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April 25, 2014, 04:51:15 am
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1  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: Today at 01:51:41 am
Propaganda or no propaganda, within the next week or two the West will have to decide how to respond to Russian invasion of mainland Ukraine. And if the response is inadequate, within a year or two the West will have to decide how to respond to Russian invasion of a state that has been pledged full protection.
2  General Politics / Economics / Re: Theoretically, what would happen if every American job was outsourced? on: April 24, 2014, 11:06:52 pm
US wageswould drop to zero, so that everybody wpuld want to hire Americans. China and India would start outsourcing to the US.


 
3  General Politics / Economics / Re: Which is worse Hyperinflation or Deflation? on: April 22, 2014, 06:44:01 pm
Hyperinflation is an acute economic disaster. Deflation - especially if prolonged - may be unpleasant. Which one would you prefer?
4  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: April 22, 2014, 06:27:51 pm
Well, Dzhemilev´s expulsion is confirmed. He has been spending most of his time in Kiev, as he is a Ukrainian MP. When he last went back to Simferopol, a couple of days ago, he was stopped at the border, but allowed in after a consultation with Moscow. However, as he was leaving back for Kiev today he was issued a notification, that he is banned from "Russian Federation" (which, of course, from the standpoint of the Russians now includes Crimea) for 5 years. As he himself says, he has no intention of visiting Russia itself (since 1986, when he was last released from a Russian prison, he has only been there once: a month ago, for negotiations with Putin), but  Crimea is another matter.

Interestingly, Dzhemilev's interview to Ukrainian TV was bilingual. The journalist spoke Ukrainian, he responded in Russian (tried using a Ukrainian word in his first sentence, but, basically, gave up). Of course, his native tongue is Crimean Tartar, and he had to learn Russian, but, being an old man, he never learned Ukrainian properly. Still, his jacket has a large Ukrainian flag pin on it - not doubts about his allegiance whatsoever.

And, just in case, somebody does not know who is Dzhemilev. He was one of the most distinguished Soviet dissidents. I have been hearing his name since before I can remember.  The Crimean Tartar non-violent campaign for return to Crimea has always been one of the most active and admired parts of the dissident movement in the USSR. Dzhemilev was its major leader since... forever. He spent many years in Soviet camps for this. He is, probably, the closest any Soviet people had to Gandhi or Mandela.
5  General Politics / Economics / Re: Which is worse Hyperinflation or Deflation? on: April 22, 2014, 01:29:32 pm
Well deflation isn't bad so Hyperinflation.

Deflation certainly is bad, but it doesn't destroy an economy like hyperinflation does.
It actually isn't bad

If you can engineer deflation without an economic slump, tell me how Smiley



You are missing a graph Smiley

Anyway, I get you point. Yes, you could have deflation as a byproduct of very rapid growth caused by technological change (money supply constant, fire has been invented). But that was not really the point here, methinks Smiley
6  General Politics / Economics / Re: Which is worse Hyperinflation or Deflation? on: April 22, 2014, 10:47:06 am
Well deflation isn't bad so Hyperinflation.

Deflation certainly is bad, but it doesn't destroy an economy like hyperinflation does.
It actually isn't bad

If you can engineer deflation without an economic slump, tell me how Smiley
7  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: April 22, 2014, 10:28:30 am
Has Mustafa Dzhemilev said what his plans are? He's still a member of the Ukrainian parliament.

Also, what's up with Lyudmyla Denisova? She's from Crimea and she's Minister of Social Policy in the Ukrainian government. Has she said what she's going to do?

Dzhemilev is loyal to Ukraine. He has said it many times, that the Tatar movement will be doing whatever the Ukrainian leadership decides. But they also have to protect their people. They did delegate some representatives to work with the de facto authorities in Crimea. They are in a tough spot. They hate Russia, but they do not want to be deported again - and Putin is perfectly capable of that.

Some of the Ukrainian MPs from Crimea have resigned, but others are continuing. As for a cabinet member, I do not see why one would go: she is not representing Crimea, she is a Ukrainian citizen working in Ukrainian government. Crimea is not even her birthplace - she was born in Russia, in Arkhangelsk. Yes, she spent part of her career there - but, then, so did PM Yatsenyuk.
8  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: April 22, 2014, 09:13:58 am

That one is, actually scary. It has no legal consequences (everything of consequence has been done multiple times already), but is a really dangerous sign. Whenever Putin makes statements of this sort, his intentions are almost the opposite: he is reminding the Tartars of the past, threatening them, that their fate Is in his hands. BTW, they already followed this up by prohibiting Mustafa Dzhemilev (the Crimean Gandhi, really) from returning to Crimea.
9  General Politics / Economics / Re: US budget deficit down more than 31% in first 6 months of FY2014 on: April 20, 2014, 09:19:23 pm
Ok. So, you just came out for both the single-payer universal public coverage AND the mandatory purchase of private insurance (with recusers penalized through the tax system). Because both are integral (and, most would argue, indispensible) features of the Australian healthcare system. I will keep that in mind.

You can put me down as saying that we already pay for most of those services, but we get none of them.

And you believe it is because Australian bureaucrats are more efficient than their American colleagues? Want to buy Brooklyn Bridge from me?
10  General Politics / Economics / Re: US budget deficit down more than 31% in first 6 months of FY2014 on: April 20, 2014, 09:03:48 am
Doesn't that have everything to do with ideology though? That whole "starve the beast" mentality of manufacturing a crisis that you can claim to have a solution to?



It's basic budgetary/economic science and relatively uncontroversial normative evaluations of utility or public good. The US federal government spends $3,300 per capita on healthcare. With healthcare funding, the government managed to cover about 1/3 of the population. Almost none of the 1/3 are workers. In Australia, you spend roughly $3,800 per capita (public and private, PPP$). Your Medicare system covers everyone, particularly people who work, and Australians have access to subsidized, cost-controlled private insurance through Medibank (public option). Australia also has subsidized prescription drugs for all. 

Consider the sloth of our government healthcare bureaucrats, then ask yourself if withdrawing funding is starving the beast. They are so sedentary, it's difficult to tell if they are still alive. For what they are being fed, a competent national government could deliver healthcare for everyone, yet DC can't make it happen without raising taxes and fees on the American people. American progressives are just dicking around. It's how they operate. It's what they do. They invent new ways to take money without lifting a finger on behalf of the people. When they get caught, they point to the heartless conservatives. It works every time.

What American would believe that our system needs more funding? Only those who are voting to give away other people's money.

Avoid budget propaganda in the future, too. See the debt between 2004-2008? The Bush administration ran deficits without increase debt/GDP ratio. If deficits are acting as a growth multiplier, tax cuts are not increasing the national debt. When you see that kind of politically-motivated analysis, you can throw out all of their forecasts.

Ok. So, you just came out for both the single-payer universal public coverage AND the mandatory purchase of private insurance (with recusers penalized through the tax system). Because both are integral (and, most would argue, indispensible) features of the Australian healthcare system. I will keep that in mind.
11  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: April 18, 2014, 03:28:54 pm

I think, it is pretty safe to say, under pretty much complete control. Russian intelligence officers are deployed there in force. Make your own conclusions.

Intelligence officers can be ignored or removed from the equation... sometimes permanently.

There is exactly no evidence of that happening. And ample evidence that they are very much in control. In fact, it is going far beyond intelligence officers: a lot of the people on the ground are simply Russian soldiers pretty much in uniform, just without insignia. This is pretty much documented at this point. In fact, at least some of these people seem to be the same as in Crimea last month - they have been recognized.
12  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: April 18, 2014, 11:32:23 am

I think, it is pretty safe to say, under pretty much complete control. Russian intelligence officers are deployed there in force. Make your own conclusions.

Problem is, those intelligence officers may have read more into their orders than they may have intended.  Even if they get privately punished later for doing so, the problem is Putin will likely find it impossible to undo they have done, since in order to do so he would effectively have to capitulate to the West.  However regardless of whether forces on the ground are exceeding their orders or they are following their orders, the effect is essentially the same.

I think, given the history of that gentleman, it is pretty safe to assume that the worst orders emanate directly from him (even if they are given in a way that makes them hard to trace). Thinking up any other theory is entirely unnecessary, as it would explain nothing that cannot be explained simply by assuming that Putin behaves as Putin normally does.

In particular, it is safe to assume that there is no promise, verbal or written, that Putin has not decided to violate exactly the moment before making that promise. That is his normal operating mode. So, if he promises you anything, you should assume that he is likely planning to do the opposite (if he has already decided on any course of action), or that his actions will be in no way constraint by the promise (if he has not).
13  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: April 18, 2014, 09:40:00 am

I think, it is pretty safe to say, under pretty much complete control. Russian intelligence officers are deployed there in force. Make your own conclusions.
14  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: April 18, 2014, 12:34:32 am
Jews in the Donetsk PR are being told to register and provide a list of all their property. Meanwhile WSJ's Paul Sonne reports from Putin's long presser that Putin said eastern Ukraine is historically part of Russia and made a lot of sympathetic noises about Yanukovych. Combined with the Russian media reports that Yanukovych will be back in Donetsk in 2 weeks, I wouldn't be surprised if Putin militarily installed his puppet atop a puppet East Ukraine.

I doubt this is actually happening.

It's happening, but the odds are it's free agents causing trouble for the local Jews, rather than any organized persecution by the government.

Sure. For the moment the Russian government is not doing anything against the Jews as such - as long as they are loyal. Not that it would find anything objectionable in killing Jews (or, for that matter, Russians) if it somehow were useful for whatever other objectives it establishes. At this point, though, it isn't, and in that sense Putin is no Hitler - killing Jews is not a primary objective of intrinsic value for him.
15  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: April 17, 2014, 04:29:10 pm

Welcome to Munich, ladies and gentlemen.

Get ready for what follows.
16  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: April 17, 2014, 12:08:32 pm

No, that is not Russian position. Russian position is: Ukraine, for the moment, is Lviv; we might talk about Kiev - but we, probably, will not give up even that. Everything else is just to waste some more time.

Of course, once they get Kiev, they will go for Lviv as well.
17  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: April 17, 2014, 11:41:13 am
BBC reports Russia making calming statements about "de-escalation". This is really bad: this, probably, means invasion is going to happen really soon (whenever Puting says something seemingly informative, his intentions, usually, are exactly the opposite).
18  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: April 17, 2014, 01:14:35 am
Ukrainians do not want to be the first to shed blood. The problem is, that, probably, means, that, eventually, there will be A LOT of blood.
19  General Politics / Economics / Re: Why don't more governments seek to create full employment? on: April 17, 2014, 01:05:51 am
Governments have ample resources and funds ...

That is the fallacy number 1. Should I continue, or would that be enough?

I think this is a good example of why this board is so uninteresting and stale. You shut down debate and try to make people feel stupid if they have a different angle on economics or economic policy than yourself instead of using your knowledge to facilitate a discussion.

I have, probably, done this in about a half dozen threads since the board started. Precisely, when I thought that the thread has no potential. I pretty much let almost all of it go through. And when I think there is something useful that can be said, I do participate in the conversation meaningfully.

In this particular case, I believe my initial point is sufficient. The first part of the original claim, most essential to the entire argument, is clearly not true. I pointed this out. What else do you suggest I contribute?

I merely suggest you contribute by backing off threats to lock the thread and allow debate to continue.

Have I ever locked a thread? Not once, actually. I always let the conversation continue. Even this one: however painful to watch it is.
20  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: India 2014 on: April 16, 2014, 11:24:32 pm
Am I in correct in thinking that no results are released until all the country has voted? Or do we get piece-by-piece info? And in the former case, are there leaks?

The way it works is the country votes in several different phases.  Only when all the voting is done will they start counting the votes.  As the count progresses there will be partial results released. This year there are not exit polls allowed to be released once the voting starts.  Once all the voters voted and before the counting begins exit polls are allowed to be published.

But the day of the count it will be fast. Voting is electronic, so there will be no hanging chads involved. Just adding up the info from electronic voting machines.
21  General Politics / Economics / Re: Why don't more governments seek to create full employment? on: April 12, 2014, 10:17:46 pm
Governments have ample resources and funds ...

That is the fallacy number 1. Should I continue, or would that be enough?

I think this is a good example of why this board is so uninteresting and stale. You shut down debate and try to make people feel stupid if they have a different angle on economics or economic policy than yourself instead of using your knowledge to facilitate a discussion.

I have, probably, done this in about a half dozen threads since the board started. Precisely, when I thought that the thread has no potential. I pretty much let almost all of it go through. And when I think there is something useful that can be said, I do participate in the conversation meaningfully.

In this particular case, I believe my initial point is sufficient. The first part of the original claim, most essential to the entire argument, is clearly not true. I pointed this out. What else do you suggest I contribute?
22  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: April 12, 2014, 06:32:35 pm
Regardless of the situation in Ukraine (for the record, Putin is clearly awful and I would strongly oppose any further incursion into Ukraine given that his support even in the heavily Russian areas is somewhat flimsy at best), but the Kuril Islands are unambiguously Russian territory under the San Francisco Treaty and Japan's continued claim on them is a bit worrying given the nationalist trends of its government and populace. At least Russia's claimed responsibility for Stalin's many crimes.

But the question is, are the Northern Territories part of the Kuril Islands or are they littoral islands of Hokkaido?  They never were under Russian/Soviet control before 1945.

And what if the (Ukrainian) population of those islands pronounces for Japan?

This is not a thing that will happen.

Depends on how you ask Smiley))
Aren't the Kurils majority Russian, though?

From 2010 Census: Kuril district (Iturup) - 4637 Russians, 349 Ukrainians (and I doubt that many of them can say a few words in Ukrainian...); South Kuril district (Kunashir, Shikotan, Habomai) - 7043 Russians, 466 Ukrainians. I don't know what people settled there after 1945, but even if most of them were Ukrainians, they assimilated long time ago.

If need comes, they will be Ukrainians. If need comes, they will be Hottentots, for god's sake Smiley

Good enough, at this point, that some people in Japan have already declared them Ukrainians Smiley
23  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: U.S denies visa to Hamid Abutalebi, Iranian choice for U.N Ambassador on: April 12, 2014, 08:49:39 am
they should have let him in. Allowing a one-time passage from JFK to the mission and a  ride from the mission to the UN and back at a fixed time and by a fixed route in a precleared vehicle (naturally, without leaving the car, opening the windows, and without stopping, except at street lights. All other movenents to require a prior authorization from the State department.
24  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: India 2014 on: April 12, 2014, 08:43:02 am
If you would like to become Bangladesh, you are welcome.

And no, Modi is in a league of his own. Riots in murders happen in India, it is true. Having the government in cold blood encourage, killing over 2000 people in mere days is much more rare.

Isn't that what happened in 1984 against the Sikhs?

Rajiv is dead. When Modi is dead I will be willing to let it go.

Umm, his wife currently runs the country and his son is running for PM. And she has personally protected congress party members who organized the riots.

Back then his son was a child and his wife was completely out of politics then and for years thereafter. She most definitely did not order murders. I have no objections to Jashodaben running for office 10 years after the SOB dies.
25  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: April 12, 2014, 12:30:01 am
Regardless of the situation in Ukraine (for the record, Putin is clearly awful and I would strongly oppose any further incursion into Ukraine given that his support even in the heavily Russian areas is somewhat flimsy at best), but the Kuril Islands are unambiguously Russian territory under the San Francisco Treaty and Japan's continued claim on them is a bit worrying given the nationalist trends of its government and populace. At least Russia's claimed responsibility for Stalin's many crimes.

But the question is, are the Northern Territories part of the Kuril Islands or are they littoral islands of Hokkaido?  They never were under Russian/Soviet control before 1945.

And what if the (Ukrainian) population of those islands pronounces for Japan?

This is not a thing that will happen.

Depends on how you ask Smiley))
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