Author Topic: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency  (Read 11535 times)

Fenring

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #250 on: January 24, 2021, 09:40:57 PM »
All of that type of analysis also goes apart from the issue of technological supremacy. Since it has been quite a while since the U.S. had to wage an all-out war in which there was any doubt of the outcome, I can only imagine whether game-changing techs have been developed and never yet deployed. Imagine, for example, if either side actually had the conspiracy-theory orbital microwave weapon; or a new stealth technology; or something else that would render the rest of the calculus obsolete. The more technology grows, the worse it will be to finally see it unleashed. I hope we never do...

TheDeamon

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #251 on: January 24, 2021, 10:12:00 PM »
All of that type of analysis also goes apart from the issue of technological supremacy. Since it has been quite a while since the U.S. had to wage an all-out war in which there was any doubt of the outcome, I can only imagine whether game-changing techs have been developed and never yet deployed. Imagine, for example, if either side actually had the conspiracy-theory orbital microwave weapon; or a new stealth technology; or something else that would render the rest of the calculus obsolete. The more technology grows, the worse it will be to finally see it unleashed. I hope we never do...

I'm remembering some reporting at what the United States used in Serbia back in the 1990's, which is the last time the US waged war against someone who was a near-peer in terms of technical capabilities. I'm sure that "toy box" is larger and more varied now, it just hasn't had reason to be used again. The secret/"experimental" toybox the US has to work with is one I'm pretty sure China is not going to appreciate being on the receiving end of. I agree that some of those items are likely to be quite devastating to any reasonably modern infrastructure.

The other problem in all of this is hubris, mostly on China's part. The last actual war they fought was in the late 1970's against Vietnam, and the PLA is more of a good old boys club for the CCP than it is a military meritocracy, as the recurring purges of their ranks, and who some of the generals are, also points toward. Going by what I've seen elsewhere, they already have most of their population on a Nationalistic Frenzy, and one that is also convinced that war with the US is inevitable because the United States will not allow another nation to surpass it as the world's leading economy.

Reunification with Taiwan plays directly into that narrative. As it can be claimed that it is the United States preventing Taiwan from unifying with China "peacefully" because of the threat that a unified China would present to the United States. (Never mind that many in Taiwan find the CCP to be repugnant, and that's why they won't unify; the people on the Chinese mainland can't wrap their heads around that one, and the CCP doesn't want them to)

So for the people in mainland China, a Taiwan invasion will instead be a "liberation" for the people of Taiwan from the oppression of American tyranny. The United States getting involved militarily is simply further proof that the Americans are tyrants that fear China's potential.

Of course, on the flip-side, the last ground war fought against a near-peer force was Operation Desert Storm. The last air-war with near-peer air defenses was the NATO operation involving Kosovo/Serbia, where Serbia kept their planes on the ground. And really, the last time the Military was fighting a near-peer Air Force which did fight back was in Korea back in the 1950's.

But then, the United States regularly does joint training between it's two(three) different service branches with fixed wing fighters, and additionally trains with it's dozens of allies as well. So it should be a little less moribund in terms of operational capabilities. It does get challenged by outside parties regularly. Meanwhile for China? They get whatever training Russia offers, and whatever they might manage to gather on the rare occasion they're invited to participate in multi-national training events like RimPac.

Grant

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #252 on: January 24, 2021, 10:42:58 PM »
Uh... When was the last time you looked at what the various defense think-tanks and DOD has been putting out there?

Not this crap again.  OK, I call.  Show your defense think tanks and DOD estimates. 

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In a Taiwan invasion scenario, any help that's going to be sent in basically has hours to get into Taiwan before the risk starts to become unacceptable. After that, it will likely be weeks before the United States could regain air supremacy over the region, and that still doesn't address the matter of China's missile defense umbrella which extends well beyond Taiwan already.

Explain your invasion of Taiwan. 

There are two scenarios.  First, China takes a month to get everything ready.  Troops are moved to staging areas.  All the supplies they need for a cross strait invasion are prepared and stockpiled.  The ships they need are all at embarkation points.  The planes are armed and finally air defense patrols around Chinese airfields and ports are stepped up.  All this we can see.  All this we can hear about.  All this gives time for the US, Japan, and Australia to mobilize and get things in place. 

Scenario 2:  China goes for a surprise attack to knock out as much air defense and naval forces around Taiwan with ballistic missile attacks.  They can do that quickly without getting everything else ready.  They can knock out some of Taiwan's air defenses and navy with a surprise attack.  Flip side is Taiwan has been ready for this for 50 years.  All their hangers are hardened.  Their aviation fuel underground.  Some of their hangers are built into the sides of mountains.  The air defense is mobile, how is China going to get all of them?  Blanket the entire island.  Even with their 2000+ ballistic missiles, they couldn't do it. 

Then, you have to establish air superiority over Taiwan.  You're still going to have to deal with hundreds of ROC fighters and their SAMS.  But China could eventually wear the ROC down if they are alone. 

But then you have to cross the straight with your invasion force.  The ROC army will be waiting on the beaches.  There are only so many beaches on Taiwan that are capable of landing on.  They can also launch an airborne attack, but the PLAs airborne forces are not large enough to do the job alone.  You have to land on the beaches.  Then they're going to be slogging against ROC troops for a week to months. 

If the PLA launches a surprise attack, it's still going to take weeks to get the PLA in position with the supplies they need to sustain an invasion force.  If they don't go for surprise, then we've already had time to move forces into the area.   Now they have to deal with additional naval forces from Australia and Japan.  Additional fighter and bomber attacks from Australia and Japan.  Maybe the UK and Canada decide to fight with Australia.  Maybe the US comes in.  Chinese naval forces will be attrited and cross strait supply and troop movement will become hazardous for the PLA.  If the USA comes in with 2 carrier groups and F-35s from Guam and Okinawa, Chinese air bases and ports will become targets.  The invasion will be non-sustainable. 

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If the Americans expect to take the better part of a month getting to Taiwan as their best case once China initiates hostilities(Airfields are currently the limiting factor, China can put more planes in the air in the region with shorter turn-around times than the US + Allies can).

If China takes the long buildup scenario, allies will probably already be in the area, including the US. 

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Any coalition forces without American Air support(or the US bases in the region) is unlikely to be able to do anything particularly effective. About the only thing Australia, Japan and the Philippines could do at that point is block China's ability to use the Straits of Malacca and some other access routes into the Indian Ocean. In either case, Taiwan is effectively on its own, nobody is getting Taiwan-friendly troops on the ground in Taiwan in anything resembling timely manner without the Americans being involved.

Australia, Japan, and the Philippines have enough naval forces and can project just enough air defense to keep the strait too dangerous to cross.  That makes the invasion unsustainable.  That's all they have to do.  They don't have to land troops.  They just need to make it impossible for China to stay. 

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For Japan specifically, that also opens them up to a wide range of threats and problems of their own as well, as most of their trade is also going to need to divert away from the reach of Chinese forces, never mind China using their involvement as an excuse to gobble up some more real estate. Given in this scenario you're presuming Japan went in but America did not, this also means that the mutual defense pact with the US is presumably off the table as well so because Japan involved itself in a war with China that the US opted out of, the United States will not protect Japan from anything China does to Japan as a consequence.

Japan has more to worry about an aggressive China winning Taiwan than it does from trade loss.  They know that.  Why do you think they have a Navy and Air Force?  To protect them from Kiribati? 

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See above comment, their Air Force is rather large already, albeit not up to the standards of the US, Japan, Australia and other NATO forces, but Gen 3 and Gen 4 aircraft are still plenty formidable, and China has the airfields to support their craft in the region. We don't. Right now, it is believed it would take us anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks to knock out the Chinese PLAF. And US battle doctrine doesn't like to send surface forces into areas where we don't control the skies.

It's all a matter of range.  US carrier groups can sit back far enough from Chinese airfields so that if their bombers came for them, they would do so without fighter support and be running into a literal nest of Hornets.  After you attrit their bomber forces, you can move in closer and go after establishing air superiority over Taiwan, allowing strike packages to hit the PLA forces landed on the island, their airheads, their beacheads, strangle their supply lines, strike their C2 capabilities.  F35s can basically sneak up from wherever and bushwack PLA CAP.  You attrit their fighter forces.  Then you send in B-21s to hit PLA supply points and infrastructure.  Sure, it will take weeks. 

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On top of that we have Chinese Surface to Air Capabiliies to contend with, as well as their DF-21 and DF-26 "carrier killer" missiles to keep the US Navy at a respectful distance.... Which also brings us to their PLAN, where they have more combat hulls than the US Navy does now, although the US Navy still reigns in terms of gross tonnage. And there is the matter some of the PLAN ships still date back to World War 2.

Chinese DF-26s are only a problem if and when they know where our carriers are.  They can't just shoot them into the Pacific and hope for a lucky hit.

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China's expectation is that their Area Denial Capabilities will hold a United States response at bay long enough that they can complete the conquest of Taiwan before US Troops are on the island in any kind of numbers. At which point the US will take it at a "fate accomplished" scenario for Taiwan and sue for peace before our manpower and equipment casualty count goes even higher.

Land conquest of Taiwan would take 2-3 weeks at a minimum from landing, if the PLA gets lucky and don't get massacred on beaches and dropzones.  It's basically the exact opposite for a fait accompli.  Whatever the PLA has left on Taiwan is going to be vulnerable and as I stated before, you don't even have to invade, you just have to make it impossible for the PLA to stay on Taiwan. 


All this being said, every day the PRC gets stronger and the USA withdraws more from a desire to spend blood and treasure to defend friends and allies .  As I stated in the previous post, China's chances get better every year.  Why attack now when the issue is a gamble?  In 10 years it may be much easier. 4-8 Chinese carriers could dissuade and make any assistance from Japan and Australia futile and create a very tough fight for the US.  China can wait. 

Fenring

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #253 on: January 24, 2021, 11:03:13 PM »
TheDeamon, I don't think any of those military events you name come anything close to all-out war, including Iraq 2.0. There was no doubt of the outcome of any of those, other than the amount of friendly losses. If they used secret advanced weapons, it would only have been as an opportunity to test them, not because they needed to use them to win. The last time the U.S. fought to win was 1970, so we're talking 50 years of tech upgrades in the "use only when desperate" category. Whatever those are.

cherrypoptart

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #254 on: January 24, 2021, 11:36:27 PM »
"Where is this coming from?"

https://news.trust.org/item/20210124091524-55023

"Taiwan reports second day of incursions by Chinese air force"

The story didn't go into many details as far as how often this has been happening lately and how many times it happened in the past as well as what China's justifications are but I didn't let any lack of knowledge on the subject stop me from leaping to the conclusion that China is hoping to prompt a response to their own belligerence and then use that as a justification for war and invasion. America has used that tactic often enough. In the months before the attack on Pearl Harbor our Navy constantly violated Japanese territorial waters hoping for a confrontation that would lead to an excuse for war. I'm actually having trouble finding information on that online so if I'm wrong about it forgive me but I believe I remember reading about it in WWII magazine. I checked their online version but didn't find the story. Anyway, it's a pretty straightforward tactic of provocation with a bad couple of options for Taiwan to either react and risk an incident that becomes an excuse or don't react and look weak and ripe for the plucking and the timing right after Biden takes office doesn't leave a lot to the imagination especially with it looking like Biden is already compromised by China in just the way people accused Trump of being compromised by Russia. By all appearances China has the goods on Biden and can release information proving the corruption of "the big guy" at any time. That wouldn't be primarily why Biden wouldn't defend Taiwan militarily though. He's just weak, and even if he's not weak personally he is controlled by a Democrat party that is now hard left and is projecting weakness militarily and now would be the time for adversaries to take advantage. Adding Covid to the situation to it and our domestic political situation with our government focusing on "domestic extremists" aka holdover Trump supporters just means there won't be a better time than soon.

Like I said though, I'm giving this a very, very, very low probability of actually ever happening. Just kind of throwing a wild prediction out there. Maybe with enough of them one of them might get "lucky".
« Last Edit: January 24, 2021, 11:39:55 PM by cherrypoptart »

Grant

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #255 on: January 24, 2021, 11:39:13 PM »
"Taiwan reports second day of incursions by Chinese air force"

No, dude.  I understand China is screwing with Taiwan.  They been doing it for months.  They also been pissing off Australia which is probably the wrong thing to do right before they launch an attack. 

I'm asking where are you getting the intel that Biden is in China's pocket.

cherrypoptart

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #256 on: January 24, 2021, 11:42:50 PM »
Oh, I got that from Hunter's laptop.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-54553132

"Another purported email, which Fox News said it had confirmed, reportedly refers to a deal pursued by Hunter involving China's largest private energy firm. It is said to include a cryptic mention of "10 held by H for the big guy".

Fox News cited unnamed sources as saying "the big guy" in the purported email was a reference to Joe Biden. This message is said to be from May 2017. Both emails would date from when the former US vice-president was a private citizen.

A former business associate of Hunter has come forward to say he can confirm the allegations.

Tony Bobulinski told Fox News that, contrary to Joe Biden's statements that he had nothing to do with his son's business affairs, Hunter "frequently referenced asking him for his sign-off or advice on various potential deals" in China.

Mr Bobulinski, who is reportedly a US Navy veteran, separately told Fox News' Tucker Carlson that he met on two occasions with Joe Biden to discuss business deals with China, the first time in May 2017 when the former vice-president was a private citizen.

He claims he asked Joe Biden's brother, James, whether the family was concerned about possible scrutiny of the former vice-president's involvement in a potential business deal with a Chinese entity. Mr Bobulinski told Fox News that James Biden replied: "Plausible deniability."

TheDeamon

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #257 on: January 25, 2021, 01:11:53 AM »
Uh... When was the last time you looked at what the various defense think-tanks and DOD has been putting out there?

Not this crap again.  OK, I call.  Show your defense think tanks and DOD estimates.

I didn't bookmark it, I know I've seen it, I know generally where to look to find it. But it is not proving to be as easy to find as I'd hoped.

This gets close to what I was looking for, and might even be the launching pad for what I'm talking about:
https://www.rand.org/paf/projects/us-china-scorecard.html

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In a Taiwan invasion scenario, any help that's going to be sent in basically has hours to get into Taiwan before the risk starts to become unacceptable. After that, it will likely be weeks before the United States could regain air supremacy over the region, and that still doesn't address the matter of China's missile defense umbrella which extends well beyond Taiwan already.

Explain your invasion of Taiwan.

Just going from the RAND scorecard linked above ("closer to Taiwan" scenario; 2017):
China has an advantage on attacking US Air Bases within "Easy strike range of China" (because they're also in easy strike range from China)

China was deemed to be at parity with US Forces in "the Taiwan scenario" in 2017 when it came to Air Superiority.

China was deemed by Rand to have an advantage in ASW near Taiwan, not sure I believe that one. But they're claiming it.

They go into other fields where again they're scored as near parity for the most part.

And poking around a little more, the sub-article on Air Superiority seems to be very close to what I was looking for:
Quote from: RAND
...As shown in the light-shaded bars, only two U.S. wings would have been required in theater to maintain 24/7 air dominance from the outset of a conflict over Taiwan in 1996. By 2010, improvements in Chinese air forces and missile capabilities increase this requirement to between nine and 20 wings (depending on how far away U.S. forces must be based). The higher requirement exceeds the total number of U.S. fighter wings, and basing within range of operational areas would almost certainly have been insufficient to support even the smaller number (especially given the significant requirements for tanker basing). By 2010, achieving 24/7 air dominance at the outset of a conflict was, and remains, unsustainable.

The United States would have better prospects of prevailing in an attrition campaign designed to defeat a Chinese air offensive over time. Nevertheless, PLA Air Force modernization has made such a campaign more challenging. ... Even in the attrition case, the United States would face increasing difficulty meeting its objectives in 2017, as more aircraft would be required, and there would be fewer bases to offer safety from Chinese missiles.

The results should be understood in context. China cannot achieve air superiority in any of these cases, and U.S. fighters achieve high kill ratios throughout. Relaxing the 21-day time requirement would reduce U.S. in-theater force requirements to levels that might be supported more easily by the available basing infrastructure. However, until U.S. forces achieve air superiority, the PLA air forces would largely have a free hand in attacking targets in Taiwan. A ground campaign in Taiwan would likely be decided relatively quickly, and the inability of U.S. air forces to achieve air superiority during that time would deprive U.S. and friendly forces of much-needed air support.

That was RAND speaking on conditions in 2017. China has continued to greatly expand its capabilities in the interim.

There are two scenarios.  First, China takes a month to get everything ready.  Troops are moved to staging areas.  All the supplies they need for a cross strait invasion are prepared and stockpiled.  The ships they need are all at embarkation points.  The planes are armed and finally air defense patrols around Chinese airfields and ports are stepped up.  All this we can see.  All this we can hear about.  All this gives time for the US, Japan, and Australia to mobilize and get things in place.

But our putting troops on Taiwan would itself be considered an act of War. China has been very vocal about that, they will go to war if the United States has a US Navy ship so much as tie up to a pier in Taiwan. Landing a combat brigade in Taiwan is likely to be received just as warmly. So if you're trying to get China to back down, you might have forces on high alert to deploy, but they cannot be in Taiwan until China starts to move on Taiwan. 

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Scenario 2:  China goes for a surprise attack to knock out as much air defense and naval forces around Taiwan with ballistic missile attacks.  They can do that quickly without getting everything else ready.  They can knock out some of Taiwan's air defenses and navy with a surprise attack.  Flip side is Taiwan has been ready for this for 50 years.  All their hangers are hardened.  Their aviation fuel underground.  Some of their hangers are built into the sides of mountains.  The air defense is mobile, how is China going to get all of them?  Blanket the entire island.  Even with their 2000+ ballistic missiles, they couldn't do it.

In a pinch, just cratering the runway will do. Gravel and jet aircraft don't mix well. And even Guam is within the estimated range of attack by the DF-26, so there are considerable first/second strike options for China against the US should it declare it is getting directly involved. So assuming that Guam and Okinawa don't get hit in a first strike by China at the onset, the Untied States may only have use of those airfields for part of a day before China potentially knocks them out of service for a few days(anything that lands there won't be taking off again until repairs complete).

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Then, you have to establish air superiority over Taiwan.  You're still going to have to deal with hundreds of ROC fighters and their SAMS.  But China could eventually wear the ROC down if they are alone.

China has thousands of aircraft, and they have anti-air missiles that have range sufficient to target aircraft over Taiwan from the mainland. Granted, missiles used on the ROC fighters are missiles that can't be used against US Aircraft later on. But China has enough missiles that even if they're using multiple missiles per ROC fighter shot down, they'll have plenty left over for when the Americans turn up.

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But then you have to cross the straight with your invasion force.  The ROC army will be waiting on the beaches.  There are only so many beaches on Taiwan that are capable of landing on.  They can also launch an airborne attack, but the PLAs airborne forces are not large enough to do the job alone.  You have to land on the beaches.  Then they're going to be slogging against ROC troops for a week to months.

Not going to disagree, the ROC should be a tough nut for them to crack open, but the ROC can't defend every potential beach head, and if they've lost aerial supremacy(if only in select places), holding the beaches becomes that much more of a challenge.

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If the PLA launches a surprise attack, it's still going to take weeks to get the PLA in position with the supplies they need to sustain an invasion force.  If they don't go for surprise, then we've already had time to move forces into the area.   Now they have to deal with additional naval forces from Australia and Japan.  Additional fighter and bomber attacks from Australia and Japan.  Maybe the UK and Canada decide to fight with Australia.  Maybe the US comes in.  Chinese naval forces will be attrited and cross strait supply and troop movement will become hazardous for the PLA.  If the USA comes in with 2 carrier groups and F-35s from Guam and Okinawa, Chinese air bases and ports will become targets.  The invasion will be non-sustainable.

I'm not going to disagree, but it will be a war of attrition from the onset. The Good news for Taiwan is that if the US is involved the reality is nobody will be likely to control the skies over Taiwan for any meaningful length of time for several weeks, which gives the defender a huge advantage. But getting to the point where the United Sates can devote air power to removing Chinese Amphibious assault capabilities is still likely to take weeks.

The bad news for Taiwan is China's military hubris and confidence in their gear and available technology may lead them to believe they're far more capable than they actually are.

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If the Americans expect to take the better part of a month getting to Taiwan as their best case once China initiates hostilities(Airfields are currently the limiting factor, China can put more planes in the air in the region with shorter turn-around times than the US + Allies can).

If China takes the long buildup scenario, allies will probably already be in the area, including the US.

Airfields aren't exactly something which can be built overnight, especially for the aircraft in the Jet Age of aviation. And there are wild-cards in the mix. There is no guarantee that the Philippines will stick its neck out for Taiwan, even if the US is involved. There is no assurance that South Korea would get involved either. If they "don't play," then those potential bases are off the table, so that means fewer planes on station at any given time as they spend more time in transit instead(and wracking up massive flight hours which triggers maintenance needs as well).

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Australia, Japan, and the Philippines have enough naval forces and can project just enough air defense to keep the strait too dangerous to cross.  That makes the invasion unsustainable.  That's all they have to do.  They don't have to land troops.  They just need to make it impossible for China to stay.

Their air defenses don't help them much if they're put up against some of the stuff that was designed to counter the US Navy, the only counter the United States has for that is basically THAAD and/or other anti-satellite capabilities that none of those nations are believed to have.  Getting near Taiwan may make things dangerous for Chinese ships, but it makes things far more dangerous for the ships of Japan and Australia. As to the Philippines, their Navy is barely adequate for self-defense, they may have the range to reach Taiwan, but the capabilities they bring to table basically consist of providing more things for China to shoot at. Most of their stuff is badly out of date... Which puts them about on par with the older ships of the PLAN.

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It's all a matter of range.  US carrier groups can sit back far enough from Chinese airfields so that if their bombers came for them, they would do so without fighter support and be running into a literal nest of Hornets.  After you attrit their bomber forces, you can move in closer and go after establishing air superiority over Taiwan, allowing strike packages to hit the PLA forces landed on the island, their airheads, their beacheads, strangle their supply lines, strike their C2 capabilities.  F35s can basically sneak up from wherever and bushwack PLA CAP.  You attrit their fighter forces.  Then you send in B-21s to hit PLA supply points and infrastructure.  Sure, it will take weeks.
 
B-21's won't be doing anything if China moves this year. But I'd also strongly suspect that for the opening portion of hostilities, no Carrier will be getting closer than 2,000 miles from Taiwan to start with. They might creep in as close as 1,500 miles but that's going to be about their limit until they get a better picture of exactly what China's capabilities are, and where China's stuff is either known to be at, or where they're known to not be present at. Roughly 2,000 miles out is where the carrier aircraft can at least lob some air-launched cruise-missiles at Chinese forces. If we can get some tankers in the air they even escort the tanker's in to aound the 1,000 mile point, refuel and move in closer to Chinese forces. But as the navy has no Carrier-launched tankers in service at present(a drone is in development though), they'd be relying on the Air-Force for that... Or using Super-hornets doing the "buddy tanker" thing which would reduce available combat craft by anywhere from half to even a third(1 buddy to get them out, another buddy to get them back) of normal capabilities. 

Yes there should be "warning signs" and indicators that something is going on, but some of those things are going to be much harder to detect than others. And given China's close proximity to Taiwan, a lot of that may not be noticeable until just days or just a week or so before they pull the proverbial trigger. In other words, China will be invading while the US and allies are still working out the logistics of the detailed response(and that's with a contingency plan in the first place).

But that's what the US has contingency plans for. It means the response force in Japan goes on high alert and start loading on planes the moment they have confirmation China is attacking. Get those guys over there ASAP and hope they can help Taiwan hold on until we can get more help on the way.

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Chinese DF-26s are only a problem if and when they know where our carriers are.  They can't just shoot them into the Pacific and hope for a lucky hit.

Fully agreed, they're only as good as "the kill chain" allows, which means they need to have "eyeballs on the carrier," otherwise they're just firing blindly into the sea. But "eyeballs on the sea" take a great many forms, and given the PLAN's "militia" of fishing boats, among other such things, that is a major counter-intelligence problem. How do you know that fishing trawler is really from the nation the flag they're flying indicates? Granted wartime in that scenario, and most of the "allied nations" would likely be granting permissions on that front. No civilian boat is going to be able to be allowed to come anywhere close to somewhere an Aircraft Carrier is operating. Of course, that creates it's own of intelligence boon, just look for the Carriers where-ever the exclusions zones are found to be.
 
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Land conquest of Taiwan would take 2-3 weeks at a minimum from landing, if the PLA gets lucky and don't get massacred on beaches and dropzones.  It's basically the exact opposite for a fait accompli.  Whatever the PLA has left on Taiwan is going to be vulnerable and as I stated before, you don't even have to invade, you just have to make it impossible for the PLA to stay on Taiwan.

But at what cost to the people of Taiwan. I do agree that a lot could be achieved simply by cutting off China's ability to supply their forces on Taiwan and sending some forces ashore to limit their ability to "resupply locally" but there are millions of Taiwanese citizens who then find themselves caught in that cross fire as the United States potentially destroys the infrastructure of Taiwan in order to save the nation... Which won't be much of a nation after that.

TheDeamon

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #258 on: January 25, 2021, 01:12:07 AM »
All this being said, every day the PRC gets stronger and the USA withdraws more from a desire to spend blood and treasure to defend friends and allies .  As I stated in the previous post, China's chances get better every year.  Why attack now when the issue is a gamble?  In 10 years it may be much easier. 4-8 Chinese carriers could dissuade and make any assistance from Japan and Australia futile and create a very tough fight for the US.  China can wait.

Credible threats from Chinese aircraft carriers (against the USN) are likely to be decades away yet. And in the context of Taiwan, superfluous. It's part of why China has backed down on their aggressive carrier buildout plan. The carriers they've built are basically glorified training ships as they try to learn the ropes of carrier aviation. (A report from a year or so ago said they had a total of 8 pilots qualified for carrier aviation, and I believe one of them has subsequently died in a training accident)

They might build two or three of the Type 2's (the first is nearing completion of major construction, and the second is starting to be built) as it is a (EMALS-)Catapult based ship it is their first "true carrier" although it looks like they're not expecting full initial operating capability until sometime after 2025 for the Type-2's.

I am saying two or three of the type-2's because that's what they need if they want to have at least one in a operational/ready to deploy status at all times. 1 in maintenance/overhaul, 1 in training/workups, and 1 in a deployed/deployable status. Although China does want to get a Nuclear Type-3 build, mostly a way of saying they're one of the big-boys like the US and France by operating a Nuclear carrier, but depending on how delayed initial construction of the Type-3 becomes, that might result in a third Type-2 being built.

Amphibious Warfare ships and the other associated escorts and support ships are another matter. But until they get the Carrier situation worked out China's navy is likely to remain a mostly coastal/regional force that only rarely ventures outside the shelter of their Ballistic Missile defenses.

As to why attack now? The F-35 isn't fully deployed as of yet, they stand better chances against Gen 4 fighters than they do the Gen 5 fighters.

THAAD and its derivatives are going to become more of a problem for them as time goes on. It potentially nullifies the ability of the DF-21 and DF-26 to menace naval warships, and also additionally is capable of nullifying their nuclear strike capabilities against the United States as well.

Also, the United States is no longer prevented by treaty from developing their conventional ballistic missile platforms now. The United States also now has weapons systems that were previously developed to have a range of less than 500 km because of treaty limitations that no longer apply. And the Army thinks they'll be able to modify them to reach a fair bit longer than that within a few years.

Their Area Denial strategy was great for as long as the United States was honoring treaties that prevented it from developing reciprocal capabilities. That is no longer the case. The United States can now fully engage them in an arms race involving the full range of conventional weapons. And given what the US could do even with the treaty restrictions, that's not good news for China. They were going to need decades to catch up to what the US could already do, the United States starting to develop into a new range of weapon capabilities moves that horizon in all kinds of unpredictable ways.

They also have demographic issues in play which makes me say 10 years from now is off the table. Demographics makes the choice for them being one of pursuing it within the next 10 years, and no later than that, or wait until some time in the 2040's or later.

The Diplomatic side also tends to push things towards moving sooner rather than later. International markets have been spooked by what happened in the wake of Covid19 and a lot of industries are starting to diversify away from China. Many of those efforts should only take a handful of years, and China cannot be completely certain about their ability to stifle those moves.

From a diplomatic perspective, they want the world to be in desperate need of China for trade. In the context of China being in a war, that is massive leverage against anyone trying to stop said trade. As that is going to make the rest of the world very reluctant to do anything in the first place, and make those trading partners very eager to end any economic penalties that do get levied against China by those other nations. They understand that is a card they'll likely only be able to play once, but it is a card they know they also are in danger of losing in the next 5 to 10 years anyway.

So THAAD's continued development points to 10 years or less.
China's demographics point to 10 years or less.
International Trade relationships post-Covid19 indicate possibly less than 5 years.
Other potential US Offensive and Defensive Missile Capabilities improving/expanding, indicate possibly less than 5 to 10 years.
America's political situation points to the timing factors I previously pointed at, making this year, or 4 years from now the most likely time frame, unless they think the Democrats aren't in danger of losing Congress in 2022's election cycle, in which case 2023 could be on the table for them at this time.
Authorized Defense sales by the Trump Admin also tends to point towards acting sooner rather than later for China depending on when those sales are supposed to be delivered to Taiwan. Which likely bumps things up to this year.

TheDeamon

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #259 on: January 25, 2021, 01:28:34 AM »
TheDeamon, I don't think any of those military events you name come anything close to all-out war, including Iraq 2.0. There was no doubt of the outcome of any of those, other than the amount of friendly losses. If they used secret advanced weapons, it would only have been as an opportunity to test them, not because they needed to use them to win. The last time the U.S. fought to win was 1970, so we're talking 50 years of tech upgrades in the "use only when desperate" category. Whatever those are.

Well, the specific weapon I'm talking about recalling seemed to be "a bomb" used in Serbia that was essentially creating a bunch of metal filaments(almost like chaff) which wrapped themselves around power lines with the resulting loss of power from the dead short that resulted. Not particularly destructive by itself, but extremely disruptive. Buh-bye high tension power lines and associated power transformers.

Iraq was a case of people underestimating the effectiveness of precision airstrike as Desert Storm was the first large scale demonstration of such a capability.

Iraq had one of the 5 largest armies in the world, and they had a fair bit of the most recent equipment that the Soviets were willing to sell at the time, in addition to their military having had extensive and recent experience fighting against Iran for much of the 1980's. So Desert Storm should have been a comparable major and protracted land war for the US, except the reality proved very different from the expectation.

Vietnam and Korea become the only other major war involving major force against major force battles, although Vietnam itself was mostly asymmetric warfare against the Viet-Cong rather than the NVA, but the NVA did fight a few batttles against the US. But even in terms of the NVA engagements, the NVA was generally overmatched, much like was the case in Desert Storm.... So you basically have to go back to Korea, and that was largely China vs the United States so that one is largely a wash for our purposes.

Fenring

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #260 on: January 25, 2021, 01:34:56 AM »
...so you agree with me?

TheDeamon

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #261 on: January 25, 2021, 01:56:30 AM »
...so you agree with me?

Mostly, it was about commenting that the metal filament bomb from Serbia isn't particularly secret as it has been reported on in the press, even if it doesn't doesn't show up in any advertising for weaponry in the DOD arsenal. It probably was an experimental deployment to see what would happen in the real world, but it was interesting all the same.

I guess one other thing to point out however, most of China's tanks are old, as in a lot of them date back to WW2 and Korea, and they haven't modernized them, so in some ways, they're still behind Iraq in 1990. Although that probably says more about how certain they are that nobody is going to engage in a land war on China's mainland. But it isn't the tanks that would be the problem.

It'd be modern day snipers getting setup in urban centers and using the super-tall skyscrapers. Taipei 101 would make one vey nice sniper nest, aside from lack of escape options. Of course, not being residential, it also makes for an easier target to hit with high explosives. But hey, the fourth tallest building in Taiwan is a residential building and has 70 floors. In the event of a military invasion, no sniper would ever possibly consider setting up shop in there, would they?  ::)
« Last Edit: January 25, 2021, 02:06:27 AM by TheDeamon »

cherrypoptart

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #262 on: January 28, 2021, 01:17:12 AM »
Prediction: Covid deaths in America under Biden after one year will be higher than they were under Trump.

It won't be necessarily totally Biden's fault though. The new mutations that are more infectious and more deadly and less affected by the vaccines look like they may become a huge problem. When I go out and about I see that people are going through the motions with masking but with eat in dining and schools opening back up, going through the motions won't be enough. With Democrats now in charge of the economy and no longer to so easily blame Trump for everything, we also see them starting to prioritize jobs over keeping the curve flattened but of course keeping that level of lock down in effect for too long as part of the cure may be worse than the disease. I'll say if Biden actually manages to get this virus under control that will be a huge success and if he can do it while opening schools and the economy a bit more while keeping deaths down it'll be such a success that I'll hardly believe my own eyes. Unfortunately though, it looks like the nature of this beast makes that a very tall order.

TheDeamon

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #263 on: January 28, 2021, 01:57:13 AM »
With Democrats now in charge of the economy and no longer to so easily blame Trump for everything, we also see them starting to prioritize jobs over keeping the curve flattened but of course keeping that level of lock down in effect for too long as part of the cure may be worse than the disease. I'll say if Biden actually manages to get this virus under control that will be a huge success and if he can do it while opening schools and the economy a bit more while keeping deaths down it'll be such a success that I'll hardly believe my own eyes. Unfortunately though, it looks like the nature of this beast makes that a very tall order.

I'm just waiting for the Democrats to push a $15 minimum wage through Congress. We know it's coming.

Biden hasn't found a way to stop fracking on private land by executive order, but I'm sure his new appointees for the EPA will find a way to stop it. His green new deal that will creat 1 million jobs, by displacing almost as many is almost comical. Shutting down keystoneXL is also another comedy of saying one thing, while achieving another(the alternative is worse than the pipeline).

The list goes on and on. We're going to have another "Obama recovery" on our hands while Democrats are running things. And considering where we're starting from, that's a huge problem.

cherrypoptart

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #264 on: January 28, 2021, 02:14:11 AM »
There is also his mass amnesty which is going to flood the job market with over ten million new workers competing for good American jobs right here in America. And these aren't the jobs Americans don't want to do. Once their status is upgraded to legalized workers and Biden wants that done pretty much immediately, they no longer have to work in fields or doing dishes or as domestics. So they will of course seek better employment opportunities which means we're going to need millions more new illegal immigrants to take their place and those people are already on the way. Many if not most of them will be able to jump right into legal status since there is hardly any way for Biden to stop them from qualifying no matter what he says about requirements for people to have been here before a certain date because that information is easily falsified and Democrats don't really care about it in the first place anyway which means there is practically an unlimited supply of labor ready for any and all American jobs at every rung of the corporate and economic ladder. The $15 minimum wage may be required just to keep it from falling to minimum wage for most jobs with the vast new supply of labor which of course just means that even if jobs are paying that much not only will there not be as many jobs available because labor costs are so high but also Americans won't be getting many of those jobs because they'll be competing with everyone else and of course don't ask about job benefits because if you do you can look for a job elsewhere my friend.

DJQuag

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #265 on: January 28, 2021, 04:25:27 AM »
Just noting that diseases tend to be most deadly when they first appear, becoming less so as time goes on. The new mutations seem to spread easier, but I've not heard that they're any deadlier. Any strain that allows people to be on their feet and spreading it further for longer is going to have a competitive advantage.

Grant

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #266 on: January 28, 2021, 08:11:21 AM »
There is also his mass amnesty which is going to flood the job market with over ten million new workers competing for good American jobs right here in America.

The legislation will first have to get through Congress and the Senate.  Chances are he may have to make some concessions to the Senate.  Ask the new most powerful man in America, Joe Manchin.  Immigration reform is long overdue.  So sorry the Republicans couldn't pass immigration reform back in 2013 because they were nuckin futz.  This is what happens.  Flake, Graham, McCain, and Rubio tried to solve this for you seven years ago with concessions, but nutters just wouldn't have it.  AMNESTY!  Lost their little minds. 

Quote
Once their status is upgraded to legalized workers and Biden wants that done pretty much immediately, they no longer have to work in fields or doing dishes or as domestics.

Oh gawd.  How horrible for all the farmers and housewives utilizing illegals to take jobs that Americans don't want and paying them a pittance.  Oh dear.  Dear or dear.  What will we do.   The dishes won't get cleaned. 

Or maybe, they stay at the jobs they already have, because they have that bird in the hand, and just ask for minimum wage.  Dear or dear.  How will Farmer Brown and Lady Hawley pay for this? 

Quote
The $15 minimum wage may be required just to keep it from falling to minimum wage for most jobs with the vast new supply of labor which of course just means that even if jobs are paying that much not only will there not be as many jobs available because labor costs are so high but also Americans won't be getting many of those jobs because they'll be competing with everyone else

The only thing I can agree with you on is that it seems a bad idea to bring millions of new workers into the legal job market and then raise the minimum wage at the same time.  It puts a bunch of strain on employers.  They have to raise prices or fire people.  I'm not a huge fan of raising the minimum wage. I understand why some people want it, but it's going to have a negative impact on many of the same people you're trying to help here. 

DonaldD

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #267 on: January 28, 2021, 08:58:53 AM »
A living minimum wage is a proxy for an effective balance of power/knowledge between the seller and the buyer (in this case, the employee and the employer).  This balance does not exist today.

I suppose if you allowed (and enforced the freedom of) workers to organize (yes, unions) there would be less need for a minimum wage.  But until there is effective parity between employers and employees across the whole negotiation process, a realistic minimum wage is a necessary fallback position.

TheDrake

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #268 on: January 28, 2021, 01:10:21 PM »
Unfortunately, the minimum wage hike was long overdue in some states (or metro areas) while also being unnecessary in others. States and metro areas should have been addressing this in a more granular way.

Nebraska doesn't need much minimum wage hike, most likely. Housing is half the national average. You can rent a studio apartment there for $560 per month. That's roughly $140 per week. Meanwhile $7.25/hr gives you $281 (gross). Even better, split a 2 bdrm for $415 per month.

Even staying out of the hottest places in CA, let's have a look at Fresno. 2 bdrm there is $956, over twice as much. Of course Cali is ahead of the curve with a $14 minimum wage.

For all the doomsday predictions about Seattle, they seem to have weathered the horror of a living wage pretty well. Most workers just got bumped to $16.69. Unemployment hovered around 3% since 2016. Yelp shows there are still plenty of restaurants to eat at. No tumbleweeds have been sighted.


DonaldD

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #269 on: January 28, 2021, 01:14:40 PM »
The federal minimum wage had not been increased in 12 years.

Is there any likelihood that the new minimum wage will be indexed to inflation? If not, it will likely be in place, as-is, at its current level, for at least another 4 years.  Given these points, is 15$ really that unreasonable?

yossarian22c

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #270 on: January 28, 2021, 01:18:39 PM »
The federal minimum wage had not been increased in 12 years.

Is there any likelihood that the new minimum wage will be indexed to inflation? If not, it will likely be in place, as-is, at its current level, for at least another 4 years.  Given these points, is 15$ really that unreasonable?

I think a $10 minimum wage indexed to inflation would be a nice compromise. $15 seems a little high. $10 is a nice bump but doesn't make working minimum wage a good career choice.

Fenring

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #271 on: January 28, 2021, 01:28:20 PM »
Nebraska doesn't need much minimum wage hike, most likely. Housing is half the national average. You can rent a studio apartment there for $560 per month. That's roughly $140 per week. Meanwhile $7.25/hr gives you $281 (gross).

The prevailing wisdom 20-30 years ago was *never* spend more than 1/4 of your income on rent. Now people should feel grateful to be able to spend 50%+ on a studio? Yeah, there's no problem here with wage levels...

LetterRip

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #272 on: January 28, 2021, 01:29:44 PM »
I'd go with a cost of living adjusted minimum wage - using the same COLA adjustment as military - with the goal of the similar after expenses disposable income.

msquared

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #273 on: January 28, 2021, 01:34:26 PM »
Military or SS. I have no problem with indexing to inflation.  Lots of things are done that way.

LetterRip

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #274 on: January 28, 2021, 01:48:56 PM »
msquared, military COLA is based on specific city local costs.  So for NYC it might be significant, for a small midwest town quite small.  This is distinct from inflation adjusted. 

DonaldD

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #275 on: January 28, 2021, 01:55:03 PM »
I expect each state has (or, well, should have) its own minimum wage law, or would that run afoul of some interstate commerce clause interpretation?

Grant

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #276 on: January 28, 2021, 01:56:03 PM »
So, nobody is going to address the rise in unemployment a $15 minimum wage is going to cause? 

yossarian22c

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #277 on: January 28, 2021, 02:00:21 PM »
So, nobody is going to address the rise in unemployment a $15 minimum wage is going to cause?

$15 per hour doesn't make sense in rural WV. It might make sense in NYC or Seattle.

I like LR's idea of minimum wage adjusted by a COLA.

But nation wide I think an increase to $10 and indexing to inflation would also be a big improvement and let local cities deal with any high cost of living issues.

LetterRip

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #278 on: January 28, 2021, 02:01:52 PM »
DonaldD,

each state has their ow  state minimum wages ,  which in most cases are extremely low.

Using COLA is already present in military pay so I don't think it would run afoul of law requirements.

I think at the state level is too roughly grained.  The major factor is city vs rural rather than state specific.


msquared

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #279 on: January 28, 2021, 02:03:03 PM »
LR

I did not know that. Thanks


DonaldD

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #280 on: January 28, 2021, 02:14:05 PM »
DonaldD,

each state has their ow  state minimum wages ,  which in most cases are extremely low.

Using COLA is already present in military pay so I don't think it would run afoul of law requirements.

I think at the state level is too roughly grained.  The major factor is city vs rural rather than state specific.
This seems completely reasonable. 

I wonder what creative agreements could be made using the cudgel of a federal minimum wage to negotiate state-level minimum wages? Not that this is being proposed, but having a state-level opt-out clause so long as the state law met certain criteria...

Will the federal minimum wage affect all hourly workers, or just federal employees?

LetterRip

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #281 on: January 28, 2021, 02:51:36 PM »
Federal minimum are for all workers.  State minimums can be higher but not lower.

Fenring

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #282 on: January 28, 2021, 04:50:59 PM »
So, nobody is going to address the rise in unemployment a $15 minimum wage is going to cause?

There is a bit of irony in this hypothesis, because the trickle down argument put forward by right-wing economists maintains that putting money in the hands of the industrialists ends up generating jobs and money for everyone below. Putting aside whether you have personally made this argument, you do seem to now be echoing a generally right-wing concern about minimum wage levels. But if the trickle down argument holds any water, then it should also hold just as well that things trickle up - or I should say trickle around: if you put money in the hands of those on the bottom they will spend it, which ends up increasing money spent on goods and services, therefore ending up in the pocket of the industrialists. Granted, this money wouldn't be evenly spread, so having a $15 wage might mean you're buying more electronics, more order-in food, but possibly not really more expensive cars or leather luggage. But nevertheless that money goes back into the economy, right to the corporate pocket, and it is almost 100% certain anyone working for a wage will spend the vast majority if not all of this extra wage right away on stuff. So although in the short term obviously the overhead goes up payroll, shouldn't this in very short order be compensated for in all the extra sales and demand? Like, literally that money will go out and come right back in - albeit often laterally to other companies. But across the board it should even out for companies providing basic things people need.

I could see, mind you, the argument that this could shift wealth from companies with inelastic demand to those where people will spend more with a better income. That could be. But I don't really see how this extra payroll overhead wouldn't be compensated by more orders on the aggregate. Where is that money going otherwise, under their beds? It seems to me that the theory that money trickles down (and therefore if you give to the industrialists everyone benefits) pretty much necessitates accepting the reverse (that giving it to the bottom, it should end up being spread to the industrialists).

Aris Katsaris

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #283 on: January 28, 2021, 05:01:20 PM »
There is a bit of irony in this hypothesis, because the trickle down argument put forward by right-wing economists maintains that putting money in the hands of the industrialists ends up generating jobs and money for everyone below. Putting aside whether you have personally made this argument, you do seem to now be echoing a generally right-wing concern about minimum wage levels. But if the trickle down argument holds any water, then it should also hold just as well that things trickle up - or I should say trickle around: if you put money in the hands of those on the bottom they will spend it, which ends up increasing money spent on goods and services, therefore ending up in the pocket of the industrialists. Granted, this money wouldn't be evenly spread, so having a $15 wage might mean you're buying more electronics, more order-in food, but possibly not really more expensive cars or leather luggage.

Minimum wage doesn't necessarily however mean "putting money in the hands of those at the bottom". It means EITHER putting more money in the hands of those at the bottom OR getting them fired (because their boss can't afford to employ them anymore) and so causing them to lose what little money they had. Presumably some will benefit from a minimum wage. Others will lose.

I don't know enough to judge whether this particular decision on minimum wage is good or bad.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2021, 05:04:16 PM by Aris Katsaris »

TheDrake

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #284 on: January 28, 2021, 05:09:23 PM »
Let's assume there is no shift in employability. It still seems like a closed system to me. Consider a thought experiment where there is only one company. They have to pay their employees more, but then simple supply and demand means they charge more for products based on elasticity, and equilibrium is maintained.

The "anti taxers" see government as somehow separate. But if the government taxes more, they are still using it to buy goods and services from the private sector, ultimately. So I think it is always about local winners and losers. Money is never destroyed, at least once it is issued. Now there is some currency type stuff based on monetary supply and borrowing from outside the country that I'm not going to try to get into.

Grant

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #285 on: January 28, 2021, 05:22:27 PM »
There is a bit of irony in this hypothesis, because the trickle down argument put forward by right-wing economists maintains that putting money in the hands of the industrialists ends up generating jobs and money for everyone below.

I have no idea.  I have no idea what a "right-wing economist" is.  I don't even know which "right-wing" we're talking about here.  There appear to be several "right-wings" right now.  Are we talking about Thomas Sowell, or are we talking about Peter Navarro?  Are we talking about Larry Kudlow or Irwin Stelzer?  What's a "left-wing economist"?  Marx or Krugman?  Are we talking about Keynes vs Hayek? 

How about I just use the CBO, which is supposed to be a non-partisan agency, as my source. 

 https://www.cbo.gov/system/files/2019-07/CBO-55410-MinimumWage2019.pdf

Quote
In an average week in 2025, the $15 option would boost the wages of
17 million workers who would otherwise earn less than $15 per hour.
Another 10 million workers otherwise earning slightly more than $15
per hour might see their wages rise as well. But 1.3 million other workers
would become jobless, according to CBO’s median estimate. There is a twothirds chance that the change in employment would be between about zero
and a decrease of 3.7 million workers. The number of people with annual
income below the poverty threshold in 2025 would fall by 1.3 million.

So 1.3 million people will be lifted out of poverty, and another 1.3 million people who were already poor will now be on unemployment.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2021, 05:24:33 PM by Grant »

Fenring

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #286 on: January 28, 2021, 05:23:15 PM »
Let's assume there is no shift in employability. It still seems like a closed system to me. Consider a thought experiment where there is only one company. They have to pay their employees more, but then simple supply and demand means they charge more for products based on elasticity, and equilibrium is maintained.

I don't think this 'law' of supply and demand (namely that prices are determined purely based on demand) works this way, or at all. There are many factors that go into it, one of which is slow inflation (for instance if a company jacked up bread price due to increased "demand" they would be destroyed immediately in the market), and one of which is scarcity especially. A product that can be created essentially infinitely should not go up in price as a result of wage levels or demand levels. It should only mean you do more volume of business, and that's it. Any further change in product price or availability would (correctly) be seen as trying to gouge the customer. The case where you see prices go up and down regularly is when the supply is closer to fixed, for instance the gold market, or the stock market. There ought to be roughly zero equivalent in the retail and service market, which is where the vast majority of money is going from someone earning minimum wage (even a $15 minimum wage).

To answer Aris' point, yes, a company can just lay off a bunch of people on a dime if the wage goes up, but if they could afford to function with that few employees, let's face it, they would have done that already. Companies are long past the point of having one person do 2-3 peoples' work and it's probably stretched as thin as it can be right now for the most part. No company is employing more people than they absolutely need anymore. If they let some go they might simply have to close down and halt operations. And if they were smart they would realize they don't need to close down despite payroll being higher, because they really should see an uptick in sales pretty shortly (like, the same month possibly as the new wage is in effect). The one caveat in all this is to raise the minimum wage in a turbulent time like during a pandemic. So I could see the wisdom in arguing that it should happen when most of the country is vaccines and business as usual has resumed.

Fenring

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #287 on: January 28, 2021, 05:27:19 PM »
I have no idea.  I have no idea what a "right-wing economist" is.  I don't even know which "right-wing" we're talking about here.  There appear to be several "right-wings" right now.  Are we talking about Thomas Sowell, or are we talking about Peter Navarro?  Are we talking about Larry Kudlow or Irwin Stelzer?  What's a "left-wing economist"?  Marx or Krugman?  Are we talking about Keynes vs Hayek? 

I guess I could get into talking about this or that institute or think tank, and to try to narrow down with you which ones have the ear of Washington the most. I mostly mean the same advocacy groups and thinkers who try to justify corporate tax breaks typically during Republican administrations. It's not as if the trickle down argument is some minor idea in the realm of right-wing economics; it comes front and center repeatedly and to this day, centered right around national policy.

Regarding the numbers in your quote, I can't pretend to know better what the real numbers would be, but that being said I don't particularly think most economists know wtf they are talking about, even if what sound like straightforward issues. Once someone like Greenspan publicly says that he may have to rethink whether he understands the market at all, you know that something is rotten in the state of claim-mark.

Grant

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #288 on: January 28, 2021, 05:37:03 PM »

Regarding the numbers in your quote, I can't pretend to know better what the real numbers would be, but that being said I don't particularly think most economists know wtf they are talking about, even if what sound like straightforward issues.

I see.  That explains how Peter Navarro and Larry Kudlow got to making economic policy instead of AEI or Cato, right?  None of them know anything so basically joe blow is on the same level, or bettter, when it comes to economic understanding. Forget the numbers then.  We don't have to address them.  Economists don't know what they are talking about.  Good point. 

By the way, the corporate tax rate in the United States is roughly the same as it is in the three Scandinavian socialist paradises, Norway, Sweden, and Finland. 
« Last Edit: January 28, 2021, 05:41:08 PM by Grant »

rightleft22

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #289 on: January 28, 2021, 05:47:12 PM »
Researching the idea's behind Trickle down reaganomics is interesting. It may take some time for History to detach itself from the myth of Ragan for the final answer.

That said the pendulum seems to be moving towards the conclusion that Trickle-down tax cuts failed to benefit working families, the past quarter century showing that the supply-side theory that top-bracket tax cuts would boost economic growth and jobs failed,

TheDrake

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #290 on: January 28, 2021, 05:49:18 PM »
Let's assume there is no shift in employability. It still seems like a closed system to me. Consider a thought experiment where there is only one company. They have to pay their employees more, but then simple supply and demand means they charge more for products based on elasticity, and equilibrium is maintained.

I don't think this 'law' of supply and demand (namely that prices are determined purely based on demand) works this way, or at all. There are many factors that go into it, one of which is slow inflation (for instance if a company jacked up bread price due to increased "demand" they would be destroyed immediately in the market), and one of which is scarcity especially. A product that can be created essentially infinitely should not go up in price as a result of wage levels or demand levels. It should only mean you do more volume of business, and that's it. Any further change in product price or availability would (correctly) be seen as trying to gouge the customer. The case where you see prices go up and down regularly is when the supply is closer to fixed, for instance the gold market, or the stock market. There ought to be roughly zero equivalent in the retail and service market, which is where the vast majority of money is going from someone earning minimum wage (even a $15 minimum wage).

To answer Aris' point, yes, a company can just lay off a bunch of people on a dime if the wage goes up, but if they could afford to function with that few employees, let's face it, they would have done that already. Companies are long past the point of having one person do 2-3 peoples' work and it's probably stretched as thin as it can be right now for the most part. No company is employing more people than they absolutely need anymore. If they let some go they might simply have to close down and halt operations. And if they were smart they would realize they don't need to close down despite payroll being higher, because they really should see an uptick in sales pretty shortly (like, the same month possibly as the new wage is in effect). The one caveat in all this is to raise the minimum wage in a turbulent time like during a pandemic. So I could see the wisdom in arguing that it should happen when most of the country is vaccines and business as usual has resumed.

Obviously there are a myriad of complications, including the fact that not everyone is making minimum wage, that raw materials may be imported from somewhere not affected by wage hikes, etc. There are also a variety of responses including deployment of technology - depending on the sector. One can respond by reducing quality potentially, lowering COGS. Scaling back advertisement, promotional pricing, on and on. All is moot, McConnell and the Republicans in the Senate ain't putting that one through, they would infuriate much of their base.

TheDrake

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #291 on: January 28, 2021, 05:53:48 PM »
That said the pendulum seems to be moving towards the conclusion that Trickle-down tax cuts failed to benefit working families, the past quarter century showing that the supply-side theory that top-bracket tax cuts would boost economic growth and jobs failed,

You are talking about two different things. Economic growth does indeed go up with reduced taxes on corporations, but the benefits go to stockholders not employees, IMO. The theory is that this is supposed to drive more investment, but to look at one anecdote - Bezos didn't take all his extra wealth and plow it back into the economy generally, it sits on paper until he sells his equity and reinvests it elsewhere. Or borrows against it, I suppose?

LetterRip

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #292 on: January 28, 2021, 05:56:25 PM »
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By the way, the corporate tax rate in the United States is roughly the same as it is in the three Scandinavian socialist paradises, Norway, Sweden, and Finland.


US effective corporate tax rate is drastically lower than almost all other countries.  US effective is 11.3% mean.  Norway effective is 21%.   There are enormous loopholes and deductions in US tax code that aren't allowed by other countries.

Also the average for the US is misleading - small businesses pay close to the statutory, enormous businesses pay almost none.  So the weighted average is probably something like 3%.

rightleft22

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #293 on: January 28, 2021, 06:02:02 PM »
That said the pendulum seems to be moving towards the conclusion that Trickle-down tax cuts failed to benefit working families, the past quarter century showing that the supply-side theory that top-bracket tax cuts would boost economic growth and jobs failed,

You are talking about two different things. Economic growth does indeed go up with reduced taxes on corporations, but the benefits go to stockholders not employees, IMO. The theory is that this is supposed to drive more investment, but to look at one anecdote - Bezos didn't take all his extra wealth and plow it back into the economy generally, it sits on paper until he sells his equity and reinvests it elsewhere. Or borrows against it, I suppose?

Bezos wealth distribution is interesting. As a philanthropists he and his wife have given away millions,  money one might argue coming off the backs of his employees. Employees that again some might argue are taken advantage of.  Begs the question could his wealth be better distributed by paying his workers better?

Fenring

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #294 on: January 28, 2021, 06:06:50 PM »
I see.  That explains how Peter Navarro and Larry Kudlow got to making economic policy instead of AEI or Cato, right?  None of them know anything so basically joe blow is on the same level, or bettter, when it comes to economic understanding. Forget the numbers then.  We don't have to address them.  Economists don't know what they are talking about.  Good point. 

It's not that they don't know anything, it's that like certain fields in the social sciences they make claims that are levels beyond what their current level of theory can actually claim in specifics. Take medieval astrologers for example: they weren't merely the witch-doctors that people make them out to be, they really did employ naked eye astronomy and try to determine causes and effects of things. Some of their knowledge was real knowledge, but some was obviously nonsense, and their overall theory understanding was weak. But it has to start somewhere, so I wouldn't even insult what it was they were doing. In what I see as being a ridiculously complex field of study, it is not insulting to argue that we are mostly not equipped to make strong claims about specific effects of policies that have no long history of empirical analysis in what we could call controlled conditions. As a 'science' it's more like art at this point in history. I completely support everyone studying economics in both quantitative and psychological approaches, but in our day and age people are not perhaps allowed to be humble enough to say things like "we are working towards a general theory of economics but it's a century or two away". Maybe it's because of how politicized economic theory always is, going back to the Depression era and before; where moral theory ends up in a mixed up quagmire with economic theory, which to this day have not been disentangled all that much. But I personally don't believe that economists have the grasp of things they claim to or want to; I think that they overrate the state of their own art or science; and that they have to act much more sure than they really are (perhaps even than they are well aware they are) because that's the state of American politics. I don't blame them necessarily, but I do take strong and sure claims with more than a grain of salt. More like a sodium mine.

Fenring

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #295 on: January 28, 2021, 06:13:18 PM »
Grant, let's do a thought experiment: imagine if despite the warnings of some, a $15 national minimum wage was implemented. And let's say the actual numbers you posted simply don't happen, or are different by a significant margin. Do you think the 'public' (whoever that is) will string up the economist who said that and tar and feather them, making them admit while naked in public stocks that they were a charlatan and didn't know what they were talking about? Or do you think that economic journals will write articles about the hucksters making the false claims and call them frauds, never to be trusted again? No, if you look back at 20th century American economic-theory history alone you will see ample examples of very strong cliques making all sorts of claims that were proven time and again to be either wrong or at minimum not what they said it would be like, and it is never the case that they are 'taken to task' or made to recant or something. Either the particular movement (like for instance monetarism) fades away, or comes with in another guise like a hydra head, or else stays popular as a sort of public-policy phantom, perpetually heard but never able to be touched as if just insubstantial enough to not affect it. It is evident to me at least, that the more you read about the last 100 years of economics in America, the more you should just laugh and shrug. It might as well be astrology in a sense.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2021, 06:16:05 PM by Fenring »

NobleHunter

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #296 on: January 28, 2021, 06:49:26 PM »
The line I like is that Economics is (alledgedly) one of the few fields that does not regularly ask its practitioners to study its history. Most/All other disciplines make at least some effort to teach would-be professionals how the field got to where it was. This leads to degree requirements like "History of Medicine," "History of Engineering," or "History of Basketweaving." The claim is that economics doesn't offer a "History of Economics" because nothing holds up. The historical theories can't explain modern events and modern theories can't explain historical events. They take refuge in ignorance because history isn't kind to them.

TheDeamon

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #297 on: January 28, 2021, 10:02:40 PM »
There is a bit of irony in this hypothesis, because the trickle down argument put forward by right-wing economists maintains that putting money in the hands of the industrialists ends up generating jobs and money for everyone below. Putting aside whether you have personally made this argument, you do seem to now be echoing a generally right-wing concern about minimum wage levels. But if the trickle down argument holds any water, then it should also hold just as well that things trickle up - or I should say trickle around: if you put money in the hands of those on the bottom they will spend it, which ends up increasing money spent on goods and services, therefore ending up in the pocket of the industrialists. Granted, this money wouldn't be evenly spread, so having a $15 wage might mean you're buying more electronics, more order-in food, but possibly not really more expensive cars or leather luggage. But nevertheless that money goes back into the economy, right to the corporate pocket, and it is almost 100% certain anyone working for a wage will spend the vast majority if not all of this extra wage right away on stuff. So although in the short term obviously the overhead goes up payroll, shouldn't this in very short order be compensated for in all the extra sales and demand? Like, literally that money will go out and come right back in - albeit often laterally to other companies. But across the board it should even out for companies providing basic things people need.

Trickle Down economics don't apply to the scenario of a $15 minimum wage unless you somehow made it a global minimum wage. All a $15 minimum does is price low skill/low experience/"high risk" workers out of the work force, because their jobs become that much more likely to be off-shored to a part of the world where they'll happily work for $15 a day.

Wealthy people tend to want to spend the money where they are, and aren't too concerned about price("If you have to ask, you can't afford it") but the people who work for those wealthy people are price conscious and they'll be buying what they can afford or what they think delivers "best value" for their need at the time. And an over-priced workforce doesn't offer a guarantee of good value. This is a large part of the problem we've had for decades now and has been embodied by Wal-Mart & Made in China.

It also absolutely murders small businesses. When you're spending $1Million+ a year to take home about $60K/year off your business revenues after expenses with your current employees making $11 to $13/hour on average.

You bump their pay up to $15 to $17/hour and that $60K/year and your $60K/year just became $35K/year. Time to sell the business, invest it in income stocks in the stock market, and go to work for WalMart, less stress, less liability, and more income for you. I guess should find one of the posts I saw elsewhere that had a small business operator actually give numbers, I think I'm in the general ballpark of what he wrote.

From memory I think he was making a 4% Return on investment with all the capital he has invested in his company, and in his specific case, he was able to take home about 50 to 60K per year. Bumping the minimum wage up to $15/hour makes keeping his employees not economical for him, and without those employees he cannot continue to do the business he was doing. But he could sell the business, and invest it in the market where a 5% ROI is relatively easy to achieve, and get a job working for someone else. And that's what his likely decision would be. Sucks for the handful of people who work for him, but if that's what the government wants, that's what the government will get.

Quote
I could see, mind you, the argument that this could shift wealth from companies with inelastic demand to those where people will spend more with a better income. That could be. But I don't really see how this extra payroll overhead wouldn't be compensated by more orders on the aggregate. Where is that money going otherwise, under their beds? It seems to me that the theory that money trickles down (and therefore if you give to the industrialists everyone benefits) pretty much necessitates accepting the reverse (that giving it to the bottom, it should end up being spread to the industrialists).

It murders small businesses that operate on small margins, and leaves the market wide open for the big box stores(or Amazon) to move in the fill the void. Which doesn't do much for helping people find work.

TheDeamon

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #298 on: January 28, 2021, 10:06:31 PM »
Let's assume there is no shift in employability. It still seems like a closed system to me. Consider a thought experiment where there is only one company. They have to pay their employees more, but then simple supply and demand means they charge more for products based on elasticity, and equilibrium is maintained.

You're forgetting that the US economy isn't a closed system, it interacts with the rest of the world. You increase the cost of labor, you increase the cost of goods and services offered in the United States.

In an era where telecommunications makes even technical support viable from thousands of miles away, that is a very dangerous path to pursue. There is a wide range of people employed in jobs that the moment they cost $15/hour to employ, their employment will end, and they'll be replaced by someone working in a call center in India or some other developing nation that has a number of people who have some degree of experience with English.

TheDrake

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Re: Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« Reply #299 on: January 28, 2021, 10:07:25 PM »
I see.  That explains how Peter Navarro and Larry Kudlow got to making economic policy instead of AEI or Cato, right?  None of them know anything so basically joe blow is on the same level, or bettter, when it comes to economic understanding. Forget the numbers then.  We don't have to address them.  Economists don't know what they are talking about.  Good point. 

It's not that they don't know anything, it's that like certain fields in the social sciences they make claims that are levels beyond what their current level of theory can actually claim in specifics. Take medieval astrologers for example: they weren't merely the witch-doctors that people make them out to be, they really did employ naked eye astronomy and try to determine causes and effects of things. Some of their knowledge was real knowledge, but some was obviously nonsense, and their overall theory understanding was weak. But it has to start somewhere, so I wouldn't even insult what it was they were doing. In what I see as being a ridiculously complex field of study, it is not insulting to argue that we are mostly not equipped to make strong claims about specific effects of policies that have no long history of empirical analysis in what we could call controlled conditions. As a 'science' it's more like art at this point in history. I completely support everyone studying economics in both quantitative and psychological approaches, but in our day and age people are not perhaps allowed to be humble enough to say things like "we are working towards a general theory of economics but it's a century or two away". Maybe it's because of how politicized economic theory always is, going back to the Depression era and before; where moral theory ends up in a mixed up quagmire with economic theory, which to this day have not been disentangled all that much. But I personally don't believe that economists have the grasp of things they claim to or want to; I think that they overrate the state of their own art or science; and that they have to act much more sure than they really are (perhaps even than they are well aware they are) because that's the state of American politics. I don't blame them necessarily, but I do take strong and sure claims with more than a grain of salt. More like a sodium mine.

I like the way you put that. But if that is indeed the case, wouldn't that apply equally to all economic pronouncements? Like "minimum wage will destroy the economy" or "lower taxes are always good"?