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1  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Daughter of Sen. Manchin raises EpiPen price 400% on: Today at 08:20:08 am
I'm a little confused about what you are accusing him of here.  Getting his daughter a data entry job?

Are you being deliberately obtuse?

Are you being deliberately obscure?

What is hard to understand about a pharmaceutical company - headed by an ex-lobbyist and the daughter of a US Senator whose actual management and leadership credentials appear to be not just lacking, but laughable - pursuing a business model that depends on an FDA-enforced monopoly that is, at least arguably, poorly justified by the best available medical evidence on generic alternatives?

Quote
in any case, "so and so is a greedy person" seems to me to be missing the point of what is happening here.

Now it seems to be my turn to be deliberately obtuse, because I have no idea what you meant to imply by this.
2  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The CrabCake Bureau of Funny Post Archival on: Today at 07:10:59 am
It's a good that JCL married a geologist. I'm not sure that anyone else would have the necessary expertise to understand what goes on in his head.
3  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The Obama economic record. on: Today at 07:04:50 am
Beet:

(1) Your WSJ image on net worth shows nothing about its distribution. Is there any indication that we've seen dramatic movement for households below the 85tg percentile or so? Are these improvements reflected in the median, and not just in the aggregate shown in those charts?

(2) Yes, declining labor force participation for working age men is a long term trend. However, with regard to job openings, I understand that there's some debate over what the increase actually means, and whether it reflects that employers are increasingly willing to leave positions empty for long periods, for instance, as openings > hiring might indicate.

(3) *Total* mortgage debt is down, but this is partially a reflection of the homeownership rate falling to postwar lows, and it is especially low among younger households.

My point is not so much that any of these numbers are Obama's fault in particular, but that there's been a significant failure to make broad-based progress during his administration on many of the economic problems that are causing the most suffering in this country, in a way that aggregate statistics tend to gloss over.

His record looks stellar in comparison to most other presidents over the past fifty years, all of whom made policy decisions that contributed to these problems in a big way. On the other hand, if we continue to see massive premium increases on the health insurance exchanges - health economist Uwe Reinhardt has suggested that there are already indications that some of these insurance markets have entered a death spiral, and patients are not protected by subsidies from bearing much of the cost of increases after 2019 - that could change. I hope not.
4  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Seriously? Theatre of Absurdity, Ignorance, and Bad Posts V on: August 29, 2016, 10:53:40 pm
^Thank you, day made.
5  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: I just cannot fathom an Obama 12/trump 16 voter. (and they exist) on: August 29, 2016, 10:00:40 pm
I'm at least Obama 12/anti-Hillary 16. Heck, one of the first reasons I supported Obama in 2008 was as a bulwark against Hillary, whom I was adamantly against from an anti-dynastic, anti-Iraq War point of view (not to mention that Obama's charisma really captivated me). Since then, my opinion of both Obama and Hillary (and liberalism in general) has declined considerably, but I was never a Romney fan (voted for Santorum in the 2012 caucus) as he was far too much of a Wall Street elitist type, and I didn't believe him on social issues for a second.


I think this is a pretty common orientation, but I doubt that it's one that will produce many votes for Trump. Third parties, non-participation, and undervoting, will be more compelling options for most.

As for the actual Obama/Trump voters, we all realize that low information votes are very much a thing, right? Plenty of ballots are cast amidst of ignorance and incoherence, especially when a voter is not in the habit of voting along party lines. They don't need to make sense.
6  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Would you like to have both candidates replaced? on: August 29, 2016, 09:37:08 pm
Yes, of course.

*wakes up to a Walker/Christie vs. Cuomo/Booker election* Gah!

Democrats had better options even if they weren't looking for someone to appeal the party's left: Kirsten Gillibrand, Jerry Brown, Tim Kaine, John Kerru.

(Also, worse ones... *cough* Biden *cough*...)

Republicans had a lot of awful options, most of which would have been less outwardly threatening than Trump although horrifying in their own ways. Also, Trump's rise has exposed a large number of their leaders as craven opportunists whose chief moral guide is political expedience... in a country in which we now know that a large share of voters are not bound by conventional democratic norms of rule of law, rejection of political violence, human dignity, etc. Under these circumstances, how much comfort could we really take in anyone else holding the Republican nomination?

You know, Trump supporters complain about Hitler comparisons, but the thought of what someone like Reince Priebus would do in Nazi Germany might actually be more disturbing. Here we are not talking in terms of historical parallels - which don't necessarily fully reflect the character of the figures involved, a distinction that most people seem to miss - but in terms of those vapid but ambitious men, lacking in principle, who have appeared to lick the boots of every tyrant through human history.

Look at the face of Priebus and tell me that you don't see shades of Eichmann. We can come up with similar stories for clin gets like Giuliani or Christie. Whether it's a swastika, a fascio, a hammer and sickle, or an eagle - what difference does it make to this kind of person?
7  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinions of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton on: August 29, 2016, 09:11:53 pm
Donald Trump is just a means to an end. 

Right, much like my uncle's wood-chipper at his camp in North Dakota.
8  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of Torie on: August 29, 2016, 09:09:41 pm
I PMed him yesterday in regards to my project. I wanted his input as a Upstate New York resident...no response yet.
Should I be worried?
Only about the fact that you're asking someone for help on a subject about which he knows less than nothing.
Well I would rather get his opinion than be forced to make an executive decision.
You and him are the only known Upstate New York residents here as far as I know.

Good thinking, just do the opposite of whatever he recommends. Smart!
...
Do you intend to contribute your opinion? Or just be negative?

I'm not familiar with your project, so I don't know what kind of opinion you're interested in getting. Feel free to direct me to further information if you want help with it.

That said, I am not just being glib: If you ask for Torie's advice on anything relevant to Upstate NY then the best way to handle it is by politely thanking him and then doing exactly the opposite of whatever he suggests.
9  General Politics / Economics / Re: The "Why" in Wage Segregation on: August 29, 2016, 08:07:33 pm
Foucaulf, what's your read on the (apparent) "rent seeking is getting harder" thesis that underlies much of the article?
10  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Trump Being Compared To Hitler on: August 29, 2016, 07:57:29 pm
Stalin's politics had nothing to do with charismatic, nationalistic right-populism, he was pretty "presidential", "part of establishment", "had experience" etc, but result was quite the same.

Huh
11  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of Torie on: August 29, 2016, 07:53:16 pm
I PMed him yesterday in regards to my project. I wanted his input as a Upstate New York resident...no response yet.
Should I be worried?
Only about the fact that you're asking someone for help on a subject about which he knows less than nothing.
Well I would rather get his opinion than be forced to make an executive decision.
You and him are the only known Upstate New York residents here as far as I know.

Good thinking, just do the opposite of whatever he recommends. Smart!
12  General Politics / Economics / Re: The "Why" in Wage Segregation on: August 29, 2016, 07:49:47 pm
I run into too many parents who say they want their kids to get a good career, so I tell them they have to push at home and at school for the basics of English and math. Not just as they were taught, but as those subjects are now applied in the information age. I then hear about how they weren't any good in those subjects, but they got a job anyway. The economic connection between the foundational skills in school and the 21st century workplace is often lost at the time when it is most needed.

     I think this is the key part; it was easier to get a good job in the past without any special skills. The golden age of manufacturing jobs have come and gone and people today need a variety of hard and soft skills to get ahead. I agree that school is an important means by which to teach these skills, and this goes well beyond memorizing dates and earning A's. Being good at school is not sufficient to reap this benefit.

We tend to talk about how good students don't always become well-compensated employees - and around here I am sure that is what both most of us and most people we know are most threatened by - but wage stagnation and decline has more to do with people who were never good students at all because they were never able to apply the patience, interest, self-discipline, or obedience that is usually involved in being a good student. The filter of higher education still works, in other words.

I know people in both sets: The ones who "did everything right" yet have minimal career prospects, and those who were never able to thrive in school and who never managed to acquire the credentials that are all but necessary for admittance to the salaries class. Necessary, but (of course) not sufficient.

Anyway, as someone with some familiarity with both performance measurement and the workings of white collar workplaces in 2016, I find the Cowen/Tabarrok "end of information asymmetry" thesis pretty laughable. We have never had more ways of measuring and monitoring performance, it is true, but we have also never had more ways of manipulating those measures. In short, the ratio of meaning:measurement has never been more skewed. Some people are able to reap disproportionate rewards because they understand this, but this should not be taken as a sign that those people are actually supereffucient high performers.

(The "Ezra Klein Voxes himself" example is telling in ways that are, at a minimum, extremely tangential to the point that the authors mean to illustrate.)
13  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Trump Being Compared To Hitler on: August 29, 2016, 07:29:05 pm
     I'm not really a fan of Trump, but the insanity of comparing him to Hitler makes me facepalm.
They do all they can to help Trump Smiley

In Sweden media/Dems tried to use the same tactics against Trumpish party.

What did they accomplish? Well, voters didn't like when they was indirectly called/compared to racists/nazis/fascists. It solidified and energized those who already vote for Trumpish party. It pissed also off those voters, who share similar stands on immigration and Islam issues, but were undecided/didn't like image(fact that some supporters of this party were indeed racists, for instance), and drove those to Trumpish party Smiley

So Trumpish party just accepted it and was being grateful. (Bara tacka och ta emot in Swedish).

There is a difference between believing that the comparison is persuasive to undecided voters and believing that it is valid in important ways.

I think it would be a poor choice of strategy for anyone interested in convincing someone not to vote for Trump, but I also think that you can't really understand this election very  well without recognizing meaningful parallels between Trump's charismatic, nationalistic right-populism and the politically successful and unsuccessful fascisms that emerged from dysfunctional European and American democracies in the early-to-mid twentieth century - which include Weimar Germany.
14  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of LittleBigPlanet on: August 29, 2016, 07:21:18 pm
Any Trump supporter who cares enough and knows enough about politics to find this site is an HP.
15  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Is this a freedom letter - or not? on: August 29, 2016, 07:18:49 pm
The idea that university administrators should listen to and 'be in touch' with the more 'engaged' students is ridiculous. Universities are not democracies, and a very good thing too, it protects the rest of us from the 'democratically aware' students and their nonsense.

I am not surprised to read you reiterate your low opinion of students, but I am shocked to read you praising university administrators.

Nervous, selfish, careerist administrators obsessed with keeping their boards content and their donors satisfied have more to do with the worst excesses of on-campus censorship - whether it is pressed upwards, downwards, leftward, rightward, or however - than do student organizations that get hot-and-bothered because the campus Republicans are hosting a speaker who once called someone a cuck on Twitter or whatever.
16  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Pokemon Go is starting to look like a flop on: August 29, 2016, 07:10:45 pm
Looks like people have started to realize they have better things to do then run throughout streets and buildings looking for their imaginary friend.

Exactly. Why run through the streets to play video games when you could be sitting at home playing video games, stuffing yourself with Doritos and cotton candy, washing the sticky-sweet mess down with a fizzy, teeth-rotting can of Mountain Dew?

It is both  comical and pathetic that Pokemon Go has attracted so much derision not on account of its flaws - which it shares with virtually every video game that people waste their time playing - but its virtues, i.e. that it encouraged its players to be physically active, socialize with their neighbors, and spend time in public spaces.

Go back to playing flash games like Run the Jewels or Alfred Hitchcock's Birds until you develop bed sores, I guess. Just so long as you stay inside so that no one sees you doing it.
17  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Cincinatti Zoo officials shoot and kill gorilla after child falls into enclosure on: August 29, 2016, 06:59:40 pm
Jesus. Almost 40% here would've said the very very real risk of the kid dying wasn't worth it.

It's probably for the best that many here don't/won't have kids of their own, but c'mon now.

One kid is mathematically less important than a gorilla. Not sure why it's complicated.

This is the most ridiculous thing I've ever read from you. You usually take the only sensible stance, but this isn't even open for debate.

What's the gorilla/kid tradeoff? Presumably (?) you'd agree that massacring every gorilla alive to save one child is over the top. 100 gorillas per kid? We're just arguing about details.

I voted "don't shoot" but this formulation strikes me as unpersuasive: It's very easy easy to invert it and ask "how many children would you sacrifice to save one gorilla," in which case you might as well be handing out pitchforks to the mob. Also the phrase "mathematically less important" made me laugh.

IMO the salient point is that humans put a captured primate of another species on display for entertainment, invited everyone to come and see it, and then chose to shoot their victim when it got hold of a child that someone was stupid enough to drop in its semi-open cell. They shot the gorilla to protect themselves, because it is they (the ones responsible for bring a gorilla to a public place in a Midwestern American city) who would have been most responsible for the child's death if it occurred.
18  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Cincinatti Zoo officials shoot and kill gorilla after child falls into enclosure on: August 29, 2016, 06:41:49 pm
Zoos are disgraceful. Except for domesticates and other species that bear captivity without significant stress, they should be phased out as currently living generations of animals bred in captivity die off. There was no good reason for anyone to keep a gorilla in Cincinnatti in the first place.
19  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of Torie on: August 29, 2016, 05:09:56 pm
I PMed him yesterday in regards to my project. I wanted his input as a Upstate New York resident...no response yet.
Should I be worried?
Only about the fact that you're asking someone for help on a subject about which he knows less than nothing.
20  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of amusement parks on: August 29, 2016, 12:06:28 pm
I don't really enjoy the rides but they're great places for people watching, especially during concerts and festivals.

(Oddly, they are also one of the best showcase for pedestrian-oriented design for Americans who rarely visit real, functional places that were not built for automobiles.)
21  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Is this a freedom letter - or not? on: August 29, 2016, 12:00:09 pm
I would never willingly praise any university administrator, politically correct or not. This moronic culture war is a petty distraction from the fact that higher education, especially in America is led by money-grabbing spivs.

I mean, does anyone doubt that the real audience for this letter are alumni with deep pockets and a smug sense of derision toward kids-these-days and their "safe spaces"?

(The fact that Torie is the person who felt most compelled to share this with us is no coincidence.)

The real audience were the incoming students.

Ostensibly. Did you pony up?
22  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Daughter of Sen. Manchin raises EpiPen price 400% on: August 29, 2016, 11:09:38 am

Which is still three times more expensive than it was.

This might be another case of Turing's "make headlines with outrageous price rises, drop price, people ignore that it's still several times more expensive compared to a few years ago" strategy.
23  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The Obama economic record. on: August 29, 2016, 10:14:31 am
The most recent numbers that I have seen (2013) show that household wealth remains much lower than it was in 2007 for most Americans:



Key finding to keep in mind given the numbers that people tend to cite when they talk about how "the economy" (whatever that actually is) doing well: "Rather remarkably, there was virtually no rebound in net wealth from 2010 to 2013 despite the rebound in asset prices."



A smaller share of working-age people are employed compared to before the recession, and the numbers for men remain at historic lows:



Young people are unable to build wealth because wages for younger workers are stagnant or falling while education and housing become even more expensive:







GDP growth remains lower than it has been between previous recessions, despite the 2007-2009 recession's severity:



And poverty rates show little or no recovery, with large portions of the country showing rates of child poverty not seen since the Great Society:



24  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Is this a freedom letter - or not? on: August 29, 2016, 09:28:36 am
I would never willingly praise any university administrator, politically correct or not. This moronic culture war is a petty distraction from the fact that higher education, especially in America is led by money-grabbing spivs.

I mean, does anyone doubt that the real audience for this letter are alumni with deep pockets and a smug sense of derision toward kids-these-days and their "safe spaces"?

(The fact that Torie is the person who felt most compelled to share this with us is no coincidence.)
25  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: should panhandling be legal? on: August 28, 2016, 03:38:27 pm
Again, the thing about panhandling in the United States is how variable it is - there are places where you're mostly dealing with teenagers who have run away from home, there are places where you're mostly dealing with the dangerous kinds of drug addicts, and there are places where you're dealing more with people who have severe mental illnesses.

Most of the time there are compelling reasons for wanting to get these people off of the streets aside from the fact that they are asking strangers for money. But if there's a "soft-hearted liberal myth" to pick on here, it's that almost everyone among these groups is especially interested in leaving. That's frequently not the case, and if it's something that gets in the way of allowing a broader cross-section of society to enjoy public spaces, then there's little that can be done to address that without getting into using law enforcement to force people out of those spaces.
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