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  • Originally posted by radcentr View Post
    Supposing there were classes on proper use of birth control, which first encouraged alternatives to coitus before marriage. Or licensing for marriage which included a free measurement of aptitude for raising children in tandem with a partner. What incentives did you have in mind, that would encourage people toward serious reflection before becoming parents?
    Well, for starters I would begin by pointing out that when I talk about incentives, I mean that term in the broadest sense (encompassing both affirmative incentives, and negative disincsentives). In terms of public policy, I would start by getting rid of policies that remove affirmative incentives for bad or unwise behavior (generally well intentioned, but which clearly embody the term "moral hazzard"). Some of the earliest and most destructive to our social fabric were welfare rules which created a disincentive to not marry the father of the child. No fault divorce was another such policy change which removed a disincentive to divorce and removing an incentive to be more careful and thoughtful before deciding to get married in the first place.

    In fact, Roe itself was just such an example, by guaranteeing abortion on demand, it removed disincentives to sexual activity which could result in pregnancy when pregnancy would be viewed as unwanted or inconvenient at that time for whatever reason.

    מה מכילות החדשות?


    • Originally posted by radcentr View Post
      I mostly agree; trade wars are basically a losing proposition, aside from a short term game to force honest consideration of trade barriers between nations. As to their origin, tariffs came from a mix of liberal and conservative politicians going back to the beginning of the Republic. The modern end to tariffs (free trade) also came from a mix of political actors. One can state that Reagan had the intention of ending tariffs, and started the modern push to that end. Part of that objective was to increase investment, which supposedly increases domestic employment.

      That is basically the failure of equating investment with employment. Capitalist investment used to mean greater domestic employment, but that assumption is compromised by modern technology. Regardless of large investment, or the greater the dependence on communication technology by a given industry, there is shrinking relevance to domestic employment. The largest companies that produce goods will seek out automation before increasing employment, as well as looking to reduce labor costs overseas. Labor cost reduction is easily achieved when a company provides customer service (fe technical or contract support), from countries with a decent supply of educated, bilingual labor.

      Unlike some of my fellow lefties, I believe the above free trade developments that pressure the US laborer need to be left in place. To do otherwise is to go against one of the basic principles of very large-scale (and/or high tech) capitalism: To minimize labor & production costs on a large scale. Instead, the leftist politician -who very likely enjoys the many items and services financed by said capitalists- needs to look to those sectors of the free market that provide domestic employment. If the large sector capitalist is a "shrinking supply" for employment, the proper response is to look for those who are positioned to pick up the slack for employment, and treat the large sector as unreliable for that objective. In short, free trade agreements between developed nations may be increasingly irrelevant to the problem of domestic employment, even as it increases investment and provides some "spinoff" employment. Hence, Trump's repeated embarrassment over domestic employment, making an example of large companies that intend to leave the US (Carrier, Harley Davidson). They will leave if and when it suits their requirement to reduce labor costs, and the gov't. should do little to stop them. Instead, gov't. should look at structural incentives (fe socialist programs like education, infrastructure) to grow and maintain support for small/medium capitalist, private non-profit and for profits. That points to the rut we are stuck in: Lefties still obsessing about large scale capitalism, righties still neglecting the smaller sectors, both parties pretending the non-profit sector is irrelevant for the purposes of employment objectives. To get out of that rut, stabilize employment at a high rate outside the sphere of large capital companies, which can thus be allowed to fail when deserved. Minimum wage law isn't needed with full employment, and with proper recognition of non-profit employment (along with flat real price/flat cost of living), "wealth envy" becomes irrelevant. One's basic needs are met, so the "need" to deal with the wealthy is reduced to the "option" to deal with that economic class.
      There is a bit of a tendency among many to look back at the post-war era as though the economic ascendancy was a result of various tax, labor, and regulatory policies, rather than despite them. The majority of the reason that the U.S. had its tremendous post-war boom was because we basically had no substantial industrial competition, A huge portion of the industrial capacity of most of our competitors internationally had been devastated during the war (unlike ours which had actually been built up during the war). The return of genuine competition was inevitable, but the fact that it took decades lulled our nation into a blind complacency to the inevitability.

      In terms of "support" for small and medium enterprises, and non-profits, the best thing the government can do is just to get out of the way, to reduce barriers (particularly those which are designed by larger, entrenched actors to reduce competition...see George Will's spot-on column "The sprawling, intrusive administrative state is keeping you unwell.

      Unfortunately we have to distinguish between Republicans and Conservatives in this regard. Conservatives believe in free markets, and generally frown upon government intervention. Republicans, unfortunately, often confuse being "pro-business" with being pro-markets. Conservatives do not believe minimum wage laws are economically sensible (or morally valid in that they price out of the labor market the very low/no-skilled individuals who would benefit most from low pay entry level positions to build their skills and marketability over time), but republicans are prone to support increases (some for political reasons) because various "business" organizatoins (like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce) and businesses (Walmart) support them. But the reason these organizations and businesses support them is because they place smaller competitors at more of a disadvantage than the larger ones, and they believe that increased market share due to their enhanced competitive position will boost profits more than the additional labor costs would reduce them.

      מה מכילות החדשות?


      • Originally posted by DavidSF View Post
        While I do appreciate the distinction between "real" inflation and arbitrarily inflated prices, my objection is from the perspective of the consumer: Consumers don't care WHY prices are rising and Consumers always applaud prices falling, regardless of the cause.

        Trump is a bit of a mystery here: He has profited handsomely from globalism (under which tariffs should not exist at all) but he was elected on nationalism. I appreciate radcenter's perspective on the short-term gain of a trade war: I see this tiff with China as, still, short term and we have already seen some meager results because of it.
        Consumers can be a bit irrational about particular prices. When gas prices are "high", you see the spectacle of people driving out of their way and waiting in lines 20-30 minutes to get a lower price, which actually only save them $5-10. Is this irrational? I would argue yes, to the extent that most of them would not agree to spend that much extra time in lines at a grocery store for a $5 discount.

        Trump is not all that mysterious in my view, as I previously posted, I think that Trump's behavior is consistent with the notion that he has a very leftist zero-sum view of all transactions (that every transaction comes down to a winner and a loser). There are exceptions to this view on his part, undoubtedly, but I think this is his default position and belief. Trump may think that complete free trade is best, but absent that be also believes that we would "win" a trade war, rather than understanding that as a long-term proposition it is not winner/loser, it is lose/lose. Free trade is win/win. Trump would rationalize this as us "winning" if we lost less than the other guys do, or (as the left often do) by looking only at those limited number of individuals within our country who "win" and ignoring all those who are worse off (a few steel manufacturers and a few thousand steel workers as opposed to the millions of people who pay higher prices for all manner of products).

        Again, if this trade "war" turns out to be more of a short-term skirmish/battle that results in a lessening of overall trade barriers, then I can support it as a succesful tactical move, but if it drags on because Trump thinks you can "win", it will fail and there will be a corresponding electoral hit for it.

        מה מכילות החדשות?


        • Originally posted by Marcus1124 View Post

          Consumers can be a bit irrational about particular prices. When gas prices are "high", you see the spectacle of people driving out of their way and waiting in lines 20-30 minutes to get a lower price, which actually only save them $5-10. Is this irrational? I would argue yes, to the extent that most of them would not agree to spend that much extra time in lines at a grocery store for a $5 discount.

          Trump is not all that mysterious in my view, as I previously posted, I think that Trump's behavior is consistent with the notion that he has a very leftist zero-sum view of all transactions (that every transaction comes down to a winner and a loser). There are exceptions to this view on his part, undoubtedly, but I think this is his default position and belief. Trump may think that complete free trade is best, but absent that be also believes that we would "win" a trade war, rather than understanding that as a long-term proposition it is not winner/loser, it is lose/lose. Free trade is win/win. Trump would rationalize this as us "winning" if we lost less than the other guys do, or (as the left often do) by looking only at those limited number of individuals within our country who "win" and ignoring all those who are worse off (a few steel manufacturers and a few thousand steel workers as opposed to the millions of people who pay higher prices for all manner of products).

          Again, if this trade "war" turns out to be more of a short-term skirmish/battle that results in a lessening of overall trade barriers, then I can support it as a succesful tactical move, but if it drags on because Trump thinks you can "win", it will fail and there will be a corresponding electoral hit for it.
          Your last paragraph is also where I am with all this, and I am (as previously mentioned) still seeing this as short term... and even as just a tactic in his negotiation (brash and potentially dangerous as it is).

          We we already know he either cannot or just will not alter his style (his “art of the deal” if you will) whether in business or in politics.

          מה מכילות החדשות?


          • Originally posted by Marcus1124 View Post

            There is a bit of a tendency among many to look back at the post-war era as though the economic ascendancy was a result of various tax, labor, and regulatory policies, rather than despite them. The majority of the reason that the U.S. had its tremendous post-war boom was because we basically had no substantial industrial competition, A huge portion of the industrial capacity of most of our competitors internationally had been devastated during the war (unlike ours which had actually been built up during the war). The return of genuine competition was inevitable, but the fact that it took decades lulled our nation into a blind complacency to the inevitability.

            In terms of "support" for small and medium enterprises, and non-profits, the best thing the government can do is just to get out of the way, to reduce barriers (particularly those which are designed by larger, entrenched actors to reduce competition...see George Will's spot-on column "The sprawling, intrusive administrative state is keeping you unwell.

            Unfortunately we have to distinguish between Republicans and Conservatives in this regard. Conservatives believe in free markets, and generally frown upon government intervention. Republicans, unfortunately, often confuse being "pro-business" with being pro-markets. Conservatives do not believe minimum wage laws are economically sensible (or morally valid in that they price out of the labor market the very low/no-skilled individuals who would benefit most from low pay entry level positions to build their skills and marketability over time), but republicans are prone to support increases (some for political reasons) because various "business" organizatoins (like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce) and businesses (Walmart) support them. But the reason these organizations and businesses support them is because they place smaller competitors at more of a disadvantage than the larger ones, and they believe that increased market share due to their enhanced competitive position will boost profits more than the additional labor costs would reduce them.
            I would like to see conservatives detach most of the GOP short-sighted policy that favors Big Players. Can't clean up everything (it's politics, after all) but It would put a very productive pressure on the Dems to look at more effective (and lean) alternatives to current economic policy.

            One example: The best thing the federal gov't. could do to support the small/medium sector is to place state/local politicians in the hot seat whenever they negotiate ill-advised deals with MNC's. This shouldn't be done by particular targeting of any given politician, instead it should be an accounting/contract rule attached to funding. If a county commission from State A negotiates a contract with MNC "X", even though X had already burned a similar contract in a different state (fe, getting freebies for real estate tax, bonds to build a factory, then bailing out before payroll tax makes up the difference). Then, the federal gov't. cuts the same amount of funding as was lost by poorly negotiating the contract. If all were well with the world, the funding would be reinstated if the county initiated a recall election and one or more of the responsible commissioners were removed.

            No penalty if a MNC had no prior history of bugging out. Also, set up a database to register contracts -accessible to all state auditors.

            מה מכילות החדשות?


            • Originally posted by radcentr View Post
              I would like to see conservatives detach most of the GOP short-sighted policy that favors Big Players. Can't clean up everything (it's politics, after all) but It would put a very productive pressure on the Dems to look at more effective (and lean) alternatives to current economic policy.

              One example: The best thing the federal gov't. could do to support the small/medium sector is to place state/local politicians in the hot seat whenever they negotiate ill-advised deals with MNC's. This shouldn't be done by particular targeting of any given politician, instead it should be an accounting/contract rule attached to funding. If a county commission from State A negotiates a contract with MNC "X", even though X had already burned a similar contract in a different state (fe, getting freebies for real estate tax, bonds to build a factory, then bailing out before payroll tax makes up the difference). Then, the federal gov't. cuts the same amount of funding as was lost by poorly negotiating the contract. If all were well with the world, the funding would be reinstated if the county initiated a recall election and one or more of the responsible commissioners were removed.

              No penalty if a MNC had no prior history of bugging out. Also, set up a database to register contracts -accessible to all state auditors.
              It is not the place of the federal government to micro-manage policy that is inherently state and local in nature, unless that policy (such as sanctuary cities) impinges on a legitimate area of federal policy supremacy. Anything more is directly at odds with the intent of our federal structure. If a state or locality is overly burdensome in its deal making, regulation, or taxation, people can vote with their feet.

              One good example of what the Federal government should do was the capping (I would have completely eliminated) the federal deduction for state and local taxes, which was forcing the citizens of lower tax states to subsidize the higher taxes of other states. I would actually replace the entire Federal tax code with a national sales tax (phased in over time to minimize the economic disruption as people adjust to it) and do away with all taxes on earnings and investment. Failing that, a national flat tax.

              מה מכילות החדשות?


              • Originally posted by Marcus1124 View Post

                It is not the place of the federal government to micro-manage policy that is inherently state and local in nature, unless that policy (such as sanctuary cities) impinges on a legitimate area of federal policy supremacy. Anything more is directly at odds with the intent of our federal structure. If a state or locality is overly burdensome in its deal making, regulation, or taxation, people can vote with their feet.

                One good example of what the Federal government should do was the capping (I would have completely eliminated) the federal deduction for state and local taxes, which was forcing the citizens of lower tax states to subsidize the higher taxes of other states. I would actually replace the entire Federal tax code with a national sales tax (phased in over time to minimize the economic disruption as people adjust to it) and do away with all taxes on earnings and investment. Failing that, a national flat tax.
                It is not micromanaging, when it comes to a chronic case of "bad contract management" in too many states. The requirement can be a simple list of expectations for contracts, among them a "clawback" feature. Link:
                But all of this competition comes with a catch: “clawbacks.” A clawback provision in an economic development agreement that can result in a company being forced to repay any incentives it benefited from for which it did not meet certain performance thresholds, such as job targets, capital investment levels or project timelines. If a company fails to meet its performance commitments, a jurisdiction may require the business to repay cash grants or rebates and/or impose retroactive property, sales or income tax liability (potentially with interest and penalties). Alternatively, a jurisdiction may elect to prospectively stop all future benefits once a company fails to meet its contractual obligations. After all, an economic development agreement is a legal contract that demands performance for consideration. If one party does not perform according to the terms of the contract, then there will be no consideration (i.e., incentive).
                https://info.siteselectiongroup.com/...lawback_031814

                A sudden drop in employment in one locale -due to poor contract negotiation and management- would be micromanaging. Imposing economic sanctions on numerous local/state gov'ts who fail to use proper management with MNC's is merely proper management of federal funds. We should not be squandering federal tax dollars (from any source) on propping up states who use a sloppy method of negotiation with international companies. The recall election concept has not been declared unconstitutional at the federal level. Historically, it has required a very large number for the petition to follow thru to a recall election. A small number of recalls might be necessary to correct the problem of politicians negotiating a bad deal for short-term gain. OTOH, waiting two or more years only gives the incompetent politician time to blame the other party, the economy, etc,, anything other than his poor business practice.

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                • Originally posted by radcentr View Post
                  It is not micromanaging, when it comes to a chronic case of "bad contract management" in too many states. The requirement can be a simple list of expectations for contracts, among them a "clawback" feature. Link:

                  https://info.siteselectiongroup.com/...lawback_031814

                  A sudden drop in employment in one locale -due to poor contract negotiation and management- would be micromanaging. Imposing economic sanctions on numerous local/state gov'ts who fail to use proper management with MNC's is merely proper management of federal funds. We should not be squandering federal tax dollars (from any source) on propping up states who use a sloppy method of negotiation with international companies. The recall election concept has not been declared unconstitutional at the federal level. Historically, it has required a very large number for the petition to follow thru to a recall election. A small number of recalls might be necessary to correct the problem of politicians negotiating a bad deal for short-term gain. OTOH, waiting two or more years only gives the incompetent politician time to blame the other party, the economy, etc,, anything other than his poor business practice.
                  The Federal Government is not intended, or empowered to supervise the states. There is no plenary power for the Fed to second guess the decisions of states in matters reserved to the states. And just wait until you see how much the new bureaucracy on the Federal level would cost to manage all this oversight!

                  That said, the federal government should also stay far away from subsidizing the bad decisions of states once they get into trouble as a result. No bailouts for state and local governments. As i said, the cap on the federal deduction for state and local taxes was an excellent step in this direction.

                  Hell, I am even in favor of turning FEMA grants into long-term loans at the current Treasury spread for corresponding notes. This would result in FEMA relief funds ultimately being born by each state proportionate to their utilization in the long-run.

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                  • Originally posted by Marcus1124 View Post

                    The Federal Government is not intended, or empowered to supervise the states. There is no plenary power for the Fed to second guess the decisions of states in matters reserved to the states. And just wait until you see how much the new bureaucracy on the Federal level would cost to manage all this oversight!

                    That said, the federal government should also stay far away from subsidizing the bad decisions of states once they get into trouble as a result. No bailouts for state and local governments. As i said, the cap on the federal deduction for state and local taxes was an excellent step in this direction.

                    Hell, I am even in favor of turning FEMA grants into long-term loans at the current Treasury spread for corresponding notes. This would result in FEMA relief funds ultimately being born by each state proportionate to their utilization in the long-run.
                    That is where I am going with this idea. The states can screw up their negotiations with international business, without running into a violation of federal regs/laws (I assume that is what you meant by federal "supervision"). The federal gov't., for their part, exercises control via the purse strings in this case. If it is a case of economic incompetence, the sanctions are also economic in nature. If block grants are popular with conservatives, then take the damage out of the block for that state. Otherwise, they might well pay for their incompetent contract negotiation by dipping into the grant. If you expect the common voter to pay attention to that slight-of-hand accounting, you could argue that the elections will clean up the mess. It would be a cynical argument, but you could try to argue it all the same.

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                    • Originally posted by radcentr View Post
                      That is where I am going with this idea. The states can screw up their negotiations with international business, without running into a violation of federal regs/laws (I assume that is what you meant by federal "supervision"). The federal gov't., for their part, exercises control via the purse strings in this case. If it is a case of economic incompetence, the sanctions are also economic in nature. If block grants are popular with conservatives, then take the damage out of the block for that state. Otherwise, they might well pay for their incompetent contract negotiation by dipping into the grant. If you expect the common voter to pay attention to that slight-of-hand accounting, you could argue that the elections will clean up the mess. It would be a cynical argument, but you could try to argue it all the same.
                      I am not at all clear on what you are going on about now. Your whole premise began as a way to supposedly improve the business environment for small to medium enterprises (SMEs), and you suggest having the Federal Government micromanaging (through strings attached to federal funds) for what you view as "mismanagement" of contracts. But the types of things you are talking about are not contracts, they are generally done as tax breaks or direct spending on areas of state responsibility that we can argue over the wisdom of, but those are for the voters of each state to decide for themselves, and not the Federal Government to either reward or punish. I think you are conflating things which really don't have anything to do with each other in practical terms and will not have any real impact (other than creating an prohibitively costly monitoring and oversight regime which will end up being lose/lose).

                      Most of the things we are talking about have nothing to do with federal funds in the first place. Take, for example, the bidding war over Amazon HQ2. States are offering various state and local tax incentives, agreement on infrastructure support, etc. etc. These are not federal issues, they are state and local and only tangentially (in the case of some of the infrastructure spending) involve (partially) federally provided funds.

                      My view is that in most instances the federal grants you are talking about shouldn't exist in the first place (block grants are a transitional means of getting the federal government out of various things, not a means of disbursing federal funds in and of themselves). For example, federal highway funds should be limited to partial funding and maintenance of the Interstate Highway system (a fraction of what is currently spent at the federal level), the purpose of which is to ensure good highways for moving around the country. There should be no federal funds for local roads and highways.

                      If you want to help SMEs, the way to do it is to reduce burdensome regulations which create barriers to entry or competitive disadvantages, not to try and have federal micromanaging of unrelated things.
                      Last edited by Marcus1124; 08-22-2018, 09:31 AM.

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                      • The question remains what do with the 3%? We know that early Christians outlawed homosexuality punishable with castration. From those days we learned that all sex is evil. To make that point Origen of Alexandria a noted Christian figure castrated himself thus removing this tool of sin. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origen

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                        • Originally posted by redrover View Post
                          The question remains what do with the 3%? We know that early Christians outlawed homosexuality punishable with castration. From those days we learned that all sex is evil. To make that point Origen of Alexandria a noted Christian figure castrated himself thus removing this tool of sin. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origen
                          "we" don't know any such thing.

                          While there were obviously "early Christians" who practiced such, the "law" about putting homosexuals to death was part of the Jewish law. "we" don't know early Christians outlawed any such thing or prescribed any such general punishment for homosexuality...

                          So, your secret sex preferences are safe with us.

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                          • Originally posted by DavidSF View Post

                            "we" don't know any such thing.

                            While there were obviously "early Christians" who practiced such, the "law" about putting homosexuals to death was part of the Jewish law. "we" don't know early Christians outlawed any such thing or prescribed any such general punishment for homosexuality...

                            So, your secret sex preferences are safe with us.
                            Of course these days, you are far more likely to be executed or murdered for being gay in one of those countries where the "religion of peace" (Islam) is predominant than a predominantly Christian one.

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                            • Originally posted by Marcus1124 View Post

                              Of course these days, you are far more likely to be executed or murdered for being gay in one of those countries where the "religion of peace" (Islam) is predominant than a predominantly Christian one.
                              Ah yes the good old what about the Muslims defense. Roy Moore wants to make homosexuality illegal and you have to admit that castration effectively curbs that sin. Better to go to heaven without a Weiner than go to hell with one right?

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                              • Originally posted by redrover View Post

                                Ah yes the good old what about the Muslims defense. Roy Moore wants to make homosexuality illegal and you have to admit that castration effectively curbs that sin. Better to go to heaven without a Weiner than go to hell with one right?
                                that wasn't what he was saying, Ignoramus.

                                He juxtaposed his perspective on execution of homosexuals to your foolishness earlier.

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