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Wednesday, August 01, 2012

OTP- August 2012: The Leader Post: New stadium won’t have same appeal, says Bill ‘Spaceman’ Lee

“Building a new stadium down the street does not work unless (Ron) Lancaster spilled some DNA in the lot where they’re going to build the new stadium,” he added. “You have to refurbish (Mosaic Stadium). You’ve got to can all new ideas you might have and use the sacred ground. Fenway did that and that is why Fenway is loved. The new Yankee Stadium isn’t the same as it used to be.”

The former Boston Red Sox and Montreal Expos pitcher will not be running for the vacant mayor’s position in Regina later this year. With his opinion on the new stadium, he wasn’t sure he would garner many votes anyway. But that is nothing new to the former member of the Rhinoceros Party. Lee ran on the Rhino ticket in 1988 for president of the United States. Not surprisingly, he didn’t make the ballot in a single state. He said one of the high-ranking members within the party gave him a six-pack of Molson Canadian and asked him to run for president.

“I adhered to their funny philosophy,” Lee said. “My campaign slogan was ‘No guns, no butter. They’ll both kill you.’ And I only campaigned in federal prisons where I knew they couldn’t vote, and I only accepted a quarter in campaign contributions.”

With it being an election year in the U.S., Lee said he is all in for the re-election of Barack Obama.

“The only time (Mitt) Romney opens his mouth is when he needs to change feet,” Lee said of the Republican nominee. “If Obama does lose this, which I can’t see happening, then it’s because of a lady in Florida who works for Jeb Bush and Diebold, the voting-machine company. If Obama even comes close to losing this election, it’ll be fraud.”

Guess what, its the new OT politics thread!

Tripon Posted: August 01, 2012 at 12:04 AM | 5975 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: boston, politics

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   5601. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: August 31, 2012 at 11:53 AM (#4223600)
Ah, ok. gotcha.
   5602. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 31, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4223603)
things would have had to gotten a whole lot worse for America to have an entirely different system after 1932.


Even if true - and that does accord with my instincts - a leader other than FDR could easily have changed world history and the outcome of WWII. Perhaps not the side that won (unless we improbably joined the Axis), but shape of the allied victory and what happened in the world since then could easily have been dramatically different with different leadership.

Though obviously these are all impossible to truly know.
   5603. Random Transaction Generator Posted: August 31, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4223605)
I would love to be a Senator. Six years of guaranteed work and you really don't have to do much of anything,


I was listening to a podcast (either This American Life, or Freakonomics) and they talked about how a large portion of the politician's time is simply trying to raise money for their own campaign, or the general Democratic/Republican funds. They are constantly making cold calls to rich people to get them to donate, and they call up lobbyists to hold fund-raisers for them. Both sides have "quotas" for how much to raise, and they have special offices (since you can't do that from your senate office) set up in Washington buildings where the senators/reps go and make those calls.

Any desire I would have had to be a politician would have been crushed by all the hustling they have to do for the money.
   5604. McCoy Posted: August 31, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4223606)
Zonk,

You should join up with us for our next round of Diplomacy.
   5605. zonk Posted: August 31, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4223607)
My favorite general from the Revolutionary War is Nathaniel Greene. Knew how to inflict a beating, kept his army from getting routed, and kept on sticking it to the Brits.


I think I might take Greene, too... If you want to go 'peak' - I might actually take Benedict Arnold. He was a hell of a general. It's too bad he didn't die from his wounds at Saratoga - if he had, he'd be remembered as a martyred American hero. It's also too bad he had political enemies that forced Washington to give him an undeserved reprimand and that he had a social climbing, ruthless wife.
   5606. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: August 31, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4223608)
There's no way Obama would survive an economy this disasterous, distended, and hopeless if he was running against a normal major party politician but he happens to have the good fortune of running against an unlikeable, phony, odd stiff. a dying former major party who is now just a collection of reactionary factions.


Fixed.
   5607. zonk Posted: August 31, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4223609)
Zonk,

You should join up with us for our next round of Diplomacy.


I'm going to try...
   5608. Flynn Posted: August 31, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4223611)
Heroes For Sale, Gabriel Over The White House, Wild Boys of the Road, and I Am A Fugitive From a Chain Gang are better than any textbook or history book in bringing that political atmosphere to life.


Where the #### are those type of trenchant political statements today? Honestly, there's not been one good statement of the Great Recession in any type of art, anywhere. It's like America has just given up and decided to stuff its face with processed garbage while watching the Kardashians, waiting for the runaway bus to careen off the cliff.
   5609. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 31, 2012 at 11:58 AM (#4223612)
I think I might take Greene, too... If you want to go 'peak' - I might actually take Benedict Arnold.


I was totally going to go there. An argument could be made he saved the country before betraying it. Not sure I would make or agree with the argument mind you.
   5610. Greg K Posted: August 31, 2012 at 11:58 AM (#4223613)
Was Hitler a political genius? By the definitions proferred herein and any other sensible definition of the term, obviously yes -- and among the top 5-10 of the past 3-4 centuries. Arguably number one.

The only way around this obvious truth is to define "genius" as "doing something I politically agree with," which renders the concept

I seem I'm late to that party, but why would you feel the need to get around recognizing Hitler as a political genius?
   5611. McCoy Posted: August 31, 2012 at 11:58 AM (#4223614)
What is a normal major party politician? It seems whenever someone wins it is because they are unique and their opponent is somehow unique as well. I'm not sure why we always fall back to these cliched simple narratives.
   5612. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 31, 2012 at 11:59 AM (#4223615)
Of course he was, but so what?

So the statement that you ridiculed was correct.


Only if you assume that I was saying that politicians as a group are always on a higher moral level than non-politicians, which I've never said or believed.

Was the inventor of the atom bomb not a genius?

Yes, and his genius was a superior form to "political genius."


Is a master stock swindler who gets away with it for decades not possessed of the sort of "talent" that even Clint Eastwood might envy?

No, he's a talentless thief.


This pretty much completes your journey down the road of circular reasoning, where you assign a nonexistent moral component to "genius" or "talent" that simply doesn't exist, and pretend that only people you like can possess those qualities. I only wish that were the case.
   5613. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: August 31, 2012 at 11:59 AM (#4223616)
I think Hitler had enormous skills as an orator and he understood stagecraft well, but I wouldn't call him a 'political genius'... The Nazi government was an absolute bureaucratic mess.


Political genius is not the same as administrative genius.
   5614. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: August 31, 2012 at 11:59 AM (#4223617)
I've been playing a lot of Settlers of Catan lately. Really brilliant game in its simpliciy. I've never tried Dimplomacy.
   5615. The District Attorney Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:00 PM (#4223618)
I do know that Israel faced a lot of existential threats in the first years of its existence and, in keeping with the thread of the discussion, I think it quite likely that if Einstein were their leader, they don't last six months.
President is basically a ceremonial post. He wouldn't have been responsible for significant political decisions.
   5616. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:00 PM (#4223619)
OT - The add for "Warrior" on NetFlix to the right on my screen makes it completely look like the guy is peeing. Who thought that was a good picture to use? Sorry for those who don't get that add, it is ... um.. very odd.
   5617. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:01 PM (#4223622)
A 2 percent inflation target with 8% unemployment is pure insanity. What the christ is wrong with these people?

Amen to this, WJ.

With the shitty growth and huge debt burden (both public and private) we should be running 5% inflation.

Of course, since both parties are owned by big-money interests, and those people own lots of bonds, we get this #### show instead.
   5618. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:01 PM (#4223624)

Where the #### are those type of trenchant political statements today? Honestly, there's not been one good statement of the Great Recession in any type of art, anywhere. It's like America has just given up and decided to stuff its face with processed garbage while watching the Kardashians, waiting for the runaway bus to careen off the cliff.


On TV, I would argue. Breaking Bad comes immediately to mind.

The rise of television has really marginalized the importance of film, except for the tentpole blockbuster. If you want interesting and exciting art, it's on the idiot box.
   5619. Greg K Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4223625)
Of course he was, but so what?

So the statement that you ridiculed was correct. Political genius in fact aims at inferior ends than the aims of art, science, and invention.

I think I see your point now, but this goes back to what I referred to earlier in there not being an agreement on what we're talking about. Is talent and genius measure by how noble their work is? Or by its influence on the world?
   5620. McCoy Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4223626)
Where the #### are those type of trenchant political statements today? Honestly, there's not been one good statement of the Great Recession in any type of art, anywhere. It's like America has just given up and decided to stuff its face with processed garbage while watching the Kardashians, waiting for the runaway bus to careen off the cliff.

There have been movies about the recession but the movie studio is a different animal nowadays. WB doesn't own a series of movie theaters that are the only only form of visual media available to the masses so they don't produce tons of material yearly. Instead they finance a handful of high budget high grossing (hopefully) films that are intended to entertain a broad spectrum of customers. Smaller production companies with smaller visibility are producing films about the economy. I can't say how good they are or how they'll hold up but they are out there.
   5621. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:03 PM (#4223627)
I've been playing a lot of Settlers of Catan lately. Really brilliant game in its simpliciy. I've never tried Dimplomacy.


OT: Settlers is great. Carcassone, Ticket to Ride, Time's Up, and Dominion are other great family style games. A friend is having a party this weekend and I am looking forward to playing some of these and other games. I love games.
   5622. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:05 PM (#4223628)
With the shitty growth and huge debt burden (both public and private) we should be running 5% inflation.

How would you propose doing that, money being about as easy as it can possibly be for the past three years and all?
   5623. Greg K Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:05 PM (#4223630)
I've been playing a lot of Settlers of Catan lately. Really brilliant game in its simpliciy. I've never tried Dimplomacy.

Settlers always poses problems for me because of how I play games. I don't really play them to win, I more play them to play a role. (My subjective) definition of a good game is one where I can do roughly both at the same time. Occasionally in Settlers it will be in your best interests to build a long road that goes nowhere in particular in order to score points and win. For me that makes no sense in my role as head colonists or whatever I am. Some of the expansion packs deal better with this "problem"*.

*I put problem in quotations marks because I imagine I'm one of a very small minority who actually see this as a problem. I'm not suggesting this is a sane way to view games, just my two cents.
   5624. zonk Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4223631)
I think Hitler had enormous skills as an orator and he understood stagecraft well, but I wouldn't call him a 'political genius'... The Nazi government was an absolute bureaucratic mess.




Political genius is not the same as administrative genius.


Sure, but a lot of that mess wasn't so much administrative failure or ineptitude, it was administrative intent. That's how Hitler dealt with people - he was constantly pitting them against each other. The mess was by design, not accident.

Hitler was also easily impressed by pie-in-the-sky thinking... German industrialists and armaments companies quickly learned that the best way to get contracts was to show Hitler something bigger than anything else - regardless of how infeasible.

Like I said, great orator and he understood political stagecraft quite well - but ultimately, it's hard for me to call the fuhrerprinzip genius... it's pretty run-of-the-mill cult of personality stuff that plenty of people have employed throughout history. The ones who are able to carve out any lasting success out of it, have other skills they can bring to bear. Hitler really just had audacity.
   5625. zenbitz Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:08 PM (#4223633)

Interesting stuff from Harvey. From my post out here where we send people to Gulags for not recycling, what seems weird is nominating a ticket like Romney/Ryan but still essentially campaigning far right as if they are still trying to sew up the nomination. I guess I don't get the strategy of the hard "Obama is destroy our nation!" rather than rehashing HW's "compassionate conservatism".

In that sense, I am reminded of the the string of candidates the Democrats threw out in the 80s to stop Reagan & Bush. Clinton won (IMHO) because did the opposite of pandering to the Lefty base. So, the right actuallly won that battle - shifting the country rightwing - but then coughed up the Center to Clinton. Even W although he seemed like a light weight, hid the wingnutty-ness and got the gift of Gore.

My other assumption is that the republicans aren't throwing their Ace (whomever that is) up against an incumbent - especially when WHOMEVER wins they are not like to oversee and end to the poor economy in 4 years. Maybe to try to seize back some control of the Republican party from the wingbats?
   5626. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:09 PM (#4223634)
How would you propose doing that, money being about as easy as it can possibly be for the past three years and all?

Nominal GDP targeting. The Fed pledges to keep creating money until nominal GDP grows at 6-8%

Money is not as easy as it can be. The banks are just sitting on all their reserves (which the Fed compounded by stupidly paying interest on deposits at the Fed), largely b/c of ridiculous capital rules being imposed by regulators.

The Fed can always create more money; there are plenty of assets to buy. They also need to require the banks to loan out excess Reserves.
   5627. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:10 PM (#4223636)
I think I see your point now, but this goes back to what I referred to earlier in there not being an agreement on what we're talking about. Is talent and genius measure by how noble their work is? Or by its influence on the world?

I would say how difficult their accomplishments are to replicate, and the aesthetic worth and value of their body of work.

Being elected president is certainly an "accomplishment," but then again so is rising to the top of the Gambino crime family or transitioning from failed colonel to repository of virtually all political power of an advanced nation.
   5628. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:15 PM (#4223643)
Heroes For Sale, Gabriel Over The White House, Wild Boys of the Road, and I Am A Fugitive From a Chain Gang are better than any textbook or history book in bringing that political atmosphere to life.

Where the #### are those type of trenchant political statements today? Honestly, there's not been one good statement of the Great Recession in any type of art, anywhere. It's like America has just given up and decided to stuff its face with processed garbage while watching the Kardashians, waiting for the runaway bus to careen off the cliff.


That's a good question, but as bad as it's been lately, the true extent of our financial mess hasn't yet really affected enough people to form a critical mass of fear. An unemployment rate of under 10%, with only a fraction of that percentage out of work for 6 months of more, is horrific, but it pales compared to a rate that was approaching more than twice that in the early 30's. And of course back then the social safety net as we know it today was virtually nonexistent, being a hodgepodge of underfinanced state governments and overburdened private charities. Bottom line is that it's easy for the vast majority of people to avoid confronting our economic crisis today in our everyday lives, whereas in the 1930's such avoidance was nearly impossible for all but a very small percentage of the population.

And WRT to the movies, back then you had an entire studio (Warner Brothers) whose motto was "Ripped from today's headlines". That a major studio would tie its fortunes to the willingness of moviegoers to deal with the reality of life tells you a hell of a lot about our political climate. It wasn't literally revolutionary, but that was largely because (a) the Left was fractured, as always; and (b) because of the FDR confidence factor. For the first time since the Depression set in, ordinary people felt that the government actually recognized their existence, and that had a powerful calming effect on the non-hyperpoliticized majority. You can see that FDR effect in more than a few of those movies, Heroes For Sale, Wild Boys of the Road and Gold Diggers of 1933 in particular, all of which have endings that pay direct tribute to his message of optimism and positive thinking.

EDIT: Half a coke to McCoy
   5629. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:15 PM (#4223645)
The amount of attention paid by people to the election and the presidency is overdone. (Similar to how people let their lives revolve around the Red Sox, for example, getting all worked up over chicken and beer in the clubhouse instead of just shrugging and going out to dinner. How ridiculous.) It's at an unhealthy level - closely following polls and issues and wet-dreaming over gotcha questions asked by women.

The two candidates and parties are roughly the same. It's not like you're going to get Castro here. Really - go out and find something else to do, rather than feverishly reading all of the political blogs every day and masturbating to Nate Silver and Ezra Klein.
   5630. formerly dp Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:15 PM (#4223646)
Occasionally in Settlers it will be in your best interests to build a long road that goes nowhere in particular in order to score points and win. For me that makes no sense in my role as head colonists or whatever I am. Some of the expansion packs deal better with this "problem"*.


In Settlers, my strategy is usually to get other people fighting for Longest Road, while I build up instead of out. It worked for way longer than it should have, but now the people I play with are wise to it, and have stopped throwing all of their resources into building pointlessly long roads.

Largest Army seems to be a perpetual market inefficiency in our games. But Longest Road will get their soon if current trends continue.
   5631. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:17 PM (#4223648)
Really - go out and find something else to do, rather than feverishly reading all of the political blogs every day.

Yes, this. Very much so, this.

Politics has turned into just another species of sports and reality show, with the constant attention, the dusk-til-dawn blogs and talk radio shows and FoxNewsMSNBC personalities, and cast-in-stone, my team can do no wrong loyalties, and all the rest. Get a life.
   5632. Greg K Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:18 PM (#4223650)
I would say how difficult their accomplishments are to replicate, and the aesthetic worth and value of their body of work.

I'd say Hitler's accomplishments aren't very easy to replicate...though neither is the work of the world champion nickel swallower. Aesthetic value is I guess where the trouble lies. That implies some kind of value judgement...is your argument that politics just isn't capable of providing value to humankind? Or at least not to the scale literature and science can?

I suppose if that's the case then there's nothing more to discuss really.
   5633. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:18 PM (#4223653)
?Dear Mr. President:

There are too many states nowadays. Please eliminate three. I am NOT a crackpot.

Sincerely,
Clint Eastwood.
   5634. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:20 PM (#4223656)
There's a cluelessness here in people thinking that their candidate - be it Obama or Romney - and their party - D or R - is morally superior or even much different from the other one.

That expression about not being able to see the forest for the trees comes to mind. People are so intensely wrapped up in the minutia of this that they don't understand that the two sides are very similar.
   5635. Greg K Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:20 PM (#4223657)
Largest Army seems to be a perpetual market inefficiency in our games. But Longest Road will get their soon if current trends continue.

Actually this is the other one I forgot! (it's been a while since I played the non-expansion pack version). I never get around to buying development cards mostly because I'm not entirely sure what real-life decision they are meant to reflect.

I apologize continually bad-mouthing Settlers, which is a good game...just not for mental cases like me with weird hang-ups.
   5636. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:21 PM (#4223659)
My strategy is to build on any high probablity numbers I can and get access to a 3:1 port ASAP.

It's true about the largest army. I was going to win on my next turn in my last game when someone pulled out victory by drawing a third knight.

I agree with Greg that sometimes Settlers feels less like it's about building a successful colony than about exploiting arbitrary rules. I wish the game rewarded expansion and city building more, and disallowed points for roads that aren't connecting cities.
   5637. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4223660)
The amount of attention paid by people to the election and the presidency is overdone

...

Really - go out and find something else to do, rather than feverishly reading all of the political blogs every day and masturbating to Nate Silver and Ezra Klein.


This is a political thread. The fact that we talk politics should not really surprise you, but every few weeks it seems to.

Following politics is fun. Talking about it is fun. Telling other people how they should have fun is very ... you. Wasting your time posting, when your advice is to not waste your time doing that very thing is also very you.

And ... the president is the most powerful person in the world. The president can't do everything many people think they can, and in fact has less impact than many people believe. Both of these statements are true.
   5638. zonk Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4223662)
One other thing I guess I would say about Hitler -- although, I think that I might give this credit more to people like the Strasser brothers, Ernst Rohm, early Goebbels, etc -- he was effective at charting an ideology that seemed to go off in a new dimension.

I.e., I have always thought it terribly wrong when either the right or left try to tie Hitler to the other side. The Nazis were really neither extreme right or left - they were just extreme. They successfully tilled the disaffected fields on both sides of the divide.

There were committed socialists early in the Nazi movement - Rohm was killed, the Strassers exiled/killed, Goebbels knuckled under. There were committed conservatives that backed the Nazis - Fritz Thyssen, for one. You had center-left mainline (European-style) liberals like Hjalmar Schacht. You even had old guard, Prussian bluebloods like Goering.

The Nazis borrowed from every range on the political spectrum... they may have started in rural Bavaria appealing to 'traditional values', but they grew by attracting unemployed trade unionists, they consolidated by getting support from middle class shopkeepers, they ultimately seized control by finally bringing along the industrialists, bankers, etc.

If America ever does fall to totalitarianism, I don't think it will be a far left or a far right politician. It will be someone who can appeal to both the most virulent tea partiers and the OWS types. It will be someone who convinces both angry sides of the partisan divide that they're right to be angry, and eventually, convince them that they're actually angry about the same thing, whatever that may be.
   5639. zenbitz Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:23 PM (#4223663)
The president doesn't "run" the country. That's a modern liberal construct.


That's because we're all secretly Stalinists.


Of course Hitler was a political genius. He seems to have been a disaster as a commander in chief.


He was pretty good at warfare 39-42, but then he went to far (in trusting his own Genius).

I think it is interesting that the American Right is currently abuzz with the idea that preparations are underway to make us communist. I have always thought that when/if the US falls to totalitarianism we'll certainly be fascist.


How would you tell the difference between communist (aka Stalin's Socialism in one Country) and fascist? China is just as fascist as it is socialist. I guess it boils down to which section of the population you persecute. But US would probably go Theocracy. Assuming you the world economy collapses far enough to break up the Oligarchy.
   5640. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4223665)
And ... the president is the most powerful person in the world.


Yes, but, again, you're getting one of two similar options. It's not like Charles Manson is in line for the job, or even Ron Paul.
   5641. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4223666)
Aesthetic value is I guess where the trouble lies. That implies some kind of value judgement...is your argument that politics just isn't capable of providing value to humankind? Or at least not to the scale literature and science can?

I suppose if that's the case then there's nothing more to discuss really.


That summarizes it decently, though I'm finding it hard to understand how the proper scope of politics and the political endeavors within the human experience isn't worthy of discussion.
   5642. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4223668)
So did anyone actually watch Mitt? How did he do?
   5643. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4223669)
That expression about not being able to see the forest for the trees comes to mind. People are so intensely wrapped up in the minutia of this that they don't understand that the two sides are very similar.


This coming from the guy who with great passion argued ObamaCare was a travesty where we were taking away his money at gunpoint and giving it to the undeserving masses for months in hundreds of posts, priceless!

EDIT: Either argue we are stealing your money and liberty OR both sides are the same, but both seems more than a little disingenuous.
   5644. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:26 PM (#4223671)
Your relative fear of communism/fascism probably explains which direction you lean


pretty much.

there is no communist movement in this country, period
communism as any type of threat ended with the fall of the USSR

and to some extent many in the nut brigades understand that- so that's why you have the obsession with MooseLims and the claim that the Muslim Brotherhood is trying to infiltrate the US Government and Society.

OTOH I've seen more open claims that certain pols and policies are "socialist" in the last 5-10 than ever before, partly it is because of a seemingly concerted effort on the right to re-define the word socialism... and partly it is because raving lunatics like Glenn Beck have been given air time.
   5645. zonk Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:26 PM (#4223672)
How would you tell the difference between communist (aka Stalin's Socialism in one Country) and fascist? China is just as fascist as it is socialist. I guess it boils down to which section of the population you persecute. But US would probably go Theocracy. Assuming you the world economy collapses far enough to break up the Oligarchy.


Right up until theocracy -- bingo. I'd disagree with that, but this is precisely what I'm 5638. "Right" and "Left" will have nothing to do with a theoretical totalitarian United States. It will occasionally employ pieces of both to seize power, whereupon it will simply be totalitarian. Policy will be window-dressing subservient to that.
   5646. zenbitz Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4223678)
Oh, and the inventor of the A-bonb wasn't a single person and really wasn't genius. It was an engineering problem that fell out from the basic physics that was understood in the 20s. As evidenced by independent groups working on the concept in US, UK, USSR and Germany.


It was certainly an engineering tour-de-force, though. So, I guess the A-Bomb is ingenious in the sense that the iPad is.

Now, using a hijacked plane to blow up a skyscraper - that's genius.
   5647. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4223679)
I've been playing a lot of Settlers of Catan lately. Really brilliant game in its simpliciy. I've never tried Dimplomacy.


Have you guys been following Geek & Sundry's TableTop?
   5648. formerly dp Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4223681)
I agree with Greg that sometimes Settlers feels less like it's about building a successful colony than about exploiting arbitrary rules. I wish the game rewarded expansion and city building more, and disallowed points for roads that aren't connecting cities.


I'm with both of you on this, but: it's a dynamic strategy game that's complex enough to hold my interest, but not so complex as to alienate people who don't like strategy games. My wife and my folks have both really taken to, as have pretty much every group of friends we've introduced the game to. Some of the rules are absurd and nonsensical, but at the end of the day, it's a social experience rather than one focused around diagetic cohesion.

My strategy is to build on any high probablity numbers I can and get access to a 3:1 port ASAP.


I'm with you on the former, but I'm not a port-chaser. My strategy is high-probability numbers and fast cities-- build tight and buy development cards late in the game.
   5649. zonk Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4223682)

Now, using a hijacked plane to blow up a skyscraper - that's genius.


Not to anyone who saw the 1996 Kurl Russell film 'Executive Decision'.... hey - maybe Clint Eastwood or some other premier actor/director would make a good President!
   5650. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:32 PM (#4223683)
So did anyone actually watch Mitt? How did he do?


Did not watch a second. I don't think we will know until the Dem convention is done and the bounce from both is over.
   5651. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4223685)
Virtually no chance of communism, decent chance of fascism. Several of the elements and tendencies of fascism are already in place -- powers willingly ceded to the president; impatience with the inability of the muliplicity of power centers to "get things done" in the current system; an embittered and expectant citizenry; a widespread comfort level with the tools, language, and imagery of violence; a history of aggression against other nations.

The distance from the John Yoo memos to full-blown fascism isn't that far and if fascism comes, it will come by memo. There won't be some definitive moment.
   5652. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:36 PM (#4223687)
Right up until theocracy -- bingo. I'd disagree with that, but this is precisely what I'm 5638. "Right" and "Left" will have nothing to do with a theoretical totalitarian United States. It will occasionally employ pieces of both to seize power, whereupon it will simply be totalitarian. Policy will be window-dressing subservient to that.


Totalitarianism in America will be sectarian, technological, and populist.
   5653. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:37 PM (#4223688)
The amount of attention paid by people to the election and the presidency is overdone. (Similar to how people let their lives revolve around the Red Sox, for example, getting all worked up over chicken and beer in the clubhouse instead of just shrugging and going out to dinner. How ridiculous.) It's at an unhealthy level - closely following polls and issues and wet-dreaming over gotcha questions asked by women.

Says the man who's spent several months trying to convince Don Quixote's windmill that Ichiro Suzuki shouldn't be considered a legitimate Hall of Famer.

EDIT: A coke to Bitter Mouse for pointing out another one of Ray's strange obsessions. Another would be his great crusade against DVD recording.

The two candidates and parties are roughly the same. It's not like you're going to get Castro here. Really - go out and find something else to do, rather than feverishly reading all of the political blogs every day and masturbating to Nate Silver and Ezra Klein.

So what would you recommend diverting our attention to during our withdrawal phase? www.coolstandings.com?
   5654. zenbitz Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4223689)
With the shitty growth and huge debt burden (both public and private) we should be running 5% inflation.


And that this is never seriously broached is reflected in Ray's statement:

People are so intensely wrapped up in the minutia of this that they don't understand that the two sides are very similar.


It's clearly recognized that shitty growth and federal debt/deficit are kind of a big deal. But the only way out is to screw the creditors. But both parties are are deep in the pockets of the banking and finance industry -- and their oligarch pals.

   5655. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:41 PM (#4223690)
It's clearly recognized that shitty growth and federal debt/deficit are kind of a big deal. But the only way out is to screw the creditors. But both parties are are deep in the pockets of the banking and finance industry -- and their oligarch pals.


Iceland. But do a half-assed, half-baked one-off of that in America and you have mouth breathers crying about GM bondholders for 1000 years.
   5656. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4223694)
Tesla was a genius


He was also a vampire.
   5657. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4223698)
So did anyone actually watch Mitt? How did he do?

I watched most of it. I think he was good, not great.

He defended his business success, which he needed to do, and did a good job being optimistic, while pointing out Obama's failures.
   5658. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4223703)
He defended his business success, which he needed to do, and did a good job being optimistic, while pointing out Obama's failures.


Which is to say he lied effectively to the base.
   5659. Rants Mulliniks Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4223704)
There's a cluelessness here in people thinking that their candidate - be it Obama or Romney - and their party - D or R - is morally superior or even much different from the other one.

That expression about not being able to see the forest for the trees comes to mind. People are so intensely wrapped up in the minutia of this that they don't understand that the two sides are very similar.


Thank you Ray, somehow you've managed to earn less scorn and mockery for making this statement than I do the numerous times I've made it. Maybe its because you're a droid, and therefore inherently rational, and I'm a crackpot.
   5660. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:56 PM (#4223705)
It's clearly recognized that shitty growth and federal debt/deficit are kind of a big deal. But the only way out is to screw the creditors. But both parties are are deep in the pockets of the banking and finance industry -- and their oligarch pals.


I agree with much of this. There are some disturbing similarities between parties. That doesn't mean they are "functionally the same" and anyone that thinks they are is ... well I would rather no call people names.

Some of the problem comes from the fact that the R side of the house has been very successful at attacking a couple power bases on the D side, like unions. Politicians are going to go where the money and power are, and by removing some of those the D used it means more power for the Oligarchy. I wish it didn't, but it does.
   5661. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:57 PM (#4223706)
Thank you Ray, somehow you've managed to earn less scorn and mockery for making this statement than I do the numerous times I've made it. Maybe its because you're a droid, and therefore inherently rational, and I'm a crackpot.


Now let's break the programming. Ray, apply the learnings of your lessons to the Libertarians.
   5662. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:58 PM (#4223708)
It's clearly recognized that shitty growth and federal debt/deficit are kind of a big deal. But the only way out is to screw the creditors. But both parties are are deep in the pockets of the banking and finance industry -- and their oligarch pals.

Yes, which is why we need 5-7% inflation for a decade. It "screws" the creditors without being illegal.
   5663. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:58 PM (#4223709)
Thank you Ray, somehow you've managed to earn less scorn and mockery for making this statement than I do the numerous times I've made it.


I have much more scorn for Ray saying it than you. From what I can tell of your posts it is your genuine (though I believe wrong) belief. In light of his posting history, Ray saying it is comical.
   5664. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 31, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4223710)
Yes, which is why we need 5-7% inflation for a decade. It "screws" the creditors without being illegal.


QFT. And snapper and I don't agree on much. Though I am not sure a decade is right, let's just start and see where it leads us.
   5665. formerly dp Posted: August 31, 2012 at 01:00 PM (#4223711)
Thanks for the link in 5647, Rickey. Good stuff.
   5666. Rants Mulliniks Posted: August 31, 2012 at 01:01 PM (#4223713)
An unemployment rate of under 10%, with only a fraction of that percentage out of work for 6 months of more,


Surely to God you, Andy, a bleeding heart liberal if there ever was one, don't beleive the unemployment rate is under 10%? If that's the case, then the unemployment rate in the 30's might have been 12 or 13%. The official methodology for calculating the unemployment rate has changed significantly since the 1930's, and if the same method were used by the gov't today as was used then, they would be forced to admit that in actuality the rate has sat around 22-23% for the past three years.
   5667. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 31, 2012 at 01:01 PM (#4223714)
QFT. And snapper and I don't agree on much. Though I am not sure a decade is right, let's just start and see where it leads us.

It also has the advantage of inflating away the national debt. The problem of course is that the major banks and China hold a lot of this debt.
   5668. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 31, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4223715)
The problem of course is that the major banks and China hold a lot of this debt.


Feature, not a bug.
   5669. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 31, 2012 at 01:04 PM (#4223716)
Feature, not a bug.

Agreed, but it makes it tougher to get the requisite support for the policy.

Consciously keeping inflation this low, with over 10% actual unemployment, borders on immoral.
   5670. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 31, 2012 at 01:06 PM (#4223719)
It also has the advantage of inflating away the national debt. The problem of course is that the major banks and China hold a lot of this debt.

Well, the banks will benefit from the higher interest rates, b/c they'll be able to earn a spread on their assets again.

China will just have to live with it.
   5671. Ron J2 Posted: August 31, 2012 at 01:06 PM (#4223720)
undeserved reprimand


Best I can tell the reprimand was deserved. Not only was he speculating in commodities made scare by the war (dubious at best given his position), but he was using military resources to do so and was using his position to take actions against his competitors.

He felt entitled to do so because (among other things) Congress had never reimbursed him for the expenses on campaign. An awful lot of the funding for the Quebec expeditions (yeah very much under-funded, but he did his best there) and in the campaign leading to Saratoga came out of his pocket.
   5672. Lassus Posted: August 31, 2012 at 01:06 PM (#4223721)
The two candidates and parties are roughly the same. It's not like you're going to get Castro here. Really - go out and find something else to do, rather than feverishly reading all of the political blogs every day and masturbating to Nate Silver and Ezra Klein.

And whatexactlythefuck noble and far more worthwhile activities do you spend time doing?
   5673. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 31, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4223722)
And whatexactlythefuck noble and far more worthwhile activities do you spend time doing?


Predicting the future?

Sorry, cheap shot.
   5674. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: August 31, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4223723)
I agree with much of this. There are some disturbing similarities between parties. That doesn't mean they are "functionally the same" and anyone that thinks they are is ... well I would rather no call people names.


Beginning the timeline in 1992, the point where 1) Clinton and the DLC realigned the Dems to the "third way" and triangulation and 2) the power of unions had faded to the point of being little more than a niche player in the autoworking and government employee sectors, at best:

1992 - Clinton/DLC realigns the Dems into a "third way" party which is essentially socially moderate, fiscally conservative

1996 - There is little space between the parties at all in regards to fiscal theory (the Wall Street consensus) or foreign policy (the Washington consensus)

2000 - Neo-conservatism begins to pull the GOP to the far-right on FP; on-going fealty to Norquistian "no taxes ever" lunacy drags the GOP to the far-right on fiscal issues

2001 - 9/11 jack-rabbits neo-conservative FP into light speed

This is the state of play since 2001. The light between the two parties on FP is due exclusively to the hard yank to the far right from neocons post 9/11. The Dems still play in the moderate right world of DLC/DC consensus. There is no left in American FP circles.

The only light between the Dems and GOP in fiscal terms is that the Dems still occasionally take budget balancing seriously, whereas the GOP have no purpose or goal but to cut taxes and damn the torpedoes.

Which brings the choice between the two to social issues, and the Dems are morally superior to the GOP on social issues across the board.
   5675. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: August 31, 2012 at 01:10 PM (#4223728)
Surely to God you, Andy, a bleeding heart liberal if there ever was one, don't beleive the unemployment rate is under 10%? If that's the case, then the unemployment rate in the 30's might have been 12 or 13%. The official methodology for calculating the unemployment rate has changed significantly since the 1930's, and if the same method were used by the gov't today as was used then, they would be forced to admit that in actuality the rate has sat around 22-23% for the past three years.



No.

The short answer (you can read the much more long-winded one below) is that unemployment rates during today’s crisis never approached either Great Depression Era peaks or even peak unemployment from during the early 1980s recession. Comparables for Great Depression v. today are 25.2% (Great Depression) v. 10% (today) on a narrow measure and 37.6% v. 17.2% on a broader one.

So, there are two primary unemployment rates calculated today:
•There is U3, which counts as unemployed people who are out of work and have actively looked for jobs in the past 4 weeks. This measure conforms to the International Labour Organization's definition of unemployment, which is calculated in most countries and allows for comparability.
•Then, there is U6, which also includes as unemployed 1) discouraged workers (people who would like to work, but stopped looking) 2) "marginally attached workers" (like discouraged, but weaker ties to the labor market), and 3) underemployed workers (part-time, who would like to be full-time).

The U3 calculation is available from 1940 onward. (U6 is available from 1947, but can be estimated backwards as roughly 1.8 * U3). From 1900 to 1940, the two available measures are Unemployed Non-Farm Employees and Unemployed Civilian Workforce. However, the methodology for calculating these two measures changed over time, so they mean different things in different years. The US Census Bureau created estimates of U3 backwards in time from the unemployment data it did have in the Bicentennial Edition of its Statistical Abstract.

http://www.census.gov/prod/www/abs/statab.html

This gives peak U3 unemployment during the Great Depression as 25.2% and peak U6 unemployment (using the 1.8x multiplier) as 37.6% (versus peak U3 of 10% and peak U6 of 17.2% during the current crisis).
   5676. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: August 31, 2012 at 01:13 PM (#4223733)
And whatexactlythefuck noble and far more worthwhile activities do you spend time doing?


I spent Mitt Romney's nomination speech playing moderately skilled and successful defense in CF.
   5677. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 31, 2012 at 01:14 PM (#4223734)
The only light between the Dems and GOP in fiscal terms is that the Dems still occasionally take budget balancing seriously, whereas the GOP have no purpose or goal but to cut taxes and damn the torpedoes.

LOL. Remind me again when Obama and the Dem Senate last passed a budget?
   5678. SteveF Posted: August 31, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4223738)
I believe most of the US debt is held by the Social Security and Medicare trust funds. China only owns about $1.1T.
   5679. Kiko Sakata Posted: August 31, 2012 at 01:19 PM (#4223741)
So did anyone actually watch Mitt? How did he do?


I did, and basically agree with snapper in #5657. Fine to good, but I don't know that I've ever seen a nomination speech that didn't fall in that range. More specific proposals than I was expecting, less than I would have liked. His numbers didn't add up - we won't cut defense like Obama, we won't cut Medicare like Obama, we won't raise taxes like Obama, we'll cut the deficit/debt. But that's always been a problem with Republicans. I assume he'll get a modest temporary bounce like always and 3-4 weeks from now, the race will have re-stabilized to where it was before Romney named Ryan (Obama ~ a 2-to-1 favorite per Nate Silver).

I also wholeheartedly endorse snapper's proposal for 5% inflation over the next decade to ease personal and government debt burdens and spur GDP growth.

Oh, and if anybody cares about my biases in assessing this, I'll be voting for Gary Johnson for President and have a weak preference for Obama over Romney (and largely agree with Ray that the two major parties are much more interchangeable - especially in terms of their likely effect on the economy - than most people seem to believe).
   5680. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 31, 2012 at 01:20 PM (#4223744)
Good article from Nate. I am not a Nate bobo (though I like his stuff), but this is one of his better articles.

Remind me again when Obama and the Dem Senate last passed a budget?


They keep proposing and the house keeps shooting them down. Since it starts in the house they are in fact a bit stuck.
   5681. Rants Mulliniks Posted: August 31, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4223746)
I had not heard about the U6 calculation for the 30's (its higher than I thought it would have been) but thank you for at least mentioning it. U-6 today is over 15%, and John Williams of ShadowStats.com estimate the real unemployment rate to be about 23%

At any rate, I hope we can all agree that it is highly disingenuous of the gov't to claim that only 10% of the working age population are out of work, or even grossly underemployed.

There are four people with Master's degrees working for minimum wage or slightly above at the Chapters bookstore in my city, and although they aren't technically unemployed, they might as well be.
   5682. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: August 31, 2012 at 01:26 PM (#4223752)
I assume this fluctuates regularly, but Japan owns around the same amount of US Debt as China.
   5683. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 31, 2012 at 01:30 PM (#4223759)
An unemployment rate of under 10%, with only a fraction of that percentage out of work for 6 months of more,

Surely to God you, Andy, a bleeding heart liberal if there ever was one, don't beleive the unemployment rate is under 10%? If that's the case, then the unemployment rate in the 30's might have been 12 or 13%. The official methodology for calculating the unemployment rate has changed significantly since the 1930's, and if the same method were used by the gov't today as was used then, they would be forced to admit that in actuality the rate has sat around 22-23% for the past three years.


Pulling numbers out of a hat doesn't advance your argument. You can argue that definitions of unemployment have varied over time, but when you've got breadlines and wandering homeless people all over the country and an official unemployment rate of 24.9%, as it was in 1933, it's beyond stupid to try to compare the economic reach of the 1930's depression to even the worst possible depiction of today's economy, which is certainly bad enough without bogus comparisons to the early 1930's.
   5684. formerly dp Posted: August 31, 2012 at 01:31 PM (#4223761)
I spent Mitt Romney's nomination speech playing moderately skilled and successful defense in CF.


I always thought Rickey would be a bit stretched in CF.
===

BTW, on the abortion question, this bit is particularly awesome.

Seeing bell hooks speak in a few minutes.
   5685. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 31, 2012 at 01:38 PM (#4223779)
I assume this fluctuates regularly, but Japan owns around the same amount of US Debt as China.

Great news. If all of it was foreign owned, it'd be even better.

I believe most of the US debt is held by the Social Security and Medicare trust funds. China only owns about $1.1T.

Yeah, but that's just an accounting trick. The bonds are a wash. It's like you loaning yourself money from your checking account to your savings account. The interest income perfectly offsets the interest expense.

The obligations are general obligations of the Treasury, losing real value on the bonds will not effect the Feds ability to pay the SS and Medicare obligations, b/c tax revenues will go up with inflation..
   5686. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 31, 2012 at 01:40 PM (#4223780)
Remind me again when Obama and the Dem Senate last passed a budget?


They keep proposing and the house keeps shooting them down. Since it starts in the house they are in fact a bit stuck.

That's simply not true. The House has passed budget resolutions, the Democratic Senate has not. It is a tactical choice to avoid tough votes (That's leadership?). Senate Democrats have preferred to do a last minute Omnibus Bill, thinking it plays better and that the pressure to pass something will make it easier to get their pet projects through.
   5687. Rants Mulliniks Posted: August 31, 2012 at 01:40 PM (#4223781)
but when you've got breadlines and wandering homeless people


Don't you think we'd have breadlines today if 46 million people weren't on Food Stamps, which didn't exist in the 1930s? There was no unsustainable social safety net to obfuscate the severity of the problem then.
   5688. hokieneer Posted: August 31, 2012 at 01:40 PM (#4223782)
Pulling numbers out of a hat doesn't advance your argument. You can argue that definitions of unemployment have varied over time, but when you've got breadlines and wandering homeless people all over the country and an official unemployment rate of 24.9%, as it was in 1933, it's beyond stupid to try to compare the economic reach of the 1930's depression to even the worst possible depiction of today's economy, which is certainly bad enough without bogus comparisons to the early 1930's.

I think I might have to agree with andy on this one. Anecdotal evidence and all, but I see signs/advertisements for at least 3-5 businesses a day wanting to higher people. These are all low-paid service industry jobs: restaurants, gas stations, retail stores, etc. If the situation was truly bordering on the 1930s level of depression, these business would not be looking to hire additional employees and if they were hiring, then people would be lining up for them.
   5689. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: August 31, 2012 at 01:42 PM (#4223785)
I agree with Greg that sometimes Settlers feels less like it's about building a successful colony than about exploiting arbitrary rules. I wish the game rewarded expansion and city building more, and disallowed points for roads that aren't connecting cities.


There are loads better society-building games than Settlers of Catan, if that's what floats your boat.
   5690. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 31, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4223786)
These are all low-paid service industry jobs: restaurants, gas stations, retail stores, etc. If the situation was truly bordering on the 1930s level of depression, these business would not be looking to hire additional employees and if they were hiring, then people would be lining up for them.

That's because the government is paying people more to stay at home.
   5691. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: August 31, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4223787)

Don't you think we'd have breadlines today if 46 million people weren't on Food Stamps, which didn't exist in the 1930s? There was no unsustainable social safety net to obfuscate the severity of the problem then.


You're proving their point. Things like food stamps and unemployment benefits are a big part of the reason why this recession is not as bad as the Great Depression. Not sure what you mean by 'unsustainable'.
   5692. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 31, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4223790)
The short answer (you can read the much more long-winded one below) is that unemployment rates during today’s crisis never approached either Great Depression Era peaks or even peak unemployment from during the early 1980s recession. Comparables for Great Depression v. today are 25.2% (Great Depression) v. 10% (today) on a narrow measure and 37.6% v. 17.2% on a broader one.


I had not heard about the U6 calculation for the 30's (its higher than I thought it would have been) but thank you for at least mentioning it. U-6 today is over 15%, and John Williams of ShadowStats.com estimate the real unemployment rate to be about 23%

At any rate, I hope we can all agree that it is highly disingenuous of the gov't to claim that only 10% of the working age population are out of work, or even grossly underemployed.


Well, if you look at all of those above numbers and take out the verbiage, you get three sets of figures.

1933 - Today

Official UE rate
25.2% - 10%

U6 rate
37.6% - 17.2%

ShadowStats.com
??? - 23%

Given that the first two 1933 rates were both over double the current rate, what was 1933's "real" UE rate? 45% - 50%? What percentage of women now and then were even considered to be part of a measurable labor force?

Look, as long as you apply it consistently, you can count the UE rate however you want, and the bottom line is that it's horrible. But trying to make a straightfaced comparison between today's economy and that of the Depression is crazy on so many levels that it passes the smell test like a skunk in heat.
   5693. Rants Mulliniks Posted: August 31, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4223792)
Not sure what you mean by 'unsustainable'.


You may not agree, but I tend to think trillion dollar deficits are not all that sustainable.
   5694. hokieneer Posted: August 31, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4223793)
That's because the government is paying people more to stay at home.

Doesn't that also mean they are giving people the money to consume these services, thus leading to the need for more jobs in the service industry?
   5695. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 31, 2012 at 01:55 PM (#4223794)
Doesn't that also mean they are giving people the money to consume these services, thus leading to the need for more jobs in the service industry?

If that was true, wages in the service industry would be trending substantially upward due to the alleged labor shortage. They're not.
   5696. Rants Mulliniks Posted: August 31, 2012 at 01:57 PM (#4223797)
Look Andy, in the 1930's people didn't have credit cards to rack up for months or years to stave off their inevitable financial ruin - they do now. They didn't have comfortable homes bought with NINJA mortages that they could live in for months or years without making any payments before being foreclosed upon - they do now. In the the 30's the population was proportionately more rural, so at least they could grow some of their own food - most can't now. It may not be as bad as the 30's right now, but that's where we're headed, and the once-in-a-generation drought that's just wiped out a good portion of the corn crop in the US is adding fuel to the fire.
   5697. steagles Posted: August 31, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4223798)
You may not agree, but I tend to think trillion dollar deficits are not all that sustainable.
so, then i take it you're in favor of raising income taxes on people who earn more than 250K, closing the capital gains loophole, and raising the death tax to pre-reagan levels until the deficit is reduced to zero?
   5698. SteveF Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:01 PM (#4223801)
The obligations are general obligations of the Treasury, losing real value on the bonds will not effect the Feds ability to pay the SS and Medicare obligations, b/c tax revenues will go up with inflation..


Indeed. I wasn't unclear on this point. I was just pointing out China isn't being screwed as badly as some might think.

The issue that I do wonder about in the context of Social Security is COLA. Higher inflation rates do impact SS obligations in that respect in a way that isn't offset except through increased payroll taxes (via raising the cap), correct? (Edit: Actually, nevermind. Increased taxes would take care of this.)

As regards increasing inflation, there are only really two questions I have. First, how sure are we that the relevant inflation rate for these purposes is 2%? Obviously lots of things are excluded from core inflation. Second, how sure are we that consumers will react appropriately to increases in consumer prices? Part of the Fed's fear has to be that people will be not act rationally in the face of increased prices. People will account for the higher prices without properly accounting for their higher wages.
   5699. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:01 PM (#4223802)
so, then i take it you're in favor of raising income taxes on people who earn more than 250K and on raising the death tax to pre-reagan levels until the deficit is reduced to zero?

You do realize that won't make a dent in the deficit if entitlement growth is left unchecked?
   5700. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: August 31, 2012 at 02:06 PM (#4223804)

You may not agree, but I tend to think trillion dollar deficits are not all that sustainable.


You're making leaps so fast that I can't catch up. We're not spending a trillion dollars on foodstamps. The social safety net programs that people are relying on now are things like unemployment insurance, which also doesn't cost a trillion dollars. So your earlier statement is incorrect. Moreover, increasing spending on social insurance programs is exactly the right policy in a recession, unless you want to drive demand down even further, so it's not clear what your specific complaint is.
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