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The most dangerous time since the Civil War
#81
(01-20-2018, 11:05 AM)David Horn Wrote:
(01-19-2018, 03:49 AM)Galen Wrote: You have once again proven yourself to be an economic illiterate.  Selling stock is but one way to raise capital.  There are many privately held corporations that often got their start from the savings of one or more founders.   A sole proprietorship or partnership will often save up profits in order to acquire capital equipment to improve their operations.

Which has nothing to do with the stock market. If you notice, that was the original issue on this thread.

Since when on this forum have topics been limited to the original issue of the thread? If one goes four pages back one sees that it was a political discussion.

Quote:
Galen Wrote:Individuals will often save money for future expenditures such as retirement which is much easier to do when you don't have assholes at the Fed debasing the currency and useful idiots like you cheering them on.

'Debasing the currency', as you call it, is the only way to generate consistent economic activity. If currency held its value forever, no one would be motivated to spend a dime unless it was necessary. That's a prescription for stagnation or worse.
[/quote]

You're resting under the assumption that businesses operate on the basis of spending. While it is true that one man's expenditure is an other's income. The fact is that accumulation of capital is facilitated most strongly by savings and savings is most strongly facilitated by a currency holding its value (why Germany and Japan both insisted on having a stable currency incidentally). Otherwise countries with the most debased currencies would be the most powerful ones (like say Zimbabwe or Equador--both countries whose currencies couldn't hold sufficent value and were replaced by the US dollar and in Zimbabwe's case the South African Rand [which is propped up by South Africa's large gold reserves and deposits].

(01-20-2018, 11:11 AM)David Horn Wrote:
(01-20-2018, 09:36 AM)Galen Wrote: ...  Taxation and inflation make it much harder for an individual to save.  As always you miss the point, which is that inflation tends to hurt those who can not own the financial assets that the rich do which was always the explicit purpose of QE which was to prop up the prices of financial assets and real estate.

Always looking at the bottom line and ignoring the top line. You can't save what you don't have to save. Economic activity creates the top line you so strongly wish to preserve, but are unwilling to create in the first place.

If the currency is debased then the value of what is saved (in the best of circumstances) only gradually declines. The fact remains however that currencies unbacked by reserves of natural resources (see South Africa or Saudi Arabia) or strong economies (Germany, Japan, China) will revert to their intrinsic value which is zero.

Inflation negates both the top line and the bottom line. Which if you knew even high school maths you'd know results in complete shut down of economic activity. Inflation is like inflamation in the body. A little bit is usually natural, too much of it is a chronic condition.

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

Quote:
Galen Wrote:Fucking Boomers.  In the general case your generation was too stupid to live because you are like spoiled children.

99% of the economic model currently in play can be traced directly to Ronald Reagan's economic policies. Reagan was many things, but a Boomer isn't one of them.
[/quote]

No but Reagan was largely elected by Boomers. The two youngest demographics in 1980 eligible to vote in that election were dominated by Boomers and he won them handily.

Also the hand Reagan played in the formation of the economy of today is vastly over stated. There is only so much a President can do, and in the US direct management of the economy is not one of them. Thank whatever gods may exist or Clinton and Obama would have turned the US Dollar into the Zimbabwean Dollar long ago.
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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#82
(01-21-2018, 05:51 AM)Kinser79 Wrote:
(01-18-2018, 03:32 PM)David Horn Wrote: With the exception of new stock offerings, of which there are very few, stock markets trade old shares for new money.  The capitalization of those old shares occurred in the past -- often in the distant past.  To be honest, the opposite is happening right now.  Old shares are being purchased by the corporate treasuries that issued them and are "banked" by those corporations to prop-up the price of the remaining shares.  That could be called capital retirement.

While the majority of sales on the stock market are value based speculation the main function of a corporation to offer stocks in the first place is to raise capital.  Which as Galen has pointed out elsewhere is more difficult due to inflation and taxation.

Capital retirement is utterly retarded.  I don't even know where to begin.  The purpose of having capital is to use it to produce a commodity to sell at a profit and render more capital, ad infinitum.

I'm unsure as to the reasons why corporations would buy back their stocks to prop up the price, but I know that retiring their capital is not the reason.  Unless of course the purpose is to ultimately destroy the company itself--which given the self-destructive tendencies of Boomers is not unheard of.

<SNIP>

Look, stock is either bought and sold by inventors looking to make a gain, or it's purchased by the issuing company to pump stock prices.  If the latter, then the money paid is typically reinvested in other stock, pumping that price too.  At some point, the value of the shares is dramatically less than the price of the shares, and the market drops ... sometimes precipitously.  By historic standards, that should be soon.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#83
Re: Joe Biden, street fightin man

So, basically, are we just going to replace the 2020 election with a WWE match-up between the two of them, completing the degradation of American politics, and giving us all the cathartic moment we really need?
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#84
(01-22-2018, 11:57 AM)David Horn Wrote:
(01-21-2018, 05:51 AM)Kinser79 Wrote:
(01-18-2018, 03:32 PM)David Horn Wrote: With the exception of new stock offerings, of which there are very few, stock markets trade old shares for new money.  The capitalization of those old shares occurred in the past -- often in the distant past.  To be honest, the opposite is happening right now.  Old shares are being purchased by the corporate treasuries that issued them and are "banked" by those corporations to prop-up the price of the remaining shares.  That could be called capital retirement.

While the majority of sales on the stock market are value based speculation the main function of a corporation to offer stocks in the first place is to raise capital.  Which as Galen has pointed out elsewhere is more difficult due to inflation and taxation.

Capital retirement is utterly retarded.  I don't even know where to begin.  The purpose of having capital is to use it to produce a commodity to sell at a profit and render more capital, ad infinitum.

I'm unsure as to the reasons why corporations would buy back their stocks to prop up the price, but I know that retiring their capital is not the reason.  Unless of course the purpose is to ultimately destroy the company itself--which given the self-destructive tendencies of Boomers is not unheard of.

<SNIP>

Look, stock is either bought and sold by inventors looking to make a gain, or it's purchased by the issuing company to pump stock prices.  If the latter, then the money paid is typically reinvested in other stock, pumping that price too.  At some point, the value of the shares is dramatically less than the price of the shares, and the market drops ... sometimes precipitously.  By historic standards, that should be soon.

True. Former investors in the stock bought-up are not likely to simply take their  gains and buy consumer goodies. They have typically been living off the dividends, and they are likely to bid up blue-chip stocks. But buying up stock means selling  off cash reserves, which will make the company less liquid.

New offerings imply an intention of expansion through capital investment or the acquisition of other firms (as with a Pennsylvania-based general retailer buying out a somewhat-similar retailer in North Carolina in a very different market. So MNO buys out PQR and 'retires' PQR through absorption).
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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#85
Bluexit

https://newrepublic.com/article/140948/b...ed-america
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#86
The New Republic is a liberal rag. That being said, I'd welcome the Blue States breaking off and doing their own thing. It would be wonderful not having the millstone of the North East or Commiefornia around our necks. Maybe we can repatriate their lost citizens back to them too. I've often said I should be governor of Florida. I'd put a sign up on the state line "Welcome to Florida, No Vacancy"
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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#87
(05-08-2019, 09:59 AM)Kinser79 Wrote: The New Republic is a liberal rag.  That being said, I'd welcome the Blue States breaking off and doing their own thing.  It would be wonderful not having the millstone of the North East or Commiefornia around our necks.  Maybe we can repatriate their lost citizens back to them too.  I've often said I should be governor of Florida.  I'd put a sign up on the state line "Welcome to Florida, No Vacancy"

Be careful what you wish for.  The money that pays the bills in Florida originates in the Northeast, primarily, and other coastal areas both East and West.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#88
I'd welcome being able to revert Florida back to its natural state. The Yankees here are determined to turn it into New Jersey though. Having lived in New Jersey I have no interest in Florida being New Jersey. New Jersey even in its natural state was a shit hole. Turning Florida into a shit hole is taking paradise and turning it into a shit hole.

Having lived in Illinois, it would be a red state except for Chicago. Same with Minnesota, except for Minneapolis-St.Paul it too would be a red state.
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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#89
(05-08-2019, 10:30 AM)Kinser79 Wrote: I'd welcome being able to revert Florida back to its natural state.  The Yankees here are determined to turn it into New Jersey though.  Having lived in New Jersey I have no interest in Florida being New Jersey. New Jersey even in its natural state was a shit hole.  Turning Florida into a shit hole is taking paradise and turning it into a shit hole.

Having lived in Illinois, it would be a red state except for Chicago.  Same with Minnesota, except for Minneapolis-St.Paul it too would be a red state.

Not much of America can revert to a 'natural' state until the population declines, which I do not see happening. We need to protect what we have. Florida does have the Everglades, swamps unsuited to building upon or for farming.
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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#90
(05-08-2019, 10:30 AM)Kinser79 Wrote: I'd welcome being able to revert Florida back to its natural state...

H-m-m-m.  That would be swamp, mostly.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#91
(05-08-2019, 09:45 AM)Tim Randal Walker Wrote: Bluexit

https://newrepublic.com/article/140948/b...ed-america

Excellent article. It's up to blue states to take responsibility to make our states even better than we already are than the red states. If we could repeal the federal income tax, a conservative/libertarian ideal, we'd get back the 4-times more money that we give than we get, and with that money we could finance health care, infrastructure, education, environment, social welfare, appropriate regulations, and the amenities that make cities and towns livable, through higher state taxes to make up for the lower federal taxes, and let you guys in the red states live on less government according to your philosophy, with no bail out. I don't know if such a scheme is workable, but I suppose it's an alternative to total bluexit. It certainly would be using a red-state idea, one they would not resist, to hoist them on their own petard.

Things might not be as bad as Kevin Baker says now, since he concedes that the 3 Trump rust belt states have gone over permanently to the red side. They were always shaky, but they are likely to return to majority blue. Then Illinois and Minnesota would not be left out totally in the red desert. Colorado is still shaky as a blue state too. 

The harder question is that the blue/red divide is more urban/rural than between particular states, as he points out. The blue states would have to hold on to their rural parts, and red states their urban parts, to make this scheme work. But if it's only a question of shifting who pays what, it might be possible. The rural areas of blue states are not going to oppose ending the federal income tax. Our state of Jefferson in northern CA and southern OR won't do that. But of course they'll have to deal with our stricter gun laws, which they do already. Would they secede from the blue states and join or create new red states in order to be under the rule of the Gorsuch-Kavanaugh Court that protects their "gun rights?"

He brought up the question of climate change, which red states on their own would make much worse. I wonder about that, since the red states will be living under trickle-down economics with no access to any trickle source. Their privatized way of life with no bail out will likely consign them to fast-increasing poverty and depression. Such an economic slowdown will reduce emissions. They might try to continue to intice corporations to move there with low taxes and regulations. That might have some initial success, but the lack of an educated workforce and the possible reversal of the population flow of youth back to blue cities could discourage this move. I have always thought, though, that the loss of many natural wonders now protected by the federal government from greedy tycoons could be tragic. Red state dependence on fossil fuels could backfire too if the fuels start to run out or get too expensive to mine and sell, with less revenue for their oil companies from a poor population.

Another wrinkle: unless the blue states simply refuse to pay, which is an illegal approach, then a constitutional amendment would be needed to repeal the federal income tax. So it would take a red-state/blue state agreement to accomplish this. Red staters are notoriously dishonest and selfish in public behavior (not necessarily in their private behavior), and when they realize that they won't get to feed at the federal trough anymore, they might forget their self-reliance philosophy and oppose this move. That is their modus operandi. They have no real principles at all, at least on the public political level. Just slogans and prejudices.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#92
(05-08-2019, 05:18 PM)pbrower2a Wrote:
(05-08-2019, 10:30 AM)Kinser79 Wrote: I'd welcome being able to revert Florida back to its natural state.  The Yankees here are determined to turn it into New Jersey though.  Having lived in New Jersey I have no interest in Florida being New Jersey. New Jersey even in its natural state was a shit hole.  Turning Florida into a shit hole is taking paradise and turning it into a shit hole.

Having lived in Illinois, it would be a red state except for Chicago.  Same with Minnesota, except for Minneapolis-St.Paul it too would be a red state.

Not much of America can revert to a 'natural' state until the population declines, which I do not see happening. We need to protect what we have. Florida does have the Everglades, swamps unsuited to building upon or for farming.

The difference between now and the 1950s-1980s, when Illinois tended to vote Republican, is that "blue Chicago" now includes most of the suburbs. That difference was also sometimes seen in New Jersey and Connecticut.

Minnesota and also Wisconsin today have some blue areas that are more rural.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#93
(05-08-2019, 05:33 PM)David Horn Wrote:
(05-08-2019, 10:30 AM)Kinser79 Wrote: I'd welcome being able to revert Florida back to its natural state...

H-m-m-m.  That would be swamp, mostly.

Yep exactly.  Escaped slaves and the Seminoles went into Florida BECAUSE in its natural state is largely undesirable land.  As for population decline...its happening already.  Just send girls to school.  Educated women have fewer children because they have more options.  Industrialization is a great contraceptive.
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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#94
Brought over from another thread because I thought that the discussion was going away from the topic.


Quote:     beechnut79   
Quote:       pbrower2a
Quote:               sbarrera
               Leave it to a Boomer (Jeffrey Epstein) to want to create a master race via some technological fantasy. At least Kurzweil only wants to help everyone live forever. (Sorry to pick on your generation, there, pbrower).


           Boomer elites in Big Business are really nasty and they deserve your contempt. The rest of us are (once one gets past the extremists) aren't so nasty. But we are also powerless against our own elites unless we can subvert those elites. The narcissism that makes people especially competent at success in bureaucracies looks like a low grade of sociopathy.

           The Missionary generation had its loud proponents of eugenics, and Epstein seems to have adopted much of its gibberish about breeding an elite. To this I say that there will always be a necessary elite -- that of the competent and creative able to do some real good. Those adept only at gouging and bureaucratic toadying will become irrelevant or even end up destroying the wealth they steward. The Quaker ethos -- they came to do good and they ended up doing well -- is a good model. Or the Jewish ethos -- do things well and worth doing but be righteous, and both God and economic reality will bless you. Society rewards the competent and creative fairly lest it lose them or waste them and be poorer for the loss.

           It is practically more difficult, but far more just, to seek extraordinary talent from unlikely places and cultivate it than to try to breed it. I would love to have Stephen Hawking's mind, but not his ALS. I would love to have Albert Einstein's intellectual prowess but not the genes that gave him Asperger's (as someone who has it I would not sacrifice any part of my intelligence to get rid of it because my intelligence is all that I am, but if I had to become black or gay to have a normal life I would make such a choice). By cultivating such talent as there is one avoids the hazards of inbreeding.

           But far worse than Asperger's or even ALS is sociopathy -- and in view of what is said of Jeffrey Epstein he seems to be a sociopath. I do not know whether genes have any connection to sociopathy, but that is a risk not worth taking. Considering that he would mostly be impregnating girls who have problems, and that for their sexual indulgence sociopaths typically exploit girls with problems, I would be scared of the results. Female sociopathy often manifests itself in prostitution, and there might be something to the old Spanish insult hijo de la gran puta (son of the great whore).

           I doubt that Stephen Hawking ever did anything horrible to anyone, and Albert Einstein had some moral compass. Well, I can judge evil-doers harshly, and I see the defenseless among us as worthy of protection.

           ..............

           Go ahead -- pick on our worst. They deserve ruin, and if they get their way they will achieve their own ruin, either in an economic meltdown as severe as the Great Depression, or at worst a war for profit that turns into consummate calamity. Monopolists and cartels are better at grabbing wealth than at creating it, and bureaucrats that generate only paperwork and rules do not create wealth. Although few people would appreciate their technological and cultural poverty, the Old Order Amish seem to have a very sane and equitable society. The ones in business seem good at what they do -- but those own and operate small businesses with no bureaucracy. Their culture does little to foster narcissism.


       Your final paragraph in and of itself is an indication that there are two schools of thought as to how the current 4T will play out. Either the monopolists will continue to score victory (dread), or the modern-day equivalent of the proletariat will somehow find a way to conquer. With the first one, the status quo will continue to usurp power until there is nothing more. The top 3 percent will probably own most everything; perhaps the bottom 97 will be given enough crumbs so that they hopefully ( in their view) will not rebel and create the present-day equivalent of the Bastille or Boston Harbor. The second one gives the proles a better chance at creating a more just society, but this cannot happen unless they allow themselves to stand up and be counted.

(I am deleting references to Jeffrey Epstein because (1) he is apparently a freak -- a would-be mad science with neither appreciable scientific training nor valid science at his command, (2) his deeds are up to the courts to decide, and I prefer to not discuss criminal cases while they are in contest, and (3) I do not see him in any way as a trend-setter).  As I saw in an old issue of American Heritage Magazine on how the planters of the South before the Civil War saw  their relationship with slaves... those planters had saw themselves as the best thing to have ever happened to slaves who were beneficiaries of their loving direction and care. Such seems to fit exploiters of any kind; they can always see themselves as benefactors to Humanity as a whole, even to people that they exploit. 


People who do real work and have accountability for its completion are in no position in which to exploit others, whatever their generation.  Boomer clerks and laborers cannot exploit others. Obviously, sbarrera is not discussing such people as domestic servants, welders and truck drivers. Boomer elites have never shown solidarity with Boomer proles.


   We are late enough in this Crisis that the theme of its culmination is already well defined. I see it in the intensification of inequality that will need repression and conformity to enforce its inhuman nastiness. I look at a trend within the Republican Party that involved Lee Atwater, Karl Rove going further down the line, and someone like Steve Bannon as a full-blown fascist intent on destroying democracy in practice while leaving the formality of a Constitution but reality in state terror. Sure, there are elections, but those are rigged so they have no meaning; Congress is responsible in practice to lobbyists instead of to constituents; a secret police enforces the will of some Party on behalf of its corporate supporters.

   If I had to choose between a Depression as severe as that of the 1930s or military apocalypse, then I will take the Depression. The last one gutted the power of monopolists and their retainers, and that may be just what we need to revert to an economic pattern compatible with freedom and Constitutional government. Except for the economic elites of the 1920s, life was generally better for Americans in the late 1930s because of a shorter work-day, meaningful retirement pay for people who should have retired (I am guessing that elderly workers in industry had horrible rates of industrial accidents that killed and crippled them), and more equality. Teenagers were more likely staying in high school (the norm of a high-school education began then), which made them more productive workers once they joined the workforce. Ask any employer whether he wants to hire high-school dropouts. Kids still in high school, sure, as their lives still have some structure... but not drop-outs.


   But the bureaucracies will be gone. I cannot predict what will happen to the federal bureaucracy except that people will demand activities more likely to create jobs and useful infrastructure, but we can all predict what will happen to the bureaucracy of Sears. People who have managed a business but have no idea of how to do the real work will be at a loss if they must do the real work of starting a shoe-string business. People of long-standing privilege are rarely competent at such. Marx was terribly wrong about the nature of small business: operating one is real work, and the profit to a great extent is more like the wages to the proletariat in quality and quantity than it is like the large passive incomes of feudal lords and the large-scale shareholders of giant, monopolistic, vertically-integrated firms.

War, especially should a fascistic regime conduct it, will destroy America as it has been over the lifetime of the oldest people then living. People will be picking up the rubble and trying to piece their lives back together... and Americans will shed few tears over the people culpable for the ruin who get convicted of war crimes and die at the ends of ropes.   

   But even without war, a thoroughly-vile social order plants the seeds of its own destruction. Donald Trump is trying to govern like a dictator, and if he can't find enough collaborators he might have to watch his back from law enforcement, the Armed Services, the Intelligence services, the courts, and the media. Our system of checks and balances so far have stopped one effort to establish a despotic President. The biggest check is a free election, and the 2018 midterm election looked very free and fair. The 2020 election has a chance of saving American democracy, but that is only the start of institutional reforms necessary for making America great in ways in which it has never been before.

   We still have an economy under the control of people who see the rest of Humanity existing solely to make people already filthy-rich even more filthy rich at great sacrifices by those not rich. Increasing inequality makes an economy more unstable while throttling growth -- unless the growth is a corrupt and doomed bubble. Such bubbles devour capital and collapse, taking some bloated behemoths down with the corporate bureaucrats incapable of generating anything other than rules and paperwork useless anywhere else. Shareholders get burned, but a class the bureaucratic nomenklatura proves useless. Sure, it bought some nice real estate in the good times, but it will have to sell its McMansions for pennies on the dollar or subdivide them into apartments just to keep formal ownership while downsizing.

   But we have a cycle in history, and as the dinosaurs went extinct in the K-T calamity, niches opened for larger mammals than rats. In the political and social cycle, openings emerge for lean-running small businesses in local markets. Inventories, real estate, and labor will be cheap. Small businesses will include activities in which small businesses once were commonplace, as in restaurants, retail stores from clothing places to grocery stores,  and even manufacturing and banking. There was hardly a better time for starting a small business than the 1930s. People must do real work to survive, and community flourishes anew.
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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#95
(08-04-2019, 01:31 AM)pbrower2a Wrote: People who have managed a business but have no idea of how to do the real work will be at a loss if they must do the real work of starting a shoe-string business. People of long-standing privilege are rarely competent at such. Marx was terribly wrong about the nature of small business: operating one is real work, and the profit to a great extent is more like the wages to the proletariat in quality and quantity than it is like the large passive incomes of feudal lords and the large-scale shareholders of giant, monopolistic, vertically-integrated firms.

Thanks for saying this, esp. what I quoted.
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#96
This is the ultimate nightmare scenario for 2020 - and it is oh, so plausible:

[Image: BPKGP.png]
"It was better with them that were slain by the sword, than with them that died with hunger, for these pined away being consumed for want of the fruits of the earth" - Lamentations 4:9
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#97
My nightmare for the Reactionary Party has Trump losing every state that he won by less than 10% in 2016 which means 413 electoral votes for the Democrat. (That includes ME-02 and NE-02).
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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#98
(08-29-2019, 05:54 AM)pbrower2a Wrote: My nightmare for the Reactionary Party has Trump losing every state that he won by less than 10% in 2016 which means 413 electoral votes for the Democrat. (That includes ME-02 and NE-02).

But my map has two conterminous blue blobs, with one coterminous, larger red blob in between.

Highly conducive to secession - of one side or the other.
"It was better with them that were slain by the sword, than with them that died with hunger, for these pined away being consumed for want of the fruits of the earth" - Lamentations 4:9
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#99
Still hard to imagine. During the Revolution, only one third of Americans really wanted it - but at least it was a third. How many people really want secession today?
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