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Thread: Inauguration Day, Inauguration Hooooooraaay!

  1. #10081
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    Well, it's never a good idea to cite someone's own words back at them and tell them what they really meant, but...



    Seems pretty clear that you were using moat as competitive advantage here. (Something is still a moat even if its not effective. It's just a bad moat.) But I'm not going to push too hard on this. (And, whatever, you can claim there's some amount of ambiguity in the scare quotes surrounding the word "moat").

    And it's also pretty clear that Buffett was also using the term to mean competitive advantage when he first said it here in 1999:



    http://archive.fortune.com/magazines...9071/index.htm

    Mind you, competitive advantage includes economic rents, but it's not reducible to or coterminous with it.
    The high-level handwavy economics definition of competitive advantage is having a lower opportunity cost than your competitors, i.e. your competitors either have bigger fish to fry, or you genuinely can deliver your product at lower prices than your competitors can.

    To a large extent, both fall away when your competitor is a well-capitalized conglomerate. A conglomerate is both well-equipped to seize upon profitable opportunities as they arise (effectively turning your carefully planned and profitable startup into free market research) and willing/able to subsidize an inefficient new business unit until it can drive you out of business and monopolize your market. In an economy so unequal and dominated by large corporations, the only durable competitive advantages are the ones conferred by governments: copyrights, trademarks, patents, and to a much lesser degree, trade secrets. Any other kind of ‘moat’ can be bought.

    A non-durable but possibly good-enough competitive advantage is whether you can develop a business unit more efficiently than your competitor can. But that’s only a hopeful statement if the business you want to be in is digging moats for conglomerates to buy at a discount.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    Heh, the end of Buffett's talk (which was from 1999):
    Honestly, nobody could have foreseen the depths of depravity of the US government working with finance to inflate these asset bubbles. It’s bewildering and horrifying. Buffet was right to be skeptical about future stock market growth, but that was also published 10 days after Glass-Steagall was repealed.

    Buffets pretty smart, he also knows how much boosting he got from 401ks. If boomers had retired as young as their parents the stock market would look a fair bit different too. That’s another thing nobody could have really predicted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    Go figure that Louis Brandeis coined this term! The left should really talk more about Brandeis. It seems like in Brandeis there's a relevant and moral (and economic) vision of America that could be retrieved and tied to an historical figure as a way of casting economic reform as something that's genuinely American, rather than as something that's un-American (which is a move that many conservatives make, for example, when they cast the rise of the DSA and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez' primary win as heralding the "Europeanization" of American politics. They also sometimes say the same thing about Trump, as if "populism" were some kind of foreign import that has no precedent in American history and so must have come from without).
    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    Anyone else notice how the terminology for what Trump, Geert Wilders, Marine Le Pen and, formerly, UKIP, keeps changing? It's been a long time since we called it neo-nationalism, but in some ways I think that was the most apt term for it. Populism isn't horrible, inasmuch as it captures the aspirations of the masses to disrupt the political and cultural elites' hold on power and elect leaders that more directly pursue the interests of "the masses" against the more privileged classes in society -- certainly relevant. But I think neo-nationalism captures better the discontent with the perceived decline of national sovereignty given the current state of the international system. Responding to weakening national sovereignty in the face of "globalism" seems very much to be the impulse behind "America First", for example.
    One objection to calling it “populism” (without adjectives) is because there are many populist movements. Including socialism. There are also left-wing nationalist movements, mostly those seeking sub-national autonomy, and even nationalists that see socialism as a way to eliminate undue foreign influences.

    I just call it fascism now. :shrug:

  2. #10082
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    It's probably not a coincidence either that many say Trump's foreign policy views were formed in the 70s and 80s. Protectionism is one way to respond to international competition, and I'm sure there was no shortage of Americans who argued for it as the best way to contend with Japanese economic ascendency back in the 70s and 80s.

    It seems like the limitations of this approach, though, is probably exemplified in the limitations of the current administration's China policy. It's difficult to get other countries on board (although admittedly, Trump isn't trying to do that). Giving other countries an ultimatum that they can have access to an Asian market or to the US wouldn't necessarily work in the US' favor, in the same way that it would if the choice was, say, the US or Iran or the US and Paraguay. The US doesn't really have the clout to organize collectively, because, frankly, people want to buy goods made in Asian markets, and many of the other countries aren't really in a position to compete with Asian conglomerates anyway. And tariffs don't really provide enough leverage to force a country to eliminate the very thing (or one of them, anyway) that give their companies a competitive advantage (and, hence, an important source of income that the governments can tax).
    I think if Trump wanted to limit China's ability to disrupt global markets, most of the EU and many other countries would be in on it. Pacific-facing countries may call it something like the Trans-Pacific.. hmm, partnership? Or something that would reinforce and bolster trade relations between all countries not Chinese in the Pacific area.

    The thing is, Trump is either the largest moron ever or is actively working to disrupt western relations for Putin. Which is anyone's guess, I prefer 50/50. No sane person ever would try so hard to piss of the EU, as the North America/EU alliance is by far the strongest trade alliance in the world, if you could even call it an alliance anymore. Powers combined, though, they could knock down China a few pegs. But hey.

  3. #10083
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    The thing about tariffs, too, is they don't work when one country tariffs another. They work best when a large collective of countries work together to tariff with consistent goals. The more we can ally countries together to fight Chinese bull****, the more that stuff works.

    What Trump is doing is the exact opposite, he's hurting U.S. interests* while basically doing very little to bother anyone else.

    *by U.S. interests, I mean manufacturing and other red state industries. Sorry Trumpists, many of you are going to lose your jobs if the trade war gets out of hand.

  4. #10084
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    One objection to calling it “populism” (without adjectives) is because there are many populist movements. Including socialism. There are also left-wing nationalist movements, mostly those seeking sub-national autonomy, and even nationalists that see socialism as a way to eliminate undue foreign influences.
    Well, yeah, exactly: even left-wing "populist" movements try to "disrupt the political and cultural elites' hold on power and elect leaders that more directly pursue the interests of "the masses" against the more privileged classes in society" (to quote myself). It's partly why "centrism" -- effectively a synonym for establishmentarianism -- has become a dirty word in certain quarters. (And, to an extent, the term populist is also often intended to draw a similarity between the far-left and the far-right, designating both as parallel alternatives to the establishment).

    The different terms capture different elements of the movements that are arising as the establishment parties of Western democracies lose their uncontested grip on the levers of power.

  5. #10085
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    To be clear, Americans were the unusual ones here, not Asians. Canada had Seagram and J.D. Irving, Netherlands had Unilever, Switzerland had Nestle - I could keep going for a while. Opening up US capital markets meant Americans were rather small fish in a large pond. I'm actually not entirely sure how it worked out as well as it did. If you look at the ultimate beneficial owners of a lot of American brands, I suppose you could argue that it didn't.

    Yes.
    It sounds like globalization is just an upgrade of the size of firms from the level of corporations to the level of states, trying to earn monopoly positions of their own industries over global trade. And each state has every incentive to help their own industries to extract more revenue.

  6. #10086
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    “western capitalist democracy, choose two”

  7. #10087
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    Looks like Mueller formally indicted 12 Russians for the DNC hack.

  8. #10088
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    Looks like Mueller formally indicted 12 Russians for the DNC hack.
    And squarely claims they are GRU and not some rogues.

    Will be interesting to see if Trump continues his meeting with Putin later on.
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    enshu

  9. #10089
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    Oh hi, Tenshu

  10. #10090
    Thought he was onto something.
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    Hi saberopus! All grown up too? :p
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  11. #10091
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    Everyone had to grow up, since fuhrer Trump caused all of the Toys R Us stores to close.

    Did you ever learn how to sing?

  12. #10092
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven View Post
    Everyone had to grow up, since fuhrer Trump caused all of the Toys R Us stores to close.

    Did you ever learn how to sing?
    Mitt Romney, actually. Leveraged buyout using bonds sold to commercial/investment banks that bundled them into derivatives (and given AAA ratings, of course) and resold to/foisted upon the pensions and retirement funds that they manage.

    So, in other words: failed fuhrer Mitt Romney caused all of the Toys R Us to close, and your police pension paid them to do it.

  13. #10093
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    Looks like Mueller formally indicted 12 Russians for the DNC hack.
    GOP brought Rosenstein impeachment papers to the floor today. lol. Party of traitors.

  14. #10094
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    43. Between in or around June 2016 and October 2016, the Conspirators used Guccifer 2.0 to release documents through WordPress that they had stolen from the DCCC and DNC. The Conspirators, posing as Guccifer 2.0, also shared stolen documents with certain individuals.
    a. On or about August 15, 2016, the Conspirators, posing as Guccifer 2.0, received a request for stolen documents from a candidate for the U.S. Congress. The Conspirators responded using the Guccifer 2.0 persona and sent the candidate stolen documents related to the candidate’s opponent.
    44. On or about August 15, 2016, the Conspirators, posing as Guccifer 2.0, wrote to a person who was in regular contact with senior members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump, “thank u for writing back . . . do u find anyt[h]ing interesting in the docs i posted?” On or about August 17, 2016, the Conspirators added, “please tell me if i can help u anyhow . . . it would be a great pleasure to me.” On or about September 9, 2016, the Conspirators, again posing as Guccifer 2.0, referred to a stolen DCCC document posted online and asked the person, “what do u think of the info on the turnout model for the democrats entire presidential campaign.” The person responded, “[p]retty standard.”
    “lol”

    Edit: Treason? In my Conservative party? It’s more likely than you think!
    Last edited by Jon`C; 07-13-2018 at 04:59 PM.

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  16. #10096
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    lol, leave it to joncy to take a flippant jest and find a way to blame it on republican chicanery

  17. #10097
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven View Post
    lol, leave it to joncy to take a flippant jest and find a way to blame it on republican chicanery
    I’m sure there are lots of Democrats in private equity, too.

  18. #10098
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    Really, though. I just wanted to explain why it actually happened. It’s not my fault that it was Mitt Romney’s company that did it.

  19. #10099
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    It's amazing we have literal America-hating traitors as leaders of our country, and there are still people who'd prefer them over Democrats. The Republican machine truly won the propaganda war for people to still be this confused.

  20. #10100
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    Like, the GOP is attacking a man investigating a literal foreign attack on our dignity, political system, and people. Theyre literally going to fire a man to protect a person who's obviously under some kinda threat from Putin, literally risk our political infrastructure just for a continued advantage. This is how countries fail, because people become so corrupt they "begin" attacking the legitimacy of our institutions.
    Last edited by Reid; 07-13-2018 at 07:09 PM. Reason: oops as if this is the beginning

  21. #10101
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    It's amazing we have literal America-hating traitors as leaders of our country, and there are still people who'd prefer them over Democrats. The Republican machine truly won the propaganda war for people to still be this confused.
    The passage of time is playing a big factor too. It wouldn't surprise me if one of the reasons Trump so regularly tweets "NO COLLUSION" is that he knows the media and social media response will contribute to fatigue and indifference among the public. It's been really difficult to wade through all the alarmism and the non-stop coverage of the Russia scandal, and since the story has spun off onto all these other weird tangents (Stormy Daniels, Michael Cohen), it's only contributed to the sense that it's not worth following the story. Plus, its easy to get inured to some of the traitorous behavior, since the goal posts keep moving.

  22. #10102
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    Like, the GOP is attacking a man investigating a literal foreign attack on our dignity, political system, and people. Theyre literally going to fire a man to protect a person who's obviously under some kinda threat from Putin, literally risk our political infrastructure just for a continued advantage. This is how countries fail, because people become so corrupt they "begin" attacking the legitimacy of our institutions.

    It's wild that there is a stigma around firing/impeaching Mueller but not Rosenstein. It probably has something to do with the firing of the special prosecutor during the Sunday Night Massacre being regarded as an historical precedent for deeply suspicious behavior from a president that eventually led to his removal from office.

    Hopefully it's not because they want to replace him with someone who will be more willing to fire Mueller than Rosenstein is.

  23. #10103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    The passage of time is playing a big factor too. It wouldn't surprise me if one of the reasons Trump so regularly tweets "NO COLLUSION" is that he knows the media and social media response will contribute to fatigue and indifference among the public. It's been really difficult to wade through all the alarmism and the non-stop coverage of the Russia scandal, and since the story has spun off onto all these other weird tangents (Stormy Daniels, Michael Cohen), it's only contributed to the sense that it's not worth following the story. Plus, its easy to get inured to some of the traitorous behavior, since the goal posts keep moving.
    You're right, and worse for Trump I think that the fatigue thing is wearing off a bit. Trump can't escape the spotlight and duck down until people forget, he's still our president after all. Now, it's easy to find articles which summarize how the investigation is going, and there doesn't seem to be an end to who's corrupt anymore. Nobody except bootlickers or morons trust anything Trump or his people say now. With Manafort in jail and so many guilty pleas, I think everybody who has followed even a little bit feels in their gut that Trump is guilty.

  24. #10104
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    You're right, and worse for Trump I think that the fatigue thing is wearing off a bit. Trump can't escape the spotlight and duck down until people forget, he's still our president after all. Now, it's easy to find articles which summarize how the investigation is going, and there doesn't seem to be an end to who's corrupt anymore. Nobody except bootlickers or morons trust anything Trump or his people say now. With Manafort in jail and so many guilty pleas, I think everybody who has followed even a little bit feels in their gut that Trump is guilty.
    It's worth noting that Mueller has said outright that he does not believe he has the legal authority to indict a sitting president and that Trump is not a target of his investigation.

    The truism still holds: impeachment is a political process. For a while, people thought that if it was discovered that Trump had done something criminal it would make it easier to argue that he should be impeached, because it would make it more difficult for GOP senators to continue to support him. I really don't think that holds anymore: the days are long gone when GOP Senators like Jeff Flake and Bob Corker were publicly criticizing Trump and talking about how unhinged and crazy he is. Republicans accept that Trump is their guy, and the two seats on the Supreme Court (and there will probably be more) only prove that it was worth making a deal with the devil.

    If I had to put down money on it, I'd say we're not getting rid of this guy except through the ballot box. The GOP base is more loyal to Trump than they are to Congress, and so bucking Trump is too much of a liability for GOP senators (and for the party as a whole) at this point for impeachment to happen. I don't think it matters what Trump does. At this point, even firing Mueller probably only gets him a few slaps on the wrist.
    Last edited by Eversor; 07-14-2018 at 03:48 AM.

  25. #10105
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    You're right, and worse for Trump I think that the fatigue thing is wearing off a bit. Trump can't escape the spotlight and duck down until people forget, he's still our president after all. Now, it's easy to find articles which summarize how the investigation is going, and there doesn't seem to be an end to who's corrupt anymore. Nobody except bootlickers or morons trust anything Trump or his people say now. With Manafort in jail and so many guilty pleas, I think everybody who has followed even a little bit feels in their gut that Trump is guilty.
    I wonder what the percentage of legislators and high-level bureaucrats have knowingly violated some ethics rule at some point. It kind of makes one wonder where it would all end.

    Kind of reminds me of the French Revolution (should we just have a permanent commission to list off names of traitors to the republic?). Of course it makes perfect sense for the Republicans to point the finger at Hilary Clinton, which is a tacit admission of guilt in a certain sense, because it implies the reasoning, "Both sides are surely guilty of something, but why don't you look at my opponent first?"

  26. #10106
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    "Both sides are surely guilty of something, but why don't you look at my opponent first?"
    I think that the public in general (apart from the rabid dogs on either side) understand this and are tired of it. Republicans are crooked, no doubt. Democrats are crooked too, no doubt. What's more interesting (and more relevant) than who crooked is how they are crooked, and how does the "little guy" get shafted the least. I think that's a large part of why Trump was able to pull so many votes - the mindset seemed to be "everyone on the inside is crooked, maybe an outsider will be crooked in a different way. What we have had for years is obviously not working, let's try something different, even if it's not necessarily obviously better."

  27. #10107
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven View Post
    I think that the public in general (apart from the rabid dogs on either side) understand this and are tired of it. Republicans are crooked, no doubt. Democrats are crooked too, no doubt. What's more interesting (and more relevant) than who crooked is how they are crooked, and how does the "little guy" get shafted the least. I think that's a large part of why Trump was able to pull so many votes - the mindset seemed to be "everyone on the inside is crooked, maybe an outsider will be crooked in a different way. What we have had for years is obviously not working, let's try something different, even if it's not necessarily obviously better."
    These are entirely different notions of crooked, mate.

  28. #10108
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    Trump is the anti-Talleyrand tbh.

  29. #10109
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    Like, if the Republicans want to be amoral, traitorous sacks of self-serving ****, so be it. But can't they at least be good at their craft? They can't even be ****ty right.

  30. #10110
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    Ugh, its not even cool that we have fascism. It's fast food fascism. Full fledged fast food fascism. The five f.

  31. #10111
    Republicans are so bad, mate.

  32. #10112
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    What else should American fascism be?

  33. #10113

  34. #10114

  35. #10115
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    Ugh, its not even cool that we have fascism. It's fast food fascism. Full fledged fast food fascism. The five f.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  36. #10116
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    So, earnest question (for like Eversor), what would a properly reformed conservative party actually look like? As in, let's say in 2020 pro-Trump conservatives were magically dumped in a well, and replaced were people who genuinely believed in a kind of intellectual conservatism, and weren't beholden to their donors. What kind of policies would they seek? I don't just mean principles like "smaller government", here I'm looking for concrete policy decisions.

  37. #10117
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    https://twitter.com/RudyGiuliani/sta...14258363654145

    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    The situation in Germany is not looking good. http://leiterreports.typepad.com/blo...m-of.html#more
    That is disturbing. Hopefully religious/race-based violence doesn't take off there.

  38. #10118
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    To answer Trump's question though: because Obama was terrified of seeming too partisan. He wanted to seem even-handed during the election.

  39. #10119
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    Other than all of the anonymous Americans stated to have committed crimes in the indictment, and all of the Americans who have already been indicted, and all of the Americans who haven't been indicted yet.

  40. #10120
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    To answer Trump's question though
    Lol, that sentence looks weird in print.

    Something about the idea of that man participating in some kind of Socratic dialogue just seems unrealistic.

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