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Thread: Inauguration Day, Inauguration Hooooooraaay!

  1. #14321
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    Or make college debt relief contingent on having a certain number of children (as Ross Douthat argued for in a recent tweet).
    Not a bad idea. Will the parents receive any help or are the costs their own?

  2. #14322
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    Not a bad idea. Will the parents receive any help or are the costs their own?
    He didnít elaborate, but... probably? I mean, Republicans do actually address this stuff. When the Trump tax cut was being negotiated, Rubio used his leverage to expand the child tax credit, for example.

    But I think the debt relief is the help.

  3. #14323
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    Yeah, real talk though it's definitely a problem when people stop getting married or having babies. The right is right about that being a problem. Liberals don't even seem to acknowledge it.
    There was lots of chatter about the issue at the beginning of the year when end-year reports about the fertility rate in 2018 showed that it continued to sink to a 30 year low. It didnít really get sustained attention, but it did take up a newscycle.

  4. #14324
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    Or make college debt relief contingent on having a certain number of children (as Ross Douthat argued for in a recent tweet).
    I like it. Ironically, this is the kind of compromise that both the far left and white supremacists might make, but which the centre is basically forced to ignore either from ideology or past rhetoric, even if they did think it was a good idea. Because for conservatives itís too big government, financially imprudent, and might reward the ďwrong peopleĒ for getting useless degrees and having useless children (poors and browns). For social democrats, it will also reward the ďwrong peopleĒ (because being able to afford kids out of university even with debt relief means youíre pretty loaded). For liberals, the growth rate isnít even an issue theyíre allowed to talk about, but if employers start saying itís an issue then itís one that can be more efficiently solved with immigration than encouraging domestic growth (because skilled immigrants have already been raised and trained by their home country).

    Real life example, Canadaís socon-created UBI for children (paid to parents). NDP (socdems) campaigned on keeping it, but supplementing it with universal childcare (because it wasnít helping the right people enough). Liberals wanted it gone, mic drop. They campaigned to the left on it rewarding rich people, ended up eating the NDPís lunch, and ultimately compromised with voting parents on a means tested piece of garbage.

    Total change of subject, the Liberals promote Canada to foreign businesses as a place with easy immigration and low cost skilled labor. Hmmmmmmm. 🤔

  5. #14325
    Speaking of birthrates, here's blah blah blah from the NYT: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/30/w...-tensions.html

    Max Fisher's writing generally does little more than use social science to make a case for consensus liberal views on geopolitics. It's propaganda.

    Here majoritarian fears about birthrates are merely an expression of anxieties about status; with few passing acknowledgments of the actual demographic change that's causing a backlash, the backlash is effectively treated as an imaginary non-issue deriving from hatred of progress and "fear" of a liberal agenda (which is always morally freighted way of putting things, as if those who aren't liberals are too morally flawed, fragile and stupid to tolerate change and too parochial to take part in ilberal-dominant society). There's no real effort to explain here, just to moralize.
    Last edited by Eversor; 05-02-2019 at 10:39 PM.

  6. #14326
    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    Max Fisher's wri...
    *smirks*

    Did somebody say my name?

  7. #14327
    There's even less mention of concepts from social science than there is in other articles. Like, come on:

    Conspiracies about foreign influence or minority birthrates are often driven by fears of a much more real change: a loss of status. Modern democracy demands that minorities be granted equal rights and opportunities, which can feel like a threat to majorities’ traditional hold on power.
    That's social media wisdom right there. That's "this is what it looks like when you go from being privileged to being equal!" It's just articulating the intuitions of the mainstream liberal consensus. It's not offering anything challenging or even anything interesting. It's just looking to various examples from the 20th and 21st century to justify whatever beliefs NYT's readers already believe.
    Last edited by Eversor; 05-02-2019 at 10:41 PM.

  8. #14328
    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    *smirks*

    Did somebody say my name?
    That movie's so good it's painful

  9. #14329
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    "fear" of a liberal agenda
    Not just that non-liberals are too fragile, but the view of liberalism among liberals that itís ideologically neutral, to the extent that there cannot even be a liberal ďagendaĒ because liberalism is simply what Is.

    And itís awfully, awfully hard for liberals to then credibly argue against the white nationalistsí demographic replacement conspiracy theory. Because, okay, thereís no conspiracy where theyíre plotting the extermination of whites. But whether liberals recognize it as an agenda or not, there is a liberal agenda to support an economic system that NEEDS population growth to stay running (because that is the only way you get economic growth without inflation), and also actually punishes reproduction (to the extent that by the second generation, even immigrants arenít having kids). The result of this system is punishingly low wages, huge debts you canít escape from, a suppressed birth rate among people who actually live in the hellhole, and the demographic of immigrants necessarily, as a matter of mathematics, growing faster than all other demographics. And unless you have a very expensive education in exactly the kinds of shortsighted wonky projects these people are engaging in, I think itís pretty damn understandable why some spiteful racists would confuse it with a slow burn white genocide because the intervening effects look pretty similar.
    Last edited by Jon`C; 05-02-2019 at 10:52 PM.

  10. #14330
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    TL;DR: Liberal says ďletís laugh at how racist Nazis are for assuming that our idiotic punitive economics are about themĒ, I guess?

  11. #14331

  12. #14332
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    Oh. I guess he is an actual socialist after all.

  13. #14333
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    https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/03/buff...ave-today.html

    Das Kapital canít be a textbook that predicted our economy if you donít consider it a textbook

  14. #14334

  15. #14335
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    How many years do Obama and Clinton get

  16. #14336
    Interesting example considering all of them managed to flip the house to the opposition party in only two years.
    "I would rather claim to be an uneducated man than be mal-educated and claim to be otherwise." - Wookie 03:16


  17. #14337
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wookie06 View Post
    Interesting example considering all of them managed to flip the house to the opposition party in only two years.
    yea, those zany bastards and all of that unfavourable gerrymandering and voter suppression they did

  18. #14338
    eh, 2010 the GOP ran and won on the extraordinary unpopularity of Obamacare

    That being said, this is an interesting chart (especially the GOP column)Click image for larger version. 

Name:	obamacare so popular.jpg 
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    Almost as if, for some inexplicable reason (*cough cough*GOP PR campaigns*cough cough*) people don't think they like the legislation even though they like everything it does

  19. #14339
    using *cough cough* to indicate subtext is also very pre-social media internet

  20. #14340
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    How many years do Obama and Clinton get
    They were Democrats though, so they had it coming.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    eh, 2010 the GOP ran and won on the extraordinary unpopularity of Obamacare
    they ran on the campaign they generated

  21. #14341
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    This is apparently from Hillary Clinton's book. I think she got the wrong message from 1984. I mean, if what you gathered from it is to trust the press.. you missed something.

  22. #14342
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    yikes.

  23. #14343
    Reminds me of Chris Hayesí book on meritocracy, where he talks about how there are two prevalent diagnoses of what the big central problem of our society is. Effectively:

    1) people donít trust institutions
    2) institutions have become untrustworthy

    HRC is obviously talking as if she belongs in the first camp.

    He wrote that book in 2011, and in some ways it was easier to understand what our current problems are then than it is now. The loss of trust, both at times warranted and others unwarranted, is the central issue still. Itís easy to see, for example, how tribalism and the widespread obsession with power on both the left and the right is a reasonable position to take if youíve lost trust in democracy and in parties. And, in effect, doing something like condemning the criminal justice system as racist is another way of saying that it is unworthy of trust. I think weíve come to see the racism as the key problem, rather than the fact that the institution ó and institutions more broadly ó is undeserving of trust as the problem.
    Last edited by Eversor; 05-07-2019 at 04:43 PM.

  24. #14344
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    I think we’ve come to see the racism as the key problem, rather than the fact that the institution — and institutions more broadly — is undeserving of trust as the problem.
    I guess that depends on who "we" means.


    "We" (people who study systems) recognize that a system with only a positive feedback loop will necessarily approach a maximum (like the feedback loop of cops increasingly cracking down on black neighborhoods because that's where all the crime they catch happens). So any emotionally satisfying/politically popular/superficially logical law enforcement policy will always amplify these historical inequities, because if you're deploying limited law enforcement resources efficiently you are going to catch black criminals at higher rates than white criminals. This will happen no matter how racially diverse you make police forces or how many racial sensitivity courses you make police officers attend. So "we" (people who study systems) don't see racism as the key problem, but rather that the policies of the institution are bad and therefore that the institution is undeserving of trust.

    "We" (Democrats who like "evidence-based policy"), though. I would believe they see racism as the key problem.

  25. #14345
    When you say "Chris Hayes" are you talking about that guy on MSNBC that is sort of a feminine version of Rachel Maddow? Just kind of surprised to hear anyone speaking as if they've actually read something by him but I admit to having no knowledge of the man beyond his previous filling in for Maddow (probably many years ago at this point).
    "I would rather claim to be an uneducated man than be mal-educated and claim to be otherwise." - Wookie 03:16


  26. #14346
    Quote Originally Posted by Wookie06 View Post
    When you say "Chris Hayes" are you talking about that guy on MSNBC that is sort of a feminine version of Rachel Maddow? Just kind of surprised to hear anyone speaking as if they've actually read something by him but I admit to having no knowledge of the man beyond his previous filling in for Maddow (probably many years ago at this point).
    he plays thor
    sniff

  27. #14347
    Quote Originally Posted by Wookie06 View Post
    When you say "Chris Hayes" are you talking about that guy on MSNBC that is sort of a feminine version of Rachel Maddow? Just kind of surprised to hear anyone speaking as if they've actually read something by him but I admit to having no knowledge of the man beyond his previous filling in for Maddow (probably many years ago at this point).
    Damn, accusing two people of not conforming to their gender roles in a single dependent clause. Points for the economical use of language.

    But yes, I'm talking about man-woman Chris Hayes of MSNBC fame. He's written two books, Twilight of the Elites and Colony in a Nation. The first is about meritocracy and the second is about race in the US. I've only read the first and it's actually pretty good (although Christopher Lasch's Revolt of the Elites, from which the title of Hayes's book derives, is much better, and even more insightful about the central issues in American society right now, despite having been written in the 90s).

  28. #14348
    Revolt of the Elites and Twilight of the Elites are both critiques of meritocracy, but Revolt of the Elites is much farther reaching and addresses a wider array of topics that are more enduring and fundamental, and itís historically better informed. (Still, Twilight of the Elites is a good book.)

    If I had to summarize what Revolt of the Elites was up to, Iíd say itís trying to bring back the vision of late-19th century American populism/classical republicanism, which entails demonstrating the undesirability of the meritocratic definition of social mobility as the opportunity of all individuals to join the upper middle class, and restoring the 19th century conception of social mobility as the idea that everyone has enough wealth to be politically free.

  29. #14349
    Itís clearly a key influence on Ross Douthatís worldview (especially post-Trump) and incidentally one reason why Iím a Douthat fan.

  30. #14350
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    Another Wednesday, another mainstream article talking about how market based policies arenít affecting the Vancouver housing bubble: weíve tried nothing but itís not working.

    Standard liberal opinion spread across the Internet after every single article like this, we live in a market economy so obviously the answer for a price problem is to flood the market with supply. Yeah, because that works. I guess this is basically the dual of Reaganomics; supply always dictates prices in a vacuum, so as long as you have enough supply it will always drive down prices.

    Whatís the actual problem? ...we live in a market economy. Prices arenít just dictated by supply, theyíre also dictated by demands willingness to pay and ability to pay. What dictates house prices if you constrain supply? Well, even if thereís only one house to buy in the entire world, your market price doesnít converge on infinity. Itís just the supremum of everybodyís willingness and ability to pay for that property. And if you create an infinite number of identical houses, your market price is the infimum of the same. Not zero.

    So understanding that, what would you expect to happen to demands willingness and ability to pay when you have aggressive fiscal policies designed to push people onto the property ladder, combined with aggressive monetary policies designed to forcefully suck off anybody lending money? Weíre talking zero down payment, tax free withdrawals from RRSPs if it goes toward house purchase, government provided mortgage insurance, negligible interest rates. Basically that it doesnít matter how much money you have, you can buy whatever as long as you can cover the (historically unprecedented) interest payments.

    Well, I dunno what you expect to happen. But what does happen is that demands ability and willingness to pay go up a lot. An awful lot.


    So yeah lol, wE NEed SuPPly.

  31. #14351
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    Spoiler alert, a dual income couple in BC making minimum wage can ďaffordĒ a $600k house. They arenít supposed to be able to pass stress tests, but mortgage brokers have tricks.

    Iím not saying there are, in fact, minimum wage couples buying $600k houses. But itís actually within historical norms for debt service. Only for much longer and a much higher total, obviously.

    So yeah. Obviously the problem here is supply.

  32. #14352
    It might not surprise anyone here that I donít think Trumpís Iran policy is the worst thing heís ever done.

  33. #14353
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    What's your thinking on that?

  34. #14354
    Advocates of the Iran nuclear deal have made four arguments the centerpiece of their defense. (Ok, there are more but this touches on the important points.)

    First, the deal, even if it was flawed, worked: it may not have addressed every issue, for example, Iranís missile program, or Iranís projection of power in the region, and the sunset clauses made numerous constraints on the Iran nuclear deal temporary. But it still resulted in rolling back Iranís ability to refine uranium substantially, and its measures to monitor and stop Iran from resuming its program appeared to be effective.

    Second, the argument was made that the deal was only intended to address the nuclear issue. While defenders of the deal acknowledged Iranís adventurism and its sponsorship of terror, and its human rights abuses were serious issues, they argued that the nuclear issue was a threat on an entirely scale, which made it worth addressing even if it meant neglecting other issues about Iran.

    Third, itís true that the sunset clauses expire in 10-15 years from the signing of the deal, but at the very least that means we defer the problem of a nuclear Iran a number of years. We may have to go to war eventually in order to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons, but at least we donít have to do it now, and in 10-15 years the situation may be significantly better (more about that later).

    Fourth, the only alternative to the deal is war.

    Okay, so you can already anticipate how Iíll present a lot of the criticisms of the deal, because many of them are actually conceded by the advocates: the fact that the deal only addresses the nuclear problem makes it inadequate, because Iranís foreign interventions and its missile program are serious and pressing issues. There are also arguments about what aspects of the nuclear program are ĒsunsetedĒ, and how some of the clauses legitimize Iranís nuclear program and enable it to start refining uranium that approaches weapons grade in the relatively short term, but I wonít get to that. But I should point out now that we should acknowledge right off the bat that weíre talking about a situation in which there is no perfect solution. Trumpís approach to Iran also downsides too.

    Still, I think that Trumpís approach may actually be better and less naive and more rooted in reality than Obamaís. Hereís a key flaw in the Obama adminís approach (and a blind spot in their argumentation). While the Obama admin claimed that the deal was only intended to address the nuclear issue, that is in fact a misrepresentation of the deal. Thatís because while the admin primarily received from Iran concessions on its nuclear program, Iran received all sorts of financial benefits, most importantly the prospect of investment from European countries that, leading up to the deal, had been sanctioning Iran to gain leverage in negotiations.

    The issue here of course is that the big infusion of wealth into Iran has effects beyond their nuclear program. And, that too was actually an argument that the Obama admin made: the idea was that if you integrate Iran more into the international economy, Iranís citizens will see the value of acting like a ďnormal countryĒ, and they will eventually elect more moderate political leaders. Furthermore, making European countries stakeholders in Iran will further incentivize Iran to moderate, because of it doesnít itíll lose access to European capital.

    But hereís the thing: the Obama administrationís bet wasnít paying off. In fact, what we did see was that Iran had been increasing its defense spending significantly in the years following the JCPOA, and that Iran had only expanded its influence through its proxies throughout the Middle East.

    And this is the big reason why Saudi and Israel donít like the deal: defenders of the deal say that in 10-15 years when the sunset clauses expire, weíll be in the exact same situation we would be in now without the deal. The Saudis and the Israelis say, no, thatís not true. The key difference is that 10 to 15 years of European countries pouring money into Iran will have passed. And with Europeans having invested so much money in Iran, the Europeans and the US will be even more disinclined to address the nuclear issue through military means than they are now, and so theyíll try to find a half-measure diplomatic solution that only empowers Iran more.

    So that touches on the key difference between the Obama approach and the Trump approach. The Obama approach sought to mitigate short-term risk while accepting greater long-term risk, placing a bet that in the long-term the risks would go away. The Trump approach accepts more short-term risk in order to prevent long-term negative outcomes, which with the additional hindsight of the intervening years since the deal was signed, seem increasingly problematic. And I think that those short-term risks actually arenít as risky as many people are claiming.
    Last edited by Eversor; 05-10-2019 at 08:52 AM.

  35. #14355
    I can write out more about the Trump adminís policy and its risks later.
    Last edited by Eversor; 05-10-2019 at 08:48 AM.

  36. #14356
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    I would guess Iranís perspective on the issue is that Saudi Arabia spends 3-4 times as much on their military, and theyíre ruled by a radical and bloodthirsty sect that explicitly wants to genocide them for religious reasons. Not even including Saudi Arabiaís allied western so-called democracies that have proven eager to help Saudi Arabia engage in genocide, like, say, the United States. So if I were an Iranian, even if my vote did count, I would be voting for higher military budgets too. Much higher.

    By the way, speaking of the United States, that theory about defense budgets dropping when they discover the value of being a normal country sure didnít apply there. Are you sure that a conventionally secure but nuclear disinterested Iran isnít actually the intended outcome, let alone a positive one?
    Last edited by Jon`C; 05-10-2019 at 11:30 AM.

  37. #14357
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    IDK, I feel like sticking out the deal would have been wiser.

    I can only really express this via analogy. View the U.S. as a parent and Iran an unruly child. There's no shortage of studies confirming that consistent parenting generally produces better behavior. Not strict or lenient, but consistent. If we want Iran to renegotiate, being consistent in our dealings is probably the best way to develop trust in the future.

    By undercutting the deal, we are treating Iran inconsistently. This undermines their trust. You could possibly argue that the Iran deal was a mistake, sure. But now there's a snowball's chance in hell they'll negotiate a deal and stick to it. Backing out randomly was possibly the worst choice someone could have made.

    Like, at least the possibility of negotiating a better deal at the end of the "sunset" provisions existed before. Now, I'm doubtful we'll get many concessions. They'll probably go full North Korea.

  38. #14358
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    It doesn't help that the "Art of the Deal" Trump is possibly the worst negotiator in human history.

  39. #14359
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    How do we think this is going to affect negotiations with North Korea?

  40. #14360
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    IDK, I feel like sticking out the deal would have been wiser.

    I can only really express this via analogy. View the U.S. as a parent and Iran an unruly child. There's no shortage of studies confirming that consistent parenting generally produces better behavior. Not strict or lenient, but consistent. If we want Iran to renegotiate, being consistent in our dealings is probably the best way to develop trust in the future.

    By undercutting the deal, we are treating Iran inconsistently. This undermines their trust. You could possibly argue that the Iran deal was a mistake, sure. But now there's a snowball's chance in hell they'll negotiate a deal and stick to it. Backing out randomly was possibly the worst choice someone could have made.

    Like, at least the possibility of negotiating a better deal at the end of the "sunset" provisions existed before. Now, I'm doubtful we'll get many concessions. They'll probably go full North Korea.
    Governments aren't children probing their boundaries, they're political actors rationally pursuing whatever is in their best interest as an organization. Sometimes this resembles what's in the best interest of the public, but usually it doesn't. So undermining Iran's trust or relying on American soft power to get Iran to adhere to an agreement isn't a realistic way of looking at the situation. Even if trusting the United States was popular among Iranians (it isn't), the government never trusted the US and never will, and their adherence to an agreement has nothing to do with the political stability of the United States (it has none) and everything to do with the agreement being materially better than the alternative.

    So yeah, that means if you actually care about Iran not developing nuclear weapons, that means you're gonna need to let them arm themselves conventionally. Because nuclear Iran is always gonna be the BATNA, dudes.

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