Commenter Archive

AvatarComments by Philip H in reply to George Turner*

On “The Socialism of Bernie Sanders

Considering that Mardi Gras was yesterday, the gnomes are sleeping off their hangovers.

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i said 20 years ago that my home state of Louisiana could get its road paved, its hospitals revamped and its universities and schools made first class by seceding from the union, nationalizing the refineries and signing trade agreements in short order with Russia and China. the Marines and Army would take care of the infrastructure and USAID would fund the rest.

But we won't do that voluntarily because it helps people of color and woman and there's little profit to be made of it.

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No it doesn't work that way. But the economic history of my life time (last 5 decades should you care) is littered with examples where markets were pronounced self regulating and then collapsed, with the government holding the collective bag at a cost far greater then the regulations themselves imposed. Humans are irrational actors - no matter what economists tell you, and completely free markets will thus behave irrationally on the best of days.

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wow. Make unfounded assumptions much? Let's see where to start . . . .

His spend plans are over a decade, not all at once. If you actually read about how he intends to have it paid for, you could halve (not eliminate) the DoD budget (which is the biggest chunk of discretionary federal spending) and get to a lot of it. The rest is more then made up for with his tax plans - which are also projected out over a decade. So yeah you could actually reduce defense spending and do what he wants to do.

Second - I don't recall questioning your bona fides at any point so its insulting that you'd come after mine. As it happens I've read more then a few studies of the economic data, talked to economists I know personally about it, and even downloaded raw data from the various federal agencies that record it and run some basic best fit analyses (that minor in statistics from grad school has its uses). So yeah, you were a dick, and I'll thank you in advance for your public apology.

That aside - the data we have since Reagan shows that every corporate and personal tax cut over the last 40 years has both underperformed in terms of real growth versus projected, and over delivered in terms of deficit and national debt increase. EVERY SINGLE ONE. That's hard data , and while it may not fit your perferred political narrative its all out there.

As to your counterfactuals crap - I could care less about what may have happened. I care greatly about what is happening. and I care as much about how me make it better for the people we live with in this society and nation. Counterfactual arguments are all well and good at the bar at the end of day in an academic conference, but hey don't mean crap to the guy who is working two jobs and still behind on his payments to the hospital that treated his daughter's cancer. Those are the people whose lives aren't made better by the cut taxes and hope the magical growth unicorn does it this time fairy.

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So what’s happening is that the stock market is strong, employment is solid, but most people, even really successful ones are perpetually walking a tight rope over financial ruin without savings or support. You or your spouse gets sick? Good chance you’re fucked. Market downturn? Good chance you’re fucked. Want your kids to go to college? Sure but youll need to roll the dice with debt and hope for the best with no safety valve if it doesn’t work out.

This is why people support Bernie. They don’t want the federal government running entire industries but they do want their (dare I say class) interests taken seriously by a government that continuously refuses to respond. Trump tapped into a version of this as well, probably unwittingly. Until it gets addressed by more mainstream actors it will continue to come out via personalities who under normal circumstances would be out on the fringes.

This is the most true statement this year on OT. And if Democrats don't want Bernie as their nominee they need to get off their high horses and deal with this stuff, raw and messy as it may be.

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The thing that’s finally come into focus for me is that way too many libertarians and conservatives will accept the type of socialism Trump and the Republicans offer. It isn’t a deal breaker for them. It’s only a deal breaker when someone wants to do some of those socialist-y things in ways that benefit marginalized people. In a choice between Sanders-style socialism and Trump-style socialism, they don’t sit it out or vote third party—they go with Trump. And I think that’s an ideological dissonance libertarians and conservatives should examine.

I always admire libertarians who can acknowledge the world doesn't work the way they want it to. So thanks for that.

But your lede here - which you did a fantastic job of burying - is problematic, in that a main reason that we have government regulation (particularly of the environmental kind) is that we have along history in the US of market based approaches to things not actually accounting for true costs, and thus creating market failures. I won't go down the boring tragedy of the commons rabbit hole, but its a real thing, and no libertarian I have every talked to (albeit a small number) has ever had any real reasonable response to that. Perhaps it would merit a follow-up post on your part.

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Sanders isn't proposing new additional spending so much as he's proposing redistributing federal spending and actually taxing the economy to pay for it.We currently spend as much on defense as the next 6 or 7 countries combined - which includes China and Russia. Much of what he wants to do could be funded by dropping that to the next three or four countries combined and reallocating funds.

As to taxing capitol - we have 40 years of data that says reducing corporate taxes and keeping capitol gains taxes low doesn't trickle down. So why not tax it like we did in the 1950's when, you know, America allegedly had its golden age?

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Or, it means passing budgets that send blockgrants to the states so their university systems don't have to raise tuition to the point that you could get an Ivy League education fro the same price. You know, instead of buying ANOTHER fighter jet the Pentagon doesn't want.

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agreed. He now has a record of both rhetoric - which remains largely unchanged - and policy actions, which on everything except immigration are not what he ran on. Not by a long shot. And that's not because he got steam rolled by anyone. Its who he is. Its what he wants.

On “From Fox News: Bernie Sanders projected to win Nevada caucuses

um Vox is venture capitol and NBC funded, not russia:

Funding
In December 2014, Vox Media raised a US$46.5 million round led by the growth equity firm General Atlantic, estimating the media company's value at around $380 million.[23] Participants in Vox Media's previous rounds include Accel Partners, Comcast Ventures, and Khosla Ventures. Other funders are Allen & Company, Providence Equity Partners, and various angel investors, including Ted Leonsis, Dan Rosensweig, Jeff Weiner, and Brent Jones.[24][25] According to sources, the Series C in May 2012, valued Vox Media at $140 million.[26] A Series D valued the company north of $200 million, raising an additional $40 million.[27][28]

In August 2015, NBCUniversal made a $200 million equity investment in Vox Media, valuing the company at more than $1 billion. Comcast, which owns NBC, additionally already owned 14% of Vox through other subsidiaries.[29]

On “Katherine Johnson, RIP

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2014/03/both-genders-think-women-are-bad-basic-math

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/choke/201109/why-pretty-girls-can-t-do-math

https://jezebel.com/british-paper-says-women-just-cant-do-math-362937

https://www.pewresearch.org/2006/08/30/women-cant-do-mathor-can-they/

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/11/math-women/506417/

And that's just what I could easily grab. Like I said - many STEM related professional societies are working on it. But we have a LONG way to go.

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you need to get out more. As Pinky notes, women are woefully underrepresented in many mathematical and science fields - and women of color even more critically so. Even in the professional science circle I frequent (as an oceanographer) there is still an anti-woman bias in publication, leadership and career advancement, to say nothing of an entrenched belief that women really aren't serious about science generally, and heavily computational science at that, if they want to have families and real lives. Its such a prevalent problem that studies of the impacts have appeared recently in peer reviewed journals, and most of the major science and math professional societies have devoted lengthy sessions at professional meetings to addressing this topic for several years now.

On “About Last Night: Democratic Debate Live From Las Vegas

Not likely as its too authoritarian. the Never Apologize approach is a theme that we get from the President all the time. We got it as well from Bush II (really Cheney). And when Obama did it in several instances (like Japanese internment and the A-Bomb) he was eviscerated from the Right.

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that's why a great many of us are rejecting him. Remember, just like the President used to be a Democrat until he decided to run, Bloomberg used to be a Republican. And a rich republican at that. He's even less "one of us" then Sanders . . .

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Well let's see - Bloomberg is a socially conservative, misogynistic authoritarian bigot who like tax cuts for the rich and isn't a Democrat. Kind of like the socially liberal misogynistic authoritarian bigot who likes tax cuts for the rich in the White House who is not a Republican.

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I don't think anybody boo'd capitalism - they boo'd a boorish capitalist who is trying to buy an election like he buys french fries. They Boo'd a man, who like the President, sees women as objects d'arte and outlets for his masculine desires but can't fathom them being leaders deserving of his respect. they boo'd a politicians (also like the President) who happily switched political Parties because he thinks its easier to buy the presidency that way.

On “Voter ID Law Blocked in North Carolina Before March 3rd Primary

this is you have to show ID to vote once registered. Now a lot of people say its no big deal, but they are usually people with either easy access to getting ID (which is getting harder and harder in rural and conservative states), or believe the lie the in-person voter fraud is a thing. Int the 2016 election cycle there were 5 or 6 cases prosecuted nationally of voter fraud where someone attempted to impersonate someone else - and 3 or 4 of those were for mail in ballots. in the whole country. So its not a thing.

I note here for the record that voting as a right guaranteed by the constitution is very heavily regulated . . . and many of those who want it more regulated are the same people who want no regulations on firearms ownership or purchase.

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given the number of recent losses in state and federal courts regarding both voter ID laws and gerrymandered congressional district maps, I think state Republican party official quoted above is probably just blowing smoke.

I wonder how this plays with the decisions regarding house district boundaries in NC.

On “President Trump Commutes Blagojevich Sentence, Pardons Others

These cases don't merit commutation, much less pardon. They are setting up a pardon for Roger Stone - See I just did the same thing for all these other people so I'm not JUST protecting my friends - and they serve as a distraction. From what I can't yet say, but the timing (especially after Fox cut away from his speech at Daytona to more lucrative commercials) is probably suspect. There's also the issue of those being pardoned serving time for various tax and investment fraud convictions, which mirror the President's own legal battles regarding his tax records and his charities.

On “Very Stable Genius Predictions

that snot new news to many of us. I've been railing here and elsewhere for YEARS about how far right the Democratic Party has moved both in its embrace of Neoliberal economics AND corporate PAC money. The check books are the same and have been for the better part of two decades best I can tell.

That's part of why I am not running from Bernie or Warren. They scare the checkbooks and I like that.

On “Roger Stone Sentencing Gets Suddenly Interesting

Interesting side note - the DoJ has closed its investigation in to Andrew McCabe without bringing charges. one has to wonder if yesterday's interview and this announcement are related, since the President can't be happy about that.

On “Republican Dissidents Shouldn’t Mourn They Should Organize.

Its an intriguing point, but most of those Never Trumpers fail for two additional reasons. First, they are not proposing an alternative. All the organizing in the world - and I agree that movement conservatives lack the collective organizing gene - won't do any good if there's no one to support as an alternative. No one is running at Trump from either flank of the Republican Party, and none of the groups is yet trying to oust the Senators for their apostasy.

Which leads me to my second point - Never Trumpers are probably "moderate Republicans." There are no moderates still in office and the only way to get them is to remove the current office holders. Given that No moderate Republicans are challenging the existing office holders, the Never Trumpers need to start supporting the Democrats that are running. Yeah, I know, a lot of Never Trumpers would sooner eat dog barf, but if they won't work to get the bums out from the right, they need to come at it form the left. And frnakly, in most states, the democratic candidates running are closer to what Republicans used to be then Republicans themselves.

On “Roger Stone Sentencing Gets Suddenly Interesting

and yet its in the MIDDLE of the range that DoJ guidelines give for all the things Mr. Stone is convicted of. MIDDLE. Harsh would be top end. Which DoJ has not recommended.

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so what further purpose was served by locking Stone up

Punishing a law breaker. That's the purpose. Too bad you seem to have lost the ability to understand that.

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