Democrats are compulsive self mutilators

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conebeckham
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Re: Democrats are compulsive self mutilators

Post by conebeckham » Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:14 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:24 pm
Basically, no one has any f*&^ing idea of what is going on or what to do about it -- and frankly, no one ever has.
And, I am increasingly convinced, no one ever will.

We should do what we can, of course. But there is no end to politics, etc., as long as we all are not liberated.
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
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"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
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Re: Democrats are compulsive self mutilators

Post by PeterC » Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:16 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:41 pm

I guess my response is two fold.

The shortcomings are there. You're position seems to ignore all the things that are going right.
....
Thank you for the thoughtful response.

I do recognise the historic strengths of the US. I generally find, though, that those in the US tend to have a very high estimation of those strengths and limited appreciation of life in other countries. The US is hardly the only place with the rule of law; there are plenty of other sources of investment; plenty of good universities outside the US (some may have better-capitalized science and engineering departments, which is why they tend to attract students from countries that don’t); etc. etc.

Of course we all have a personal bias in these matters. But I do feel this myopia is a big part of the problem. For example - In all the nonsensical faux-debate on healthcare in the US, how often does anyone bother to look at what other countries do? For most of the world, provision of healthcare is essentially a solved problem - it’s genuinely puzzling to them why the US persists in making it absurdly expensive.

At a more fundamental level, the issue is whether a country is collectively capable of addressing its issues. Sometimes you see a remarkable capacity for renewal and reinvention. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen that in the US.

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Re: Democrats are compulsive self mutilators

Post by Crazywisdom » Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:16 pm

Conflicts are inherent to samsara. Families have no peace. Why would society?
I got my Chili Chilaya.

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Re: Democrats are compulsive self mutilators

Post by Queequeg » Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:26 pm

Sorry link above I described as affluent white civil war should have been this.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/15/opin ... alism.html
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Democrats are compulsive self mutilators

Post by Malcolm » Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:33 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:41 pm
PeterC wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 2:02 am
Queequeg wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 6:37 pm
This comes to another point - The US has to become confident in our way of doing things again, because that is what motivates us to help other countries develop in our mold. US influence in Latin America is a mess and the US has historically not done right in the region. There is, however, plenty of potential to do it right. That path is a whole discussion itself. One thing, to make that happen, Latin Americans have to stop this tendency to nationalize industries. Nothing turns off investment like the looming threat that everything can just be seized by fiat.
You may have inadvertently chosen the wrong words there. The world absolutely does not need other countries developing in the mold of the US. You won’t find a single other country out there that aspires to having a healthcare system, education system, justice system, infrastructure, domestic politics, racial politics, etc. that look like the US - and that was before Trump.
I guess my response is two fold.

The shortcomings are there. You're position seems to ignore all the things that are going right.

Start with the rule of law. There is no way we would have a country this big, this diverse, functioning this well if the rule of law was not as robust as it is. This not only includes enforcement of property and contract rights, the fair and peaceful resolution of disputes, peaceful and democratic transfers of power.
Works well for white people, not so much for others.

Not everyone has access to decent healthcare. That needs to be fixed. At the same time, when healthcare is good, its great. There's a reason why there is so much resistance to universal healthcare - because what we have is working well for many people and they myopically don't want to mess with it.
Yes, "I've got mine, screw you if you don't have yours."

Our approach to higher education, putting the financial burden on individuals instead of viewing education as the cultivation and development of the most valuable resource we have, is clearly a mistake.
Thanks to the GOP.

And we definitely need to address the uneven quality of primary education across the country. This is a big issue with national implications but is fundamentally a state and local matter. The Dept. of Ed. can set the pace, which they did with Common Core, but implementation is fragmented.


GOP again.
Infrastructure - everyone knows it needs to be fixed, but nobody wants to bite the bullet (if infrastructure is something to emphasize, Cuomo is worth considering for president. The guy has initiated and completed some of the biggest public works projects in over a generation in this notoriously sclerotic State, and it would be amazing to see that approach brought to the national level). I am optimistic we are coming around to a robust effort soon. Someone is going to discover that public works programs, when done well, are politically, wildly popular. I suspect we will have another problem when it comes time to wind down the infrastructure programs, but that's another issue.
As long as the GOP is in power, this will never happen.
At least we're not shooting each other in the streets over politics. That's better than a lot of places.
Give it time.


I left race as the last issue. We have never fully dealt with the legacy of slavery. Also part of this, I would add, we have never dealt with the genocide that marked the founding of our society on this land. We still have the myths racial superiority and inferiority, about cowboys and indians. I don't think there is a political solution to this. This is a spiritual matter. I jokingly posted a link to an article about perceiving oneness as the cure for our divisions... I actually don't think there is any other way. This unresolved injury, for everyone involved - the descendants of the perpetrators and the descendants of the victims. IMO, there's a practical reason as part of our right livelihood we're not supposed to be butchers - the act of killing leaves deep marks on the one's doing the killing - comparable to the survivors of the carnage, not to mention the death process as Buddhists understand it. Race is implicated in poverty, inequality, injustice... almost all the failures of our society implicate race. We need to do something about this... I think there is a reason why the Civil Rights movement, led by religious leaders, was so successful and would not have been as successful if it was just a secular movement.

All that is to say, you have a point, and these are not things we would want anyone to emulate. But we also have a lot of good things going on which are really really good.

Right now, we have a moron as our spokesperson who doesn't get what we do. His whole political strategy is to get people feeling bad about how things are. "Carnage" he says. That kind of talk from the Bully Pulpit is not constructive. That just exacerbates pessimism and fear and is not conducive to cooperatively trying to fix our problems. By the same token, the pessimism from the left is also unproductive past a point.
The GOP invented this fantasy that we are in a post-racial era, then when that fantasy failed them, they coopted far-right white identity politics.
I'm not particularly down on the ideals of full socialist economies...
I am. Give "Road to Serfdom" a good read. See if you can poke holes in Hayek's arguments. I don't think you can.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Re: Democrats are compulsive self mutilators

Post by Queequeg » Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:47 pm

PeterC wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:16 pm
I generally find, though, that those in the US tend to have a very high estimation of those strengths and limited appreciation of life in other countries.
Point taken. There are many possibilities from which one can take their lead. My point was really about Americans having some confidence in doing things right - without going to the extreme of hubris - which would reinvigorate the US approach to world leadership. Other examples being available doesn't diminish my point that the US offers a good model for developing nations, and better than many. And the bigger point is, wouldn't it be great if the US could get its shit together and lead the world? Does anyone really want Russia or China stepping into the role?

To your point about the puzzlement of others in looking at the US, I would suggest its because they get their info only from the news and don't see how it works on the ground. True it makes no sense when you step back. And yet, if you have a good, employer provided health plan, its not that big an issue on a day to day level because other than worrying about networks and gate keepers on moderate level plans, it works just fine. And who votes? Generally, the people for whom this system is working.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Democrats are compulsive self mutilators

Post by Queequeg » Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:55 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:33 pm
Works well for white people, not so much for others.
Works for property owners. And they tend to be white. So, yeah.

But our system is fundamentally built on property rights... And I think you agree that getting rid of that basis for the system would be a mistake...

So then the only option is to encourage property ownership by non-whites...

I fully endorse that. Get people to buy in and reap the rewards of appreciation and compound interest and generational wealth.
I am. Give "Road to Serfdom" a good read. See if you can poke holes in Hayek's arguments. I don't think you can.
Will check it out.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Democrats are compulsive self mutilators

Post by justsit » Thu Oct 18, 2018 6:16 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:55 pm
...So then the only option is to encourage property ownership by non-whites...

I fully endorse that. Get people to buy in and reap the rewards of appreciation and compound interest and generational wealth.
That's fine, where are they supposed to get the money? As long as we can still hear the big sucking sound of all that cash headed up to the 1% or into corporate treasuries, we're stuck. There is no longer any major US city where minimum wage will afford you a one bedroom apartment, much less down payment on a house and a mortgage.

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Re: Democrats are compulsive self mutilators

Post by Queequeg » Thu Oct 18, 2018 6:31 pm

justsit wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 6:16 pm
That's fine, where are they supposed to get the money? As long as we can still hear the big sucking sound of all that cash headed up to the 1% or into corporate treasuries, we're stuck. There is no longer any major US city where minimum wage will afford you a one bedroom apartment, much less down payment on a house and a mortgage.
Back in the late 90 and early Aughts the federal government embarked on that project through Fannie Mae to make affordable loans to people who would not otherwise qualify at a bank and then subprime lenders got in on the action... home ownership was pushed up above historical levels, especially for minorities. We all know how that played out. That policy has been discontinued, and banks have remained very conservative in their lending standards.

We can go back and argue, TARP was the wrong move, at least by itself. It should have been accompanied by a major push for infrastructure and should have been sold as a way to get financial support directly in the pockets of the people most affected by the housing collapse. Hank Paulson pulled a stick up on the treasury on behalf of the 1%, Teamsters, SEIU and the rest of the unions should have pulled all the stops to force a massive infrastructure spending bill. There was a very brief window when Verizon workers in NY were showing up to and supporting Occupy Wall Street. I think plenty of us got really excited about that possibility of connecting labor to Occupy. I also think the powers that be got scared of that and brought the hammer down on Occupy shortly after... Spilled milk.

A lot of economists think we are in the midst of a radical reorganization of the economy that is causing major migrations into the cities of highly educated, affluent professionals. This is making cities unaffordable for working class and working poor. I earlier in the thread, real estate has not adjusted to this new reality so real estate prices are artificially high. It takes time to build houses and apartments, it takes time for pricing equilibrium to settle down. That doesn't help people who are getting locked out of opportunities now.

No quick fix, I'm afraid. Our only move is agitation and pressure to get wealth moving down the economic ladder.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Democrats are compulsive self mutilators

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:43 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:55 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:16 pm
As much as I loathe Trump, it's not as if most professional politicians do a "good" job. They usually do a job that helps them maintain power, and the status quo. Unless you are one of those people that somehow remembers the Obama, Bush or Clinton eras as these idyllic times, there's not much reason to trust career politicians either, regardless of the ugly spectacle of Trump and reality show politics. In fact many of the career politicians paved the way for someone Trump, years of expanded executive power, stomping all over the fourth amendment, allowing even further corporate graft, the list goes on and on. "Competent" technocrats enabled our system to get to the point it's at, so I don't see them and Trump as oppositional forces at all.

The idea that simply voting out Trump is going to reset things is questionable, Trump is a symptom of something that is going on all over, not just a one off an aberration. That isn't to say I don't want him gone of course.
What would your ideal president look like?

I'm not sure that's a productive question to me. A president being elected is a result of the nod from the prevailing power structure and politics of the time, combined with the (often engineered) whims of the electorate, and the various economic and social forces at play in securing certain voting outcomes. Additionally, a president is one guy, who often serves as a figurehead, certainly for the entire executive branch, if nothing else.

So I guess my answer is: A less powerful one. Particularly since 9-11 the executive branch has been steadily asking for increased power and authority, and both parties have pretty much granted it. Obama was ruthless is his persecution of wisteblowers, support of surveiilance, kill lists etc., and yet he gets endless breaks from his constituency for helping to set up the very system and set of precedents that Trump now works under. Someone Trump like is more of a problem due to this trend, he'd be bad regardless, but with a runaway executive branch all kinds of awful scenarios are possible. I want a less powerful president and less powerful executive branch period - one that has a harder time doing things like using the NSA to hoover up the information of random Americans, making extra-judicial kill lists, going after activists, etc.. Less of that please, whoever is in office.
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Re: Democrats are compulsive self mutilators

Post by PeterC » Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:06 am

Crazywisdom wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:16 pm
Conflicts are inherent to samsara. Families have no peace. Why would society?
This is the key point, sadly

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Re: Democrats are compulsive self mutilators

Post by PeterC » Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:18 am

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:47 pm
PeterC wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:16 pm
I generally find, though, that those in the US tend to have a very high estimation of those strengths and limited appreciation of life in other countries.
Point taken. There are many possibilities from which one can take their lead. My point was really about Americans having some confidence in doing things right - without going to the extreme of hubris - which would reinvigorate the US approach to world leadership. Other examples being available doesn't diminish my point that the US offers a good model for developing nations, and better than many. And the bigger point is, wouldn't it be great if the US could get its shit together and lead the world? Does anyone really want Russia or China stepping into the role?

To your point about the puzzlement of others in looking at the US, I would suggest its because they get their info only from the news and don't see how it works on the ground. True it makes no sense when you step back. And yet, if you have a good, employer provided health plan, its not that big an issue on a day to day level because other than worrying about networks and gate keepers on moderate level plans, it works just fine. And who votes? Generally, the people for whom this system is working.
What would you think developing countries should emulate in the US model? Not the legal system - it’s the least efficient and highest cost version of common law around. Not the banking system (almost the entire academic economic and financial community was in deep denial about this right up to 2008, many still are now). Not the political system. Not it’s constitutional law - it has some good soundbites but overall it’s a mess. Not the social safety net. I’m quickly running out of topics.

Russia isn’t stepping into a leadership role but China definitely is. Of course it has an agenda in these relationships - but then again, they say, so does the US and look at how that worked out for Latin America and the Middle East. Chinese diplomacy today is clumsy. A few decades ago it was either nonexistent or inept. A decade or so from now it will be really skillful. I see no other potential outcome than the gradual displacement of the US - and this has been ongoing for some time now in multiple arenas.

The most powerful dog whistle in US politics is “greatness” - it was appropriated by Trump but it has universal applicability. Doesn’t matter how messed up things look, there’s always a golden age, some noble purpose, innate superiority or virtue, manifest destiny or similar that you can appeal to. This isn’t really an American thing - everyone the world over thinks they and their group are special - but it is very prominent in the US, where often it has explicitly religious overtones. I don’t think the country will really face up to its issues until it has put this behind them. The first of the AA’s twelve steps is accepting that you are an alcoholic. The US hasn’t really got there yet.

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Re: Democrats are compulsive self mutilators

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Fri Oct 19, 2018 4:55 am

PeterC wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:18 am
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:47 pm
PeterC wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:16 pm
I generally find, though, that those in the US tend to have a very high estimation of those strengths and limited appreciation of life in other countries.
Point taken. There are many possibilities from which one can take their lead. My point was really about Americans having some confidence in doing things right - without going to the extreme of hubris - which would reinvigorate the US approach to world leadership. Other examples being available doesn't diminish my point that the US offers a good model for developing nations, and better than many. And the bigger point is, wouldn't it be great if the US could get its shit together and lead the world? Does anyone really want Russia or China stepping into the role?

To your point about the puzzlement of others in looking at the US, I would suggest its because they get their info only from the news and don't see how it works on the ground. True it makes no sense when you step back. And yet, if you have a good, employer provided health plan, its not that big an issue on a day to day level because other than worrying about networks and gate keepers on moderate level plans, it works just fine. And who votes? Generally, the people for whom this system is working.
What would you think developing countries should emulate in the US model? Not the legal system - it’s the least efficient and highest cost version of common law around. Not the banking system (almost the entire academic economic and financial community was in deep denial about this right up to 2008, many still are now). Not the political system. Not it’s constitutional law - it has some good soundbites but overall it’s a mess. Not the social safety net. I’m quickly running out of topics.

Russia isn’t stepping into a leadership role but China definitely is. Of course it has an agenda in these relationships - but then again, they say, so does the US and look at how that worked out for Latin America and the Middle East. Chinese diplomacy today is clumsy. A few decades ago it was either nonexistent or inept. A decade or so from now it will be really skillful. I see no other potential outcome than the gradual displacement of the US - and this has been ongoing for some time now in multiple arenas.

The most powerful dog whistle in US politics is “greatness” - it was appropriated by Trump but it has universal applicability. Doesn’t matter how messed up things look, there’s always a golden age, some noble purpose, innate superiority or virtue, manifest destiny or similar that you can appeal to. This isn’t really an American thing - everyone the world over thinks they and their group are special - but it is very prominent in the US, where often it has explicitly religious overtones. I don’t think the country will really face up to its issues until it has put this behind them. The first of the AA’s twelve steps is accepting that you are an alcoholic. The US hasn’t really got there yet.
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Re: Democrats are compulsive self mutilators

Post by Queequeg » Fri Oct 19, 2018 12:38 pm

PeterC wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:18 am

What would you think developing countries should emulate in the US model? Not the legal system - it’s the least efficient and highest cost version of common law around.
That's a vague assertion. Least efficient? Most expensive? What is your standard?
Not the banking system (almost the entire academic economic and financial community was in deep denial about this right up to 2008, many still are now).
Banks are more or less the same the world over... In fact they're often the same banks. Another vague assertion.

Not the political system.


What about it? This is another vague statement about a big complex thing. Fundamentally, we're talking about democracy. Checks and balances in government? Also a good idea. Execution? Well...

Not it’s constitutional law - it has some good soundbites but overall it’s a mess.
Vague.
Not the social safety net.


Specifics?
I’m quickly running out of topics.
Yes. Easy to just put together a list of greatest hits.

All you really seem to say is you don't like the US. There's no discussion in that.
Of course it has an agenda in these relationships - but then again, they say, so does the US and look at how that worked out for Latin America and the Middle East.
So everything wrong is the US's fault? Got it.
Chinese diplomacy today is clumsy. A few decades ago it was either nonexistent or inept. A decade or so from now it will be really skillful. I see no other potential outcome than the gradual displacement of the US - and this has been ongoing for some time now in multiple arenas.
We will see. There's a reason why everyone else in Asia fears China's rise. As neighbors they see what they are. It's a severe authoritarian state. We do not want their way of doing things spreading. Or maybe you do.
The most powerful dog whistle in US politics is “greatness” - it was appropriated by Trump but it has universal applicability.
True. This form of exceptionalism serves as a blinder for many Americans. We need to address this. It's difficult because of geography and sheer scale of the US gestalt.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Democrats are compulsive self mutilators

Post by PeterC » Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:23 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 12:38 pm
PeterC wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:18 am

What would you think developing countries should emulate in the US model? Not the legal system - it’s the least efficient and highest cost version of common law around.
That's a vague assertion. Least efficient? Most expensive? What is your standard?
Not the banking system (almost the entire academic economic and financial community was in deep denial about this right up to 2008, many still are now).
Banks are more or less the same the world over... In fact they're often the same banks. Another vague assertion.
Time doesn’t permit a point-by-point discussion on these but they are all very well-researched topics. On the legal system, compare cost of litigation, timelines and ability to frustrate access to civil suits by expensive discovery in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore - the major common law jurisdictions. The difference is stark.

Banks are not the same the world over. They differ with regard to regulatory capital requirements, nature and degree of oversight, market structure (number of licenses in issue and the stratification of licenses between different types of financial services, role of NBFIs, etc.) and so forth. But in essence bank regulation is a simple matter: you treat them like utilities. I remember in 1999 during the Asian financial crisis when every country in ASEAN’s banks were teetering on the edge of collapse - except for Singapore. This wasn’t because Singapore had cleverer or more honest bankers; it was because MAS made them hold 10% tier 1 and 2% tier 2 capital. You’d think the world would have learned from that experience. Yet in the US - and many other places - the degree of regulatory capture was so profound that banks were able to run enormous levels of leverage pre-2007, and then basically not meaningfully reduce them afterwards.

These are topics I know something about; I’m sharing an informed opinion. You’re free to dismiss it as vague or prejudiced, but really it’s not.

I don’t like or dislike any country any more than I like or dislike any abstracted entity. To do so would have no meaning. I just try to see things as they are, not as I might want them to be.

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Re: Democrats are compulsive self mutilators

Post by Nemo » Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:30 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:33 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:41 pm
I'm not particularly down on the ideals of full socialist economies...
I am. Give "Road to Serfdom" a good read. See if you can poke holes in Hayek's arguments. I don't think you can.
So you haven't read enough Hayek to know he was for free public healthcare, a basic income and radical free education where knowledge was completely accessible for everyone. But most of his economic theories turned out to be a bust. China and the business models of Walmart and Amazon refute them completely. As does all of Europe, Canada, Australia NZ, etc not turning into totalitarian states because they have government planning. Road to Serfdom was reactionary to the Commies of his day trying to do top down state capitalism and calling it communism. Even Hayek would admit it was his worst and most ideological work. Keynes is the one who economics proved was right.

Even the most right wing hacks like Francis Fukuyama are growing up. Time for the rest of America to follow.
https://www.newstatesman.com/culture/ob ... -come-back

Perhaps it needs to be in a rap video.
Last edited by Nemo on Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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kirtu
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Re: Democrats are compulsive self mutilators

Post by kirtu » Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:38 pm

PeterC wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:34 pm
Nemo wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 2:34 pm
You are reduced to competing reality TV stars for governing a country. Having worked in politics it takes years to fully understand a single ministry or department. You are truly lost. Idiocracy is becoming a documentary. Anyone for Terry Crews for President?
It’s not necessary for a president to fully understand any given part of government - indeed it would be completely impossible for them to understand the functioning of even half of the federal government.
No, William Jefferson Clinton, Barack Obama, and almost certainly George Herbert Walker Bush understand the functioning of government very deeply. Secretary Clinton is said to surpass her husband with her knowledge across the board. When I lived in DC I knew people who understood government very deeply (they were often but not always political operatives) and esp. people who really understood the agency they worked in.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

PeterC
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Re: Democrats are compulsive self mutilators

Post by PeterC » Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:47 pm

kirtu wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:38 pm
PeterC wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:34 pm
Nemo wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 2:34 pm
You are reduced to competing reality TV stars for governing a country. Having worked in politics it takes years to fully understand a single ministry or department. You are truly lost. Idiocracy is becoming a documentary. Anyone for Terry Crews for President?
It’s not necessary for a president to fully understand any given part of government - indeed it would be completely impossible for them to understand the functioning of even half of the federal government.
No, William Jefferson Clinton, Barack Obama, and almost certainly George Herbert Walker Bush understand the functioning of government very deeply. Secretary Clinton is said to surpass her husband with her knowledge across the board. When I lived in DC I knew people who understood government very deeply (they were often but not always political operatives) and esp. people who really understood the agency they worked in.

Kirt
The legislature, absolutely. The military George H definitely understood. But the breadth and complexity of the executive bureaucracy is such that I cannot believe a single person can really understand deeply more than a couple of agencies. As you say there are people who make a career of the inside-the-beltway kremlinology. But Obama was a freshman senator, a large part of WJC’s career was outside Washington, so they don’t really fit that profile.

But let’s suppose you could find someone with that background. Would they be a good choice? That question is a bit difficult given the range of other characteristics they may have. Perhaps: how much better would that make them at their jobs?

PeterC
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Re: Democrats are compulsive self mutilators

Post by PeterC » Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:01 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 12:38 pm
Chinese diplomacy today is clumsy. A few decades ago it was either nonexistent or inept. A decade or so from now it will be really skillful. I see no other potential outcome than the gradual displacement of the US - and this has been ongoing for some time now in multiple arenas.
We will see. There's a reason why everyone else in Asia fears China's rise. As neighbors they see what they are. It's a severe authoritarian state. We do not want their way of doing things spreading. Or maybe you do.
At this point you’re misrepresenting what I’m saying. It’s really not as black and white as you make it seem. Go to, say, Nigeria and talk to them about the risks of taking Chinese state investment. Talk to them about debt diplomacy and loss of control over critical assets. They’ll say: look, we have a power grid that goes down several times a day, we can’t get infrastructure built, and along comes a Chinese delegation saying they’ll build the whole package for a fraction of what it would cost if we did the contracting ourselves, and bundle that with the financing. I know there’s a catch, they’ll say, but what do you want us to do? I have a problem, they have a solution, and unlike the western ‘development’ community, I don’t get all the moralizing BS along with it. They treat me with a respect I never got from the Europeans/Americans.

Now you may have your views on China, but there are things they do very well that the US does very badly, most notably building stuff cheaply, and a lot of the world needs that. The western consensus model for development of emerging economies has been, since at least the 1990s, objectively wrong and a disaster for many of the countries on whom it was forced. (Jeffrey Sachs was convinced that Russia was doing the right thing and China was doomed to failure - amongst other idiocies.) China now offers an alternative. A lot of countries will embrace it.

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Nemo
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Re: Democrats are compulsive self mutilators

Post by Nemo » Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:48 pm

Chinese diplomacy comes out of trucks of money. $8 trillion earmarked for infrastructure projects across Asia, Europe and Africa. Gwadar Port Pakistan, 62 billion, 80% from China. Kyaukphyu, Rakhine State Myanmar 8 billion for oil and gas pipelines, a 5 million container a day port and a super highway to Kunming. This is everywhere in Asia. America can't even maintain it's own infrastructure. Big joke in Myanmar is the Irrawaddy bridge was built by China and some of the 9600 tonnes of steel was ripped out of American cities like Detroit to build it.

The BRI(belt road initiative) is like the Marshall Plan. It transforms geopolitics. America is a trading empire surrounded by a ring of steel, your military. With the completion of the Belt Road that supremacy is broken. You will no longer be the reserve currency and control global trade. This is very roughly 10 years away. Trump is of course accelerating this. Obama was trying to slow it down but failed. This is part of why you hate Russia, Myanmar and Duterte so much right now. They have chosen a side and they think American soft power is over.
https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diploma ... rte-turned

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