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Getting away from the presidential campaign (though perhaps returning obliquely, we'll see), yesterday I heard something surprising on the program Marketplace. I find the program interesting because it's a business/finance program, which pulls it one way, but it's public radio, which pulls it another. Anyway, yesterday host Kai Ryssdahl (I hope I'm spelling that right) interviewed a Mr. Siroca, the director of the port of Los Angeles. Siroca avowed that coronavirus fears were hurting the port's business, but weren't the first trouble: The port was already hurting from Donald Trump's trade wars, which he condemned as stupid and crazy, bad for American business in general and the port in particular. Not his exact words, but more or less the sentiment.

 

This surprised me because while Mr Ryssdahl has interviewed many business people who told how Trump tariffs and trade policies made business more difficult. I don't recall hearing anyone call them out so bluntly. (And Ryssdahl, as a good journalist, sticks to objective facts such as reminding us that, contrary to what Trump says, other countries don't pay the tariffs, Americans do, and that the promised stampede of blue collar manufacturing jobs back to the US has not happened yet.) And a thought occurred to me, which I haven't heard suggested before, though maybe some of you have encountered it already.

 

See, businesses can apply for waivers from the tariffs. The administration's process for deciding whether to grant waivers is apparently, hm, opaque. So business owners and managers can't know whether an application was denied for some greater economic strategy or... other reasons.

 

It occurs to me that while the tariffs have been a lousy way to protect and promote American manufacturing, they might be an excellent hammer to hold over the heads of business people who might be tempted to complain about Trump's policies. Keep quiet, and maybe you get your waiver. Say in public that business, trade and economics don't work the way Trump says and his policies are counterproductive at best, and you could see your costs going way up.

 

Oh, and one of Mr Ryssdahl''s occasional interviewees is a soybean farmer who admits that China's retaliation has hurt his business. He's holding on because of federal payments to make up for his losses. He admits he'd rather be selling soybeans than receiving government money, but he avers he remains supportive of Trump and his policies.

 

Well, naturally. He too has a strong financial incentive not to condemn Trump. But another thought: Isn't that the long-time accusations conservatives have made against Democrats? That they create and nurture a class of people dependent on government handouts and so will keep voting for the party that provides them?

 

Dean Shomshak

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Getting away from the presidential campaign (though perhaps returning obliquely, we'll see), yesterday I heard something surprising on the program Marketplace. I find the program interesting because it's a business/finance program, which pulls it one way, but it's public radio, which pulls it another. Anyway, yesterday host Kai Ryssdahl (I hope I'm spelling that right) interviewed a Mr. Siroca, the director of the port of Los Angeles. Siroca avowed that coronavirus fears were hurting the port's business, but weren't the first trouble: The port was already hurting from Donald Trump's trade wars, which he condemned as stupid and crazy, bad for American business in general and the port in particular. Not his exact words, but more or less the sentiment.

 

This surprised me because while Mr Ryssdahl has interviewed many business people who told how Trump tariffs and trade policies made business more difficult. I don't recall hearing anyone call them out so bluntly. (And Ryssdahl, as a good journalist, sticks to objective facts such as reminding us that, contrary to what Trump says, other countries don't pay the tariffs, Americans do, and that the promised stampede of blue collar manufacturing jobs back to the US has not happened yet.) And a thought occurred to me, which I haven't heard suggested before, though maybe some of you have encountered it already.

 

See, businesses can apply for waivers from the tariffs. The administration's process for deciding whether to grant waivers is apparently, hm, opaque. So business owners and managers can't know whether an application was denied for some greater economic strategy or... other reasons.

 

It occurs to me that while the tariffs have been a lousy way to protect and promote American manufacturing, they might be an excellent hammer to hold over the heads of business people who might be tempted to complain about Trump's policies. Keep quiet, and maybe you get your waiver. Say in public that business, trade and economics don't work the way Trump says and his policies are counterproductive at best, and you could see your costs going way up.

 

Oh, and one of Mr Ryssdahl''s occasional interviewees is a soybean farmer who admits that China's retaliation has hurt his business. He's holding on because of federal payments to make up for his losses. He admits he'd rather be selling soybeans than receiving government money, but he avers he remains supportive of Trump and his policies.

 

Well, naturally. He too has a strong financial incentive not to condemn Trump. But another thought: Isn't that the long-time accusations conservatives have made against Democrats? That they create and nurture a class of people dependent on government handouts and so will keep voting for the party that provides them?

 

Dean Shomshak

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15 minutes ago, DShomshak said:

See, businesses can apply for waivers from the tariffs. The administration's process for deciding whether to grant waivers is apparently, hm, opaque. So business owners and managers can't know whether an application was denied for some greater economic strategy or... other reasons.

 

 

This is an excellent point, and kind of core to why I hate his politics in particular.  It's inherently destructive to everything but the state.  We can argue about a lot of whether other groups do this to some extent or not, but because of the way Trump directly communicates, accuses, and is motivated, it crushes everything else to survive.  It has to.

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1 hour ago, DShomshak said:

 

 Isn't that the long-time accusations conservatives have made against Democrats? That they create and nurture a class of people dependent on government handouts and so will keep voting for the party that provides them?

 

IOKIYAR.  The same goes for (corporate) welfare and shockingly high budget deficits.

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Hmm... I'm not so sure this bill isn't worth passing into law. Its underlying principle is equality for all, and non-segregated display of goods is an inroad to general public awareness of and acceptance for both diversity and integration.

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3 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

Hmm... I'm not so sure this bill isn't worth passing into law. Its underlying principle is equality for all, and non-segregated display of goods is an inroad to general public awareness of and acceptance for both diversity and integration.

Or maybe wildly ridiculous governmental overreach. Tomato, "tomahto"

 

And that's coming from a Bay Area, Northern California, local government progressive. 

 

This is a mechanism to fine business for display arrangements on children's clothing that don't conform to gender neutral content. I can't even begin to point out the innumerable ways this is a waste of time and effort. I'm as friendly a constituent as you are likely to find in North America and I find this pretty close to offensive. 

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I think it's a good idea, if properly implemented.  Clothing retailers are notorious for charging much more for "girls'" clothes than for "boys'" clothes, even when they're the exact same item.  My only hesitation is that retailers might be inspired to display their clothes options in such a way as to make it impossible for parents to find anything, but I'd like to think they won't be inclined to shoot themselves in the foot like that.

 

Gender neutral toy displays should have been implemented decades ago.

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of course, me and my mother still have an argument over whether or not, she accidentally bought and made me go to school wearing girls' pants when I was 9.  The peer review was against her, so.

 

On that angle, maybe when shouldn't make it more confusing, and leave a kid to misery, because their mother got confused in what section they were in.

 

Now not really a problem with the toy angle.

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1 hour ago, Badger said:

of course, me and my mother still have an argument over whether or not, she accidentally bought and made me go to school wearing girls' pants when I was 9.  The peer review was against her, so.

 

On that angle, maybe when shouldn't make it more confusing, and leave a kid to misery, because their mother got confused in what section they were in.

 

Now not really a problem with the toy angle.

 

My Mom was letting me choose my casual wear since I was very little. That meant that I started dressing preppy at about age 4 (when I apparently demanded my first Izod polo). I wore a uniform to my private elementary school, so I only experienced "peer review" after I moved to Las Vegas, and started attending public school.

 

Segregated toy sections in stores have always bugged me. I give out Hot Wheels cars to the trick-or-treaters on Halloween, and my experience is that the boys and girls both like them. There's nothing wrong with a boy playing with dolls, nor is there anything wrong with a girl playing in the dirt with trucks. 

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My dad's wife (kind of weird to say step-mother, since I was in my 20s when they got married), her daughter was big on the Transformers and He-Man(about 2 years younger than me)

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Hermit said:

Huh.. I may have been too hard on the Youth turn out

 

 

 

I was with the article up till the end when they pulled the 'media-elite' conspiracy theory crap.  It's the same logical fallacy that the writer(s) are accusing others of.  Not a conspiracy theory guy, never will be as they all fall apart when faced with a reasonable sense of scrutiny.  It makes much more sense that many media people just aren't good at their job and/or spout talking points that somebody else screwed up.  I heard more than one person on the major networks say that Sanders DID bring the youth vote and STILL got beat...that's the part that should actually be troubling for his campaign.

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3 minutes ago, Starlord said:

 

I was with the article up till the end when they pulled the 'media-elite' conspiracy theory crap.  It's the same logical fallacy that the writer(s) are accusing others of.  Not a conspiracy theory guy, never will be as they all fall apart when faced with a reasonable sense of scrutiny.  It makes much more sense that many media people just aren't good at their job and/or spout talking points that somebody else screwed up.  I heard more than one person on the major networks say that Sanders DID bring the youth vote and STILL got beat...that's the part that should actually be troubling for his campaign.

Fair concerns. My own thought was that I had been too harsh on the Youth period. Which doesn't mean the youth are enough, clearly.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

Biden vs. Sanders: Comparing the candidates on how their policies would affect Canada

 

This "outsider" perspective from CBC news may also help clarify where each candidate stands on specific issues with both international and domestic ramifications.

 

Okay, thanks for that article. It is, as you point out, not a perspective many Americans get  a chance to look at.

 

 

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I'm always mixed on the youth vote.  Obviously, their opinions matters, because future wise they have the most to gain/lose.  

 

But, often times, in my experience, they have absolutely no clue what is going on.   Sometimes worries me, my future is dependent on them.

 

Edit: Not that others aren't clueless, but the youth are always going to be at a much higher rate.  Especially the 18-25 (I think a couple of years in the working world does force some to learn what is going on)

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I'm also mixed on the youth vote. As you say, they lack experience. OTOH they often possess an enthusiasm, even passion, which we tend to lose as we get older. When that's channeled in a positive direction it can be a great motivator for constructive change.

 

I think of Greta Thunberg as an outstanding example. Whether or not you agree with her position, she's energized and focused the debate over climate change among young people as nothing else has. And that's forced the old fogeys to take notice.

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