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General Category => General Comments => Topic started by: Crunch on October 07, 2019, 07:05:22 PM

Title: The impossible economy
Post by: Crunch on October 07, 2019, 07:05:22 PM
First, a few stats
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After months of unemployment holding at 3.7%, the rate dropped to 3.5% in September -- its lowest since 1969. And that was far from the only great news in Friday's jobs report.

Consider the Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers for minorities: Hispanic unemployment dropped to 3.9%, setting a new record, while African American joblessness remained at a record low 5.5%.

And the rate for adults without a high-school diploma dipped to 4.8% -- the first time it’s gone below 5% since BLS started collecting the data in 1992.

Plus: "Wages are up by almost 3%" for the year, noted President Trump...

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The economy created 136,000 jobs in September, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics survey of businesses. The separate household survey, which is used to track unemployment, showed that the number of unemployed dropped by 275,000.

Not only did the job market pull 275,000 off the unemployment line last month, it pulled more than 100,000 who had dropped out of the labor force back into the job market.

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GDP growth has exceeded the CBO’s forecast in every quarter starting with Q2 2017. That includes the second quarter of this year, which saw 2% growth where the CBO had projected 1.5%.

As a result, the economy is now $590 billion bigger than it was supposed to be.

The CBO projected that unemployment would never get below 4.4%, and would start rising again this year. Instead, the unemployment rate fell from 4% at the start of the year to 3.5%. The current unemployment rate is now a full percentage point below the CBO’s forecast. That translates into 1.6 million more people employed than the CBO expected.

And, where the CBO had forecast a steady decline in the labor force participation rate – which measures what percentage of the working-age population is either employed or looking for a job – it has been climbing. The CBO projected it would go from 62.9% at the end of 2016 to 62.7% in the last quarter.

The actual figure for September was 63.1%.

Inflation has been running slightly lower than expected – which wasn’t supposed to happen either. This os all Trump:
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So what changed after the CBO issued its forecast? Trump reversed as many Obama-era policies as he could, as fast as he could. He halted pending regulations, rolled back more than $30 billion of existing rules, brought corporate tax rates in line with our competitors, fixed the worst elements of Dodd-Frank.

We were supposed to continue with the malaise of the Obama years or watch the economy bun to the ground. Instead, we have the best economy ever recorded. It’s really incredible. Economists are having to go back and rework the theories that said an economy like this was impossible.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: DJQuag on October 08, 2019, 12:53:57 AM
I'm absolutely not against a good economy, but I do need to ask.

How are these numbers adjusting for people who fall off the unemployment benefit and aren't counted anymore? That's always been an issue for me.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: TheDeamon on October 08, 2019, 02:17:16 AM
I'm absolutely not against a good economy, but I do need to ask.

How are these numbers adjusting for people who fall off the unemployment benefit and aren't counted anymore? That's always been an issue for me.

I believe that was covered with:

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And, where the CBO had forecast a steady decline in the labor force participation rate – which measures what percentage of the working-age population is either employed or looking for a job – it has been climbing. The CBO projected it would go from 62.9% at the end of 2016 to 62.7% in the last quarter.

https://www.bls.gov/charts/employment-situation/civilian-labor-force-participation-rate.htm

September 2019 was estimated at 63.2%, previous occasion at 63.2% was in Jan/Feb of this year, then the next most recent time it had been 63.2% or higher was back in September 2013 as part of a protracted decline from 66.1% started back in 2008. Although there were a few occasions where it reached 63.1% at points in between 2013 and 2019.

("The bottom" was September 2015 at 62.4%)
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: yossarian22c on October 08, 2019, 08:16:39 AM
So the Keynesian model works. When the government runs trillion dollar deficits it boosts the economy. Its amazing, just amazing how that works. The tax cuts were effectively a stimulus to an economy that was going okay and they boosted grown by about 1%.

Unfortunately I think the reduced regulations are short term gain for long term pain. Environmental damage is expensive to clean up. Also the stimulus while the economy is going along pretty well is going to make it hard to respond if we do have another recession. Unless everyone is cool with 2 trillion dollar deficits.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Seriati on October 08, 2019, 09:54:56 AM
I'm more fascinated by the largely unreported and massive jump in middle class incomes under Trump.  Middle class family incomes are up almost $5k - that's a friggin huge difference in the life of most of the country (and lest you think the poor are left behind, their income is also massively up).  Most of the benefits to the poor and middle class have been openly lied about by the media/left (is there a difference?) to the point where people don't even believe their own eyes.

And yoss, I'm laughing at you.  Massive "stimulus" and Obama government can save us policies did very little AND doubled the debt.  Trump's policies, whether you want to call them a stimulus (which is a 1984'esque battle of redefining words bit of propaganda) have in fact had massive economic gains.  Id be willing to bet that we could cut government spending and the deficit and keep the gains, why don't you put your money where your mouth is and and ask your representatives to support spending cuts and we'll find out.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: yossarian22c on October 08, 2019, 10:17:04 AM
And yoss, I'm laughing at you.  Massive "stimulus" and Obama government can save us policies did very little AND doubled the debt.  Trump's policies, whether you want to call them a stimulus (which is a 1984'esque battle of redefining words bit of propaganda) have in fact had massive economic gains.  Id be willing to bet that we could cut government spending and the deficit and keep the gains, why don't you put your money where your mouth is and and ask your representatives to support spending cuts and we'll find out.

Why would I do that? I want a good economy too. I'm saying that I that if we cut spending by the amount that taxes were cut the entire "boom" of the Trump economy would disappear. What I worry about is the second a democrat is elected the republicans are going to go ape s*** crazy about the size of the deficit again and demand cuts to programs that have a positive economic benefit.

I attributed about an increase of 1% GDP growth to an additional 500 billion a year in deficit spending. The deficit right now is as high as it was during the height of the recession under Obama, I also think that added about 1% to GDP (or reduced the dip by about as much). The deficit then slowly declined under Obama while the economy and jobs grew at a steady pace. Trump cut taxes and doubled the deficit again and economic growth picked up. He also is reducing environmental regulations, I will agree that this leads to a short term gain in economic growth. I think both are poor decisions long term.

Deficits are basic Keynesian stimulus, I don't see how defining a tax cut that increases the deficit as a stimulus any type of 1984ish language abuse. If memory serves correctly about 1/3 of the total Obama stimulus plan was in tax cuts as well. I think the total price tag for that stimulus was about 900 billion (spread over 2-5 years), which is what the Trump tax cuts are going to add to the deficit in two years.

Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Wayward Son on October 08, 2019, 11:12:42 AM
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He halted pending regulations, rolled back more than $30 billion of existing rules...

I've never seen the connection between the deregulations of the current Administration and the booming economy.  It all seems like mystic incantations to me.

Could someone please point out the most pertinent halts and deregulations that supposedly helped stimulate the economy??

Here's a list that might be helpful. (https://www.brookings.edu/interactives/tracking-deregulation-in-the-trump-era/)
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: TheDeamon on October 08, 2019, 11:40:57 AM
I know he rolled back some regulatory decisions the Obama Admin made in regards to the Trucking Industry, which given the significant role it plays in the economy, likely kept things from slowing down more aggressively as it prevented an artificial(regulatory) cost increase from happening on that front.

In large part, I think you'd find in this case a lot of what was stopped in the realm of "death by a thousand cuts" only he was healing them rather than causing them. IIRC the are estimates that Regulatory Compliance in the United States accounts for well over $1 Trillion/year in economic activity on its own. While some regulations, like the bulk of the Clean Air and Clear Water Acts have clear benefits and perform an obvious public good, other such regulations aren't so clear cut. (Such as some extrapolations from the previously mentioned two acts)
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Wayward Son on October 08, 2019, 11:57:13 AM
"I know he rolled back some regulatory decisions the Obama Admin made in regards to the Trucking Industry..."

Which ones?  What were their impact?  Why is no one (here or any place else) ever specific about these regulations that have helped so much and how they have helped?

Like I said, this all sound like incantations, with the hope/belief that if it repeated enough times, it will be true.  A mantra that no one questions.  "It is known" as the Dothraki kept saying in Game of Thrones. :)
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Seriati on October 08, 2019, 12:45:54 PM
Lol, Wayward, if it were as simple as saying Regulation 47 repealed, $23 million in real impact on the economy, we'd all agree on everything and know exactly what to do.

If you have a real question on this what have you done to investigate?   There's a thousand articles out there on business confidence, on specific and general regulatory relief, have you read any of them?  There's articles out there that discuss business confidence and specific and general reactions by companies to specific changes and to general philosophy.  Have you looked at the Wall Street Journal, or any business publications.  Business confidence really popped after the election and kept rising through and until we got the Democratic house, which sucked the wind out of the potential for progress (if Warren get's elected, business confidence will crater).
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Wayward Son on October 08, 2019, 01:35:25 PM
I can't say that I have researched this, but then again, I don't know where to look.

Obviously business confidence skyrocketed after Trump took office.  But why?  Were there specific policies that businesses liked, and so their confidence soared?  Or was there some vague superstition that, since Trump was a businessman himself and a Republican and made some vague promises to cut regulations, everything was going to be great?

Unfortunately, I don't know where to find articles that answer that specific question.  Yes, the Wall Street Journal probably has some, but I'm not going to go through several weeks of issues just to find them.

What articles are you basing your opinion on?
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: NobleHunter on October 08, 2019, 01:49:23 PM
I'm strongly tempted to believe that this "business confidence" thing is the corporate equivalent of the Deep State. Which is to say either a conspiracy or a concatenation of interests that act ensure that things are ordered in a certain way.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Fenring on October 08, 2019, 02:24:52 PM
I'm strongly tempted to believe that this "business confidence" thing is the corporate equivalent of the Deep State. Which is to say either a conspiracy or a concatenation of interests that act ensure that things are ordered in a certain way.

Not sure if you're being ironic, but I would say the same thing unironically. Wall Street "confidence" is just that, a confidence game, where it can be tilted up or down based on what "investors" feel, emotionally. Except "investors" are not a hive mind, so how do they know what they're supposed to feel? Do they read the What We Are Feeling journal each week to know whether they have confidence or not? Or is it not so much investors, as the shepherds that lead the flock, announcing in so many words "we are scared!" and the market dips?

I'd like to see a real study one day, using mathematical technology we probably don't have yet, of what % of market activity actually relates to 'the real world', like crop seasons, business efficiency, money market fluidity, effective CEO's, and positive regulation along with monetary policy; and likewise what % is completely made-up mind games where the position of the market is a shared delusion based on essentially where certain cliques of people with a lot of capital decide it should be.

When asking what about Trump's presidency would cause markets to be courageous, the question is just as impossible to address as asking what would make an actual person courageous. Oh sure you can take a guess, but there's no way you're plumbing out that person's brain and assessing which neurons fired, which chemicals mixed with which, and what their sodium and blood sugar levels are like, along with the makeup up the population of their gut bacteria. Now imagine that kind of complication, where with many nodes - each that complex - connected to each other in asymmetric ways.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Wayward Son on October 08, 2019, 02:27:26 PM
I know, NobelHunter.  It seems that the economy is doing well in spite of what Trump has done, rather than because of.

Trump has created trade wars, which eventually will cause a downturn if not a recession.

Trump has tried to influence the Federal Reserve Board's decisions, even though he hasn't a clue on how macroeconomic works.

Yeah, the tax cut put a lot more money in the pockets of the rich and companies.  But with the yearly deficit almost at $1 trillion ($200 billion more than last year's deficit), (https://politicalwire.com/2019/10/08/budget-deficit-explodes/) you'd think those CEOs would be worried.

If any Democrat had done any of these things, the economy would tank.  But because Trump did it, the Republican deficit- and economic-hawks are fast asleep.  It all looks like irrational exuberance to me.

That's why I'm trying to get my head around what Trump has actually done.  Because what he's actually done has been bad for the economy, and those who talk about the good things he's done as so vague as to be meaningless.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: NobleHunter on October 08, 2019, 02:43:06 PM
The point, Fenring, is the possibility that certain parties sat on the brakes of the economy while Obama was in power in order to discredit a certain kind of politics. It's more than just a shared delusion. It's an active attempt to manipulate the economy to obtain specific results
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: TheDeamon on October 08, 2019, 03:02:32 PM
The point, Fenring, is the possibility that certain parties sat on the brakes of the economy while Obama was in power in order to discredit a certain kind of politics. It's more than just a shared delusion. It's an active attempt to manipulate the economy to obtain specific results

The Obama Admin itself was the one activating the brakes, we've had this discussion in the past, nobody convinced anyone differently then, no reason to expect a different outcome now. /end discussion.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Seriati on October 08, 2019, 03:59:25 PM
I can't say that I have researched this, but then again, I don't know where to look.

Pick any deregulatory effort and take a deep look.  Pretty sure I saw you post on the whole stink between CA setting it's own emissions standards versus the US having a uniform standard and the Trump admin revoking their exception.  Both the standards Obama pushed and the ones CA has pushed will not be reached by gasoline powered vehicles and require extensive increases in electrical cars to meet.  Last I heard is that compliance with the CA standards vs. Trump's standards is expected to add about $12,000 to the price of new cars, SUVs and other light trucks.

Why do you think four car companies "colluded" with CA to try and avoid lowering the standards?  Because they don't want to pay the price of producing 2 different US models (which is  a massive cost for them), and they know they could never compete with US "standards" cars sold in the remainder of the country that cost $12k less than the CA compliant model.  If you can get your competitors to agree not to compete problem solved. 

The economic implications of this are enormous.  Whether you like CA's position or not, you have to realize that an extra $12k per vehicle is a massive burden on working and even middle class families.  If you couple it with required replacement standards it becomes obscene.

Or heck, think about the consequence of the lower corporate tax rates.  Tax inversions have virtually ended, and some have reversed.  Profit in the US is not currently something to be avoided to the maximum extent possible.

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Obviously business confidence skyrocketed after Trump took office.  But why?

Compliance burden is a big part.  Compliance offices in every industry massively expanded under Obama as a direct result of his policies.  Every single part of a compliance office is effectively an economic waste.  Granted they often serve other masters, and provide other benefits, but economically they are waste (and the fact that you are "avoiding fines" is not real economics, the fines themselves are punishments designed to put non-economic terms into economic terms specifically because those concepts do not properly track in economics).  When the balance goes from doing business to complying with law it stunts growth (in an industry I've been connected to for decades, the one man shop effectively became illegal (with a minimum of four being required - 3 of which had little to do with the productive business, other than by accident) and the average "small" shops tripled in size and generated hundreds of times the previous records (not to mention extensive regulatory meetings requirements).  The "improvement"?  Largely nominal.   Massive costs, itty bit rewards.

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Were there specific policies that businesses liked, and so their confidence soared?

Announcing that job killing regulations were going to be repealed.  Yes that was enough.  Announcing we'd move to a competetive tax rate.  Yes.

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Or was there some vague superstition that, since Trump was a businessman himself and a Republican and made some vague promises to cut regulations, everything was going to be great?

I think, if anything, Trump's business acumen was called into question.  But cutting regulation isn't really all that vague, at least to anyone that's ever had to comply with them.

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Unfortunately, I don't know where to find articles that answer that specific question.  Yes, the Wall Street Journal probably has some, but I'm not going to go through several weeks of issues just to find them.

What articles are you basing your opinion on?

Hundreds of em, as well as conversations with clients both prospectively, during and after the fact as they've expanded what they were doing, been willing to do more.

I'm strongly tempted to believe that this "business confidence" thing is the corporate equivalent of the Deep State. Which is to say either a conspiracy or a concatenation of interests that act ensure that things are ordered in a certain way.

No more than "New England Partiot's" confidence is a conspiracy to manipulate us.  Sure the Patriot's get some odd breaks that the rest of us don't, but they wouldn't have been in a position to get the breaks if they weren't good in the first place.

I think it's stunning that you think it takes a "Deep State" kind of mentality to understand why under Obama and in the future, potentially, under Warren or even Sanders, the business confidence is going to go down.  They've flat out said they want to regulate and investigate and "bring charges," I mean heck the CPFB is literally Warren's baby.  Obama had high taxes and both Warren and Sanders not only want to bring them back they want to add to them and tax wealth as well.  What rational business seeing that coming is going to say - "great time to invest billions in US facilities that'll insure our income is stuck in the US for the next 4 years"?  If I'm part of the global elite, which most companies and most of their executives are, why would I be confident about the US climate that is literally promising more taxes, more regulations (despite being second only to the EU now) and higher wages - by force not economic growth (again despite such laws making my plants uncompetitive versus the third world in the past)?

And you are totally correct, I should have lost confidence when a candidate promising to lower taxes, support business growth, remove excess regulatory burdens comes into force.  I mean, why would I be confident when the candidate is running on generating a better economy by unleashing my and other companies to generate growth.

Not sure if you're being ironic, but I would say the same thing unironically. Wall Street "confidence" is just that, a confidence game, where it can be tilted up or down based on what "investors" feel, emotionally. Except "investors" are not a hive mind, so how do they know what they're supposed to feel?

Investors in what?  In some industries they know because the industry publications are great, in others because to even be in the game you have to have an extensive knowledge of what's going on.  At least if you're talking about big investors you can get a pretty good feel for what they're thinking.

Do you ever read any of the publicaly available information that companies file with the SEC?  Management discussions for public companies can be great.  Disclosures by investment advisers and investment funds in certain industries can give you real insight into what's really going on and what the risks and concerns are.  Heck, most regulators publish their own speaches and insights.

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Do they read the What We Are Feeling journal each week to know whether they have confidence or not? Or is it not so much investors, as the shepherds that lead the flock, announcing in so many words "we are scared!" and the market dips?

I mean I get a sense of what the confidence levels are from "word on the street," but you could easily pick it up from the WSJ or other financial publications.  Or if you prefer you could chase the trend (on a big lag) by looking at objective metrics connected to financial matters.  Or you could chase the lag of the lag of the trend and just watch what the Fed does.

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I'd like to see a real study one day, using mathematical technology we probably don't have yet, of what % of market activity actually relates to 'the real world', like crop seasons, business efficiency, money market fluidity, effective CEO's, and positive regulation along with monetary policy; and likewise what % is completely made-up mind games where the position of the market is a shared delusion based on essentially where certain cliques of people with a lot of capital decide it should be.

Well you should join a finance company, they already track virtually everything you list there.  My favorite is the projections they can make on a company's expected earnings based on hirings and firings of specific people below the CEO level based on metrics that have been connected to those people, or the divisions they worked for over their whole career.

That said, there's definitely some markets that are heavily mind games (take a look at crypto's for example).

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When asking what about Trump's presidency would cause markets to be courageous, the question is just as impossible to address as asking what would make an actual person courageous.

Not sure how to take this.  Nothing about the markets is "courageous".  Are you trying to imply that they are being reckless somehow?  They're responding to predictable inputs that say good things are coming their way.  That's all.

Just like consumer confidence (ie spending) is massively up.  It's not a mystery, or just a sense of optimism, it's people who want jobs being able to find them, people who want better jobs having lots of opportunities, its raises and promotions and more money in pockets as wages are up in a big way (notwithstanding that we somehow didn't need any of those government mandated wage increases to get there).  More money, better jobs equals more spending.  It's not rocket science.

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Oh sure you can take a guess, but there's no way you're plumbing out that person's brain and assessing which neurons fired, which chemicals mixed with which, and what their sodium and blood sugar levels are like, along with the makeup up the population of their gut bacteria. Now imagine that kind of complication, where with many nodes - each that complex - connected to each other in asymmetric ways.

Or I could say tell you that I'll subsidize $100k of your downpayment on a house.  Would you really need a pyschological test to understand why a lot of people bought houses?  (or an economics degree to figure out why a bunch of people increased the price they were willing to sell a house at?)
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Seriati on October 08, 2019, 04:31:53 PM
I know, NobelHunter.  It seems that the economy is doing well in spite of what Trump has done, rather than because of.

Trump has created trade wars, which eventually will cause a downturn if not a recession.

Trump didn't create the trade wars, he's just fighting back on the ones that have been running for decades.  I think the confusion here comes from misunderstanding the Economics 101 claim that tariffs only hurt yourself.  I mean honestly, the US has the least restrictions to access of our markets of any country on Earth, and when we "trade" with China they exploit us at virtually every turn, yet "Trump started" a trade war with China by putting on mild restrictions compared to the Chinese ones?

Did Trump require that to do business in the US a Chinese company has to build a US plant that will be majority owned by US persons (and not of Chinese descent), that all proprietary technology to the companies process must be held in the US in the company files and that the US government have access rights to review it for "compliance"?   Did the US government then steal that information, provide it to US compitetors of the Chinese company, who undersell the products and even export them into other markets undercutting the Chinese company and provide no ability for the Chinese company to have redress in court?  Or was in the US that has a giant industry that exists solely off of pirating Chinese intellectual property?

Yep, Trump "started" a trade war when he put tariffs on Chinese steel produced under market prices because the Chinese government is subsidizing steel for strategic reasons.

And I'm fascinated by how, notwithstanding economics 101 and how nothing but harm comes to the US workers by using tariffs, under Trump and as a direct result of those tariffs factory jobs to produce things in the US have been increasing as have wages to low and mid skill workers (pretty sure, just saw lowest unemployment rate for high schools grads since they began the measurement).  If you listen to them, globalists knew that loss of these jobs was a consequence of not protecting your trade interests (ie, the previous US policy of "free" trade where the other side doesn't have to be free), they just couched it in vague and misleading terms about lower prices (without jobs even low prices are no help).

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Trump has tried to influence the Federal Reserve Board's decisions, even though he hasn't a clue on how macroeconomic works.

First, I doubt you're accurate on Trump's economic understanding.  But second, the Fed was acting ridiculously.  For all people want to rewrite Obama's history to pretend he had a great economy, the Fed didn't believe it and tried to prop him up with the lowest interest rates in history.  When Trump got the economy bouncing back the Fed literally tried to put on the breaks because of "inflation concerns."   You know what we haven't had?  Material inflation, yet they clearly overcorrected and have had to back off.

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Yeah, the tax cut put a lot more money in the pockets of the rich and companies.  But with the yearly deficit almost at $1 trillion ($200 billion more than last year's deficit), (https://politicalwire.com/2019/10/08/budget-deficit-explodes/) you'd think those CEOs would be worried.

?  Even the NYTs acknowledged that the tax cuts gave big benefits to the majority of the tax base, with the middle class recieving real benefits that proporationately had a bigger impact on their incomes than the tax benefits to the rich.  It's kind of just a lie and a talking point to keep repeating the false claim.

I am concerned about the deficit.  Tax revenues while increasing haven't yet increased by enough.  Spending though?  No one is putting any brakes on that, which leads to bigger deficits (the last reported deficit is $700m).

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If any Democrat had done any of these things, the economy would tank.

Well only superficially, because a Democrat would never have done anything Trump did for the right reasons.  A trade war?  Would have been to support a social rather than an economic policy, ergo it would have been a double whammy on the economy.  Lowering taxes?  Dems do it ALL THE TIME they just do it through cronyism and deals with connected people for tax breaks.  Big suprise that Solyndra didn't spark the economy.  Last time I checked its the Democrats screaming for the literal "tax breaks" for rich people SALT deduction to be restored - there's virtually no middle class tax payer that's hit by the current cap, yet it's a major concern of the Democrats (and the media hides the hypocrisy for them).

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But because Trump did it, the Republican deficit- and economic-hawks are fast asleep.  It all looks like irrational exuberance to me.

I agree on the deficit, but I think you're confused about what happened.  The Dems have supported Trump's spending, there are more Dems than there are Republican deficit Hawks.  In fact, this is the one area where there's been cooperation (albeit quite and not talked about by the media, first rule of Deficit Club is no one talks about Deficit Club).  Dems wanted out of the sequestration limits (and to be fair the non-deficit hawk Republicans wanted out of some of them too), so they all agreed to put it on the table. 

It's a win win for Congress.  Dems get more spending.  Republicans "can't do anything" and Trump takes the wrap for signing it and "undermining the Republican spending cuts."

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That's why I'm trying to get my head around what Trump has actually done.  Because what he's actually done has been bad for the economy, and those who talk about the good things he's done as so vague as to be meaningless.

I'm struck by how you can ask what he's done, admit you've done little reading, not understand how any of it impacts the economy, and then conclude that what he's done has been "bad for the economy"?

It's like objective evidence is beyond your ken.  I can't understand why the Partiots are winning, I mean they keep scoring all those touchdowns but that's not the way you win.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Crunch on October 08, 2019, 04:47:18 PM
I know, NobelHunter.  It seems that the economy is doing well in spite of what Trump has done, rather than because of.

Trump has created trade wars, which eventually will cause a downturn if not a recession.

Trump has tried to influence the Federal Reserve Board's decisions, even though he hasn't a clue on how macroeconomic works.

Yeah, the tax cut put a lot more money in the pockets of the rich and companies.  But with the yearly deficit almost at $1 trillion ($200 billion more than last year's deficit), (https://politicalwire.com/2019/10/08/budget-deficit-explodes/) you'd think those CEOs would be worried.

If any Democrat had done any of these things, the economy would tank.  But because Trump did it, the Republican deficit- and economic-hawks are fast asleep.  It all looks like irrational exuberance to me.

That's why I'm trying to get my head around what Trump has actually done.  Because what he's actually done has been bad for the economy, and those who talk about the good things he's done as so vague as to be meaningless.

This may be the perfect TDS post. It’s literally perfect
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Wayward Son on October 08, 2019, 05:00:04 PM
It's not TDS, Crunch.  It's Trump Fatigue.

We've been watching Trump f**k up this country in so many different ways for months now, we're just plain tired of it.

And absolutely astounded that you conservatives haven't noticed yet.  ::)

What is truly funny about it (and you), is that you put down to Derangement what most people call facts and truth.  Every single point I made is verifiably true.  But I suppose you consider anyone who believes in facts and truth to be deranged now, right?  The Stable Genius you blindly follow certainly does. :D
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Crunch on October 08, 2019, 06:36:41 PM
We just went through a litany of economic data showing the best economy in American history for every demographic. By every measure the US is stronger today than it’s been in a very long time - in many ways the best it’s ever been.

I get it,  you hate that. You seethe with hatred for Trump, me, anyone and everyone that does not join you. It’s a terrible thing for so many on the left to see minorities being more successful than ever before, for all Americans to recover from Obama’s reign of error.

It’s obvious the hate has consumed many of you. When you’re sick and tired of people being successful and taking part in the American dream in record numbers, that is TDS. That’s how you suddenly come out in favor of things like racial segregation. The hatred is so intense, you’re losing your *censored*. Seriously.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Wayward Son on October 08, 2019, 06:40:18 PM
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Pick any deregulatory effort and take a deep look.  Pretty sure I saw you post on the whole stink between CA setting it's own emissions standards versus the US having a uniform standard and the Trump admin revoking their exception.  Both the standards Obama pushed and the ones CA has pushed will not be reached by gasoline powered vehicles and require extensive increases in electrical cars to meet.  Last I heard is that compliance with the CA standards vs. Trump's standards is expected to add about $12,000 to the price of new cars, SUVs and other light trucks.

Why do you think four car companies "colluded" with CA to try and avoid lowering the standards?  Because they don't want to pay the price of producing 2 different US models (which is  a massive cost for them), and they know they could never compete with US "standards" cars sold in the remainder of the country that cost $12k less than the CA compliant model.  If you can get your competitors to agree not to compete problem solved.

As I recall, part of the reason they "colluded" was that they will still need to produce 2 different models even with the deregulation.  Because even if Trump prevented California from upping the standards, the rest of the world (e.g. Europe) would still require those standards.  So this was the case of having similar, worldwide standards so that they didn't have to produce 2 models, or of having two different standards and having to pay the cost of 2 models.

Plus the fact that those higher standards are likely to come back (if Trump is even able to force CA to let them go) once Trump leaves office.

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Announcing that job killing regulations were going to be repealed.  Yes that was enough.  Announcing we'd move to a competetive tax rate.  Yes.

Which simply means that the market responded before the regulation reductions and tax reductions were a reality.  Hope for change.  Not actual policies or actions.  Just promises.

Which also means that, if the hoped-for change is not up to snuff, the economic upturn turns to dust.

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First, I doubt you're accurate on Trump's economic understanding.

LOL.  Well, everyone has an opinion.  I suppose you like the idea of negative interest rates for the Feds, too.  What better way to get people to invest in Fed bonds! :)

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But second, the Fed was acting ridiculously.  For all people want to rewrite Obama's history to pretend he had a great economy, the Fed didn't believe it and tried to prop him up with the lowest interest rates in history.  When Trump got the economy bouncing back the Fed literally tried to put on the breaks because of "inflation concerns."   You know what we haven't had?  Material inflation, yet they clearly overcorrected and have had to back off.

Have you forgotten the Great Recession already?  We needed those interest rates down to stimulate the economy to get it moving again.

Obama started with a lousy economy.  But while he was in office, it built up again, at a rate comparable to increase during Trump's time.  But the main difference is that Trump started with a good economy, which meant that that growth could easily have created inflation.  The Feds were doing their job, just the way they were intended to.

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Even the NYTs acknowledged that the tax cuts gave big benefits to the majority of the tax base, with the middle class recieving real benefits that proporationately had a bigger impact on their incomes than the tax benefits to the rich.  It's kind of just a lie and a talking point to keep repeating the false claim.

It is also just a lie and talking point to ignore that dollar-wise, the rich and especially companies gained the most.

It's like giving a 10% tax break to a guy who pays $200 a year in taxes, vs. a 5% tax cut to a guy paying $200,000 a year in taxes.  Sure, the $200/year guy got a bigger percentage break, but it won't have nearly the impact on his life as the $200,000/year guy's break.

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I am concerned about the deficit.  Tax revenues while increasing haven't yet increased by enough.  Spending though?  No one is putting any brakes on that, which leads to bigger deficits (the last reported deficit is $700m).

I know.  But for how many years have Republicans been insisting on paying for any new programs so as to "not increase the deficit?"  Like they cared about it or something.

It's like a said: the Democrats may be the Tax and Spend party, but at least they tax.  The Republicans are the Cut Tax and Spend party, because they don't understand basic accounting. :)

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Trump didn't create the trade wars, he's just fighting back on the ones that have been running for decades.  I think the confusion here comes from misunderstanding the Economics 101 claim that tariffs only hurt yourself.  I mean honestly, the US has the least restrictions to access of our markets of any country on Earth, and when we "trade" with China they exploit us at virtually every turn, yet "Trump started" a trade war with China by putting on mild restrictions compared to the Chinese ones?

Oh, come on.  You know better.  It's not just China.  It's Europe, Mexico, Canada.  He's imposed tariffs or threaten to impose tariffs on just about everyone.  And for the most half-assed reasons imaginable--"National security."  Bull!  There was never a national security threat from steel imports at this time.  He only used that excuse because it gave him authority to impose them.  And remember:  that's still his legal justification.  Otherwise he couldn't do it.  So the next time you pay hundreds of dollars more for a new washing machine and dryer, remember that you're doing it to keep you country secure! ;)

And while you might think he imposed tariffs on China to counteract Chinese tariffs, look again.  He never consistently stated exactly which tariffs he wanted removed.  He keeps moving the line, changing what he wants.  Ultimately, he seems to want China to buy as much of our stuff as we buy of theirs.  And for some reason he thinks he can dictate that in a free market.  ::)  I doubt that he truly understands what that means.

And, yes, we all understand that tariffs hurt China as well as us.  Do you think Trump understands that they hurt us as well?  If so, how do you explain him tweeting that China is paying for the tariffs.  ;D  As if he didn't know that tariffs are paid by the importer, not the exporter.  Moron.

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I agree on the deficit, but I think you're confused about what happened.  The Dems have supported Trump's spending, there are more Dems than there are Republican deficit Hawks.  In fact, this is the one area where there's been cooperation (albeit quite and not talked about by the media, first rule of Deficit Club is no one talks about Deficit Club).  Dems wanted out of the sequestration limits (and to be fair the non-deficit hawk Republicans wanted out of some of them too), so they all agreed to put it on the table.

It's a win win for Congress.  Dems get more spending.  Republicans "can't do anything" and Trump takes the wrap for signing it and "undermining the Republican spending cuts."

So what about the Republican non-deficit hawks?  They bear none of the blame?  Sounds like Trump who always blames those darn Democrats when he can't get anything through Congress.  As if the Democrats aren't the minority party in the Senate, and were in the House for a full two years.

When Republicans start blaming their own for the deficit, then I'll listen to you.  But until then, as long as the deficit is always the Democrat's fault, I'll call bull.  Republicans are worse for the deficit than Democrats, because at least Democrats are willing to raise taxes to pay for the spending.

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I'm struck by how you can ask what he's done, admit you've done little reading, not understand how any of it impacts the economy, and then conclude that what he's done has been "bad for the economy"?

It's like objective evidence is beyond your ken.  I can't understand why the Partiots are winning, I mean they keep scoring all those touchdowns but that's not the way you win.

Well, he's done a lot that is objectively bad for the economy.  And the stuff that he has done, it sounds like most of the exuberance has come from anticipation rather than actual implementation.  The objective evidence you have provided (rather than reassuring me exists somewhere) is a bit thin.

Oh, by the way, let's not forget that the tax cut was primarily Congress' plan.  I don't recall the Trump Administration doing more than telling them "send me a plan"--much like Trump's plan to end ISIS in six months after he was elected (Candidate Trump: "I have a great plan to end ISIS in six months!"  President Trump: "Generals, give a plan to end ISIS in six month!"  ::) )

So other than going along with Congress on their tax cut, and promising to someday cut regulations, just exactly did the Stable Genius do to help the economy?

You sound more like a Chargers fan, who keeps talking about how their Winning!  Winning!, even though they aren't making the touchdowns.  :P
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Wayward Son on October 08, 2019, 06:44:58 PM
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I get it,  you hate that. You seethe with hatred for Trump, me, anyone and everyone that does not join you. It’s a terrible thing for so many on the left to see minorities being more successful than ever before, for all Americans to recover from Obama’s reign of error.

Don't put words into my mouth.  You're not smart enough to do that.

No, I just object to you giving Trump credit for stuff he didn't do.  Stuff that happened in spite of what he did.

I mean, if the economy tanks in the next few months, will you credit Trump for that?  Or will you blame everyone else but Trump, just like Trump will?

I know where the good money is. :)

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When you’re sick and tired of people being successful and taking part in the American dream in record numbers, that is TDS. That’s how you suddenly come out in favor of things like racial segregation. The hatred is so intense, you’re losing your *censored*. Seriously.

And, seriously, you've drunk the kool-aid so much that you can't even see facts anymore.  You think everything that Trump does is golden, when he's the biggest screw-up the Presidency has seen in modern times.

Yeah, I may have TDS, but it's far, far better than the TSS you exhibit.  Trump Stupidity Syndrome.  Makes formerly intelligent people act like their idiot President.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: TheDrake on October 08, 2019, 06:47:33 PM
Of course getting rid of regulation and increasing deficits can give you short term results that look great. The question is whether they lead to longer term ills, like another banking crisis, debt ceiling crisis, or s&l crisis.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Crunch on October 09, 2019, 08:09:49 AM
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I get it,  you hate that. You seethe with hatred for Trump, me, anyone and everyone that does not join you. It’s a terrible thing for so many on the left to see minorities being more successful than ever before, for all Americans to recover from Obama’s reign of error.

Don't put words into my mouth.  You're not smart enough to do that.

No, I just object to you giving Trump credit for stuff he didn't do.  Stuff that happened in spite of what he did.

I mean, if the economy tanks in the next few months, will you credit Trump for that?  Or will you blame everyone else but Trump, just like Trump will?

I know where the good money is. :)

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When you’re sick and tired of people being successful and taking part in the American dream in record numbers, that is TDS. That’s how you suddenly come out in favor of things like racial segregation. The hatred is so intense, you’re losing your *censored*. Seriously.

And, seriously, you've drunk the kool-aid so much that you can't even see facts anymore.  You think everything that Trump does is golden, when he's the biggest screw-up the Presidency has seen in modern times.

Yeah, I may have TDS, but it's far, far better than the TSS you exhibit.  Trump Stupidity Syndrome.  Makes formerly intelligent people act like their idiot President.

The left embracing this kind of thinking is a huge help to Trump in 2020. Rational voters that are not committed yet will hear this insanity and, coupled with the economy, embrace Trump. I hope you guys continue to do this. I really do.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Crunch on October 09, 2019, 08:13:55 AM
Of course getting rid of regulation and increasing deficits can give you short term results that look great. The question is whether they lead to longer term ills, like another banking crisis, debt ceiling crisis, or s&l crisis.

Are we worried about deficits again? It’s amazing how that’s only an issue when someone other than a Democrat is in office.

Well, maybe Bernie will win and deficits will shrink as he has the government eat student loans and takes over healthcare.  Right?
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: TheDrake on October 09, 2019, 09:14:04 AM
Deficit reduction act was bipartisan. The issue is on how to reduce it. Republicans reject increasing revenue or decreasing military spending. Democrats reject reducing domestic spending.

Its amazing how Republicans only care about deficit spending when the democrats are in power.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: yossarian22c on October 09, 2019, 09:35:07 AM
Are we worried about deficits again? It’s amazing how that’s only an issue when someone other than a Democrat is in office.

Not particularly, but deficits should be reduced when the economy is doing well and increased when the economy is doing poorly. Increasing deficits when the economy was already doing pretty well is only bad in that it limits your ability to react to an economic downturn.

And in a weird way the one Trump policy I actually support (at least in terms of goals if not implementation) is his trade war with China. It is likely if it keeps up that it could create a real drag on economic growth but I support taking a hard line with China. I just wish Trump had gotten all our allies on the same page an isolated China before getting it going instead of effectively isolating the US. So I do wish we had kept the deficit spending powder dry for if/when those policies cause economic hardship.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: TheDeamon on October 09, 2019, 11:39:05 AM
The left embracing this kind of thinking is a huge help to Trump in 2020. Rational voters that are not committed yet will hear this insanity and, coupled with the economy, embrace Trump. I hope you guys continue to do this. I really do.

Which isn't to mention all those precious minority voters the Left relies on that are seeing things dramatically improve for themselves even as they're being told by the left that Trump is the worst that has ever happened to them.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Seriati on October 09, 2019, 01:28:38 PM
As I recall, part of the reason they "colluded" was that they will still need to produce 2 different models even with the deregulation.  Because even if Trump prevented California from upping the standards, the rest of the world (e.g. Europe) would still require those standards.  So this was the case of having similar, worldwide standards so that they didn't have to produce 2 models, or of having two different standards and having to pay the cost of 2 models.

Not even remotely correct.  EU and US models are not now, nor would they be in the future the same.  The EU has a completely different mix of cars/SUVs and trucks than the US and generally uses smaller vehicles in every classification.  The issue isn't that Ford wants to build SUV's in a single plant in the US to send to the EU, it's that they don't want to produce a "CA complaint Ford" that is otherwise identical to the Ford in the rest of the country but costs $12k more, nor does the US government want to let them dump the costs of the CA version on the rest of the country by requiring they be sold at the same price.

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Plus the fact that those higher standards are likely to come back (if Trump is even able to force CA to let them go) once Trump leaves office.

Maybe.  Maybe not.  The standards are aspirational not realistic.  For a single vehicle they'd have to double their gas mileage in 6 years - not possible, so they have "credits" that can be earned for doing things like selling electric cars - a good thing - but doesn't justify putting every manufacturer that can't produce them out of business.

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Announcing that job killing regulations were going to be repealed.  Yes that was enough.  Announcing we'd move to a competetive tax rate.  Yes.

Which simply means that the market responded before the regulation reductions and tax reductions were a reality.  Hope for change.  Not actual policies or actions.  Just promises.

Change in policy.  You seem to think that's the equivalent of vapor ware.  The business community knew that Obama could be counted on to add costs and burdens to every thing on earth, to look to tax everything on earth and generally to undercount the economic consequences of his actions.  Believably announcing a change in that policy is a real thing.

In fact, I'm dumbfounded here, so many "change in policy" announcments have made real impacts in so many fields that it's almost like a serious case of willful blindness to make this claim (I mean heck, look at what a "sanctuary city" is, it's just a "change in policy" afterall).

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Which also means that, if the hoped-for change is not up to snuff, the economic upturn turns to dust.

That doesn't make sense.  Does the LGBTQ community give up on Obama if the court's frustrate a reform?  Rational people, including business people, make judgements based on their belief in what an administration's policies are trying to achieve, not just it's sucess and failures.

Or to put it another way, a failing Trump is thousands of times better for business than a sucessful Warren or Sanders.

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First, I doubt you're accurate on Trump's economic understanding.

LOL.  Well, everyone has an opinion.  I suppose you like the idea of negative interest rates for the Feds, too.  What better way to get people to invest in Fed bonds! :)

That's your answer or is it intended as a "proof" of some sort?  I get it, calling people stupid makes you feel smart.

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But second, the Fed was acting ridiculously.  For all people want to rewrite Obama's history to pretend he had a great economy, the Fed didn't believe it and tried to prop him up with the lowest interest rates in history.  When Trump got the economy bouncing back the Fed literally tried to put on the breaks because of "inflation concerns."   You know what we haven't had?  Material inflation, yet they clearly overcorrected and have had to back off.

Have you forgotten the Great Recession already?  We needed those interest rates down to stimulate the economy to get it moving again.

Didn't forget that.  It's part of what I think is a poor economic model, but it's still a legit belief that many hold that such a policy would work.  It didn't work though, because even with historically low interest rates Obama's policies were all about dumping massive expenses on the economy.

I saw someone say that we should pay down the debt when the economy is hot and run deficits when it's not.  But the corallary that seems to be ignored is that we shouldn't layer expensive and business killing regulations on the business world when the economy is in recession.  But Obama had no choice, he was a believer and he had to pursue his non-economic policies while he could whether or not the economy could bear them.

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Obama started with a lousy economy.  But while he was in office, it built up again, at a rate comparable to increase during Trump's time.

Obama started with a lousy economy.  He did not build it up at a rate comparable to Trump.  In fact, his policies were a direct drag on what should have been a good recovery.  This revisionism you guys participate in explains why you end up believing time and again that failed policies will work in the future.

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But the main difference is that Trump started with a good economy, which meant that that growth could easily have created inflation.  The Feds were doing their job, just the way they were intended to.

The Feds are reading out of a playbook that is wholly dependent on an economic philosophy that may not be true.  Trump's economy was threatening to prove it wasn't true, and they literally overreacted and slowed growth.  Don't believe me?  Take a look at how they've had to walk it back after they actually slowed growth.

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Even the NYTs acknowledged that the tax cuts gave big benefits to the majority of the tax base, with the middle class recieving real benefits that proporationately had a bigger impact on their incomes than the tax benefits to the rich.  It's kind of just a lie and a talking point to keep repeating the false claim.

It is also just a lie and talking point to ignore that dollar-wise, the rich and especially companies gained the most.

Oh like WOW, you mean people that pay 90% of the taxes got more dollars back from a tax cut?  Shocking!

You guys got caught selling a major lie about the middle class tax cuts, let it go.  When even the NYTs admits it was a middle class tax cut it's over.


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It's like a said: the Democrats may be the Tax and Spend party, but at least they tax.  The Republicans are the Cut Tax and Spend party, because they don't understand basic accounting. :)

That's kind of funny, certainly was true for Bush.  I think the new truth is that Democrats are supporting confiscate and spend but still funny.

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Trump didn't create the trade wars, he's just fighting back on the ones that have been running for decades.  I think the confusion here comes from misunderstanding the Economics 101 claim that tariffs only hurt yourself.  I mean honestly, the US has the least restrictions to access of our markets of any country on Earth, and when we "trade" with China they exploit us at virtually every turn, yet "Trump started" a trade war with China by putting on mild restrictions compared to the Chinese ones?

Oh, come on.  You know better.  It's not just China.  It's Europe, Mexico, Canada.

I do know better, do you?  I agree, all of those countries have spent decades imposing unilateral constraints on trade to the detriment of the US.  Heck I've even provided links to the report the US compiled on them (hundreds of pages long).  That includes individual countries in the EU as well as the EU.  Trade with the US has been a silent cold war, that's been complicated by our media's refusal to report anti-comptetive policies as part of a trade war.

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He's imposed tariffs or threaten to impose tariffs on just about everyone.  And for the most half-assed reasons imaginable--"National security."  Bull!  There was never a national security threat from steel imports at this time.  He only used that excuse because it gave him authority to impose them.

Lol.  Did you forget the prior discussions on this?  Or did you just not read the.  Steel is a national security issue, and the broad based tariffs were designed specifically to target Chinese steel produced at a loss in an effort to seize the strategic market in steel.  They were released expressly when other countries agreed to provisions that constrained the ability of the Chinese to flood those other countries markets with steel (which would have displaced the other countries steel into the US).

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Otherwise he couldn't do it.  So the next time you pay hundreds of dollars more for a new washing machine and dryer, remember that you're doing it to keep you country secure! ;)

Where are you buying a steel washer and dryer?  Lol.  I'm more concerned about how washers and dryers have usable lives of less than 10 years, when they used to last 30 or more.  Want to explain that against a backdrop of a word that has too much pollution and over production?  My last washer had a component that spins the drum that in fact dissolves when exposed to steam (which the washer actually produced intentionally) - the way it was cited made it unreparable. 

So to be clear, do you want US factory jobs?  It seems like you have before.  Can't have em if you're going to buy everything cut rate from China.

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And while you might think he imposed tariffs on China to counteract Chinese tariffs, look again.

Love this claim.  I never said he did it because of Chinese "tariffs" I said he did it in response to a Chinese trade war.  This is the same thing the media does, they look for "tariffs" and ignore EVERYTHING else.  China was literally engaging in the monopolistic practices of selling below cost to gain a strategic benefit by putting others out of business.  It's literally part of their policy (e.g., the one belt one road initiative).

But hey, let's declare them "good guys" because they didn't use "tariffs" only cutting corners on environmental concerns, product quality, intelletual property theft, and government subsidies.

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He never consistently stated exactly which tariffs he wanted removed.  He keeps moving the line, changing what he wants.  Ultimately, he seems to want China to buy as much of our stuff as we buy of theirs.  And for some reason he thinks he can dictate that in a free market.  ::)  I doubt that he truly understands what that means.

Based on what you say, I don't get the sense you understand trading and world markets.  China's market is artificially closed, Trump wants it to open more.  China's business success is built on cutting quality and environmental corners and stealing knowledge, Trump wants that playing field to be more level.  China literally uses government funding as a form of economic warfare to dominate trade in critical areas, Trump is doing what any US President should and reacting to protect our strategic interests against that.

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And, yes, we all understand that tariffs hurt China as well as us.  Do you think Trump understands that they hurt us as well?  If so, how do you explain him tweeting that China is paying for the tariffs.  ;D  As if he didn't know that tariffs are paid by the importer, not the exporter.  Moron.

Calling names makes you big again?  I think Trump has correctly deduced that the tariffs are barely marginally hurting the average person, and are in fact redirecting a big chunk of high value jobs into the US, which is in fact helping the common people.  Who are they really hurting?  I suspect, if you follow the money its the same "corporate bad guys" you want to tax and regulate, who maximized their profits by exporting jobs, quality control and environmental compliance to China.

So yes, I get it, Econ 101 "tariffs bad" but I also get that notwithstanding that aggregate trade is hurt, these tariffs are providing direct and specific benefits to real people and acting to reset the overall trade in a way that will be better than before.  That's just a fact, even in Econ 101, if you accept the rule that constraints on trade are always bad, using a tariff to force the Chinese to lift their constraints on trade must end up being a net good.

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So what about the Republican non-deficit hawks?  They bear none of the blame?

Sure, they're the same guys that supported Bush's spending without constraint.  Blame them too.

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When Republicans start blaming their own for the deficit, then I'll listen to you.

So are you listening to me now?  I'm not convinced that there are more than a handful of politicians - in total - that are serious about cutting expenses.  Every cut punishes someone who becomes an angry voter, every payout makes a voter happy.  There is zero incentive for the politicians to cut and every incentive to spend.

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But until then, as long as the deficit is always the Democrat's fault, I'll call bull.  Republicans are worse for the deficit than Democrats, because at least Democrats are willing to raise taxes to pay for the spending.

That's really just a delusion though.  Democrats are raising taxes to punish people not to increase spending.  Go back and read old stuff from Pyrtolin, the reality is that Democrats really just believe in printing money to what ever extent they need to fund the things they want.  The public demands a "fig leaf" to the idea that money is a real thing, hence the need to show taxes.

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Well, he's done a lot that is objectively bad for the economy.

Okay, what would that be?  Best case I can see is the mixed bag of tariffs, which have real tangible benefits and for which the harms are hard to see, and even there that's designed as a short term pain for a long term gain.

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And the stuff that he has done, it sounds like most of the exuberance has come from anticipation rather than actual implementation.  The objective evidence you have provided (rather than reassuring me exists somewhere) is a bit thin.

This is why we have trouble communicating.  There are thousands of regulatory reversals that you haven't bothered to look at, yet you seem to think your ignorance of them is evidence.  You can't understand why the economy is having positive results, even though those directly responsible for each of the components can and have told you (if you look for it in the media). 

What do you want me to say?  Just keep being "mystified" when the world works based on observable inputs and reactions, but I wish you'd stop voting based on willful blindness.

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Oh, by the way, let's not forget that the tax cut was primarily Congress' plan.  I don't recall the Trump Administration doing more than telling them "send me a plan"--much like Trump's plan to end ISIS in six months after he was elected (Candidate Trump: "I have a great plan to end ISIS in six months!"  President Trump: "Generals, give a plan to end ISIS in six month!"  ::) )

Okay.  Sure, go with that.  And I learned my lesson about thinking you would be asking a question in good faith.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Fenring on October 09, 2019, 08:00:21 PM
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Otherwise he couldn't do it.  So the next time you pay hundreds of dollars more for a new washing machine and dryer, remember that you're doing it to keep you country secure! ;)

Where are you buying a steel washer and dryer?  Lol.  I'm more concerned about how washers and dryers have usable lives of less than 10 years, when they used to last 30 or more.  Want to explain that against a backdrop of a word that has too much pollution and over production?  My last washer had a component that spins the drum that in fact dissolves when exposed to steam (which the washer actually produced intentionally) - the way it was cited made it unreparable. 

So to be clear, do you want US factory jobs?  It seems like you have before.  Can't have em if you're going to buy everything cut rate from China.

I just wanted to jump in quickly (busy recently so hard to reply to a lot of things) about this point, because although it's true China is notorious for cutting corners, this particular phenomenon started long before manufacturing went to China. It's in the direct interest of any company to maximize profits any way that they see as most effective, which often but not always involves offering the customer quality. We know that the Walmart era has shown that cheaper upfront prices will often beat quality, even if the real cost of the cheaper good is far greater than a long-lasting superior product. But it's worse than that, because if even the 'high end' companies are deliberately offering an inferior product in terms of longevity we have the equivalent of a cartel situation, 'conspiring' to create planned obsolescence. This has been going on for 60+ years and has escaped no one's attention. China just does it better than anyone else because their 'cheaper' is cheaper than our cheaper. But they can hardly be put to blame for this general practice, which demonstrates not a trade imbalance, but a fundamental imbalance in the power of corporation to consumer. They will offer real quality if and only if it's their only way to make good profits; if they can find ways to not only save money but get you to buy more, they always will. In this sense the profit motive will serve as an antagonistic force towards the consumer, but where there's no real bargaining power for the general public save going on a 'strike' and, for instance, refusing as an entire nation to buy washing machines any more. But that won't happen, so it's moot, and they will do anything they feel like. Heck, we applaud Apple for its edgy designs while in the meantime they design software updates to literally sabotage older models so that they "happen to wear out" and people have to buy new ones.

Once we recognize that all it takes is a certain amount of psychopaths to get to the top of companies, it's not simply governments we need to point fingers at; and the only way to deal with this kind of thing must require some kind of coordinated action. That can come from government in the way of regulation, or some kind of improved 'hive mind' by consumers to simply bust any company trying that. I have no idea how the latter will happen unless we decide to become the Borg. I'm not against some of your arguments you make elsewhere in your post, but I don't think it's right to blame China itself for this particular issue. The companies themselves fell all over themselves to get it to happen, and initially I would bet that it actually took some convincing (and bribes) for China to arrange to allow the easy trade, and likewise with the lobbyists in Washington. This one should probably be chalked up to that group rather than to either government itself.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Wayward Son on October 10, 2019, 10:12:18 AM
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Calling names makes you big again?

It occurred to me last night that you may have taken my "moron" comment as being directed at you.  It was not, in the slightest.  It was directed at Trump.

As much as I disagree with you, you are one of more intelligent posters on this board.  You may come to the wrong conclusions at times, :)  but you do come to them through an intelligent and thoughtful process.

Just want to make sure we are not misunderstanding each other.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Wayward Son on October 10, 2019, 10:20:20 AM
Anyway, the bottom line here is as Politfact summarizes (https://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2019/oct/09/ron-johnson/wisconsin-gop-sen-ron-johnson-overreaches-economy-/):

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Sinclair [economics professor at George Washington University] said GOP policies that cut regulations may have helped lead to stronger business investment under the Trump administration, but it’s hard to blame or credit a presidential administration for most economic outcomes.

Indeed, as we have noted time and again in fact checks, experts say it is wrong to attribute too much to individuals or particular policy changes. There are simply too many factors in the economy to boil it down to one.

Trump's cutting regulations and tax cuts may have helped the economy.  His trade wars have hurt the economy.  But overall economic growth has too many players and influences for Trump or any President to have control over it.  So Crunch's crowing about how the economy is doing exceptionally well because Trump is in charge is an exaggeration, and any implication that it will automatically tank if he is no longer in charge is bunk.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Crunch on October 11, 2019, 07:55:07 AM
Right. It was called the Bush economy for 8 years by all the same people now saying you can’t credit the administration for successful economic policies. These same people claimed that merely electing Trump would crash the economy.

All through the election, Trump claimed he would get these results and was ridiculed by the “experts”. Obama talked about Trump waving a magic wand and the left and the media found it hilarious.

Now that Trump delivers, suddenly he can’t affect the economy. Suddenly, living in the best economy in human history is just an accident.

It’s just impossible for the left to be consistent or honest.

Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Seriati on October 11, 2019, 10:38:32 AM
Quote
Calling names makes you big again?

It occurred to me last night that you may have taken my "moron" comment as being directed at you.  It was not, in the slightest.  It was directed at Trump.

No worries, I didn't think it was directed at me.  I wouldn't have reacted if you had directed it at me rather than using it as part of an argument.  It's sloppy thinking to think Trump doesn't understand things because he's reaching different conclusions.  In fact the results of what he's done, like using tariffs, are making me personally realize that I've been relying too much on the "experts" without examining exactly what they were saying.  In this case that the export of US jobs to China and other jurisdictions was a feature of the system, but don't worry cause our jobless people will have lower prices and our rich people will have more money from which to pay those taxes.  That the important things is "no US tariffs" no matter how many trade constraints the non-US actors impose.

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Sinclair [economics professor at George Washington University] said GOP policies that cut regulations may have helped lead to stronger business investment under the Trump administration, but it’s hard to blame or credit a presidential administration for most economic outcomes.

Indeed, as we have noted time and again in fact checks, experts say it is wrong to attribute too much to individuals or particular policy changes. There are simply too many factors in the economy to boil it down to one.

Trump's cutting regulations and tax cuts may have helped the economy.  His trade wars have hurt the economy.  But overall economic growth has too many players and influences for Trump or any President to have control over it.

I think though you're misunderstanding what that quote really says (or maybe more accurately the fact checkers are misunderstanding the concept they are citing).  It says it's hard to attribute change to particular policy changes.  It leaves literally unsaid whether changes can be attributed to policy changes that are of much broader scope.  This ties directly into your first request that we list out the specific policy changes and their direct impacts - can't really do that.  However, what actually happened was a fundemental shift of ALL policy, which changed from viewing the economy as harming social goals to viewing economic success as the way to achieve social success.  That impacted literally every decision of the entire government.

Or to put it in simpler terms, there's little question that if Warren or Biden get elected and don't moderate their goals that it will have a massive impact on the economy and business confidence.  Again, that's a general and complete change in EVERY policy of the government.

It's almost impossible to believe that a government NO MATTER WHAT it does wouldn't be able to impact an economy.  If that were the case, communist economies and capitalist economies should largely and randomly have been great or bad, and that's not remotely how it plays out in real life.

Fen, when I'm referring to China they're - in my head - really a proxy for the entirity of the less developed world as well as for themselves.  They just happen to be the biggest and one of the most aggressive players there.  But when it comes to running a trade war, virtually all the economies in the world have imposed constraints on trade that disfavor the US.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Fenring on October 11, 2019, 11:54:56 AM
Fen, when I'm referring to China they're - in my head - really a proxy for the entirity of the less developed world as well as for themselves.  They just happen to be the biggest and one of the most aggressive players there.  But when it comes to running a trade war, virtually all the economies in the world have imposed constraints on trade that disfavor the US.

I wasn't basing my reply on the assumption you meant China alone. I was basing it on the assumption that you're thinking of foreign governments as being the ones competing against the American government and linking that to trade practices like offshore labor and cheap imports. While some actions, like devaluing the currency, and perhaps supporting their local economy through the government, are definitely cases of that, that's the sort of thing that's not new. What's new is corporations within a country also competing against their own country, effectively taking jobs elsewhere to cut costs and to 'pass along the savings' at Walmart, where the people who previously had better jobs now work. Back in the day, like in the British Empire, the East trading companies were operating in a sort of pillaging way, making use of resources and colonies abroad to enrich the homeland. While we decry those sorts of behaviors now (except in practice we actually don't) at least they had the virtue of desiring to enrich their own country. Now it's the opposite, where utilizing resources abroad actually ends up harming their own country, and it's no action of the Chinese or any other government that's given them the idea to do this; this is something they would clamor for on their own. Of course they want to use cheap labor! Duh, who wouldn't. Nestle has been found out to be using actual slave labor, which they "knew nothing about", as well as child labor. And it's not because the Chinese made them, I assure you. So is China trying to screw over America? Of course. But so are "American companies", so what's the difference really? But one thing I do agree on (assuming you're saying this) is that American policy can do something about both of these problems, possibly at once.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Seriati on October 11, 2019, 01:32:13 PM
I wasn't basing my reply on the assumption you meant China alone. I was basing it on the assumption that you're thinking of foreign governments as being the ones competing against the American government and linking that to trade practices like offshore labor and cheap imports.

I think if you really look at the trade barriers they put in place, it's foreign governments fighting with American (and recently "global") companies.  The US governments official policy has been to stay out of it on the partisan level, which is diametrically opposed to the policies of non-US governments.

China takes that a step beyond and considers it corporations as proxies of the government in an economic war, complete with high level cross overs and coordination with it's actual military and spy networks.  The idea of a "Chinese Google" refusing to work with the Chinese government over politics is actually inconceivable, yet in America is routinely occurs.  Even in our European allies there's a lot more cronyism going on than appears to the naked eye.

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What's new is corporations within a country also competing against their own country, effectively taking jobs elsewhere to cut costs and to 'pass along the savings' at Walmart, where the people who previously had better jobs now work.

But my point is, its not "within any country" that this occurs, it's largely "within America" that this occurs.  That's the direct result of the US position that the level playing field is the most important thing and the position of everyone else that the playing field should be tilted as much as possible towards their own companies and economies.

US institutes a political policy that China doesn't like, China responds by changing an economic policy.  France levees a new tax in the tech space that only applies to companies with large amounts of global revenue (ie not to 99%+ of French companies), which are almost exlusively based in the US, and the US doesn't react at the governmental level.

Quote
Back in the day, like in the British Empire, the East trading companies were operating in a sort of pillaging way, making use of resources and colonies abroad to enrich the homeland. While we decry those sorts of behaviors now (except in practice we actually don't) at least they had the virtue of desiring to enrich their own country. Now it's the opposite, where utilizing resources abroad actually ends up harming their own country,...

Except it literally doesn't harm the countries in the way you think, specifically because those countries are directing how it happens.  It's the strategic goal of China to centralize the world economy in China and all their actions are designed to do that.  They don't care if all of their companies operate at a loss for decades if the end result is control over virtually the entirity of the world's heavy or high tech industry.  Our specific policies of not fighting trade wars, even when the other side is definitely fighting a trade war, got to the point where it was harmful and exploitable.  Our goal was to ensure the most efficient producers and companies would win, not to ensure that a government could fund monopolies at a loss to put all of our businesses out of business with impunity.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Fenring on October 11, 2019, 03:33:16 PM
China takes that a step beyond and considers it corporations as proxies of the government in an economic war, complete with high level cross overs and coordination with it's actual military and spy networks.  The idea of a "Chinese Google" refusing to work with the Chinese government over politics is actually inconceivable, yet in America is routinely occurs.  Even in our European allies there's a lot more cronyism going on than appears to the naked eye.

Although I think you're right that the direct structures are different I'm not so sure it's more than a difference of scale, as I do think there are unofficial partnerships between the U.S. government and various corporations, most especially tech and military. But where it's different is in other areas, like electronics manufacturing where perhaps (and I really don't know) the Chinese government directly subsidizes factories producing these things whereas the U.S. government afaik isn't involved with the types of companies it can't directly use functionally. So U.S. based contractors that make what the government wants definitely do get a direct leg-up over both their domestic competition and therefore foreign competition as well, whereas other kinds of companies get nothing and are therefore at a huge disadvantage compared to Chinese competitors.

Quote
Quote
Back in the day, like in the British Empire, the East trading companies were operating in a sort of pillaging way, making use of resources and colonies abroad to enrich the homeland. While we decry those sorts of behaviors now (except in practice we actually don't) at least they had the virtue of desiring to enrich their own country. Now it's the opposite, where utilizing resources abroad actually ends up harming their own country,...

Except it literally doesn't harm the countries in the way you think, specifically because those countries are directing how it happens.  It's the strategic goal of China to centralize the world economy in China and all their actions are designed to do that.

What I mean is that back in the day England and its big companies made sure to enrich England (or private persons with a stake in England [although I'm sure there were 'sellouts and traitors' then too]). But while China - as you are no doubt correct - wants the world to be owned by China, American companies seem also to be fighting for the world to be controlled by China. That's my point: of course China wants that, who can blame an honest dictatorship for that. But you *can* blame supposed citizens of another country who take direct steps to sabotage their own country in favor of China. Naturally they don't think of it like that; it's not a world-scope issue to them. It's just dollars and the bottom line, and that's how to make the profits. But functionally they are aiding China's efforts. And I do think that's a relatively new thing. They think they're benefitting, and in the short term they are, but long-term it's poison. Or at least, it is for everyone else; enough people know how to offshore assets as well so that they are in no direct danger.

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Our goal was to ensure the most efficient producers and companies would win, not to ensure that a government could fund monopolies at a loss to put all of our businesses out of business with impunity.

I think you're right to an extent. However if you put aside governments for the moment (i.e. the 'public vs private' issue) and just look at the countour of the business world, there may again be a difference of scale insofar as for instance China's government is more powerful than, say, Microsoft, and yet within the local ecosystem corporations have exactly the same agenda that bigger players do, which is to corner the market and act monopolistically. This is so clear that it's trivial and doesn't even require demonstration IMO. So while it's true that funneling taxpayer money (alont with legislative power) adds another dimension to how scaled up monopolistic practices can become - especially as when you cease thinking of private vs public as being so relevant in the grand scheme - that doesn't change the fact that Walmart would run ever mom and pop out of town if it could, Microsoft would bankrupt every O/S producer if it could, Comcast would be the only operator in any area that it could (which in fact is often the case, and using infrastructure it didn't pay for), and so forth. This is how the ecosystem works and really how it always did, and the only way to prevent is through antitrust law which IMO is useless for the most part as a stopgap. I don't see a fundamental difference between that and what China does, except again in terms of scaling. If we have a problem with that then I think we should have a problem with the entire notion of conglomerized power in enormous companies (and/or company/government alliances). I don't disagree with you in principle that there is a problem here, but what I am saying is the problem goes deeper than just China screwing over America and America not doing anything about it. It goes right to the heart of how the big money is made and who wins the economic fight, and it's been like this for a long time, back to when the big railroad/freight companies built across the country, when Rockefeller oil swept the industry - they didn't do this alone or through sheer business efficiency. It's always been about bulldozing everyone and using big allies to get it done. The fact that the biggest ally of all might be a national government (as it often has been in the U.S. anyhow) doesn't change the basic formulation for me. I doubt it mattered very much whether the East India Trading Company was a private megacorp or a publicly-aided megacorp; the bottom line is that a monolith like that can't really be opposed unless it crumbles from the inside.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Wayward Son on October 11, 2019, 06:14:48 PM
Right. It was called the Bush economy for 8 years by all the same people now saying you can’t credit the administration for successful economic policies. These same people claimed that merely electing Trump would crash the economy.

All through the election, Trump claimed he would get these results and was ridiculed by the “experts”. Obama talked about Trump waving a magic wand and the left and the media found it hilarious.

Now that Trump delivers, suddenly he can’t affect the economy. Suddenly, living in the best economy in human history is just an accident.

It’s just impossible for the left to be consistent or honest.

What a bunch of malarkey.

Every President since FDR has taken credit for the economy.  They have all been wrong.

Every toady since FDR has credited the economy on the President.  They have all been wrong.

Every pundit opposed to a President has blamed economic downturns on the President.  They have all been wrong.

Just because everyone in the past has been wrong doesn't mean they are suddenly right.  ::)

Now, let me be clear.  The economy is not entirely unconnected to the President.  Presidents can ruin an economy through bad actions (e.g. tariffs).  Presidents can help an economy through good actions (e.g. tax cut, deregulations).  So if a President raised taxes enormously and the economy tanked, he very well may have been responsible.  OTOH, if a President cut tax and the economy tanked, he may not be responsible.

But every President and follower who take credit for a great economy is just blowing smoke.  It used to be that Republicans were sensitive to smoke.  Nowadays, though, it looks like they breath it in like fresh air. ;)
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Wayward Son on October 11, 2019, 06:49:54 PM
Quote
Calling names makes you big again?

It occurred to me last night that you may have taken my "moron" comment as being directed at you.  It was not, in the slightest.  It was directed at Trump.

No worries, I didn't think it was directed at me.  I wouldn't have reacted if you had directed it at me rather than using it as part of an argument.  It's sloppy thinking to think Trump doesn't understand things because he's reaching different conclusions.  In fact the results of what he's done, like using tariffs, are making me personally realize that I've been relying too much on the "experts" without examining exactly what they were saying.  In this case that the export of US jobs to China and other jurisdictions was a feature of the system, but don't worry cause our jobless people will have lower prices and our rich people will have more money from which to pay those taxes.  That the important things is "no US tariffs" no matter how many trade constraints the non-US actors impose.

The particular "moron" comments was directed at Trump specifically for suggesting negative interest rates, not about tariffs or such.  For that I can call him a "moron" and suggest that he doesn't understand what he's talking about.

Quote
Quote
Sinclair [economics professor at George Washington University] said GOP policies that cut regulations may have helped lead to stronger business investment under the Trump administration, but it’s hard to blame or credit a presidential administration for most economic outcomes.

Indeed, as we have noted time and again in fact checks, experts say it is wrong to attribute too much to individuals or particular policy changes. There are simply too many factors in the economy to boil it down to one.

Trump's cutting regulations and tax cuts may have helped the economy.  His trade wars have hurt the economy.  But overall economic growth has too many players and influences for Trump or any President to have control over it.

I think though you're misunderstanding what that quote really says (or maybe more accurately the fact checkers are misunderstanding the concept they are citing).  It says it's hard to attribute change to particular policy changes.  It leaves literally unsaid whether changes can be attributed to policy changes that are of much broader scope.  This ties directly into your first request that we list out the specific policy changes and their direct impacts - can't really do that.  However, what actually happened was a fundemental shift of ALL policy, which changed from viewing the economy as harming social goals to viewing economic success as the way to achieve social success.  That impacted literally every decision of the entire government.

Or to put it in simpler terms, there's little question that if Warren or Biden get elected and don't moderate their goals that it will have a massive impact on the economy and business confidence.  Again, that's a general and complete change in EVERY policy of the government.

It's almost impossible to believe that a government NO MATTER WHAT it does wouldn't be able to impact an economy.  If that were the case, communist economies and capitalist economies should largely and randomly have been great or bad, and that's not remotely how it plays out in real life.

I'm not saying that the government has NO effect on the economy.  I specifically said that.

But saying that a great economy is completely the result of Trump's policies is not true, either.  And predicting that the economy would tank because Warren or Biden gets elected is not based on facts, either.  It's all speculation and expectation, not reality.  And eventually reality comes home to roost.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Seriati on October 11, 2019, 06:51:01 PM
Although I think you're right that the direct structures are different I'm not so sure it's more than a difference of scale, as I do think there are unofficial partnerships between the U.S. government and various corporations, most especially tech and military.

That's actually a different issue.  Every government has contractors that work directly with them for a host of national security and other reasons.  There are plenty of companies that deliberately cultivate US government contracts.  The difference is that Google - which has cutting edge AI research that is necessary both for National Defense and for offensive spy and military purposes - can and does refuse to work with the US government and keeps that tech to itself.  In China there's no such potential bifurcation.  Any tech the government finds useful is by default government tech. 

Would Nike agree to let the US government place spies as its employees in other countries?  They might on an exceptional basis, for a Chinese corp its not an exception, its just the expectation.  Would Nike engage in active spying efforts and report the information to the CIA?  We'd be lucky if they revealed accidental information.  Would a US company share stolen tech with the US government so it could be distributed to other US companies in the same industry?  No, cause those are it's competitors, yet that happens frequently in China - because they aren't really competitors at a fundamental level.

But every President and follower who take credit for a great economy is just blowing smoke.  It used to be that Republicans were sensitive to smoke.  Nowadays, though, it looks like they breath it in like fresh air. ;)

I think though there's a confusion here.  The credit I'm giving Trump is that he freed the US economy to do what it does.  I've never given one iota to a thought that his policies are responsible for the success directly.  That's fundamentally what's different between Trump and Obama on this point.  The success of the economy is being generated by the people and companies operating in it.  Trump's biggest "policy" that allowed them to do this is to make it clear that he'll get the government out of their way (less regulation) and let them keep more of what they generate (tax reform).  The delusion on "fixing" the economy is on those who believe they can "stimulate" growth by their specific top heavy choices and directives.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Seriati on October 11, 2019, 06:55:27 PM
The particular "moron" comments was directed at Trump specifically for suggesting negative interest rates, not about tariffs or such.  For that I can call him a "moron" and suggest that he doesn't understand what he's talking about.

If you were looking at what I was looking at he was commenting on the Fact that the EU actually has negative rates now as a comparison the lack of support he's getting at the Fed.  Given the EU has negative rates are they morons?  Not sure where you mean to go with that.

Quote
But saying that a great economy is completely the result of Trump's policies is not true, either.  And predicting that the economy would tank because Warren or Biden gets elected is not based on facts, either.  It's all speculation and expectation, not reality.  And eventually reality comes home to roost.

See above, Trump's policies are not the "cause" of the economic success.  Getting out of the way of the economy is.  That's the opposite of what Biden and Warren are signaling.  They've literally promised to take over control of most of industry and constrain every choice of businesses based on "fairness" rather than economics, and they've promised to take away wealth on top it.  There's no chance that's not going to kill economic optimism.  Whether the future slave class of America can still generate gains remains to be seen.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: TheDrake on October 11, 2019, 07:41:07 PM
Getting out of the way has worked so well in the past. Looks great on paper until you realize the fallout.

"Congressional Republicans approved and President Trump signed a Congressional Review Act resolution blocking the Workplace Injury and Illness recordkeeping rule, which clarifies an employer’s obligation under the Occupational Safety and Health Act to maintain accurate records of workplace injuries and illnesses. "

Of course if an employer can just replace injured workers with fresh ones, they'll make more money. They may even pass that on as higher wages. It isn't a good idea however, because those workers are drawing federal and other benefits.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Crunch on October 12, 2019, 10:35:46 AM
At 3.5% unemployment, where are these employers gonna get all those “fresh” employees you imagine?

The competition for labor is getting intense, if you don’t take care of your employees then someone else will.

Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: TheDrake on October 14, 2019, 10:13:38 AM
Anyone who thinks that employees can't be mistreated because unemployment is low is an idiot.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: ScottF on October 14, 2019, 11:41:10 AM
I think crunch's point is that with this kind of super-low employment rate only a fool wouldn't realize that acting in a way that would require you to replace workers (for any reason) is problematic. Is that controversial?
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Crunch on October 14, 2019, 12:33:59 PM
Since it does not fit the preferred narrative, that makes it controversial to some people. The same kind of people that resort to name calling when they can’t deal with the reality of it all.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: TheDrake on October 14, 2019, 02:57:28 PM
If you can make $x by having an unsafe workplace, but you lose $y training a new worker, you're going to skip safety as long as y < x, in the absence of a moral code or osha regulations.

Sometimes safety compliance can cost millions of dollars in equipment or lower productivity. Add to that the fact that a national average doesn't help someone working in Bakersfield with 8.2% unemployment. If that theory were correct, nobody would be getting fined for safety violations?

I guess these guys didn't get the memo on the unemployment rate
Quote
VOSH issued Fraley 12 violation citations after a worker who was breaking down scaffolding at a jobsite in Springfield, Virginia, had to be hospitalized after coming into contact with an overhead power line.

Upon inspection, VOSH investigators found that scaffolds rising 14 feet to 20 feet high were being supported using blocks and boards instead of sound and level footings; that scaffolds had inadequate guardrail systems; that Fraley allowed employees to work within 10 feet of an overhead high voltage power line; and that Fraley did not contact VOSH about the employee’s injury and hospitalization within the required 24-hour timeframe.

I'm sure Fraley made a lot of money by using subpar scaffolding and avoiding having the power shut down to that line.

But I guess that's just the employees fault for not finding another job, or getting fired for refusing to work in an unsafe way?
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Crunch on October 14, 2019, 04:55:16 PM
Do you think the employees are mindless automatons that have no free will and are incapable of finding a new job? They are merely dull minded cogs being driven to risk life and limb by an evil, uncaring, management?  I think I understand your disdain for “flyover country” a little better now.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: TheDrake on October 14, 2019, 08:17:17 PM
No, not mindless. I think people who are living paycheck to paycheck are at the mercy of their employer who have all the power in the absence of unionization, of which I'm not a fan. When your kids are hungry and on the brink of homelessness, you're going to be willing to climb up on flimsy scaffolding and hope that you won't fall on your head. The result of adopting some kind of anarcho capitalism is that you'd have millions more workplace injuries as desperate companies and employees decide to cut corners in an attempt to compete. I believe it is the duty of government to prevent mass tragedies like collapsing mines or working on a roof without appropriate safety measures.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Crunch on October 15, 2019, 07:24:25 AM
With 3.5% unemployment, people have options. If they are living paycheck to paycheck, they can find higher paying jobs, pick up a second job, etc. They are not locked into the one job for the rest of their life. I’m not sure why you think they are. Have you only had one job your entire life?
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: TheDrake on October 15, 2019, 12:48:50 PM
I'm not. I have the freedom to move about the country and I have a BSEE and an MBA. I have no family that depends on me, no kids to uproot. I'm not locked into an upside down mortgage, or saddled with a house in Flint that no one would ever buy. I don't have physical or mental disabilities. Not everyone is in that situation.

Many of the people we're discussing are already working at least two jobs. A "can-do" attitude doesn't solve every problem, Crunch. Giving people the advice "find a higher paying job" isn't going to work for people who are unskilled. People can get into bad situations without fault on their part, believe it or not. There is truth to the idea that people fail to make changes to improve their situation. I just don't think it should cost them their lives on an unsafe job site run by robber barons.

An Objectivist employer would never allow that, because it amounts to asking another person to sacrifice themselves for their benefit. Unscrupulous capitalists, however, need some boundaries. The right mechanism is government regulation.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: DJQuag on October 15, 2019, 01:04:33 PM
With 3.5% unemployment, people have options. If they are living paycheck to paycheck, they can find higher paying jobs, pick up a second job, etc. They are not locked into the one job for the rest of their life. I’m not sure why you think they are. Have you only had one job your entire life?

Leaving aside the rest of my disagreements with you, not just your arguments but apparently you as a person, this "point" of yours is pretty disgusting.

Let them eat cake, eh, Crunch?
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Crunch on October 16, 2019, 07:20:27 AM
Let them have a choice of jobs, let employers fight for the privilege of employing them. Let each person be the master of his own fate and not reliant on bureaucratic masters from a 1000 miles away.

I know, you hate that idea. You find it “disgusting”. You don’t want them to eat cake, you want them to eat sh1t, eh, DJQuag?
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: yossarian22c on October 16, 2019, 08:35:27 AM
Let them have a choice of jobs, let employers fight for the privilege of employing them. Let each person be the master of his own fate and not reliant on bureaucratic masters from a 1000 miles away.

Can you give a time and place in the history of the world where an unregulated economy has functioned in a way that doesn't exploit workers?
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: TheDrake on October 16, 2019, 11:24:45 AM
If you ever met anyone who worked in construction, you would know they are not mulling over multiple offers. They're waiting until a crew has a spot open so they can work full time. Your worldview is a delusional fantasy.

Read some history about the "masters of their own fate" that built the railroads.

Quote
Life for laborers working for the Union Pacific Line was extremely treacherous. Daily work consisted of the use of explosives to break through boulders and mountains. In a first hand account, a Chinese laborer discussed the sheer horror associated with working for the Union Pacific Line: “Twenty charges were placed and ignited, but only eighteen blasts went off. However, the white foreman, thinking that all of the dynamite had gone off, ordered the Chinese workers to enter the cave to resume work. Just at that moment the remaining two charges suddenly exploded. Chinese bodies flew from the cave as if shot from a cannon. Blood and flesh were mixed in a horrible mess. On this occasion about ten or twenty workers were killed.” Incidents such as this were daily occurrences on the railroad construction sites. Immigrants continued to work despite the low pay and devastating working conditions.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Crunch on October 16, 2019, 06:54:59 PM
Let them have a choice of jobs, let employers fight for the privilege of employing them. Let each person be the master of his own fate and not reliant on bureaucratic masters from a 1000 miles away.

Can you give a time and place in the history of the world where an unregulated economy has functioned in a way that doesn't exploit workers?

Can you point to the post where I advocated a unregulated economy?
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Crunch on October 16, 2019, 07:05:47 PM
If you ever met anyone who worked in construction, you would know they are not mulling over multiple offers. They're waiting until a crew has a spot open so they can work full time. Your worldview is a delusional fantasy.

Read some history about the "masters of their own fate" that built the railroads.

Quote
Life for laborers working for the Union Pacific Line was extremely treacherous. Daily work consisted of the use of explosives to break through boulders and mountains. In a first hand account, a Chinese laborer discussed the sheer horror associated with working for the Union Pacific Line: “Twenty charges were placed and ignited, but only eighteen blasts went off. However, the white foreman, thinking that all of the dynamite had gone off, ordered the Chinese workers to enter the cave to resume work. Just at that moment the remaining two charges suddenly exploded. Chinese bodies flew from the cave as if shot from a cannon. Blood and flesh were mixed in a horrible mess. On this occasion about ten or twenty workers were killed.” Incidents such as this were daily occurrences on the railroad construction sites. Immigrants continued to work despite the low pay and devastating working conditions.

Funny that you specifically call out construction, that’s precisely the kind of company I currently work for. Labor shortages are killing us. Project managers and superintendents are at a premium, we have trouble finding and retaining them. The trades are even worse off. They’re all job hopping like crazy, often getting $10,000 or more a year than current incomes.  We’re actually hiring anyone with a pulse and providing whatever OJT they need in an effort to get workers - a lot have literally zero experience. Whatever you think is going on in construction is limited to economically mismanaged areas like California. 

And you might want to sit down, it’s not the late 1800’s. It’s 2019. You have to know that, right? Not quite the same anymore.  Juuust a little different.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: TheDrake on October 16, 2019, 07:48:07 PM
That's funny because I can go to glassdoor and look up construction laborer and I'm seeing $10-$20 an hour. It doesn't seem like they got those 10k raises you're crowing about.

I quoted you one from this year already, not at all from the 19th century.

Quote
VOSH issued Fraley 12 violation citations after a worker who was breaking down scaffolding at a jobsite in Springfield, Virginia, had to be hospitalized after coming into contact with an overhead power line.

Upon inspection, VOSH investigators found that scaffolds rising 14 feet to 20 feet high were being supported using blocks and boards instead of sound and level footings; that scaffolds had inadequate guardrail systems; that Fraley allowed employees to work within 10 feet of an overhead high voltage power line; and that Fraley did not contact VOSH about the employee’s injury and hospitalization within the required 24-hour timeframe.

Here's more (https://www.diadonenterprises.com/news/23-contractor-news/virginia/3382-the-top-osha-fines-of-q1-2a19)

These are all construction companies. Crown Roofing having crews work without fall protection. Frame Q - fall protection. etc etc.

Without OSHA regulations, they'd just do this with impunity and put pressure on the safe companies to cut corners to stay competitive.

OSHA was created in 1971, it wasn't a 19th century problem - it was a 20th century problem. It was passed with bipartisan support and signed into law by Nixon. That regulation had a dramatic effect on the number of workplace injuries. As a result of government "getting in the way", workplace illnesses and injuries dropped from 10.9/100 to 2.9/100.

What would you actually like to see, Crunch? The elimination of all that? All the regulation that got chopped away said was this:

Quote
In 2012, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that if a worker got injured, OSHA only had six months to check an employer’s log and issue a citation if the injury was not recorded.  That meant that even though employers must maintain injury/illness records for five years, if OSHA inspectors do not catch the employer’s record omission within the first six months after the injury, the employer will get off the hook.  Since OSHA inspections generally take longer than 6 months, the court’s ruling made it a lot harder for OSHA to punish companies for bad record keeping.  One of the judges on the court, though, wrote that OSHA could issue a new rule clarifying employers’ recordkeeping duties.

In response, OSHA promulgated the rule to allow OSHA to resume what it had been doing for the last 40 years:  citing an employer for failure to log an injury/illness anytime within the entire 5-year period that the record of injury must be kept.  This rule created no new record keeping requirements for employers, it just allowed OSHA more time to do its work.

article (https://www.epi.org/perkins/congressional-review-act-resolution-to-block-the-department-of-labors-rule-titled-clarification-of-employers-continuing-obligation-to-make-and-maintain-an-accurate-record-o/)

Tell me how this benefits anyone except crooked employers trying to hide their unsafe practices.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Crunch on October 17, 2019, 07:26:55 AM
Oh, you looked it up on the internet.  Well, it must be true.  ::)

We start people with zero experience at $15/hour. But, they often leave us after 6 months or so for $20 an hour. Let’s do the math. $5 an hour over 2000 work hours per year. I’m pretty sure you don’t need a calculator for that one - it’s $10,000. 

You can quote issues from the late 1800’s all you want if you think that makes some weird sense. But the math and current reality just doesn’t fit your 1880 belief system.

Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: D.W. on October 17, 2019, 09:41:43 AM
Quote
We start people with zero experience at $15/hour. But, they often leave us after 6 months or so for $20 an hour. Let’s do the math. $5 an hour over 2000 work hours per year. I’m pretty sure you don’t need a calculator for that one - it’s $10,000.

A system that requires some business to intentionally underpay workers and suffer high attrition and lower skilled workers, for the benefit of those workers who leave and those jobs who gain that "free" training, is one of the strangest I've heard of yet.

Thanks for doing your part?
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: ScottF on October 17, 2019, 10:54:30 AM
Quote
We start people with zero experience at $15/hour. But, they often leave us after 6 months or so for $20 an hour. Let’s do the math. $5 an hour over 2000 work hours per year. I’m pretty sure you don’t need a calculator for that one - it’s $10,000.

A system that requires some business to intentionally underpay workers and suffer high attrition and lower skilled workers, for the benefit of those workers who leave and those jobs who gain that "free" training, is one of the strangest I've heard of yet.

Except for your use of "intentionally" which I think you just made up, this is literally the definition of a competitive labour market. If your business doesn't have a way of retaining employees through higher compensation or other means (e.g. culture, career growth), it will either adapt or suffer and die.

Have you never worked one place, gained valuable training and experience and then leveraged that experience for a more lucrative job elsewhere? I've literally made my career doing this. Often I've stayed put because the company supported my growth, other times they haven't (or weren't able to) and I've found opportunities elsewhere.

I suppose if you're quite young this could be new/strange to you?

Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: TheDrake on October 17, 2019, 12:12:47 PM
Usually it is the worst companies that follow this model. I have several friends who drive a truck for a living, and Swift is one of those. People entering the field go there, because they are desperately trying to back fill for people exiting the company. Walmart is clearly another one. As well as Amazon.

At the risk of actually researching something on the internet, rather than relying on Crunch's anonymously sourced anecdotes, you can review the list of companies with short tenure (https://www.businessinsider.com/companies-ranked-by-turnover-rates-2013-7)

You might note that some of these companies are wildly successful (see Amazon). They don't have to worry about turnover of their meat robots because all they have to do is go where their handheld tells them to go - there is minimal training and less judgement needed.

Skilled labor is very different. A master electrician would take one look at an unsafe site and get the hell out of there. It's the person being asked to carry stuff that needs the protection of safety regulation, and she shouldn't have to wait 6-12 months to leverage her way into a safer job.

Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: ScottF on October 17, 2019, 12:22:21 PM
Usually it is the worst companies that follow this model.

Agreed, and they often (but not always) die.

Quote
Skilled labor is very different. A master electrician would take one look at an unsafe site and get the hell out of there. It's the person being asked to carry stuff that needs the protection of safety regulation, and she shouldn't have to wait 6-12 months to leverage her way into a safer job.

I don't disagree, but I think in times of extremely low employment, even unskilled laborers are much more likely to bounce if they know that they can get another job at the site down the road.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: NobleHunter on October 17, 2019, 12:31:01 PM
I don't disagree, but I think in times of extremely low employment, even unskilled laborers are much more likely to bounce if they know that they can get another job at the site down the road.

That presupposes the job down the road is any better than the job they have.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Seriati on October 17, 2019, 01:37:38 PM
Getting out of the way has worked so well in the past. Looks great on paper until you realize the fallout.

"Congressional Republicans approved and President Trump signed a Congressional Review Act resolution blocking the Workplace Injury and Illness recordkeeping rule, which clarifies an employer’s obligation under the Occupational Safety and Health Act to maintain accurate records of workplace injuries and illnesses. "

Of course if an employer can just replace injured workers with fresh ones, they'll make more money. They may even pass that on as higher wages. It isn't a good idea however, because those workers are drawing federal and other benefits.

I never know how to take it when I read these kind of "soft" assertions of a fact, that posters then rely on as support to write conclusory arguments later in the thread.  So I decided I'd go look and see what you're talking about.  I can find two things that this could be referring to and neither really supports your final paragraph or any of the arguments you make later.

The first was in fact an exercise of the Congressional Review Act, but it occurred back in 2017 just after Trump took office.  Congress overturned the "Volks Rule," which was a regulation promulgated by OSHA to over rule an unfavorable court decision.  On background, OSHA can cite an employer for failure to record an accident at anytime within 6 months of the accident - this is actually stated in the law that created OSHA.  OSHA has a separate rule that requires the employer maintain accident records for 5 years.  The case OSHA lost was an attempt to treat the five year record keeping rule as a back door into a five year statute of limitations that exceeds the statute.  The court said no.  So OSHA passed a rule to "clarify" the situation and effectively turn the five year holding period into the statute of limitations (which, by the way, would most likely have been struck down by the next court to look at it) to try and rely on the so called Chevron doctrine where by court's are supposed to defer to administrative agencies when they are clarifying or interpreting vagueness in their statutory authorizations.  Congress rejected the regulation as exceeded OSHA's statutory authority (which it clearly did).

Nothing about that though changes the status of OSHA regulations as were in force from the 70's through now.  OSHA is still completely able to enforce the rules and hold employers accountable same as always.

The second thing that could fit the bill is the recent OSHA regulations that partially repealed Obama's 2016 OSHA regulatory expansion which did a lot of things, some of which were necessary, but more of which were excessively burdemsome.  The thing I'd focus on is the information grab and support for publicaly posting information.  Effectively, they used part of the regulation to facilitate use of mandatory government record collection to support the plaintiff's bar.  To minimize the "burden" they used "existing records" and required they be sent to OSHA every year.  The problem is the existing records were never designed to be used in that manner, and contain personal and medical information for the employees on the files, which is now subject to the highest standards of personal confidentiality. 

I know you may not be aware, but there has been an enormous push (even before Trump) on the administrative agencies to eliminate the collection and storage of data related to persons and even businesses.  Much of this has its roots in data security and in actual data breaches/thefts of data from government systems that are behind the curve when compared with private bad actors, or even from government employees misappropriating the data and using it for their own benefit (there's a real issue with government employees that can access proprietary tech or information turning around and using it to their own benefit when they leave for private industry).

So the new regulation doesn't change one bit the record keeping requirements - neither did Obama's 2016 change.  It doesn't alter one bit OSHA's existing and historical use of the data.  OSHA has collected the summary forms mandatorily and used that data to set up it's targetted enforcement actions, and used the on site records for the other 2 forms in connection with inspections, investigations and enforcements.  There's literally no damage to OSHA's existing operations to rescind the receipt of the detailed forms, which it would then have to redact, review and come up with new processes to effectively use.  So if OSHA didn't need the info, it shouldn't have it, so why did the 2016 rule make the collection mandatory?  Well it seems to me that there were two primary reasons, first to expand what OSHA would be doing (whether or not authorized, one could make a fair case that this may be a beneficial action) and second, and largely unstated, to collect the information in a single place where a plaintiff's bar friendly team could turn over massive amount of litigation data pursuant to FOIA requests and/or subpeona's (which, despite what some may believe is not a legitimate government purpose and potentially interferes with OSHA's own enforcement actions).   

Here's the link to the implementing release for the new regulation, which walks through much of the history and the thinking - you can also find the 2016 regulation (and all the others before) on the site, also with a lot of the thinking.
 
https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/01/25/2019-00101/tracking-of-workplace-injuries-and-illnesses (https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/01/25/2019-00101/tracking-of-workplace-injuries-and-illnesses)

Here's the paragraph where they explain what they are doing, the 300 and 301 are the log of all injuries - which includes private details about every employee on it, and the individual log of the specific injury.  All are still required to be kept on site (the number of employees language was there before the 2016 reg, after the 2016 reg, and after this reg).  The 301A summary was designed to be disclosed to OSHA, and it's disclosure has not been altered by either of the 2016 reg or the new reg.

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Elimination of the requirement that establishments with 250 or more employees submit information electronically from their OSHA Forms 300 and 301—a requirement that has not yet been enforced—does not change any employer's obligation to complete and retain injury and illness records under OSHA's regulations for recording and reporting occupational injuries and illnesses. The final rule also does not add to or change the recording criteria or definitions for these records.

Here's their explanation for why they are revising the rule to eliminate this routine collection.  I note many find this unpersuasive, but I think they are largely ignoring that OSHA has always been able to identify its enforcement targets from the summaries and direct reports from injured parties and has been and still is able to access the detailed information both during those investigations and during routine inspections.  They are are also able to specifically request the information when they need it.  They actually go into a lot more detail in the release, including walking through the history of how such forms have been treated as "need to know" level of confidentiality.

Quote
In light of this backdrop, OSHA has determined that the rule will benefit worker privacy by preventing routine government collection of information that may be quite sensitive, including descriptions of workers' injuries and the body parts affected, and thereby avoiding the risk that such information might be publicly disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or through the Injury Tracking Application. OSHA has also concluded that the extent of any incremental benefits of collecting the data from Forms 300 and 301 for OSHA enforcement and compliance assistance activities is uncertain. OSHA has determined that avoiding this risk to worker privacy outweighs the data's uncertain incremental benefits to enforcement. The rule will allow OSHA to focus agency resources on the collection and use of 300A data described above, and severe injury reports, as well as data from other initiatives that its past experience has proven useful—instead of diverting those resources toward developing a Web portal for, and then collecting, manually reviewing, and analyzing data from Forms 300 and 301.

Anyway, I don't see anything that supports the reaction that you had to this.  Is there some other rule you meant to reference?  Cause the idea that OSHA doesn't collect and store the detailed records, versus keeping them on site with the Companies as they have done historically, doesn't seem to me to somehow be a wink wink, nudge nudge to business to go ahead and kill off their employees, because there's always more where they came from.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: TheDrake on October 17, 2019, 01:59:51 PM
It was the first one. I don't dispute most of what you are saying. All I am saying is that this reversal makes it easier for companies to get away with bad record keeping. What point is there to forcing maintenance of records for five years if 4.5 years of records can be inaccurate or incomplete?

I do agree that this is not an enormous impact, it was just one example of regulatory rollback. We could find many others, of course.

One question might be about how quickly they get notified to review such records. Is the employee going to raise any issues within the six month window? They might take that long just to try to work through workman's compensation issues. They might not even know such records exist.

In the court case you cite:

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The court case was AKM LLC v. OSHA. The enforcement agency cited AKM, which at the time was doing business as Volks Constructors, for failure to record injuries and illnesses during a three-and-a-half-year period in the mid-2000s. However, the citations weren’t issued until late 2006, at which point a six-month statute of limitations for citing such violations had expired.

Government lawyers argued that when employers fail to record a violation, the six-month statute of limitations does not apply because the obligation to record such injuries is a continuing one. This is coupled with a requirement that employers must “keep and maintain” injury records for five years.

Essentially, the government claimed that by virtue of needing to keep and maintain records for five years, failing to record injuries constitutes a “continuing violation.” Instead of having six months to cite an employer, the government said OSHA actually gets five-and-a-half years.

It would be like having the requirement to hold on to your tax records for years in case of audit, but giving the IRS only six months to challenge whether you left something off.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Seriati on October 17, 2019, 02:39:03 PM
It's not at all like that.  Statute's of limitations are common everywhere in the law.  For example there may be a 3 year statute of limitations to sue your accountant.  The fact that your accountant has done your records for 20 years doesn't convert the earlier 17 years into a "continuing" issue for the statute of limitations that restricts it to the last 3 years.  Or how, virtually all crimes but murder have a statute of limitations past which you can not be prosecuted.  This would be like, if Congress said there's a one year statute of limitation for the crime of theft, and then a regulator that decided this was unfair tried to impose a rule that the one year doesn't begin until you admit the theft at the police station.  Effectively ignoring the law.

So yes, Congress determined that OSHA has to bring such claims within 6 months.  That's a deliberate decision they made.  The agency does not get to overrule Congress just because they want to.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: TheDrake on October 17, 2019, 03:36:32 PM
That's a procedural question. My question is whether it is good or bad that there is a six month window. Courts exist to provide oversight on legality and mechanism. I actually liked the argument that this is an ongoing violation because they have an ongoing opportunity to make the record correct, but clearly the appeals court did not - though the original court did.

I noticed that the Trump administration didn't drop the attempt and replace it with an effort to change the law, so the effect is simply reduced penalties for chronic recordkeeping violations.

I don't contest any of your points on legality, this is an illustration of attempts to reduce regulation for the purpose of making life easier on businesses. Unless you think the administration is reviewing items on legal grounds and only removing those that they deem illegal.

This is what we are talking about:

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Seventeen other-than-serious citations were issued for failing to complete "OSHA 301 Logs" used for a first report of injury; failing to record 102 injuries and illness on the "OSHA 300 Logs"; company executives certifying OSHA 300 Logs that were neither correct nor complete; and failing to provide the OSHA 300 and 301 Logs upon request. Additional violations included lack of rating capacity for alloy steel chains/synthetic web slings, restricted work space in front of electrical equipment, use of hazardous chemicals from unmarked containers and lack of material safety data sheets for hazardous chemicals. An other-than-serious violation is a condition that would probably not cause death or serious physical harm but would have a direct and immediate relationship to the safety or health of the employees.

These are bad guys creating an unsafe work environment and trying to hide the inevitable injuries that result. Even more aggressive rollbacks of such rules have been advocated, up to the elimination of OSHA (https://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/serials/files/regulation/1995/10/v18n4-5.pdf) proposed by CATO in 1995.

Quote
We contend that citizens generally favor a perspicacious government where policy costs and benefits are concerned-they want an efficient government, one that does not pay more for something than it is worth, including the cost of saving a statistical life.

That lays the philosophy pretty bare. We don't care how many workers fall off a roof if it is going to be expensive to prevent it.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: D.W. on October 17, 2019, 05:22:29 PM
ScottF
Quote
Except for your use of "intentionally" which I think you just made up, this is literally the definition of a competitive labor market.
Not sure I follow what you mean by "made up" but the "intentionally" was key to the point.  Maybe I'm wrong but I thought Crunch was illustrating how the average worker pay was going up while bemoaning that his company was losing workers because they were paying less.  As he is one who recently taut the incredible economy, I found this interesting.  That somehow businesses who refuse to raise pay were generating these worker increases, by pushing people into the arms of others, who I guess CAN afford to do so.  Yes, I get this is how the labor market works, I just found it amusing that the simple solution of: "pay them more", seemed to be off the table.  So I assume self-sacrifice of accepting high turnover for the greater good was at play.  After all, workers cannot get ahead, if they aren't behind at some point I guess.   ::)

For your second question, I'm a terrible example.  I've stayed put when many others in my field have swapped companies to get ahead.  I don't know if it's loyalty, comfort or risk aversion or what, but I've not made my career ship jumping.  Surely to the overall detriment of my potential salary.  Your point is valid, but I'm probably a statistical anomaly on that front.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Seriati on October 17, 2019, 05:51:28 PM
That's a procedural question. My question is whether it is good or bad that there is a six month window. Courts exist to provide oversight on legality and mechanism. I actually liked the argument that this is an ongoing violation because they have an ongoing opportunity to make the record correct, but clearly the appeals court did not - though the original court did.

I noticed that the Trump administration didn't drop the attempt and replace it with an effort to change the law, so the effect is simply reduced penalties for chronic recordkeeping violations.

How is it "reducing" penalties for record keeping violations?  Congress set the penalty, Congress can and does increase penalties when they want to, and they can and do give the agencies discretion to change the rules when they want to do so.

And you may not realize it, but this is far more complicated that the simple idea that this six month window is designed somehow to let companies off.  It's the authorizing statute, which was by far about the opposite about holding companies accountable.  Most of these kinds of limitations are about fairness, including this one.

Quote
I don't contest any of your points on legality, this is an illustration of attempts to reduce regulation for the purpose of making life easier on businesses. Unless you think the administration is reviewing items on legal grounds and only removing those that they deem illegal.

The administration is openly reviewing items based on whether they are economically justifiable.

This rule in particular exists because of the inherent unfairness involved in requiring a company to defend an action about whether an event occurred 4.5 years ago, where there are no records, may not be any staff involved, and the only person that claims to remember it is an ex-employee that is suing the company with OSHA's backing.  Congress very expressly felt that more than 6 months after an event was alleged to have occurred is too long for it to have sat without some action by the regulator.  They don't have to have completed that action in the window, they just have to have filed it or even provided some kind of notice (which often triggers an agreement to toll the six months).

How do you imagine that OSHA is discovering a failure to report years after the fact in a manner that is reliable and credible?

I guaranty that if the reports are being falsified there will be other violations that OSHA can bring that don't toll in the same manner.

Quote
Quote
Seventeen other-than-serious citations were issued for failing to complete "OSHA 301 Logs" used for a first report of injury; failing to record 102 injuries and illness on the "OSHA 300 Logs"; company executives certifying OSHA 300 Logs that were neither correct nor complete; and failing to provide the OSHA 300 and 301 Logs upon request. Additional violations included lack of rating capacity for alloy steel chains/synthetic web slings, restricted work space in front of electrical equipment, use of hazardous chemicals from unmarked containers and lack of material safety data sheets for hazardous chemicals. An other-than-serious violation is a condition that would probably not cause death or serious physical harm but would have a direct and immediate relationship to the safety or health of the employees.

These are bad guys creating an unsafe work environment and trying to hide the inevitable injuries that result.

I think you're kind of confused about what those mean.  I doubt there's more than a tiny fraction of inspections that don't come up with a list of violations of various levels of seriousness.  Most of the time, and for most of them, notwithstanding they may be a large list, the OSHA office is looking for the company to remediate the problems and not looking to fine them.  Even companies that take safety seriously and that have compliance professionals and engineers focused on safety are likely to not receive a "clean" report.  That's a far cry from being "bad people."

For example, you listed failing to record illnesses on the log, very commonly those relate to technical issues.  Like, for example, believing that the contractor that brings in temporary employees (who the plant owners may not even know) is responsible for maintaining that paperwork, or that a illness was "obviously" not work related.

Safety violations often occur as a result of employees undermining safety features that "get in their way," like by refusing to use harnesses, or disengaging ackward safety rails (or even standing on top of a rail to reach something instead of using a ladder.

Clearly there are serious violations as well.

Quote
Even more aggressive rollbacks of such rules have been advocated, up to the elimination of OSHA (https://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/serials/files/regulation/1995/10/v18n4-5.pdf) proposed by CATO in 1995.

Yep, reasonable people can disagree at the level of safety regulations.  Most of the world has lower safety regulations than the US, are they all clearly wrong?  If so, can I get your support on Trump's tariffs against those factories?

Quote
Quote
We contend that citizens generally favor a perspicacious government where policy costs and benefits are concerned-they want an efficient government, one that does not pay more for something than it is worth, including the cost of saving a statistical life.

That lays the philosophy pretty bare. We don't care how many workers fall off a roof if it is going to be expensive to prevent it.

I think rather they want a government that proposes rules like harnesses and nets to protect workers on high rises, rather than one that declares that all buildings have to be built no taller than one story for "safety."  That's where it feels like you're leaving the path hear.  The vast vast majority of companies take safety very seriously and comply with the very high US standards.  Nothing about these changes is a significant, let alone a material departure from those standards.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: NobleHunter on October 17, 2019, 05:54:16 PM
Quote
If so, can I get your support on Trump's tariffs against those factories?

Because foreign safety standards are definitely a national security issue.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Seriati on October 17, 2019, 07:18:41 PM
So I guess you're saying that we only care about worker safety when it impacts our national safety?  Can I quote you on that and run the implications into the ground?
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: NobleHunter on October 17, 2019, 10:18:01 PM
I'm saying Trump has no authority over tariffs which aren't related to national security. I'm sure you wouldn't dream of supporting a President who exceeded his legislated authority.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Crunch on October 18, 2019, 07:30:06 AM
Went through 8 years of just that thing. You thought it was great then, didn’t you? Unfortunately, it’s gonna be tough putting this back in the bottle unless Congress decides to reclaim its power.

I’ll share your outrage when you’re consistent with it.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: oldbrian on October 18, 2019, 09:08:06 AM
Seriati:
Quote
This would be like, if Congress said there's a one year statute of limitation for the crime of theft, and then a regulator that decided this was unfair tried to impose a rule that the one year doesn't begin until you admit the theft at the police station.

honest question:  does the statute of limitation start at the occurrence of the crime, or when it was discovered/reported?
What if the theft was at someone's vacation home and not discovered until 6 months later?  When does the 1 year begin?
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: TheDrake on October 18, 2019, 12:55:14 PM
It's unfair to call somebody out on an incomplete form nine months after they write it? Mmmmmkay. Yammer all you want about the law, I already stipulated that you're probably right. Meanwhile, about rules that 'get in the way' companies have an easy way to deal with that. An employee violates a safety rule, they get written up internally. Enough times, they get fired. Build a culture that is unforgiving of corner cutting.

Its about reducing penalties in the sense that the the terrifying expansion got undone. Under the Obama rule, penalties would be higher.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Wayward Son on October 18, 2019, 03:07:17 PM
Went through 8 years of just that thing. You thought it was great then, didn’t you? Unfortunately, it’s gonna be tough putting this back in the bottle unless Congress decides to reclaim its power.

I’ll share your outrage when you’re consistent with it.

So I guess that means there is no "outrage" that the House isn't following the rules and voting on starting an impeachment inquiry (especially since there is no such requirement).  So we all should be outraged that Trump is pretending that it isn't Constitutional.

But, of course, why should we be outraged about Trump thumbing his nose at the Constitution when no one else is following the Constitution?

In fact, what do we need a Constitution for anyway when no one follows it's rules?

The inevitable conclusion of not believing in the rule of law unless all your opponents do, too.  ::)
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Seriati on October 18, 2019, 04:24:35 PM
I'm saying Trump has no authority over tariffs which aren't related to national security. I'm sure you wouldn't dream of supporting a President who exceeded his legislated authority.

I've commented  before on Trump's use of tariffs.  I'll be honest, I don't know enough about them to know if they are within his authority or not.  I suspect that the issue is probably more complicated than we'd like to think.  I do agree that the power to impose tariffs unilaterally is something that if it does sit with the President should probably be reconsidered.  I mean I may agree with Trump on the issue, or the results he's been getting, but establishing this as a Presidential perogative is not likely to be a future precedent that will be used in ways that I like as much.  So yes, this is one that should be curtailed.

I just think it's interesting that you dodge the point by focusing on that piece.

Seriati:
Quote
This would be like, if Congress said there's a one year statute of limitation for the crime of theft, and then a regulator that decided this was unfair tried to impose a rule that the one year doesn't begin until you admit the theft at the police station.

honest question:  does the statute of limitation start at the occurrence of the crime, or when it was discovered/reported?
What if the theft was at someone's vacation home and not discovered until 6 months later?  When does the 1 year begin?

Depends on the statute.  Statutes of limitations are pretty literally statutes.  We know that some run from the time the crime occurred, others run from the time they are discovered/reported (or more significantly here should have been discovered/reported), and others expire based on unrelated events (e.g., many crimes against children run their statute of limitations from the child's 18th birthday - effectively to push the now adult to promptly file). 

It's unfair to call somebody out on an incomplete form nine months after they write it? Mmmmmkay.

You really are confused.  The issue on failure to report is that the report wasn't completed (that would be the individual accident report) and that the log therefore will have an omission.  The "incorrect" log is derivative of the failure to complete the report, why would it be the focus?

Maybe you should read up on why we have statute  of limitations in the first place, you don't seem to understand them as anything but a negative.

Imagine an employee from 3 years ago starts asserting that they were injured on the job because of a routine practice of ignoring a specific safety measure.  The company investigates and finds that the safety measure is currently always strictly enforced, there's no history of a lack of enforcement or any previous findings of it being ignored in inspections.  Only a few people work in that area and of the ones still at the company none of them remember such an event.  Floor videos are only saved for 90 days.

Is that proof it didn't occur?  Mostly not.

Now if the claim had been brought in a timely manner (i.e., immediately after the injury) would the company have been able to establish whether the event occurred?  Almost certainly.  And the dangerous situation could have been corrected.

The point of the OSHA implementing law was to ensure workplace safety (not to compensate employees - which is in fact different rule, and if I recall a "no fault" set up that isn't targetted at punishing companies but at compensating workers with minimum fuss). Delaying raising injuries and safety issues for years frustrates the goal of improving work place safety, which is why the statute of limitations is shorter.  I'd also note, that given the "no fault" relief available under worker's comp, recharacterizing an injury as work place related can have a material financial impact, particularly for he uninsured.  Fraud frisk increases as the time between an injury and the report separate.  Is the worker's claim really because of a work place issue from 3 years ago, or from an injury from their recent car accident, or from the uninsured fall they took during a drunk wrestling?  So again the regime is designed to force those claims to occur promptly to allow them to be properly investigated, and if necessary disputed, and to cause the unsafe situation to be remedied promptly.

The 2016 reg did confuse this, because it deliberately protected workers from punishment for a failure to promptly report injuries.  The argument for that was that a worker may not realize they are injured for a period of time, or an injury may be a cumulative event, and they discounted the known fraud risk in the interest of increasing that protection.

Quote
An employee violates a safety rule, they get written up internally. Enough times, they get fired. Build a culture that is unforgiving of corner cutting.

That's generally the rule already, enforcement may vary.  Has little to do with whether injuries are properly reported, and they will still occur no matter how much safety is in place.  The six month limit is on the failure to record an injury, whether or not the injury is tied to a safety violation.   

Quote
Its about reducing penalties in the sense that the the terrifying expansion got undone. Under the Obama rule, penalties would be higher.

Penalties were not intended to be the focus of OSHA or the rules.  Safety was.  Finding out that a company failed to record injuries, even if you can't currently cite them for those that occurred more than six months will show in the OSHA report and require remediation going forward, the failure of which does result in OSHA violations and punishments.

Again, the goal is to create a safer work environment not to levy financial consequences for historic events.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: TheDrake on October 18, 2019, 04:59:24 PM
Quote
On May 10, 2006, OSHA began an inspection of Volks
and discovered that Volks had not been diligent in completing
its logs, forms, and summaries between 2002 and early 2006.
Accordingly, on November 8, 2006, OSHA issued the set of
citations at issue in this case. OSHA fined Volks a total of
$13,300 for 67 violations of 29 C.F.R. § 1904.29(b)(2)—
incident report forms were incomplete, 102 violations of 29
C.F.R. § 1904.29(b)(3)—injuries were not entered in the log,
one violation of 29 C.F.R. § 1904.32(a)(1)—year-end reviews
were not conducted between 2002 and 2005, and one
violation of 29 C.F.R. § 1904.32(b)(3)—the wrong person
certified the year-end summary.1

#1, 67 of these don't involve a dispute that the injury occurred. #2, I assume the government asks for some information to establish that a missing report was more than an employee fabrication. Actual trip to the hospital, etc. #3 explain not having a year-end review.

Statute of limitations is about the difficulty in proving or defending something years after the violation occurs. I don't see the problem here. If we were talking about 30 years or something crazy, I start to understand it. And, there's a matter of the stakes. If you're going to incarcerate someone for years, you need to give them more protection than fining a company for non-compliance.

Quote
Despite AKM’s very clear pronouncement that OSHA is barred from issuing citations more than six months after an alleged violation has occurred, the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission recently upheld citations against a Texas refinery for alleged violations of the Process Safety Management standard that occurred years before the inspection and at a time when the refinery was under different ownership. In Secretary of Labor v. Delek Refining, Ltd., the Review Commission held that the employer’s failure to act on recommendations made in a prior employer’s Process Hazard Analyses (some of which dated back more than 14 years before the OSHA inspection) constituted a “continuing violation” that effectively extended the statute of limitations under the Act.

Takeaways

Whether or not you find the decision in Delek to be absurd and illogical, it is currently the “law of the land.” With that in mind, employers (particular those with operations covered by the PSM standard) should:

Ensure that any recommendations made or hazards identified in any type of safety audit are followed up on and/or corrected. Safety audits are only as good as the follow up. In fact, the alleged deficiencies cited by OSHA in Delek were based largely upon a spreadsheet that Delek itself created and provided to OSHA.
Be aware that your company may be held liable for the transgressions of a prior owner. In light of this, employers acquiring new operations or facilities should conduct a careful and thorough review of safety procedures, policies, and prior safety-related audits and develop and act upon a plan to address any safety concerns prior to the acquisition; and
 Recognize that, although it is expressly set out in the Act, the six month statute of limitations is, by no means, a “silver bullet” defense to citations. OSHA and its compliance officers will always be looking for ways to argue that violations are “continuing” and, therefore, subject to citation long after the alleged violation occurred.

another article about the OSHA limit. (https://www.fdrsafety.com/another-chapter-in-dispute-over-osha-statute-of-limitations/)

If you have an unsafe workplace, fix the problem as a priority even if you have to halt operations. The end. Full stop. Then you don't have to worry about whether you can get exempted on a technicality.

Quote
Again, the goal is to create a safer work environment not to levy financial consequences for historic events.

That's not how any of that works. The threat of fines prompts companies to pre-emptively create safe work environments, rather than letting them get away with it until they are chastized.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Crunch on October 19, 2019, 09:27:07 AM
Went through 8 years of just that thing. You thought it was great then, didn’t you? Unfortunately, it’s gonna be tough putting this back in the bottle unless Congress decides to reclaim its power.

I’ll share your outrage when you’re consistent with it.

So I guess that means there is no "outrage" that the House isn't following the rules and voting on starting an impeachment inquiry (especially since there is no such requirement).  So we all should be outraged that Trump is pretending that it isn't Constitutional.

But, of course, why should we be outraged about Trump thumbing his nose at the Constitution when no one else is following the Constitution?

In fact, what do we need a Constitution for anyway when no one follows it's rules?

The inevitable conclusion of not believing in the rule of law unless all your opponents do, too.  ::)

It is gratifying to see you say the same thing I and many others said from 2008-2016. You guys made this bed, no we’re all going to lay in it. Thanks for that
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: TheDeamon on October 22, 2019, 11:49:58 AM
That's funny because I can go to glassdoor and look up construction laborer and I'm seeing $10-$20 an hour. It doesn't seem like they got those 10k raises you're crowing about.

I quoted you one from this year already, not at all from the 19th century.

Quote
VOSH issued Fraley 12 violation citations after a worker who was breaking down scaffolding at a jobsite in Springfield, Virginia, had to be hospitalized after coming into contact with an overhead power line.

Upon inspection, VOSH investigators found that scaffolds rising 14 feet to 20 feet high were being supported using blocks and boards instead of sound and level footings; that scaffolds had inadequate guardrail systems; that Fraley allowed employees to work within 10 feet of an overhead high voltage power line; and that Fraley did not contact VOSH about the employee’s injury and hospitalization within the required 24-hour timeframe.

Here's more (https://www.diadonenterprises.com/news/23-contractor-news/virginia/3382-the-top-osha-fines-of-q1-2a19)

These are all construction companies. Crown Roofing having crews work without fall protection. Frame Q - fall protection. etc etc.

Without OSHA regulations, they'd just do this with impunity and put pressure on the safe companies to cut corners to stay competitive.

The OSHA regulations regarding fall protection are frankly, overkill. OSHA requires it in situations where honestly, if you get hurt, you (or somebody else) honestly deserved it. All the safety harness is likely to do in those cases is impede work and/or create hazards as people have to work around the safety tie-downs which would be needed. Which also makes the job take longer, and cost more as a consequence. But hey, it reduces that 1 in 1,000+ chance of falling 5 feet to the ground to a chance of your safety lanyard will well, never mind..You're still hitting the ground, and it's probably not going to slow your fall down. ("Parachute cords," which are commonly used for such things, add about 5 feet to the length of the safety lanyard you're tied off with. And that lanyard is several feet long to start with.)
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: TheDeamon on October 22, 2019, 12:07:09 PM
I'm saying Trump has no authority over tariffs which aren't related to national security. I'm sure you wouldn't dream of supporting a President who exceeded his legislated authority.

He may not, but Congress does. He can put it before Congress.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: TheDrake on October 22, 2019, 12:36:15 PM
You don't need fall arrest if you have guardrails, which is the most common type of fall protection. You don't deserve to die because your employer had a 5 foot unstable platform and stepped back a little too far.

The VOSH example had 20 foot high unstable platforms with no guardrails, I guess that was that workers fault also. What a dumbass.

FYI

Quote
What is the threshold height? The threshold for fall protection in construction work is 6 feet. You must protect your employees from fall hazards whenever an employee is working 6 feet or more above a lower level. If an employee is working on a scaffold, the height requirement for fall protection is 10 feet, and this protection usually is provided by a built-in guardrail.

Not as restrictive as you are describing, at least for construction.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: yossarian22c on October 23, 2019, 11:28:17 AM
https://www.npr.org/2019/10/08/768251735/for-many-issue-of-logging-in-americas-largest-national-forest-cuts-deep (https://www.npr.org/2019/10/08/768251735/for-many-issue-of-logging-in-americas-largest-national-forest-cuts-deep)

Here's an example of one of Trump's regulation roll backs.

I'll concede it will provide a short term boost to the economy of the area but I don't think its worth the long term cost, in terms of the cost via climate change and to the local habitat and ecosystem.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Crunch on October 26, 2019, 08:30:16 AM
There is no evidence whatsoever this would affect global climate and if there are local effects then local government could address it. It’s really pretty simple.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Wayward Son on October 26, 2019, 01:07:04 PM
Went through 8 years of just that thing. You thought it was great then, didn’t you? Unfortunately, it’s gonna be tough putting this back in the bottle unless Congress decides to reclaim its power.

I’ll share your outrage when you’re consistent with it.

So I guess that means there is no "outrage" that the House isn't following the rules and voting on starting an impeachment inquiry (especially since there is no such requirement).  So we all should be outraged that Trump is pretending that it isn't Constitutional.

But, of course, why should we be outraged about Trump thumbing his nose at the Constitution when no one else is following the Constitution?

In fact, what do we need a Constitution for anyway when no one follows it's rules?

The inevitable conclusion of not believing in the rule of law unless all your opponents do, too.  ::)

It is gratifying to see you say the same thing I and many others said from 2008-2016. You guys made this bed, no[w] we’re all going to lay in it. Thanks for that

Next time a Republican talks about how corrupt and unethical Democrats are, show them this response.  This shows that Republicans are just as corrupt and unethical as they accuse Democrats of being, if not more so, but they just blame Democrats for their own shortcomings.  "You spat on the Constitution, so that makes it OK for me to do it, too, and even more than you guys did!  It's all your fault!!"  ::)  They can't even take responsibility for their own actions, but have to blame the Democrats for it.  ;D

The Republican party has become a sick joke of it's former self.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: yossarian22c on November 05, 2019, 08:11:51 AM
https://www.npr.org/2019/11/04/776174139/trump-administration-proposes-relaxing-rules-on-waste-from-coal-plants (https://www.npr.org/2019/11/04/776174139/trump-administration-proposes-relaxing-rules-on-waste-from-coal-plants)

Quote
Under a rule finalized in 2015, all unlined coal ash ponds were to begin closing in 2018. The Trump administration's rewrite would allow some of these plants up to five more years before they begin shutting down these facilities.

Last year, a report from the Environmental Integrity Project found coal ash pollution was leaking into groundwater at over 200 power plants nationwide. It found over 90% of sites that store coal ash are leaking levels of contamination exceeding EPA health standards.

Here's another Trump admin regulation rollback. As long as your cool with extra carcinogens in your water I don't see a down side.  ::)
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: TheDrake on November 05, 2019, 12:15:11 PM
You stupid snowflake. Cancer isn't so bad if we want economic freedom.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: yossarian22c on November 05, 2019, 12:36:28 PM
Quote
Davis has been wary of his tap water since he was 15. That's when, in 2000, a massive coal slurry impoundment broke in Martin County, sending 306 million gallons of toxic sludge oozing into the county's water source, leaching into groundwater and seeping into residents' wells.

"It was horrible," Davis says, pointing at a creek near his home where all the fish turned up dead amid the spill. The slurry has been cleaned up. But most people in Martin County remain deeply distrustful not only of the water that comes out of the pipes but of the authorities who are tasked with providing it.

A 2018 rate increase made Martin County's near-undrinkable water the eighth most expensive in the state, according to a recent affordability analysis.

https://www.npr.org/2019/10/31/772677717/first-these-kentuckians-couldnt-drink-the-water-now-they-can-t-afford-it (https://www.npr.org/2019/10/31/772677717/first-these-kentuckians-couldnt-drink-the-water-now-they-can-t-afford-it)

Private profit, public cost. These are the types of regulations Trump is rolling back. Its fine for a year or two or ten but that small savings in environmental regulations (extra profit for a big corporation) doesn't mean much if its your water supply that is contaminated for 18+ years.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Seriati on November 05, 2019, 01:16:48 PM
https://www.npr.org/2019/11/04/776174139/trump-administration-proposes-relaxing-rules-on-waste-from-coal-plants (https://www.npr.org/2019/11/04/776174139/trump-administration-proposes-relaxing-rules-on-waste-from-coal-plants)

Quote
Under a rule finalized in 2015, all unlined coal ash ponds were to begin closing in 2018. The Trump administration's rewrite would allow some of these plants up to five more years before they begin shutting down these facilities.

Last year, a report from the Environmental Integrity Project found coal ash pollution was leaking into groundwater at over 200 power plants nationwide. It found over 90% of sites that store coal ash are leaking levels of contamination exceeding EPA health standards.

Here's another Trump admin regulation rollback. As long as your cool with extra carcinogens in your water I don't see a down side.  ::)

So that's a pretty nonsensical interpretation of what is occurring.  Did you look at the actual proposed rule?

https://www.epa.gov/coalash/pre-publication-version-proposal-holistic-approach-closure-part-deadline-initiate-closure (https://www.epa.gov/coalash/pre-publication-version-proposal-holistic-approach-closure-part-deadline-initiate-closure)

Or event the fact sheet?

Quote
https://www.epa.gov/coalash/factsheet-proposed-revisions-coal-combustion-residuals-rule

Or even any of the court cases that suspended the 2015 rule and changed what is covered?

Of course you didn't, you just grabbed a top line "summary" written to make it appear that the Trump admin is evil.  If you had, you may have noticed that a 2018 court case directed the EPA to reevaluate the situation because it found that Obama's 2015 rule was "arbitrary and capircious" because it exempted certain waste piles from the closure requirement in the regulation (specifically, those that were unlined and not leaking, or clay lined regardless of whether they leaked).

This rule actually implements that expanded scope and requires those wast piles to close.  A bit hard for them to have been closed in the past, where they weren't even required to close by the Obama rule.

And what about the "five" year extensions.  Did you look at the actual context?  Of course not, nor the did the author.  Most of the time extensions in the rule are tied directly into how long it takes to develop the alternative waste disposal - and that is laid out in great detail.   The other category of extensions relates to coal plants that are going offline, which means the costs of retrofitting are hard to justify.

It's just a demonstration to me that it's easy to throw up a sound bite that looks bad, but it's just a big ole deception when you get down to it.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Seriati on November 05, 2019, 01:40:41 PM
Quote
Davis has been wary of his tap water since he was 15. That's when, in 2000, a massive coal slurry impoundment broke in Martin County, sending 306 million gallons of toxic sludge oozing into the county's water source, leaching into groundwater and seeping into residents' wells.

"It was horrible," Davis says, pointing at a creek near his home where all the fish turned up dead amid the spill. The slurry has been cleaned up. But most people in Martin County remain deeply distrustful not only of the water that comes out of the pipes but of the authorities who are tasked with providing it.

A 2018 rate increase made Martin County's near-undrinkable water the eighth most expensive in the state, according to a recent affordability analysis.

https://www.npr.org/2019/10/31/772677717/first-these-kentuckians-couldnt-drink-the-water-now-they-can-t-afford-it (https://www.npr.org/2019/10/31/772677717/first-these-kentuckians-couldnt-drink-the-water-now-they-can-t-afford-it)

Private profit, public cost. These are the types of regulations Trump is rolling back. Its fine for a year or two or ten but that small savings in environmental regulations (extra profit for a big corporation) doesn't mean much if its your water supply that is contaminated for 18+ years.

What regulation would that be?  You have a community that became poor after the coal mines closed, living in an area with an ancient infrastructure.  There's not a regulation that magically would have updated an infrastructure that's been underfunded through multiple Presidencies - or did you see a large grant from Obama's administration to address this that I missed?

How do you fix poor?  Are you suggesting to bring back the mining jobs that paid well and polluted the environment?

Is there some magic regulation that keeps prices low when infrastructure is paid for?  (I note, their water costs are not the highest even in the state of KY, and that's after they went up 41% - seems like the water costs should have been higher for a while to pay for infrastructure).

Who controlled the KY State Government during the coal boom years?  During the years where the pipes degraded?  Bet you're "shocked," it was the Democrats.  So why are we hearing about this now?  Republicans took over House, Senate and Governor in 2017 (so it's become politically convenient to raise an issue decades in the making).  Here's a link to the party control since 1992, where you can see Dems controlled all or 2 out of 3 parts of the state government for the majority of time.  https://ballotpedia.org/Party_control_of_Kentucky_state_government (https://ballotpedia.org/Party_control_of_Kentucky_state_government)  And this one goes back even further, from WWI through to 1992 there's very little red in that link.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_party_strength_in_Kentucky (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_party_strength_in_Kentucky)

So how is a state that was largely controlled by the Dems as it was exploited for Coal and the water system degraded in Martin county, somehow related to Trump deregulation?
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: TheDrake on November 05, 2019, 01:54:22 PM
Of course they are going to cite the "technical challenges" - aka we want to develop cheaper methods than the ones we could be using.

You are quite correct that there are some provisions that are more strict. Including a deadline two months earlier for unsafe facilities to cease receiving new waste. The general problem is that the unlined leaking ones are also getting their deadlines extended in the process, are they not? From the EPA:

Quote
The provisions of the proposed rule decrease costs by extending certain existing compliance deadlines.

Whereas they could have kept the same schedule for the facilities originally covered, and extended the schedule for any additional ones.

It is true that there are potential nuances, like forcing too much cost on debt-laden companies can cause them to go bankrupt and potentially leave facilities untended, unmonitored, and unclosed.

Of course the sites would probably be well on their way to closed if the companies had just got started instead of waiting on their various court challenges.

And then there is this:

Quote
The EPA also announced changes to a 2015 rule overseeing the discharge of coal plant wastewater. That proposal would relax some limits on the amount of pollutants allowed in wastewater, and let more of it be discharged.

I don't have the energy to go find the original EPA document behind this, but I really don't doubt its veracity. I'm sure that one also talked about decreasing the costs.

It should be noted that Germany and the Netherlands require all their coal ash to be almost 100% recycled, no storage of any kind is allowed.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Seriati on November 05, 2019, 02:33:24 PM
If you had looked, you could see that Trump's EPA already passed regulations to encourage recycling of Coal Ash (part of why they want to allow time to go to the dry handling process that takes a bit longer).

They also pointed out that based on new data the compliance burden on the regulation is much large than anticipated.  That's for a lot of reasons, including that some of the plants that were supposed to close on schedule were doing so by diverting their waste to clay lined facilities.  Those are the same facilities that the court decision declared had to close as well.  Effectively, the "solution" that the Obama regulation proposed was closed, how can that not adjust the time line?  (Oh, and just for reference, they actually did limit the timelines for compliance in a bunch of circumstances based on the date of the Court decision, not pushing them forward from today, which makes the idea that they didn't deceptive).

In any event, my point was that this was a far more nuanced position - virtually none of which is actually unreasonable - yet we got it cited to as a "Trump bad" sound bite.  If you're going to be outraged, take the time to find out if your outrage is reasonable.  A very basic one, if you're criticising a regulation take a look at the regulation and it's reasoning and not just the media write up.  Just for reference, ALL regulations have to have their background, reasoning and economic impact laid out, there's really no excuse for "journalists" not knowing what's in there when they print misleading information about it.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: TheDrake on November 05, 2019, 02:51:31 PM
I'm going to go right out on a limb and say that any change in environmental regulation that relaxes any aspect, I'm going to be against as a starting point. I appreciate you pointing out the nuances, they are useful and important. If the coal industry as a whole celebrates a regulatory change, I'm always going to be naturally suspicious, though I may not always take the time to get an entire picture.

Part of this is, how is the administration itself describing their own initiative? Did they describe this as "toughening up regulations on coal"?

Quote
"Today's proposed actions were triggered by court rulings and petitions for reconsideration on two 2015 rules that placed heavy burdens on electricity producers across the country," EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a statement.

Obama era coal rules had required leaking coal ash ponds to close by April 2019, but the Trump administration adjusted that until October 2020. The new proposed rule would move that deadline up to August, but environmental groups say the rules also allow for alternatives and additional time. 

EPA proposed both rules simultaneously "in order to provide more certainty," Wheeler said. The proposals reflect the Trump administration's "commitment to responsible, reasonable regulations by taking a commonsense approach, which also protects public health and the environment," he added.

Isn't that interesting? It sure sounds like he's talking about a reduced burden, not an increased one as you have postulated. And relaxing regulation "which also protects protects". Which sure sounds like less protection.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Seriati on November 05, 2019, 03:13:47 PM
The courts ordered that the rule be amended.  Flat out that is an increase in the covered clean up.

The "reduced" burden is to move the compliance back one year (in some cases) to account for that increased coverage, and for those currently closing waste disposals that were being re-routed to ones that are now also required to close.

Nothing about these rules relaxes the requirements on closing the non-compliant toxic waste piles, other than to delay them in certain circumstances to allow reasonable alternatives to be put in place.  If you don't want the delay, then the alternative would be immediate shut down of a significant part of the power grid, or putting the costs of alternative disposal fully on consumers (which would involve - more than likely, moving toxic waste around the country by truck or train - that's a process that risks spreading it everywhere).

So again, the "evil" Trump admin is still putting in place closings of toxic waste piles, at greater rates than Obama's regulation required, and encouraging more recyclying, but "evilly" allowing plants a reasonable amount of time to implement the changes.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: yossarian22c on March 31, 2020, 01:27:06 PM
https://www.npr.org/2020/03/31/824431240/trump-administration-weakens-auto-emissions-rolling-back-key-climate-policy (https://www.npr.org/2020/03/31/824431240/trump-administration-weakens-auto-emissions-rolling-back-key-climate-policy)

Quote
The Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule will toughen carbon dioxide emissions standards by 1.5% a year through model year 2026, compared to about 5% a year under the Obama policy.

The Trump administration originally proposed freezing the standards altogether without any increase. It modified the rule after push back from not only environmental groups but also some automakers, who worried they will be out of step in a global marketplace increasingly geared toward lower emission cars and trucks.

Just posting another regulatory change here.

The Trump admin is doing these things. Again I view most of these as short term gain for long term losses. The US automakers are becoming increasingly dependent on trucks and SUV's again. When the Saudi/Russia oil price war ends, after a number of american producers have been driven out of business (covid 19 shut downs are just exacerbating their pain), there will be another big oil price shock within the next 5 years and the Detroit automakers are going to be in the same place they were in 2008/2009 looking at bankruptcy without government assistance.

While the regulations wasn't targeted aimed at making the US automakers sustainable in an oil price shock it would have that effect while limiting the cost impact to consumers because they had more efficient cars. All of that is the side effect of the primary target of reducing emissions, to reduce climate change, and other pollutants that contribute to asthma and other lung disease.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: yossarian22c on May 28, 2020, 11:00:29 AM
Quote
Recently finalized rules include scaling back regulations for fuel efficiency in cars and trucks, air pollution coming from power plants and water pollution in streams and wetlands. The administration is also pushing ahead with a string of more localized policies, such as expanded logging and oil drilling in Alaska.

More regulatory changes. Glad we'll be boosting corporate profits in exchange for more polluted air, water and destroying some of the last temperate rain forests in the world.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: wmLambert on May 28, 2020, 12:09:41 PM
...More regulatory changes. Glad we'll be boosting corporate profits in exchange for more polluted air, water and destroying some of the last temperate rain forests in the world.

What are you talking about? The USA has the best record on environmental safety of anywhere on the planet. Regulations didn't do it - the free market did. Most EPA regulations are not about making things better,  but for punishing those the EPA resents, or the bureaucrats can't control. Unless cow farts are in your cross-hairs, why act so outraged over common sense returning?

BTW: puddles and drainage ditch overflows are not rain forests.

Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: DonaldD on May 28, 2020, 12:12:28 PM
I'm pretty sure you sincerely believe all of that.  Sad.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: wmLambert on May 28, 2020, 12:17:43 PM
I'm pretty sure you sincerely believe all of that.  Sad.
As Seriati posted:
Quote
...nothing about these rules relaxes the requirements on closing the non-compliant toxic waste piles, other than to delay them in certain circumstances to allow reasonable alternatives to be put in place.  If you don't want the delay, then the alternative would be immediate shut down of a significant part of the power grid, or putting the costs of alternative disposal fully on consumers (which would involve - more than likely, moving toxic waste around the country by truck or train - that's a process that risks spreading it everywhere).

So again, the "evil" Trump admin is still putting in place closings of toxic waste piles, at greater rates than Obama's regulation required, and encouraging more recyclying, but "evilly" allowing plants a reasonable amount of time to implement the changes.

Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: NobleHunter on May 28, 2020, 12:30:59 PM
You do see the contradiction in your last two posts, right?
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: wmLambert on May 28, 2020, 12:47:05 PM
You do see the contradiction in your last two posts, right?

You do realize that relaxing the Obama dictatorial fiats is not hurting the environment? I, personally recognize that Nature routinely culls unsuccessful species that have been replaced by more viable ones at a rate of tens of thousand per year, yet we get iron-clad rules to protect snail darters and spotted owls when not required. Yes, most EPA regulations deserve to be re-evaluated. Let the Free Market work.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: NobleHunter on May 28, 2020, 12:50:52 PM
That would be a no. Do you think companies are closing the sites because of the Free Market?
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: wmLambert on May 28, 2020, 12:55:44 PM
That would be a no. Do you think companies are closing the sites because of the Free Market?

What in "...in certain circumstances to allow reasonable alternatives to be put in place" do you not understand?

Will await more bloviating and insult.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: NobleHunter on May 28, 2020, 12:58:07 PM
And why are they putting reasonable alternatives in place? Because people won't buy their products? Or otherwise refuse to engage in commerce with them?

Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: wmLambert on May 28, 2020, 01:13:08 PM
The economy works in good and bad ways. In Midland, Michigan, two dams broke and caused huge flooding. The problem was that the dams were privately owned. and the expected fixes and repairs to them coat upwards of $100 million, and the owner of one dam had an agreement to be bought out in the near future for $9 million where the new owner would have the wherewithal to do the repairs. Of course, Governor Whitmer has announced "investigations." If the investigations show the warnings of possible failure was time-specific, then the owners will be found criminally negligent. The workings of the economy is sometimes easily workable - and sometimes not. In this instance, the economic ability of the owner to do the necessary upkeep wasn't there. but he was working to get it done. Mother Nature stepped in too son for him.

Infrastructure everywhere is a major problem. Obama had many "shovel ready" projects that he took money for which never were begun. The same is still operable. Trump had requested infrastructure funding in his budget that Pelosi refused.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Fenring on May 28, 2020, 01:23:42 PM
It amazes me that the "free market" can be seen as anything other than "people will do anything they please unless forced to stop." Forcing can occur due to consumer pressure like stopping buying Nestle products. But more often than not it can only be done on behalf of the people, since they rarely have the wherewithal to keep daily boycott lists and also are unaware of most serious issues unless they become national sensations. Industrialists would dump nuclear waste in local lakes if they thought no one would say anything about it. That anyone should doubt this to be so is just ignorance of history and reality.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: wmLambert on May 28, 2020, 06:56:57 PM
It amazes me that the "free market" can be seen as anything other than "people will do anything they please unless forced to stop." Forcing can occur due to consumer pressure like stopping buying Nestle products. But more often than not it can only be done on behalf of the people, since they rarely have the wherewithal to keep daily boycott lists and also are unaware of most serious issues unless they become national sensations. Industrialists would dump nuclear waste in local lakes if they thought no one would say anything about it. That anyone should doubt this to be so is just ignorance of history and reality.

Free Market as opposed to big government running everything.

The history of our country is clear: It was the government that charged outrageous prices and tried to pawn off shoddy merchandise, while the private businesses that supplanted them did the job right, charged lower prices, and did it without government subsidies that kept the monopolies afloat.
Quote from: Folsom
The school books give the impression that robber barons stepped in to exploit whatever they could, and were a negative point in history. The lesson the books should be teaching is that in the world of commerce, the profit motive, the structure of incentives. and the stifling tendencies of bureaucrats are such that those businesses run by entrepreneurs will consistently outperform those run by the government. Instead, the authors had a bias for a strong central government. When the authors were called on these reports, they agreed that they were not reporting fact, but incorrect, unsubstantiated ideology.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: TheDrake on May 28, 2020, 07:16:59 PM
If only businesses would operate under Ayn Rand Objectivist principles, then the free market would be awesome. Unfortunately, some can be petty, fraudulent, predatory, conspiratorial, discriminatory, dangerous, and even violent. When left unchecked, we can drag out thousands of examples of bad behaviour. It is unacceptable to say "well you can sue them afterward" because often there is no money left to pay a judgement by that point, employees have been maimed, and lives have been lost in the interim.

Or maybe you think that apartment buildings would be just as safe if we had no building codes and no inspections. Cause, you know, the free market cures all. Or perhaps you would just blame the person who bought the house because its their personal responsibility to know structural engineering, electrical engineering, materials science, and plumbing.
Title: Re: The impossible economy
Post by: Kasandra on May 28, 2020, 07:50:22 PM
Quote
Free Market as opposed to big government running everything.

Why are you pretending to ignore all of Trump's intrusions into the "Free Market"?