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Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)

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13 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

But no one actually knew in advance that, when provided with expert information and advice on a range of issues of which he knew nothing, Trump would ignore it in favor of his "instincts."

 

But we did know of his strong anti-intellectualism and the way he managed to run more than one casino into bankruptcy and the way he managed to make a New York real estate business have worse ROI than an index fund. We knew he didn't care for best practices and that this disdain hurt his operations.

 

15 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

No one knew he would believe fringe media conspiracy theories over information from the most extensive intelligence service in the world.

 

His fixation on the Central Park Five and his continuing insistence on their guilt after their exoneration clearly demonstrated his refusal to accept evidence.

 

20 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

No one knew that he would deny basic human compassion to people based on their country of origin, and arguably, the color of their skins. No one knew that he would deliberately inflame the social and racial divisions within American society to his own benefit.

 

Uh . . . I can only assume that you, not being American, didn't pay much attention to his presidential campaign. His virulent racism was quite openly displayed. We watched him "inflame the social and racial divisions within American society to his own benefit" during that campaign. That was his main strategy.

 

23 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

No one knew that he would try to blatantly ignore and even cast into disrepute elements of the Constitution.

 

His disregard for the law was evident. I don't know why anyone would expect that he'd treat the Constitution any differently.

 

24 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

No one knew that he would withdraw America from multiple commitments to the international community negotiated by his predecessors, seemingly because he wanted to claim he got "a better deal."

 

He was well known as a fraudster and someone who refused to honor agreements when there was a financial benefit to be had. New York contractors made no secret of including a "Trump tax" in their dealings with him to ensure they got paid enough up front, because they knew he'd refuse to pay the rest of the bill after the work was done.

 

26 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

No one knew that he would alienate long-standing American allies while cozying up to the country's rivals.

 

I'll give you . . . half of this. It's true that we didn't know just how much power Russia has over him, but we did know he was in bed with them.

 

28 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

In hindsight, the pattern is clear, and the seeds were already planted. We got Trump, but we never bargained for how much Trump we would get.

 

Like the snake in the old story, we knew what he was when we picked him up. Anyone who expected him to dramatically change who he is and how he operates just because he got elected was a fool.

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I think the distinctions you and I are making are not in quality, just in magnitude. All the stuff you point out is true, but I still maintain the lengths to which Trump would go, and the depths he would stoop to, weren't predictable. But I understand your position, and I can't say it's not supportable. :)

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Yes, I think everyone was shocked to see how much Trump we actually got.  Still, prior to the election, we all knew that he was:

 

- Deeply in debt to the Russians.

- A serial philanderer.

- A publicly admitted sexual assaulter, with credible allegations of child rape dating back to his time with Epstein.

- A serial fraud and business failure.

- Openly racist.

 

Any one of these should have been an automatic disqualification.  However, for some voters, these qualities are apparently features, not bugs.

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It really is quite remarkable how DJT has escaped consequences for a thousand things, any one of which would have sunk the career of almost any other politician.

 

You ever notice how in fictional entertainments we like the hero, but we love the villain? From Hannibal Lecter to Emperor Palpatine, we have a sneaking, perverse admiration for the person who gets away with things a part of us wishes we could, particularly if it's done with style. I suspect that for many people Trump's sheer brazen refusal to conform to accepted norms of behavior, his total lack of shame for any of his words or actions, his apparent unswerving belief in his own lies and excuses, puts him in that category for many people, although they wouldn't consciously characterize him as a "villain." (To me he comes across as just a repugnant boor, but there's no accounting for taste.)

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1 hour ago, Starlord said:

As long as this amazing (by all the standard indicators) economy keeps humming along, I think we'll find most people content with Presidential status quo.

 

Until the interest on the national debt, which Trump is running up with his swelling budget deficits, really starts to crunch. But Trump figures he'll be gone by then, one way or another, so it'll be someone else's problem. So why should he care?

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4 hours ago, Starlord said:

As long as this amazing (by all the standard indicators) economy keeps humming along, I think we'll find most people content with Presidential status quo.

 

Yeah, unfortunately everyone I know under 35 is basically struggling to make ends meet.  I don't think I know a single person who wasn't (very) wealthy to 'start' is cruising on by in our economy.  But that's how it is...

 

edit:  and that's probably why people in that age range are having the problems they are.  I should dig up studies about that...

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Oh there's a generational grudgematch going on that I'm sure may have happened before, but I dont' recall this intense in my life time. The Boomers vs the Millenials and Gen Z .

Danger of generalizing, but it does seem a lot of Boomers have no idea what the world is like for those younger than them economically

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2 minutes ago, Hermit said:

Oh there's a generational grudgematch going on that I'm sure may have happened before, but I dont' recall this intense in my life time. The Boomers vs the Millenials and Gen Z .

 

I mean, I know which side of that range I'm on.  I do want to keep it civil though ;)  I have my sympathies for what the elder generation went through.  As much of a grudgematch it is, the worst that's been slung out has been "Ok Boomer", so I'm sure it's not that bad ;D

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I think Mike Rutherford said it best:

 

Quote

Every generation blames the one before

And all of their frustrations come beating on your door
I know that I'm a prisoner to all my Father held so dear
I know that I'm a hostage to all his hopes and fears
I just wish I could have told him in the living years

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2 hours ago, TrickstaPriest said:

 

Yeah, unfortunately everyone I know under 35 is basically struggling to make ends meet.  I don't think I know a single person who wasn't (very) wealthy to 'start' is cruising on by in our economy.  But that's how it is...

 

edit:  and that's probably why people in that age range are having the problems they are.  I should dig up studies about that...

Honestly, I'm 50 and was struggling to get by until 40. I clearly remember not being able to afford milk for my kid until payday on Friday (it was Tuesday) when I was 34. Sold plasma for food when I was trying to pay my way through graduate school while working nights and getting on average 5 hours of sleep (that was age 29). Bad times. 

 

That was true for most generations, and while it sucks and I sympathize, it's not particularly unusual or unexpected. Why would that be different regardless of economy? Most folks are establishing themselves professionally in their mid 20s-30s. I realize that perhaps sounds harsh, I'm genuinely puzzled why anyone would expect an easier experience. That's how it always has been, so far as I can tell. Likely better for me than my grandfather (refugee manual laborer, eventually technical enough to work in a machine shop), or father (managed to get a college degree, built the house I grew up in). 

 

I'd be interested in data on that. Is median income adjusted for inflation better or worse than in past decades? By age?

 

Edit: here's some data per the US Census. Looks like median income (in 2018 adjusted dollars) overall is increasing, unless I'm reading it wrong. 

 

https://www.census.gov/data/tables/time-series/demo/income-poverty/historical-income-people.html

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8 minutes ago, Iuz the Evil said:

Honestly, I'm 50 and was struggling to get by until 40. I clearly remember not being able to afford milk for my kid until payday on Friday (it was Tuesday) when I was 34. Sold plasma for food when I was trying to pay my way through graduate school while working nights and getting on average 5 hours of sleep (that was age 29). Bad times. 

 

Were you a homeowner at the time?  You did have children (well, at least one).

 

I'm not sure how common either is for the younger generation today.  The birthrate is lower, and I know the owning of homes is.  It's only anecdotal, but the 'struggling people' I know are renting, and less than half have children.

 

Both of these scenarios are expensive, but they are also an investment.  There is a 'return', so to speak.  Many are renting instead of owning a home because of the cost to do it.  Many more aren't on a career track that would net them any kind of stable career between 30 and 40.  But that's all anecdotal, and there are a fair few that do simply because they are my coworkers.

 

Just my guesses and observations at why the current generations feel hopeless and desperate.

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13 minutes ago, Iuz the Evil said:

I'd be interested in data on that. Is median income adjusted for inflation better or worse than in past decades? By age?

 

Good thoughts :)  I also wonder on the data for the above information - how much of that money is going to 'services' instead of 'ownership' and 'support of dependents'.

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7 hours ago, Iuz the Evil said:

Honestly, I'm 50 and was struggling to get by until 40. I clearly remember not being able to afford milk for my kid until payday on Friday (it was Tuesday) when I was 34. Sold plasma for food when I was trying to pay my way through graduate school while working nights and getting on average 5 hours of sleep (that was age 29). Bad times. 

 

That was true for most generations, and while it sucks and I sympathize, it's not particularly unusual or unexpected. Why would that be different regardless of economy? Most folks are establishing themselves professionally in their mid 20s-30s. I realize that perhaps sounds harsh, I'm genuinely puzzled why anyone would expect an easier experience.

 

I don't just expect an easier experience for future generations, I demand one.  Having to sell bodily fluids to pay for food should horrify anyone, especially the seller.

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11 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

 

Until the interest on the national debt, which Trump is running up with his swelling budget deficits, really starts to crunch. But Trump figures he'll be gone by then, one way or another, so it'll be someone else's problem. So why should he care?

 

By the way, the Fed is artificially avoiding the next recession with extensive (but quiet) quantitative easing, so you can add another half-trillion or so to the debt.  Sleep well!

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51 minutes ago, Old Man said:

 

I don't just expect an easier experience for future generations, I demand one.  Having to sell bodily fluids to pay for food should horrify anyone, especially the seller.

I agree with this wholeheartedly. This was in 1999, not the Great Depression. It's frankly unreasonable. Just bringing my perspective, that things are actually largely better now for the current generation (which I might add I see as a good thing). As it was better for me than in prior ones. The data in the census report supports that as well, "arc of the universe" blah blah blah. Gradually increasing median household income for both genders over time adjusted for inflation. 

 

Individual experiences will vary, of course, I'm talking aggregate vs narrative. My professional life is dedicated to helping people who are very vulnerable, and often disadvantaged. Older adults and adults over 50 are practically speaking the most at risk, they're the largest population of homeless individuals in our region (and are predominantly white). Nobody much worries about what happens to them, which is damn tragic. Awful things happen daily, and so do wonderful ones. Everyone tends to focus on the bad stuff, which is a cognitive survival imperative. 

 

But I digress, still don't own a home. I rent. Had 3 kids, definitely could not afford to - I don't regret that at all. They're a treasure in my home. Things are pretty good for me, although that could change. I do not feel like it was particularly easy, and battled some not insignificant despair in my 30s trying to make it. Don't see any sign this generation won't make their mark as well, in their own time. 

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1 hour ago, Iuz the Evil said:

Individual experiences will vary, of course, I'm talking aggregate vs narrative. My professional life is dedicated to helping people who are very vulnerable, and often disadvantaged. Older adults and adults over 50 are practically speaking the most at risk, they're the largest population of homeless individuals in our region (and are predominantly white). Nobody much worries about what happens to them, which is damn tragic. Awful things happen daily, and so do wonderful ones. Everyone tends to focus on the bad stuff, which is a cognitive survival imperative. 

 

That's an extremely rough thing to do professionally.  You have my admiration and sympathies.

 

1 hour ago, Iuz the Evil said:

But I digress, still don't own a home. I rent. Had 3 kids, definitely could not afford to - I don't regret that at all. They're a treasure in my home. Things are pretty good for me, although that could change. I do not feel like it was particularly easy, and battled some not insignificant despair in my 30s trying to make it. Don't see any sign this generation won't make their mark as well, in their own time. 

 

That's a good life goal :) I wish mine was as wonderful.  I'm definitely in that despair right now, to the end of my 30s.

 

We can only hope for the current generation.

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13 hours ago, Old Man said:

By the way, the Fed is artificially avoiding the next recession with extensive (but quiet) quantitative easing, so you can add another half-trillion or so to the debt.  Sleep well!

 

And we're all shocked that this is the sort of thing Trump-the-candidate railed against, yet it's what Trump-the-President is in favor of.

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I remember a print interview quite a few years ago, in which Trump was questioned about making a new deal with someone who'd already lost big in one of his previous ventures. IIRC Trump's response was along the lines of, "That was the past, it doesn't matter."

 

The pattern of DT's interactions with business associates and world leaders has been transactional, based on what he believes will benefit him at the time. He's not looking for allies or considering long term implications. He'll insult someone one day, praise him the next, if that suits his purpose of the moment; and deny that ever happened even if there's proof. I don't think he comprehends why past precedents would influence anyone's present decisions.

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