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Old 06-07-2019, 04:00 AM
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What actions has Trump taken to specifically hurt / help America


With all the hype Trump gets (both positive and negative, depending on your political affiliation), it's sometimes hard to separate his actual political actions from his rhetoric and over the top personality.

And in the past couple of years since he's been elected, we a) haven't gone to war b) the economy appears to not have collapsed and c) as far as I can tell, life for most people continues to go on as it always has.



So other than intangibles like appearing "disagreeable" to certain people, are there any specific laws or executive orders Trump has signed that has significantly impacted America (for good or ill)?

By "significant", I mean actually having a real impact on a lot of people. Like Obamacare or going to war with Iraq. I don't consider his Mexico Wall to have a "big impact, given it costs about as much as 1 to 5 Tappen Zee Bridge replacement projects (with about the same impact on commute times). Nor do I care about Trump signing some bill to create 500 jobs in a single factory.

FWIW, I'm less interested in whether it's been a negative or positive impact and more interested in the size of the impact.
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Old 06-07-2019, 08:07 AM
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Realistically, the answer depends on how realistic an answer you want.

Most people, for example, would tell you that Brexit will cause the UK to implode and keel over, providing the next film location for Kurt Russell's "Escape From.." outing. That is, realistically speaking, silly.

Moldova doesn't have a membership in the EU nor with anyone. You know what the people there all do? They go to work every day, eat food a few times a day, have sex occasionally, and raise their families. They're probably all mostly happy and satisfied with life. (Granted, I've never been there and know nothing about the country.)

There was a thread some time back where someone was asking about the population of the world through history and how China always seemed to have a lot of people. It's just a very fertile area and rice is a good food source. And, consequently, China has dominated Southeast Asia for all of history. Sheer bulk numbers of people matters a lot when it comes to a lot of things:

1) Being able to beat others in a war.
2) Being able to invent new technologies.
3) Being able to demand good prices and getting it.
4) Being able to just make a whole bunch of shit in bulk.

The Chinese are and always have been dominant in Southeast Asia...but at the same time, that doesn't necessarily mean that the people of China are happier or more satisfied in life than the Moldovans.

Costa Rica, as example, is just some country. They don't dominate jack doodle (no offense). Their human development index is 63 out of 189 - not very good. But they're happier than Americans, Chinese, Moldova, and everyone in the UK. Dominance, technical innovation, etc. are different things from happiness.

Brexit, in practical effect, just turns the UK from being part of a larger body that is able to assert dominance, form better technologies, get the best deals, make shit in bulk, etc. to just being "some country". But at the moment, they still have all of the technologies still, they still have all the money, many of the connections, etc. Mostly, they just lose membership in a group with a sheer raw number of people. Over time - maybe decades, maybe centuries - that is far more likely to see them ending up backwards and rural, undeveloped and superstitious. But, they'll still all just be going to work every day, eating food, and making babies. They might be very happy.

It's a slow process, though.

If the US decides to go the same way and cut itself off from the world, become self-sufficient, rely on only its own populace...again, in a sense, nothing cataclysmic happens. And there's no reason to expect that anything will go immediately horrible.

General Motors, for example, used to be 30% of the US GDP or workforce or something (I forget the exact metric). That's a whole lot of moolah and might. From that peak, it took them 50 years to finally go bankrupt due to forming bad deals with their employees, failing to innovate, letting their sub-businesses all compete with each other for no reason, etc.

The Roman Republic, from the time it stopped being a Republic to the time where it split into two, took about 300 years. The Republican system was better than the Imperial. Emperors are strong and able to act quickly, but the wrong guy can really set things back and it's hard to always find the right guy. Even the right guy can sometimes make the wrong choice, and there's no one able to check him.

It can take a long time for bad ideas to reveal themselves. Donald Trump is probably not our bad idea. We started to go downhill in the early 70s and Trump is just our Julius Nepos - some idiot who happened to fall into the job, because we allowed things to degrade that far.

While it is true that technology and financial might don't intrinsically make people happier in life, it is correlated. The human development index is correlated to the human happiness index. It's not 1:1 but it's better to be in a modern, developed nation than one which isn't, on average. If you want your children and your grandchildren to be happy, it's better if we're on a path that's aimed at financial prosperity, not ruralism, and that means staying connected to the world, commanding a larger number of workers, having trade deals with everyone, etc.

Dominance doesn't make people happier either...so long as no one is dominating them. And, for me at least, that's the bigger issue.

If I had to choose a town to live in, I would want to live in a nice, peaceful place where I could trust everyone around me and I had freedom to live the way I wanted to live. I wouldn't want to live in a town with Ken McElroy and always be worrying that I'd encounter him one day, at a grocery store, when he was in a bad mood and wanted to make someone dance.

For better or worse, the major force on our planet, to make sure that the aim of all countries is to stay inside their own borders and try to make their citizens happy and content in life, is the United States. We have been able to create and maintain that position for a half century, and it's made it so that the human development index for the whole world - not just America - has gone up every year. We organized everything to kill off measles. We're pushing countries to not consider women and wives to be property. We're making the world a better and (on average) happier place for most of the rest of the human race.

China wouldn't.

If the US steps down from our position, the only other game in town to try and continue pushing the world towards improved human rights, improved lawfullness, safety of travel, safety of borders, etc. would be the EU - and they're just not structured to be able to take on that sort of role and there's a few people out there working to make sure that it stays that way - e.g., Russia, China, and probably some others, too.

One of the emblems of the United States is a bundle of arrows. Together we are strong, apart we are weak.

One of the core strategies through all of military history is to divide and conquer.

Brexit is awesome-sauce for anyone out there in the world who is annoyed that they have to live in a world that is moving towards peace, technological development, cooperation, and lawfulness. The end of NATO, the throwing up of tariffs, the imposition of sanctions against all countries left and right.... Juicy juicy goodness.

The more the world is divided and "self-sufficient" the less you have to be an 800 pound gorilla to get your way. Maybe you just have to be a 400 pound gorilla, or 300 pounds.

If the US turns away from the world and stops leading the way to the future, maybe we'll be left alone and be allowed to peacefully meander into ruralism. But we could also end up as the 400 pound gorilla's bitch, taking whatever it feels like dishing out on us.

I mean we may all feel a little bit bad that, as English speakers, we don't really have to learn a second language in order to get around in the world. But learning Chinese is worse, and I would bet you anything that the number of people studying English as a second language compared to Chinese as a second language, across the planet, is a ratio that's swinging hard towards China. All of Trump's actions have just made that switch faster.

I don't resent the Chinese, but Chinese politics is not based on humanistic philosophy, it's just a system that's figured out how to balance robber-baronism with bread-and-circus rule. They keep the people happy and improve the quality of life in the country, but there's nothing benevolent about that, and their goals abroad don't extend the "improve the quality of life" goal past their borders.

And this isn't to say that Trump's agenda isn't bad in the short term, either. But, fairly likely, between people refusing to do what he says, the Senate stopping him, and various other mechanisms, he simply hasn't had the chance to chuck everything into the toilet yet. As said, it took 50 years to tank GM, just because they started from such a high point. It took a year for Trump to flatline the stock market. He's all set to send it going downhill if he enacts his emergency tariff on Mexico on Monday.

And, lest anyone complain that my post is largely related to International Affairs, I will note that the job of the Federal Government is International Affairs. If y'all are wanting it to run Domestic Affairs, then you should read the Constitution again. The States run things domestically. The Federal government represents us abroad. If Trump doesn't like foreign affairs, he shouldn't have run for the job. You might as well compete in an ass kicking contest when you're a person who hates violence.

So that's the first thing that he has done, which is bad.
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Old 06-07-2019, 08:26 AM
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For the second thing, I would point to some studies from a few decades ago (no link, but feel free to look it up if you doubt me) that showed that the American offices of Japanese companies - even when they had an American at the top, locally - tended to be more sexist than fully American companies.

In general, the people at the top of the ladder set the tone for everyone under them. If the boss is a tyrant, his employees are more likely to act like tyrants to those lower in the ladder. If he's a penny pincher, everyone is going to be a penny pincher. The boss sets the culture.

When the boss is a crook, that sets the culture.

The problem with crooks is that they're lazy. They'd rather you bribe them to do the work, rather than simply do it out of work ethic or for the sake of their job. But if they can get in and stay in, then bribery is the game, and that slows everything down. You have to negotiate with each level and no one is really very good at the job you're bribing them to do - they're just some lazy crook who had the right connections.

This sort of culture is what drags the most heavily on most of the economies of the world. Saudi Arabia might have a bunch of raw money, but if the oil ever runs out they go back to being a bunch of goat farmers, running from one oasis to the next, in a matter of weeks. They just haven't established a culture of inventiveness, of hard work, of general honesty, etc. Where you are positioned, in much of the country's workforce, is based on who you know and what your family has done for them, not how your qualifications line up and how well you interview.

Right now, it's very likely that Donald Trump is packing the government full of useless assholes that are completely incompetent at their job. And useless assholes are damn hard to root out of a giant hierarchy. They're going to stay there, bogging down the system for decades. You might hate regulations, and Donald Trump may say that he hates them too, but once the next President comes in and adds a few dozen, there's going to be a few Trump hires that are going to be loving them regulations and holding out their palms to every American corporation that needs a stamp on a piece of a paper.

We don't all work for the government, but our government will be worse for decades, because of Donald Trump, and it will make it harder to keep our GDP growing, because its been riddled with people who are incompetent, lazy, and criminal.

So that's the second thing that he has done.
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Old 06-07-2019, 08:30 AM
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When you're the President, your rhetoric is itself an action.
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Old 06-07-2019, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by msmith537 View Post
With all the hype Trump gets (both positive and negative, depending on your political affiliation), it's sometimes hard to separate his actual political actions from his rhetoric and over the top personality.

And in the past couple of years since he's been elected, we a) haven't gone to war b) the economy appears to not have collapsed and c) as far as I can tell, life for most people continues to go on as it always has.

So other than intangibles like appearing "disagreeable" to certain people, are there any specific laws or executive orders Trump has signed that has significantly impacted America (for good or ill)?

By "significant", I mean actually having a real impact on a lot of people. Like Obamacare or going to war with Iraq. I don't consider his Mexico Wall to have a "big impact, given it costs about as much as 1 to 5 Tappen Zee Bridge replacement projects (with about the same impact on commute times). Nor do I care about Trump signing some bill to create 500 jobs in a single factory.

FWIW, I'm less interested in whether it's been a negative or positive impact and more interested in the size of the impact.
What do you consider a "real impact"? Change tends to be a gradual process. The economy hasn't collapsed overnight, but job growth has fallen to the lowest level in nine years, the manufacturing sector is actually laying off people, farmers are getting bailed out again (although big agribusiness is taking the largest slice of that), stock market volatility has greatly increased and the deficit has massively ballooned. Some of that is affecting people now, some will affect people later as the economy continues to slow, and some will affect people indirectly. And if the US continues the trend toward isolationism - a policy that traditionally results in economic stagnation - it will eventually affect everyone.

In other areas, Trump's anti-immigrant policies likewise have affected a lot of people - not just the treatment of asylum seekers at the border or the increasingly draconian (and illegal) tactics by ICE, but also the closing off of many avenues for legal immigration by these people, trying to deport the DREAMERS, barring immigrants serving in the US military from gaining citizenship status that way (as was previously done) and his suspiciously selective Muslim ban. That's caused a lot of harm to individual people as well.

His administration's trashing of environmental policies and safety regulations has harmed people - mine safety regulations were cut and mine accident deaths went up, and that recent E.coli outbreak was due to similar cuts to inspections on farm irrigation systems - not to mention the increase in water and air pollution (and not even getting into the climate change issue).

I mean, Trump hasn't yet shot anyone on Fifth Avenue (although he's actively encouraged others to commit violence) so one can always quibble over what he's really "done". That said, if you want a concrete example, consider what he's done - or specifically not done - with regard to Puerto Rico following the hurricane damage, and tell me that isn't harming people.
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Old 06-07-2019, 08:48 AM
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This one might have been a no-win, either way, but I'd like to mention something that's not a "he did this" but instead is a "he didn't do this".

The world has been changing. Technology is getting to a point where things are going to start changing radically, and it has the potentially to vastly fuck the living hell out of everything, and I mean a lot more than just the Internet causing social divisiveness. Neo-fascist government (meaning, government that is nationalistic, follows single-party rule, and subjugates the corporations to the will of the government) has found a way to succeed and compete in the modern world, and they simply have more people than us. Criminal enterprise has discovered that they can take over a government, build some nukes, and they're completely immune from law enforcement or military action by any other nation in the world.

And the US is still debating abortion, whether to lower taxes or raise the deficit, and (in recent history) spending real Congressional time investigating baseball. 99% of our politics has been locked in to such tightly defined bounds that it's no longer politics, it's football. Here's the outside bounds of the field, here's the 10 meter line, here's how you handle a foul. The goal today is the same as the goal yesterday, get abortion 5 meters downfield. We'll play again next Sunday.

We're not even handling the real issues of the day, we're spending all of our time quibbling over issues decided 40 years ago, let alone looking at the future.

And while it may be that Hillary Clinton wouldn't be dealing with the future or even - for the most part - the issues of today, she'd be doing at least a tiny amount of worrying about the issues of today.

Donald Trump loves the football field. He loves that he can tell everyone that he's all in on abortion, and immediately get all the fans to love him. Easy money. He doesn't have to do crap, just spout off some nonsense, and he's king for life.

There's real things happening in the world - not just Trump's own stupid issues that he's created - and those aren't being dealt with. Puerto Rico is being left to molder. No one's actually working on anything like a solution to our health care spending. No one's doing crap about the opium epidemic. It's all just sitting there with no one looking at it.

And again (unless you're Puerto Rican) that might not affect us today and now, but the longer the goes the more it will build up and the more it will hurt.

Of the two candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, Trump was the one who came in saying that he would clear up the swamp. Part of that promise - cleaning up the swamp - is, I would think, to allow the government to act rationally and according to expert advice, thinking ahead, and moving quickly, rather than being slow and only moving in the direction of whoever slips them some money under the table.

Even if neither of them would have done anything to repair Washington, to make it able to function again, not just play political football, Trump is the one who promised that he would. Of the two, he takes the blame, because Clinton at least didn't promise to fix the problem.
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Old 06-07-2019, 09:06 AM
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The most scary thing that Donald Trump has done is to prove that it can happen here. And the fact that no one noticed is even scarier.

Now, Trump is not a true believer. He doesn't hate Mexicans or really even care about illegal immigrants or anything else. His own businesses were still employing illegal immigrants until this year - firing them just after he lost the wall financing issue against Nancy Pelosi. Probably, Pelosi was going to invite a few of his illegal workers to a televised congressional inquiry and that made him buckle - the timing of the firings was damn suspicious.

Hitler, presumably, actually hated Jews and wanted them dead. Trump does not - not Jews, not Mexicans, not anyone. I have no fear that Trump is going to flip over and start ordering death squads to round people up. He's an asshole, but he's also too much of a wimp to go in that deep. He can't even fire people to their face.

But, he told everyone that Hondurans were sneaking terrorists into the country. FOX news backed him, the Republicans in Congress backed him, the people believed it, and 11 people were murdered at the Tree of Life Synagogue by a man who got wrapped up in the frenzy that Democratic agents were helping to move terrorists into our nation, over the Mexican border.

It was false and patently stupid, but a lot of people are stupid and if the President and the news and your elected representative are all endorsing a lie, most people are liable to fall for it.

Like I said, Trump isn't a murderer. He doesn't have the personality to go that far, himself. And he doesn't have the popularity, nationally, to achieve that sort of thing even if he wanted to.

But he's shown that the recipe works. He not only kept the Senate, they won more seats. Fear works.

It can happen here, and there's some sick bastard out there who will have noticed it. Most didn't, but I'm sure that I'm not the only one who saw the gap in the armor. There's nothing about our country that makes us immune to the Great Lie, and that fact was flashed out into the sky for anyone to see. The Great Lie works.

Last edited by Sage Rat; 06-07-2019 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 06-07-2019, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msmith537 View Post
With all the hype Trump gets (both positive and negative, depending on your political affiliation), it's sometimes hard to separate his actual political actions from his rhetoric and over the top personality.

And in the past couple of years since he's been elected, we a) haven't gone to war b) the economy appears to not have collapsed and c) as far as I can tell, life for most people continues to go on as it always has.



So other than intangibles like appearing "disagreeable" to certain people, are there any specific laws or executive orders Trump has signed that has significantly impacted America (for good or ill)?

By "significant", I mean actually having a real impact on a lot of people. Like Obamacare or going to war with Iraq. I don't consider his Mexico Wall to have a "big impact, given it costs about as much as 1 to 5 Tappen Zee Bridge replacement projects (with about the same impact on commute times). Nor do I care about Trump signing some bill to create 500 jobs in a single factory.

FWIW, I'm less interested in whether it's been a negative or positive impact and more interested in the size of the impact.
To me, most of the big things he's done have been geo-political. Almost all of them have been of the negative impact variety as well. You have the Iran nuclear deal taken out as he tries to force Iran to do a new deal with him. This has had a major impact on how the US is viewed, on further straining ties with our allies wrt trade, and inflamed the region. This segue into the next one...his NATO policies and EU sanctions. To put it simply, he's straining our relationships with our traditional allies, and at a time when we need to bolster them, not put them in question. Which leads to the next one...North Korea. He has basically inflamed that entire situation. Now, this might be one you could list in the positive category, as, IMHO anyway, what we were doing before wasn't working. And his ability to play North Korea and China off each other (we'll get to the China sanctions soon) has actually worked fairly well. But...at the same time he's pushing this stuff he's straining our economic and military alliances with our allies and throwing everything into chaos. It's stupid, IMHO, to try and do everything at once and push everyone's buttons, friend, foe and neutral at the same time. Then we have China. This is, again, one I could see putting in the positive column...we've needed, for years now, to bring this issue to a head. I think he's doing it for all the wrong reasons, but I think it needed to be done. Just not with everything else. China should be something we are doing by itself and with the full support of our allies. We SHOULD be using this to strengthen our ties with our allies, both military and economic, as well as forging new ties with neutral countries (TPP anyone?) and broadening our trade relations to mitigate the impact on us while maximizing it on China. But we aren't. Then you have Mexico and his seeming obsession with Mexican immigrants pouring into the US, his wall, and his idiotic attempt to use trade and sanctions as the only hammer in the tool kit. He's got even his own nominal allies in Congress saying they won't support him on this, because it's fucking stupid, especially in light of the fact that Mexico IS trying to stop the mass migration of folks fleeing the disintegration of various countries, especially Venezuela, in the region. This issue isn't Mexico's fault...it's not specifically America's fault either, but the US is the one that could do something about this by rallying support in the region, giving aid and basically helping those countries affected. Hell, we COULD be using this as a way to move US manufacturing to those areas as well as business investment that would actually be a win/win for everyone (as opposed to win/win with Chinese characteristics ).

To cut this short, Trump is like a bull in a china shop, and a particularly stupid and stubborn one at that. Not everything he is doing is wrong, but the way he's doing it is stupid and ham fisted. He's also trying to do too much and with stupid timing on most of it. We won't even get into his attempt to force the market back to coal, or the social conservative stuff he's spewed out, how he's hurt our image and other less tangible but real negatives he's brought to the table.
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Old 06-07-2019, 10:26 AM
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The biggest damage Trump has done is to the honor and prestige of the U.S. Many people around the world who looked up to the United States as a bastion of liberty, science, safety, etc. no longer do. This may have dreadful consequences in the long term.

Major political changes DO have consequences on the economy. Britain is likely to fall into recession because of Brexit. British people are already less well-off financially because of Brexit.

The Trump tax cuts gave a big short-term boost to the economy. (There is a reason why responsible leaders wouldn't have cut taxes on the rich so dramatically: Google "Is it better to eat protein or sugar?") Some tariffs may also offer a short-term boost. It is unforutnate that such short-term effects may play an over-sized role in the coming elections.

I agree with much that Sage Rat wrote.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sage Rat View Post
In general, the people at the top of the ladder set the tone for everyone under them. If the boss is a tyrant, his employees are more likely to act like tyrants to those lower in the ladder. If he's a penny pincher, everyone is going to be a penny pincher. The boss sets the culture.

When the boss is a crook, that sets the culture.

The problem with crooks is that they're lazy. They'd rather you bribe them to do the work, rather than simply do it out of work ethic or for the sake of their job. But if they can get in and stay in, then bribery is the game, and that slows everything down. You have to negotiate with each level and no one is really very good at the job you're bribing them to do - they're just some lazy crook who had the right connections....

Right now, it's very likely that Donald Trump is packing the government full of useless assholes that are completely incompetent at their job.
I saw this follow-the-boss tendency when I worked in Silicon Valley. The company led by hard-nosed workaholics was filled with hard-nosed workaholics. The company led by a flamboyant asshole was full of flamboyant assholes. The company led by academics was full of academic types.

So yes, the character of the U.S. government and its employees is undergoing unfortunate changes that may be hard to undo.
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Old 06-07-2019, 10:47 AM
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For the second thing, I would point to some studies from a few decades ago (no link, but feel free to look it up if you doubt me) that showed that the American offices of Japanese companies - even when they had an American at the top, locally - tended to be more sexist than fully American companies.

In general, the people at the top of the ladder set the tone for everyone under them. If the boss is a tyrant, his employees are more likely to act like tyrants to those lower in the ladder. If he's a penny pincher, everyone is going to be a penny pincher. The boss sets the culture.

When the boss is a crook, that sets the culture.

The problem with crooks is that they're lazy. They'd rather you bribe them to do the work, rather than simply do it out of work ethic or for the sake of their job. But if they can get in and stay in, then bribery is the game, and that slows everything down. You have to negotiate with each level and no one is really very good at the job you're bribing them to do - they're just some lazy crook who had the right connections.

This sort of culture is what drags the most heavily on most of the economies of the world. Saudi Arabia might have a bunch of raw money, but if the oil ever runs out they go back to being a bunch of goat farmers, running from one oasis to the next, in a matter of weeks. They just haven't established a culture of inventiveness, of hard work, of general honesty, etc. Where you are positioned, in much of the country's workforce, is based on who you know and what your family has done for them, not how your qualifications line up and how well you interview.

Right now, it's very likely that Donald Trump is packing the government full of useless assholes that are completely incompetent at their job. And useless assholes are damn hard to root out of a giant hierarchy. They're going to stay there, bogging down the system for decades. You might hate regulations, and Donald Trump may say that he hates them too, but once the next President comes in and adds a few dozen, there's going to be a few Trump hires that are going to be loving them regulations and holding out their palms to every American corporation that needs a stamp on a piece of a paper.

We don't all work for the government, but our government will be worse for decades, because of Donald Trump, and it will make it harder to keep our GDP growing, because its been riddled with people who are incompetent, lazy, and criminal.

So that's the second thing that he has done.
This is not how government employment works since civil service reform after President Garfield was shot by a disappointed office seeker. There are two type of government workers, political and career. Political workers are the top rungs of an agency and career workers are everyone else. Political workers are appointed by the president run the agencies according to his will. Once the president is gone the political appointees are replaced by the next president's. The career workers are not affected by who is president.
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Old 06-07-2019, 10:52 AM
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This is not how government employment works since civil service reform after President Garfield was shot by a disappointed office seeker. There are two type of government workers, political and career. Political workers are the top rungs of an agency and career workers are everyone else. Political workers are appointed by the president run the agencies according to his will. Once the president is gone the political appointees are replaced by the next president's. The career workers are not affected by who is president.
You are correct, but it's worth noting that a large number of the most qualified and competent career workers (including specialists) have left in frustration due to the appointment of blatantly incompetent (and often corrupt) people at the top who have ignored their advice. This loss will have long-term consequences unless a future president can lure back them or others of similar quality - and in the case of the Department of Energy, which looks after things like nuclear material and waste, the long-term result could literally be deadly.
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Old 06-07-2019, 10:57 AM
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Trump is changing the political culture of the country. He is easily one of the most corrupt presidents in the history of the country, if not the most corrupt. He is making corruption and polarization into a political norm. It's something we simply shrug off and accept, kinda like mass shootings. It's not what Trump is doing; it's what Americans aren't doing. We're not opposing him. We're accepting our country's decadence.
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Old 06-07-2019, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by puddleglum View Post
This is not how government employment works since civil service reform after President Garfield was shot by a disappointed office seeker. There are two type of government workers, political and career. Political workers are the top rungs of an agency and career workers are everyone else. Political workers are appointed by the president run the agencies according to his will. Once the president is gone the political appointees are replaced by the next president's. The career workers are not affected by who is president.
But, as said, the President sets the culture. People have a way of modifying their behavior to match the head honcho. It's not just a matter that they hire people like them, the pre-existing workers will change to match.

The President is cashing in on his office? Well hell, I may as well, too!

To a large extent that will go away when Trump goes away. But there will have been choices made by people who should have known better, during that period, that will continue to haunt us for decades.

Last edited by Sage Rat; 06-07-2019 at 11:00 AM.
  #14  
Old 06-07-2019, 11:01 AM
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You are correct, but it's worth noting that a large number of the most qualified and competent career workers (including specialists) have left in frustration due to the appointment of blatantly incompetent (and often corrupt) people at the top who have ignored their advice. This loss will have long-term consequences unless a future president can lure back them or others of similar quality - and in the case of the Department of Energy, which looks after things like nuclear material and waste, the long-term result could literally be deadly.
Also true (and worth pointing out).
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Old 06-07-2019, 01:22 PM
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Sage Rat, rarely have I seen so many facile arguments piled up in a thread. I don't even know where to begin.... other than to point out perhaps the silliest stream of consciousness, along the lines of "it doesn't really matter if anyone is prosperous or employed, people can still be happy."

I suggest you tighten up the verbosity and just say, "If Trump fucks things up, let the people eat cake."
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Old 06-07-2019, 02:07 PM
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You are correct, but it's worth noting that a large number of the most qualified and competent career workers (including specialists) have left in frustration due to the appointment of blatantly incompetent (and often corrupt) people at the top who have ignored their advice. This loss will have long-term consequences unless a future president can lure back them or others of similar quality - and in the case of the Department of Energy, which looks after things like nuclear material and waste, the long-term result could literally be deadly.
My guess would be that most of those leaving are those near retirement age at a high enough pay scale where they will be comfortable. Most people that describes are very competent at politics and self advancement and any competence at achieving things the public is interested in would be coincidental. For most agencies in government shake ups at the top are good things.
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Old 06-07-2019, 02:46 PM
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The most scary thing that Donald Trump has done is to prove that it can happen here. And the fact that no one noticed is even scarier.

Now, Trump is not a true believer. He doesn't hate Mexicans or really even care about illegal immigrants or anything else. His own businesses were still employing illegal immigrants until this year - firing them just after he lost the wall financing issue against Nancy Pelosi. Probably, Pelosi was going to invite a few of his illegal workers to a televised congressional inquiry and that made him buckle - the timing of the firings was damn suspicious.

Hitler, presumably, actually hated Jews and wanted them dead. Trump does not - not Jews, not Mexicans, not anyone. ....

....
But he's shown that the recipe works. He not only kept the Senate, they won more seats. Fear works.

It can happen here, and there's some sick bastard out there who will have noticed it. Most didn't, but I'm sure that I'm not the only one who saw the gap in the armor. There's nothing about our country that makes us immune to the Great Lie, and that fact was flashed out into the sky for anyone to see. The Great Lie works.
I think Trump is a racist- just a rather mild sort that simply thinks he, and thus white people- are better than everyone else.

IIRC, Hitler was pretty well run of the mill anti-semitic for Germany at that time and place, but he was a "genius" that saw he could harness that hate and fear and of course the "why did we lose the war?" issue so he could blame them.

Yep, the Big Lie works well.

best thing Trump did? Gorsuch. Worst thing? Kavenaugh.
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Old 06-07-2019, 02:46 PM
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My guess would be that most of those leaving are those near retirement age at a high enough pay scale where they will be comfortable. Most people that describes are very competent at politics and self advancement and any competence at achieving things the public is interested in would be coincidental. For most agencies in government shake ups at the top are good things.
What I'm seeing is a huge drain of early- to mid-career professionals, mostly people in their 30s and 40s. These are the ones who are still young enough to feel comfortable switching to a different retirement system/plan. The ones who are nearing retirement mostly think they HAVE to stay until they do retire, because job opportunities dwindle once you're past 50. Long-term, this means a hollowing-out of the professional cadres at all of the various agencies, because once the senior staff do retire, who will replace them?
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Old 06-07-2019, 02:50 PM
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...
Right now, it's very likely that Donald Trump is packing the government full of useless assholes that are completely incompetent at their job. And useless assholes are damn hard to root out of a giant hierarchy. They're going to stay there, bogging down the system for decades. You might hate regulations, and Donald Trump may say that he hates them too, but once the next President comes in and adds a few dozen, there's going to be a few Trump hires that are going to be loving them regulations and holding out their palms to every American corporation that needs a stamp on a piece of a paper.

We don't all work for the government, but our government will be worse for decades, because of Donald Trump, and it will make it harder to keep our GDP growing, because its been riddled with people who are incompetent, lazy, and criminal.

So that's the second thing that he has done.
Nope. The Civil Service chugs on, paying little or not attention to the man in the Oval office. Yes, quite a few Presidential appointees will have to be removed, and some of them, like judges- will be tough to eradicate. But most of the lower court judges likely dont even get trumps attentions, some underling brings him a list of suggested appointees, and trump ribber stamps it.

But Kavenaugh is going to be tough to get rid of.
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Old 06-07-2019, 03:44 PM
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The shutdown. I hold Mr. Trump personally responsible for weeks of government shutdown after he refused to endorse the compromise bill.

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Old 06-07-2019, 05:28 PM
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Moldova doesn't have a membership in the EU nor with anyone. You know what the people there all do? They go to work every day, eat food a few times a day, have sex occasionally, and raise their families. They're probably all mostly happy and satisfied with life. (Granted, I've never been there and know nothing about the country.)
Without getting into the rest of your post, I think Moldova isn't really that good an example here, as they (like Ukraine and Georgia) have Russian-backed separatists in Transnistria. Granted, that's probably more of an issue with not being in NATO vs. the EU, but I'm sure people who live in former Soviet republics that are now part of the EU are probably very happy not to be like Moldova.
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Old 06-07-2019, 06:14 PM
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One could argue that Trump pulling America out of INF was beneficial, because Russia was flouting the treaty anyway and the U.S. can now develop intermediate-range missiles to counter China's development of such missiles.
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Old 06-07-2019, 07:35 PM
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Sage Rat, rarely have I seen so many facile arguments piled up in a thread. I don't even know where to begin.... other than to point out perhaps the silliest stream of consciousness, along the lines of "it doesn't really matter if anyone is prosperous or employed, people can still be happy."

I suggest you tighten up the verbosity and just say, "If Trump fucks things up, let the people eat cake."
If you have a specific objection then raise it. At the moment, as you say, you don't know where to begin. As such, you haven't provided anything for me to address.

And yes, obviously it's not the ideal format. If I had the time and resources to take a few months to flesh out every mini-section into its own 10 page chapter, back that with research and cites, and create a nice book-like position paper, I'm sure that I'd enjoy doing it and I am sorry if the fact that I'm trying to pack what is probably a few hundred pages of content into a few paragraphs makes it difficult to get through the post.

I am happy to try and explain anything which was unclear or to offer cites as necessary, if you doubt any part.
  #24  
Old 06-08-2019, 11:45 AM
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other than to point out perhaps the silliest stream of consciousness, along the lines of "it doesn't really matter if anyone is prosperous or employed, people can still be happy."
Sorry for replying to this again but I think I understand your objection.

To be sure, I could have just written that Trump is screwing up our place in the world over the long term and left it at that.

But, a) some people like that and b) what if they're right?

If msmith537 or anyone reading is one of the people who doesn't like globalization or global policing, then any argument which is, at its core just, "We're doing less globalization and global policing." Isn't going to be very convincing. It would be like telling an Pro-Life person that the problem with reducing funding for Planned Parenthood would be that it will cause more people to have children and expecting them to think that's a bad thing. They'll just be happy.

But, most people who are anti-globalist have probably never really thought things through from the beginning. They had a gut reaction to the idea that the US is dealing with other people's shit and they reject that instinctually.

So we could agree to disagree or we could walk through some of the actual practical effects of that course. While doing that, I can be honest or I can be slightly dishonest and hide some considerations. Of the two, I prefer the first. I think that it makes more sense to give a positive argument against globalization first. It says that yeah, your side has some arguments and I've considered them. I'm not opposed to you for arbitrary reasons or because I've accepted some dogmatic view from the start and the blinders are on too tight to allow me to even consider any argument that would lead to the other side.

That doesn't mean that I have argued for isolation. It just means that I'm being honest and fair. As it is, I haven't even touched on a fair number of other arguments (for nor against globalization) but I am willing to do so if anyone is on the fence or wonders what the arguments are (so far as I am aware).
  #25  
Old 06-08-2019, 12:21 PM
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Saying that people contend that Brexit is going to turn the UK into a post-apocalyptic hellscape isn't being "honest and fair," it's being some combination of flippant, strawmanning, and facile.

Trying to give a list of what's wrong with your screeds in this thread is like being given a Jack Chick page-a-day calendar, and then being asked which bits are bothersome. But I'll throw in another: your contention that the Constitution directs that the Federal government's main responsibility is international affairs, and asserting that if one disagrees, they haven't read the Constitution.

Jesus Christ, kid, the Constitution's references to foreign affairs is barely more than like six clauses out of the whole damn thing: off the top of my head, two references to treaties, one clause on commander in chief, Art I Sec 8 on international trade, receiving ambassadors, and probably a couple others. That's it. Don't lecture others about reading the Constitution when you are seriously misrepresenting it.

Last edited by Ravenman; 06-08-2019 at 12:22 PM.
  #26  
Old 06-08-2019, 12:33 PM
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Saying that people contend that Brexit is going to turn the UK into a post-apocalyptic hellscape isn't being "honest and fair," it's being some combination of flippant, strawmanning, and facile.
It's alright to have a little levity in a serious conversation.

If it doesn't appeal to you, then that's fair, but that is all it is.

(Technically, I would say that the arguments against Brexit have focused too much on the short term and that that is almost certainly a false view of how it will go wrong - and the short view argument hurts the situation since most people realize that there really won't be any major, immediate, effect of Brexit. People will bitch and moan that they have to do things in a different way, but they'll just switch to doing things in a different way and life will go on. There was a time before the UK was part of the EU and everything was fine. Everyone knows that. Trying to convince them otherwise isn't going to work. That argument will only make people think you're being dishonest with them when you say that we need to stay in the EU.

The better argument would be to point at the Middle East where they were about equal with the rest of Europe around 1900, in terms of social and technical development. And they had a choice whether to go forward, embrace change, trading with others, giving up power to a more centralized government, etc. A hundred years have passed and we can look at how that affected them. They're all still there, but they haven't advanced. They've been left behind. The problem of Brexit isn't economic hardship, it's being left behind.)

Quote:
I'll throw in another: your contention that the Constitution directs that the Federal government's main responsibility is international affairs, and asserting that if one disagrees, they haven't read the Constitution.

Jesus Christ, kid, the Constitution's references to foreign affairs is barely more than like six clauses out of the whole damn thing: off the top of my head, two references to treaties, one clause on commander in chief, Art I Sec 8 on international trade, receiving ambassadors, and probably a couple others. That's it. Don't lecture others about reading the Constitution when you are seriously misrepresenting it.
6 clauses for foreign.
How many for domestic?

Last edited by Sage Rat; 06-08-2019 at 12:35 PM.
  #27  
Old 06-08-2019, 12:33 PM
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In terms of specific policy, the best thing he's done is require that a regulation be deleted for every new one created. My understanding is that regulatory bloat has been limited, and that the regulatory agencies are actually doing better than 1:1 now that they've been given the green light to get rid of old regulations even they didn't like. Regulations are a huge unseen burden on the economy, and I would guess that a good amount of the better economic performance we've seen in the last couple of years is due to the reduction in regulatory burden.

The worst thing he's done is what he's doing now by using tariffs as a political weapon. It's costing everyone a lot of money, it's disrupting supply chains and businesses, and it's increasing tensions with allies and foes alike. It's accelerating China's attempt to expand its influence around the world, and angering allies like Canada.

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  #28  
Old 06-08-2019, 01:03 PM
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The world has been changing. Technology is getting to a point where things are going to start changing radically, and it has the potentially to vastly fuck the living hell out of everything, and I mean a lot more than just the Internet causing social divisiveness. Neo-fascist government (meaning, government that is nationalistic, follows single-party rule, and subjugates the corporations to the will of the government) has found a way to succeed and compete in the modern world, and they simply have more people than us. Criminal enterprise has discovered that they can take over a government, build some nukes, and they're completely immune from law enforcement or military action by any other nation in the world.
One comment : Your entire post above talks about slow, predictable periods of decline as specific organized nations slowly fail from systemic flaws. (and the nature of their systems prevent effective fixes to those flaws.)

It does appear that the USA is in such a period of decline, and it may or may not be capable of a turnaround.

But that isn't going to matter. The way technology is going, we're going to see some very rapid, prompt, possibly dramatic events happen within under 30 years.

Sort of how in the Chernobyl explosion, all the mistakes made by the designers and operators set the stage, but only the last 2 minutes actually mattered. This is the power of exponential processes. (up until the last 2 minutes the operators could easily have brought the reactor under control)

Obviously, with AI/robotics, it'll mean not only vast manufacturing and economic changes, but many kinds of knowledge work - including science, choosing public policy, etc - should be doable with various forms of machine algorithms with superhuman ability. And it's exponential. Designing better computer chips, optimizing software, and designing and optimizing machine learning algorithms are all tasks that have defined quality metrics and thus can be sped up with previous iterations of the hardware and algorithms. Similarly, designing better robotic platforms and manufacturing the robots that supplant millions of human workers need not take very long at all...

The math all checks out for this, but, well, we haven't hit the last 2 minutes yet. Right now we just have power levels of a few megawatts and some of us are denying that anything dramatic can happen at all...

Last edited by SamuelA; 06-08-2019 at 01:04 PM.
  #29  
Old 06-08-2019, 01:29 PM
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In terms of specific policy, the best thing he's done is require that a regulation be deleted for every new one created. My understanding is that regulatory bloat has been limited, and that the regulatory agencies are actually doing better than 1:1 now that they've been given the green light to get rid of old regulations even they didn't like. Regulations are a huge unseen burden on the economy, and I would guess that a good amount of the better economic performance we've seen in the last couple of years is due to the reduction in regulatory burden.
I had forgotten about that.

Given what I'm about to say, this might seem like a dishonest question but have you seen a review? I'd be curious to see one.

Though...as said... I would have to question the reliability of any such review.

If I cut down the regulations on coal plants, that does reduce my and their costs in the short term, but not necessarily over the next 20 years. Between lawsuits by their employees for dangerous working conditions, waste cleanup, lifespan of the equipment dependent on care, etc. the burden of complying with regulations might have been cheaper in the long-run. Regulations are more a of a "20 year" proposition than a "2 year" one, in terms of cost/benefit analysis.

This isn't to say that one can't cut regulations and have it just be all win, all around the table.

But, for me, the main consideration would be, "Is the person reviewing the regulations a reasonable and intelligent person, who actually sits down and does the work?"

The 2-for1 Executive Order, we should note, is the eight year old's version of an executive order to perform a review of the state of things and recommend changes. Like, doing a review is almost certainly fair. It should be done periodically. But, for all I know, it was already being done periodically. The CBO might be turning out a recommendations paper every single year and, every year, the different executive departments have made those changes, cutting out old regulations. Maybe not, I don't know. Do we think that Trump actually checked? But where periodic reviews are fair and good, "2-for-1" is silly. If a power plant explodes and wipes out most of Wisconsin, someone's going to be in a serious hurry to write some new regulations to prevent that sort of thing. And in that hurry, maybe they don't have time to do a serious review of all regulations ever. They just sort of pick two that, on a brief glance, seem useless and axe them. But they were in a hurry and they might have just accidentally gotten rid of a regulation that will later cause us to lose most of Connecticut.

Bulk review is more efficient and more effective. 2-for-1 is among the stupider implementations that you could do.

And that doesn't bode well when we ask the question of who is doing the reviews? Does Donald Trump hire the best and brightest? Does he hire people who we can trust to do the job in an intelligent, methodical, and reality-based way?

You can have the right policy - taking on China, fighting regulations and government sprawl, getting the EU to do more to cost-share global defense and health care, etc. - and still just bungle it all and do worse than having done nothing at all. It's not just a matter of working on the right things, it's also a matter of not being a fucking moron.

If you're a fucking moron (by which, I'm referring to Donald Trump), I'd just rather you not touch it. By all means, feel free to be on my side, but stay home and eat cheese burgers. We're good.

So, I am curious to see if someone reliableish has done any sort of review of the ramifications of 2-for-1. But I would caution the early read, even if it's good. It's still early, and this government isn't the most forthcoming about numbers harmful to their mission.

Last edited by Sage Rat; 06-08-2019 at 01:29 PM.
  #30  
Old 06-08-2019, 01:38 PM
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6 clauses for foreign.
How many for domestic?
If youíre claiming to understand to Constitution and expecting me to say there are five or fewer clauses of the Constitution dealing with domestic matters, youíre in deep trouble.
  #31  
Old 06-08-2019, 02:00 PM
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If you’re claiming to understand to Constitution and expecting me to say there are five or fewer clauses of the Constitution dealing with domestic matters, you’re in deep trouble.
First, let's note that there's something to be said about the size of a power, not just the quantity of powers. But let's list the domestic powers:

1) Taxing
2) Printing money
3) Running a postal system
4) Patents

So firstly, yes, less than 5.

And secondly, between "waging war" and "running a patent office" there is a qualitative difference as well. Are you currently more concerned about Donald Trump's control over the Post Office or over the Nuclear Codes?

Last edited by Sage Rat; 06-08-2019 at 02:02 PM.
  #32  
Old 06-08-2019, 02:17 PM
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First, let's note that there's something to be said about the size of a power, not just the quantity of powers. But let's list the domestic powers:

....
Perhaps, maybe , you guys can take thise no doubt fascinating discussion elsewhere, and let us return to the OP?
  #33  
Old 06-08-2019, 03:31 PM
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To bring it back to the topic then, as requested, let's say that the principal focus of the Federal government is the domestic picture. Running the US military is an ancillary focus that only exists in the sense that the Federal government is expected to be ready to defend the land inside of our borders. Beyond that, zip.

So, in that case, Donald Trump is currently increasing the US military budget by about 7% every year, which is reasonably hefty. The current estimation (from this site) is that we'll be paying about 29% more for the US military by 2020 then we were when Obama left office. That's a pretty big boost.

But, the size and capabilities of the US military is way way way beyond what's necessary to protect our borders. If the aim of the Federal government is domestic defense, then Donald Trump is doing it wrong.

On the other hand, if the principal focus is international, then we have to point out that Trump is trying to get out of everywhere. He's leaving Syria to Iran. He's probably happy to leave Afghanistan to the Taliban. Neither of these seems like a particularly great idea, given our previous international aims nor, for example, our current actions to try and sanction Iran. Our actions in Syria make sense if, for example, the President wants to look outwardly like he's opposed to Iran, when in fact he's been told to leave them alone (note the dates). But otherwise, the only explanation is that Trump has no plan and rival factions are in charge of the matter, because Trump's giving them no guidance.

No matter which way you view it, Trump's doing it wrong.

And if you consider how it looks to other militaries to draw back your troops, but increase spending and build up a larger and stronger army back in reserve - one that was already massively overpowered for home defense - it doesn't necessarily look like your ultimate plan is really to hang back. And that is, pretty liable, going to make some people get a bit antsy.

In the age of nukes, "antsy" isn't really a word you want to use to describe the militaries of fellow nuclear nations.

Last edited by Sage Rat; 06-08-2019 at 03:33 PM.
  #34  
Old 06-08-2019, 03:33 PM
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...
No matter which way you view it, Trump's doing it wrong.

....
Pretty much, in a nutshell.
  #35  
Old 06-08-2019, 03:53 PM
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The one positive thing that I'd been aware of that Trump had done was to okay burning the poppy fields in Afghanistan.

I've just checked and apparently - for unknown reasons - that never happened and instead they tried to track down drug processing labs and take those out. That was so difficult to pull off that they've now given it up.

I'd be strongly curious to know what caused the change.
  #36  
Old 06-08-2019, 07:38 PM
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Speaking of the trade wars, his former bankers have calculated what businesses are losing thanks to Trump's tantrums.

https://thehill.com/policy/finance/t...-bank-analysis
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President Trump’s multi-front trade war has cost the stock market $5 trillion in the past 17 months, according to analysis from Deutsche Bank.

“While other factors also arguably played a role, the trade war has been key in preventing a recovery in global growth and keeping U.S. equities range bound. Foregone U.S. equity returns from price appreciation for 17 months are worth $5 trillion,” Binky Chadha, the bank’s chief strategist, wrote in a Friday note to clients obtained by Marketwatch.

Chadha added that the cost was similar to that of the European financial crisis in 2011-2012 and the economic shock following the collapse of crude oil prices in 2014-2016.
Of course, even with that the economy is still strong, for the time being... but one can get the feeling that Mr. -expert in geting away with bankrupting suckers while still getting money out of a business even when it goes to pot- Trump is expecting to leave the bill to others.

Last edited by GIGObuster; 06-08-2019 at 07:39 PM.
  #37  
Old 06-08-2019, 09:21 PM
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IMHO the worst thing Trump has done that he will be remembered for is setting back the fight against global warming. We had started to make some progress with Obama, so Trump has basically set us back at best 12 years, possibly even more depending on how the 2020, 2024, and 2028 elections turn out. My assumption is that by 2032 that if Republicans won those elections and continue to follow the path of burn now and burn more that the consequences of AGW will be too obvious for most people to continue to deny. When their coastal cities are underwater even the people of places like Mississippi and Alabama will start realizing they were lied to.
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Old 06-08-2019, 10:31 PM
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When their coastal cities are underwater even the people of places like Mississippi and Alabama will start realizing they were lied to.
Will they? Really? And what if the Republicans of that era claim that they were on the side of reducing emissions the whole time and those damn Democrats were at fault?

We seem to live in a world where any fact can be looked up in a second and mass numbers of people believe substantial lies and bullshit.

Last edited by SamuelA; 06-08-2019 at 10:31 PM.
  #39  
Old 06-08-2019, 11:55 PM
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IMHO the worst thing Trump has done that he will be remembered for is setting back the fight against global warming. We had started to make some progress with Obama, so Trump has basically set us back at best 12 years, possibly even more depending on how the 2020, 2024, and 2028 elections turn out. My assumption is that by 2032 that if Republicans won those elections and continue to follow the path of burn now and burn more that the consequences of AGW will be too obvious for most people to continue to deny. When their coastal cities are underwater even the people of places like Mississippi and Alabama will start realizing they were lied to.
To be more based on research, the estimations are that that about one to two meters of an increase of the ocean levels can be expected by the end of the century *, of course with the acceleration of the loss of the ice caps that could happen by the middle of the century, but even the more likely expected 2 feet rise by 2050 will already cause a lot of issues, a main one is that under those conditions hurricanes will cause more damage. Also that rise of the oceans (and the increase of droughts) will most likely cause mass migrations. Ironic when the Republicans are so hell bent against immigration. Nice job breaking it hero Trump!

https://skepticalscience.com/sea-lev...termediate.htm






* Of course since it is likely that the world will not end, regardless what some evangelicals can tell you, the ocean rise will not stop just there, again, controlling our emissions now is the best way to prevent worse effects later.

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  #40  
Old 06-09-2019, 07:14 AM
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To cut this short, Trump is like a bull in a china shop, and a particularly stupid and stubborn one at that. Not everything he is doing is wrong, but the way he's doing it is stupid and ham fisted. He's also trying to do too much and with stupid timing on most of it. We won't even get into his attempt to force the market back to coal, or the social conservative stuff he's spewed out, how he's hurt our image and other less tangible but real negatives he's brought to the table.
This guy says more like a horse in a hospital.

Setting aside the whole conservative vs. liberal tug o' war thing, as that is just business as usual* the chief damage he has done is destroying the reputation of the US internationally. Whether trade or treaty we are no longer seen as reliable and it will be a long, long time before we are again. And why not? What is to keep the US voters from voting in Trump II some time in the future?

During the election campaign I read an article where a contractor in Atlantic City during the casino-building boom said that the experienced contractors would add about 20% to their bids when Trump was involved. That way they'd still make some profit when he inevitably reneged on paying his bills; he said they called it a "Trump surcharge." The rest of the world has learned it needs to apply a Trump surcharge when treating with us and will continue to do so long after he has been replaced.

As for the good he has done... Let me get back to you. All I'm seeing right now is short-term gain and long-term pain.

*Although sitting on a supreme court justice vacancy for over a year was not.
  #41  
Old 06-09-2019, 01:50 PM
Sitnam is online now
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Trump is a buffoon.

However, I am not entirely sure a 'reliable America' reputation is good for us. We have been taken advantage of for decades in Military support in Europe from our NATO allies. We have faced Islamic extremism with the sorry aid of lukewarm Muslim allies using our interests as a pawn in their local games.

Other nations can pay their way. If Abe changes the Japanese constitution to build a functional deterant on their dime. Good. It's their burden also and 70 year old beefs can be set aside .
  #42  
Old 06-09-2019, 02:08 PM
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If Trump’s legacy is haphazardly and unintentionally dismantling US hegemony I am ok with that.
  #43  
Old 06-09-2019, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Sage Rat View Post
The one positive thing that I'd been aware of that Trump had done was to okay burning the poppy fields in Afghanistan.

I've just checked and apparently - for unknown reasons - that never happened and instead they tried to track down drug processing labs and take those out. That was so difficult to pull off that they've now given it up.

I'd be strongly curious to know what caused the change.
Bribery, corruption, etc is always the best guess there.
  #44  
Old 06-09-2019, 02:21 PM
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If Trumpís legacy is haphazardly and unintentionally dismantling US hegemony I am ok with that.
That's like saying that you'd be okay with someone dismantling the scaffolding that was put into place to build the dam, but not asking the question of whether the dam is able to stand on its own yet.

I would generally agree that it's probably for the best that the US not hold the hegemony - not with the current global legal framework and internal election setup, at any rate - but right now is not the moment, let alone moving that direction haphazardly and unintentionally.

If the option was American hegemony or "no need nor way for anyone to have a hegemony" then sure. But right now, someone will have the hegemony. If we abandon it, it's not going to stay open.

If you think it's so hard and horrible having to be the 800 pound gorilla all the time, you might want to think about what life will be like as not the 800 pound gorilla before you step down.
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Old 06-09-2019, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Sage Rat View Post
That's like saying that you'd be okay with someone dismantling the scaffolding that was put into place to build the dam, but not asking the question of whether the dam is able to stand on its own yet.

I would generally agree that it's probably for the best that the US not hold the hegemony - not with the current global legal framework and internal election setup, at any rate - but right now is not the moment, let alone moving that direction haphazardly and unintentionally.

If the option was American hegemony or "no need nor way for anyone to have a hegemony" then sure. But right now, someone will have the hegemony. If we abandon it, it's not going to stay open.

If you think it's so hard and horrible having to be the 800 pound gorilla all the time, you might want to think about what life will be like as not the 800 pound gorilla before you step down.
I disagree hegemony is necessary for global order. I disagree someone else will have it inevitably. I would even go so far as to say it is bad for the US in the long term. The world will have to learn to cooperate internationally more. Sucks for them, but that's part of the sovereign nation deal.

Last edited by Sitnam; 06-09-2019 at 02:29 PM.
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