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2020 Dumpster Fire (Enter at your own risk)


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24 minutes ago, wxman91 said:

 

GDP growth for Trump in calendar 2018 and 2019 (before COVID) was 2.4%.  If you go back to the start of his term, it averages 2.5%

GDP growth in Obama's 2nd term averaged 2.4%.

The Employment-Population Ratio for those aged 25-54 (one of the better indicators) under the last three years of Obama increased from 76.1% to 78.1% (up 2.0%).

The same ratio under three years of Trump has gone up from 78.1% to 80.4% (up 2.3%).

So, a massive tax cut resulted in almost no extra GDP growth and minimal additional job growth.

50% of American households don't have stock holdings.

Household income growth was up from 2.7% in Obama's final year to 3.1% last year.  That is good.  But it is also to be expected in a continued tightening labor market.  You won't want to hear this, but the same thing would have happened under Hillary.

 

The fact is that the economy under Obama matches up well against the economy under Trump, but Trump's bravado was able to shift the conversation to a "booming" economy.  The real "fake news" is that it is his efforts that have resulted in a better economy (at least until COVID), rather than the natural economic cycle after a debt-induced near-depression.

Facts and reasonable arguments aren't sitting well with these folks.  

Thank God they know hockey or this website would be worthless. 

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The only people who need to be tested are health care workers, the elderly, and those with underlying health conditions.  If you are young (under 50) and healthy and are taking up a test kit, crowding

This country is being bright to its knees by fear....not the virus. Recovery from getting the virus is a couple weeks. Recovery of society from this hysteria will be years.

It’s sad that about half the country still believes outlets like msnbc and cnn.  You would think after they lied everyday for 3 years about Russian collusion, people would get the hint of what their t

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5 hours ago, Hayduke1 said:

I see. 

So, by denying the authenticity of reliable media sources you feel entitled to keep your head buried either in the sand or in an orifice conveniently located about three feet away.

Well, good luck with that.  

I don't think you understand the meaning of the word reliable.

This isn't the 1950's or even the 1970's  where you could pick up a newspaper and read an actual accounting of something that happened.

 

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3 hours ago, The Sicatoka said:

"New cases" data makes for good headlines. 

The important data is hospitalizations ("Collapse the system!") and deaths. 

The blue line is a good thing under the assumption that once you've had it you can not catch it again; the blue line minus the orange (?) line is the herd immunity growth line. 

A close friend of mine is head of emergency response in Texas. He told me early this week ICU beds are filling up very quickly. Some suburban Houston hospitals are already full. My SO is a regional executive with a national healthcare provider. They are very worried their Arizona ICU beds will be overwhelmed within days.

This is all because of the push to re-open. Look at the deflection points on your graph.

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8 minutes ago, mikejm said:

A close friend of mine is head of emergency response in Texas. He told me early this week ICU beds are filling up very quickly. Some suburban Houston hospitals are already full. My SO is a regional executive with a national healthcare provider. They are very worried their Arizona ICU beds will be overwhelmed within days.

This is all because of the push to re-open. Look at the deflection points on your graph.

Go check last years ICU capacity at this time.  Hint: It's always like that.  You guys are getting played by fearporn, which is obviously working.

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2 hours ago, Nodak78 said:

Obama GDP was on a low base.  Trump was on a high base.  Much much different.

I purposely didn’t start from 2009 to not be intellectually dishonest.  This argument doesn’t really hold for GDP.  It could potentially be used for E/P ratio if we were closer to the long term average peak, but we weren’t.

Putting it a different way, the projections from the current administration about GDP growth was that it would bring sustained growth in the 3-4% level and Trump and his surrogates often hinted at 5%+.  By this metric, the tax cuts have certainly failed.

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3 hours ago, homer said:

To add: how much of that 50% is due to choosing not to invest vs not being able to?  Also, there is a very large percentage of young people who choose not to invest in stocks but choose real estate or precious metals.  Both of those would be doing very well now as well.    

It isn’t hard to find data out there that shows that half of Americans don’t have retirement accounts and a majority couldn’t cover $1000 from savings.  I don’t know where you are getting this “large percentage” of young people from, but it doesn’t align with the data.

By the way, go check out the data on Household Wealth by race and let me know what you think about that.

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32 minutes ago, wxman91 said:

It isn’t hard to find data out there that shows that half of Americans don’t have retirement accounts and a majority couldn’t cover $1000 from savings.  I don’t know where you are getting this “large percentage” of young people from, but it doesn’t align with the data.

By the way, go check out the data on Household Wealth by race and let me know what you think about that.

Data is  also out there to show more people under the age of 35 don’t invest in stocks vs physical investments.  It’s been that way since the crash in 2008.   You can find that just as easily.  

I don’t care about people’s savings accounts.  In some (not all) cases it’s a choice.  Right now in Fargo construction companies will pay a warm body regardless of color $18/ hr.  60+ hour weeks.  Do the math.  Good money and it’s everywhere right now.   

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1 hour ago, mikejm said:

A close friend of mine is head of emergency response in Texas. He told me early this week ICU beds are filling up very quickly. Some suburban Houston hospitals are already full. My SO is a regional executive with a national healthcare provider. They are very worried their Arizona ICU beds will be overwhelmed within days.

This is all because of the push to re-open. Look at the deflection points on your graph.

Don’t forget the riots/protests.  

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1 hour ago, UND1983 said:

Go check last years ICU capacity at this time.  Hint: It's always like that.  You guys are getting played by fearporn, which is obviously working.

No one is "playing" anyone: these are first-person reports from front-line healthcare professionals.
The fact is, we relaxed restrictions too soon, and idiots walking around without masks or partying like it is spring break are kicking infections into overdrive.

And according to contact tracing in Colorado, NOT ONE covid infection is the result of protests, peaceful or otherwise. 

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7 minutes ago, mikejm said:

No one is "playing" anyone: these are first-person reports from front-line healthcare professionals.
The fact is, we relaxed restrictions too soon, and idiots walking around without masks or partying like it is spring break are kicking infections into overdrive.

And according to contact tracing in Colorado, NOT ONE covid infection is the result of protests, peaceful or otherwise. 

Dude, stop.  My gawd.  

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2 hours ago, mikejm said:

A close friend of mine is head of emergency response in Texas. He told me early this week ICU beds are filling up very quickly. Some suburban Houston hospitals are already full. My SO is a regional executive with a national healthcare provider. They are very worried their Arizona ICU beds will be overwhelmed within days.

This is all because of the push to re-open. Look at the deflection points on your graph.

This is a completely false/inaccurate statement. 

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10 hours ago, LuvHockey said:

Listing copious mainstream media "articles" from totally biased completely anti-Trump sources does not influence my thoughts on the accuracy of your claims about the President or the responses to this virus.

Sorry, but the Pravda-like messages just are not believable.

So, how about suggesting ways to make things a better world on your idea's merits, not on how much you can accuse Trump or how well you can tear him or anyone else down?

Challenge accepted.  However, it is folly to ignore the current status of the country's leadership in relation to making a better world.  So, here's a more straightforward critique of Trump's presidency, staying clear of issues that the two sides are never going to agree upon (e.g. judicial appointments), followed by some ideas to make things better.

Foreign Policy:  Trump's foreign policy is a scattered mess. He ran as a non-interventionist, which is a good thing to drag the R side away from the neocons.  He finished what Obama's Pentagon had started with ISIS.  However, Afghanistan continues and the military budget is as big and bloated as ever.  The efforts to stop Iran and NK from their nuclear aspirations have both been failures.  He kisses up to dictators and antagonizes friends.  The flirtation with NK's Kim was embarrassing.  The defense of Saudi Arabia was disgusting.  We have a lessened world standing because nobody can trust us to follow through on agreements.  Then the kicker is Russia.  Trump's personality is that of a strongman leader, so he admires Putin.  

There are two foreign policy scandals that should have brought down his administration.

  • The Russian interference scandal.  No, not exactly what you are thinking of (Flynn, Hillary's emails, etc).  There is copious evidence that Russia interfered in the 2016 election process.  They wanted to sow discord in the country and most experts agree that the end result they were going for was a Trump presidency.  Maybe it worked, maybe Trump would have been elected anyway.  It doesn't matter.  Russia tried to influence our election and Trump hasn't done a thing about it because it would potentially lessen his "grand win" in some people's eyes.  He has abdicated the responsibility of the president to defend the country from foreign enemies.
  • The Ukraine scandal.  Not much more to say about this one.  Trump has been impeached for abuse of power, and correctly so.  The majority in the Senate didn't think that he was innocent, just that it didn't rise to "high crimes and misdemeanors" that would necessitate removal.  

Race Relations:  Trump's background on this was already sketchy with the problems with his housing project, the Central Park Five, and the incredible pushing of the "Birther" theory. Nothing he has done during his presidency has dispelled the notion that he has little interest in bridging the gaps between the races.  He would rather use the tensions to rile up his base.

Economy:  This is supposedly Trump's strong point and it is certainly the topic where he polls best.  However, as I've detailed in my other posts, his standing on this topic is significantly due to his manipulation of the media.  By objective measures set out before his economic moves, he has fallen short.  The economy, up until COVID, operated nearly exactly as it had prior to his election.  The main impact of his tax cuts has been an acceleration of the rich-get-richer world in which we live.  For fiscally-conservative types who care about the debt, his term has been nothing short of catastrophic as he reversed any improvements in the deficit that Obama and the Rs had made.  And all of this has been prior to the botched response to COVID, which will place Trump in a low tier of presidents on the economy.

COVID-19:  What can I say?  The utter lack of leadership on this has been breathtaking (literally).  Someone in this thread, un-ironically, posted a fake quote attributed to AOC about the Election being the motivation for the Ds to keep things shut down.  Of course, this doesn't make any sense because it is the states in charge of shutting down, and they have to deal with the lowered tax receipts.  Conversely, Trump has every incentive in the world to downplay the virus, and has from the start.  If he had shown a modicum of responsibility on this maybe we wouldn't be the joke of the world.

Health Care:  A bad bill was not passed by a single vote in the senate.  Instead of working on a better bill, the administration gave up and has petitioned the Supreme Court to strike down the ACA with no backup plan. 

So, I hope this comes across as a more reasoned argument than "orange man bad".

 

It is easy to criticize, so what would I do instead?  I feel like most of the choices are obvious.  Partner with our allies, encourage people to follow medical guidance, don't stoke racial tensions.  So, to my economic plan:

Job growth traditionally comes from new businesses.  Right now there are a handful of major obstacles to new business formation that have nothing to do with government regulations.

- Health Care:  This is the elephant in the room.  We have to get away from employer-sponsored care.  It limits employee movement and complicates business development.  I think that in the long run single-payer is the way to go, but I propose a different solution for now.  The federal gov't is the nation's largest employer and has negotiated good rates and benefits for its employees because of its buying clout.  In my plan, everyone would be able to buy into this system.  Cost would be on a sliding scale with income.  The gov't would make up the difference.  No convoluted tax incentives, no vouchers.  If people still wanted to use other insurance providers, they would be free to do so.

- Student Loans:  The fact that we allow 17 year-olds, who can't even serve in the military, to sign up for hundreds of thousands of dollars of loans is insanity.  However, I am not currently on board with wiping out student debt or free college like some on the Bernie side are.  What I do recommend is that the government steps in, buys all loans, and resets the period at the borrower's choice up to 30 years at the federal funds rate.  So, if you managed to get $200k in the hole on a 6%, 15 year loan, you could lower your payment from ~$1700 to ~$560/month.  You want an economic jolt - get money into the hands of younger folks who can spend it!

- Corporate Taxes:  Get rid of them.  I'm serious.  I'm a lefty lib, but the best tax rates for businesses is 0%.  Less than 10% of tax receipts are from businesses as it is, and the accounting/lawyer/lobbyist overhead that goes into gaming the system is insane.  The best part - a limit on buying politicians.

How do I pay for this?

- Tax capital gains at the personal tax rate.  The double-taxation penalty no longer applies in my world.  If Jeff Bezos cashes out on a billion dollars worth of stock, he is paying 35% rather than 15%.  I do not plan to increase any tax rates because of the next item.

- Remove the cap on entitlement tax rates.  Right now every dollar above $130k or so is not subject to FICA taxes.  Remove it.  These dollars can be used for the health care assistance and shoring up Social Security.
 

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On 6/30/2020 at 6:55 PM, wxman91 said:

You have no idea what their circumstances are.  Maybe they are making a short trip and don’t find the mask uncomfortable.  Maybe they are being extra cautious because they have a severe underlying condition and they don’t want to touch their face more than they have to.
 

Are you mad at Pence now for telling people to wear masks?
 

This goes beyond “judgey”.  Criticizing people for taking precautions to keep themselves healthy is truly pathetic.  

You should be required to wear a mask to enter this thread/forum topic and discussion. #Progress All masks aren’t the same, so let’s try and create some standardization here. 

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"Protester covid" spiked while the normal people were working and staying home to avoid getting hurt which counteracted the spikes in covid from the peaceful rioters. 

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The study’s lead author, Dhaval Dave of Bentley University, said, “In many cities, the protests actually seemed to lead to a net increase in social distancing, as more people who did not protest decided to stay off the streets.”

As I was saying. The peaceful rioters spread covid but was offset by people staying home in those cities. Mainly because a lot of them had citywide curfews.

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36 minutes ago, mikejm said:

Read from what I'm sure is one of your favorite publications, one that could hardly be considered a left-leaning propaganda source.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/tommybeer/2020/07/01/research-determines-protests-did-not-cause-spike-in-coronavirus-cases/#2bdc5f9d7dac

https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/24/us/coronavirus-cases-protests-black-lives-matter-trnd/index.html

As Cratter stated, people staying home to avoid the protest offset the spread among protesters. I don't think the virus is going around and only affecting people who aren't standing up for social justice.

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3 hours ago, wxman91 said:

Challenge accepted.  However, it is folly to ignore the current status of the country's leadership in relation to making a better world.  So, here's a more straightforward critique of Trump's presidency, staying clear of issues that the two sides are never going to agree upon (e.g. judicial appointments), followed by some ideas to make things better.

Foreign Policy:  Trump's foreign policy is a scattered mess. He ran as a non-interventionist, which is a good thing to drag the R side away from the neocons.  He finished what Obama's Pentagon had started with ISIS.  However, Afghanistan continues and the military budget is as big and bloated as ever.  The efforts to stop Iran and NK from their nuclear aspirations have both been failures.  He kisses up to dictators and antagonizes friends.  The flirtation with NK's Kim was embarrassing.  The defense of Saudi Arabia was disgusting.  We have a lessened world standing because nobody can trust us to follow through on agreements.  Then the kicker is Russia.  Trump's personality is that of a strongman leader, so he admires Putin.  

There are two foreign policy scandals that should have brought down his administration.

  • The Russian interference scandal.  No, not exactly what you are thinking of (Flynn, Hillary's emails, etc).  There is copious evidence that Russia interfered in the 2016 election process.  They wanted to sow discord in the country and most experts agree that the end result they were going for was a Trump presidency.  Maybe it worked, maybe Trump would have been elected anyway.  It doesn't matter.  Russia tried to influence our election and Trump hasn't done a thing about it because it would potentially lessen his "grand win" in some people's eyes.  He has abdicated the responsibility of the president to defend the country from foreign enemies.
  • The Ukraine scandal.  Not much more to say about this one.  Trump has been impeached for abuse of power, and correctly so.  The majority in the Senate didn't think that he was innocent, just that it didn't rise to "high crimes and misdemeanors" that would necessitate removal.  

Race Relations:  Trump's background on this was already sketchy with the problems with his housing project, the Central Park Five, and the incredible pushing of the "Birther" theory. Nothing he has done during his presidency has dispelled the notion that he has little interest in bridging the gaps between the races.  He would rather use the tensions to rile up his base.

Economy:  This is supposedly Trump's strong point and it is certainly the topic where he polls best.  However, as I've detailed in my other posts, his standing on this topic is significantly due to his manipulation of the media.  By objective measures set out before his economic moves, he has fallen short.  The economy, up until COVID, operated nearly exactly as it had prior to his election.  The main impact of his tax cuts has been an acceleration of the rich-get-richer world in which we live.  For fiscally-conservative types who care about the debt, his term has been nothing short of catastrophic as he reversed any improvements in the deficit that Obama and the Rs had made.  And all of this has been prior to the botched response to COVID, which will place Trump in a low tier of presidents on the economy.

COVID-19:  What can I say?  The utter lack of leadership on this has been breathtaking (literally).  Someone in this thread, un-ironically, posted a fake quote attributed to AOC about the Election being the motivation for the Ds to keep things shut down.  Of course, this doesn't make any sense because it is the states in charge of shutting down, and they have to deal with the lowered tax receipts.  Conversely, Trump has every incentive in the world to downplay the virus, and has from the start.  If he had shown a modicum of responsibility on this maybe we wouldn't be the joke of the world.

Health Care:  A bad bill was not passed by a single vote in the senate.  Instead of working on a better bill, the administration gave up and has petitioned the Supreme Court to strike down the ACA with no backup plan. 

So, I hope this comes across as a more reasoned argument than "orange man bad".

 

It is easy to criticize, so what would I do instead?  I feel like most of the choices are obvious.  Partner with our allies, encourage people to follow medical guidance, don't stoke racial tensions.  So, to my economic plan:

Job growth traditionally comes from new businesses.  Right now there are a handful of major obstacles to new business formation that have nothing to do with government regulations.

- Health Care:  This is the elephant in the room.  We have to get away from employer-sponsored care.  It limits employee movement and complicates business development.  I think that in the long run single-payer is the way to go, but I propose a different solution for now.  The federal gov't is the nation's largest employer and has negotiated good rates and benefits for its employees because of its buying clout.  In my plan, everyone would be able to buy into this system.  Cost would be on a sliding scale with income.  The gov't would make up the difference.  No convoluted tax incentives, no vouchers.  If people still wanted to use other insurance providers, they would be free to do so.

- Student Loans:  The fact that we allow 17 year-olds, who can't even serve in the military, to sign up for hundreds of thousands of dollars of loans is insanity.  However, I am not currently on board with wiping out student debt or free college like some on the Bernie side are.  What I do recommend is that the government steps in, buys all loans, and resets the period at the borrower's choice up to 30 years at the federal funds rate.  So, if you managed to get $200k in the hole on a 6%, 15 year loan, you could lower your payment from ~$1700 to ~$560/month.  You want an economic jolt - get money into the hands of younger folks who can spend it!

- Corporate Taxes:  Get rid of them.  I'm serious.  I'm a lefty lib, but the best tax rates for businesses is 0%.  Less than 10% of tax receipts are from businesses as it is, and the accounting/lawyer/lobbyist overhead that goes into gaming the system is insane.  The best part - a limit on buying politicians.

How do I pay for this?

- Tax capital gains at the personal tax rate.  The double-taxation penalty no longer applies in my world.  If Jeff Bezos cashes out on a billion dollars worth of stock, he is paying 35% rather than 15%.  I do not plan to increase any tax rates because of the next item.

- Remove the cap on entitlement tax rates.  Right now every dollar above $130k or so is not subject to FICA taxes.  Remove it.  These dollars can be used for the health care assistance and shoring up Social Security.
 

If Russia interferes with this election and Biden wins will that than be Biden’s fault.   Asking for a friend.  I stopped reading after that

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6 hours ago, homer said:

If Russia interferes with this election and Biden wins will that than be Biden’s fault.   Asking for a friend.  I stopped reading after that

If he doesn’t do anything about it as president?  Yes.

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14 hours ago, mikejm said:

A close friend of mine is head of emergency response in Texas. He told me early this week ICU beds are filling up very quickly. Some suburban Houston hospitals are already full. My SO is a regional executive with a national healthcare provider. They are very worried their Arizona ICU beds will be overwhelmed within days.

This is all because of the push to re-open. Look at the deflection points on your graph.

I'll quote this garbage again. The country was locked down for a couple months. People put off medical care. Now that people are back to seeking medical care here are a few reasons people wind up in the ICU....

Infections.......sepsis alone puts over a million in ICU beds every year.

Close patient monitoring due to operations, accidents and head injuries.

Cardiac issues.....which covers a broad range of issues.

Lung issues.....which COVID is a part of but of course not all of.

 

When people know they are sick and put off care for weeks because "experts" told them they would die by just leaving their homes and then they decide to seek care around the same time who is surprised ICU and hospital beds are filling up quickly....as they sat empty for months waiting for "the surge". A vast majority of hospital admissions in the past few weeks nationwide have zero to due with COVID due to re-opening.

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