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President Donald Trump and his Administration

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6 hours ago, matias93 said:

Randy, I frankly cannot see how this could be a strong casual link, between problems on the scientific community and problems with electoral politics. No matter we would like to see it that way, the fact is that scientists exert a minimal effect and leverage on public opinion, and their problems remain very contained in their community.

Maybe you can develop more about the intermediate steps that show the causation

Whatever priorities people see is largely a matter of the mode of their education and their experience.  If someone is working class, generally they will vote in the interest of working people, if someone is upper crust its mostly usually all about either protecting or increasing wealth, not about job security.   Then there is the gender and race politics which are very nasty, ugly and unhealthy to human society.  Now look at what I just said... I made a moral distinction based on 'health', not wealth, not gender, not ethnicity, not philosophy or fantasy, but in terms of the 'health' of human beings and the world and the direction of 'health'.  Generally 'health' refers to a scientific, medical, biological, ecological condition.    

The UN says it needs $5 billion to alleviate conditions of severe famine and drought in Africa that are fast approaching.   To a doctor in an emergency medical unit, that information is extremely serious and critical requiring immediate and effective response. its a matter of life and death, of humans, animals, plants, the living Earth itself.   If Africa collapses in terms of balance of human health, of the health of the natural environment, that will most likely be the beginning of complete destitution of the world.   It really won't matter what wealth, political philosophy, ethnicity or gender one identifies with standing on a dead, burnt cinder of a planet.   Scientists are the ones who can best explain the human condition, the condition of the world, but so many have thrown away the good ethics and values at the foundation of the scientific tradition in pursuit of fame and fortune. 

With all the above said, I would have voted for Trump myself because the bottom line is he opposes scientific fraud, identity politics and social irresponsibility, and for the requirements of operation of emergency medicine, those characteristics are absolutely critical.

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  • On 18/03/2017 at 0:46 AM, OcramsRzr said:

    On the topic of liberal federalism: I'm opposed to it also. Despite being homosexual, I was disappointed in the Supreme Court oppressing red states to grant privileges to a population that comprises 10% of urban population and 4% of overall national population. There are other examples were the tail wagged the dog, all of which led to Il Donce's victory through pandering and deceipt.

     

    If New England, the Pacific Northwest, and Southwest (including California) all revolt at the same time, with most of the free world backing the revolution, including our neighbors Canada and Mexico, we could win and possibly even remain united with the loyal states (just with power diverted to the revolutionaries). We could all ask for peaceful secession but if we banded together (after our oppressors decide they want war) we could take over.

    You are out of your mind. Secession and/or civil war in the USA? In a nuclear-armed superpower? :noway:

    California is the only state where the idea of secession could be the most popular, but even then it would never happen due to the consequences. The drug cartels would take over and without the US military or Federal funds California is suddenly the sick state (read poorly) of the North American continent. So the very things keeping the liberal dream alive are what the liberals spit on... But I digress...

    So relax, Trump is not the pariah the media made out to be and the US system of checks and balances has already kicked in. Also consider that in terms of both domestic and foreign outcomes both Bush and Obama and their respective administrations were rather similar: War on Terror, To Big To Fail, more welfare state, more wars, poor relations with Russia, more government debt...

    Economically the Obama administration left things unchecked and allowed the biggest economic and financial bubble of all time to grow: student loans, banking derivatives, Federal Reserve intervention, government bonds, US government debt, personal debt, the tech bubble 2.0... In 2009 there was an opportunity to step away from the insanity and restructure banks and change the means of monetary creation. It was utterly squandered and now this bubble is coming close to bursting with the Federal Reserve's interest rate rises- each rise brings us all closer to the end of the most spectacular economic/financial/tech/government/debt bubble mankind has ever witnessed. And guess what? In the US Trump and his administration are the fall-guy; the scapegoats.

    Mark my words- this raising of interest rates from the Federal Reserve will ensure Trump only has one term. This is the real danger and this is what will cause suffering to tens of millions of people who will lose jobs, pensions and their money. It will bankrupt the welfare state if radical measures aren't taken to change the nature of monetary creation.

    So the rug has already been pulled out from under Trump's feet. That's what happens when ZIRP lasts for eight years: it helps to blow the mother of all bubbles.

     

    effective-federal-funds.png

    After the Dot-com bubble had finished bursting in 2003, the Fed decided to rise interest rates from mid 2004. Three years later and the subprime bubble burst. Four years later and the Financial Crisis of 2008/2009 happened.

     

    fed-funds-graph.png

    I kid you not, the first rate hike was in 2016 and I think the time which elapses before this bubble bursts is even less because the bubble is not just subprime, it's in so many other areas too: government debt, tech stocks, student debt, China's excessive building, the EU and the PIIGS, Japan, central bank assets... Globally central banks have gone all in whereas before the financial crisis they had far more options, ammunition and flexibility.

    The current financial order is coming to an end... Who knows what will replace it...

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    APSMS,

    Your assumption that secession would fail might be faulty.  California, Oregon AND Washington would go as one...not just California.  The loss of the entire west coast would paralize the United States overnight.  All of New England would also go at the same time or the next day.  That leaves essentially 20% of the US GDP remaining.  Washington would fall within a day by sheer number of revolters.  The fly-over states (like the one I grew up in and sadly still live in) have very little ability do to jack $@#$ about it.  They might be armed to the teeth, but they are all so poor they have no ability to mount any reasonable attack on either geographically remote areas while keeping any semblance of a defensive position.

    The only thing these states have to worry about is what percentage of the military decides to stay with the weak remnants of the USA....and large chunks of the military would go with them, not stay with the US   Make no mistake....Texas would be gone IMMEDIATELY.  I live in Texas...they are itching to be independent.  Without the West coast, New England, and Texas....Florida, Georgia, and NC would quickly bolt also.   Hawaii would almost certainly leave with the West Coast...and there are enough people there to overun Pearl in a few hours.   That leaves...nothing much.

    The only question would be would nukes fly.  I have serious doubts on that.  Many military commanders would go with the secessionists...and they are the ones who pull the trigger.  There is no way on god's green earth the guys in the bunkers could be convinced to launch an ICBM against the continent.   So you'd have just the bomber jockeys to worry about.   I suggest to you they would face the same choice the bunker guys would have....they would never do it.

    Keep in mind, the women's march itself could have overthrown our government if it wanted to (and the government were stupid enough to have been around that day).  There isn't any way to repel one million people in the streets of Washington...that's why Congress and the President are never there when there is any threat of such an event.  Imagine if the people protested in the streets daily at that magnitude?   Heck, they can't even stop ONE guy from jumping the fence at the White House.  I can't believe some terrorist group hasn't already tried.  Imagine 30 jumping that fence heavily armed?  The Secret Service defense plan is to push the President down a hatch in the Oval that slides him into the bunker and push a button closing the hatch.  Their plan is entirely to turtle.  

    My sources suggest the US military already has a plan to oust him if the time comes....and my sources are highly informed.  Don't go thinking the US Military would stick with the fly-over states....they probably wouldn't.

     

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    As far as healthcare goes...

    The rest of the modern world has free healthcare.  There are 2 reasons in the USA we don't:

    1 - Corporate Greed

    2 - Racism.

    It should have happened in the 50s/60s.   Back then, the non-starter was entirely the desire of the Congress to not give black people free healthcare.  There are transcripts of committee meetings available where it is said out loud.  

     

    Now, the issue is there is simply too much money in it for the rich people to let go, along with the market impacts of essentially shutting down 5-8 very large corps.

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    3 hours ago, jaredh said:

    Your assumption that secession would fail might be faulty.  California, Oregon AND Washington would go as one...not just California.  The loss of the entire west coast would paralize the United States overnight.  All of New England would also go at the same time or the next day.

    This implies that they would be unified enough to do this. Collusion of such acts is treason, and one slip up and everyone is either hanged, stuck with life imprisonment, or banished to Russia forever.

    1280px-United_States_presidential_electi

    More interestingly, however, is that I'm not understanding the premise of your statement. Mainly, that California, Oregon, and Washington are united in their goals of...what exactly? What, specifically, are they opposed to at the federal level? That they won't be able to get their way with Donald Trump in office? Are they objected to a Republican agenda?

    Are we pretending that there are no Trump supporters in CA, OR, WA, or HI? 4.5 million people voted for Trump in CA alone. Which, sure, while dwarfed by the number of Clinton voters, doesn't suggest any kind of unity at all. Unless you're suggesting that the democratically controlled state government rule by fiat when deciding to abandon the union for a Pacifica nation of liberalists. With, of course, the black sheep of people that voted for the other team, but actually control most of the state resources, at least in CA. It's telling what Washington electors think of Clinton-esque democrats, too, when they abandoned her to vote for that other secretary of state they claimed more qualified (and also the one who led us into the Iraq war), Colin Powell. In fact, more electors tried to defect from voting for Clinton than defect from Trump, which, sure, shows that Clinton was extremely unpopular and a poor candidate, but also suggests that the liberal left is not nearly united enough in its goals as the right may be, regardless of their differences in Congress and the wide variance we see in the effectiveness and intensity of their conservative policies as enacted in state governments.

    9 hours ago, jaredh said:

    The only thing these states have to worry about is what percentage of the military decides to stay with the weak remnants of the USA....and large chunks of the military would go with them, not stay with the US 

    The issue with this is that large parts of the military not only come from flyover states, but in the event of a total self-destruction of the US would find their allegiances inevitably pulled towards those areas despised by the SJWs and other anti-Trump people. I cannot tell you how many parents at my mom's school were active campaigners for Trump (she teaches at a public school in the middle of Navy housing in San Diego), but it was a large majority of the school, and their sentiments were echoed even among the Hispanic students at the school, of which there were quite a few.

    In fact, of the military personnel that I did talk too, almost all of them that expressed concern about Trump still took very seriously that he was Commander-in-Chief, and were dismayed both at public response to his presidency as well as the suggestion that they were not going to take their oaths seriously and abandon their posts simply because they disapproved with his policies.

    9 hours ago, jaredh said:

    Keep in mind, the women's march itself could have overthrown our government if it wanted to (and the government were stupid enough to have been around that day).  There isn't any way to repel one million people in the streets of Washington...that's why Congress and the President are never there when there is any threat of such an event.

    It takes one dude with an RPG, or one of the 2 miniguns in the country in private hands, to take out the entire presidential motorcade with zero recourse until after its over. Or access to government systems, the DC sewer network, and a whole lot of explosive to turn a manhole cover into an IED that would pierce through the bottom of the presidential limo. This isn't hard.

    Government overthrow involves sustained effort, which is something protestors lack. The military isn't going around, and Americans are hardly martyrs. There's a reason this hasn't succeeded in the past, and it has everything to do with the fact that if someone starts shooting, the response force have significantly better aim than Imperial Stormtroopers, and a shoot-to-kill mentality that dictates that exposure of their weapons only comes about when someone's going to die. The secret service may have a bunch of bozos in charge, but when all hell breaks loose the US actually trains troops to be able to operate in absence of the chain of command, and people in charge never did actual fighting anyways. Just because you can storm the white house doesn't mean you control the government. It just means that you decided to break into and destroy one of our national treasures because you couldn't figure out how to change the laws so that they did what you wanted them to.

    I mean, I wholly agree with the idea that the 2nd amendment is to protect from government tyranny, but no one in these liberal-only protests (because the women's march banned conservative women's groups from participating) actually believes that, which I find incredibly funny, and telling that they find themselves so confused when the government officials which others have approved into office to do the opposite of what they want won't do their bidding.

     

    Most of the resources of the country lie in flyover states, the military is non-liberal, and loyal to the union, and the rest would need to be seized by fiat from the conservative farmers that control not only the food but also the water and power supplies for most of the states that you're suggesting secede. Most of the Central Valley was at least marginally for Trump, and that's where most of the food for CA is grown. It's also where most of the state's water comes from, which is interesting to consider, especially since if it came down to an armed conflict, the people that possess the resources also possess the armament, and seizure of these resources would invalidate the "supposed good" that these states find so disconcerting about Trump.

    More than that, though, it would serve to ask what exactly is a democracy about, and what exactly are the grievances? Is CA against repealing Obamacare because it is an excellent law that covers all the gaps and makes it so that no one falls into debt from health care costs? No, they're against it because the repeal would throw a spanner into the works of their state budget, which to be fair isn't a wrong reason to be against it, but would be in contrast to their current claim, which is that coercing people to buy insurance from poorly regulated agencies actually gives people the coverage that they want and need, and that Obamacare deserves to stay because it's such a perfect law, which neither Obama, nor Biden, nor Bill Clinton, claimed in the last year of political coverage.

    Is it the issues of foreign policies? Would a divided nation be less susceptible to Russian interference? Would a Western Reserve/Pacifica nation actually be able to stand against the bulwark of Russian aggression? I think not. Would we be able to spare as much money for foreign aid? With all the problems present in CA, HI, WA, and AZ, I think it would be foolish to spend what little state money they possess (scratch that, they would have zero money after a secession; what currency would they use anyways?) In times past gold would suffice but most of the gold is kept in Kentucky or NY, and both would be high crime to claim as their own (definitely NY would get attacked if they tried to seize the gold; RPGs don't lie around the US like they do in Iraq and nobody stands in front of a 68 ton tank if they know what's good for them--the driver can't see you). There are many state problems to be solved, not least of which is the water crisis in CA, and spending money on foreign governments would be seen as a desperate attempt to distract attention from looming problems.

    Is it economic concerns? Have the coastal states had their industrial bases destroyed by trade and wage gaps between national economies? Actually, western New York has had this happen, and it can bee seen by the number of them which voted for Trump (or didn't vote for Hillary Clinton, which is perhaps a better measure). The case here is that the industrial base in America was left to rot, along with the people it served, and liberal economists are arguing it's not only a good thing which happened which made goods cheaper for these people and everybody else (never mind that they wouldn't need cheap goods from Wal-Mart if they still had work), but that these people are backwards and need to get with the times and move on. Which has got to be one of the most calloused and bogus things I have ever heard.

    Tell me NAFTA works after driving through Michigan and Ohio and seeing areas that are not even 20 years old but look like warzones because the money dried up and nothing came to take its place. I look at the new money, and I realize why there's a wage gap. NAFTA works, but only if you have enough money to take advantage of it.

    Are we concerned about human rights, or the rights of individuality and freedom of expression? Freedom of religion? Is forcing people to cater a wedding that they disapprove of freedom? [Most] Muslim bakeries would give the same answer, but no one asks them (they also don't make the same kind of food, but the point remains). Is arguing that archaic beliefs don't deserve rights a stand they want to make? Is it OK to categorize people based on race and social status rather than their individual merits, and to provide them with benefits for possessing qualities that they cannot change, or displaying "identities" that are not biological in nature and require conscious choice to manifest? Because the concern I have here is that there are ways to execute change, and the argument is that laws are broken, lets rule by fiat, because its right. Is that right?

    What would separatists have in common that would enable successful secession? If, by chance, the secession isn't complete, then if the US isn't in a position to waltz back in and take over, I can guarantee you that Russia, China, and Britain will do so (Canada is still governed by the queen in name), and they will do so completely, wholly, and without concern over what happens afterward, and I can guarantee that no foreign "ally" of ours will have the stomach to back the broken nation state that may succeed the US against foreign influence from the likes of China or Russia.

    At the end of the day, I don't think there are enough uniting features, or even enough united populations to carry out something on this scale. California as a whole doesn't hate Trump (all of my Mexican neighbors out here in the boonies voted for him, which was...odd, but understandable). Neither does Washington or Oregon, where Trump lost by "wide" margins, but which still retain a significant conservative minority

    Recall that if you remove California's vote totals from the mix, Trump wins the popular vote by around 1.4 million. I don't know how much illegal voting goes on (though talking to some poll workers here, "a lot"), but it did seem odd to me that more people voted for Clinton in CA than voted for Obama in either 08 or 2012; no matter, California carries Clinton's popular vote, which says a lot about the size of California, but also says a lot about the political climate in the rest of the country, which is not nearly as homogeneous or anti-Trump as the media makes it out to be.

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    Michigan and Ohio were a wasteland long before Nafta....they are a symptom of improper industrialization of the USA in the 1800s.  There really is no reason Scranton should ever have been an industrial powerhouse.  Nowhere else in the world put industry anywhere other than in (very) big population centers or coastal areas.  We, on the other hand, decided that the Ohio river valley was a brilliant place for heavy industry, when it really isn't once your business isn't just locals.

    Your electoral map, which I assume was included because it's mostly red, is really useless.  Most of those red counties are either very sparsely populated, or in the area of 51/49 Rep/Dem.  As in...mostly half and half.

    Don't mistake my comment.  I don't support the idea.  

    I don't think it's going to matter.  Trump will be impeached in 2018 once the Democrats retake the entire Congress....assuming he somehow stays in office until then.  And the absolute worst case is he is out in 2020....he won't beat a candidate that the GOP hasn't has 20 years of experience attacking.

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    5 minutes ago, jaredh said:

    Michigan was a wasteland long before Nafta....

    Even if you are correct, I fail to see how that addresses APSMS' concerns.

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    Posted (edited)
    2 hours ago, jaredh said:

    Your electoral map, which I assume was included because it's mostly red, is really useless.

    I included it because Shades of purple are harder to make out (distinguish with clarity, because definitions of purple for an even split are more varied between people and require a key to interpret: this map is from Wikipedia), and the map above avoids the pitfalls of a solid color for course ties that were won by only a few percentage points. You'll notice that it's shades of red and blue, indicating win percentages. Notably, any map I posted that was not distorted cartographically would show a majority red, be it by county, state, or congressional district. Of course it misrepresents the majority of population, but my point was about resource control, not vote count.


      Edited by APSMS  

    added clarification

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    I assert that "resource control" cannot be ascertained by political control.

    Having grown up in Arkansas, I can tell you without any hesitation....there are a LOT of brainwashed evangelical baptist idiots there that are one-issue voters....abortion.  They go out of their way to vote against their own self-interest because....unborm babies dude!  I've had so many conversations with friends and family on this I long ago lost count.

    But these GOP voters don't have any control of the "resources".  The rich people are Democrats or sane Republicans.  I personally know hundreds of those types, and I don't know a one that is pro-Trump.  People like to think that rich people are all conservative.  In my experience, that's not true.  It's more like 55/45 at best.  Vast amounts of wealth, "resources", power etc are in the hands of the non-conservative crowd.

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    3 minutes ago, Silur said:

    We have more problems *:D

    Yes, I suppose these are 1st world problems (traditionally, US-influence was 1st world, Russo-Soviet was 2nd world, and everything else was 3rd world, though today the terms are skewed).

    14 minutes ago, jaredh said:

    Vast amounts of wealth, "resources", power etc are in the hands of the non-conservative crowd.

    Wealth in dollar terms means little if the national economy they are based on goes to pieces due to a breakdown of the federal government. This is the fundamental problem with an economy that has money based on nothing but "confidence."

    As some of my professors jokingly commented, they support the canned food economy. When everything goes to pieces, you can't eat neither paper nor gold, no matter how much you try, and you can't drink it either (speaking as a Californian).

    People don't care about money if they can't guarantee other things about their life, particularly if no one wants the money. If you have vast amounts of wealth stored in the US dollar, and suddenly you're not part of the US anymore, not only is the money effectively worthless, but because we don't have a basis for US money anymore (like the rest of the world), you can't even argue that the (remaining) US honor the bills and produce physical currency to back up the money.

    This is the fallacy of liberal thought. Money does not solve all problems, when matters of state, the body, and the spirit are at hand. Fundamentally this is the basis of Marxism, and evidence that ideology is fundamentally more important to people than money should be seen in the extent to which failing communist states persisted both in their terror and in their "success" at maintaining independence from the evils of capitalism.

    Of course, people have basic needs; at the core there are economically related factors, but it is perhaps faulty to assume that hardship makes people capitulate. If anyone is equipped to deal with shortages, it is the impoverished farmer with the well and septic and windmill who will hold out far longer than the city dweller, cut off from supplies (which come from the areas near the farmer), with his millions of dollars of currency people no longer value. Cities are precarious things, and they only work as long as everyone is willing to respect the status quo.

    ----------

    It is not monetary resources, but fundamental, basic resources like fuel, food, water, which are in the control of those outside of the cities. If western California decides to secede, they will need to import water from eastern California, a region historically exploited by Western and Southern CA for their own benefit, at the expense of the people who live in this region. Owens River Valley comes to mind, but there are numerous other examples. If you have a history of exploitation, and the system keeping things in check is destroyed, what exactly do you think is going to keep these people in line with the status quo that has continually marginalized and exploited them? Is it going to look like what you think it will? These people may not be dangerously violent, but neither will they stand by to be systematically exploited in marginalized in a new government that is guaranteed to ignore them because the entire basis of their "secession" is based on pursuit of a liberal [social and political] agenda contrary to the values, concerns, and well-being of these "brainwashed idiots."

    23 minutes ago, jaredh said:

    Having grown up in Arkansas, I can tell you without any hesitation....there are a LOT of brainwashed evangelical baptist idiots there that are one-issue voters....abortion.  They go out of their way to vote against their own self-interest because....unborm babies dude!

    What exactly do you mean to say by this?

    Is it really voting against their own self-interests when the opposition frames their arguments as such? If they actively mock such people, and argue that they are victims of their own failed economies, why would they vote for them? Would you vote for me if I mocked everything you held morally right and then insisted that my economic strategy was going to be more successful because I was committed to fighting for your rights as an individual? Would you believe me?

    Also, I cannot tell you how many "Democratic" voters I've met, blacks, Hispanics, Religious Asians (Filipinos), who would otherwise vote Democrat were it not for the democratic platform overtly supporting liberal social agendas like support of abortion, gay marriage, transgenderism, etc. This is in CA. As one Hispanic mom I met explained to her 5-year-old son, they were voting for Trump because "Hillary Clinton kills babies," which I was extremely surprised to hear, but suggests that the support for liberal social agenda is much lower than otherwise suggested by vocal leftist media (or even right-wing media), and would explain why during Obama's tenure he continually lost Congressional seats, State legislatures, and governorships despite winning most of these state populations in the national presidential election (twice).

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    On 3/18/2017 at 6:12 PM, Ln X said:

    [snip]

    Economically the Obama administration left things unchecked and allowed the biggest economic and financial bubble of all time to grow: student loans, banking derivatives, Federal Reserve intervention, government bonds, US government debt, personal debt, the tech bubble 2.0... In 2009 there was an opportunity to step away from the insanity and restructure banks and change the means of monetary creation. It was utterly squandered and now this bubble is coming close to bursting with the Federal Reserve's interest rate rises- each rise brings us all closer to the end of the most spectacular economic/financial/tech/government/debt bubble mankind has ever witnessed. And guess what? In the US Trump and his administration are the fall-guy; the scapegoats.

    Mark my words- this raising of interest rates from the Federal Reserve will ensure Trump only has one term. This is the real danger and this is what will cause suffering to tens of millions of people who will lose jobs, pensions and their money. It will bankrupt the welfare state if radical measures aren't taken to change the nature of monetary creation.

    So the rug has already been pulled out from under Trump's feet. That's what happens when ZIRP lasts for eight years: it helps to blow the mother of all bubbles.

    [snip]

    After the Dot-com bubble had finished bursting in 2003, the Fed decided to raise interest rates from mid-2004. Three years later and the subprime bubble burst. Four years later and the Financial Crisis of 2008/2009 happened.

    [snip]

    I kid you not, the first rate hike was in 2016 and I think the time which elapses before this bubble bursts is even less because the bubble is not just subprime, it's in so many other areas too: government debt, tech stocks, student debt, China's excessive building, the EU and the PIIGS, Japan, central bank assets... Globally central banks have gone all in whereas before the financial crisis they had far more options, ammunition and flexibility.

    The current financial order is coming to an end... Who knows what will replace it...

     

    Oh that's really good! The D'ump will be a single-term president because it is IMPOSSIBLE for him to succeed! *:D His approval rating has already tanked and the next financial crisis hasn't hit yet! Once The D'ump initiates a trade war with China, they will temporarily (as long as it takes) halt their construction spree, which will worsen (if not seemingly set off) the next financial collapse! If the wealthiest are hurt the most, costs of goods could decrease enough to actually improve the lives of the poorest 90%. If not, well, populism could get Bernie Sanders elected and he will be the first to redistribute wealth from the corrupt, greedy elite to the masses.

     

    BTW, Bread and Circuses is the most viable way to continue the system. An expanded welfare state might be an upset for the wealthiest but in the long run protects them from the tar-and-feather (and worse) mobs/uprisings.

     

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  • 2 hours ago, OcramsRzr said:

    Oh that's really good! The D'ump will be a single-term president because it is IMPOSSIBLE for him to succeed! *:D His approval rating has already tanked and the next financial crisis hasn't hit yet! Once The D'ump initiates a trade war with China, they will temporarily (as long as it takes) halt their construction spree, which will worsen (if not seemingly set off) the next financial collapse! If the wealthiest are hurt the most, costs of goods could decrease enough to actually improve the lives of the poorest 90%. If not, well, populism could get Bernie Sanders elected and he will be the first to redistribute wealth from the corrupt, greedy elite to the masses.

     

    BTW, Bread and Circuses is the most viable way to continue the system. An expanded welfare state might be an upset for the wealthiest but in the long run protects them from the tar-and-feather (and worse) mobs/uprisings.

     

    It's not good, I would not want any President to inherit the mess- even if that president had been Hillary Clinton. I would not want any factors to speed up the coming of another financial crisis because it means jobs lost, pensions slashed and lives ruined. It means a whole wave of suffering which I would not wish for anyone; it is NOT something to hope for or get excited about. Those that do get excited about such things are doom-mongers and addicted to calamity- just as long as it doesn't happen to them. It's that whole: it's fun to watch parts of the world burn in the comfort of ones own room. This attitude plagues too many young people. I will admit a few years ago I was one of them.

    But I wouldn't get your hopes up about a terminal financial crisis. Just because central banks have gone all in doesn't mean there aren't temporary solutions to buy some time. For starters the Federal Reserve could cut interest rates deeply into the negative if there was another financial crisis. Another method to stabilise financial markets is to literally force feed major investors with cash to encourage them to hold onto their assets for longer- this was done in March 2009 when the Financial Crisis reached its climax.

    What I think is going to happen is that there could be a flair-up, a severe global financial crisis that will last six months maybe a year. It will cost tens of trillions of dollars to fix- remember now the US government must bail out all the derivative markets banks are heavily invested in: forex, mortages, government bonds, etc...

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/dec/10/congressional-budget-big-bank-bailouts

    Which means the US government debt probably goes up by 5 to 10 trillion in a year or two and will continue exploding upwards.

    The financial world will be saved again but this time the cost is even worse: government liabilities that will threaten the welfare state due to yet another pension blackhole, negative interest rates which will force everyone with money to invest and from there I can only imagine the situation becoming so strange and weird that what happens next is impossible to tell.

    What I can see is extremists on both sides of the left-right political spectrum doubling down. The right will blame globalism for the mess and powerful nationalist forces will be unleashed. While at the same time the left will blame capitalism and go full-on Communist/Marxist. Both sides will be wrong since the problem is crony capitalism, amorality, greed and the power of money creation taken away from the government. It will probably be akin to the political fallout which happened after the Wall Street Crash of 1929.

    Mark my words, brutes and tyrants will arise from this.

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    41 minutes ago, Ln X said:

    Those that do get excited about such things are doom-mongers and addicted to calamity- just as long as it doesn't happen to them. It's that whole: it's fun to watch parts of the world burn in the comfort of ones own room. This attitude plagues too many young people. I will admit a few years ago I was one of them.

    I became tired of treating with such people on the secondary: guys that arrived to class on their parents' cars but talked all day about derrocating the capitalists or to put fire at everything related to authority, while criticising everybody who was trying to do something sustantive to alleviate the effects of poverty and explotation, because we weren't 'accentuating the contradictions' (their way to say we weren't trying to make everything to fall down to a civil war or such).
    That kind of people, so radical on their youth, usually end becoming the worst capitalists, because they have no compromise with the people's well-being, but only with agitation and the absence of rules; they can enjoy the luxury of being convinced anarchists, because they know the chaos won't affect their wealth or wellbeing.

     

    51 minutes ago, Ln X said:

    Mark my words, brutes and tyrants will arise from this.

    Maybe on the US, where this hasn't exploded completely yet, but on other parts of the world we have had so many crises it's almost impossible to see more people getting power by means of showing themselves as some sort of saviours; they had already defrauded the electorate.

    Also, on the third world (i.e. Latin America + Africa + South East Asia) we are so reliant on the Chinese economy we couldn't be very affected of what happens on the western first world. And now the Chinese have no reason to slow their growth.

    * * *

    But now trying to mix both branches: if you think the current political situation on the US is going to cause some kind of political bloodspill, you are seeing too much movies and war games; for that to happen, there has to be the political elites' will to go directly against the system and its rules. And that isn't happening, simply because the main elite oppositional forces --be it antipopulist republicans or democrats-- count with the 2018 legislative elections to put a stop on the practical freedoms of the current government. They don't need to oust Trump, even less by force; just to blackmail him to obey basical rules of political convivency, or to have his government shutdown for three years. 

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    I don't have to make fun of the people I grew up with...they do it to themselves.  It's amazing.  They actually think being stupid is funny.

    These people are poor, depend on the government for EVERYTHING, and still vote for people who want to cut their benefits.  Rural southerners are nutso. My hometown is 1800 people in a county or 8000 that is the size of Dallas County TX (where 1.5 MILLION people live).  The GDP of the entire COUNTY probably does not get to the GDP of the 100 homes in my sub-division in Dallas.  These people are poor.  There isn't anything but farming....and the farms long ago got rid of the army of farm hands they needed in the 70s when I was little.

    I kid you not, I was home a few weeks ago due to a family emergency.  Lots of people came out of the woodwork due to what happened, and a Trump discussion came up.  A group of them seriously supported Trump out loud because he was going to cut benefits for people who didn't deserve it.  I asked them who that was.  Their answer?  Black lazy people and illegals.  I asked them "What about the white lazy people?"  Their answer was blunt:  "white folks don't every get their benefits cut....only blacks and illegal Mexicans".   So I immediately asked what's the difference between a Mexican and an illegal Mexican?  The answer I got was "all Mexicans are illegal".  

    Of course when I brought up the absurdity of their belief that white folks don't get their benefits cut, they immediately went to the GOPer well of insults.

    You seem pretty smart, so I have to tell you that if you aren't aware, the GOP only has any power because of people like this.  People in Mississippi, Carolinas, Arkansas, Alabama etc that are racists bigots who throw the N word around without thinking of it still today, have no hesitation slashing the tires of "hispanics", or might tell your wife she should be home making babies.  My wife has been told to her face in my hometown that very thing.  If you don't believe me, by all means, go take a road trip through Woodruff County, Jackson County, White County etc in Arkansas, or go to Oktibbeha County in Mississippi.  Spend a week.   Get to know the people.  You'll get a quick education.

    Conservatism currently entirely depends on uneducated people who vote against their best interest.  (Why do you think the elected ones hates education and are trying to do everything they can to damage it....see Texas).  Why do the 8000 people in Woodruff County vote GOP by an 80% clip???   Median household income is less than $25k.  Most of these people are getting government benefits.  Most of them are getting A LOT of government benefits.  My mother works in the county heath/human service department....she says the number approaches 70% of the people getting food stamps alone.   So why do they vote for a party that has stated my entire adult life they want to cut their benefits?  Because they are convinced white people are immune from what the GOP wants to do.  And because their Baptist preacher has told them that if they don't vote GOP they are going to Hell (I've personally heard this from the pulpit probably 50 times in my life).  There was a time they actually separated the voting places so that they knew if you were voting Dem or GOP because the ballots only had one name on them.   Yes, its illegal.  Did it stop them?  Not until sometime in the late 1970s.  And before that time, they supposedly didn't let the women vote there, either.

    Eventually these people are going to figure out they have been duped.  God help us when that happens.

      

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    1 hour ago, matias93 said:

    count with the 2018 legislative elections to put a stop on the practical freedoms of the current government.

    I think this is a losing strategy. Trump's success will be in part determined by their ability to prevent his agenda now. Trump won a lot of votes in states where democratic senators are going up for reelection in 2018, and Trump's Republican caucus in the house outran his presidential race in almost every district. Although the lot of republicans disagree with Trump, it cannot be a fundamentally liberal opposition that stops him, unless for some reason the politically active right decides to sit on their buts in 2018 and not vote. This isn't helped by the fact that the Senate is designed to give less populous states significant powers, ergo states where Trump won which might otherwise be insignificant in a House race (despite the House retaining an overwhelming majority for the 4th time in a row) suddenly come to the forefront in a Senate campaign. This, of course, explains the $100 million+ spent in the New Hampshire Senate race, despite the presidential candidates spending only a grand total of $1.5 million combined (all parties).

     

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    1. I'm 25 and I've only become "worse" (more "radical"/anti-statist+anti-corporate) since 18

    2. It is wrong to believe that wealth inequality doesn't matter

    3. The last big wave of revolution occurred during the steam industrial revolution. Well, the AI industrial revolution will take away far more jobs, far quicker, with no new jobs created in the foreseeable future

    4. Every revolution and most big wars redistribute wealth accumulated by the elite to the formerly oppressed masses (now revolutionaries)

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    6 minutes ago, jaredh said:

    And because their Baptist preacher has told them that if they don't vote GOP they are going to Hell (I've personally heard this from the pulpit probably 50 times in my life).  There was a time they actually separated the voting places so that they knew if you were voting Dem or GOP because the ballots only had one name on them.   Yes, its illegal.  Did it stop them?  Not until sometime in the late 1970s.  And before that time, they supposedly didn't let the women vote there, either.

    This is probably the crux of the matter. The difference used to be economic policy, but now "social justice" gets thrown in the mix. It used to be OK to be economically liberal and still be socially conservative. The Democratic party still welcomed you.

    Then they changed the platform to identity politics above all else, supposing that simply because they had sound economic policy that it would subsume the previous voting demographic. The concern is that, at the end of the day, the left makes the same mistake that Marx made as regards the importance of ideology compared to economic factors. They assumed that if they could convince everyone they could provide, that they would win the vote.

    Voting in America doesn't work like that. I know enough minorities who are Republican to know that despite their general concern for most GOP economic policy (which isn't properly conservative to begin with), the social justice factors tip the scales, and not in the direction you would expect. When you poopoo someone's beliefs and call them insane, clingy, etc. no wonder you win votes:

    Quote

    If the smug style can be reduced to a single sentence, it's, Why are they voting against their own self-interest? But no party these past decades has effectively represented the interests of these dispossessed. Only one has made a point of openly disdaining them too.

    Abandoned and without any party willing to champion their interests, people cling to candidates who, at the very least, are willing to represent their moral convictions. The smug style resents them for it, and they resent the smug in turn.

    At some point we need to recognize that unless the liberals embark on a serious plan to not only help these people back to work (not expand their welfare benefits), but also reestablish a dialogue that acknowledges at least the validity of possessing a socially conservative opinion of the world (even if they don't follow it or pledge to carry out such an agenda), the cycle will continue.

    People don't want more government benefits. Maybe it's true that they're racists and honestly believe that white benefits programs won't be cut, but these people didn't win Trump the election, and in the grand scheme of things play a small role in influencing the national government, because they have predictably voted the same for the last 100 years (for the "racist" agenda and candidates, be they Southern Democrat or post-Roosevelt Republicans), and lack both the money and population to reliably effect significant influence on the national GOP platform.

     

    Woodruff County actually voted for Obama in 2012. I don't know enough about Arkansas to know what's there, but they voted for Trump 52.5 to 43.6 in November.
    The same goes for Oktibbeha County in Mississippi (Obama in 2012), except they also voted for Clinton this time around (narrowly, 49 to 47).

    I haven't met people in the South (though I knew a whole bunch that were from there, save for college). I suspect I'm on the borderline edge of what would be safe to travel through the South relatively unsupervised, as a half-Asian American with non-white features. Still, of course, the sample size of mine is heavily biased (all were educated enough to attend a good college and were mostly of the Christian persuasion, which I suspect colored their comments somewhat in terms of tone and overtness), and I would love to go through the south to meet these people and see what it is like. Of course, there are monetary constraints, but I try to qualify that with which I am unfamiliar to not be presumptive; I haven't lived there, and can only speak about it anecdotally.

    It's worth noting, as I have previously mentioned in this thread and others, that for religious reasons I don't vote, and don't believe in voting as a matter of principle concerning the nature of things. I don't actually have a stake here (well, I do, but I didn't lose anything yet), and was more than prepared to accept a victory from Clinton (honestly CNN and MSNBC that night were the most amusing news specials I have watched in a long time). She lost, and I have yet to see people understand why Trump won, and it has nothing to do with racists coming out of the woodwork after hiding under a rock for 8 years while a black man was president.

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    This entire political discussion is fairly irrelevant without discussion the biggest problems that face our country and the world.  These are bigger than Democrat/Republican.

    Automation is the greatest threat humanity has ever known outside maybe the Black Death and some ELEs from outer space.     

    Just consider driverless cars.  How many people are about to be put out of a job?  ALL the truck drivers.  ALL the cab drivers.  That's got to be half a million people.  Self checkout is well on its way to getting rid of all the cashiers everywhere.   Automation has already eliminated so many industrial jobs that are never coming back its' not even funny (the union people blame off-shoring, but the real story is many industrial jobs simply got eliminated).   Call center jobs are being eliminated at a very fast rate by IVRs (those dumb automated systems) which are getting much better at getting you the information you want without needing a human.  The entire software development world is at great risk of being marginalized by AI in the next 10-15 years....maybe more.  Automation in IT system administration is rapidly reducing the need for an army of sysadmins.  How many people work in fast food restaurants that could easily be replaced by automated ordering systems (and probably will be in the next 10 years)

    Consider farming....when I was young, it was very common where I lived for the farms to hire 20-30 seasonal hands.  My dad was a school teacher and in the summer worked on a farm for my uncle.  That uncle would hire 20 people religiously.  Talked to him about this ery topic a few weeks ago...he hires 2 now.  Compared to his 1970s era version, his combine can cut 3 times the width per pass, 2-3 times more efficiently (ie less waste), and hold double the amount without needing to unload, while driving twice as fast.  He pointed out a field his own dad had cut.  Used to take them more than a full day with 3-4 guys helping.  He says he cuts it all in a morning now, with nobody helping and gets almost TWICE the product from the same field.   That is an astonishing improvement....and he pockets all the money rather than paying for help.  

    This type of wealth redistribution is happening across the entire employment spectrum.  Rich people no longer need to pay as many people to help them get richer.  Companies no longer need to pay as many people to make massive profits.  The jobs they DO have are low-paying.  

    At what point would our entire society collapse on itself from unemployment?  We already have a crazy "real" unemployed/UNDER-employed rate.  Imagine if it went up 10-15%?  

    Western civilization is rapidly heading toward the wealth inequality Tzarist Russia had.  We know what happened there.

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    1 hour ago, jaredh said:

    That's got to be half a million people.

    Around 3.5 million jobs in transportation, the single largest employment sector in the US, and I suspect, most developed nations.

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    18 hours ago, Ln X said:

    It's not good, I would not want any President to inherit the mess- even if that president had been Hillary Clinton. (1)
    I would not want any factors to speed up the coming of another financial crisis because it means jobs lost, pensions slashed and lives ruined. It means a whole wave of suffering which I would not wish for anyone; it is NOT something to hope for or get excited about. (2)
    Those that do get excited about such things are doom-mongers and addicted to calamity- just as long as it doesn't happen to them. It's that whole: it's fun to watch parts of the world burn in the comfort of ones own room. This attitude plagues too many young people. I will admit a few years ago I was one of them. (3)

    But I wouldn't get your hopes up about a terminal financial crisis. Just because central banks have gone all in doesn't mean there aren't temporary solutions to buy some time. For starters the Federal Reserve could cut interest rates deeply into the negative if there was another financial crisis. Another method to stabilise financial markets is to literally force feed major investors with cash to encourage them to hold onto their assets for longer- this was done in March 2009 when the Financial Crisis reached its climax. (2)

    What I think is going to happen is that there could be a flair-up, a severe global financial crisis that will last six months maybe a year. It will cost tens of trillions of dollars to fix- remember now the US government must bail out all the derivative markets banks are heavily invested in: forex, mortages, government bonds, etc... (2)

    Which means the US government debt probably goes up by 5 to 10 trillion in a year or two and will continue exploding upwards. (4)

    The financial world will be saved again but this time the cost is even worse: government liabilities that will threaten the welfare state due to yet another pension blackhole, negative interest rates which will force everyone with money to invest and from there I can only imagine the situation becoming so strange and weird that what happens next is impossible to tell. (4)

    What I can see is extremists on both sides of the left-right political spectrum doubling down. The right will blame globalism for the mess and powerful nationalist forces will be unleashed. While at the same time the left will blame capitalism and go full-on Communist/Marxist. Both sides will be wrong since the problem is crony capitalism, amorality, greed and the power of money creation taken away from the government. It will probably be akin to the political fallout which happened after the Wall Street Crash of 1929. (5)

    Mark my words, brutes and tyrants will arise from this. (1)

    1. A hypocritical, tyrannical brute has already arisen. The demagogue's name is Donald Trump. The best way to combat his style of populism is to stand your ground; show the world where you stand even if you lose a few battles from not compromising (republican-majority in both houses of congress), the war has yet to officially start and you want to clearly be seen as consistently on one side.

    2. Suffering is going to happen regardless of my actions. Worrying about the future means you have suffered twice. Many people have grown complacent to the current system and a major upset is needed to wake some people up to affect changes needed. I'm learning survival skills, engineering, and programming to prepare me for 3 possible futures. I'm also very poor; I live off less than $1,200 a month between SSI and my family. My jobs are student and volunteer. 

    3. I tried my best to prevent the worst from happening. I voted in the primary for Bernie Sanders. I voted against Trump. Maybe I'm a sore loser, maybe I like watching the world burn, maybe I'm self destructive (because I expect to be hurt significantly in the economic crisis).

    4. Bernie Sanders would have made steps to shrink the bubble before it burst and would certainly NOT have bailed out any banks. Trump is the worst, greediestCrony-Capitalist/Big-Businessm in bed with Big Government/Fascist Corporate-type (comparing market share and power of current corporations to those of the Axis shows great similarities, if not being worse than the Axis). The financial world doesn't deserve to be saved!

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    An excerpt from the WH:

    President Donald J. Trump signs NASA Transition Authorization Act of 2017

    “With this legislation, we support NASA’s scientists, engineers, astronauts and their pursuit of discovery,” said President Trump during a signing ceremony at the White House. “America’s space program has been a blessing to our people and to the entire world. Almost half a century ago, our brave astronauts first planted the American flag on the moon. That was a big moment in our history.  Now this nation is ready to be the first in space once again. Today we’re taking the initial steps toward a bold and brave new future for American space flight.” 

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

    Whew! That was close.  I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown; I feel much better now cause we have at least 3 major NEOs incoming over the next 40 years within lunar range.

    I hope the DPRK really does have a magical propulsion system, it might come in handy.  If need be, we could catapult Kim into orbit, he probably generates enough gravity to deflect anything the galaxy can throw at us.

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    1 hour ago, OcramsRzr said:

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/22/elon-musk-slams-donald-trumps-nasa-bill-saying-it-does-nothing-to-help-mission-to-mars.html

    The Administration is guilty of doublespeak. The D'ump signed this bill after cutting funding to NASA.

    The success to failure ratio of SpaceX missions is apparently about equal to DPRK rocket science.   These guys can loft stones into orbit but they can't land a human on the moon or a robotic surveyor on Mars.  Voyager 1 is still operational after 40 years and sending telemetry from interstellar space.  So by all means please do complain about funding cuts to NASA.  Seriously skilled and capable people would probably rather work at NASA or the JPL than SpaceX.   

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    RandyE - said: "Voyager 1 is still operational after 40 years and sending telemetry from interstellar space."  

    I believe this is a strategic indicator of the level of the country. But barbarians can destroy everything. It is much easier.

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    And there Donald Trump demonstrated for all to see what a lightweight he really is. If you have no negotiation capability you will be a loser in the Oval Office. Sad! Fourth time electoral loser, fourth-rate President!

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    Another weekend spent administering the links at a cost of 25 million dollars to the tax payer rather than, say, fix the 42% unemployment rate. 

    No wonder this child thought a 300 bn pound ‘invoice’ to Mrs Merkel is the right way to go about business. 

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