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2016 US Presidential Election Prediction Thread


255 replies to this topic

Poll: Excluding the "outsiders", which one do you want? (11 member(s) have cast votes)

Who are you voting for? (Or if you're not American, which one would you rather see in office?)

  1. Clinton (6 votes [54.55%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 54.55%

  2. Trump (1 votes [9.09%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 9.09%

  3. Write-In (4 votes [36.36%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 36.36%

Vote Guests cannot vote

#241 richey

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 12:44 PM

I feel very conflicted about Manning.

 

She should definitely have access to a fair trial and she shouldn't be kept in a men's prison, there needs to be transparency and accountability for her treatment (such as putting someone in solitary for 10 days for a suicide attempt, that's clearly barbaric).

 

That being said, she committed an extremely severe crime - the contents of what she leaked is irrelevant, she intentionally took highly classified information and made that available, it is a textbook definition of espionage and should be treated as so.  I appreciate a commutation of sentence is not the same as acknowledging innocence.  I feel that this is a high profile case and cries of 'haven't she suffered enough' could be applied to 90% of the incarcerated population.

 

I also appreciate this isn't a particularly popular opinion to hold.

 

I agree. Yes, there was a public interest in some of it. But as I remember it, there were hundreds of thousands of files released, and she knew exactly what she was doing. If you think it's worth going to jail for it, then great, but if we disagree and think she's a hero, what are we saying here? That anyone with access to official secrets should be able to share them openly on the internet without punishment? Odd. To be honest I think there is a heavy dose of anti-Americanism on the left (which I don't share) at play here. 

 

I also think Julian Assange is a dick. Sick to the back teeth of it. No-one is holding him in that embassy, he can walk out any time he likes and he should leave already. Leave and be arrested and face the court case. Yes, he may have had reasons for sharing information, he may well be a hero, or a traitor, that depends on your point of view. But he's been accused of sexual assault and is not above the law. It's embarrassing watching many on the left, who supposedly care about human rights and feminism, coming up with excuses as to why he should evade the law, as if a sexual assault charge doesn't matter. 


My anger is a form of madness
And so I'd rather have hope than sadness

#242 sixgunsound

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 01:03 PM

If your idea of the "left" includes anti-imperialism and anti-colonialism, I'm not sure how you'd be surprised with the anti-Americanism bit. 


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#243 richey

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 11:32 AM

Yes, when it's justified. Not when it's just for the hell of it. I'm not sure of the state of the left in North America, but in the UK you get some on the left that are cheerleaders for the likes of Putin, Assad and Gaddafi, simply because they "stand up to the West". It's nothing to do with human rights, 'cos God knows they have dodgy records on that, but simply that they're anti-America. The Stop The War Coalition is a good example - they claim to be anti-war but really are just anti-West. 

 

Britain is an ally of the US but should never be an uncritical one. I'm not anti-American particularly - there's things about the US that appal me, like gun violence and the death penalty - but there are also things I love about it, and I think during the last 100 years or so when it's been a superpower its influence over the world has been relatively (and I use the word advisedly) benign. Yes, they get things wrong, some things have been mistakes, others have been downright immoral, but imagine history had gone differently and the world's hegemonic superpower post-war had not been America but China, say, or the Soviet Union. Would the world be a better place? I don't think so. 


My anger is a form of madness
And so I'd rather have hope than sadness

#244 sixgunsound

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 11:52 AM

Expending intellectual capital on the could have beens seems pointless. 

 

The left in America is non-existent for all intents and purposes. They haven't even managed a centre-left President not labelled a Communist (Americans, by and large, are not aware how far the spectrum goes to the left). I'm proud to say that we're experimenting with UBI - a huge step to the left (and social justice and equitable prosperity), but as with all ideas, the completeness of American control (WB, IMF, WTO, economic sanctions) of the world's economies prevents any unmolested experiments; to wit, the ideas of the left have never been given a fair chance. 


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#245 richey

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 10:45 AM

Expending intellectual capital on the could have beens seems pointless. 

 

The left in America is non-existent for all intents and purposes. They haven't even managed a centre-left President not labelled a Communist (Americans, by and large, are not aware how far the spectrum goes to the left). I'm proud to say that we're experimenting with UBI - a huge step to the left (and social justice and equitable prosperity), but as with all ideas, the completeness of American control (WB, IMF, WTO, economic sanctions) of the world's economies prevents any unmolested experiments; to wit, the ideas of the left have never been given a fair chance. 

 

1. Not at all. Everything is relative, so if you're going to make value judgements, it's important to bear in mind alternatives. Politics is an imperfect business. Tony Blair made an interesting comment this week: "My record in government is attacked from left and right. For the left, they will always feel disappointed because they want utopia and government never delivers that."

 

2. Again I can't agree. I'm firmly against UBI and I'd reject the idea that it would improve social justice and equitable prosperity. Also disagree that the ideas of the left haven't been given a fair chance - they're more influential than people give it credit for, particularly on the left itself where lefties like to think in very black-and-white terms (e.g. socialism vs capitalism). 'Capitalism' is not the enemy and the kind of right-wing, free market, neoliberal if you want to call it that (although that's a cliche and generally misused) capitalism we have had since probably the early 1980s is not inevitable. For 30 years postwar we had a kind of capitalism in which the gap between the rich and the poor was narrowing and ordinary people had unprecedented prosperity and opportunities; the state built the NHS, state schools, built housing and libraries etc etc, even Tory governments had agendas that would now be regarded as left wing in some quarters. But it was definitely within a capitalism framework. It's not black and white - socialist and capitalist ideas interact and co-exist. If we had pure capitalism, we wouldn't have a public healthcare system, state schools or any benefits/social security. 


My anger is a form of madness
And so I'd rather have hope than sadness

#246 sixgunsound

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Posted 23 January 2017 - 06:06 AM

 

Expending intellectual capital on the could have beens seems pointless. 

 

The left in America is non-existent for all intents and purposes. They haven't even managed a centre-left President not labelled a Communist (Americans, by and large, are not aware how far the spectrum goes to the left). I'm proud to say that we're experimenting with UBI - a huge step to the left (and social justice and equitable prosperity), but as with all ideas, the completeness of American control (WB, IMF, WTO, economic sanctions) of the world's economies prevents any unmolested experiments; to wit, the ideas of the left have never been given a fair chance. 

 

1. Not at all. Everything is relative, so if you're going to make value judgements, it's important to bear in mind alternatives. Politics is an imperfect business. Tony Blair made an interesting comment this week: "My record in government is attacked from left and right. For the left, they will always feel disappointed because they want utopia and government never delivers that."

 

2. Again I can't agree. I'm firmly against UBI and I'd reject the idea that it would improve social justice and equitable prosperity. Also disagree that the ideas of the left haven't been given a fair chance - they're more influential than people give it credit for, particularly on the left itself where lefties like to think in very black-and-white terms (e.g. socialism vs capitalism). 'Capitalism' is not the enemy and the kind of right-wing, free market, neoliberal if you want to call it that (although that's a cliche and generally misused) capitalism we have had since probably the early 1980s is not inevitable. For 30 years postwar we had a kind of capitalism in which the gap between the rich and the poor was narrowing and ordinary people had unprecedented prosperity and opportunities; the state built the NHS, state schools, built housing and libraries etc etc, even Tory governments had agendas that would now be regarded as left wing in some quarters. But it was definitely within a capitalism framework. It's not black and white - socialist and capitalist ideas interact and co-exist. If we had pure capitalism, we wouldn't have a public healthcare system, state schools or any benefits/social security. 

 

 

1. If we're using Blair as the poster child for criticism from either side of the aisle, I'd like to correct his observation: utopia is the left's long term goal. Meantime, a leader who doesn't commit war crimes would be acceptable.

 

2. If we're talking about which ideas have been given the chance to succeed, recall that the US staged coups in Honduras and Guatemala throughout the 20th c. on behalf of the United Fruit Company (Chiquita Banana) to prevent land reform and loss of private property, sent troops to fight the Red Army in 1918, propped up a strongman in S. Korea who cracked down on political dissent and executed thousands, sent troops to fight in Vietnam on the (incorrect) premise detailed by George F. Kennan (beginning anew the military fight against leftist ideology), staged coups in Cuba and attempted to assassinate its leader, all-while exerting political control of these countries through economic sanctions, blockades, and alliances. If in any of those examples you can find a leftist not under siege by America, please let me know where it is. None of these ideas have a chance to succeed on their merits. 

 

As for UBI, I'm sure that on the day robots take over your job you'll find another way to sell your wage-labour; maybe you can push broom for six dollars an hour while the industrialists put the profit in their pockets? It's completely unsustainable for the working class, but, as with many Americans, you might simply be a temporarily embarrassed millionaire and not a subjugated proletariat and not need worry.  


funny-pilots-blooper-airplane-comedy-pic


#247 richey

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Posted 23 January 2017 - 11:02 AM

 

 

Expending intellectual capital on the could have beens seems pointless. 

 

The left in America is non-existent for all intents and purposes. They haven't even managed a centre-left President not labelled a Communist (Americans, by and large, are not aware how far the spectrum goes to the left). I'm proud to say that we're experimenting with UBI - a huge step to the left (and social justice and equitable prosperity), but as with all ideas, the completeness of American control (WB, IMF, WTO, economic sanctions) of the world's economies prevents any unmolested experiments; to wit, the ideas of the left have never been given a fair chance. 

 

1. Not at all. Everything is relative, so if you're going to make value judgements, it's important to bear in mind alternatives. Politics is an imperfect business. Tony Blair made an interesting comment this week: "My record in government is attacked from left and right. For the left, they will always feel disappointed because they want utopia and government never delivers that."

 

2. Again I can't agree. I'm firmly against UBI and I'd reject the idea that it would improve social justice and equitable prosperity. Also disagree that the ideas of the left haven't been given a fair chance - they're more influential than people give it credit for, particularly on the left itself where lefties like to think in very black-and-white terms (e.g. socialism vs capitalism). 'Capitalism' is not the enemy and the kind of right-wing, free market, neoliberal if you want to call it that (although that's a cliche and generally misused) capitalism we have had since probably the early 1980s is not inevitable. For 30 years postwar we had a kind of capitalism in which the gap between the rich and the poor was narrowing and ordinary people had unprecedented prosperity and opportunities; the state built the NHS, state schools, built housing and libraries etc etc, even Tory governments had agendas that would now be regarded as left wing in some quarters. But it was definitely within a capitalism framework. It's not black and white - socialist and capitalist ideas interact and co-exist. If we had pure capitalism, we wouldn't have a public healthcare system, state schools or any benefits/social security. 

 

 

1. If we're using Blair as the poster child for criticism from either side of the aisle, I'd like to correct his observation: utopia is the left's long term goal. Meantime, a leader who doesn't commit war crimes would be acceptable.

 

2. If we're talking about which ideas have been given the chance to succeed, recall that the US staged coups in Honduras and Guatemala throughout the 20th c. on behalf of the United Fruit Company (Chiquita Banana) to prevent land reform and loss of private property, sent troops to fight the Red Army in 1918, propped up a strongman in S. Korea who cracked down on political dissent and executed thousands, sent troops to fight in Vietnam on the (incorrect) premise detailed by George F. Kennan (beginning anew the military fight against leftist ideology), staged coups in Cuba and attempted to assassinate its leader, all-while exerting political control of these countries through economic sanctions, blockades, and alliances. If in any of those examples you can find a leftist not under siege by America, please let me know where it is. None of these ideas have a chance to succeed on their merits. 

 

As for UBI, I'm sure that on the day robots take over your job you'll find another way to sell your wage-labour; maybe you can push broom for six dollars an hour while the industrialists put the profit in their pockets? It's completely unsustainable for the working class, but, as with many Americans, you might simply be a temporarily embarrassed millionaire and not a subjugated proletariat and not need worry.  

 

 

1. I wasn't, I'm pointing it out because it accurately sums up a problem with the left. I don't agree with Blair much on foreign policy, but he's got an excellent domestic record and he's generally right about the hard left. In the UK at least, I do think there's something in the idea that the right has a much more realistic sense of getting into power and achieving maybe some things but not others; the left tends to ignore the good it does and beat themselves up about the errors. As a result I often see Labour's record in government criticised more from the left than the right. 

 

2. Again, I was talking about domestic policy, and largely the UK, although even in the US the point still stands. If we had pure capitalism and no influence from left wing ideas they wouldn't have public schooling, social security, any kind of free healthcare, nothing. Whereas we could argue about the extent of that and whether it's enough (spoiler: no), it's there and the state does more in terms of investment, infrastructure and public services than the right would admit. 

 

3. Don't patronise me. I'm working class and proudly so, I still live in a deprived working class community and work for a pretty low wage. But I'm not buying the idea that we need to move to UBI (a terrible idea anyway, which will make the rich richer and the poor poorer - a right wing solution that would entrench inequality) because "the robots are taking over". Let's be honest, that's not a new idea. People have been worrying about automation destroying livelihoods for hundreds of years, never mind just decades. Ever since the industrial revolution we've worried about it and it hasn't happened. Again using the UK economy as an example, we have more automation than ever before and yet the amount of jobs in the economy is at record levels. It just isn't happening - it's always possible it might happen in the future but we could have said that at any point in the last, ooh, 300 years. What we've tended to find is that as jobs are lost in one sector because of technology, they open up elsewhere, and there's no reason to suppose that will stop now. 


My anger is a form of madness
And so I'd rather have hope than sadness

#248 sixgunsound

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Posted 23 January 2017 - 11:41 AM

 

 

 

Expending intellectual capital on the could have beens seems pointless. 

 

The left in America is non-existent for all intents and purposes. They haven't even managed a centre-left President not labelled a Communist (Americans, by and large, are not aware how far the spectrum goes to the left). I'm proud to say that we're experimenting with UBI - a huge step to the left (and social justice and equitable prosperity), but as with all ideas, the completeness of American control (WB, IMF, WTO, economic sanctions) of the world's economies prevents any unmolested experiments; to wit, the ideas of the left have never been given a fair chance. 

 

1. Not at all. Everything is relative, so if you're going to make value judgements, it's important to bear in mind alternatives. Politics is an imperfect business. Tony Blair made an interesting comment this week: "My record in government is attacked from left and right. For the left, they will always feel disappointed because they want utopia and government never delivers that."

 

2. Again I can't agree. I'm firmly against UBI and I'd reject the idea that it would improve social justice and equitable prosperity. Also disagree that the ideas of the left haven't been given a fair chance - they're more influential than people give it credit for, particularly on the left itself where lefties like to think in very black-and-white terms (e.g. socialism vs capitalism). 'Capitalism' is not the enemy and the kind of right-wing, free market, neoliberal if you want to call it that (although that's a cliche and generally misused) capitalism we have had since probably the early 1980s is not inevitable. For 30 years postwar we had a kind of capitalism in which the gap between the rich and the poor was narrowing and ordinary people had unprecedented prosperity and opportunities; the state built the NHS, state schools, built housing and libraries etc etc, even Tory governments had agendas that would now be regarded as left wing in some quarters. But it was definitely within a capitalism framework. It's not black and white - socialist and capitalist ideas interact and co-exist. If we had pure capitalism, we wouldn't have a public healthcare system, state schools or any benefits/social security. 

 

 

1. If we're using Blair as the poster child for criticism from either side of the aisle, I'd like to correct his observation: utopia is the left's long term goal. Meantime, a leader who doesn't commit war crimes would be acceptable.

 

2. If we're talking about which ideas have been given the chance to succeed, recall that the US staged coups in Honduras and Guatemala throughout the 20th c. on behalf of the United Fruit Company (Chiquita Banana) to prevent land reform and loss of private property, sent troops to fight the Red Army in 1918, propped up a strongman in S. Korea who cracked down on political dissent and executed thousands, sent troops to fight in Vietnam on the (incorrect) premise detailed by George F. Kennan (beginning anew the military fight against leftist ideology), staged coups in Cuba and attempted to assassinate its leader, all-while exerting political control of these countries through economic sanctions, blockades, and alliances. If in any of those examples you can find a leftist not under siege by America, please let me know where it is. None of these ideas have a chance to succeed on their merits. 

 

As for UBI, I'm sure that on the day robots take over your job you'll find another way to sell your wage-labour; maybe you can push broom for six dollars an hour while the industrialists put the profit in their pockets? It's completely unsustainable for the working class, but, as with many Americans, you might simply be a temporarily embarrassed millionaire and not a subjugated proletariat and not need worry.  

 

 

1. I wasn't, I'm pointing it out because it accurately sums up a problem with the left. I don't agree with Blair much on foreign policy, but he's got an excellent domestic record and he's generally right about the hard left. In the UK at least, I do think there's something in the idea that the right has a much more realistic sense of getting into power and achieving maybe some things but not others; the left tends to ignore the good it does and beat themselves up about the errors. As a result I often see Labour's record in government criticised more from the left than the right. 

 

2. Again, I was talking about domestic policy, and largely the UK, although even in the US the point still stands. If we had pure capitalism and no influence from left wing ideas they wouldn't have public schooling, social security, any kind of free healthcare, nothing. Whereas we could argue about the extent of that and whether it's enough (spoiler: no), it's there and the state does more in terms of investment, infrastructure and public services than the right would admit. 

 

3. Don't patronise me. I'm working class and proudly so, I still live in a deprived working class community and work for a pretty low wage. But I'm not buying the idea that we need to move to UBI (a terrible idea anyway, which will make the rich richer and the poor poorer - a right wing solution that would entrench inequality) because "the robots are taking over". Let's be honest, that's not a new idea. People have been worrying about automation destroying livelihoods for hundreds of years, never mind just decades. Ever since the industrial revolution we've worried about it and it hasn't happened. Again using the UK economy as an example, we have more automation than ever before and yet the amount of jobs in the economy is at record levels. It just isn't happening - it's always possible it might happen in the future but we could have said that at any point in the last, ooh, 300 years. What we've tended to find is that as jobs are lost in one sector because of technology, they open up elsewhere, and there's no reason to suppose that will stop now. 

 

 

Patronising you is half the fun, Ian. Just kidding. But ruffle those feathers; you make better points when you're fired up. 

 

I'm going to take the UK bits offline as I'm wholly unprepared to get into the finer points of domestic policy given I've never even been to the UK. 

 

As for 3. 

 

Well.

 

3. I'm glad you're a working class man. My father was a steelworker. 

 

Okay. 

 

So now that I've used enough alternative facts - my father was a manager at a steel mill and worked actively to make sure that unions didn't get too uppity. My mother was a state employee. I occupy the bottom tier of the petty bourgeoisie. 

 

That said, manufacturing has moved offshore as a way to allow industrialists to employ people. Were those jobs to have stayed here (and many did, mind) the odds of automation rendering your job redundant increase. I will agree, under those circumstances, that automation hasn't taken any jobs, they've simply moved them to a place where labour is disorganized and cheap. 

 

Trump really believes he'll bring back manufacturing jobs to Flint. Ha! I fail to see how UBI could entrench economic inequality. The implementation of automation will eventually replace wage-labourers. Is it fair that those wage-labourers who created these robots should now lose their wage-labour? Not to defend that system, but it seems like digging your own grave. Where UBI should be implemented is to acknowledge that human existence shouldn't be perpetual toil in the wage-labour system. Thirty years on the clock and they give you a watch and a kick in the ass on your way out. 


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#249 Jay Kay

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Posted 23 January 2017 - 11:41 AM

Wish I had something to contribute, but mostly just 

 

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#250 richey

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Posted 23 January 2017 - 12:25 PM

 

 

 

 

Expending intellectual capital on the could have beens seems pointless. 

 

The left in America is non-existent for all intents and purposes. They haven't even managed a centre-left President not labelled a Communist (Americans, by and large, are not aware how far the spectrum goes to the left). I'm proud to say that we're experimenting with UBI - a huge step to the left (and social justice and equitable prosperity), but as with all ideas, the completeness of American control (WB, IMF, WTO, economic sanctions) of the world's economies prevents any unmolested experiments; to wit, the ideas of the left have never been given a fair chance. 

 

1. Not at all. Everything is relative, so if you're going to make value judgements, it's important to bear in mind alternatives. Politics is an imperfect business. Tony Blair made an interesting comment this week: "My record in government is attacked from left and right. For the left, they will always feel disappointed because they want utopia and government never delivers that."

 

2. Again I can't agree. I'm firmly against UBI and I'd reject the idea that it would improve social justice and equitable prosperity. Also disagree that the ideas of the left haven't been given a fair chance - they're more influential than people give it credit for, particularly on the left itself where lefties like to think in very black-and-white terms (e.g. socialism vs capitalism). 'Capitalism' is not the enemy and the kind of right-wing, free market, neoliberal if you want to call it that (although that's a cliche and generally misused) capitalism we have had since probably the early 1980s is not inevitable. For 30 years postwar we had a kind of capitalism in which the gap between the rich and the poor was narrowing and ordinary people had unprecedented prosperity and opportunities; the state built the NHS, state schools, built housing and libraries etc etc, even Tory governments had agendas that would now be regarded as left wing in some quarters. But it was definitely within a capitalism framework. It's not black and white - socialist and capitalist ideas interact and co-exist. If we had pure capitalism, we wouldn't have a public healthcare system, state schools or any benefits/social security. 

 

 

1. If we're using Blair as the poster child for criticism from either side of the aisle, I'd like to correct his observation: utopia is the left's long term goal. Meantime, a leader who doesn't commit war crimes would be acceptable.

 

2. If we're talking about which ideas have been given the chance to succeed, recall that the US staged coups in Honduras and Guatemala throughout the 20th c. on behalf of the United Fruit Company (Chiquita Banana) to prevent land reform and loss of private property, sent troops to fight the Red Army in 1918, propped up a strongman in S. Korea who cracked down on political dissent and executed thousands, sent troops to fight in Vietnam on the (incorrect) premise detailed by George F. Kennan (beginning anew the military fight against leftist ideology), staged coups in Cuba and attempted to assassinate its leader, all-while exerting political control of these countries through economic sanctions, blockades, and alliances. If in any of those examples you can find a leftist not under siege by America, please let me know where it is. None of these ideas have a chance to succeed on their merits. 

 

As for UBI, I'm sure that on the day robots take over your job you'll find another way to sell your wage-labour; maybe you can push broom for six dollars an hour while the industrialists put the profit in their pockets? It's completely unsustainable for the working class, but, as with many Americans, you might simply be a temporarily embarrassed millionaire and not a subjugated proletariat and not need worry.  

 

 

1. I wasn't, I'm pointing it out because it accurately sums up a problem with the left. I don't agree with Blair much on foreign policy, but he's got an excellent domestic record and he's generally right about the hard left. In the UK at least, I do think there's something in the idea that the right has a much more realistic sense of getting into power and achieving maybe some things but not others; the left tends to ignore the good it does and beat themselves up about the errors. As a result I often see Labour's record in government criticised more from the left than the right. 

 

2. Again, I was talking about domestic policy, and largely the UK, although even in the US the point still stands. If we had pure capitalism and no influence from left wing ideas they wouldn't have public schooling, social security, any kind of free healthcare, nothing. Whereas we could argue about the extent of that and whether it's enough (spoiler: no), it's there and the state does more in terms of investment, infrastructure and public services than the right would admit. 

 

3. Don't patronise me. I'm working class and proudly so, I still live in a deprived working class community and work for a pretty low wage. But I'm not buying the idea that we need to move to UBI (a terrible idea anyway, which will make the rich richer and the poor poorer - a right wing solution that would entrench inequality) because "the robots are taking over". Let's be honest, that's not a new idea. People have been worrying about automation destroying livelihoods for hundreds of years, never mind just decades. Ever since the industrial revolution we've worried about it and it hasn't happened. Again using the UK economy as an example, we have more automation than ever before and yet the amount of jobs in the economy is at record levels. It just isn't happening - it's always possible it might happen in the future but we could have said that at any point in the last, ooh, 300 years. What we've tended to find is that as jobs are lost in one sector because of technology, they open up elsewhere, and there's no reason to suppose that will stop now. 

 

 

Patronising you is half the fun, Ian. Just kidding. But ruffle those feathers; you make better points when you're fired up. 

 

I'm going to take the UK bits offline as I'm wholly unprepared to get into the finer points of domestic policy given I've never even been to the UK. 

 

Well.

 

1. I'm glad you're a working class man. My father was a steelworker. 

 

Okay. 

 

So now that I've used enough alternative facts - my father was a manager at a steel mill and worked actively to make sure that unions didn't get too uppity. My mother was a state employee. I occupy the bottom tier of the petty bourgeoisie. 

 

2. That said, manufacturing has moved offshore as a way to allow industrialists to employ people. Were those jobs to have stayed here (and many did, mind) the odds of automation rendering your job redundant increase. I will agree, under those circumstances, that automation hasn't taken any jobs, they've simply moved them to a place where labour is disorganized and cheap. 

 

3. Trump really believes he'll bring back manufacturing jobs to Flint. Ha! I fail to see how UBI could entrench economic inequality. The implementation of automation will eventually replace wage-labourers. Is it fair that those wage-labourers who created these robots should now lose their wage-labour? Not to defend that system, but it seems like digging your own grave. Where UBI should be implemented is to acknowledge that human existence shouldn't be perpetual toil in the wage-labour system. Thirty years on the clock and they give you a watch and a kick in the ass on your way out. 

 

 

I've renumbered them. Just because.

 

1. Glad to hear it. Mine too. Except mine wasn't a manager. He still works in manufacturing. I come from a steel town. The steel plant more or less shut down in 1980 and we struggled for a long long time. The local football team are still known as the Steelmen. Those are old-fashioned facts by the way, not Trump's 'alternative facts', i.e. mine are true. 

 

2. Hang on. When I said jobs open up elsewhere, I'm talking about other industries in the same economy, not in different countries. I'm not talking about moving manufacturing to China to save money (again, these concerns are hardly new). What I'm talking about is capitalism's ability to remake itself by inventing new needs. When the steelworks was here, we never thought we needed the latest smartphone because they never existed. We still don't really. Automation removes jobs in some sectors but then we simply end up selling each other services - bars, coffee shops, hairdressing etc. They never really needed beauty salons in 1840s Manchester. Again, it still may work out that automation WILL lead to a decrease in jobs but again I would point you to the numbers. The opposite is happening. As automation increases, the number of jobs in the economy has increased. The problem is that they are not as secure, not as long term (millennials wouldn't recognise the concept of the 'jobs for life' that baby boomers - wrongly, as it turned out - took for granted), may not be as well paid etc. The issue here is inequality, not automation, which is hardly the sole reason for the plight of the precariat.  

 

Back to manufacturing just briefly - the received wisdom is that in the Western economies, we've got rid of manufacturing particularly since the 1980s and are trying to get by holding the doors open for each other and making each other cups of coffee. It's a cliche and of course like most of the received wisdom it's a nonsense. Manufacturing is still a very significant part of the economy. From memory, manufacturing makes up about 11% of the economy, while banking/financial services makes up 12%. Manufacturing gets dismissed as not-really-existing-anymore, while we poured hundreds of billions in to rescue the banks because they were so vital. Go figure. The dismissive attitude towards manufacturing reflects at least in part the experiences (or lack thereof) and priorities of the powerful. Just thinking out loud.

 

3. It's fairly well known that a basic income would hit the poorest the hardest. There are various models but the basic idea is to replace current benefits (or social security, whatever you want to call it) with an unconditional income, the same for everyone. The trouble with that of course is that someone who already gets more than that loses out, while people who currently don't get anything get more. So let's say that a single mum with no job who lives in a council home with a disabled child, who currently receives more or less a living wage (just about), between Job Seekers' Allowance, Council Tax Benefit, Housing Benefit, Disability Living Allowance, Child Benefit, Child Tax Credit and any more I may have forgotten, ends up with about £72 a week and basically starves, while someone who earns £40,000 and doesn't quality for any benefits gets the £72 a week for free that he doesn't need. Hmm.

 

The problem with the whole scheme is that if everyone gets the same amount, then it's a pretty low amount and some lose out (and it's those that are dependent on support). If it's going to be enough to live on, it makes it prohibitively expensive (the state can't afford to give everyone a living wage through tax revenue, this is kindergarten maths) as well as politically impossible to boot (you try knocking a door with a red rosette on and telling people that your party will give everyone the average salary for nothing, no questions asked). To which most supporters of a basic income that I've spoken to simply say "well obviously you'd have to keep Disability Benefit and you'd have to keep this and you'd have to keep that, because certain people would still need more". But surely the more you allow means testing, it just begins looking more and more like the current system. That's for those already getting it of course, while the affluent are just getting the basic amount for free. 

 

Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer the old method of taxing the rich and spending the money on public services and redistribution of wealth. 

https://www.theguard...olicy-hits-poor 


My anger is a form of madness
And so I'd rather have hope than sadness

#251 sixgunsound

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Posted 23 January 2017 - 12:31 PM

 

 

 

 

 

Expending intellectual capital on the could have beens seems pointless. 

 

The left in America is non-existent for all intents and purposes. They haven't even managed a centre-left President not labelled a Communist (Americans, by and large, are not aware how far the spectrum goes to the left). I'm proud to say that we're experimenting with UBI - a huge step to the left (and social justice and equitable prosperity), but as with all ideas, the completeness of American control (WB, IMF, WTO, economic sanctions) of the world's economies prevents any unmolested experiments; to wit, the ideas of the left have never been given a fair chance. 

 

1. Not at all. Everything is relative, so if you're going to make value judgements, it's important to bear in mind alternatives. Politics is an imperfect business. Tony Blair made an interesting comment this week: "My record in government is attacked from left and right. For the left, they will always feel disappointed because they want utopia and government never delivers that."

 

2. Again I can't agree. I'm firmly against UBI and I'd reject the idea that it would improve social justice and equitable prosperity. Also disagree that the ideas of the left haven't been given a fair chance - they're more influential than people give it credit for, particularly on the left itself where lefties like to think in very black-and-white terms (e.g. socialism vs capitalism). 'Capitalism' is not the enemy and the kind of right-wing, free market, neoliberal if you want to call it that (although that's a cliche and generally misused) capitalism we have had since probably the early 1980s is not inevitable. For 30 years postwar we had a kind of capitalism in which the gap between the rich and the poor was narrowing and ordinary people had unprecedented prosperity and opportunities; the state built the NHS, state schools, built housing and libraries etc etc, even Tory governments had agendas that would now be regarded as left wing in some quarters. But it was definitely within a capitalism framework. It's not black and white - socialist and capitalist ideas interact and co-exist. If we had pure capitalism, we wouldn't have a public healthcare system, state schools or any benefits/social security. 

 

 

1. If we're using Blair as the poster child for criticism from either side of the aisle, I'd like to correct his observation: utopia is the left's long term goal. Meantime, a leader who doesn't commit war crimes would be acceptable.

 

2. If we're talking about which ideas have been given the chance to succeed, recall that the US staged coups in Honduras and Guatemala throughout the 20th c. on behalf of the United Fruit Company (Chiquita Banana) to prevent land reform and loss of private property, sent troops to fight the Red Army in 1918, propped up a strongman in S. Korea who cracked down on political dissent and executed thousands, sent troops to fight in Vietnam on the (incorrect) premise detailed by George F. Kennan (beginning anew the military fight against leftist ideology), staged coups in Cuba and attempted to assassinate its leader, all-while exerting political control of these countries through economic sanctions, blockades, and alliances. If in any of those examples you can find a leftist not under siege by America, please let me know where it is. None of these ideas have a chance to succeed on their merits. 

 

As for UBI, I'm sure that on the day robots take over your job you'll find another way to sell your wage-labour; maybe you can push broom for six dollars an hour while the industrialists put the profit in their pockets? It's completely unsustainable for the working class, but, as with many Americans, you might simply be a temporarily embarrassed millionaire and not a subjugated proletariat and not need worry.  

 

 

1. I wasn't, I'm pointing it out because it accurately sums up a problem with the left. I don't agree with Blair much on foreign policy, but he's got an excellent domestic record and he's generally right about the hard left. In the UK at least, I do think there's something in the idea that the right has a much more realistic sense of getting into power and achieving maybe some things but not others; the left tends to ignore the good it does and beat themselves up about the errors. As a result I often see Labour's record in government criticised more from the left than the right. 

 

2. Again, I was talking about domestic policy, and largely the UK, although even in the US the point still stands. If we had pure capitalism and no influence from left wing ideas they wouldn't have public schooling, social security, any kind of free healthcare, nothing. Whereas we could argue about the extent of that and whether it's enough (spoiler: no), it's there and the state does more in terms of investment, infrastructure and public services than the right would admit. 

 

3. Don't patronise me. I'm working class and proudly so, I still live in a deprived working class community and work for a pretty low wage. But I'm not buying the idea that we need to move to UBI (a terrible idea anyway, which will make the rich richer and the poor poorer - a right wing solution that would entrench inequality) because "the robots are taking over". Let's be honest, that's not a new idea. People have been worrying about automation destroying livelihoods for hundreds of years, never mind just decades. Ever since the industrial revolution we've worried about it and it hasn't happened. Again using the UK economy as an example, we have more automation than ever before and yet the amount of jobs in the economy is at record levels. It just isn't happening - it's always possible it might happen in the future but we could have said that at any point in the last, ooh, 300 years. What we've tended to find is that as jobs are lost in one sector because of technology, they open up elsewhere, and there's no reason to suppose that will stop now. 

 

 

Patronising you is half the fun, Ian. Just kidding. But ruffle those feathers; you make better points when you're fired up. 

 

I'm going to take the UK bits offline as I'm wholly unprepared to get into the finer points of domestic policy given I've never even been to the UK. 

 

Well.

 

1. I'm glad you're a working class man. My father was a steelworker. 

 

Okay. 

 

So now that I've used enough alternative facts - my father was a manager at a steel mill and worked actively to make sure that unions didn't get too uppity. My mother was a state employee. I occupy the bottom tier of the petty bourgeoisie. 

 

2. That said, manufacturing has moved offshore as a way to allow industrialists to employ people. Were those jobs to have stayed here (and many did, mind) the odds of automation rendering your job redundant increase. I will agree, under those circumstances, that automation hasn't taken any jobs, they've simply moved them to a place where labour is disorganized and cheap. 

 

3. Trump really believes he'll bring back manufacturing jobs to Flint. Ha! I fail to see how UBI could entrench economic inequality. The implementation of automation will eventually replace wage-labourers. Is it fair that those wage-labourers who created these robots should now lose their wage-labour? Not to defend that system, but it seems like digging your own grave. Where UBI should be implemented is to acknowledge that human existence shouldn't be perpetual toil in the wage-labour system. Thirty years on the clock and they give you a watch and a kick in the ass on your way out. 

 

 

I've renumbered them. Just because.

 

1. Glad to hear it. Mine too. Except mine wasn't a manager. He still works in manufacturing. I come from a steel town. The steel plant more or less shut down in 1980 and we struggled for a long long time. The local football team are still known as the Steelmen. Those are old-fashioned facts by the way, not Trump's 'alternative facts', i.e. mine are true. 

 

2. Hang on. When I said jobs open up elsewhere, I'm talking about other industries in the same economy, not in different countries. I'm not talking about moving manufacturing to China to save money (again, these concerns are hardly new). What I'm talking about is capitalism's ability to remake itself by inventing new needs. When the steelworks was here, we never thought we needed the latest smartphone because they never existed. We still don't really. Automation removes jobs in some sectors but then we simply end up selling each other services - bars, coffee shops, hairdressing etc. They never really needed beauty salons in 1840s Manchester. Again, it still may work out that automation WILL lead to a decrease in jobs but again I would point you to the numbers. The opposite is happening. As automation increases, the number of jobs in the economy has increased. The problem is that they are not as secure, not as long term (millennials wouldn't recognise the concept of the 'jobs for life' that baby boomers - wrongly, as it turned out - took for granted), may not be as well paid etc. The issue here is inequality, not automation, which is hardly the sole reason for the plight of the precariat.  

 

Back to manufacturing just briefly - the received wisdom is that in the Western economies, we've got rid of manufacturing particularly since the 1980s and are trying to get by holding the doors open for each other and making each other cups of coffee. It's a cliche and of course like most of the received wisdom it's a nonsense. Manufacturing is still a very significant part of the economy. From memory, manufacturing makes up about 11% of the economy, while banking/financial services makes up 12%. Manufacturing gets dismissed as not-really-existing-anymore, while we poured hundreds of billions in to rescue the banks because they were so vital. Go figure. The dismissive attitude towards manufacturing reflects at least in part the experiences (or lack thereof) and priorities of the powerful. Just thinking out loud.

 

3. It's fairly well known that a basic income would hit the poorest the hardest. There are various models but the basic idea is to replace current benefits (or social security, whatever you want to call it) with an unconditional income, the same for everyone. The trouble with that of course is that someone who already gets more than that loses out, while people who currently don't get anything get more. So let's say that a single mum with no job who lives in a council home with a disabled child, who currently receives more or less a living wage (just about), between Job Seekers' Allowance, Council Tax Benefit, Housing Benefit, Disability Living Allowance, Child Benefit, Child Tax Credit and any more I may have forgotten, ends up with about £72 a week and basically starves, while someone who earns £40,000 and doesn't quality for any benefits gets the £72 a week for free that he doesn't need. Hmm.

 

The problem with the whole scheme is that if everyone gets the same amount, then it's a pretty low amount and some lose out (and it's those that are dependent on support). If it's going to be enough to live on, it makes it prohibitively expensive (the state can't afford to give everyone a living wage through tax revenue, this is kindergarten maths) as well as politically impossible to boot (you try knocking a door with a red rosette on and telling people that your party will give everyone the average salary for nothing, no questions asked). To which most supporters of a basic income that I've spoken to simply say "well obviously you'd have to keep Disability Benefit and you'd have to keep this and you'd have to keep that, because certain people would still need more". But surely the more you allow means testing, it just begins looking more and more like the current system. That's for those already getting it of course, while the affluent are just getting the basic amount for free. 

 

Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer the old method of taxing the rich and spending the money on public services and redistribution of wealth. 

https://www.theguard...olicy-hits-poor

 

LOL Okay, I'll call you that from now on. 

 

:P

 

So UBI below poverty threshold? Thoughts .


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#252 richey

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Posted 23 January 2017 - 12:37 PM

What do you mean? Only give it to those under the poverty threshold? It's not universal, then, is it? Surely the whole point of UBI is that it's universal. We already have targeted benefits that are means tested (tax credits). The problem here is low wages, and another problem with UBI Not Really Being Enough To Live On Actually Now You Mention It is why wouldn't employers just see it as a state subsidy and an excuse not to raise wages. Shouldn't we be trying to promote the (rather opposite) idea that companies that hire workers and get the benefit of their labour have a responsibility to pay them a living wage? 


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#253 sixgunsound

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Posted 23 January 2017 - 12:40 PM

I'm attempting to be conciliatory (Tory not being the operative bit) and suggesting that the idea works just fine under a threshold and not advocating for the abolition of the wage labour system. Which is what I think should happen. 


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#254 richey

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Posted 24 January 2017 - 11:13 AM

I'm gonna need clarification/explanation please. Can you elaborate? Do you mean means-test UBI? And what's your thoughts on my criticisms of it above? 


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#255 sixgunsound

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Posted 24 January 2017 - 11:26 AM

Heyo

 

Yeah, I'm talking (s)UBI*. We're experimenting with it here (soon apparently, just haven't picked a municipality) where those under the poverty threshold receive an amount that brings them up to that (minimum income enforcement, if you will). The supposed benefit is to reduce the bureaucracy around government benefits and provide equal opportunity to squander the money. I'm not sure how the UK works, but unlike the US gov't benefits (Ontario Works for those under poverty threshold here) are handed out no-strings-attached. Want drugs? Okay. Want food? That's fine. 

 

And I see the criticism that asks whether the idea, fully implemented (not "sorta"), would have corporations reducing wages. If I were to argue the long-term and pull my response from my left pocket, I'd say that replacing the wage-labour system with a truly universal basic income would be great. Sure, the companies will be paying massive taxes to cover it, but unless we're going to my other left pocket and calling for these companies to be made public, the masses will inevitably spend this money at those businesses. They are, in that way, paying a minimum wage as directed by the government, but indirectly as the person need not be "employed" by the company. 

 

*sorta


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#256 richey

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Posted 26 January 2017 - 11:36 AM

Heyo

 

1. Yeah, I'm talking (s)UBI*. We're experimenting with it here (soon apparently, just haven't picked a municipality) where those under the poverty threshold receive an amount that brings them up to that (minimum income enforcement, if you will). The supposed benefit is to reduce the bureaucracy around government benefits and provide equal opportunity to squander the money. I'm not sure how the UK works, but unlike the US gov't benefits (Ontario Works for those under poverty threshold here) are handed out no-strings-attached. Want drugs? Okay. Want food? That's fine. 

 

2. And I see the criticism that asks whether the idea, fully implemented (not "sorta"), would have corporations reducing wages. If I were to argue the long-term and pull my response from my left pocket, I'd say that replacing the wage-labour system with a truly universal basic income would be great. Sure, the companies will be paying massive taxes to cover it, but unless we're going to my other left pocket and calling for these companies to be made public, the masses will inevitably spend this money at those businesses. They are, in that way, paying a minimum wage as directed by the government, but indirectly as the person need not be "employed" by the company. 

 

*sorta

 

1. I see. Yeah, I don't think it's going to work, nor should it. It's certainly not a left wing solution either, since it would hit the poorest and most vulnerable the hardest and therefore increase inequality.

 

In the UK we have benefits/social security/whatever you call it, for those out of work (Job Seeker's Allowance), then we have a bunch of other benefits - various disability benefits, housing benefit (for people who can't afford their extortionate rents), and tax credits (for those who earn under a certain amount). The latter few you can claim while you are working. So it sounds like we're basically already covered here with people under the poverty threshold already receiving state support in the UK. Again, whether that is enough is another matter entirely (and it isn't enough) but at the moment I'm just talking about the way the system works). To scrap all that and replace it with a flat amount for everyone who is under the line, in order to cut the costs of administering the system, would therefore leave those who are most vulnerable (those who tick several of those boxes) the hardest hit. So for example, a single person under the threshold who hasn't got much costs gets the same amount as a single mum with a severely disabled child who needs round-the-clock support. That doesn't sound very fair nor very left wing to me. Again, the more you start putting in extra things people can apply for if they're in certain situations, the more the universal element of it looks absurd and it starts to look more like the current system.

 

2. The problem with that, as I'm sure you're aware, is that those companies would just leave and pay tax in another country instead. 

 

UBI is going to be trialled here too (Glasgow, I think) and I'm horrified. The left need to snap out of it, and fast. "A truly universal basic income" would take no account of people's individual circumstances and would leave the poorest worst off while representing a gigantic subsidy for the already-affluent. 


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And so I'd rather have hope than sadness



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