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Is Trump embracing aggressive withdrawal?
#61
(02-25-2017, 02:02 PM)SomeGuy Wrote:
Quote:Thus why the Dutch example Mikebert brings up might be the best one.

However, China has always been an inward looking power, not an outward looking one.  They've never had sufficient sustained interest to maintain overseas colonies.  There might be minor border clashes with Russia or on the East and South China Seas, but the risk is accidental escalation, not some expansionary conspiracy.

Emphasis mine.  The first part does not match with the second two.  How is a small, outward-looking, maritime power with overseas colony "the best" model for a large, inward-focused continental power with little history of external colonization?  Is China surrounded by larger, more powerful neighbors?  In fear of being overrun by the same?  Do they have a history of overseas colonies, or expanding their influence along their borders?

Sorry.  The first of those paragraphs was about which example might be the best assuming, for the sake of argument, that China was trying to establish a maritime empire, which I thought was what you and Mikebert were discussing.  The second was why China is more likely not trying to establish a maritime empire, and thus why the first paragraph is moot.

Quote:
Quote:The Russo-Georgian war marked the beginning of actual military adventurism on the part of Russia.  That's something to be concerned about.

Really?  Did the Russians seize Tbilisi while I wasn't looking?  Pretty sure even the EU reported that hostilities began in earnest with the Georgian army invading Tskhinvali.  Why is the Georgian separation from the USSR legitimate, but not the South Ossetian and Abkazian separation from Georgia?  Has Putin annexed those countries?

Are we really going to try to lecture people on "military adventurism" in the 21st century?  Not sure we should be throwing stones while living in this nice glass house we've been building.

Quote:You have to admit, there are parallels between Crimea and South Ossetia and East Ukraine on the one hand, and the Ruhr, the Sudeten, and Austria on the other.

I don't have to admit anything of the sort.  Fatuous comparisons to 1938 have been made every couple of years since the end of the war.  As I have commented previously, for some people, it's always 1938 somewhere.

Quote:Thus far, the US and NATO have been holding this adventurism somewhat in check.  There needs to be a balance, though.  If Europe were to go into full appeasement mode, we might see the rest of Georgia and Ukraine occupied, and then the Baltics and more.  At that point one could easily see Putin's domestic popularity becoming dependent on further adventurism.  And you know what resulted the last time that happened.

Yup, HITLER HITLER HITLER HITLER!  Why?  Because HITLER! Rolleyes

What exactly has prevented Putin from annexing Georgia?  They have no security guarantee from the US or NATO (but I repeat myself), no means of militarily defeating the Russian Army.  Hitler had completely annexed several neighboring countries of some size and launched a bid for hegemony within, what, 6 years of attaining power?  Putin has been in charge for 17 years and he has annexed one region that had historically been part of Russia and tried to join it again in the early 90s, and propped up a handful of microstates along its borders.  He hasn't even annexed Belarus, which at one point was amenable to the idea (Lukashenko liked the idea of a bigger stage).  Not really the stuff of which grand imperial bids are made.

As for the EU, they collectively have several times the population, wealth, and military spending of the Russian Federation.  They are more than capable of defending themselves if they truly wanted to.  And if they don't?  If Putin seizes territory in the Ukraine and Georgia which genuinely doesn't want to be part of Russia, they will have an insurgency to deal with, with all the losses in blood, treasure, and political capital that would entail.  If they really want those problems they are welcome to them, I don't see how that impedes American interests at all.

Quote:That's not hysteria, that's realism.  

It sounds more like the National Review talking to me, and to those people "realism" is an epithet more than a possible.  True realism entails taking a hard look at the US' actual interests, and the means it has available to attain them.  I don't think that picking a fight with a small, weaker nuclear-armed power over inconsequential scraps of land really qualifies.

Check out my earlier post where I pointed out circumstances where we could have allied with Hitler in WWII.  At some point we need to quit using him as a boogeyman so we can learn genuine historical lessons from him.

In answer to your explicit questions, (1) The Russians got their propaganda out quickly regarding the invasion through South Ossetia, but in fact what happened was that US satellite info was shared with Georgia showing the Russian assault columns going into the tunnel first.  Georgian forces raced to confront the Russians at a choke point in South Ossetia, but the Russians made it there first.  The Russians stopped the instant US aircraft touched down in Georgia carrying Georgian troops from Iraq; Putin is not so stupid as to risk direct confrontation with the US in present circumstances.  Western reports were incorrect because western reporters did not see the classified satellite info about the Russians starting their invasion, but did see the Georgian response, and the Georgian government was trying to maintain operational secrecy in order to ambush the incoming Russian column.  It was possible to piece this together from accounts in the Ukrainian press at the time plus later accounts, but it wasn't easy to figure out.  (2) The EU is incapable of defending itself because it has no military.  What's relevant are the individual countries, and the NATO alliance, of which the US is a part.

As for Hitler, check out my earlier post to John regarding realistic circumstances where we could have allied with Hitler in WWII.  At some point we need to quite treating him as a bugaboo so we can draw useful historical lessons from him.

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Quote:Now, there has been some hysteria since the election started, but that's just motivated by a desire on the left to attack Trump using any tool they have.  That hysteria is tied to being out of political power, so it won't translate to policy.  The Democrats are not going to nominate someone in 2020 on the basis that he advocates war with Russia.

Yeah, those people are scum.  Although, you know, they nominated somebody in 2016 who seemed really enthusiastic about war with Russia.  It's not unreasonable to assume that the 2020 candidate might do the same.

Good point.  Bleh.

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Quote:Thus far, the Trump administration has been doing an excellent job.  The guy who supported giving all of Ukraine to Russia was kicked out, but there has only been lip service on return of Crimea, without actual action.  We've inserted ourselves back into the process on ISIS by proposing concessions to NATO ally Turkey in return for cooperation with Russia on the rest of Syria, and gaining valuable experience in balance of power politics in the process.  This is a big improvement over the Obama "speak loudly, and flail about randomly with a twig" strategy.

I voted for him, and thus far I am reasonable pleased with the result.  McMaster is a huge improvement over Flynn, even if I find the circumstances of the latter's ouster a little questionable.

The public story on Flynn is not the whole story.  If you're interested, I can dig up some references on what probably actually happened.
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#62
Quote:Sorry.  The first of those paragraphs was about which example might be the best assuming, for the sake of argument, that China was trying to establish a maritime empire, which I thought was what you and Mikebert were discussing.  The second was why China is more likely not trying to establish a maritime empire, and thus why the first paragraph is moot.


Hegemons in recent eras have tended to be maritime powers.  It is a little more complicated than what was talked about in M & T, as the powers identified by them as "hegemons" were not necessarily the most powerful countries at the time.  Mike discussed this with you or Dave previously, I believe.

There are factors owing to China's industrialization and present geopolitical backdrop that make a certain amount of maritime expansion likely.  However, for reasons mentioned by both you and I, I don't think it will behave the same way that insular or near-insular (the Dutch flooded their dykes several times to prevent land invasions) states that reached that status did.

Quote:(1) The Russians got their propaganda out quickly regarding the invasion through South Ossetia, but in fact what happened was that US satellite info was shared with Georgia showing the Russian assault columns going into the tunnel first.  Georgian forces raced to confront the Russians at a choke point in South Ossetia, but the Russians made it there first.  The Russians stopped the instant US aircraft touched down in Georgia carrying Georgian troops from Iraq; Putin is not so stupid as to risk direct confrontation with the US in present circumstances.  Western reports were incorrect because western reporters did not see the classified satellite info about the Russians starting their invasion, but did see the Georgian response, and the Georgian government was trying to maintain operational secrecy in order to ambush the incoming Russian column.  It was possible to piece this together from accounts in the Ukrainian press at the time plus later accounts, but it wasn't easy to figure out.


I'd like to see some sources on that.  Ideally from something a little more reputable than the "Ukrainian press", if you don't mind.

Quote:(2) The EU is incapable of defending itself because it has no military.  What's relevant are the individual countries, and the NATO alliance, of which the US is a part.

That seems like their problem, not ours.  Russia does not have the power to overrun the whole continent (and I doubt much of a desire, either), and if it seemed like they were looking to make the effort the Europeans have the resources and structures in place to resist on their own.  If Putin or a successor like Rogozin (just throwing names out there) actually made the effort to occupy and absorb the Ukraine, it might even have a salutory effect for US geopolitical interests by reducing their ability to project influence elsewhere and convincing the EU to spend money on something other than subsidies for French farmers and Arab refugees.

Just a thought.

Quote:As for Hitler, check out my earlier post to John regarding realistic circumstances where we could have allied with Hitler in WWII.  At some point we need to quite treating him as a bugaboo so we can draw useful historical lessons from him.

I saw it, and I agree with you.  As I mentioned in the Bannon thread, it is fairly easy to imagine a scenario where the West allied with fascists against the Communists rather than the other way round, in the same way that we propped up right-wing dictatorships during the Cold War.

I have no objection to treating him as a historical figure, I was simply objecting to you reaching for a lazy historical reference that has been used repeatedly to justify US intervention just about anywhere, for any reason.

Quote:Good point.  Bleh.

Like I said, there's a certain amount of hysteria involved, here, namely on the Left, and their fellow travelers among the neocons.

Quote:The public story on Flynn is not the whole story.  If you're interested, I can dig up some references on what probably actually happened.

If you don't mind, I would love to read them.  It wasn't something I followed that closely (I have been fairly busy recently).
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#63
(02-25-2017, 04:51 PM)SomeGuy Wrote:
Quote:(1) The Russians got their propaganda out quickly regarding the invasion through South Ossetia, but in fact what happened was that US satellite info was shared with Georgia showing the Russian assault columns going into the tunnel first.  Georgian forces raced to confront the Russians at a choke point in South Ossetia, but the Russians made it there first.  The Russians stopped the instant US aircraft touched down in Georgia carrying Georgian troops from Iraq; Putin is not so stupid as to risk direct confrontation with the US in present circumstances.  Western reports were incorrect because western reporters did not see the classified satellite info about the Russians starting their invasion, but did see the Georgian response, and the Georgian government was trying to maintain operational secrecy in order to ambush the incoming Russian column.  It was possible to piece this together from accounts in the Ukrainian press at the time plus later accounts, but it wasn't easy to figure out.

I'd like to see some sources on that.  Ideally from something a little more reputable than the "Ukrainian press", if you don't mind.

I'm going to cop out a bit and send you to a wikipedia article that seems to have the story straight.  It has plenty of references so you can likely find what you want there.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Responsibi...orgian_War

Okay, p14 of this (which I found through another Wikipedia article) provides some more detail:

http://www.webcitation.org/6NfjIqxcy?url...gia-PP.pdf

Quote:
Quote:(2) The EU is incapable of defending itself because it has no military.  What's relevant are the individual countries, and the NATO alliance, of which the US is a part.

That seems like their problem, not ours.  Russia does not have the power to overrun the whole continent (and I doubt much of a desire, either), and if it seemed like they were looking to make the effort the Europeans have the resources and structures in place to resist on their own.  If Putin or a successor like Rogozin (just throwing names out there) actually made the effort to occupy and absorb the Ukraine, it might even have a salutory effect for US geopolitical interests by reducing their ability to project influence elsewhere and convincing the EU to spend money on something other than subsidies for French farmers and Arab refugees.

Just a thought.

It's our problem because we're part of NATO.  And we want NATO to stick around because, basically, it's an alliance that gives us control over the European military and prevents them from becoming a geopolitical rival.

Keep in mind that the EU, along with the rest of the world, pay us hundreds of billions in "inflation tax" for our protection and policing of the world in general, and trade routes in particular.

Granted we should use our leverage to negotiate more favorable trade arrangements with the EU, which are currently slanted against us.  In retrospect, when globalization was happening after the fall of the Soviet Union, we should have taken more pains to make sure it benefited us rather than just benefiting the rest of the world; we should work on fixing that now.

Quote:
Quote:As for Hitler, check out my earlier post to John regarding realistic circumstances where we could have allied with Hitler in WWII.  At some point we need to quite treating him as a bugaboo so we can draw useful historical lessons from him.

I saw it, and I agree with you.  As I mentioned in the Bannon thread, it is fairly easy to imagine a scenario where the West allied with fascists against the Communists rather than the other way round, in the same way that we propped up right-wing dictatorships during the Cold War.

I have no objection to treating him as a historical figure, I was simply objecting to you reaching for a lazy historical reference that has been used repeatedly to justify US intervention just about anywhere, for any reason.


There was nothing lazy about it:  I pointed out actual parallels.  I would agree that "Saddam Hussein is Hitler" was a big stretch back in 1990 - I interpreted it as an aging Bush wanting to relive his glory days - but the parallels here are closer.

Quote:
Quote:The public story on Flynn is not the whole story.  If you're interested, I can dig up some references on what probably actually happened.

If you don't mind, I would love to read them.  It wasn't something I followed that closely (I have been fairly busy recently).

https://geopoliticalfutures.com/the-flynn-drama1/

Flynn's rumored plan to install a Russia friendly administration in Ukraine I may have read in another source, but while that was a pretty specific rumor, it was still only a rumor.
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#64
(02-25-2017, 04:51 PM)SomeGuy Wrote: I saw it, and I agree with you.  As I mentioned in the Bannon thread, it is fairly easy to imagine a scenario where the West allied with fascists against the Communists rather than the other way round, in the same way that we propped up right-wing dictatorships during the Cold War.

Hitler was far more aggressive and engaged in conquest than the Soviets were.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#65
Quote:I'm going to cop out a bit and send you to a wikipedia article that seems to have the story straight.  It has plenty of references so you can likely find what you want there.


That is not at all adequate.  Wikipedia articles about politically contentious subjects are fairly worthless, and there were no real conclusions in the body of the article, just a lot of he said and she said from various analysts.

Quote:Okay, p14 of this (which I found through another Wikipedia article) provides some more detail:

A little heavy on opinion.  I also don't see much evidence of a premeditated attack on frolicking peasants by the evil Russians OR Georgians provided.  Looks like the runup to a very ordinary sort of conflict.

Quote:It's our problem because we're part of NATO.  And we want NATO to stick around because, basically, it's an alliance that gives us control over the European military and prevents them from becoming a geopolitical rival.

As I said, the Russian military is not capable of seizing the EU, and any supposed imperial benefits from keeping the Europeans in a subservient state are more than outweighed by the risks of conflict generated by weaker states playing fast and loose with their larger neighbor because they believe we have their back.

Quote:Keep in mind that the EU, along with the rest of the world, pay us hundreds of billions in "inflation tax" for our protection and policing of the world in general, and trade routes in particular.

Granted we should use our leverage to negotiate more favorable trade arrangements with the EU, which are currently slanted against us.  In retrospect, when globalization was happening after the fall of the Soviet Union, we should have taken more pains to make sure it benefited us rather than just benefiting the rest of the world; we should work on fixing that now.

Most of which is unfortunately recycled back into the US security state, and the currency flows (the "eurodollar") you mention have been instrumental in exacerbating and accelerating the process of deindustrialization and financialization.

I'm not saying we have to cut loose completely and aim for autarchy, only that the Cold War is over and we need to wind up these imperial commitments.

Quote:There was nothing lazy about it:  I pointed out actual parallels.  I would agree that "Saddam Hussein is Hitler" was a big stretch back in 1990 - I interpreted it as an aging Bush wanting to relive his glory days - but the parallels here are closer.

What parallels?  Like I said before, Hitler annexed multiple countries and started a bid for global conquest within 6 years or so of coming to power.  Putin has been in for 17 and has the Crimea (already majority Russian, the host of a major part of the Russian Navy, and a longrunning historical part of the Russian state), plus a few ragtag microstates he's propping up.

Quote:https://geopoliticalfutures.com/the-flynn-drama1/

Flynn's rumored plan to install a Russia friendly administration in Ukraine I may have read in another source, but while that was a pretty specific rumor, it was still only a rumor.

Really?  Look, if you don't have sources, you don't have sources.  Please don't claim you do, then serve me up a load of tripe and gossip.
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#66
(02-25-2017, 09:09 PM)Eric the Green Wrote:
(02-25-2017, 04:51 PM)SomeGuy Wrote: I saw it, and I agree with you.  As I mentioned in the Bannon thread, it is fairly easy to imagine a scenario where the West allied with fascists against the Communists rather than the other way round, in the same way that we propped up right-wing dictatorships during the Cold War.

Hitler was far more aggressive and engaged in conquest than the Soviets were.

Which is why we allied with Stalin vs Hitler, and not the other way round.  Had Germany ended up with a different sort of far-right figure (more like Horthy, perhaps) and the USSR one more committed to the idea of world revolution (Trotsky?), it is not difficult to imagine a different sort of WWII.
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#67
(02-25-2017, 10:26 PM)SomeGuy Wrote:
(02-25-2017, 09:09 PM)Eric the Green Wrote:
(02-25-2017, 04:51 PM)SomeGuy Wrote: I saw it, and I agree with you.  As I mentioned in the Bannon thread, it is fairly easy to imagine a scenario where the West allied with fascists against the Communists rather than the other way round, in the same way that we propped up right-wing dictatorships during the Cold War.

Hitler was far more aggressive and engaged in conquest than the Soviets were.

Which is why we allied with Stalin vs Hitler, and not the other way round.  Had Germany ended up with a different sort of far-right figure (more like Horthy, perhaps) and the USSR one more committed to the idea of world revolution (Trotsky?), it is not difficult to imagine a different sort of WWII.

That's right. SomeGuy has lurched uncontrollably into the truth.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#68
(02-25-2017, 02:16 PM)SomeGuy Wrote:
Quote:This makes sense. Where I am coming form is based on the notion the next Macrodecision phase will be settled mid-century-about one typical cycle length after 1945.  By then China could have twice the GDP as the US and twice the military power.  Thus it would be able to simultaneously deploy a land military superiority wrt to Russia AND a sea military superior wrt to the US without breaking a sweat.  A no-longer hegemonic America will still be dominant in its own hemisphere because of logistical advantages.  This still leaves large regions of the globe as China's sphere of interest. 

I still see the current issues not as a precursor to a Global War, but rather to a Supplementary War phase.  China and Russia are really trying to "round off the borders of their empire" as did Russia in WW II, Prussia in the mid-19th century, and Britain in the Seven Years War.

I agree with you.  I am simply trying to point out that this does not preclude the coming climax of this 4T being the opening act.  Look at the last macrodecision phase, 2 total wars spaced roughly 20 years apart, with the first one setting the conditions for the second.  Look at the one before that, which included both the Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic ones, with again the second part inextricable from the first.  We can go back further still, with the Glorious Revolution enabled by Louis XIV's invasion of the Palatinate in 1688, which then precipitated the 9 years War, and brief respite, and then another conflict between the same combatants over the Spanish Succession.

A conclusion of the macrodecision phase by mid-century does not preclude a conflict in the 2020s.  This conflict could drag on all the way through, or it could go in spurts, like the last one.  Or we could have a civil conflict of some form in one or more of the contenders, that could set the stage for a great power conflict of some sort in, say, the 2040s.

I agree that China and Russia are just trying to consolidate their sphere of influence as they emerge from the wreckage of Communism (each of them in different ways), but I also think that the US is presently ideologically incapable of dealing with either of them in those terms.  And, given the events surrounding Flynn's deposition, I am concerned with Trump's ability to fully contend with the forces within the US power establishment most committed to "sustaining" (in reality further eroding) the US' hegemonic moment.
Using the last Macrodecision phase as a model should take into consideration that the cycle in which it occurred was anomalously long - 130 years.  Should we then be looking for a 130 year cycle this time?  The reason why I am not so sure to assume major hot wars spanning a thirty year period is because this cycle is missing its supplementary war.  There simply was no analog to the 17th century Thirty Years war, 18th century Wars of Aus. Sec. + 7 year war, 19th century Crimean + wars of national unification.  Where's the mid-cycle great power coalition war?

If this war did not happen, why are you so sure the MD war is going to happen?
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#69
(02-25-2017, 10:23 PM)SomeGuy Wrote:
Quote:I'm going to cop out a bit and send you to a wikipedia article that seems to have the story straight.  It has plenty of references so you can likely find what you want there.

That is not at all adequate.  Wikipedia articles about politically contentious subjects are fairly worthless, and there were no real conclusions in the body of the article, just a lot of he said and she said from various analysts.

Quote:Okay, p14 of this (which I found through another Wikipedia article) provides some more detail:

A little heavy on opinion.  I also don't see much evidence of a premeditated attack on frolicking peasants by the evil Russians OR Georgians provided.  Looks like the runup to a very ordinary sort of conflict.

Sorry, I keep forgetting that as a millenial, when you ask for a source you're expecting something that will resolve the issue for you with incontrovertible proof.  As a boomer, I'm used to reading multiple sources and resolving things for myself through judgement and deduction.  When you ask for a source from me, please keep in mind it is likely to be data to consider and work into your own world view, not a completely new gestalt to adopt.

Quote:
Quote:It's our problem because we're part of NATO.  And we want NATO to stick around because, basically, it's an alliance that gives us control over the European military and prevents them from becoming a geopolitical rival.

As I said, the Russian military is not capable of seizing the EU, and any supposed imperial benefits from keeping the Europeans in a subservient state are more than outweighed by the risks of conflict generated by weaker states playing fast and loose with their larger neighbor because they believe we have their back.

The Russian military is easily capable of seizing one EU state at a time until it gets to Germany if we don't have those weaker states' backs.  There's no evidence that any of those weaker states play "fast and loose" with Russia unless you count wanting to avoid becoming a Russian puppet state as "fast and loose".

Quote:
Quote:Keep in mind that the EU, along with the rest of the world, pay us hundreds of billions in "inflation tax" for our protection and policing of the world in general, and trade routes in particular.

Granted we should use our leverage to negotiate more favorable trade arrangements with the EU, which are currently slanted against us.  In retrospect, when globalization was happening after the fall of the Soviet Union, we should have taken more pains to make sure it benefited us rather than just benefiting the rest of the world; we should work on fixing that now.

Most of which is unfortunately recycled back into the US security state, and the currency flows (the "eurodollar") you mention have been instrumental in exacerbating and accelerating the process of deindustrialization and financialization.

I'm not saying we have to cut loose completely and aim for autarchy, only that the Cold War is over and we need to wind up these imperial commitments.

I think you have a distorted view of what the Cold War was like.

The Cold War was not a time of high military commitment on the part of the US.  In fact, the balance of terror from relatively cheap nuclear weapons meant that the requirements for conventional military capability expensive both in terms of money and lives was limited to relatively small, contained engagements.

The end of the Cold War greatly reduced the threat of global nuclear holocaust, but the downside was that it substantially increased the scope for conventional conflicts that would previously have been subsumed into the largely peaceful nuclear balance between the US and Soviet spheres.  It's no coincidence that within a couple years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the US was invading Iraq.

However, when the Cold War ended, the opportunity arose for the US becoming the hegemon for a global system of maritime commerce.  No other nation can do this, as no other regional power has substantial coasts on both the Atlantic and the Pacific.

So we have a choice.  We can accept the responsibilities of being a global maritime hegemon and facilitate a prosperous system of global commerce which we can turn to our own advantage to whatever extent we are willing to.  Or, we can allow the world to balkanize into less prosperous regions, allow ourselves to devolve to the level of other regional powers like China and Russia, and likely set ourselves up for a subsequent period of interregional warfare as the global regional system shakes itself out.

It doesn't cost us anything to be the global maritime hegemon.  Yes, we spend the direct monetary system benefits on military power, but so what?  Military power isn't a bad thing, especially if it's free.

As for trading assembly line jobs for higher value knowledge worker jobs in financial services, health care, and the associated information technology, why is that a bad thing?

Abandoning the world is not the solution.  Doing a better job of making sure more of the benefits of global free market commerce flow to us and not just to the rest of the world is.

Quote:
Quote:There was nothing lazy about it:  I pointed out actual parallels.  I would agree that "Saddam Hussein is Hitler" was a big stretch back in 1990 - I interpreted it as an aging Bush wanting to relive his glory days - but the parallels here are closer.

What parallels?  Like I said before, Hitler annexed multiple countries and started a bid for global conquest within 6 years or so of coming to power.  Putin has been in for 17 and has the Crimea (already majority Russian, the host of a major part of the Russian Navy, and a longrunning historical part of the Russian state), plus a few ragtag microstates he's propping up.

Parallels aren't necessarily exact repetitions.  Putin has been slower and more constrained in his aggression because the US has been more constraining than Britain was in the 1930s.  There's little doubt he would have taken over the rest of Georgia had the US not demonstrated backing for the Georgian government.  And let's not forget that the Ruhr was German and Austria and the Sudeten were majority German if you consider Crimea to have been majority Russian.  Even Danzig was "a longrunning historical part of the" German state.

None of which is to say we need to destroy Russia.  What we should do is continue to prevent him from overreaching so as to prevent him from precipitating another world war.

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Quote:
Quote:Quote:
Quote: Wrote:The public story on Flynn is not the whole story.  If you're interested, I can dig up some references on what probably actually happened.

If you don't mind, I would love to read them.  It wasn't something I followed that closely (I have been fairly busy recently).

https://geopoliticalfutures.com/the-flynn-drama1/

Flynn's rumored plan to install a Russia friendly administration in Ukraine I may have read in another source, but while that was a pretty specific rumor, it was still only a rumor.

Really?  Look, if you don't have sources, you don't have sources.  Please don't claim you do, then serve me up a load of tripe and gossip.

Again, I advertised a source on what "probably" happened, not proof, and that's what I gave you at the link.  Friedman is pretty accurate on this stuff, as evidenced by his having founded both Stratfor and GPF, which people actually pay for, unlike the stuff from people here.

If you want absolute proof, then please don't make me go to the trouble of providing sources that I explicitly advertise as "probably" rather than certainties.
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#70
Quote:Sorry, I keep forgetting that as a millenial, when you ask for a source you're expecting something that will resolve the issue for you with incontrovertible proof.

Really?  Is that a feature of millennials?  I must have missed that part of the book.  Wink
Quote:As a boomer, I'm used to reading multiple sources and resolving things for myself through judgement and deduction.

Deduction, eh?  I'd love to see the chain of reasoning on that one.  I dunno, a Wikipedia article and a blogpost filled with a bunch of hear-say (no doubt a phrase of Millennial origin)?  This looks less like "judgement and deduction" then a quick sloppy search through the first couple of Google search pages looking for the first thing that confirms your biases.  John is a big fan of that one, too. Rolleyes
Quote:When you ask for a source from me, please keep in mind it is likely to be data to consider and work into your own world view, not a completely new gestalt to adopt.

Was there data?
Quote:The Russian military is easily capable of seizing one EU state at a time until it gets to Germany if we don't have those weaker states' backs.  There's no evidence that any of those weaker states play "fast and loose" with Russia unless you count wanting to avoid becoming a Russian puppet state as "fast and loose".

Capable of seizing AND holding?  We've had quite a bit of difficulty with the latter ourselves, what makes you think the Russians are so much better at it?
He hasn't even seized Eastern Ukraine, or Georgia.  Just a couple of tiny regions that wanted to be seized (and most of those are still notionally independent).  Bit premature to start worrying about his impending world conquest, isn't it?
Quote:I think you have a distorted view of what the Cold War was like.

The Cold War was not a time of high military commitment on the part of the US.  In fact, the balance of terror from relatively cheap nuclear weapons meant that the requirements for conventional military capability expensive both in terms of money and lives was limited to relatively small, contained engagements.

The end of the Cold War greatly reduced the threat of global nuclear holocaust, but the downside was that it substantially increased the scope for conventional conflicts that would previously have been subsumed into the largely peaceful nuclear balance between the US and Soviet spheres.  It's no coincidence that within a couple years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the US was invading Iraq.

Oh yes, the Cold War was characterized by comparatively limited engagements like Korea, Vietnam, and an enormous build-up of conventional forces on either side of the Iron Curtain.  Nothing like the mass carnage of Iraq or the rest of the GWOT.  God knows, neither side would have been willing to deploy conventional forces into Afghanistan during the Cold War.  Rolleyes

Quote:However, when the Cold War ended, the opportunity arose for the US becoming the hegemon for a global system of maritime commerce.

Is THAT when that started?  I'm sorry, I was young, I apparently missed the enormous buildup of US naval forces during the 90s.
Quote:So we have a choice.  We can accept the responsibilities of being a global maritime hegemon and facilitate a prosperous system of global commerce which we can turn to our own advantage to whatever extent we are willing to.  Or, we can allow the world to balkanize into less prosperous regions, allow ourselves to devolve to the level of other regional powers like China and Russia, and likely set ourselves up for a subsequent period of interregional warfare as the global regional system shakes itself out.

Oh my God, The Stupid, it burns!!  
We already accepted the responsibilities of global hegemon, decades ago.  That's why we have ships in the Black and South China Seas in the first place.  The material underpinnings of our national power have been decaying for years (particularly in relative terms), which is why I am recommending that we quit while we're still ahead, shore ourselves up, rather than go through the usual cycle of hegemonic war and decline that all previous hegemons have undergone.
Quote:It doesn't cost us anything to be the global maritime hegemon.  Yes, we spend the direct monetary system benefits on military power, but so what?  Military power isn't a bad thing, especially if it's free.

Yup, our defense budget is negligible.  Especially those supplemental wars we have been engaged in almost continuously for the last couple of decades.  They basically pay for themselves.  Rolleyes
What's the weather like on your planet?  Presumably not warming, right?
Quote:As for trading assembly line jobs for higher value knowledge worker jobs in financial services, health care, and the associated information technology, why is that a bad thing?

Oh sure, that's what everybody is doing right now, right?  There's been no fall-off in workforce participation, no stagnating of median incomes (adjusted for inflation) or surge in debt.  The economy is booming, right?  Everybody just shifted right into the new value-added positions with no disruption.
Quote:Abandoning the world is not the solution.  Doing a better job of making sure more of the benefits of global free market commerce flow to us and not just to the rest of the world is.

Yup, there are no intermediate states between what we are doing and total autarchy.  We're either invading Iraq and moving naval forces into the Western Pacific or we are enabling Hitler and sticking our heads in the sand.  Got it.  Wink
Quote:Parallels aren't necessarily exact repetitions.  Putin has been slower and more constrained in his aggression because the US has been more constraining than Britain was in the 1930s.

Is that why?  Do you have actual evidence to support that, or are you just going to make a claim about what you believe to be true and if I ask back it up with the first thing you find on Google?
Quote:There's little doubt he would have taken over the rest of Georgia had the US not demonstrated backing for the Georgian government.

Really?  'Murca scared him off?
Quote:And let's not forget that the Ruhr was German and Austria and the Sudeten were majority German if you consider Crimea to have been majority Russian.  Even Danzig was "a longrunning historical part of the" German state.

And had he confined himself to that I doubt anybody would have really cared.  I am still not seeing a pattern of megalomania here.  I mean, the US has been bombing and invading Muslim countries for a while now, does that mean we are engaged in another Crusade?
Quote:None of which is to say we need to destroy Russia.  What we should do is continue to prevent him from overreaching so as to prevent him from precipitating another world war.

I haven't seen much evidence of him overreaching.  He fought a very limited war with Georgia, seized the Crimea with hardly a shot fired, and has offered very limited support to two rebellious provinces in the Ukraine.  Even his Syrian intervention seems to have been quite limited and well-executed.  Personally, I am a lot more worried about us precipitating a world war then the other way round.
Quote:Again, I advertised a source on what "probably" happened, not proof, and that's what I gave you at the link.  Friedman is pretty accurate on this stuff, as evidenced by his having founded both Stratfor and GPF, which people actually pay for, unlike the stuff from people here.

I am actually a subscriber to Stratfor, and have been for years now.  George Friedman is always interesting to read, even if you should take him with a grain of salt (as you should anybody, really).  I was just looking for something a little more substantive.
If that's what you have, well, I'm not really sure it adds anything to what was already reported in the press.  But thanks for making the effort.
Reply
#71
Quote:[Someguy; quotation system getting wonky]
Capable of seizing AND holding?  We've had quite a bit of difficulty with the latter ourselves, what makes you think the Russians are so much better at it?

The fact that Russia has had no trouble maintaining control over all of the areas they've seized, including eastern Ukraine, South Ossetia, and Abkhazia.  They seem to be better at it than we are.

What's your idea about when to start worrying about someone bent on world conquest?  After they're done?  I'd prefer to nip it in the bud, thanks.

Quote:
Quote:I think you have a distorted view of what the Cold War was like.

The Cold War was not a time of high military commitment on the part of the US.  In fact, the balance of terror from relatively cheap nuclear weapons meant that the requirements for conventional military capability expensive both in terms of money and lives was limited to relatively small, contained engagements.

The end of the Cold War greatly reduced the threat of global nuclear holocaust, but the downside was that it substantially increased the scope for conventional conflicts that would previously have been subsumed into the largely peaceful nuclear balance between the US and Soviet spheres.  It's no coincidence that within a couple years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the US was invading Iraq.

Oh yes, the Cold War was characterized by comparatively limited engagements like Korea, Vietnam, and an enormous build-up of conventional forces on either side of the Iron Curtain.  Nothing like the mass carnage of Iraq or the rest of the GWOT.

There were a lot more people killed in wars we participated in in the decade after 1990 than in the decade before 1990.  Millions of people were killed in the two Iraq wars and by the intervening sanctions.  I grant that most of those killed were not Americans, but that was, if anything, because we devoted more military power to fighting, not less.

I grant that there was more combat earlier in the Cold War.  I'd argue that was part of the learning process, before we learned how to do it right under Reagan.  Still, averaging the Korean War and the Vietnam war over the 45 years of the Cold War gives a death rate in the 100,000 per year range, no higher and possibly lower than in Iraq alone after the end of the Cold War.

As a tangent, I would also like to note something not generally acknowledged.  We won the Cold War, just as much as we won WWII.  Total military and civilian deaths on all sides were an order of magnitude lower in the Cold War than in WWII, despite the existence of far greater destructive power.  From a cost benefit perspective, we did a much better job on the Cold War than we did in WWII, or in the wars we've had since the end of the Cold War.

Quote:
Quote:However, when the Cold War ended, the opportunity arose for the US becoming the hegemon for a global system of maritime commerce.

Is THAT when that started?  I'm sorry, I was young, I apparently missed the enormous buildup of US naval forces during the 90s.

Yes, seriously, that's absolutely when that started.  At the beginning of the 1990s, the US navy was only on a par with the Soviet navy, so obviously we didn't meet the requirements for being the maritime hegemon.  After the end of the cold war, the US navy rapidly got to the point where it was four times larger than the Russian navy, which was the next largest navy.  A buildup is not the only way to gain hegemonic power; defeating rivals works too.  Cool infographic here for other readers (not you, you'll consider it a flawed source):

http://www.popularmechanics.com/military...fographic/

Being a hegemon requires both absolute and relative power.  During the Cold War, we had the absolute power, but not the relative power.  It was only with the end of the Cold War that we got the relative power as well.  We didn't build more ships, but our navy became four times as strong relative to the closest rival, and twice as strong relative to the rest of the world combined.

Quote:
Quote:So we have a choice.  We can accept the responsibilities of being a global maritime hegemon and facilitate a prosperous system of global commerce which we can turn to our own advantage to whatever extent we are willing to.  Or, we can allow the world to balkanize into less prosperous regions, allow ourselves to devolve to the level of other regional powers like China and Russia, and likely set ourselves up for a subsequent period of interregional warfare as the global regional system shakes itself out.

Oh my God, The Stupid, it burns!!

We already accepted the responsibilities of global hegemon, decades ago.  That's why we have ships in the Black and South China Seas in the first place.  The material underpinnings of our national power have been decaying for years (particularly in relative terms), which is why I am recommending that we quit while we're still ahead, shore ourselves up, rather than go through the usual cycle of hegemonic war and decline that all previous hegemons have undergone.

So why should we give up when we're ahead?  Why not enjoy the hard won benefits for a few centuries before the decline sets in, rather than volunteering for immediate degredation to a second rate power?

Quote:
Quote:It doesn't cost us anything to be the global maritime hegemon.  Yes, we spend the direct monetary system benefits on military power, but so what?  Military power isn't a bad thing, especially if it's free.

Yup, our defense budget is negligible.  Especially those supplemental wars we have been engaged in almost continuously for the last couple of decades.  They basically pay for themselves.  Rolleyes

As you already agreed, we get substantial payment for our services in the form of an inflation tax on dollar reserves, that defrays related costs.

If by supplemental wars you mean Iraq, I don't agree that was required for our role as global maritime hegemon.  That whole fiasco started with an elderly Bush wanting to relive the glory days of his WWII youth by warring against dictators with moustaches.  Then the sins of the father were visited on the son in the form of the moral bankruptcy of sanctions that killed hundreds of thousands of children, and W had to finish what his dad started.

I would hope that in the future we can use subtler but more effective balance of power methods to achieve our goals.  For example, we have a nice three way balance in the middle east between Turkey, Iran, and the arabs, but Iran has been getting too strong for a while now.  Supporting Turkey in the Islamic State is the perfect solution, and the Trump administration seems to have figured that out.  We'll have to invest some treasure in the form of air support, but substantially less than we would with boots on the ground, and Turkey can supply the bulk of the blood.


Quote: 
Quote:As for trading assembly line jobs for higher value knowledge worker jobs in financial services, health care, and the associated information technology, why is that a bad thing?

Oh sure, that's what everybody is doing right now, right?  There's been no fall-off in workforce participation, no stagnating of median incomes (adjusted for inflation) or surge in debt.  The economy is booming, right?  Everybody just shifted right into the new value-added positions with no disruption.

The falloff in workforce participation is largely due to ill considered overgenerosity in welfare programs.  For example, food stamp benefits were already more than adequate and were inflation adjusted, but Obama pushed through an additional increase anyway.  He also expanded eligibility so that a family of 5 making $90k per year living in a million dollar house could collect food stamps.  He made it really easy to get onto SSDI and in general made it more profitable for many Americans to get on the government dole instead of working.  That problem is easily fixed by saying, "okay, you're right, Democrats, we've recovered from the recession, so we can return to prerecession welfare policies now."

There's a smaller component from the baby boom cohort entering retirement.  The best way to fix that is likely to increase the retirement age gradually to 70.  Hey, if Trump can work at a tough private sector job until age 70 before retiring to a cushy life on the government dime, the rest of us can too, right?

As I've discussed in other posts, the stagnation in median incomes dates to about 1970 and is pretty clearly traceable to easy immigration policies.  Slam the door on immigration and labor regains its bargaining  position relative to management, and wages will start going up with productivity again.  Overall the economy is doing fine; the problem is that all the benefit is going to billionaires and not workers.  Stop letting the billionaires import cheap labor and that problem is fixed.

The surge in debt is largely due to massive increases in the deficit in the early Obama years; the deficit has been declining ever since the Republicans took control of the House and should soon be down to sustainable levels.

Quote:
Quote:Abandoning the world is not the solution.  Doing a better job of making sure more of the benefits of global free market commerce flow to us and not just to the rest of the world is.

Yup, there are no intermediate states between what we are doing and total autarchy.  We're either invading Iraq and moving naval forces into the Western Pacific or we are enabling Hitler and sticking our heads in the sand.  Got it.  Wink

Actually, I am advocating an intermediate state.  Geographical realities dictate that we can be a global maritime hegemon, but not a complete global hegemon.  We don't need to invade Iraq but we should patrol the western Pacific.  We shouldn't enable Hitler but we can contain him without resorting to all out war.

What intermediate state are you advocating?  How is it different from total autarky?

Quote:
Quote:Parallels aren't necessarily exact repetitions.  Putin has been slower and more constrained in his aggression because the US has been more constraining than Britain was in the 1930s.

Is that why?  Do you have actual evidence to support that, or are you just going to make a claim about what you believe to be true and if I ask back it up with the first thing you find on Google?

Quote:There's little doubt he would have taken over the rest of Georgia had the US not demonstrated backing for the Georgian government.

Really?  'Murca scared him off?

Yes, really.  Unfortunately I've nothing from RT or TASS to convince you, though.  I do have a Russian language source, but it's a translation of something written by a Georgian defense minister, so I guess that's a no go too.

Quote:
Quote:And let's not forget that the Ruhr was German and Austria and the Sudeten were majority German if you consider Crimea to have been majority Russian.  Even Danzig was "a longrunning historical part of the" German state.

And had he confined himself to that I doubt anybody would have really cared.

And it's our job to confine Putin to that.  We've been doing a barely adequate job of it so far, but if we slack off, we're likely to get into trouble.  We need to keep doing it until the Russian government collapses financially; then we might have to save his behind somehow.  Offering him a cheap way out of Syria might be a good start on that.

Quote:Personally, I am a lot more worried about us precipitating a world war then the other way round.

I'm worried about that too, but that's not a reason to ignore the chance that Putin will start one.  It's just a reason to make sure we don't start one either, for example by not electing Hillary Clinton, who wanted to respond to Russian internet packets with physical bombs.

Quote:
Quote:Again, I advertised a source on what "probably" happened, not proof, and that's what I gave you at the link.  Friedman is pretty accurate on this stuff, as evidenced by his having founded both Stratfor and GPF, which people actually pay for, unlike the stuff from people here.

I am actually a subscriber to Stratfor, and have been for years now.  George Friedman is always interesting to read, even if you should take him with a grain of salt (as you should anybody, really).  I was just looking for something a little more substantive.
If that's what you have, well, I'm not really sure it adds anything to what was already reported in the press.  But thanks for making the effort.

Out of genuine curiosity, what other sources have you seen that reported Flynn getting kicked as a result of conflict with Tillerson and Mattis?
Reply
#72
(02-27-2017, 02:01 AM)Warren Dew Wrote:
Quote:[Someguy; quotation system getting wonky]
Capable of seizing AND holding?  We've had quite a bit of difficulty with the latter ourselves, what makes you think the Russians are so much better at it?

The fact that Russia has had no trouble maintaining control over all of the areas they've seized, including eastern Ukraine, South Ossetia, and Abkhazia.  They seem to be better at it than we are.

What's your idea about when to start worrying about someone bent on world conquest?  After they're done?  I'd prefer to nip it in the bud, thanks.

Yes, better; but they are better at it because they are holding adjacent territories that once belonged to them.

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:I think you have a distorted view of what the Cold War was like.

The Cold War was not a time of high military commitment on the part of the US.  In fact, the balance of terror from relatively cheap nuclear weapons meant that the requirements for conventional military capability expensive both in terms of money and lives was limited to relatively small, contained engagements.

The end of the Cold War greatly reduced the threat of global nuclear holocaust, but the downside was that it substantially increased the scope for conventional conflicts that would previously have been subsumed into the largely peaceful nuclear balance between the US and Soviet spheres.  It's no coincidence that within a couple years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the US was invading Iraq.

Oh yes, the Cold War was characterized by comparatively limited engagements like Korea, Vietnam, and an enormous build-up of conventional forces on either side of the Iron Curtain.  Nothing like the mass carnage of Iraq or the rest of the GWOT.

There were a lot more people killed in wars we participated in in the decade after 1990 than in the decade before 1990.  Millions of people were killed in the two Iraq wars and by the intervening sanctions.  I grant that most of those killed were not Americans, but that was, if anything, because we devoted more military power to fighting, not less.

I grant that there was more combat earlier in the Cold War.  I'd argue that was part of the learning process, before we learned how to do it right under Reagan.  Still, averaging the Korean War and the Vietnam war over the 45 years of the Cold War gives a death rate in the 100,000 per year range, no higher and possibly lower than in Iraq alone after the end of the Cold War.

As a tangent, I would also like to note something not generally acknowledged.  We won the Cold War, just as much as we won WWII.  Total military and civilian deaths on all sides were an order of magnitude lower in the Cold War than in WWII, despite the existence of far greater destructive power.  From a cost benefit perspective, we did a much better job on the Cold War than we did in WWII, or in the wars we've had since the end of the Cold War.

The US lost the Cold War too. The late 1980s Revolution overthrew Cold-War-created dictatorships in both East and West. The Soviets lost control of states they took control over and dominated. The USA suffered the same in South Korea, The Phillippines, Chile and other Cold War satellites whose dictators we had supported. In the Reagan era the US tried to topple a left-wing government in Nicaragua by supporting counter-revolutionaries. In the end, it remained free of US control. Reagan didn't quite do it right. The scandalous support of the counter-revolutionaries in Nicarargua was funded by sales of weapons to an enemy state. Marines were killed in Lebanon as sitting ducks, and the Grenada invasion was a farce.

Reagan can't take credit for the fact that Gorbachev freed his people from Communism. Since the Soviets were not a threat to invade the USA, just a partner in a mutual balance of nuclear deterrence, the defeat of fascism was far more significant, because it was a threat to civilization itself. Now, arguably, there's a threat from within the USA by the cabal that has now seized power here. Meanwhile, the wars waged supposedly against Communism in the Cold War were not necessary wars to defeat an existential threat, but the fulfillment of the Munich Doctrine aka the Domino Theory aka Containment. The most costly Cold War war was also the least necessary, and the least successful: the war in Vietnam. No, the cost for these wars (especially Vietnam) was greater, because there was no benefit, and arguably a greater loss to the USA in morale and unity of purpose among the people; the original source of our current national divide.

Quote:The falloff in workforce participation is largely due to ill considered overgenerosity in welfare programs.  For example, food stamp benefits were already more than adequate and were inflation adjusted, but Obama pushed through an additional increase anyway.  He also expanded eligibility so that a family of 5 making $90k per year living in a million dollar house could collect food stamps.  He made it really easy to get onto SSDI and in general made it more profitable for many Americans to get on the government dole instead of working.  That problem is easily fixed by saying, "okay, you're right, Democrats, we've recovered from the recession, so we can return to prerecession welfare policies now."

There's a smaller component from the baby boom cohort entering retirement.  The best way to fix that is likely to increase the retirement age gradually to 70.  Hey, if Trump can work at a tough private sector job until age 70 before retiring to a cushy life on the government dime, the rest of us can too, right?

As I've discussed in other posts, the stagnation in median incomes dates to about 1970 and is pretty clearly traceable to easy immigration policies.  Slam the door on immigration and labor regains its bargaining  position relative to management, and wages will start going up with productivity again.  Overall the economy is doing fine; the problem is that all the benefit is going to billionaires and not workers.  Stop letting the billionaires import cheap labor and that problem is fixed.

The surge in debt is largely due to massive increases in the deficit in the early Obama years; the deficit has been declining ever since the Republicans took control of the House and should soon be down to sustainable levels.

The fall off in workforce participation is directly due to scapegoating of those on our meager welfare programs. This "anti-dependency," "smaller-government" ideology has meant lower taxes and regulations for the rich and big corporations, with no relief to the middle class. Blaming welfare is the biggest element of trickle-down economics-- the false notion that you can give breaks and subsidies to the rich and that these "job creaters" will pass on the benefits to the rest of us. They don't. They spend it on themselves, they buy-out, they gamble, they send factories overseas, they automate, and they lobby and spend to get their guys in power so they can keep the gravy train rollin'.

Boomer retirement is a major element in the decline of workforce participation. No, people still can't live on welfare and food stamps, even under Obama. If you have even $2000 in savings, they throw you off. Those programs were not expanded under Republican rule these last 40 years; they were cut back. The Clinton-Gingrich welfare deform is still in effect. People can't live a decent life on the dole; what's also true is that people can't live a decent life on the wages most people get either. Republicans have succeeded in keeping wages low for most people and profits high for their clientele. The income gap is the greatest since the 1920s, and poverty has risen after the 1970s decline that had happened thanks to the Great Society.

Immigration has had zero effect on income stagnation. Xenophobia is a poor excuse for belief in Reaganomics and Trumpian prejudice, fear and fascism. It doesn't wash. Illegal immigrants take low income jobs that Americans do not. Other immigrants start more businesses and create more jobs than natives of the USA do. Google employees do not have stagnant wages; they are buying up San Francisco. This is not imported cheap labor; legal immigrants are doing quite well thank you. Cheap labor is found in overseas factories and offices and in machines, thanks to Republican laissez faire policies and free trade. Trump did not even promise less legal immigration, although that may be instituted.

Decline is labor is due to decline in labor unions, facilitated by Reagan and GOP power, and by the labor surplus due to automation, cheap labor abroad, decline of support for education and social programs, suppression of poor ethnic groups through the expansion of prisons, suppression of wages by the CEOs, and lack of taxes for the redistribution of their ill-gotten and undeserved wealth.

The surge in debt is completely due to the unnecessary war in Iraq and the arguably unnecessary and over-ambitious war in Afghanistan, "paid for" with massive tax cuts on the wealthy, and to lax Bush-era regulation (and Clinton-era deregulation) that caused a deep recession, which in turn caused lower revenues and massive spending for relief, and which required expensive, deficit-spending stimulus-- without which we would have all ended up over the cliff in the poor house. Dubya took over a government surplus and ruined our finances for the foreseeable future, and it's all on him and the GOP; every penny. I grant sequestration has lowered the deficit since 2011, but Obama also is responsible for this. It also slowed the recovery, and has helped stall our growth and labor participation rate. A larger and longer stimulus was needed. The depression of 2008 itself was the direct cause of the fall off in labor participation, and the direct cause of that depression was Bush-era policies.

Quote:I'm worried about that too, but that's not a reason to ignore the chance that Putin will start one.  It's just a reason to make sure we don't start one either, for example by not electing Hillary Clinton, who wanted to respond to Russian internet packets with physical bombs.

Concern about Putin is warranted, IMO, but Clinton wanted no such response. That kind of meaningless gibberish about the Lady who should have been our president has cost our nation very dearly. What is dangerous is Trump's enabling of Putin's aggression, since Trump is Putin's man. And Trump is a fascist who is trying to destroy our democracy, which depends on a free press and an independent judiciary. We needed Hillary; we didn't need Mussolini. Regrettably, Mussolini-reincarnate had a better horoscope for getting elected president of the USA than the Lady did.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#73
Quote:The fact that Russia has had no trouble maintaining control over all of the areas they've seized, including eastern Ukraine, South Ossetia, and Abkhazia.  They seem to be better at it than we are.

The only territory that they have actually seized (the Crimea) is the only one you've left off that list.  The rest are basically rebellious areas that they've been propping up.  And the Crimea was taken with minimal violence.  This leads me to suggest that the reason they haven't had the same trouble is that they haven't actually been holding areas against their will.
I mean, where was this supposed expertise during their occupation of Afghanistan in the 80s?
Quote:What's your idea about when to start worrying about someone bent on world conquest?  After they're done?  I'd prefer to nip it in the bud, thanks.

Begging the question.  I have yet to see the evidence that they are in fact bent on world conquest, rather than, as Mike phrased it, "rounding off" the edges of their sphere of influence.
Look at all of the military actions and invasions we have made in the last couple of decades.  Are we "bent on world conquest" as well?
Quote:There were a lot more people killed in wars we participated in in the decade after 1990 than in the decade before 1990.  Millions of people were killed in the two Iraq wars and by the intervening sanctions.  I grant that most of those killed were not Americans, but that was, if anything, because we devoted more military power to fighting, not less.

The "decade before"?  Wow, talk about cherry-picking your date ranges to prove a point.
You were discussing the Cold War as a whole, not the brief period under Saint Reagan, during which he descended from Mount Rushmore bearing the Constitution in stone tablets written by Jesus himself.  Rolleyes
Estimated Korean War deaths were between 1 and 2 million, estimated total deaths in Vietnam were similar, and I have yet to see an estimate for violent deaths in the course of the Iraq War that exceed a few hundred thousand (from the Lancet, I believe).  Gulf War only had a few tens of thousands, and excess deaths (mainly among children) for the period between the two due to sanctions have been estimated at a few hundred thousand.  So, maybe a million for the total two decade period in Iraq, half of them indirectly.  And of course I haven't factored in later deaths from Agent Orange and unexploded munitions from Vietnam, or any of the other indirect ways which we destabilized countries and caused people's deaths during the Cold War.
Quote:I grant that there was more combat earlier in the Cold War.  I'd argue that was part of the learning process, before we learned how to do it right under Reagan.  Still, averaging the Korean War and the Vietnam war over the 45 years of the Cold War gives a death rate in the 100,000 per year range, no higher and possibly lower than in Iraq alone after the end of the Cold War.

So you want to average out two wars, where regular troops were deployed for maybe 11 years, over the course of 45 years, to get your 100,000 per year.  Whereas Iraq, where we were involved on and off for 20 years, for a total of about 1 million deaths, comes out to about 50,000 a year.
Even when you fudge the numbers as badly as you have, you still come up to only about 50%.  Don't think this is the direction you want to go.
Quote:As a tangent, I would also like to note something not generally acknowledged.  We won the Cold War, just as much as we won WWII.  Total military and civilian deaths on all sides were an order of magnitude lower in the Cold War than in WWII, despite the existence of far greater destructive power.  From a cost benefit perspective, we did a much better job on the Cold War than we did in WWII, or in the wars we've had since the end of the Cold War.

No, the USSR lost.  Gorbachev et al toppled the USSR, not Saint Reagan.  It's difficult to take you seriously when you just say dumb things.
Quote:Yes, seriously, that's absolutely when that started.  At the beginning of the 1990s, the US navy was only on a par with the Soviet navy, so obviously we didn't meet the requirements for being the maritime hegemon.  After the end of the cold war, the US navy rapidly got to the point where it was four times larger than the Russian navy, which was the next largest navy.  A buildup is not the only way to gain hegemonic power; defeating rivals works too.  Cool infographic here for other readers (not you, you'll consider it a flawed source):

http://www.popularmechanics.com/military...fographic/

Being a hegemon requires both absolute and relative power.  During the Cold War, we had the absolute power, but not the relative power.  It was only with the end of the Cold War that we got the relative power as well.  We didn't build more ships, but our navy became four times as strong relative to the closest rival, and twice as strong relative to the rest of the world combined.

That's actually a perfectly valid source.  Good job, you're learning. Wink
The Soviet Navy was primarily geared towards guarding its bastions in the Barents Sea and other places.  The US Navy started patrolling the global commons during the 1940s.  The US' position as global maritime hegemon dates from then.
Quote:So why should we give up when we're ahead?  Why not enjoy the hard won benefits for a few centuries before the decline sets in, rather than volunteering for immediate degredation to a second rate power?

Because we don't actually have centuries.  I don't even think we have decades.
Quote:As you already agreed, we get substantial payment for our services in the form of an inflation tax on dollar reserves, that defrays related costs.

And forces up the value of our currency, damaging our industrial sector.  There is also the opportunity cost from the things we haven't bothered to spend money on because too much of it goes into the defense sector.  Come on, guy, everybody knows there ain't know such things as a free lunch!
Quote:If by supplemental wars you mean Iraq, I don't agree that was required for our role as global maritime hegemon.  That whole fiasco started with an elderly Bush wanting to relive the glory days of his WWII youth by warring against dictators with moustaches.  Then the sins of the father were visited on the son in the form of the moral bankruptcy of sanctions that killed hundreds of thousands of children, and W had to finish what his dad started.

Sorry, I don't think our leadership views it that way.  They seem to have a very expansive definition of what hegemony requires.
Quote:I would hope that in the future we can use subtler but more effective balance of power methods to achieve our goals.  For example, we have a nice three way balance in the middle east between Turkey, Iran, and the arabs, but Iran has been getting too strong for a while now.  Supporting Turkey in the Islamic State is the perfect solution, and the Trump administration seems to have figured that out.  We'll have to invest some treasure in the form of air support, but substantially less than we would with boots on the ground, and Turkey can supply the bulk of the blood.

Up to a point, I don't have a problem with this sort of thing.  I am much happier using the military (mainly the Navy and Air Force) to secure the Western Hemisphere (particularly the northern part of it) and then playing balance of power among the various regional entities.
I just don't think that's what we have been doing.
Quote:The falloff in workforce participation is largely due to ill considered overgenerosity in welfare programs.  For example, food stamp benefits were already more than adequate and were inflation adjusted, but Obama pushed through an additional increase anyway.  He also expanded eligibility so that a family of 5 making $90k per year living in a million dollar house could collect food stamps.  He made it really easy to get onto SSDI and in general made it more profitable for many Americans to get on the government dole instead of working.  That problem is easily fixed by saying, "okay, you're right, Democrats, we've recovered from the recession, so we can return to prerecession welfare policies now."

That's funny, workforce participation actually peaked in 2000.  Goddamn Obama!  Angry
Quote:There's a smaller component from the baby boom cohort entering retirement.  The best way to fix that is likely to increase the retirement age gradually to 70.  Hey, if Trump can work at a tough private sector job until age 70 before retiring to a cushy life on the government dime, the rest of us can too, right?

Depends what kinda job you do.  Deskwork?  Sure.  Construction, not so much.  And the falloff in workforce participation is equally reflected in the 24-54 cohorts as well.  We can't blame it on aging Boomers, as much as we might like to.
Quote:As I've discussed in other posts, the stagnation in median incomes dates to about 1970 and is pretty clearly traceable to easy immigration policies.  Slam the door on immigration and labor regains its bargaining  position relative to management, and wages will start going up with productivity again.  Overall the economy is doing fine; the problem is that all the benefit is going to billionaires and not workers.  Stop letting the billionaires import cheap labor and that problem is fixed.

1973, I think, and the big wave of immigration occurred somewhat later.  I agree that it is a factor (and it is interesting that all of the liberal scum so adamant that nothing can be done to address the deplorables' concerns because all jobs are going to be automated away are equally insistent that we need to bring in unlimited numbers of unskilled labor from the Third World in order to do all the jobs we "won't do"), but I don't think it is the full story.  Competition from foreign imports, the oil crisis, and changes in tax and regulatory policy were much more salient causes in the 1970s, when this started.
Quote:The surge in debt is largely due to massive increases in the deficit in the early Obama years; the deficit has been declining ever since the Republicans took control of the House and should soon be down to sustainable levels.

This is childish.  The big surge in US debt started under Reagan, and again under GWB with the GWOT.  Republican congresses have a good track record of holding down spending when Democrats are in office, under Republicans they tend to splurge.
Quote:Actually, I am advocating an intermediate state.  Geographical realities dictate that we can be a global maritime hegemon, but not a complete global hegemon.  We don't need to invade Iraq but we should patrol the western Pacific.  We shouldn't enable Hitler but we can contain him without resorting to all out war.

What intermediate state are you advocating?  How is it different from total autarky?

I'd simply like to move it back a little further.  Arm the Poles, put troops there if they like (they seem to want them), but don't try and push NATO into Ukraine.  Prop up the Japanese, the Taiwanese, the Philippines from the outside, but don't put US forces inside the First Island Chain.  Work out accommodations where reasonable (Crimea falls in this category, I believe), and if not have other people do as much of the bleeding as possible.  Get out of the Middle East (there is no risk of Great Power forming there, and they all hate each other and will happily kill each other with little to no encouragement), reinvest in US infrastructure and industry, let the Europeans start getting anxious enough to pay for their own militaries, avoid direct conflicts with nuclear powers, etc.
Just some thoughts.
Quote:Yes, really.  Unfortunately I've nothing from RT or TASS to convince you, though.  I do have a Russian language source, but it's a translation of something written by a Georgian defense minister, so I guess that's a no go too.

That's cute.  Yes, Russian or Georgian sources would both require more than perhaps a little skepticism, considering that they were the two active participants and have an incentive to spin events to their credit.  Hard numbers from neutral sources are preferable, where possible.
Quote:And it's our job to confine Putin to that.  We've been doing a barely adequate job of it so far, but if we slack off, we're likely to get into trouble.  We need to keep doing it until the Russian government collapses financially; then we might have to save his behind somehow.  Offering him a cheap way out of Syria might be a good start on that.

If he's that stupid we can shore up the NATO countries (though really the rest of the Europeans should be kicking in more, since it's their asses), let him push into Ukraine, and let him bleed money and lives for a while.
Of course, judging by recent history, he seems to be pretty good at limited interventions with defined goals.  Rather a bit better than we have been, recently.
I blame Boomers. Wink
Quote:I'm worried about that too, but that's not a reason to ignore the chance that Putin will start one.  It's just a reason to make sure we don't start one either, for example by not electing Hillary Clinton, who wanted to respond to Russian internet packets with physical bombs.

Yeah, we really dodged a bullet with that one.  That was my primary reason for getting off my ass and actually voting for Trump.  I actually voted for Nader in 2004.  Whichever anti-system candidate had the best chance of winning got my vote.  I was in training to go to Afghanistan in 2008, and in 2012 I was in NYC and saw no point.  The wailing and gnashing of teeth from the smug cunts in the entertainment/info-tainment industry has been a nice bonus as well.  Every time I have started feeling down over the past several months I have gone on Youtube and watched recaps of election night coverage and instantly felt better.  The Young Turks' meltdown, Miley Cyrus crying, and the people streaming blankfaced out of HRC's headquarters with the principal refusing to come out have been my particular favorites.
*sigh*
I don't think we should have ever extended NATO guarantees to the Baltic countries in the first place, they are not really defensible if push ever came to shove, unlike, say, Poland.  But while that guarantee exists I suppose we are stuck with them, and that is where we should draw the line.  
As for the rest of Ukraine, well, not really our problem.  If Putin wants to make it his problem, he's welcome to invest the time, money, and blood into it, and we'll see what happens.
Quote:Out of genuine curiosity, what other sources have you seen that reported Flynn getting kicked as a result of conflict with Tillerson and Mattis?

I think I saw it on theHill.com, maybe somewhere else.  I knew that reading the Friedman bit I was like, "I've already heard this elsewhere".  I suppose I could try to dig something up if you really liked.
Reply
#74
Warren Dew Wrote:What's your idea about when to start worrying about someone bent on world conquest?  After they're done?  I'd prefer to nip it in the bud, thanks.

Huh?  World conquest in the nuclear age = the grand prize of a Fukishama zone writ large.  Sorry dude, out of date reasoning.

Quote:<snip stuff>
Oh yes, the Cold War was characterized by comparatively limited engagements like Korea, Vietnam, and an enormous build-up of conventional forces on either side of the Iron Curtain.

Yup, nobody wanted that grand prize, man.

Quote:  Nothing like the mass carnage of Iraq or the rest of the GWOT.



The GWOT is stupid.  The Mideast is a clusterfuck and we need to exit completely.  

Quote:There were a lot more people killed in wars we participated in in the decade after 1990 than in the decade before 1990.  Millions of people were killed in the two Iraq wars and by the intervening sanctions.  I grant that most of those killed were not Americans, but that was, if anything, because we devoted more military power to fighting, not less.

I know. The US first got duped into WMD's owned by Saddam, then the US and I'm gonna point a finger right now:  The US meddling led to the rise of IS, yup, it's our  fault.  The deBaathification of Iraq is part of the puzzle.  When it comes to understanding tribal interactions, again, the US is a moron.  It's the reverse Midas touch. Everything the NeoCONS's came up with turned to shit. Afghanistan,Libya,Syria,and Iraq, all gone to shit.

Quote:I grant that there was more combat earlier in the Cold War.  I'd argue that was part of the learning process, before we learned how to do it right under Reagan.  Still, averaging the Korean War and the Vietnam war over the 45 years of the Cold War gives a death rate in the 100,000 per year range, no higher and possibly lower than in Iraq alone after the end of the Cold War.

Yeah, that's because the number of hot wars was lower.   



Quote:As a tangent, I would also like to note something not generally acknowledged.  We won the Cold War, just as much as we won WWII.  Total military and civilian deaths on all sides were an order of magnitude lower in the Cold War than in WWII, despite the existence of far greater destructive power.  From a cost benefit perspective, we did a much better job on the Cold War than we did in WWII, or in the wars we've had since the end of the Cold War.

Yeah, the US spent a ton on arms and the USSR  cratered trying to keep up.

<more snippage>
Quote:Yes, seriously, that's absolutely when that started.  At the beginning of the 1990s, the US navy was only on a par with the Soviet navy, so obviously we didn't meet the requirements for being the maritime hegemon.  After the end of the cold war, the US navy rapidly got to the point where it was four times larger than the Russian navy, which was the next largest navy.  A buildup is not the only way to gain hegemonic power; defeating rivals works too.  Cool infographic here for other readers (not you, you'll consider it a flawed source):

http://www.popularmechanics.com/military...fographic/

Rolleyes Why the hell should hegemony  even be a goal?

Quote:Being a hegemon requires both absolute and relative power.  During the Cold War, we had the absolute power, but not the relative power.  It was only with the end of the Cold War that we got the relative power as well.  We didn't build more ships, but our navy became four times as strong relative to the closest rival, and twice as strong relative to the rest of the world combined.

I don't think that's a proper spending goal, given the US is collapsing from within.  Lessee, Flint Michigan, I-35 in Minnesota, and now the OreVille dam in California.


Quote:So why should we give up when we're ahead?  Why not enjoy the hard won benefits for a few centuries before the decline sets in, rather than volunteering for immediate degredation to a second rate power?

Because we are a 3rd rate nation when it comes to infrastructure. Tongue

Quote:As you already agreed, we get substantial payment for our services in the form of an inflation tax on dollar reserves, that defrays related costs.

Yeah, but us peons pay that exact same tax.

Quote:If by supplemental wars you mean Iraq, I don't agree that was required for our role as global maritime hegemon.  That whole fiasco started with an elderly Bush wanting to relive the glory days of his WWII youth by warring against dictators with moustaches.  Then the sins of the father were visited on the son in the form of the moral bankruptcy of sanctions that killed hundreds of thousands of children, and W had to finish what his dad started.

Dunno who wrote the above, but I agree with that.

Quote:I would hope that in the future we can use subtler but more effective balance of power methods to achieve our goals.  For example, we have a nice three way balance in the middle east between Turkey, Iran, and the arabs, but Iran has been getting too strong for a while now.  Supporting Turkey in the Islamic State is the perfect solution, and the Trump administration seems to have figured that out.  We'll have to invest some treasure in the form of air support, but substantially less than we would with boots on the ground, and Turkey can supply the bulk of the blood.

Path not taken, DO NOTHING.

Quote:The falloff in workforce participation is largely due to ill considered overgenerosity in welfare programs.  For example, food stamp benefits were already more than adequate and were inflation adjusted, but Obama pushed through an additional increase anyway.

No. It's outsourcing and globalization that did that stuff.  Like I tell Eric,  no more illegal immigration , institute a VAT tax, and crack down on  H1-B's.


Quote:  He also expanded eligibility so that a family of 5 making $90k per year living in a million dollar house could collect food stamps.

I refer you to your inflation tax.  Oklahoma must have low inflation since that doesn't apply here.


Quote:He made it really easy to get onto SSDI and in general made it more profitable for many Americans to get on the government dole instead of working.  That problem is easily fixed by saying, "okay, you're right, Democrats, we've recovered from the recession, so we can return to prerecession welfare policies now."

Oklahoma doesn't have nice policies like this.  Where do you live?   I want to sponge off of Warren.
http://www.okdhs.org/services/snap/pages...gible.aspx

Quote:There's a smaller component from the baby boom cohort entering retirement.  The best way to fix that is likely to increase the retirement age gradually to 70.  Hey, if Trump can work at a tough private sector job until age 70 before retiring to a cushy life on the government dime, the rest of us can too, right?
Count me out man. I deserve to retire at 65 because I'm a special flower-child.  That's the same age my all of my aunts/uncles/parents retired. Trump's a  fat cat so stuff that applies to him does not apply to myself, a wage serf.

Quote:As I've discussed in other posts, the stagnation in median incomes dates to about 1970 and is pretty clearly traceable to easy immigration policies.  Slam the door on immigration and labor regains its bargaining  position relative to management, and wages will start going up with productivity again.

Yes, I agree with the above.  Also add other cheap assed labor pools like H1-B's.  Then slap a huge assed fine on employers who exploit cheap labor pools.  That's an even better way to fix this than tracking down every single illegal alien.  There are far fewer employers than illegal aliens. I'm thinking a $100,000 fine per infraction.

Quote:Overall the economy is doing fine; the problem is that all the benefit is going to billionaires and not workers.  Stop letting the billionaires import cheap labor and that problem is fixed.


I think billionaires need to be paying a higher tax rate than myself.  Look for loopholes and chuck them.  No special capital gains rates either.

Quote:The surge in debt is largely due to massive increases in the deficit in the early Obama years; the deficit has been declining ever since the Republicans took control of the House and should soon be down to sustainable levels.


The debt can go away by just printing debt free money.
Quote:
Quote:Abandoning the world is not the solution.  Doing a better job of making sure more of the benefits of global free market commerce flow to us and not just to the rest of the world is.

Yup, there are no intermediate states between what we are doing and total autarchy.  We're either invading Iraq and moving naval forces into the Western Pacific or we are enabling Hitler and sticking our heads in the sand.  Got it.  Wink

Actually, I am advocating an intermediate state.  Geographical realities dictate that we can be a global maritime hegemon, but not a complete global hegemon.  We don't need to invade Iraq but we should patrol the western Pacific.  We shouldn't enable Hitler but we can contain him without resorting to all out war.


I have to go to work now.  I'll just snip this and continue on later.
---Value Added Cool
Reply
#75
[Someguy]A conclusion of the macrodecision phase by mid-century does not preclude a conflict in the 2020s.[/quote]
Quite correct. In  fact the span from 1945 to 2020 is 75 years, implying a 100 year cycle, which is the standard length.
 
Quote:I agree that China and Russia are just trying to consolidate their sphere of influence as they emerge from the wreckage of Communism (each of them in different ways)

-I agree too.  But this is the sort of thing that supplemental wars* are about.  This is what is supposed to happen during the delegitimization phase/agenda-setting phase.  According to M&T both Korea and Vietnam  occurred during a World Power phase, while the collapse of the USSR and the Gulf War were during the 1973-2000 delegitimization/agenda-setting phase.  Now I simply don’t see any agenda-setting by Russia in the 1980’s and 1990’s, I see this happening today.  And I don’t see China’s venture into Vietnam as an example of agenda-setting either, but I do see their behavior today as such.  I do not see either Russia or China’s current behavior as any sort of bid for hegemony, is the role of the challenger.  That is, this does not strike me as a prelude to a global war period, but rather a supplementary war period.
 
*One of the things that led scholars like M&T to consider a cyclical view of foreign relations in the first place was the observation first made by Quincy Wright (1942) that the intensity of great power war in the European states system fluctuated with a fifty year periodicity as can be readily seen in an inspection of a time series of war deaths:
 [Image: War-Cycle.fig.gif]
You will recognize the MD periods in this chart.  Note the spike in between. These are the supplemental wars that correspond to M&T’s delegitimization/agenda-setting phase. 
 
Reply
#76
I disagree, China's agenda-setting was very much in evidence in the 80s and 90s, that's how they became what they are today.  I am not sure that supplementary wars are a requirement of the same way that macrodecision phases or k-waves are.  In so far as there was one, I'd say the function (determining who would be the future challenger) was fulfilled by the conclusion of the Cold War.  It is worthwhile to point out that the army peak occurred around that time.  The land-based power lost (or rather, gave up).  There was actually a spike of violence during that period worldwide.

The relevant parts of the cycle are in the k-waves, and the macrodecisions.  The 19th K-wave is already here, and has been for a while.  This is not the delegitimation phase for us, but the deconcentration.
Reply
#77
(02-27-2017, 02:00 PM)Ragnarök_62 Wrote: I know. The US first got duped into WMD's owned by Saddam, then the US and I'm gonna point a finger right now:  The US meddling led to the rise of IS, yup, it's our  fault.  The deBaathification of Iraq is part of the puzzle.  When it comes to understanding tribal interactions, again, the US is a moron.  It's the reverse Midas touch. Everything the NeoCONS's came up with turned to shit. Afghanistan,Libya,Syria,and Iraq, all gone to shit.

Again Neocons had very little to do with the clusterfuck in Syria. That was created by Syria's murdering dictator. His actions made it easy for the US-enabled Islamic State to move into the vacuum of eastern Syria.

Quote:No. It's outsourcing and globalization that did that stuff.  Like I tell Eric,  no more illegal immigration , institute a VAT tax, and crack down on  H1-B's.

And like I said, other major factors too, besides outsourcing. Illegal immigration had nothing to do with any economic decline for anyone. VAT tax should be nixed. Remember also automation/tech, low minimum wages, hogging by the rich, lack of taxes on them, poor investment and social support, etc.

Quote:Oklahoma doesn't have nice policies like this.  Where do you live?   I want to sponge off of Warren.
http://www.okdhs.org/services/snap/pages...gible.aspx

It seems you might feel better in MA, and Warren would like OK better. Why don't you trade places?

We have no good solutions to offer until the electorate decides to restore sanity to our government and put progressive Democrats into power. So, we can continue to discuss policies we want that can't happen until that happens, I guess.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#78
(02-27-2017, 11:23 PM)Eric the Green Wrote:
(02-27-2017, 02:00 PM)Ragnarök_62 Wrote: I know. The US first got duped into WMD's owned by Saddam, then the US and I'm gonna point a finger right now:  The US meddling led to the rise of IS, yup, it's our  fault.  The deBaathification of Iraq is part of the puzzle.  When it comes to understanding tribal interactions, again, the US is a moron.  It's the reverse Midas touch. Everything the NeoCONS's came up with turned to shit. Afghanistan,Libya,Syria,and Iraq, all gone to shit.

Again Neocons had very little to do with the clusterfuck in Syria. That was created by Syria's murdering dictator. His actions made it easy for the US-enabled Islamic State to move into the vacuum of eastern Syria.

Quote:No. It's outsourcing and globalization that did that stuff.  Like I tell Eric,  no more illegal immigration , institute a VAT tax, and crack down on  H1-B's.

And like I said, other major factors too, besides outsourcing. Illegal immigration had nothing to do with any economic decline for anyone. VAT tax should be nixed. Remember also automation/tech, low minimum wages, hogging by the rich, lack of taxes on them, poor investment and social support, etc.

Quote:Oklahoma doesn't have nice policies like this.  Where do you live?   I want to sponge off of Warren.
http://www.okdhs.org/services/snap/pages...gible.aspx

It seems you might feel better in MA, and Warren would like OK better. Why don't you trade places?

We have no good solutions to offer until the electorate decides to restore sanity to our government and put progressive Democrats into power. So, we can continue to discuss policies we want that can't happen until that happens, I guess.

1.  A step by step process of the clusterfuck.
a. The deBaathification in Iraq was the proximate cause of the rise of IS.
b. From the Wiki article :
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrian_Civil_War
"In December 2011, former counter-terrorism specialist and CIA military intelligence officer Philip Giraldi asserted that already "unmarked NATO warplanes are arriving at Turkish military bases close to the Syrian border, delivering weapons from the late Muammar Gaddafi’s arsenals as well as volunteers from the Libyan Transitional National Council who are experienced in pitting local volunteers against trained soldiers" and that in addition, "French and British special forces trainers are on the ground, assisting the Syrian rebels while the CIA and U.S. Spec Ops are providing communications equipment and intelligence to assist the rebel cause." Giraldi stated that "CIA analysts are skeptical regarding the march to war" for reasons including that "the frequently cited U.N. report that more than 3,500 civilians have been killed by Assad’s soldiers is based largely on rebel sources and is uncorroborated" while cautioning in The American Conservative that "Americans should be concerned about what is happening in Syria..."

(So  CIA spec ops?  Eric, you and I know this song and dance is just so old.
c. Obviously if the Neocons didn't trash Iraq, no IS.

illegal immigration is, you know, illegal.  Also, there are almost no jobs that "American citizens won't do".
https://www.numbersusa.org/pages/jobs-americans-wont-do
http://www.usillegalaliens.com/impacts_o..._jobs.html

Well, for starters end that fucked up over time exemption for farm work.  I don't care if I pay a bit more for food.
E-verify baby.  Fine the fuck out any employer who enables illegal immigration.  Again, I say have 'em pay up $100,000 each illegal hired + tax fines/back taxes for payroll taxes.  Yeah, man fuck 'em hard in the ass with a spintered phone pole.  Drill,  baby drill, as Palin says. Big Grin

Oh, yeah automation, I could go for guaranteed income, something like Finland has for that.  The VAT tax is what I propose to use to pay for single payer health care. I want my idea to have a funding source so the Republicans can't bitch about it.

Uh, cutting down the spigot on immigrants would make the minimum wage go up, all other factors considered.

The rich.  Yeah, I'd just make capital gains income the same as earned income. Let's nuke loopholes, tax breaks, and whatever else is mucking up the graduated income tax.

There, that's the pot of money for infrastructure right there. I'd also lop off a lot of money in the defense budget.


Yeah, Warren and I should trade places. I like MA's climate a lot better as well!  AGW's really messed things up here.  The fourth year without a winter. 

Wrt electorate.  Maybe if the Repugs ditch the ACA, lots of folks 'll get mad.
---Value Added Cool
Reply
#79
(02-28-2017, 12:16 AM)Ragnarök_62 Wrote:
(02-27-2017, 11:23 PM)Eric the Green Wrote:
(02-27-2017, 02:00 PM)Ragnarök_62 Wrote: I know. The US first got duped into WMD's owned by Saddam, then the US and I'm gonna point a finger right now:  The US meddling led to the rise of IS, yup, it's our  fault.  The deBaathification of Iraq is part of the puzzle.  When it comes to understanding tribal interactions, again, the US is a moron.  It's the reverse Midas touch. Everything the NeoCONS's came up with turned to shit. Afghanistan,Libya,Syria,and Iraq, all gone to shit.

Again Neocons had very little to do with the clusterfuck in Syria. That was created by Syria's murdering dictator. His actions made it easy for the US-enabled Islamic State to move into the vacuum of eastern Syria.

Quote:No. It's outsourcing and globalization that did that stuff.  Like I tell Eric,  no more illegal immigration , institute a VAT tax, and crack down on  H1-B's.

And like I said, other major factors too, besides outsourcing. Illegal immigration had nothing to do with any economic decline for anyone. VAT tax should be nixed. Remember also automation/tech, low minimum wages, hogging by the rich, lack of taxes on them, poor investment and social support, etc.

Quote:Oklahoma doesn't have nice policies like this.  Where do you live?   I want to sponge off of Warren.
http://www.okdhs.org/services/snap/pages...gible.aspx

It seems you might feel better in MA, and Warren would like OK better. Why don't you trade places?

We have no good solutions to offer until the electorate decides to restore sanity to our government and put progressive Democrats into power. So, we can continue to discuss policies we want that can't happen until that happens, I guess.

1.  A step by step process of the clusterfuck.
a. The deBaathification in Iraq was the proximate cause of the rise of IS.
b. From the Wiki article :
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrian_Civil_War
"In December 2011, former counter-terrorism specialist and CIA military intelligence officer Philip Giraldi asserted that already "unmarked NATO warplanes are arriving at Turkish military bases close to the Syrian border, delivering weapons from the late Muammar Gaddafi’s arsenals as well as volunteers from the Libyan Transitional National Council who are experienced in pitting local volunteers against trained soldiers" and that in addition, "French and British special forces trainers are on the ground, assisting the Syrian rebels while the CIA and U.S. Spec Ops are providing communications equipment and intelligence to assist the rebel cause." Giraldi stated that "CIA analysts are skeptical regarding the march to war" for reasons including that "the frequently cited U.N. report that more than 3,500 civilians have been killed by Assad’s soldiers is based largely on rebel sources and is uncorroborated" while cautioning in The American Conservative that "Americans should be concerned about what is happening in Syria..."

(So  CIA spec ops?  Eric, you and I know this song and dance is just so old.
c. Obviously if the Neocons didn't trash Iraq, no IS.

illegal immigration is, you know, illegal.  Also, there are almost no jobs that "American citizens won't do".
https://www.numbersusa.org/pages/jobs-americans-wont-do
http://www.usillegalaliens.com/impacts_o..._jobs.html

Well, for starters end that fucked up over time exemption for farm work.  I don't care if I pay a bit more for food.
E-verify baby.  Fine the fuck out any employer who enables illegal immigration.  Again, I say have 'em pay up $100,000 each illegal hired + tax fines/back taxes for payroll taxes.  Yeah, man fuck 'em hard in the ass with a spintered phone pole.  Drill,  baby drill, as Palin says. Big Grin

Oh, yeah automation, I could go for guaranteed income, something like Finland has for that.  The VAT tax is what I propose to use to pay for single payer health care. I want my idea to have a funding source so the Republicans can't bitch about it.

Uh, cutting down the spigot on immigrants would make the minimum wage go up, all other factors considered.

The rich.  Yeah, I'd just make capital gains income the same as earned income. Let's nuke loopholes, tax breaks, and whatever else is mucking up the graduated income tax.

There, that's the pot of money for infrastructure right there. I'd also lop off a lot of money in the defense budget.


Yeah, Warren and I should trade places. I like MA's climate a lot better as well!  AGW's really messed things up here.  The fourth year without a winter. 

Wrt electorate.  Maybe if the Repugs ditch the ACA, lots of folks 'll get mad.

It seems very likely to me that the Repugs will put in their trumped-up privatization plan.

Republicans might not bitch about VAT, but that's because what Republicans don't bitch about, hurts everyone except their rich clientele. But, talk it up to your Republican congresspeople and see what happens.

Xenophobia is beneath the Norse mythological realm you dwell in. And anything else you dwell in. It just doesn't connect with the truth. No, Americans don't do those jobs, and they won't pay more for food. They will just buy imported food and our farmers will go belly up.

The minimum wage only goes up when Democrats raise it.

I also think shorter working hours for the same work is part of the mix of improving wages and employment. Well, an idea for when the Democrats get back in.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#80
Eric The Green Wrote:It seems very likely to me that the Repugs will put in their trumped-up privatization plan.

Republicans might not bitch about VAT, but that's because what Republicans don't bitch about, hurts everyone except their rich clientele. But, talk it up to your Republican congresspeople and see what happens.
  Well, perhaps , except the Big Health Insurance would hate it.   They'd be gone since I rather doubt anyone would buy their defective product with universal Medicare.

Quote:Xenophobia is beneath the Norse mythological realm you dwell in. And anything else you dwell in. It just doesn't connect with the truth. No, Americans don't do those jobs, and they won't pay more for food. They will just buy imported food and our farmers will go belly up.

I said illegal. What don't you get here? That of course means I don't care one whit about legal immigration that's economically sane and my personal target of stalling any population growth in the US, because we have some control over that.  The world?  Nothing we can do though Planned Parenthood could. So yeah, I'm one with my Norse pagan realm.  I'll tell you this.  There ain't no be fruitful and multiply in Norse paganism.  You see, I recall ZPG from the Awakening. Cool

Quote:The minimum wage only goes up when Democrats raise it.

I thought unions at least helped...


Quote:I also think shorter working hours for the same work is part of the mix of improving wages and employment. Well, an idea for when the Democrats get back in.


Yup. 40 hour workweeks and no ZPG are both so 20th century.
---Value Added Cool
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