Populism - Good or Bad?

Events occurring and how they relate/affect Anabaptist faith and culture.
Bootstrap
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Re: Populism - Good or Bad?

Postby Bootstrap » Sat Jan 28, 2017 2:40 pm

appleman2006 wrote:Bootstrap you are correct that the majority of union workers today are actually public sector workers. And I would argue that it is this imbalance that is causing a large part of the harm in our society. The present ratio of public sector workers to private sector is not sustainable and will have to be one of the primary things that Trump will have to address if he is to succeed.


This is one of those political narratives that doesn't seem to match the facts as I see them.

I don't know if Trump is going to increase or decrease spending. In the first few days of office, he has called for a massive increase in military spending, pledge billions of dollars to build a wall, insisted that 2/3 of the budget be protected from budget cuts, etc. So far, I don't see Trump creating a smaller government. I don't see him scaling back government surveillance or police powers. He seems to like power.

My guess is that Paul Ryan is going to strongly advocate for a balanced budget. I hope he succeeds, it's important.

Federal spending went down significantly during the Obama Administration, to levels close to the average since 1967, and revenue came up (largely due to the recovering economy). To balance the budget, Trump either has to raise taxes (he says he will cut them) or cut spending in military and entitlements. We'll see.

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appleman2006
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Re: Populism - Good or Bad?

Postby appleman2006 » Sat Jan 28, 2017 2:44 pm

Bootstrap wrote:
appleman2006 wrote:Bootstrap you are correct that the majority of union workers today are actually public sector workers. And I would argue that it is this imbalance that is causing a large part of the harm in our society. The present ratio of public sector workers to private sector is not sustainable and will have to be one of the primary things that Trump will have to address if he is to succeed.


This is one of those political narratives that doesn't seem to match the facts as I see them.

I don't know if Trump is going to increase or decrease spending. In the first few days of office, he has called for a massive increase in military spending, pledge billions of dollars to build a wall, insisted that 2/3 of the budget be protected from budget cuts, etc. So far, I don't see Trump creating a smaller government. I don't see him scaling back government surveillance or police powers. He seems to like power.

My guess is that Paul Ryan is going to strongly advocate for a balanced budget. I hope he succeeds, it's important.

Federal spending went down significantly during the Obama Administration, to levels close to the average since 1967, and revenue came up (largely due to the recovering economy). To balance the budget, Trump either has to raise taxes (he says he will cut them) or cut spending in military and entitlements. We'll see.

Image


I agree that many of his ideas do not seem to lead to smaller government and it is the main reason I do not at this point see his plan working. And the public private sector difference may be a much bigger factor here in Canada. It is totally out of control here and will be the end of our economy if it is not changed quick. I cannot not speak for yours exactly.
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appleman2006
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Re: Populism - Good or Bad?

Postby appleman2006 » Sat Jan 28, 2017 2:46 pm

But you do have to admit that he is turning at least one promise into concrete. :)
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Bootstrap
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Re: Populism - Good or Bad?

Postby Bootstrap » Sat Jan 28, 2017 2:49 pm

appleman2006 wrote:But you do have to admit that he is turning at least one promise into concrete. :)


Sure, but when it comes to wordplay, I keep expecting you to weigh in on the apples-to-apples comparisons, where you are the obvious expert. But let the chips fall where they may ...
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MaxPC
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Re: Populism - Good or Bad?

Postby MaxPC » Sat Jan 28, 2017 2:50 pm

appleman2006 wrote:But you do have to admit that he is turning at least one promise into concrete. :)

:rofl: :laugh
Good one :up:
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appleman2006
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Re: Populism - Good or Bad?

Postby appleman2006 » Sat Jan 28, 2017 2:56 pm

Bootstrap wrote:
appleman2006 wrote:But you do have to admit that he is turning at least one promise into concrete. :)


Sure, but when it comes to wordplay, I keep expecting you to weigh in on the apples-to-apples comparisons, where you are the obvious expert. But let the chips fall where they may ...

:D Your fired!
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Bootstrap
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Re: Populism - Good or Bad?

Postby Bootstrap » Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:19 pm

MaxPC wrote:It seems to me that there will still be a need for humans to build the machines that are used by AI; and to program the AI. Then there are the raw materials that are fabricated into parts by workers (steel workers come to mind).

Job descriptions change, even skill sets but having the factories in your country will always benefit your country with jobs and tax revenues. Employees in jobs pay taxes instead of drawing on the dole.


Yes, but they don't need as many people as they used to, and they need people who are much more highly trained. Unfortunately, retraining line workers to program Artificial Intelligence doesn't always work, not everyone makes that jump.

And increasingly, the factories actually are in our country, they are just more highly automated. Fivethirtyeight, a wonkish site for people who like data, had an excellent article on this: Manufacturing Jobs Are Never Coming Back

Here’s the problem: Whether or not those manufacturing jobs could have been saved, they aren’t coming back, at least not most of them. How do we know? Because in recent years, factories have been coming back, but the jobs haven’t. Because of rising wages in China, the need for shorter supply chains and other factors, a small but growing group of companies are shifting production back to the U.S. But the factories they build here are heavily automated, employing a small fraction of the workers they would have a generation ago.


The result can be summarized in two graphs. Factories are producing more, but with fewer people, so employment is much less even when the factories return:

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Even though manufacturing employment did rise during the Obama Administration, it was not nearly enough to make up for the decline from 1998 to the end of 2009:

Image

So here's the populist twist on this. Yes, "we" used to be able to get ahead by standing in line, taking a factory job, working hard, and following the rules. But those factory jobs are much fewer, and they require a much higher level of expertise. Even if we bring back more factories, we won't get the same level of jobs in factories that we once had.

This is a hard problem, and an important one. I don't know a simple solution. But I suspect factory jobs are not going to be the main solution to this problem.
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Josh
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Re: Populism - Good or Bad?

Postby Josh » Sun Jan 29, 2017 4:46 pm

Maybe the Swartzies are onto something with their refusal to abandon agriculture for factory jobs.
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lesterb
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Re: Populism - Good or Bad?

Postby lesterb » Sun Jan 29, 2017 5:06 pm

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PeterG
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Re: Populism - Good or Bad?

Postby PeterG » Sun Jan 29, 2017 7:35 pm

If you want to explore issues of trade and industrial change, check out The Library of Economics and Liberty. If you listen to podcasts, try EconTalk. There have been quite a few EconTalk episodes on automation and artificial intelligence.
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