Author Topic: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?  (Read 205653 times)

Pooplips

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #550 on: December 14, 2016, 11:47:07 AM »
I'm not saying I want to go back to an 1800's society. What I am saying is our rate of growth and our ability to outcompete other contries was better due to the lack of goverment intervention.

The pacific railroad acts could very well have aided in the monopolies that were created. Once railroads started spanning the US, the government began deciding where railroads should be built to reduce redundancy and used financing to accomplish those goals. This led to other players in the market not being able to compete with government funded projects. With one rail servicing a few areas the rail company could charge whatever they wanted. That lead to ICC.

So, the example that you picked as a triumph of private industry was railroads.  Now you're saying these same railroads weren't actually an example of private industry.  It turns out that the government was necessary to get the railways working as quickly as they did.

What exactly is your preferred solution to the problem?  There are three possible ways for things to go:
- No government intervention (so no railways are built, or they're built too slowly for the needs of the US).
- More government intervention (additional government hand-outs would probably allow for greater competition).
- No change to the policy of limited government intervention where needed and then regulation when businessmen become too greedy and start hurting the country.

No, I'm saying the railroads the government chose to fund weren't an example of private industry. Those railroads weren't being built because they were most likely not profitable, hence why the goverment had to assist in funding the projects. If they were going to be profitable, someone would have built them.

Why do you assume that if there was no government intervention they would have been built too slowly for the needs of the US?

What is interesting is that in the mid 20th century the railroad industry was deregulated for its survival which led to a massive shift in the amount of rail being maintained, led to huge reductions in passenger cars and an increase in freight cars because of the automobile. In my opinion, based on the information I have gathered, the pricing model acts much quicker and is much more effiecient that the central planning model.

Edit: In what way were buisness men too greedy and hurt the country?
« Last Edit: December 14, 2016, 11:48:52 AM by Pooplips »

waltworks

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #551 on: December 14, 2016, 12:15:28 PM »
You're quibbling now, but it's nice to see that you recognize that there are some situations in which a group of self-interested individuals left to their own devices don't produce an optimal outcome.

Look, everyone understands (even super hardcore libertarians) that things like law enforcement, national defense, courts, and basic infrastructure are best handled by the government (at one level or another, doesn't have to be the feds). Everyone probably (even the most hardcore collectivist) also agrees that there are a bunch of things that the government sucks at (business/profit driven enterprise, picking winners and losers, etc) and we have lots of historical examples of failed communist/very collectivist (Venezuela!) economies.

Then there are problems like pollution where the market doesn't price in the cost to society very well, and things like healthcare where you can debate on and on whether a free market can function well.

But the basic idea that you need some central authority to deal with some things is really not controversial. It's the middle-ground stuff that is interesting (climate change would be a great example - are businesses capable of pricing in the potential consequences? One would thing rationally that the possibility of the entire economy crashing would be a deterrent to business as usual...), not the idea that you need a robust government to make basic things run well.

-W

Pooplips

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #552 on: December 14, 2016, 12:34:56 PM »
I agree with you.

Look up "collective action problem".

It makes no sense to voluntarily pay more for some social services unless you know that others will. In fact, that's how *all of society* works! Since it's in your self-interest to free-ride, we have something called a government that makes rules to ensure that public goods are paid for by... the public.

The whole "why don't you pay more taxes then" argument is stupid, because all of human civilization is built on the idea that, in fact, you can't trust people to contribute their fair share without some sort of authority to make them do it.

-W

It's interesting how our conversation evolved from what you posted above to your last statement. I actually like how you broke out services to be perfomed by government vs private industy.

I agree that it is the middle of the road things that are most interesting. Climate change, to use your example, is anyone capable of pricing in the potential consequences? Even if the US can, its futile if we can't get china, india, russia, etc. to agree to the same. If we do get them to agree what about third world contries that are trying to develope? And at what cost to the average american? Difficult stuff

Gin1984

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #553 on: December 14, 2016, 01:33:22 PM »
I agree with you.

Look up "collective action problem".

It makes no sense to voluntarily pay more for some social services unless you know that others will. In fact, that's how *all of society* works! Since it's in your self-interest to free-ride, we have something called a government that makes rules to ensure that public goods are paid for by... the public.

The whole "why don't you pay more taxes then" argument is stupid, because all of human civilization is built on the idea that, in fact, you can't trust people to contribute their fair share without some sort of authority to make them do it.

-W

It's interesting how our conversation evolved from what you posted above to your last statement. I actually like how you broke out services to be perfomed by government vs private industy.

I agree that it is the middle of the road things that are most interesting. Climate change, to use your example, is anyone capable of pricing in the potential consequences? Even if the US can, its futile if we can't get china, india, russia, etc. to agree to the same. If we do get them to agree what about third world contries that are trying to develope? And at what cost to the average american? Difficult stuff
Not exactly: "The United States, with less than 5 % of the global population, uses about a quarter of the world's fossil fuel resourcesóburning up nearly 25 % of the coal, 26 % of the oil, and 27 % of the world's natural gas."
In addition we are working internationally, see the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the agreement between China and the US.  Oh, I forgot, Trump wants to cancel that.

waltworks

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #554 on: December 14, 2016, 01:38:43 PM »
I don't care about CO2 emissions, the cow left the barn a long time ago on that.

But...

It's time to spend a f*ckton of money on basic research on mitigation and adaptation. I'd probably increase NIH and NSF budgets by an order of magnitude, with a heavy focus on cell biology/making stuff with CRISPR, plant science, geoengineering, and of course solar power in various forms. Throw some more money at fusion too. Go heavy on the grad student and postdoc level funding, encourage lots of industry/academic collaboration, bring the ag departments into the 21st century and give them the respect they deserve.

Best of all, even if the tinfoil hat skeptics are all right and climate change is a nothingburger, we get a shit ton of great science and new tech and better/cheaper food and energy out of it. Win/win.

Etc, etc. Nobody is going to do that, though. We'll just have to dump stuff in the atmosphere to try to cool things down in a couple of decades and deal with it ad hoc.

-W

Pooplips

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #555 on: December 15, 2016, 05:30:10 AM »
I don't care about CO2 emissions, the cow left the barn a long time ago on that.

But...

It's time to spend a f*ckton of money on basic research on mitigation and adaptation. I'd probably increase NIH and NSF budgets by an order of magnitude, with a heavy focus on cell biology/making stuff with CRISPR, plant science, geoengineering, and of course solar power in various forms. Throw some more money at fusion too. Go heavy on the grad student and postdoc level funding, encourage lots of industry/academic collaboration, bring the ag departments into the 21st century and give them the respect they deserve.

Best of all, even if the tinfoil hat skeptics are all right and climate change is a nothingburger, we get a shit ton of great science and new tech and better/cheaper food and energy out of it. Win/win.

Etc, etc. Nobody is going to do that, though. We'll just have to dump stuff in the atmosphere to try to cool things down in a couple of decades and deal with it ad hoc.

-W

If we are going to do something big I would like to see it be incentivized the other way. Make fossel fuels so expensive via taxes on emission that whatever technology developes will solve the problem. I don't like to idea of hand picking technology and maybe with huge taxes on emissions fossil fuel companies with come up with technology to solve their own problem.

GuitarStv

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #556 on: December 15, 2016, 06:45:34 AM »
I don't care about CO2 emissions, the cow left the barn a long time ago on that.

But...

It's time to spend a f*ckton of money on basic research on mitigation and adaptation. I'd probably increase NIH and NSF budgets by an order of magnitude, with a heavy focus on cell biology/making stuff with CRISPR, plant science, geoengineering, and of course solar power in various forms. Throw some more money at fusion too. Go heavy on the grad student and postdoc level funding, encourage lots of industry/academic collaboration, bring the ag departments into the 21st century and give them the respect they deserve.

Best of all, even if the tinfoil hat skeptics are all right and climate change is a nothingburger, we get a shit ton of great science and new tech and better/cheaper food and energy out of it. Win/win.

Etc, etc. Nobody is going to do that, though. We'll just have to dump stuff in the atmosphere to try to cool things down in a couple of decades and deal with it ad hoc.

-W

If we are going to do something big I would like to see it be incentivized the other way. Make fossel fuels so expensive via taxes on emission that whatever technology developes will solve the problem. I don't like to idea of hand picking technology and maybe with huge taxes on emissions fossil fuel companies with come up with technology to solve their own problem.

That seems like a reasonable approach to fossil fuels on the surface.

The main issue I see with doing it, is that so much infrastructure has already been built around cheap fossil fuels that the transition period (of undetermined length . . . 10, 15, 20, 25 years?) will be very tough on people.  The people that it will be hardest on are those who can barely make ends meet right now.  Triple the price of gas, and the middle class can absorb it.  The rich don't care but all of a sudden a large number of poor people can't afford to drive to work . . . and until alternative means of transportation are available you're preventing that large portion of the population from being productive.  The free market would likely find a solution in the end, but there's going to be a waiting period and at least a generation of people badly hurt by this decision.

Those people will get angry . . . which means one of several things will happen:
- they'll vote out the party who suggested the policy
- they'll riot, cause civil unrest, increase crime (if you leave 'em to starve this is what tends to happen)
- they'll give up on being productive members of society (drawback of large scale welfare system when no jobs can reasonably be found)

We need a change that eases people off of cheap gas while simultaneously building infrastructure and developing alternative transportation solutions.  A purely capitalist solution isn't going to provide a great answer to this problem for the reasons just mentioned.

Pooplips

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #557 on: December 15, 2016, 06:59:40 AM »
Any increase would need to be implimented over time and I think you underestimate the speed at which the free market can adjust.

Looking at your idea through the same lens, where is the f*ckton of money going to come from? We are already running huge deficits in the federal budget and most states dont look much better, so debt whoudl be out of the question. Higher taxes? Those taxes will eventually be passed on to consumers through higher prices. When prices rise the things you mention above will happen or companies with automate and manuver to try and keep prices low.

And all the while we are wondering if the money we are throwing at research will pan out at all. lose/lose

GuitarStv

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #558 on: December 15, 2016, 07:16:10 AM »
Phasing in a predictable increase on gas prices via a tax being increased over a longer period of time is probably the best solution that could be applied to the problem.  It provides the government with a steady revenue stream to work with for building infrastructure and gives industry leaders incentive since they know that development in the field will become increasingly more lucrative over time.

Sadly, I suspect that it's a doomed idea.  People have great incentives to pretend that the reality of climate change is a hoax . . . addressing the problem will cost money and effort.  Any politician proposing such a strategy would be very unpopular.

waltworks

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #559 on: December 15, 2016, 08:48:01 AM »
Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the pittance we spend on basic research. It's a drop in the bucket, and doing more of it wouldn't cause anyone any distress.

Just for reference, discretionary spending is about 1/3 of the total 3.8 trillion budget, and science/research is about 3% of that - so roughly 1% of the total budget. 54% of the discretionary budget is military spending, on the other hand.


But sure, tax the crap out of fossil fuels if that's your preferred solution. Or do both!

-W

Poundwise

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #560 on: December 15, 2016, 08:51:40 AM »
Looking at your idea through the same lens, where is the f*ckton of money going to come from? We are already running huge deficits in the federal budget and most states dont look much better, so debt whoudl be out of the question. Higher taxes?

What would happen if we invested in the IRS so that we could investigate the $100 billion in tax revenues lost every year because of the use of accounting tricks and tax havens?

Pooplips

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #561 on: December 15, 2016, 08:52:27 AM »
I was unfamiliar with those numbers. The Federal Budget has its own issues that we could talk about for centuries (and probably will). Haha

sol

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #562 on: December 15, 2016, 09:08:05 AM »
I'm not even interested in taxing fossil fuels, I just want is to start reducing the tax incentives we pay to encourage fossil fuel use.  It doesn't make sense to start taxing something when you're already subsidizing it.

If we just reduced government intervention in the fossil fuel market to zero, alternative energy source would already be more cost efficient.  Stop offering tax breaks to drillers.  Stop leasing federal land.  Stop congressional funding for pipelines.  Stop military protection of tanker routes.  Let the free market determine the actual cost of gas, and we'd all be driving electrics inside of five years.  We only continue to use gasoline because the US government wants us to, and so spends your tax dollars to make it look affordable.

Then, if you want to get all technical about fairness, we should subsidize alternative energy for the next forty years at the same level we have subsidized oil for the past 40.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2016, 09:33:05 AM by sol »

Pooplips

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #563 on: December 15, 2016, 09:24:34 AM »
I agree 100%. Removal all tax incentives so that the government is not picking winners and losers.

sol

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #564 on: December 15, 2016, 09:36:56 AM »
I agree 100%. Removal all tax incentives so that the government is not picking winners and losers.
.

Unfortunately, our shared vision will never come to pass.  There are too many ancillary concerns, like international security, that require Uncle Sam to continue subsidizing fossil fuels. 

As a counterweight, we could just increase alternative energy subsidies to the same level as fossil fuel subsidies, going forward.  About a 15x increase should do it.  Obama's tiny little 35% increase was entirely laughable by comparison.

waltworks

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #565 on: December 15, 2016, 09:40:22 AM »
I'm going to ask this as respectfully as possible - why would you comment on the federal budget when you don't know anything about it? It takes (at most) 5 minutes to get a general idea of where the money goes (TL;DR - the government is an insurance company with a big army, basically).

And FWIW, I think we could do a lot to make things work better by BOTH stopping the subsidies of various things (picking winners/losers) AND investing in basic research (which the market does very poorly due to the long payback period). No matter what your ideology, you get to win!

-W

I was unfamiliar with those numbers. The Federal Budget has its own issues that we could talk about for centuries (and probably will). Haha

Pooplips

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #566 on: December 15, 2016, 10:09:09 AM »
I'm sorry, its not that I am unfamiliar with the Federal Budget. I simply have never looked into what specically the government spends on research because I don't really care. I don't think the government should be in the research buisness in the first place.

Gin1984

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #567 on: December 15, 2016, 10:21:21 AM »
I'm sorry, its not that I am unfamiliar with the Federal Budget. I simply have never looked into what specically the government spends on research because I don't really care. I don't think the government should be in the research buisness in the first place.
And how would you like us to have research done in this country and advance medical/scientific knowledge?  Keeping in mind that ALL first world countries fund research to some degree.

waltworks

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #568 on: December 15, 2016, 10:37:35 AM »
I'm sorry, its not that I am unfamiliar with the Federal Budget. I simply have never looked into what specically the government spends on research because I don't really care. I don't think the government should be in the research buisness in the first place.

Ever use the (DARPA) internet? GPS? Cell phone? Accelerometers (in everything)? Google (yes, Sergey Brin was funded by the NSF when he wrote the search algorithms that made them what they are now)? Bar codes? Microchips of any kind (or really, computers of any kind)? Most vaccines? Jet airplanes (ok, that was the German government, really, but still)?

CRISPR is going to blow your freaking mind, too. To be fair HHMI contributed to that along with NIH/NSF/etc. Give it a decade.

I could go on and on. Might be time for you to do some more reading up on how science has worked in the 20th century (and arguably well before that with prominent scientists funded by monarchies). The era of Bell Labs was over a long time ago, for better or for worse.

-W

Pooplips

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #569 on: December 15, 2016, 10:50:22 AM »
I'm sorry, its not that I am unfamiliar with the Federal Budget. I simply have never looked into what specically the government spends on research because I don't really care. I don't think the government should be in the research buisness in the first place.
And how would you like us to have research done in this country and advance medical/scientific knowledge?  Keeping in mind that ALL first world countries fund research to some degree.

Great research comes from Medical Colleges, Hospitals, Foundations, Charities and Parma Companies all the time. Now, you may say, some of that research is funded by the government. True. I cant argue that, but, the question is would that research have happened had the government not given them money? I think it would but who's going to not take free money when it is offered. There are R&D departments in almost every industry that do not recieve government money.

The question for me is at what cost? Are there instances where gov funded some research that turned out great? Sure. Would that research have not been done without the government? Maybe. The government selecting who gets funded and who doesn't always leads to cronyism which defeats the purpose of funding research in the first place.

Again, this is probably another one of those unanswerable questions because everyone has opinion on what the appropriate amount of government funded reseach is.


Pooplips

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #570 on: December 15, 2016, 11:07:36 AM »
I'm sorry, its not that I am unfamiliar with the Federal Budget. I simply have never looked into what specically the government spends on research because I don't really care. I don't think the government should be in the research buisness in the first place.

Ever use the (DARPA) internet? GPS? Cell phone? Accelerometers (in everything)? Google (yes, Sergey Brin was funded by the NSF when he wrote the search algorithms that made them what they are now)? Bar codes? Microchips of any kind (or really, computers of any kind)? Most vaccines? Jet airplanes (ok, that was the German government, really, but still)?

CRISPR is going to blow your freaking mind, too. To be fair HHMI contributed to that along with NIH/NSF/etc. Give it a decade.

I could go on and on. Might be time for you to do some more reading up on how science has worked in the 20th century (and arguably well before that with prominent scientists funded by monarchies). The era of Bell Labs was over a long time ago, for better or for worse.

-W

I don't disagree with your examples but why only list sucesses? What I find interesting is some of your examples were originally military research advancments picked up by private industry and made usefull for the general public. So was government or private industry the creator of the internet? Because for there to be DARPA there needed to be electricity (which Im not 100% sure, but I think was privatly funded).

Like I said there is most likely a balance, and that balance will forever be argued over.

Poundwise

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #571 on: December 15, 2016, 11:18:02 AM »
Great research comes from Medical Colleges, Hospitals, Foundations, Charities and Parma Companies all the time. Now, you may say, some of that research is funded by the government. True. I cant argue that, but, the question is would that research have happened had the government not given them money? I think it would but who's going to not take free money when it is offered. There are R&D departments in almost every industry that do not recieve government money.

So in other words,  you think that the availability of government money actually suppresses private money from being invested in research? I would guess that more money invested in R&D will usually lead to more R&D being done.


Quote
The question for me is at what cost? Are there instances where gov funded some research that turned out great? Sure. Would that research have not been done without the government? Maybe. The government selecting who gets funded and who doesn't always leads to cronyism which defeats the purpose of funding research in the first place.

Give us some examples of how government selection always leads to cronyism.   Government grants serve a complementary purpose to corporate R&D, in that they are disbursed with an eye to the long-term benefit of the country, rather than short term profits.  People complain about "Big Pharma" and I don't think they would like the results if the ability to make money were the only reason why a research project could get funding.

I was formerly a scientist and have friends and family working as scientists for both government grants and industry. I haven't seen or heard of any examples of "cronyism" when it came to government grants... in fact, usually friends of grant applicants recuse themselves from study sections. 

Does private funding create better quality research? That's debatable. My friends who went to work for pharmaceutical companies sometimes have complained that they had to get used to projects being abandoned (wastefully) because they were deemed unprofitable, or because of a corporate change of focus.  On the other hand, they are paid much better than academic scientists so their complaints are not too loud.

[edited because I accidentally submitted in midsentence]
« Last Edit: December 15, 2016, 11:42:55 AM by Poundwise »

Gin1984

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #572 on: December 15, 2016, 11:27:50 AM »
I'm sorry, its not that I am unfamiliar with the Federal Budget. I simply have never looked into what specically the government spends on research because I don't really care. I don't think the government should be in the research buisness in the first place.
And how would you like us to have research done in this country and advance medical/scientific knowledge?  Keeping in mind that ALL first world countries fund research to some degree.

Great research comes from Medical Colleges, Hospitals, Foundations, Charities and Parma Companies all the time. Now, you may say, some of that research is funded by the government. True. I cant argue that, but, the question is would that research have happened had the government not given them money? I think it would but who's going to not take free money when it is offered. There are R&D departments in almost every industry that do not recieve government money.

The question for me is at what cost? Are there instances where gov funded some research that turned out great? Sure. Would that research have not been done without the government? Maybe. The government selecting who gets funded and who doesn't always leads to cronyism which defeats the purpose of funding research in the first place.

Again, this is probably another one of those unanswerable questions because everyone has opinion on what the appropriate amount of government funded reseach is.
I work for a research university attached to a hospital (which also does research) and got my Master's at another research university.  The research that is done, is done because of the governmental grants.  The universities don't fund that, in fact, the grants even pay for the buildings etc.  And we do know what happens when governments don't fund this, the researchers leave to other countries that do and they lose what little scientific community they have.  You lose undergrad students, graduate students, post docs and faculty.  You don't have the base for industry to grow and develop. That is why all first world countries fund research, it is a net gain to the country.

NoStacheOhio

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #573 on: December 15, 2016, 11:44:38 AM »
I'm sorry, its not that I am unfamiliar with the Federal Budget. I simply have never looked into what specically the government spends on research because I don't really care. I don't think the government should be in the research buisness in the first place.
And how would you like us to have research done in this country and advance medical/scientific knowledge?  Keeping in mind that ALL first world countries fund research to some degree.

Great research comes from Medical Colleges, Hospitals, Foundations, Charities and Parma Companies all the time. Now, you may say, some of that research is funded by the government. True. I cant argue that, but, the question is would that research have happened had the government not given them money? I think it would but who's going to not take free money when it is offered. There are R&D departments in almost every industry that do not recieve government money.

The question for me is at what cost? Are there instances where gov funded some research that turned out great? Sure. Would that research have not been done without the government? Maybe. The government selecting who gets funded and who doesn't always leads to cronyism which defeats the purpose of funding research in the first place.

Again, this is probably another one of those unanswerable questions because everyone has opinion on what the appropriate amount of government funded reseach is.
I work for a research university attached to a hospital (which also does research) and got my Master's at another research university.  The research that is done, is done because of the governmental grants.  The universities don't fund that, in fact, the grants even pay for the buildings etc.  And we do know what happens when governments don't fund this, the researchers leave to other countries that do and they lose what little scientific community they have.  You lose undergrad students, graduate students, post docs and faculty.  You don't have the base for industry to grow and develop. That is why all first world countries fund research, it is a net gain to the country.

I work for an academic medical institution closely affiliated with an R1 university, and yes, this ^

I've seen labs full of idle equipment because grant money went away. The space isn't being repurposed because nobody is showing up with replacement money, or even money for something completely different. It's literally a room full of equipment just taking up space.
The first step is acknowledging you have a problem, right?

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/digging-out-of-a-hole/

waltworks

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #574 on: December 15, 2016, 11:47:34 AM »
I have a bunch of degrees that I no longer use (I was a statistician at one point) and my wife has a biochemistry PhD. So I have actual relevant experience with doing and being around basic research - and I can say definitively that without NIH/NSF/NIST/DOE/etc funding, there would be VERY little basic research happening in the US.

Google is doing quite a bit now, and I am hopeful that they will imitate the Bell Labs model and really do some neat stuff.

I also have to disagree with the "failure is the worst result" perspective. Failure is AWESOME. Failure tells you what you don't need to try next time, it spins off new tech and ideas from all the attempts to work your way around the problem, and it generally is awesome. Lots of research leads to nothing - but as long as some aspect of that work is published/disseminated, it help future research succeed.

I mean, really, what kind of fool doesn't understand that success almost always is the product of many failures?

So when you spend a bunch of money on a research project and it doesn't work, you shrug and you move on to another line of attack or another thing. Just LIKE IN YOUR LIFE. Bold experimentation and lots of trial (meaning failure) and error/hard work is how you kick ass.

Jeez.

-W

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #575 on: December 15, 2016, 12:01:20 PM »
I'm sorry, its not that I am unfamiliar with the Federal Budget. I simply have never looked into what specically the government spends on research because I don't really care. I don't think the government should be in the research buisness in the first place.
And how would you like us to have research done in this country and advance medical/scientific knowledge?  Keeping in mind that ALL first world countries fund research to some degree.

Great research comes from Medical Colleges, Hospitals, Foundations, Charities and Parma Companies all the time. Now, you may say, some of that research is funded by the government. True. I cant argue that, but, the question is would that research have happened had the government not given them money? I think it would but who's going to not take free money when it is offered. There are R&D departments in almost every industry that do not recieve government money.

The question for me is at what cost? Are there instances where gov funded some research that turned out great? Sure. Would that research have not been done without the government? Maybe. The government selecting who gets funded and who doesn't always leads to cronyism which defeats the purpose of funding research in the first place.

Again, this is probably another one of those unanswerable questions because everyone has opinion on what the appropriate amount of government funded reseach is.
I work for a research university attached to a hospital (which also does research) and got my Master's at another research university.  The research that is done, is done because of the governmental grants.  The universities don't fund that, in fact, the grants even pay for the buildings etc.  And we do know what happens when governments don't fund this, the researchers leave to other countries that do and they lose what little scientific community they have.  You lose undergrad students, graduate students, post docs and faculty.  You don't have the base for industry to grow and develop. That is why all first world countries fund research, it is a net gain to the country.

Good, get those intellectual elites and immigrants out of here.  Why can't the coal miners just do the research?

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #576 on: December 15, 2016, 12:04:31 PM »
Some actual data on research spending (part 1 of 3):
http://ssti.org/blog/changing-nature-us-basic-research-trends-federal-spending

And yes, what Walt says. Coming from a research scientist background and having done stuff that was pushing into new territory, failure was an integral part of progress. I now work in industry doing applied science where the emphasis is on investigating and figuring things out, and in that context failure is a bug, not a feature. Context matters.

Steady federal-level research dollars should be considered infrastructure investment in a technology-centric economy (and that includes manufacturing, construction, widgets, tech ... all of it).

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #577 on: December 15, 2016, 12:39:21 PM »
I feel like everyone with a science degree just got offended. I did not mean to do that and I apologize.

I didn't mean for my question to be interpretated as a "failure is the worst result" perspective. Failure breeds success in everything.

As far as cronyism, Sol and I were just discussing tax incentives/hand-outs for the fossil fuel industry vs the renewable industry. We now have the CEO of Exxon as the Secretary of State.

Now that I know I am discussing this with a bunch of scientists, I am interesting in what you think federal spending should be on research. 2x, 5x or 10x what it is now?

Glenstache, thanks for the link. I will be reading shortly.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #578 on: December 15, 2016, 12:46:15 PM »
I'd say about 10x. There are a huge number of very talented postdocs/grad students leaving to work in industry (or leaving science entirely) and we are going to miss out on big stuff because those people weren't in a place where their creativity and talent had a (relatively unconstrained by immediate profit considerations) place to flourish.

Many of them will get picked up (this is already happening, go browse through the recruiting ads in a copy of Nature or Science) by Chinese universities and research facilities.

I should add: scientists get offended when you start expressing opinions and clearly haven't done any basic research on the topic - NOT when you just disagree with them. You don't need to be an expert on science funding to comment on it, but if you can't even be bothered to look into how the federal budget works (not a large investment of time, really) before doing so, then you will lose the respect of most scientifically minded people.

-W
« Last Edit: December 15, 2016, 01:10:43 PM by waltworks »

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #579 on: December 15, 2016, 01:08:39 PM »
Quote
I don't think the government should be in the research buisness in the first place.

This being typed on an internet forum is the modern day equivalent of "keep your government hands off my medicare!".  Priceless.

I personally am not a big fan of just flat government research spending.  I prefer moonshot projects, great big ridiculously ambitious goals that get the public on board and excited about science.  Even if these ultimately fail to reach their end goal, or the goal itself (like the moon landing) may not have any direct practical value, these types of projects spur all kinds of side innovations that recoup the spending by vast margins.  They also have the side benefit of getting a whole generation of kids excited about science and engineering. 

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #580 on: December 15, 2016, 01:25:40 PM »
I'd say about 10x. There are a huge number of very talented postdocs/grad students leaving to work in industry (or leaving science entirely) and we are going to miss out on big stuff because those people weren't in a place where their creativity and talent had a (relatively unconstrained by immediate profit considerations) place to flourish.

Many of them will get picked up (this is already happening, go browse through the recruiting ads in a copy of Nature or Science) by Chinese universities and research facilities.

-W

Just agreeing with all of the above on the absolute necessity of gov't funding of research. A sadly miniscule amount of gov't funding is devoted to this.  Most research questions are not like medical research, where medical services and potential drug development can usually be projected to make the funding entitity a lot of money.

As someone with a background in biological/ecological research, and with a husband who is an active researcher, I can tell you that a lot of our knowledge about even basic ecological processes would have been difficult to impossible to learn via any private funding source. The reason is that most questions pertaining to fundamental ecology, as well as most subcategories of research (such as, for example, forest ecology, wildlife ecology, limnology and oceanography, climatology, volcanology, etc etc ) do not have short term, tangible, profit motives sufficient tor drive private research funding. They also require research that often must take place over LONG time periods and often at large spatial scales that cross state and country boundaries.

The country as a whole obtains huge benefits from our understanding of these topics, but individuals are unable and unwilling to fund research at the scale or detail required to obtain that knowledge because most of the time there is no individual monetary profit to be found.

Also, repetition of research many times and regular rejection of research hypotheses is a FEATURE of scientific process of all sorts, NOT a bug. Scientific endeavors must fail more or less constantly, so that incorrect hypotheses can be weeded out. Otherwise there can be no progress toward any objective 'truth'.  ETA: I added this last, presumably obvious, paragraph because pooplips seems to not understand the most fundamental things about how science functions or what the process is. 
« Last Edit: December 15, 2016, 01:34:35 PM by wenchsenior »

wenchsenior

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #581 on: December 15, 2016, 01:37:55 PM »
I'd say about 10x. There are a huge number of very talented postdocs/grad students leaving to work in industry (or leaving science entirely) and we are going to miss out on big stuff because those people weren't in a place where their creativity and talent had a (relatively unconstrained by immediate profit considerations) place to flourish.

Many of them will get picked up (this is already happening, go browse through the recruiting ads in a copy of Nature or Science) by Chinese universities and research facilities.

I should add: scientists get offended when you start expressing opinions and clearly haven't done any basic research on the topic - NOT when you just disagree with them. You don't need to be an expert on science funding to comment on it, but if you can't even be bothered to look into how the federal budget works (not a large investment of time, really) before doing so, then you will lose the respect of most scientifically minded people.

-W

Specifics of how much more funding should be devoted to which scientific disciplines is always going to be a matter of what we prioritize as a country. Obviously, Americans don't prioritize much except military tech anymore, which is damn depressing. For sure I know that in the biological sciences, there are many more people interested in doing research than there is funding to support them.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #582 on: December 15, 2016, 10:53:38 PM »
HusbandX left a career in biology (n part) because there was no way to make a living in it, for him. It wasn't consistent, and the "fun" (as in, research) jobs just didn't pay enough. We have plenty of friends who've stuck it out, but most of them are constantly fighting for what little funding they have. A few have "non-traditional" jobs, such as living on an atoll out in the Pacific doing bird research for six months at a time. Or going to Antarctica and working at McMurdo for six months. Then having to find something new when they're done. Or working in fisheries stuff, and then working as a fisherman/woman during the summers to make ends meet.

And I worked for a research university which was constantly dealing with cutbacks from the (Republican) state legislature because those poor oil companies just needed another tax break. Boo-hoo.

So. I think a large part of the problem is that so many people don't realize just how little our government actually spends on research. They'll hear about some study that they think was "stupid" (most likely because it was dumbed down by someone in the press who didn't actually understand it) and assume that a) the research was useless and b) the researchers made tons of money by studying something so asinine. So they assume that the government is wasting all this money on research for what makes dogs fart or some other ridiculous issue (again, that would be how the layman's article presented it, not what was actually being researched) instead of helping them, the good and wonderful taxpayer whose precious money is being wasted. And it adds to their sense of persecution, because the government can afford to pay scientists who want to study such silly things by taking from the good and wonderful taxpayer's pocket? When you add in the fact that most people don't actually know any research scientists and you can actually understand that if that's all they hear about "research", then of course they'd think it's a giant waste of money.

They don't realize that the giant waste of money is all the time researchers spend fighting over the scraps of funding they get now. They don't realize that the giant waste is sending some of our brightest scientists off to other countries because they can't make a decent living doing what they love here. They don't realize that funding for R&D is crucial for how this country will move forward, because they don't understand how it affects their lives. They think "private industry" will fill in, without ever stopping to think that maybe private industry is really only interested in things that will turn a profit. They're not in it for the good of humanity, they're in it for personal gain. Sure, they'll cure cancer if they can, but only so they can turn around and make billions on the cure. That is the point at which the government should step in and say, you know, maybe trying to find a cure for cancer without making tons of money off people's desperation would be a good thing.

Even if it leads to a bunch of failures, which most of the time it doesn't. Because how can you fail when your premise is an open-ended question? "I want to learn how we evolved lungs." Individual experiments can and will fail, but you're still furthering research. It's never "failure" when viewed from that standpoint.

Eventually, however, the research will get big enough that private industry will step in. We know how lungs evolved, so now we can 3D print new lungs for those who need them! Private industry wins! And they never credit all the government funded research that came before theirs, which formed the basis and without which they couldn't have done anything. So then laymen like pooplips never hear about the role government research played, and continue in their happy belief that government money into research is "wasted".

NoStacheOhio

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #583 on: December 16, 2016, 06:05:54 AM »
Even if it leads to a bunch of failures, which most of the time it doesn't. Because how can you fail when your premise is an open-ended question? "I want to learn how we evolved lungs." Individual experiments can and will fail, but you're still furthering research. It's never "failure" when viewed from that standpoint.

And who knows what those failures will turn up. Viagra anyone? ;)
The first step is acknowledging you have a problem, right?

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hoping2retire35

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #584 on: December 16, 2016, 06:16:46 AM »
Well, back to the OP.

Looks like the sec of interior will be a little more pro-environment/public use of our national forest/blm lands instead of just a lessor to BigOil/Big Timber.

Glenstache

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #585 on: December 16, 2016, 09:50:52 AM »
Well, back to the OP.

Looks like the sec of interior will be a little more pro-environment/public use of our national forest/blm lands instead of just a lessor to BigOil/Big Timber.

In context, Zinke appears to be the bright spot among Trump's cabinet picks. I say that largely because I feared appointment of an ally of the American Lands Council or others in favor of public land transfer. Zinke has a record of opposing public land transfer.

Kris

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #586 on: December 16, 2016, 09:54:13 AM »
China just seized a US navy vessel in the South China Sea.

And so it begins.

If the Electoral College doesn't act, which they won't, get ready for the era of adversarial countries just doing shit to see what they can get away with, now that the US is run by a guy who will botch every response and further erode its reputation to potentially disastrous effect.
Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

radram

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #587 on: December 16, 2016, 10:11:10 AM »
China just seized a US navy vessel in the South China Sea.

And so it begins.

If the Electoral College doesn't act, which they won't, get ready for the era of adversarial countries just doing shit to see what they can get away with, now that the US is run by a guy who will botch every response and further erode its reputation to potentially disastrous effect.

While the next 4 years should prove interesting, I believe this must fall directly on Obama's plate.  He IS still the president. We can speculate as to what Trump would/will do, but I see that so far, a formal protest called a demarche has been delivered to China. Looks like the first move of Obama is diplomacy. Who thinks that will be Trumps first reaction when something like this happens under his watch? Who thinks we will get the ship back?




Glenstache

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #588 on: December 16, 2016, 10:18:47 AM »
China just seized a US navy vessel in the South China Sea.

And so it begins.

If the Electoral College doesn't act, which they won't, get ready for the era of adversarial countries just doing shit to see what they can get away with, now that the US is run by a guy who will botch every response and further erode its reputation to potentially disastrous effect.

While the next 4 years should prove interesting, I believe this must fall directly on Obama's plate.  He IS still the president. We can speculate as to what Trump would/will do, but I see that so far, a formal protest called a demarche has been delivered to China. Looks like the first move of Obama is diplomacy. Who thinks that will be Trumps first reaction when something like this happens under his watch? Who thinks we will get the ship back?

Yes, it is Obama's issue to deal with through Jan 20th. I think it is in the room to assume that this is at least in part related to Trump's direct talks with Taiwan.

ender

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #589 on: December 16, 2016, 10:23:36 AM »
Yes, it is Obama's issue to deal with through Jan 20th. I think it is in the room to assume that this is at least in part related to Trump's direct talks with Taiwan.

And realistically that area has been a mess politically recently. China has built military bases on islands they built in a contested area.

This is definitely not a new geopolitical problem. Though it's likely the action here is deliberately taken given the presidential election.

Also, it wasn't a "ship" it was an underwater drone.

NoStacheOhio

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #590 on: December 16, 2016, 11:40:25 AM »
China just seized a US navy vessel in the South China Sea.

And so it begins.

If the Electoral College doesn't act, which they won't, get ready for the era of adversarial countries just doing shit to see what they can get away with, now that the US is run by a guy who will botch every response and further erode its reputation to potentially disastrous effect.

UNDERWATER DRONE.

Jesus, don't scare me like that. The Iran debacle was bad enough.
The first step is acknowledging you have a problem, right?

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sol

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #591 on: December 16, 2016, 11:58:28 AM »
UNDERWATER DRONE.

Jesus, don't scare me like that. The Iran debacle was bad enough.

Sounds like it's not even a military drone, just a research drone.  Meh.  Keep it, just maybe email us the temperature data file?

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #592 on: December 16, 2016, 12:00:16 PM »
For anyone who thinks a trade war with China is going to be a good idea:
Quote
BEIJING: China will slap fines on an unnamed US carmaker for monopolistic behaviour, the state-run China Daily said on Wednesday (Dec 14), as rhetoric over trade heats up between Beijing and US president-elect Donald Trump.  A penalty will be issued "soon" against an American firm for telling distributors to fix prices, the paper said in a front-page story, citing an "exclusive interview" with the director of the price supervision bureau in the country's top economic planner.

Chinese authorities often use state-controlled media to test out lines of attack and broadcast pointed messages while preserving a more neutral official stance.

In an editorial, also published on Wednesday, the China Daily took a swaggering tone, saying that if Trump wants to make Taiwan a bargaining chip, "he has no leverage".  "However, since he has indicated with his pre-office sound bites that his real interest is trade, let's talk about trade," it said.

The editorial singled out General Motors, noting that the US automaker sold more than one-third of its nearly 10 million vehicles in China last year.

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/china-to-fine-us-automaker-china-daily/3367204.html

Then there's the issue of Trump singling out companies via his Twitter account.  Hedge funds apparently profited significantly from Trump's attack on Lockheed by shorting the stock prior to his tweet.  Talk about a system ripe for abuse.  Conveniently, accusations of insider trading can be defrayed by explaining that 'sophisticated social media algortithms' had predicted the tweet.  How convenient.

http://fortune.com/2016/12/13/donald-trump-twitter-lockheed-martin-stock-dump/
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NoStacheOhio

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #593 on: December 16, 2016, 12:29:22 PM »
For anyone who thinks a trade war with China is going to be a good idea:
Quote
BEIJING: China will slap fines on an unnamed US carmaker for monopolistic behaviour, the state-run China Daily said on Wednesday (Dec 14), as rhetoric over trade heats up between Beijing and US president-elect Donald Trump.  A penalty will be issued "soon" against an American firm for telling distributors to fix prices, the paper said in a front-page story, citing an "exclusive interview" with the director of the price supervision bureau in the country's top economic planner.

Chinese authorities often use state-controlled media to test out lines of attack and broadcast pointed messages while preserving a more neutral official stance.

In an editorial, also published on Wednesday, the China Daily took a swaggering tone, saying that if Trump wants to make Taiwan a bargaining chip, "he has no leverage".  "However, since he has indicated with his pre-office sound bites that his real interest is trade, let's talk about trade," it said.

The editorial singled out General Motors, noting that the US automaker sold more than one-third of its nearly 10 million vehicles in China last year.

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/china-to-fine-us-automaker-china-daily/3367204.html

Then there's the issue of Trump singling out companies via his Twitter account.  Hedge funds apparently profited significantly from Trump's attack on Lockheed by shorting the stock prior to his tweet.  Talk about a system ripe for abuse.  Conveniently, accusations of insider trading can be defrayed by explaining that 'sophisticated social media algortithms' had predicted the tweet.  How convenient.

http://fortune.com/2016/12/13/donald-trump-twitter-lockheed-martin-stock-dump/

The idea that anyone can predict Trump behavior is laughable.
The first step is acknowledging you have a problem, right?

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/digging-out-of-a-hole/

Metric Mouse

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #594 on: December 16, 2016, 12:43:51 PM »
Yes, it is Obama's issue to deal with through Jan 20th. I think it is in the room to assume that this is at least in part related to Trump's direct talks with Taiwan.

And realistically that area has been a mess politically recently. China has built military bases on islands they built in a contested area.

This is definitely not a new geopolitical problem. Though it's likely the action here is deliberately taken given the presidential election.

Also, it wasn't a "ship" it was an underwater drone.

Ahh shoot... I thought we could start blaming stuff on Trump already...
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dragoncar

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #595 on: December 16, 2016, 01:24:15 PM »
UNDERWATER DRONE.

Jesus, don't scare me like that. The Iran debacle was bad enough.

Sounds like it's not even a military drone, just a research drone.  Meh.  Keep it, just maybe email us the temperature data file?

Military research tho

Quidnon?

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #596 on: December 16, 2016, 01:31:54 PM »

The idea that anyone can predict Trump behavior is laughable.

I remember a time when both the political left, and apparently the Soviet Union, thought Reagan was actually crazy.  On some level, I think that Reagan deliberately cultivated that idea, perhaps because it forced his political & diplomatic adversaries to second guess their assumptions about how he would respond to certain provocations.  I wonder if Trump is also cultivating the "unpredictable reaction" persona for similar reasons.
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KCM5

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #597 on: December 16, 2016, 01:42:42 PM »

The idea that anyone can predict Trump behavior is laughable.

I remember a time when both the political left, and apparently the Soviet Union, thought Reagan was actually crazy.  On some level, I think that Reagan deliberately cultivated that idea, perhaps because it forced his political & diplomatic adversaries to second guess their assumptions about how he would respond to certain provocations.  I wonder if Trump is also cultivating the "unpredictable reaction" persona for similar reasons.

Really? I was born in the '80s, so have no reference for this. But I have never heard Reagan described as unpredictable/crazy like that. Can you give some examples?

Trump has certainly been doing his best to seem unpredictable. I do think this is a bit of a strategy of his, one that he has used in his business life. However, I think he also just has poor impulse control and thin skin. That's the dangerous part.

Metric Mouse

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #598 on: December 16, 2016, 01:57:27 PM »
UNDERWATER DRONE.

Jesus, don't scare me like that. The Iran debacle was bad enough.

Sounds like it's not even a military drone, just a research drone.  Meh.  Keep it, just maybe email us the temperature data file?

Military research tho

Turns out the research project of sneaking through Chinese waters was as failure... need to test a new theory...
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Quidnon?

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #599 on: December 16, 2016, 02:00:54 PM »
UNDERWATER DRONE.

Jesus, don't scare me like that. The Iran debacle was bad enough.

Sounds like it's not even a military drone, just a research drone.  Meh.  Keep it, just maybe email us the temperature data file?

Military research tho

Turns out the research project of sneaking through Chinese waters was as failure... need to test a new theory...

Based upon what?  If that was a military drone looking for weak spots in the Chinese submarine sonar net, did you assume we had only one?
"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it."
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