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John M
Houston, TX
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"In 2015, the Conservatives spun the line that Labour profligacy had messed up the economy, and they had no choice but to clear up the mess. In short, austerity was Labour’s fault." Anyone notice the egregious contradiction in this pair of sentences? Was "austerity was Labour's fault" an accurate summary of the Conservative campaign? Or did the author of this piece slip that in?
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I think it's more that Ryan is a flim-flam artist, and also a conservative ideologue: he doesn't want services for the poor or needy.
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"Ideally all three sets of data should be consistent, but they are not. The total flow of income reported by households in survey or tax data adds up to barely 60% of the national income recorded in the national accounts, with this gap increasing over the past several decades." One might question everything. It's possible that they shouldn't be equal or consistent. One might question whether they know how to measure anything. Are the measurements properly calibrated? Are there any malfunctions in the measurement devices (or procedures)? (Proper calibration should eliminate many malfunctions.) Inconsistent measurement results are a red flag that something has gone wrong. Things go doubly wrong when one does not see a problem with the inconsistent results. Things are triply wrong if the inconsistency is pointed out and still ignored. Unfortunately, one can't distinguish between bad faith and incompetence. It gets worse when those we ask, demand, beg do something about it are part of that crowd.
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"You know what really gets me? Even among the millionaires, repeal will only net them about $50,000." For one with a million dollars in assets, that's five percent. Not so chump change.
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No.
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Nancy Pelosi? I hope not... Military-Industrial complex and all that, along with numerous one-sided wars. I assume, of course, that she'd be better than Paul Ryan.
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* I don't know whether you are missing this feature of evolution-based beliefs (or evolution-based motivation): evolution-based beliefs and motivations are non-proximate. The actual evolutionary basis for beliefs is unrelated to a person's own basis for his beliefs. * To illustrate: the incest taboo and the Westermark Effect about relationships with siblings and parents. The evolutionary motive is to avoid pairing harmful recessive genes. The actual conscious, instinctive reaction is Squick. That reaction came because the more a person was squicked by the conduct, the less he or she was likely to engage in the conduct. "How might you get to optimal beliefs? You start out with an optimistic assessment of how easy something will be, and then you kind of think about it a little bit and if the costs of being wrong are significant, you start to downgrade your optimism." * I see a chicken-and-egg problem: in order to apply this to one's beliefs, one has to have beliefs about the costs. * I see another issue with beliefs: how is this theory consistent with one's experience teaching a subject? I assume that the huge difficulty many students have in learning physics and math might occur because they see no major cost in being wrong about them. But there is a huge cost: someone who can't learn physics or math simply can't figure things out accurately. * What about the costs of being wrong about smoking, global warming, nuclear war, overpopulation, educating our children, lead poisoning, etc.? What about the beliefs in the the dangers of Hell, Social Security going bust, the Federal Government running out of money (and its ability to borrow money), etc? For that matter, contrast the views on the sustainability of Social Security and national deficit, verses the very real dangers of nuclear war, global warming, resource depletion, etc.
Toggle Commented Mar 21, 2017 on Optimal Beliefs at Economist's View
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No-no-no-no-no-no-no. Chaos doesn't address the "mutual attraction of all bodies", that's gravity. And no, mass was never time. (Mass is energy.)
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First, I'm not "John H". Second, would you care to tell me what in my post indicates "no brain"?
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"Second is to call bullshit. [gives example] ... For better or worse, a large part of my job is in fact intellectual garbage disposal." Good thing to do, but so far, hasn't succeeded. Tactics need to be reconsidered.
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Third party -- will it hurt or help? I see one tactical advantage of pushing for third parties: they may have standing to fight voter suppression in the courts. Republicans thrive on voter suppression and gerrymandering. National Democrats persist in blindness to it, probably because they thrive on it in the primaries. That might be a good reason to go for a third party, despite the (possible) disadvantage. Sue over voter suppression in the courts.
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Thanks. So some portion of the per-capita growth is lost to population growth (on average, but average may be meaningless). Interesting to see population growth dropping from about 1%/year to (say) 0.6%/year over the past 16 years. We might be below population reproduction, and the population increase might be due to the baby boomers not yet dying off. (The oldest are in their lower seventies.)
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"I have harangued reporters on this point for decades. No reporter has ever tried to argue that any significant share of their audience had any idea of what these large budget numbers mean. Yet, the practice persists." This is Dean Baker's quote. Has he actually personally harangued reporters, or does he merely do it publicly? Or just on his own blog? Did he ever tell a reporter, "Dammit, you did it again!" Reporters never explain the news blackout of Lori Klausutis. (Explaining it violates the blackout.) I call it the fnord effect. (They never deny seeing "fnord" either. Denying it would be admitting it.) We can't demand anything without some kind of enforcement -- some way to make it hurt to do otherwise.
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What the heck is this about? What's the trollish aspect of pgl's post?
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"The labor market remains near its sustainable, full employment level. January’s unemployment rate of 4.8% is close to 5%, our estimate of the natural rate of unemployment." How about the underemployment and the despairing-of-jobs fraction -- is that down as low as before when the unemployment rate was down this low? Also, is there any way to get the natural rate of unemployment back down to 2% or 2.5%? "Real GDP grew at an annual pace of 1.9% in the fourth quarter of 2016, consistent with an ongoing moderate expansion. Going forward, we expect GDP growth to continue at a similar rate, between 1½% and 2% over the next couple of years." How about per-capita growth? How about a standard deviation or some other measure of inequality in growth? (Ie, is 80% of the growth to the top 1%, 25% to the next 19%, and -5% to the bottom 80%?) "[T]he Federal Reserve’s 2% objective" for inflation: Any statement declaring 2% inflation as the Fed's objective is a blatant falsehood. The true objective is at most 2%, not 2%. (Well under 2% is considered meeting the objective.)
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Developing STEM skills is important to be able to think and figure out things, such as understanding that the NAM projection is hogwash.
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To continue with libezkova's comment, according to classical economic analysis, a shortage in a skill should accompany an increase in wage or salary for the skill. I believe that this example illustrates how economic theory is used or abandoned for persuasion and propaganda as opposed to understanding.
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"...the Republicans are far more war mongering than any Democrat." Really? I'll grant you President Carter and possibly President (Bill) Clinton. Unfortunately, President Obama followed in Bush's footsteps, and Hillary Clinton promised more of the same.
Toggle Commented Feb 27, 2017 on Paul Krugman: Death and Tax Cuts at Economist's View
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I found the opening paragraphs hilarious. These days, those arguments can only be parody -- nicely refuted by the rest of the article. I have noticed a general misunderstanding of "productivity". One way to increase "productivity" is to lay off workers while keeping production unchanged. Overall, that tends to backfire because the workers buy fewer things, but it benefits the firms that do it. (It's "the Prisoner's Dilemma", "the tragedy of the commons", "the race to the bottom", etc.) If you've introduced a self-checkout system that eliminates ten jobs and replaces them with one job, you've greatly improved productivity. For reasons like this, I think that "productivity" and "economic growth" should be decoupled.
My suggestion wasn't all encompassing. No doubt we'll have to do more for coal and possibly natural gas. (Natural gas is the last of the carbon fuels to tax.) One thing we really have to do: prohibit the burning of natural gas as a waste product in extracting oil. (Also prohibit simply disposing of natural gas into the air. Natural gas is a major greenhouse gas, many times more potent than CO2.)
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Rather than adding more complications to the tax code, and possibly setting up new administrative offices, it would be so much easier simply to raise the gasoline tax and the jet-fuel tax. Then, if the proposal is to be approximately revenue neutral, lower the taxes on the bottom half of the population -- or increase the earned income tax credit. Another simple thing: eliminate subsidies for Big Oil. If we could, hopefully we could get Big Oil out of foreign policy. (I agree. Dream on, John.) It occurs to me that the one way such things can happen is to get Big Business to fight each other. If we can get Big Insurance (homeowners, flood, etc.) to fight Big Oil, we might actually get some results.
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Serious issue: true, his credibility is utterly gone in the reality-based community, but seriously, what about the general populace at large? Remember the Reagan and Bush Jr. Administrations. The presidents themselves were as oblivious to reality as Trump appears to be, yet their credibility wasn't totally demolished to a big portion of the populace. Why should Trump fail where others have succeeded? There's also mainstream media credibility, VSP credibility, and (yes) Clinton credibility. After all, there's the "credibility" of the Ruskie hacking of our election. Paul Krugman's credibility took a hit for me sometime around a year ago, and as long as he keeps writing things like the "Trump-Putin" regime, it's staying down.
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Wonders for the Bush Administration: * It solved the problem of Democrats beginning to get a spine and going after the Felonious Five (or at least the three with major conflict of interest). * It bumped Bush's approval rating from 40% to 80%. * It greatly lowered opposition to Bush's anti-civil-liberties policies, such as creating "1st Amendment Zones". * It made passage of the Patriot Act possible. * People were able to smear opposition to the Bush team policies as treasonous. * It rendered torture, aggressive war, and barbaric imprisonment without due process of law respectable. Bush Administration sabotaged investigation: Remember Coleen Rowley who claimed that an FBI superior back in DC rewrote her request for a warrant, to make it less likely that it would be approved? There was also the FBI agent in Arizona who wanted to investigate certain pilot students, but was prohibited.
Toggle Commented Jan 20, 2017 on Paul Krugman: Donald the Unready at Economist's View
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The Bush team went further than that, actively sabotaging FBI field agents' investigations of possible upcoming attacks. Need it be stated that 9/11 did wonders for the Bush Administration?
Toggle Commented Jan 20, 2017 on Paul Krugman: Donald the Unready at Economist's View
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Unix-type directories and also DOS/Windows directories contain the "." directory, which means the directory itself. So directories in general contain themselves. It is hypothetically possible to create a directory that doesn't contain itself (even if the particular filesystem forbids it). One can create a directory (using links) that contains all... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2017 at Some Random Nobody