• Bitter Crank
    8.1k
    [img]
    The downside is he's Biden.Baden

    The downside is that whoever runs with even a small chance of success will be a professional politician. "Professional politicians" are not all liars , thieves, knaves, and scoundrels but a lot of them are. Some that are not outright LTKorS are beholden (aka in hock) to powerful interests such as the petroleum industry, the defense industry, or something of that sort. Most politicians are not intellectuals with broad interests and long-term perspectives (they'd go nuts if they were). Then there is the political system which is in charge of delivering the kind of results we tend to get, which are the results the political system wishes to get.

    Voters are almost not part of the political system. The individual's single participation in the system (voting) is practically irrelevant. It's irrelevant not because the other candidate won; it's irrelevant because all of the candidates were losers, to use a favorite term of the current Loser in Chief, Donald Trump.

    Is Senator Sanders something other than the rest? He might be something other than the rest; so might Mayor Buttigieg. Maybe Elizabeth Warren is the real McCoy. But in any case--gay mayor, socialist senator, or progressive hero--the political system is what it always is, and whoever wins will be unsuccessful in conducting a revolution from the white house. Presidents are successful because their actions conform to the range of options provided by the political system.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.1k
    There is also an economic theory that low unemployment results in demand for labor exceeding supply, and that this drives up wages. I don't know if this has ever been confirmed, but it's not an implausible theory. Even if true, no individual is likely to notice it, so I don't see how this would get him any votes.Relativist

    What you wanted to say and almost did was "Demand for labor which can not be met by reserves of unemployed workers tends to drive up wages."

    It's sound theory, but it's not a law of nature. Over the last few years (during the recovery from the last deep recession) unemployment was dropping, employment was rising, and wages were stagnant for quite some time--in violation of the theory. Now, they finally have started to rise.

    People don't notice these increases in wages? Bullshit! Of course individuals notice, whether their wages rise or fall. Most workers are living paycheck to paycheck, and changes in their take-home pay whether from a tax change or a wage change has immediate consequences. I've lived paycheck to paycheck, and believe me, a $10 difference in the check is noticeable (even if it doesn't allow one to change one's lifestyle. It just feels good to see a little more.)
  • Relativist
    737
    What you wanted to say and almost did was "Demand for labor which can not be met by reserves of unemployed workers tends to drive up wages."Bitter Crank
    No, the qualification doesn't belong there. The idea is that when there's demand for labor, workers are enticed to move to better paying jobs.

    It's sound theory, but it's not a law of nature. Over the last few years (during the recovery from the last deep recession) unemployment was dropping, employment was rising, and wages were stagnant for quite some time--in violation of the theory. Now, they finally have started to rise.Bitter Crank
    I imagine there's something to it, but you're right - it's not a law of nature. I expect it's a general trend, although I expect it would be a slow process.

    People don't notice these increases in wages? Bullshit!Bitter Crank
    I didn't mean pay increases aren't noticed, I'm just suggesting that no one will open their pay envelope, see a raise, and exclaim "cool - the supply/demand for labor thing is paying off."
  • Bitter Crank
    8.1k
    "We have to go back to Hitler days and put them all in a gas chamber."Maw

    I'm sure some people are thinking about how big the concentration camps, gas chambers, crematoria, and ash pits will need to be, and where they should be located. Though, the rage of the dominant US demographic doesn't seem to work that way these days. Separating children from parents at the border and then losing the connection between x child and x parent is more like the current regime. There are ways (...ve have vays...) of keeping undesirable groups fairly wretched without actually running them through an extermination center.

    Look at blacks. The majority of them have been kept out of the economic horn of plenty for 150+ years. Enough have made it to deprive the rest an excuse for not succeeding. We could make life a lot less convenient for illegal immigrants without resorting to hydrogen cyanide in the showers. The unpleasant bureaucratic resources of the State have not been fully unleashed upon illegal immigrants. The hounds have not been released, yet.

    Remember, the Nazi's were successful in encouraging a lot of Jews, communists, and decadent intellectuals to get the hell out of Germany without the gas chambers (that came later). Late night visits to the local police station, limitations on work, residence, travel, benefits, etc.-- people got the message and left if they could. Eventually the Nazis took over the countries where many of the unwanted fled -- like Holland and France. We'd have to take over Mexico and Central America to effect a final solution to the problem, which would be really bad PR. It was bad PR for Germany too, but they were on a roll at that point and war had already commenced, so not too much was made of it.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.1k
    I'm just suggesting that no one will open their pay envelope, see a raise, and exclaim "cool - the supply/demand for labor thing is paying off."Relativist

    Right. People don't operate that way. Even professional economists who get raises don't say that. What they say is, "Finally my brilliance has been noticed, however slightly they are rewarding it."

    There is still a problem in the wage/unemployment/employment relationship. Some regional chiefs in the Federal Reserves are against an increase in the interest rate, because they believe the reserve of unemployed is still too large. For some reason (apparently not clear to them) structural problems are keeping workers out of the job market. They may not have any of the demanded skills; they may have criminal records which are effective bars to employment; they may be sufficiently out of the loop to even know how to get into the job market. They may not be able to get to jobs. (Transportation between areas with higher than average unemployment and areas with unfilled jobs is often non-existent. If you don't have a reliable car (and most long-term unemployed people don't) getting to a job that is 15 miles away is impossible.

    No, the qualification doesn't belong there. The idea is that when there's demand for labor, workers are enticed to move to better paying jobs.Relativist

    OK. Yes. True. And wages have to be high enough. I wouldn't cross the street for a job that paid $3 an hour. That's the problem with "Americans just don't want to work" or "just won't do that job." Slaughter house jobs, for instance, are too dangerous for Americans to work in for anything less than a competitive wage. Meatpackers can hire illegal immigrants at very low wages because the wages they are competing with are in Mexico or Guatemala, not Iowa, Missouri, or Minnesota. And yes, the immigrants get seriously injured working on the meatpacking disassembly lines.
  • Relativist
    737
    Yeah, it's complicated. My main thing is that Presidents get credit and blame for the economy, despite the fact that they rarely have any direct, short term impact. Policies that do make a difference usually take years to have an impact.
  • Benkei
    2k
    dude, polls had Clinton winning with a 90% likelihood. Excuse me for not taking them too seriously.
  • Baden
    8.2k


    I just rolled a die. The laws of probability told me there was an over 80% likelihood that a 6 wouldn't show up. But it did. So, excuse me for not taking the laws of probability too seriously.

    See the problem.

    As it happens, the average of polls panned out within the margin of error. And Clinton won the popular vote as expected. What the polls didn't correctly predict was the electoral college win because she won in the wrong places. Less chance of that with Biden and if the RCP national average still has him up by 8% (outside the margin of error) on election night, he wins and wins big, or I eat my die.

    The question is will he get there (win the primary) and maintain that advantage. It's a long campaign.
  • Benkei
    2k
    See the problem.Baden

    Yes, an over reliance on probability to predict the future.

    I'll buy you a beer when Trump loses.
  • Baden
    8.2k


    As long as it's not Heineken. :vomit: :wink:
  • Wayfarer
    8k
    Re the China Trade War: one of the snippets that's come out of the last few days commentary, is that Trump mistakenly believes that China pays the US tariffs on goods exported to the USA. Of course, as his economics adviser Larry Kudlow was obliged to admit on live television, it's the receiving country's buyers that actually pay the tariffs. So, again, this telegraphs so clearly Trump's total ineptitude and incomprehension: launching a trade war without even understanding how tariffs work. The Dunning Kruger presidency at work again.
  • Wallows
    8.7k
    Trump mistakenly believes that China pays the US tariffs on goods exported to the USA.Wayfarer

    I'm not quite sure that's true. In basic economic terms, the goal is to impose a deadweight loss cost on products originating from China, supposedly bolstering the competitiveness of American products. That was the intention of imposing tariffs.

    However, given the example of steel, China has an absolute advantage due to being the sole country that has such cheap labor and the capacity to satisfy world demand. So, as you say, the deadweight loss is actually hurting US interests from my perspective.

    Supposedly, we can compensate by importing goods from Canada and South America; but, China is pretty hard to beat in the commodities market.
  • Wayfarer
    8k
    I'm not quite sure that's true.Wallows

    China does not pay the tariffs - the receiving country pays them.

    All that said, I have read the Dems are in support of tariffs and reining China in. So I'm not taking issue with the principle, simply making the observation that as so often the case, Trump seems not to understand fundamental principles of governance.
  • Wallows
    8.7k
    China does not pay the tariffs - the receiving country pays them.Wayfarer

    No, this isn't entirely true. It hurts China by decreasing demand for its products within the US. This is like econ 101, so I think you understand the point, along with my previous post.
  • Wayfarer
    8k
    No, this isn't entirely true. IWallows

    It is entirely true, Wallows. It might indeed 'hurt China', it might do what tariffs are supposed to do, it might even be a desirable thing, but China does not pay the tariffs. That is the point of the post I made, so please don't obfuscate.
  • Wallows
    8.7k
    It might indeed 'hurt China', but China does not pay the tariffs.Wayfarer

    No, nobody is forcing US consumers to buy Chinese products, despite their products perhaps being cheaper than US products or European products. I mean, when you go to the grocery store or buy an appliance, are you always going to choose the cheapest product, or even appealing to your patriotic sensibilities of the sticker "Made in the USA"? That the whole schtick with nativist tendencies of any previous or future president of any country.

    And, claiming that Trump is dumb or stupid or inept, really does the discussion no good.
  • Wayfarer
    8k
    claiming that Trump is dumb or stupid or inept, really does the discussion no good.Wallows

    It never hurts to state the obvious when the stakes are so high.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    5.9k
    "Professional politicians" are not all liarsBitter Crank

    Here's an example of Trumpian logic. All professional politicians are liars. I'm not a professional politician. Therefore I'm not a liar.

    The sad part ... many of his supporters seem to think it's valid logic.
  • Benkei
    2k
    There's one possibility you're overlooking though and that's when the Chinese government increased subsidies to compensate for the tariffs. I don't know if that happened but I wouldn't be surprised.
  • Wayfarer
    8k
    There's one possibility you're overlooking though and that's when the Chinese government increased subsidies to compensate for the tariffs.Benkei

    That may be true, but it's beside the point.
  • Benkei
    2k
    not entirely, because it means American consumers wouldn't notice the effect of the tariffs as prices would remain more or less the same. So while technically they pay the tariff the economic burden would be shifted to the Chinese government and their tax payers.

    I'm not sure whether that happened and I'm not sure that that's what Trump meant in his tweets but I'm also not sure what to make of his tweet otherwise.


    Edit: also, those comments under his posts are depressing. Communication is really breaking down in social media. It's just opinions, opinions, hate or unswerving loyalty.
  • Wayfarer
    8k
    Trump’s senior economic advisor contradicts him on ‘who pays’. It’s not that different to insisting that ‘Mexico would pay for the wall’.
  • Benkei
    2k
    I stand corrected. I was going on reporting in the Guardian and that linked the tweet in my post which had one possible meaningful explanation. The tweets in the Time's article are pretty dumb.
  • Wayfarer
    8k
    Democrats could point out that tariffs are actually taxes and that what it really means is that Trump is raising taxes. There’s no greater poison for the GOP than that.
  • ssu
    1.5k
    ↪Benkei Democrats could point out that tariffs are actually taxes and that what it really means is that Trump is raising taxes. There’s no greater poison for the GOP than that.Wayfarer
    Don't assume that people would be so logical. Trump was saying that 'Mexico will pay for the wall', yet when the reality is that 'The wall will be funded from the US Defence Budget, especially from fighting the war in Afghanistan and also counter-narcotics funding', nobody cares.
  • Wayfarer
    8k
    Yeah but taking income off farmers is going to hurt the base a lot more than taking money off the Pentagon to build the Wall.
  • Benkei
    2k
    Politics isn't about facts most of the time. Once I've got you classified as a Conservative I obviously don't have to listen to you because of course a Conservative would say such things and we all know they're wrong.

    You do the same about me as a pansy leftist and we can happily talk past each other while your buddies confirm what stupid dimwits those leftists are. Meanwhile, I'll be once again reinforced in my belief that to be conservative requires you to be as ignorant today as you were yesterday.

    *Cue world collapsing because we can't get shit done*
  • Wayfarer
    8k
    Slate: Trump's Tariffs are actually a Huge Tax Hike

    That’s what his tariffs are, after all: tax increases on imports. Trump knows this. He likes to brag about how much money the Treasury is collecting thanks to the levies he’s placed on everything from car parts to furniture to toilet paper shipped over from the People’s Republic. The problem is that he thinks the cash is coming out of China’s pocket. It’s not. Tariffs are legally paid by importers, and economically speaking, the cost tends to fall on domestic companies and consumers who buy goods from abroad. Recent research has suggested that, in 2018, just about 100 percent of Trump’s tariffs were passed on to Americans.

    ...All of this short-term pain might be worth the long-term gain if Trump had some sort of reasonable strategy for getting China to make serious changes to how it approaches trade. But the administration’s approach has been ad hoc and ill-considered; it’s based on the flimsy idea that the U.S. can use tariffs to bludgeon Beijing into submission in a one-on-one showdown. Maybe they’ll be proven right (you never know). But for now, it seems like Americans are paying higher taxes for nothing.

    Of course, to the base, it doesn't matter. We all know the GOP hates and would never approve raising taxes. But the President has done it, so it must be alright.
  • tim wood
    2.9k
    Let's assume that Trump is just the ordinarily bad guy we all - most of us - think he is. Is it plausible he could screw up so much so consistently in so many ways all by himself? I don't think so. This isn't just incompetence, nor mere criminality; nor do I think he could think up all this stuff on his own. So who runs him? Who's writing his playbook, whispering in his ear? A subtext of his administration is to get rid of as many good guys as possible - accident? the truth is what makes sense, and what makes sense is the Russians somehow have his ear and make a lot of suggestions. Among them no doubt are recommendations as to who to appoint where. Is Barr a Russian agent? Unlikely, but he's clearly a tool. And others?

    In short, in my opinion in Trump we have not just a very bad man and a very bad president, but also an enemy. Or a conduit for enemy input. If anyone can think of anything that makes more sense, please post it. I'd like to feel there was something else that made better sense that was a little less dire.
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