Trump presidency

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby WibblyWobbly » Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:41 pm UTC

That's not a cool title at all. Where's the "AMERICA! FUCK YEAH! Healthcare ASS-KICKING TERRORIST-DICK-PUNCHING Act of 2017 (sponsored by Carl's Jr.)"?

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ucim » Thu Mar 09, 2017 4:03 am UTC

One fundamental problem is that of the very concept of insurance in this day and age of data. The idea is that we don't know who will be the one (out of {large number}) that will suffer {expensive bad thing}, so we all put a little bit of money into a pool, and the unfortunate one that gets the short stick at least can draw from the pool to fix it.

It's a good idea, and it works as long as we actually don't know who is doomed. But the insurance companies want to know this, so that they can alter the insurance rates appropriately. When they do so however, they interfere with one of the foundations of insurance as a concept; that being that we don't know which one of us is doomed.

The more we they figure this out, the less like insurance the whole program is... to the extreme where they know fully who will be doomed, and will simply raise their rates to infinity. (The rest of us like this, because then we don't have to pay for somebody else's misery).

But then what we have isn't insurance at all. And this is a big part of what's happening.[spoikler]The other big part is TINSTASFL. No matter how it's paid, medical care still has to be paid for. Doctors still cost money, medicine still costs money, and medical school still costs money, time, and a grueling schedule, for which financal reward is appropriate. A big insurance managed health care industry can use leverage to bring costs down, and in some cases this is justified, but the long term effects are that health care becomes less desirable a profession, and short cuts are taken. We end up worse off.

Things cost what they cost. Distorting this (in any way) simply moves the costs (or the quality) to other places.

Legal issues such as malpractice and its insurance are another issue, but that's a separate question. Yes, it increases overall health care when doctors make mistakes that have to be paid for. But doctors aren't going to stop making mistakes. The question is who will pay for them - the public, or the patient. While a valid issue, it's not directly related to the implementation of health insurance, or the goal of Making America Healthy Again.[/spoiler]Jose
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby elasto » Thu Mar 09, 2017 7:39 am UTC

ucim wrote:One fundamental problem is that of the very concept of insurance in this day and age of data. The idea is that we don't know who will be the one (out of {large number}) that will suffer {expensive bad thing}, so we all put a little bit of money into a pool, and the unfortunate one that gets the short stick at least can draw from the pool to fix it.

It's a good idea, and it works as long as we actually don't know who is doomed. But the insurance companies want to know this, so that they can alter the insurance rates appropriately. When they do so however, they interfere with one of the foundations of insurance as a concept; that being that we don't know which one of us is doomed.

This isn't a problem with the concept of insurance, merely the implementation. In many countries other than the US, insurance companies are strictly limited in the ways they are allowed to discriminate.

No matter how it's paid, medical care still has to be paid for. Doctors still cost money, medicine still costs money, and medical school still costs money, time, and a grueling schedule, for which financal reward is appropriate.

Things cost what they cost. Distorting this (in any way) simply moves the costs (or the quality) to other places.

Yes and no. Cost per head of population of healthcare in the UK is a fraction of the cost in the US.

Part of that is because top-end medical care in the US is the best in the world for sure - but it's also much less efficiently delivered.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Zamfir » Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:00 am UTC

ucim wrote:One fundamental problem is that of the very concept of insurance in this day and age of data. The idea is that we don't know who will be the one (out of {large number}) that will suffer {expensive bad thing}, so we all put a little bit of money into a pool, and the unfortunate one that gets the short stick at least can draw from the pool to fix it.

It's a good idea, and it works as long as we actually don't know who is doomed. But the insurance companies want to know this, so that they can alter the insurance rates appropriately. When they do so however, they interfere with one of the foundations of insurance as a concept; that being that we don't know which one of us is doomed.

The whole point of government-regulated insurance pools is to make healthy people pay for the medical costs of people who can't afford them, even when insurance companies can identify the likely net payers and net receivers into the pool.

Yes, that's different from standard insurance. That's not some fundamental problem, or a side effect due to a lack of data or something. It's how it is supposed to work. There are alternative ways to do achieve similar ends. For example, a separate government-run subsidized health insurance program (like US medicare), or a government run healthcare system like the British NHS. Looking worldwide, it turns out that regulated pooling works pretty well, compared to alternative mechanisms with similar goals.

Of course, if
ucim wrote:(The rest of us like this, because then we don't have to pay for somebody else's misery).
then you are simply pursuing a different goal.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Diadem » Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:37 pm UTC

elasto wrote:Yes and no. Cost per head of population of healthcare in the UK is a fraction of the cost in the US.

Part of that is because top-end medical care in the US is the best in the world for sure - but it's also much less efficiently delivered.

About 42%, in fact, if wikipedia is to be believed. I'm not sure that classifies 'a fraction', but it's certainly a lot less.

The US really is an outlier. The are far ahead of any other country in the world, and the next three countries (Luxembourg, Switzerland, Norway) are all three very rich. In fact those three countries are the three richest in the world, not counting microstates (Eh, Luxembourg kinda is a microstate itself, but you get my meaning). So expressed as a percentage of income, the US would be even further ahead of every other country.

My own country is 5th on that list, and over here healthcare is already a perpetual political battleground, with everybody agreeing costs are out of hand, but no one agreeing on how to curb them. The US spends nearly twice as much. I can't imagine what that would be like, but it can't be pretty.

The worrying part is that nobody can agree on why costs are so out of hand. They just seem to go up for no reason.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Dark567 » Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:55 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:The US really is an outlier. The are far ahead of any other country in the world, and the next three countries (Luxembourg, Switzerland, Norway) are all three very rich. In fact those three countries are the three richest in the world, not counting microstates (Eh, Luxembourg kinda is a microstate itself, but you get my meaning). So expressed as a percentage of income, the US would be even further ahead of every other country.
...
The worrying part is that nobody can agree on why costs are so out of hand. They just seem to go up for no reason.
I mean one reason why health care(and education etc. per Scott Alexander) are so high is that relative demand is higher in the US, see here. But again, that just means insurers and providers are charging more because they can, but doesn't really explain where it all ends up going.

I'd also generally be wary of comparing the US to Luxembourg, Switzerland or Norway. The former two are financial centers and the latter is 'rich' via GDP due to oil, but really its standard of living is pretty much on par with the US. I'd also take a look here for some alternative measures of (net)income and wealth in which the US comes out as number one. Not sure that really has a ton to do with how they money is spent, but I think it shows the different ability to create demand for health care.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Plasma_Wolf » Thu Mar 09, 2017 4:37 pm UTC

So the environment chief's interview with CNBC made the Dutch headlines just now.

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/09/epa-chief-scott-pruitt.html

That prompted me to read a bit further and look at what he did in the world of science, which I would say determines whether you're fit to work as chief of a scientific-based organization.

From wikipedia:

he attended Georgetown College in Kentucky and graduated in 1990 with bachelor's degrees in political science and communications. He then moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma when he attended the University of Tulsa to earn a Juris Doctor in 1993.[8]


Well then.

Of course, most of you will know this already, or at least suspect that this man isn't going to be brilliant at dealing with the climate problem, but it's still good to point out that he's pretty far away from being a proper scientist.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ucim » Thu Mar 09, 2017 4:58 pm UTC

elasto wrote:This isn't a problem with the concept of insurance, merely the implementation. In many countries other than the US, insurance companies are strictly limited in the ways they are allowed to discriminate.
That was my point. Unfettered, insurance (by dint of being able to identify risks) eats itself. In order to remain a viable concept in an age where the insurance companies have access to vast troves of statistical data to surgically carve out their exposure, there needs to be a legally enforced barrier to this kind of cherry picking. But it goes both ways. Self-selection (don't buy insurance until you're in a high risk group) also circumvents the idea of insurance; that is the point of the mandate.

elasto wrote:...but it's also much less efficiently delivered.
Maybe. I'm not a health care industry expert. But the definition (and subsequent implementation) of "efficiency" depends on what one is trying to maximize. There is room for legitimate difference here.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby elasto » Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:12 pm UTC

ucim wrote:That was my point. Unfettered, insurance (by dint of being able to identify risks) eats itself. In order to remain a viable concept in an age where the insurance companies have access to vast troves of statistical data to surgically carve out their exposure, there needs to be a legally enforced barrier to this kind of cherry picking. But it goes both ways. Self-selection (don't buy insurance until you're in a high risk group) also circumvents the idea of insurance; that is the point of the mandate.

Agreed. The NHS is obviously immune from this kind of gaming by default since it's not funded by insurance but by taxation. But even our private healthcare insurance providers are limited in how they are allowed to discriminate.

Maybe. I'm not a health care industry expert. But the definition (and subsequent implementation) of "efficiency" depends on what one is trying to maximize. There is room for legitimate difference here.

Agreed - except that it's absolutely true that the UK spends less per head of population than the US with similar outcomes statistically.

But I do know that if I were rich I'd rather fall ill in the US, and if I were middle-class or poor I'd rather fall ill in the UK.

(And since this is the Trump thread not the healthcare thread I'll leave it there.)

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Dark567 » Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:23 pm UTC

One of the few articles I've seen that has a more... measured take on the plan. I actual suspect a lot of Trump voters(who if you remember are more middle class than poor) fall into this category.

Overall if you see who The Affordable Care Act helps and hurts I think it matches that. Image
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:56 pm UTC

https://www.theatlantic.com/news/archiv ... os/516375/
Turns out you can remove millions of immigrants if you leverage fear. It's costly to give someone due process, and deport them. Instead, start terrorizing the immigrant community until they decide to flee. This lets you remove nonwhites and have Mexicans pay for it. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q ... TheK---9iw

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby rcafdm » Thu Mar 09, 2017 6:30 pm UTC

Apparently I'm not allowed to post links as a new member for whatever reason, so this is a re-post of my last comment stripped of links.... perhaps later I can follow up with links to substantiate my arguments here.


Diadem wrote:I'd also generally be wary of comparing the US to Luxembourg, Switzerland or Norway. The former two are financial centers and the latter is 'rich' via GDP due to oil, but really its standard of living is pretty much on par with the US.


Luxembourg is particularly non-representative because it has a large non-resident workforce (it's little more than a city-state), which badly skews most of its per capita figures one way or other. Countries with net exports constituting a sizable fraction of their GDP, like Switzerland and Norway, are more easily explained by the fact that net exports have very no any predictive power for health expenditures (which it shouldn't as a matter of national accounting identities...but this also means it doesn't predict other areas of consumption like education, social welfare spending, etc). Lots of people still use total GDP anyways, but this is generally substantially sub-optimal relative to measures of consumption (e.g., actual individual consumption) that can be derived from these same national accounts data.

elasto wrote:Yes and no. Cost per head of population of healthcare in the UK is a fraction of the cost in the US.
The UK is significantly less wealthy than the US, especially when measured by real consumption or disposable income, and these a much stronger predictors of health expenditures than GDP per capita (which is also still significantly higher in the US). This alone explains the vast majority of the US-UK difference. This difference is further exaggerated by the fact that the UK is also one of the few rich countries that still does much in the way of active and explicit rationing of health care, i.e., top down and pretty heavy handedly. However, most people don't like be told no and there's constant pressure to increase expenditures to cover more and do so with fewer restrictions.


elasto wrote:Part of that is because top-end medical care in the US is the best in the world for sure - but it's also much less efficiently delivered.
This depends on how you're measuring efficiency. Contrary to popular wisdom the best data on pricing currently (OECD health PPPs) indicates that the US price levels are very much inline with its wealth and are, if anything, significantly cheaper than you would expect. It is volume (in both quantitative and qualitative terms) that drives most of the increased expenditures in the US and throughout the developed world (and likely less developed countries too, tho the data are somewhat less reliable].

Diadem wrote:The worrying part is that nobody can agree on why costs are so out of hand. They just seem to go up for no reason.
People don't agree about this (and lots of things), but they go up primarily because we're doing doing a hell of a lot more today than we used to, i.e., this is much less about true inflation than quantitative and qualitative increases in expenditures. The best explanation for this is that as our real disposable incomes increase we tend to attach higher value to human life and we find that most other forms of consumption are subject to even more steeply diminishing returns (as in, the perceived value of extending life, rightly or wrongly, is greater than buying more doodads). There is quite a bit of evidence for both propositions, especially in models that account for lagged effects (people don't immediately change their behavior and views when their income changes)....

here is a paper on value of human life and one that speaks to diminishing marginal returns to income as it relates to life satisfaction (note: the relationship within countries and between countries is generally consistent with a logarithmic relationship). I have a few more, but will likely be writing up a response to Scott in the near future so perhaps check my blog out later if you're interested.

P.S., I write the blog randomcriticalanalysis, which was already linked to by someone in comments here and by the blogs SlateStarCodex, Marginal Revolution, and others on US health care, you can google it if you're curious for more in lieu of direct links

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby elasto » Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:04 am UTC

Don't think this has been mentioned here yet:

On Wednesday, it was revealed that from September to November last year, while he was working as a top adviser to Trump’s presidential campaign, Flynn was lobbying for a firm linked to the Turkish government, earning $530,000. He and his company Flynn Intel Group Inc filed retroactive documents with the Department of Justice two days ago to register as a foreign agent.

Under the Foreign Agent Registration Act, US citizens who lobby on behalf of foreign governments or political entities must disclose their work to the justice department. Willfully failing to register is a felony, though the justice department rarely files criminal charges in such cases.

Donald Trump was unaware his former national security adviser Michael Flynn was working as a “foreign agent” when he gave him the job, according to his press secretary.

Not that it matters in the least.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Mar 10, 2017 11:19 am UTC

Was Flynn then actually an "Administration Official", and therefore now (if not then) subject to that lifetime ban on lobbying for a foreign government/five years of other lobbying...?

He's a little stuffed, career-wise, if so. He should have declined the Trump appointment and (probably? Give or take this retractive filing...) kept on with his probably far more lucrative sideline mostly unencumbered.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Zamfir » Fri Mar 10, 2017 12:38 pm UTC

i presume the lobbying was lucrative because he had relations around a presidential candidate?

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby elasto » Fri Mar 10, 2017 2:18 pm UTC

I feel like I type this a lot, but for any normal candidate it'd be really problematic to have a platform of 'America first' and one of your key advisors be exposed as a lobbyist for a foreign government; But because of his strategy of persuading his base to distrust the MSM and only listen to their echo chamber, I think Trump will remain untouchable for the foreseeable future.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby mcd001 » Fri Mar 10, 2017 2:29 pm UTC

elasto wrote:I feel like I type this a lot, but for any normal candidate it'd be really problematic to have a platform of 'America first' and one of your key advisors be exposed as a lobbyist for a foreign government; But because of his strategy of persuading his base to distrust the MSM and only listen to their echo chamber, I think Trump will remain untouchable for the foreseeable future.

Also, because all the alternatives to Trump are demonstrably worse in this regard. They don't even *claim* to put America first. I am saddened that it has become controversial for politicians to even say they will put America first. Once upon a time that was a given.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Fri Mar 10, 2017 2:36 pm UTC

mcd001 wrote:
elasto wrote:I feel like I type this a lot, but for any normal candidate it'd be really problematic to have a platform of 'America first' and one of your key advisors be exposed as a lobbyist for a foreign government; But because of his strategy of persuading his base to distrust the MSM and only listen to their echo chamber, I think Trump will remain untouchable for the foreseeable future.

Also, because all the alternatives to Trump are demonstrably worse in this regard. They don't even *claim* to put America first. I am saddened that it has become controversial for politicians to even say they will put America first. Once upon a time that was a given.

Are you going to back up this Bullshit with some Citations? You'd be hard pressed to find a candidate that DIDN'T spam their campaign in pro America language. Do You mean trade and immigration issues?
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Mutex » Fri Mar 10, 2017 2:38 pm UTC

Because politicians putting their country first IS a given. Look, no politician chooses their attitude towards immigration, foreign policy etc on the basis of how much it helps other countries, unless that directly or indirectly helps their own country. I'm not aware of any evidence Hillary Clinton was going to pack the US government with Russian stooges, so I'm not sure what you mean about the alternatives being demonstrably worse.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby elasto » Fri Mar 10, 2017 2:49 pm UTC

mcd001 wrote:Also, because all the alternatives to Trump are demonstrably worse in this regard. They don't even *claim* to put America first. I am saddened that it has become controversial for politicians to even say they will put America first. Once upon a time that was a given.

That's a very odd thing to say.

The argument (broadly speaking) is protectionism vs free trade. Trump argues that (a vague kind of) protectionism is the best strategy to raise living standards in America. Others believe that free trade is the best strategy to raise living standards in America.

Both sides advocate 'America first' - always have and always will.

(Free trade on its own will make some Americans poorer for sure - just like, I dunno, self-driving cars will make some Americans poorer for sure - which is why part of the increased wealth needs to be distributed from the winners to the losers; But that's too 'pinko commie socialist' for some, so you get what you vote for...)

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:06 pm UTC

mcd001 wrote:
elasto wrote:I feel like I type this a lot, but for any normal candidate it'd be really problematic to have a platform of 'America first' and one of your key advisors be exposed as a lobbyist for a foreign government; But because of his strategy of persuading his base to distrust the MSM and only listen to their echo chamber, I think Trump will remain untouchable for the foreseeable future.

Also, because all the alternatives to Trump are demonstrably worse in this regard. They don't even *claim* to put America first. I am saddened that it has become controversial for politicians to even say they will put America first. Once upon a time that was a given.


Erm, they're American. American first goes without saying.

The issue is if you believe that shutting down open-trade when the USA has the most powerful free-markets in the world is "American First" or if it runs counter to our values and against our optimal strategy. USA has a highly educated workforce and some of the biggest markets in the world. Globalization furthermore helps improve the spread of American culture: Japanese manufacturers using 2.54mm pitch (aka: 0.1 inches) on their chips is proof of how American culture can permeate through trade.

Instead of forcing Malaysia to stop pirating movies (aka: The Trans-Pacific Partnership), Trump rips up the deal and tries to start anew. How many months will go by before a new Trade Deal comes in that helps spread American values and helps American producers (and yes, Hollywood is American. Protection of American Producer's copyrights would help America)

-------------

The "controversy" of "American First" is because of Trump's implementation of it. Globalists do not think what Trump is doing will help America. But sure, ripping up the TPP trade deal and waiting for something new is "clearly" beneficial to America.

FYI: China wasn't part of the TPP. China was pushing for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. Now that Trump has ripped up the TPP, there's no alternative and China determines the trade deals of East Asia now. Trump has made America lose ground in the East Asian region and encouraged Vietnam / Singapore / and even Australia to have closer trade with China.

Trump's "American First" is shortsighted and stupid. Trump thinks that "bilateral trade deals" will be better, but RCEP is a singular entity compromising China and India, with 30% of the GDP of the entire world. Instead of making a big trillion-dollar trade deal with 15 nations, Trump thinks we can get a better deal by negotiating one-at-a-time with tiny nations like Vietnam.

When Vietnam's alternative is to participate in a large, standardized trade deal that is literally bigger than the USA's GDP? I find it unlikely that we have any leverage in a bilateral negotiation. If Vietnam says "No Thanks, we got RCEP already", what is the USA supposed to counter with?
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby iamspen » Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:59 am UTC

Michael Flynn lobbied for the Turkish government.

The administration claims it had no idea. Either the administration is lying (hint: the administration is lying), or they didn't vet their gorram national security advisor well enough to have figured out that Michael Flynn was running a company called Flynn Intel Group.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Sat Mar 11, 2017 1:29 pm UTC

I say its a toss up...

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Sun Mar 12, 2017 4:36 pm UTC

mcd001 wrote:Also, because all the alternatives to Trump are demonstrably worse in this regard. They don't even *claim* to put America first. I am saddened that it has become controversial for politicians to even say they will put America first. Once upon a time that was a given.
Relevant.

If a bunch of politicians start saying "I oppose the vivisection of children" -- if they say it loud enough, and long enough, and insist that not everyone feels the same -- soon all politicians must say it, otherwise it implies that they're for it. In fact, this can be a cunning political strategy against opponents with strong principles who refuse to participate in blatantly manipulative word-play.

Do you oppose the vivisection of children? You haven't clarified, so I must presume you're for it. Until you say otherwise, I'm going to act like you're for it -- and once you finally given in and say "YES, of COURSE I'm opposed to that", I'm going to start asking why it took you so long to finally say it aloud. Obviously, you're just pandering to us; you've secretly wanted to dissect children this whole time.

And if you try to point out what I'm doing? I'll just sigh and say: "I am saddened it has become controversial for politicians to even say they oppose dissecting children. Once upon a time, that was a given!"

Or, in other words: The real reason it's no longer a given is because you decided to stop treating it as a given.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby elasto » Sun Mar 12, 2017 5:45 pm UTC

Very well put!

(I added a link to an xkcd comic only to realise you'd linked to the same one :D)

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Sun Mar 12, 2017 5:50 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
mcd001 wrote:Also, because all the alternatives to Trump are demonstrably worse in this regard. They don't even *claim* to put America first. I am saddened that it has become controversial for politicians to even say they will put America first. Once upon a time that was a given.
Relevant.

If a bunch of politicians start saying "I oppose the vivisection of children" -- if they say it loud enough, and long enough, and insist that not everyone feels the same -- soon all politicians must say it, otherwise it implies that they're for it. In fact, this can be a cunning political strategy against opponents with strong principles who refuse to participate in blatantly manipulative word-play.

Do you oppose the vivisection of children? You haven't clarified, so I must presume you're for it. Until you say otherwise, I'm going to act like you're for it -- and once you finally given in and say "YES, of COURSE I'm opposed to that", I'm going to start asking why it took you so long to finally say it aloud. Obviously, you're just pandering to us; you've secretly wanted to dissect children this whole time.

And if you try to point out what I'm doing? I'll just sigh and say: "I am saddened it has become controversial for politicians to even say they oppose dissecting children. Once upon a time, that was a given!"

Or, in other words: The real reason it's no longer a given is because you decided to stop treating it as a given.

Oh wow, that's so eloquent. MCD must bend to your will and listen to your rationality.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Sun Mar 12, 2017 6:16 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Oh wow, that's so eloquent. MCD must bend to your will and listen to your rationality.
I apologize if I came off as condescending. I wasn't trying to be particularly rational, or bend anyone to my will; rather, I wanted to offer my perspective on this argument to anyone willing to read it. I highly doubt anyone will change their beliefs just based on my posts (and, in fact, I'd be a little weirded out if they did!).

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Lazar » Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:10 pm UTC

Also, it's been a hell of a long time since "America First" was an uncontroversial expression of patriotism. John McCain, who's likely more historically aware, kept himself to the awkward "Country First" in order to avoid the phrase's bad old connotations, but Trump paid it no mind.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby elasto » Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:57 pm UTC

Lazar wrote:Also, it's been a hell of a long time since "America First" was an uncontroversial expression of patriotism.

It's true that there is a fine line between patriotism and nationalism - which is why some politicians avoid specific terms that have become tainted, but the sentiment remains the same: No politician is going to spend political capital attempting to pander to non-voting non-citizens; 'America (ie. American voters) first' is always the stated or unstated goal - always has been and always will be - whether that be via free trade or protectionism.

Trump is absolutely no different in this regard, and it's a bizarre con-trick to have persuaded people that he is.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Mar 13, 2017 12:01 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Until you say otherwise, I'm going to act like you're for it -- and once you finally given in and say "YES, of COURSE I'm opposed to that", I'm going to start asking why it took you so long to finally say it aloud. Obviously, you're just pandering to us; you've secretly wanted to dissect children this whole time.

That's pretty much the Trump strategy with the words "Radical Islamic Terrorism". A trap that, by avoiding, Clinton couldn't avoid. Plus, for an extra bonus was this "(radical islamic) terrorism" or "radical (islamic terrorism)"? An honest treatment would have been to have just talked about "terrorism", period, but that doesn't have the impact (and dog-whistling) of saying either "there's terrorism, but this is that radical islamic kind" or "there's your bog-standard/workaday islamic terroism... that's a given... but this is the radical stuff that we're now seeing!", according to the sensibilities and self-reinforcing attitudes of your individual audience-member.

I'm not saying I admire him for that, but it's like the H5N1-subtyped Influenza A virus... It's lucked on a combination of features that is provably capable of doing more than your more basic combinations, and because it works, it spreads and perpetuates.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Thesh » Mon Mar 13, 2017 2:54 am UTC

That's not Trump, that's been a thing for years.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Mon Mar 13, 2017 4:01 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
sardia wrote:Oh wow, that's so eloquent. MCD must bend to your will and listen to your rationality.
I apologize if I came off as condescending. I wasn't trying to be particularly rational, or bend anyone to my will; rather, I wanted to offer my perspective on this argument to anyone willing to read it. I highly doubt anyone will change their beliefs just based on my posts (and, in fact, I'd be a little weirded out if they did!).

No need to apologize, I've just been thinking how little we need/use rationality outside of "my policy expert knows what he's doing".
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Trump claims credit for good jobs numbers. Facts aside that this is mostly the economy of Obama, and not Trump yet. There's another aspect here, Trump is claiming the economy is better but the underlying data is still the same. Rich getting richer, Trump voters (and their kids) still don't have a future. Does that mean Trump is done with his white former Democrat voters outside of gutting regulation?

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:38 am UTC

Thesh wrote:That's not Trump, that's been a thing for years.

Yes, but that specific thing was his, as an example.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Lazar » Mon Mar 13, 2017 12:15 pm UTC

I think the Fox News crowd had been bashing Obama and Hillary for not saying it for some time before Trump took it up.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Mon Mar 13, 2017 4:43 pm UTC

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/th ... s-success/
Democrats aren't as organized as the tea party yet. Biggest weaknesses are the fear of selling out (getting funded by big donations), love of protesting, and lack of a charismatic​ leader.
Liberals don't want to sell out, but you need money to enable volunteers to become full time activists.
Liberals overvalue protests and don't convert them into registered voters/likely voters.
Not having a charismatic​ leader means the movement fragments.
Not having a unified media juggernaut to push and unite the movement.
Right now, it looks bad but it still too early to tell.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby mcd001 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:17 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:I apologize if I came off as condescending.

Your post did not strike me as condescending at all. In fact, as you framed the argument, it's more or less correct.

The problem is I did not go into detail in my post and did not take the time to define exactly what I meant. On THIS site, precision and clarity are expected. The inevitable result of any imprecision is responses like yours, where you describe how politicians can use language to lay claim to obvious truths at the expense of their opponents, or elasto, who responded in terms of protectionism v. free trade, or mutex and sardia who claim that it's obvious that ALL politicians put their country first.

So, permit me to explain: As a long-time republican voter, I became more and more disillusioned by the republican politicians that I voted for, based on what they said they would do while campaigning versus what they actually did once elected. Government spending continued to escalate despite decades of republican campaign promises to rein it in, and it didn't seem to matter which party controlled the White House or Congress (it'll be my kids left holding the bag). Same with illegal immigration; it continued unchecked by either party with middle and lower-class Americans getting the bill, while politicians (of both parties) and their donors reaped the benefits. Not to mention the abuses of legal immigration laws such as H1B visas. I believe that voter unhappiness with our lax enforcement of immigration laws is the single biggest reason that Trump was elected. When Trump said he would put America first, that phrase resonated with voters who were comparing Trump to mainstream politicians that put the wishes of their supporters and donors ahead of the voter. That phrase resonated with voters who were tired of being told that floods of immigrants and refugees coming into their communities were good for them, when the evidence of their eyes told them the exact opposite.

These days, taking a stand against illegal immigration is a controversial position. Once upon a time, it was not.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:36 pm UTC

mcd001 wrote:These days, taking a stand against illegal immigration is a controversial position. Once upon a time, it was not.


On the contrary. Even Democrats I know are against illegal immigrants.

The discussion point is what to do with illegal immigrants who have been inside the country for 10 years. They've effectively integrated into society, many have children (who by our laws are American Citizens upon birth). Deporting them means ripping families apart. Its an honest-to-goodness question and conundrum. Democrats in general are opposed to deportation squads, and so any stance that seems "hard on illegal immigrants" and potentially pro-deportation squads will be met with resistance.

--------

I don't think that your viewpoints are detestable btw. Indeed, I'll say that I'm against illegal immigration, and prefer the rule of law. I come from an Asian family who had to immigrate through the full process, and it is utter hell of bureaucracy. At least among my family members: most consider illegal immigrants to be "cutting in line". Why should they get benefits when my family followed all the rules? But that's beside the point.

I also consider myself a Republican (although I'd never vote for Trump). I'm also disillusioned by the general politicians who seem unable to fix the budget (although I'm more than willing to "raise taxes" to truly solve our debt issue. As long as we aren't following it up with an expansion of benefits like Bernie Sanders, bringing the income tax up by 5% to 10% across the board will basically fix our debt issue).
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:36 pm UTC

mcd001 wrote:So, permit me to explain: As a long-time republican voter, I became more and more disillusioned by the republican politicians that I voted for, based on what they said they would do while campaigning versus what they actually did once elected. Government spending continued to escalate despite decades of republican campaign promises to rein it in, and it didn't seem to matter which party controlled the White House or Congress (it'll be my kids left holding the bag). Same with illegal immigration; it continued unchecked by either party with middle and lower-class Americans getting the bill, while politicians (of both parties) and their donors reaped the benefits. Not to mention the abuses of legal immigration laws such as H1B visas. I believe that voter unhappiness with our lax enforcement of immigration laws is the single biggest reason that Trump was elected. When Trump said he would put America first, that phrase resonated with voters who were comparing Trump to mainstream politicians that put the wishes of their supporters and donors ahead of the voter. That phrase resonated with voters who were tired of being told that floods of immigrants and refugees coming into their communities were good for them, when the evidence of their eyes told them the exact opposite.
I can certainly see how Trump provides a response to increasingly out-of-touch politicians -- and a political system that alienates the very people it claims to empower. I also can sympathize with Republican voters who feel a sense of disillusionment with their party; I think there's plenty of that on both sides of the political spectrum.

I find it strange to think of Trump's support as a direct result of the illegal immigration crisis, though -- largely because it scarcely seems like a crisis at all. Illegal immigrants are far less likely to commit violent crimes (or even be incarcerated, for that matter). You could argue that illegal immigrants create an undue burden on our economic system (through entitlement programs, so on), but only if you ignore the fact that a significant majority of them actually work 'legally' -- and therefore pay taxes, funding those very same programs (and contributing to our economic health). Meanwhile, out of the six states with the highest number of illegal immigrants, only two of those states went to Trump -- Texas and Florida. New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and California (which has the highest illegal immigrant population -- at 2.3 million) all went to Hillary. If Trump is a response to frustrations over a flood of illegal immigrants, wouldn't you expect to see something different?

While I do think Trump's hard-line stance on illegal immigration was part of his success, I'm wary of pointing to it as the primary reason behind that success -- partly because the demographics don't bare it out, but also because illegal immigration isn't really our biggest problem. Our justice system is fundamentally broken; our education system is in shambles -- our infrastructure is crumbling. Worrying about the crisis of illegal immigration is kind of like worrying about the crisis of 'pot-smoking'; yes, it's against the law, but it's certainly not the problem people are making it out to be.

I mean, if the reason Trump won is because the majority of our population is more concerned with illegal immigration than shit like for-profit prisons... then the problem isn't Trump; the problem is the majority of our population has seriously skewed priorities.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:46 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:I find it strange to think of Trump's support as a direct result of the illegal immigration crisis, though -- largely because it scarcely seems like a crisis at all. Illegal immigrants are far less likely to commit violent crimes (or even be incarcerated, for that matter). You could argue that illegal immigrants create an undue burden on our economic system (through entitlement programs, so on), but only if you ignore the fact that a significant majority of them actually work 'legally' -- and therefore pay taxes, funding those very same programs (and contributing to our economic health). Meanwhile, out of the six states with the highest number of illegal immigrants, only two of those states went to Trump -- Texas and Florida. New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and California (which has the highest illegal immigrant population -- at 2.3 million) all went to Hillary. If Trump is a response to frustrations over a flood of illegal immigrants, wouldn't you expect to see something different?


There's a self-selection bias. Illegal immigrants know where the "sanctuary cities" are. And "sanctuary cities" simply don't exist in Trump-land.

EDIT: And as a result, Trump-land voters don't meet illegal immigrants. So a lot of their understanding about illegal immigrants is myth and legend. But pay attention long enough, and you'll find that there are people who know what they're talking about...

I mean, if the reason Trump won is because the majority of our population is more concerned with illegal immigration than shit like for-profit prisons... then the problem isn't Trump; the problem is the majority of our population has seriously skewed priorities.


One vote is one vote. They determine the future of our country as much as your vote or my vote. I don't think its helpful to consider them to have "skewed priorities".

Take my anti-immigration uncle for instance. Erm... the not racist one. He's a fishing guide, got a boat and heads out a mile or two into the ocean often to fish. His primary complaint about immigrants is that with a lower-ability to speak English, as well as what seems to be a lower-level of zeal to actually integrate into American culture (and more importantly: boating culture)... the immigrants seem to be at higher-risk of hurting themselves or even dying on the water. (Unaware of incoming storms, poor boating culture, etc. etc.)

Its one thing when you see dumbasses on the water. But if they speak English, you can always say "Yo, a storms coming in. Get to land immediately." You can scold the dumbasses and otherwise communicate with them.

But if they don't speak English? And they don't understand the danger that's coming in? Well... then... things get a lot more dangerous for everybody. This is a particularly extreme example (and IIRC, he's worried that the deaths he saw in the newspapers were those people...) but simpler examples include the finer details of boating. IE: Backing your boat into the water, and other such rituals that can royally fuck things up if you do them incorrectly. I don't really recall what the issue was with that example, aside from again... my uncle coming to meet the boating newbies only to be aghast at their inability to speak and/or understand English.

There was a time when immigrants who came into the USA would change their names to better suit America. Ironically, Drumpf -> Trump is a good example of such an immigrant name change. Such demonstrates the dedication of previous immigrants to integrate into the local culture. However, the modern liberal ignores the practicalities of day-to-day working relationships with people of vastly different cultures... and even goes as far to diminish the legitimacy of local culture!

Whether or not you agree with my anti-immigration fishing uncle, you have to admit that this "Not speak English" problem is indeed a real problem. Even if its a small one. This isn't some hypothetical situation, its a serious communication issue that is going on right now... with the large number of non-English speaking immigrants around. And sometimes, local culture (ie: boating culture) exists and is an established norm for the safety of everybody involved.
Last edited by KnightExemplar on Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:59 pm UTC, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Thesh » Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:50 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:I find it strange to think of Trump's support as a direct result of the illegal immigration crisis, though -- largely because it scarcely seems like a crisis at all.



The unspoken part of that is that all those immigrants are responsible for low pay, not the Republican party who has been fighting explicitly to keep wages low. And it's not the Republican voters, who keep electing people who tell them they are specifically the party big business wants, who elected a President that decided that one of his top priorities was to kill the rule that said that 401k managers can't knowingly give bad investment advice because they get kickbacks on fees.

Nope, it's all the foreigners. Can't be anyone's fault but theirs.
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