population.

Here's the model: figure that the growth in the economy will largely be in intellectual property. Sebastian J. Bach* is a musician and makes much music -- let us say fugues. Adam Ansel is a photographer and takes lots of photos of Yosemite. Sebastian J. Bach can't get enough of Adam Ansel's photos... and Adam Ansel loves Sebastian J Bach's fugues. Because they can't cheat each other by stealing intellectual property or cheat the tax authorities by bartering, they can pay in credits of some type, and the taxing authorities get their cut. But there are no physical copies.

Is wealth created when the creative exchanges happen? Yes.

*No, I do not refer to the original creative people...
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.


Reply
#28
(05-31-2017, 07:07 PM)pbrower2a Wrote:
(04-07-2017, 09:53 AM)Kinser79 Wrote: I would argue that if your intention is to preserve the environment then you should want to limit deficit spending.  In short deficit spending is consuming resources now at the expense of future generations.  Therefore, the best method would be to limit federal revenues to primarily tariffs.  Which will also limit consumption by raising prices on imported goods, not to mention providing greater employment in manufacturing here.

We are going to see an economy much more based upon services and less upon the production of material goods. Food and fuels are the only physical commodities that one can expect to keep up in demand with a growing population.

Here's the model: figure that the growth in the economy will largely be in intellectual property. Sebastian J. Bach* is a musician and makes much music -- let us say fugues. Adam Ansel is a photographer and takes lots of photos of Yosemite. Sebastian J. Bach can't get enough of Adam Ansel's photos... and Adam Ansel loves Sebastian J Bach's fugues. Because they can't cheat each other by stealing intellectual property or cheat the tax authorities by bartering, they can pay in credits of some type, and the taxing authorities get their cut. But there are no physical copies.

Is wealth created when the creative exchanges happen? Yes.

*No, I do not refer to the original creative people...

Do you envision forms of bartering to come back into vogue especially as robots and other high tech consume more and more physical and mental jobs? And I wonder if now we have a chance to release old wounds, some probably going back as far as the last so-called malaise? For example, think of how many old wounds were released with the #MeToo movement and the comeuppance of Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein among others. Two very big fish were obviously fried here. Emotions run hot here for sure. And while we're at it, what do you feel the long-range outlook might be for movements such as #MeToo and Black Lives Matter? Will enough tap into the energy of the former movement to bring about the demise of the "boys will be boys" culture, and for the latter the permanent death of movements such as the KKK?
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#29
(11-01-2018, 02:50 PM)beechnut79 Wrote:
(05-31-2017, 07:07 PM)pbrower2a Wrote:
(04-07-2017, 09:53 AM)Kinser79 Wrote: I would argue that if your intention is to preserve the environment then you should want to limit deficit spending.  In short deficit spending is consuming resources now at the expense of future generations.  Therefore, the best method would be to limit federal revenues to primarily tariffs.  Which will also limit consumption by raising prices on imported goods, not to mention providing greater employment in manufacturing here.

We are going to see an economy much more based upon services and less upon the production of material goods. Food and fuels are the only physical commodities that one can expect to keep up in demand with a growing population.

Here's the model: figure that the growth in the economy will largely be in intellectual property. Sebastian J. Bach* is a musician and makes much music -- let us say fugues. Adam Ansel is a photographer and takes lots of photos of Yosemite. Sebastian J. Bach can't get enough of Adam Ansel's photos... and Adam Ansel loves Sebastian J Bach's fugues. Because they can't cheat each other by stealing intellectual property or cheat the tax authorities by bartering, they can pay in credits of some type, and the taxing authorities get their cut. But there are no physical copies.

Is wealth created when the creative exchanges happen? Yes.

*No, I do not refer to the original creative people...

Do you envision forms of bartering to come back into vogue especially as robots and other high tech consume more and more physical and mental jobs? And I wonder if now we have a chance to release old wounds, some probably going back as far as the last so-called malaise? For example, think of how many old wounds were released with the #MeToo movement and the comeuppance of Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein among others. Two very big fish were obviously fried here. Emotions run hot here for sure. And while we're at it, what do you feel the long-range outlook might be for movements such as #MeToo and Black Lives Matter? Will enough tap into the energy of the former movement to bring about the demise of the "boys will be boys" culture, and for the latter the permanent death of movements such as the KKK?

Craftsmanship will become more important in imputing human qualities into efforts. The line between mental and physical work is not so clear as it sounds: is hairdressing physical work or mental work? Really-good carpentry is at least as much mental as physical.

I forget what author (it was in the science-fiction category) suggested that poor people would satisfy themselves with shoddy, unremarkable manufactured goods while elites would insist upon crafts. The shoddy stuff includes fake antiques of the sort that one sees in Hobby Lobby: fake books that one can use to cover an iPad, clocks that look 150 years old until one sees a cheap mechanism to run the minute and second hand, and furniture seemingly fit to hold a big-screen TV as if it were designed for such, and even distressed to fit the slightly-discerning eye that doesn't have much of a brain behind it. The real antiques were not made to fit modern ways. Fake ones, by some amazing coincidence (marketability), do.

People will want paintings and custom furniture. Computers will not be good at creativity, the definitive human touch. 

Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein got away with stuff that few people could because they were able to produce great value for the entertainment industry. Much of America's value-added comes from intellectual property which is now more lucrative than any commodity that anyone can imagine. The problem is, that one must be in the cream of the cream of the crop to really produce something valuable. Not many people want to see a home movie filmed in a garage in Ohio.

I do not feel sorry for Cosby or Weinstein. The tragedy is not that their lives are ruined; the tragedy is that they messed up so many lives and got away with it.

...#Me Too and Black Lives Matter will persist so long as the perception remains that some powerful men see any pretty female as a 'piece of @$$' as a perquisite of wealth and power, and Black Lives Matter will not vanish until cops get less trigger-happy around young black males -- unless some government successfully suppresses them.

The KKK? White losers who have nothing but whiteness as cause for pride are going to find it attractive. It is a Hydra -- cut off one piece of it, and another Hydra forms. Unless miscegenation makes whiteness largely irrelevant, some manifestation of the KKK will be around to exploit resentments. It may not disappear until it is formally outlawed as was its ideological comrade, the German Nazi Party, which shared much the same hatred and proclivity for violence.
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.


Reply
#30
There was a post recently on one of the other threads which would also serve very well as a 21st century malaise speech. One of the biggest reasons for said malaise which, IMO, is much worse than the perceived one of the Carter years (at least folks went out partying in discos at that time which they don't seem to be now), is increasing income inequality and the apparent hollowing out of the middle class, which was already beginning, albeit slowly then, at the time of the original "malaise" speech. (Even though that word wasn't actually used in it. Do you feel that, at least in part, the current accelerated crisis of confidence can be laid at the feet of an increasingly individualistic culture, one in which we are nearly brainwashed into feeling that you can easily express your unique style, your own brand of individuality without worrying what others think. We are encouraged to feel that we're each comfortable in our own skin and to let it show. This is good in some ways; perhaps not so good in others.

The seemingly relentless trend toward greater and greater individualism has also manifested itself in what at the time may have been unexpected ways. Two of the more obvious pertain to the retail and restaurant industries. Much has been made of the rapid decline of the Sears retail brand. Many feel that their primary issue was that they, along with the likes of J C Penney and the late Montgomery Ward is that they were set up to be mass retailers, and during the postwar period they were the Big Three in that arena. Many big and even some small cities had their own classic retailers as well, a prime example being Marshall Field's in Chicago, which was gobbled up by Macy's. With the hollowing of the middle class the upscale folks are heading to the likes of Nordstrom's and Nieman Marcus, which the increasingly paycheck to paycheck folks head to the likes of WalMart and Target, therefore leaving Sears et al out in the cold. Same can be said of the restaurant industry with its abundance of upscale specialty restaurants including many with near celebrity chefs. A more moderate example might be Cheesecake Factory. And then there are the inexpensive fast food chains led by McDonald's and Subway along with a scattering of indies as well. The odd man out here is the classic middle-of-the-road family diner, which are now fewer in number than they once were. Many of those remaining, at least here in the Chicago market, are now only open during breakfast and lunch.

A former coworker of mind was of the opinion that the main factor in there being far fewer mom and pop operations today lies in the fact that we have become a more mobile society and many expect the same things everywhere they go.
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#31
(05-23-2019, 10:39 AM)beechnut79 Wrote: There was a post recently on one of the other threads which would also serve very well as a 21st century malaise speech. One of the biggest reasons for said malaise which, IMO, is much worse than the perceived one of the Carter years (at least folks went out partying in discos at that time which they don't seem to be now), is increasing income inequality and the apparent hollowing out of the middle class, which was already beginning, albeit slowly then, at the time of the original "malaise" speech. (Even though that word wasn't actually used in it. Do you feel that, at least in part, the current accelerated crisis of confidence can be laid at the feet of an increasingly individualistic culture, one in which we are nearly brainwashed into feeling that you can easily express your unique style, your own brand of individuality without worrying what others think. We are encouraged to feel that we're each comfortable in our own skin and to let it show. This is good in some ways; perhaps not so good in others.

We are in a 4T, and mass hedonism seems not to be the way for any but economic elites. The poor lack the means except perhaps for rotgut drink and (among the criminal element) drugs. Marijuana may be approaching legality, but it is weak. Sex has become practically a commodity for some people whether through reckless dating, pornography, or outright prostitution (which is misery for the women in the sex trade, but human suffering is fully compatible with commerce in a social order in which the elites can seemingly get away with anything. See Donald Trump.

What remains for the middle class, whatever its origin, is its one distinction from both the elites and the proletariat: intellectualism. Still believing that formal learning gives one some chance of success in an increasingly-unjust society (the Democrats could not stop that trend fast enough in 2009 and 2010, and Republicans have enhanced the trend, at least through 2018). The Hard Right hates intellectualism because it can give people the means of critique of an immoral, inequitable, hierarchical, and potentially-repressive society. The Hard Right has won the white proletariat over in shared contempt of people who think when they could inste4ad do mindless toil and perform abject servility. For the white proletariat, much of which believes in Christian Protestant fundamentalism, This World is to be suffered in heroic toil as preparation for rewards in Heaven. The rapacious plutocrats and executive nomenklatura used to have at least a regional split between the industrial interests of the North and the agrarian interests of the South -- but they have melded since the 1960s. The economic elites can do very well in wars for profit that kill millions of people in return for trillions in profit, and those elites, along with some religious hucksters, can transform Heaven into a sort of Valhalla. Dying in battle means that one will never have to face the prospect of a New Serfdom that seems to be forming as even the college-educated with bourgeois careers are deep in debt to lenders much like sharecroppers in "Kukluxistan".

Quote:The seemingly relentless trend toward greater and greater individualism has also manifested itself in what at the time may have been unexpected ways. Two of the more obvious pertain to the retail and restaurant industries. Much has been made of the rapid decline of the Sears retail brand. Many feel that their primary issue was that they, along with the likes of J C Penney and the late Montgomery Ward is that they were set up to be mass retailers, and during the postwar period they were the Big Three in that arena. Many big and even some small cities had their own classic retailers as well, a prime example being Marshall Field's in Chicago, which was gobbled up by Macy's. With the hollowing of the middle class the upscale folks are heading to the likes of Nordstrom's and Nieman Marcus, which the increasingly paycheck to paycheck folks head to the likes of WalMart and Target, therefore leaving Sears et al out in the cold. Same can be said of the restaurant industry with its abundance of upscale specialty restaurants including many with near celebrity chefs. A more moderate example might be Cheesecake Factory. And then there are the inexpensive fast food chains led by McDonald's and Subway along with a scattering of indies as well. The odd man out here is the classic middle-of-the-road family diner, which are now fewer in number than they once were. Many of those remaining, at least here in the Chicago market, are now only open during breakfast and lunch.

Pardon me for what may be some excessive simplification, but the real heroes of capitalism are small business, whether the small-scale trader, the cottage manufacturer, the small shopkeeper, the mom-and-pop restaurant owner, and even the local banker. Yes, there were regional leaders in retail (such as Macy's (New York), Filene's (Boston), Marshall Field's (Chicago), Wanamaker (Philadelphia),  Dayton (Twin Cities), Hudson's (Detroit). Bullock's (Los Angeles), Goldwater's (yes -- that Goldwater -- in Phoenix), Sanger-Harris (Dallas), Foley's (Houston), and I Magnin (San Francisco). All are gone except for Macy's, the last survivor of this lot. In an amazing coincidence, Dillard's (originally Little Rock) is from the same state as Wal*Mart, and it seems to thrive in the current climate as one of the worst employers possible. As it was in the 1970s, it pays its employees badly but demands both complete subordination in a dog-eat-dog world in return for vague promises of rapid advancement within the company. The monopolists are able to squeeze out competition and gouge customers -- and usually reduce opportunities for non-elite people so that the non-elite must compete for every little scrap. But even Macy's may find itself with an inadequate customer base with a not-so-great position of being the last survivor in a dying industry.

The diners have largely become breakfast-and-lunch eateries because the fast-food giants are finding ways in which to get people of declining means to eat there. Sports bars seem to be thriving because many women don't want their husbands drinking at home and making fools of themselves in front of the kids. (So Hubbie gets picked up for DUI once every three years or so...) Yes, the experience at Applebee's, Chili's, Pizza Hut, etc. gets predictable.  Could the "Chinese" buffet be going the same way? Practically anything can be turned into fast food. Add to this, the food processors and grocery stores are able to transform food that used to take great toil to produce (let us say lasagna) into packaged boxes of food that one can cook quickly in the microwave oven and be somewhat palatable. Some of the venerable chains of the past, such as Big Boy (now pointless, as all that distinguished it from "Chez Mac" is table-side service), Howard Johnson's, and Bill Knapp's are kaputt.

But what the heck? Short-order cooks were never really-good ones, and they made diners possible. The local diner is there as a sort of forum where the insurance salesman and the preacher might meet over ham and eggs.

Quote:A former coworker of mind was of the opinion that the main factor in there being far fewer mom and pop operations today lies in the fact that we have become a more mobile society and many expect the same things everywhere they go.

But Big Boy and Howard Johnson's were themselves standardized experiences. One of the attractions of some small towns in resort areas is that they might still have independent bookstores in which one spends a little more time than one expects, and probably gets a nice cup of Darjeeling. Border's, a bookstore, went belly-up. I don't think it is travel. People are taking fewer long-distance travels except among skilled workers, what remains of the middle class, and of course the Master Class of a plutocratic America. The skilled workers and what remains of the middle class seem to be going to over-priced amusement parks. The Master Classes have the means for sybaritic excess that old aristocracies used to have as their preserve (as if our Master Classes are any better than old aristocracies).

It is entirely possible that America will have to go through the searing purge of another Great Depression to wring out the depravity in our economic order, with millions having to establish small-scale businesses as their sole hope for family survival as the behemoths that fail even as mass employers go the way of the dinosaurs. The birds, small mammals, and lizards (snakes did not appear until the Age of Mammals and to a lesser extent birds) took over as the creatures of Jurassic Park vanished. Maybe without the huge supply of money from Corporate America, lobbying and the scummy forms of politicking in which some reactionary poses as a nice guy while a front group hammers a moderate-to-liberal pol who 'fails' to believe the orthodoxy of the Master Classes -- that no human suffering can ever be in excess so long as there is a profit to be extracted and enforced in the name of elite indulgence.

Until recently, American capitalism saved itself from the danger of a proletarian revolution by ensuring that the common man had a stake in the system. Today the Master Classes are little better than the planters of the Old South, the Junkers of Prussia, and the Soviet-style nomenklatura. They go down in revolution, they incinerate the world in apocalyptic war, they create a political monstrosity that makes Nazi Germany seem full of relative safe havens, or they facilitate the ecological disaster of global warming... and that ecological disaster will create the legal anarchy in which the worst wars begin only to culminate in hundreds of millions of pointless deaths.

Or we Americans vote the b@stards out.
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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#32
(04-05-2017, 08:41 PM)Kinser79 Wrote: But I have caught onto something:

Trade Deficit down, American Workers winning

Maybe. Here is US-china trade deficit for the first quarter of each year from 2001 to 2019. 2019 is down from 2018, but 2018 was an unusually high spike, reflecting massive Chinese buying before the first tariffs went into effect. Averaging the last two values gives 1.65% of GDP, same as the two years before. We'll need more time to see any effects it would seem. 

Note I support a Chinese trade war so I want Trump to succeed here, but I fear he has already lost Sad

Year              Def              % of GDP
2007              57.1              1.58
2008              55.2              1.50
2009              50.4              1.40
2010              51.7              1.38
2011              60.3              1.55
2012              66.0              1.63
2013              69.2              1.65
2014              69.6              1.59
2015              83.2              1.83
2016              77.9              1.67
2017              78.9              1.62
2018              91.1              1.78
2019              80.0              1.52
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#33
(05-29-2019, 12:12 PM)Mikebert Wrote:
(04-05-2017, 08:41 PM)Kinser79 Wrote: But I have caught onto something:

Trade Deficit down, American Workers winning

Maybe. Here is US-china trade deficit for the first quarter of each year from 2001 to 2019. 2019 is down from 2018, but 2018 was an unusually high spike, reflecting massive Chinese buying before the first tariffs went into effect. Averaging the last two values gives 1.65% of GDP, same as the two years before. We'll need more time to see any effects it would seem. 

Note I support a Chinese trade war so I want Trump to succeed here, but I fear he has already lost Sad

Year              Def              % of GDP
2007              57.1              1.58
2008              55.2              1.50
2009              50.4              1.40
2010              51.7              1.38
2011              60.3              1.55
2012              66.0              1.63
2013              69.2              1.65
2014              69.6              1.59
2015              83.2              1.83
2016              77.9              1.67
2017              78.9              1.62
2018              91.1              1.78
2019              80.0              1.52

I'm not sure that a trade war means much anymore.  Yes, the Chinese have stolen (actually demanded and received) intellectual property in abundance, but why is that not the fault of our own industrial community? They wanted into the Chinese market badly enough that they handed this stuff over -- always short term thinking by us and the long game by them.  And yes, they have used espionage as well, but we still line-up to do business with them.

But isn't the bigger issue the one Andy Yang is raising: intelligent automation?  Will any of this matter if virtually all jobs are automated into the ether?  What constitutes trade when our robots and their robots are the only ones competing?  For that matter, what constitutes a good life?  

Between ACG and an inexorably changing economy, we have a lot to worry about and very little time to implement fixes that are, at most, fuzzy concepts.  Our children and theirs will not think highly of us if we ignore these elephants, and spend our time dithering -- a bad habit we've adopted in the last 40-50 years.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#34
(05-31-2017, 07:07 PM)pbrower2a Wrote:
(04-07-2017, 09:53 AM)Kinser79 Wrote: I would argue that if your intention is to preserve the environment then you should want to limit deficit spending.  In short deficit spending is consuming resources now at the expense of future generations.  Therefore, the best method would be to limit federal revenues to primarily tariffs.  Which will also limit consumption by raising prices on imported goods, not to mention providing greater employment in manufacturing here.

We are going to see an economy much more based upon services and less upon the production of material goods. Food and fuels are the only physical commodities that one can expect to keep up in demand with a growing population.

Here's the model: figure that the growth in the economy will largely be in intellectual property. Sebastian J. Bach* is a musician and makes much music -- let us say fugues. Adam Ansel is a photographer and takes lots of photos of Yosemite. Sebastian J. Bach can't get enough of Adam Ansel's photos... and Adam Ansel loves Sebastian J Bach's fugues. Because they can't cheat each other by stealing intellectual property or cheat the tax authorities by bartering, they can pay in credits of some type, and the taxing authorities get their cut. But there are no physical copies.

Is wealth created when the creative exchanges happen? Yes.

*No, I do not refer to the original creative people...

PBR...I keep hearing about this supposed service economy that is going to arise at some point.  Strangely it still hasn't happened yet.  I'd argue because wealth (not money, wealth) can only be created when one creates goods.  Any other form of economic activity must therefore consume wealth.  In short without industrial production (somewhere) there will be no consumption of services.
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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#35
(05-30-2019, 11:28 AM)Kinser79 Wrote:
(05-31-2017, 07:07 PM)pbrower2a Wrote:
(04-07-2017, 09:53 AM)Kinser79 Wrote: I would argue that if your intention is to preserve the environment then you should want to limit deficit spending.  In short deficit spending is consuming resources now at the expense of future generations.  Therefore, the best method would be to limit federal revenues to primarily tariffs.  Which will also limit consumption by raising prices on imported goods, not to mention providing greater employment in manufacturing here.

We are going to see an economy much more based upon services and less upon the production of material goods. Food and fuels are the only physical commodities that one can expect to keep up in demand with a growing population.

Here's the model: figure that the growth in the economy will largely be in intellectual property. Sebastian J. Bach* is a musician and makes much music -- let us say fugues. Adam Ansel is a photographer and takes lots of photos of Yosemite. Sebastian J. Bach can't get enough of Adam Ansel's photos... and Adam Ansel loves Sebastian J Bach's fugues. Because they can't cheat each other by stealing intellectual property or cheat the tax authorities by bartering, they can pay in credits of some type, and the taxing authorities get their cut. But there are no physical copies.

Is wealth created when the creative exchanges happen? Yes.

*No, I do not refer to the original creative people...

PBR...I keep hearing about this supposed service economy that is going to arise at some point.  Strangely it still hasn't happened yet.  I'd argue because wealth (not money, wealth) can only be created when one creates goods.  Any other form of economic activity must therefore consume wealth.  In short without industrial production (somewhere) there will be no consumption of services.

But goods are becoming less important. Medical costs are mostly services, and their share of the American economy has been rising rapidly. An apartment may be an object, but rentals of one qualifies as a service.  Except for stuff on the fast track between sweatshop to landfill through Wal*Mart and its customers, most things are more durable than they used to be. I remember when most cars were junked after as few as eight years, and now I notice that an eight-ear-old car often has significant life left. The problem with most consumer electrics is obsolescence (CRT televisions, VHS players, and energy-draining appliances), and not a lack of durability.
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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#36
(05-30-2019, 11:28 AM)Kinser79 Wrote: ...I keep hearing about this supposed service economy that is going to arise at some point.  Strangely it still hasn't happened yet.  I'd argue because wealth (not money, wealth) can only be created when one creates goods.  Any other form of economic activity must therefore consume wealth.  In short without industrial production (somewhere) there will be no consumption of services.

Old thinking for a young man. The service economy is already here, and, at some point, automaton makes 'goods' almost irrelevant. We're not that far from there today.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#37
(05-30-2019, 11:28 AM)Kinser79 Wrote: PBR...I keep hearing about this supposed service economy that is going to arise at some point.  Strangely it still hasn't happened yet.  I'd argue because wealth (not money, wealth) can only be created when one creates goods.  Any other form of economic activity must therefore consume wealth.  In short without industrial production (somewhere) there will be no consumption of services.

Wealth is capital. Capital is that which when combined with labor and resources produces economic output. Such output is in the form of both goods AND services.

So you are partly right, a more accurate statement would be "wealth is only created when one creates the capital (means of production) needed to produce goods and services."
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#38
With only two weeks to go until the 40th anniversary of Jimmy Carter's original so-called malaise speech, thought it would be time to collect some more thoughts concerning the current malaise which, I believe, is much worse than the original one if there indeed really was one. The cause and effect may be the same even though on opposite ends of the spectrum. For all of his faults, once Reagan was elected many would feel the excitement and the anticipation in the air. The bloom didn't fall off that rose until fairly recently, maybe by the time Bush II was in office. We now have in office one who has always found himself striving to be noticed, going back to his days as a celebrity real estate developer to time served as a reality TV host. There are many progressive also who no doubt are feeling enthusiastic and want to be recognized for their hard work and achievements. While Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren come to mind, there certainly are others without nearly that amount of face time, such as those working in neighborhoods to quell street violence. One such man was murdered over the weekend in Chicago.

Said feeling of excitement and anticipation with the savvy to lead us in a dynamic new inclusive direction is what I feel is sorely needed to bring about an end to the current malaise. Would love to get some more thoughts on this as we approach said anniversary.
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#39
(05-30-2019, 12:30 PM)David Horn Wrote:
(05-30-2019, 11:28 AM)Kinser79 Wrote: ...I keep hearing about this supposed service economy that is going to arise at some point.  Strangely it still hasn't happened yet.  I'd argue because wealth (not money, wealth) can only be created when one creates goods.  Any other form of economic activity must therefore consume wealth.  In short without industrial production (somewhere) there will be no consumption of services.

Old thinking for a young man.  The service economy is already here, and, at some point, automaton makes 'goods' almost irrelevant.  We're not that far from there today.

Indeed we are often (unless destitute) at the point at which more goods will not make us happier. Conventional economics has the concept of marginal utility. I might want a mop, but a second one is of little value to me unless the first one goes bad. Needless to say, we do not hoard mops. The first one might have a marginal utility of $500 even if it is priced $15. The second one has a marginal utility near zero: to find it valuable one might need to find an unconventional purpose to it. I am not buying another until the first one starts to go bad or disappears.

Material objects are valuable to the extent that they provide services or at least their potential. So it is with a book, a compact disc, a car, a refrigerator, a chair, or a pair of slacks. Or of course a mop.

Now let's suppose that some crackpot leader says that we need more economic activity, and to get that activity everyone has a quota of buying fifty steel pails. Does the level of economic activity go up? Sure. Question: what do people do with those steel pails? Maybe we recycle the vast majority of them. A finished good becomes a raw material. Such is waste, an anathema in a market economy.

At one time, food was a gigantic share of the cost of living and medicine a slight one. Many people never saw a doctor except in desperation, by then usually much too late. After all Doctor Quackenbush's Secret Miracle Cure, consisting of booze and laudanum could cure anything -- OK, all it could achieve was to mask the pain of cancer or (paradoxically) cirrhosis. Today a cancer treatment that can give someone another five years of life might cost the equivalent of a house -- and whether insurance or the person pays for it, it gets paid.

One can assume that $1000 in services are worth $1000 in material goods. if people act rationally, a standard assumption in a survey course on economics. For such a service as auto insurance, the insurance itself is a service, but the payout in the event of an accident is some combination of goods (replacement parts) and services (repair work or medical costs).
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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#40
Carter wasn't wrong about the fact that the time was shitty. His problem: He had no clue how to solve it.
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