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Julio
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Hope you manage, as I always read you with interest.
Toggle Commented 2 days ago on Links for 10-16-17 at Economist's View
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“They’ve suffered greatly and we’ll be there. We’re going to be there." [He was pointing to Mar-a-Lago.]
Toggle Commented 3 days ago on Links for 10-13-17 at Economist's View
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In general, the difference is that Trump is erratic, superficial, and therefore not committed to any course of action. As a consequence, I had more hope for him. E.g. on Syria warmongering. He's mostly disappointed that hope. The Republican Congress has offered no hope at all. Since 2010, they have attempted to destroy the few positive actions of the previous 20 years, using lies, legerdemain, and budgetary magic asterisks as needed to justify their positions. But on Iranophobia, there is little difference among Trump, Clinton, Republicans and Democrats. To their great credit, Obama and Kerry completed the Iran deal despite all the internal opposition. Still, the attitude of hostility and refusal to accept the Iranian government is widespread. Simply asserting that the Iranians are reasonable has become unacceptable, whereas beating the drums of war (remember McCain and "bomb, bomb, bomb Iran"?) is commonplace. As you say, profoundly saddening.
Toggle Commented 5 days ago on Links for 10-13-17 at Economist's View
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No threesomes, please, this is a family blog.
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When they came for confusing syllogisms, I did not speak out, because I don't use confusing syllogisms. Then they came for obscure irony, and there was no one left to speak for me.
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They way they see it, we're just standing our ground.
Toggle Commented Oct 6, 2017 on Links for 10-03-17 at Economist's View
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I always loved the scene where Goldman Sachs tries to eat Nemo's submarine.
Toggle Commented Oct 5, 2017 on Links for 10-03-17 at Economist's View
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I think the stock market increases the real wealth of stock owners. The wealth is volatile, and cashing in makes it less so. But the wealth is real. E.g. If I am going to buy a car and can afford $30,000, and my stocks double, I can now afford a $60,000 car by cashing the same stocks. E.g. People figure out how much money they need to save for retirement every month. If their stocks rise, they can save less. Go to the new trendy tapas bar, two blocks from their horrendously high rent apartment. (You can see I live near lots of techies).
Toggle Commented Oct 2, 2017 on Links for 09-29-17 at Economist's View
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Bad metaphor, dude! Or are you saying we are the mental equivalent of Wiener? :-)
Toggle Commented Oct 2, 2017 on Links for 09-29-17 at Economist's View
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Like all bullies, he has a following.
Toggle Commented Oct 1, 2017 on Links for 09-29-17 at Economist's View
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The Chinese must have cheated like mad on their one-child policy. That explains why India and Nigeria are, economically, walking all over them.
Toggle Commented Oct 1, 2017 on Links for 09-29-17 at Economist's View
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Does Baker underestimate the problem? "The new highs in the stock market are good news for the roughly 25 percent of the country that holds substantial amounts of stock. For the rest of the country they make less difference than the outcome of this Sunday's football games." If the 25% get richer (in paper assets) while production stays the same, doesn't that make the 75% poorer?
Toggle Commented Oct 1, 2017 on Links for 09-29-17 at Economist's View
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This should warrant a separate article telling readers what the Republicans were doing when they were supposed to be working on their tax plan. [No Dean! We really don't want to know!]
Toggle Commented Oct 1, 2017 on Links for 09-29-17 at Economist's View
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But the point that higher marginal tax rates mean it's cheaper to hire people (and conversely: tax cuts means it's more expensive) is still valid.
Toggle Commented Oct 1, 2017 on Links for 09-29-17 at Economist's View
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Your guy is trying to turn this tragedy into a partisan political foodfight with his critics and the mayor of San Juan and the Democrats, and your comments are just playing along. There will be plenty of time months from now to blame Trump or praise him. Let's focus.
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"...assumes Republicans are ignoramuses when it comes to the economy, why not just stick to reporting what they say?" I don't get the distinction.
Toggle Commented Sep 28, 2017 on Links for 09-28-17 at Economist's View
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I don't get what you are trying to say. The trickling is downwards, even if not too far.
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Speaking of mirrors, we do need a more reflective POTUS.
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I'm thinking of selling all my used Democratic votes there.
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Yes, my take on that one also. You can decide that college should be provided to everyone no questions asked. Or you can decide that it is a gift from the makers to the takers, and spend our time arguing whether the takers should have to pee in a cup to get the makers' money, or whether that is not nice to those people. Clinton always seemed to think this is a small difference to be decided on technocratic efficiency grounds. And yes, I know, I am exaggerating her demerits to make a point.
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One of the many arguments for a Universal Basic Income.
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In addition, they have wrong incentives. They are the actor who should be driving medical costs down, but their 20% gets bigger when costs go up.
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You ascribe to me beliefs that I did not express. I never said the Fed is successful at fighting inflation or managing the money supply; I said it was created for that purpose and with that mandate. You can argue that it is useless for that purpose, and you have empirical data to prove it -- fine, make that case, I'm here precisely to learn such things. As part of the whole "independent Fed" concept, the Treasury has specifically abdicated its ability to print money. So for financial purposes Treasury is like anyone else: if it spends money it has to get it from somewhere (taxes, rental of public lands, borrowing,...) but not the printing press. There may be loopholes (remember the platinum coin discussions?) but that is the law. Your "offset" without any new borrowing would become another loophole: the net result is the same as if the Treasury printed dollar bills and put them in its vault. Which is contrary to the law and its intent. Again, you can argue that it is a bad law and I will listen; all I'm pointing out is that this is the intent, and that there is some substantial reasoning behind it that you would need to refute.
Toggle Commented Sep 25, 2017 on Links for 09-22-17 at Economist's View
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Of course it's up to us the people. You are arguing that the need to borrow new money from the public to erase debt, i.e. roll it over, is a decision made by us, the people, via legislation, which is true. You say this is a mistake (or perhaps even an oversight?) that we should "fix". But it's not a mistake. It's precisely the reason why we create (semi) independent central banks. The reasoning is that if Treasury can borrow and not pay back (i.e. print money) Congress will be perpetually tempted to increase the money supply by printing money to fund Congressmen's pet programs, creating inflation. The central bank, by contrast, will manage the supply of money so as to keep inflation in check.
Toggle Commented Sep 24, 2017 on Links for 09-22-17 at Economist's View
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With the caveat that this is my amateur understanding: it seems you are making this more complicated than it is. The accounting is similar to transactions between private parties. The redemption of the bond by Treasury does not create income to the Fed or add to the deficit. Much like you paying off principal on your mortgage say. The Fed has no income from this so no obligation to remit anything. At redemption time, he Fed is "empowered" to tell Treasury to remit the principal from Treasury's account to the Fed account not by any "surplusage" but just from the normal redemption of a bond. If I lend my child money for 6 months and the 6 months are up, he needs to wire the money from his account to mine. No different. If the Fed does not require this transfer, then it is making a gift to Treasury. Same as if I forgive the debt to my kid: it's income to him. The Treasury would have a reduced deficit (or increased surplus) for that year. That forgiveness is of course possible (and costless for the Fed, which is where the analogy to a loan to my kid breaks down). But this would go against the whole idea of an independent central bank, which is to prevent Treasury from printing money. If Treasury can sell a bond to the public, only to have the Fed buy that bond and tear it up, then it's the same as the government printing the money.
Toggle Commented Sep 23, 2017 on Links for 09-22-17 at Economist's View
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