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-   -   Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan) (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?t=6954)

Florian 08-09-2011 05:43 PM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jimM47 (Post 220924)
First, the speech that has most mattered in the debt-ceiling debate was pressure by large groups of organized and energetic Americans. That organization process received aid from some donors organized under the corporate form, but this type of corporate speech directed toward protests, organizing and issue advocacy was given Constitutional protection largely by Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976) and cases that followed shortly thereafter. It has been legal for decades..

Second, the speech that was triggered by Citizens United v. FEC, 130 S. Ct. 876 (2010), was in large part spending by unions, large corporate interests, and chambers of commerce, all of whom were quite unhappy about the stance the Republican party took on the debt ceiling..

Third, given the composition of the electorate, the ideas that have traditionally been part of the Republican party, and the stances that President Obama took, there is no need for an extrinsic explanation for why the Republicans, as opposition party, have taken the stances they have.

Finally, I think the statement provokes strong reactions because what it is implicitly trying to do is deny or delegitimize the existence of a large number of people with whom the speaker disagrees, and to instead attribute their actions to external control or conspiracy. And because of the lack of good fit, factually, it can come across as gratuitous and casually, unthinkingly contemptuous toward the people being talked about.

OK, thanks for the legal clarifications.

I will take your word for it that there are "large numbers of organized and energetic Americans" upset about the deficit who thought that the best way to address the problem was to refuse to raise the debt ceiling and increase revenues by imposing higher taxes on the wealthiest Americans. IMO, they were/are mistaken: Congress has no right to renege on the sovereign debt of the United States, and Congress has an obligation to impose higher taxes on the wealthiest Americans to pay for its past extravagances. But I agree that energetic Americans have every right to pressure congress to do nothing at all and congress has every right to do nothing.

Am I "contemptuous" of traditional, fiscally conservative Republicans when I consider them victims of propaganda by glibertarians? Somewhat. But not "unthinkingly."

badhatharry 08-09-2011 05:47 PM

Re: Your're still the one!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 220928)
Hard to charge them. After all, their power is the product of the federal government. They have such large levels of credibility because the Feds MANDATE that they be used.

So "Bozo's on this bus" is the best answer, IMO.

So glad you like it. bozos on this bus, that is. It is the name of an album by Firesign Theatre (very funny guys). I used to use it around here in a good hearted attempt to express that everyone has their point of view and we're all fallible. You know that quaint 'live and let live' stuff.

Now graz likes to hit me over the head with it every time he can. I think he just doesn't get me for some reason.

PS. were you talking about the ratings agencies? I got so carried away!

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi..._itwajbotb.jpg

eclectric 08-09-2011 05:55 PM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Mark is perfect example of why we have fiscal problems. His solution to the current economic situation is "send professors more grant money." That's what most special interest groups think is the solution, send us more money.
Also, it is not true that the U.S. cannot default because the government can always print more money. This presumes that the U.S. Treasury can force the Fed to print money. As currently structured, the Federal Reserve is independent and cannot be forced to print more money by Congresss. Congress could take away this independence, of course, but such a radical change could easily be stopped by 40 Senators, and probably would be resisted.

jimM47 08-09-2011 06:51 PM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 220931)
Somewhat. But not "unthinkingly."

And that's why I engage with you.

stephanie 08-09-2011 07:33 PM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Setting aside our likely difference on what the Tea Party is:

Quote:

Originally Posted by jimM47 (Post 220924)
Second, the speech that was triggered by Citizens United v. FEC, 130 S. Ct. 876 (2010), was in large part spending by unions, large corporate interests, and chambers of commerce, all of whom were quite unhappy about the stance the Republican party took on the debt ceiling.

This was my initial reaction to the comment, and why I disagreed with the Citizens United comment when listening. I certainly don't think the corporate interests that people usually think of as being strengthened by CU were interested in what the Bachmann wing of the party was trying to sell (i.e., default, debt ceiling, who cares). They were nervous.

However, as a broader claim, that the focus on the debt (and cuts in entitlements) and not jobs, plus the absolute refusal to raise taxes, was related to the increased influence of corporate interests, it's somewhat more plausible. Still not my view, to be honest, but low unemployment increases wages and is in theory against corporate interests. High unemployment does the opposite. To get to the entitlement spending, I think you'd have to focus on individual highly motivated types, so there I'd want to see some pattern of investment. This is where Florian is going with it, I think.

The bigger problem with the argument, IMO, aside from being more cynical than I usually am and not fitting the normal pattern of large corporate involvement in campaigns, is that there hasn't been a really active Dem offensive on jobs specifically (as opposed to the overly vague stimulus/infrastructure approach) that we can say was squashed by the Republicans with help from excited donors or some such.

Quote:

Third, given the composition of the electorate, the ideas that have traditionally been part of the Republican party, and the stances that President Obama took, there is no need for an extrinsic explanation for why the Republicans, as opposition party, have taken the stances they have.
I agree with this. I also think there's no way they would have if a Republican had been in office (McCain or Romney or Bush, say -- not promising anything for a Bachmann). I think we wouldn't be pushing cutting now at all, and I'm not assuming the debt or deficit would be any different.

chiwhisoxx 08-09-2011 08:09 PM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 220900)
Could you, or your mentor Conn, tell us why the underlined statement of Peter Cohan is so preposterous---one of the "stupidest things ever said on bhtv"?

Do you know for a fact that the relentless cries of alarm about the deficit and the equally relentless propaganda against raising taxes on the rich* have not been sponsored by money from corporate glibertarians with deep pockets? And if that is so, what is so preposterous about saying that the public debate has been deflected from the problem of job creation?

*By "rich" I mean the 400 billionaires who have more assets than 150 million Americans, i.e. half the population.

brief lesson in how arguments work: the burden of proof lies with the prosecution. it's not my job to prove something doesn't exist. sorry, try again.

chiwhisoxx 08-09-2011 08:13 PM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Don Zeko (Post 220909)
Are you aware of what the Citizen's United ruling entailed? Fewer barriers to corporate money in politics will lead to better-funded recipients of corporate money. This isn't hard. Heck, I don't even agree with Cohan's point on this. Washington's obsession with deficit reduction predates the decision and is too dramatic for an incremental increase in corporate campaign spending to have created, but it's hardly the know-nothing partisan drivel that Conn and Chiwi are making it out to be.

the part about me saying it's partisan isn't my point at all, and I don't think it's conn's point either, although I won't speak for him. but there was a pretty harsh reaction to citizen's united on some parts of the left, and that reaction seems to manifest itself in blaming citizens united for things it hardly has anything to do with. anyone who follows politics knows the idea that obsession with deficit reduction did not suddenly spring out of the ground 2 years ago. doesn't the existence of pete peterson disprove that notion entirely? the focus on balanced budgets in the clinton years? the criticisms of bush for overspending and blowing up the deficit? and not to mention, the idea that citizens united is actively contributing to a large portion of our debt seems like an empirically false assertion.

badhatharry 08-09-2011 08:30 PM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by chiwhisoxx (Post 220943)
the idea that citizens united is actively contributing to a large portion of our debt seems like an empirically false assertion.

This is like playing telephone. Here's what Conn said.

I stopped when Cohan said Citizens United was to blame for Washington's focus on debt instead of jobs. Stupidest thing ever said on bloggingheads.


Now it's contributing to a large portion of the debt. Jeff outta get in on this one. :)

PS and speaking of moneyed interests, for anyone interested in live Wisconsin recall results...

sugarkang 08-09-2011 08:39 PM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 220925)
You are misframing the problem. Taxing the super-rich at a higher marginal rate would not be a "gift" to the poor--- unless you think that the poor are the only beneficiaries of federal largesse! It would be a contribution to the reduction of the deficit, which, everyone seems to agree, has gotten out of hand. Tech nerds with brilliant ideas will always be able to find access to capital.

That's why it's a hypothetical. And that's why in real life, I support tax increases. So, answer the question. Say all the people in the hypo didn't have money, but all their faculties are intact. You've got $4 billion. Do you give it to 4 nerds or 1,000,000 needy?

miceelf 08-09-2011 08:59 PM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 220919)
Give $1 billion to each of our tech nerds or give $1,000 to each of our poor americans. What would you do? I'd clearly give the money to the nerds since they advance human progress. I can see a lot of people being on the fence. But if you're absolutely sure you'd want to give all the money to the poor, I'd like a detailed reason.

You're cherry picking your billionaires. I could come up with other billionaires where the only employment generated would be hookers and crack dealers.

miceelf 08-09-2011 09:00 PM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by chiwhisoxx (Post 220942)
brief lesson in how arguments work: the burden of proof lies with the prosecution. it's not my job to prove something doesn't exist. sorry, try again.

Isn't Conn the prosecution?

sugarkang 08-09-2011 09:23 PM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 220952)
You're cherry picking your billionaires. I could come up with other billionaires where the only employment generated would be hookers and crack dealers.

Oh, I'm absolutely cherry picking. I'd imagine that someone like eeeeeeeli or Wonderment would give the money to the poor. I'm just wondering where people's lines are.

My argument is actually much smaller. I'm taking it that you see it more my way, under ideal circumstances? At least you see that some people are truly exceptional and they make all of our lives better off, right? Then follow me a little longer.

Here's the way I look at it. If you're a crappy money manager and you're profligate, all your money will be gone in time. Ted Williams? Basically, if people have money and keep money, generally speaking, it's because they are providing something that the market wants.

Sometimes, that results in rich people like Paris Hilton and Sarah Palin. But these are also cherry picked extremes. Even so, when one dislikes someone for having a bunch of money, they are severely discounting how much other people want the goods and services they provide. I believe J. Lo has made most of her money by selling perfume.

All I'm really saying is that people can cherry pick all they want. The truth is in between, but I think it's way more on my side than the left generally thinks. It's just resentment, to which I think the solution is more intra-company socialism. I wish the government would simplify regulations to make this easier. The class warfare ends when you tie the fates of rich and poor together. Nobody says anything like this.

whburgess 08-09-2011 09:32 PM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 220918)
No, the guy originally accused me of plagiarism.



I already cede that. The issue is when I posted: Today, 05:04 AM

I shouldn't be reading the paper that late (It was 2 am here) and posting. I thought it was a shocking paragraph, of course it was shocking if you think it was said by S&P.

You made a simple mistake. It's a non issue. Why bother responding anymore to those who want to make it an issue?

brucds 08-09-2011 10:01 PM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Tara Davis: "If the S&P did not downgrade the debt, would Mark be on Bloggingheads calling for the S&P to be "regulated out of existance"? The DNC talking points reek of 'working the ref.'"


FWIW which obviously isn't much with some of the Righties here, that wasn't Kleiman but the guy from left-wing rag Forbes who made that assertion. Mark agreed, but the notion that this is a "DNC talking point" is utter bullshit. Look in the fucking mirror if you're concerned about crap partisan "talking points."

brucds 08-09-2011 10:11 PM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
"At least you see that some people are truly exceptional and they make all of our lives better off, right? ... I believe J. Lo has made most of her money by selling perfume."

Wooopdedooo! A "job creator." Again, FWIW, perfume and fashion giant Coty licenses J-Lo's name, as they do the names of Baby Phat, Balenciaga, Calvin Klein, Cerruti, Davidoff, Gwen Stefani,Kenneth Cole, Sarah Jessica Parker, Shania Twain, Halle Berry, Isabella Rosselini, "Desperate Housewives", Celine Dion, Kate Moss, Vera Wang and Vivienne Westwood.

This "thinking" is just sad...

badhatharry 08-09-2011 10:21 PM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jimM47 (Post 220938)
And that's why I engage with you.

hearts and minds, Jim. Go get 'em.

whburgess 08-09-2011 10:21 PM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Don Zeko (Post 220890)
Let me propose a counterfactual. Let's say that in 2006 Congressional Democrats, rather than simply casting protest votes against it as they actually did, had refused to raise the debt ceiling unless Bush immediately withdrew all forces from Iraq and Afghanistan and shuttered Guantanamo, arguing that further deficit spending only encourages more ill-advised foreign military adventures. Let's further suppose that Bush actually offered them a deal in which he set out a 12-month timetable for withdrawal from both conflicts, but in exchange demanded modest cuts to domestic spending. For the purposes of the thought experiment, let's say he wanted a 20% cut to food stamps. Would the Democrats have been irresponsibly abusing the process to make such demands? Would they have been even more irresponsible to have turned down Bush's deal?

I think what you're describing would be more analogous if the racist, insane, terrorist tea party people had insisted that Obamacare be repealed before they raised the debt ceiling. As it was, they were asking for something directly related to raising the debt ceiling, and that was spending cuts.

Or maybe your analogy could be revised a bit. Maybe if, when a bill to fund further war efforts had come up, if the Dems had refused to further fund the war unless Bush set a 12 month timetable. That thought experiment is much more analagous. Whether or not this is irresponsible is up to one's politics I suppose. I do wonder if, in our hypothetical, the MSM would be having segments discussing whether or not Dem's were 'holding America Hostage" . I don't think so.

sugarkang 08-09-2011 10:43 PM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by brucds (Post 220963)
"At least you see that some people are truly exceptional and they make all of our lives better off, right? ... I believe J. Lo has made most of her money by selling perfume."

Wooopdedooo! A "job creator." Again, FWIW, perfume and fashion giant Coty licenses J-Lo's name, as they do the names of Baby Phat, Balenciaga, Calvin Klein, Cerruti, Davidoff, Gwen Stefani,Kenneth Cole, Sarah Jessica Parker, Shania Twain, Halle Berry, Isabella Rosselini, "Desperate Housewives", Celine Dion, Kate Moss, Vera Wang and Vivienne Westwood.

This "thinking" is just sad...

So, instead we should just manufacture a bunch of things that people don't want? The fact that these goods are popular is a reflection of the superficiality of man. This is what people really want and not what they purport to want. In their minds, they are all benevolent altruists. This may be true. But in real life, they are also narcissistic and concerned with preserving their own welfare.

sugarkang 08-09-2011 10:47 PM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jimM47 (Post 220938)
And that's why I engage with you.

Yeah, but wait till he hits you with the "someone of your intelligence" remark!

TwinSwords 08-09-2011 10:53 PM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 220948)
That's why it's a hypothetical. And that's why in real life, I support tax increases. So, answer the question. Say all the people in the hypo didn't have money, but all their faculties are intact. You've got $4 billion. Do you give it to 4 nerds or 1,000,000 needy?

Let's try a different hypo:

You have millions of people who will be homeless without Social Security, and who will die of untreated medical conditions without Medicare.

Your choices are to (1) maintain a social safety net (which costs money), or (2) let them die in the streets or die of untreated illness.

Is it better to keep taxes low for people who already have lavish wealth and an historically unprecedented share of both national wealth and national income, or to establish that we are a first world nation that doesn't let its indigent die in the streets or die of untreated medical conditions?

Previously you suggested that if people don't save for their own retirement and medical care, too bad, you "don't care," which I assume means you think it's okay to let them die of poverty, homelessness, and untreated disease. But maybe you didn't mean what you seem to be clearly saying in that post.

Note: Whatever you believe, we know what Paul Ryan and the typical libertarian wingnut believes. The Ryan Plan is explicitly designed to lower health care costs (or at least reduce the growth in those costs) by massively reducing demand for health care by denying treatment to tens of millions of people. That is, it's a plan to exterminate a large portion of the elderly and disabled populations so that rich people can get another tax cut (there is another tax cut for the rich in the Ryan Plan).

badhatharry 08-09-2011 10:53 PM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 220969)
Yeah, but wait till he hits you with the "someone of your intelligence" remark!

gee, he never said that to me.

badhatharry 08-09-2011 11:01 PM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 220970)
Your choices are to (1) maintain a social safety net (which costs money), or (2) let them die in the streets or die of untreated illness.

That costs money, too. What to do?

sugarkang 08-09-2011 11:03 PM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 220970)
Let's try a different hypo:

Yes, I just hate poor people. It really is that simple! Damn the poor. How do we increase their suffering so that I can be happier about it? If only there were a better way!

TwinSwords 08-09-2011 11:05 PM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 220856)
You need to rename your group to Gang of Selective Reading.

What the hell are you talking about, my "gang?"

It's funny that you accuse me of selective reading when it was my reading of the text that was more expansive and accurate than your own. You focused on the Fox News/Rush Limbaugh portion of the text -- the part about cutting entitlements. You ignored the rest of what the S&P report said -- the part about raising revenues, and the part about Republicans' disruptive and dangerous political gamesmanship.


Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 220856)
Original S&P Report. I wish everyone else would stop linking to opinion garbage.

LOL. Why are you linking to that report again like I hadn't seen it? That's the very same report I was quoting in the previous post. You know, the post you dodged, about the report you mischaracterized. (Or lied about.)


Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 220856)
I wish everyone else would stop linking to opinion garbage.

What the hell are you talking about? I was quoting the S&P report that you furnished the link to.

And then you quote the report again:

Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 220856)
Quote:

We lowered our long-term rating on the U.S. because we believe that the prolonged controversy over raising the statutory debt ceiling and the related fiscal policy debate indicate that further near-term progress containing the growth in public spending, especially on entitlements, or on reaching an agreement on raising revenues is less likely than we previously assumed and will remain a contentious and fitful process. We also believe that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the Administration agreed to this week falls short of the amount that we believe is necessary to stabilize the general government debt burden by the middle of the decade.

That is the exact same passage I quoted a portion of in my post.

Are you ready to explain now why you keep misrepresenting the S&P report? Why you keep claiming that it said the rating reduction was due to "not enough cuts," when in fact they also cited the failure to increase revenue?

Parallax 08-09-2011 11:15 PM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 220847)
When one of two parties announces that it is willing to see the US default on its debt, who exactly should bear the blame for the S&P downgrade?

It is irrational, or at least unprecedented, for the United States to renege on its debt obligations, i.e. on legal obligations incurred by previous Congresses. I find it difficult to believe that so many Congressmen--so many lawyers, so many intelligent men and women---are unaware of this fact. So I think Mark Kleinman must be right: Only the Tea Party, Koch kooks, and glibertarians can be held responsible for the downgrade. Otherwise, I will have to believe, as I am tempted often to do, that the United States is governed by morons.

US did not renege on its debt obligations and this is not an accurate description of what happened at all. Here is a bit of history:

1. Back in 2006 Obama and Reid voted against the debt limit increase. Here is a video of Reid's speech.

2. As late as April 2011 Obama administration was asking for a clean debt limit increase with no deficit reduction.

3. Congress passed legislation to increase debt limit twice, only to be tabled by the Democratic Senate.

4. Obama threatened to veto any deal that did not have revenue increases.

5. A week prior to Aug. 2nd deadline Obama and Boehner were close to a deal but after gang of six released their document Obama changed his demands (believing that gang of six proposal would him additional political cover).

Personally I don't care for the S&P downgrade and neither does the market (10-Yr US treasury now yields 2.28%) but when it comes to debt limit crisis you can't just blame tea partiers.

TwinSwords 08-09-2011 11:19 PM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 220975)
Yes, I just hate poor people. It really is that simple! Damn the poor. How do we increase their suffering so that I can be happier about it? If only there were a better way!

I'm not surprised you don't want to answer the question, although you're on the record already as having suggested that people are "on their own" after age 18, no matter what their need.

I didn't say you "hate poor people." I just pointed out that you previously suggested that there should be no government programs to help people past age 18, which includes all of the elderly without the means to support themselves or pay for their own medical care. A significant fraction of those over 65 have no income besides Social Security, a population that would become homeless overnight if your libertarian plan was put into effect. Another huge portion of the elderly and disabled have no means to provide for their own medical care. The Ryan Plan, or the even more draconian Sugar King plan, would cause tens of millions of people to die years -- decades, in many cases -- earlier than they will under our current system.

You don't have to hate poor people to support these policies. You just have to be a libertarian. And completely inhumane.

TwinSwords 08-09-2011 11:24 PM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 220974)
That costs money, too. What to do?

What about you, badhat? Let's start with the Sugar King's hypothetical -- is money better spent on the rich or on the poor -- but let's apply it to the real world, instead of his absurd $4 billion fantasy.

Specifically, should we cut taxes for the rich and pay for it by eliminating Social Security and Medicare, knowing that this will cause massive human suffering and death on a monumental scale? Or should we maintain or increase taxes on the richest people in the history of the human race so that we can maintain a system that allow millions of elderly to live in modest comfort and millions of elderly and disabled to receive basic medical care?

TwinSwords 08-09-2011 11:34 PM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 220865)
You know that I'm a barometer for Obama's re-election, right?

Uh, LOL. I guess I don't believe that an ultraconservative extremist, a libertarian market fundamentalist who favors the abolition of the entire social safety net for people over age 18, is a barometer for Obama's reelection.

What I wonder is whether you're just bullshitting and think people are really going to believe you, or if you really believe it yourself. And I don't know which would be more amazing.

sugarkang 08-09-2011 11:43 PM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 220981)
Uh, LOL. I guess I don't believe that an ultraconservative extremist, a libertarian market fundamentalist who favors the abolition of the entire social safety net for people over age 18, is a barometer for Obama's reelection.

What I wonder is whether you're just bullshitting and think people are really going to believe you, or if you really believe it yourself. And I don't know which would be more amazing.

I'm an ultraconservative extremist, libertarian fundie that wants to vote for Obama. If you want to be the last angry man on earth, okay.

miceelf 08-09-2011 11:56 PM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 220956)
Oh, I'm absolutely cherry picking. I'd imagine that someone like eeeeeeeli or Wonderment would give the money to the poor. I'm just wondering where people's lines are.

My argument is actually much smaller. I'm taking it that you see it more my way, under ideal circumstances? At least you see that some people are truly exceptional and they make all of our lives better off, right? Then follow me a little longer.

I guess. But there are two primary things I have trouble accepting: 1) the notion that the truly example Overmen wouldn't get money anyway, whether we gave it to them or not, and 2) that within the million poor people there aren't any potential Gates' or Zuckerberg (or for that matter, only one).

sugarkang 08-10-2011 12:11 AM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 220989)
I guess. But there are two primary things I have trouble accepting: 1) the notion that the truly example Overmen wouldn't get money anyway, whether we gave it to them or not, and 2) that within the million poor people there aren't any potential Gates' or Zuckerberg (or for that matter, only one).

See, I think we're on the same page. You're probably a bit more egalitarian than I am, but whatever, it's close enough. Now, is this really about poor people? Or is this about the Americans between 20-80%? I think it's about the middle in this election cycle, don't you?

It appears Salon.com cares more about Oxford commas than they do about labor unions. I think you guys need to admit that you're the new elite, bluebloods of this country. Republicans need to admit that the poor aren't out of work because they're lazy.

All I'm saying is that the only way to save capitalism is if most people feel like it works for them. Shouting about greed isn't really doing much, right? What do you think about raising taxes on the rich and get even more progressive? I'm for that. Once that fails to generate enough revenue (but we should still do it anyway), do you think Democrats would be willing to cut for the long term? Honestly, you have to admit. Dems don't have a long term plan. Republicans do. I think this is going to hurt you one year from now.

Regarding the Overmen, you're saying that they'll make it in life without help? Or am I misreading? But, did you know that Pandora (music co.) almost went out of business due to our shittastic legal, regulatory system? A great company like that, such an obvious shining example of innovation, almost didn't make it in the system. Don't you wonder how many regulations are stifling business?

As an aside, if you see the Tim Fernholz diavlog, crony capitalism is also alive and well in the Democratic Party.

miceelf 08-10-2011 06:25 AM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 220992)
Now, is this really about poor people? Or is this about the Americans between 20-80%? I think it's about the middle in this election cycle, don't you?

Depends on who you ask. For me, it's for the bottom 80% period. I know that for some it's the 20-80, as you say.


Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 220992)
It appears Salon.com cares more about Oxford commas than they do about labor unions. I think you guys need to admit that you're the new elite, bluebloods of this country.

I am not at all sure what you mean bgy "you guys." I can't remember the last time I read Salon, and I certainly have no editorial control over them.

Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 220992)
All I'm saying is that the only way to save capitalism is if most people feel like it works for them. Shouting about greed isn't really doing much, right? What do you think about raising taxes on the rich and get even more progressive? I'm for that. Once that fails to generate enough revenue (but we should still do it anyway), do you think Democrats would be willing to cut for the long term? Honestly, you have to admit. Dems don't have a long term plan. Republicans do. I think this is going to hurt you one year from now.

I don't think it's accurate that the GOP has a plan. They have a firm commitment to a course of action, but it's got nothing to do with the stated problem. Their plan won't reduce the deficit, so it's not a plan to reduce the deficit. It's simply an unwillingness to cut taxes ever, under any circumstances. It's like saying my plan for becoming a millionaire is to get season tickets to the Sox.

sugarkang 08-10-2011 07:29 AM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
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Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 221036)
Depends on who you ask. For me, it's for the bottom 80% period. I know that for some it's the 20-80, as you say.

Close enough that we're agreed.

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I am not at all sure what you mean bgy "you guys." I can't remember the last time I read Salon, and I certainly have no editorial control over them.
I mean does the working class party really care what grammarians think? Just saying that Sarah Palin's description of "elites" is probably more accurate than working class party, no?

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I don't think it's accurate that the GOP has a plan. They have a firm commitment to a course of action, but it's got nothing to do with the stated problem. Their plan won't reduce the deficit, so it's not a plan to reduce the deficit. It's simply an unwillingness to cut taxes ever, under any circumstances. It's like saying my plan for becoming a millionaire is to get season tickets to the Sox.
I think I asked before, but would you be okay with a tax increase on the high earners and then all the GOP cuts? (Basically what Obama wanted). That's what I want, of all the realistic plans out there, anyway.

miceelf 08-10-2011 08:53 AM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
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Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 221038)
I mean does the working class party really care what grammarians think? Just saying that Sarah Palin's description of "elites" is probably more accurate than working class party, no?


I think it's a coalition of people. African Americans are predominantly represented by Dems these days. But that doesn't make it the Black People Party. Both parties have their elites; both have working class constituencies as well. From a structural perspective, both Dems and GOP are elite parties that appeal to working class or pretend to. So it comes down to which policies are most helpful or least harmful to non-elites.

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Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 221038)
I think I asked before, but would you be okay with a tax increase on the high earners and then all the GOP cuts? (Basically what Obama wanted). That's what I want, of all the realistic plans out there, anyway.

Not all of the GOP cuts. (or at least not constructed in the same way) Certainly the repeal of ACA (which I don't think adds to the deficit, although I know we disagree). I'd come up with cuts of a similar magnitude, just located differently.

I think it's really difficult to be responsible when talking about simple broad categories. Cuts either make sense or don't depending on what they specifically are. For example, one could cut a lot of money from infrastructure building and save money in the short term. Until bridges start collapsing and then you're looking at more expense than maintaining them before they get to that state (small example, I know).

Ditto, your concern with "regulations". I don't think it's the magnitude or number of regulations that matter, but whether the particular regulation in question. I don't think "regulations" in and of themselves are good or bad. Some are useful and incredibly important. Some are downright harmful. Some have a mixture of positive outcomes and unintended consequences that could use tweaking. I think the "let's get rid of food safety regulations and pollution regulations completely and let lawsuits take care of safety" is short-sighted. But I agree with you that some regulations are harmful and a barrier to new business (although, regulations protecting food safety while possibly creating a barrier are still worthwhile; I am not worried that Joe Blow can't create a meat packing plant because his house is near a prominent roadkill spot or whatever).

sugarkang 08-10-2011 09:13 AM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
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Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 221042)
Not all of the GOP cuts. (or at least not constructed in the same way) Certainly the repeal of ACA (which I don't think adds to the deficit, although I know we disagree). I'd come up with cuts of a similar magnitude, just located differently.

Lemme guess. Cut defense by half? Already with you. Not sure that's gonna do it. Increased taxes on the rich? Done. People said we can ignore the S&P report. I don't know about that. On the one hand, S&P downgrades our debt, and then people start pouring into US Treasuries. But that's only because we're the least worst option. Europe is on fire, though it they've said publicly that they're containing it. Our debt is only "good" because everyone else is so crappy. Asia will not be happy, and they are buying gold because of it. We don't get to stay world's currency if abuse our power like this.

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For example, one could cut a lot of money from infrastructure building and save money in the short term. Until bridges start collapsing and then you're looking at more expense than maintaining them before they get to that state (small example, I know).
Well, I want to chop entire Executive Branch departments. I agree about not cutting physical infrastructure.

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Ditto, your concern with "regulations". I don't think it's the magnitude or number of regulations that matter, but whether the particular regulation in question. I don't think "regulations" in and of themselves are good or bad. Some are useful and incredibly important. Some are downright harmful.
I think it's exactly the magnitude, actually. There are a bunch of tiny little terms here and there and it's a real PITA for a lawyer to figure out. It would actually be better if the laws were simplified and "tougher" on business. Big business likes it when you make the rules tricky. They're the only ones that can afford lawyers. The regulations keep out new competition.

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I think the "let's get rid of food safety regulations and pollution regulations completely and let lawsuits take care of safety" is short-sighted. But I agree with you that some regulations are harmful and a barrier to new business (although, regulations protecting food safety while possibly creating a barrier are still worthwhile.
I agree with pollution. For food, I think there are too many barriers under the guise of "public interest," but rather serve as monopoly maintenance. See government raid on organic "raw" foods. Do you honestly think the road speed limits are there for our safety? A friend of mine wanted to start a microbrewery beer business. He said it was impossible due to regulations and licenses needed. And he's a lawyer.

graz 08-10-2011 09:33 AM

Glib ... anecdotal ... and assured.
 
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Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 221043)
A friend of mine wanted to start a microbrewery beer business. He said it was impossible due to regulations and licenses needed. And he's a lawyer.

McMegan, is that you?

conncarroll 08-10-2011 10:01 AM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
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Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 220879)
Conn, I think it's unfair when people call you names or make otherwise pointless comments, on your diavlogs.
Substantive disagreeing is one thing, but "abjectly stupid" and "circle jerk" are beneath you, methinks.
Unless you are angling for a diavlog with one of the principles, in which case, well played, sir.

I am actually a big fan of Kleiman. Both his academic work and bheads performances. Normally. Probably why I was so disappointed in the diavlog.

AemJeff 08-10-2011 10:16 AM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
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Originally Posted by Parallax (Post 220978)
US did not renege on its debt obligations and this is not an accurate description of what happened at all. Here is a bit of history:

1. Back in 2006 Obama and Reid voted against the debt limit increase. Here is a video of Reid's speech.

2. As late as April 2011 Obama administration was asking for a clean debt limit increase with no deficit reduction.

3. Congress passed legislation to increase debt limit twice, only to be tabled by the Democratic Senate.

4. Obama threatened to veto any deal that did not have revenue increases.

5. A week prior to Aug. 2nd deadline Obama and Boehner were close to a deal but after gang of six released their document Obama changed his demands (believing that gang of six proposal would him additional political cover).

Personally I don't care for the S&P downgrade and neither does the market (10-Yr US treasury now yields 2.28%) but when it comes to debt limit crisis you can't just blame tea partiers.

Sure you can. Unless you believe that it's reasonable to ask the party that holds the executive and the Senate to simply take dictation from a party that holds only the House. Even then, the Republican leadership gave some indications that it hadn't forgotten how the political game is played - but they (the R leadership) were also hostages to the extreme right and had very little apparent room to bargain. There's very little in your list above that doesn't seem to be anything but business-as-usual - normal jockeying for advantage between the two adversaries. It was the unreasonable position held by the Tea Party that created a crisis.

sugarkang 08-10-2011 10:25 AM

Re: Glib ... anecdotal ... and assured.
 
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Originally Posted by graz (Post 221045)
McMegan, is that you?

Would love to hear your thoughts on job creation, graz.

miceelf 08-10-2011 10:49 AM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 221043)
Lemme guess. Cut defense by half? Already with you. Not sure that's gonna do it. Increased taxes on the rich? Done.

I would actually means test medicare and ss. I guess that's some agreement with the GOP on "cutting entitlements" but it's not an across the board cut, so if you drill down, it's different.

I am less concerned about the "organic labels, whcih isn't a food safety issue so a separate thing (although it's always unclear to me how the invisible hand is supposed to operate if there's no enforcement of accuracy in labeling), than things like making sure sick cows don't get into your ground beef. I don't much care if not allowing you to put cows with toxoplasma into your ground beef is a barrier for small meat packers. I think it's worth it.

I agree with you about some other regulations, depending on what they are.


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