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March 30, 2015, 06:02:42 pm
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1  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: Worst-run presidential campaign on: Today at 12:39:20 am
Dewey, of course. Yes, Truman was a great campaigner. But, still...
2  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Bolivian local elections - March 29, 2015; run-off: May, 3 on: Today at 12:18:26 am
Municipals (apparently, these ones are single-round):

La Paz
Sol.Bo. 59.8% - win
MAS 38.8%

El Alto
UN 55.2% - win
MAS 31.8%

Santa Cruz
SPT 42.3% - win
UCS 23.3%
MAS 23.2%

Cochabamba
Democratas 56.7% - win
MAS 36.3%

Oruro
MCSFA 35.1% - win?
MAS 18.8%
INCA-FS 18.8%

Potosi
MAS 30.2% - win?
MOP 27.7%
UN 27.3%

Sucre
MAS - 45.5% - win?
FRI 38.1%

Tarija
UNIR 59.2% - win
MAS 21.9%

Trinidad
MNR 41.5% - win?
MAS  37.1%

Cobija
PUD 47.1% - win? (this one, though, is too close to call anyway, until the final count)
MAS 46.1%
3  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Bolivian local elections - March 29, 2015; run-off: May, 3 on: Today at 12:05:16 am
According to the rapid count in La Razon, Beni goes to the second round as well (the rule for winning in one round, if I get it right, is either 50% outright or 10% lead over the second place).

This is what La Razon says about the governors:

Beni
MAS 39.9% - 2nd round
NACER 33.1% - 2nd round
MNR 27.9%

Santa Cruz
Democratas 59.3% - win
MAS 31.3%

Tarija
UD - 46.4% - win
MAS - 35.6%

La Paz
Sol.Bo. 52.1% - win
MAS 29.2%

Chuquisaca
MAS 47.5% - 2nd round
CST 46.9% - 2nd round

Pando
MAS 65.6% - win
PUD 27.7%

Cochabamba
MAS 60.3% - win
Democratas 22.4%

Oruro
MAS 54.5% - win
PP 15.3%

Potosi
MAS 56.7% - win
Potosi-MOP 23.8%
4  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: States where African-American candidates have a hard time winning statewide on: March 26, 2015, 07:56:06 pm
The crucial questions is: where would an African-American candidate have hard time getting NOMINATED statewide as a candidate of a party that has a chance of winning. Election is not only what happens in November.

As people here correctly noted, in one-party states (like the Deep South) it is, in the end, not a matter of the skin color of the candidate - nor, for that matter, of his biological species or a status as an animate/inanimate object at this point, probably.  I have no doubt that a cat, running as a Republican, would be elected to the Senate from Alabama these days against St. Peter reincarnated, running as a Democrat. The hardest time would be in the relatively close states. For instance, WV might still have enough of a Democratic party left so that a black Republican would loose there.
5  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Mid-2014 county population estimates out tomorrow, March 26 on: March 26, 2015, 07:45:35 pm
Interestingly, the entire population growth in NY is downstate. Since 2010 the state grew by 368,115 of which 368,179 is downstate (NYC, Long Island and Westchester - about 380 thousand if you include Rockland). The rest of the state actually lost a grand total of 64 residents Smiley
6  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Mexico June 7th 2015 elections on: March 26, 2015, 06:32:30 pm
Today's Reforma poll on the attitude to the government. They poll both "citizens" and "leaders". A huge gap is opening between the two: whereas the "citizens" are ambivalent, the leaders are increasingly upset with the Peña regime. Figures in brackets refer to April 2013. Keep in mind that the minimal passing grade in Mexican schools is 6.

1. On the scale of 0 to 10 how would you grade the work of Enrique Peña Nieto as president

Citizens 5.0 (6.3 in April 2013)
Leaders 3.5 (7.1 in April 2013)

2. Do you approve or disapprove of how Enrique Peña Nieto is doing his work as president

Citizens: Approve 39% (50% in April 2013), disapprove 57% (30% in April 2013)
Leaders: Approve 17% (78% in April 2013), disapprove 82% (20% in April 2013)

3. What is the main problem in country today

Citizens:
Crime 48% (48% in April 2013)
Economy 26% (26% in April 2013)
Corruption 8% (3% in april 2013)

Leaders:
Corruption 63% (32% in April 2013)
Economy 17% (29% in April 2013)
Crime 13% (26% in April 2013).

It seems that the people in the know are very much aware of the increasing government corruption - and are rabid about it. But the government has been able to insulated itself from the popular rage. The average guy in the street does know that "they steal", but does not think anything out of the ordinary is going on. But all those of us who "know people" realize that things are quite different these days.

Note: "citizens" poll is a standard 1200 person sample. The "leaders" poll is obtained by sending questions to 4,666 persons in academia, politics and the private sector. This time 1,088 responded (including, full disclosure, your humble servant).
7  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Mexico June 7th 2015 elections on: March 25, 2015, 02:36:04 pm
Seems like calderonistas have been able to nominate their (or, at least, non-maderista) candidates for governor in three crucial states where PAN does have a chance (Queretaro, San Luis Potosi and Michoaca - in that last one, Calderon´s native state, the candidate is, once again, Calderon´s sister).
8  General Politics / Economics / Re: The 10 Greatest Economists of all time in no order on: March 25, 2015, 01:00:43 pm
I hope you realize that the manner in which you use the words "econometric research" has not been current for well over 50 years now. Would you mind, actually, using the language at least some people alive now could understand?

When did statistical empiricism become an outdated definition of econometrics?

Well, I guess you are right. If you phrase it that way, it has never been definition of econometrics Smiley
9  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Georgia "patriot" plants pipe-bombs to make people afraid of Muslims on: March 25, 2015, 01:45:38 am
Just like Eric Rudolph, all the terrorists in Atlanta seem to be right-wing white Christians.

"Monotheist fundamentalists" covers much of it.

This ridiculous one-god idea is what is to blame.
10  General Politics / Economics / Re: The 10 Greatest Economists of all time in no order on: March 25, 2015, 12:59:49 am
Amartya Sen
John Maynard Keynes
Robert Solow
Paul Samuelson
Milton Friedman
Gary Becker
Hyman Minsky
Kenneth Arrow
Thomas Piketty
Elinor Ostrom


7 out of 10 names definitely belong. Minsky is an interesting choice. Why? Ostrom has not been as influential. As for Piketty.... wait a few years Smiley But Keynes, Arrow, Sen, Solow, Samuelson, Friedman, Becker - very nice list indeed.
11  General Politics / Economics / Re: The 10 Greatest Economists of all time in no order on: March 25, 2015, 12:56:00 am
Fair enough, but let's face it, the reasons the right considers him a great economist have little to do with his serious economic research, and everything to do with his hackish rants against the inherent evil of redistribution.

The insight about the informational problems of the central planning has been very influential. And, in fact, the development of the mechanism design can be viewed as a response to it.
12  General Politics / Economics / Re: The 10 Greatest Economists of all time in no order on: March 25, 2015, 12:52:23 am
Yeah, Hayek was not an actual economist. Political theorist/philosopher is a more accurate description.

Pretty sure Ricardo deserves a spot in the top 10.

Hayek is a respected figure in the economics profession. Von Mises, of those on this list, would be more of a problem. Along with Marx, he shares the dubious distinction of starting a religious cult. But, at least, Marxism has been influential.

Who respects Hayek?

Trust me: many people Smiley
13  General Politics / Economics / Re: The 10 Greatest Economists of all time in no order on: March 25, 2015, 12:50:55 am
To suggest that Hayek is respected by anybody other than extreme right wing halfwits is foolish.

Not true at all. He did have important insights, and he was a respected member of the economics profession.
14  General Politics / Economics / Re: The 10 Greatest Economists of all time in no order on: March 25, 2015, 12:49:53 am
Fair enough, but let's face it, the reasons the right considers him a great economist have little to do with his serious economic research, and everything to do with his hackish rants against the inherent evil of redistribution.

The Austrian School is generally opposed to econometric research because of modeling error, but also because few Austrians prefer econometric research. Economics is a behavioral field. Austrians tend to look inside of themselves to better understand human behavior.

The right likes Austrians because neoliberals taught conservatives that Austrians were anti-Keynesian.

I hope you realize that the manner in which you use the words "econometric research" has not been current for well over 50 years now. Would you mind, actually, using the language at least some people alive now could understand?
15  General Politics / Economics / Re: The 10 Greatest Economists of all time in no order on: March 25, 2015, 12:46:39 am
ag, what would be your Top 10 of economists with (the bulk of) their career post-WW2?

Well, this would, necessarily, be subjective and will betray my field biases. And economics is too big to put it all into 10 names.  But, I guess, no list would be alive without Ken Arrow (and Debreu and McKenzie Smiley) - but, of course, Arrow has to be there). Von Neumann was not an economist, but how can we ever forget Oscar Morgenstern (the REAL Austrian Smiley ). Maskin/Myerson and Hurwicz got the Nobel for a very solid reason.  So did Aumann. Lucas and Sargent in Macro, I guess. Do not know much about metrics, but how can one miss McFadden?

 
16  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Utah's state House votes 39-34 to reinstitute execution by firing squad on: March 24, 2015, 11:19:31 pm
Honestly, the idea that execution of all things should somehow be made 'non-gruesome', as if its 'gruesomeness' has anything at all to do with what's really happening, is possibly even more repulsive and anti-human than the insistence on executing people is itself.

The one positive of it being gruesome is that seeing the gore of a person executed by firing squad is a reminder of just how violent it is to kill someone made clearer than in a lethal injection. Here there is no sugar coating it.

Do you mean they are going to televise them?
17  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Spanish general election, 2015 on: March 24, 2015, 11:02:31 pm
Missed this one was today!

Not bad. Happy PSOE held. Hopefully, Podamos remains a one-season wonder.
18  General Politics / Economics / Re: The 10 Greatest Economists of all time in no order on: March 24, 2015, 03:37:03 pm
Adam Smith
Karl Marx
John Maynard Keynes
Milton Friedman
Frederick Hayek
Jean-Baptiste Say
Carl Menger
Joseph Schumpeter
Paul Samuelson
Ludwig Von Mises

Honorable Mentions:
David Ricardo
Thomas Malthus
The econometrics guy

Hm. Have you already turned 130, or are you only in your 120s?

"The econometrics guy" could describe quite a few very different people Smiley
19  General Politics / Economics / Re: The 10 Greatest Economists of all time in no order on: March 24, 2015, 03:29:57 pm
Yeah, Hayek was not an actual economist. Political theorist/philosopher is a more accurate description.

Pretty sure Ricardo deserves a spot in the top 10.

Hayek is a respected figure in the economics profession. Von Mises, of those on this list, would be more of a problem. Along with Marx, he shares the dubious distinction of starting a religious cult. But, at least, Marxism has been influential.
20  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Mexico June 7th 2015 elections on: March 23, 2015, 06:28:41 pm

New parties are not allowed alliances the first time they run. Morena cannot go in an alliance.

Wow.  I did not know that.  I assume this is to make sure that a new party cannot get out of the minimal threshold rule via an alliance and that it must prove its support level by itself and survive as a party by itself before it can be allowed to form alliances?

Basically. And, notice, the period for registering new parties was open before the midterms, when there is only one ballot that counts: the House. In the fullterms you have a choice of one of three ballots: House, Senate and Presidency, and 3% in either one of those would preserve the registry. But the new parties have to survive the hard way.
21  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Mexico June 7th 2015 elections on: March 23, 2015, 12:09:37 pm
At the last moment, PRD and PT in DF have made it up and will be going (mostly) in coalition. So, the DF alliances are

PRD/PT/Panal
PRI/PVEM
PAN
MC (including the Ebrardistas)
Morena
PES
PH

Interesting.  I always thought that PT will go with Morena as well MC.  Surprising that Morena did not lock in an alliance with either PT nor MC.

New parties are not allowed alliances the first time they run. Morena cannot go in an alliance.
22  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Mexico June 7th 2015 elections on: March 23, 2015, 11:05:07 am
At the last moment, PRD and PT in DF have made it up and will be going (mostly) in coalition. So, the DF alliances are

PRD/PT/Panal
PRI/PVEM
PAN
MC (including the Ebrardistas)
Morena
PES
PH
23  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Mexico June 7th 2015 elections on: March 23, 2015, 11:03:21 am
How much of Mexico's political instability is a result of the failures of the no reelección tradition?

Where do you see any political instability?
24  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Mexico June 7th 2015 elections on: March 22, 2015, 10:25:16 pm

Mexico is verging on fascism it seems...

Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini were, for the most part, perfectly upright civil servants, as far as stealing for personal benefit is concerned (Goering might have been another matter, but that is still not what he is, mostly, infamous for). The only ideology the present-day government of Mexico has, is lining its members' pockets. Stealing is not fascism and fascism is not stealing. It is merely regression to the 1970s.
25  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: US-Israeli Relations After the Election on: March 22, 2015, 12:28:32 am


There may well be a lot of truth in this. However, my question then becomes: why do the Arab parties  support it, in addition to Hadash? They obviously have different motivations than the Jewish left in Israel.

Why do the Arab parties support the two-state solution, you mean? Because, so far, that is the declared objective of the Palestinian movements, including Fatah and PA. If tomorrow they decide to demand citizenship in the common state, I am pretty certain Hadash people would rejoice (and the rest would not have much trouble switching, either).

This is not convincing, especially considering Hadash endorsed the two-state solution at least 15 years before the PLO did. They were among the first to do so, in fact.

But at that point the PLO was still publicly committed to the one state without the Jews Smiley The two-state thing was the realistic option: it was fine by the (left wing) Israelis, and, one could argue, it was the most likely compromise platform. In contrast, the one-state idea would be viewed by both sides as highly treasonable: the Israelis would read in it the "kick the Jews into the sea" demand, while the PLO would take it to be the surrender flag. That thing was simply not on the agenda: the non-Zionist left had to propose something that others would find not threatening.

This is, still, the least disruptive compromise even today. Unfortunately, the last few decades of colonization have made it much more difficult.
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