November 11th, 2016

Settling down

There may be riots in the streets, but some of the people I know are settling down at least a little, post-election. One of the big reasons, in my opinion, is demeanor.

I’m not just talking about Donald Trump’s demeanor. I mean the demeanor of most of the people involved. It began with Trump’s victory speech, which had a calm and unifying tone. Whatever happens in the next few months and years—and I don’t fool myself that it’s not likely to be loaded with conflict—Donald Trump had a choice as to how he would behave in victory. He made the right choice. The guy who showed up in the wee hours of Wednesday morning had a more soothing presence that most people had ever expected.

One of the advantages of the type of juvenile, insulting, provocative behavior Trump often exhibited during the campaign was that he had almost nowhere to go but up. And go up he did. President Obama and Hillary Clinton went up, too, which was also very reassuring. I commend them all for it—and the stock market commends them, as well.

A year and a half ago, when the campaign season began, I had hopes and dreams of a Republican president and Congress. Somewhere along the line quite early on I pretty much gave up on that hope. It seemed that Trump would be nominated and that he was likely to lose, although not certain to lose. And it even seemed as though the Senate would change hands.

So it took a while for it to really settle in early Wednesday morning that no, that’s not what had happened at all. Forget Donald Trump for a moment, and my reservations about him. The unlikely thing had actually occurred, and the hope I had way back in the spring of 2016 had come true—GOP sweep—albeit with a slightly (!) different cast of characters.

So now I get to muse on one of the things I hadn’t let myself indulge in much before: who might be in the new Cabinet. Which things from the Obama years might be undone and which things that have been proposed for the next years done.

Yes, a lot of things could go wrong—a lot. But the longer Donald Trump manages to go without acting like a child, or a loose cannon, or a vindictive narcissist, the better it gets for everyone and for the country as a whole. Hey, the better it gets for the world.

I always said that’s what I would be hoping for if Trump is elected. We’ve had two and a half days of it. Time to celebrate. But now the shoe is on the other foot, the ball is in the GOP’s park, it’s put up or shut up time, and all those other cliches. The GOP must prove to the American people that it can do a better job than the Democrats did. As I noted yesterday, if you pass legislation that doesn’t work out in reality rather than rhetoric, the people will ultimately know, and they won’t thank you for it. The Republicans are running the show right now, and they’ll have to deliver a quality product.

If they manage to do that, though, it could have its own transformative effect on at least some of the people on the other side, who can’t help but notice that Republicans aren’t the demons they’ve been led to fear. And if the GOP doesn’t manage to deliver, the people are likely to reject them next time they get the chance.

[NOTE: Tomorrow I plan to write the post I promised on the fear and angst many liberals are experiencing at the moment, and the reaction of many people on the right to that fear.]

83 Responses to “Settling down”

  1. wreath Says:

    In this climate, Democrat politics are a religion to the Left. They are zealots. They see their political rivals as not only enemies, but evil demons to be stopped or destroyed at any cost. They see themselves as devoted to the Forces of Good, and their votes prove that they are Good People. The enforcement of their Beliefs validates their otherwise empty lives, so when something like this happens that so damages their political party, their God, they are so empty that they question their existence and strike out like colicky toddlers.

    Trump could bring about an end to all the wars in the world, increase employment by 100%, get Islam to become a more moderate religion, send a multicultural crew to Mars, and these people would still call him Hitler and insist that he was bringing back slavery.

  2. Brian Swisher Says:

    It will be refreshing if Trump, unlike Obama, actually appoints people with some experience of the thing they’re managing.

  3. DirtyJobsGuy Says:

    It is always interesting how a small change in Trumps behavior has an outsized impact on peoples anxiety about him. A moment of public demeanor much like 85% of all normal Americans is treated like he is a great lifelong diplomat. In the campaign that usually lasted about a week.

    Neo is spot on with the fact that programs have to work or your political future is dim. For now Trump’s observation that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lower his polls is still true. While Obama’s stimulus was supposed to prove that throwing money at problems was ineffective, Trumps now increased $1 Trillion stimulus is supposed to be just the ticket. Sober cost controls are not the most exciting items and something Trump has disdained but are popular with GOP voters.

    Replacing Obamacare will be tough as some people are giving up freebies and others will pay more to produce a better system. Much of the change will be administrative in nature and not suited to soundbites. I think the Congress will be negotiating with the President over how to slow our increasing indebtedness while fulfilling at least a bit of Donald’s campaign promises.

    Come back in six months to see how tough that will actually become.

  4. j e Says:

    Ben Shapiro, hardly an admirer of Trump, has argued very well in The Daily Wire that the grotesquely hysterical response of the left to the results of the election provide an excellent explanation for the support which brought him victory (although the leftwing objection to the Electoral College is now in full display). The reaction among Soros-funded rioters, idiotic collegiate administrators, countless campus snowflakes and cry-bullies, brainless celebrities and biased media pundits is irrefutable proof that, with few exceptions, the left is hostile to reasoned argument and debate, as well as impervious to facts and evidence.

  5. Paul in Boston Says:

    Rudi Guliani for Attorney General and Ted Cruz, a very serious Constitutional scholar, to the Supreme Court.

  6. Cornhead Says:

    Three big things for me with Trump as President. Obviously the federal courts. And the circuit courts are more important than SCOTUS as very few cases get to the Supremes. (My friend already at his district court job. Obama’s best appointment. Ever.)

    Energy. We finally crush the CAGW scam. Dump the Paris agreement. No more subsidies of solar and wind. We can become the world’s energy leader if we unleash American animal spirits and our tech genius. We can be profitable at $60 WTI. And screw OPEC and our “friends” who fund ISIS and the Clinton Foundation.

    Biotech and pharma. Hillary was going to shake those industries down for money and screw things up. Big things coming with new cancer therapies. IBB has rocketed up. More capital raised for research and drug trials. XON and ZIOP are two that will benefit. Many more out there.

    Very happy. I missed the Reagan Revolution as I was too stupid back then as a lib. Not this time.

  7. Cornhead Says:

    IBB from 260 to 290 this week. Mr. Market knows.

  8. T Says:

    Neo,

    Yes, now it’s time for the GOP to prove their mettle. If they do, as you point out it could have a transformative effect on the future. Not only could it win over “converts” so to speak, but it could set the stage for a long stable conservative run (could, not will).

    For myself, I’ve always thought that the Democrat party would be better served as a minority party, as the nation’s conscience whispering in our ear rather than as a ruling party. The new leftist Dems, IMO, have long proven that they are a poor governing body and as you said, the onus in now on the GOP.

  9. Oldflyer Says:

    There is evidence here and there that Trump is not actually the Reality Show character that he had become used to portraying, and that we saw on stage. Professor Rahe made that point in an article I saw. There have been small vignettes alluded to from time to time that depict a man who is compassionate toward individuals. The cynical will say they are planted stories. But, there has also been personal testimony about his courtesy and kindness to ordinary people. They are largely drowned out by the media megaphone. Whether he is as crude as alleged with women in private, we may never know.

    I am beginning to wonder if I misjudged the man. I hope I did. I also hope that in matters of governance, he will be as tough as he talked.

  10. CV Says:

    I am feeling slightly more optimistic now that the shock has worn off. The guy DOES know how to hire and fire people, so he Seems to be in his element as he embarks on the monumental task of building a cabinet.

    This Atlantic article by Selena Zito, about a recent Trump appearance in my hometown of Pittsburgh, paints a portrait of the kind of person and leader President Trump will be:

    https://www.google.com/amp/www.theatlantic.com/amp/article/501335/?client=safari

    And I really hope and pray that Melania, with her stated goal of fighting online bullying, inspires him to stop tweeting. It’s an accident waiting to happen…

  11. CV Says:

    I meant to say that the article depicts the kind of person and leader I HOPE President Trump will be. Jury still out, obviously.

  12. Gringo Says:

    Trump has had a lifetime of managing and speaking to people, so he has a good idea of what to say to get people to follow.

    My fear about a Trump administration is that he will do too much “reaching across the aisle” and not prune the administrative state that has grown far too powerful. Ditto with whom he nominates to the Supreme Court. At least he will be better than Hillary, who would have done all she could to increase the powers of the administrative state.

    Trump was not my first choice, not my second choice. I didn’t spend a lot of time worrying about him, because I was going to vote for Bowser the Hound had Bowser been the Republican candidate. I say so as a former Democrat.

    I liked the way Trump attacked the press and Hillary, even if his attacks on them or others were at times intemperate. The Democrats and the press are in eternal attack mode, with Republicans correspondingly always on the defensive. Trump switched the script. I like the way Trump didn’t sit back and merely try to say ” But I’m not …” I have had it up to here with the “raaacist/bigot/sexxxist” preaching of the Progs/Demos.

    The quantity of Demos/Progs attacking Trump so vehemently made me think that if those people hate Trump so much, he must be doing something right.

    Can Trump and the new Congress right the ship of state? I have my doubts, but I also have some hope. The Demos have enough votes in Congress that they could stall a lot of the needed dismantling. OTOH, Demos in Congress can do nothing were Trump to rescind all of Obama’s executive orders.

  13. Brian E Says:

    “Energy. We finally crush the CAGW scam. Dump the Paris agreement. No more subsidies of solar and wind. We can become the world’s energy leader if we unleash American animal spirits and our tech genius. We can be profitable at $60 WTI. And screw OPEC and our “friends” who fund ISIS and the Clinton Foundation.” – Cornhead

    As long as OPEC is pumping cheap oil, and the world economy is soft, I don’t see how we can get the price up to the cost of production. I’ve heard $45-50 is the break even price, you’re saying $60.
    I’m not sure how de-regulation, infrastructure pipeline build out can make the difference, without some sort of import tariff to stabilize prices at the break even level.
    If we’d broken the back of OPEC in the 80’s we might have avoided much of the terrorist Islam forces funded by the ME oil producers.
    Of course, we had all the peak oil headwinds through much of that.

  14. parker Says:

    I welcome the tantrums of the progressive, I hope their violence becomes ever more harmful and deadly, because by their actions they expose who they really are for all to see.

  15. Artfldgr Says:

    As long as OPEC is pumping cheap oil, and the world economy is soft, I don’t see how we can get the price up to the cost of production. I’ve heard $45-50 is the break even price, you’re saying $60.

    didnt you ever ask why the cost of production is so much? ask what your assuming, then see if that is how it is…

    Congress passed the Federal Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing Reform Act of 1987 requiring that all public lands available for oil and gas leasing be offered first by competitive leasing
    The maximum competitive lease size is 2,560 acres in the lower 48 States and 5,760 acres in Alaska. The maximum noncompetitive lease size in all States is 10,240 acres.

    On the day of the auction, the successful bidder must submit a properly executed lease bid form, which constitutes a legally binding lease offer, and pay –

    (1) An administrative fee (click here for current fee schedule);

    (2) The first year’s advance rental ($1.50 per acre or fraction thereof); and

    (3) Not less than the $2-per-acre minimum bonus bid.

    you can go here for a schedule of lease fees:
    https://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/energy/oil_and_gas/lease_fees.html

    then there is the court costs for fighting AFTER you get the land and you still havent drilled

    The principal U.S. taxes and rates applicable to companies in the oil and gas extraction business are:
    Federal Income Tax: 35% (top rate)
    Federal Alternative Minimum tax (AMT) 20%
    n addition to the federal corporation income tax, a corporate taxpayer may be subject to the AMT. In broad terms, the AMT utilizes a separate tax base in which certain “accelerated” preference deductions and other items used to determine regular taxable income are adjusted to arrive at a higher (but can be lower) alternative minimum taxable income (AMTI), to which a 20% tax rate is applied (the “tentative minimum tax”).

    State Income Tax 0%–10% (approximate
    State Severance Tax 0%–25% (approximate
    State Sales and Use Tax 3%–9% (approximate)

    and thats on the oil, not the refined product…

    many goods imported by the oil and gas industry are
    classified in chapter 27 of the US Harmonized Tariff Code. Duty rates in this chapter vary. For example, liquefied natural gas is duty free; certain greases have a duty rate of 5.8%; while other types of greases carry a duty rate of 1.3 cents per kg + 5.7%

    then there are currency exchange issues depending on partners..

    huge legal fees…

    then obama wanted a $10 a barrel tax.. [i dont think it passed but alas, they spent a lot of money on it to be ready and all that]

    then there are the fees you have to pay to get the oil to a refinery… since steyer blocked keystone, and buffet bought 100% of bnsf rail… the costs of that are higher…

    The Congressional Research Service estimates that transporting crude oil by pipeline is cheaper than rail, about $5/barrel versus $10 to $15/barrel The difference in cost is about $50 billion a year for shipping via the Keystone versus rail, totally eclipsing any economic effect of jobs in either direction. Forbes

    19.5 gallons of gasoline per barrel, this means that a gallon of gasoline in its crude oil form costs $1.90

    The 42-gallon barrel of crude oil makes about 19½ gallons of gasoline, 9 gallons of fuel oil, 4 gallons of jet fuel, and 11 gallons of other products, including lubricants, kerosene, asphalt, and petrochemical feedstocks to make plastics.

    currently paying $1.76 per gallon. This means that the gasoline is losing 14 cents per gallon in value when going from ground to gas pump. // This must mean that everyone involved in transporting and refining the oil and gasoline must be marking down the final price of their finished product. Companies mark up, not down. Obviously, there is something wrong here somewhere.

    and then dont forget that there is a highway tax that hits the trucks that bring the gas, and the high tolls
    https://www.panynj.gov/bridges-tunnels/pdf/toll-table-2001-2015.pdf / 57 to 90 to come over in the day for just one bridge/tunnel

    then there is the federal gas tax (18.4 cents per gallon)
    then there is the state tax…

    the new 23 cent higher tax in jersey: Suppliers will invoice retailers with the new, higher price — an extra $1,955 on an 8,500 gallon tank truck — and the retailers will then pass than on to the consumer at the pump.

    so all along the way and all over the oil industry is taxed and taxed and fined and pay fees and so on, to an extreme!!!!!!!!!

    http://graphics.wsj.com/oil-barrel-breakdown/

    basically MOST of the money from oil goes to the state!!!!!!!!
    however, the oil companies sell so much, that at a few pennies a gallon they make a lot… but if it wasnt for the state taking so much and taxing double and triple, and so on… you could easily halve the cost of production and so make it cheaper.

    then there are laws like you cant sell oil outside the US, it has to be refined so only refined prodcuts can be sold…then there is the lack of infrastrucuture.. then there is the fact we have no new refineries… the old ones just keep trying to increase their size and efficiency.

  16. Nick Says:

    Hillary Clinton didn’t step up to the challenge at all. She didn’t bother giving a speech election night. Those people worked their tails off for her, and she didn’t even acknowledge them.

  17. Sharon W Says:

    Nick–I saw it the same way. If ever there was an immediate sign that an unfit person was kept from the office that was it. No excuses. The definition of a leader is to face the tough music, come what may.

  18. Nick Says:

    On the other hand, I’m glad she didn’t come out on stage as a giant praying mantis, tell the crowd “you have outlived your usefulness”, and eat them.

  19. Big Maq Says:

    “the grotesquely hysterical response of the left to the results of the election provide an excellent explanation for the support which brought him victory (although the leftwing objection to the Electoral College is now in full display).” – je

    Frankly, the millions who stayed home that would otherwise have voted for a dem candidate is the better explanation.

    The folks in the rust belt were motivated by the fact that things were not working out for them under a dem admin. They’ve been long time dem supporters who felt abandoned.

    The name calling and the rest were less the motivators than the fuel added to the fire.

  20. Nick Says:

    OK, I’m just going to start rambling now, because I’m trying to work through some stuff. First off, I notice that almost nobody is mourning Clinton’s loss. Not really. Some people are talking about glass ceilings in our lifetime et cetera, and I think they’re genuine. But most people are mourning the Trump victory.

    And I’m mourning the Trump victory, too. I think it’s a terrible thing for the Republican Party, which I see as the best hope for the country. No one likes to be proven wrong, and these election results do prove me wrong on a few things, but I can take my lumps. It’s just that some of the people saying “I told you so” are horrible trolls.

    What about the others? I’m having trouble picturing who the people are who voted for Trump. Being a conservative and an internet guy, I picture three groups: the nasty alt-righters, the conservative holding his nose and thinking about Scalia, and…and who? Were there really that many people saying vaffancul to the press and Jams Comey? Or did that many Rust Belters really buy into Trump’s anti-trade nonsense?

    Or am I thinking about this wrong? Was it simply that black people didn’t show up to vote? That vote has never been dependable in volume. The Republicans did great in the last two midterms, and basically if you think about it they’ve done very well since 2000 whenever there hasn’t been a black man running for president. Can the Democrats ever win major office without a black candidate? Is that the story?

  21. Nick Says:

    Ah. I posted without refreshing. It looks like Maq is dwelling on similar things.

  22. Big Maq Says:

    “As long as OPEC is pumping cheap oil, and the world economy is soft, I don’t see how we can get the price up to the cost of production. I’ve heard $45-50 is the break even price, you’re saying $60.
    I’m not sure how de-regulation, infrastructure pipeline build out can make the difference, without some sort of import tariff to stabilize prices at the break even level.”
    – Brian E

    Compared to historical oil prices, inflation adjusted, oil is still relatively “high”.

    There is an “oversupply” in the oil market from historically high US production (fracking).
    http://seekingalpha.com/article/3780726-want-bring-oil-market-focus-adjust-prices-inflation?page=2

    I’m sure the economists for the oil companies could explain exactly how the steadily increasing regulations have increased the cost of exploration, production and distribution.

    But, the fracking innovation has made it far more economical to pull more oil from known reserves (and extended reserves), so I don’t really know where that “break/even” is. I suspect it is very different by company and their holdings, and even across those holdings.

  23. Big Maq Says:

    @Nick – right. I think there is a real risk of mis-diagnosing this as somehow a massive buy-in to all that trump was saying (he said a lot of things, much of it contradictory).

    The “tent” was simultaneously widened with those disaffected dem rustbelt voters, and narrowed by those GOP voters who were put off by trump.

    Ironically, obama is enjoying some of his most favorable ratings in a long time, but both clinton and the continuation of his policies just were not appealing to the regular dem voters (remember that obama lost millions of votes already from 2008 to 2012).

    Looking forward, if those disaffected dem voters in the rustbelt don’t get their concerns resolved (at least in some part way), and if there is not enough conservative policy implemented (to bring back the GOP voters turned off by trump in 2016), the GOP will not have a chance in 2020 against a fresh dem face.

  24. Big Maq Says:

    Oh, and all bets are off for the GOP if trump goes too far down any of his trumpian paths.

  25. Nick Says:

    “fresh dem face”

    Heh. From the bench that they’ve been developing with all those big Senate and Governors’ wins, and all the people that they’ve groomed in the Cabinet. Boy, we’re lucky that they’re terrible at that.

    And that reminds me of something else I got wrong this year, although it was clear that I was wrong months ago: I never thought we’d go back to a Boomer. It’s funny; as a member of the lost generation that came after them, I always figured that everyone hated them as much as I did.

  26. blert Says:

    Brian E Says:
    November 11th, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    You are witnessing a price war initiated by KSA with the explicit purpose of destroying our oil sector.

    It’s that plain. This is proclaimed as official state policy.

    The counter to that gambit is trivially easy: impose a tariff on non-NAFTA oil imports of $25 per bbl.

    This would instantly lift the value of our domestic firms while not being so extreme as to warp the economy.

    BTW, the Saudis can’t live with current oil prices, either. While their cost to pump is low — they have to sustain their entire economy — lifting their required price to about $100 per bbl.

    They are NOT in a position to undercut American frackers, not really.

    Fracking increases the amount of economically recoverable oil by a factor of 500.

    The same thing happened a century ago with the advent of flotation cell mineral concentration. This one gadget increased the supply of non-ferrous metals 500 times what was previously possible.

    Today, it’s a rare mine that does not use flotation cells.

    FYI, European Russia sits atop an oil horizon that contains 500 times as much oil as Saudi Arabia. But it’s so thin that recovery had to await fracking technology.

    Fracking has also transformed Ukraine’s natural gas equation. She no longer imports Russian gas. ( Putin cut Kiev off, that’s why. ) Exploding production numbers from her own wells have eased what would’ve been a terrible shortfall.

  27. Cornhead Says:

    If Harold Hamm of Continental Resources becomes Secretary of Energy (and he is a friend of Trump’s) I can see a tariff on OPEC oil. Maybe not $25 but something.

  28. Otiose Says:

    There’s another odd aspect of the unlikely pathway we took to get to this Republican President, Senate and House.

    If Jeb Bush or Rubio, or Cruz, were now President, they would be drawing on relatively more people from the last Bush administration to fill the several thousand appointees in the new administration. The Bushes and even Romney people have burned bridges, and so we are watching some of the most conservative people gathered around Trump advising him including about whom to appoint. We don’t know how reality will roll out over the coming four years, but probably the most solidly conservative bunch will be in charge of the cabinets and departments that we could have hoped for.

    Also, regarding the Electoral College…keep in mind that as long as it’s in place the counterfeit vote factories in the big urban centers are of limited impact on the presidential race. They can only impact their own state, which in most cases will go Democratic anyway. But if we are ever stupid enough to go to the popular vote then they will have every incentive to manufacture millions of votes, and will overwhelm the rest of the country. In any case there is probably a lot of counterfeiting of votes in those urban areas, so the vote wasn’t as close as the tally indicates. Trump probably won more valid votes.

    Finally, I recently read a study summary somewhere that the Media bias in favor of the Left is worth about 8 points. I don’t know if it’s 8 or 7 or 3, but it is there. Trump’s win is bigger than it nominally appears.

  29. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Not all is coming up roses. It’s been reported that Smith&Wesson stock is down 14%. Lost their best sales team.

  30. Ymarsakar Says:

    There is evidence here and there that Trump is not actually the Reality Show character that he had become used to portraying, and that we saw on stage.

    What you see on stage is the character they play for you. Same was true of Hussein. The erroneous idea of the middle class is that actors on stage only have one character.

  31. Otiose Says:

    RA, it hurts. I didn’t see that coming. After the fact it seems obvious.

    But, you know, the rioters are working hard to replace the old sales team.

  32. Ymarsakar Says:

    I don’t know if it’s 8 or 7 or 3, but it is there. Trump’s win is bigger than it nominally appears.

    No, it makes it even, since alt Right propaganda support comes out to 5-10.

    But if we are ever stupid enough to go to the popular vote then they will have every incentive to manufacture millions of votes, and will overwhelm the rest of the country.

    Too late for the 2012 election though and the popular Senate vote.

    The Bushes and even Romney people have burned bridges, and so we are watching some of the most conservative people gathered around Trump advising him including about whom to appoint.

    Except Trum has to talk to the Bush II admin for how to transition to a Democrat administration, since neither Clintons nor Hussein will do anything to help Trum’s admin, minus paid to play, the way Bush II helped Hussein with Tarp.

    I think there is a real risk of mis-diagnosing this as somehow a massive buy-in to all that trump was saying (he said a lot of things, much of it contradictory).

    Hussein also said a lot of things that ended up being contradictory after 2008. If politicians couldn’t deceive people with promises, how would they ever get a plurality yet alone a majority?

    Much of Trum’s conservative plan sounds good because it came from conservatives that Trum’s clan polled after they finally figured out that Trum could actually win instead of just blowing up the Republican primaries.

  33. Ymarsakar Says:

    But, the fracking innovation has made it far more economical to pull more oil from known reserves (and extended reserves), so I don’t really know where that “break/even” is. I suspect it is very different by company and their holdings, and even across those holdings.

    The consideration that the OPEC cartel is driving prices down in order to hurt their fracking competition, needs to be included in the analysis.

    Whenever US elections for Republicans, the OPEC guys drive up prices, which net them more money which they use to manipulate Democrats and Republican elections in the US. Consider 4 dollar gas prices in 2004.

    I picture three groups: the nasty alt-righters, the conservative holding his nose and thinking about Scalia, and…and who?

    Nick didn’t include Sandie Berger voters, former or current Democrats. Since Trum is a 70 yo New York Democrat contesting against a woman Senator from New York, splitting the dem white vote is pretty important, since it isn’t a draw from independent voters but Democrat voters.

    Reagan, was also just close enough to a Democrat in some things that Southerns could admit to voting for him, even though they wouldn’t have admitted voting for Nixon as Republican President. How people justify their votes can get pretty strange, but if the candidate is one of their tribe, they will be far more likely to cross over.

    However, that’s less because of Trum and more because of Clinton strategies and Sanders getting sabotaged. Carson would have had the same cross over from blacks and whites. Cruz would have had more cross over from Hispanics and blacks. All of it depends on Alt Right propaganda support. Fighting against the Left without air and artillery cover is pretty difficult. The Right needed its own air force and artillery, which it got from the strangest of quarters: GamerGate internet mobs and other internet hubs.

  34. Ymarsakar Says:

    Of course, we had all the peak oil headwinds through much of that.

    I suspect much of that was funded by OPEC to help drive their prices up. But if people want the US to crush OPEC setting oil prices, just sabotage the pipelines or bomb the extraction process.

    Hey if Americans can bomb Libya, Bush II’s ally, to help AQ, pretty sure Americans can bomb something useful. Destroying or crippling the ME’s oil production would be insanity back in “Peak Oil” Times.

  35. Big Maq Says:

    Crap, tariff this, tariff that. So much for market based solutions.

    And we opposed obama and the rest of the leftists because???

  36. Otiose Says:

    If I were in Saudi Arabia I would be very worried. Trump is likely to take actions that will make it easier to drill for more oil (cheaper). The Saudis started something that they cannot finish and have lost control of. The fracking technologies are getting more efficient and cheaper, and the major reason they haven’t spread faster abroad (there are several but,,) is political and given the incentives that will change with time. The low prices have bankrupted or stressed many smaller US oil companies but all that did was cause the reserves to change hands at a lower price point, to companies who now own those same reserves at a lower break even (more drilling not less helping to keep prices low). The Saudis are no longer the swing producers. The price of oil – absent some major disaster abroad – won’t be going higher than say $70 for a very long time.

    What we’ve seen so far in the middle east are just the opening modest clashes in Syria and Iraq. The low oil prices will cause increasing violence over there. The Saudis cannot tolerate these low prevailing prices, and it will finish them.

    Given all the oil fracking is making available to us in the US and Canada, and yet to be touched Mexico and points South, the political consensus that since WWII has ensured the US would protect the Saudis can no longer be relied upon. If I were a Saudi I would be very worried.

  37. neo-neocon Says:

    Nick:

    I think you left out one big group that voted for Trump: people who despise Hillary. There are a lot of them. Even many on the Democratic side, and some of them are saying to me post-election that even though they can’t stand Trump, they’re glad she didn’t get elected.

    Also, I think Trump is almost outside of time and age, and not really identified as a Boomer in people’s minds (even though he technically is, one of the very oldest of the lot). He has his own style and seems not 70 but ageless, not really young of course but not exactly old. Orange people don’t get old. And certainly his politics and persona are not really of any group in particular.

  38. Ann Says:

    In Trump’s interview today with the WSJ:

    Asked whether he thought his rhetoric had gone too far in the campaign, Mr. Trump responded: “No. I won.”

    Gee, that sounds sort of familiar.

    Love that “Orange people don’t get old”, Neo.

  39. huxley Says:

    I’m definitely relieved Hillary lost.

    No small part of my brief against Trump is that he would lose, perhaps badly, and then Republicans would have lost the White House, perhaps the Senate, and been forever tarnished with wacko Trump as our exemplar.

    The latter may still happen. We are not out of the woods. Given the animosity of the media and the perilousness of our times, the Trump administration is facing steep odds.

    If Trump blows it badly, the Obama-Clinton iron curtain falls down upon us again, maybe with permanent results that we can’t come back from.

    It is still possible Republicans may wish they lost this election.

  40. blert Says:

    Big Maq Says:
    November 11th, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    Crap, tariff this, tariff that. So much for market based solutions.

    And we opposed obama and the rest of the leftists because???

    &&&&&

    This snark must mean that you’re fine with Riyadh playing John D Rockefeller — wiping out his rivals with market manipulation games. Yes, the Arabs are using John’s patented technique.

    KSA can’t live with prices much below $100.

    The ideal that the market is setting today’s going price is absurd.

    Low oil prices destroyed the USSR.

    Low oil prices will destroy the ummah.

    A tariff on non-NAFTA oil will run its price into the floor.

    It would sink OPEC — probably for all time.

    Iran could never recover if OPEC is destroyed.

    Tehran will shoot through Barry Soetoro’s gift in simply no time.

    It’s a LOTTO // Power Ball win for them. Ultimately the funds will make their way to Moscow.

  41. blert Says:

    Internally produced oil// synthetic crude does wonders for the North American economic system.

    Unlike imported fuels, the funds circulate, and re-circulate within our economy.

    Further, such a tariff would instantly solve the financial woes of our banking system — which has lent HUGE to the fracking crowd.

    Many of these lenders are our nation’s PENSION FUNDS.

  42. AesopFan Says:

    j e Says:
    November 11th, 2016 at 1:44 pm
    Ben Shapiro, hardly an admirer of Trump, has argued very well in The Daily Wire that the grotesquely hysterical response of the left to the results of the election provide an excellent explanation for the support which brought him victory …[and] is irrefutable proof that, with few exceptions, the left is hostile to reasoned argument and debate, as well as impervious to facts and evidence.
    * * *
    No argument with your observation, but an observation about the argument: so many on the left (I count them among my friends and family) have so little actual knowledge of the facts and evidence (thank you MSM) that they can’t be reasoned with, because you and they are not talking about the same world. They aren’t idiots or uneducated (in other ways), but they are narrowly bound by what they are willing to see.

    A few years ago, at a family gathering, I made a kind of joking comment about “climate change” – something along the lines of “It’s so cold this winter I could use some global warming right now” – very innocuous; one of the party remarked, “You are so smart, I’ve always wondered how you could be such a denier” — if we had been alone instead of with kids and in-laws, I would have replied, “Maybe I really am that smart, and you should consider that I might be right.”

  43. Big Maq Says:

    “A tariff on non-NAFTA oil will run its price into the floor.

    It would sink OPEC — probably for all time.” – blert

    Totally false.

    Even the sanctions on Iranian oil hasn’t sunk that country, one with the fourth largest oil reserves.

    Venezuela, now with the largest reserves, looks “sunk”. They cannot even pump enough oil to float their country economically, they are so mismanaged.

  44. Big Maq Says:

    “Unlike imported fuels, the funds circulate, and re-circulate within our economy.”

    One word “fungible” – look it up.

  45. Nick Says:

    Maq – I think you’ve got the better position, but your last comment is wrong. “Multiplier” – look it up.

  46. OM Says:

    The broken window experiment – Bastiat as applied to oil and tariffs. We can charge a tariff on imported oil and consume higher cost oil made in North America and the magic Kensian multiplier will make it work.

    KSA oil is still far far less expensive than shale oil. sorry Blert those are called facts. Low prices may kill the KSA but the reserves will still be there for the next regieme to exploit.

  47. Big Maq Says:

    @Nick – The definition of it has meaning towards our currency. Money is fungible – there is no reason to believe that it will remain in the country for all the wonderful things blert is assuming.

    I am well aware of the economic concept of a multiplier effect. First, it doesn’t apply here (money is fungible). Second, it is usually applied by Keynesians to describe government spending (as one example).

    As applied here to oil tariffs, it suffers a similar fundamental flaw to its use wrt government spending… namely, that the money has to come from somewhere, and that is usually out of the very economy that they are putting it back into.

  48. Frog Says:

    There are really very few pro-Trump posts here. The bottom line seems to be a grudging “OK, he won. But he better not screw up. He’d better meet my/our expectations, and we do not think he can or will.”
    The oil issue is an odd aside.

    Trump and the GOP had better deliver the goods. Otherwise….

    Otherwise what? It is the Democratic Party that is dying. A large majority of state governors and legislatures are GOP. A full third of Dem congresscritters come from just three states- CA, NY and MA. It is the Dems who are scared, frightened witless though they have been witless drones for a long time. The best they can do is riot…see Portland, OR.

    Peggy Noonan wrote in yesterday’s WSJ column about the fear Trump’s win has put into people she claims she knows. She gave a few examples, including a blue-collar lesbian she knows, who has two foreign-born adopted children and fears she may lose them. Good grief!

    Many here have metaphorically wrung their hands about Trump so long they may be unable to stop anytime soon.
    Geoffrey Britain and I have not done so.
    The Trump doubters will be very hard to please, sitting on the edge of their seats ready to jump up to say ” I told you he’d screw up!”

  49. OM Says:

    Frog:

    When he screws up you and Geoffrey are screwed too. Inconceivable!

  50. Big Maq Says:

    “It is the Democratic Party that is dying.” – Frog

    Come on!

    Y’all were predicting doom and gloom wrt the dems winning the election and now they are suddenly dying?

    They are very far from dead. Weakened, yes. Dying, no!

    This is a forever battle of ideas. It never stops.

  51. Brian E Says:

    Big Maq Says:
    November 11th, 2016 at 8:30 pm
    Crap, tariff this, tariff that. So much for market based solutions.

    So you would have opposed the Manhattan Project?

    I’m not sure if a tariff would have a beneficial effect, but we need to find some way to get American oil back in production. Lot’s of good American jobs, and benefit to the economy.

    We do know that the Saudi’s were/are trying to damage American production. My adopted son was working in the Bakken oil fields. I think they continued to drill wells even after they quit pumping oil and the benefit of this type of production is that it can start up quickly after prices rise.

    So if we can get American oil producers working while at the same time depressing the worldwide oil prices, that has implications beneficial to American foreign policy. Russia is very dependent on oil revenues. Low oil prices may force the Bear to rethink it’s ME adventurism.

    Of course, the fact they are selling Iran military hardware may be enough to help them solidify their beachhead in the region.

    As to their aggression closer to home, I haven’t a clue what would be the consequences of cheap oil.

  52. Big Maq Says:

    @Frog – When people mention “Pinochet” in their explanation about trump and what he will do or represent, yes, there is reason to fear, as trump has not put those concerns to bed with his action and words.

    That we give him between now and the end of his first 100 days to show us what he really will be like and do is more than fair.
    .

    However, too many here make like it was an overwhelming endorsement of trump and what THEY think he will implement.

    It was not.

    If anything, it was an endorsement of the down ticket GOP, and a resounding rejection of clinton. Very different.
    .

    It is rather troubling already that his transition team contains four family members – big red flag. Possibly explainable, but it is one of a pile of many “explainable” things over this 2016 campaign.

  53. Big Maq Says:

    “So if we can get American oil producers working while at the same time depressing the worldwide oil prices” – Brian E

    What?

    Raise our domestic oil prices so we can “hurt” everyone else with lower prices?

    Foolish.

    AND, it will hurt the very rust belt constituency that helped get trump elected.

    I’m sure they will all be happy to pay more at the pump, and for manufacturing businesses to have yet more reason not to invest in their geography, all in the name of this brilliant plan to destroy the ME on lower oil prices (and benefiting every place else in the world).

  54. Big Maq Says:

    I’m all for lowering the regulatory barriers to producing more oil, coal, etc.. and transporting it.

    And, to creating barriers to re-establishing those regulatory barriers.

    Don’t know what the Manhattan Project has to do with that, or anything else on this topic.

  55. OM Says:

    Brian E:

    I worked in the Bakken for the evil “H” corporation as a directional driller for a short time. Last time I checked, about a month ago, (see Baker Hughes rig count) there were 30 rigs in ND, down from about 150 in 2012. All the people I knew are no longer working in the industry, some with 15+ years experience.

  56. Brian E Says:

    OM,
    Yes he hasn’t been working there for about a year.
    He’s in Fargo now.
    He managed to keep working after many had already left.

  57. OM Says:

    Brian E:

    Boom and bust, creative destruction, lives upended. Williston, Watford City, Dickenson, and Casper (WY) were all booming when I was there. I hope all is well with your son, and that he is getting ready for the cold cold weather.

    The downturn in shale oil reminds me of the ~1982 price collapse in the oil patch. Again, nearly all of the geology grad students I was at school with were laid off and left the oil and gas industry.

  58. blert Says:

    Oil is a strategically significant pillar of our modern economy.

    Energy independence has been wished for ever since the old AOPEC embargo.

    ( OPEC never embargoed oil — AOPEC did… and only two nations were embargoed, Holland and America. )

    Ukraine stopped importing Russian natural gas. Fracking saved their bacon. Indeed, in a complex way, I suspect that fracking ( the introduction of American firms, too ) triggered Putin’s war.

    For he could see that given enough rope, Kiev could begin to displace his own natural gas trade with Poland and Germany.

    Putin, the man himself, is the largest shareholder in Gazprom. Oh, my !

    The tariff I propose would cause Riyadh to entirely give up on its John D Rockefeller strategy. The world price of oil would instantly rebound as the Saudis simply shut their valves.

    This crazy talk about oil staying ~ $40-60 per barrel would immediately end. KSA HAS to rake in ~$100 per barrel to sustain its welfare– warfare state. The same is true for the other players.

    &&&&

    Trump is very likely to be a much more effective president than Ronald Reagan.

    1) GOP House, GOP Senate, filibuster has been nuked by Reid.

    2) 33 GOP governors… a deep bench to draw from.

    Reagan had to fight Tip O’Neill, had to get past the filibuster in the Senate. This is why Ronnie had to endure deficits that were distasteful. The House drives spending.

    Draining the swamp will be shockingly easy, for it depends upon Federal dollars to stay liquid.

    So Trump is simply going to un-spend on:

    NPR
    PBS

    and so forth.

    I’d say that both will be privatised. In the age of the Internet they have no logical basis for existing.

    Trump will put Dodd-Frank on a diet.

    Trump will let the DoJ return to honorable activity. Barry’s legal drones can be set to drudge work. They’ll simply quit, of course. They are in it as activists.

    Trump will break up the MSM — which is in gross violation of the Sherman Anti-trust act.

    Trump will void Barry’s lunatic EOs… and enforce the nation’s laws.

    As his signature program, he’ll build the Wall.

    As a RE developer his whole adult life, Trump will trigger a building boom at every turn. It’s the way that he’s wired.

    I expect to see some transfer taxes imposed on non-resident real estate investors. ( See Vancouver, BC ) Red Chinese monies are stolen monies. They represent graft, theft, embezzlement, etc. That’s the whole reason why they are parked outside Red China. If they were legit, their owner would keep them invested in the booming Red Chinese real estate sector.

  59. OM Says:

    Blert:

    Why not wait until January until then you are blowing smoke.

  60. blert Says:

    OM

    Policy initiatives get launched in the blogosphere.

    ‘Tis a fact.

  61. Ymarsakar Says:

    For Trum, it was twitter and email lists that asked people what his campaign should do.

  62. Ymarsakar Says:

    Again, nearly all of the geology grad students I was at school with were laid off and left the oil and gas industry.

    OM wants credibility for his personal Authority, yet has not given the benefit of the doubt to much of anyone here.

    I notice that bit of hypocrisy as a courtesy of mirroring the effect back on OM. It’s a free service for someone that considers it a free service for others.

  63. Ymarsakar Says:

    It is rather troubling already that his transition team contains four family members – big red flag. Possibly explainable, but it is one of a pile of many “explainable” things over this 2016 campaign.

    It is what people voted for, same as Hussein.

    People shouldn’t call it a red flag, it’s just what the people wanted. And as OM and others here often said, the American people are too smart to vote for a dictator or Pinochet. That counters the “American people are sheep” line of philosophy.

    Given that Christian Gospel labels all of humanity, especially the Jews, as a flock of sheep, is perhaps best not mentioned.

  64. Big Maq Says:

    “Oil is a strategically significant pillar of our modern economy.

    Energy independence has been wished for ever since the old AOPEC embargo. “ – blert

    One statement does not necessarily lead to the next, nor do either lead to tariffs.

    Nor do either address the concerns of the voter subset that helped trump win.

    Repelling manufacturer investment with higher input prices doesn’t sound like something that helps them.
    .

    “Policy initiatives get launched in the blogosphere.

    ‘Tis a fact.”

    Ah! THAT explains trump’s tweet last night. Thought he simply had a typo when the word “blert” appeared. 😉

  65. Brian E Says:

    You don’t understand the reference to the Manhattan Project in relation to your preference to market based solutions?

    Depressed oil price is economic war.
    Depressed oil price has cost America at least 250,000 good paying jobs.
    Saudi’s monopolistic attempt to drive out American oil producers has strained their welfare based economy.
    Russia relies on oil/gas exports– 50-70% of revenue.

    So to connect the dots. We need to think strategically in this war. Just like we used a massive government program to win WWII, we shouldn’t wait for market based solutions to win this economic war.

    Higher internal oil prices will return 250,000 good paying jobs, and additionally hundreds of thousands of support jobs.
    Low world prices (which will continue as America relies less on imports) will mean lost revenue for
    Russia, Saudi, even Iran and less adventurism from those countries.

    I would much rather pay now to win the economic war than allow Russia/Iran alliance to gain greater influence in the ME and the resulting likelihood of a military war later.

  66. Big Maq Says:

    we shouldn’t wait for market based solutions to win this economic war.” – Brian E

    Holy Crap! You realize that is an extremely leftist mantra?

    I thought we voted against that bag of awful ideas.
    .

    “I would much rather pay now to win the economic war”

    All I can say, Brian, is you want to lead us into a h*ll hole for the sake of a false idea that all these “solutions” you propose will lead to avoidance of war. It may well accomplish just the opposite.

    Furthermore, what YOU would prefer, I would suggest, is hardly the specific policy that the good folks of the rust belt were advocating by turning to trump, and abandoning the dems. They certainly won’t find much relief with this economic war notion of yours.

  67. Brian E Says:

    “All I can say, Brian, is you want to lead us into a h*ll hole for the sake of a false idea that all these “solutions” you propose will lead to avoidance of war. It may well accomplish just the opposite.” – Big Maq

    I would be interested in hearing how a healthy domestic oil industry would lead to war.

  68. Brian E Says:

    “But when prices inevitably rebound, Ohio will be in an enviable position, said DrillingInfo CEO Allen Gilmer. It’s already been proven that Ohio sits atop a world-class reservoir of oil and gas, he said, but unlike Pennsylvania, it still hasn’t been heavily exploited.”

    Want to get part of the rust belt booming? Get oil prices up to a level that Ohio and Pennsylvania fracking can start producing.

    Years ago the US decided we wanted a stable supply of food, hence price supports. We decided that a completely free market could lead to food shortages. In your desire for market based solutions, are you willing to risk that?

  69. OM Says:

    Brian E:

    Higher energy prices and specifically higher oil prices may create a boom in one sector but they add to the cost of everything else, transportation, petrochemicals, polymers, everything. But the greens are good with that, and are trying to kill the pipeline that would lower the cost of Bakken oil, which is now transported mostly by rail.

    The justification for alternative high cost, low reliability, government subsidized wind and solar power schemes is one example of misdirected foolish national policy. Good jobs for wind turbine installers and maintainers. Woo Hoo! or is it Whoosh Whoosh?

  70. Brian E Says:

    We dodged a bullet with the defeat of Hillary and her green energy boondoggle.

    One of my cities largest employers is REC Solar. They are facing the challenges of China appropriating their technology advantage to potential loss of subsidies, so yes any policy is going to have winners and losers.

    It may not be possible to finesse this, with price supports or tariffs which will be welfare for the evil oil corporations or evil market meddling, depending on your perspective.

    The company I work for is the cities largest private employer and located here because of tax benefits of the local Port district coupled with cheap PUD hydroelectric power.

    All of this happened because of government intervention.

    Because of the cheap electricity, Microsoft and Yahoo have built server farms here. They use large amounts of power, but employ few people in relation to their power use.

    I’ve told PUD commissioners they should use some sort of calculation of power to employee ratio in offering power contracts. Now in this case, the tax benefits to the county are large– but I think that is shortsighted– not taking into account the total tax revenue of more employees.

    Anyway, I think in the short term to get the economy growing at any sort of historical norm– let’s say 3% it’s going to take de-regulation, possible subsidies, infrastructure build out, etc.

    As to what sectors are favored I would look at some sort of cost benefit ratio to employment. Sectors that are labor intensive may be favored over other sectors. I’m just thinking out loud at this point, and yes, for the most part I think the government does a lousy job picking winners and losers.

  71. Brian E Says:

    I think this has been a good discussion about a vital sector for the economy,

    but looking at the makeup of Trump’s transition team and potential cabinet positions should be encouraging to his skeptics on this blog.

    Someone is going to be disappointed during his administration. Some here if he makes good on his campaign promises and some if he doesn’t. Being a pragmatic businessman, Trump is looking for solutions.
    One thing I see at this very early stage, is that he has been consistent over the decades in his criticism of some US economic policy and it looks like he still being consistent. What comes of it is, of course, unknown given the nature of Congress.

  72. parker Says:

    Ok, I get it, djt won but what has he, in his tiny pov won? You trumpians and reluctant trumpianss believe he will less than zero. You might be correct, but .0001 is not exactly my idiea of less than zero, although it is less thzn zero.

  73. Big Maq Says:

    “The only problem with major government intervention into the economy is who is doing the intervention.

    I’m okay with it so long as my guy is doing it, since it will be for intentions I think are good and effective.

    NO, I’m not worried that the mechanisms of power my guy used can be reversed and abused by the other guy after the next election – we will win the next election and every one thereafter because it will be obvious that America is Great Again”
    – Brian E – interview on 60 Minutes

  74. Big Maq Says:

    @Brian E – all your proposals are going to do is change who the cronies are that will be lobbying for special rules and subsidies. It is still a DC elite who will be dispensing these privileges, just a different side of the elite.

  75. Brian E Says:

    “I would be interested in hearing how a healthy domestic oil industry would lead to war.” -Brian E

    Big Maq, I’m still waiting since you’re the one speculating it could.

    Big Maq Says:
    November 14th, 2016 at 9:27 am

    Are you choosing my words for me?

    What a convenient way to win a debate. 🙂

  76. Brian E Says:

    “@Brian E – all your proposals are going to do is change who the cronies are that will be lobbying for special rules and subsidies. It is still a DC elite who will be dispensing these privileges, just a different side of the elite.” – Big Maq

    That may be likely true. But it is certainly worth considering a way to avoid this and strike a coherent energy policy that stabilizes prices and doesn’t benefit our enemies.

    We have that policy to stabilize prices and supply of food. Would it benefit the country to have one for energy?

    And would the drawbacks outweigh the advantages? I don’t know.

    I do know I would be willing to pay more for gas if it could be shown that by doing so I was weakening our adversaries, of which I consider Saudi Arabia to be one.

  77. Big Maq Says:

    “how (does) a healthy domestic oil industry would lead to war?” – Brian

    It doesn’t.

    Before you do a victory dance:

    1) Fact is, my definition and your definition of what a “healthy” market differs. It is no more “healthy” to have price supports, as it is to have rent control, or minimum wage legislation. It just hurts the country in favor of a particular set of people.

    2) I was responding to this:

    “we used a massive government program to win WWII, we shouldn’t wait for market based solutions to win this economic war.

    You justify government intervention for oil prices. The next guy for radical trade interventions, the next for something else, and so on, and so on…. ALL are justified under some incantation of “strategic need in our economic war”.

    What couldn’t be?

    Too far down that path and we might well provoke REAL military war.

    You challenge me to answer your question, but you don’t return the favor (actually, I asked first):
    http://neoneocon.com/2016/11/10/short-takes-on-a-busy-day/#comment-1900411

    Guess I have more patience than you.

  78. Big Maq Says:

    @Brian – It was a parody, I am hitting on the effects that your thinking seems to represent.

    The menu description may be different, but it is the same crap sandwich, only delivered to us by a different waiter, claiming how wonderful this version will taste.
    .
    We don’t need to worry about oil prices and the oil industry.

    Shouldn’t we rather the ME use up their oil reserves selling theirs on the “cheap”, rather than we using ours up in the false notion that it gains us anything to do so at government set prices?

    And the thing is, high oil prices will have a significant dampening effect across our entire economy.

    Fat chance we would retain a majority in Congress in two years with such folly in place.

  79. Brian E Says:

    Big Maq,
    Didn’t realize this thread was still going.

    Here’s a link to the $100 price.

    https://9to5mac.com/2016/06/13/iphone-made-in-usa-cost/

    Or here if you prefer to have MIT parse it. Naturally there answer is more technical.

    As long as Apple buyers are willing to pay Apples inflated prices, it won’t affect innovation. Would another $100 be the tipping point? Possibly, don’t know.

    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/601491/the-all-american-iphone/

    Now as to oil price supports or tariffs as a way to stabilize prices.

    The boom and bust cycle of oil is disruptive to the America economy. If we could stabilize prices around $60, the majority of American oil producers would make money, and the economy could absorb the increase without disruptions to most other sectors. I say most, because you will no doubt find a energy sensitive sector that can’t pass on the increased costs.

    Even the Saudis, I think, recognized in the last bubble that there is a maximum oil price the world can tolerate and it was exceeded. Blert thinks the price Saudis need long term is $100.
    They are in financial straits with the current price of oil, which makes you wonder why they don’t cut production if they are desperate for increased revenue.

    And if you think we should sit helplessly by because we’re waiting for the market to correct, the Saudis are doing something akin to dumping. Punitive tariffs are a normal form of penalizing a company for that practice.

    We recently placed a 500% tariff on Chinese steel when they were found to be dumping. We certainly didn’t sit around waiting for the market to correct.

    I’m sitting in a former B-52 hanger, in an arid region of the state, all because of government intervention.

    It’s hard to be an economic purist. What should be the limits of intervention?
    When Eisenhower pushed the interstate road system, he was met with criticism.

    It’s messy, but currently industries have redress when there is direct evidence of unfair market practices. Some though are more subtle and hard to police.

    We’re on the same page that some of the over-regulation by past administrations can be rescinded and have a positive effect on the economy including the rust belt. Lowering the corporate income tax (or doing away with it entirely) would help.

    I would reserve punitive tariffs on the most egregious examples. I do think we could establish a list of sectors that are vital to our national interests / survival that would be worth protecting, if necessary.

  80. Big Maq Says:

    @Brian – two problems with your theory, of which Apple iPhone is your example.

    Again, I raised the question because trade restrictions have an impact.

    The “only” $100 increase (assuming it is close to correct for the moment) represents an 18%+ increase on the iPhone 6S Plus (sells for $549 on Apple’s website).
    .

    “context that free trade is a very globalist / internationalist / one world position”

    Now follow your theory for the rest of the products we consume.

    ~20% across the board increase on everything?! (And that is probably way understating the impact).

    And, second, you didn’t address the impact on innovation. It is economic fact that if you increase a price in something (for all but a few anomalies) the demand reduces. Since we are not talking about profit margin increasing and that consumers are absorbing 100% of the cost increase, companies will be left with less for investment.
    .

    “What should be the limits of intervention? … It’s messy

    I would reserve punitive tariffs on the most egregious examples. I do think we could establish a list of sectors that are vital to our national interests / survival that would be worth protecting, if necessary.”

    But you seem to now be backing off the “globalist” view, and arguing that selective intervention is all you are really advocating.

    Still, I don’t see any limits there that a dem wouldn’t use to the advantage of their crony friends (recall Solyndra?).
    .

    “We recently placed a 500% tariff on Chinese steel when they were found to be dumping. We certainly didn’t sit around waiting for the market to correct.”

    I’m not sure what constitutes “dumping” in this case. Would like to know more about this case before commenting more.

    But, this does seem to indicate that our current trade agreements have mechanisms to deal with anomalies (assuming all that is factually correct).
    .

    “It’s hard to be an economic purist”

    It is also hard to ignore the economic impact.

    Yet, the left do so all the time. Advocating for the same kind of policies, only applied to different groups, doesn’t make it any better.
    .

    You do realize that the dems have long been protectionists, until recently. They’ve slowly changed, but it still is leftist policy.

  81. Brian E Says:

    I would reserve punitive tariffs on the most egregious examples. I do think we could establish a list of sectors that are vital to our national interests / survival that would be worth protecting, if necessary.”

    But you seem to now be backing off the “globalist” view, and arguing that selective intervention is all you are really advocating.

    I’ve said several times I was a supporter of NAFTA, though less enthusiastic when China joined WTO. Over the years I’ve realized that there need to be limits to free trade.

    I’m not for arbitrary tariffs just to preserve industries that aren’t sustainable, but we need a economy with a healthy percentage of manufacturing jobs.

    Some/Most of this may be accomplished by tax/regulations policies that are friendly to business.

    We certainly shouldn’t be outsourcing industries vital to national defense for instance, at least not to countries that aren’t true allies.

    Maybe it’s time to rethink what comprises leftist or rightist policies.

  82. Big Maq Says:

    The problem with your argument, Brian, is that it leaves open the door for the leftists to use the same “logic” to justify their interventions, and the same mechanisms to implement them.

    Ya didn’t like it when obama was pushing them for his causes, so what makes you think things will be any better after some future dem wins the presidency?

    This is the fundamental issue about arguing these kind of justifications.

    They make some kind of sense in a fenced in, first order effect world.

    But, in the real wide-open world with countless factors and possibilities playing out in multiple “rounds” of decisions, they perpetuate a problem we face – too much government – a situation that leaves open, if not expands, the means to exercise power in the hands of a few.

    To keep advocating for more government action, expanding centralization of power, is like leaving the keys in the car. Sooner or later, someone will realize they are there and use them.

    This ends up in the place many all feared from a clinton admin, only it is not “their” guy, but, worse, the absolutely “wrong” guy (on whichever side) who will discover the “keys” to turn the country into their personal empire (whatever label we may want to put on it).

  83. Big Maq Says:

    The above was meant to start with:

    “Maybe it’s time to rethink what comprises leftist or rightist policies.”

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About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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Monthly Archives



Blogroll

Ace (bold)
AmericanDigest (writer’s digest)
AmericanThinker (thought full)
Anchoress (first things first)
AnnAlthouse (more than law)
AtlasShrugs (fearless)
AugeanStables (historian’s task)
Baldilocks (outspoken)
Barcepundit (theBrainInSpain)
Beldar (Texas lawman)
BelmontClub (deep thoughts)
Betsy’sPage (teach)
Bookworm (writingReader)
Breitbart (big)
ChicagoBoyz (boyz will be)
Contentions (CommentaryBlog)
DanielInVenezuela (against tyranny)
DeanEsmay (conservative liberal)
Donklephant (political chimera)
Dr.Helen (rights of man)
Dr.Sanity (thinking shrink)
DreamsToLightening (Asher)
EdDriscoll (market liberal)
Fausta’sBlog (opinionated)
GayPatriot (self-explanatory)
HadEnoughTherapy? (yep)
HotAir (a roomful)
InFromTheCold (once a spook)
InstaPundit (the hub)
JawaReport (the doctor is Rusty)
LegalInsurrection (law prof)
RedState (conservative)
Maggie’sFarm (centrist commune)
MelaniePhillips (formidable)
MerylYourish (centrist)
MichaelTotten (globetrotter)
MichaelYon (War Zones)
Michelle Malkin (clarion pen)
Michelle Obama's Mirror (reflections)
MudvilleGazette (milblog central)
NoPasaran! (behind French facade)
NormanGeras (principled leftist)
OneCosmos (Gagdad Bob’s blog)
PJMedia (comprehensive)
PointOfNoReturn (Jewish refugees)
Powerline (foursight)
ProteinWisdom (wiseguy)
QandO (neolibertarian)
RachelLucas (in Italy)
RogerL.Simon (PJ guy)
SecondDraft (be the judge)
SeekerBlog (inquiring minds)
SisterToldjah (she said)
Sisu (commentary plus cats)
Spengler (Goldman)
TheDoctorIsIn (indeed)
Tigerhawk (eclectic talk)
VictorDavisHanson (prof)
Vodkapundit (drinker-thinker)
Volokh (lawblog)
Zombie (alive)

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