Jump to content
Simon

Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)

Recommended Posts

4 hours ago, DShomshak said:

Ah, but wartime presidents get reelected, no matter how incompetently they bungle the war. Just look at George W. Bush and Afghanistan and Iraq. Though technically the wars were swift and successful; it was the occupations afterward that became debacles.

 

George H.W. Bush and Kuwait would seem an exception to that trend.

 

4 hours ago, DShomshak said:

As for getting out of the Middle East... I share your disgust. Everything about the Middle East repulses me except for art, architecture and other cultural achievements that are all centuries or millennia old.

 

I've had the opportunity to get to know many people from the Middle East over the years. Most of them are good people who have far more in common with people in the West, than in opposition to them. Their governments and extremist factions, OTOH, often do disgust me; but FWIW the Middle Easterners I've met are usually just as disgusted by them, but can rarely do anything about them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/18/2019 at 3:47 PM, Lord Liaden said:

 

George H.W. Bush and Kuwait would seem an exception to that trend.

 

But George H. W. Bush wasn't a wartime president in 1992.  The war to expel Iraqi forces from Kuwait ended in Feb. 1991.

 

Dean Shomshak

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/18/2019 at 11:11 AM, DShomshak said:

As for getting out of the Middle East... I share your disgust. Everything about the Middle East repulses me except for art, architecture and other cultural achievements that are all centuries or millennia old. But LL is right: We can't just wash our hands of the place, even though I can't think of any good course of action. Fortunately, this forum often reminds me that the world holds people who are smarter than me.

 

And I have to take tat back. The Kurds, as a group, seem to have shown some traits I admire. I am told that in the "No Fly Zone" years, the Iraqi Kurds managed to curb their factional infighting to become an effective political bloc. And Kurdish fighters were among the most effective in pushing back the Islamic State -- including a lot of female soldiers, which stands out in a region that often gives me an impression of misogyny.  The stateless Kurds may well have been the US' most reliable allies in the region.

 

I also feel sorry for the Yazidis, who have never been numerous enough to do horrible things to anyone else. The worst I've heard about them culturally is that there's been opposition to taking in the children born to captured and enslaved Yazidi women raped by their Islamic State masters. But that would be a heavy lift for anyone.

 

Dean Shomshak

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/05/20/andrew-yang-2020-226931

 

Okay, Yang intrigues me as I've said before, and a part of me really likes the idea of a universal base income or as he likes to refer to it (With some sense of self awareness I think) "Freedom Dividend" . Every citizen of the USA gets 1000 bucks a month.

 

But I have to wonder, if that went ahead... what's to stop landlords from raising their rents, prices from going up on essentials especially? I'm cynical, sometimes I think as soon as corporations and certain individuals find out folks have more money, they do what they can to take it with as little effort or innovation as possible.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
59 minutes ago, Hermit said:

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/05/20/andrew-yang-2020-226931

 

Okay, Yang intrigues me as I've said before, and a part of me really likes the idea of a universal base income or as he likes to refer to it (With some sense of self awareness I think) "Freedom Dividend" . Every citizen of the USA gets 1000 bucks a month.

 

But I have to wonder, if that went ahead... what's to stop landlords from raising their rents, prices from going up on essentials especially? I'm cynical, sometimes I think as soon as corporations and certain individuals find out folks have more money, they do what they can to take it with as little effort or innovation as possible.

 

 

 

The current average rent for a 1 bedroom apartment in Las Vegas is $1025.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, Hermit said:

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/05/20/andrew-yang-2020-226931

 

But I have to wonder, if that went ahead... what's to stop landlords from raising their rents, prices from going up on essentials especially? I'm cynical, sometimes I think as soon as corporations and certain individuals find out folks have more money, they do what they can to take it with as little effort or innovation as possible.

 

 

There are several reasons.  For rent specifically, note that there are far more vacant homes in the US than there are homeless people.  And a UBI does not in and of itself increase the money supply, so dollars would not be devalued. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Old Man said:

 

There are several reasons.  For rent specifically, note that there are far more vacant homes in the US than there are homeless people.  And a UBI does not in and of itself increase the money supply, so dollars would not be devalued. 

 

I hit the 'thank' button, but let me also just state it for the record. I appreciate the article and it does set my mind at more ease about a few concerns.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/22/2019 at 12:54 PM, Hermit said:

But I have to wonder, if that went ahead... what's to stop landlords from raising their rents, prices from going up on essentials especially? I'm cynical, sometimes I think as soon as corporations and certain individuals find out folks have more money, they do what they can to take it with as little effort or innovation as possible.

 

This is not cynicism.  This is you being aware of human nature and how the price of things are set.

 

Government subsidizes college and makes student loans available.  What happens to the cost of college relative to wages?  It skyrockets.  The price of college increases by the amount of government assistance.

 

And you're right on the money ( 3 BOD 11 PUN ) about what would happen to rents if they provide this Universal Basic Income.  The cost of rents would go up by the amount of "free" money being provided.

 

Also, where would this money come from?  Income and payroll taxes (i.e. our money) provides the vast majority of government income.  Corporations are able to launch an army of tax loophole lawyers at the problem and pay next to nothing. 

I'm looking at you Apple and Amazon.

 

Giving away free stuff has had some radically bad social impacts as well.  Single parent homes have risen dramatically since social programs made it much easier to survive without having to tolerate your spouse.  The results for the children are catastrophic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/22/2019 at 12:01 PM, Hermit said:

 

I hit the 'thank' button, but let me also just state it for the record. I appreciate the article and it does set my mind at more ease about a few concerns.

 

 

 

No worries.  I should add that out of all the UBI trials that have been run, exactly none of them observed any significant increase in inflation.  In general, economic effects of UBI seem to be pretty minimal--inflation doesn't change, employment rates don't change, work hours don't change.  But significant increases in health, education, entrepreneurship, and psychological health have been observed.

 

It's also been noted that UBI programs would be superior to existing welfare programs in that 1) recipients are not discouraged from returning to work and 2) it's much cheaper to administer UBI than it is to enforce a traditional welfare program.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Toxxus said:

Giving away free stuff has had some radically bad social impacts as well.  Single parent homes have risen dramatically since social programs made it much easier to survive without having to tolerate your spouse.  The results for the children are catastrophic.

 

Based on personal experience, I must take qualified exception to that last statement. Growing up in a home with one good parent is a distinct improvement over a home where a good parent must of necessity cohabit with a bad one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Lord Liaden said:

 

Based on personal experience, I must take qualified exception to that last statement. Growing up in a home with one good parent is a distinct improvement over a home where a good parent must of necessity cohabit with a bad one.

 

 

The rate of single parent homes hasn't changed significantly for 25 years. 

 

spacer.png

 

 

And that's in raw numbers.  When you consider that the number of children in the US has been steadily increasing over the same timeframe, the percentage of single family homes is actually going downward.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎5‎/‎22‎/‎2019 at 12:05 PM, Old Man said:

 

There are several reasons.  For rent specifically, note that there are far more vacant homes in the US than there are homeless people.  And a UBI does not in and of itself increase the money supply, so dollars would not be devalued. 

I am not remotely qualified to venture an opinion whether a universal basic income would be a good or bad idea. I do know the question cannot be answered without experimentation. If the history of science shows one thing, it's that people who say the world must work a certain way, just as a matter of basic common sense, usually turn out to be wrong.

 

Incidentally, an editorial a few months back in The Economist pointed out that economic history for the last 40-50 years has falsified every macroeconomic theory yet advanced. The latest embarrassment is the Federal Reserve's collective bafflement about why inflation is so low in the US, when all economic theory says it should be surging in such a strong economy. (The specific subject of the editorial was so-called Modern Monetary Theory. Most economists think it's bugnuts, and the editorial gave a capsule explanation why, but felt it was only fair to acknowledge that macroeconomics is not currently proving itself as a reliable science.)

 

Behavioral economic studies have also shown that premises economists long accepted as self-evidently true, aren't. As with phrenology, a body of theory based on reasonable-sounding assumptions just doesn't hold up under the test of reality. So experiments must be tried.

 

Dean Shomshak

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I don't Know if UBI is the "right way" but I think it is the way to the future, and the long expected "post scarecity" economy. What else? Just let 90% of the populace starve? I think it is worth a try anyway. removing the fear factor of paycheck to paycheck can only improve peoples levels of stress.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, DShomshak said:

I am not remotely qualified to venture an opinion whether a universal basic income would be a good or bad idea. I do know the question cannot be answered without experimentation. If the history of science shows one thing, it's that people who say the world must work a certain way, just as a matter of basic common sense, usually turn out to be wrong.

 

Incidentally, an editorial a few months back in The Economist pointed out that economic history for the last 40-50 years has falsified every macroeconomic theory yet advanced. The latest embarrassment is the Federal Reserve's collective bafflement about why inflation is so low in the US, when all economic theory says it should be surging in such a strong economy. (The specific subject of the editorial was so-called Modern Monetary Theory. Most economists think it's bugnuts, and the editorial gave a capsule explanation why, but felt it was only fair to acknowledge that macroeconomics is not currently proving itself as a reliable science.)

 

Behavioral economic studies have also shown that premises economists long accepted as self-evidently true, aren't. As with phrenology, a body of theory based on reasonable-sounding assumptions just doesn't hold up under the test of reality. So experiments must be tried.

 

Dean Shomshak

 

This is a fair point. It's the kind of thing that drives me nuts when folks say "America can't..."

"America can't do universal health care"

"America can't afford to break up big monopolies"

"America can't cut down it's military spending "

"America can't reform political spending or college costs"

 

Could we not at least TRY???? 

 

 

We put a man on the moon nearly 50 years ago...

Since when did we become a bunch of America-can'ts instead of Ameri-CANS?

 

EDIT: And yes, I realize the pun undermines things but hey, we seem to be AWFULLY timid lately in our potential

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The alternative to UBI Is a federal job guarantee program--basically, we set some threshold number as "full" employment(say, 3.5%), and when the unemployment rate goes above, say, 4%, the government institutes a series of, first, incentives to businesses to hire employees or at least not lay them off, and, second, funds programs to employ citizens during periods of high unemployment.  This often gets misrepresented as providing "busy work" or making people "unfireable".  It's neither.  The jobs are useful and productive, and employees can still be fired for cause.  This is an idea that's been around since FDR, even enacted into law...but without any teeth to enforce it.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...