Merv's Politically Incorrect Audio Blog

Discussion in 'SBAF Blogs' started by purr1n, Dec 26, 2018.

  1. YMO

    YMO it's not drinking alone if you're on Zoom

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    If I was a Democrat, I would be worried if they do badly in 2022 Senate races. They have to keep their WV and MT senate seats in 2024, and at this point the Dems are out of power in WV and the GOP did a major sweep in MT as of late.
     
  2. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    yes! Psaki is amazing! She defies everything I just said about Democrats and Liberals and communication. She’s 100x better than the mumbling, slow doofus’s Obama had as press secretary’s. They were so terrible I wanted to cry every time I watched them miscommunicate ideas and squander opportunities and get walked over.

    It’s funny, Obama was elected because of his amazing communication skills and then failed as a president because he was so bad at communicating and didn’t understand the importance of it. That’s the job of the president. The president gets to frame all the issues. That’s a huge amount of power and Obama didn’t use it. He was a good guy though which did have a positive affect on the country.

    and Biden is doing a much better job than I thought he would. I think part of his success is being a very unthreatening old white man. It’s hard to brand him as an outsider or a radical. It was easy to do that to a young black man.

    but Biden also seems to understand the job better. During the campaign he created a brand that was pretty much just “compassion” which resonated with people after the sociopath of Trump. He did so much branding of himself as “compassionate” it has stuck with him as his main trait that is hard to contest.

    And now he is intelligently framing all the issues in terms of compassion.

    So it’s hard to refute. And he puts the GOP
    in the position of being uncompassionate if they go against him. They’re desperately trying to reframe it all as radical but I’m not sure how well it’s working. Especially with all the the lies about the election. But I don’t know. All those MAGA fans could just be in dormant mode. But I have a feeling Biden is resonating pretty well with the majority of Americans.
     
  3. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    Just wondering...

    I thought that, after the lost election, your Republicans would quietly but surely distance themselves from the orange man. Doesn't Trump need the party more than the party needs him? Isn't that true of any prospective leader of any party?

    And yet he seems to have an iron grip. Why? Highly embarrassing files on each of them is my best guess.

    No, I have not forgotten that he still won a lot of votes. But not enough, and the time to move on presented itself. They didn't. What will it take? a stronger strong man? A man with more embarrassing files?
     
  4. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    Not at all. But it never suited leaders to do it. Perhaps because it would affect the wealth of those leaders, or perhaps because they were intrinsically bad leaders (especially some of those who pretended to fly the flag of redistribution of wealth).

    Never done does not mean impossible. Unlikely, I guess I have to accept, on the evidence so far :(
     
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  5. wormcycle

    wormcycle Friend

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    You are right the gap is unbridgeable.
    So after you put to into this category 74 millions who voted for Trump how many genuine conservatives are left in your country? Three, four? No surprise you meet so few of them.

    Let's talk about super rich. Democratic party is serving at the pleasure of messieurs Bezos, Dorsey, Zuckerberg, Cook, Google CEO, few names on Wall Street. If Bezos, Dorsey, Zuckerberg, Cook, Google CEO decided in June last year that Trump should be the president, he would be the president. Or Sanders would be the president.
     
  6. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    This is right wing propaganda. These guys dont have much political power or influence. This is the “liberal elites” BS that people suddenly think exist because someone coined the term and then everyone repeated it constantly.

    I did say the Democrats bow down to corporate interests too. But nothing compared to the corporations and super rich who control the GOP.

    There’s only a handful of Democrats who do not follow the whims of corporate America. The rest of DC are puppets.
     
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  7. purr1n

    purr1n Building Magnis part time because it's peaceful.

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    There are many other super rich.

    Zuckerberg is cagey, but he's Trump. Same thing with Musk. I'm pretty sure Thiel (vulture capital - Facebook, Planatir), Eddie DeBartolo (ex-49ers owner who was pardoned), Ellison (Oracle), Dan Synder (Redskins - LOL), the Perlmutters (Marvel), Schwarzman (investments - Blackstone), Dimon (banking - JP Morgan) and every rich person in oil and energy wanted Trump to be President. Also keep in mind that old guard industries tend to be savvier than tech when it comes to lobbying.

    The only reason Trump is not president is because he did it to himself. He made himself so offensive, so vile that even people who liked his policies or disliked Biden's could no longer stand behind him. Trump lost to himself - by managing to flip 1 in 20 voters to Biden, less than that even.

    Super rich don't pick sides. They hedge their bets. They give to both sides. Both parties serve the super rich, that is until enough of the general public get hold of something that doesn't sound right. Then Congress has but no choice to listen to the people, e.g. "Umm, sorry Zuckerberg, I really appreciate the super PAC money, but my hands are tied on this one. My constituents will kill me if I don't let the antitrust investigation proceed". Rich people have money, not necessarily power. While money can be converted to power, it doesn't always work in a democracy. Even power can be fleeting in a democracy.

    The notion that the tech lords form some sort of an illuminati who picks the POTUS to control policy is utter nonsense. If this were true, then we'd all be still using Internet Explorer, Bing would be a top search engine, Google wouldn't have to abide by DMCA, and Android wouldn't exist (either that or Apple wouldn't exist). The old guard (finance and energy) still have more influence. Heck, the old guard (film) movie industry was smart enough to hire an ex-Senator to stave off the inevitable (streaming) for a decade - while Zuckerberg got caught with his pants down in Congress.

    Tech actually sucks at lobbying.
     
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    Last edited: May 23, 2021
  8. purr1n

    purr1n Building Magnis part time because it's peaceful.

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    Things I'd love to hear more in this thread if you want to talk politics:
    • How government policy has affected you personally. Personal stories.
    • Insights into policy making, policy decisions, and metrics. Looking for subject matter expertise. Insider stories.
    • Ways to stay alive or precautions to take, during protests, while being arrested, etc. Any firsthand experience. Any stories.
    • Involvement in civics, participation in school boards, local measures, torching city hall, helping to rebuild, etc. What you did to make a difference in your little corner of the world. How did you do it?
    • How laws and edicts have affected your place of work, your livelihood, your company, your family.
    Otherwise politics is boring. Left, right, up, and down. It's all the same to me. Everyone's got an opinion. This thread was never meant to be about pure politics.
     
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    Last edited: May 26, 2021
  9. crenca

    crenca Friend

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    I am looking for the equivalent of RealMPG of inflation indexes. Do you folks know of any good alternatives to government CPI/RPI?

    Also I know @purr1n upstream was fairly confident that we are not in another housing bubble, but when I see:

    [​IMG]

    I wonder, even given the confounding factors of pandemic, etc.
     
  10. dasman66

    dasman66 Self proclaimed lazy ass - friend

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    I find housing bubbles maddening, because they are so location dependent...

    In our area of PA, we've never seen a housing "bubble"... hell, we're lucky if housing prices have kept up with the CPI. But we still take a hit every time the bubble "bursts". To a certain extent, we are somewhat trapped here by our low housing prices... we've never had the appreciation that would allow us to purchase a comparable home in most other locations.
     
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  11. YMO

    YMO it's not drinking alone if you're on Zoom

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    If it wasn't for the fact that the jobs are in the major metros for my line of work, I would love to live in smaller ruralish parts of PA that isn't too far away from like a smaller city/town or something like that.

    I agree it is location dependent. Even if housing prices cools off a bit in the future, FL housing prices will continue to go up and up to the point that the prices for a house + property taxes are getting too similar to parts up in the Northeast. I'm like nope I don't wanna buy in FL, lol.
     
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  12. purr1n

    purr1n Building Magnis part time because it's peaceful.

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    Look up money supply. M1, M2, M3, MZM, and M4 (UK). Can find lots of interesting reading.

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MABMM301USM189S
    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MZM
     
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  13. haywood

    haywood Friend

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    Actually this is turning out to be one of the most interesting times (in the old proverb kind of way) to be alive in a very long time when it comes to politics.

    Coincidentally it all starts with the school boards. If people sleep on what’s happening (like Republicans did for the last few decades while they pandered to fat cats) then another generation of kids is going to be indoctrinated into a very un-American ideology that starts off with race essentialism and goes downhill from there. When the Senate votes on party lines to defeat an amendment to remove funding from universities that discriminate against Asian American students because they do too well in school then you know the country is headed in a very dark direction.
     
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  14. HHS

    HHS Acquaintance

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    It's already illegal to discriminate against Asian-Americans in college applications. It may be happening, but if it is it's an enforcement problem, not a problem with current laws in that area being lacking, so both Cruz's amendment and the vote along party lines were more about politics and talking points than about real action.

    On another note, I think people on both sides are too quick to label the actions of the other un-American or against America. If there is to be any compromise there needs to be acknowledgment that both sides are for America but just have different prescriptions for the path forward. There's a difference between political adversaries and domestic enemies that seems to increasingly be lost in politics right now.

    And really in American politics at least the two parties aren't far enough apart that either being in power really tips the overall direction of the country disastrously in either direction. I mean in all the panic about Obama and then about Trump how much has really changed for the average person?
     
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  15. crenca

    crenca Friend

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    This is right, in that local cultural is where it all begins and ends. In my local small New Mexican city most of the populous votes Democratic, but they are regular Sunday family oriented going Catholics of a "conservative" Hispanic heritage for the most part. Yet, the local leadership on the school board and city/county boards are closer to the Saul Alinsky wing. How? Because those who are attracted to local Democratic party machine are motivated by their beliefs/agenda, and the rest just sort of let it happen. They just last week adopted CRT as policy/pedagogy, but were of course careful to change some of the language and deny (deny deny) that it is in fact CRT with the aid of local media.

    Last summer when there was a sudden increased interest in Catholic education at the private Catholic school I send my daughters to (just kidding! Secular folks were trying to get their kids educated after the closure of the government schools), I brought up the issue of the influence of non-Catholic parents/kids, culture, and outside agenda's to our school board. Only the principal had actually thought of it as a possible issue. Folks are mostly unaware of how fragile local culture and circumstances can be.

    Well stated.
     
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    Last edited: May 28, 2021
  16. haywood

    haywood Friend

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    It contravenes the 1964 Civil Rights Act but that only works if laws are enforced and as of now the DOJ is siding against the students who are being impacted because they’re the wrong kind of minority.

    People are definitely too quick to see disagreement with anything outside their bubble as the trigger to us vs. them thinking but like the saying goes just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re aren’t after you.

    I agree about Obama and Trump (and Clinton and Bush, etc.) but Biden and the DSA wing of the Democratic Party are ushering in a much more radical agenda.
     
  17. purr1n

    purr1n Building Magnis part time because it's peaceful.

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    Reopening this thread for the purposes of technical analysis as I find these kinds of discussion much more interesting than culture wars because everyone has a butthole. I earlier mentioned looking at overall money supply, not just CPI, with respect to inflation. Here is a CPI from FRED (I think we all know what CPII is - up to June of this year from 2019). We can see the drop when the Wuhan pneumonia hit and the acceleration of price increases since the beginning of the year (check your gas per gallon at the pump).

    upload_2021-7-23_21-58-58.png

    The US government used to keep track of M3, which is basically M2 + large time deposits and money market funds. These "M"s are measures of money supply. See table below from Wikipedia. In 2006, (I was in banking then), I remember a big discussion on NPR (yes, that's left-leaning NPR, so I don't wan't to hear that this is right-wing reactionary conspiracy stuff from me) about the US central bank no longer keeping track of M3. There was a strong argument that no longer keeping track of M3 and instead relying on M2 was scammy because it was an artificial way to present the overall money supply as being lower than it really was, and thus inflation.

    upload_2021-7-23_22-5-18.png

    It's a very good question on how we define "money supply". We don't need to go deep into this because it's another discussion. It does get political.

    Anyway, should we be worried about inflation? Look at just M2 alone, I'd say yes. Note the money dumped into the economy during the first several months of SARSv2. Not only that, but thereafter where the money supply has been increasing at a faster rate (steeper slope) than four years before when SARSv2 hit.

    upload_2021-7-23_22-25-2.png

    We'll see what happens. The one crystal ball I know that works is price of gas at the pump - at least in my lifetime. This time around, when it hits $5.50 per gallon in CA, that's when businesses should re-assess expansion plans or even consider contraction as a defensive measure.

    Lots of money being thrown out there. I can't say that I'm upset because as the parent of two children, I am eligible for the new universal income plan from USA. I won't turn away free money from the gov't. However, I've been around long enough to know that there's no such thing as free lunch and gov't playing Sim Society even with the best of intentions doesn't always fare well.

    So @crenca: Yes I am scared. Something doesn't feel right in my gut. The Force is not clear, but something ain't right. I hope to God that I will not come back a year or two from now and say: called it. I hope I am wrong.

    P.S. One silver lining: The USA is now or can be a net energy (oil and refined products) exporter. If shit start to hit the fan, and we can frack like there's no tomorrow, we may be OK. Energy is everything. Wind and solar are here to stay. If we can keep the spice, I mean oil flowing, then we will be OK.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 23, 2021
  18. Pancakes

    Pancakes Almost "Made"

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    The one thing I don't understand about the current inflation is that (to my uneducated in monetary theory head), inflation is a problem when you devalue your currency in respect to others. European and other countries printed as well. So *if* it's all relative, does it matter?
     
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  19. Beefy

    Beefy Almost "Made"

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    At a national/global level, maybe not. I'm sure there are global geopolitics involved that I don't understand or care about, to create winners and losers. But my concern, is what about the little guy? An already vulnerable individual whose income is not increasing with inflation? Those whose rents go up, their food goes up, their transport goes up.... Absolutely it matters to them. People on minimum wage, or fixed incomes that don't see the benefits of inflation, are surely boned.

    It's quite funny really. In the US in particular there is such a vitriolic opposition to raising minimum wages because it will supposedly cause rampant inflation. But when overall fiscal policy is deliberately inflationary, it's universally seen as the lesser evil. I guess it all depends on the perspective of who is deemed worthy of receiving stimulus spending.
     
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  20. purr1n

    purr1n Building Magnis part time because it's peaceful.

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    Inflation isn't necessarily currency devaluation. Inflation is inflation (look it up). A result of inflation could be currency devaluation. The EU (Germany) hates it when the USA has a loose monetary policy, i.e. quantitative easing (prints money out of thin air) because it makes dollars worth less, hence less Volkwagons and BMWs for us.

    Now with respect to printing money and deficits, it's not relative, not equal. Since the 2008, the USA has gone bonkers with respect to Debt/GDP ratio. It may be worse after the end of this year. USA is 107% (latest data from FRED for Q1 2021 says it's much higher than this at 128%). For comparison UK is 81%, Germany is 60%, France is 98%. EU monetary policy is largely dominated by Germany because they have all the big banks and strong manufacturing base. And Germany had insisted for the longest time for "austerity", which pissed off the Greeks but in the end saved them. All the while keeping deficits relatively low in much of the EU.

    upload_2021-7-24_10-22-40.png

    Yes, we are bigger spenders than so-called "socialist" countries. Way way bigger spenders because not too long ago just before 2008, we were at 60% Debt/GDP! Think about that: in half a generation we exploded our debt to go way beyond the EU. Here is the same graph, but going back to 2000.

    upload_2021-7-24_10-36-30.png

    Finally, even if it were relative, inflation is not fun for older people on fixed incomes. It's also not fun for people who own the government debt. People do not realize that it's the citizens, the people, who "own" the public debt.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 24, 2021

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