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Too Soon To Start Thinking About 2020?

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GreenGoo
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Re: Too Soon To Start Thinking About 2020?

Post by GreenGoo » Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:37 pm

I am not a fan of Bernie's and while I love Warren's willingness to go after out of control capitalism, I'm still a capitalist at heart and a lot of what she says is making me uncomfortable.

Run away capitalism is just as bad as run away socialism. One chews up and spits out people, and the other throttles economic opportunities and growth.

If nothing else, it should be interesting to watch.

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Re: Too Soon To Start Thinking About 2020?

Post by El Guapo » Fri Aug 17, 2018 11:11 pm

I gotta say I like a lot of Warren's proposals. Tinkering with the incentives and structure of capitalism but keeping the private framework in place seems like the right way to go about things. Like, giving labor representatives a share on the board seems like a good way to go about things - keep the benefits of private enterprise, but gives corporations more of an incentive to listen to labor.

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Re: Too Soon To Start Thinking About 2020?

Post by Kraken » Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:41 am

She is smart and pragmatic, and this ought to be a winning position. The Democrats could do a lot worse and probably will.

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Re: Too Soon To Start Thinking About 2020?

Post by GreenGoo » Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:48 am

Kraken wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:41 am
She is smart and pragmatic, and this ought to be a winning position. The Democrats could do a lot worse and probably will.
She is smart and pragmatic. I'm not so convinced it's a winning position across enough American demographics to ensure victory.

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Re: Too Soon To Start Thinking About 2020?

Post by Unagi » Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:09 am

GreenGoo wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:37 pm
Run away capitalism is just as bad as run away socialism. One chews up and spits out people, and the other throttles economic opportunities and growth.
Wait... what?

chewing up and spitting out people is just as bad as throttling economic growth? :doh:

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Re: Too Soon To Start Thinking About 2020?

Post by GreenGoo » Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:47 am

Unagi wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:09 am
GreenGoo wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:37 pm
Run away capitalism is just as bad as run away socialism. One chews up and spits out people, and the other throttles economic opportunities and growth.
Wait... what?

chewing up and spitting out people is just as bad as throttling economic growth? :doh:
Yes. Without economic growth people are ALSO chewed up and spit out. Suffering at the hands of good intentions.

And let's be clear, run away capitalism is not literally eating people, so we can blame me if we need to, because I used figurative wording on one side but not the other.

My point is that run away capitalism hurts people because it ignores their wellbeing. Run away socialism hurts people because without economic growth, there are no resources to help them and removes their ability to help themselves. What's the point of, say, having a welfare system if you can't afford it? If individuals can't rely on government assistance AND there is little economic opportunity so they can work and help themselves, what is the probable outcome for those individuals?

Look, my comments are very laypersonish and it's more complicated than what I've written. My point though, imo of course, is valid in a general sense.

Does that help clarify what I wrote earlier?

edit: re-reading your response, I think you are reading 'throttling economic growth" still within the context of capitalism. Like, American GDP only grew 1.5% this year instead of 2%. That's still capitalism, not run away socialism levels of slow economic growth.

A slow year in a regulated capitalist system is something that a full blown socialist system can only dream of achieving. Since there are no unregulated capitalist systems (not large scale/country sized anyway) just as there aren't any full blown social systems, this is all theory anyway.

There are no unregulated capitalist systems because the moment they start causing harm to people restrictions start being created. There are no full scale social systems because no one can afford them.

All western, first world countries are a mix of capitalism and socialism. What that mix is and how successful those countries are depends on your viewpoint.

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Re: Too Soon To Start Thinking About 2020?

Post by Zarathud » Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:59 am

What are your data points on socialism? I expect you are thinking of central command economies like the USSR. Singapore and China are socialist economies with significant state business enterprise. By US standards, much of Europe is more socialist with welfare systems they can afford.

You seem to have a problem lately making assumptions you then hold as self-evident truths. And then get defensive.
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Re: Too Soon To Start Thinking About 2020?

Post by Alefroth » Sat Aug 18, 2018 12:53 pm

GreenGoo wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:37 pm

Run away capitalism is just as bad as run away socialism. One chews up and spits out people, and the other throttles economic opportunities and growth.
Is someone proposing run away socialism?

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Re: Too Soon To Start Thinking About 2020?

Post by GreenGoo » Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:40 pm

Alefroth wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 12:53 pm
GreenGoo wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:37 pm

Run away capitalism is just as bad as run away socialism. One chews up and spits out people, and the other throttles economic opportunities and growth.
Is someone proposing run away socialism?
Nope. No one is proposing run away capitalism either. Getting the balance right is what you're (edit: You as in America, not you personally Alefroth) currently attempting.

It's not easy. I'm not convinced Warren's proposals are "the right balance". Kraken has more confidence.

That's it.
Last edited by GreenGoo on Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Too Soon To Start Thinking About 2020?

Post by GreenGoo » Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:41 pm

Zarathud wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:59 am
You seem to have a problem lately making assumptions you then hold as self-evident truths. And then get defensive.
You seem to have a problem doing anything but addressing my personal failings. I do take exception to the idea that what I posted above was in any way defensive. Unagi questioned my statement, I elaborated in the hopes of clarifying for him. If he still has issues with what I've written, he can engage me further.

Honestly, wtf is your problem, Zarathud? If you want to discuss socialism or capitalism, even if it's to address my ignorance in this area, fine. If you don't like me, that's your prerogative, but it seems like it might be off topic in this thread.

I could engage you further, but...pass.

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Re: Too Soon To Start Thinking About 2020?

Post by Holman » Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:09 pm

Alefroth wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 12:53 pm
GreenGoo wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:37 pm

Run away capitalism is just as bad as run away socialism. One chews up and spits out people, and the other throttles economic opportunities and growth.
Is someone proposing run away socialism?
No one is proposing even walking-speed socialism.

Warren hasn't proposed anything but a better-regulated market economy and a more secure social safety net--exactly the sort of economy that produced the best standard of living in world history.
Much prefer my Nazis Nuremberged.

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Re: Too Soon To Start Thinking About 2020?

Post by GreenGoo » Sat Aug 18, 2018 4:53 pm

Holman wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:09 pm

No one is proposing even walking-speed socialism.

Warren hasn't proposed anything but a better-regulated market economy and a more secure social safety net--exactly the sort of economy that produced the best standard of living in world history.
No one seems to have any issue with me using unrestricted capitalism on the one hand, even though it doesn't exist, and lots of issues with me using unrestrained socialism on the other hand, even though that too doesn't exist. I was simply trying to (briefly) discuss what happens when things get out of balance. I fully agree that things are already out of balance with regard to the working middle class (i.e. not in their favour). Are things wildly out of balance? How much movement do we need to bring things effectively back into balance?

I'll chalk it up to poor communication on my part. No problem. Oh well.

I do think that suggesting that Warren is simply proposing a better-regulated market economy is misrepresenting her proposed changes. What I'm reading are changes to corporate structuring, with increased worker leadership roles, for one thing. That's not regulating a market economy, that's forcing organizational changes to businesses through law. That's not the same thing as taxing pollution or giving tax incentives to motivate behavioral changes. That's...forcing fundamental changes to the way a business is structured through the power of grond. Now to be sure, this would only apply to corporations that reach a certain size (no one is going to tell Geezer that his minimum wagers get a vote on his business decisions).

Reading through the Vox article (haven't had time to read other sources on her proposals, yet), I agree with like 90% of it at least. I'm not just sympathetic to the problems they identify, I agree with them. Maybe I don't like how they characterize them, but I agree on a fundamental level. I'm just not sure that the problems will be solved by Warren's proposals or in the way she is suggesting they will be.

How is this any different than giving unions a seat at the table? How did that work out? How does Warren propose avoiding those problems?

We can get into deeper policy discussion if you guys want, but that wasn't really my intention. I have some misgivings about Warren's proposed bill, despite agreeing with like 90% of what she identifies as problems that need solutions.

We haven't even touched on what happens when 25% of corporate wealth vanishes if her bill gets implemented. Sure, I agree that a very small percentage of people hold that wealth, and some of the hardship will be countered by increased (maybe, I'm not even 100% sure this is a probable outcome) wealth for the workers, but that's a lot of money to disappear in a puff of smoke. If you could guarantee that the only money that vanished was already sitting in a "vault" (not a literal vault) somewhere, out of sight, not being used for anything, then it wouldn't scare me. She's talking about nuking a LOT of wealth. Is the result worth the cause? If I thought the result would solve the problems (attempting) to be addressed, then I'd say yes. If it *doesn't* solve the problems, or has other unforeseen consequences, then potentially economic apocalypse time (have you seen this movie? Great movie. I just don't think you liked the movie).

Do I agree that modern corporations act as sociopaths by default? Yes, mostly, as the Vox article references, it's by design, at least in NA (Hello Bethesda :wink:). Do I agree that wage stagnation is a problem? Yes, mostly. Do I think workers need more representation with regard to the actions their employers take? Almost certainly.

My concern is that things might not roll out as expected when a coal company, trying to survive and regain relevancy for the future, has to make hard decisions that might result in short term pain for everyone, workers included.

Do large corporations behave sociopathically? Yes, demonstrably so. Do I want to believe that giving workers more input would result in less selfish behavior? Sure. But then 40% of voting Americans put Drumpf in office, and going on 2 years later, still seem pretty happy with their decision.

Am I against Warren's proposals? Hell no. Do I have misgivings, absolutely.

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Re: Too Soon To Start Thinking About 2020?

Post by GreenGoo » Sat Aug 18, 2018 4:58 pm

As left leaning on social issues and right on financial, I'm wary of wielding Grond in either direction. Warren wants to use Grond to large scale changes to the largest corporations.

Telling corps not to pollute is one thing. Tell corps "you need to be structured like this, with leadership in this form" is a bit different.

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Re: Too Soon To Start Thinking About 2020?

Post by GreenGoo » Sat Aug 18, 2018 5:03 pm

Oh, and the article didn't comment on social safety nets at all, so I'm confused by that part of Holman's statement.

Increased wages, sure. Increased social safety net? I didn't see it. Maybe Vox just didn't cover that part. Like I said, only read Vox's coverage so far.

No one is going to be comfortable calling their wages a social safety net, if that's what was being implied.

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Re: Too Soon To Start Thinking About 2020?

Post by GreenGoo » Sat Aug 18, 2018 5:06 pm

I love Warren's commitment and she is an absolute pitbull in defense of people (not just empty words), something that has been missing in politics for a long while. Big fan, in case anyone confuses my misgivings on her bill with some sort of hatred for the person or her politics.

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Re: Too Soon To Start Thinking About 2020?

Post by Kraken » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:13 pm

GreenGoo wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 5:06 pm
I love Warren's commitment and she is an absolute pitbull in defense of people (not just empty words), something that has been missing in politics for a long while. Big fan, in case anyone confuses my misgivings on her bill with some sort of hatred for the person or her politics.
Also on Team Warren here -- beyond her policies, I find her both personable and respectable, and I'm glad that she's my senator. We both like the same bar in the Berkshires, fer crying out loud. She even has a new puppy! Did you know that Trump is the first president since Andrew Johnson to not have a pet in the White House? That speaks volumes.

This new proposal moves her beyond being Bernie Lite and will broaden her appeal if she can get the message across. That's going to be a tough row to hoe; she is already considered a front-runner (along with Biden and Sanders) for 2020, and the Trumpelos are going to keep hammering the stupid Pocahontas narrative for all it's worth. She's a tough woman, but she has to lay that to rest somehow, because elections are not won on the strength of policy (Trump being Exhibit A again).

Warren deserves her own thread, but that seems imprudent before she announces her candidacy (assuming she does run, as all signs indicate...even the puppy).

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Re: Too Soon To Start Thinking About 2020?

Post by Zarathud » Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:55 pm

GreenGoo wrote:What I'm reading are changes to corporate structuring, with increased worker leadership roles, for one thing. That's not regulating a market economy, that's forcing organizational changes to businesses through law. That's not the same thing as taxing pollution or giving tax incentives to motivate behavioral changes. That's...forcing fundamental changes to the way a business is structured through the power of grond.
So why is that bad? Or any different than the millions of other laws governing the creation of the corporate entity -- which is wholly a creature of state legislation.
GreenGoo wrote:How is this any different than giving unions a seat at the table? How did that work out? How does Warren propose avoiding those problems?
How is this relevant? Unions have been systematically undermined by Republican legislation and lawsuits, plus business practices.

1 vote is not control. Dissenting votes happen regularly on corporate boards.
GreenGoo wrote:We haven't even touched on what happens when 25% of corporate wealth vanishes if her bill gets implemented.
Where does this ridiculous assertion come from? It's statements like this I have a problem with, not you personally.
GreenGoo wrote:My concern is that things might not roll out as expected when a coal company, trying to survive and regain relevancy for the future, has to make hard decisions that might result in short term pain for everyone, workers included.
Warren would argue that workers should have their side heard when these decisions are made. If things are that dire, the other directors will still vote to screw over the workers.
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Re: Too Soon To Start Thinking About 2020?

Post by GreenGoo » Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:10 pm

Zarathud wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:55 pm
GreenGoo wrote:We haven't even touched on what happens when 25% of corporate wealth vanishes if her bill gets implemented.
Where does this ridiculous assertion come from? It's statements like this I have a problem with, not you personally.
You serious, clarke?

It comes from the article we are all discussing.

I'm trying to take your concerns seriously because I understand that wealth is your specialty, but you aren't helping.

I'm glad to know you don't have a problem with me personally. That's a relief.

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Re: Too Soon To Start Thinking About 2020?

Post by GreenGoo » Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:41 pm

Ok, I'll take your questions at face value.
Zarathud wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:55 pm
So why is that bad? Or any different than the millions of other laws governing the creation of the corporate entity -- which is wholly a creature of state legislation.
Excellent question. I'm not sure. My first thought is that companies spend time and energy working inside a certain structure, then, arbitrarily, have a new structure foisted on them once they achieve enough success using the old structure, just seems like a bad idea. If I (I'm a corporation) have a business plan and run with it and achieve my goals, the government now gets to stick it's grond in there and start moving things around. That's...different from starting out meeting government requirements. That's changing the rules in the middle of the game. It also means that a company can drop below that threshold and free itself from the additional regulation. I assume by spinning off business units. I don't know.

If you recall, I have misgivings about her plan. That's not the same as being opposed. Note: This is not being defensive, this is willing to hear arguments about why I shouldn't be worried. I'm still waiting.
Zarathud wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:55 pm
How is this relevant? Unions have been systematically undermined by Republican legislation and lawsuits, plus business practices.
1 vote is not control. Dissenting votes happen regularly on corporate boards.
How are previous examples where labour was on boards and failed to achieve the same results that Warren is attempting to achieve by putting labour on boards? How is that relevant? How is that not relevant?

And it's 40% of the board, not one vote. It's 40% of the board that can strike if they lose the vote. It's 40% that has it's own self interests that aren't necessarily aligned with the corporation. Admittedly 40% isn't a majority. I know the point is to provide additional stakeholders with input, but too many cooks drive the ship into an iceberg, potentially. Trying to run *anything* by democratic committee is...difficult. When the various stakeholders have potentially diverging interests, it (often) becomes chaos. At least down here in peonville. I'm sure it's totally different in a board room though. Maybe? Hopefully.

Look, I realize the balance is broken right now. The very idea that I would be defending the current status quo is ludicrous. I'm not saying giving workers more say is automatically a bad thing. I'm worried that it will harm corporate growth without providing the benefits Warren hopes it will. The automotive industry as one example had increased input from their workers. Things have moved away from that. Why is that? Did things work then as Warren expects they will in the future? Because I don't think they did, and if they didn't, we should be learning from the past, not repeating it.
Zarathud wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:55 pm
Warren would argue that workers should have their side heard when these decisions are made. If things are that dire, the other directors will still vote to screw over the workers.
Sure, ok. We'll see I guess. Kraken hears the above and it sounds good to him. I hear the above and I'm like "maybe".

Misgivings.

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Re: Too Soon To Start Thinking About 2020?

Post by GreenGoo » Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:05 pm

I believe you mentioned it, but even if you didn't, the article did. The EU countries have laws about co-determination, so analyzing how they work and the results they are achieving is totally valid. My concern here is that Vox seemed to be cherry picking a couple (4 by name) of known to be successful companies from the financial 800 lb gorilla that is Germany. If it can be shown that these companies not the exception but the rule, I'll start to feel more comfortable with such a major change to the way capitalism works in NA (well, US for now. Potentially. Maybe. If she can get it into law).

With so many examples of co-determination available, it should be relatively easy to analyze it's impact and whether the EU is achieving the goals that Warren wants to achieve, without hamstringing capitalism.

The EU is about 66% larger US, but they've only achieved a 5% larger GDP. Why is that? Is it related to co-determination? Does it matter? Is it relevant? I don't know, but I'd like to know.

Misgivings.

I fully accept that I could just be afraid of change and everything will work out just as expected. Large scale changes to economic systems always work exactly as expected with no unforeseen consequences, right? I mean, reassure me here. Economics is a science after all, right?

I'm sure it will be fine. (my tone here is one of nervous eye darting, not sarcastic mockery, fyi).

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Too Soon To Start Thinking About 2020?

Post by Zarathud » Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:43 pm

The article doesn't support the statement that 25% of wealth disappears. It plucks that number out of the air.

There is a growing body of investment studies which show publicly traded corporations with positive "social impact" metrics outperform their market sectors in the long run, despite temporary setbacks. The analysis is that a company which engages with its employees, its environmental impacts, goodwill, etc. is generally better run and has fewer unpriced risks of scandal. So there are big investors who would see the reform as a *net* positive.

Whether it's 1 director or more, 40% of directors is not control. Especially when management will do their best to promote friendly worker directors. A board of directors is the ultimate corporate committee--and it generally works. Warren's point is that workers get screwed because no one cares about their disposable workers anymore. That's not only dumb business, it's bad for America.
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Re: Too Soon To Start Thinking About 2020?

Post by Kraken » Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:46 pm

GreenGoo wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:41 pm
Zarathud wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:55 pm
Warren would argue that workers should have their side heard when these decisions are made. If things are that dire, the other directors will still vote to screw over the workers.
Sure, ok. We'll see I guess. Kraken hears the above and it sounds good to him. I hear the above and I'm like "maybe".

Misgivings.
I am open to better ideas for ameliorating inequality without massive redistribution programs, if you know any. I'm not against some good old-fashioned tax remedies, but the scale of the problem calls for more creative approaches.

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Re: Too Soon To Start Thinking About 2020?

Post by GreenGoo » Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:23 pm

I sure af don't have the answers. I don't think my view of the current economic situation in the US is as dark as yours, but it's certainly in the same ballpark. I'm just young enough to miss some important milestones that you witnessed growing up, yet I'm old enough that getting an education and a job in my field was exactly what it was promised to be, a ticket to middle classdom. I can't imagine spending 4 years getting a degree only to work at Denny's afterward. That's completely foreign to me. If you ask ND and Isgrim, it's also not true in most cases (which is good!) and yet the anecdotes continue and sound very scary. I don't envy young people trying to get their start.

Of course the topic here is deeper than young people trying to get their first job. I don't disagree that wealth inequality is a problem and is growing. I'm amazed at Warren's sheer willpower to even consider the magnitude of the changes she's advocating. At the same time I feel like capitalism is the goose that keeps us in golden eggs (even if the eggs are getting smaller for most of us), and I get stressed when someone wants to perform surgery on it with an axe instead of a scalpel.

I also know that I have paid a multi-generationally low interest rate on buying my house. My parents paid somewhere in the range of 7 times what I paid for the same privilege. My salary is higher in real dollars as compared to my father's at the same stage in his life, and he by all accounts was "farther along" in his career than I am in mine at the same age. We are/were both career public servants and we both worked in technical fields. He was in management by now and I am not (by choice, in case people are making assumptions :wink:). Management made more than technical resources in my father's time and they do in my time as well. I also have less education than he did.

My personal life is golden. My house is nearly paid off, I own stock, I have a pension, I have a separate retirement fund, I have savings (not enough, but it was never supposed to be) for the kids' education. I live modestly. I'm not special. I did as society expected me to do and I was rewarded with what society promised me. However, I could only be considered rich in a time when carrying massive consumer debt and living from pay cheque to pay cheque would be considered normal. I feel very lucky.

So on the one hand I *know* things are getting worse. On the other hand it hasn't touched me, yet (partly because government employment shields you from economic downturns but also fails to reward you for economic upturns).

I think the goal should be to make sure everyone has enough that they don't start eating each other. It doesn't sound like a difficult goal, but people being what they are, we always seem to fuck it up, given enough time.

Maybe Warren's plan can hold it off for a few more decades. :wink:

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Re: Too Soon To Start Thinking About 2020?

Post by Jaymann » Sun Aug 19, 2018 1:13 am

Trump will soon be announcing a five year plan.
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]==(:::::::::::::>

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Re: Too Soon To Start Thinking About 2020?

Post by Holman » Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:18 am

GreenGoo wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:05 pm
The EU is about 66% larger US, but they've only achieved a 5% larger GDP. Why is that? Is it related to co-determination? Does it matter? Is it relevant? I don't know, but I'd like to know.

Misgivings.
Comparing EU performance to the USA isn't so easily done. The EU is made up of multiple countries with very different economies, laws, social systems, and competing interests. It's hard to see co-determination as the single limiting factor on GDP growth seen collectively.

And of course it's not like GDP is the be-all end-all of economic success. For instance, all of the major EU economies have a larger (by percentage of population) middle class than the United States and significantly less poverty.
GreenGoo wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:23 pm
My personal life is golden. My house is nearly paid off, I own stock, I have a pension, I have a separate retirement fund, I have savings (not enough, but it was never supposed to be) for the kids' education. I live modestly. I'm not special. I did as society expected me to do and I was rewarded with what society promised me. However, I could only be considered rich in a time when carrying massive consumer debt and living from pay cheque to pay cheque would be considered normal. I feel very lucky.
That's pretty good for a country that most American conservatives would condemn as socialist! :wink:
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Re: Too Soon To Start Thinking About 2020?

Post by GreenGoo » Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:34 am

Holman wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:18 am
Comparing EU performance to the USA isn't so easily done. The EU is made up of multiple countries with very different economies, laws, social systems, and competing interests. It's hard to see co-determination as the single limiting factor on GDP growth seen collectively.

And of course it's not like GDP is the be-all end-all of economic success. For instance, all of the major EU economies have a larger (by percentage of population) middle class than the United States and significantly less poverty.
GreenGoo wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:23 pm
My personal life is golden. My house is nearly paid off, I own stock, I have a pension, I have a separate retirement fund, I have savings (not enough, but it was never supposed to be) for the kids' education. I live modestly. I'm not special. I did as society expected me to do and I was rewarded with what society promised me. However, I could only be considered rich in a time when carrying massive consumer debt and living from pay cheque to pay cheque would be considered normal. I feel very lucky.
That's pretty good for a country that most American conservatives would condemn as socialist! :wink:
Agreed on the EU. We can look at them country by country and even company by company. The more data the better. I just grabbed the EU as a whole because it was the easiest way to look at GDP, which I'm not even sure is a valid measurement in this case (the success of corporations. Since we're in the middle of redefining what it means to be a successful corporation, it's even more complicated than usual).

I felt a little uncomfortable describing the economics of my life but I wanted it to be clear that I have NOTHING to complain about, personally. My motives aren't because I'm poor or under employed. Maybe my misgivings about Warren's plans are *because* I have it so good right now. Maybe.

The funnelling of wealth to the top 1% or 0.1% is getting out of hand, and I do think it's causing societal troubles that would be solved by a more even distribution. I do worry that a society out of balance will start eating itself, whether through purge nights or the guillotine (I have no idea what the collapse of American society would look like. Something fun, I'm sure).

As for having it so good despite being socialist, I'm a public servant remember. My nice boat and trophy wife (I don't have a boat. My wife is awesome however) were given to me by stealing from you through taxes. Well, not your taxes. Max's taxes. Everyone knows public servants don't work for a living. The pension is also tax funded, if you don't look at the math or the governmental raids on it too closely.

See? Anything can be spun.

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Max Peck
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Re: Too Soon To Start Thinking About 2020?

Post by Max Peck » Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:59 am

The idea that the Canadian federal public service pension is "tax-funded" is quasi-mythical. While the employer's contributions are obviously tax dollars, the pension fund itself is invested in the market and benefit payments are not simply a line entry in the federal budget. Even when the Harper government was planning to make major reforms to the pension, they didn't proceed on the basis that it was consuming precious tax dollars -- they just believed that it needed to be made worse in order to bring it in line with shitty private sector pension plans.

Now, if people want to cast the Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security, Employment Insurance or the various provincial health care plans as socialist, have at it. :coffee:
There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, where the sea's asleep and the rivers dream, people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice and somewhere else the tea is getting cold. Come on, Ace, we've got work to do.
-- The Doctor

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Re: Too Soon To Start Thinking About 2020?

Post by GreenGoo » Sun Aug 19, 2018 11:13 am

None of that can be true. Pensions are the devil and government pensions are the root of all state budget crisis'.

I read that on OO, so you know it's true.

You've confused me by your inclusion of EI however.

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Re: Too Soon To Start Thinking About 2020?

Post by Max Peck » Sun Aug 19, 2018 12:04 pm

GreenGoo wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 11:13 am
None of that can be true. Pensions are the devil and government pensions are the root of all state budget crisis'.

I read that on OO, so you know it's true.

You've confused me by your inclusion of EI however.
EI is part of the social(ist) safety net -- money is taken from hard-working citizens and given to idle layabouts. In a proper capitalist society, if you don't have a job you make ends meet by selling your children to the workhouses. #VictorianValues
There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, where the sea's asleep and the rivers dream, people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice and somewhere else the tea is getting cold. Come on, Ace, we've got work to do.
-- The Doctor

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Re: Too Soon To Start Thinking About 2020?

Post by Kraken » Sun Aug 19, 2018 12:10 pm

GreenGoo wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:34 am
(I have no idea what the collapse of American society would look like. Something fun, I'm sure).
The hollowing out of the middle class, muzzling the free press, rising authoritarianism and establishment of oligarchy, xenophobia, loss of confidence in elections...you're already watching it. It will speed up the next time the economy tanks, especially if the Trumpelos retain power in 2020.

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Re: Too Soon To Start Thinking About 2020?

Post by GreenGoo » Sun Aug 19, 2018 1:32 pm

Max Peck wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 12:04 pm
GreenGoo wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 11:13 am
None of that can be true. Pensions are the devil and government pensions are the root of all state budget crisis'.

I read that on OO, so you know it's true.

You've confused me by your inclusion of EI however.
EI is part of the social(ist) safety net -- money is taken from hard-working citizens and given to idle layabouts. In a proper capitalist society, if you don't have a job you make ends meet by selling your children to the workhouses. #VictorianValues
Ah, good point. Like having car insurance, we wouldn't need it if terrible (socialists) drivers didn't crash into stuff all the time. *I* don't crash into stuff, yet I need to paid how much to cover terrible (probably foreigners!) drivers? That's not right. That's not America.

Also, it's why I had 3 children. You never know when you're going to need a spare (kidney)!

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Re: Too Soon To Start Thinking About 2020?

Post by Fireball » Thu Aug 23, 2018 5:15 pm

I read this piece on Vox about Warren's plan:

https://www.vox.com/2018/8/15/17683022/ ... rporations

I like a lot about it. As a quibble, I'd give workers in large corporations 33% of the board not 40%, as that seems to be the "sweet spot" in terms of maximizing both worker benefits and corporate growth in Germany. However, the general thrust of her proposal — undoing the toxic legacy of Milton Friedman and his "corporations owe sole allegiance to shareholders" nonsense — is exactly what American capitalism needs.

I've been pretty critical of Warren, as a lot of time her rhetoric has been great but her policy ideals rather facile. But this is some solid work. Another Vox piece lays out the four major planks of her plan very succinctly:
  • Company directors would be explicitly instructed to consider the interests of all relevant stakeholders — shareholders, but also customers, employees, and the communities in which the company operates — when making decisions.
  • 40 percent of the directors would be elected by the company’s workforce, with the other 60 percent elected by shareholders.
  • Corporate executives would be required to hold on to shares of stock granted to them for at least five years after they were received and at least three years after a share buyback.
  • Corporate political activity would require the specific authorization of both 75 percent of shareholders and 75 percent of board members.
Again, tweak 40% to 33%, and I'd be willing to give this a go.
Wed Oct 20, 2004 1:17 am
Zarathud: The sad thing is that Barak Obama is a very intelligent and articulate person, even when you disagree with his views it's clear that he's very thoughtful. I would have loved to see Obama in a real debate.
Me: Wait 12 years, when he runs for president. :-)

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Re: Too Soon To Start Thinking About 2020?

Post by Defiant » Sun Aug 26, 2018 2:35 pm

Democrats have modified their rules regarding superdelegates and caucuses. Superdelegates will only be able to vote after the first ballot (assuming no one has an outright majority). Caucuses will now be required to have absentee ballots, which will make it a lot more accessible.

I'm somewhat troubled by the first part, in case we do, someday, see a Trump type of candidate (doesn't reflect the party's principles, and has other dubious qualifications and qualities, etc) do successfully in the Democratic primary. If he gets less than 50% (As Trump probably would have in such a situation, given the proportional nature of the primaries, and that he only got about 45%), the party could still play a role in trying to derail such a candidate, but not if he were to manage to get a majority.

Still, I would hope people will have learned from Trump (but they probably won't).

Also, allowing superdelegates a vote once it gets to the second ballot is a wise move, as it will help to prevent long drawn out balloting (eg, all the superdelegates could back one compromise candidate to either give them a majority or at least swing the momentum to them). On the flip side, not letting them vote til the second ballot means that even candidates that are behind in the primary season may have reason to stay in the race until the convention, on the chance that there's a second ballot and those superdelegates move to support them.

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Re: Too Soon To Start Thinking About 2020?

Post by Fireball » Sun Aug 26, 2018 10:37 pm

Defiant wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 2:35 pm
Democrats have modified their rules regarding superdelegates and caucuses. Superdelegates will only be able to vote after the first ballot (assuming no one has an outright majority). Caucuses will now be required to have absentee ballots, which will make it a lot more accessible.

I'm somewhat troubled by the first part, in case we do, someday, see a Trump type of candidate (doesn't reflect the party's principles, and has other dubious qualifications and qualities, etc) do successfully in the Democratic primary. If he gets less than 50% (As Trump probably would have in such a situation, given the proportional nature of the primaries, and that he only got about 45%), the party could still play a role in trying to derail such a candidate, but not if he were to manage to get a majority.
So, I've been talking about this change a lot over the last two years, and I support it. While the idea that Super Delegates were the "in case of emergency, break glass" tool of the Dem establishment to stop someone like Trump. the fact is that political realities meant we'd never actually break that glass. The notion that the super delegates would overrule the winner of a majority of the elected delegates is kind of a fantasy. I think there's a far higher likelihood that such a candidate would be able to get a plurality than a majority of the pledged delegates, which would force a second ballot — and on that second ballot, all delegates are unbound.

When you combine that reality with the fact that, despite the fact that they've never overridden the primary voters, many feel like the existence of super delegates corrupts the process or reduces the efficacy of their primary vote, I think the case for basically abolishing them, as the new rule does, is pretty strong. If we're unlikely to ever break the emergency glass, why should we put up with the cynicism and angst that comes from the existence of super delegates?

I think the changes to caucuses are good, but not nearly enough. Caucuses should be abolished entirely, as should absurd laws like you have in New York that require you to register months in advance if you want to vote in a primary. Taking out the super delegates is a good move, but not sufficient.
Wed Oct 20, 2004 1:17 am
Zarathud: The sad thing is that Barak Obama is a very intelligent and articulate person, even when you disagree with his views it's clear that he's very thoughtful. I would have loved to see Obama in a real debate.
Me: Wait 12 years, when he runs for president. :-)

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Re: Too Soon To Start Thinking About 2020?

Post by LordMortis » Mon Aug 27, 2018 9:17 am

Defiant wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 2:35 pm

Still, I would hope people will have learned from Trump (but they probably won't).
I would hope they largely have, the question would then be how long are their memories? One cycle? Two? Five?

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Re: Too Soon To Start Thinking About 2020?

Post by Captain Caveman » Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:28 am

Beto down just one in a new poll that has Abbott (the GOP governor) up 20...

https://t.co/9epegO49D8

I'm still skeptical it will happen but Beto sure is getting people energized around here.

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Re: Too Soon To Start Thinking About 2020?

Post by El Guapo » Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:34 am

Fireball wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 10:37 pm
Defiant wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 2:35 pm
Democrats have modified their rules regarding superdelegates and caucuses. Superdelegates will only be able to vote after the first ballot (assuming no one has an outright majority). Caucuses will now be required to have absentee ballots, which will make it a lot more accessible.

I'm somewhat troubled by the first part, in case we do, someday, see a Trump type of candidate (doesn't reflect the party's principles, and has other dubious qualifications and qualities, etc) do successfully in the Democratic primary. If he gets less than 50% (As Trump probably would have in such a situation, given the proportional nature of the primaries, and that he only got about 45%), the party could still play a role in trying to derail such a candidate, but not if he were to manage to get a majority.
So, I've been talking about this change a lot over the last two years, and I support it. While the idea that Super Delegates were the "in case of emergency, break glass" tool of the Dem establishment to stop someone like Trump. the fact is that political realities meant we'd never actually break that glass. The notion that the super delegates would overrule the winner of a majority of the elected delegates is kind of a fantasy. I think there's a far higher likelihood that such a candidate would be able to get a plurality than a majority of the pledged delegates, which would force a second ballot — and on that second ballot, all delegates are unbound.

When you combine that reality with the fact that, despite the fact that they've never overridden the primary voters, many feel like the existence of super delegates corrupts the process or reduces the efficacy of their primary vote, I think the case for basically abolishing them, as the new rule does, is pretty strong. If we're unlikely to ever break the emergency glass, why should we put up with the cynicism and angst that comes from the existence of super delegates?

I think the changes to caucuses are good, but not nearly enough. Caucuses should be abolished entirely, as should absurd laws like you have in New York that require you to register months in advance if you want to vote in a primary. Taking out the super delegates is a good move, but not sufficient.
My main concern is that the proportional allocation of delegates combined with the huge field in the 2020 primaries creates a high chance that we'll get to the 2020 democratic convention without a winner, and that a nominee chosen at the convention is likely to lead to Democratic infighting. Like, given how the 2016 convention went, imagine how committed Sanders people would've reacted had the convention chosen Clinton over Sanders at the convention itself.

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Re: Too Soon To Start Thinking About 2020?

Post by El Guapo » Wed Aug 29, 2018 11:00 am

This is the kind of stuff I worry about with the projected Democratic 2020 primary system:




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Re: Too Soon To Start Thinking About 2020?

Post by Jeff V » Thu Aug 30, 2018 5:26 pm

It's also going to keep more contenders in to the bitter end. I don't see how it's beneficial to subject whoever the eventual candidate is to more negative campaign attacks from their own party than is absolutely necessary.

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Re: Too Soon To Start Thinking About 2020?

Post by Fireball » Tue Sep 04, 2018 6:18 pm

The field winnows quickly. I think we'll have a clear winner by the time we get to the convention.

And, of course, a brokered convention didn't stop Matt Santos from winning the 2006 election!
Wed Oct 20, 2004 1:17 am
Zarathud: The sad thing is that Barak Obama is a very intelligent and articulate person, even when you disagree with his views it's clear that he's very thoughtful. I would have loved to see Obama in a real debate.
Me: Wait 12 years, when he runs for president. :-)

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