Irrational Risk

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There is some good research out that suggests that power actually causes physical changes to the brain.

Those who feel that they are in a powerful position lose their ability to experience empathy.  The result is that they become more willing to take risk because they don’t consider how these risks may potentially affect others.

At least one of these studies documents that CEO’s who lived through a disaster (war, famine, etc) during their childhood are far less likely to take big risks as adults.

Lord David Owen calls it “Hubris Syndrome”.

“Hubris syndrome,” as he and a co-author, Jonathan Davidson, defined it in a 2009 article published in Brain, “is a disorder of the possession of power, particularly power which has been associated with overwhelming success, held for a period of years and with minimal constraint on the leader.” Its 14 clinical features include: manifest contempt for others, loss of contact with reality, restless or reckless actions, and displays of incompetence. In May, the Royal Society of Medicine co-hosted a conference of the Daedalus Trust—an organization that Owen founded for the study and prevention of hubris.

You might be inclined to regard this as nothing new.  To some extent you’re right.  Psychopathy and hubris have been with us as long as we have had social groups.

The cautionary tale of the consequences of hubris and psychopathy, however, is a new history of WWII by Victor David Hanson.

He points out in great detail that Germany was incapable of winning WWII.  Here are some of the reasons why.

Germany never had a mass produced four engine bomber that could compete with the B-17.  They also had no aircraft carriers.  As a result, they lacked air superiority in naval battles and they could never have extended their reach across an ocean.

The Germans didn’t have much oil.  Half the world’s oil at that time came from the US.  Fuel shortages limited the number of missions the Luftwaffe could fly.

Their planes were inferior technology.  They were harder to operate which meant that their pilots required more training than the Allies.  They were more complicated to build.  Germany never figured out how to build them in high volume.  Germany didn’t build concrete runways in their forward bases like the Allies.  As a result, more of their limited supply of aircraft were damaged in take off and landings on dirt runways.

As a land-based power with a small navy, Germany depended on their Luftwaffe to make up the difference.  The disadvantages their air force faced in a long war should have been obvious.

WWII was about new mechanized mobile warfare.  The Germans introduced the blitzkrieg, but used horses to resupply their troops because of oil shortages.  The blitzkrieg depended on fast tanks.  The Russians had both a superior design and the ability to manufacture tanks in high volume.

Early on, Germany could have likely settled with the rest of the world and retained their territory gains.  Instead the Germans ignored the limitations of their air force and attempted to bomb England into submission.  Any hope of even just a European victory was lost when Germany attacked Russia in 1941.

There was good data before the war that science could produce new massively destructive weapons using the theories of Einstein and others.  The Third Reich, however, purged their universities of some of the best minds of their generation because they were Jewish.  Most of them escaped to the west where they eventually created the atomic bomb.

All of this data raises the real question of what were these people thinking?  How could they have made so many serious mistakes in the long term planning that would be required if they wanted to achieve the world domination that they claimed?

Axis leaders believed that Fascism could make up the difference by producing more fanatical soldiers with more “élan.” For a brief time at the beginning of the war, Allied countries believed this, too. (There was widespread fear, especially, of Japanese soldiers.) They soon realized that defending one’s homeland against invaders turns pretty much everyone into a fanatic.

The Axis powers fell prey to their own mythmaking: they were adept at creating narratives that made exceedingly unlikely victories seem not just plausible but inevitable.

That said, the Allies also convinced themselves that Axis leaders had successfully brainwashed their citizens.  They used that conclusion to justify unprecedented violence against civilians abroad, internment camps for Japanese citizens in the United States, and the only use of atomic weapons on civilians in history.

We face similar problems today in our country.

When countries lose track of facts and start believing their own mythology, they become vulnerable not only to delusional power-hungry leaders, but also to foolish military adventures.

We invaded Iraq because Bush II neocons thought it would be a cake walk.  There was no evidence of any connection between Saddam and the 9/11 attackers.  There was no credible evidence of a threat to the United States.  Lack of international support didn’t deter the Bush II administration either.  It turned out to be the worst foreign policy blunder in US history (at least so far).

Our current president has brought us closer to a nuclear confrontation with North Korea.  He has threatened to tear up the multi-national treaty with Iran that has suspended their nuclear weapons program.  He destabilized the situation in the Middle East with his recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

At home he has created division and broken virtually every political taboo in our shared political religion.  He has set out to destroy the credibility of the media as independent arbiters of truth.  In the face of multiple investigations into misdeeds by his campaign and his administration, he has become the sole source of truth for his followers.

There is a growing body of evidence which suggests that he wasn’t interested in the job to begin with AND does not possess the temperament or the intellect to do the job that he has found himself in.  The recent interview that he gave the New York Times is shocking.  He is both delusional and incoherent.  He appears locked into an endless cycle of confrontation and misrepresentation that is the direct result of failing to deliver on his own narrative.

History tells us that this sort of “ism” does sometimes lead to violence but always ultimately collapses of its own weight.  There is already good data suggesting that Trump has suffered significant erosion in the base of those who voted for him for President.  Hopefully the next couple of elections will peacefully restore balance and confirm that there are consequences to lying to the American people.

110 Responses to “Irrational Risk”

  1. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Jeff why is he racist for insulting minorities when he insults EVERYONE!!! Again,

    It isn’t an either or proposition. He can also be a misogynist as well as a racist.

    But you are again running away with your own narrative.

    I don’t care whether or not Trump is HIMSELF a racist. I care that he is advocating racist POLICY. That’s because he is in a position implement that policy. Also it is because he is our sole representative to the rest of the world. When that representative suggests that countries in Africa are s***holes, we are weaker.

    Members of his own party who were at the meeting objected to his characterization. It’s not just some PC sort of over reach.

    Dick Durban wasn’t the only one who spoke up. Lindsey Graham did too telling Trump that his characterization of African countries was not in keeping with the ideals on which this country was founded.

    I’m not interested in getting into a discussion of what is or isn’t racist. That plays into this whole cynical “snowflake PC” post racial canard that conservatives constructed during the Obama administration.

    I’m also done tolerating this speculation of what Trump meant. He has consistent meant what he said. He doesn’t walk back anything. His whole campaign was an outreach to white Americans who feel that their privileged position in our democracy is at risk. Older white working class men remain his strongest supporters. You think that is an coincidence? His lowest support is from African Americans (now under 5%). Bush II got 11% of the African American vote in 2004. Trump was elected with the lowest support from minorities in 40 years. You think that was a coincidence?

    It is not a coincidence. It is the natural reaction of minority voters to a candidate that is running on a platform suggesting that THEY (minority citizens) are the problem.

    When the neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups around the country applaud a position taken by Trump, I believe that you can be confident that it is a racist position. So let’s stop trying to parse what is or what isn’t racist.

    As far as Ted Kennedy is concerned, WHO CARES? It is not worth arguing about. Ted wasn’t President. There have been and still are members of the Senate and the House who are racists. But no one of them has the power do anything by themselves. That is not the case with a President who has vast powers to implement and enforce laws as they choose. They are accountable only to the voters and the courts. That’s why we should have a higher standard for behavior for a President. IMHO this one is failing to meet that standard.

  2. Keith says:

    I’m not sure what he is, progressives and liberals make up new names every day… lol. What he sometimes does is crudely express his thoughts. Have you ever heard the media call republican voters in red states in the south names?

    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/01/12/world/europe/trump-immigration-outrage.html?referer=http://www.drudgereport.com/

    This is an interesting article. It kinda goes along what I’ve been saying. In summary, don’t look at the words someone speaks or how they say it, look at what they do!!! There is plenty of video of the leading Dems saying many of the same things Trump has said on imagration just in different langue. They weren’t called racists.

  3. Keith says:

    Again a poor response,

    YS) His whole campaign was an outreach to white Americans who feel that their privileged position in our democracy is at risk. Older white working class men remain his strongest supporters. You think that is an coincidence? His lowest support is from African Americans (now under 5%). Bush II got 11% of the African American vote in 2004. Trump was elected with the lowest support from minorities in 40 years. You think that was a coincidence?

    Democrats get 90 – 95 percent of African Amaricans support. Do you think that’s a coincidence? Is their whole campaign an outreach to Blacks? Do you think this is why every republican candidate is called a racists?

  4. Keith says:

    I’m not disagreeing with you on the presidents language. I wish it were different. But you are being way too one sided my friend. Where did the word “white” come from in the reporting on what he said? It doesn’t appear he said it. Many felt the need to add it when describing Norway when Trump didn’t say that. And it IS a big deal when you inhance someone else’s comment to facilitate your narrative. Again he was just with the president of Norway that afternoon. Clearly the “White” was added to define the statement as racist.

  5. Keith says:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-other-dignitaries-lionize-ted-kennedy-and-the-senate-of-the-past/2015/03/30/c94740c8-d6fb-11e4-8103-fa84725dbf9d_story.html?utm_term=.4ee70c237b4d

    So it does matter what Kennedy said. The article attached kills many birds with one stone.

    Notice and additional commentary by the writer about anything controversial about Senator Kennedy. Lots of fodder there. Modes bias?

    Any mention of attaching President Obama to Ted Kennedys racist views I’ve outlined above?

    Just a nice article about honoring a deceased Senator and member of the Kennedy family. I have no problem with that. I wouldn’t write a negative article either. However notice no controversial inclusions attached. No narrative by the writer to frame history other then what a great man. No sub article condemning President Obama for saying nice things. Must be nice. Im a racist bigot homophobe just for supporting Trump over someone else.

    Do you see ANYTHING here? See media bias? Nothing unfactial in the article. Perfectly acceptable. Let’s see how Senator Doles article will read. Bet the writer reminds the reader of something negative.

  6. Jeff Beamsley says:

    I’m not sure what he is, progressives and liberals make up new names every day… lol. What he sometimes does is crudely express his thoughts. Have you ever heard the media call republican voters in red states in the south names?

    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/01/12/world/europe/trump-immigration-outrage.html?referer=http://www.drudgereport.com/

    This is an interesting article. It kinda goes along what I’ve been saying. In summary, don’t look at the words someone speaks or how they say it, look at what they do!!! There is plenty of video of the leading Dems saying many of the same things Trump has said on imagration just in different langue. They weren’t called racists.

    Racist is clearly a challenging term for you. You believe that it is completely political. We’ve had these conversations before and they have always ended up in the same place.

    So let’s use a better term, which is discriminatory. The constitution as interpreted by the SCOTUS says that you can’t discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation (at least as far as marriage is concerned).

    When Trump suggests that we should have an immigration policy that bans people from coming into this country based on their religion or their country of origin, the courts have said that is discriminatory. That’s even after admitting that the executive branch has broad powers to control immigration based on real or perceived threats to national security.

    When Trump says we want fewer people from Haiti or Africa and MORE people from Norway, that is discriminatory.

    When he says that the reason that he wants doesn’t want people from Africa is because they are poor, that is discriminatory.

    He didn’t say WHY he wanted more people from Norway and still hasn’t said why. That is stupid because it invites everyone (including you) to speculate on what he was thinking. The obvious comparisons are white versus black, rich versus poor, skilled versus unskilled, Christian versus Muslim. Don’t blame people for speculating in the absence of a clear statement. This is all Trump’s fault.

    I believe that we SHOULD have a merit-based immigration system (similar to Canada) based SOLELY on the needs of our employers and the contributions this immigrant (and their family) can make to the country. The number of immigrants that we accept under this program should reflect demands from employers for everything from farm workers to computer programmers.

    I also believe that a component of our immigration policy SHOULD include relief to those suffering from disasters, war, genocide, etc. We should coordinate that component of our immigration policy with the rest of the industrialized world so that no one country is bearing more of the burden than another. This coordination should also include some determination of cause. If Russia disrupts a country for political purposes, they should either be willing to accept the refugees caused by that disruption, or pay for the care of those refugees in neighboring countries.

    I also believe that those who come here as refugees should have an opportunity to become citizens as long as they pass the same requirements we have for any other individual seeking citizenship.

    Finally, I also believe that we should have a guest worker program for those who don’t want to immigrate. The most important part of the guest worker program is STIFF fines and jail time for employers who create demand for illegal immigration. In return, the guest worker program should make it easier for those that need temporary help than any other method. It should also make it easier for a guest worker to get into this country legally than it currently is to just walk across the border. The US should take on the cost of vetting guest workers in the country of their origin and transporting them to their destination when a job opens up for them. The cost of the program can be funded by employers and employees from the money that otherwise would have gone to SS and unemployment insurance.

  7. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Democrats get 90 – 95 percent of African Amaricans support. Do you think that’s a coincidence? Is their whole campaign an outreach to Blacks? Do you think this is why every republican candidate is called a racists?

    It is not surprising that Obama enjoyed a high percentage of the African American vote and more importantly high turn out when Obama was on the ballot. Less so when he wasn’t on the ballot.

    As far as every Republican candidate being called a racist – I’d like to see your data. Sounds more like your own bias and this post racial conservative republican construction that “racist” is now a political term rather than an actual description of behavior.

    The facts remain that Trump got the lowest support from minorities of any President in the last 40 years. He actually did better than Romney among African Americans and with Hispanics, but Romney lost. No president since Nixon has been elected with a smaller percentage of minority votes than Trump. Nixon won because his Southern Strategy mobilized the white vote in the south. He paid for that with a low percentage of the minority vote. Bush got 44% percent of the Hispanic vote in 2000 and 56% in 2004. Trump got 28%. What happened to all of those Republican Hispanic voters? They likely were responding negatively to being called rapists and murderers.

    As far as political strategies are concerned, Johnson chose to take up the cause of civil rights. The result was that Democrats got a higher percentage of minority votes but lost a lot of votes from people who objected to the civil rights movement. Every Republican campaign since 1968 has been built using some version of the appeal that Nixon created to southern and rural voters who opposed civil rights, poverty programs, voting rights, etc. That outreach continues today.

    Courts continue to strike down laws that disenfranchise minority voters because they are discriminatory. Those laws are exclusively the product of Republican controlled state legislators. Is that an example of racism or politics?

    Trump for all of his bluster, won the white vote by pretty much the same margin as Romney. The only real outliers between the 2012 and 2016 were Utah and West Virginia. Utah went overwhelmingly for Romney because of his Mormonism. West Virginia went overwhelmingly for Trump because of his promise to bring back coal jobs. So where does this multi-election white vote dominance come from? Is their whole campaign an outreach to Whites (in particular southern and rural whites)? If so, wouldn’t that suggest at least an appearance of racism if you were a non-white voter?

    IMHO, you can’t separate racism and politics. When the SCOTUS says that a Republican plan to make it more difficult to vote is unconstitutional, they are saying that because it discriminates against minority voters. White voters are NEVER disenfranchised by these plans. Republicans can claim that it is simple politics because minority voters vote roughly 75% for Democrats. The problem is that an action like that IS NOT political. It is unlawful, racist, and cynical to suggest that a Republican white vote needs to be “protected” from a minority Democratic vote.

    IMHO, we are supposed to live in a democracy where everyone gets to vote and no vote is more valuable than another. If a party decides to base their appeal on programs that benefit a particular segment of the voting population (white or minority), that is politics as long as that appeal doesn’t simultaneously denigrate the opposition based on the color of their skin. The Republican Party, unfortunately, has not been able to separate their political appeal to white voters from their fear-mongering of what might happen if minority voters become the majority. That’s racism. When that fear is converted into policies that suppress or devalue minority votes, that’s racism too. When you support a candidate that is promoting discriminatory policies, you inherit responsibility for those policies.

  8. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Do you see ANYTHING here? See media bias? Nothing unfactial in the article. Perfectly acceptable. Let’s see how Senator Doles article will read. Bet the writer reminds the reader of something negative.

    Geez, get a grip.

    I’m amazed at the anger you can gin up for what was a simple news story about a gathering to celebrate the opening of an institute bearing Kennedy’s name. I suspect it is because you are reading too many posts from sites like the Drudge Report that specialize in making people angry. That is it’s own form of cynical bias. Making people angry keeps them coming back. The folks who were making up fake news for profit on Facebook said they found they made a lot more money trying making conservatives angry because it was easier than making liberals angry.

    https://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2016/11/23/503146770/npr-finds-the-head-of-a-covert-fake-news-operation-in-the-suburbs

    As far as this story is concerned, it would have been bias to comment on Ted’s life in this story. This was a news story about a gathering. What the story did was document what those at this gathering said. If someone at the gathering had mentioned something negative about Kennedy, it would have been bias to exclude that comment. It doesn’t appear that this happened.

    Here’s a link to the obit that the Wash Post published. It is one of several articles you can find on the Wash Post site providing some perspective on Ted Kennedy’s life. That’s where you’ll find the things that you felt were missing in the article that you posted.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/26/AR2009082600063.html

    BTW, it is interesting that you mentioned Bob Dole.

    Here’s an opinion piece authored by Bob Dole that the Wash Post published in 2012. Quite a nice read I’d say.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/bob-dole-on-life-after-losing-the-1996-presidential-election/2012/09/28/eaef4102-f78e-11e1-8398-0327ab83ab91_story.html?utm_term=.6f96f41fafc3

  9. Keith says:

    On to other things.

    YS)Our current president has brought us closer to a nuclear confrontation with North Korea. He has threatened to tear up the multi-national treaty with Iran that has suspended their nuclear weapons program. He destabilized the situation in the Middle East with his recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

    MR) we have been coming closer to Nuclear confrontation since they found out our presidents would appease them all the while they kept building their program. One would ask, what did President Obama do to stop them? Bush also. Even Clinton. To say Trump has done anything to make it worse is simply ridicules….

    His recognition of Jerusalem as the capitol upsets the Middle East? You’re concerned with that? True or false Jerusalem is the capital Israel?

  10. Keith says:

    Still wondering why you inserted the work “white” into trumps comments on Norway?

  11. Keith says:

    Trumps health is excellent, just as he said. Cognitive test was aced 30/30. Trump asked for the test to be performed. Blood pressure 123(?)/74. He is fit to be President. 6’3 239lbs. Poor diet but I’m jealous he can eat like that and only weigh 239!!!! And he doesn’t excercise….

  12. Keith says:

    Also mostly agree with your views on imagration. We could get something done if we were in DC so long as I wasn’t offended by you’re language…

  13. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Still wondering why you inserted the work “white” into trumps comments on Norway?

    I answered this question a couple of replies ago. But here’s the data – 95% white. And just to make sure that we’re clear, Norway is a model country as far as white supremacists are concerned. Prime example is Anders Breivek who killed 77 people in Norway in the name of Nazism.

    So maybe it was just coincidence that Trump mentioned Norway, or perhaps it was because he knew it would play well with his neo-Nazi white supremacist base. Trump supposedly called some of his friends after the meeting bragging that what he did would please his base.

  14. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Trumps health is excellent, just as he said. Cognitive test was aced 30/30. Trump asked for the test to be performed. Blood pressure 123(?)/74. He is fit to be President. 6’3 239lbs. Poor diet but I’m jealous he can eat like that and only weigh 239!!!! And he doesn’t excercise….

    Happy to hear that he passed the cognitive test. A failure there would cause some real problems.

  15. Jeff Beamsley says:

    we have been coming closer to Nuclear confrontation since they found out our presidents would appease them all the while they kept building their program. One would ask, what did President Obama do to stop them? Bush also. Even Clinton. To say Trump has done anything to make it worse is simply ridicules….

    Nope not true. NK ramped up the nuclear program dramatically over the past year and also ramped up their missile program.

    Also the United States NEVER threatened to use nuclear weapons or invade NK during past administrations. AND NK never threatened to attack the United States during previous administrations.

    Finally, those who keep track of these things ALL say that the risk of a nuclear conflict is the highest that it has been since the Cuban Missle Crisis. And it’s not only NK. Pakistan has a bomb too and we just cut them loose. And Trump is threatening to undo the Iranian deal that everyone agrees has resulted in them halting their weapons program.

    No things have become significantly worse under Trump.

    You may be willing to live with losing a west coast city to some macho escalation of threats with NK. I’m not.

    BTW, BTW, there was a deal on the table with NK that Clinton had negotiated that Bush II blew up with his axis of evil speech. When Bush II invaded Iraq, that put NK on notice that they had better get some nuclear capability or else they might be next. How did those “strong man” tactics work out?

    Please tell me why this strategy will be any more successful.

  16. Jeff Beamsley says:

    His recognition of Jerusalem as the capitol upsets the Middle East? You’re concerned with that? True or false Jerusalem is the capital Israel?

    Yes I’m concerned with that. It was stupid to give away something like to Israel for nothing. It will only make the Palestinians that much more desperate. At this point it doesn’t matter whether or not they come to the table. They are not going to get Jerusalem back. Israel’s claim to Jerusalem is in dispute. 128 countries condemned Trump’s unilateral move.

  17. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Also mostly agree with your views on imagration. We could get something done if we were in DC so long as I wasn’t offended by you’re language…

    As you may have figured out by now, I don’t believe in cursing. I think it displays ignorance of the language. If you can’t come up with a better word to express yourself, it might be better to remain silent.

    As far as running for office, it would be a pay cut AND my long history of political activity combined with my sex, drugs, and rock and roll youth probably make me unelectable in Michigan.

  18. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Regarding current nuclear risk.

    As we all know, Hawaii now has an alert for the possibility of an incoming ballistic missile as one of the messages they can send to their population. That’s because that possibility exists NOW. It didn’t exist in previous administrations. Same story in Japan.

    I lived through the cuban missile crises in Omaha. That was the SAC base. We pretty much knew that if the missiles started flying, there were a number that were headed towards us. We saw the B-52’s take off and land EVERY day. The ONLY reason they were up in the air was to provide some retaliatory strike capability if a nuclear attack took out the ground base.

    Admiral Mullen said the US is closer THAN EVER to nuclear war with North Korea. You think that he is making this up to make Trump look bad?

    Pope Francis says that we are “at the very limit” of nuclear war. Is he making this up?

    The US military is preparing for nuclear war by moving B52’s closer to North Korea.

    From the Wash Post

    Trump’s Jan. 3 tweet about his “nuclear button” drew perhaps the strongest condemnations, as observers from the United States and abroad condemned the remarks as ill-advised and “infantile.”

    “Trump plays with the subject so carelessly and recklessly as if it were some kind of video game,” commented Aaron David Miller, a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars who has advised several secretaries of state.

    It’s not a video game. The problem is that without clear channels of communication between NK and the US, this brinksmanship is VERY dangerous. If NK, for example, thought that they were being attacked by the US (even though they weren’t), would they fire some missiles in response? Once the US detected that missiles have been fired, how would we respond?

    The reality is that the US IS NOT going to be able to get NK to give up their weapons and they ARE NOT going to be able to force a regime change. Instead we have to rely on containing NK diplomatically and make them pay an economic price for their risky behavior. That takes time and patience, neither of which are qualities that Trump appears to possess.

  19. Keith says:

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/apple-to-pay-38-billion-in-repatriation-tax-plans-new-u-s-campus-1516215419

    The companies announcing raises and bonuses keeps growing and growing.
    How many said that tax cuts for corporations NEVER result in more money for employees? May guess is the contribution to GDP made by “economists” will be undershot also.

  20. Keith says:

    And just so you know I’m not in a bubble I’m at the airport watching Trump say “Tax law benefits bigger then we all thought.” Last night I guessed the same thing in the post to you. Trumps reading my mind. Lol

  21. Keith says:

    Apple may have just saved the GOP – CNBC
    https://apple.news/AdfUL7OZHSsKHwiAnZVGnJw

    Provided the economy continues up and GDP is 3% plus or even more, not a given, but if it does, how do Dems run against that? Simply Trumps a Racist?

  22. Jeff Beamsley says:

    I can’t get to this WSJ article, but perhaps you can access it and share the text. It appears to get to the heart of the conversation about how much credit Trump should get for the current run up by the stock market. From the lead, it suggests that we would have likely seen similar growth if Clinton had won.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/where-would-stocks-be-now-if-hillary-clinton-were-president-1516295645

  23. Keith says:

    More blame Republicans than Democrats for potential government shutdown, Post-ABC poll finds – The Washington Post
    https://apple.news/AwkBitAGsRXqfmChujaYNuA

    If I were a republican why would I ever care about polls. They are always blamed. Lol. But seriously why would I ever be concerned with them?

  24. Keith says:

    https://www.google.com/amp/www.foxbusiness.com/features/2018/01/18/where-would-stocks-be-now-if-hillary-clinton-were-president.amp.html

    Same article. Don’t go nuts because it’s a fox link. It’s ok your computer won’t crash. 😄

    The author doesn’t consider the extent US may have influenced the rest of the world.

  25. Jeff Beamsley says:

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/apple-to-pay-38-billion-in-repatriation-tax-plans-new-u-s-campus-1516215419

    The companies announcing raises and bonuses keeps growing and growing.
    How many said that tax cuts for corporations NEVER result in more money for employees? May guess is the contribution to GDP made by “economists” will be undershot also.

    Again, I can’t really access WSJ articles because of the paywall.

    But if you take Walmart at face value, they raised wages for their Walmart stores and closed 250 stores without notice firing 100K employees. Perhaps the raise was, as they had said, because of their tax savings. If so, why not use that savings to keep some of those stores open. Perhaps the raise was an attempt to keep their employees who might have thought about looking for another job seeing 100K other lose their job. Perhaps is was timed to put some good news on top of the bad news.

    All I know is that $11.00/hour is still not a living wage. So I’m not impressed.

    We need significant wage gains that show up in the economic data. The public announcements so far won’t even register as far as the economic data is concerned. What WILL register, however, is that if there aren’t significant wage gains for working folks between now and November, there will be a lot of Republicans who will be out of a job. When we see it show up in the monthly economic data, THEN you can start to crow about how all of the predictions were wrong.

    BTW, if we see the sort of wage gains that would be required to make a difference to the middle and lower class voter, we will also probably see an unwelcome spike in inflation. That’s because the companies that are raising wages are likely going to raise their prices too.

  26. Jeff Beamsley says:

    And just so you know I’m not in a bubble I’m at the airport watching Trump say “Tax law benefits bigger then we all thought.” Last night I guessed the same thing in the post to you. Trumps reading my mind. Lol

    I’m not sure that is something that I would brag about.

  27. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Apple may have just saved the GOP – CNBC
    https://apple.news/AdfUL7OZHSsKHwiAnZVGnJw

    Provided the economy continues up and GDP is 3% plus or even more, not a given, but if it does, how do Dems run against that? Simply Trumps a Racist?

    65% of the people polled don’t give Trump credit for the economy. So, unless there is significant wage growth between now and November, life is going to tough for Republicans. The fact that Trump says things that sound racist and acts in ways that appear to be discriminatory is only icing on the cake.

  28. Jeff Beamsley says:

    More blame Republicans than Democrats for potential government shutdown, Post-ABC poll finds – The Washington Post
    https://apple.news/AwkBitAGsRXqfmChujaYNuA

    If I were a republican why would I ever care about polls. They are always blamed. Lol. But seriously why would I ever be concerned with them?

    If you were running for office, you would care. That’s why Republicans are retiring in droves.

    The bottom line is that the Republican Party has been pushing policies that are fundamentally unpopular with a majority of voters. Those voters would like to vote against Trump, but won’t have that opportunity in November. Instead they will vote against any Republican they find on the ballot.

  29. Jeff Beamsley says:

    https://www.google.com/amp/www.foxbusiness.com/features/2018/01/18/where-would-stocks-be-now-if-hillary-clinton-were-president.amp.html

    Same article. Don’t go nuts because it’s a fox link. It’s ok your computer won’t crash. 😄

    The author doesn’t consider the extent US may have influenced the rest of the world.

    Interesting that you would post articles from the WSJ that you agree with, but when I post one, you have a problem. Where is the bias here?

  30. Keith says:

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cbsnews.com/amp/news/cbs-news-poll-americans-say-tax-plan-helps-wealthy-not-middle-class/

    So we know 91%, if I remember the number correctly, will receive a benift from the republican tax cut. So why did so many think it would only help the wealth and not the middle class? honest question.

  31. Jeff Beamsley says:

    So we know 91%, if I remember the number correctly, will receive a benift from the republican tax cut. So why did so many think it would only help the wealth and not the middle class? honest question.

    My honest answer.

    They don’t trust Trump or the Republican Party to give them a fair deal.

    Trump promised a tax deal that would NOT benefit the rich at all. He described the process of rich people and powerful corporations spending money to influence legislation to their benefit. He said that when if he was elected president, that process would end. He said that he had no problem raising taxes on the wealthy class. In particular, he targeted the carried interest loophole.

    “The hedge fund guys won’t like me as much as they like me right now. I know them all, but they’ll pay more,” he said during a Republican debate sponsored by CNN in 2015. “I know people that are making a tremendous amount of money and paying virtually no tax, and I think it’s unfair.”

    Well guess what? The carried interest loophole is still there. And guess what? The biggest portion of the individual tax cut is still going to the top 1%.

    Also I think that those who are paying attention realize that the american taxpayer is taking on $1.4T is debt in order to finance a big tax cut for corporations who are already experiencing record profits. The individual tax cuts expire in 10 years. If those tax cuts are renewed, the cost will be even higher.

  32. Keith says:

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-imf-economy-outlook/imf-revises-up-global-growth-forecast-helped-by-trump-tax-cuts-idUSKBN1FB1TK?il=0

    To my point from the other day.

    Also, why did the Dems shut down the government? What did they get for it? It seems the status of 800k non citizens trumped keeping to govern enemy down for the other 320 million of us citizens. Seems the Dems learned this over the weekend. Good for Trump for NOT making a deal over the weekend.

  33. Jeff Beamsley says:

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-imf-economy-outlook/imf-revises-up-global-growth-forecast-helped-by-trump-tax-cuts-idUSKBN1FB1TK?il=0

    To my point from the other day.

    Did you even read this article?

    Yes we all agree that the tax cut will have some short term effect. The CBO predicted .8%

    But that comes at a cost that could be significant.

    However, the IMF, in an update of its World Economic Outlook, also added that U.S. growth would likely start weakening after 2022 as temporary spending incentives brought about by the tax cuts began to expire.

    The tax cuts would likely widen the U.S. current account deficit, strengthen the U.S. dollar and affect international investment flows, IMF chief economist Maurice Obstfeld said.

    “Political leaders and policymakers must stay mindful that the current economic momentum reflects a confluence of factors that is unlikely to last for long,” Obstfeld told reporters at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

    He said economic gains from the tax cuts would be partially paid back later in the form of lower growth as temporary spending incentives, notably for investment, expired and as rising federal debt took a toll.

    Also, why did the Dems shut down the government? What did they get for it? It seems the status of 800k non citizens trumped keeping to govern enemy down for the other 320 million of us citizens. Seems the Dems learned this over the weekend. Good for Trump for NOT making a deal over the weekend.

    I’ll have a more detailed post on this once the vote goes through to put another short term funding deal in place.

    But it is pretty simple. Trump created the problem, not the Democrats.

    Unless you forgot, it was Trump who chose to throw the grenade into the legislative process by threatening that he was going to kill DACA in March. He said that he took that action in order to encourage Congress TO TAKE ACTION. He also said that his PREFERENCE was to do SOMETHING for those who were brought to this country illegally as children. Pelosi and Schumer MADE a deal with Trump the last time the debt ceiling had to be raised in September. In return for raising the debt ceiling at that time, the deal included money for hurricane Harvey relief and a continuing resolution to spent with no debt ceiling until December 8th. Schumer and Pelosi didn’t push for DACA at that point because they had an understanding that in return Trump would deal on DACA too. Trump blew that understanding up a couple of days later by moving the goals posts. The democrats said that they were not going to approve another increase in the debt ceiling without some movement on DACA. Graham and Durbin hammered out a bi-partisan deal which was EXCACTLY what Trump had asked for in September. All it required was Trump’s approval and there would have been no shutdown. Trump blew that deal up too because Tom Cotton convinced Trump that his base wants NO DACA deal effectively moving the goalposts again. What the Democrats achieved through the shutdown is a commitment from McConnell to have an open debate on a DACA fix over the next couple weeks. That will give voters a chance to see where the Republican Party REALLY is. This is an issue where almost 90% of all voters and 70% of Republican voters agree that we should not be kicking these people out of the country. But Trump, who said he was willing to take the heat for a deal, has proven to be a coward and a liar (again). The great deal maker has proven that he can’t make a deal. He can only blow one up. The problem is that many of his supporters, including you, think that is good for the country. I’m certain it isn’t. The problem that HE CREATED isn’t going away until he takes a stand. Right now he is providing plenty of cover for the xenophobic wing of his party that wants NO immigration. The upcoming debate will shine a bright light on that.

  34. Keith says:

    You use that word liar so easily Jeff. I’m encouraging you to be more careful in its use.

    Yes I read the article. You’re all the way out to 2022…… I’m certain you liked the barely growing “underwhelming” GDP growth we had from 2009 until early 2017.

    Jeff, I’m going to shatter your preconceived notion, but few to no one is against imagration. I am in favor of legal status of most everyone here I know of no republican or conservative who is against imagration. “Legal imagration.” Your commentary in this matter certainly isn’t helpful.

    Please do me one favor, write a post about the things Trump has done that’s positive!!!!

  35. Jeff Beamsley says:

    You use that word liar so easily Jeff. I’m encouraging you to be more careful in its use.

    Someone who tells lies is a liar. There are two ways for liar to redeem themselves. The first is to determine what caused them to say something that was untrue, explain what that was, a not repeat the lie. The second is to simply apologize and not repeat the lie. We already have documented evidence that Trump lies more than any other President on modern history. We also have no evidence of him either correcting himself or apologizing. Instead he blames others for pointing out his lies. He NEVER apologizes. I have no problem calling him out for his continued behavior.

    Yes I read the article. You’re all the way out to 2022…… I’m certain you liked the barely growing “underwhelming” GDP growth we had from 2009 until early 2017.

    This isn’t about the past. This is about taking unreasonable risks in the future. You can’t simply cherry pick the facts. IMHO, we are adding $1.4T to the debt for no good reason. The economy will grow fine without this additional stimulus. Corporations ALREADY were experiencing record profits. The tightening job market on its own would have delivered some wage growth. Short term growth does not justify long term risk (unless you are in the software business and can exit at a nice multiple :))

    Jeff, I’m going to shatter your preconceived notion, but few to no one is against imagration.

    You are just wrong. The White Supremacists and Neo-Nazi’s are clearly opposed to immigration, particularly of non-white non-Christians. Look at any poll and there are between 10% – 30% opposed to the current legal methods of immigration.

    If I am wrong and the upcoming debate on DACA is a love fest, feel free to call me on it. In return, I will feel free to post every lie and xenophobic statement that is printed in opposition to a legal accommodation for the Dreamers.

    Please do me one favor, write a post about the things Trump has done that’s positive!!!!

    I honestly can’t think of anything that I would write about. I have said that he has had a positive effect on the stock market, but not nearly to the level that he and his supporters have claimed. When the market successfully gets past a 50% gain, we can talk about this again. I think the tax bill is a bad idea. I think his attack on the ACA is ridiculous. I don’t think that blowing up the 60 vote requirement to get Gorsuch on the court was a good idea. He has emboldened White Supremacy and Neo-Nazism. He has made the world a more dangerous place. His is dismantling the government in ways that will ultimately create more domestic and international risks. He has broken virtually every shared sacred belief that we have in this country which only further divides us.

    What have I missed on his list of “accomplishments” that I should consider?

    I honestly believe he will go down in history as our worst president ever, and that is saying a lot.

  36. Jeff Beamsley says:

    BTW, just so that we start keeping track,

    Trump said: “They have a lottery. You pick people. Do you think the country is giving us their best people? No. What kind of a system is that? They come in by lottery. They give us their worst people, they put them in a bin, but in his hand, when he’s picking them is, really, the worst of the worst. Congratulations, you’re going to the United States. Okay. What a system — lottery system.”

    Trump’s criticism is based on the fact that a suspect in the 2010 NY terror attack got into the country through the lottery system.

    But his description is not how the system works. The system is administered by the State Department, not the countries of origin for those participating in the program. There are work and education requirements to even enter the lottery. The winners are chosen at random by a computer. Then they have to pass the same thorough vetting requirements that any other applicant for a VISA to the US goes through. Only after they pass that vetting are they offered a VISA and allowed to travel to the US.

    This isn’t the first time that Trump has made this claim and every previous time he has made it, credible news sources have pointed out his error. He continues to perpetuate this lie.

    Politifact labeled this a Pants on Fire lie.

    That will not stop Trump and those who support him from claiming that the lottery system is fatally flawed and so we should stop legally admitting people into this country using this system. That’s how you start to reduce legal immigration.

  37. Keith says:

    I am not “just wrong.” Please for clearity reread what I said. If you disagree with me then I will lump the all progressives with those people in the article below. And maybe throw ANTIFA in with you as well. Jeff you gotta stop with your bubble views. You are paying way too much attention to the extremes. No one is on the side of the klan…. get real my friend. And before you say it, I came hope from the gym the day of Charlottesville turn on the tv, called a friend and asked “who’s who?” He said he was asking the same question. So before you say trumps comments prove he’s a racist klan member just consider that.

    http://www.theamericanmirror.com/womens-marcher-threatens-kill-trump-pence-guillotine-time-btches/

  38. Keith says:

    And from way up above you ridiculed me about big data as it related to the trump tax cuts for business and you sited an average effective rate. Jeff, big data doesn’t apply to an individual case. As an example I don’t care how much the DOW or the the S&P 500 goes up in a day. I only care about who I did. So it the average effective rate is 25% or whatever and I’m am at 33% that’s ALL THAT MATTERS!!!!! Please be broader in your thinking before responding. Big data DOESN’T matter when I make decisions that apply to ME!!!

    Moving on, if the economy hummmmmms along at 3.-3.5% then would you agree that the $1.5 trillion deficit it creates is too high? Remember when you were trying to get 4% GDP from the energy boom!! Well what if we get it by way of pent up demand, cheap money, and trumps tax cuts? Then what say you?

  39. Keith says:

    To your response on my question regarding why 80% of the folks polled thought the tax cuts would not help them and only the wealthy.. you said it’s because they don’t trust trump. Wrong, but you’ve become very predictable. It’s because the mainstream media said it would. They blasted it and the only news most get is from the mainstream media. ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC and many many others are on record over and over again saying exactly the result the polls found. This has to be the case because it certainly isn’t the facts as 91% get tax cuts. So there is no other answer then the one I suggested. So “job well done” to them I say. They accomplished their objective.

    This is what you miss. You have your three or four sources and say everything else is trash. However everyone else only hears the mainstream media.

  40. Keith says:

    On cue…… Shummer pulls his offer on the wall. If I were him I wouldn’t want a deal. I would go to the mid terms with no deal and him running on it. Can you imagine if trump gets tax cuts, removed the mandate, gets an immigration deal, and an infrastructure deal??? Kick him out but I’d say job well done.

  41. Keith says:

    YS)When the market successfully gets past a 50% gain, we can talk about this agsin.

    MR) why is 50% the magic number. And we’re getting close, too quickly I might add.

    Presdident Obama in my view barely got 50% in 8 years. The market was at 14k before falling. The previous high befor retreating in 2001(?) was 12k. He took over around 8k if memory serves and fell to 6666 interday on March 9th 2009. Armageddon fully priced in. The trip back to 12k I don’t give to him rather we aren’t falling into the abbess… thank you fed so 12 to 18 is 50% in 8 years. If I give him 10k he’s gets 80%. I know you don’t follow this logic but it’s very fair.

    Obama didn’t do a bad job as the economy needed to be settled, he just didn’t do a good job. The markets and GDP have certainly voted on Trumps thoughts.

  42. Keith says:

    Least I forgot moving the embassy to Jerusalem…

  43. Keith says:

    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/24/jp-morgan-ceo-jamie-dimon-says-tax-cut-will-lead-to-higher-wages-inflation.html

    What about 4%?
    What’s the additional tax revenue?
    Will the additional deficit still be $1.5 trillion.
    Or maybe it was a good thing? Interested to see how CBO got this one.

  44. Keith says:

    Unless of course you think Dimond is wrong and the trump tax cuts have nothing to do with this grow and the tax cut is a loss anyway you look at it. I’m sure Paul Krugman, who’s already been grossly wrong about trump as president, would support that notion….

  45. Keith says:

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/news/the-fix/wp/2018/01/24/yet-again-trumps-border-wall-is-blocking-an-immigration-deal-on-dreamers/

    This could have just as well said “Dems refusal on border wall holds up dreamers dreams”. Do you see the influence? It’s repeative and non-stop. Again 90% of all articles written about trump are negotiable.

    And the Russians tried to influence the election. How about the influence of our media?

  46. Keith says:

    I’m watching Trump in Davos. He’s a salesman, good or bad, that’s what he is. Optimism is a good thing by the way. You may choose to call it lying.

    If anyone wants to view him any differently then they should feel free to do so but they will get it wrong. When he says “I played golf today with the ambassador of Italy at his home course, the finest in the world I might add.” He means that as a compliment not necessary that the course is the finest in the world but that he was saying kind word to the ambassador….

  47. Jeff Beamsley says:

    I am not “just wrong.” Please for clearity reread what I said.

    I read what you said very carefully and then I quoted it. Here it is again.

    few to no one is against imagration.

    That is simply not true. There are plenty of people against immigration including the groups that I listed. If you don’t like me holding accountable for what you post, please try to be more precise when you post it. Perhaps a better statement would have been a large majority of the country supports at least some form of immigration. 🙂

    So before you say trumps comments prove he’s a racist klan member just consider that.

    Please don’t get all caught up in hyperbole. I don’t believe that Trump is a member of the klan. Some of the things that he says, however, sound like things that the Klan says. Worse yet, the Klan, White Supremacists, and Neo-Nazi’s support what they think are his views on immigration. I’ve already posted stuff to support that.

    As far as the post from the American Mirror, I’m just going to ignore it since it doesn’t really apply to the rest of this discussion. I’m not a big fan of video journalism because it can be edited for effect. The particular “offenders” here were three alt-girls who were probably each 16 years old. I don’t advocate violence against any elected official, but I’m not sure that these three were a serious threat. None the less the Secret Service should inform them of the consequence of these sorts of statements.

  48. Jeff Beamsley says:

    And from way up above you ridiculed me about big data as it related to the trump tax cuts for business and you sited an average effective rate. Jeff, big data doesn’t apply to an individual case. As an example I don’t care how much the DOW or the the S&P 500 goes up in a day. I only care about who I did. So it the average effective rate is 25% or whatever and I’m am at 33% that’s ALL THAT MATTERS!!!!! Please be broader in your thinking before responding. Big data DOESN’T matter when I make decisions that apply to ME!!!

    The issue was the corporate tax rate not your personal situation. In this context the effective rate IS important. The reason why is that a Corporate tax cut to 24% would have been revenue neutral (assuming all of the loopholes were closed too). A corporate tax cut to 21% cost is $1.4T dollars.

    Moving on, if the economy hummmmmms along at 3.-3.5% then would you agree that the $1.5 trillion deficit it creates is too high?

    The economy is NOT humming along at 3-3.5%. The economy finished the year at 2.6%. I’ve already posted the concerns of economists, including those in articles that you posted yourself.

    So let’s look at what 4% growth rate can sustain as far as deficits are concerned. The current publicly held debt is $13.62T. That means that annual deficits at or below $545B/year would not add to the debt. That’s because the economy would be growing faster than the total debt. 1.5T devided by 10 is $150B. So the tax bill BY ITSELF will be adding $150B to the deficit EVERY year for the next ten years. That means that the ONLY way to REDUCE the debt (which we all agree is too large) is for the economy to AVERAGE 4% growth for 10 years AND run deficits from non-tax spending BELOW $295B/year ($545B-$150B). That is just a little over 2% of the total public debt. We have not had ten years of deficits below 2% of total debt since we went off the gold standard in the 70’s. It’s not going to happen.

    BTW, Trump’s current budgets aren’t going to deliver deficits below $545B and he’s currently only producing 2.6% growth. I repeat, it’s not going to happen. The debt will go up at a time when we should be saving money so we can make sure that SS and Medicare survive.

    Here’s a good balanced article from the NYT on the whole subject.

    They also share some of my concerns.

    Several analysts and economists, however, argue that it is unlikely that the United States can sustain annual growth of much more than 2 percent given a smaller, aging work force, sluggish productivity growth and ballooning deficits.

    The I.M.F. also warned that the economic gains forecast for the next couple of years would not be sustainable, particularly given the growing debt that the United States and other countries are building up.

    Also there was a great quote from Larry Summers regarding recent stock market performance.

    Exhilarating stock market gains have also been a worldwide phenomenon. Lawrence H. Summers, the Harvard economist and former Treasury secretary, pointed out that the major stock indexes in Japan, Hong Kong, Germany and South Korea registered gains comparable to the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index, if not better. “The U.S. performance doesn’t stand out relative to the rest of the world,” he said.

    Since the rest of the world didn’t get the tax breaks or deregulation that you attribute to Trump’s influence on the current market growth, perhaps something else beside Trump himself is causing this worldwide growth. That’s the reason why it is so difficult to attribute market growth to one country or one president.

    Remember when you were trying to get 4% GDP from the energy boom!! Well what if we get it by way of pent up demand, cheap money, and trumps tax cuts? Then what say you?

    My comments regarding energy, which is certainly driving some of our exports, did not suggest that we were going to see decades of 4% growth, but just that 4% growth for some short period of time might be possible.

  49. Jeff Beamsley says:

    To your response on my question regarding why 80% of the folks polled thought the tax cuts would not help them and only the wealthy.. you said it’s because they don’t trust trump.

    I provided my opinion. The FACT is that most people DON’T trust Trump. So that seems a logical conclusion.

    It’s because the mainstream media said it would.

    Well now we know your opinion. 🙂

    The facts that you present, however, are again anecdotal. The polls suggest that most people don’t trust the media either. If the media were as effective as you suggest they are, then why don’t more people trust them?

    They accomplished their objective.

    As far as the ethical media is concerned, their objective is to inform the public in as honest a way as they can. The FACTS are that most of the benefit of the tax cut goes to corporations and the wealthy. If I get a tax cut of $1M and you get a tax cut of $1, it is certainly reasonable for you to suggest that you didn’t get a good deal regardless of how much money you paid compared to me.

    Also these days, the conservative media in the form of Fox and others have just as much influence as everyone else. So you are just upset at the media that doesn’t agree with you. There is plenty of media out there that does agree with you.

    Finally, whatever the media’s take on Trump has been, it is HIS job to manage his own message. The fact that the message is not getting out in the way that he would like is HIS fault and not the fault of those who report the news.

    This is what you miss. You have your three or four sources and say everything else is trash. However everyone else only hears the mainstream media.

    I choose to get information from ethical sources. I hope everyone else will eventually make similar choices. I won’t defend unethical sources, but I suspect there are MORE unethical conservative sources because there are no ethical conservative sources (except maybe the CSM and that only a little it right of center).

  50. Jeff Beamsley says:

    On cue…… Shummer pulls his offer on the wall. If I were him I wouldn’t want a deal. I would go to the mid terms with no deal and him running on it. Can you imagine if trump gets tax cuts, removed the mandate, gets an immigration deal, and an infrastructure deal??? Kick him out but I’d say job well done.

    Is it your turn today to repeat the Republican Party line?

    Schumer put a deal on the table that Trump rejected, and then suggested never happened. From my perspective, Schumer had the courage to offer a deal that he knew was going to cause him problems with those who want no wall.

    If we DO get an immigration deal, it is going to be because the moderate senators of both parties figured out how to make it happen. Then the pressure will be squarely on the House to take some hard votes. The past two immigration deals have died in the house (Bush and Obama). There is no guarantee that this one won’t suffer the same fate. If that happens, Schumer and Pelosi will have yet another big stick to us on House Reps in 2018. Few will remember what Senate Dems had to give up to get a deal. All they will remember is that the House (and to a lesser degree Trump) killed it. BTW, no deal on DACA also means no deal on the wall.

    You may think removing the mandate is a win. I think the overall assault on Obamacare is a loser for Republicans.

    They aren’t even close on infrastructure. They spend all of their money on tax cut. Besides if Trump doesn’t get his wall in an immigration deal, he’s not going to get it in an infrastructure deal without also doing something for DACA. As many have said, if there is no DACA deal and ICE starts deporting them in April, Republicans can kiss the House goodbye and the Senate will also be in serious jeopardy. If Trump doesn’t start deporting them, then the real question will come up of why reverse the executive order to begin with? He has effectively painted himself into a corner (again).

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