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Thread: 2012 Elections - Page 18







Post#426 at 11-22-2010 06:44 PM by Brian Beecher [at Downers Grove, IL joined Sep 2001 #posts 2,937]
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Coming Great Depression?

I have been reading a book by Harry Dent titled "The Coming Great Depression". He asserts that the timing is right for a depression/deflationary cycle similar to the 1930's. And yet he is of the opinion that this one won't be as bad as this one--that the unemployment will probably not go much higher than it is right now. And he incorporates vestiges of the S & H theory into his writing--describing it as a New Economy Cycle. Mr. Dent refers to the first cycle as the Innovation Season(Awakening), Growth Season(Unraveling), Shakeout Season(Crisis), and Maturity Season(High).

If this depression cycle was to turn out as severe as the last one, I believe that today's society would have a much harder time dealing with it if for no other reason that we have now become the "I Deserve It" society and wouldn't be able to deal with such hardships. You need look no further than to realize that so many things now considered necessities by most people didn't even exist at the time of the last GD. Autos were around, but they had not reached the level of necessity by most standards at that time.







Post#427 at 11-23-2010 04:53 AM by 85turtle [at joined Dec 2009 #posts 362]
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The auto bailout working in the Rust Belt means Obama will easily win re-election. If you can get Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania, it's harder for the GOP to win.

Plus the West is becoming more Democratic, look at Colorado and Nevada. Colorado has historically been Republican now it's more Democratic, the same can be said for Nevada.

Nevada and Colorado will decide who wins the 2012 election.
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Post#428 at 11-23-2010 08:19 AM by pbrower2a [at "Michigrim" joined May 2005 #posts 15,014]
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Quote Originally Posted by 85turtle View Post
The auto bailout working in the Rust Belt means Obama will easily win re-election. If you can get Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania, it's harder for the GOP to win.

Plus the West is becoming more Democratic, look at Colorado and Nevada. Colorado has historically been Republican now it's more Democratic, the same can be said for Nevada.

Nevada and Colorado will decide who wins the 2012 election.
Seventeen states and DC haven't gone for a Republican nominee for President since at least 2008. Those comprise all states to the north of the Potomac except New Hampshire; all states bordering the Great Lakes except Indiana and Ohio; and all states bordering the Pacific Ocean except Alaska. According to 270towin.com those states will have between them 243 electoral votes. Sure, the Republicans won Governorships or Senate seats in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, but such shows an electorate more like that of 2002 than like 2012. In essence the Republicans have lost 90% of the Presidential election of 2012 before it starts.

Three states (Iowa, New Hampshire, and New Mexico) have gone for Republican nominees for President only once beginning in 1992 -- once for Dubya. The States that Democrats have won in four or five of the last five Presidential elections will comprise 258 electoral votes. I see no reason for either Iowa, New Hampshire, or New Mexico to each make five for six. It will be difficult for the Republicans to win any of the twenty states that
the Democrats have found reasonably reliable since 1992.

The Republicans could win with that, but they have little wiggle room. Large Hispanic populations in Colorado and Nevada could make those two states even more solid Democratic wins in 2012 than such states as Minnesota, Pennsylvania, or Wisconsin.

You are right -- Colorado and Nevada probably win the re-election of President Obama with their combined 15 electoral votes.

So President Obama can win by winning those two states.

States that have gone 4-for-5 or 5-for-5 for Democratic Presidential nominees since 1992 and:

1. Colorado and Nevada (15 together, 273 total)
2. Virginia (13 alone, 271 total)
3. Ohio (18 alone, 276 total)
4. Florida (28 alone, 286 total)
5. Georgia (16 alone, 274 total), possible only in the event of a satisfactory conclusion to the war in Afghanistan
6. Missouri and NE-02* (12 together, 270 total) -- very long shot
7. Missouri and Montana (14 together, 272 total) -- very long shot
8. Colorado and Montana (12 together, 270 total) - I can't see President Obama winning Montana but not Nevada).


Those are reasonably independent situations. I don't need to discuss certain possibilities because those are nearly impossible without one of the above four happening. I can't imagine President Obama winning North Carolina without also winning Virginia, Indiana without winning Ohio, or Arizona without winning both Colorado and Nevada, or anything involving the Dakotas or South Carolina without winning a bunch of other states. Indiana, North Carolina, NE-02, and Arizona, and probably Missouri, are second layers of icing on the cake.

A 269-269 tie is apparently possible with the election going to the states (assuming that the Democrats win majorities in the state delegations) should President Obama win "only" Missouri and win through that convoluted process. In any event, any chance of winning Missouri without winning Ohio, Virginia, Florida, or both Colorado and Nevada seems low in likelihood.

I don't see him barely winning because he is not going to have a strategy that allows the election to hinge upon the decision of some statewide political hack (Katharine Harris in Florida in 2000 or Kenneth Blackwell in Ohio in 2004). I see him using the same beat-the-cheat strategy in 2012 that he used in 2008.

*NE-02 is the Congressional district of Nebraska containing Omaha and some suburban areas. Nebraska and Maine apportion their electoral votes in accordance with two at large and one for each congressional district. Maine is fairly homogeneous in its voting, but Greater Omaha votes very differently from Nebraska as a whole.
The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" (or) even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered... in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by (those) who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern."


― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters







Post#429 at 11-23-2010 09:46 AM by Marx & Lennon [at '47 cohort still lost in Falwelland joined Sep 2001 #posts 16,709]
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The one question no one seems to ask is, why should Progressives work to reelect Obama? He has proven to be a very weak Neo-Clinton. Is that the standard-bearer Progressives should rally behind - especially at this time in history?

We are in a vicious loop. It's too late to find a better choice, but feel the alternative is scary ... so we go along, many of us grudgingly. I don't claim to have a viable alternate solution either, but I'm extremely uneasy about backing someone who is apparently not interested in the change he offered in 2008.

Let's look at the alternatives:
  • We reelect Obama, but he remains wedded to compromise. We get obstruction and another off-election just like 2010 - validated by the very lack of progress obstructionism guarantees. This will surely lead to a GOP sweep in 2016
  • We elect the Republican, whoever that is. If the GOP also gets control of the Congress, be it actual or functional, they enact their agenda. There is no history to show that the Dems will play hardball to stop it. Assuming they manage to keep all the balls in the air, they are reelected in 2016.
  • We reelect Obama, but he finally decides to get serious. How this will play is an unknown, since there is no basis to judge how the GOP will react.
    • If they hold even one half of Congress, the result could be stalemate or vicious - take your choice. They will be looking at 2016 before the returns are all in.
    • If they are in the minority, a replay of 2008, then the result may actually be pretty good. Then, it will be incumbent on Obama to enforce some discipline in his own party, a huge task in and of itself. Endless internal squabbling will be even worse than GOP obstruction.
A lot of this will depend on just how well or poorly the next two years go. The corporatists are in high dudgeon (e.g. look at the threats they waived at the Irish over the possibility that the corporate tax may rise there - even a small amount). The GOP is focused on the blame-game. If things fall apart, who gets the blame? If the GOP manages to keep the blame where it currently is, on the Dems, then the first and third options are probably off the table.

Since substantial improvement in the economy is unlikely, then the PR battle over the coming disaster may decide the 4T response for a long time to come ... perhaps too long to change direction again. Can Progressives trust Obama with the task of fighting the good fight? If not, then why back him? I have no faith in the GOP plan, such as it is, but we may have to suffer a true collapse just to change the paradigm. I hope I'm wrong, but it's looking more that way by the day.

I'll give the current train wreck one year to show me which options are viable.
Marx: Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
Lennon: You either get tired fighting for peace, or you die.







Post#430 at 11-23-2010 10:10 AM by James50 [at Atlanta, GA US joined Feb 2010 #posts 3,605]
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Quote Originally Posted by Marx & Lennon View Post
Since substantial improvement in the economy is unlikely.
The economy is already getting better and at a rate better than the recoveries of the 91 and 01 recessions.

From Jim Paulsen, an economist with Wells Capital Management:

When compared to the character of the last two recoveries, the current recovery appears very "normal". In the first year, the contemporary recovery has produced faster real GDP growth (3 %), has more quickly returned to positive job creation, has produced more private payroll jobs, has been characterized by a much stronger profits recovery, and finally, has experienced a much more robust stock market recovery than either the 1991 or 2001 recoveries.
I think Obama's reelection is highly likely because the economy will be so much better.

James50
The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected. - G.K. Chesterton







Post#431 at 11-23-2010 12:15 PM by James50 [at Atlanta, GA US joined Feb 2010 #posts 3,605]
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Quote Originally Posted by Brian Beecher View Post
I have been reading a book by Harry Dent titled "The Coming Great Depression". He asserts that the timing is right for a depression/deflationary cycle similar to the 1930's.
"Predictions are hard, especially about the future." - attributed to Yogi Berra

Before I bought into what Mr Dent is saying, I suggest you review his predictions made in March, 2009.

1. Oil will Increase to $180 Ė $215+ by 2010 and then Decline to $40 - $60 by 2015
2. Commodities will Peak between 2009 and mid-2010

I wouldn't place much faith in his fear mongering.

James50
The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected. - G.K. Chesterton







Post#432 at 11-23-2010 01:05 PM by pbrower2a [at "Michigrim" joined May 2005 #posts 15,014]
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Quote Originally Posted by James50 View Post
The economy is already getting better and at a rate better than the recoveries of the 91 and 01 recessions.

From Jim Paulsen, an economist with Wells Capital Management:



I think Obama's reelection is highly likely because the economy will be so much better.

James50
The real question may be about Congress.
The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" (or) even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered... in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by (those) who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern."


― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters







Post#433 at 11-23-2010 01:39 PM by The Wonkette [at Arlington, VA 1956 joined Jul 2002 #posts 9,209]
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Quote Originally Posted by pbrower2a View Post
Seventeen states and DC haven't gone for a Republican nominee for President since at least 2008.
You meant 1988, right?
I want people to know that peace is possible even in this stupid day and age. Prem Rawat, June 8, 2008







Post#434 at 11-23-2010 01:54 PM by pbrower2a [at "Michigrim" joined May 2005 #posts 15,014]
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Quote Originally Posted by The Wonkette View Post
You meant 1988, right?
Right. The Typo Monster strikes again. Thank you.

"1992 inclusive" or "after 1988".
The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" (or) even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered... in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by (those) who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern."


― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters







Post#435 at 11-23-2010 05:31 PM by Odin [at Moorhead, MN, USA joined Sep 2006 #posts 14,442]
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Quote Originally Posted by James50 View Post
The economy is already getting better and at a rate better than the recoveries of the 91 and 01 recessions.

From Jim Paulsen, an economist with Wells Capital Management:



I think Obama's reelection is highly likely because the economy will be so much better.

James50
It's only getting better for the rich. There is no recovery on Main Street.
To recommend thrift to the poor is both grotesque and insulting. It is like advising a man who is starving to eat less.

-Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man under Socialism







Post#436 at 11-23-2010 06:10 PM by Kurt Horner [at joined Oct 2001 #posts 1,656]
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Quote Originally Posted by Marx & Lennon View Post
The one question no one seems to ask is, why should Progressives work to reelect Obama? He has proven to be a very weak Neo-Clinton. Is that the standard-bearer Progressives should rally behind - especially at this time in history?
Standard bearers don't matter. The only thing that matters is to build a visible, noisy, and uncontrollable mass movement. Since most politicians are opportunists, most will fall into line regardless of their past performance.

Using elections to initiate change assumes that the political elite is functional, competent and that they value social stability over their current degree of privilege. That would have been a fair description of the U.S. in the 1930s. That is not a fair description of the U.S. today.

This means there needs to be a left-leaning equivalent of the Tea Party, and it needs to learn from what happened to the Tea Party movement and strenuously avoid capture by Democratic Party interest groups.







Post#437 at 11-23-2010 09:45 PM by Marx & Lennon [at '47 cohort still lost in Falwelland joined Sep 2001 #posts 16,709]
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Quote Originally Posted by James50 View Post
The economy is already getting better and at a rate better than the recoveries of the 91 and 01 recessions...

I think Obama's reelection is highly likely because the economy will be so much better.

James50
The recovery is great for the top 10+%, but the rest are not recovering. TO add insult to injury, unemployment is not expected to drop, and the GOP plan to focus solely on inflation worries will guarantee it.

My advice: don't hold your breath waiting for the good times to roll.
Marx: Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
Lennon: You either get tired fighting for peace, or you die.







Post#438 at 11-23-2010 09:47 PM by Marx & Lennon [at '47 cohort still lost in Falwelland joined Sep 2001 #posts 16,709]
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Quote Originally Posted by James50 View Post
"Predictions are hard, especially about the future." - attributed to Yogi Berra

Before I bought into what Mr Dent is saying, I suggest you review his predictions made in March, 2009.

1. Oil will Increase to $180 Ė $215+ by 2010 and then Decline to $40 - $60 by 2015
2. Commodities will Peak between 2009 and mid-2010

I wouldn't place much faith in his fear mongering.

James50
Ok, so who has been accurate over the last 5 or 10 years, and what are they saying now?
Marx: Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
Lennon: You either get tired fighting for peace, or you die.







Post#439 at 11-23-2010 09:52 PM by Marx & Lennon [at '47 cohort still lost in Falwelland joined Sep 2001 #posts 16,709]
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Quote Originally Posted by Kurt Horner View Post
Standard bearers don't matter. The only thing that matters is to build a visible, noisy, and uncontrollable mass movement. Since most politicians are opportunists, most will fall into line regardless of their past performance.

Using elections to initiate change assumes that the political elite is functional, competent and that they value social stability over their current degree of privilege. That would have been a fair description of the U.S. in the 1930s. That is not a fair description of the U.S. today.

This means there needs to be a left-leaning equivalent of the Tea Party, and it needs to learn from what happened to the Tea Party movement and strenuously avoid capture by Democratic Party interest groups.
I've done the mass movement thing, and it only works while you do it. If you never stop, you have a chance, but who has the time, energy, will and resources to do that? The Tea Party has the advantage of being a movement of retirees, at least to a large extent. Do you know of a pool of left-leaning codgers our there?
Marx: Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
Lennon: You either get tired fighting for peace, or you die.







Post#440 at 11-23-2010 10:16 PM by James50 [at Atlanta, GA US joined Feb 2010 #posts 3,605]
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Quote Originally Posted by Marx & Lennon View Post
Ok, so who has been accurate over the last 5 or 10 years, and what are they saying now?
I don't know any economic forecasters that have been right. Most of them pander to their audiences. Its very easy to be bearish. If you listen to the daily news, its hard to be anything else but bearish. It has always been so. When I read Prechter or Dent, it just depresses me. Its not very useful and certainly doesn't help you make any money.

The forecasters that have influenced my life the most are Strauss and Howe. They do not make specific forecasts but provide a template that I first read in the early 90s that has worked pretty well. That is the reason I come to this forum although lately it has become more left wing than I am comfortable with. I attribute this to the poor results for the left in the last election. I anticipate the worst excesses will die down shortly.

The other person that has influenced me is Nassim Taleb and his book "The Black Swan". I am sure you know his ideas. He basically says all forecasters are charlatans and that there is no way for anyone to reliably predict the economy. I believe he is right.

I do not pretend to know with any certainty what is going to happen in the next five years much less the next 10 years. However, I don't really have the option of stepping to the side. In a business sense, no decision is still a decision. I was grateful for the insights of S&H during the middle part of the 00s. Right now, however, I think this is a good time to invest. I think it is my contrarian nature. Everyone seems to think the US is headed down the tubes and one state in particular is the worst of the lot.

My plan: I am getting ready to invest in a new facility in California.

James50
The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected. - G.K. Chesterton







Post#441 at 11-23-2010 10:23 PM by JustPassingThrough [at joined Dec 2006 #posts 5,196]
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Quote Originally Posted by Kurt Horner View Post
Standard bearers don't matter. The only thing that matters is to build a visible, noisy, and uncontrollable mass movement. Since most politicians are opportunists, most will fall into line regardless of their past performance.

Using elections to initiate change assumes that the political elite is functional, competent and that they value social stability over their current degree of privilege. That would have been a fair description of the U.S. in the 1930s. That is not a fair description of the U.S. today.

This means there needs to be a left-leaning equivalent of the Tea Party, and it needs to learn from what happened to the Tea Party movement and strenuously avoid capture by Democratic Party interest groups.
Why is there no "left wing Tea Party"?



That's why.







Post#442 at 11-23-2010 10:36 PM by JustPassingThrough [at joined Dec 2006 #posts 5,196]
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Velma Hart Loses Her Job

I don't know if Ms. Hart will vote for Republicans in 2012, but will she go out and vote for Obama and the Democrats? How many Velma Harts are there?

Food for thought.







Post#443 at 11-24-2010 01:10 AM by pbrower2a [at "Michigrim" joined May 2005 #posts 15,014]
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Quote Originally Posted by JustPassingThrough View Post
Why is there no "left wing Tea Party"?



That's why.
May I suggest other reasons?

Could it be that liberals would never warn the government to "keep its hands off Medicare" because the recognize that Medicare is a federal program? Could it be that liberals have no particular desire to confiscate firearms from sport hunters? Could it be that liberals recognize official documents as valid in the absence of evidence of forgery or other fraud? Could it be that liberals are less likely to smear others for their religious beliefs?

Could it be that liberals are more willing to accept truth when it is inconvenient and try to deal with the rest of objective reality? Could it be that liberals are more likely to insist upon science and mathematical models than upon ideology?
The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" (or) even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered... in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by (those) who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern."


― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters







Post#444 at 11-24-2010 03:25 AM by Kurt Horner [at joined Oct 2001 #posts 1,656]
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Quote Originally Posted by pbrower2a View Post
May I suggest other reasons? . . . Could it be that liberals are more willing to accept truth when it is inconvenient and try to deal with the rest of objective reality?
There's no requirement that a Tea Party of the left would need to traffic in pure nonsense.

The more relevant point is whether a survey of self-identified ideology with only three choices adequately draws the line between left and right, especially since in the entire time-frame of that chart "liberal" has been caricatured as some kind of hedonistic, yet controlling (?!), variant of state socialism.

There is a kernel of truth in that chart. Far too many people with left-leaning sympathies (most of the "moderates") think that they can simply be a Sane Majority (just as social conservatives were the Silent Majority during the Awakening) and the political system will lean their way. That's great if you want to win elections, but they'll still lose on every issue of consequence -- as happened with social conservatives. A Crisis has a different dynamic where moderates are steadily radicalized until the political system decisively shifts.







Post#445 at 11-24-2010 03:25 AM by Kurt Horner [at joined Oct 2001 #posts 1,656]
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Quote Originally Posted by Marx & Lennon View Post
I've done the mass movement thing, and it only works while you do it. If you never stop, you have a chance, but who has the time, energy, will and resources to do that? The Tea Party has the advantage of being a movement of retirees, at least to a large extent. Do you know of a pool of left-leaning codgers our there?
Maybe it's not the persistence that matters but whether or not you keep escalating? It seems like a lot of left-leaning protests got into a pattern that peaked with the pre-Iraq War protest. Since 2003, there has been no American protest of comparable size -- not even the Tea Party rallies come close. Everyone realized that marching and holding signs wasn't going to stop an Empire and with so many of the activist organizations controlled by committed pacifists who refuse to support anything beyond that, there's been a huge collapse in left-leaning public protest. It really seems like everyone on the "left" is just waiting for something, but I don't know what.

I think many people thought the Obama campaign was that "something" but that illusion is now shattered. Now when anyone suggests that the solution is making sure more Democrats get into office, the response will be: "Yeah, like that worked!" So, what now?







Post#446 at 11-24-2010 08:19 AM by Marx & Lennon [at '47 cohort still lost in Falwelland joined Sep 2001 #posts 16,709]
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Quote Originally Posted by James50 View Post
I don't know any economic forecasters that have been right. Most of them pander to their audiences. Its very easy to be bearish. If you listen to the daily news, its hard to be anything else but bearish. It has always been so. When I read Prechter or Dent, it just depresses me. Its not very useful and certainly doesn't help you make any money.
This is just a variant of the old man-cries-wolf meme. If the criers are consistently right, then look for wolves. If they are always wrong, then you can feel reasonably comfortable ignoring them. I can honestly say, I know of no one in the classical or monetarist camp who has been right about much of anything in the last 30 years, yet they still hold sway. Why? Because they tend to favor the "haves", and the "haves" favor them.

Quote Originally Posted by James50...
The forecasters that have influenced my life the most are Strauss and Howe. They do not make specific forecasts but provide a template that I first read in the early 90s that has worked pretty well. That is the reason I come to this forum although lately it has become more left wing than I am comfortable with. I attribute this to the poor results for the left in the last election. I anticipate the worst excesses will die down shortly.
A more important gauge than attitude is results. What do you see happening and why? I can't see how stopping even the most oblique interventions in the economy (and I'm no QE enthusiast, for what that's worth) is likely to reverse an obvious trend toward deflation and stagnation. Personally, that scares me more than a little. The next step tends to be contraction.

Quote Originally Posted by James50...
The other person that has influenced me is Nassim Taleb and his book "The Black Swan". I am sure you know his ideas. He basically says all forecasters are charlatans and that there is no way for anyone to reliably predict the economy. I believe he is right.
Of course, a Black Swan is, as the name implies, a rare and unpredictable event. OK, that does happen. Typically, Black Swans are triggered by events outside the prediction envelope, with natural disasters and political folly being the most likely triggers. But in the end, Black Swans are either rare, and should be dealt with on that basis, or they are common. If they are common, then we live in an unpredictable world. Planning is then futile and random happiness is the best we can expect.

That's a bit grim for me, I'm afraid. I prefer operating on the opposite assumption, until proven wrong by the next Krakatoa.

Quote Originally Posted by James50...
I do not pretend to know with any certainty what is going to happen in the next five years much less the next 10 years. However, I don't really have the option of stepping to the side. In a business sense, no decision is still a decision. I was grateful for the insights of S&H during the middle part of the 00s. Right now, however, I think this is a good time to invest. I think it is my contrarian nature. Everyone seems to think the US is headed down the tubes and one state in particular is the worst of the lot.
California is certainly a basket case, but the problems are self inflicted. Whether Californians take the matter to hand, or just pretend it's not happening is the big question. There are many things broken in the state, and the worst is too much direct democracy. As long as they continue to legislate by ballot, the place will never recover - especially with the new PR paradigm.

Special interests with money can push through almost any initiative eventually. They just need the right spin.

Quote Originally Posted by James50...
My plan: I am getting ready to invest in a new facility in California.

James50
Credit to you for being an optimist. I'm not sure I would be so bold.
Marx: Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
Lennon: You either get tired fighting for peace, or you die.







Post#447 at 11-24-2010 08:41 AM by Marx & Lennon [at '47 cohort still lost in Falwelland joined Sep 2001 #posts 16,709]
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11-24-2010, 08:41 AM #447
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Quote Originally Posted by Kurt Horner View Post
Quote Originally Posted by Marx & Lennon View Post
I've done the mass movement thing, and it only works while you do it. If you never stop, you have a chance, but who has the time, energy, will and resources to do that? The Tea Party has the advantage of being a movement of retirees, at least to a large extent. Do you know of a pool of left-leaning codgers our there?
Maybe it's not the persistence that matters but whether or not you keep escalating? It seems like a lot of left-leaning protests got into a pattern that peaked with the pre-Iraq War protest. Since 2003, there has been no American protest of comparable size -- not even the Tea Party rallies come close. Everyone realized that marching and holding signs wasn't going to stop an Empire and with so many of the activist organizations controlled by committed pacifists who refuse to support anything beyond that, there's been a huge collapse in left-leaning public protest. It really seems like everyone on the "left" is just waiting for something, but I don't know what.
Looking back at the anti-war protests of the late 60s and early 70s, how many of the movement goals were actually reached? We exited the Vietnam War, but the revulsion of most older Americans manifested itself as the Silent Majority backlash, which created a new political center far to the right of the previous center. From that point to today, the shift has favored private interests over public ones and wealth over all. I can't see this a victory for the left. Why would another similar effort create a different outcome this time?

Isn't is possible that the Tea Party may trigger a similar shift, but to the left this time? A lot of what they champion is going to start hurting average Americans, and that never augers well for a movement.

Quote Originally Posted by Kurt Horner...
I think many people thought the Obama campaign was that "something" but that illusion is now shattered. Now when anyone suggests that the solution is making sure more Democrats get into office, the response will be: "Yeah, like that worked!" So, what now?
I agree on this wholeheartedly. I was just as taken by the rhetoric as anyone. Count me among the totally disillusioned now. Obama just doesn't have the personality needed to fight tooth and claw, and that seems to be the end game this time. Maybe it's always the end game. The passing order is never happy to step back and leave the governing to their rivals.

This time, rival = enemy. I see even less willingness than usual.
Marx: Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
Lennon: You either get tired fighting for peace, or you die.







Post#448 at 11-24-2010 09:56 AM by James50 [at Atlanta, GA US joined Feb 2010 #posts 3,605]
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11-24-2010, 09:56 AM #448
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Quote Originally Posted by Marx & Lennon View Post
California is certainly a basket case, but the problems are self inflicted. Whether Californians take the matter to hand, or just pretend it's not happening is the big question. There are many things broken in the state, and the worst is too much direct democracy. As long as they continue to legislate by ballot, the place will never recover - especially with the new PR paradigm.

Credit to you for being an optimist. I'm not sure I would be so bold.
When everyone "knows" something, its time to look a second look.

We were close to building a new facility anyway but I took the election of Jerry Brown as a big positive. With unified government, I think we will be amazed how quickly things begin to look better. Like the old Vulcan proverb says: Only Nixon can go to China.

I highly recommend this if you are anxious about CA.

Youíve probably heard a variant of the following storyline:

California is a basket case. The Greece of America. Decades of crazy liberalism and runaway spending have crippled the economy. Wealth creators are fleeing in droves. The people left are spending themselves into rack and ruin. They canít balance their budget, once again, so they are asking the rest of us for a bailout. And they even voted for Jerry Brown, a Democrat! Itís time we said enough is enough. No bailout for California! And get out of their muni bonds while you can ó theyíre going to default.

Basket case

Itís persuasive. You can hear it anywhere. But itís total hogwash. You might just as well believe that California is inhabited by pixies from the planet Mars, or that the budget problem in Sacramento has been caused by a giant sea monster destroying downtown San Diego.

Itís not just slightly wrong. Itís almost totally wrong.

Californiaís a basket case? The state has one of the highest living standards in the country, yet over the past 10 years the economy has still grown much faster, per person, than the national average. According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, itís up 15% ó compared to 8.9% for the U.S. overall.

Itís grown faster than low tax neighbors like Arizona, Utah or New Mexico. Itís grown three times faster than Texas.

And this was from 1999 through 2009: In other words from the peak of the dot-com years through the depths of the recession. It managed this growth despite the double blows of the tech and housing busts.

Most of the states that have grown faster than California during that time are farm states, riding an incredible boom in agriculture prices.

Fact.
Read the whole thing. There is also a nice section showing how CA has really been bailing out the rest of the country for over a century.

California isnít our Greece, itís our Germany. It isnít Little Orphan Annie. Itís Daddy Warbucks.
BTW- suppose we met in five years and this new facility is doing really well - say 75 employees averaging near $20/hr in wages and benefits - and my personal net worth has gone up by $500K. Would that make me a rapacious capitalist? Suppose it went up $1M? $5M? Is there a point where you would want the government to step in and take away this money (assuming I am paying income tax right along)? Where does it get to be unfair?

James50
Last edited by James50; 11-24-2010 at 11:56 AM.
The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected. - G.K. Chesterton







Post#449 at 11-24-2010 01:37 PM by Poodle [at Doghouse joined May 2010 #posts 1,269]
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11-24-2010, 01:37 PM #449
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Quote Originally Posted by James50 View Post
I don't know any economic forecasters that have been right. Most of them pander to their audiences. Its very easy to be bearish. If you listen to the daily news, its hard to be anything else but bearish. It has always been so. When I read Prechter or Dent, it just depresses me. Its not very useful and certainly doesn't help you make any money.

The forecasters that have influenced my life the most are Strauss and Howe. They do not make specific forecasts but provide a template that I first read in the early 90s that has worked pretty well. That is the reason I come to this forum although lately it has become more left wing than I am comfortable with. I attribute this to the poor results for the left in the last election. I anticipate the worst excesses will die down shortly.

The other person that has influenced me is Nassim Taleb and his book "The Black Swan". I am sure you know his ideas. He basically says all forecasters are charlatans and that there is no way for anyone to reliably predict the economy. I believe he is right.

I do not pretend to know with any certainty what is going to happen in the next five years much less the next 10 years. However, I don't really have the option of stepping to the side. In a business sense, no decision is still a decision. I was grateful for the insights of S&H during the middle part of the 00s. Right now, however, I think this is a good time to invest. I think it is my contrarian nature. Everyone seems to think the US is headed down the tubes and one state in particular is the worst of the lot.

My plan: I am getting ready to invest in a new facility in California.

James50
Good luck. and hire Justin.







Post#450 at 11-24-2010 02:12 PM by KaiserD2 [at David Kaiser '47 joined Jul 2001 #posts 5,220]
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11-24-2010, 02:12 PM #450
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Did those electoral vote forecasts take account of the coming shift of Congressional seats to red states?

Obama carried a great many states that he would not, I think, carry today, including Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Indiana, and Ohio. Giving all those to McCain/Palin would not have given them the election--Obama they would have had 259 electoral votes, 11 short. I suspect that those states will gain a few seats overall, with the first three gaining and the last two losing. Meanwhile other red states will gain some seats. Bottom line--those states, plus one more good size state (Wisconsin or Michigan?) would give a Republican candidate the election. (It's hard to imagine a state Democrats could actually gain next time.)

It's true that things may improve, but the auto bailout is working just like the bank bailouts: profits are up, jobs are still down. We saved a General Motors that is shipping more and more jobs overseas. The housing market is again in free fall. I am not sanguine about the next election at all.
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