Author Topic: California economic growth continues to refute right wing predictions  (Read 23447 times)

TheDeamon

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In the case of gentrification you often see massive policy driven manipulations in play.  You'll have rent control taking units out of the market, which drives prices for other units up and lowers quality in the rent control potions.  In a lot of CA cities you have serious zoning restrictions on free development of high density low cost housing, which artificially suppresses the desire to invest in supplying those markets.  You'll have decisions to take buildings "condo" that could have been rented.  Many of those cities have deliberately enacted policies to prevent there being adequate low cost housing, and they've all made efforts to ensure it's not sitting next to and in the same schools as the high cost residents they want to attract.

Cupertino, CA is a poster child for some of this. Are you a business who wants to build something that will significantly increase the return on property tax receipts? Let us roll out the red carpet for you, doubly so if "the typical employee" will be making six figures.

But if you want to build more housing, even for those new jobs that pay six figures? /crickets

Meanwhile, Cupertino residents can feel free to complain about how (commuter) mass transit isn't good enough, and that the highways are way too overcrowded, and the state/federal government needs to spend more money on both.

Wayward Son

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It's a fair criticism for CA specifically because of their claims about the social benefits of their policies.  If you stand on a soapbox and claim others don't care about poor people, but you do, then evidence your policies are hurting the poor is especially damning.

That is a fair criticism.  Can you cite instances of people claiming that others don't care about poor people but CA does?  I don't recall hearing this.

Wayward Son

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Supply could be decreasing, or just not increasing as fast as demand.

Decreasing demand certainly would explain higher housing costs without desirability.  And rent control does exasperate the problem (which is why it is not widespread in CA).  But "not increasing fast enough" does imply that more people want to move into the area than the area can handle at that time, aka desirability.

One of the problems CA is dealing with is builders focusing on building high-end houses rather than affordable houses.  They can get away with this because people want to move here, and many of them can afford expensive housing.  This has nothing to do with governmental policies, but rather the better profits that can be made from luxury housing and the fact that there is a demand for it.

Supply and demand would not have allowed the housing prices to go so high as they have unless people were willing to sacrifice to live here.  It is a sign of success.

Fenring

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Now I'm not actually arguing that California's policies haven't been success; as I said I don't know. But it's a strawman in its own right to argue that increasing rent price that drives out the poor is a result of any kind of success locally. And much the same could be said of oil wealth in Texas, where access to a natural resource can hardly be said to qualify as good governance in and of itself.

That very well may be true, Fenring.  Although basic economics indicates that increasing rents are indicative of higher desirability, that does not mean it is because of local policies.

But, if it is true, then the corollary is also true: that the increasing price of rents does not indicate the failure of policies, either.  So people being driven away by high rents doesn't mean the local policies are bad.

That doesn't follow either (funny enough). While increasing rent prices - especially those out of proportion - cannot necessarily be linked to good policies, it may well be the case that it is the result of bad policies. It all depends on what sorts of incentives the city has in place to encourage foreign investment in real estate, especially in areas with lots of new condo construction where they are super-eager to pre-sell units. The city obviously benefits from increased tax revenue, while on the other hand certain parties (like Asian investors) notoriously will buy up entire groups of condos at a time, to try to later turn them over for a profit. All this does is increase rents through introduction of a middleman, the very definition of inefficiency. And as a matter of fact New Yorkers were (and perhaps still are, as I don't live there anymore) up in arms about the rent situation, as evidenced from the semi-farcical The Rent Is Too Damn High Party with its ingenious spokesman. If you haven't ever seen him, Youtube it right away! But anyhow, the notion of artificial inflation of rent prices is very well in the public awareness there, and it surely might be a result of bad policies that rent prices go crazy.

TheDeamon

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Vancouver, BC was another area that was on the receiving end of a massive Chinese Real Estate buy-in, it made their real-estate market go crazy enough that they enacted laws to make it more difficult for it to continue.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming among others, could be used as another example. Where "power elites" have decided that Jackson Hole makes for a nice Winter AND Summer vacation spot, they've driven real-estate prices through the roof in the area, and then some. There is no real industry to speak of in the area. Cattle used to be a big thing there, but most of them have been bought out for either real estate developments, or government/private nature reserves.

Just about the entire economy in Jackson Hole now revolves around the Hospitality/Tourism market. Which doesn't pay very well for the rank-and-file employee, or government employee for that matter. When they're having a hard time finding anything close to "affordable housing" for a citizen of the middle class within 30 miles of Jackson Hole, there is a problem. It isn't even really the result of anything the government of Jackson Hole, Wyoming did, they're completely at the mercy of "the external market" and those multi-millionaires who decided to treat their town as a mecca.

TheDrake

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At the mercy of? Did I miss a memo where the people working in Jackson can't f off to any of 900 other municipalities?

Seriati

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Supply could be decreasing, or just not increasing as fast as demand.

Decreasing demand certainly would explain higher housing costs without desirability.  And rent control does exasperate the problem (which is why it is not widespread in CA).  But "not increasing fast enough" does imply that more people want to move into the area than the area can handle at that time, aka desirability.

One of the problems CA is dealing with is builders focusing on building high-end houses rather than affordable houses.  They can get away with this because people want to move here, and many of them can afford expensive housing.  This has nothing to do with governmental policies, but rather the better profits that can be made from luxury housing and the fact that there is a demand for it.

You say something that I wholehearted agree with, that this is because there is a focus on building high end housing, but then you go on to refuse to connect the dots and claim that it has "nothing to do with governmental policies."

It has everything to do with governmental policies.  Every single time the government gives tax breaks and tax incentives to a major company or industry (and CA unequivocally does this at state and local levels), it's specifically designed to pull in people who are demanding "high end housing."  When they go out of their way to use zoning restrictions to prohibit building low income high occupancy developments, or worse to channel them into slums and out of "nice neighborhoods," it's a governmental policy. 

It's not a mistake that CA is importing wealthy high tax payers and exporting the working poor who can't afford to live there in any more.  It's a choice.  And their making it to maximize tax revenue (as the poor don't pay the taxes but the incomers do). 

There are always developers trying to build high occupancy projects.  Go to any town planning and zoning office and look for the projects that have been tied up for years and you'll overwhelmingly find them to be high occupancy buildings.

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Supply and demand would not have allowed the housing prices to go so high as they have unless people were willing to sacrifice to live here.  It is a sign of success.

Well again sort of.  The income in the town per capita has gone up, but the people who used to live there have been forced out.   It's classic case (albeit through economics) of forcing undesirables out of a location so that it can be better for those who remain.  Doesn't solve the problems of the poor, just shuffles them out of your neighborhood.

That's why you're seeing homelessness increase, the poor (and the previously lower middle class) are being forced out, but they have no where to go.

To me it's a grossly cynical play, and the best I can say for it, is that I don't believe most of the people understand the consequences of their policies.  It's literally why we have the expression the Road to H is paved with good intentions.

TheDrake

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Housing is one of those tricky things, and it is so tightly controlled that it can't really be called a free market because it is so regulated.

In third-world areas with no zoning laws, building codes, homeowners associations, you start to see something approximating a free market. This isn't necessarily desirable.

There are externalities involved, including traffic and utilities. Because the value of your property can affect your neighbor's property value, you can't raze your house and turn it into a mini trailer park, even though that would house more people more affordably and make you more money as a property owner.

Modern urban planning more closely resembles a communist centrally planned economy than a free market.

Heck, you can live in a condo building and be prohibited from renting a unit you own!

Every city or town or county I've ever heard of has one primary goal - to raise tax revenue. And since property tax is the only significant mechanism for this, it means they want to maximize the cost per square foot of land. After all, they can't acquire more land. Affluent communities result in better schools, which lures more affluent people.

I don't think this is a particularly large driver for the traditional homeless, with nowhere to go. It does lead to a lot of off-books housing economies - couch surfing, de-facto roommates who are not officially on lease, living in a commercial building, living as extended families, living in a garage or shed, etc.

The type of homeless you encounter in the street are largely driven by mental illness, drug abuse, and other health issues.

Wayward Son

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That very well may be true, Fenring.  Although basic economics indicates that increasing rents are indicative of higher desirability, that does not mean it is because of local policies.

But, if it is true, then the corollary is also true: that the increasing price of rents does not indicate the failure of policies, either.  So people being driven away by high rents doesn't mean the local policies are bad.

That doesn't follow either (funny enough). While increasing rent prices - especially those out of proportion - cannot necessarily be linked to good policies, it may well be the case that it is the result of bad policies.

Perhaps I should have said "does not necessarily indicate failure of policies, either,"  because you seem to be saying exactly what I am saying.

Increasing rents do not prove that local policies are either good or bad.  Policies can influence rent prices, but outside forces influence them, too.  So without context, housing prices neither prove nor disprove the wisdom of any particular policy.  (And even with context, the amount of weight given to local policy vs outside forces can change the conclusion.)

One thing that is certain, though, is that without demand, housing prices cannot rise, regardless of local policies.  And California apparently does have that demand, which means they must be doing something right (albeit that "something" may not be to the benefit of the average person).

Wayward Son

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It has everything to do with governmental policies.  Every single time the government gives tax breaks and tax incentives to a major company or industry (and CA unequivocally does this at state and local levels), it's specifically designed to pull in people who are demanding "high end housing."  When they go out of their way to use zoning restrictions to prohibit building low income high occupancy developments, or worse to channel them into slums and out of "nice neighborhoods," it's a governmental policy.

While I agree with your analysis, Seriati, doesn't every state do this?

I mean, don't most states, if not all, give tax breaks and incentives to lure major companies?  Or was the recent bidding-war for Amazon's second HQ an anomaly?

And which states do not have local zoning codes?  Which states do not have NIMBYism and cities/towns that move their low income/high occupancy developments outside of "nice neighborhoods?"

AFAIK, California does not have a state-wide zoning code that enforces NIMBYism, but we do have a state-wide housing crisis in all the major metropolitan areas.  (You can still get a low-priced house way-out in the boondocks. :) )   Are our local policies so much worse than everyone else's?  How so?

While government policy certainly can increase the price of housing, I don't see how California's differs so significantly as to cause the extremely high housing costs we see.

TheDeamon

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At the mercy of? Did I miss a memo where the people working in Jackson can't f off to any of 900 other municipalities?

Context is a thing.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming among others, could be used as another example. . . . There is no real industry to speak of in the area. Cattle used to be a big thing there, but most of them have been bought out for either real estate developments, or government/private nature reserves.

Just about the entire economy in Jackson Hole now revolves around the Hospitality/Tourism market. . . . It isn't even really the result of anything the government of Jackson Hole, Wyoming did, they're completely at the mercy of "the external market" and those multi-millionaires who decided to treat their town as a mecca.

I said nothing of the residents. Obviously they can move elsewhere if they decide to. However, the community of Jackson Hole would be comprised of the people who live in Jackson Hole. Yes, the community is comprised of its residents, but that can change over time.

The problem Jackson Hole has is:
1) Their economy is entirely dependent on the hospitality industry.
2) Most of their current residents are reliant on national/international markets to maintain their incomes/lifestyles.
3) Going back to reliance on "the hospitality industry" for their local economy. If the tourist sector(as opposed to their semi-Residents who own property in the area) sees "a significant decline" due to say, a sharp downturn in the financial markets(see #2 as well). Then they're on a collision course with a very major disaster for the local economy.

Sure, they'll probably recover "in time" due to the unique location that Jackson Hole finds itself in, but it's still likely going to get "pretty bloody"(proverbially speaking) all the same.

Wayward Son

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California's badly-run government does it again.

During the midst of a pandemic that has shut down most of the nation, California expects $75.7 billion surplus this year.

Fortunately, most states aren't like liberal California.

BTW, how's your state's budget looking this year? :)

edgmatt

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Maybe, maybe not.

"We have over one trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities for CalSTRS, CalPRS and the health care system.  Add to that hundreds of billions bonds and other liabilities—with just $21 billion to cover that"

"California is hampered by distinct challenges, most pressing being the shocking income inequality that has developed in recent years. Despite the spectacular income growth California has experienced, homelessness and poverty have also grown rapidly. Indeed, California has the nation’s worst poverty rate, with nearly 40 percent of its residents rated as either poor or “near-poor” by the Census Bureau and the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC). As such, the state ended up being ranked a lowly 47th in terms of median annual household income in a study conducted last July by personal financial-services website WalletHub"

So it seems while the government of California is pulling in lots of money (hence the surplus), that doesn't translate to good things for the people of the State.

TheDrake

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Maybe, maybe not.

"We have over one trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities for CalSTRS, CalPRS and the health care system.  Add to that hundreds of billions bonds and other liabilities—with just $21 billion to cover that"

"California is hampered by distinct challenges, most pressing being the shocking income inequality that has developed in recent years. Despite the spectacular income growth California has experienced, homelessness and poverty have also grown rapidly. Indeed, California has the nation’s worst poverty rate, with nearly 40 percent of its residents rated as either poor or “near-poor” by the Census Bureau and the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC). As such, the state ended up being ranked a lowly 47th in terms of median annual household income in a study conducted last July by personal financial-services website WalletHub"

So it seems while the government of California is pulling in lots of money (hence the surplus), that doesn't translate to good things for the people of the State.

Already lacks credibility. From PPIC:

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All told, more than a third (35.2%) of state residents were poor or near poor in 2018.

So your rando blog source has already badly muffed it, rounding up from 35% to calling it "near 40". Also 47th in median income is it?

Nope, from ACS data, california was #7.

simple wiki

What wallethub does say, is California is #23 for best state to live in with Texas #36. This breaks down in affordability, economy, and Education & Health.

California is 49 in affordability, no surprise, but #10 in economy and #22 in health.
Texas isn't so much better at 36 in affordability (and getting less affordable all the time), #15 in economy, and a lowly #41 in Health & Education. You know, services that taxes pay for.

#1 on their list is liberal Massachusetts with affordability predictibly low but economy and education #2.

Best States, RAH RAH RAH!

edgmatt

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Well those stats are much better than simply pointing to surplus and calling it "good".  One factor of hundreds being (seemingly) positive doesn't mean much in the overall picture.

Let's take it easy with the insults too.  It wasn't a "rando blog source".  The guy writes for California quite a lot and speaks in Cali quite a lot.  There's credibility there.

If one of the dude's stats are wrong, point it out, but don't be a dick about it.

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All told, more than a third (35.2%) of state residents were poor or near poor in 2018.

Right, 35% in 2018.  I can't find what it was in 2020 ( I didn't go all out looking for it, but I didn't see it anywhere) but 2020 is when the guy wrote that article, and it's possible it went up 2-3%, making his "nearly 40% claim more reasonable.  I wouldn't say he muffed it, or that his article lacks credibility considering that.

More stats from 2020 have Cali doing well in some places and not so-well in others.

Another link has mixed indications as well.

Some major Liberal issues, like Affordable housing and Income inequality ratio, show California to be well behind the curve.

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California is 49 in affordability, no surprise, but #10 in economy and #22 in health.
Texas isn't so much better at 36 in affordability (and getting less affordable all the time), #15 in economy, and a lowly #41 in Health & Education. You know, services that taxes pay for.

Right, when Cali is 49 on an issue, it's no surprise, shrug it off, no biggie.  But when Texas is 13 States better, that's "nearly the same".  (You scoffed when the guy in the article claimed 35% was "nearly 40%" and said he muffed it....but 36 out of 50 is "nearly the same" as 49 out of 50....right?)  Then 41, which is still better than 49, in Health and Education is "lowly".  C'mon man, you're working too hard to convince yourself.

We can go back and forth all day and point to factors for reasons why one state is "doing better" than any other.  Cali has some of the richest people, and richest counties, in the country, and also the most populous.  *Of course* the state will bring in higher revenue.  That has little to do with liberal or conservative policies, that's just math.

So then you can point to education, then I'll point to poverty levels, then you'll point to Gender Wage gap, then I'll point to unemployment....

Seems preemptive and a bit silly to be cheering.

TheDrake

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Let's take it easy with the insults too.  It wasn't a "rando blog source".  The guy writes for California quite a lot and speaks in Cali quite a lot.  There's credibility there.

If one of the dude's stats are wrong, point it out, but don't be a dick about it.

In fairness, I would call any blog a secondary source and therefore random. Has he done independent research? Is he the actual organization doing the study? I prefer primary sources, because you wind up with this game of telephone where people cherry pick and modify stats to support their predetermined conclusions.

I'm not cheering for any state, just trying to point out the nuances in the general discussion. I think it is just as silly to rank states as the US News and World Report "best colleges" ranking. Each person will choose a state based on their own set of criteria as you point out. So it's kind of silly to either bash a state or to cheerlead for one.

Seriati

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California's badly-run government does it again.

During the midst of a pandemic that has shut down most of the nation, California expects $75.7 billion surplus this year.

How much did CA cut their expenditures by to meet that amazing target?  Oh yeah they didn't.  They spent more than ever, in fact, increased their expenditures by a much faster rate than the economy is growing. 

So where did they get that staggering budget surplus?  Gains in the stock market, thank you President Trump (from California) and federal revenue (still larger than CA's entire "surplus"). 

What exactly do you think the Government of CA did to create this surplus?  The only thing I'm aware of that even contributed to it that they consciously did was panic and lower the rate by which the increased their discretionary spending slightly (they still increased it), if they hadn't slowed the rate then the surplus would have been less than half, even with a massive bump in federal revenue and a windfall from the Trump stock markets that isn't likely to happen again under the Biden administration.

Fenring

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May I say that this thread (which is a continuation of the thread from the old forum, I think) as well as the one on Obamacare, prove to me that smart people can make data sound like anything. I know absolutely zero about how California governs itself, so what I read here is literally news to me. Hearing the back and forth over the years about it leaves me scratching my head. Essentially I'm no closer to having a clue whether either side is right. Good job, I guess!

LetterRip

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California pays far more in federal taxes than it receives back, so it is bizarre to claim it is due to the federal government - eliminating federal taxes and benefits would result in California being even wealthier and Republican ran states being even poorer.

TheDrake

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California's badly-run government does it again.

During the midst of a pandemic that has shut down most of the nation, California expects $75.7 billion surplus this year.

How much did CA cut their expenditures by to meet that amazing target?  Oh yeah they didn't.  They spent more than ever, in fact, increased their expenditures by a much faster rate than the economy is growing. 

So where did they get that staggering budget surplus?  Gains in the stock market, thank you President Trump (from California) and federal revenue (still larger than CA's entire "surplus"). 

What exactly do you think the Government of CA did to create this surplus?  The only thing I'm aware of that even contributed to it that they consciously did was panic and lower the rate by which the increased their discretionary spending slightly (they still increased it), if they hadn't slowed the rate then the surplus would have been less than half, even with a massive bump in federal revenue and a windfall from the Trump stock markets that isn't likely to happen again under the Biden administration.

Oh, I see. Trump did it. So please explain all the other states still eating a bag of deficit while lifting less than a pinky for the unfortunate people in their sh**ty flyover state.

TheDrake

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To make my position more clear, it is always beyond stupid for ANY president to take credit for a good economy or to get ripped for a bad one. It is way way beyond their control by design. Clinton didn't balance the budget because of his awesome policies, he lucked into a growth period. Reagan's trickle down didn't do anything, he lucked into recovery after massive inflation. It might be fair to blame Harrison. It's not credible to laud FDR. The economy does what it does. And if Trump didn't splash lots of cash to Richy Rich, guess what. We'd still have similar results. Anything else is faith based political economics.

Fenring

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To make my position more clear, it is always beyond stupid for ANY president to take credit for a good economy or to get ripped for a bad one. It is way way beyond their control by design. Clinton didn't balance the budget because of his awesome policies, he lucked into a growth period. Reagan's trickle down didn't do anything, he lucked into recovery after massive inflation. It might be fair to blame Harrison. It's not credible to laud FDR. The economy does what it does. And if Trump didn't splash lots of cash to Richy Rich, guess what. We'd still have similar results. Anything else is faith based political economics.

Hm. I hear where you're coming from, and I know you've made this argument before, but I do think Presidents can have a strong effect on the economy. But as you mention, it's not due to "great leadership!" that miraculously turns the market around. But I do think that important appointments, the usual wheeling and dealing with bodies such as Fed boards and bank execs, as well as managing party whips and the related votes, can certainly effect whether economic policy is going to be stupid or not. Appoint an "industry insider" in the usual revolving door of bank execs as your treasury secretary, and don't be surprised when banks have at it and you're left complaining later. Give way and allow regulatory capture to happen through croneyism, and likewise the bad effects for the populace will be seen (indirectly, mind you). So insofar as the POTUS is a manager, I do think the good management is essential for the economic situation to not descend into stupidity. I might agree that a President can't make a solid economy magically better, but whatever state it's in can be made worse through bad management.

You mentioned Reagan, who is actually a good example of a President who was fighting Volker (I think) about monetary policy at the start of his presidency. The Fed board wanted to forestall a predicted bad recession (typical after unnatural booms that follow wartime economies), and Reagan came in with preconceived ideas about how the Fed is always trying to "zoom" the economy, and he was (I suppose) brought up to believe that this was a Bad Idea. So he insisted they put on the brakes hard, which would prove his superior knowledge. They did not want to comply, partially because they disagreed, and partially because the Fed is supposed be totally separated from the executive branch. But they did cave as far as I recall from my readings, and the result was the horrendous recession from the early 80's. Now it may not be fair to blame Reagan outright for it since it was potentially coming anyhow, but his battling with Volker let to back and forth about what to do with the rates. Finally when things were bad they manage to get him to try something else. So while Reagan may not have been in a position to miraculously douse the stock market with fairy dust and make it soar, he did seem to be in a position to cripple the Fed from acting as it saw best. I say this with a small grain of salt, because some years before this the Fed was itself quite guilty of going along with foolish theories that made no sense, so it's not like they were impeccable geniuses anyhow.

On the balance I do agree that at minimum if one was going to attribute economic success to Trump that I'd want to see how this was a direct result of management skills, both in appointments and in keeping intelligent discourse open with the Fed boards and banks about sound policy.

TheDrake

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Presidents on their own can only do some things. The "Trump" tax cuts, for good or ill, are more accurately described as the "McConnell" tax cuts. The activities you speak of, like managing party whips, aren't really Trump's bag. Some Presidents do that sort of thing like Lyndon Johnson.

I certainly concede that Presidents do have some impact on economy. I just think we're talking relatively minor effects compared to the macro events that truly matter. GDP growth was as follows, you show me some compelling correlation with President.

2019   2.16%   -0.77%
2018   2.93%   0.56%
2017   2.37%   0.73%
2016   1.64%   -1.27%
2015   2.91%   0.38%
2014   2.53%   0.68%
2013   1.84%   -0.41%
2012   2.25%   0.70%
2011   1.55%   -1.01%
2010   2.56%   5.10%

A President or political party does have potential massive impact on specific segments of the economy, like healthcare or pipeline construction. Or on the performance of equities by triggering stock buybacks with tax cuts.

WRT Reagan, this is what I found. The specific policy, however, has no bearing on your statement that Presidents can try to exert influence in a variety of ways.

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Volcker is best known for the "Volcker Shock," a rapid increase in interest rates in 1980 that helped tame the long-running inflation problem from the 1970s while also contributing to the
recession
 that began in 1981.

It appeared that Reagan did not want a similar tightening cycle, which would have choked off economic growth, prior to his reelection campaign. According to Volcker, Reagan did not say a word, but Baker delivered a strong message.

"The president is ordering you not to raise interest rates before the election," Baker told Volcker.

Volcker did not plan on raising rates at the time, but the then-Fed chair was "stunned" since the order was an affront to the Fed's political independence. Volcker also said he later realized that the meeting was conducted in the library since there was likely no recording equipment in the room like in the Oval Office.


Crunch

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What wallethub does say, is California is #23 for best state to live in with Texas #36.

What do people say?

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According to new data released today by the state Department of Finance, California’s population declined by 182,083 people in 2020.

That's the first population decline in over 100 years. The situation is CA is so bad that an entire large city's worth of people are literally uprooting their lives and their families and fleeing the state.

Where are they going?

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Texas was a popular state to move to in 2019. More than 559,000 people moved to Texas that year, according to U.S. Census data. More than 80,000 of them came from California.

So we can believe what some random site like Wallethub says ... OR we can believe what people are actually doing out in the real world. Out in the real world, Californians are fleeing and about 45% of those fleeing are choosing Texas. That's the reality.

What's 2021 like?

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The first to announce its exodus this year was Digital Realty Trust, a $36 billion company with over 1,500 employees. It announced last month it was relocating its global headquarters from San Francisco to Austin, Texas. The real estate investment trust will keep some of its presence in the Bay Area but is relocating the bulk of its operations to Texas. Its CEO, A. William Stein, said he’s doing so because of Texas’ “central location, affordable cost of living, highly educated workforce, and supportive business climate.”

Stitch Fix, a personal style service, began to disinvest in California and reinvest in lower-cost states last year. The $8.3 billion company formerly based in San Francisco laid off 1,400 stylists in California last June. By December, it began creating a new distribution center in Salt Lake City and this month announced it was shutting down its South San Francisco distribution warehouse altogether.

The California Policy Center has catalogued at least 50 large corporations that have left California since 2014, with the vast majority leaving in 2019 and 2020.

It's a complete exodus.

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In 2020, Oracle, Palantir and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise were among the companies that announced they’re relocating their headquarters out of the Golden State. Wealthy individuals from the tech industry moving recently include Larry Ellison, Drew Houston, Joe Lonsdale and Elon Musk, currently the world’s richest man.

You know where they mostly went? Yeah, Texas.

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In addition to the Silicon Valley tech companies that already left California for Texas last year, Charles Schwab relocated its corporate headquarters from San Francisco to Dallas. Apple also announced the building of its new campus in Austin.

Survey company QuestionPro also relocated to Austin last year, as did SignEasy to Dallas, Finical, Inc. to Dallas, Dasan Zhone Solutions to Plano, and the $23 billion CBRE Group to Dallas.

Wallethub or reality? Which is the more accurate depiction? I suspect we already know which this forum will choose:

"The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command." - Orwell.





LetterRip

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The pandemic drastically increased remote workers and moving to cheaper accommodations is a major benefit of remote working.  The population decline was simply remote workers taking advantage of the freedom to work from home from anywhere - especially those who wanted to live where COVID restrictions were less stringent.

This is a one off event not indicative of anything.

Wayward Son

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Actually, Crunch severely underestimates how many people left California.

According to this U.C. study, about 267,000 people left California in 2020.  This was off-set, of course, by about 128,000 who decided to move into California that year, too.

Which brings up the question, if there is a mass exodus from the state, why are people moving in? :)

Of course, Crunch glosses over the reasons why people are leaving, one of the most obvious being the price of housing.  And what is the main reason for prices to go up?  Lack of supply, of course.  In this case, because so many people want to live in California.  If they didn't, because they were all moving out, there would be more housing available.

And growth in California is becoming more difficult, mainly because of lack of water.  Down here in San Diego, you can walk along the riverbed of the San Diego river up in the El Monte valley, because of the big dam that stops the flow at the head of the valley.  A reservoir that was only half-full (if that) a few years ago, after our eight-year drought.  It's all well and good to talk about building more housing in the suburbs and outlying areas, but where will you get the water for that housing? ;)

And the bottom line is that losing 182,000 people in a state with 43,000,000 people isn't that big of a percentage.  If we continue at that rate, California will be empty by the year 2257.  We can only hope that real estate prices will go down before that. :)

That's a pretty slow exodus for such a "badly run" state, wouldn't you say? ;)

TheDeamon

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California pays far more in federal taxes than it receives back, so it is bizarre to claim it is due to the federal government - eliminating federal taxes and benefits would result in California being even wealthier and Republican ran states being even poorer.

I always laugh at that one. A large part of California's economy is reliant on a federally subsidized transportation system through the states of Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and Illinois. (Interstates 10, 40, 70, and 80 specifically)

But hey, all that money those states receive to support the interstate highway system has exactly zero economic benefit to the economy of California.

Much like the state of Washington sees no economic benefit from Federal Dollars going to maintain Interstate 90 in Montana and Idaho. Or Oregon and Washington with regard to Interstate 84 in Idaho and Utah.  ::)

TheDrake

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You know where they mostly went? Yeah, Texas.

You could actually look up what the department you cited said.

The state Department of Finance reported Friday that the population dropped by 182,083 people, or 0.46 percent, between Jan. 1, 2020, and the end of the year. The agency attributed the decline to out-of-state migration, slower international immigration and the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed nearly 61,000 residents at a time when the state is recording among the lowest birthrates in the nation.

But, you know RAH RAH RAH TEXAS GREAT WOOOO!

Fenring

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And what is the main reason for prices to go up?  Lack of supply, of course.  In this case, because so many people want to live in California.  If they didn't, because they were all moving out, there would be more housing available.

I don't know anything about California, as I've mentioned, but I just wanted to point out that generally it does not follow that the real estate market going up implies more people wanting to live there. It can include that variable, but there are others, most notably foreign investors.

You know where they mostly went? Yeah, Texas.

You could actually look up what the department you cited said.

The state Department of Finance reported Friday that the population dropped by 182,083 people, or 0.46 percent, between Jan. 1, 2020, and the end of the year. The agency attributed the decline to out-of-state migration, slower international immigration and the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed nearly 61,000 residents at a time when the state is recording among the lowest birthrates in the nation.

But, you know RAH RAH RAH TEXAS GREAT WOOOO!

Maybe I'm crazy, but it doesn't look like what you're saying actually contradicts Crunch's point?

TheDeamon

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I don't know anything about California, as I've mentioned, but I just wanted to point out that generally it does not follow that the real estate market going up implies more people wanting to live there. It can include that variable, but there are others, most notably foreign investors.

Hush, you're not supposed to suggest things like investors in China view the stock market as too dangerous and think that real estate is the gold standard for investing. Where being able to make those investments outside of China is an even better play to make, for various reasons.

TheDrake

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And what is the main reason for prices to go up?  Lack of supply, of course.  In this case, because so many people want to live in California.  If they didn't, because they were all moving out, there would be more housing available.

I don't know anything about California, as I've mentioned, but I just wanted to point out that generally it does not follow that the real estate market going up implies more people wanting to live there. It can include that variable, but there are others, most notably foreign investors.

You know where they mostly went? Yeah, Texas.

You could actually look up what the department you cited said.

The state Department of Finance reported Friday that the population dropped by 182,083 people, or 0.46 percent, between Jan. 1, 2020, and the end of the year. The agency attributed the decline to out-of-state migration, slower international immigration and the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed nearly 61,000 residents at a time when the state is recording among the lowest birthrates in the nation.

But, you know RAH RAH RAH TEXAS GREAT WOOOO!

Maybe I'm crazy, but it doesn't look like what you're saying actually contradicts Crunch's point?

I could refute the point, but as we've covered before, that's kind of pointless. He can point to companies moving their headquarters for regulation purposes, but they aren't shuttering their California locations and lots of Texas companies are establishing new offices in California because that's where a lot of the talent is and will remain.

My point above is that its silly to point to California population decrease as "California bad" when impact included squashed immigration and dead people. Meanwhile Austin, where I live, is experiencing all the HORRORS of California including skyrocketing housing shortages and costs as well as homelessness. I drive by tent cities beneath the 183 and the 35 that rivals San Francisco. But I'm sure that's cause of the libs.

TheDrake

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BTW if we want to compare states, I'll throw my home state of NH into the mix. No income tax AND no sales tax. Median household income is #8 compared to Texas at #25 and just behind Cali at #7. A state legislature that is all volunteer with no professional politicians. Modest population growth that is manageable and not straining infrastructure. Beautiful open spaces, coast mountains rivers and lakes. Unemployment 2.4% pre-covid. #4 in K-12 education (according to usnews).

Fenring

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BTW if we want to compare states, I'll throw my home state of NH into the mix. No income tax AND no sales tax. Median household income is #8 compared to Texas at #25 and just behind Cali at #7. A state legislature that is all volunteer with no professional politicians. Modest population growth that is manageable and not straining infrastructure. Beautiful open spaces, coast mountains rivers and lakes. Unemployment 2.4% pre-covid. #4 in K-12 education (according to usnews).

You definitely don't have to sell me on NH, personally. I'm a Maine, Vermont, and NH fan big-time. Been too long since I've hiked Mt. Washington.

TheDrake

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You definitely don't have to sell me on NH, personally. I'm a Maine, Vermont, and NH fan big-time. Been too long since I've hiked Mt. Washington.

Did you tackle the summit? I never attempted it because this, for those who are unfamiliar:

Quote
Weather conditions change incredibly fast on this mountain and it’s not unusual to find that the temperature is 30 degrees cooler on the summit than at the base. Calm air at the trailhead could increase (and frequently does) to hurricane force on the summit. Hurricane force winds occur, on average, every 4th day on Mt. Washington. One hundred mile an hour winds occur in every month of the year. This little mountain has recorded the highest windspeed ever observed at any land based, manned weather observatory, with a record of 231 miles per hour.

Clear skies in the valley frequently yield to a summit enshrouded in fog with visibility reduced to mere feet -- the summit is in the clouds ⅔ of the time. June, July and August have average daily temperatures in the 40’s. Therefore, it’s absolutely possible that on any day in August you might find yourself on the summit with a temperature below freezing, 75 mph winds, 20 foot visibility and snow, sleet and freezing rain -- this actually happened to a group (who needed a very expensive rescue) in August of 2017.

But the old man crumbled, so you can't see him anymore.

Fenring

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You definitely don't have to sell me on NH, personally. I'm a Maine, Vermont, and NH fan big-time. Been too long since I've hiked Mt. Washington.

Did you tackle the summit? I never attempted it because this, for those who are unfamiliar:

Yeah, I've been to the summit a few times but not on a particularly bad day. When I was up there mid-July there were (a) people skiing near the summit, and (b) wind speeds at the summit lodge such that I could lean into it forward at an angle where you'd normally fall straight down on your face, and be standing at equilibrium.

Wayward Son

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And for anyone who believes that people are leaving California because of high taxes, the demographics doesn't support it.  People with higher incomes (over $138,000/yr) are actually moving into California. :)

Crunch

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And for anyone that believes a Bloomberg opinion piece, I’d like to sell you some beachfront property in Arizona.

TheDrake

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What Wayward cited isn't an opinion, it is a fact. Higher income people are moving in to California, lower income are moving out. Now, I don't know that that supports the statement that people aren't leaving because of high taxes, but it probably isn't the primary factor for low income people. Cost of living, especially housing, is far more likely the culprit. I'll join Cali critics on that one. They need to start allowing the construction of high density rentals, particularly on the peninsula. Palo Alto preserves their homespun charm at the cost of making people commute 90 minutes to work in their restaurants.

Wayward Son

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And for anyone that believes a Bloomberg opinion piece, I’d like to sell you some beachfront property in Arizona.

So, if I understand you correctly, Crunch, what you're saying is that if U.S. Census Bureau data is quoted in Bloomberg, only a fool would believe it, but if it quoted by a Conservative, it's truth you can put money on?  ???

You'll need to explain that to me--and to everyone else on this board. ;D

wmLambert

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And for anyone that believes a Bloomberg opinion piece, I’d like to sell you some beachfront property in Arizona.

So, if I understand you correctly, Crunch, what you're saying is that if U.S. Census Bureau data is quoted in Bloomberg, only a fool would believe it, but if it quoted by a Conservative, it's truth you can put money on?  ???

You'll need to explain that to me--and to everyone else on this board. ;D
ed.
Y'know - that can be answered in two ways. Those who have a distinct POV, tend to search out only the bits and pieces of stats and data that fit their preconceived notions, and then rub everyone's' noses in what they report.

Another way to look st it, is how well pure facts are reported by whatever source we look at. Even in well-thought-of venues, there are activist trying to disinform. Look at the DOJ. Can you take statements by someone like Comey as gospel, when he neglected to mention parts of laws that negate his headline statements? For instance, going back to Hillary and her Email scandal, the law specifically states that intention is irrelevant, but in his "attack" on her actions, he said what she did was illegal, but unintentional, so we should ignore it. See what I mean? What comes out of a source can be shaded to fit a preconceived outcome. Raw data is hard to find. Everything is filtered.

In general, everything is slippery. We look at the person making the statements based on what they claim to be "hard facts" more often that anything else. Trump was accosted nonstop as a liar - but his facts and data have been borne out far more than those who called him a liar. Wuhan was probably the source of Covid-19. He was lambasted for it - yet now we have Fauci's own Emails confirming EcoHealth Alliance working on gain-of-function going to China, only after it was outlawed in the USA - and China's military said creating a pandemic to use against their competitors was in their playbook. The military statement was made in 2014. EccoHealth went to the Soros/Gates owned Wuhan virology lab in 2014. Yeah, the facts are there - but how you put them together makes all the difference.

Fenring

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For instance, going back to Hillary and her Email scandal, the law specifically states that intention is irrelevant, but in his "attack" on her actions, he said what she did was illegal, but unintentional, so we should ignore it. See what I mean?

For the record, if what you're talking about is his final verdict on the matter, he didn't actually claim it was unintentional. What he said was that "no reasonable" prosecutor would bring a case against her on the set of facts at hand. That can mean any number of things, but he did not state clearly that she was being let off because of any particular factor (such as intentionality).

TheDrake

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The Census Bureau is literally raw data. You don't have to take Bloomberg's word for it. The Bloomberg piece references the Public Policy Institute of California. They took their information from American Community Survey data. So, I guess you could argue that a self reporting system could be worth no more than a box of rocks, but its not at all equivalent to a judgement decision about a prosecution, not even a little bit.

If we are going to that level of mistrust, then I'm not sure what figures you could rely on. Is unemployment up or down? Is that simply unknowable because of the editorial perspectives that the data is used to support?

Wayward Son

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ed.
Y'know - that can be answered in two ways. Those who have a distinct POV, tend to search out only the bits and pieces of stats and data that fit their preconceived notions, and then rub everyone's' noses in what they report.

I think that applies to just about everyone one this board. :D

Quote
Another way to look at it, is how well pure facts are reported by whatever source we look at. Even in well-thought-of venues, there are activist trying to disinform. Look at the DOJ. Can you take statements by someone like Comey as gospel, when he neglected to mention parts of laws that negate his headline statements? For instance, going back to Hillary and her Email scandal, the law specifically states that intention is irrelevant, but in his "attack" on her actions, he said what she did was illegal, but unintentional, so we should ignore it. See what I mean? What comes out of a source can be shaded to fit a preconceived outcome. Raw data is hard to find. Everything is filtered.

A lot of it comes down to credible sources, and facts vs. opinions.  If the Bloomberg author had simply stated that immigration was higher among the lower economic rungs, based on his own authority or on some dubious authority, it would have been fine to dismiss the claim as unproven.  But he cited the source that used the U.S. Census data to create the charts.  Neither of them were Bloomberg.  So how can he dismiss the information just because a Bloomberg opinionist cited it?  ;)

Now, if he had a good objection to the source that used the Census data, Crunch might have had a point.  If he could have articulated why he thought the data was erroneous, he would have had a better point.  But just objecting to it because it was cited by Bloomberg is a silly argument on the face of it.

Also, it was not an opinion that the author was citing, but conclusions reached from data.  This is also different from an opinion, especially a legal opinion, such as your example of the Hillary ruling.  While data can sometimes be misinterpreted, it is hard to imagine how one could misinterpret something as simple as categorizing income levels of those immigrating to and from a state.  It would have been better to show us why he thought the data was inaccurate rather than having us rely on his authority.

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In general, everything is slippery. We look at the person making the statements based on what they claim to be "hard facts" more often that anything else. Trump was accosted nonstop as a liar - but his facts and data have been borne out far more than those who called him a liar. Wuhan was probably the source of Covid-19. He was lambasted for it - yet now we have Fauci's own Emails confirming EcoHealth Alliance working on gain-of-function going to China, only after it was outlawed in the USA - and China's military said creating a pandemic to use against their competitors was in their playbook. The military statement was made in 2014. EccoHealth went to the Soros/Gates owned Wuhan virology lab in 2014. Yeah, the facts are there - but how you put them together makes all the difference.

Again, you use a bad example in Trump, who is a liar, having lied from the beginning of his Presidency (bragging how he had the biggest turnout for his inauguration--a patently untrue statement for anyone able to look at the pictures) to the very end (where he insisted, and continues to insist, that he actually won the election, even though it was the cleanest and most scrutinized election in recent history, if not all of American history) and many times in between.  Just consider how he paid $130,000 to a person he said he didn't know, or all the times he contradicted himself, usually when it seemed most advantageous to him.  Believing him not to be a liar is an opinion.

While facts can be interpreted and sometimes twisted to suit one's POV and biases, some facts are so simple and straightforward that we should all agree on them, regardless of who uses them or where we first come across them.  And we need to keep those clearly apart from conclusions and opinions.  Once we start throwing out facts because they are inconvenient to our positions, then we are no longer dealing with reality and cannot function in the real world anymore.

Seriati

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For instance, going back to Hillary and her Email scandal, the law specifically states that intention is irrelevant, but in his "attack" on her actions, he said what she did was illegal, but unintentional, so we should ignore it. See what I mean?

For the record, if what you're talking about is his final verdict on the matter, he didn't actually claim it was unintentional. What he said was that "no reasonable" prosecutor would bring a case against her on the set of facts at hand. That can mean any number of things, but he did not state clearly that she was being let off because of any particular factor (such as intentionality).

Fen, but what he neglected to say, and  what we found out only much later from Lisa Page's testimony (which was not released real time but only much later), is that he made his claim about "no reasonable prosecutor" after the DOJ informed him that they would not prosecute the crime unless intent could be proven (i.e., despite the statute stating that gross negligence was enough for criminal charges, they would only prosecute if intent was blatantly provable - and I say blatantly, because there was more than enough evidence of intent to prosecute anyone not named Hillary Clinton (e.g., the same DOJ chose to prosecute Flynn when their agents did not believe he intentionally lied)).

Real time people here and in Congress claimed that she couldn't have been grossly negligent because she wasn't being prosecuted.  Others have flat out said she committed no crime because of a prosecutorial discretion decision that was hidden from view.  The same people claimed that any exercise of prosecutorial discretion in favor of Republicans was proof of corruption and evidence of impeachable conduct.

Flat out, Hillary committed felonies and because she was a Democrat paid zero price.   

Crunch

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Once we start throwing out facts because they are inconvenient to our positions, then we are no longer dealing with reality and cannot function in the real world anymore.

This is incredibly tone deaf. I literally laughed out loud, scared the dog.

Fenring

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Seriati, I don't even disagree with your general assessment of the Hillary situation, but since wmLambert was posting about slippery media statements and what facts could be drawn from them, I thought it was relevant to point out that it was not quite true that Comey said it was because they couldn't prove intent. It may have been because of that, but his public statement (i.e. the thing Lambert was referencing) didn't say that. It doesn't really undermine the general observation that media statements are a far cry from "established" facts, for any number of reasons. I am fully on board, in fact, with the general conception of the present day airwaves as being a mire of obfuscation and half-truths, so I'm not really opposing the spirit of that post (I think).

TheDrake

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It sounds like there is some confusion about what a "fact" is. You can take any piece of evidence in the Hillary situation and validate it as a fact. Including what Comey did or did not say. A statement about why Comey did what he did is speculation, not a fact, unless one had a recording of him saying "I'm letting Hillary off because she is a Democrat." Otherwise, you are dealing with a conclusion, perhaps based on the synthesis of various facts, but not itself a fact.

That is a 2 liter bottle of water - fact. Migration is N% within a certain demographic - fact.

The operative definition is this:

Quote
: a piece of information presented as having objective reality
ex: These are the hard facts of the case.

Seriati

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Seriati, I don't even disagree with your general assessment of the Hillary situation, but since wmLambert was posting about slippery media statements and what facts could be drawn from them, I thought it was relevant to point out that it was not quite true that Comey said it was because they couldn't prove intent. It may have been because of that, but his public statement (i.e. the thing Lambert was referencing) didn't say that.

I think you're missing my point.  What Comey said is far worse in reality than if he had actually said they couldn't prove intent.  He said that no reasonable prosecutor would bring charges and without clarification that implies that there was no gross negligence involved, as any reasonable prosecutor would otherwise have brought charges for gross negligence.  You may remember real time that he made an announcement about her conduct where he expressly changed the words "gross negligence" to something directly equivalent but that wasn't the legal term of art.

Without an explanation of the prosecutorial discretion and with the deliberate manipulation of the finding that gross negligence was in fact present, he quite deliberately crafted that statement to deceive and to lie and to manipulate the public.  The fact that so many people still believe she didn't commit a crime is exactly why he did it and exactly why it's effective.  He gave the media enough cover to bury the real story.

It's kind of like how if you go back and look at the inspector general's report on FISA abuse, the IG gave just enough cover to the Dems to bury criminality that the IG uncovered.  He "concluded" that no one admitted to criminal motives or wrote down that they had criminal motives and that therefore he couldn't reach a conclusion that they had criminal motives (notwithstanding that his report established a consistent and deliberate practice of extremely grey (and/or black) decisions on their part that were all "coicidentally" in the same direction).  And again it worked, how many prosecutions have come out of that?
 
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It doesn't really undermine the general observation that media statements are a far cry from "established" facts, for any number of reasons. I am fully on board, in fact, with the general conception of the present day airwaves as being a mire of obfuscation and half-truths, so I'm not really opposing the spirit of that post (I think).

I can understand that, I just think it's critically important not to understate the extent of Comey's lie and manipulation of the media narrative.  Comey lied over and over, he violated the law over and over, and still hasn't faced any consequences.

Seriati

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It sounds like there is some confusion about what a "fact" is. You can take any piece of evidence in the Hillary situation and validate it as a fact. Including what Comey did or did not say. A statement about why Comey did what he did is speculation, not a fact, unless one had a recording of him saying "I'm letting Hillary off because she is a Democrat." Otherwise, you are dealing with a conclusion, perhaps based on the synthesis of various facts, but not itself a fact.

It's a fact that his statement that no reasonable prosecutor would prosecute was a lie.  It hinged entirely on a decision that the prosecutor wouldn't prosecute gross negligence, and even more the exact same prosecutors that refused to find "intent" in Hillary's case where they had clear evidence of intentional acts that led to the consequences but insisted on bringing charges against Flynn where they had clear doubt of intent (notwithstanding he was charged with a crime that only applies with specific intent - ie gross negligence is not permitted), really does tell you that politics had everything to do with what the prosecutors in question found "reasonable."

Quote
: a piece of information presented as having objective reality
ex: These are the hard facts of the case.
[/quote]

Facts: Hillary was grossly negligent, which was a violation of the law.  Hillary's intent to set up the servers is more than sufficient at law to establish the requisite intent for a violation of law.  Prosecutors have routinely and successfully established intent on similar facts.  Nothing but prosecutorial discretion led to a lack of charges.

Fenring

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I think you're missing my point.  What Comey said is far worse in reality than if he had actually said they couldn't prove intent.  He said that no reasonable prosecutor would bring charges and without clarification that implies that there was no gross negligence involved, as any reasonable prosecutor would otherwise have brought charges for gross negligence.  You may remember real time that he made an announcement about her conduct where he expressly changed the words "gross negligence" to something directly equivalent but that wasn't the legal term of art.

Depending on your POV I guess it could be seen as far worse. I'll explain after I respond to your next point:

Quote
Without an explanation of the prosecutorial discretion and with the deliberate manipulation of the finding that gross negligence was in fact present, he quite deliberately crafted that statement to deceive and to lie and to manipulate the public.  The fact that so many people still believe she didn't commit a crime is exactly why he did it and exactly why it's effective.  He gave the media enough cover to bury the real story.

The thing is, when I read his statement my understanding of it was that he was being slippery, but not dishonest. Slippery in that it was an official dismissal of the issue, without mention of any details why. Sort of like saying "nothing to see here, move along." So yes, it was designed to make people move along. However I suspect the phrasing was left open-ended in the way it was as a sort of signal that for those who know there was more to say, he was actually offering an implicit explanation: no reasonable prosecutor would proceed. The correct question is what does "reasonable" mean in this context. The way you're reading it I think you would like it to mean something like "upstanding" or "honorable"; like if the prosecutor was going based on the law in an unbiased fashion there would be a case, so if you read "reasonable" this way it means he's implying there is no case. However my first reading (and current one) of "reasonable" was something like "any prosecutor who values his career and understands the political roadblocks that would go up will back down." So to me it reads more like an ex post facto warning, you do not want to prosecute this person. Why? That's open to your imagination. Maybe whoever tried would have their reputation suddenly mired in scandal, or else have their future advancement torpedoed. And maybe it's a pragmatic statement: you will not succeed, no matter what evidence you think you have, so don't bother. Maybe it's a realist statement about how impossible it would be for someone like Hillary to go down.

So that's why I say to be careful about assuming what he meant, when what he said was deliberately vague. But wmLambert quoted something much more specific than what he gave, and in fact based on my reading I don't even think it's implied that they couldn't prove intent. I think it's more clearly implied that that was an opponent they couldn't - or wouldn't want to - defeat.