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Our Growing Political Dysfunction – What’s to Be Done?
#1
http://peterturchin.com/blog/2016/10/23/...o-be-done/


Quote:This is from a Reuters article yesterday: “Only half of Republicans would accept Clinton, the Democratic nominee, as their president. And if she wins, nearly 70 percent said it would be because of illegal voting or vote rigging, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Friday.”
“I’ve never seen an election like this. Not in my lifetime. Certainly not in modern history,” told Reuters Lonna Atkeson, head of the Center for the Study of Voting, Elections, and Democracy at the University of New Mexico.
Very true. To see another horrible election like this one we would have to go back to the nineteenth century America. Although, thankfully, things are not as bad as they were in 1860...



http://peterturchin.com/blog/2016/10/23/...o-be-done/
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#2
(10-23-2016, 08:38 PM)Dan Wrote: http://peterturchin.com/blog/2016/10/23/...o-be-done/

Quote:This is from a Reuters article yesterday: “Only half of Republicans would accept Clinton, the Democratic nominee, as their president. And if she wins, nearly 70 percent said it would be because of illegal voting or vote rigging, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Friday.”
“I’ve never seen an election like this. Not in my lifetime. Certainly not in modern history,” told Reuters Lonna Atkeson, head of the Center for the Study of Voting, Elections, and Democracy at the University of New Mexico.
Very true. To see another horrible election like this one we would have to go back to the nineteenth century America. Although, thankfully, things are not as bad as they were in 1860...

http://peterturchin.com/blog/2016/10/23/...o-be-done/

It's not clear to me how that differs from how Democrats viewed GWBush in the 2000 election.  The campaign is worse but it's not clear the election is worse.
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#3
The difference from 2000 is, that in 2000 there really WAS rigging-- committed BY the Party whose nominee now claims that if he loses the election it will have been rigged-- to the approval of 70% of his voters.

In 2000, the Florida secretary of state took off people from the voting rolls for being felons, when they weren't felons. Most of them were black. She stopped the recount before it was finished. In two counties at least, absentee ballots were forged. They were counted anyway. Then the recount was stopped by the supreme court on a party-line vote. There were other irregularities, accidental and deliberate.

There were other instances, such as the hacking of Diebold electronic voting systems, and Republican Sec. of State Black in Ohio whose obstructionist tactics may have cost John Kerry an electoral vote victory in 2004.

Since then, it's been right-wingers, and also leftists or confused radicals who oppose our system of government and all its candidates, who claim that every election is rigged, and therefore our democracy and all its politicians are crooks. Meanwhile, it's been Republicans who have carefully studied how to stop more non-whites from voting and instituted voting restrictions to accomplish that purpose. Their blatant schemes in NC and in many other states have been overturned by the courts. Since the voters so stupidly put Republicans in charge of congress in 2010, even knowing full well that their only program is to block all government business, Republicans have gerrymandered congress so thoroughly that their victory is almost automatic. And yet, it's their stupid candidate who says that if he loses the election it will have been rigged, without any evidence whatsoever. And people blame Obama for the Republican obstruction that stopped him from accomplishing much of what he wanted to do. Their purpose of discrediting our government and our democracy is being achieved simply by their OWN cheating and rigging. I have to hand it to their brilliant tactics, and stick it to American voters who can't see through their schemes.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#4
(10-23-2016, 08:38 PM)Dan Wrote: http://peterturchin.com/blog/2016/10/23/...o-be-done/


Quote:This is from a Reuters article yesterday: “Only half of Republicans would accept Clinton, the Democratic nominee, as their president. And if she wins, nearly 70 percent said it would be because of illegal voting or vote rigging, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Friday.”
“I’ve never seen an election like this. Not in my lifetime. Certainly not in modern history,” told Reuters Lonna Atkeson, head of the Center for the Study of Voting, Elections, and Democracy at the University of New Mexico.
Very true. To see another horrible election like this one we would have to go back to the nineteenth century America. Although, thankfully, things are not as bad as they were in 1860...



http://peterturchin.com/blog/2016/10/23/...o-be-done/

This is the kind of BS you expect from a poor country in Africa or SE Asia, where the losing side always claims a rigged election and threatens civil war if they don't get their way. A lot of this crap comes from the Deep South and Greater Appalachia, so there is an "ethnic" element involved, just like in the BS in developing countries.
#MakeTheDemocratsGreatAgain
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#5
I made a comment on Cliodynamica.
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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#6
I've finished reading and digesting Turchin's new book and am finishing up my paper that tries to fix some of the problems.  The driver for the classical agrarian secular cycle was population growth.  As a population biologist he was at home with this.  Having success with it he tried to apply demographic concepts to industrial cycles to explain rising inequality. In my paper I show he made a simple error that invalidates the analysis. I show the differential rate between return to capital and wage growth is a better candidate.  This is Piketty's idea.  I show that it implies a shorter cycle length (about 90 years) than the older agrarian cycles (about two centuries).

The key difference is that Turchin does not see the Civil war as a secular cycle boundary conflict (a conflict shortly before a secular cycle border).  I see the secular cycle and the saeculum as essentially the same cycle since the Revolutionary war. I also see boundary conflicts (BC) as 4Ts.  All BC's are 4T but not all 4T (e.g. the Armada crisis) are BCs.

This means I expect this 4T to be a BC, which means the trend in inequality must shift from rising to falling before the 4T is over.  Turchin does not think this, I believe.
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#7
Overpopulation no longer manifests itself in hunger. It now does so in urban sprawl. It simply makes life ugly with traffic jams, strip malls, resource drains, and bad apartment complexes.
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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#8
(10-24-2016, 08:40 PM)Mikebert Wrote: I've finished reading and digesting Turchin's new book and am finishing up my paper that tries to fix some of the problems.  The driver for the classical agrarian secular cycle was population growth.  As a population biologist he was at home with this.  Having success with it he tried to apply demographic concepts to industrial cycles to explain rising inequality. In my paper I show he made a simple error that invalidates the analysis. I show the differential rate between return to capital and wage growth is a better candidate.  This is Piketty's idea.  I show that it implies a shorter cycle length (about 90 years) than the older agrarian cycles (about two centuries).

The key difference is that Turchin does not see the Civil war as a secular cycle boundary conflict (a conflict shortly before a secular cycle border).  I see the secular cycle and the saeculum as essentially the same cycle since the Revolutionary war. I also see boundary conflicts (BC) as 4Ts.  All BC's are 4T but not all 4T (e.g. the Armada crisis) are BCs.

This means I expect this 4T to be a BC, which means the trend in inequality must shift from rising to falling before the 4T is over.  Turchin does not think this, I believe.

I sincerely hope you're right.  allowing inequality to rise beyond a certain point is guaranteed to create havoc.  I would be nice to avoid it.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#9
(10-24-2016, 08:40 PM)Mikebert Wrote: I've finished reading and digesting Turchin's new book and am finishing up my paper that tries to fix some of the problems.  The driver for the classical agrarian secular cycle was population growth.  As a population biologist he was at home with this.  Having success with it he tried to apply demographic concepts to industrial cycles to explain rising inequality. In my paper I show he made a simple error that invalidates the analysis. I show the differential rate between return to capital and wage growth is a better candidate.  This is Piketty's idea.  I show that it implies a shorter cycle length (about 90 years) than the older agrarian cycles (about two centuries).

The key difference is that Turchin does not see the Civil war as a secular cycle boundary conflict (a conflict shortly before a secular cycle border).  I see the secular cycle and the saeculum as essentially the same cycle since the Revolutionary war. I also see boundary conflicts (BC) as 4Ts.  All BC's are 4T but not all 4T (e.g. the Armada crisis) are BCs.

This means I expect this 4T to be a BC, which means the trend in inequality must shift from rising to falling before the 4T is over.  Turchin does not think this, I believe.

I wonder if there's still a connection to demographics.  Even in an industrial society, population growth should result in oversupply of labor and a decrease in the wage to capital ratio.  It's possible that within the U.S., the loosening of immigration laws in the 1960s and 1970s is what tilted the balance to capital since then.
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#10
(10-27-2016, 04:25 PM)David Horn Wrote:
(10-24-2016, 08:40 PM)Mikebert Wrote: I've finished reading and digesting Turchin's new book and am finishing up my paper that tries to fix some of the problems.  The driver for the classical agrarian secular cycle was population growth.  As a population biologist he was at home with this.  Having success with it he tried to apply demographic concepts to industrial cycles to explain rising inequality. In my paper I show he made a simple error that invalidates the analysis. I show the differential rate between return to capital and wage growth is a better candidate.  This is Piketty's idea.  I show that it implies a shorter cycle length (about 90 years) than the older agrarian cycles (about two centuries).

The key difference is that Turchin does not see the Civil war as a secular cycle boundary conflict (a conflict shortly before a secular cycle border).  I see the secular cycle and the saeculum as essentially the same cycle since the Revolutionary war. I also see boundary conflicts (BC) as 4Ts.  All BC's are 4T but not all 4T (e.g. the Armada crisis) are BCs.

This means I expect this 4T to be a BC, which means the trend in inequality must shift from rising to falling before the 4T is over.  Turchin does not think this, I believe.

I sincerely hope you're right.  allowing inequality to rise beyond a certain point is guaranteed to create havoc.  I would be nice to avoid it.

If by havoc you mean violence, I'm afraid we probably aren't going to avoid that.  These turnarounds are always accompanied by significant violence.  It is possible, even likely, that the predominant form of this violence will be the spree shooting with which we are already familiar.  Last time the turnaround occurred over 1907-1941.  There was a major spike in deadly sociopolitical instability over the 1912-1922 period that I call the "Red Panic" from its 1919 peak called Red Summer, and the hysteria of Leftist (or "red") terrorism that led to the Palmer raids at the same time.  This 11 year period contains 219 separate episodes of group violence with over 1300 dead in total.

Immigration restriction over 1921-24 was a response to this violence.  Over 2009-2016 we have seen an (ongoing) spike in violence with 125 episodes of mass shootings with over 600 dead (and counting). One of the presidential candidates has called for a complete shutdown of Muslim (read terrorist) immigration.  The same candidate has called Mexican immigrants rapists, murderers and the worst people, and wants to build a wall to keep them out. Seems like history repeating.

Turchin believes that immigration restriction was the actual policy that brought about the inequality trend reversal (this is in line with what Anthony '58 thinks).  I disagree and believe instead that it was the brought about by policies that reduced the after-tax return on investment (mostly high taxes and pro-worker policies).

It was not until 1932 that these policies started to be introduced and so I believe that a lot of the heavy-lifting on the inequality reversal occurred in the 1930's and early 1940's.  That said, I also believe that immigration restriction (1924) and high tariffs (1930) also played a role.  Hence I supported Sanders in the primary and I have some (but not much) sympathy for anti-immigration folks.  The centerpiece of any inequality trend reversal is confiscatory taxes on very high income Americans with significantly higher taxes for folks farther down the income ladder (including me).  Should this happen I will resent it mightily.  But, sigh, for us to go on it must be so.

If we don't do this (and I am pretty sure we won't) the bear will start the process.  Hence the forecast for more great devaluations.  We may never learn.  Look the bear rose up in Japan in 1989 and he still rules, nearly 30 years later.  We could easily be having this same discussion in 2030 should we both still be living. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, America will always do the wise thing, but only after trying all the foolish things first.

This is how great nations and empires fall.  When folly becomes the only acceptable course of action.
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#11
(10-24-2016, 08:40 PM)Mikebert Wrote: I've finished reading and digesting Turchin's new book and am finishing up my paper that tries to fix some of the problems.  The driver for the classical agrarian secular cycle was population growth.  As a population biologist he was at home with this.  Having success with it he tried to apply demographic concepts to industrial cycles to explain rising inequality. In my paper I show he made a simple error that invalidates the analysis. I show the differential rate between return to capital and wage growth is a better candidate.  This is Piketty's idea.  I show that it implies a shorter cycle length (about 90 years) than the older agrarian cycles (about two centuries).

The key difference is that Turchin does not see the Civil war as a secular cycle boundary conflict (a conflict shortly before a secular cycle border).  I see the secular cycle and the saeculum as essentially the same cycle since the Revolutionary war. I also see boundary conflicts (BC) as 4Ts.  All BC's are 4T but not all 4T (e.g. the Armada crisis) are BCs.

This means I expect this 4T to be a BC, which means the trend in inequality must shift from rising to falling before the 4T is over.  Turchin does not think this, I believe.

I submitted my paper on Friday.  Now it goes to the reviewers who will rip it apart I am sure.
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#12
(10-28-2016, 12:16 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: I wonder if there's still a connection to demographics.  Even in an industrial society, population growth should result in oversupply of labor and a decrease in the wage to capital ratio.

Why?
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#13
(12-17-2016, 04:17 PM)Mikebert Wrote:
(10-28-2016, 12:16 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: I wonder if there's still a connection to demographics.  Even in an industrial society, population growth should result in oversupply of labor and a decrease in the wage to capital ratio.

Why?

Basic economics.  Natural population growth results in an increase in the number of people of working age, and thus in the supply of labor.  Since it doesn't increase the supply of capital, that makes labor relatively more plentiful and thus less valuable.  Wages will fall, while the return on capital will rise.
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#14
(12-18-2016, 03:46 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(12-17-2016, 04:17 PM)Mikebert Wrote:
(10-28-2016, 12:16 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: I wonder if there's still a connection to demographics.  Even in an industrial society, population growth should result in oversupply of labor and a decrease in the wage to capital ratio.

Why?

Basic economics.  Natural population growth results in an increase in the number of people of working age, and thus in the supply of labor.  Since it doesn't increase the supply of capital, that makes labor relatively more plentiful and thus less valuable.  Wages will fall, while the return on capital will rise.

Production and consumer demand also rise. That also increases the amount of capital, especially if a larger population implies lower real wages (higher real estate prices and rents would themselves do the trick). A big portion of profit becomes productive capital lest the economy falter. Bubbles of course happen when capital goes into commodity and real-estate speculation, as if events of about a decade ago did not result in a very harsh lesson.
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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#15
(12-18-2016, 10:15 PM)pbrower2a Wrote:
(12-18-2016, 03:46 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(12-17-2016, 04:17 PM)Mikebert Wrote:
(10-28-2016, 12:16 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: I wonder if there's still a connection to demographics.  Even in an industrial society, population growth should result in oversupply of labor and a decrease in the wage to capital ratio.

Why?

Basic economics.  Natural population growth results in an increase in the number of people of working age, and thus in the supply of labor.  Since it doesn't increase the supply of capital, that makes labor relatively more plentiful and thus less valuable.  Wages will fall, while the return on capital will rise.

Production and consumer demand also rise. That also increases the amount of capital, especially if a larger population implies lower real wages (higher real estate prices and rents would themselves do the trick). A big portion of profit becomes productive capital lest the economy falter. Bubbles of course happen when capital goes into commodity and real-estate speculation, as if events of about a decade ago did not result in a very harsh lesson.

Production and consumer demand would increase the demand for capital investment, but would not in and of themselves increase the amount of capital.

As you say, though, the higher return on capital would, in time, result in growth in the capital stock.  If the population growth eventually stopped, this would eventually permit a return to a high wage, low return on capital regime.
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#16
(12-18-2016, 03:46 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(12-17-2016, 04:17 PM)Mikebert Wrote:
(10-28-2016, 12:16 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: I wonder if there's still a connection to demographics.  Even in an industrial society, population growth should result in oversupply of labor and a decrease in the wage to capital ratio.

Why?

Basic economics.  Natural population growth results in an increase in the number of people of working age, and thus in the supply of labor.  Since it doesn't increase the supply of capital, that makes labor relatively more plentiful and thus less valuable.  Wages will fall, while the return on capital will rise.
 You are making an assumption here that the supply of capital is limiting.  If this were true then capital would be highly priced (i.e. dividends would be high, 4-5%)  Are they?  Seems to me they are about 2%, less than government bonds.  Capitalists would not be deploying capital for a 2% return if they had other options.  Capital has been in surplus and has been since dividend yields fell below 3% in 1992.

This is probably why the Phillips curve stopped working in the early 1990's as I discussed almost 20 years ago. (This page has been gone for more than a decade, but I found it on the wayback machine):

http://web.archive.org/web/2004020302481...llips.html
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#17
(12-18-2016, 03:46 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(12-17-2016, 04:17 PM)Mikebert Wrote:
(10-28-2016, 12:16 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: I wonder if there's still a connection to demographics.  Even in an industrial society, population growth should result in oversupply of labor and a decrease in the wage to capital ratio.

Why?

Basic economics.  Natural population growth results in an increase in the number of people of working age, and thus in the supply of labor.  Since it doesn't increase the supply of capital, that makes labor relatively more plentiful and thus less valuable.  Wages will fall, while the return on capital will rise.

Randians such as yourself tend to forget the Keynesian truths. Population growth provides more customers for business, which then grows and expands and becomes more profitable, increasing wages along with it. That's why business and labor have insisted on growth for 2 centuries now.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#18
(10-23-2016, 11:21 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: It's not clear to me how that differs from how Democrats viewed GWBush in the 2000 election. 

It's not hard to see. Bush ran on tax cuts.  If Democrats had opposed Bush's agenda as Republicans did with Obama, the Republicans would have needed 60 votes to pass them. Both would have failed.  Both passed--Democrats did not filibuster his electoral promises since he did win. When Obama ran on universal health care and won, Republicans did filibuster his effort to fulfill his cmapaign promise.  He won, but Republicans did not care--his voters were not real Americans and so don't count as much.
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