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1  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Libertarian Blog - Democrats are not the "pro-choice" party on: August 28, 2016, 03:11:20 pm
Except the right to choose to have an abortion is an objectively more important choice than any of the other listed choices?
2  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Trump courting American voters in Israel; estimated 300,000 voters on: August 22, 2016, 12:04:38 am
Pretty much all Americans who live abroad full-time are wealthy, highly skilled workers employed by multinational corporations. You don't have blue-collar Americans going to do entry-level work in Europe or Asia and wiring money back home to the folks in Kentucky.

The big difference is that if you're an American and live elsewhere, you made a conscious choice to do so. You weren't emigrating to support your poor, starving family or flee political or religious persecution. Most American ex-pats are members of the "global elite" who pretty much already have likeminded elected officials in any country they go to whether they can vote or not.

None of that is necessarily true of every American abroad and it shouldn't just be assumed in conjunction with an effort to delegitimize the right of citizens to vote.

^^^

It's actually far more likely that Americans living abroad are the children of poor immigrants or are naturalized emigrants to the US than "wealthy expats". Notice the number of migrant flows to Mexico from the US; many people in this flow are Americans of Mexican descent.

For instance, most Americans who live abroad live in Mexico (~800,000; this is comparable to the number of expats in all of the EU combined!), Canada (~300,000), the Philippines (~600,000) and Israel (~185,000). None of these countries are really filled with "wealthy American expats". While there are plenty of affluent Americans in Mexico in San Miguel Allende or Mexico City, there are likely far more Mexican-Americans who are living with family members or whatever. I imagine that the same is true of the Philippines.

Basically, it's very foolish to make assumptions about any of this. Based off of taking a cursory look at statistics, it becomes clear that the number of imagined affluent expatriates is far higher than it is reality. For instance, there are nearly as many expatriates in the Dominican Republic (82,000) as there are in Australia (90,000).
3  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Trump courting American voters in Israel; estimated 300,000 voters on: August 21, 2016, 09:52:48 pm
Uh, American certainly isn't the only country that grants non-resident expats voting rights. My Mom is able to vote in Mexican elections and the last time she lived in Mexico was in 1992. Considering that she sends remittances to family members, owns a house in Mexico, paid taxes for quite a while and is entitled to her public pension, she ought to be entitled to vote in Mexican elections.

I'll note that most migrant-sending countries grant non-resident expats voting rights and that this is for a reason. Those who emigrate elsewhere are never fully removed from the communities and families of their country of origin. They usually have a stake in their former home. The idea that someone has to physically live somewhere in order to participate in the democratic process is far-fetched garbage that only a juvenile fool who's detached from the realities of adulthood would propagate.
4  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Gawker shutting down on: August 20, 2016, 02:20:48 am
The controversy surrounding the "outing" of Peter Thiel is rather sickening. He's a plutocrat who exercises a great deal of power and influence by virtue of his wealth alone. This rent-seeking behavior is corrosive to American democracy. None of this even begins to mention the fact that his viewpoints are odious, repulsive and damaging. Dredging up personal information and using it against him is a virtue, not a vice. All means must be exercised to "show truth to power" and force pompous elites to recognize that their use of public power cannot be made private or obfuscated by the flaws in our political culture and campaign finance laws.

On the other hand, it's also pretty clear that Gawker's flagrant violations of privacy have little to do with a grandiose political agenda. It's related to its clickbait-driven business model, which is hardly different than any other gossip-driven publication. Gawker has routinely made grievous errors relating to the privacy of others and, perhaps more importantly, has not taken journalistic ethics very seriously. It's an amateur-hour news site that is no substitute for old media sources. Gawker is a constant reminder that the rise of the "New Media" is nothing to be celebrated.

As such, I feel pretty conflicted about all of this. On the one hand, I wouldn't shed a tear if Peter Thiel died of a stroke and was found to have had a very painful death. On the other hand, Gawker needs to voluntarily shut itself down because it's a cesspool of bad journalism.
5  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: battle of the good posters 2016 - round ia (democrats & leftists) on: August 17, 2016, 02:45:14 am
This poll is proof that Old Atlas is now a trash forum.
6  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Can one be a pro-choice social conservative? on: August 17, 2016, 01:21:43 am
Yes.  Backing forced childbirth is an increasingly fringe issue.

Even Donald Trump has effectively disowned the forced childbirth movement. Sad!
7  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Will Clinton win any counties in Oklahoma and West Virginia? on: August 16, 2016, 10:14:46 pm
West Virginia:
Jefferson County
Monongalia County

8  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Say something nice about the other party's nominee on: August 15, 2016, 10:24:17 pm
Donald Trump has a great hair, a wicked sense of humor and a nice smile also. If I had a daughter, I'd ask him to date her. Donald Trump is very wealthy and would take care of her.
9  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Millennial Voters (Clinton v Trump "Feels Like a Joke") on: August 15, 2016, 06:41:16 am
What's interesting is that as recently as 90s, students at public universities were markedly more right-wing than their professors in terms of their voting behavior; in the 1980s, this tendency was very pronounced. Faculty members overwhelmingly backed Mondale and their students overwhelmingly backed Ronald Reagan. As of late, there's a slight difference between students and faculty but it's hardly noticeable.

10  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Alt-leftists and the use of the word 'folks' on: August 15, 2016, 01:15:03 am
I googled "alt-left" out of morbid curiosity and this came up.  It sounds pretty horrifying.  Thank God I don't actually know anyone with those views.

EDIT: Oh wait, Cory exists.

So it's National Socialism?
11  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Killer Mike: Trump and Clinton "exactly the same" on: August 13, 2016, 04:14:36 pm
Literally have no idea who this guy is Tongue

He's a dumbass rapper who was Bernie's token black surrogate during the primaries.  Known for his insightful, socially conscious lyrics like

Quote
Where my thuggers and my crippers and my blooders and my brothers?
When you niggas gon' unite and kill the police, mothaas?
And take over a jail, give them COs hell
The burnin' of the sulfur, goddamn I love the smell
Now get to pillow torchin', where the  the warden?
And when you find him, we don't kill him, we just waterboard him
We killin' them for freedom cause they tortured us for boredom
And even if some good ones die,  it, the Lord'll sort 'em

He's beloved by the kind of ignorant people who listen to rap music for edgy political views to educate their parents or Facebook friends with.

Like most rappers, and most musicians outside of rap for that matter, Killer Mike is a persona. His lyrics are not intended to evoke his viewpoints in a literal sense, particularly when he works with El-P in Run the Jewels, which is intended to be a non-serious side project.

It's almost as if you don't listen to hip-hop and are out of your element!

Dude, Run The Jewels gets praised all the time for their political, street-conscious and allegedly social-justice-inspired lyrics.

https://mic.com/articles/105798/16-run-the-jewels-lines-that-captured-what-it-was-like-to-be-alive-in-2014#.tNOwUUCu6 for example

The motivation behind many of RTJ's lyrics is clearly political but the style is an artifact of the conventions of hip-hop. When interviewed by CNN or Fox News, Killer Mike displays a great deal of intelligence and tact that's not present in any of his lyrics, making it pretty clear to non-idiots that his rap persona is, well, a persona.
12  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Killer Mike: Trump and Clinton "exactly the same" on: August 13, 2016, 04:00:02 pm
Literally have no idea who this guy is Tongue

He's a dumbass rapper who was Bernie's token black surrogate during the primaries.  Known for his insightful, socially conscious lyrics like

Quote
Where my thuggers and my crippers and my blooders and my brothers?
When you niggas gon' unite and kill the police, mothaas?
And take over a jail, give them COs hell
The burnin' of the sulfur, goddamn I love the smell
Now get to pillow torchin', where the  the warden?
And when you find him, we don't kill him, we just waterboard him
We killin' them for freedom cause they tortured us for boredom
And even if some good ones die,  it, the Lord'll sort 'em

He's beloved by the kind of ignorant people who listen to rap music for edgy political views to educate their parents or Facebook friends with.

Like most rappers, and most musicians outside of rap for that matter, Killer Mike is a persona. His lyrics are not intended to evoke his viewpoints in a literal sense, particularly when he works with El-P in Run the Jewels, which is intended to be a non-serious side project.

It's almost as if you don't listen to hip-hop and are out of your element!
13  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: How many yardsigns and bumperstickers are you all seeing where you live? on: August 08, 2016, 04:33:48 pm
I've seen two Trump bumperstickers, five Hillary signs and roughly one hundred Bernie Sanders signs/bumperstickers. It's hard to keep track of the latter category tbh.
14  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Poll: Is Trump a Bullsh** Artist ? (Article/Video by Fareek Zakaria) on: August 07, 2016, 04:06:49 pm
Amusing considering that Zakaria is the ultimate BS artist.
15  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Should unwilling parents be forced to pay child support if we'll have a UBI? on: August 06, 2016, 06:27:21 am
If abortion/birth control was easily accessible, more income support was available to parents and full employment was prioritized, I'd argue that our child support system should remain intact. As none of the above statements are true, I oppose our child support system because it penalizes both women and men in a very moralistic/individualizing manner for problems that are social; it also has the effect of creating a "vicious cycle" where men, typically Black men, are locked up for not paying child support, which furthers the breakdown of the American family along class-lines.

The issue isn't that the American family has grown less and less formal as time has gone by. The issue is that the American family has ceased to exist in a recognizable form in working class and poor communities. Any sort of legal framework that punishes parents for not providing for their children is going to create more problems than it solves when the legal burden of paying for child support is correlated with poverty.
16  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The False Equivalencies of ag: A DFB Friday Night Smackdown on: August 05, 2016, 04:13:54 am
A note: suggesting that I should join the GOP because I caucused for Sanders is tantamount to suggesting that I hire a group of thugs to rape my mother or that I should submit myself to a hard-beating from a group of Klan members. It's not very nice! It's nasty! I take it personally. This is why I made the above post, really.
17  Forum Community / Forum Community / The False Equivalencies of ag: A DFB Friday Night Smackdown on: August 05, 2016, 04:01:11 am
For quite some time, ag has regaled us with his grand theory of American politics in which Bernie Sanders supporters and Trump supporters are equally terrible. This grand theory of American politics is little more than the malformed and delusional notion of the "horseshoe theory of politics". Clearly, the extremes are just as bad and are equally terrible. Anyone who posts on this forum should recognize the whiff of cow excrement that wafts over one's nose whenever they read ag's grand theory of American politics but I'll try to unpack why his argument is nonsense.

ag (putative) argument #1: Bernie supporters and Trump supporters are equally bad because they're both opposed to free trade, which is akin to authoritarianism and the work of Lucifer.

Leaving aside whether or not ag's fixation with trade is healthy or justifiable, and I think it's neither because it's perfectly understandable why trade agreements have received hostility from the general public (there are distributional effects and the public is not happy about those effects), this claim is very stupid. It's stupid because it's not in-line with reality: Bernie supporters, for the most part, did not support Sanders because of his position on the TPP or NAFTA. Maybe the core of his "Bernie or Bust" support emanated from the hard left, which stands ready to oppose any trade deal at any cost, but the vast majority of Sanders voters are not economic nationalists. In fact, Sanders supporters were more likely to say that they supported free trade than Kasich supporters.



ag's putative argument #2: Bernie and Trump supporters are equally bad because they're nationalists who hate immigrants.

Does ag abuse drugs? Is he deaf and blind? Only a crack addict, someone afflicted by numerous disabilities or someone who is entirely ignorant of American politics could believe this claim.







So much for the unpacking and critique, then. This begs the question: why bother responding to claims that are so obviously wrong? I'm responding to these claims because they're part and parcel of a wider argument embraced by right-wing "neo-liberals", an argument that states that the rise of the leftist social movements is as damaging and threatening to "liberal values" as the rise of the "far-right". This argument is a frightening one because it is reminiscent of the unwillingness that middle class right-wing liberals displayed in the 1930s to cooperate with their socialist peers; instead, they actively collaborated with fascists, ditching their liberal allegiances and tethering themselves to the banner of fascism.

The idea that democratic socialists stand opposed to human rights of all kinds and the dignity of man (and woman) throughout the globe is, on its face, absurd. Who are the only actors in Europe willing to embrace refugees? The "far-left"; no citations are necessarily, everyone ought to be aware of the efforts of far-left parties in defending migrants and everyone ought to be aware of the work of activists who have tried to shield refugees from racist attacks; these people are heroes and keyboard warriors like ag disdain them because they're insufficiently supportive of his notion of globalization. Who was the only candidate in the Democratic presidential primary who opposed the militarization of the border? Bernie Sanders, the only candidate in the race who stood up for the rights of child migrants from Central America. I could go on and on but you get my point: in a decade defined by the re-emergence of the dark forces of reaction, the only force that has fully championed the cause of immigrants and that has attacked ultra-nationalism is the moral force of socialism.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptJf3ju3X1g

I do not mind criticism of Bernie Sanders or criticism of his supporters; they warrant such criticism but what I will not allow and what I will not put up with is the notion that his supporters are cruel, heartless and terrible or that they are equivalent to Trump supporters. Hundreds of thousands of Latinos supported Bernie Sanders for a reason and many undocumented immigrants advocated for his candidacy for a reason: because they saw a man who cared for them and their plight. The fact that a Mexican economist who is delusional and far removed from American politics thinks otherwise is, perhaps, unimportant; every society contains its fair-share of lunatics and weirdos who yell at clouds. Alas, Mexico is no different than America in this regard. It has been very infuriating to watch a man use the banner of Mexican citizenship to defame Mexican-Americans, and the millions of other Sanders supporters who are good and decent people, by suggesting that they vote for the White Nationalist Party. This man knows nothing of which he purports to know and should stick to what he knows best: economics. Stop defaming good people, ag. If you must defame, defame fascists, do not defame your compaņeros.
18  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Madison County, ID on: August 04, 2016, 09:54:36 pm
My prediction:
Trump 67%
Clinton 18%
Johnson 14%
19  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Latino Voice: Trump at 13% latino support in Florida on: August 03, 2016, 04:02:08 pm
Junk poll!
20  General Politics / Economics / Re: Considering Taking Micro And Macro Econ..How Much Math Involved? on: July 31, 2016, 02:10:56 am
To my knowledge, it's nearly impossible to be a proficient statistician/econometrician without understanding the theoretical basis of statistics (probability theory and mathematical statistics) and this requires calculus. Even one was to advance the critique of economics, a critique that I'm sympathetic towards, that it's insufficiently empirical and overly obsessed with the perfect forms of mathematical models that rarely approximate reality, there could be no claim that calculus isn't...integral to economic science.

I still basically agree with ag though. Most economic practices and outcomes are quantifiable/measurable. As such, they can be modeled easily using math and, for this reason, models have value because they give us a depiction of a hypothetical reality that's easy to understand and reason with. The problems of modeling occur when economists become overly infatuated with particular models, mistaking them for reality, or attempt to apply models to situations that do not call for those models. As an example, a simple model of the labor market might be not be an appropriate tool for understanding the employment effects of a minimum wage increase if one believes that firms have some degree of monopsony power. Do this mean that the simple model of the labor market is wrong? No, it simply means that it isn't an explanatory model in particular situations where its assumptions do not apply. The arguments that underlie this post are detailed quite nicely in a book written by Dani Rodrik (Economics Rules) that I'd recommend. Because I'm an undergraduate, I wouldn't take my post that seriously though...
21  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: AZ-IWS: Trump +8 on: July 30, 2016, 02:04:37 am
"Polling was conducted using a clustered IVR approach and results were
weighted to reflect the perceived electorate based on past presidential
election trends in Arizona. "

Why should we expect the electorate to mirror "past presidential election trends" in Arizona? I think polls that rely upon "voter files" are usually the most reliable but there are instances in which they have been miserable failures. In the event of a surge in voter registration and concomitantly high voter turnout, a reliance upon a voter file to create a universe of "likely voters" will almost certainly fail because irregular/new voters will compose a large share of the electorate.

How I know this poll is garbage: Donald Trump's favorables are far too high.

I don't know.  Hope you're right, but that's precisely the scenario that should keep us up at night.

As it turns out, I was wrong. I forgot to check the national polling aggregators; Trump's favorables have surged over the past weak from -25 to -15. Therefore, the poll probably makes a degree of sense.
22  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: AZ-IWS: Trump +8 on: July 30, 2016, 12:55:00 am
"Polling was conducted using a clustered IVR approach and results were
weighted to reflect the perceived electorate based on past presidential
election trends in Arizona. "

Why should we expect the electorate to mirror "past presidential election trends" in Arizona? I think polls that rely upon "voter files" are usually the most reliable but there are instances in which they have been miserable failures. In the event of a surge in voter registration and concomitantly high voter turnout, a reliance upon a voter file to create a universe of "likely voters" will almost certainly fail because irregular/new voters will compose a large share of the electorate.

How I know this poll is garbage: Donald Trump's favorables are far too high.
23  General Politics / Economics / Re: Considering Taking Micro And Macro Econ..How Much Math Involved? on: July 29, 2016, 03:50:57 pm
In my experience, both Intermediate Micro and Macro didn't require Calculus. My knowledge of Calculus was helpful but I wouldn't say that it was necessary at that level.

Anyways, I agree with ag. I was pretty frightened by the prospects of taking Calculus, until I took my first Calculus class and took it seriously. Once I did this, I realized that the basics of Calculus are very easy to understand and that it should be a required class before college.
24  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Cuyahoga County Black Lives Matter endorses Rob Portman on: July 29, 2016, 03:45:01 pm
So three people endorsed Portman? Congrats, I guess.
25  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: Idaho Politics Weekly: Trump +21, but #Under50 on: July 21, 2016, 04:20:48 pm
Here are three possible scenarios in Idaho:

Median Prediction:
Trump 57%
Clinton 33%
Johnson 9%

Low Republican Turnout:
Trump 54%
Clinton 36%
Johnson 9%

Johnson Catches Fire:
Trump 50%
Clinton 30%
Johnson 18%

For those who doubt the latter scenario, it's worth noting that Clinton and Trump are arguably the most despised politicians in history in Idaho (and Utah). Nearly everyone in Idaho is afflicted by Clinton derangement syndrome. Similarly, Trump is toxic in Idaho and not only among Mormons. Outside of some small pockets of logging and mining territory, Idaho Republicans are ideologues, people who exude a "consistent conservativism" that prioritizes economic issues and that tends to be a bit libertarian flavored, particularly regarding land-use, guns but also marijuana, NSA spying and foreign wars. Trump is anathema to these types, who quite liked Cruz. This doesn't even begin to mention Trump's weaknesses among ag-business types/farmers, who are very reliant on immigrant labor, and Mormons.

Unless this election is very close, ala 2000, Idaho's swing map will be a veritable bloodbath. It's very unlikely that Clinton will perform well but Trump will be murdered by voters who have already shown a propensity for voting for third-party candidates and by Mormons who, in the right circumstances, give Democrats 30% of the vote or so. If the latter scenario occurs, which would be a perfect storm that's incredibly unlikely, Clinton could make this a 10 point race.
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