Author Topic: Previously 'The big ol' 2020 debate', turned Baruch's personal waste bin.  (Read 13823 times)

Offline Mr.Obvious

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Election coming up in the USA, again.
And while our politicians back here in Belgium seem intent to break their own world-record of taking the longest time ever to form a federal government, I thought it might be interesting to try and follow the 2020 election.

We'll get to see, of course. And I am a layman. And I have more oft than not been wrong about these things. (Thought Hillary would win last time, though I honestly probably wouldn't have voted for her.) But I do think that Trump is going to take the crown again, this time around. I don't really think he's a good president, but I do think he's going to win.

What do you guys think?

I'm trying to look up some information on the other candidates, republican, democrat and otherwise. Who do you think will win? Who might have a shot? Who would you prefer?
I'm trying to read up on Andrew Yang right now.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2020, 03:49:27 AM by Mr.Obvious »
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Offline SGOS

Re: The big 'ol 2020 debate
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2020, 09:09:33 AM »
I haven't followed this too closely.  I think Trump is a bad president.  He's thoughtless, reactionary, and doesn't seem to think ahead. He strikes me as the classical epitome of the loose cannon.  None of the democratic challengers have done much to inspire me, however.  The front runner Biden strikes me as another Hillary, with strong Democratic credentials, but not interested in taking the country anywhere.   I see him more as a fixture than a leader.  Whose that guy that wants to give everyone $1000 a month?  Was he put in the debates as a trial balloon to evaluate the power of strange thinking?  It worked for Trump.  Maybe the Party is just testing the waters.

So who will win?  Trump does have wildly strong support from voters, even if it's not a majority of voters.  Predicting a win for Democrats is hard.  My feeling is that Democrats are becoming disenfranchised with their choices, and with their party in general which seems to be drifting to the right.  If the country is drifting to the right and the party is trying to reflect that, then so be it.  But I don't think most of the Democratic base is drifting to the right, which means they can't match the enthusiasm of the Trumpsters, and that will hurt the party in 2020.

It will be interesting to observe, maybe not as interesting as the Superbowl half time show, but of marginal  interest to outsiders.  Citizens of Belgium, Scotland, USA, we are not part of the ruling class.  We are outsiders.

Offline Mr.Obvious

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Re: The big 'ol 2020 debate
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2020, 10:19:43 AM »
Yeah, so that is Andrew Yang, the guy I'm currently reading up on, who promises the Universal Basic Income of 1000 dollars a month.
Not a horrible idea, depending on how you follow up on it. Here in Belgium we have something similar. But it's more around 625 euros a month for someone who lives together with another adult, with money taken out if the other person is a partner or parent who has an income of over 625 his- or herself. About 910 euros for anyone 18+ living on their own. And about 1250 euro's for anyone who has children (younger than 18) living with them.

For example:
Jack age 26 lives with partner Jill age 25. Jack has no job and no rights to unemployment wellfare or any other income. Jill is unemployed and receives 1000 euro's out of unemployment welfare, a month.  Jack can get about 250 euro's out of 'leefloon', which is what we call the local equivalent of UBI (as I understand it).
Later, Jill finds a new job. Because she has a partner to take care for, her income is a little bit higher than that of a single person working would be. She goes to an income of 1000 up to 1600 euro's a month, netto.  Jack's right to 'Leefloon' stops right there.
Later, Jill gets sick and tired of carrying around Jack and decides to leave his broke ass. She moves out. Jack, still without an income, can get 910 euro's per month.
Later, Jill finds out she's pregnant. Her job finds out too and quickly fires her but give a different reason. Jill moves back in with Jack, cuz he the baby-daddy. The income reverts back to the beginning of the example.
After a few  missed appointments at the VDAB (a bureau which helps people find jobs) and her union (which defend her rights as an unemployed person looking for a job), she receives a sanction  and loses her unemployment welfare, temporarily. During that sanction time, they both are able to receive 625 euros, each.
Still during the sanction, Jill gives birth to a baby boy. The right to 'leefloon' turns into a single right of 1250 euro, going to one of the two parents.

The actual numbers differ slightly and I rounded them for the explanation. And there are small exemptions of income, which make it so that when Jack and  Jill had leefloon and unemployment welfare, they are slightly better off than when they both got leefloon.

I actually work for the organisation that gives out the leefloon in Flanders. It is an important last resort for an income. Especially when bureaucratic problems or anomalies or unfair situations strip someone of an income. Of course the drawback is that there will always be people who either try  to abuse the system  and work non-registered jobs on the side or simply try to get that money and not do anything for it and just wallow in poverty. But I could give plenty of examples to point out the necessity for this safety-net in our Belgian society. You just need good social workers to on the one hand help guide those who need leefloon to a better future, guard those who can't and activate and sanction those who can but won't.
Important to note though, it's not just, 'everyone gets cash'. It's, 'we make sure everyone has the bare minimum of cash to get by another month and if they don't have that, we intervene'. Of course I'm not 100% read up on Yang's proposal.
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Offline Baruch

Re: The big 'ol 2020 debate
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2020, 10:43:04 AM »
Mr Obvious, you want to follow the 2020 US election?  It should be obvious to you that you should make an appointment with your doctor for a checkup!

Observation for non-Americans.  Iowa + New Hampshire plus states in Super Tuesday … is pretty much it.  A hung D convention is unlikely.  Whoever Bloomberg supports, will get plenty of free media.  Trump didn't even have to pay for it in 2016.  It is a conspiracy theory that Hillary will use the super-delegates to become the nominee.  FBI, CIA etc already have their hooks into Buttigieg just in case he gets traction.  All candidates who have a chance, are invited to watch the Zapruder film!

Socialist vs identity grifter is no contest in the US.  The US is pragmatic, not ideological.  If you say .. All Blacks To Be Released From Jail … will get lots of Black votes.  All College Students With Loans Get Their Loans Forgiven … will get lots of Millennial votes.  Elections here are about buying votes and dirty tricks.  Conservatives are more like Liberals than they admit,  both are American.  They just want a different corruption of the Electorate.  Candidate A … will give you $1000.  Voter …. so I have a greater offer to buy my vote?  Candidate B … will give you $2000!  Thatcher comes to mind.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2020, 10:48:47 AM by Baruch »
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Offline SGOS

Re: The big 'ol 2020 debate
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2020, 11:21:42 AM »
Yeah, so that is Andrew Yang, the guy I'm currently reading up on, who promises the Universal Basic Income of 1000 dollars a month.
Not a horrible idea, depending on how you follow up on it. Here in Belgium we have something similar.
I just heard Yang say that in a debate.  I haven't read his proposal, but I don't think it's similar to what you describe, which sounds more like unemployment combined with welfare benefits given to people who need them.  Yang just wants to give everyone $1000 whether you are a homeless person, or a CEO making 2 billion dollars.  I'm not going to claim that's what he actually proposes.  It's only what I heard him say once.  And most of all I'd never make the claim that he has a snowball's chance of getting it passed.

Re: The big 'ol 2020 debate
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2020, 01:50:55 PM »
I'm just waiting to see who the Democrats' nominee will be. No sense in getting all worked up for anyone until then.

That being said, I've listened to Bernie Sanders for years on Thom Hartmann's program, every Friday, in the segment called "Brunch with Bernie." He's been consistent all this time, and I like his positions on policy. 
« Last Edit: January 27, 2020, 01:53:04 PM by Unbeliever »
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Offline Mr.Obvious

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Re: The big 'ol 2020 debate
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2020, 05:16:51 PM »
I just heard Yang say that in a debate.  I haven't read his proposal, but I don't think it's similar to what you describe, which sounds more like unemployment combined with welfare benefits given to people who need them.  Yang just wants to give everyone $1000 whether you are a homeless person, or a CEO making 2 billion dollars.  I'm not going to claim that's what he actually proposes.  It's only what I heard him say once.  And most of all I'd never make the claim that he has a snowball's chance of getting it passed.

Wow, looked further into it. You're right, he does just want to give everyone a thousand dollars a month.
That's... Not gonna help people, I think.
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Re: The big 'ol 2020 debate
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2020, 09:11:27 PM »
Wow, looked further into it. You're right, he does just want to give everyone a thousand dollars a month.
That's... Not gonna help people, I think.
I do not have any sites to direct you to right now, but Oakland, CA has a pilot program underway in which they gave a select number of families a fixed income for 2 years--no strings attached.  Finland I think just finished up one such program.  And I think the idea of a universal fixed income is gaining traction.  And I think the reaction so far has been positive.  Personally, I kind of like the idea.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline trdsf

Re: The big 'ol 2020 debate
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2020, 09:13:31 PM »
I haven't really a strong preference any way yet; my first choice has dropped out already, and with woomistress Williamson out of the race, I could be anywhere from fairly to quite happy voting for any of the rest of them.  Every single one represents some to much improvement over the current occupant.

Anyway, I had been a Castro supporter because I wanted someone with White House experience that wasn't ten years past the normal retirement age.  Also, on a purely power-politics level, he had the potential to shake up the vote in Texas (or at least make Republicans work a little harder there than they might otherwise have to), as well as boosting Hispanic/Latino turnout, which has never been high, lagging far behind Caucasian and African-American turnout.  And I would have put money on Donnieboy saying something appallingly racist (not that his base cares, but fuck them, I want the independents and disenchanted Republicans who vote) during the campaign, and possibly even during the debates.

I'm not leaning any particular way right now.

Part of me wants to vote Buttigieg, whose intelligence impresses me, but I think needs a little more experience before he's ready for the presidency; he might be a wildcard pick for the VP slot, especially if an East Coaster gets the nomination.

I've always liked Bernie's politics, but his style leaves something to be desired (like tact and flexibility), and his age is strongly against him, especially if he's already having cardiac issues on the campaign trail.  And, let's be honest, he's still not a registered Democrat, he's just running as one.

Joe's a safe bet, but he's not an exciting one, and isn't really offering to be anything more than "Not Don".

I like Warren's vision, and she's an engaging speaker -- I got to see her campaigning for Hillary in '16 and  she left me wondering why she wasn't the nominee.  And I like Klobuchar's pragmatism, although she's not as inspiring on the campaign trail.  She has the potential to be an Angela Merkel-style figure, running more or less as 'mommy' (which has worked unquestionably well for "Mutti" Merkel, certainly).

Yang is another bright 'un, although he's got that same lack-of-experience thing going on, and I'm gunshy of businesspeople thinking they can be President.  The three primarily-businessmen that have already taken the office -- Hoover, Bush Jr and Donnieboy (all Republicans, of course) -- are three of the worst presidents in American history.  The same brush applies to Bloomberg; being mayor of New York City is certainly experience of a higher order than some governorships, but -- businessman.  Worse, he looks like he's trying to buy the nomination.  He probably is -- $45 billion is a pretty damn deep pocket, but the appearance of doing it is what's probably going to hurt more.

The last thing to remember is that barring monumental coattails this November, whoever's elected is going to preside over a closely divided government.  All the vision in the world isn't going to help Warren or Sanders get some of their proposals past a Congress that doesn't reflect their views.  The Republicans are Stepford wives and will automatically oppose en bloc anything said by a Democrat, even if it's objectively non-controversial.  The Democrats are like herding cats.  I posted on a different forum the following observations, in response to someone who was pushing the "Bernie or Bust" line:

Quote from: trdsf
First, without a supportive Congress, very little of the progressive agenda is going to happen.

Second, this is a process, not a destination. We don’t need Bernie so much as we need thousands more like him, and AOC, and Warren, and so on all across the country.

And third, don’t let perfect get in the way of better. We have 40 years of right-wing madness to untangle, and that’s not going to happen in just one election.

Defeating Trump and Pence this fall is only the excision of the main tumor.  We need political chemotherapy for decades to rid ourselves of the cancer of modern Republicanism.
"My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total, and I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction of the Constitution." -- Barbara Jordan

Offline Mr.Obvious

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Re: The big 'ol 2020 debate
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2020, 02:16:26 AM »
I do not have any sites to direct you to right now, but Oakland, CA has a pilot program underway in which they gave a select number of families a fixed income for 2 years--no strings attached.  Finland I think just finished up one such program.  And I think the idea of a universal fixed income is gaining traction.  And I think the reaction so far has been positive.  Personally, I kind of like the idea.

I'll look into it, because it does interest me,. But I have initial points of doubt.
1. A minimum income through welfare is necessary. But in Belgium our social safety net is already one of the more expensive ones and let's say at least half of our clients get less than 1000 a month.
2. Those who do get more than 1000 a month really need it (example, single parents) and I don't think you'll be able to keep up ubi and welfare together. In fact I already read you'd need to pick to apply to one or another.
3. You're going to have to absorb the welfare programs to at least cover part of the cost. (and maybe even unemployment benefits or other social incomes, because that's going to be one massive cost.) So that would mean a subsection vulnareable people might get a lot less each month. (at least if it were in Belgium, I don't know welfare rates in the states)
4. Assuming they're not just printing the money extra, because that's wreck the economy, they're going to have to a this through higher taxes, because this is going to cost a lot more than the welfare program(s). Now higher taxes in an dof themselves are not a problem to me, as long as the collected funds are used well. But:
4.a. How can that relocation of funds be efficient? You'd have to tax everyone over a thousand bucks a month to get out of your costs. I say over, because like with transferring energy, you'll always 'lose' a small part of the money. In this case through the bureaucratic paychecks etc. Of those who have to relocate the funds and have to keep the paperwork in order, plus the paperwork itself. It need not be a heavy added cost, but there will always be one. That part of the cost will be higher than now because there are more recipients.
4b. I imagine they might cut back on this loss by cutting the jobs of social workers as they don't need to be there anymore to evaluate if someone met the requirements for getting the ubi instead of welfare. But social workers get people out of poverty. Which is better for the people themselves and society as a whole as it means less money needs to be redistributed. Also, social workers and help prevent dumb financial decisions and administrative hangups which cost the poorest even more. Cutting in the social sector like that is dangerous. Of course I am biased as a social worker myself.
4c. But You can't tax most people 1000 dollars extra. The ones with little and no other income, mainly. Meaning you'll need to collect more from the more well of. Again, higher taxes for richer people doesn't bother me per se. Indeed I think it is necessary even without ubi. But it becomes a pointless and waste full exercise to give them back 1000 dollars if you could just collect less from them and restrict who gets government sanctioned minimum income. Like welfare does.
4d. I imagine part of this idea is also to stop people hoarding their money in savings. I get why. You always have a minimum to fall back on so you need not prepare for the bad times just as much. But if everyone will spend more a'mnd the middle class to have a higher budget of one or two thousand dollars per household, more if they have 18+ kids, those in poverty today may well be worse off still. Because if everyone's budget rises, apart from the super rich who probably won't even feel the higher tax cut into their personal budget, costs are going to go up as well.

And I'm very interested in what the results of any test might've been. But these are problems that I don't think will surface in small scale tests, but will nonetheless arise in a nationwide application
« Last Edit: January 28, 2020, 03:00:18 AM by Mr.Obvious »
"If we have to go down, we go down together!"
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Atheist Mantis does not pray.

Re: The big 'ol 2020 debate
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2020, 08:54:34 AM »
I'll look into it, because it does interest me,. But I have initial points of doubt.
1. A minimum income through welfare is necessary. But in Belgium our social safety net is already one of the more expensive ones and let's say at least half of our clients get less than 1000 a month.
2. Those who do get more than 1000 a month really need it (example, single parents) and I don't think you'll be able to keep up ubi and welfare together. In fact I already read you'd need to pick to apply to one or another.
3. You're going to have to absorb the welfare programs to at least cover part of the cost. (and maybe even unemployment benefits or other social incomes, because that's going to be one massive cost.) So that would mean a subsection vulnareable people might get a lot less each month. (at least if it were in Belgium, I don't know welfare rates in the states)
4. Assuming they're not just printing the money extra, because that's wreck the economy, they're going to have to a this through higher taxes, because this is going to cost a lot more than the welfare program(s). Now higher taxes in an dof themselves are not a problem to me, as long as the collected funds are used well. But:
4.a. How can that relocation of funds be efficient? You'd have to tax everyone over a thousand bucks a month to get out of your costs. I say over, because like with transferring energy, you'll always 'lose' a small part of the money. In this case through the bureaucratic paychecks etc. Of those who have to relocate the funds and have to keep the paperwork in order, plus the paperwork itself. It need not be a heavy added cost, but there will always be one. That part of the cost will be higher than now because there are more recipients.
4b. I imagine they might cut back on this loss by cutting the jobs of social workers as they don't need to be there anymore to evaluate if someone met the requirements for getting the ubi instead of welfare. But social workers get people out of poverty. Which is better for the people themselves and society as a whole as it means less money needs to be redistributed. Also, social workers and help prevent dumb financial decisions and administrative hangups which cost the poorest even more. Cutting in the social sector like that is dangerous. Of course I am biased as a social worker myself.
4c. But You can't tax most people 1000 dollars extra. The ones with little and no other income, mainly. Meaning you'll need to collect more from the more well of. Again, higher taxes for richer people doesn't bother me per se. Indeed I think it is necessary even without ubi. But it becomes a pointless and waste full exercise to give them back 1000 dollars if you could just collect less from them and restrict who gets government sanctioned minimum income. Like welfare does.
4d. I imagine part of this idea is also to stop people hoarding their money in savings. I get why. You always have a minimum to fall back on so you need not prepare for the bad times just as much. But if everyone will spend more a'mnd the middle class to have a higher budget of one or two thousand dollars per household, more if they have 18+ kids, those in poverty today may well be worse off still. Because if everyone's budget rises, apart from the super rich who probably won't even feel the higher tax cut into their personal budget, costs are going to go up as well.

And I'm very interested in what the results of any test might've been. But these are problems that I don't think will surface in small scale tests, but will nonetheless arise in a nationwide application
I too, have doubts.  And I have not studied the issue much.  But just as welfare returns to the economy in general more than what we spend in welfare (I think I read that for every dollar spent on welfare, it generates 1.75 for the economy), ubi may do the same, in which case it would cost less that it first appears.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline SGOS

Re: The big ol' 2020 debate
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2020, 10:04:59 AM »
I too, have doubts.  And I have not studied the issue much.  But just as welfare returns to the economy in general more than what we spend in welfare (I think I read that for every dollar spent on welfare, it generates 1.75 for the economy), ubi may do the same, in which case it would cost less that it first appears.
But regardless of whether is has a positive effect, no effect, or is widely popular (which I don't think it is), I don't see this flying.  It's far too liberal for both parties.  We can't even get universal health care, which even most Democratic contenders are no longer supporting.  UBI is in direct opposition to the tradition of identity politics.  It's a benefit for everyone, and I should support it because I saw the strategy of identity politics as a failed strategy before I ever heard of the phrase "identity politics."  But it intuitively seems like the wrong first step in leaving identity politics behind.  Honestly, I am not economically equipped to judge the economic implications of UBI.

Re: The big ol' 2020 debate
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2020, 11:06:54 AM »
But regardless of whether is has a positive effect, no effect, or is widely popular (which I don't think it is), I don't see this flying.  It's far too liberal for both parties.  We can't even get universal health care, which even most Democratic contenders are no longer supporting.  UBI is in direct opposition to the tradition of identity politics.  It's a benefit for everyone, and I should support it because I saw the strategy of identity politics as a failed strategy before I ever heard of the phrase "identity politics."  But it intuitively seems like the wrong first step in leaving identity politics behind.  Honestly, I am not economically equipped to judge the economic implications of UBI.
I find this about me surprising.  As I age I am becoming more and more 'liberal' and less and less 'conservative'.  As a younger person I fully expected the process to be the opposite.  Anyway, I am like you in that I think this is too radical an idea for it to catch hold in this country.  Still, I find it an interesting concept.  I'll have to follow the experiments more closely and try to understand what the actual results are.  Right now the 1% have a strangle hold on this country and they are not about to let up any time soon.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline Baruch

Re: The big ol' 2020 debate
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2020, 12:59:52 PM »
I find this about me surprising.  As I age I am becoming more and more 'liberal' and less and less 'conservative'.  As a younger person I fully expected the process to be the opposite.  Anyway, I am like you in that I think this is too radical an idea for it to catch hold in this country.  Still, I find it an interesting concept.  I'll have to follow the experiments more closely and try to understand what the actual results are.  Right now the 1% have a strangle hold on this country and they are not about to let up any time soon.

"Apologists for the programme, including the New York Times, have claimed that it is not UBI that has failed Finland, but rather the reverse—that Finland failed UBI. They claim that the pilot programme was too limited in scope to produce meaningful results and that it should have been extended to a much larger population."

The experiment in Finland, for now, is stopped.  The excuses sound like the excuses for every attempt at socialism.  Poor people in the US might be different in their behavior.  But I would expect Finns to be better behaved than Americans.  They have much more experience with socialist programs.  Americans are faithless grifters.

One problem, is if this is implemented to add to existing programs, or as a substitute.  It could just be a way to destroy Social Security and other existing programs with "bait and switch", like Obama care.  If would be a better test if it was a "value add".  I would be happy if my daughter, currently on Federal assistance, got an additional $1000 per month, but I have a conflict of interest ;-)
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Offline Baruch

Re: The big ol' 2020 debate
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2020, 01:06:12 PM »
Initially I was supporting Tulsi Gabbard.  I don't expect her to be nominated now, but I am hoping she has BBQ Cankles for dinner ;-)

I like Buttigieg also.  CIA and FBI support him now.  I like outsiders (not DNC swamp rats).

I am not surprised at the Bernie support here.  Can't keep a good Communist down.  I wish he hadn't been fake opposition to Cankles in 2016.

The Biden crime family is a non-starter.  Warren isn't too bad, since I don't think she is serious about any of her Left policies borrowed from AOC.  She has no strong POV, other than getting elected.  Other than lying like any politician, I don't see her and her family as corrupt.
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.