Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 31 to 60 of 81

Thread: Biden Thread

  1. #31
    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    The Fortress
    Posts
    11,610

    Default Re: Biden thread

    Greyblades, after further consideration and consultation with other moderators I see that I may have overstepped in my moderating. I apologize and I have reinstated your post.
    On the Path to the Streets of Gold: a Suebi AAR
    Visited:
    A man who casts no shadow has no soul.
    Hvil i fred HoreTore

    Member thankful for this post:



  2. #32
    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Taplow, UK
    Posts
    8,491

    Default Re: Biden thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    That America has played the bully in international politics for decades since the end of WWII, needs no debate. That China's "self interested" loans and "eeeevil investment" has produced positive results, is also true. But......

    .....methinks you gloss over just how self-serving China's aid is, and what they do when things don't go their way. I follow a lot of Australian media, and the Aussie's seem to be bearing the brunt of China's ire, at the moment. Example:

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-01-...-2020/13019242



    Australian journalists and citizens have been detained under "security issues".

    Australian export goods have been restricted on short notice:

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-11-...rkets/12864220



    And perhaps a pattern for economic bullying:

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-...-pain/12243560



    No real bombs, as of yet, but China's economic bullying is gaining in strength and frequency. Will that spill over into military action? Keep an eye on Taiwan....
    The rulers of China is not a "good" country by almost any metric. They are almost always self serving with the sole aim of actions to be to enable the CCP to continue.

    But the world from their point of view is pretty scary: Russia is still a thing and is above them which captured territory after WW2. Allies of the USA are in Japan (who has attacked them), South Korea (who they fought against), Taiwan (a rebel province) and currently have bases in Afghanistan. Another border is India who also is also a threat (a few wars and skirmishes) and the reminder is small countries which the USA has invaded in the (to them) recent past. The rulers are in power since the populace has rising standards of living and currently are content with the deal. For this the economy needs to continually grow at rates that are otherwise unheard of... and at the moment their biggest clients are their biggest rivals. They also need raw materials from countries mainly more friendly to the USA, all of which is transported via the sea which the USA basically controls. And most of China's money is in a currency of the USA. A large province of theirs is full of people who follow a religion which historically is intolerant of other faiths and coincidentally borders countries chock full of both weapons and trained religious fighters.

    The loans to Africa are difficult to solve. After throwing off the yoke of white oppression and oversight, most countries have chosen the yoke of a local which given they are also black and local is fine; some cases they're better than what the Europeans did (the King of Belgium sets a low bar here) in others worse. Even though for many years there is a prize of $1 million dollars for peacefully leaving office democratically it has yet to be collected - what is that money when you've got a country to ravage and diplomatic immunity? And the Chinese often offer money now for resources that the Chinese will remove. And added bonus as no need to educate or help the locals and of course a lot of the cash can be syphoned off. What can the West do? 50 years ago when for better or for worse we were the only game in town the IMF can give money with caveats. But no longer is this the only option. So that leaves boycott / embargo or invade - none of which are either palatable or particularly effective. China and Russia both don't like setting precedents of interfering with other sovereign states so the UN can't do anything.

    The only thing that could have been done by the West is not purchasing trillions of dollars of goods from China to give them both the money to spend as well as the desire to diversify from massive dollar holdings.

    An enemy that wishes to die for their country is the best sort to face - you both have the same aim in mind.
    Science flies you to the moon, religion flies you into buildings.
    "If you can't trust the local kleptocrat whom you installed by force and prop up with billions of annual dollars, who can you trust?" Lemur
    If you're not a liberal when you're 25, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative by the time you're 35, you have no brain.
    The best argument against democracy is a five minute talk with the average voter. Winston Churchill

  3. #33
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    2,292

    Default Re: Biden thread

    Even were his faculties in order, which now the election is over fewer people will pretend, he will do his utmost to be seen to address issues while actually solving nothing, for his stock were architect to those issues in the first place.
    A repeat of the same rubbish that Biden suffers from some sort mental disorder. Didn't work for the GOP during the election campaign, and still doesn't hold water now.

    You are certainly entitled to say he will solve nothing. A brash statement to make 2 days into his term. And like any president, Biden himself didn't create the mess that is America today, just like Trump wasn't responsible for the systemic problems we face here, he just amplified them.

    As for the protesters....who ever said the far right-wing had a monopoly on riots? There are people at both extremes that want to further their agenda regardless of who's in office (and cast them aside when they don't meet their expectations---just check out what the Proud Boys have to say about their Boy now that he's out of office).

    And where was all the tear gas and police in full riot gear for the Capital riot?

    What can the West do? 50 years ago when for better or for worse we were the only game in town the IMF can give money with caveats. But no longer is this the only option.
    While a military threat from China always lurks in the background, I think most countries are feeling an economic threat, like the EU with their recent investment agreement. Procuring resources and products that are less dependant on China (like what the Aussie's are pursuing), may very well be the norm going forward...
    Last edited by ReluctantSamurai; 01-22-2021 at 13:30.
    High Plains Drifter

  4. #34
    Coffee farmer extraordinaire Member spmetla's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Kona, Hawaii
    Posts
    2,692

    Default Re: Biden thread

    Quote Originally Posted by rory_20_uk View Post

    The only thing that could have been done by the West is not purchasing trillions of dollars of goods from China to give them both the money to spend as well as the desire to diversify from massive dollar holdings.

    Not selling them key stakes in public or vital infrastructure is possible too. There's no need for China to have control of Piraeus harbor, there's no reason to let Huawei into telecommunications systems when they are linked to the PLA. Not moving manufacturing to China would be a good step, it would take the US and EU together though to make it happen. Right now both continue to deal with China because neither wants to lose such a good marketplace for their goods.

    It's one of Trumps major failings, pulling out of TPP and putting tariffs on EU and UK and NAFTA companies/goods has created more rifts in what should have been an economic front to limit Chinese excess in its mercantilist policies.

    While a military threat from China always lurks in the background, I think most countries are feeling an economic threat, like the EU with their recent investment agreement. Procuring resources and products that are less dependant on China (like what the Aussie's are pursuing), may very well be the norm going forward...
    The economic threat is what will enable China to be a military threat. If everyone is dependent on China for its exports or supply chain manufacturing it will be difficult to do anything if say they invade Taiwan.
    The US and EU have always used investment as a carrot to try and encourage good behavior, the Chinese use investment as a foot in the door to then get leverage to demand good behavior.

    Power corrupts, too much power for the US has corrupted it, allowed it to see hard power as the easy answer (Iraq war, punitive missile strikes). However, ceding power to illiberal powers like Russia and China is dangerous though as how they use power will likely be more threatening. Just because they've not conducted colonial wars is no sign that they are a peaceful power. The US and NATO has engaged in wars essentially to try and protect the status quo of the post-WW2 world order. China has no need to engage in similar wars right now, especially as a corrupt dictatorships or police states are exactly the types of clients they want to deal with.

    With the current nationalist and jingoist trend of the Chinese propaganda and internal politics I worry for what a future would entail in which they gain the ability to project hard power too. Internal propaganda blaming the US and especially the UK and Europe for its "Century of Humiliation" will possibly mean that a generation of people will come to power that want revenge for that shame. Chinese sales of cheap fetnyl to the US and European markets could be seen as revenge for forcing the Qing empire to buy British opium despite their public efforts to 'crack down' on the trade.

    All this is pretty China/Russia/US specific stuff though, perhaps we need a great power contention thread as I've veered far from any Biden policies so far.
    Last edited by spmetla; 01-24-2021 at 04:10.

    "Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?"
    -Abraham Lincoln

  5. #35

    Default Re: Biden thread

    Rumors of McConnell's imminent demise may prove overstated.


    Samurai, as much as Manchin drives you to handwringing, a challenger approaches.

    Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona is more conservative than Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, a loyal ally of President Donald Trump and a national conservative icon.

    That’s according to a recent ideological ranking by GovTrack.us, a nonpartisan organization that tracks government data and statistics.

    The freshman Arizona senator ranked 47th on the group’s annual conservative-to-liberal scale, which is based on lawmakers’ 2019 legislative records.

    That puts her to the right of all other members of her caucus — as well as McConnell, who ranked 49th, and several other Republicans.

    She is considered more conservative than her fellow Democratic moderates, such as Sens. Doug Jones of Alabama and Joe Manchin of West Virginia. She also ranked more conservative than Republican Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Rob Portman of Ohio, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Susan Collins of Maine, Richard Shelby of Alabama and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.


    Quote Originally Posted by rory_20_uk View Post
    China is throwing their weight around Asia. Why shouldn't they be? They've put up with nukes off their coast and an American fleet parked in what they view as a rebel province for decades. Given we appear to be in a post-woke world where everyone is equally valued and so on why is what their culture does worse than what we do? I am a dinosaur and I personally (and very quietly these days) believe that cultures can and should be proponents of values they hold as "right" and declare others to be "wrong" but such old beliefs have no place any more.
    You don't know that was always a strawman?? It doesn't take long to notice that progressives apply very firm and aggressive ethical frameworks, whether or not you would agree with any. I'm pretty sure this whole "all cultures are equal" meme was invented as a petulant retort by those who felt their own cultures criticized from the left.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hooahguy View Post
    I'm not surprised at all. The article you linked to stated that doing such pardons would make him more vulnerable legally. And ultimately, he only cares about himself.
    A self-pardon was obviously tendentious, but not even for his kids? Come on.

    The best explanation I can think of is that Trump is, or was made, very sensitive to potential 5th Amendment considerations flowing from a blanket pardon of his close co-conspirators family.

    Quote Originally Posted by a completely inoffensive name View Post
    Greater economic integration to the world institutions forces China to play by rules that US and Europe set after WW2.
    I've posted this before, but it is a fascinating diagram.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	image-1024x863.png 
Views:	20 
Size:	360.5 KB 
ID:	24279

    You and @spmetla might be interested in the source article/blog.

    Regional trading blocks with SE-Asia to set up sanctions will only grow more powerful as China's middle class grows and cheap manufacturing shifts elsewhere. China's place as the place to make everything is not set in stone and as living standards rise, Chinese labor is getting more expensive.
    One factor you're missing, that I've learned of recently, is that China has a huge advantage as an economic hub. Inputs and outputs ALL along the supply/value chain can be produced or assembled there, an area with a common legal framework and good infrastructure and plentiful labor. And if some production moves to Vietnam or the Philippines, China still maintains its place as the hub of the entire region. Why ship all around the world when you can go from extraction to retail all in the West Pacific?

    Apparently, the TPP was America's attempt to bypass China's development on this path by creating an alternative Asian agglomeration with itself integrated, one key upside from a business perspective (and admittedly this was an area where the TPP went too far) being that American-led economics prioritizes IP security, integrity, and rents in a way China notoriously does not. But that ship has sailed.

    A relevant concept here is "economies of agglomeration," and one of America's advantages for the past ~150 years has been its own status as the premier agglomeration economy where all forms of economic activity along the industrial supply/value chain could be located under a single stable and prosperous political regime. This is seemingly also one of the objectives of the EU in integrating European economies, markets, and regulatory frameworks.

    Anyway, China has decisive advantages beyond cheap(er) labor; they just used the first burst of FDI and cheap labor to bootstrap themselves into hub status, nearly a generation ago now. Ain't no going back. Remember - the Chinese littoral and riparian zone has been the densest center of population and economic activity (and often political sophistication) for almost the entire history of civilization.

    And I'm not even sure the US has any enticing alternatives to present to African or Latin American - or even European! though they're still our biggest partner, for now - governments in place of Chinese investment and trade. Who wants to alienate the largest market in the world, liberal and loose-conditioned with its cash (at least in the short term), in favor of vague and measly promises from what looks ever more like a fading power? I can't imagine the level of leadership and commitment needed to make a credible attempt. To proper effect, the collapse of artificial distinctions between American domestic and foreign policy atop a comprehensive internal civilizational project (i.e. socialism).

    I don't know much, but to my mind most trends point to China securing a position where it needs any given country less than they need it. That's clout. Be that as it may, industrial policy is a swell thing that the West might want to try again.

    Did anyone figure out what Serbia's PM was doing?
    Last edited by Montmorency; 01-24-2021 at 21:17.
    Vitiate Man.

    History repeats the old conceits
    The glib replies, the same defeats


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

  6. #36
    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    The Fortress
    Posts
    11,610

    Default Re: Biden thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    Samurai, as much as Manchin drives you to handwringing, a challenger approaches.
    I'm not sure this is the most honest portrayal of Sinema, who is very pro-LGBT rights, pro abortion, pro-ACA, and anti-gun. Yes, she is definitely a moderate Dem, but to the right of Mitch? Nah.
    Per your link:
    The GovTrack analysis assigns scores to members based on the pattern of legislation that lawmakers cosponsor. It does not take other factors into account that may affect lawmakers’ ideological stances, such as caucus memberships, media appearances, social media posts, endorsements in campaigns or their penchant for bipartisan friendship.

    McConnell’s relatively liberal score could be because, as a leader, he may not be as deeply involved in legislation as other senators are, according to GovTrack President Joshua Tauberer. And the score doesn’t reflect his efforts to move the president’s conservative judicial nominees through the Senate. That said, he added, “there’s no way to rule out that the bills McConnell cosponsors may tend to be more moderate.”
    So yeah I dont really think that just going off of voting records and bill sponsorships is the best way to gauge these types of things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    A self-pardon was obviously tendentious, but not even for his kids? Come on.

    The best explanation I can think of is that Trump is, or was made, very sensitive to potential 5th Amendment considerations flowing from a blanket pardon of his close co-conspirators family.
    Well that's what I was talking about. Trump definitely is very aware of the self-incrimination issue.

    I've posted this before, but it is a fascinating diagram.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	image-1024x863.png 
Views:	20 
Size:	360.5 KB 
ID:	24279

    You and @spmetla might be interested in the source article/blog.
    Would definitely like to see the updated version of this, as with a new administration comes different US policy positions on some of these, such as the INF treaty.
    On the Path to the Streets of Gold: a Suebi AAR
    Visited:
    A man who casts no shadow has no soul.
    Hvil i fred HoreTore

  7. #37
    Ni dieu ni maître! Senior Member a completely inoffensive name's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    I live on the org, feeding off of what few thanks are tossed at my posts. It is up to you to make sure I don't starve.
    Posts
    8,726

    Default Re: Biden thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    One factor you're missing, that I've learned of recently, is that China has a huge advantage as an economic hub. Inputs and outputs ALL along the supply/value chain can be produced or assembled there, an area with a common legal framework and good infrastructure and plentiful labor. And if some production moves to Vietnam or the Philippines, China still maintains its place as the hub of the entire region. Why ship all around the world when you can go from extraction to retail all in the West Pacific?

    Apparently, the TPP was America's attempt to bypass China's development on this path by creating an alternative Asian agglomeration with itself integrated, one key upside from a business perspective (and admittedly this was an area where the TPP went too far) being that American-led economics prioritizes IP security, integrity, and rents in a way China notoriously does not. But that ship has sailed.

    A relevant concept here is "economies of agglomeration," and one of America's advantages for the past ~150 years has been its own status as the premier agglomeration economy where all forms of economic activity along the industrial supply/value chain could be located under a single stable and prosperous political regime. This is seemingly also one of the objectives of the EU in integrating European economies, markets, and regulatory frameworks.

    Anyway, China has decisive advantages beyond cheap(er) labor; they just used the first burst of FDI and cheap labor to bootstrap themselves into hub status, nearly a generation ago now. Ain't no going back. Remember - the Chinese littoral and riparian zone has been the densest center of population and economic activity (and often political sophistication) for almost the entire history of civilization.

    And I'm not even sure the US has any enticing alternatives to present to African or Latin American - or even European! though they're still our biggest partner, for now - governments in place of Chinese investment and trade. Who wants to alienate the largest market in the world, liberal and loose-conditioned with its cash (at least in the short term), in favor of vague and measly promises from what looks ever more like a fading power? I can't imagine the level of leadership and commitment needed to make a credible attempt. To proper effect, the collapse of artificial distinctions between American domestic and foreign policy atop a comprehensive internal civilizational project (i.e. socialism).

    I don't know much, but to my mind most trends point to China securing a position where it needs any given country less than they need it. That's clout. Be that as it may, industrial policy is a swell thing that the West might want to try again.
    A few things to consider:
    1. COVID impacted supply chain management such that business culture began taking a more skeptical look at putting all their eggs in one basket so to speak. When a country such as China is willing to enforce entire lockdowns and terminate all production with relatively little heads up, it creates bottlenecks and disruptions for most manufactured goods many of which still linger such as today's less than normal supply of large appliances, bicycles, plastics, etc. Also long term management of the country (e.g. it's failure to adequately learn from SARS years ago) is still questionable with short term management still undesirable in ways you already mentioned.

    2. To my understanding, East-Asian countries retain historical animus towards China (well towards each other in general) and are not as driven by economic ideologies as the West. Countries in the region will continue to promote their own independence as they can by minimizing their economic dependence on China and gravitating toward a more neutral player like the US or Europe as a matter of preference. I liked this passage from 'Factfulness' (page 131):
    The Vietnam War was the Syrian war of my generation.
    Two days before Christmas in 1972, seven bombs killed 27 patients and members of staff at the Bach Mai hospital in Hanoi in Vietnam. I was studying medicine in Uppsala in Sweden. We had plenty of medical equipment and yellow blankets. Agneta and I coordinated a collection, which we packed in boxes and sent to Bach Mai.

    Fifteen years later, I was in Vietnam to evaluate a Swedish aid project. One lunchtime, I was eating my rice next to one of my local colleagues, a doctor named Niem, and I asked him about his background. He told me he had been inside the Bach Mai hospital when the bombs fell. Afterward, he had coordinated the unpacking of boxes of supplies that had arrived from all over the world. I asked him if he remembered some yellow blankets and I got goose bumps as he describes the fabric's pattern to me. It felt like we had been friends forever.

    At the weekend, I asked Niem to show me the monument to the Vietnam War. "You mean the 'Resistance War Against America,'" he said. Of course, I should have realized he wouldn't call it the Vietnam War. Niem drove me to one of the city's central parks and showed me a small stone with a brass plate, three feet high. I thought it was a joke. The protests against the Vietnam War had united a generation of activists in the West. It had moved me to send blankets and medical equipment. More than 1.5 million Vietnamese and 58,000 Americans had died. Was this how the city commemorated such a catastrophe? Seeing that I was disappointed, Niem drove me to see a bigger monument: a marble stone, 12 feet high, to commemorate independence from French colonial rule. I was still underwhelmed.

    Then Niem asked me if I was ready to see the proper war monument. He drove a little way further , and pointed out of the window. Above the treetops I could see a large pagoda, covered in gold. It seemed about 300 feet high. He said, "Here is where we commemorate out war heroes. Isn't it beautiful?" This was the monument to Vietnam's wars with China.

    The wars with China had lasted, on and off, for 2,000 years. The French occupation had lasted 200 years. The "Resistance War Against America" took only 20 years. The sizes of the monuments put things in perfect proportion. It was only by comparing them that I could understand the relative insignificance of "the Vietnam War" to the people who now live in Vietnam.
    3. While China has been an economic hub for most of human history it, along with India, was economically self sufficient pre industrial revolution and did not make concerted efforts to further integrate itself into world or even Asian markets most of the time (again, to my understanding). Its foreign policy was sending navies out periodically to enforce tributes and invasions of its closest neighbors. Keep in mind the timeline and strategy of Western colonialism in Asia, how with the exception of Portuguese Macao, Europeans ignored China's ports favoring instead trading ports across modern day Indonesia during the 16th and 17th centuries which had extremely prosperous kingdoms controlling trade between China, India, and East Africa.

    4. China may not even have the densest center of economic activity by mid-century. Their population curve is currently transitioning downwards while India still has another 25-30 years of projected growth before their demographic transition towards a shrinking population hits. India will have more people than China as soon as 2027 according to the UN. China's population is aging faster than any other country and they have no effective welfare state to prepare for this. They will have more people over the age of 65 as a % of their country than the US by mid-century. Chinese culture traditionally had multi-generational housing with children expected to take care of their parents and grandparents at home. If the US Social Security is considered a 'ponzi scheme' in a shrinking world, then China has a big one.

    5. Data on belt-and-road investments is limited because China continues to withhold information from the world on its decision making processes, such is a big negative in itself. But the available data and analysis has led many to believe that lots of corruption and frankly bad investments are being made, essentially throwing away money that China would be better using to establish domestic welfare.

    All of this is to say that China has proven more than capable at manipulation of current environments and making very planned advances towards certain policies and outcomes. But the same could be said to a certain extent of Putin's Russia. Their cyber-warfare is running circles around us, the Crimea is theirs. But the fundamentals of managing shit at home is just not there and Russia continues to decline overall. My hot take is that China has just as much chance of becoming another Russia, projecting a foreign diplomatic weight that outsizes their actual internal strength, as it does of making the 21st the 'Chinese Century'.
    In all these papers we see a love of honest work, an aversion to shams, a caution in the enunciation of conclusions, a distrust of rash generalizations and speculations based on uncertain premises. He was never anxious to add one more guess on doubtful matters in the hope of hitting the truth, or what might pass as such for a time, but was always ready to take infinite pains in the most careful testing of every theory. With these qualities was united a modesty which forbade the pushing of his own claims and desired no reputation except the unsought tribute of competent judges.

    Members thankful for this post (2):



  8. #38
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    7,597

    Default Re: Biden thread

    Quote Originally Posted by a completely inoffensive name View Post
    4. China may not even have the densest center of economic activity by mid-century. Their population curve is currently transitioning downwards while India still has another 25-30 years of projected growth before their demographic transition towards a shrinking population hits. India will have more people than China as soon as 2027 according to the UN. China's population is aging faster than any other country and they have no effective welfare state to prepare for this. They will have more people over the age of 65 as a % of their country than the US by mid-century. Chinese culture traditionally had multi-generational housing with children expected to take care of their parents and grandparents at home. If the US Social Security is considered a 'ponzi scheme' in a shrinking world, then China has a big one.

    5. Data on belt-and-road investments is limited because China continues to withhold information from the world on its decision making processes, such is a big negative in itself. But the available data and analysis has led many to believe that lots of corruption and frankly bad investments are being made, essentially throwing away money that China would be better using to establish domestic welfare.

    All of this is to say that China has proven more than capable at manipulation of current environments and making very planned advances towards certain policies and outcomes. But the same could be said to a certain extent of Putin's Russia. Their cyber-warfare is running circles around us, the Crimea is theirs. But the fundamentals of managing shit at home is just not there and Russia continues to decline overall. My hot take is that China has just as much chance of becoming another Russia, projecting a foreign diplomatic weight that outsizes their actual internal strength, as it does of making the 21st the 'Chinese Century'.
    Simply pointing to population may not account for everything. Is India politically stable?

  9. #39
    Member Member Xantan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    TW Org
    Posts
    162

    Default Re: Biden thread

    US is in a precarious position - I understand hope, but let's face the music a bit here. It's in a difficult position right now and this administration has potentially way too much on it's plate. In fact, too much on it's plate for any administration.

    Hopeful, yes, doubtful, even more yes.

  10. #40

    Default Re: Biden thread

    ACIN, the question is how much the negative factors matter given the advantages. The West Pacific is a basket of baskets, in a way that US-Europe or US-South America can't really ever be.

    Ultimately, the idea that economic gravity will shift from China doesn't hold much more water to me than that it will from America (cf. our own instability and decaying infrastructure). Maybe, maybe not, but I don't see it as likely in our lifetimes short of the more cataclysmic climate change scenarios (in which case all contemporary geopolitics goes obsolete).

    Countries on China's periphery, except maybe ones in too deep like Pakistan, are of course happy to try to balance against China with a larger patron. But that's "balancing," not an anti-Chinese axis. Countries like Vietnam and South Korea are always going to be more integrated into the Chinese sphere than we would like - as they already are. They can't afford to do otherwise.

    I'm not sure that aging demographics really matter with even a modicum of tech investment and "low-value" immigration, and at any rate there's a difference between an aging country of several million and one of several billion. The baseline labor pool is simply much larger than anywhere else. And the Philippines, for example, is integrated into the existing hub, so even if somehow loads of production moved out of China to the Philippines, that would still support the overall Chinese ecosystem.

    ...Unless you go to Africa, the one booming population pool in the 21st century, but the lack of historical infrastructure, investment, and stability will greatly limit Africa's potential as an alternative to China, not to mention the value of having a unified regime. The silver lining is that by the same token Africa wouldn't simply become an alternative to Europe and North America from the Asian perspective either... Yet even there, Chinese investments in Africa are foresighted because they secure long-term access to some of the most desirable economic sectors and geographies in rising Africa - in a way that serves China directly while preempting superation...

    Ironically, yes, China does have to fix its welfare state and medical services, which are in some ways even stingier and more restrictive than ours. Not to do so would in my ideological estimation lead to undesirable social friction. (Truly universal medical care and old-age security could be the next frontier of the CCP legitimating project if they were so inclined).

    Especially dubious to me is the idea that lockdowns signal instability to investors, when short and sharp Chinese lockdowns created both more policy success and predictability than the low-foresight whackamole evident in Europe (the US doesn't even rise to that level).

    3. While China has been an economic hub for most of human history it, along with India, was economically self sufficient pre industrial revolution and did not make concerted efforts to further integrate itself into world or even Asian markets most of the time (again, to my understanding). Its foreign policy was sending navies out periodically to enforce tributes and invasions of its closest neighbors. Keep in mind the timeline and strategy of Western colonialism in Asia, how with the exception of Portuguese Macao, Europeans ignored China's ports favoring instead trading ports across modern day Indonesia during the 16th and 17th centuries which had extremely prosperous kingdoms controlling trade between China, India, and East Africa.
    There was always lots of trade, led by the Chinese diaspora throughout the SE Pacific. They just didn't make a habit of directly maintaining long trade routes through the Indian Ocean, which no one really did. India and the Middle East were always going to be the middlemen to the Mediterranean or Africa by simple technical reality. Before modernity at least.

    I don't remember the Europeans skipping Chinese ports - see the Opium Wars. What you might be noticing is that, prior to the 19th century, European powers didn't really have a direct colonial presence in China proper. This is not because they didn't want those ports/colonies - just the opposite! - but because the Qing regime was still too strong to overcome with the as-yet-limited European presence in the Pacific. Once India was opened, it and the Pacific archipelagos were ripe to be exploited first as the easier pickings. Recall that Africa was not properly divided and colonized until the second half of the 19th century; it would be wrong to interpret that as Europeans having no use for or designs on Africa.

    5. Data on belt-and-road investments is limited because China continues to withhold information from the world on its decision making processes, such is a big negative in itself. But the available data and analysis has led many to believe that lots of corruption and frankly bad investments are being made, essentially throwing away money that China would be better using to establish domestic welfare.
    Hard to say because these are inherently long-term investments with prospective payoffs far into the future. Any such strategy has to include potential loss leaders like Hambantota. Needs deeply-informed analysis.

    My hot take is that China has just as much chance of becoming another Russia, projecting a foreign diplomatic weight that outsizes their actual internal strength, as it does of making the 21st the 'Chinese Century'.
    Little-seen observation: a suboptimal scenario for China doesn't imply a renascent one for the US or Europe, or vice versa. I think all of us going down together is the likeliest counterpart to the scenario in which China takes the US to our USSR. Maybe a 0.1% chance of the US establishing the Neo-Comintern and exporting revolutionary socialism to the Chinese periphery, aka the best case.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hooahguy View Post
    I'm not sure this is the most honest portrayal of Sinema, who is very pro-LGBT rights, pro abortion, pro-ACA, and anti-gun. Yes, she is definitely a moderate Dem, but to the right of Mitch? Nah.
    Per your link:

    So yeah I dont really think that just going off of voting records and bill sponsorships is the best way to gauge these types of things.
    While you overstate the intensity or relevance of those stances, I agree that bill sponsorships and voting records are not the full measure of a politician. After all, it would have been pretty silly for anyone to claim that Harris is to the left of Sanders based on these scores, right?

    Sinema is no Republican (which, e.g. makes her orders of magnitude more pro-abortion than someone like Susan Collins). I think it's clear she's been working to position herself to the right of Manchin though, and not unwillingly. The article I linked is reposted on her own website!

    What's striking is that she was notably more liberal in the 2000s, right? I guess we just have to hope she's flexible like many politicians are.

    Breaking news, funnily enough. Now look, I'm not going to single her out on the filibuster issue specifically, just because for bypassing the filibuster to be practical it would have to be in furtherance of a non-reconciliable agenda of protecting voting, ending gerrymandering, admitting new states, and expanding the whole federal judiciary. That is the subject matter of the politics of survival for Democrats, and unfortunately even as all Democrats have moved left fiscally, I don't believe the majority of the caucus yet truly understands the existential and protracted character of the ongoing conflict. So Sinema/Manchin aren't even the limiting factor in that regard.
    Last edited by Montmorency; 01-25-2021 at 21:57.
    Vitiate Man.

    History repeats the old conceits
    The glib replies, the same defeats


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

  11. #41
    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    The Fortress
    Posts
    11,610

    Default Re: Biden thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    While you overstate the intensity or relevance of those stances, I agree that bill sponsorships and voting records are not the full measure of a politician. After all, it would have been pretty silly for anyone to claim that Harris is to the left of Sanders based on these scores, right?
    Ok point taken

    Sinema is no Republican (which, e.g. makes her orders of magnitude more pro-abortion than someone like Susan Collins). I think it's clear she's been working to position herself to the right of Manchin though, and not unwillingly. The article I linked is reposted on her own website!

    What's striking is that she was notably more liberal in the 2000s, right? I guess we just have to hope she's flexible like many politicians are.

    Breaking news, funnily enough. Now look, I'm not going to single her out on the filibuster issue specifically, just because for bypassing the filibuster to be practical it would have to be in furtherance of a non-reconciliable agenda of protecting voting, ending gerrymandering, admitting new states, and expanding the whole federal judiciary. That is the subject matter of the politics of survival for Democrats, and unfortunately even as all Democrats have moved left fiscally, I don't believe the majority of the caucus yet truly understands the existential and protracted character of the ongoing conflict. So Sinema/Manchin aren't even the limiting factor in that regard.
    The filibuster issue is a really really tough one and I definitely sympathize with the lawmakers dealing with this. If the filibuster is removed, then the Dems basically have to guarantee they always hold at least one chamber or the presidency in every subsequent election because the second the GOP controls the trifecta, well we all know what will happen. I think it was the reason why more terrible conservative legislation wasnt passed during the first two years of Trumps term. I also have a very real fear that a lot of what the Dems pass will get struck down in court challenges, such as the expansion of voting rights which SCOTUS is probably even less sympathetic to now.
    Last edited by Hooahguy; 01-25-2021 at 23:00.
    On the Path to the Streets of Gold: a Suebi AAR
    Visited:
    A man who casts no shadow has no soul.
    Hvil i fred HoreTore

  12. #42
    Ni dieu ni maître! Senior Member a completely inoffensive name's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    I live on the org, feeding off of what few thanks are tossed at my posts. It is up to you to make sure I don't starve.
    Posts
    8,726

    Default Re: Biden thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    Simply pointing to population may not account for everything. Is India politically stable?
    I don't read up on India nearly as much as China, I have no idea how well Modi is doing. Seemed to be stable enough through the 2010s, as India GDP growth outpaced China for several years.
    In all these papers we see a love of honest work, an aversion to shams, a caution in the enunciation of conclusions, a distrust of rash generalizations and speculations based on uncertain premises. He was never anxious to add one more guess on doubtful matters in the hope of hitting the truth, or what might pass as such for a time, but was always ready to take infinite pains in the most careful testing of every theory. With these qualities was united a modesty which forbade the pushing of his own claims and desired no reputation except the unsought tribute of competent judges.

  13. #43
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    7,597

    Default Re: Biden thread

    Quote Originally Posted by a completely inoffensive name View Post
    I don't read up on India nearly as much as China, I have no idea how well Modi is doing. Seemed to be stable enough through the 2010s, as India GDP growth outpaced China for several years.
    There's a fair bit of Hindu nationalism on the rise there, which is, if anything, even more toxic than the Han nationalism going on in China. Every bit as bad and murderous as the Islamicism going on in Pakistan. Whatever unpleasantness is going on in China, at least it's secular and not religious. The equivalent of Soviet gulags versus religious lynch mobs.

  14. #44

    Default Re: Biden thread

    OK, I've kind of conditioned myself into expecting less of Democrats, but here is what they "should" be structurally reforming to secure their (and our) long-term interest:

    1. Abolish filibuster
    2. Admit, at a minimum, DC.
    3. Voting Rights Act banning gerrymandering, maintaining all the various expansions seen in 2020 + automatic registration, reinstating federal preclearance for offenders who break the law or don't meet minimum standards. <Stuff that I'm missing ATM.>
    4. Expand federal judiciary from District to SCOTUS.

    This achieves the simultaneous and interlocking goals of reducing Republican structural advantages in the House and Senate (with knock-on effects for state/local politics) and preventing the Republican judiciary from unduly interfering with Democratic governance. In the long term this is necessary both to address some of the conditions that Greyblades fairly, albeit unconsciously, gestured at as having generated our current predicament, and to limit the probability of Republicans in their fascist form securing unified governments in the first place.

    Because to be frank, there isn't going to be as big a difference as some seem to imagine between a filibuster-extant and filibuster-extinct scenarios. The extremism ratchet goes only one way, and only a paradigm shift (enabled by aforementioned structural reforms) is sufficient to counteract it.

    If Republicans want to take an opportunity to ban abortion and unions and terminate Social Security, that just means we can Build Back Better before it's too late.


    This is what I would demand from the Democratic caucus if I understood them as fungible, generic actors properly motivated by the greater good and a clear-eyed apprehension that it's better to pay the firefighters less sooner than more later to douse your infernal house.

    If they have to psych themselves up to it by letting Republicans screw around for a few months, I can tolerate that, but I'm not sure it's what's going on. But I set the expectations for myself long ago when I predicted that there was no chance of deep structural change without at least 52 or 53 Dem Senators, so I'm not going to get lathered over baked-in
    Vitiate Man.

    History repeats the old conceits
    The glib replies, the same defeats


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

  15. #45
    Ni dieu ni maître! Senior Member a completely inoffensive name's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    I live on the org, feeding off of what few thanks are tossed at my posts. It is up to you to make sure I don't starve.
    Posts
    8,726

    Default Re: Biden thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    I'm not sure that aging demographics really matter with even a modicum of tech investment and "low-value" immigration, and at any rate there's a difference between an aging country of several million and one of several billion. The baseline labor pool is simply much larger than anywhere else. And the Philippines, for example, is integrated into the existing hub, so even if somehow loads of production moved out of China to the Philippines, that would still support the overall Chinese ecosystem.
    Doubtful China would even go for any degree of open immigration when their ethnostate project is moving forward with multiple genocides ongoing at this moment. I don't think you can write off these issues as negligible due to bulk labor size. Chinese economy is tied into manufacturing not tech, which means the relative productivity decreases as a worker in a factory ages relatively more than a corresponding tech worker in an office. And while the labor size is that much larger, the burdens due to the much larger number of retirees is also that much larger, which is why I mention age as percentage of workers. The relative burden on Chinese society and finances to take care of elderly will be higher than in the US.

    ...Unless you go to Africa, the one booming population pool in the 21st century, but the lack of historical infrastructure, investment, and stability will greatly limit Africa's potential as an alternative to China, not to mention the value of having a unified regime. The silver lining is that by the same token Africa wouldn't simply become an alternative to Europe and North America from the Asian perspective either... Yet even there, Chinese investments in Africa are foresighted because they secure long-term access to some of the most desirable economic sectors and geographies in rising Africa - in a way that serves China directly while preempting superation...
    The African Union has set up a 2063 plan to address the issues you bring up. 2021 will be the first year that all of Africa operates as the world's (now) largest free-trade area. It's anyone guess the long term success of Africa's self-governance and economic competitiveness, but I am optimistic.

    Ironically, yes, China does have to fix its welfare state and medical services, which are in some ways even stingier and more restrictive than ours. Not to do so would in my ideological estimation lead to undesirable social friction. (Truly universal medical care and old-age security could be the next frontier of the CCP legitimating project if they were so inclined).
    So when we talk about the negative factors outweighing the advantages, we have an authoritarian state setting itself up for unrest but with no political outlets to mitigate any of the angst. Despite the shock and horror of 1/6, it is quite remarkable how US citizens have neatly divided themselves into two entirely different realities and still manage to coexist (for the time) within the same political structure.

    Especially dubious to me is the idea that lockdowns signal instability to investors, when short and sharp Chinese lockdowns created both more policy success and predictability than the low-foresight whackamole evident in Europe (the US doesn't even rise to that level).
    The more pertinent point is that Chinese governance in general does not prioritize business interests to nearly the same degree as the West.

    There was always lots of trade, led by the Chinese diaspora throughout the SE Pacific. They just didn't make a habit of directly maintaining long trade routes through the Indian Ocean, which no one really did. India and the Middle East were always going to be the middlemen to the Mediterranean or Africa by simple technical reality. Before modernity at least.
    Yes, but I am addressing the sentiment behind, "Remember - the Chinese littoral and riparian zone has been the densest center of population and economic activity (and often political sophistication) for almost the entire history of civilization." which implies that what was will always be, when it is clear that that is not what what was (exactly). Such a sophisticated political structure would surely have moved to absorb the trade wealth that the city states in modern day Indonesia facilitated, cause there was long trade routes through the Indian Ocean. It was easier to move goods overseas than overland prior to industrialization. To define a region as the densest center of economic activity is misleading when it is heavily internal trade with surpluses going out as exports under a relatively isolationist political mindset. If we are talking about international trade relations and economic dominance in a geopolitical sense, that title goes to India for 2,000 years not China.

    I don't remember the Europeans skipping Chinese ports - see the Opium Wars. What you might be noticing is that, prior to the 19th century, European powers didn't really have a direct colonial presence in China proper. This is not because they didn't want those ports/colonies - just the opposite! - but because the Qing regime was still too strong to overcome with the as-yet-limited European presence in the Pacific. Once India was opened, it and the Pacific archipelagos were ripe to be exploited first as the easier pickings. Recall that Africa was not properly divided and colonized until the second half of the 19th century; it would be wrong to interpret that as Europeans having no use for or designs on Africa.
    I mean, Portugal had a direct presence in China and Japan *shrug* so it was possible to do. But when we say 'easier pickings', we are saying the cost of subjugating those areas was worth the wealth extracted. But the original claim is that China was the densest center of economic activity, so were Chinese ports worth fighting the Chinese navy or not? There was a two hundred year gap between the failed Dutch invasions into Chinese territory and the Opium Wars, European trade routes could be extendable into China whereas it was logistically difficult in Africa to move further inland until railroads came about. Idk, not an expert here and my point is supposed to be modest: Don't over state the historical case. Europe seemed to find it acceptable to fight amongst themselves for control over South East Asian waters rather than try to directly break open Chinese or Japanese ports.


    Hard to say because these are inherently long-term investments with prospective payoffs far into the future. Any such strategy has to include potential loss leaders like Hambantota. Needs deeply-informed analysis.
    Agreed.

    Little-seen observation: a suboptimal scenario for China doesn't imply a renascent one for the US or Europe, or vice versa. I think all of us going down together is the likeliest counterpart to the scenario in which China takes the US to our USSR. Maybe a 0.1% chance of the US establishing the Neo-Comintern and exporting revolutionary socialism to the Chinese periphery, aka the best case.
    Hey, as long as we decline slower than China in the long run, the relative strength of the US increases at the bargaining table. At some point we need to reckon with how to exist with a government that is quite frankly more evil and has perpetuated more atrocities on this earth since Genghis Khan. I'm not interested in the US holding ground or maintaining a respectable sphere of influence, the existing Chinese government is a threat to human rights worldwide.
    Last edited by a completely inoffensive name; 01-26-2021 at 02:43.
    In all these papers we see a love of honest work, an aversion to shams, a caution in the enunciation of conclusions, a distrust of rash generalizations and speculations based on uncertain premises. He was never anxious to add one more guess on doubtful matters in the hope of hitting the truth, or what might pass as such for a time, but was always ready to take infinite pains in the most careful testing of every theory. With these qualities was united a modesty which forbade the pushing of his own claims and desired no reputation except the unsought tribute of competent judges.

    Member thankful for this post:



  16. #46

    Default Re: Biden thread

    Quote Originally Posted by a completely inoffensive name View Post
    The relative burden on Chinese society and finances to take care of elderly will be higher than in the US.
    Depends on a number of assumptions, such as - in a raw statistical sense - how much investment per capita there would be in China vs. the US. A lot of our costs are tied up in end-of-life or palliative care that China might not prioritize, or that we ourselves might resolve somehow. Another assumption is that neither health enhancement technology nor care sector productivity will increase much. We've had this discussion around Japan's issues.

    What's weird is, you're a Yang fan, so you should be more sensitive to the possibility that raw "low-value" labor may not remain in the same state forever.

    The African Union has set up a 2063 plan to address the issues you bring up. 2021 will be the first year that all of Africa operates as the world's (now) largest free-trade area. It's anyone guess the long term success of Africa's self-governance and economic competitiveness, but I am optimistic.
    Hmmm.

    Ending all wars, civil conflicts, gender-based violence, and violent conflicts by 2020
    It's not chauvinistic to point out that Africa has a lot holding it back that the rest of the world actively participates in, so changing that (e.g. getting more socialistic with how we procure resources from African countries) is necessary IMO to unlocking the continent's potential. As it is, Africa will have hundreds of millions of people living in areas among the most vulnerable to drought and famine and disease, in what is already the world's most conflict-scarred geography. We're all just taking what we can while pissing about refugees, when in reality the solutions require a global collective effort to change our ways of living. It's possible, there's just little reason to think we'll rise to the occasion.

    Another option is that African states rise to the occasion and realize their national boundaries are pointless and destructive and the African Union really should be a full federal state in the service of all its constituent groups. If it takes 50 years for the AU to approximate where the EU is now as an institution/framework, it's more probable that limited goal is never reached anyway and it's all unmitigated disaster unfolding.

    So when we talk about the negative factors outweighing the advantages, we have an authoritarian state setting itself up for unrest but with no political outlets to mitigate any of the angst. Despite the shock and horror of 1/6, it is quite remarkable how US citizens have neatly divided themselves into two entirely different realities and still manage to coexist (for the time) within the same political structure.
    The final measure is of course how the actual business interests behave and think, to which world governments are beholden. Is there evidence on your side of the balance? Unless, again, geopolitan socialism sets China's market power on the path to obsolescence.

    The more pertinent point is that Chinese governance in general does not prioritize business interests to nearly the same degree as the West.
    I mentioned this in the form of IP security and rents, but not every company or sector cares enough about this issue to exit or avoid the Chinese market. Mostly it's the highest-value industries in electronics and components, military hardware, or IT that are in theory affected, all the areas in which China has prioritized domestic advancement anyway (on the back of IP theft among other things). AFAIK China has managed to balance bootstrapping domestic capacities and alienating foreign firms pretty well so far.

    Ultimately, the network effects generate a lot of mass for retaining and attracting investment and operations.

    One area worth studying, and that I can hardly give any sort of commentary on (let alone informed analysis), is Chinese monetary policy and aspirations, since that level of policy can have the broadest-ranging effects and signals.

    which implies that what was will always be
    No, but it implies hysteresis, a return to an equilibrium, in the absence of change to the relevant enabling conditions.

    It was easier to move goods overseas than overland prior to industrialization. To define an isolated region as the densest center of economic activity is misleading when it is all internal trade. If we are talking about international trade relations and economic dominance in a geopolitical sense, that title goes to India for 2,000 years not China.
    As I said, China was doing plenty of trade both overland and overseas, it was certainly not isolated, and I don't see why a non-policy of overt territorial absorption would change that any more than it would for an assertion that India (really the collection of Indian polities) was the center of international trade. The question, and defined terms, of what region and in what time period experienced the most 'international' maritime trade is a scholarly one that I admittedly haven't read about - and for which we are likely not prepared here. Regardless, the fact remains that China was the economic hub of the world for ever, and a deprecation of "internal" trade is senseless when almost all trade was such under some definition, and distance and scale matter. Did trade in the Roman Mediterranean not count toward the wealth and sophistication of the empire because it was a Roman sea? Shipping wine from Alexandria to London is always more intensive than doing so from Bordeaux to Cognac, independent of the contemporary traverse of suzerainties.

    The whole point here is not that China's status is intrinsic but that it arises from enduring geographic and demographic conditions, and that the 20th century was an aberration in history, which most agree with anyway.

    I mean, Portugal had a direct presence in China and Japan *shrug* so it was possible to do. But when we say 'easier pickings', we are saying the cost of subjugating those areas was worth the wealth extracted. But the original claim is that China was the densest center of economic activity, so were Chinese ports worth fighting the Chinese navy or not? There was a two hundred year gap between the failed Dutch invasions into Chinese territory and the Opium Wars, European trade routes could be extendable into China whereas it was logistically difficult in Africa to move further inland until railroads came about. Idk, not an expert here and my point is supposed to be modest: Don't over state the historical case. Europe seemed to find it acceptable to fight amongst themselves for control over South East Asian waters rather than try to directly break open Chinese or Japanese ports.
    There's a big difference between operating a few monks and missions and dictating maritime governance and access. There is no logical connection between the state of the Chinese economy and the 'correct' targeting of European mercantilism/colonialism; of course easier pickings matters. The object was rarely to control large populations for its own sake, but to extract and utilize local resources, certainly before the late era. Nor were European powers interested in selling their goods to Chinese consumers, remember. Chinese ports primarily served Chinese markets, the governance of which was not a pressing question until the balance of power had shifted enough that the European powers could decide that undesirable impositions such as tariffs could be overcome by force.

    Once there were deeply-established European colonies and naval presences in the region and the Qing state was less of a factor, pursuing Chinese ports came to make more sense also as a matter of peer competition (e.g. preferential access and naval basing).

    In conclusion, the shifting needs and capacities of the European and local actors are what influenced imperialist policies, which themselves of course reflected China's declining geopolitical status.
    Last edited by Montmorency; 01-26-2021 at 03:52.
    Vitiate Man.

    History repeats the old conceits
    The glib replies, the same defeats


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

  17. #47
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    7,597

    Default Re: Biden thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    Depends on a number of assumptions, such as - in a raw statistical sense - how much investment per capita there would be in China vs. the US. A lot of our costs are tied up in end-of-life or palliative care that China might not prioritize, or that we ourselves might resolve somehow. Another assumption is that neither health enhancement technology nor care sector productivity will increase much. We've had this discussion around Japan's issues.
    Have you and ACIN considered that attitudes may be different in China towards what you consider to be care and social commitments? What westerners may consider to be responsibilities of the state, Chinese may see as responsibilities of the family group. What westerners may see as the state's realm may be different from what Chinese see it to be. China is not a liberal society.

  18. #48
    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    The Fortress
    Posts
    11,610

    Default Re: Biden thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    If they have to psych themselves up to it by letting Republicans screw around for a few months, I can tolerate that, but I'm not sure it's what's going on. But I set the expectations for myself long ago when I predicted that there was no chance of deep structural change without at least 52 or 53 Dem Senators, so I'm not going to get lathered over baked-in
    McConnell seems to have caved on his demand that Dems promise to preserve the filibuster. Maybe Sinema and Manchin will reverse down the line when they see how McConnell's words of bipartisanship are in bad faith. Not holding my breath, but we will see. I do think public pressure from their constituents can help move the needle for them on this. Though if people want to see how the moderate wing of the Senate Dems are thinking, we should be paying attention to Bennet and Coons.
    Last edited by Hooahguy; 01-26-2021 at 04:43.
    On the Path to the Streets of Gold: a Suebi AAR
    Visited:
    A man who casts no shadow has no soul.
    Hvil i fred HoreTore

  19. #49
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    2,292

    Default Re: Biden thread

    The countries that are going to be of increasing importance in the next decade:

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/...ves-worldwide/

    Lithium is used primarily in batteries, glass and ceramics, with other uses including rocket fuel and lasers. The global lithium battery market is projected to grow substantially in coming years, from 30 billion U.S. dollars in 2017 to over 100 billion U.S. dollars by 2025. The electric vehicle market will propel the growth of the lithium market as the number of hybrid and electric vehicles powered by rechargeable lithium batteries picks up. In 2018 the top producers of lithium battery cells were estimated to be Panasonic Sanyo, CATL, BYD, and LG Chem. It is expected that Germany, China, Japan, and France will be leading electric vehicle producing countries.
    High Plains Drifter

    Member thankful for this post:



  20. #50
    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Taplow, UK
    Posts
    8,491

    Default Re: Biden thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    The countries that are going to be of increasing importance in the next decade:

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/...ves-worldwide/
    Turkey is ramping up production and there is to be a mine in the UK - both cases using geothermal waste water. If this works, quite a few other countries will probably follow suit.

    An enemy that wishes to die for their country is the best sort to face - you both have the same aim in mind.
    Science flies you to the moon, religion flies you into buildings.
    "If you can't trust the local kleptocrat whom you installed by force and prop up with billions of annual dollars, who can you trust?" Lemur
    If you're not a liberal when you're 25, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative by the time you're 35, you have no brain.
    The best argument against democracy is a five minute talk with the average voter. Winston Churchill

    Member thankful for this post:



  21. #51
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    2,292

    Default Re: Biden thread

    Samurai, as much as Manchin drives you to handwringing, a challenger approaches.
    https://www.politico.com/news/2021/0...ibuster-462364

    “If I haven’t said it very plain, maybe Sen. McConnell hasn’t understood, I want to basically say it for you. That I will not vote in this Congress, that’s two years, right? I will not vote” to change the filibuster, Manchin (D-W.Va.) said in an interview on Monday afternoon. “And I hope with that guarantee in place he will work in a much more amicable way.”
    Seems to me that Manchin is as delusional as Biden about the willingness of the GOP to compromise, and he is definitely relishing his new found power within Congress. What do I know....I'm just an old country boy from the Wolverine State? But it seems clear to me that the GOP strategy is/will be to block-block-block until the 2022 mid-terms where they plan/hope to reclaim Congress. Say whatever you wish about Dr. No, but he's definitely as savvy as they come at politics. And anyone who thinks he doesn't have a plan to get himself back into the Senate Majority seat is delusional.

    That's not to say that the effort shouldn't be made for bi-partisanship. But when that effort is snubbed by the GOP, the Dems had better grow some cohonees and forge ahead on their own while they can. And abolishing the filibuster will be one of those tools in the box. If Dems hope to avoid the historical back-slide in the mid-terms following a presidential election, then the best way to do that is pass legislation that actually helps the other 99% of Americans who aren't in the privileged elite.
    Last edited by ReluctantSamurai; 01-26-2021 at 14:32.
    High Plains Drifter

  22. #52

    Default Re: Biden thread

    "Chuck Schumer tried to unseat Susan Collins, and now it's personal"

    Ah well, it was never going to work out anyway.


    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    Have you and ACIN considered that attitudes may be different in China towards what you consider to be care and social commitments? What westerners may consider to be responsibilities of the state, Chinese may see as responsibilities of the family group. What westerners may see as the state's realm may be different from what Chinese see it to be. China is not a liberal society.
    Sure, but I don't have a reason to believe that the Chinese are so uniquely libertarian in culture as to collectively lean towards diminishing the role of government in preventing old people from ignominiously dying of sickness and starvation.

    Show me the popular movement in China that demands, "Get the government out of social security! Offload more of the cost of caring for my parents onto me!"

    rofl as though Communist China didn't aspire to an "iron rice bowl" guaranteed by the government, prior to the market reforms.
    Vitiate Man.

    History repeats the old conceits
    The glib replies, the same defeats


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

  23. #53
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    7,597

    Default Re: Biden thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    "Chuck Schumer tried to unseat Susan Collins, and now it's personal"

    Ah well, it was never going to work out anyway.




    Sure, but I don't have a reason to believe that the Chinese are so uniquely libertarian in culture as to collectively lean towards diminishing the role of government in preventing old people from ignominiously dying of sickness and starvation.

    Show me the popular movement in China that demands, "Get the government out of social security! Offload more of the cost of caring for my parents onto me!"

    rofl as though Communist China didn't aspire to an "iron rice bowl" guaranteed by the government, prior to the market reforms.
    It's more a family thing than a state thing. If you don't get the role of the family in Chinese society, you don't get Chinese thinking.

  24. #54

    Default Re: Biden thread

    Heh, now that's good series writing.




    Fox News has lost its top spot in the cable news ratings for the first time since pre-9/11.

    It had ended 2020 with record highs in viewership, though CNN was already in the process of overtaking it.

    It may not yet be clear what's going on, but it sure would be ironic if Trump has inadvertently pushed more Fox viewers to CNN and MSNBC than OAN and Newsmax. Find out in coming episodes of the 2021 season.


    Also, I just learned that Finland has two standards of treason. The first is essentially like that specified in the American constitutional order, but the second reflects our more colloquial use of the word.

    Valtiopetos ('high treason') is not a military crime, but an offense against the very nation or its established order. Here is the Finnish president commenting on the Jan. 6 putsch.


    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    It's more a family thing than a state thing. If you don't get the role of the family in Chinese society, you don't get Chinese thinking.
    You'll have to be more specific, as I get what you're trying to say but you're not relating it to the real world. Welfarism is not a function of liberalism but rather, in one form or another, a universal contemporary consensus. Most people in every country* accept the proposition that the state must do something to provide for the sick, the elderly, and the less well-off; specifics may vary. Even the majority of base Republicans agree in principle, and they're quite possibly the most anti-welfarist bunch on the planet.

    The Chinese state does provide for the social security of the elderly, and not on a mere family-subsidized basis. In the Maoist days, it aspired and attempted to provide more. Expanding social security or healthcare access is not something that would be culturally alien to the Chinese people, independent of any particular manifestation of policy or governmental interest/public approval therein.

    If, as ACIN and many others believe, old-age care is going to become a very big social problem in China by the mid-century, one that will not be ameliorated in some non-fiscal way, then there's nothing to show that the Chinese public won't place demands on the state to do something about it, or that the CCP wouldn't be able to conceive or (ideologically) countenance expansion or reform of existing programs.

    The potential limitations placed by extended families and filial piety on the growth of the sort of long-term care facilities that exist in the Anglosphere (and trust me, Anglophones of the past, within living memory, felt similarly - until they didn't) aren't a limitation on public expectations or government initiatives.

    *Every "real" country let's say, I won't speak for the Vatican or Lichtenstein

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh View Post
    I am hopeful that the Trumpist "Patriot Party" will indeed be formed. We will then get a more accurate representation of America's political spectrum with 25% Patriot Party, 15% GOP, 60% Dem.

    Please note that I threw out those percentages using my anecdotal sense of things and not anything resembling meticulous research. Monty will no doubt have it parsed out fully.
    ?
    Last edited by Montmorency; 01-28-2021 at 03:45.
    Vitiate Man.

    History repeats the old conceits
    The glib replies, the same defeats


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

  25. #55
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    7,597

    Default Re: Biden thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    You'll have to be more specific, as I get what you're trying to say but you're not relating it to the real world. Welfarism is not a function of liberalism but rather, in one form or another, a universal contemporary consensus. Most people in every country* accept the proposition that the state must do something to provide for the sick, the elderly, and the less well-off; specifics may vary. Even the majority of base Republicans agree in principle, and they're quite possibly the most anti-welfarist bunch on the planet.

    The Chinese state does provide for the social security of the elderly, and not on a mere family-subsidized basis. In the Maoist days, it aspired and attempted to provide more. Expanding social security or healthcare access is not something that would be culturally alien to the Chinese people, independent of any particular manifestation of policy or governmental interest/public approval therein.

    If, as ACIN and many others believe, old-age care is going to become a very big social problem in China by the mid-century, one that will not be ameliorated in some non-fiscal way, then there's nothing to show that the Chinese public won't place demands on the state to do something about it, or that the CCP wouldn't be able to conceive or (ideologically) countenance expansion or reform of existing programs.

    The potential limitations placed by extended families and filial piety on the growth of the sort of long-term care facilities that exist in the Anglosphere (and trust me, Anglophones of the past, within living memory, felt similarly - until they didn't) aren't a limitation on public expectations or government initiatives.
    Welfare in Chinese society starts with the family. At both ends of the spectrum, both when very young and when very old. When the immediate family does not suffice, then the extended family contributes. You cite Maoism, but that was an aberration in Chinese history, when the state replaced family. It is not looked upon with any fondness. Where the state does allow for provision, it supplements, not replaces, effort from the family.

    The first paragraph above is by no means as universal as you think it is. It is extremely wide of the mark where China is concerned.

  26. #56

    Default Re: Biden thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    Welfare in Chinese society starts with the family. At both ends of the spectrum, both when very young and when very old. When the immediate family does not suffice, then the extended family contributes. You cite Maoism, but that was an aberration in Chinese history, when the state replaced family. It is not looked upon with any fondness. Where the state does allow for provision, it supplements, not replaces, effort from the family.

    The first paragraph above is by no means as universal as you think it is. It is extremely wide of the mark where China is concerned.
    *sigh*

    This is from 2012, beyond what I cautiously allowed for above.

    Until recently, institutional elder care in China was rare and limited to the so-called “Three No’s”—people with no children, no income, and no relatives, who were publicly supported welfare recipients.26 Institutionalized elders were stigmatized.27 Few families could imagine placing a loved one in an institution to be cared for by strangers. Most residential care homes were run by the state, municipalities, local governments, or collectives.

    In the mid-1990s China implemented reforms to decentralize the operation and financing of state welfare institutions.28,29 Since then, these institutions have shifted their financial base from reliance on public funding to more diversified revenue sources, including privately paying individuals.27

    Elder care homes have proliferated, primarily in the private sector in urban areas.4,7 Although there are limited data, one recent study provides a glimpse into the growth and character of this nascent industry over the past thirty years.4 In Tianjin, for instance, there were only 4 facilities in 1980 (all government run), but there were 13 by 1990, 68 by 2000, and 157 by 2010 (20 of these facilities were government run, and 137 were privately run). Similar rates of growth were also observed in Nanjing and Beijing.4

    The historical pattern of residents in elder care facilities and the sources of revenue that pay for their institutional care have also changed, as shown in Exhibit 4. In Tianjin in 2010 and Nanjing in 2009, almost all residents in nongovernment-run homes were private payers. Even in government-run homes, most residents were private payers. Welfare recipients were rare and mostly housed in government facilities.

    The current mix of facilities spans a wide spectrum, ranging from “mom and pop”–style board-and-care homes providing little professional care to modern nursing homes with skilled nursing and medical services.4

    As of 2010 there were an estimated 40,000 elder care facilities and 3.15 million beds in those facilities nationwide.30 On a per capita basis, China has about half as many long-term care beds per 1,000 older people as most developed countries do. Just 1.5–2.0 percent of people ages sixty-five and older live in residential care facilities in China, compared with 4–8 percent in Western countries.31,32

    China’s twelfth five-year plan (2011–15) for socioeconomic development set a goal of adding another 3.42 million beds in the next five years, to boost total capacity to thirty beds per 1,000 elders ages sixty and older by 2015, from roughly eighteen beds per 1,000 elders in 2011.30
    (American) Medicaid and Medicare pay for senior secondary care and assisted living in private residence.

    You have an unrealistic and ossified view of Chinese culture. China is, at furthest, where we were a century ago.
    Vitiate Man.

    History repeats the old conceits
    The glib replies, the same defeats


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

  27. #57
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    2,292

    Default Re: Biden thread

    After all the BS about the voting process this past election, you just knew THIS was coming:

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...-voting-rights

    After an election filled with misinformation and lies about fraud, Republicans have doubled down with a surge of bills to further restrict voting access in recent months, according to a new analysis by the Brennan Center for Justice.
    There are currently 106 pending bills across 28 states that would restrict access to voting, according to the data. That’s a sharp increase from nearly a year ago, when there were 35 restrictive bills pending across 15 states.
    High Plains Drifter

  28. #58
    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    The Fortress
    Posts
    11,610

    Default Re: Biden thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    After all the BS about the voting process this past election, you just knew THIS was coming:

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...-voting-rights
    The most distressing part of all of this is that even if a new voting rights act is signed into law to prevent the GOP from enacting such BS changes, you know that the courts will strike down large parts of it like they did the original VRA.
    On the Path to the Streets of Gold: a Suebi AAR
    Visited:
    A man who casts no shadow has no soul.
    Hvil i fred HoreTore

  29. #59
    Ni dieu ni maître! Senior Member a completely inoffensive name's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    I live on the org, feeding off of what few thanks are tossed at my posts. It is up to you to make sure I don't starve.
    Posts
    8,726

    Default Re: Biden thread

    Yeah this is all bad and all, but we all need to buy Gamestop stock right now guys.
    In all these papers we see a love of honest work, an aversion to shams, a caution in the enunciation of conclusions, a distrust of rash generalizations and speculations based on uncertain premises. He was never anxious to add one more guess on doubtful matters in the hope of hitting the truth, or what might pass as such for a time, but was always ready to take infinite pains in the most careful testing of every theory. With these qualities was united a modesty which forbade the pushing of his own claims and desired no reputation except the unsought tribute of competent judges.

    Members thankful for this post (2):



  30. #60
    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    The Fortress
    Posts
    11,610

    Default Re: Biden thread

    Quote Originally Posted by a completely inoffensive name View Post
    Yeah this is all bad and all, but we all need to buy Gamestop stock right now guys.
    On the off-chance that you are serious, please don't, its a bubble that is going to burst probably pretty soon.
    On the Path to the Streets of Gold: a Suebi AAR
    Visited:
    A man who casts no shadow has no soul.
    Hvil i fred HoreTore

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO