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Old 05-01-2017, 06:39 PM   #1
Tyrone Slothrop
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Mother, mother, mother - there's too many of you crying.

Preach it.
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Old 05-01-2017, 06:44 PM   #2
Tyrone Slothrop
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Re: Fighting for our meals, out here in the fields.

"Trump wants to be president in the way children want to be astronauts: He likes the look of the job, but has no more interest in the actual work of it than 7-year-olds have in astrophysics."

Ezra Klein.

Not Bob, assume we can edit the thread title -- just DM me.
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Old 05-01-2017, 06:59 PM   #3
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Re: Fighting for our meals, out here in the fields.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop View Post
Preach it.
How about this instead?

Mother, mother, mother - there's too many of you crying.

I would also like to note that I came up with what I thought to be a good response to comments made by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross regarding our cruise missile attack on Syria.

"Has anyone found a gif of Mr. Ed sadly snorting "Oh, Will-burrrr"? Asking for a friend."

Anyway, carry on.

ETA: thanks, Ty. My post took too long to type.

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Old 05-01-2017, 07:12 PM   #4
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Re: Fighting for our meals, out here in the fields.

Quote:
Ty: I see a massive political problem, and a massive policy problem, and the two are tied together. The massive policy problem is that moderate Democrats' (and their counterparts in Europe) policy prescriptions have not created economic benefits for most people for well over a decade.
Nor will those of Republicans here or right wing nationalists in Europe. The political problem is the economic problem is immune to a political fix. I surmise "Destroy all the robots" will be next, after we've savaged immigration for a few more years.

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The idea that you should adopt technocratic growth-oriented polices to lift all boats hasn't worked, both because the Great Recession showed that technocracy isn't all that and because the growth we've seen since then hasn't lifted all boats -- it's lifting only the luxury yachts.
Businesses are necessarily efficiency junkies. Until we've cut to the marrow, and there's no one left to buy what they're selling, and monetary policy/buybacks/stock market "growth" begin to fail, businesses will engage in labor arbitrage with developing markets/frontier markets/robots.

I'm a broken record, but Bob Reich is right: We're in a "vicious cycle" where we need to be in a "virtuous cycle." (I'm intentionally not linking those terms because I think everyone should find and read/watch his eloquent little description of these things.)

Real growth starts with the consumer, who needs a job to afford to purchase things. We've completely forgotten that.

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The massive political problem is that voters resent this, don't see the Left as solving their problems, and have turned to a nativist Right that is more interested in restoring traditional social hierarchies and dumping on out-groups (especially but certainly not only immigrants).
Hell yes. "The factory owned by private equity titans and managed by old white middle managers laid me off... This is the Korean bodega owner's fault!"

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The Right is much more interested in zero-sum transfers of wealth and social status than in creating opportunity.
I think they're most interested in preservation of themselves. And not much else.

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A positive message about what government can do can resonate and can defeat this, but the Democrats don't have it right now.
I disagree, but even if it did, nobody in the Democratic Party but Bernie will ever utter such a compelling message. They long ago tacked to the center, and they're bloodless. Schumer is their perfect leader. Lip service for the proles; owned by big money on all of the important issues.

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One can criticize Hillary for being a bad messenger, but it's not like Bernie, Joe, Martin or anyone else had a great platform that she ignored in the general election.
She was tired iron in a change cycle.

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Now, you can say (and you did!) that Obama had a great platform, but didn't have the votes on the Hill to get it passed after 2010. I agree! But that's a big part of the problem. During Obama's time, I thought he was being wise by taking the long view, that voters would reward Democrats for governing well and responsibly. I was wrong!
That makes two of us. He had a great long game. His only failing was finding a proper heir. But that's not necessarily Obama's fault. Biden should've run. He'd be in the White House right now. (And not because he's got a penis... Because Joe is a good politician who can relate to everybody.)

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We got Trump and Republican control of government instead. So, saying that the Democrats have great policies isn't appealing if those policies get you two years of positive change, six years of stagnation, and then two/four/??? years of retrograde devolution. I love Obama, but in hindsight it's pretty tempting to say that he got the policies right but the politics wrong.
He had the same problem as Al Pacino in Carlito's Way. He should've killed the Clintons when he had them under control. Instead, they blighted his legacy. But history will still be kind to him. Some Zinn will do a serious study of 2008, acknowledge it was more a mini-depression than mere recession, and credit Obama with guiding us out of it (oddly, by himself triangulating... but he had no choice there).

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(Could he have built a durable Democratic majority if he'd done things differently? I really don't know.). And if that's the case, maybe the policies weren't quite right -- maybe the policies please you and me but didn't do enough to address the real problems that many voters experience. Obama faced opposition from Republicans, true, but he never found a way to make Republicans pay a political price for that opposition, which is one reason we have Justice Gorsuch instead of Justice Garland.
How are you going to make suicide bombers pay for their actions?

Quote:
Which is to say, I don't have good answers, but I do think that discussing policy as if it's untethered to politics is, at a high level, possibly part of the problem.
Neither's of much use against the robots. The conversation we should be having is a about whether we can use technology to enter Keynes' post-work world. But we'll never have that. Instead, those doing well right now will concentrate on how to Keep Things The Same. We'll invent new and innovative ways for those with capital to employ technology to use, abuse, and control everyone else.

The business of America is maintaining the status quo at all costs.
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Old 05-01-2017, 09:11 PM   #5
Tyrone Slothrop
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Re: Fighting for our meals, out here in the fields.

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Originally Posted by sebastian_dangerfield View Post
Nor will those of Republicans here or right wing nationalists in Europe. The political problem is the economic problem is immune to a political fix. I surmise "Destroy all the robots" will be next, after we've savaged immigration for a few more years.
Nonsense. The economy's groundrules are determined by politics.

Quote:
How are you going to make suicide bombers pay for their actions?
Republican politicians care more about preserving their jobs than anything else.

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The conversation we should be having is a about whether we can use technology to enter Keynes' post-work world. But we'll never have that.
OK -- let's have that conversation. Can we use technology to enter Keynes' post-work world? And what does that mean?
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Old 05-01-2017, 11:33 PM   #6
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Re: Fighting for our meals, out here in the fields.

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Nonsense. The economy's groundrules are determined by politics.
Not anymore. We gave that job to the market a long time ago.

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Republican politicians care more about preserving their jobs than anything else.
Ok. Immortal suicide bombers.

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OK -- let's have that conversation. Can we use technology to enter Keynes' post-work world? And what does that mean?
Not entirely post-work, but a 15 hr week. http://www.npr.org/2015/08/13/432122...as-he-so-wrong

My personal opinion is the Protestant Work Ethic is one of the most simultaneously diabolical and progressive concepts ever conceived. I still get creeped out in arguments with its advocates. You can cite them all the science, data, and logic in the world to prove they're toiling for the pointless, and all they can tell you is they know they're right. So many years of indoctrination... So frighteningly well developed and deeply driven into into their skulls. And over the very short term, they are right.

But then, over the long run, we are all dead.

Satan isn't the most compelling character since Milton's day without reason. He isn't loathed for his evil. He's loathed for telling the truth... that he doesn't exist, and nor does his divine opponent... And if time is all you have, foremost, to the cost of all other concerns which fall far, far below it -- have a good time.
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Old 05-01-2017, 11:52 PM   #7
Tyrone Slothrop
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Re: Fighting for our meals, out here in the fields.

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Originally Posted by sebastian_dangerfield View Post
Not anymore. We gave that job to the market a long time ago.
Some people think Trump, among others, is trying to take it back.
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Old 05-02-2017, 10:38 AM   #8
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Re: Fighting for our meals, out here in the fields.

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Originally Posted by sebastian_dangerfield View Post
How are you going to make suicide bombers pay for their actions?
This is the wisest thing I think I've ever "heard" you say. It's so good that I am willing to overlook the fact that you completely disagreed with me last year when I said Biden would have crushed all Republican comers.

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Old 05-02-2017, 10:50 AM   #9
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Re: Fighting for our meals, out here in the fields.

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Biden should've run. He'd be in the White House right now. (And not because he's got a penis... Because Joe is a good politician who can relate to everybody.)
I like Uncle Joe, but I'm not sure why we've collectively forgotten that he's a gaffe machine.
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Old 05-02-2017, 10:57 AM   #10
Tyrone Slothrop
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Re: Mother, mother, mother - there's too many of you crying.

Matt Levine on what Cantor is buying:

Quote:
Speaking of important people, why is Cantor Fitzgerald LP paying Barack Obama $400,000 to speak at its health care conference? The obvious answer is that Obama is a huge popular celebrity and an excellent speaker who will attract and impress clients at the conference, but that answer is so obvious that people seem to want to read a corrupt motive into it. Paying a former president a six-figure fee for a speech seems like a pretty oblique way to persuade future politicians to be "soft on Wall Street" or whatever, and a very straightforward way to get a good speech, but here we are.

Dan Davies thinks they want a good speech. "The fact that there is genuinely relevant business content there means that you can market the event to clients in a way that would be much more difficult for a day at the races, or front-row tickets to a pop concert," he notes, and having a famous speaker can "make the clients feel important, and burnish the image of the banker who organised the event as someone who is at ease in the corridors of power." Also:

The reason that we can be sure that these payments are not purely transactional is that nothing in investment banking is purely transactional. Across fields from advisory to research to capital markets, bankers are used to working on spec, building relationships and trust, and eventually getting paid at the time of a big transaction. This is not a transparent pricing model, and for that reason it is generally hated by regulators. It is, however, a very elegant emergent solution to a serious problem of information economics — the fact that it is impossible to tell whether a piece of content or advice is worth paying for without consuming it. The relationship model lets clients “try before they buy”, at the expense of breaking the connection between any particular piece of service and any particular piece of revenue.

Investment banking is a gift economy in which banks give clients an array of thoughtful but random gifts -- free financial modeling, revolving loan facilities, introductions to potential board and executive hires, the chance to meet Barack Obama -- in the hopes that one day the clients will give them the massive gift of a merger advisory mandate. Of course one concern is that this "uniquely bankerish way to do business" will rub off on politicians too. Davies is surely right that Cantor Fitzgerald is hiring Obama to impress its clients, not to influence regulation. But might some politician observe the transaction and decide to give Wall Street a few gifts while he's in office, in the hopes of one day receiving something in return?
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Old 05-02-2017, 11:04 AM   #11
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Re: Fighting for our meals, out here in the fields.

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I like Uncle Joe, but I'm not sure why we've collectively forgotten that he's a gaffe machine.
The best candidate is always the one who didn't run.

In the post-McGovern world of my teen years, Dems answer to getting beaten was, very consciously, to run white southern men. There was very open discussion about needing a white male candidate from the south, and it gave both Carter and Clinton big boosts in the primary. I really don't want the party to be consciously choosing to shun women and minority candidates out of political expediency, as we have in the past.
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Old 05-02-2017, 11:07 AM   #12
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Re: Fighting for our meals, out here in the fields.

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I like Uncle Joe, but I'm not sure why we've collectively forgotten that he's a gaffe machine.
His opponent would've been Trump. (Micdrop here?)
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Old 05-02-2017, 11:09 AM   #13
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Re: Fighting for our meals, out here in the fields.

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This is the wisest thing I think I've ever "heard" you say. It's so good that I am willing to overlook the fact that you completely disagreed with me last year when I said Biden would have crushed all Republican comers.

TM
I was wrong. As more info has emerged about the Trump voters, its pretty clear Biden would've taken at least 15% of them, more than enough to win.
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Old 05-02-2017, 11:11 AM   #14
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Re: Mother, mother, mother - there's too many of you crying.

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Matt Levine on what Cantor is buying:
So sayeth a guy on a billionaire's payroll.
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Old 05-02-2017, 11:28 AM   #15
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Re: Fighting for our meals, out here in the fields.

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I like Uncle Joe, but I'm not sure why we've collectively forgotten that he's a gaffe machine.
Because that's been proven to matter by Frederick Douglass and Andrew Jackson.

TM
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