You know, you need sell all these products to somebody... And when US consumer stops buying new iPhones (or what ever) combined with recession then situation is going be really really tough.
So this will be worse that 2008. Much worse. Back in 2008, China was growing and helping to ease the recession. I do not think China's economy will grow during this cycle.
What is happening, right now, is literally what happened in the Great Depression (with the concurrent reemergence of nationalism) and is what led to two back-to-back world wars https://www.dartmouth.edu/~dirwin/Eichengreen-IrwinJEH.pdf
Dates for WW2: 9/1/1939-9/2/1945
Dates for Great Depression: 10/29/1929 to 1939
What I was saying was the underlying currents in the economy and politics are similar to the ones that led to those 3 events separately, not necessarily in the causal order in which they happened.
The first industrial revolution was punctuated with the American civil war. The second industrial revolution was punctuated with the great depression and World War 2.
Just imagine what the digital revolution is going to be punctuated with.
We are in for a hell of a bumpy ride.
Fortunately it looks like I was wrong, but it also looks that “liberal democracy” is on its way out in many former bastions of said democracy. I fear that a new nasty recession right now will throw us out directly into a war, we’re at the 1937-1938 moment when almost all of Europe had gone the wrong way in the previous decade (politically speaking).
> but I really can't picture a scenario that leads to another world war, even in today's relatively unstable political climate.
Ten years ago I bet almost no-one was picturing the late-1980s anti-nuclear treaties going the way of the Dodo bird. Or a land war in Europe (Ukraine is indeed in Europe). Or German politicians being shot for their political beliefs. Or British politicians being shot for their political beliefs. Ten years ago I wasn't seeing US soldiers and their trucks almost every time I take the highway in order to visit my parents in the countryside (I live in an Eastern-European country and NATO member, a geo-political stone's thrown away from Russia). Ten years ago Russia wasn't testing a nuclear-fueled rocket.
Assuming you're talking about the US pulling out of the INF treaty, that's not really a meaningful change. The Russians and various other countries were already largely ignoring it. Russia's territorial shenanigans are what really cemented the idea that we're not fighting a major super-power to super-power war ever again. The West has largely let it happen, and while I don't understand why, at this point it's hard to see why that would change. US troops have been in Europe for a long time. Whether you saw them more or less in the past, troop levels there haven't changed that much.
They haven't been in Romania, which is, like I said, a stone-throw away from Russia. And they started showing up after the start of the conflict in Ukraine.
> Assuming you're talking about the US pulling out of the INF treaty, that's not really a meaningful change. The Russians and various other countries were already largely ignoring it.
That's not my understanding of it, at least not when it involves Russia (China is another story).
> Russia's territorial shenanigans are what really cemented the idea that we're not fighting a major super-power to super-power war ever again
Not sure how that follows. When you have nuclear weapons that you can launch from anywhere at anytime you are a super-power. The US and Russia are 100% military super-powers because they can basically annihilate each other at a moment's notice. I'd add China to the list, probably the UK and France too (not sure if France has nuclear submarines, though, too lazy to check right now). Even though Israel has nuclear weapons I don't treat it as a military super-power because of its lack of nuclear submarines or IBCMs. The same goes for Pakistan and India.
They have been, in fact.
Note: I understand that "yield curve inversion" does not mean "recession, depression, war" is inevitable or likely - only that these things are indicators at best. That said and understood...
Either our society is the dumbest there is (in aggregate - but possibly in general, too - with small pockets of intelligence, just not enough - and they are under constant attack) - or "someone" (not saying an individual or a group - or even planned for that matter) is wanting us to "go to war" - which if the past is any example, could very well be - or turn into - "the final war" (hah - who am I kidding - any survivors would probably battle each other with sticks and stones).
It's like were either really, really stupid in some regard - or there is this almost innate need by some portion of the species (or at least our American society) that desires and needs mass death and tragedy on a worldwide scale. If either is true, it points to a vast failing of our own making.
The sad thing? I can see it, others see it or have seen it; heck, those who were leaders and/or have been in "large-scale combat" have seen it up close and personal and don't want it.
This isn't a new observation at all; it is thousands of years old: "War is Hell" is a recent colloquial form of the message, and nobody (sane?) wants it.
So why, why, why do we keep doing it? Seriously - why?
I'm not expecting an answer; the possibilities and such are vast, likely rooted in various philosophical reasonings, etc - but seriously - all we have to do is...stop. Stop doing it. Stop being...dumb.
Education, even from an early age, does not seem to work - or at least, it doesn't seem to work on everyone. Many internalize the message, the idea, that "violence is bad" - and try their very best to avoid it. The "reptilian brain" keeps trying to reassert itself - but with some minor effort, we can avoid the issue mostly.
I'm not sure what its going to take for it to really stop. The Star Trek universe was built on the idea that humans had to first go through a massively devastating war before they would finally stop. Nice idea, but I think even that wouldn't be enough. We seem to be a species that constantly performs a "tragedy of the commons" experiment - and ultimately this need for "war" won't be won until only 0 to 1 humans are left. Even with only a single human around, I'm sure it would find a way to war...
That hasn't been exhausted even in the slightest.
The Fed has the exact same tool at its disposal as it did in 2008: it controls the global reserve currency and can run an annual trillion dollar QE program for years as necessary, forcing the rest of the world to partially foot the bill of that QE program to the benefit of the US economy.
The Fed took rates to zero for seven years and utilized multiple QE rounds to reinflate the economy and asset prices. The same exact approach is at its disposal heading into the next recession.
Over the next ten years the public US debt will hit $32 trillion give or take (possibly closer to $35t; I'm expecting a +$3.5t deficit in just two years in the next recession), about 1.2x to 1.3x GDP at that point. China's share of that $32-$35 trillion will be a mere 3% or lower. By the day their position becomes less meaningful (at this point the US Government is running up enough new public debt to equal China's treasury holdings every year, and that's before the recession blows out the deficit).
At personal level, I find adventure one of the most level headed and dispassionate commentators esp. about Finance/Business/Geopolitics.
The whole China treasure holdings argument is at the best paper tiger. The argument is debunked by every respectable finance commentator.
What are China's options if it sells US Treasuries? If it simply parks that money internally, what does that do?
And, how does QE cause other players to lose their treasury holdings?
I feel like this while correct will look funny in the context of history. I believe inflation will explode in the next 5 years with near zero interest rates and the fed printing money for all the programs we hear about during the recent debates.
The same arguments were made against the New Deal.
Time will tell whether recapitalizing the American educational system and/or cost-limiting health care is wise or foolish.
No, it's a consequence of printing money as soon as the newly printed money gets out into the economy. The only reason the previous rounds of QE in the last decade didn't cause inflation was that practically all of it stayed in the banks' accounts at the Fed and never got loaned out, so it never actually got into the economy.
> The same arguments were made against the New Deal.
Yes, and they were valid then too. The New Deal didn't work; what restarted the US economy was World War II.
That's certainly how such policies were sold to the labor force, yes. But it's not what actually happened.
> We would not have our modern understanding of a middle class lifestyle had it not been for New Deal policy
To the extent that this is true, it means that our modern understanding of a middle class lifestyle is not what "middle class" meant at any previous time in human history. "Middle class" used to mean entrepreneurs--what today we would call small business owners. In other words, people who understood that the only way to make sure of the lifestyle they wanted was to manage their own business risks and not entrust them to anybody else.
Our modern understanding of "middle class" is what used to be called "wage slaves"--people who are content to let the leaders of the large organizations they work for take care of all the business risks, in exchange for a safe source of steady wages and benefits. But the leaders of the large corporations, unlike the "middle class" who worked for them, always understood that the steady wages and benefits were not "safe"--that as soon as the business realities changed (i.e., as soon as the huge new markets that opened up after WW II became saturated, which was happening by the mid-1960s to early 1970s), the large corporations would basically renege on all the promises they made to the labor force during the boom. Which is exactly what happened, and which amounted to whatever surplus value was in fact captured by labor being temporary. And the New Deal did absolutely nothing to prevent it.
Printing more money doesn't inexorably produce inflation, for a lot of reasons. If the money printed is used unwisely, in ways that do not grow the economy, then it certainly does.
No, inflation is either an increase in the money supply (according to classical, i.e., pre-Keynesian, economics) or an increase in the average price level, often qualified to be the average price level of "wage goods" (according to Keynesian economics).
The underlying argument behind "size of economy/money supply" is that if the economy is growing (more precisely, if the rate of economic activity is growing), then increasing the money supply will not increase the average price level. In fact, if for whatever reason (and Keynesians have no trouble coming up with plausible-sounding reasons) you want the average price level to remain basically the same, you should print more money as the rate of economic activity increases.
While these are true statements, they ignore the fact that printing more money is economically equivalent to a wealth transfer from whoever does not get the newly printed money to whoever does get it (which under our current system is banks and other financial institutions). In other words, it's the same economically as a tax on ordinary people whose proceeds go to rich bankers and financiers. But it's much more palatable politically, which is why it's our current system. (The old system, before the Federal Reserve and other central banks gained power, was that when governments got in financial trouble they had to explicitly go to rich bankers and financiers and ask for bailouts, which was politically unpalatable, not to mention a huge pain for the rich bankers and financiers since people would see that they were effectively profiting from the economic woes of others. So the rich bankers and financiers got together and sold the politicians a system of central banks where all of this could be done under the radar so the ordinary taxpayers wouldn't see it and wouldn't complain about it.)
> [inflation] is a consequence of printing money as soon as the newly printed money gets out into the economy
... is not a fully accurate statement?
> > [inflation] is a consequence of printing money as soon as the newly printed money gets out into the economy
> ... is not a fully accurate statement?
If you are saying I should have added a qualifier "assuming the rate of economic activity stays constant", yes, that qualifier should be there (if we define "inflation" as "increase in the average price level"). But I don't agree that any qualifiers like whether or not the money gets spent "foolishly" or "unwisely" need to be there.
Also, our current measure of "rate of economic activity", GDP, is not independent of the money supply, because it measures "activity" in dollars. So the fact that US GDP is growing does not necessarily mean the real rate of economic activity is growing.
My point was that simply increasing the money supply may or may not result in objective inflation over modest timescales.
It certainly usually does, because foolish things are more politically popular than effective things. But it doesn't have to be so.
If the money supply (times velocity) is X, and I print more money so that it's now 1.1X, if I spend the new 0.1X in a way that grows the economy by 10%, then printing the money wasn't inflationary. If I spend the 0.1X in ways that don't grow the economy, then it was inflationary.
Last I read they were only holding about 1 trillion in USD treasuries. Selling all of that would not inflict much damage on the US economy or government. If there's one superior skill the US Treasury and US Fed have it's selling/buying even more massive amounts of debt than that. Markets are used to it. So, a $1 trillion dollar bond sale event might hurt for a short while, but it wouldn't really be all that heavy.
And it can't do that as effectively again. Treasury bonds were at 8% back then, now they're at 4%.
With interest rates near zero, and the old monitarist avenues generally exhausted with this procyclic hangover, we have nothing left to do but the real ask fiscal shit jobs guarantee or UBI.
Hopefully people realize work sucks and it would be nice if computers were used to their full potential so we get UBI instead and then we can write expert systems and reduce meanial labor and other useful shit.
If Brexit were behind us, no doubt. But that's a lot of uncertainty tainting the euro.
2008 was bad because the collective banks of the US realized trillions in mortgages were money on the books that wasn't real and was never going to be real. The correction involved resetting said books and taking a few banks and a trillion dollars of US taxpayer money along the way.
What is the correction this time? All it would really be is a run on confidence in global financial markets. This has happened many, many times (and did happen in 2008 but it was a response to the insolvency of banks). It happened in 2000, it happened in 1993, it happened in 1980, etc.
If its just a correction in overvalued stocks, futures, and a contraction in loans and interest rates thats just a normal recession. We're due to have one, they happen all the time, and since there shouldn't be an influx of millions of displaced / homeless suddenly because this isn't the result of mass foreclosures on defaulting home loans it shouldn't be as disruptive this time. A lot of theoretical stock value gets wiped out, some people lose a lot of money, and then you get to start the cycle over again with rates back under 1% and the DOW down a a few thousand points from its current cresting highs.
Firstly, I totally agree with you on 2008 - bank failure driven recessions are always worse than regular recessions, so 2008 already takes a lead.
However, there is another aspect -- the 2008 crisis was controlled by a combination of controlling interest rates and other QE measures. We're now still in ZIRP (zero interest rate policy) so one of our key tools for combating a crisis is gone (it is like being at the bottom of the hill and realizing you are already on low gear.)
Of course, we have other QE as well as fiscal tools, but lowering rates wont be one of them.
Dropping rates creates speculation of future economic growth that can make stocks go up and thus make the capital class happy their assets are accruing but it seems new business growth is fairly exclusively on the side of consumer demand pretty much this entire century. Increasing money supply isn't doing jack. If theres no money out there looking to buy goods and services you could be giving away money to banks with no meaningful economic benefit for it.
Europe has been in this kind of glut longer than the US has but its infecting the whole world - too few people have enough money to create the real demand that stimulates real economic growth. Theres only so many yachts a billionaire wants or so many summer homes a millionaire stakes. Wealth inequality is the driving force behind the slowdown and none of the forces that participate in shaping policy are aligned with the goal of fixing it.
Don't forget the Europeans. The 'prudent' Germans of Deutsche Bank were in the thick of it too:
Good book on how things went down and my who is Crashed:
Incredible book. Tooze's interviews and lectures on the subject can only scratch the surface of what the book covers, but they are worth a listen too. I can recommend his appearance on the podcast Talking Politics:
An even larger amount of money was placed on bets on whether those mortgages were real, as opposed to the mortgages themselves.
The financial system is not in that same position this time and as for China, China's growth is largely kept to china itself and guarded jealously, China did little or nothing to ease the 2008 financial crisis for the west.
Wells Fargo has already proven that the same rules that were in place in 2008 that allowed those that caused the collapse to escape unpunished are still there.
Assuming the current administration is in power, government assistance programs will be greatly cut leading to desperation on the part of the nations 40% that cannot afford a $400 emergency.
Household debt, especially student loan debt is far above what it was when the 2008 recession hit making people even less prepared to handle a financial collapse. "Student loan debt hit $1.486 trillion, according to credit data from the New York Federal Reserve. By comparison, student loan at the height of the financial crisis was $611 billion and has been mostly rising since"
Assuming the ACA case makes it through the courts before the recession is over, health care will likely be stripped from millions of those worse equipped to handle it. Many of the homes that were affordable a decade ago have now been bought by mega renters and are rented out at high rates. People who lose their jobs will be unable to afford rents that are only increasing nation wide.
I think large companies and banks will weather it relatively well.
We will likely invade a middle eastern country to distract the proletariat.
I think something overlooked by many is that without the small cushion of having family to fall back on if everything went bad or a nest egg, many of today's entrepreneurs would not exist. Risk for those whom failure means living on the street is generally avoided, especially for people with kids. A UBI would allow them to try and compete or at least live life without waking up terrified every day.
Serious question - how has that changed? It looks to me like since about 2009 banks have been trying very hard to get back to the same shenanigans they were pulling before 2008, and are mostly succeeding. They were given the message that, "Hey - you're too big to fail. Uncle Sam's got your back, and there will be no consequences for the people at the top. Do whatever you need to do!"
Also, like, Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008, and Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch both got sold at fire sale prices. Shareholders don’t want those risks, and even if managers are too insulated from financial consequences of a collapse they probably care about reputational risks as well.
What you're describing is just the normal stuff that happens in all recessions.
And as much as we had a long boom, we also had quite a long painful recovery from 2008, it wasn't the same as normal recovery which explains why it's been so long since the last recession.
What do you think about the carbon bubble?
Whaaaat, noooo, we don't have any of those...
That doesn't mean a recession can't be really bad, though. Particularly when our normal tools for handling recessions are constrained, like interest rates already being low.
We're also still dealing with the greater inequality effects from the 2008 debt monetization, which is partly (according to that model) responsible for the greater populism political effects of that (like Trump's election, who ran as a populist in 2016).
But other times it sounds like he's saying the real "big one" is still about to happen, rather than just another recession.
Where does he publish his stuff?
Big Debt Crisis is an interesting read if you have an interest in his economic outlook. Still a free pdf I see..
The recession will be weak, the recovery will be weak. The repeating behavior and stacking debt is resulting in lower dynamism in all regards. We've already seen all of this: Japan showed us exactly how it works, why (government debt), and how it cycles toward increased stagnation, perma low rates and low inflationary pressure.
The overly dramatic doom predictions are merely making the perceived easy call, and piggyback riding on what happened in 2008. A repeat, much less something worse, is not what we're going to see at all.
It can only get worse if there is something that was NOT present in 2008 will manifest itself.
In 2008, you had a major failure (within days) of Lehaman Brothers and some major financial institutions, all were a complete surprise.
A recession in china (controlled recession) might actually be a good thing overall.
I've heard that the US mostly sells stuff to itself, i.e., trade is a relatively small component of its GDP. I haven't looked into it, yet, though.
Took them a while to see what everyone else can see in plain daylight...
Automotive, luxury, finance, etc... None of these benefit from recessions.
These people need to sell you, that you will have a job tomorrow.
I expect the US to lose the trade war simply because China will have the fortitude to outlast it, but why would the direction of trade favor China in the trade war? Shouldn't China have more to lose due to being a net exporter?
I also agree that in reality China has more ability to withstand pain and the US will blink first if it comes down to it.
That's more optimistic than 'let's assume spherical cow in vacuum'
Whose thought? The people who didn't know that trump was an incompetent nutjob?
I think it's more correct to say that people are realizing that the old order under the president is gradually eroding and its moderating effects are weakening, which adds compounding risks (directly in the trade war stuff but also hidden ones that may be lurking as that erratic behavior starts more directly impacting all aspects of US policy).
Instead of using "Deep State", it might be better to say "Agency Directors", if you wanted to use neutral language. "Deep State" is loaded. Of course, its more popular these days to value-signal which side of an argument you're on, rather than appearing neutral...
In any effect, the people who use the word "Deep State" wish to imply that government workers have their own agendas. In my experience however, government workers overwhelmingly just want to do a good job with the task they've been assigned (much like any other human who are tasked with a job).
I think the OPs point was “deep state” has a deliberate, highly charged, negative connotation.
Don’t conflate the horrible reality of racism with the historical origin of a racial insult. The OP is merely using it as an example to illustrate how terms acquire meaning through time and social norms. Not excuse their existence.
My point is that words have meaning based on who uses the word. The N-word is used by racists and is now avoided by polite society (unless you wish to explicitly label yourself a racist)
"Deep State" is used by conspiracy theorists who wish to destroy government workers and their positions. Its a phrase that should be avoided unless you wish to paint yourself a conspiracy theorist.
It’s a pipeline and someone has their hands on the valves.
For instance, in Washington DC there is certainly a pipeline from public to private to high level to lobbying to etc., but I think what the +parent posters is referring to encompasses the scientists at the EPA and the USDA, the doctors and nurses and managers at the VA, etc etc. They tend to get a job there after a bit of moving around and then stay 40 years. There is no trading out to private sector -- they generally get a gov't job because of a combined desire for altruism and good benefits and stability -- and the vast majority would never even be offered, much less accept, a lobbying position.
Source: family in such positions, who just want to examine and regulate the wastewater output of cheese factories in the heartland and go home after a good day's work. Said member was forced out of their job recently due to politics -- not "business-friendly" enough.
Now you’re replying to me about high-level HR decisions biasing the processes of government agencies. I don’t think there is anything to elaborate?
Similarly, any unelected bureaucrat working in the executive branch that pursues their personal agenda or tries to slow progress on the plans of the duly elected executive is de facto going against said will of the people.
That is cognitive dissonance of the highest order.
The trade war is one such blunder that no responsible and informed person thought would do any good long term but was spun as a hard core negotiation tactic. Tariffs are import taxes charged mostly to residents and businesses in the home country or passed to the consumer by the importing firm. This short term harms everyone but could be the straw that pushes a close deal to be ratified. Unfortunately, we didn't have a close deal beyond the TPP and this wasn't a cooperative negotiation but one of necessity framed as USA vs China.
It was never a smart move and was recommended against by nearly all experts or those with experience in the matter and we have reached the logical conclusion of such policies to find that there is no deep state outside of conspiracy forums and our economic outlook and foreign policy is a dumpster fire as Trump is not rational but likely narcissistic and mislead or misinformed by his staff to ignore reality such as the looming economic crisis.
Yes, the US president is an economic imbecile, but $50 billion dollars in tariffs is a drop in the ocean of the $100 trillion global bond market.
This is a much, much bigger deal than US politics or a US trade war.
Interest rates are negative on $15 trillion worth of debt. All German government bonds have negative rates, all the way out to 30 years.
Policymakers don't like to say the word "deflation" out loud, because even talking about it could make it happen.
But when the economy softens, and central banks have no more ammunition left to stimulate the economy, deflation could be the terrifying result.
Negative long-term rates are what you would expect in a deflationary economy. And, yes, you can have a deflationary economy even while some prices are increasing.
Dismissing it as a thing and calling it plain ole bureaucracy is quite a naive worldview.
You're right - I was responding to an imagined position in an unrelated / irrelevant political context, whereas a more careful reading makes it clear what we're discussing here is the moderating effects of bureaucracy.
My apologies for adding noise instead of considering contributions more carefully!
5 U.S. Code § 2101. Civil service; armed forces; uniformed services
Someone who is part of the supposed DC government told me straight up that he is a lunatic.
If you're a civil servant in a department, you've worked there for years, you know why things are done the way they are, you know the pitfalls and the edge cases, you know the stake holders etc, etc, etc.
Some politician gets elected on a pledge to, eg, change the side of the road people drive on. Simple right? Set a date for next month as the switch over date, send a letter telling everyone, simple.
Except lane markings need changing, signs need changing, and most of those aren't directly under your control. Insurers are up in arms because all the cars are set up for driving on one side of the road. Some disability group is sueing because a proper safety study wasn't done, engineers can't guarantee that going on the off ramps and off the on ramps is safe, because they were never designed for that and theres 10000 other assumptions that were made on the basis of driving on one side of the road that are now invalidated, and its your job to point that out to your new boss.
Or "the normative power of the factual".
Especially if you observe inertia and radical changes by the White House ending up moderated. That's by design and it's in the Constitution... and it's called "checks and balances".
The deep state AKA someone watched Yes, Minister and wrote an American adaptation.
Those who were fooled, were fooled because they chose to be.
2) His wealth was not created by himself, at any rate. He lied and said he inherited a small loan of a million, when in fact it was at least 2 orders of magnitude more than that. His father was the real smart businessman and his career has largely been failure upon failure.
3) He basically did win the lottery of being born to a wealthy father and squandered it all. How much did he squander is very hard to say when he himself covers up the details.
So yes, he is incompetent with money and business. He is competent with power, intimidation, and getting his way. That may have worked in the small pond of the 2016 election, but that is about the only place the man's been successful.
Mark Cuban speculated that he wasn't a billionaire, and maybe not even a 500-millionaire. He talked big and pushed the brand, because that's all he had.
His main claim to fame, nearest I can tell, is a mix of poorly run real estate, reality TV, schlepping shit tier steaks, and his online university that got sued out of existence.
In general, I agree with you.
There's a good Planet Money podcast on it as well: https://www.npr.org/2019/05/22/725893104/episode-914-trump-a...
It is also why the Trump family has preemptively sued Deutsche bank in an attempt to seal records and obstruct any investigation.
Other tools he's used include hiring undocumented immigrants for construction and then not paying them and refusing to pay contractors that worked on his buildings. He maintains his wealth by making deals and then refusing to pay when the bill comes. The bankruptcies are just a part of this pattern of behaviour.
I imagine he will get rich even if U.S. goes through a bankrupcy.
Much of what he has left was gotten by repeatedly breaking the law, and somehow only ending up with civil liability instead of criminal convictions.
Now he is actively wrecking the US economy and has somehow bullied the GOP into going along with it.
"If you want to be a Millionaire, start with a billion dollars and launch a new airline." -- https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Richard_Branson
If you start with a lot you can deplete much of it before you have only a little.
He made money by burning other people and companies, but he came out quite well from it.
Bogle started Vanguard in 1975:
> ... usually, every investment property should be owned by a separate limited liability company that owns only one property and that is not engaged in any other business activity. The reason is simple: to maximize asset protection.
And you really shouldn't go throwing around spurious accusations like that without any evidence.
So which is it? He started 500 businesses, or he has a few businesses that are made up of multiple properties.
I have friends with a few dozen rental properties, all in separate LLCs. I wouldn't say they "started 50 businesses".
So with your wording you should say Trump owned 500 properties and 6 of them lost money. And like any real estate investor, when the properties lost money, Trump gave those 6 properties to the creditors.
But I think my wording is more accurate. Your friend's rental properties may not be individual businesses, but Trump Tower or the Taj Mahal are.
The vast majority of his businesses have no customers, and no regular income. They aren't intended to make a profit--they're intended to protect an asset from the bankruptcy of his real businesses. There was never any chance that they would need to go bankrupt, so he gets no credit for them not going bankrupt.
Where do you get this? Is this just more BS with no evidence, like the money laundering accusation?
I haven't seen a complete list, but even Wikipedia has a list with a lot of businesses:
> they're intended to protect an asset from the bankruptcy of his real businesses
Even if you were right about Trump's businesses, corporations don't work like that. The stock can be taken in bankruptcy so they don't protect assets inside the corp from bankruptcy of the holder. They only protect assets outside the corp from bankruptcy of the corp.
Put another way, if I were given $100M by my dad back in the 40+ years ago, and managed to grow it to, say, $500M by today, that would be nice, but I wouldn't consider myself "good with money". And it looks like the real figure for Trump may be north of $400M, which makes even $1B -- if he has that today -- look not all that impressive.
We're talking about the US President here, someone we should feel comfortable with influencing/managing the fate of trillions of dollars. Trump is not that guy.
The public at large does not know how much Trump is worth because he won't disclose much of anything.
See how this level of discussion of not just demanding a citation, but then limiting what citations you accept to an extremely small set of documents isn't constructive?
It's a reasonable question, but 1 minute googling got this report https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/kendalltaggart/here-are... with 3 of them viz.
The Trump Taj Mahal Casino
The Trump Castle
What evidence in your view, other than his his tax returns and financial statements, is there to show his wealth? Because that's fundamentally what's being requested. I don't think those exact documents are needed if there are good alternatives. Suggest some alternatives.
>What evidence in your view, other than his his tax returns and financial statements, is there to show his wealth?
You really think that you need tax returns to prove he is currently wealthy? Is that a consistent standard you apply to everyone? When someone says that Bill Gates is rich, do you request the same level of documentation before you believe it? Are you doubting the relevance of other indicators of wealth such as lifestyle and property holdings?
> The public at large does not know how much Trump is worth
So this is about HOW MUCH he is worth. Hence the request for docs quantifying it.
Then I say
> Suggest some alternatives
And you just snowjob with questions in return. I asked a question. Please answer it by stating what publicly available docs will show trump's wealth.
> Are you doubting the relevance of other indicators of wealth such as lifestyle and property holdings?
We want to know how much so as to judge his competency at business. Please answer, what public documents will show his wealth.
Also why are you so willing to assume he is a competent businessman without actual, audited financial evidence to back up his claims?
If he could have been richer by not being bankrupt then that would indicate competence to me.
Also daddy gave him $435 million IIRC. If everyone on HN had got that I suspect most of us would have done better.
Because money laundering is illegal?
Did Trump ever put more effort into anything in his campaign and Presidency than he put into preventing his tax returns from getting out?
If you want to claim he isn't as rich as he claims, then then I'm not disputing that at all (I haven't a clue), but to claim he isn't rich does not align with existing evidence without fiddling with how we define rich and poor in ways we don't otherwise fiddle with such definitions.
Having, say $300 million sounds like a lot. But if you inherited $700 million (as Trump likely did), having only $300 left today is a catastrophic failure.
And no, those six bankruptcies were not strategic, they were failures to operate a business. One bankruptcy is strategic, two a coincidence, six a signal of incompetence. The sheer number of shell corps he's founded and thousands of civil court cases points to exploiting investors through shady practices.
Example: Business 1 buys a $1M piece of equipment with 30% down and 70% credit. After a couple years, and knowing that Business 1 is not that profitable anyway, the machine is sold to Business 2 for $150k, even though it's probably worth $700k still.
Business 2 makes $550k profit on the books. Business 1 files bankruptcy. The creditor loses their $250k outstanding loan. If the same owners own both businesses, they come out massively ahead.
Rinse / repeat with dozens (or hundreds) of businesses, some automated workflows and depreciation tables, credit line hacking, etc.
An established real estate family will have plenty of room to shuffle assets and credit lines around in a favorable way within those limits... for a generation or two.
He did not create 515 for-profit businesses.
That's how obvious it is that he's a bullshitter and a useful idiot for a lot of shitty people, and has no idea how anything works, and basically has the intellect and integrity of a first grader. Downvote me all you want everyone, but that's the truth. Every downvote I will take with great, great pride. If you voted for him, you're even dumber (or more selfish, if you think of him as your own useful idiot) than he is.
I have had a lifelong problem with constantly doubting my own perceptions about things, and always thinking that I can never be 100% certain about anything, and being hypervigilant about my own potential sources of bias and irrationality and unreliable information, but multiple years into this thing I have no choice but to admit that everything I wrote above is just plain true. It's not rocket science, it's not brain surgery, it's not even grade school arithmetic. It's OBVIOUS, and if someone doesn't see it after all these years they either don't pay attention or are as bad or worse than he is. Or they're literally children who are just that sheltered and naive about other people and the world and how it works.
Just a thought.
My math prof likened it to the axiomatic frameworks: if a person has bad facts or faulty reasoning, but your core axioms (values) are similar, you are more likely to come to a point of mutual agreement or at least understanding.
If your values (axioms) are radically different, chances are your entire frameworks are different and possibly incompatible. You'll be talking past each other, discussing methods while in fact your goals and assumptions are completely different.
Philosophical answer - depends on your philosophy and how you feel about philosophical zombie - i.e. is it only outward results or internal causes that make a difference to you.
Although maybe that's only true if you find their values tolerable. Otherwise I suppose the advantage is in knowing you'll have to start strategizing if the conclusions from their values are incompatible with yours.
Either way it does seem valuable to know the other person's complete reasoning, just trying to quantify as many reasons why as possible.
It's pretty arrogant to assume there is only one way to look at things - your way.
If someone is acting malevolently, then you can rationalize basically anything with regards to hurting them or their well-being.
If someone just views the world differently, you will be annoyed by them, but probably not able to rationalize to yourself that they should not exist.
The first part is interesting, but ultimately, if their conclusions were based only on facts and reasoning, their conclusions would only be limited to the area of facts, "is" statements. They would not be able to derive ought/should statements. (If you believe in Hume's Guillotine.)
I'm generally of liberal persuasion. I did not agree with almost anything that our Canadian previous conservative prime minister did... but I respected him. I thought he was intelligent, effective, and thoughtful. I didn't like that he was effective and productive about things I disagreed with, but I'd shake his hand and I can imagine having a thoughtful conversation and learning something, even if my mind may or may not be changed.
On the other hand, in theory, I "agree" with many of the things Michael Moore for example is fighting for. But I do not respect him, and I cannot watch more than 2 minutes of his programs before wanting to yell at the TV. Certainly, I wouldn't elect him. He is a propagandist, he cherry picks data, and presents a skewed picture. Ann Coulter or Glenn Beck or Michael Moore or Al Franken (the pundit; he may or may not have been more honest as a politician, but his prior books were awful) - it's not a matter of how much I agree with them, but that I find them all fundamentally dishonest.
Which brings us to Trump - my biggest concern is not that I disagree with him (which I do). It's that I have no respect for his mental faculties, honesty, abilities, consistency, beliefs, values, thoughtfulness, or any of the characteristics some of us believe a head of state should have. Further, I think not only is he doing a disfavour for those who disagree with him, I think he's doing a disfavour for those who agree with him / voted for him.
At the end of the day, I may disagree with somebody about what's the best colour to paint the room; I may disagree with somebody on what the best way to fix a education system is, or even what its goals should be; I may disagree on budget priorities, on a country's role in the world, and so on. There's fascinating discussion, debate and learning to be had with people of opposing opinions.
But if somebody wants to buy a bridge somebody's selling them, enroll in a cult, or jump out of an airplane without a parachute thinking it'll end well for them, dunno... I don't think it's in the "difference of opinion" category :|
A relation of mine went from studying marine biology to full on fundie. Creationism, climate denial, etc. Huge Trump supporter too, of course.
Can any one explain to me how a one time scientist now doubts evolution?
Complicated plot. It's all interconnected...
How many liberal atheists do you know with 4+ kids, versus conservatives?
Or, you know, people who didn't want to see Supreme Court seats go to the extreme left for the rest of their lives.
Bay area engineer here. Did Google for a few years, did a B2B startup, acquired by FANG, now lead a team of 30. Good relationships with family and physically fit.
I voted for Trump. Statistically, I'm not dumb.
Why is the electoral college dysfunctional when it goes against the popular vote, even though it's designed to be able to do so? This has happened several times before without issue.
Not all Trump voters are "people dumber than he is". That's a ridiculous generalization and little more than morally-superior posturing. People are much more complicated with their choices then you may believe.
I'm not sure we should be delving into politics on hacker news. But if it's okay for the goose, allow the gander to retort.
I hear you expressing your frustration and believe me I am fully aware that many Americans are very frustrated. Especially people on the left who have suffered a series of depressing defeats. On an emotional level, I'm worried and empathetic.
I think you are correctly recognizing certain behavioral characteristics of Trump that are unpleasant and possibly harmful such as lies, bragging, and narcissistic behavior. Many (probably most) people on the right who voted for him also see those characteristics. They are as you say "completely obvious." It is not that people on the right are "blind." So the question is why did they vote for him anyway? Why wouldn't these characteristics rule him out?
Your conclusion is that they are (if not blind) dumb. That might be true for some people, but it cannot possibly explain it for everybody. Take myself for example. I have had my IQ tested three times, and the lowest value was 147. I would say that objectively speaking I am not dumb. I must qualify this with the fact that I was a child all three times so there was a correction factor involved which would not apply now, so my IQ is probably lower today. I hate to put this paragraph in because it sounds like bragging, but I need evidence to demonstrate my point.
Here is part of the answer to the mystery we are presented with:
1) Trump did in fact do very well in business, contrary to various articles that argue he would have done better in the S&P500.
Their calculations are off because they don't value his business as a going concern, did not apply top tax rates to the
dividends, and often picked the market bottom which is unfair as nobody can time the market. The methodology was flawed
because it is a sector comparison (stocks to real estate). The conclusion is flawed because it presumes being on par with
the S&P500 is what "any idiot could do in an index fund" but the proper conclusion is "being on par with the very best
companies" because it's not sharing in someone else's created wealth, it's actually creating the wealth.
EDIT: I forgot to add, they completely ignored expenses.
2) Trump's lies are mostly inconsequential bragging. Everyone can see through them. Successful deception would actually be
damaging, but unsuccessful "first grader stuff" isn't damaging because we can all see through it. We know full well why
he lies in most cases (narcissism or negotiation, in both cases we are okay with it). Also, we like that he just says what
he thinks openly rather than being careful with his words which makes us suspicious of dececptions that we might not be able
3) He has openly promised things that right-wingers want and have been pounding the table about for generations. And we believed
he was serious about it and wouldn't let politics or being politically correctness get in the way. We were right, he didn't.
He just storms ahead damn-the-torpedoes, ignoring the news, ignoring the 'game'. Most republicans would have restrained
themselves based on political chicanery. Right-wingers love it and left wingers hate it because he is "unmitigated."
What you say is a great explanation, and makes sense, but then you go on about IQ as if it means something?
And Krugman’s articles of late seem not be rooted in logical, rationale thought but rather leading with ideology and emotions.
> First, look at the whole piece. It was a thing for the Times magazine's 100th anniversary, written as if by someone looking back from 2098, so the point was to be fun and provocative, not to engage in careful forecasting; I mean, there are lines in there about St. Petersburg having more skyscrapers than New York, which was not a prediction, just a thought-provoker.
That was the year Apple was still on the ropes (Microsoft's investment was in 1997), Google was just kicked off by a $100K cheque by Bechtolsheim, Amazon was four years old, and Facebook didn't even exist.
Give it a rest, it's been over twenty years:
> I must have tossed it off quickly (at the time I was mainly focused on the Asian financial crisis!), then later conflated it in my memory with the NYT piece. Anyway, I was clearly trying to be provocative, and got it wrong, which happens to all of us sometimes.
How wise were you when you were twenty years younger than you are now? Sheesh.
I respect Krugman as an economist but not as a political pundit, he needs to dig harder than resorting to the age old "don't ascribe to malice what can be explained by stupidity". There is already some simple logic (trade war = tough = re elected) behind the decision, I just believe there is more to the story that we don't see.
So now you keep saying he's stupid, and doesn't know what he's doing. I'll just keep reminding myself that he managed to get himself elected.
Comparing him to insane kings from the 18th century just gets people to chuckle and move on, sweeping deeper critical thought under the rug.
To call him stupid or mad ends any line of further inquiry into why he does the things he does, and that to my mind is very, very dangerous.
He's sane/rational. He has motives for most of his actions from what I've observerd. I'm asking what the motive is behind his initiation and escalation of the trade war with China.
I'm not arguing that it's an intelligent thing to do, or that Trump is intelligent. I'm asking what his motive is. If he was irrational I would concede that perhaps there is no motive because he's disconnected from reality.
If this were true, he wouldn't be POTUS.
At best, you could say he was "elected according to the rules, procedures and processes of our democratic republic form of government, as defined by our Constitution".
That would be a fairly true statement.
It would also probably be a true statement to say that our Electoral College failed us in their primary purpose, which should be to assure that the POTUS which is elected nominally will serve the interest of all constituents, and not just some of them.
POTUS #43 could be said to have served all the citizens of the USA, even if they didn't agree with his policies; the same certainly cannot be said of this POTUS, not IMHO.
What, exactly, should "democratically elected" mean if not that exact sentence?
I don't consider him ignorant and dumb because I don't like aspects of his persona. I consider him ignorant and dumb because every time he opens his mouth or types something on twitter - what comes out is generally ignorant and dumb, assuming it is composed of actual words.
Misspellings are one thing - if that were the extent of things, I could probably just chuckle, even if I vehemently disagreed otherwise. It's more than that. It's often a stumbling incoherency to the messages, almost as if he's speaking in some form of "stream of consciousness" - just saying whatever is coming to his mind - and it is composed of very simplistic words and phrasing, at best.
Worse - he's been shown to literally lie within a single sentence or paragraph (most of the time, it takes him hours or days to go from one "truth" to something 180 degrees opposite). He either doesn't know he does it (bad enough), or he has two independent personalities warring inside his mind (worse), or he knows and just doesn't give a f--k (worst, imho) - for all we know, it could be the trifecta.
None of this points to him being a leader of or for anyone or anything, let alone somebody who should have his person anywhere near our nuclear arsenal.
Something else that is interesting - and I know its completely anecdotal and probably not really true.
But - it has often been noted that being POTUS tends (or seems to) age a person. They go in looking spry and hale, and exit - well, chastened, and visibly older. Even after only a single term.
Should Trump make it through his term (possible) - and/or should he get another term (I atheist pray not - but who really knows?) - note how he looks afterwards. Right now, he doesn't really look any different than when he started. Maybe that's bias on my part, but I really don't think being POTUS has changed him in the "usual manner" that we have seen of past POTUS's.
This itself should be a concern, if there is any truth to the concept. It either means he's not actually doing the incredibly hard and difficult work of being POTUS, or the usual stress of being POTUS - all the concerns for the welfare of the citizens and the country, and more - do not and have not meant anything to him; ie - he doesn't care, and that hasn't translated to stress that would affect bodily changes. Or - he's a sociopath who revels in the issues, and wants more. Any of these possibilities should be worrisome to the electorate.
Kudos from his base, enhances his "tough guy" image, helps his 2020 campaign.
But I don't think it's that simple, he's clearly a coin operated guy so which coin is operating him to escalate this trade war?
His base really can't put 2 and 2 together. You seem to think it's obvious that tariffs will cause prices to rise, but you seriously underestimate just how stupid these people are.
Many of the individuals supporting the trade war and tariffs know that it's causing them problems, but as far as they're concerned it's worth it to stop China from "screwing them over" or "taking advantage of them". This is not, in fact, an unusual thing- people are are frequently willing to take some personal pain to punish what they believe is wrongdoing or failure to adhere to social norms.
I happen to be on the side that believes the tariffs and trade war are doing more harm than good, but labeling those who disagree as stupid is exactly the sort of thing that leads to resentment, failure to communicate, and polarization, none of which are valuable.
I would even go as far to say, it might be a case of them believing that they are taking short-term losses to come out ahead of this in the long-term. Whether it will turn out this way in reality, we will see, but that line of thinking actually does make sense.
There's even a term for this in economics, called Animosity, which leads to economic imbalance: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_discrimination#Animos...
A country exists with a racial divide, let's say blue/green.
A blue person abuses a green person.
The green person does not fight back, and takes the abuse, knowing they are powerless in the society.
A different blue person, blue person #2, attacks the original blue person. This puts bp#2 at legal and physical risk, even though they were never under any threat of subjugation or abuse from the original attacker.
Blue person #2 would be said to have acted in a form of reciprocal altruism for the green person. This type of behavior is often seen, even in situations where BP#2 has little or nothing to personally gain, was never at any risk, and could potentially receive large negative consequences personally for their actions.
Clearly blue person #2 was also acting in a manner of animosity, that (more generalized) could or not be considered discrimination, economic or otherwise.
If you really think the average voter is competent at economic matters, I have a bridge to sell you...
> 1 In 4 Americans Thinks The Sun Goes Around The Earth, Survey Says
i.e. about as much as voted for each of Trump/Clinton in the last election (which also taught us, amongst other things, that surveys are not to be trusted...)
I don't think they are stupid. But they are gullible and have been brainwashed. Their world view has been warped into something that just is not based in reality anymore ("invasions", "climate change doesn't exist", etc). This is not unlike what happens to people who get suckered into joining a cult...
So when Trump keeps saying that "China pays for the tariffs" - which is an obvious and outright lie because American consumers pay for them, it is a straight up tax on consumption - his base believes it. And somehow they don't - won't - put 2 and 2 together and connect the rising prices with the tariffs, because that would invalidate their worldview.
Isn't that just another way of saying someone is stupid? I'd say a serious lack of critical thinking skills qualifies as "stupidity".
Kinda reminds me of the people who say that they aren't susceptible to advertisement.
One of those is outright IP theft. One especially egregious form of that is by OEM manufacturers in China getting specs from foreign firms in the US and Europe then manufacturing knockoffs under their own brand name on the same lines as the ones they're making under contract. China has agreed to curtail this in their industries. Another form of outright IP theft is paying industrial spies to go to other countries and leak government and corporate documents back to China in an elaborate espionage system.
Another practice which China has already announced it is ending (and may have ended without the trade war eventually anyway) is forcing foreign companies to form foreign/domestic partnerships with Chinese companies in exchange for access to manufacture or sell goods in China. Often this involved cross-licensing agreements for IP, meaning companies like AMD had to license their patents and copyrights to Chinese companies or but shut out of the market.
Stop stealing our intellectual property
Stop forcing technology transfers
Stop hacking our computers and steal our trade secrets
Stop dumping into our markets and putting our companies out of business
Stop their state-owned enterprises from heavy subsidies
Stop the fentanyl
Stop the currency manipulation
Currency control comes with being a sovereign nation. Our government and the Federal Reserve in the US issue more or less new money into the economy and raise or lower interest rates to control the strength of the US dollar all the time.
I'm not sure dumping is a real problem for most products. Ones that are dumped are often cheaper in the first place because of the other problems, because it's easy to sell cheap when you didn't pay for research, development, design, or industrial engineering for the product. Other dumped products are often such low quality that they could be driven out of the market with consumer rights laws and lemon laws.
The rest I can agree are real issues.
> I'm not sure we can blame our fentanyl problems on China any more than our cocaine problems on Colombia or our heroin problems on Mexico.
The scale of the operations suggest that the state is involved. It used to be the case that actual clandestine labs would produce a kilogram or drum of illicit substances here and there, which is what happens in some Canadian labs. However, we're regularly intercepting unprecedented amounts of fentanyl analogues from China.
There's literally no where else in the world where both the manufacturing ability and severe lack of accountability both exist to produce novel fentanyl analogues in excess.
Also, China is selling thousands of doses of fentanyl to individual American kids online, so there's that, too.
I lived in Missouri before we had to sign for psuedoephedrine. Trust me when I say busting a lab here and there doesn't stop production. Reports I've read say you can invest $4,000 to easily make a kilo of fentanyl and after cutting and distribution it's worth $1,500,000 ( such as https://www.gangsterismout.com/p/fentanyl-w18.html ). Carfentanyl is supposed to be basically as easy to make and about 100x as powerful. This leads me to believe no state sponsorship is required to quickly ramp up production. If you can sell a $4k investment for over a hundred million dollars, you can ramp up quite quickly for your next several thousand kilos.
Countries don't only impose import tariffs when trade wars get really ugly, either. Imagine all of OPEC hitting the US with export tariffs in their countries. Or imagine Mexico, Germany, Japan, and South Korea charging export tariffs on their car manufacturing for exports to the US. A 10% or 20% export tariff costs the consumer the same as an import tariff of the same amount, but the money goes to the exporting country's government, which if they want they can use to subsidize the industry being taxed. The target country can't credibly accuse you of dumping if you're intentionally charging them more than everyone else.
The US does a lot of outsourcing of parts and subassemblies. Then US companies import those to make into other products or assemble them into more complex systems. Those import costs go up under tariffs, and much of the demand goes down for the finished product when there are tit-for-tat tariffs to sell those overseas. Meanwhile if some country neither party is in a trade war with starts buying the parts and doing the final assembly, they can undercut US manufacturers' prices because they have lower taxes in place on those products.
It would take years to move all the vertical supply chains into the US and to do so would be extremely expensive. The low-cost labor from overseas would likely be replaced with factories with a much higher level of automation to keep the costs down. That's going to provide more professional jobs and highly skilled technical jobs and fewer low-skilled and trades jobs than people might like to imagine. All the while, the resources to build those new factories is higher from the tariffs unless we're building it all with domestic parts. There is no training program in place of which I'm aware to teach coal miners and steel mill workers to assemble things like motherboards and flat panel displays, either, which means the labor costs for those things is much higher than just the wages if those jobs aren't automated away.
People wonder where all this wealth inequality is coming from when it's as plain as day. The inequality is coming from the fact that large companies are taking jobs that were performed domestically, and shipping them overseas where there are less regulations and cheaper labor. They then sell that same good at the same price to the domestic consumer who no longer has that job. Do that with enough industries and only the people who actually own the company stand to come out on top. That is why the middle class is shrinking.
seems like there's a risk of:
higher labor and materials costs leading to higher prices, leading to lower sales, leading to reduced revenue, leading to workforce reductions, leading to lower sales, leading to reduced revenue, leading to workforce reductions...
ie a basic recession spiral.
Assertive alpha signaling and mammalian dominance gestures tell the parts of our brain that haven't changed since we were small tree rats that "this person knows what they're talking about, trust them, follow them." These parts of the brain are primitive and emotional and can easily override the rational mind. This is why charisma tends to beat substance even with audiences that really do know better.
Trump is assertiveness and dominance gestures and nothing else. There is no "there" there. He has no special understanding, no strategy other than "assert dominance" which all he knows how to do, and no plan.
Our only salvation in this is that many of the leaders of other nations are similarly empty.
Exactly, and this is why the Democrats keep losing elections. They just can't wrap their heads around this simple fact that you stated here. They keep thinking that if they pick candidates who can go on at length about policy, that voters will love this and not care about charisma, so they pick the most uncharismatic candidates they can find. Obama proved the DNC wrong when he "stole" the nomination from Hillary in the 2008 primaries, and showed that a candidate with a lot of charisma was what was needed to win the election.
well, not just the US.
China also loses, the whole world economy basically goes down too.
As Rick Wilson says... "Everything Trump Touches Dies".