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 Post subject: Re: Seriously?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 9:09 pm 
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A little off, Jorvik, but easily forgiveable. :)

The Tea Party wasn't hijacked by Republicans, it was hijacked by social conservatives. Libertarians fled that. Then the Libertarians backed Ron Paul's nomination, and when he didn't get it, the Libertarians went home and took their ball, too.

Occupy has its share of militants, but they're not looking at the problem from the same side as Ron Paul. They're to the left of Obama.

So basically, everybody, left and right, saw the problem, and voted for Obama and the status quo anyway.


Hey, Glenn, do you remember back when Democrats lost the White House, the House and the Senate, and went through a great deal of naval gazing of their own? Do you remember all the advice Republicans were giving at the time? Do you remember how Democrats ignored all of that and put Obama in office?

I remember that. Funny how that works.

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 Post subject: Re: Seriously?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 9:52 pm 
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Easy to see it from a different shore :oops:


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 Post subject: Re: Seriously?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 10:47 pm 
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Jason Rees wrote:
Hey, Glenn, do you remember back when Democrats lost the White House, the House and the Senate, and went through a great deal of naval gazing of their own? Do you remember all the advice Republicans were giving at the time? Do you remember how Democrats ignored all of that and put Obama in office?

Yes, and they went with a moderate. Maybe you cannot see that from where you are but from the middle it is obvious. Obama and Romney are both rather moderate, and not that far apart on the policies they have implemented (focusing on actions rather than campaigning speeches).

In the global political spectrum there really are no far left players of importance in the U.S., nothing that compares to socialist or communist politicians in other countries. There is a reason why Obama has gotten along well with European conservatives such as Merkel, who also would be moderate in the US political spectrum.

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 Post subject: Re: Seriously?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:54 pm 
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Glenn, no matter where I'm sitting, you're not in the middle. Merkel as a moderate in the US? It's lovely how the Left keeps trying to avoid being painted as the Left, and still wants to smear anything to the right of Biden as extreme right wing. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Seriously?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:48 am 
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That's called projecting Jason, accusing the other side of your own faults. :wink:

If you can't see a gun-toten, huntin'/fishin', military-supportin', southern boy like me who also believes that some taxation and social support is also necessary in this great country of ours as "middle", then you must not know what middle is. Compared to my dad I am right-wing, compared to you and Bill I am left-wing. That's me, stuck in the middle! :D

And yes, I do realize that Merkel is conservative, and head of the rightest CDU (actually generally refered to as "center-right" or "moderate conservative"). But she has been able to build coalitions that have included leftist parties and her policies are generally considered moderate, so yes, she's moderate.

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 Post subject: Re: Seriously?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 1:16 pm 
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Jason Rees wrote:
Nice try, Glenn. If a company says they have to fire x number of people to get ready for Obamacare, I'm going to take them at their word. ;)


That's an awful lot of faith to put in the word of an entity whose only mandate is its own bottom line. Companies consistently lie and deceive in order to influence public perception towards their interest, in small and large ways. They have only their own interests to look out for no legal obligation to tell the truth. That doesn't mean everything they say is false, just that assuming everything they say about themselves is true will inevitably lead to being tricked.

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 Post subject: Re: Seriously?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 3:57 pm 
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Oy!

This discussion started off with all parties being civil, and all parties (IMNSHO) with a hand on the elephant. Yes... Ray described the trunk, Glenn was describing the leg, and Jason was describing the body. But all were accurately painting a picture of the elephant.

And frankly... I think Ray probably had the best view of it all. Why? Because he didn't have a dog in the fight and so was able to describe things from the outside looking in. He may not have been politically articulate, but he was spot on in his down-to-earth assessments.

Then somewhere, somehow, folks got into one-dimensional thinking. Literally, and I'll get to that in a minute. Next thing you know, we have Chris Matthews boneheadedness. And to top it all off, Justin comes in and hurls an Occupy Wall Street smoke bomb in the room.

Really now, Justin, knock it off!

Let me start by hitting the reset button.

I have posted this before; I will post it again. Attached is a version of the Nolan Chart which describes political views on a 2-dimensional spectrum. Those dimensions are...

  • Personal liberty vs. personal security
    ...
  • Economic liberty vs. economic security

Image

A third dimension sometimes considered is technophobic vs. technophilic. I was going to post a chart which added in that third dimension, but alas my Norton software is now blocking it because it has a virus. Damn... too bad. It was a really good one, with faces we all know posted in the various places in the 3-dimensional spectrum.

If you take Classical Liberalism and add in technophilic, you get Thomas Jefferson. That's pretty much where I sit in my political views. (Sorry, Glenn...)

Please read before commenting further.


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 Post subject: Re: Seriously?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 4:32 pm 
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Bill, I don't think Glenn was describing the leg accurately. But hey, with all my nutty right-wing sources, maybe white people didn't stay home, maybe Mormons didn't stay home, and maybe gun rights guys weren't joining libertarians and dismissing both of the candidates as gun-grabbing communists.

Or maybe I digest a more diverse swath of information than Glenn would give me credit for. Yes, we need to come up with some sort of guest worker permit program, but even if Republicans granted amnesty, Democrats would get credit for it. Back in the 80s Republicans tried to recruit hispanics with major legislation, and actually lost ground. It's a fool's gambit for the Republican Party to try to out-Democrat the Democrats. I just hope all this naval gazing doesn't make the Republican Party do what the NYT wants, which is basically self-immolation.

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 Post subject: Re: Seriously?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 4:47 pm 
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Glenn wrote:
Oh well, Bill you have to be as disappointed in Virginia as I am in Kentucky, but at least you got a continuation for at least two years (probably four) of the federal gridlock you are always saying is good. Congratulations on that! :D


First... I'm not sure why you are disappointed in Kentucky. They recently elected Rand Paul to Congress, who has got to be one of the more interesting breaths of fresh air in a long time.

And I'm not sure why you think I'm necessarily disappointed in Virginia. Yes, I would rather take an enormously successful businessman (and Harvard law *plus* MBA grad) and a former governor over a constitutional law instructor with no executive experience. That seems a much better recipe for getting us out of a very nasty and deep recession. On face value that seems obvious. Alas this election was less about qualifications and more about World War III in negative attack ads. The winner was the side that was best able to cast the other as a scary extremist. The Behavior Economics folks will tell you that fear works better than positive motivation. But it did make the Nation a lot dumber in the process.

The truth is that I *am* happy gridlock won. We can't keep spending money we don't have. And we can't increase federal revenue to cover the deficit by taxing the job makers (making "rich" people "pay their fair share"). As Chris Rock would say, that's just ignant.

So now I have my bag of sand, and I'll vote to have said sand thrown into the gears of government. Virginia will predictably maintain a party in the governor's mansion that's opposite to that in the Oval Office. And in the mid-term elections, the president will lose more of Congress.

As for what's going on elsewhere...

  • The country will lose hundreds of thousands of jobs (700,000 by one estimate I've heard) if this "tax the rich" plan goes through. Most of these "rich" people are small business owners, and they won't be able to hire more workers with the lost revenue. It's a "feel good" act on the part of the wealth redistributionists which is economic suicide in a recessionary economy.

    FYI... JFK would never have done that. He actually lowered capital gains taxes after he was elected, and it helped bring us out of the end-Eisenhower-era recession which was the major reason for Nixon having lost to him.
    ...
  • Given that Obamacare will probably happen, there will be $716 billion in cuts to Medicare to help pay for the trillion dollar program. Why Republicans didn't try the "running granny over a cliff in a wheelchair" ads is puzzling to me. But what-ever... This one slipped through because of the "privatizing Medicare" label stuck on Republicans. In the end, seniors will lose, and they will lose very soon. It won't be pretty. Already in my world I see more and more medical providers refusing to see Medicare patients because they can't make money off of them with the reduced reimbursement rates. One way or another, the free market will dictate.
    ...
  • Jason's article from the Washington Times - admittedly as conservative as the WaPo is liberal - was spot on about medical device makers.
    ...
    Evan Bayh wrote:
    The Supreme Court decision in June upholding the Affordable Care Act leaves in place a tax on medical devices that threatens thousands of American jobs and our global competitiveness. It will also stifle critical medical innovation in the industry that gave us defibrillators, pacemakers, artificial joints, stents, chemotherapy delivery systems and almost every device we depend on to save lives.

    The 2.3% tax will be charged to manufacturers on each sale and takes effect in January.

    Obamacare succeeded in doing what it accused others of trying to do. They will be using tax increases to ration care. These tax increases will also slow down medical innovation - a driver of health care inflation. It is what it is. Either Obama owns up to it as insurance companies own up to being an instrument of health care rationing, or he's every bit the liar that most politicians tend to be.
    ...
  • As much as I am against Obamacare and how it is going to destroy what is good about U.S. healthcare, I am going to be benefiting economically from it. So it'll be difficult to slap me with a label of having views that are in my economic best interest. As luck (preparation plus opportunity) would have it, the liberal economic gravy train is heading towards folks with my expertise. It is what it is. :oops:

So... life goes on. And I happily sit here on the political sidelines with one big-assed bag of sand. 8)

- Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Seriously?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 4:49 pm 
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Jason

I don't dispute your views and opinions. I in fact agree with most (but not all) of your views. I was just hoping we could elevate the discussion a tad.

- Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Seriously?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 5:50 pm 
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Fair enough.

One state that did not go for gridlock was Alaska. Granted, we didn't have a Senate seat up this time around (2016 we'll see what we can do)... but Alaska actually purged enough Democrats from the state legislature to obliterate the power structure that ensured Democrats a seat at the table. It's a majority-Republican state government now, whereas before we had a 'coalition' that stood square in the path of reforming the state's oil industry. Liberals in the state are calling it a win for the oil industry.

Nationally, we sent Don Young back to the House. He crushed his opponent handily.

We also avoided a constitutional convention. This seems to come up frequently here. In this case, Native-American groups were looking to change rules governing state resources, among other things. They're a very powerful influence group up here. They helped Murkowski clobber Miller in the last Senate election, in a successful write-in bid.

In 2016, Senator Begich may be in for the race of his life.

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 Post subject: Re: Seriously?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 6:13 pm 
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Jason Rees wrote:
Alaska actually purged enough Democrats from the state legislature to obliterate the power structure that ensured Democrats a seat at the table. It's a majority-Republican state government now, whereas before we had a 'coalition' that stood square in the path of reforming the state's oil industry. Liberals in the state are calling it a win for the oil industry.

Well... it *is*! Folks generally vote their economic self interest. And when it comes to that which drives the Alaskan economy, energy is way up on the list.

And I can't see solar energy as a serious contender in Alaskan energy policy. :lol: And "ice-tossing" (as far as 100 meters) appears to be a bit of a problem for wind turbines according to GE (2006), a Swiss study, and a German study.

Jason Rees wrote:
Native-American groups were looking to change rules governing state resources, among other things. They're a very powerful influence group up here. They helped Murkowski clobber Miller in the last Senate election, in a successful write-in bid.

In 2016, Senator Begich may be in for the race of his life.

Such is politics. All constituents are doing their best to get their big piece of the economic pie.

This is a bit like the Kurds, the Shia, and the Sunnis fighting over oil rights and wealth in Iraq.

- Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Seriously?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 6:44 pm 
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And I can't see solar energy as a serious contender in Alaskan energy policy. And "ice-tossing" (as far as 100 meters) appears to be a bit of a problem for wind turbines according to GE (2006), a Swiss study, and a German study.


And yet there is a windfarm being built right here in Alaska. :lol:

Quote:
This is a bit like the Kurds, the Shia, and the Sunnis fighting over oil rights and wealth in Iraq.


Very true.

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 Post subject: Re: Seriously?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:46 am 
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Bill Glasheen wrote:
I have posted this before; I will post it again. Attached is a version of the Nolan Chart which describes political views on a 2-dimensional spectrum. Those dimensions are...
  • Personal liberty vs. personal security
    ...
  • Economic liberty vs. economic security
A third dimension sometimes considered is technophobic vs. technophilic. I was going to post a chart which added in that third dimension, but alas my Norton software is now blocking it because it has a virus. Damn... too bad. It was a really good one, with faces we all know posted in the various places in the 3-dimensional spectrum.

I believe this is the one you are talking about Bill
Image
The first Nolan Chart was developed in 1969 to reflect the Libertarian view, and I agree with you that we should look beyond the typical one-dimensional liberal-conservative spectrum we are use to. But the plain fact of the matter is that in our essentially two-party system the focus will always be on that one dimension. Democrat and Republican campaign strategists will always be more concerned with the Herron Ideological Position Chart over the Nolan chart.
Herron chart:
Image
Why, well the Nolan chart muddies the waters in a two-party system, and campaign strategists in the big two are only interested in the simplest strategy that will get them the most votes (according to a campaign strategest who visited my political behavior class in the spring). So they push the liberal-vs-conservative dichotomy to the exclusion of any other factors.
Here is a series of Herron Charts that differentiate "Red States", "Blue States", and "Battleground (Swing) States"
Image
These charts also demonstrate both why neither party can afford to ignore the moderate vote and why the swing states are so important (My advisor quipped the other day that he sure is glad the campaigning for "President of Ohio" is over!).

Personally I could care less about the success or failure of any party, I have no skin in the party game. I agree with the Founding Fathers in their opposition to party factions, and I think with the current political climate we see how right they were. I always have been registered as an independent and I always will be, and only care about individual candidates. But if we have to have parties then I favor the European model with three or more strong parties and leaders having to build coalitions to govern. That is the reason we have the Electoral College system for the presidential election afterall, it was developed to force presidential candidates to build geographical coalitions to get elected and not just be able to win by dominating one highly populated place. However the Electoral College system was developed in the absense of parties and unfortunately with just two strong parties the campaigns boil down to just a few key swing states being important.

So Bill, I am all for it if you can break this two-party, liberal-conservative-dimension stranglehold on U.S. politics! I am encouraged by the fact that more people are registering as independent and fewer with a party than ever before:
Image
Gallup wrote:
Gallup records from 1951-1988 -- based on face-to-face interviewing -- indicate that the percentage of independents was generally in the low 30% range during those years, suggesting that the proportion of independents in 2011 was the largest in at least 60 years.

Unlike the dips in independent registration during presidential election years shown on the chart, surveys indicate a continuation of the growth of registered independents this year as well.

Yet another indicator of why neither party can ignore the moderates (sorry Jason).

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 Post subject: Re: Seriously?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:45 am 
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Bill Glasheen wrote:
That seems a much better recipe for getting us out of a very nasty and deep recession.

Haven't you heard Bill, economists declared the recession officially over as of June 2009 and that we have been in a period of economic expansion since.
NBER wrote:
CAMBRIDGE September 20, 2010 - The Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research met yesterday by conference call. At its meeting, the committee determined that a trough in business activity occurred in the U.S. economy in June 2009. The trough marks the end of the recession that began in December 2007 and the beginning of an expansion. The recession lasted 18 months, which makes it the longest of any recession since World War II. Previously the longest postwar recessions were those of 1973-75 and 1981-82, both of which lasted 16 months.

In determining that a trough occurred in June 2009, the committee did not conclude that economic conditions since that month have been favorable or that the economy has returned to operating at normal capacity. Rather, the committee determined only that the recession ended and a recovery began in that month. A recession is a period of falling economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales. The trough marks the end of the declining phase and the start of the rising phase of the business cycle. Economic activity is typically below normal in the early stages of an expansion, and it sometimes remains so well into the expansion.

So neither Obama nor Romney would be able to get us out of something we are not officially in! :D

Interesting that NBER labels it as a business cycle, regardless of the fact that it was caused by improper activity and totally avoidable, and thus not a normal business cycle as generally classified by economists. It certainly does not fit the characteristics of any of the named cycles identified in Schumpeter's typology of business cycles (Kitchin, Juglar, Kuznets, and my favorite the Kondratieff(the guy died in a Soviet gulag for developing his ~50-year cycle theory, that is dedication to science!)). Equally interesting is that they use the term business cycle when that concept has fallen out of favor with economists, who generally do not accept the concept of periodic cycles in economics anymore since their macroeconomic models do not support it. My macroeconomics, microeconomic theory, and international trade instructors, and the textbooks, have all been rather adamant on that point. They feel compelled to try to counter the media habit of labeling everything as business cycles, which implies such fluctuations are somehow regular and natural, rather than resulting from decisions and policies as they do.

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