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Old 01-12-2020, 07:29 PM   #91
Hank Chinaski
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop View Post
No, I did not say Sunnis are an "extreme" minority. Wikipedia:



So about half the population Shia, and a little less than a third Sunni. TBH, I would have guessed there were more Shia, and fewer Kurds.
So no Shia are protesting? Are against Iran? Take a position then I値l get the answer. If you are (again) wrong will you stand down?
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Old 01-13-2020, 11:34 AM   #92
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

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So no Shia are protesting? Are against Iran? Take a position then I値l get the answer. If you are (again) wrong will you stand down?
Many Shia have been protesting Iran's influence. Use the Google and read all about it.

Are we having a conversation, or are we playing gotcha? I don't really want to play gotcha, so if that's what you're after, maybe you can find someone else to play with.
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Old 01-13-2020, 12:01 PM   #93
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

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Lots and lots of people at the big banks thought those things in 2007. The banks' names stay the same, but the people at them who make a lot of money turned over quite a bit. In fifteen seconds on Google I found this, from the NYT in 2009:
I was giving them all the benefit of the doubt. I should know better than to do that regarding that industry.

Regarding the people at the banks changing, it's often the same names just shuffling from one bank to another. A friend who retired from finance related to me that the hardest part it getting into it. Once you get a reputable firm on your resume for a few years, even if you're a fuck up, you're "in," and you can work at another. The same bodies tend to be recycled for a lot.

2008 shuffled the deck. Guys at Lehman and Bear drew bad cards for the moment, but they've all been picked up since. And they'll keep doing different variations of it until they bankroll enough to retire or are wiped out by algorithms.
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Old 01-13-2020, 02:21 PM   #94
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

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No worries, I'm here with a bunch of lefties (my family). I had truly mediocre sushi for dinner tonight, and they forgot to put soy sauce in the bag. So sad. BBW recommendations would be great.
I realize that Q and W are neighbors on the keyboard, but be careful what you wish for here...
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Old 01-13-2020, 06:04 PM   #95
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop View Post
Many Shia have been protesting Iran's influence. Use the Google and read all about it.

Are we having a conversation, or are we playing gotcha? I don't really want to play gotcha, so if that's what you're after, maybe you can find someone else to play with.
I posted my friend's take on Iraqis hating Iran, and maybe being happy with the General's killing. You said my friends must be Sunni and in the minority and very few people are protesting. You also were kind enough to google a population break down for me. I then posted pictures he posted of demonstrations in support of the US staying in Iraq. The crowds seem larger than Trump claimed for his inaugeration. You seem to dismiss this as it doesn't fit your narrative. No gotcha. I've a friend who actually has insight. If one doesn't want to see, one can stay blind.
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Old 01-13-2020, 07:08 PM   #96
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

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I posted my friend's take on Iraqis hating Iran, and maybe being happy with the General's killing. You said my friends must be Sunni and in the minority and very few people are protesting. You also were kind enough to google a population break down for me. I then posted pictures he posted of demonstrations in support of the US staying in Iraq. The crowds seem larger than Trump claimed for his inaugeration. You seem to dismiss this as it doesn't fit your narrative. No gotcha. I've a friend who actually has insight. If one doesn't want to see, one can stay blind.
My view is that Iraq is a fractured country, and that it is much easier for Iraqis to agree that they dislike things than to get them to agree to do much of anything. I don't doubt that there are a lot of people in Iraq who share your friend's views. If I disagree with where your friend seemed to be going, it was because I thought he was pushing a line that Iraqis are vocal and unified in their dislike of Iranian influence. As I said, I'm sure some are, but it's also true that there are a lot of Shia who are sympathetic to Iran, and that this was absolutely predictable when we removed the Baathist Sunni regime and tried to introduce democracy. Insofar as many Iraqis think Iran has too much influence, why do you (or does your friend) think Iran has that influence?
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Old 01-13-2020, 08:06 PM   #97
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

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My view is that Iraq is a fractured country, and that it is much easier for Iraqis to agree that they dislike things than to get them to agree to do much of anything. I don't doubt that there are a lot of people in Iraq who share your friend's views. If I disagree with where your friend seemed to be going, it was because I thought he was pushing a line that Iraqis are vocal and unified in their dislike of Iranian influence. As I said, I'm sure some are, but it's also true that there are a lot of Shia who are sympathetic to Iran, and that this was absolutely predictable when we removed the Baathist Sunni regime and tried to introduce democracy. Insofar as many Iraqis think Iran has too much influence, why do you (or does your friend) think Iran has that influence?
He answered your question about Iranian influence. Read back.
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Old 01-13-2020, 11:37 PM   #98
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

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He answered your question about Iranian influence. Read back.
I gather you are talking about this post, which doesn't answer my question:

Quote:
From an Iraqi who was there: the desperation of Obama to get out of Iraq and ends a war got them to the table.
In 2010 a democratic party with a democratic secular leader won the most votes and under the Iraqi constitution the party with most votes wins and form a government. Iran wouldn’t approve the win and they would interfere and they called a summit with all the religious parties heads to meet and form a bigger body in the gov and amend the constitution so they can take power and keep Maliky in power.
The Obama admins approved and they thought they could work with Maliky and pull out the troops that way they can avoid keeping the troops longer bcoz if they let the democratic party wins they will need to stay longer to deal with any Iranian threat.
Thats how Iran stole the 2010 Iraqi election.
Later when ISIS was formed Obama Admins admitted their mistake and said they shouldn’t have allowed this “under the table” deal to go through bcoz Maliky was Iranian puppet and he created these militias in Iraq and allowed others to form.
The Obama mistake was his desperation to leave Iraq quick without thinking of how weak Iraq was and how quickly Iran can take over.
They did exactly what they did with Lebanon by supporting Hizbullah and now Hizbullah is an Iranian tool.
If we won’t stop these militias from forming and if we don’t kick Iran out of Iraq there will be huge threats to the middle east and the American interest there and here too.
Iraqs wealth and geography specially being the land link between Iran and Syria then Lebanon is something Iran wants to hold on to, without it they are weak
My question was, why does Iran have that influence? That post doesn't say -- it's starts spinning a story where Iraq holds elections and Iran needs to approve the win. Why? I suspect the answer is, because a lot of Iraqis look to fellow Shias in Iran. If so, isn't that plausibly democratic? What's your view?
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Old 01-14-2020, 04:58 PM   #99
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

Hey Sebby, now it's hedge funds!
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Old 01-15-2020, 12:13 PM   #100
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

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On one hand, this is gross. On another, considering they get the money either way, it's a bit more transparent and perhaps lulls the funds into a situation where they're under enhanced scrutiny?

It's a tough one. My gut wants me to say, "Fuck them. As long as there no LTCM hand grenade lurking out there as a result of this repo issue, leave things alone." I don't think we should be doing favors for a sector that has made its money on being outside regulatory grasp placed on others. Live by the sword...
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Old 01-16-2020, 09:27 AM   #101
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Paging Ty

This is a helicopter view article, but it neatly enough addresses an issue that's only going to worsen: https://newrepublic.com/article/1562...-its-nightmare

Considering solutions, I see the passage of new laws to convert gig workers into employees as a blunt fix doomed to fail. People will just find new ways to get around it.

I think the fix may lie in tax policy.

The article fails to note that gig workers enjoy certain tax benefits employees do not. Gig workers can write off all sorts of expenses and "live through their businesses" while employees cannot. This provides a great advantage for someone looking to use a gig to supplement income. We shouldn't punish the guy making $50k in his day job and $30k in revenue driving an Uber by recharacterizing his Uber work and forcing him to receive a W-2 from Uber, which would eliminate the deductions that allow him to pocket most of that $30k for himself. That's just diverting money from the real economy, and people who need it, to Uncle Sam's coffers.

Currently, the govt's strongest and most often used device for addressing companies' use of independent contractors rather than employees is an audit followed by a reclassification. This is time consuming and as noted above, punishes workers as much as employers. What if, instead, the govt applied an "independent contractor tax" on any employer with independent contractors in excess of, say, 3000 workers? Slap a 20% tax on Uber, Lyft, and all the rest.

Now, of course, they'll pass along the cost to consumers. But you know what? As a consumer of Uber, that's fine with me. Uber's best feature is its convenience, not its cost. It's so crazy cheap relative to what you get from it, I feel guilty using it. I'm not going to notice if the ride costs an additional few dollars. Nobody is going to notice that. When you need or want an Uber, you're going to get an Uber, cost be damned. I think it'd also make some of the other car services that are being destroyed by Uber competitive again.

This could also be applied to Amazon, of course. And any other entity that uses a huge amount of independent contractors. It'd also apply to those "body shops" that lease out labor and allow companies to avoid being flagged for using independent contractors as employees by saying, "Oh, well, we're not the workers' bosses... We lease them from a TPA that provides workers."

Just a thought. Might even out the playing field a bit and take away the unfair competitive advantage these gig operating firms enjoy.
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Old 01-16-2020, 12:57 PM   #102
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

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None of the banks - particularly the investment banks - were adequately prepared for the risk of a housing bubble bursting. And they all knew it was a bubble. They believed, quite wrongly, that they could flip the loans rather than keep them in portfolio, and blend the garbage loans with good loans in securities, to pass off risk. They knew that even a small uptick in delinquencies would set off a disastrous chain reaction.

And they knew the fundamentals behind the loans were lousy. A majority of the bubble was people replacing jobs they could no longer find or hold with income from flipping. People were sucking equity out of homes to survive. It was a fucking joke even the least astute watcher of r/e and economics could plainly see. Built to collapse.

And yet almost all of the big banks played along with the charade: Housing will never go down.

So yeah, I have sympathy for those who faced a run for no fault of their own. But in 2008, those banks were about 10% of banks. And 0% of investment banks.

Oh, and the shmucks who bought that credit default coverage from Cassano? They deserve to eat it the most. They all knew he was writing that which he couldn't possibly cover. Reporting on the crisis included multiple interviews with people who wondered how he could write so much.

The banks were so leveraged, and skepticism about the stability of the residential r/e market so high below the surface (despite the financial media's attempt to paint a rosy picture), a small loss was a big loss. I think it was a mere 3% increase in defaults on loans one tier above subprime that started the whole mess.

The banks knew they'd created a bubble and it'd burst, badly. Among the things that happens when bubbles burst? Bank runs. They should have planned for that given the size and fragility of the bubble they'd been knowingly creating.
I'm ketchupping and trying to avoid responding to you. But your analysis of 2008 is so fucking wildly off that it's impossible. Maybe I'm confusing what you're trying to convey because you're not doing it well?

A bubble is a bubble precisely because everyone in it can't see that it's a bubble. There were books and movies about how only a handful of people understood the flaws in the packaged MBS products. The idea that AIG or any of the investment banks permitted the type of multiple levels of gambling on "insurance" products that would bring down the entire institution (and the global economy) with the full knowledge that a slight uptick in mortgage defaults would create such a scenario is nuts. Very few people understood the impact. Very few people understood the market. And none of the people who did were in a position to turn down the "easy-money" fees associated with selling those products (or allowing those departments to sell those products).

In 2008, when Bear Stearns (not a commercial bank) failed, we were on the brink of total financial collapse. If one more bank failed, there would be a run on all banks, the entire economy would collapse all over the world. Your limited analysis of well-run and poorly-run banks is ridiculous. It may work when the economy isn't having any issues (and the bail-out would be FDIC-related for account-holders). But this was a full-blown global crisis. There is absolutely no way we could have let one more bank fail. And they were all on the brink. Citibank was trading at like $2 per share. Looking back after we successfully kept the entire global economy from collapsing and acting like we could have allowed a few more banks to fold is beyond fucking stupid.

I had this exact conversation with Taxwonk in 2008. After he said, "Maybe we should have let the entire system fall," (and that's as dumb an argument as Sarandon saying Trump being elected is a good thing because it will bring about more change after he destroys everything) he finally came to his senses. You're not there yet and it's 20fucking20.

TM

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Old 01-16-2020, 01:01 PM   #103
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

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Suppose I find myself in Decatur, Georgia, tomorrow afternoon. What to do?
Leave?

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Old 01-16-2020, 02:31 PM   #104
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

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Originally Posted by ThurgreedMarshall View Post
Leave?

TM
Done!

Sometimes you don't get to choose where a relative gets buried.
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Old 01-16-2020, 02:54 PM   #105
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Re: Paging Ty

Quote:
Originally Posted by sebastian_dangerfield View Post
This is a helicopter view article, but it neatly enough addresses an issue that's only going to worsen: https://newrepublic.com/article/1562...-its-nightmare

Considering solutions, I see the passage of new laws to convert gig workers into employees as a blunt fix doomed to fail. People will just find new ways to get around it.

I think the fix may lie in tax policy.

The article fails to note that gig workers enjoy certain tax benefits employees do not. Gig workers can write off all sorts of expenses and "live through their businesses" while employees cannot. This provides a great advantage for someone looking to use a gig to supplement income. We shouldn't punish the guy making $50k in his day job and $30k in revenue driving an Uber by recharacterizing his Uber work and forcing him to receive a W-2 from Uber, which would eliminate the deductions that allow him to pocket most of that $30k for himself. That's just diverting money from the real economy, and people who need it, to Uncle Sam's coffers.

Currently, the govt's strongest and most often used device for addressing companies' use of independent contractors rather than employees is an audit followed by a reclassification. This is time consuming and as noted above, punishes workers as much as employers. What if, instead, the govt applied an "independent contractor tax" on any employer with independent contractors in excess of, say, 3000 workers? Slap a 20% tax on Uber, Lyft, and all the rest.

Now, of course, they'll pass along the cost to consumers. But you know what? As a consumer of Uber, that's fine with me. Uber's best feature is its convenience, not its cost. It's so crazy cheap relative to what you get from it, I feel guilty using it. I'm not going to notice if the ride costs an additional few dollars. Nobody is going to notice that. When you need or want an Uber, you're going to get an Uber, cost be damned. I think it'd also make some of the other car services that are being destroyed by Uber competitive again.

This could also be applied to Amazon, of course. And any other entity that uses a huge amount of independent contractors. It'd also apply to those "body shops" that lease out labor and allow companies to avoid being flagged for using independent contractors as employees by saying, "Oh, well, we're not the workers' bosses... We lease them from a TPA that provides workers."

Just a thought. Might even out the playing field a bit and take away the unfair competitive advantage these gig operating firms enjoy.
I have so, so many thoughts about the contents of that article. Not sure where to begin.

Are there many places where gig workers are taking jobs from full-time employees? The quintessential gig worker is an Uber or Lyft driver, but taxi drivers are self-employed too.

The overarching problem is an economy that creates some great jobs and some shitty jobs but not enough decent jobs. Gig employment is great for people like my son, who can do some Instacart or DoorDash deliveries at peak times for spending money. They are not great for people who need full-time employment. The problem is not the gig jobs, it's the lack of other options.

And then there are all the crazy problems caused by the lethal combination of zoning and California property tax caps. The people who vote in local elections do not want more housing density. Municipalities want commercial development, which brings them tax revenue, not housing, which creates demand for expensive services and does not bring enough tax revenue to cover it. So the only housing that gets built is at the top of the market, and everyone else pays more and more. Not sustainable, but who besides Scott Weiner is trying to do something about?
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