Author Topic: Trump’s Economy (merged)  (Read 34905 times)

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Re: Trump’s Economy (merged)
« Reply #240 on: July 31, 2018, 12:20:07 PM »

Offline Greenback

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This seemed on point.



TP for you.  This cartoon brings to light one of the major causes that divide our country.  Too any people think linearly and not nonlinear enough.  The difference between linearity and nonlinearity is a central distinction in mathematics.

In this case, the farmer is taught to believe that any socialism is bad, and he would be a hypocrite for accepting the money.   He is taught to believe that minimum socialism is good.  This is linear thinking. 

Socialists tend to think that maximum socialism is good and minimum socialism is bad. That is linear thinking.  Capitalists tend to think that maximum capitalism is good and minimum capitalism is bad.  Again, linear thinking.

But optimum prosperity is a balance somewhere between socialism and capitalism.  Instead of a linear line, it’s a curve, like the Laffer curve – with peak prosperity depicted somewhere on the curve with a hump in the middle.

Both sides of the political/economic spectrum tend to think linearly (max is good; zero is bad) but nonlinear thinking is needed to return to common sense.  Nonlinear thinking means which way you should go depends on where you already are.  Too much capitalism or too much socialism are both bad.

If we keep thinking linearly about economics, we will continue to side with extremists on either side and have a suboptimal, or worse economy and society.  The solution to the problem is nonlinear thinking.  We can debate where the optimal prosperity sweet spot is on the curve but at least we will have a dialogue again and not get into a civil war.  Too many fall prey to the oldest false syllogism in the book:

It could be the case that maximum socialism is good.

I want it to be the case that maximum socialism is good.

Therefore, it is the case that maximum socialism is good.

This insight is not new. Already in Roman times we find Horace’s famous remark “There is a proper measure in things.  There are, finally, certain boundaries short of and beyond which what is right cannot exist.” 

And further back still, in the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle observes that either eating too much or too little is troubling to the constitution.  The optimum is somewhere in between, because the relation between eating and health isn’t linear, but curved, with bad outcomes on both ends.

I viewed the cartoon differently.
The farmer is a huge supporter of Trump and believes government handouts to other people are evil socialism. But will happily take the handout when it is for him.
Yeah, the cartoonist has a questionable viewpoint.  Why would you ridicule a hardworking farmer who helps feed everyone, including the cartoonist, you and me?  He is worthy of respect not disdain.  If anyone should get support, it the hard working people who contribute to society.
The problem is you should not support producers and nonproducers the same - capitalism doesn't.  If you did support producers and nonproducers alike, it would ruin good work ethic.  Eventually, you would end up with almost all nonproducers.  That is a socialistic nightmare.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2018, 12:26:15 PM by Greenback »
Everyone wants truth on his side, not everyone wants to be on the side of truth.

Re: Trump’s Economy (merged)
« Reply #241 on: July 31, 2018, 12:40:02 PM »

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  • Don Chaney
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Trump just struck a deal with the President Of the EU. commision Jean-Claude Juncker .
Seems like the tariffs and the threat of trade wars has paid off with the brilliant deal making of President Trump.

Working on no tariffs so that free trade is really free.
EU will import more Natural Liquid Gas.
Eu will import more Soybeans
U.S. and EU Will ‘Resolve’ Steel and Aluminum and Retaliatory Tariffs

EU tapped out.  USA wins. Finally a President who puts the US first

this is for you nick
https://www.wsj.com/articles/ahead-of-eu-meeting-trump-rails-at-domestic-critics-1532524795


They didn't strike a deal.

They agreed to negotiate.

There's a big difference there.

And by the way, prior presidents have negotiated with the EU before. Obama got pretty far with TTIP, but it got put on pause when Trump was elected.

Here's TTIP: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transatlantic_Trade_and_Investment_Partnership

It basically seems like Trump is starting to (finally) embrace global trade ideas, which is a good thing.

I agree it's great they are in negotiations, Trump is for free fair trade. Just because it's global doesn't mean its good for the US.  He is negotiating a better deal. When Trump is done, I believe the US will be way better off than the trade deficit ridden TTIP.  Obama was more worried about being liked by the world than sticking up for the American Worker.

Curious. Why do you say free and fair. Surely free trade is just... free trade. It's not fair or not not fair.. it's just free. Noone pays tariffs right? Or am I missing something?
It's not fair for an American steel worker to compete with a Chinese one if the Chinese one has no environmental laws to follow, or any OSHA laws or laws against child labor or borderline slavery, and if his country subsidizes his industry in order to flood the world with cheap steal and then further manipulates their currency to make their steel even cheaper, and then forces any US business that wants to do business there to transfer all their patented tech to them. The President has my full support in a trade war vs such a place. He also has my support to put as much pressure as possible in any way possible to make NATO countries pay their fair share into NATO. I'm tired of the US being taken for granted and blamed for everything that happens and never thanked for everything it extends. The world has been very clear lately that they wish America to be more isolationist. They should get their wish.
You realize that Trump did nothing to NATO. He blustered about them now spending their fair share and will now spend up to 4% of their GDP on military spending but thats not true. Not even NATO not living up to their spending promises is true.

NATO agree years ago to get their respective spending to 2% of GDP by 2024. So not reaching that mark already is not breaching any spending agreements or not paying their fair share. They still have 6 years to reach the agreed upon level.

After Trump's bluster that is what those countries said they would do, reach the agreed upon spending in the agreed upon time. None of those countries agreed to 4% spending. They also said that.

Trump is taking a nothing issue and trying to lie and deceive his way into making himself look like a hero against those bad NATO people. Its a nothing issue.

You are totally missing the point of this NATO conversation.
The fact is only a small percentage of NATO pay their fair share. 
This is a fact you can not deny.
Trump is trying to get the others to step it up Not in 2024 but now!
He is sticking up for the US tax payer of which I hope your one of them.
He is negotiating. For you and me to have some of the NATO member
not to sponge of the USA.
It's obvious your hatred for Trump is clouding your common sense.
Think about it, you are taking the side of the spongers over your own country.
If Obama did this, I would've be all for it.  He would be sticking up for our country and
not taking advantage of us.
But he would rather be liked than put his country first.
These countries need us more than them, he is using leverage.
Its impossible for many of the countries in NATO to instantly increase a major portion of their military spending without sacrificing in other areas that those countries feel are necessary for the well being of their citizens. The revenue streamlines have to be in place for increases of billions of dollars to military budgets to occur. These NATO countries are not run by dictators or despots and so have to go through their governmental procedures to procure the monet to spend on military. Its going to take years to happen and why the resolution in 2014 was set in place, so that these countries can slowly build to the 2% without sacrificing life style and necessary social and infrastructure programs.

In the end all Trump did was let the other NATO members know he can bluster b.s. as well as anyone and that Trump is most likely not their friend but a "foe". The countries not at 2% will reach that level sometime before 2024, the agreed upon date. Most likely not sooner. And there is nothing Trump can do about it.
Not our problem. They've been blowing off their commitments since 2006. The little Baltics can get their spending up in almost a year, but big mighty Germany needs from 2006 till 2024 to get off the American protection teet.  And for Trump to point that out, he's supposedly a big meanie. Sorry Europe. The years of giving our presidents Nobel Prizes and back slapping in exchange for guilt free protection are over.
And its not the rest of our allies' from NATO problem that America elected an idiot that can't understand that our allies can't magically wave a wand and come up with the type of military money that our whacked out president wants immediately. Trump's complete lack of understanding on how our allies governments work and how hard it is for them to do a complete budget overhaul just to make him happy shows just how pointless this whole NATO bluster of his was.

Per a 2014 agreement they have until 2024. Until then this is just an issue because Trump wants divisiveness and wants us looking at our allies as enemies. His voting base eats this stuff up.

This is a complete non-issue. If we had an agreement with Germany that we would complete something for them by 2025 and then Germany demanded we get it done by 2020 just to please Germany's new chancellor, the US would say no and say they will stick to their agreement. We can't expect our allies to speed up a process when they have an agreed upon 6 more years to comply.
Your position is weak. We can expect them to step it up.  They can do it today.  They don't want to because past Administrations have been weak.  Finally a  President that put his foot down.
I don't feel sorry for those freeloaders, they are taking advantage of the US.
 Who side are you on anyway? Why do you want these freeloaders to take advantage of US taxpayers.
I think my position is pretty strong. Trump doesn't understand how governments work. The NATO allies can't suddenly increase their military budget immediately. Heck, Trump can't do that in America, even now while still at war. He can't expect other countries to do it.

They have an existing deal in place to have NATO countries growing their military spending by 2024. Spending has been increasing and decreases in military spending has stopped since 2014.

There is no freeloading going on. This is just a ridiculous issue brought up by Trump to divide everyone.
Sometimes I can't decide if it's less civil to just disagree and say "They absolutely can" or to disagree more in the form of a question. I'm going to try the question.

How do you account for the part where in 2014 there were 3 countries hitting 2% (one was us) and now there will be 8, and that about 4 of those countries are since Trump started talking about this? Do you think those countries pulled off miracles or that it's a coincidence of some sort that as soon as the President started pushing for this that it happened?

I grant you that it will be difficult for some of these countries to up their spending while maintaining their popular welfare states. That's why they need to scale back on their welfare states.

Ah I see the whole point now!
force nato countries  to raise military spending at the expense of the social programs that help create healthy, well educated citizens. Drive down social satisfaction with western democracy and foment the unrest that weakens the country, it’s alliances and the whole western democratic order.

Just add all that shiny new military hardware to the mix and voila! Putin will be able to march on Paris through the smoking ruin of Europe.

Hyperbole? Maybe. But we know for a fact that Putin aims to undermine and weaken the West in order to elevate Russia. His operatives have meddled in German, French and British elections. They got the daughter of a real life Nazi Collaborator into the final round of French voting and count Brexit as a feather in their cap. With trumps “victory” in the states, this whole plan is going about as well as they could have hoped. I see no reason Putin won’t keep pushing buttons and pulling strings.

At times of uncertainty like this it is important to stand with your allies, iron out grievances and present a united front. Unfortunately we have a President is doing the exact opposite.

Your assumption is that social programs create healthy, well educated citizens and that unrest is caused by a lack of these programs. Plenty of times unrest is the result of social programs. So I don't think that assumption is fair, objectively.
Lots of data available if you care to look.
Longest life expectancies, highest standard of living, happiest citizens, least crime... all in nations that blend democracy and socialism.

It's much more nuanced when you look at it systematically.
Oh, forgive my unnuanced mind.
Please elaborate.

The only studies I've seen propose that social programs are not always bad. I do not disagree.

There are many details to parse, but here's one thing to consider:

Studies correlating social programs with health and happiness often take snapshots of a relatively brief period in a society's cycle. There is seldom full consideration for how the society reached that point. It is sometimes assumed that the social programs that developed out of an abundance of wealth or infrastructure, for instance, are responsible for the quality of life. But it is often overlooked how the society developed that surplus in the first place. And one way it has never been shown to develop that surplus ability to serve people communally, is through social programs.

Can social programs help? Yes. Do they necessarily? No, and quite often not in the long run. So I just don't think your criticism of forcing spending on military in order to decrease quality of life is fair (I'm not a fan of military spending for its own sake either).

The US, EU and Russia are all competitors in the global arena (as are all nations). Of course, they will want each other to hold up their end of any deals they have. Not only do they want fair deals. They don't want unfair deals to lead to further inequitable advantages. This is what is happening. Not some conspiracy to completely destabilize a continent (although I'm sure those thoughts have crossed Putin's mind).
The western democratic order was a result of the recognition that trade and cooperation would knit our societies together and act as the best bulwark against war.
Breaking this cooperative arrangement, and reducing the influence of the West, is Putin’s strategy for elevating Russia. 
It has not only crossed his mind, but developed into a workable plan that has been deployed against our allies and ourselves.
Turning a blind eye to the attack, or labeling it a conspiracy, does not make it less true.

Did we stop talking about NATO? Because NATO was meant to (possibly) deter war, but mostly to win war.

Speaking more broadly about propagating open democratic societies across the globe: that is idealistically aimed at reducing war, or more cynically, aimed at enabling a more peaceful imperialism. This does not supplant the competitiveness among nations. And I'm merely proposing that the competitiveness among nations is the primary motive here. Yes, Putin and Russia are a part of that. But it's not a grand scheme hatched in Moscow and implemented by foreign subordinates. I have already argued that the plan as you proposed doesn't necessarily make NATO allies any more discontent or susceptible to foreign influence.

I understand what you are saying, but I think you are presenting a very limited scope of the situation and I'm just being critical of that, because these are message boards and that's what I do here.

Re: Trump’s Economy (merged)
« Reply #242 on: July 31, 2018, 12:42:39 PM »

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  • Don Chaney
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This seemed on point.



TP for you.  This cartoon brings to light one of the major causes that divide our country.  Too any people think linearly and not nonlinear enough.  The difference between linearity and nonlinearity is a central distinction in mathematics.

In this case, the farmer is taught to believe that any socialism is bad, and he would be a hypocrite for accepting the money.   He is taught to believe that minimum socialism is good.  This is linear thinking. 

Socialists tend to think that maximum socialism is good and minimum socialism is bad. That is linear thinking.  Capitalists tend to think that maximum capitalism is good and minimum capitalism is bad.  Again, linear thinking.

But optimum prosperity is a balance somewhere between socialism and capitalism.  Instead of a linear line, it’s a curve, like the Laffer curve – with peak prosperity depicted somewhere on the curve with a hump in the middle.

Both sides of the political/economic spectrum tend to think linearly (max is good; zero is bad) but nonlinear thinking is needed to return to common sense.  Nonlinear thinking means which way you should go depends on where you already are.  Too much capitalism or too much socialism are both bad.

If we keep thinking linearly about economics, we will continue to side with extremists on either side and have a suboptimal, or worse economy and society.  The solution to the problem is nonlinear thinking.  We can debate where the optimal prosperity sweet spot is on the curve but at least we will have a dialogue again and not get into a civil war.  Too many fall prey to the oldest false syllogism in the book:

It could be the case that maximum socialism is good.

I want it to be the case that maximum socialism is good.

Therefore, it is the case that maximum socialism is good.

This insight is not new. Already in Roman times we find Horace’s famous remark “There is a proper measure in things.  There are, finally, certain boundaries short of and beyond which what is right cannot exist.” 

And further back still, in the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle observes that either eating too much or too little is troubling to the constitution.  The optimum is somewhere in between, because the relation between eating and health isn’t linear, but curved, with bad outcomes on both ends.

I viewed the cartoon differently.
The farmer is a huge supporter of Trump and believes government handouts to other people are evil socialism. But will happily take the handout when it is for him.
Yeah, the cartoonist has a questionable viewpoint.  Why would you ridicule a hardworking farmer who helps feed everyone, including the cartoonist, you and me?  He is worthy of respect not disdain.  If anyone should get support, it the hard working people who contribute to society.
The problem is you should not support producers and nonproducers the same - capitalism doesn't.  If you did support producers and nonproducers alike, it would ruin good work ethic.  Eventually, you would end up with almost all nonproducers.  That is a socialistic nightmare.

Yes, the cartoon is critical of the hypocrisy. It is silent, as far as my interpretation, on the policy itself.

Re: Trump’s Economy (merged)
« Reply #243 on: July 31, 2018, 04:53:50 PM »

Offline arctic 3.0

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Trump just struck a deal with the President Of the EU. commision Jean-Claude Juncker .
Seems like the tariffs and the threat of trade wars has paid off with the brilliant deal making of President Trump.

Working on no tariffs so that free trade is really free.
EU will import more Natural Liquid Gas.
Eu will import more Soybeans
U.S. and EU Will ‘Resolve’ Steel and Aluminum and Retaliatory Tariffs

EU tapped out.  USA wins. Finally a President who puts the US first

this is for you nick
https://www.wsj.com/articles/ahead-of-eu-meeting-trump-rails-at-domestic-critics-1532524795


They didn't strike a deal.

They agreed to negotiate.

There's a big difference there.

And by the way, prior presidents have negotiated with the EU before. Obama got pretty far with TTIP, but it got put on pause when Trump was elected.

Here's TTIP: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transatlantic_Trade_and_Investment_Partnership

It basically seems like Trump is starting to (finally) embrace global trade ideas, which is a good thing.

I agree it's great they are in negotiations, Trump is for free fair trade. Just because it's global doesn't mean its good for the US.  He is negotiating a better deal. When Trump is done, I believe the US will be way better off than the trade deficit ridden TTIP.  Obama was more worried about being liked by the world than sticking up for the American Worker.

Curious. Why do you say free and fair. Surely free trade is just... free trade. It's not fair or not not fair.. it's just free. Noone pays tariffs right? Or am I missing something?
It's not fair for an American steel worker to compete with a Chinese one if the Chinese one has no environmental laws to follow, or any OSHA laws or laws against child labor or borderline slavery, and if his country subsidizes his industry in order to flood the world with cheap steal and then further manipulates their currency to make their steel even cheaper, and then forces any US business that wants to do business there to transfer all their patented tech to them. The President has my full support in a trade war vs such a place. He also has my support to put as much pressure as possible in any way possible to make NATO countries pay their fair share into NATO. I'm tired of the US being taken for granted and blamed for everything that happens and never thanked for everything it extends. The world has been very clear lately that they wish America to be more isolationist. They should get their wish.
You realize that Trump did nothing to NATO. He blustered about them now spending their fair share and will now spend up to 4% of their GDP on military spending but thats not true. Not even NATO not living up to their spending promises is true.

NATO agree years ago to get their respective spending to 2% of GDP by 2024. So not reaching that mark already is not breaching any spending agreements or not paying their fair share. They still have 6 years to reach the agreed upon level.

After Trump's bluster that is what those countries said they would do, reach the agreed upon spending in the agreed upon time. None of those countries agreed to 4% spending. They also said that.

Trump is taking a nothing issue and trying to lie and deceive his way into making himself look like a hero against those bad NATO people. Its a nothing issue.

You are totally missing the point of this NATO conversation.
The fact is only a small percentage of NATO pay their fair share. 
This is a fact you can not deny.
Trump is trying to get the others to step it up Not in 2024 but now!
He is sticking up for the US tax payer of which I hope your one of them.
He is negotiating. For you and me to have some of the NATO member
not to sponge of the USA.
It's obvious your hatred for Trump is clouding your common sense.
Think about it, you are taking the side of the spongers over your own country.
If Obama did this, I would've be all for it.  He would be sticking up for our country and
not taking advantage of us.
But he would rather be liked than put his country first.
These countries need us more than them, he is using leverage.
Its impossible for many of the countries in NATO to instantly increase a major portion of their military spending without sacrificing in other areas that those countries feel are necessary for the well being of their citizens. The revenue streamlines have to be in place for increases of billions of dollars to military budgets to occur. These NATO countries are not run by dictators or despots and so have to go through their governmental procedures to procure the monet to spend on military. Its going to take years to happen and why the resolution in 2014 was set in place, so that these countries can slowly build to the 2% without sacrificing life style and necessary social and infrastructure programs.

In the end all Trump did was let the other NATO members know he can bluster b.s. as well as anyone and that Trump is most likely not their friend but a "foe". The countries not at 2% will reach that level sometime before 2024, the agreed upon date. Most likely not sooner. And there is nothing Trump can do about it.
Not our problem. They've been blowing off their commitments since 2006. The little Baltics can get their spending up in almost a year, but big mighty Germany needs from 2006 till 2024 to get off the American protection teet.  And for Trump to point that out, he's supposedly a big meanie. Sorry Europe. The years of giving our presidents Nobel Prizes and back slapping in exchange for guilt free protection are over.
And its not the rest of our allies' from NATO problem that America elected an idiot that can't understand that our allies can't magically wave a wand and come up with the type of military money that our whacked out president wants immediately. Trump's complete lack of understanding on how our allies governments work and how hard it is for them to do a complete budget overhaul just to make him happy shows just how pointless this whole NATO bluster of his was.

Per a 2014 agreement they have until 2024. Until then this is just an issue because Trump wants divisiveness and wants us looking at our allies as enemies. His voting base eats this stuff up.

This is a complete non-issue. If we had an agreement with Germany that we would complete something for them by 2025 and then Germany demanded we get it done by 2020 just to please Germany's new chancellor, the US would say no and say they will stick to their agreement. We can't expect our allies to speed up a process when they have an agreed upon 6 more years to comply.
Your position is weak. We can expect them to step it up.  They can do it today.  They don't want to because past Administrations have been weak.  Finally a  President that put his foot down.
I don't feel sorry for those freeloaders, they are taking advantage of the US.
 Who side are you on anyway? Why do you want these freeloaders to take advantage of US taxpayers.
I think my position is pretty strong. Trump doesn't understand how governments work. The NATO allies can't suddenly increase their military budget immediately. Heck, Trump can't do that in America, even now while still at war. He can't expect other countries to do it.

They have an existing deal in place to have NATO countries growing their military spending by 2024. Spending has been increasing and decreases in military spending has stopped since 2014.

There is no freeloading going on. This is just a ridiculous issue brought up by Trump to divide everyone.
Sometimes I can't decide if it's less civil to just disagree and say "They absolutely can" or to disagree more in the form of a question. I'm going to try the question.

How do you account for the part where in 2014 there were 3 countries hitting 2% (one was us) and now there will be 8, and that about 4 of those countries are since Trump started talking about this? Do you think those countries pulled off miracles or that it's a coincidence of some sort that as soon as the President started pushing for this that it happened?

I grant you that it will be difficult for some of these countries to up their spending while maintaining their popular welfare states. That's why they need to scale back on their welfare states.

Ah I see the whole point now!
force nato countries  to raise military spending at the expense of the social programs that help create healthy, well educated citizens. Drive down social satisfaction with western democracy and foment the unrest that weakens the country, it’s alliances and the whole western democratic order.

Just add all that shiny new military hardware to the mix and voila! Putin will be able to march on Paris through the smoking ruin of Europe.

Hyperbole? Maybe. But we know for a fact that Putin aims to undermine and weaken the West in order to elevate Russia. His operatives have meddled in German, French and British elections. They got the daughter of a real life Nazi Collaborator into the final round of French voting and count Brexit as a feather in their cap. With trumps “victory” in the states, this whole plan is going about as well as they could have hoped. I see no reason Putin won’t keep pushing buttons and pulling strings.

At times of uncertainty like this it is important to stand with your allies, iron out grievances and present a united front. Unfortunately we have a President is doing the exact opposite.

Your assumption is that social programs create healthy, well educated citizens and that unrest is caused by a lack of these programs. Plenty of times unrest is the result of social programs. So I don't think that assumption is fair, objectively.
Lots of data available if you care to look.
Longest life expectancies, highest standard of living, happiest citizens, least crime... all in nations that blend democracy and socialism.

It's much more nuanced when you look at it systematically.
Oh, forgive my unnuanced mind.
Please elaborate.

The only studies I've seen propose that social programs are not always bad. I do not disagree.

There are many details to parse, but here's one thing to consider:

Studies correlating social programs with health and happiness often take snapshots of a relatively brief period in a society's cycle. There is seldom full consideration for how the society reached that point. It is sometimes assumed that the social programs that developed out of an abundance of wealth or infrastructure, for instance, are responsible for the quality of life. But it is often overlooked how the society developed that surplus in the first place. And one way it has never been shown to develop that surplus ability to serve people communally, is through social programs.

Can social programs help? Yes. Do they necessarily? No, and quite often not in the long run. So I just don't think your criticism of forcing spending on military in order to decrease quality of life is fair (I'm not a fan of military spending for its own sake either).

The US, EU and Russia are all competitors in the global arena (as are all nations). Of course, they will want each other to hold up their end of any deals they have. Not only do they want fair deals. They don't want unfair deals to lead to further inequitable advantages. This is what is happening. Not some conspiracy to completely destabilize a continent (although I'm sure those thoughts have crossed Putin's mind).
The western democratic order was a result of the recognition that trade and cooperation would knit our societies together and act as the best bulwark against war.
Breaking this cooperative arrangement, and reducing the influence of the West, is Putin’s strategy for elevating Russia. 
It has not only crossed his mind, but developed into a workable plan that has been deployed against our allies and ourselves.
Turning a blind eye to the attack, or labeling it a conspiracy, does not make it less true.

Did we stop talking about NATO? Because NATO was meant to (possibly) deter war, but mostly to win war.

Speaking more broadly about propagating open democratic societies across the globe: that is idealistically aimed at reducing war, or more cynically, aimed at enabling a more peaceful imperialism. This does not supplant the competitiveness among nations. And I'm merely proposing that the competitiveness among nations is the primary motive here. Yes, Putin and Russia are a part of that. But it's not a grand scheme hatched in Moscow and implemented by foreign subordinates. I have already argued that the plan as you proposed doesn't necessarily make NATO allies any more discontent or susceptible to foreign influence.

I understand what you are saying, but I think you are presenting a very limited scope of the situation and I'm just being critical of that, because these are message boards and that's what I do here.

Just following your lead as the convo veered from NATO to global relations in general.

Also, are you actually arguing that Moscow is not actively perusing a campaign of disinformation aimed at weakening the western alliance?
« Last Edit: July 31, 2018, 06:20:51 PM by arctic 3.0 »

Re: Trump’s Economy (merged)
« Reply #244 on: July 31, 2018, 05:24:11 PM »

Offline mobilija

  • Brad Stevens
  • Posts: 260
  • Tommy Points: 97
This seemed on point.



TP for you.  This cartoon brings to light one of the major causes that divide our country.  Too any people think linearly and not nonlinear enough.  The difference between linearity and nonlinearity is a central distinction in mathematics.

In this case, the farmer is taught to believe that any socialism is bad, and he would be a hypocrite for accepting the money.   He is taught to believe that minimum socialism is good.  This is linear thinking. 

Socialists tend to think that maximum socialism is good and minimum socialism is bad. That is linear thinking.  Capitalists tend to think that maximum capitalism is good and minimum capitalism is bad.  Again, linear thinking.

But optimum prosperity is a balance somewhere between socialism and capitalism.  Instead of a linear line, it’s a curve, like the Laffer curve – with peak prosperity depicted somewhere on the curve with a hump in the middle.

Both sides of the political/economic spectrum tend to think linearly (max is good; zero is bad) but nonlinear thinking is needed to return to common sense.  Nonlinear thinking means which way you should go depends on where you already are.  Too much capitalism or too much socialism are both bad.

If we keep thinking linearly about economics, we will continue to side with extremists on either side and have a suboptimal, or worse economy and society.  The solution to the problem is nonlinear thinking.  We can debate where the optimal prosperity sweet spot is on the curve but at least we will have a dialogue again and not get into a civil war.  Too many fall prey to the oldest false syllogism in the book:

It could be the case that maximum socialism is good.

I want it to be the case that maximum socialism is good.

Therefore, it is the case that maximum socialism is good.

This insight is not new. Already in Roman times we find Horace’s famous remark “There is a proper measure in things.  There are, finally, certain boundaries short of and beyond which what is right cannot exist.” 

And further back still, in the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle observes that either eating too much or too little is troubling to the constitution.  The optimum is somewhere in between, because the relation between eating and health isn’t linear, but curved, with bad outcomes on both ends.

Best post I’ve seen from you. Something finallynot inflammatory but constructive. I heart the middle ground. TP

Re: Trump’s Economy (merged)
« Reply #245 on: July 31, 2018, 05:25:53 PM »

Offline mobilija

  • Brad Stevens
  • Posts: 260
  • Tommy Points: 97
Trump just struck a deal with the President Of the EU. commision Jean-Claude Juncker .
Seems like the tariffs and the threat of trade wars has paid off with the brilliant deal making of President Trump.

Working on no tariffs so that free trade is really free.
EU will import more Natural Liquid Gas.
Eu will import more Soybeans
U.S. and EU Will ‘Resolve’ Steel and Aluminum and Retaliatory Tariffs

EU tapped out.  USA wins. Finally a President who puts the US first

this is for you nick
https://www.wsj.com/articles/ahead-of-eu-meeting-trump-rails-at-domestic-critics-1532524795


They didn't strike a deal.

They agreed to negotiate.

There's a big difference there.

And by the way, prior presidents have negotiated with the EU before. Obama got pretty far with TTIP, but it got put on pause when Trump was elected.

Here's TTIP: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transatlantic_Trade_and_Investment_Partnership

It basically seems like Trump is starting to (finally) embrace global trade ideas, which is a good thing.

I agree it's great they are in negotiations, Trump is for free fair trade. Just because it's global doesn't mean its good for the US.  He is negotiating a better deal. When Trump is done, I believe the US will be way better off than the trade deficit ridden TTIP.  Obama was more worried about being liked by the world than sticking up for the American Worker.

Curious. Why do you say free and fair. Surely free trade is just... free trade. It's not fair or not not fair.. it's just free. Noone pays tariffs right? Or am I missing something?
It's not fair for an American steel worker to compete with a Chinese one if the Chinese one has no environmental laws to follow, or any OSHA laws or laws against child labor or borderline slavery, and if his country subsidizes his industry in order to flood the world with cheap steal and then further manipulates their currency to make their steel even cheaper, and then forces any US business that wants to do business there to transfer all their patented tech to them. The President has my full support in a trade war vs such a place. He also has my support to put as much pressure as possible in any way possible to make NATO countries pay their fair share into NATO. I'm tired of the US being taken for granted and blamed for everything that happens and never thanked for everything it extends. The world has been very clear lately that they wish America to be more isolationist. They should get their wish.
You realize that Trump did nothing to NATO. He blustered about them now spending their fair share and will now spend up to 4% of their GDP on military spending but thats not true. Not even NATO not living up to their spending promises is true.

NATO agree years ago to get their respective spending to 2% of GDP by 2024. So not reaching that mark already is not breaching any spending agreements or not paying their fair share. They still have 6 years to reach the agreed upon level.

After Trump's bluster that is what those countries said they would do, reach the agreed upon spending in the agreed upon time. None of those countries agreed to 4% spending. They also said that.

Trump is taking a nothing issue and trying to lie and deceive his way into making himself look like a hero against those bad NATO people. Its a nothing issue.

You are totally missing the point of this NATO conversation.
The fact is only a small percentage of NATO pay their fair share. 
This is a fact you can not deny.
Trump is trying to get the others to step it up Not in 2024 but now!
He is sticking up for the US tax payer of which I hope your one of them.
He is negotiating. For you and me to have some of the NATO member
not to sponge of the USA.
It's obvious your hatred for Trump is clouding your common sense.
Think about it, you are taking the side of the spongers over your own country.
If Obama did this, I would've be all for it.  He would be sticking up for our country and
not taking advantage of us.
But he would rather be liked than put his country first.
These countries need us more than them, he is using leverage.
Its impossible for many of the countries in NATO to instantly increase a major portion of their military spending without sacrificing in other areas that those countries feel are necessary for the well being of their citizens. The revenue streamlines have to be in place for increases of billions of dollars to military budgets to occur. These NATO countries are not run by dictators or despots and so have to go through their governmental procedures to procure the monet to spend on military. Its going to take years to happen and why the resolution in 2014 was set in place, so that these countries can slowly build to the 2% without sacrificing life style and necessary social and infrastructure programs.

In the end all Trump did was let the other NATO members know he can bluster b.s. as well as anyone and that Trump is most likely not their friend but a "foe". The countries not at 2% will reach that level sometime before 2024, the agreed upon date. Most likely not sooner. And there is nothing Trump can do about it.
Not our problem. They've been blowing off their commitments since 2006. The little Baltics can get their spending up in almost a year, but big mighty Germany needs from 2006 till 2024 to get off the American protection teet.  And for Trump to point that out, he's supposedly a big meanie. Sorry Europe. The years of giving our presidents Nobel Prizes and back slapping in exchange for guilt free protection are over.
And its not the rest of our allies' from NATO problem that America elected an idiot that can't understand that our allies can't magically wave a wand and come up with the type of military money that our whacked out president wants immediately. Trump's complete lack of understanding on how our allies governments work and how hard it is for them to do a complete budget overhaul just to make him happy shows just how pointless this whole NATO bluster of his was.

Per a 2014 agreement they have until 2024. Until then this is just an issue because Trump wants divisiveness and wants us looking at our allies as enemies. His voting base eats this stuff up.

This is a complete non-issue. If we had an agreement with Germany that we would complete something for them by 2025 and then Germany demanded we get it done by 2020 just to please Germany's new chancellor, the US would say no and say they will stick to their agreement. We can't expect our allies to speed up a process when they have an agreed upon 6 more years to comply.
Your position is weak. We can expect them to step it up.  They can do it today.  They don't want to because past Administrations have been weak.  Finally a  President that put his foot down.
I don't feel sorry for those freeloaders, they are taking advantage of the US.
 Who side are you on anyway? Why do you want these freeloaders to take advantage of US taxpayers.

Is the middle class in America taking advantage of the wealthy when the wealthy pay more in taxes in terms of volume?  Or... are the wealthy engaged in a mutually beneficial relationship with the middle class, knowing that a solvent middle class is "good for business"?    It's about finding the correct balance as opposed to numerical equivalency.  I don't trust Trump to handle this (nor did I trust the under-qualified Obama to handle it).   You are buying his approach because you trust him -- I absolutely understand that, but calling out "freeloaders", or calling out someone's loyalty to America when you probably don't fully understand (nor do I) the intricacies of international economics or the precise balance to strike with smaller volume contributors (one that pays fair share but doesn't result in economic downfall for those countries) is just unnecessarily nasty.   Trump does "bully" very well -- but my belief is that you need nuance along with tough and I've not seen the nuance.


Regarding your comments on how those on the "left" always spin negative:
1) It's great that unemplyment is low.
2) It's great (though it has not had an impact on me) that the stock market is strong.
3) Congrats on the 2nd quarter growth!
4) Great that immigration reform is getting serious attention (though holding to the Wall is folly IMO) -- Trump has strongly influenced movement on this important issue.
5) Congrats to him for Gorsuch and presumably Cavanaugh.  I don't favor a conservative SCOTUS, but these appear to be qualified justices and Trump is certainly coming through for the social conservatives that helped get him elected.


He's been effective on some things that matter to republicans, but he's also been remarkably divisive -- I am afraid that legal 1st generation immigrants, Muslim Americans, Mexican-Americans, DACA kids/adults are experiencing daily fears that shouldn't be a part of any American's life.  The divisions and degree of animus that exists today between the political parties is unhealthy and is tearing the country apart -- and it doesn't need to be this way since the majority of the country are not at the extremes but in middle (lean left or lean right).  Obama did not lead the country toward better unity -- I had hoped his successor would move in the correct direction. Trump has not done so.

I think Trump's a dangerous, impulsive, self-absorbed man who I don't trust as a leader.  This doesn't mean that his impulses are always wrong or ineffective, or that his policies are always wrong or ineffective. 


I don't have even a cursory understanding of the "Liquid Natural Gas" issue, so can't comment on the benefits of this negotiation.

Yup. TP for u too.

Re: Trump’s Economy (merged)
« Reply #246 on: July 31, 2018, 07:51:03 PM »

Offline Pucaccia

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1.  GDP 4.1 percent fueled by an uptick in consumer spending(because of the tax cuts.)

2. African American all time low in unemployment.

3. Hispanic American all time low in unemployment.

4.  Asian Unemployment all time low.

5. Women's Unemployment 65 year low.

6.  Veterans Unemployment = 18 year low.

7.  3.5 Million off food stamps.

8.  Oil production all time high.

9.  Net Natural gas exporter for first time in 60 years.

10.  After Trump takes care of the Trade inequality everything should get even better.

It's a great time to be living in America!

Re: Trump’s Economy (merged)
« Reply #247 on: July 31, 2018, 09:21:45 PM »

Offline byennie

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1.  GDP 4.1 percent fueled by an uptick in consumer spending(because of the tax cuts.)

2. African American all time low in unemployment.

3. Hispanic American all time low in unemployment.

4.  Asian Unemployment all time low.

5. Women's Unemployment 65 year low.

6.  Veterans Unemployment = 18 year low.

7.  3.5 Million off food stamps.

8.  Oil production all time high.

9.  Net Natural gas exporter for first time in 60 years.

10.  After Trump takes care of the Trade inequality everything should get even better.

It's a great time to be living in America!
Was the question "how many different ways can we take credit for unemployment" =)?

Seriously though, all of those items are fine and good, but also:

1) The unemployment trend is not a change of course, but a continuation. Which is fine, but bold to take a ton of credit for, especially by measuring the same thing 4 different ways

2) Feeding GDP with tax cuts isn't something to judge after months... especially considering said tax returns haven't even occurred yet
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Re: Trump’s Economy (merged)
« Reply #248 on: July 31, 2018, 11:22:26 PM »

Offline Cman

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This seemed on point.



TP for you.  This cartoon brings to light one of the major causes that divide our country.  Too any people think linearly and not nonlinear enough.  The difference between linearity and nonlinearity is a central distinction in mathematics.

In this case, the farmer is taught to believe that any socialism is bad, and he would be a hypocrite for accepting the money.   He is taught to believe that minimum socialism is good.  This is linear thinking. 

Socialists tend to think that maximum socialism is good and minimum socialism is bad. That is linear thinking.  Capitalists tend to think that maximum capitalism is good and minimum capitalism is bad.  Again, linear thinking.

But optimum prosperity is a balance somewhere between socialism and capitalism.  Instead of a linear line, it’s a curve, like the Laffer curve – with peak prosperity depicted somewhere on the curve with a hump in the middle.

Both sides of the political/economic spectrum tend to think linearly (max is good; zero is bad) but nonlinear thinking is needed to return to common sense.  Nonlinear thinking means which way you should go depends on where you already are.  Too much capitalism or too much socialism are both bad.

If we keep thinking linearly about economics, we will continue to side with extremists on either side and have a suboptimal, or worse economy and society.  The solution to the problem is nonlinear thinking.  We can debate where the optimal prosperity sweet spot is on the curve but at least we will have a dialogue again and not get into a civil war.  Too many fall prey to the oldest false syllogism in the book:

It could be the case that maximum socialism is good.

I want it to be the case that maximum socialism is good.

Therefore, it is the case that maximum socialism is good.

This insight is not new. Already in Roman times we find Horace’s famous remark “There is a proper measure in things.  There are, finally, certain boundaries short of and beyond which what is right cannot exist.” 

And further back still, in the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle observes that either eating too much or too little is troubling to the constitution.  The optimum is somewhere in between, because the relation between eating and health isn’t linear, but curved, with bad outcomes on both ends.

I viewed the cartoon differently.
The farmer is a huge supporter of Trump and believes government handouts to other people are evil socialism. But will happily take the handout when it is for him.
Yeah, the cartoonist has a questionable viewpoint.  Why would you ridicule a hardworking farmer who helps feed everyone, including the cartoonist, you and me?  He is worthy of respect not disdain.  If anyone should get support, it the hard working people who contribute to society.
The problem is you should not support producers and nonproducers the same - capitalism doesn't.  If you did support producers and nonproducers alike, it would ruin good work ethic.  Eventually, you would end up with almost all nonproducers.  That is a socialistic nightmare.

Hahahaha at the myth of “the farmer”
I’ve spent time on family farms in the Midwest. They suck and they are almost all gone. There are basically no family farms left. Just big Ag corporations. And that’s fine. These big guys are much more productive than the little guy. But spare me the story of the aw shucks hard working family farmer.
Celtics fan for life.

Re: Trump’s Economy (merged)
« Reply #249 on: August 01, 2018, 08:44:37 AM »

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Trump just struck a deal with the President Of the EU. commision Jean-Claude Juncker .
Seems like the tariffs and the threat of trade wars has paid off with the brilliant deal making of President Trump.

Working on no tariffs so that free trade is really free.
EU will import more Natural Liquid Gas.
Eu will import more Soybeans
U.S. and EU Will ‘Resolve’ Steel and Aluminum and Retaliatory Tariffs

EU tapped out.  USA wins. Finally a President who puts the US first

this is for you nick
https://www.wsj.com/articles/ahead-of-eu-meeting-trump-rails-at-domestic-critics-1532524795


They didn't strike a deal.

They agreed to negotiate.

There's a big difference there.

And by the way, prior presidents have negotiated with the EU before. Obama got pretty far with TTIP, but it got put on pause when Trump was elected.

Here's TTIP: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transatlantic_Trade_and_Investment_Partnership

It basically seems like Trump is starting to (finally) embrace global trade ideas, which is a good thing.

I agree it's great they are in negotiations, Trump is for free fair trade. Just because it's global doesn't mean its good for the US.  He is negotiating a better deal. When Trump is done, I believe the US will be way better off than the trade deficit ridden TTIP.  Obama was more worried about being liked by the world than sticking up for the American Worker.

Curious. Why do you say free and fair. Surely free trade is just... free trade. It's not fair or not not fair.. it's just free. Noone pays tariffs right? Or am I missing something?
It's not fair for an American steel worker to compete with a Chinese one if the Chinese one has no environmental laws to follow, or any OSHA laws or laws against child labor or borderline slavery, and if his country subsidizes his industry in order to flood the world with cheap steal and then further manipulates their currency to make their steel even cheaper, and then forces any US business that wants to do business there to transfer all their patented tech to them. The President has my full support in a trade war vs such a place. He also has my support to put as much pressure as possible in any way possible to make NATO countries pay their fair share into NATO. I'm tired of the US being taken for granted and blamed for everything that happens and never thanked for everything it extends. The world has been very clear lately that they wish America to be more isolationist. They should get their wish.
You realize that Trump did nothing to NATO. He blustered about them now spending their fair share and will now spend up to 4% of their GDP on military spending but thats not true. Not even NATO not living up to their spending promises is true.

NATO agree years ago to get their respective spending to 2% of GDP by 2024. So not reaching that mark already is not breaching any spending agreements or not paying their fair share. They still have 6 years to reach the agreed upon level.

After Trump's bluster that is what those countries said they would do, reach the agreed upon spending in the agreed upon time. None of those countries agreed to 4% spending. They also said that.

Trump is taking a nothing issue and trying to lie and deceive his way into making himself look like a hero against those bad NATO people. Its a nothing issue.

You are totally missing the point of this NATO conversation.
The fact is only a small percentage of NATO pay their fair share. 
This is a fact you can not deny.
Trump is trying to get the others to step it up Not in 2024 but now!
He is sticking up for the US tax payer of which I hope your one of them.
He is negotiating. For you and me to have some of the NATO member
not to sponge of the USA.
It's obvious your hatred for Trump is clouding your common sense.
Think about it, you are taking the side of the spongers over your own country.
If Obama did this, I would've be all for it.  He would be sticking up for our country and
not taking advantage of us.
But he would rather be liked than put his country first.
These countries need us more than them, he is using leverage.
Its impossible for many of the countries in NATO to instantly increase a major portion of their military spending without sacrificing in other areas that those countries feel are necessary for the well being of their citizens. The revenue streamlines have to be in place for increases of billions of dollars to military budgets to occur. These NATO countries are not run by dictators or despots and so have to go through their governmental procedures to procure the monet to spend on military. Its going to take years to happen and why the resolution in 2014 was set in place, so that these countries can slowly build to the 2% without sacrificing life style and necessary social and infrastructure programs.

In the end all Trump did was let the other NATO members know he can bluster b.s. as well as anyone and that Trump is most likely not their friend but a "foe". The countries not at 2% will reach that level sometime before 2024, the agreed upon date. Most likely not sooner. And there is nothing Trump can do about it.
Not our problem. They've been blowing off their commitments since 2006. The little Baltics can get their spending up in almost a year, but big mighty Germany needs from 2006 till 2024 to get off the American protection teet.  And for Trump to point that out, he's supposedly a big meanie. Sorry Europe. The years of giving our presidents Nobel Prizes and back slapping in exchange for guilt free protection are over.
And its not the rest of our allies' from NATO problem that America elected an idiot that can't understand that our allies can't magically wave a wand and come up with the type of military money that our whacked out president wants immediately. Trump's complete lack of understanding on how our allies governments work and how hard it is for them to do a complete budget overhaul just to make him happy shows just how pointless this whole NATO bluster of his was.

Per a 2014 agreement they have until 2024. Until then this is just an issue because Trump wants divisiveness and wants us looking at our allies as enemies. His voting base eats this stuff up.

This is a complete non-issue. If we had an agreement with Germany that we would complete something for them by 2025 and then Germany demanded we get it done by 2020 just to please Germany's new chancellor, the US would say no and say they will stick to their agreement. We can't expect our allies to speed up a process when they have an agreed upon 6 more years to comply.
Your position is weak. We can expect them to step it up.  They can do it today.  They don't want to because past Administrations have been weak.  Finally a  President that put his foot down.
I don't feel sorry for those freeloaders, they are taking advantage of the US.
 Who side are you on anyway? Why do you want these freeloaders to take advantage of US taxpayers.
I think my position is pretty strong. Trump doesn't understand how governments work. The NATO allies can't suddenly increase their military budget immediately. Heck, Trump can't do that in America, even now while still at war. He can't expect other countries to do it.

They have an existing deal in place to have NATO countries growing their military spending by 2024. Spending has been increasing and decreases in military spending has stopped since 2014.

There is no freeloading going on. This is just a ridiculous issue brought up by Trump to divide everyone.
Sometimes I can't decide if it's less civil to just disagree and say "They absolutely can" or to disagree more in the form of a question. I'm going to try the question.

How do you account for the part where in 2014 there were 3 countries hitting 2% (one was us) and now there will be 8, and that about 4 of those countries are since Trump started talking about this? Do you think those countries pulled off miracles or that it's a coincidence of some sort that as soon as the President started pushing for this that it happened?

I grant you that it will be difficult for some of these countries to up their spending while maintaining their popular welfare states. That's why they need to scale back on their welfare states.

Ah I see the whole point now!
force nato countries  to raise military spending at the expense of the social programs that help create healthy, well educated citizens. Drive down social satisfaction with western democracy and foment the unrest that weakens the country, it’s alliances and the whole western democratic order.

Just add all that shiny new military hardware to the mix and voila! Putin will be able to march on Paris through the smoking ruin of Europe.

Hyperbole? Maybe. But we know for a fact that Putin aims to undermine and weaken the West in order to elevate Russia. His operatives have meddled in German, French and British elections. They got the daughter of a real life Nazi Collaborator into the final round of French voting and count Brexit as a feather in their cap. With trumps “victory” in the states, this whole plan is going about as well as they could have hoped. I see no reason Putin won’t keep pushing buttons and pulling strings.

At times of uncertainty like this it is important to stand with your allies, iron out grievances and present a united front. Unfortunately we have a President is doing the exact opposite.

Your assumption is that social programs create healthy, well educated citizens and that unrest is caused by a lack of these programs. Plenty of times unrest is the result of social programs. So I don't think that assumption is fair, objectively.
Lots of data available if you care to look.
Longest life expectancies, highest standard of living, happiest citizens, least crime... all in nations that blend democracy and socialism.

It's much more nuanced when you look at it systematically.
Oh, forgive my unnuanced mind.
Please elaborate.

The only studies I've seen propose that social programs are not always bad. I do not disagree.

There are many details to parse, but here's one thing to consider:

Studies correlating social programs with health and happiness often take snapshots of a relatively brief period in a society's cycle. There is seldom full consideration for how the society reached that point. It is sometimes assumed that the social programs that developed out of an abundance of wealth or infrastructure, for instance, are responsible for the quality of life. But it is often overlooked how the society developed that surplus in the first place. And one way it has never been shown to develop that surplus ability to serve people communally, is through social programs.

Can social programs help? Yes. Do they necessarily? No, and quite often not in the long run. So I just don't think your criticism of forcing spending on military in order to decrease quality of life is fair (I'm not a fan of military spending for its own sake either).

The US, EU and Russia are all competitors in the global arena (as are all nations). Of course, they will want each other to hold up their end of any deals they have. Not only do they want fair deals. They don't want unfair deals to lead to further inequitable advantages. This is what is happening. Not some conspiracy to completely destabilize a continent (although I'm sure those thoughts have crossed Putin's mind).
The western democratic order was a result of the recognition that trade and cooperation would knit our societies together and act as the best bulwark against war.
Breaking this cooperative arrangement, and reducing the influence of the West, is Putin’s strategy for elevating Russia. 
It has not only crossed his mind, but developed into a workable plan that has been deployed against our allies and ourselves.
Turning a blind eye to the attack, or labeling it a conspiracy, does not make it less true.

Did we stop talking about NATO? Because NATO was meant to (possibly) deter war, but mostly to win war.

Speaking more broadly about propagating open democratic societies across the globe: that is idealistically aimed at reducing war, or more cynically, aimed at enabling a more peaceful imperialism. This does not supplant the competitiveness among nations. And I'm merely proposing that the competitiveness among nations is the primary motive here. Yes, Putin and Russia are a part of that. But it's not a grand scheme hatched in Moscow and implemented by foreign subordinates. I have already argued that the plan as you proposed doesn't necessarily make NATO allies any more discontent or susceptible to foreign influence.

I understand what you are saying, but I think you are presenting a very limited scope of the situation and I'm just being critical of that, because these are message boards and that's what I do here.

Just following your lead as the convo veered from NATO to global relations in general.

Also, are you actually arguing that Moscow is not actively perusing a campaign of disinformation aimed at weakening the western alliance?

I believe I have reinforced the idea that all nations are trying to strengthen their strategic standing. I just reject a Putin-centric view of the entire globe. He is a player among many. I don't trust him, but I am not obsessed with the avoidance of ceding any benefits to Russia, where it also benefits the US. I'd rather focus on how the policies directly affect the US. There is plenty of criticism there that is being overlooked for the sake of this conspiracy.

Re: Trump’s Economy (merged)
« Reply #250 on: August 01, 2018, 10:01:53 AM »

Online Donoghus

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A friend of mine forwarded me this article yesterday.  Very interesting read on one of the major side effects seen so far from the new tax bill.

https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2018/07/are-stock-buybacks-starving-the-economy/566387/

Quote
he new Roosevelt and nelp research examines public firms in three major but notoriously low-wage industries— food production, retail, and restaurants—weighing buybacks against worker compensation. Unsurprisingly, Tung and Milani found that companies were aggressive in purchasing their own shares. The restaurant industry spent 140 percent of profits on buybacks between 2015 and 2017, meaning that it borrowed or dipped into its cash allowances to purchase the shares. The retail industry spent nearly 80 percent of profits on buybacks, and food-manufacturing firms nearly 60 percent. All in all, public companies across the American economy spent roughly three-fifths of their profits on buybacks in the years studied. “The amount corporations are spending on buybacks is staggering,” Milani said. “Then, to look a little deeper and see how this could impact workers in terms of compensation, was staggering.”

How much might workers have benefited, if companies had devoted their financial resources to them rather than shareholders? Lowe’s, CVS, and Home Depot could have provided each of their workers raises of $18,000 a year, the report found. Starbucks could have given each of its employees $7,000 a year, and McDonald’s $4,000 to its nearly 2 million employees.

Quote
The report examines the period just before President Donald Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax cut came into effect, leading to an even greater surge of buybacks and thus an even greater surge of new wealth for the owners of capital, as wages have continued to stagnate. The tax legislation cut both the top marginal corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 percent—dropping the estimated effective tax rate on profitable businesses to just 9 percent, well below the effective tax rate for households—and encouraged firms to bring money back from overseas.

Trump’s Trickle-Down Mythmaking Begins

What did publicly traded corporations do with that money? Buy back shares and issue dividends, mostly. There was strong anecdotal evidence that would be true even before the law passed. At a Wall Street Journal CEO confab held last fall, the former Trump economic adviser Gary Cohn asked a room of executives, “If the tax reform bill goes through, do you plan to increase your company’s capital investment? Show of hands.” Most participants sat still, prompting Cohn to ask, “Why aren’t the other hands up?” Surveys showed that corporations were planning to shunt money to shareholders, rather than putting it into research, mergers and acquisitions, equipment upgrades, training programs, or workers’ salaries.

Quote
Since then, analyses from investment banks and researchers have estimated that between 40 and 60 percent of the savings from the tax cut are being plowed into buybacks. One analysis of companies on the Russell 1000 index—which consists of big firms, much like the Standard & Poor’s 500 does—found that companies directed 10 times as much money to buybacks as to workers. As such, Milani and Tung said they expect the math on corporate spending on shareholders versus workers to become even more exaggerated in the coming years.

Quote
In the meantime, corporate boards are poised to spend hundreds of billions more on their own shares, benefiting executives along with the mostly wealthy Americans who own stock. Just this week, Caterpillar, for instance, said it plans to spend $1 billion buying back shares in the latter half of this year, before kicking off a new $10 billion round on buybacks starting in January. It is also in the midst of laying off hundreds of workers.


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Re: Trump’s Economy (merged)
« Reply #251 on: August 01, 2018, 10:35:35 AM »

Offline spikelovetheCelts

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This seemed on point.



TP for you.  This cartoon brings to light one of the major causes that divide our country.  Too any people think linearly and not nonlinear enough.  The difference between linearity and nonlinearity is a central distinction in mathematics.

In this case, the farmer is taught to believe that any socialism is bad, and he would be a hypocrite for accepting the money.   He is taught to believe that minimum socialism is good.  This is linear thinking. 

Socialists tend to think that maximum socialism is good and minimum socialism is bad. That is linear thinking.  Capitalists tend to think that maximum capitalism is good and minimum capitalism is bad.  Again, linear thinking.

But optimum prosperity is a balance somewhere between socialism and capitalism.  Instead of a linear line, it’s a curve, like the Laffer curve – with peak prosperity depicted somewhere on the curve with a hump in the middle.

Both sides of the political/economic spectrum tend to think linearly (max is good; zero is bad) but nonlinear thinking is needed to return to common sense.  Nonlinear thinking means which way you should go depends on where you already are.  Too much capitalism or too much socialism are both bad.

If we keep thinking linearly about economics, we will continue to side with extremists on either side and have a suboptimal, or worse economy and society.  The solution to the problem is nonlinear thinking.  We can debate where the optimal prosperity sweet spot is on the curve but at least we will have a dialogue again and not get into a civil war.  Too many fall prey to the oldest false syllogism in the book:

It could be the case that maximum socialism is good.

I want it to be the case that maximum socialism is good.

Therefore, it is the case that maximum socialism is good.

This insight is not new. Already in Roman times we find Horace’s famous remark “There is a proper measure in things.  There are, finally, certain boundaries short of and beyond which what is right cannot exist.” 

And further back still, in the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle observes that either eating too much or too little is troubling to the constitution.  The optimum is somewhere in between, because the relation between eating and health isn’t linear, but curved, with bad outcomes on both ends.

I viewed the cartoon differently.
The farmer is a huge supporter of Trump and believes government handouts to other people are evil socialism. But will happily take the handout when it is for him.
Yeah, the cartoonist has a questionable viewpoint.  Why would you ridicule a hardworking farmer who helps feed everyone, including the cartoonist, you and me?  He is worthy of respect not disdain.  If anyone should get support, it the hard working people who contribute to society.
The problem is you should not support producers and nonproducers the same - capitalism doesn't.  If you did support producers and nonproducers alike, it would ruin good work ethic.  Eventually, you would end up with almost all nonproducers.  That is a socialistic nightmare.

Hahahaha at the myth of “the farmer”
I’ve spent time on family farms in the Midwest. They suck and they are almost all gone. There are basically no family farms left. Just big Ag corporations. And that’s fine. These big guys are much more productive than the little guy. But spare me the story of the aw shucks hard working family farmer.
Small Farms are making a comeback. It is not as you think my friend. 
"People look at players, watch them dribble between their legs and they say, 'There's a superstar.'  Well John Havlicek is a superstar, and most of the others are figments of writers' imagination."
--Jerry West, on John Havlicek

Re: Trump’s Economy (merged)
« Reply #252 on: August 01, 2018, 11:56:16 AM »

Offline Greenback

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Everyone wants truth on his side, not everyone wants to be on the side of truth.

Re: Trump’s Economy (merged)
« Reply #253 on: August 01, 2018, 12:06:12 PM »

Offline Cman

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US farmers are producing.

In Venezuela, not so much:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/venezuelas-president-admits-economy-failed-193020358.html

http://todayvenezuela.com/2017/12/21/venezuela-crisis-farmers-struggle-as-people-go-hungry/

Yes, I would hate to be a farmer, or really any occupation, in Venezuela.

Some evidence on the decline of family farms:
Celtics fan for life.

Re: Trump’s Economy (merged)
« Reply #254 on: August 01, 2018, 12:17:19 PM »

Online nickagneta

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A friend of mine forwarded me this article yesterday.  Very interesting read on one of the major side effects seen so far from the new tax bill.

https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2018/07/are-stock-buybacks-starving-the-economy/566387/

Quote
he new Roosevelt and nelp research examines public firms in three major but notoriously low-wage industries— food production, retail, and restaurants—weighing buybacks against worker compensation. Unsurprisingly, Tung and Milani found that companies were aggressive in purchasing their own shares. The restaurant industry spent 140 percent of profits on buybacks between 2015 and 2017, meaning that it borrowed or dipped into its cash allowances to purchase the shares. The retail industry spent nearly 80 percent of profits on buybacks, and food-manufacturing firms nearly 60 percent. All in all, public companies across the American economy spent roughly three-fifths of their profits on buybacks in the years studied. “The amount corporations are spending on buybacks is staggering,” Milani said. “Then, to look a little deeper and see how this could impact workers in terms of compensation, was staggering.”

How much might workers have benefited, if companies had devoted their financial resources to them rather than shareholders? Lowe’s, CVS, and Home Depot could have provided each of their workers raises of $18,000 a year, the report found. Starbucks could have given each of its employees $7,000 a year, and McDonald’s $4,000 to its nearly 2 million employees.

Quote
The report examines the period just before President Donald Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax cut came into effect, leading to an even greater surge of buybacks and thus an even greater surge of new wealth for the owners of capital, as wages have continued to stagnate. The tax legislation cut both the top marginal corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 percent—dropping the estimated effective tax rate on profitable businesses to just 9 percent, well below the effective tax rate for households—and encouraged firms to bring money back from overseas.

Trump’s Trickle-Down Mythmaking Begins

What did publicly traded corporations do with that money? Buy back shares and issue dividends, mostly. There was strong anecdotal evidence that would be true even before the law passed. At a Wall Street Journal CEO confab held last fall, the former Trump economic adviser Gary Cohn asked a room of executives, “If the tax reform bill goes through, do you plan to increase your company’s capital investment? Show of hands.” Most participants sat still, prompting Cohn to ask, “Why aren’t the other hands up?” Surveys showed that corporations were planning to shunt money to shareholders, rather than putting it into research, mergers and acquisitions, equipment upgrades, training programs, or workers’ salaries.

Quote
Since then, analyses from investment banks and researchers have estimated that between 40 and 60 percent of the savings from the tax cut are being plowed into buybacks. One analysis of companies on the Russell 1000 index—which consists of big firms, much like the Standard & Poor’s 500 does—found that companies directed 10 times as much money to buybacks as to workers. As such, Milani and Tung said they expect the math on corporate spending on shareholders versus workers to become even more exaggerated in the coming years.

Quote
In the meantime, corporate boards are poised to spend hundreds of billions more on their own shares, benefiting executives along with the mostly wealthy Americans who own stock. Just this week, Caterpillar, for instance, said it plans to spend $1 billion buying back shares in the latter half of this year, before kicking off a new $10 billion round on buybacks starting in January. It is also in the midst of laying off hundreds of workers.
Pretty much exactly as predicted and what I thought would happen. As I have said before, I hope people put away that little tax return they get for a rainy day because they're going to need it when the full effects of this money grab by the corporations and rich comes to full fruition.

 

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