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1  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Mexico June 7th 2015 elections on: April 24, 2015, 12:37:18 am
Why did the Greens ally themselves with the PRI? The PRI seems much too technocratic for them, and their social conservatism puts them closer to the PAN, at least if it is true that the Mexican Greens have an uncharacteristic streak of social conservatism.

PVEM has no ideology whatsoever. They are in it purely for business purposes. Keeping hold of a political party register is very profitable in Mexico, and the profit is somewhat proportional to the vote tally. So, they do whatever they calculate should be done to maximize the vote, with no other objective in mind. To the extent they have any policies they really care about, these are, likewise, pure business. For instance, they care about promoting certain kinds of snake oil - because some of their leaders are related to the main snake oil producer. If you pay them enough for promoting medicinal qualities of koala piss, they will promote those medicinal qualities - by drinking it on the floor of the Congress, if necessary. Or you can pay them for promoting koala extermination - they will happily help pass a law ordering Mexican government to contact its Australian counterpart to make sure the last koala is exterminated.

In any case, trying to read any ideological concerns into their coalition formation is hilariously inappropriate. The only green thing about that party is its logo - and adopting it is the only ideological position the party ever took.
2  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Mexico June 7th 2015 elections on: April 24, 2015, 12:29:42 am


Latest Parametría poll shows a 3 way tie in Michoacán in the race for governor.   I am surprised that the PAN is not way ahead.   It seems Morena has not captured any of the PRD vote here.  

Michoacan left is Cardenista, not Lopezobradorista.


To be fair, AMLO did beat Calderón in Michoacan in 2006. Which would make a Panista win so, so very sweet for Señora Calderon.

Cardenas beat Fox there in 2000 - which is much more remarkable, as it was the only state he won.

Cocoa Calderon lost there to PRI in 2012 already. Calderons are a Michoacan family, of course, but Michoacan is no panista stronghold.
3  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Mexico June 7th 2015 elections on: April 24, 2015, 12:25:59 am


Latest Parametría poll shows a 3 way tie in Michoacán in the race for governor.   I am surprised that the PAN is not way ahead.   It seems Morena has not captured any of the PRD vote here.  

Michoacan left is Cardenista, not Lopezobradorista.


Yeah.  But Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas is also gone from the PRD.  You would figure that some of the Left vote would leave PRD to Morena if anything just out of revenge.  But at least in this poll the PRD vote share is holding firm.

It depends on who controls the local party organization. Probably, cardenistas are still in control locally.
4  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Mexico June 7th 2015 elections on: April 23, 2015, 09:06:04 pm


Latest Parametría poll shows a 3 way tie in Michoacán in the race for governor.   I am surprised that the PAN is not way ahead.   It seems Morena has not captured any of the PRD vote here.  

Michoacan left is Cardenista, not Lopezobradorista.
5  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Muslims on refugee boat throw Christians overboard for being non-Muslims on: April 23, 2015, 08:58:40 pm
I think they should just enlarge the Mediterranean. None of those Africans are trying to get accross the Atlantic, so US has no problem. There is a clear lesson for the Europeans here. If Africa could be towed, say, another 500 km South, it would solve the problem.
6  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Muslims on refugee boat throw Christians overboard for being non-Muslims on: April 23, 2015, 08:55:25 am
I meant in the particular context of boat arrivals from Islamic countries being an intense, vitriolic, and extremely unedifying national debate, but true enough.

That has also been going on forever.
7  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Muslims on refugee boat throw Christians overboard for being non-Muslims on: April 22, 2015, 10:42:15 pm
Welcome to this debate, Europeans. It never gets solved. We've been at it for 15 years now.

Oh, the short memory of the young!

You have been at it for 115 years.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Australia_policy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_Restriction_Act_1901

Europeans, of course, have, mostly, been at it longer Smiley
8  General Politics / Economics / Re: People: Market liberalism's achilles heel? on: April 22, 2015, 06:40:23 pm
As some of you may have noticed, I've long joked that "heterodoxy is heresy" and that the validity of neoclassical economics is essentially beyond dispute. I must however admit that I'm increasingly wondering if this really the case- perhaps not so much the classical liberal foundations, but the inerrancy of markets and the wisdom of assuming that a "market solution" is invariably going to be better than an intervention.


As every neoclassical liberal economist knows, and statement of the form "x is invariably the better solution" has nothing to do with neoclassical liberal - or any other - economics. That is, in fact, the difference between science and religious cult.

Take it from this neoclassical liberal economist Smiley
9  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Bill Clinton: "I would not win AR again these days" on: April 22, 2015, 01:27:52 pm
Bill Clinton has always been a great politician. He knows what he is talking about.
10  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: World Religion Map by National Subdivision on: April 22, 2015, 12:13:09 am
Beautiful!
11  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Muslims on refugee boat throw Christians overboard for being non-Muslims on: April 21, 2015, 12:53:44 am
I agree with your positive analysis of migration flows and I think that your assessment of the preferences of the European public are accurate. I just can't help but think that we live in a bleak world when guest worker programs embody humane migration policy and liberals demand that refugees, whether economic or war-torn, simply be deported rather than left to drown in the ocean.

The German experience with immigration in the 1960s and 1970s provides a solid rationale for a guest worker program in the vein of what you've outlined. I shudder to think why anyone would look up to Germany as a model of immigration policy but, from the perspective of xenophobes, they've done a good job of limiting migration while allowing for large labor flows.

No disagreement here. I guess, this is a proper Mexican analysis Smiley

Then, again, I have been reading up on Mexican immigration policies in the 1930s - we do have quite a bit to be ashamed of ourselves.

12  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Closet Libertarians on: April 21, 2015, 12:32:06 am
If the LP became a major party right now, whom of both parties would shed their current label and switch to the newly powerful Libertarian Party?

Well, as in that case either Republicans or the Democrats would no longer be a major party (constitutionally, only two major parties are allowed in the US Smiley - yes, I mean it Smiley ) - there would have to be many. Of course depending on those who switch, the ideology of the Libertarian party mainstream would change. Probably, at least 99% of the Libertarians at that point would not support policies you consider Libertarian Smiley In fact, if that happens the word Libertarian would completely change its meaning.
13  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Muslims on refugee boat throw Christians overboard for being non-Muslims on: April 21, 2015, 12:22:10 am
And, if one has to be blunt about it, in this case the Gulf Arabs are no worse than the Europeans. At least, the give the jobs. I have not heard recently of hundreds of people dying while trying to reach Dubai. Better that way, then what Europeans are doing today.
14  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Muslims on refugee boat throw Christians overboard for being non-Muslims on: April 21, 2015, 12:19:42 am
ag, why don't you support something closer to a "open borders" policy rather than a guest worker program? Frankly, I'm uncomfortable with the idea of millions of Africans living in Europe for 7-10 years without the ability to vote or organize themselves for the purpose of collective action. Your proposal strikes me as being a bit too potentially Gulf Arab for my tastes.



Because I am realistic. My own preference is for much more open borders. But I realize that for a lot of people it is non-starter. I do not sympathize with their xenophobia, but I do acknowledge their right in a democracy to demand the policy according to their preferences - and I know, they are a majority.

Hence, I am putting on my economist hat here. You want to limit migration, while minimizing the number of deaths on the frontier? This is how you do this. Create incentives for people to use the legal route - and to go back, at some point. Such measures would, obviously, not shut down the migration completely - as they crucially rely on creating a legal route for migration. But they can be designed to achieve migration levels no higher than the present ones, or even lower, while crowding out the illegal route (once it is at a trickle because of incentives, enforcement could deal with it).  So, both control over migration flows, some degree of humanity towards migrants, increased revenue for the European state - and lower migration levels - could be achieved if such a program is designed well.

Of course, for such a program to be implemented, one needs to disabuse European citizens from the illusion that they can enforce the frontier against migrants to a degree that substantively eliminates migration - at least, without building gas chambers and crematoriums on a large scale. But that is another matter.
15  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Muslims on refugee boat throw Christians overboard for being non-Muslims on: April 20, 2015, 05:59:44 pm
The migrants from Ghana, Ethiopia, Nigeria, etc, should be sent back. There's no fundamental reason for them to have to flee to Europe. It's economic migration, i.e. immigration, not refugees. Syrian, Libyans, Eritreans and so forth are another story.

Great difference there between Ethiopia and Eritrea!

Only one of them is called "the North Korea of Africa"- while actually having less press freedom than North Korea.

Yes, the other one is, merely, Africa's Cambodia (but with a lot less democracy and no king).
16  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Muslims on refugee boat throw Christians overboard for being non-Muslims on: April 20, 2015, 05:31:52 pm
The migrants from Ghana, Ethiopia, Nigeria, etc, should be sent back. There's no fundamental reason for them to have to flee to Europe. It's economic migration, i.e. immigration, not refugees. Syrian, Libyans, Eritreans and so forth are another story.

Great difference there between Ethiopia and Eritrea!
17  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Muslims on refugee boat throw Christians overboard for being non-Muslims on: April 20, 2015, 05:30:40 pm

Yes, but the large generation who need their ass wiped in 20 years, will live in a time when smart toilets do exist as they already do.


Well, if you prefer to be packed into a mechanized hospice, with a mechanical smart toilet for a companion and a mechanical tit to feed you the ballanced puree at designated times, I guess, you could do so. But it will, still, be a lot more expensive than that Moldavian or Nigerian nurse. And your kids will have to pay the difference: through taxes, probably.
18  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Muslims on refugee boat throw Christians overboard for being non-Muslims on: April 20, 2015, 05:26:51 pm


Maybe the conclusion you should come with from that, that the price on labour in Copenhagen are not solely put in place by supply and demand.

Actually, the conclusion (repeatedly cross-checked in many parts of the world) is that you do not need wages to be the same - you just need the gap to be smaller than the cost of moving. And that cost is large even for a Bulgarian in London (he has to learn the language, figure out what the Brits want and how to sell himself, etc., etc.).  Puerto Rico is not empty either.
19  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Muslims on refugee boat throw Christians overboard for being non-Muslims on: April 20, 2015, 05:23:16 pm
Meanwhile another one capsized yesterday, with 700 (!?!) people on board. Apparently only 28 survivors have been found so far.
It may be the tragic event that changed the EU policies on refugees. The country concerned by the flow of irregular migrants (Italy, Greece, Bulgaria) have been complaining for years about the lack of European solidarity on this topic.

No sarcasm here, I would like to hear your suggestion for a solution to the problem.
If you are talking about/Syrians/Afghans wanting to leave their countries for better places, there is of course no short term solution.
If you are talking about hundreds of people dying at sea, there are solutions, see for example the EU propositions: http://news.yahoo.com/factbox-eus-10-point-plan-tackle-mediterranean-crisis-172945665.html. For example, the number of migrants dying at sea increased since the budget of the rescue programme was cut.

I absolute agree that we countries without non-EU borders should help finance the external borders, and while I original got this lack of solidarity (Italians, Greeks and Bulgarians got free access to our countries against they kept the outer border closed), the situation have changed and they no only deserve financial support they need it.


Yes, sure, you are willing to pay Greeks to kill Syrians, no problem there.

I thought I had to trust the Greeks, people keep telling me that in other threads, but suddenly they can't be trusted, when they guard the external border.

I do not distinguish between all of you, white men. Greek or Norwegian, you are the same to me Smiley

And, of course, I think you can trust Greeks. You can trust them to kill the brownies.
20  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Muslims on refugee boat throw Christians overboard for being non-Muslims on: April 20, 2015, 03:26:58 pm
Meanwhile another one capsized yesterday, with 700 (!?!) people on board. Apparently only 28 survivors have been found so far.
It may be the tragic event that changed the EU policies on refugees. The country concerned by the flow of irregular migrants (Italy, Greece, Bulgaria) have been complaining for years about the lack of European solidarity on this topic.

No sarcasm here, I would like to hear your suggestion for a solution to the problem.
If you are talking about/Syrians/Afghans wanting to leave their countries for better places, there is of course no short term solution.
If you are talking about hundreds of people dying at sea, there are solutions, see for example the EU propositions: http://news.yahoo.com/factbox-eus-10-point-plan-tackle-mediterranean-crisis-172945665.html. For example, the number of migrants dying at sea increased since the budget of the rescue programme was cut.

I absolute agree that we countries without non-EU borders should help finance the external borders, and while I original got this lack of solidarity (Italians, Greeks and Bulgarians got free access to our countries against they kept the outer border closed), the situation have changed and they no only deserve financial support they need it.


Yes, sure, you are willing to pay Greeks to kill Syrians, no problem there.
21  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Muslims on refugee boat throw Christians overboard for being non-Muslims on: April 20, 2015, 03:26:08 pm

As for the whole wiping my ass, my grandmother was in her late eighties before she needed help in her house and she never needed someone to wipe her ass for her, even through she lived into her nineties. As for me I would prefer a smart toilet to a Nigerian to clean my ass.

Lucky you. My granfaterh did not need to use an elevator till he was 84, but by the time he was 90 there was no smart toilet he could get to - and he needed somebody not only to wipe his ass, but also to turn him to avoid bed sores and to feed him from the spoon. I am sure you will take the poison before you you get to that state. But, assuming you do not do this in time, you might wind up in that state for many years.

You do not need the wages in London and in Lagos to equate for migration to stop. The last time I checked, I did not see entire Bratislava in Copenhagen - and the wages are anything but equal. AND there are no labor movement restrictions there whatsoever (something nobody is proposing here).
22  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Muslims on refugee boat throw Christians overboard for being non-Muslims on: April 20, 2015, 03:13:15 pm
Meanwhile another one capsized yesterday, with 700 (!?!) people on board. Apparently only 28 survivors have been found so far.
It may be the tragic event that changed the EU policies on refugees. The country concerned by the flow of irregular migrants (Italy, Greece, Bulgaria) have been complaining for years about the lack of European solidarity on this topic.

No sarcasm here, I would like to hear your suggestion for a solution to the problem.
If you are talking about/Syrians/Afghans wanting to leave their countries for better places, there is of course no short term solution.
If you are talking about hundreds of people dying at sea, there are solutions, see for example the EU propositions: http://news.yahoo.com/factbox-eus-10-point-plan-tackle-mediterranean-crisis-172945665.html. For example, the number of migrants dying at sea increased since the budget of the rescue programme was cut.

Most of the items on that list are directed to increasing the number of those killed, while at the same time making sure that they get killed with lesser visibility to European media. Solving the problem is not on the agenda - it is more of a prayer that those black people just disappear from the TV.
23  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Muslims on refugee boat throw Christians overboard for being non-Muslims on: April 20, 2015, 03:10:50 pm
The humane solution, of course, would be a proper guest worker program, that would allow people to come to work to Europe safely, earn money, be able to save it and send it back home using the formal banking system, etc. If properly implemented, European governments could, in fact, wind up collecting whatever revenue currently going into the pockets of those "evil smugglers".

I don't disagree, the problem is that we really don't need that many unskilled workers.


You do. Europeans are getting older. Somebody has to wash the old.

Yes the problem is that we don't need that many to do that and we will need them in 20-30 years, and we already have a large labour supply in the east.

Plus we have increased the labour supply in Europe several times by raising the retirement age. I can retire at age 67 right now, but I expect it will have hit 70+ when I'm in my sixties. It's rather universal in Europe that the well functioning countries in the north have a high retirement age, and it those who can afford to pay Africans to wash the old.

Well, it is all the matter of the price. At present, the wages are still very attractive to the newcomers. That suggests to me, as an economist, that you do have enough jobs Smiley In fact, you could easily avoid having to work into your 70s by getting somebody to start wiping your ass earlier (while paying into your tax and social security systems for the privillege).
24  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Muslims on refugee boat throw Christians overboard for being non-Muslims on: April 20, 2015, 03:01:29 pm

I would love to hear your solution to that.


It is pretty straightforward. One needs an active work visa program for which ordinary people are eligible. Processing should be done back at home. It may have a hefty visa processing fee (as you know, these people are willing to pay a lot to get to Europe), but payable out of earnings once in Europe (renewal of residence conditional on paying the regular installments). The fee should be set at just slightly below the break-even cost for the smugglers. In addition, the worker should be forced to pay a certain ammount into a personal saving fund. After a certain period (say, five or 10 years) s/he should have an option of either obtaining permanent residency (and, eventually, citizenship) in exchange for transfering the fund to the state, or returning home and getting the entire fund there.
25  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Muslims on refugee boat throw Christians overboard for being non-Muslims on: April 20, 2015, 02:53:41 pm

Of course the Africa countries Europe border up to are also middle income countries.

Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua (the only four truly poor countries "behind" Mexico - Panama and Costa Rica are much wealthier, and there is very little migration through Mexico from beyond that due to geographic reasons) have the combined population and the GDP per capita in the ballpark of Morocco. Mexico is about twice as rich.
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