Author Topic: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?  (Read 389153 times)

Metric Mouse

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #900 on: January 09, 2017, 10:00:30 PM »
It is incredibly difficult and debate even among very experienced and talented economist to determine the exact administration which is at fault for a given financial crises.

Agreed.  Lots of people blame Bill Clinton for the 2008/9 crash, for example, because he signed off on Congress's repeal of the Glass-Steagal Act in 1999, helping to deregulate banks so they could play on Wall Street.

My broader point (which I think is being missed) is that it's ridiculous to blame someone who just took office for any given financial crisis, or give them immediate credit for 'good things'.

Certainly after they've settled in for a while it becomes much harder to distinguish which administration truly set up the circumstances for the current crisis.   Regarding blaming Clinton for the '08 crash, there's some validity there, but one must also acknolwedege that the subsequent 8 years congress and Bush had ample opportunities to increase regulation but didn't.

Good point. And even if one can pin blame to a specific administration, there's the point that the president didn't propose or affect the bills/budgets; they merely passed what congress came up with.

And its a stretch to suggest that the Bush administration should have tightened regulations to avoid a problem that, while clearly likely in retrospect, was only actually foreseen by a handful of people in the world before it occurred.

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #901 on: January 09, 2017, 10:17:15 PM »
With the current state of just ignoring public opinion (Tweeting "Trump reality"(TM) and having the world revolve around whether Meryl Streep is overrated) coupled with a disorienting confirmation process and Kellyanne Conway rolling out the idea that Russian sanctions will be rolled back in 11 days, it's no wonder deep, introspective politics has come to a standstill.  Never mind that Jared Kushner slipped in as a Senior White House Advisor.

Quote
While not mentioning that he is his son-in-law, Trump described Kushner as "a widely respected businessman and real estate developer was instrumental in formulating and executing the strategy behind President-elect Trump's historic victory in November."

Calling the appointment an "honor," Kushner said in a statement he is "energized by the shared passion of the President-elect and the American people."

Who are these American people???  And why will anyone expect politicians to do the hard work of long term strategy when the Trump war is being won on a tactical, day-to-day immediate gratification way?  Defecit spending - Trump's gain, someone else's pain.  Healthcare - disaster, just need to repeal ACA and 'the people' will think we are on their side.  Taxes, need to be cut. 

It's really easy to run the US, as long as you have no historical baggage nor accountability to the future of the citizens.  And you even get 4 years to make some money in the process, just in case things don't work out.  Trump Tower is suddenly the most valuable real estate on the planet, what a great example of selflessness on behalf of our not-yet-even-leader of this free country.  I mean, the White House is not just going to be Trump's vacation home, right?

radram

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #902 on: January 10, 2017, 05:51:20 AM »
I say at least one major problem along the lines being discussed is not necessarily that expert opinion is no longer valid but rather that the rise of equal access to the public ear via the internet has lead to the bar for qualifying yourself as an expert on a subject to drop to zero.

Or rather you can be considered an expert simply based on the size of your following. Your legitimacy on the internet as a spokes person on any subject has less to do with science and education or more to do with how many people are willing to listen to you and believe you.

In some ways this level of information sharing has been an amazing thing. In others, looking at this recent election, it has been a complete and tragic failure for all of us.

All the major social media sites are grappling with these issues right now. How do we evolve the internet beyond the wild west of information that it currently is. How do we do it without giving up the current freedoms that we value on it? Regulation of the internet and its major contributors is going to be a huge issue probably for the remainder of most of our lifetimes. And ultimately the gatekeepers who will craft that future are the social media sites and search engines like google and telecom providers that control bandwidth and accessibility.

Agreed. This is the reason I am in support of net neutrality. It is also be the exact same reason someone with the ability to gain control would be for it. Is there another reason why someone would be against it?

deadlymonkey

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #903 on: January 10, 2017, 07:52:01 AM »
With the current state of just ignoring public opinion (Tweeting "Trump reality"(TM) and having the world revolve around whether Meryl Streep is overrated) coupled with a disorienting confirmation process and Kellyanne Conway rolling out the idea that Russian sanctions will be rolled back in 11 days, it's no wonder deep, introspective politics has come to a standstill.  Never mind that Jared Kushner slipped in as a Senior White House Advisor.

Quote
While not mentioning that he is his son-in-law, Trump described Kushner as "a widely respected businessman and real estate developer was instrumental in formulating and executing the strategy behind President-elect Trump's historic victory in November."

Calling the appointment an "honor," Kushner said in a statement he is "energized by the shared passion of the President-elect and the American people."

Who are these American people???  And why will anyone expect politicians to do the hard work of long term strategy when the Trump war is being won on a tactical, day-to-day immediate gratification way?  Defecit spending - Trump's gain, someone else's pain.  Healthcare - disaster, just need to repeal ACA and 'the people' will think we are on their side.  Taxes, need to be cut. 

It's really easy to run the US, as long as you have no historical baggage nor accountability to the future of the citizens.  And you even get 4 years to make some money in the process, just in case things don't work out.  Trump Tower is suddenly the most valuable real estate on the planet, what a great example of selflessness on behalf of our not-yet-even-leader of this free country.  I mean, the White House is not just going to be Trump's vacation home, right?
But they are only getting rid of Obamacare not the ACA.


That is an epic facebook discussion.  Unfortunately a not insignificant number of other Americans make the same mistake or are just idiots.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #904 on: January 10, 2017, 11:46:57 AM »
I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

nereo

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #905 on: January 10, 2017, 11:57:01 AM »
I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Both, and probably at the same time.

Quote
That is an epic facebook discussion.  Unfortunately a not insignificant number of other Americans make the same mistake or are just idiots.
My father's a doctor, and for several years he's mentioned how patients will come in complaining about Obamacare, but when he asks them what they think about the Affordable Care Act the opinions are much better.  When he asks about many of the provisions like not being denied coverage for a pre-existing condition his patients say they love that, and often will say things like "why couldn't the democrats have put those things in Obamacare in the first place?"

::headbang::

also - very few people seem to realize that the bulk of the ACA/Obamacare was actually expanding Medicaid. I've heard many people (some of them liberal democrats) talk about how we need to do away with "Obamacare" and instead increase the funding and coverage of Medicaid

Me thinks there has never been another law so misunderstood.  I'd wager that Republicans could repeal ACA and vote to implement a "new" law that was in fact the ACA in verbatim and we'd have Republicans singing its praises and Democrats talking about how vile it is.



RangerOne

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #906 on: January 10, 2017, 04:13:33 PM »
http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/trump-meets-anti-vaccine-activist-after-raising-fringe-theory-trail-n705296

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President-elect Donald Trump met with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., a leading anti-vaccine activist, on Tuesday to discuss vaccination policy, incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer said.

Kennedy drew fire last year for describing a "holocaust" of children allegedly hurt by immunization (he later apologized for the term), and both Trump and Kennedy have spread fringe theories linking vaccines to autism in children, an idea that medical experts overwhelmingly reject and have warned is endangering public health.

https://twitter.com/BenjySarlin/status/818897616222191617

Quote
RFK Jr says Trump asked him to chair a committee on vaccines. Both of them support fringe anti-vaccine theories.
Make Polio Great Again.



Hopefully even in this position an idiot anti-vaxxer can't do that much harm but I don't know that for sure. Being anti vaccine is really somewhere around the bottom rung of being moronically anti science. Just above being a flat Earther or faked moon landing conspiracy theorist.

If a person still believes based on today's science that vaccines are likely to be linked to autism they are dangerously ignorant and should not be in a position of power over public health.

When it comes to being anti science I give maybe a bit of leeway to climate change deniers, because the outcome is so long term it is hard for most to follow the science.

But vaccine science is tested and sound. We see the results of it everyday. Doctors and scientist understand very well how vaccines lead to immunity. People who push this nonsense deserve to be ridiculed and then ignored. So that false information and fear mongering doesn't lead frighted parents to make bad decisions for all of us.

This isn't really a conservative issue though, plenty of liberals believe this bull shit. This is just another area where unregulated ignorance flying around the internet masquerading as expertise has lead to a large number of people believing insane, unsupportable, and harmful ideas. And news as entertainment trying to spice up science by blowing up bad studies or early studies with scary false headlines hasn't been helpful either.

We have paid a high price for free access to information in that people with stupid ideas are as likely gain a following as experts with good ideas.

Lagom

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #907 on: January 10, 2017, 07:22:12 PM »
Yes, anti-vaxxers represent one anti-fact group that if anything is probably filled with more liberals than conservatives. But, I mean, "post truth" isn't just a handy catch phrase. It is literally a "realistic impact of a Trump presidency." I just hope RangerOne is correct that he can't do much harm, because if the official White House opinion on vaccines is declared to be that they are potentially dangerous, the impact could be devastating. This is especially worrisome to me because the media, in its continued puppet dance to avoid accusations of "liberal bias" will likely blast it all over their front pages with headlines like "Trump appointed committee finds links between vaccines and autism!

former player

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #908 on: January 11, 2017, 02:35:08 AM »
Can I try out a thought?  That the last several decades that the evangelical churches have spent decrying the theory of evolution and pushing creationism, to the extent that a significant part of the US population is openly creationist, have primed the pump for the stupidity of the anti-vaxers, the climate change deniers and the post-truth society.

Not to say that other societies don't have their betises, of course, but they do seem to be growing bigger and better in the USA at the moment.


MasterStache

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #909 on: January 11, 2017, 07:28:55 AM »
Meanwhile while everyone is focused on Trump's ties with Russia, the house just passed the REINS Act. Nothing like having Congress be the final say on clean water, toxic chemicals, etc. I mean really who needs scientist to determine this stuff?

Gin1984

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #910 on: January 11, 2017, 07:48:24 AM »
Yes, anti-vaxxers represent one anti-fact group that if anything is probably filled with more liberals than conservatives. But, I mean, "post truth" isn't just a handy catch phrase. It is literally a "realistic impact of a Trump presidency." I just hope RangerOne is correct that he can't do much harm, because if the official White House opinion on vaccines is declared to be that they are potentially dangerous, the impact could be devastating. This is especially worrisome to me because the media, in its continued puppet dance to avoid accusations of "liberal bias" will likely blast it all over their front pages with headlines like "Trump appointed committee finds links between vaccines and autism!

This is pretty wild speculation, even with the noted appointees views. It's extremely doubtful the white house would put out anything like that.
Given that Trump has already stated that with his lie that vaccines cause autism, why is that doubtful or wild speculation?  People are likely to repeat previous behaviors.

nereo

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #911 on: January 11, 2017, 07:59:27 AM »
Yes, anti-vaxxers represent one anti-fact group that if anything is probably filled with more liberals than conservatives. But, I mean, "post truth" isn't just a handy catch phrase. It is literally a "realistic impact of a Trump presidency." I just hope RangerOne is correct that he can't do much harm, because if the official White House opinion on vaccines is declared to be that they are potentially dangerous, the impact could be devastating. This is especially worrisome to me because the media, in its continued puppet dance to avoid accusations of "liberal bias" will likely blast it all over their front pages with headlines like "Trump appointed committee finds links between vaccines and autism!

This is pretty wild speculation, even with the noted appointees views. It's extremely doubtful the white house would put out anything like that.
Given that Trump has already stated that with his lie that vaccines cause autism, why is that doubtful or wild speculation?  People are likely to repeat previous behaviors.

I tend to agree.  We have a president-elect who publicly opined that we need to change vaccine policy because it caused defects in your children, and now he's appointed a very vocal member to be chairman on the committee on vaccinations.
hard not to add up these statements.

Gondolin

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #912 on: January 11, 2017, 08:05:14 AM »
Quote
That the last several decades that the evangelical churches have spent...

Sure, the evangelical and unlearned nature of American Christianity has been a driving force in American anti- intellectual and anti-rational thought since the mid-eighteenth century.

Once Americans began rejecting the need for learned ministers to interpret scripture for them and the ability of the common person to commune with God was established, what need was there for education?

The usual argument is that if common sense and open spirit are enough to save your soul, then rationality and education can only be a distraction from that goal.

wenchsenior

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #913 on: January 11, 2017, 08:43:00 AM »
Meanwhile while everyone is focused on Trump's ties with Russia, the house just passed the REINS Act. Nothing like having Congress be the final say on clean water, toxic chemicals, etc. I mean really who needs scientist to determine this stuff?

This country is so unbelievably screwed.   You know, 'Muricans love to pat themselves on the back about how awesome our western societies are comparison with those countries governed under philosophies of stone age Islamic magical thinking that reject facts.....and now we are racing to join them.

FUCK FACTS! WHO NEEDS THEM?

GuitarStv

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #914 on: January 11, 2017, 11:22:26 AM »
Meanwhile while everyone is focused on Trump's ties with Russia, the house just passed the REINS Act. Nothing like having Congress be the final say on clean water, toxic chemicals, etc. I mean really who needs scientist to determine this stuff?

This country is so unbelievably screwed.   You know, 'Muricans love to pat themselves on the back about how awesome our western societies are comparison with those countries governed under philosophies of stone age Islamic magical thinking that reject facts.....and now we are racing to join them.

FUCK FACTS! WHO NEEDS THEM?

A small point of contention . . . Islam was at the forefront of scientific research and discovery in the world around the middle ages.  In the west we were rushing desperately trying to catch up to them.

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #915 on: January 11, 2017, 11:41:44 AM »
Just to weigh in with a little optimism, listening to Tillerson's confirmation hearing is actually like listening to the kind of straightforward, reasonable, non-politician 'breath of fresh air' that many Americans had hoped for.  Although I've had reservations about his background, I'll admit that I knew very little about the guy.  I am finding myself much more reassured and optimistic by his stance on the UN (supporting Article 5), Iran (maintaining sanctions), and Russia (actions in Crimea were deplorable and Russians will not be given a clean slate).  Of course, this follows the Trump news conference where we were reassured that Trump passed up a $2B deal in Dubai that he didn't have to pass up, Democrats are lucky Trump will repeal and replace ACA instead of wait because it is such a disaster, the wall will be built and will be paid for by Mexico....
« Last Edit: January 11, 2017, 11:49:08 AM by EscapeVelocity2020 »

Freedom2016

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #916 on: January 11, 2017, 12:25:00 PM »
I agree with you EscapeVelocity2020. I'm not 100% thrilled with Tillerson's answers but they are far more reasonable, on the whole, than I was expecting.

Though what is with the repeated use of "cyber" and "the cyber" by Tillerson and just now by Sen Cardin? I thought that wasn't a word!
« Last Edit: January 11, 2017, 12:26:57 PM by Freedom2016 »

Gin1984

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #917 on: January 11, 2017, 12:26:24 PM »
Just to weigh in with a little optimism, listening to Tillerson's confirmation hearing is actually like listening to the kind of straightforward, reasonable, non-politician 'breath of fresh air' that many Americans had hoped for.  Although I've had reservations about his background, I'll admit that I knew very little about the guy.  I am finding myself much more reassured and optimistic by his stance on the UN (supporting Article 5), Iran (maintaining sanctions), and Russia (actions in Crimea were deplorable and Russians will not be given a clean slate).  Of course, this follows the Trump news conference where we were reassured that Trump passed up a $2B deal in Dubai that he didn't have to pass up, Democrats are lucky Trump will repeal and replace ACA instead of wait because it is such a disaster, the wall will be built and will be paid for by Mexico....
Did you miss this : In 2014 Tillerson strongly opposed the sanctions against Russia. He has previously been the director of the joint US-Russian oil company Exxon Neftegas. In January 2017, it was revealed that while Tillerson was a senior executive at ExxonMobil, a European joint venture called Infineum conducted business with Iran, Syria, and Sudan when those states were under US sanctions.

wenchsenior

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #918 on: January 11, 2017, 01:40:40 PM »
Meanwhile while everyone is focused on Trump's ties with Russia, the house just passed the REINS Act. Nothing like having Congress be the final say on clean water, toxic chemicals, etc. I mean really who needs scientist to determine this stuff?

This country is so unbelievably screwed.   You know, 'Muricans love to pat themselves on the back about how awesome our western societies are comparison with those countries governed under philosophies of stone age Islamic magical thinking that reject facts.....and now we are racing to join them.

FUCK FACTS! WHO NEEDS THEM?

A small point of contention . . . Islam was at the forefront of scientific research and discovery in the world around the middle ages.  In the west we were rushing desperately trying to catch up to them.

Excellent point. "...currently governed under..."

Quidnon?

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #919 on: January 11, 2017, 01:57:58 PM »
Meanwhile while everyone is focused on Trump's ties with Russia, the house just passed the REINS Act. Nothing like having Congress be the final say on clean water, toxic chemicals, etc. I mean really who needs scientist to determine this stuff?

This country is so unbelievably screwed.   You know, 'Muricans love to pat themselves on the back about how awesome our western societies are comparison with those countries governed under philosophies of stone age Islamic magical thinking that reject facts.....and now we are racing to join them.

FUCK FACTS! WHO NEEDS THEM?

A small point of contention . . . Islam was at the forefront of scientific research and discovery in the world around the middle ages.  In the west we were rushing desperately trying to catch up to them.

A small point of contention of my own.... It was not Islam that was at the forefront of such research, it was scientists living under a tolerant Islamic state, the Ottoman Empire.  Mostly under and after Suleiman the Magnificent, who conquered much of Southern Europe.  Certainly, they are responsible for a great many of the libraries that led to the Renaissance period, but more than a few of the greatest advancements in science were discovered by Christians living within the Ottoman Empire; In Southern Italy, Sicily, Greece and Belgrade.  The Ottoman Empire peaked during this time, but their scientific achievements were not due to their Islamic background, culture or state religion; it was mostly due to their (mostly unprecedented) tolerance for other cultures within the empire, as well as Suleiman's own example of marrying a Christian woman.   Of course, their descendants screwed up that historical goodwill during the first world war.

dragoncar

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #920 on: January 11, 2017, 02:09:34 PM »
Cyber is definitely a word.  Horny 80s kids know

RangerOne

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #921 on: January 11, 2017, 02:11:20 PM »
Meanwhile while everyone is focused on Trump's ties with Russia, the house just passed the REINS Act. Nothing like having Congress be the final say on clean water, toxic chemicals, etc. I mean really who needs scientist to determine this stuff?

This country is so unbelievably screwed.   You know, 'Muricans love to pat themselves on the back about how awesome our western societies are comparison with those countries governed under philosophies of stone age Islamic magical thinking that reject facts.....and now we are racing to join them.

FUCK FACTS! WHO NEEDS THEM?

A small point of contention . . . Islam was at the forefront of scientific research and discovery in the world around the middle ages.  In the west we were rushing desperately trying to catch up to them.

A small point of contention of my own.... It was not Islam that was at the forefront of such research, it was scientists living under a tolerant Islamic state, the Ottoman Empire.  Mostly under and after Suleiman the Magnificent, who conquered much of Southern Europe.  Certainly, they are responsible for a great many of the libraries that led to the Renaissance period, but more than a few of the greatest advancements in science were discovered by Christians living within the Ottoman Empire; In Southern Italy, Sicily, Greece and Belgrade.  The Ottoman Empire peaked during this time, but their scientific achievements were not due to their Islamic background, culture or state religion; it was mostly due to their (mostly unprecedented) tolerance for other cultures within the empire, as well as Suleiman's own example of marrying a Christian woman.   Of course, their descendants screwed up that historical goodwill during the first world war.

Agreed. This is mostly an example that a society with Islam as a prominent faith can be as open minded and scientific as a christian nation, in spite of the religion not in any way because of it. But if you allow society to be completely ruled by hard line religious zealots driven by faith or a desire to control people that same religion can be used to stifle education, science and tolerance as we see in most if not all current Islamic regimes.

A hard line christian state could have many of the same repressive anti education, anti science and anti women qualities that we see with Islam. Probably how ever absent the incentive for Jihad and terrorism.

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #922 on: January 11, 2017, 02:17:55 PM »
Just to weigh in with a little optimism, listening to Tillerson's confirmation hearing is actually like listening to the kind of straightforward, reasonable, non-politician 'breath of fresh air' that many Americans had hoped for.  Although I've had reservations about his background, I'll admit that I knew very little about the guy.  I am finding myself much more reassured and optimistic by his stance on the UN (supporting Article 5), Iran (maintaining sanctions), and Russia (actions in Crimea were deplorable and Russians will not be given a clean slate).  Of course, this follows the Trump news conference where we were reassured that Trump passed up a $2B deal in Dubai that he didn't have to pass up, Democrats are lucky Trump will repeal and replace ACA instead of wait because it is such a disaster, the wall will be built and will be paid for by Mexico....
Did you miss this : In 2014 Tillerson strongly opposed the sanctions against Russia. He has previously been the director of the joint US-Russian oil company Exxon Neftegas. In January 2017, it was revealed that while Tillerson was a senior executive at ExxonMobil, a European joint venture called Infineum conducted business with Iran, Syria, and Sudan when those states were under US sanctions.

Just two small things - I did miss the 2014 info, but I also appreciate Tillerson 'can' have different views as CEO then and now as a private citizen or public government employee.  And most importantly, I did state that I was listening to Tillerson after listening to Trump, the bar was set really low.  I just cannot fathom the idea that Trump is going to be representing the United States of America.  Literally every single thing Trump said was abusive, abrasive, ridiculous, offensive, combative ... except when he walked away to let his lawyer put everyone to sleep.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2017, 02:30:10 PM by EscapeVelocity2020 »

nereo

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #923 on: January 11, 2017, 02:18:03 PM »

A small point of contention of my own.... It was not Islam that was at the forefront of such research, it was scientists living under a tolerant Islamic state, the Ottoman Empire.  Mostly under and after Suleiman the Magnificent, who conquered much of Southern Europe.  Certainly, they are responsible for a great many of the libraries that led to the Renaissance period, but more than a few of the greatest advancements in science were discovered by Christians living within the Ottoman Empire; In Southern Italy, Sicily, Greece and Belgrade.  The Ottoman Empire peaked during this time, but their scientific achievements were not due to their Islamic background, culture or state religion; it was mostly due to their (mostly unprecedented) tolerance for other cultures within the empire, as well as Suleiman's own example of marrying a Christian woman.   Of course, their descendants screwed up that historical goodwill during the first world war.

Huh??!!  So if I follow your line of thinking, we can't give any credit to a mostly tolerant and civil Islamic society for fostering the advancement of scientific development, and instead we ought to credit some of the Christians who lived and worked within this system?  That's just bizarre and frankly biased.  Also, the list of Muslim scientists and philosophers during the height of the Ottoman Empire (c 1300 - mid 1800s, though it lasted longer) is vast.  Just because you aren't aware of them doesn't mean they didn't contribute.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #924 on: January 11, 2017, 02:54:26 PM »

A small point of contention of my own.... It was not Islam that was at the forefront of such research, it was scientists living under a tolerant Islamic state, the Ottoman Empire.  Mostly under and after Suleiman the Magnificent, who conquered much of Southern Europe.  Certainly, they are responsible for a great many of the libraries that led to the Renaissance period, but more than a few of the greatest advancements in science were discovered by Christians living within the Ottoman Empire; In Southern Italy, Sicily, Greece and Belgrade.  The Ottoman Empire peaked during this time, but their scientific achievements were not due to their Islamic background, culture or state religion; it was mostly due to their (mostly unprecedented) tolerance for other cultures within the empire, as well as Suleiman's own example of marrying a Christian woman.   Of course, their descendants screwed up that historical goodwill during the first world war.

Huh??!!  So if I follow your line of thinking, we can't give any credit to a mostly tolerant and civil Islamic society for fostering the advancement of scientific development, and instead we ought to credit some of the Christians who lived and worked within this system?  That's just bizarre and frankly biased.  Also, the list of Muslim scientists and philosophers during the height of the Ottoman Empire (c 1300 - mid 1800s, though it lasted longer) is vast.  Just because you aren't aware of them doesn't mean they didn't contribute.

Missed that part when I read that.... lol. Yeah sorry being Christian lends no special powers of being more scientific. In fact being deeply religious is a guarantee you are going to believe things that completely fly in the face of reason and science.

There do exist scientists that are deeply religious of course, but if you press them you will certainly find that they have to draw a hard line between their faith and science because the two simply cannot be reconciled with reason when they overlap. Faith is the opposite of science in application requiring you to believe things in the absence of strong evidence while science would only have you believe something under rigorous burden of proof.

The fact that scientific advancement occurred in Western society that happened to have primarily Christian faiths is just a matter of how repressive those societies chose to be with regards to education. If you have a religious society that is able to promote education and literacy you will likely have science and advancement in spite of the boundaries religion places on peoples world views.

We would honestly also have no idea how many prominent scientist in history were actually Atheists at heart given that publishing work that was counter to religion would have been seen as heresy.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #925 on: January 11, 2017, 03:08:21 PM »

A small point of contention of my own.... It was not Islam that was at the forefront of such research, it was scientists living under a tolerant Islamic state, the Ottoman Empire.  Mostly under and after Suleiman the Magnificent, who conquered much of Southern Europe.  Certainly, they are responsible for a great many of the libraries that led to the Renaissance period, but more than a few of the greatest advancements in science were discovered by Christians living within the Ottoman Empire; In Southern Italy, Sicily, Greece and Belgrade.  The Ottoman Empire peaked during this time, but their scientific achievements were not due to their Islamic background, culture or state religion; it was mostly due to their (mostly unprecedented) tolerance for other cultures within the empire, as well as Suleiman's own example of marrying a Christian woman.   Of course, their descendants screwed up that historical goodwill during the first world war.

Huh??!!  So if I follow your line of thinking, we can't give any credit to a mostly tolerant and civil Islamic society for fostering the advancement of scientific development, and instead we ought to credit some of the Christians who lived and worked within this system?  That's just bizarre and frankly biased.  Also, the list of Muslim scientists and philosophers during the height of the Ottoman Empire (c 1300 - mid 1800s, though it lasted longer) is vast.  Just because you aren't aware of them doesn't mean they didn't contribute.

I didn't claim that they didn't contribute.  My point was that the dominate religion of the empire was not the important factor, and doesn't deserve the kudos your statement implies.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #926 on: January 11, 2017, 03:56:06 PM »

A small point of contention of my own.... It was not Islam that was at the forefront of such research, it was scientists living under a tolerant Islamic state, the Ottoman Empire.  Mostly under and after Suleiman the Magnificent, who conquered much of Southern Europe.  Certainly, they are responsible for a great many of the libraries that led to the Renaissance period, but more than a few of the greatest advancements in science were discovered by Christians living within the Ottoman Empire; In Southern Italy, Sicily, Greece and Belgrade.  The Ottoman Empire peaked during this time, but their scientific achievements were not due to their Islamic background, culture or state religion; it was mostly due to their (mostly unprecedented) tolerance for other cultures within the empire, as well as Suleiman's own example of marrying a Christian woman.   Of course, their descendants screwed up that historical goodwill during the first world war.

Huh??!!  So if I follow your line of thinking, we can't give any credit to a mostly tolerant and civil Islamic society for fostering the advancement of scientific development, and instead we ought to credit some of the Christians who lived and worked within this system?  That's just bizarre and frankly biased.  Also, the list of Muslim scientists and philosophers during the height of the Ottoman Empire (c 1300 - mid 1800s, though it lasted longer) is vast.  Just because you aren't aware of them doesn't mean they didn't contribute.

I didn't claim that they didn't contribute.  My point was that the dominate religion of the empire was not the important factor, and doesn't deserve the kudos your statement implies.

Why does the dominant religion in this case not constitute an important factor. This wasn't an open democracy where a plethora of religious persuasions permeated government and the society; this was an overwhelmingly Islamic society. Islam was the primary identity - it was a part of both government and daily life. That society carried the torch for virtually all forms of intellectual advancement in the region for several hundred years until the enlightenment, and then existed in parallel for a century or two more.

To say "yeah, they were Muslim but it wasn't at all important to why the society was successful" seems dishonest to me.  Also, I was not one giving kudos - that was GuitarStv (see upthread)

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #927 on: January 12, 2017, 07:16:39 AM »
I'm not sure if we're talking about the same time period, but in Spain,  Muslims, Christians and Jews lived peacefully together.  The other religions were not dominated, but they coexisted.  It sounds good.  I am sure it was not perfect because perfect does not exist, but peaceful sounds very good. 

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #928 on: January 12, 2017, 07:22:11 AM »
The press conference was truly frightening, although I only listened to it and did not watch.  I noticed one weird thing, but my perception may have been skewed since I only listened.  Were reporters clapping and cheering for him?  It seemed bizarre to hear clapping and cheering at a press conference.  I guess only more bizarre then ending a press conference with "You're Fired".

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #929 on: January 12, 2017, 07:24:54 AM »
The press conference was truly frightening, although I only listened to it and did not watch.  I noticed one weird thing, but my perception may have been skewed since I only listened.  Were reporters clapping and cheering for him?  It seemed bizarre to hear clapping and cheering at a press conference.  I guess only more bizarre then ending a press conference with "You're Fired".

No, he brought a bunch of his paid staffers with him to clap and cheer.

Because of course he did.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #930 on: January 12, 2017, 07:26:16 AM »
The press conference was truly frightening, although I only listened to it and did not watch.  I noticed one weird thing, but my perception may have been skewed since I only listened.  Were reporters clapping and cheering for him?  It seemed bizarre to hear clapping and cheering at a press conference.  I guess only more bizarre then ending a press conference with "You're Fired".

My understanding was that it was Trump's staff and supporters who were cheering. Yeah - the cheering was alarming - more like a rally than a press conference. This administration is toxic.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #931 on: January 12, 2017, 07:29:20 AM »
The press conference was truly frightening, although I only listened to it and did not watch.  I noticed one weird thing, but my perception may have been skewed since I only listened.  Were reporters clapping and cheering for him?  It seemed bizarre to hear clapping and cheering at a press conference. I guess only more bizarre then ending a press conference with "You're Fired".

Unfortunately the Trump administration is setting itself up to be able to do just that:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/01/12/new-feds-could-be-fired-for-no-cause-at-all-under-planned-legislation/?hpid=hp_hp-cards_hp-card-politics%3Ahomepage%2Fcard&utm_term=.2dc887fc563c

tl/dr: Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) has proposed a bill which would allow the Trump administration to have enormous control over civil servants.  It says: "Such an employee may be removed or suspended, without notice or right to appeal, from service by the head of the agency at which such employee is employed for good cause, bad cause, or no cause at all." (emphasis added).
Trump wants to be the boss that can continue to say "You're Fired" to anyone at any time and for any reason. This would allow his administration to do just that for federal employees.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #932 on: January 12, 2017, 07:45:00 AM »
Quote
yeah, they were Muslim but it wasn't at all important to why the society was successful"

Quidnon isn't arguing that Islam wasn't a factor in the success of the society/empire/caliphate etc. He's arguing that you can't credit a religion for individual technological advancements. The credit goes to the people who invented or discovered those things regardless of their faith or the predominant faith of the nation they lived in.

You see this false argument on a lot of misguided (but well meaning) memes that usually go something like:
"Without religion X, we wouldn't have <list of technologies>!"
ex. Without the mystery cult of Apollo, we wouldn't have aqueducts, shaped roads or newspapers!

This is obvious a specious argument since presumably many of the listed technologies would have been discovered regardless of the religion or invented elsewhere.

The most credit you can give the theology or government is that they either directly patronized scientific inquiry or created a congenial atmosphere of collaboration that promoted innovation through rapid cultural diffusion.

Quidnon - if I'm misrepresenting your argument, let me know and I'll delete this.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #933 on: January 12, 2017, 08:02:40 AM »
Quote
yeah, they were Muslim but it wasn't at all important to why the society was successful"

Quidnon isn't arguing that Islam wasn't a factor in the success of the society/empire/caliphate etc. He's arguing that you can't credit a religion for individual technological advancements. The credit goes to the people who invented or discovered those things regardless of their faith or the predominant faith of the nation they lived in.

You see this false argument on a lot of misguided (but well meaning) memes that usually go something like:
"Without religion X, we wouldn't have <list of technologies>!"
ex. Without the mystery cult of Apollo, we wouldn't have aqueducts, shaped roads or newspapers!

This is obvious a specious argument since presumably many of the listed technologies would have been discovered regardless of the religion or invented elsewhere.

The most credit you can give the theology or government is that they either directly patronized scientific inquiry or created a congenial atmosphere of collaboration that promoted innovation through rapid cultural diffusion.

Quidnon - if I'm misrepresenting your argument, let me know and I'll delete this.

My point is simply that the two are inseparable.
It isn't fair to say that religion has nothing to do with it, nor is it fair to say that it has everything to do with it. It's impossible to tease out to what degree it factored in to scientific advancement, yet one has to recognize that under those circumstances that region was more prolific, prosperous and stable than most of Europe.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #934 on: January 12, 2017, 08:26:50 AM »
Meanwhile while everyone is focused on Trump's ties with Russia, the house just passed the REINS Act. Nothing like having Congress be the final say on clean water, toxic chemicals, etc. I mean really who needs scientist to determine this stuff?

This country is so unbelievably screwed.   You know, 'Muricans love to pat themselves on the back about how awesome our western societies are comparison with those countries governed under philosophies of stone age Islamic magical thinking that reject facts.....and now we are racing to join them.

FUCK FACTS! WHO NEEDS THEM?

A small point of contention . . . Islam was at the forefront of scientific research and discovery in the world around the middle ages.  In the west we were rushing desperately trying to catch up to them.

A small point of contention of my own.... It was not Islam that was at the forefront of such research, it was scientists living under a tolerant Islamic state, the Ottoman Empire.  Mostly under and after Suleiman the Magnificent, who conquered much of Southern Europe.  Certainly, they are responsible for a great many of the libraries that led to the Renaissance period, but more than a few of the greatest advancements in science were discovered by Christians living within the Ottoman Empire; In Southern Italy, Sicily, Greece and Belgrade.  The Ottoman Empire peaked during this time, but their scientific achievements were not due to their Islamic background, culture or state religion; it was mostly due to their (mostly unprecedented) tolerance for other cultures within the empire, as well as Suleiman's own example of marrying a Christian woman.   Of course, their descendants screwed up that historical goodwill during the first world war.

Agreed. This is mostly an example that a society with Islam as a prominent faith can be as open minded and scientific as a christian nation, in spite of the religion not in any way because of it.

Given the way that medieval religious practices permeated all aspects of life, I'm not sure that your point is entirely valid.  I don't personally believe that religion of any kind necessarily helps or hinders scientific endeavor . . . it's all up to the interpretation of the adherents at the time.  I'd agree that in modern times Islamic states have lost the conditions that gave them intellectual supremacy for so long in the middle ages.

There's a common narrative of Western Christian superiority that often rears up in these sorts of conversations, and all I was trying to do was offer a counterpoint to it.



But if you allow society to be completely ruled by hard line religious zealots driven by faith or a desire to control people that same religion can be used to stifle education, science and tolerance as we see in most if not all current Islamic regimes.

Absolutely.  A viewpoint intolerant of change, and an excess of reverence for the past seems to doom intellectual pursuits and reduce creative output through many means.



A hard line christian state could have many of the same repressive anti education, anti science and anti women qualities that we see with Islam. Probably how ever absent the incentive for Jihad and terrorism.

If you truly believe this, you should read up a bit about Christian history.  St. Augustine's concept of 'Just War', the Crusades, the French Catholic/Protestant Wars . . . Christians have been involved in an awful lot of holy wars.  As far as terrorism, you don't have to look far either.  There have been regular terror attacks by Christians against abortion clinics in the US, the murder/rape/torture performed by the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda, the NLFT's actions in north east India, etc.

Repressive anti-education, anti-science, and anti-woman qualities tend to show up because of quality of life and the subsequent (mis?)interpretation of a religion.  The idea that Christianity is somehow less dangerous than any other method of worship is an unsupportable one, but one that people from predominantly Christian places cling to.  Religions are liable to change (hence my example of Islam in the middle ages) and how they affect public life depends entirely on popular interpretation and variable ideas of what is acceptable.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #935 on: January 12, 2017, 12:16:12 PM »
I'm not sure if we're talking about the same time period, but in Spain,  Muslims, Christians and Jews lived peacefully together.  The other religions were not dominated, but they coexisted.  It sounds good.  I am sure it was not perfect because perfect does not exist, but peaceful sounds very good.

No, it was not perfect. Jews and Muslims had to pay the dhimma (protection money in order to be left alone and not face execution or enslavement) and were second-class citizens in a lot of respects (made to live in ghettos, not allowed to ride horses, testemony worth little to nothing in court).

Better second-class citizen than a non-citizen (or slave), but "coexistence" makes it sound a lot nicer than it was.

Al-Andalus gets idealized a lot in order to contrast it with the state of affairs in the Christian world back then or Saudi Arabia now.

Realistically, it was not bad as a lot of other times and places but surely no example to emulate today...

And honestly: that this is trumpeted as a prime example of Muslim tolerance centuries later says a lot about Islam practised in other times and places including today....

Gondolin

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #936 on: January 12, 2017, 12:18:55 PM »
Quote
The most credit you can give the theology or government is that they either directly patronized scientific inquiry or created a congenial atmosphere of collaboration that promoted innovation through rapid cultural diffusion.

Quote
It isn't fair to say that religion has nothing to do with it, nor is it fair to say that it has everything to do with it. It's impossible to tease out to what degree it factored in to scientific advancement, yet one has to recognize that under those circumstances that region was more prolific, prosperous and stable than most of Europe.

I would argue that these statements are saying essentially the same thing and that we are in agreement.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #937 on: January 12, 2017, 01:07:41 PM »
Quote
The most credit you can give the theology or government is that they either directly patronized scientific inquiry or created a congenial atmosphere of collaboration that promoted innovation through rapid cultural diffusion.

Quote
It isn't fair to say that religion has nothing to do with it, nor is it fair to say that it has everything to do with it. It's impossible to tease out to what degree it factored in to scientific advancement, yet one has to recognize that under those circumstances that region was more prolific, prosperous and stable than most of Europe.

I would argue that these statements are saying essentially the same thing and that we are in agreement.
sounds good to me :-)

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #938 on: January 12, 2017, 05:05:38 PM »
The press conference was truly frightening, although I only listened to it and did not watch.  I noticed one weird thing, but my perception may have been skewed since I only listened.  Were reporters clapping and cheering for him?  It seemed bizarre to hear clapping and cheering at a press conference. I guess only more bizarre then ending a press conference with "You're Fired".

Unfortunately the Trump administration is setting itself up to be able to do just that:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/01/12/new-feds-could-be-fired-for-no-cause-at-all-under-planned-legislation/?hpid=hp_hp-cards_hp-card-politics%3Ahomepage%2Fcard&utm_term=.2dc887fc563c

tl/dr: Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) has proposed a bill which would allow the Trump administration to have enormous control over civil servants.  It says: "Such an employee may be removed or suspended, without notice or right to appeal, from service by the head of the agency at which such employee is employed for good cause, bad cause, or no cause at all." (emphasis added).
Trump wants to be the boss that can continue to say "You're Fired" to anyone at any time and for any reason. This would allow his administration to do just that for federal employees.

Why is this bad? Welcome to the world of employment for the rest of the people. I don't think government employees should have any special rights or protections. A person can be fired for any reason (except protected reasons, e.g. race, gender, religion, etc.) in the private sector. The public sector should be the same.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #939 on: January 12, 2017, 06:31:26 PM »


Quidnon - if I'm misrepresenting your argument, let me know and I'll delete this.

Gondolin, you said it better than I.  Perhaps I could hire you as my interpreter?


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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #941 on: January 13, 2017, 05:55:26 AM »

Why is this bad? Welcome to the world of employment for the rest of the people. I don't think government employees should have any special rights or protections. A person can be fired for any reason (except protected reasons, e.g. race, gender, religion, etc.) in the private sector. The public sector should be the same.

Amen to that.

deadlymonkey

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #942 on: January 13, 2017, 06:08:02 AM »
The press conference was truly frightening, although I only listened to it and did not watch.  I noticed one weird thing, but my perception may have been skewed since I only listened.  Were reporters clapping and cheering for him?  It seemed bizarre to hear clapping and cheering at a press conference. I guess only more bizarre then ending a press conference with "You're Fired".

Unfortunately the Trump administration is setting itself up to be able to do just that:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/01/12/new-feds-could-be-fired-for-no-cause-at-all-under-planned-legislation/?hpid=hp_hp-cards_hp-card-politics%3Ahomepage%2Fcard&utm_term=.2dc887fc563c

tl/dr: Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) has proposed a bill which would allow the Trump administration to have enormous control over civil servants.  It says: "Such an employee may be removed or suspended, without notice or right to appeal, from service by the head of the agency at which such employee is employed for good cause, bad cause, or no cause at all." (emphasis added).
Trump wants to be the boss that can continue to say "You're Fired" to anyone at any time and for any reason. This would allow his administration to do just that for federal employees.

Why is this bad? Welcome to the world of employment for the rest of the people. I don't think government employees should have any special rights or protections. A person can be fired for any reason (except protected reasons, e.g. race, gender, religion, etc.) in the private sector. The public sector should be the same.

While I agree that civil service protections can and should be modified (short of filing a fraudulent time card, it is very difficult to fire someone) there are very good reasons why they are in place.

It prevents new administrations from coming and fire everyone over ideological views and installing their own people who may or may not be equipped for the job.  Before the civil service protection laws were put in place, people were fired frequently by new administrations and if you wanted a job with the new administration you had to either be a party member and/or pay off the right people in the party structure to get a job.  By making it hard to clean house every few years, you can build up an institutional knowledge and a much more knowledgeable and capable force.  Are there inefficiencies...yes, but it is a better system than it used to be.

nereo

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #943 on: January 13, 2017, 07:28:44 AM »
The press conference was truly frightening, although I only listened to it and did not watch.  I noticed one weird thing, but my perception may have been skewed since I only listened.  Were reporters clapping and cheering for him?  It seemed bizarre to hear clapping and cheering at a press conference. I guess only more bizarre then ending a press conference with "You're Fired".

Unfortunately the Trump administration is setting itself up to be able to do just that:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/01/12/new-feds-could-be-fired-for-no-cause-at-all-under-planned-legislation/?hpid=hp_hp-cards_hp-card-politics%3Ahomepage%2Fcard&utm_term=.2dc887fc563c

tl/dr: Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) has proposed a bill which would allow the Trump administration to have enormous control over civil servants.  It says: "Such an employee may be removed or suspended, without notice or right to appeal, from service by the head of the agency at which such employee is employed for good cause, bad cause, or no cause at all." (emphasis added).
Trump wants to be the boss that can continue to say "You're Fired" to anyone at any time and for any reason. This would allow his administration to do just that for federal employees.

Why is this bad? Welcome to the world of employment for the rest of the people. I don't think government employees should have any special rights or protections. A person can be fired for any reason (except protected reasons, e.g. race, gender, religion, etc.) in the private sector. The public sector should be the same.

Deadlymonkey and FLiXFantatier did a good job of explaining a few of my concerns.
First, I'd argue its disingenuous to say that this is how employment is "for the rest of the people". Under most corporation jobs, contracts and "working professional" businesses full time employees DO have protections from being fired without cause - including severence packages, minimum notice (with pay) and labor unions to negotiate on your behalf.  Some states have blanket protection for workers if your office is shut down (I know Maine did when I lived there). What this bill would do is prevent civil workers from having similar benefits.

Practically speaking, federal employees need protection from becoming political footballs. Unlike most businesses, "upper management" (aka the executive branch) shifts every ~4-8 years between opposing factions. Without these protections federal workers could become political footballs, tossed out and replaced with new people... it's a recipe for nepotism and political abuse. This is rampant in the more corrupt governments - political favors and loyalty are traded for government jobs, and competent employees are let go.

I'm actually for revamping the protections for federal workers, having been one myself.  I think its sometimes too hard to get rid of employees for just cause (basic incompetence) but simultaniously it's hard to hire skilled workers because the compensation can be so much less than it is in the private sector (I get paid 2.5x as an independent contractor with less restrictions for doing a job that actually requires slightly less experience).

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #944 on: January 13, 2017, 08:00:17 AM »
4 - 8 years in a job, is really not a bad run at all.   Most people nowadays do not spend 20 years with a company,  Also, the changes are very predictable -- if you know your job may only be 4 - 8 years, you can prepare for that.  It doesn't sound all that bad.

nereo

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #945 on: January 13, 2017, 08:18:07 AM »
4 - 8 years in a job, is really not a bad run at all.   Most people nowadays do not spend 20 years with a company,  Also, the changes are very predictable -- if you know your job may only be 4 - 8 years, you can prepare for that.  It doesn't sound all that bad.
Seriously?  I was speaking about the frequency in changes of the president and his cabinet. The duration of FTE (full time employees) is going to be different; some will have been hired only in the last 1-2 years.
Whether or not the change is predictable does not mean this is a good way to run a government. My major concerns is that this promotes corruption and nepotism while making it harder for the gears of the government to actually work as they're supposed to.

KBecks

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #946 on: January 13, 2017, 08:46:47 AM »
The voters get to check on whether the government is running better or worse every 4 years or so, so it's not that big of a risk.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #947 on: January 13, 2017, 08:49:01 AM »
The voters get to check on whether the government is running better or worse every 4 years or so, so it's not that big of a risk.
Are you talking about the Rokita bill, or responding to something else?
What is "it"?

wenchsenior

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #948 on: January 13, 2017, 09:04:08 AM »
The press conference was truly frightening, although I only listened to it and did not watch.  I noticed one weird thing, but my perception may have been skewed since I only listened.  Were reporters clapping and cheering for him?  It seemed bizarre to hear clapping and cheering at a press conference. I guess only more bizarre then ending a press conference with "You're Fired".

Unfortunately the Trump administration is setting itself up to be able to do just that:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/01/12/new-feds-could-be-fired-for-no-cause-at-all-under-planned-legislation/?hpid=hp_hp-cards_hp-card-politics%3Ahomepage%2Fcard&utm_term=.2dc887fc563c

tl/dr: Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) has proposed a bill which would allow the Trump administration to have enormous control over civil servants.  It says: "Such an employee may be removed or suspended, without notice or right to appeal, from service by the head of the agency at which such employee is employed for good cause, bad cause, or no cause at all." (emphasis added).
Trump wants to be the boss that can continue to say "You're Fired" to anyone at any time and for any reason. This would allow his administration to do just that for federal employees.

Why is this bad? Welcome to the world of employment for the rest of the people. I don't think government employees should have any special rights or protections. A person can be fired for any reason (except protected reasons, e.g. race, gender, religion, etc.) in the private sector. The public sector should be the same.

Deadlymonkey and FLiXFantatier did a good job of explaining a few of my concerns.
First, I'd argue its disingenuous to say that this is how employment is "for the rest of the people". Under most corporation jobs, contracts and "working professional" businesses full time employees DO have protections from being fired without cause - including severence packages, minimum notice (with pay) and labor unions to negotiate on your behalf.  Some states have blanket protection for workers if your office is shut down (I know Maine did when I lived there). What this bill would do is prevent civil workers from having similar benefits.

Practically speaking, federal employees need protection from becoming political footballs. Unlike most businesses, "upper management" (aka the executive branch) shifts every ~4-8 years between opposing factions. Without these protections federal workers could become political footballs, tossed out and replaced with new people... it's a recipe for nepotism and political abuse. This is rampant in the more corrupt governments - political favors and loyalty are traded for government jobs, and competent employees are let go.

I'm actually for revamping the protections for federal workers, having been one myself.  I think its sometimes too hard to get rid of employees for just cause (basic incompetence) but simultaniously it's hard to hire skilled workers because the compensation can be so much less than it is in the private sector (I get paid 2.5x as an independent contractor with less restrictions for doing a job that actually requires slightly less experience).

I suspect the GOP is pushing 'fire at will' on the feds so that they can threaten and intimidate all the federal scientists who might possibly be publishing factual info that counters their more fantastical forms of ideology.  It's really a horrifying  prospect to have basic research put at the whims of getting on the wrong side of some nutty congressman (which would totally happen in our state). 

But to your bolded point, my husband is a federal research scientist and we would both agree with you.  There's always a handful of crappy employees in every pool. Although most are weeded out at these higher level, high-qualification positions there are still a few.  They create incredible headaches for everyone.  And no one gets more pissed at the inability to demote and or fire them than their functional co-workers.  Some reform is definitely in order.

bananarama

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #949 on: January 13, 2017, 09:05:54 AM »
4 - 8 years in a job, is really not a bad run at all.   Most people nowadays do not spend 20 years with a company,  Also, the changes are very predictable -- if you know your job may only be 4 - 8 years, you can prepare for that.  It doesn't sound all that bad.

I think all the arguments trashing the Federal work force (or teachers) have some seriously faulty logic and suffer from magical thinking. Turning over even a few thousand positions a year (on top of political appointments and ambassadorships) would mean incredible additional outlays of time and money. Time to pick people AND time as well as significant amounts of money running security investigations on them all (not to mention more investigators). A very large portion of the Federal work force has a clearance, and the higher that clearance is the more expensive it was to complete. They already can take a year to complete, so that's a lot of time for people to work with only the most cursory of background check/finger print check.

I highly doubt anyone is actually disagreeing with the idea that it would be nice to have an easier method of firing bad Federal employees, to keep them accountable for their work. Everyone raising concerns regarding the Holman rule/Rokita's bill are actually trying to explain that there is a significant space for nepotism, cronyism, and dysfunction/failure.

Does no one care about the long-term view anymore? Are we doomed to only govern in 4-to-8 year blocks? Because seriously, that path leads to the end of our experiment.