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U.S. 2020 Elections

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Conquistador, Jan 20, 2019.

  1. Solfege

    Solfege Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    In real terms, I agree that climate change policy needs to start now. Cost of delay is exponential, private industry isn't doing enough to align with greening initiatives, and this next decade is critical to determining how much catastrophe is served to us on a plate.


    None of that has to do with middle-class well-feeling. Americans should feel good regardless. Besides, the US is comparatively insulated from the effects of climate change. Unless you're talking insurance co's or other sectors hedging a little late (but seriously, the insurance industry is at the very frontlines of assessing climate change risk and, besides, waterfront damage doesn't get probabilistically heavy till past 2030).

    As a non-sequitur, and to be frank, an effective Green coalition will likely involve courting (very realistically) Wall Street. The New Deal was not achieved by activists and moralists alone; there were powerful investor interests, internationally-oriented and for whom higher wages (at such well-paid professional firms) were an insignificant part of operating costs,* around whom Roosevelt formed his political base.

    * On this note, it's not manufacturing workers who need to be striking, but service workers who can seize the opportunity to make employers upgrade service work into the next generation of sustainably middle-class jobs.

    You'd think, but exit polls from 2018 put LGBT+ at 6% of votes (and predominantly Democrat).
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
  2. pbluekan

    pbluekan Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    Pretty much. I mean, Equifax got hit with a $700m settlement. That’s less than two years worth of after tax income (profit). Damaging, sure, but not much and certainly not equitable (heh) to the estimated current and ongoing damages.
     
  3. Agayek

    Agayek Half-Blood Prince DLP Supporter

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    Not gonna lie, Equifax should have been fined into bankruptcy and their entire executive team tried for criminal negligence. The fact that they didn't still grinds my gears something fierce.

    Re: climate change - the primary impact on the US, at least in the near future, is almost entirely in terms of immigration and refugees. The current migrant crisis at the border is but a trickle to the flood we'll be seeing in the 2030s, and it's going to be the foremost issue caused by climate change for quite a while.

    None of the effects are good, obviously, but the US (and most of the first world, being honest) will, for better or worse, end up suffering comparatively little until/unless things get really bad. Barring a handful of specific locations where water level rise will be problematic (San Francisco and New Orleans spring immediately to mind), most of the US likely won't even notice significant problems stemming directly from climate change unless we see widespread crop failure, which from the reports I've seen is only really possible in the worst-case scenarios.

    As a result, I would definitely be willing to bet that the American middle class will be pretty happy on the whole in the 2020s. Though they were pretty happy in the 1920s as well, and that didn't end so hot. Hard to say from here if we're due a repeat of that (though it wouldn't overly surprise me).
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2019
  4. DR

    DR Secret Squirrel ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Holder felt that imprisoning people after drawn-out prosecutions wasn't worth the time and expense when companies could be held responsible and fined quickly.

    The drawback was that if you were a company executive, you got off scot free.

    Not particularly true. I should not that my primary concern with this is national security. Although the Bush administration's policies were heavily political and top-driven, the actual process was professional.

    On the other hand, now you have an article in today's WaPo about how national security professionals are actively avoiding working at the National Security Council because they view it as a tainted job. That ain't good.

    @Agayek re Equifax: Agreed.
     
  5. DR

    DR Secret Squirrel ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    DeBlasio's out. Finally. Everyone hates him, what was he thinking.
     
  6. Oment

    Oment The Betrayer

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    That campaign lasted about 4 months and 5 days longer than it should have...
     
  7. Rhaegar I

    Rhaegar I Death Eater

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    That he hates being mayor of New York City and he wanted to spend his time doing literally anything else?

    There are still six candidates left who don't have either qualification for the next debate and will probably never get on the debate stage again: Bennet, Bullock, Delaney, Messam, Ryan, and Sestak. Which of them is going to drop out next, and will any of them do it before the October debate?
     
  8. DR

    DR Secret Squirrel ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    He isn't even halfway through his second term and it seems like he just ran for it. Nevermind that most people detest him.
     
  9. Solfege

    Solfege Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    Guys! Because I'm fucking bored, I feel like throwing some bombs.

    Inslee's climate plan may be the most thoroughly detailed, but it's quite miserly compared to Warren's considering he's only promising 2-4% of Warren's $100B for international greening via the purchase of American green products. Warren's plan, while effectively promising $2tn in Green spending over a decade, still amounts to only $200B annually. Nowhere near enough to tackle the scale of crisis.

    Here we come to a crossroads. The radical progressive (particularly the fringe MMTer) might say, yes, let's mobilise all the instruments of state and throw $2T worth of Green spending on government debt annually. It is, after all, the existential crisis; we need something appropriately ambitious.

    The neocentrist might ask: do we risk bankrupting the state? Adding $10tn+ per decade, even if bearable, would potentially stretch to its limits the fiscal capacity of even the largest risk-bearing entity. As usual, your boring neocentrist's slogan is that which can't be done. Surely a winning formula for elections.

    Said boring neocentrist might, however, utilise his understanding of present systemic infrastructure, as dull a subject as it is. He might observe that the radical progressive proposes to directly finance the Green effort thru the largest individual risk-bearing entity in the world, the USG. Even so, there are limits. In comparison the present structure of private finance is capable of issuing multiples above those limits.

    Said boring neocentrist might observe that the government might backstop such a system. Instead of straining itself on Green liabilities at every point in time from this point on till the end of the crisis, it chooses to preserve its unsurpassed single-entity firepower as a guarantor of systemic liquidity at the single points in time when the private market system seizes up.

    It acts as the insurer of last resort for private-sector GND projects that meet a standard of approval. Qualifying GND bonds will be backed by the full faith and credit of the federal government; opening up an entirely new sector of global safe assets to join US Treasurys and quasi-Treasurys such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages.

    An FDA for GND finance will be staffed by scientists, engineers, economists, etc.

    The Federal Reserve will be mandated as the dealer-of-last-resort for the GND bond market, just as it is for Treasurys and quasi-Treasurys, and guarantee the safety and liquidity of GND bonds as to put them on par with other attractive, high-quality issues of financial collateral.

    Not all projects will be attractive to the private sector, and those worth doing should be carried on public shoulders. But the effectiveness of this system is not only in its flexibility to rapidly scale up, or down, according to the state of the world, but also to lower the risk, and thus cost, of private greening initiatives as corporations continue building, and pivoting, their lines of goods and services in a continually changing macro environment. Thereby enabling more such initiatives and investors to back them.

    We are at $200B in annual green bond issues since the start of the market a decade ago. Prudent stewardship of US hegemony by sensible coastal elites will accelerate that growth — $5 or $10tn annually in worldwide GND private financing is doable by 2030.

    Alas, what do soporific, Third Way, unambitious neo-centrists really know compared to more virile and revolutionary minds? Carbon taxes won't inspire electoral turnouts as sturm und drang personalities do. A policy of this sort of Jesse Jonesian heritage can only be carried by a family name accustomed to WIN. Which is why I am for #trump2024. This vote goes to Ivanka.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
  10. DR

    DR Secret Squirrel ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Here be Solfege, Bomb Thrower. Just wait until he's Vexed.

    Anyway, it's an interesting idea to have Green industry financed by a new class of government-backed investment bonds, but it seems to me that this function could largely be served by stock. Why not create a new stock exchange for Green investments?
     
  11. Arthellion

    Arthellion Lord of the Banned ~ Prestige ~

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    Ivanka runs on a progressive liberal platform in 2024. Everyone collectively loses their minds.
     
  12. Solfege

    Solfege Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    I'm not sure whether your question is specifically one of debt v. equity financing or of government involvement. If the former, I'll only say that firms should pursue the financing mix with the lowest cost of capital for their operations. For fairly mature conglomerates that already occupy sizable market share and where the largest impact would come from a myriad of initiatives to green their existing processes, that optimal mix tends to weigh towards debt issuance.

    Existing green debt and equity markets both suffer from opacity, subject to voluntary standards. A variety of projects are successfully marketed to investors as 'green' regardless of fundamentals. Federal insuring of qualifying green corporate bonds would offer two major benefits. It'd force a universally high standard for financial greening. Corporate bonds would pool with municipal bonds to greater liquidity and transparency.

    Second, investor perceptions of safety on federally-backed issues cannot be underestimated. Today the systematically-important financial institutions (SIFIs) enjoy an obscene advantage in financing costs over their non-Too-Big-To-Fail counterparts. Their costs are lower, their profits higher (and stashed by federal regulations for the systemic rainy day) as a consequence of passing the periodic SIFI stress tests.

    Safety means greater investor demand, which means lower financing costs. Lower financing cost means more federally compliant projects pass the hurdle rates on the corporate side and become financially feasible. This really helps out if you consider the experimental nature of many projects. The green bond market has scaling issues, despite rapid growth is still a niche market that makes up only 1% of bonds issued every year. Federal backing would help to overcome this tremendously, and its success would set standards for markets abroad.

    The biggest issue, by far, is by what means we can ramp up the scale of feasible green investments ASAP. If any other instrument can offer a bigger, better game, and here the game is the market-making process (the rapid expansion of supply and demand — just as Uber aggregates a massive pool of willing drivers on one end and a massive pool of willing users on the other), then by all means. This is essentially what the GSEs do: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae, off whom private mortgage lenders across the nation make quality, federally conforming loans. Certain supply-side conservatives at whom I shrug will argue these sorts of government 'distortions' lay at the crux of the GFC.

    Last, if you believe that there is a global safe-asset shortage, then federally-backed issues would contribute to stabilising the global financial system. Also, you could finance infrastructure renewal pretty well, more cheaply, off this system.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
  13. Mordecai

    Mordecai Drunken Scotsman ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Looks to be a lot of hay being made about the Iowa poll with Warren coming in first. Is a single state poll really that important?
     
  14. Chengar Qordath

    Chengar Qordath The Final Pony ~ Prestige ~

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    Iowa is the first state to vote during the primaries, which is why it's so important.
     
  15. Solfege

    Solfege Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    Enough people believe in the signaling effect of staggered primaries. If Warren takes Iowa, she'll be legitimated to the point of momentarily (in the media cycle, anyway) increasing her bid of winning additional primaries evenly against Biden. A thesis easily disproven if Biden retains clear frontrunner status with his primary losses fragmenting amongst his rivals... the question is whether the field can narrow to a two-way race by then, as Iowa 2008, by legitimating Obama, gave him a fighting chance for superdelegates.


    But one poll doesn't mean much and Iowa caucuses are notoriously hard to poll, the brouhaha is just another example of horse-race coverage and (willful) statistical illiteracy.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
  16. Oment

    Oment The Betrayer

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    Iowa is the kind of state you'd expect Warren to do well in as well, if you compare her coalition with Biden's. The fact that this is news should tell you quite a bit about Biden's status as the absolute frontrunner.
     
  17. Mordecai

    Mordecai Drunken Scotsman ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I just saw that Joe Kennedy is trying to primary Ed Markey for the Massachusetts senate seat, and polling has him at almost double Markey's numbers. I wonder if this is just him trying to avoid the mad scramble for Warren's seat as and when, or if, it comes clear, or if he's got his eyes on the Whitehouse for maybe 2028 or 2032.
     
  18. Arthellion

    Arthellion Lord of the Banned ~ Prestige ~

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    He won't live that long.
     
  19. DR

    DR Secret Squirrel ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Too soon.
     
  20. Rhaegar I

    Rhaegar I Death Eater

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    But how does Kennedy have such good polling? Kennedy is an empty suit whose most prominent characteristic is his last name. Has Markey done something bad, or does Massachusetts just really like gingers?
     
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