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Thread: 2017 American Political Scene

  1. #2551
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    So if I have this right the liberals are opposing a form a conservative Keynesianism? You guys are messed up.

  2. #2552
    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    For something from this century, try this: https://www.cbo.gov/publication/53328

    An Evaluation of CBO’s Past Outlay Projections
    Nov 28, 2017

    Highlights—

    The quality of CBO’s projections can be measured in various ways, but in this assessment, CBO focuses primarily on two characteristics: statistical bias (the tendency of a set of projections to err in the same direction) and accuracy (how close projected values are to actual amounts).

    All told, CBO’s projections of outlays for both the budget year and the sixth year have generally been close to actual amounts, although they have been too high, on average. The Administration has also tended to overestimate baseline outlays for the budget year. (The Administration has not published detailed information on differences between its projections and actual outlays over the six-year horizon, so CBO could not compare those longer-term projections.) In general, both CBO’s and the Administration’s projection errors followed similar patterns and were larger for years in which unanticipated events that had large budgetary effects occurred. The Administration’s projections for budget years 1993 through 2005 were about as accurate as CBO’s projections. Since 2005, however, the Administration has overestimated spending in the budget year by more than CBO has in all but one year.

    Since 1984, CBO has tended to overestimate total outlays (after adjustments for legislative changes) for the budget year; the average error for total outlays is 1.7 percent. Of the 32 budget-year projections produced from 1984 to 2015, 25 exceeded actual outlays.

    Comment—

    Unfortunately, this is all about spending, not revenue.

    So, here’s what was forecast to happen to revenue, and that pesky reality:

    Total predicted revenue, 2008-17, as of January 2007: $34.53 trillion
    Actual revenue estimate as of June 2017: $27.17 trillion
    Difference: $7.36 trillion or 27.1%


    Mainly, because of a bit of a hiccup in the economy that I call the Great North Atlantic Financial and Economic Crisis

    Total predicted nominal GDP, 2008-17, as of January 2007: $176.77 trillion
    Actual nominal GDP estimate as of June 2017: $165.42 trillion
    Difference: $11.34 trillion or 6.9%

    Sources: https://www.cbo.gov/about/products/b...conomic-data#3


    = = = = =

    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    So if I have this right the liberals are opposing a form a conservative Keynesianism? You guys are messed up.
    It isn't Keynesian to raise taxes when the economy slows, which is what the trigger mechanism would do.
    It's stupidity.
    Trust me?
    I'm an economist!

  3. #2553
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    snapper,

    So if I have this right the liberals are opposing a form a conservative Keynesianism?
    i'm not sure what conservative Keynesianism means....there's NEO-keynesian theory, which is essentially melding "old keynesianism" with monetarism, but that's about it.

    very roughly, the "try both fiscal and monetary methods to solve a recession" model.

    also, as DOR pointed out, the "trigger" is essentially a stupid political method to get around two opposing conservative economic theories-- the first being that deficits are bad and will slow economic growth, and the second being that tax cuts will always pay for themselves (and more!).
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    Senior Contributor GVChamp's Avatar
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    Oh, I don't know about that, I'm arguing elsewhere against people who think Japan's GDP increased because they increased consumption taxes in 2014. Because that makes sense.
    "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

  5. #2555
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    GVChamp,

    Oh, I don't know about that, I'm arguing elsewhere against people who think Japan's GDP increased because they increased consumption taxes in 2014. Because that makes sense.
    that's bizarre enough, sure...but that's not so very far off from the arguments espoused by the we're-on-the-verge-of-becoming-Greece crowd.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  6. #2556
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    Quote Originally Posted by GVChamp View Post
    Oh, I don't know about that, I'm arguing elsewhere against people who think Japan's GDP increased because they increased consumption taxes in 2014. Because that makes sense.
    When an export-oriented economy drops 7.5% in a quarter (YoY) because of a collapse in OECD demand, the return of even a modest level of external demand is going to trigger a rise in GDP.
    Trust me?
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  7. #2557
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    Allegations of political bias at the FBI.
    http://thehill.com/homenews/administ...al-bias-in-fbi

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    Trump; "The Art of the Giveaway."


    I’m contemplating writing a book on the first year of President Trump’s foreign policy, and I already know the name: “The Art of the Giveaway.”

    In nearly 30 years of covering United States foreign policy, I’ve never seen a president give up so much to so many for so little, starting with China and Israel. In both the Middle Kingdom and in the Land of Israel, Christmas came early this year. The Chinese and the Jews are both whispering to their kids: “There really is a Santa Claus.”

    And his name is Donald Trump.

    Who can blame them? Let’s start with Israel, every Israeli government since its founding has craved United States recognition of Jerusalem as its capital. And every United States government has refrained from doing that, arguing that such a recognition should come only in the wake of an agreed final status peace accord between Israelis and Palestinians — until now.

    Today, Trump just gave it away — for free. Such a deal! Why in the world would you just give this away for free and not even use it as a lever to advance the prospect of an Israeli-Palestinian deal?

    Trump could have said two things to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. First, he could have said: “Bibi, you keep asking me to declare Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. O.K., I will do that. But I want a deal. Here’s what I want from you in return: You will declare an end to all Israeli settlement building in the West Bank, outside of the existing settlement block that everyone expects to be part of Israel in any two-state solution.”


    Such a trade-off is needed. It would produce a real advance for United States interests and for the peace process. As Dennis Ross, the veteran American Middle East peace negotiator and author of “Doomed to Succeed: The U.S.-Israeli Relationship From Truman to Obama,” explained: “When you stop building outside the settlement blocs, you preserve, at a maximum, the possibility of a two-state outcome and, at a minimum, the ability for Israelis to separate from Palestinians. Keep up the building in densely populated Palestinian areas and separation becomes impossible.”

    Trump also could have said, as the former United States ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk suggested, that he’d decided “to begin the process of moving the embassy to western Jerusalem, but at the same time was declaring his willingness to make a parallel announcement that he would establish an embassy to the state of Palestine in East Jerusalem” — as part of any final status agreement. That would at least have insulated us from looking like making a one-sided gesture will only complicate peacemaking and kept the door open to Palestinians.

    In either case, Trump could then have boasted to Israelis and Palestinians that he got them each something that Barack Obama never did — something that advanced the peace process and United States credibility and did not embarrass our Arab allies. But Trump is a chump. And he is a chump because he is ignorant and thinks the world started the day he was elected, and so he is easily gamed.

    Just ask the Chinese. Basically, his first day in office, Trump tore up the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free-trade deal — clearly without having read it or asked China for any trade concession in return. Trump simply threw out the window the single most valuable tool America had for shaping the geoeconomic future of the region our way and for pressuring China to open its markets to more United States goods.

    Trump is now trying to negotiate trade openings with China alone — bilaterally — and getting basically nowhere. And yet he could have been negotiating with China as the head of a 12-nation TPP trading bloc that was based on United States values and interests and that controlled 40 percent of the global economy. Think of the leverage we lost.

    In a column from Hong Kong last June a senior Hong Kong official told me: “When Trump did away with TPP, all your allies’ confidence in the U.S. collapsed.” After America stopped TPP, “everyone is now looking to China,” added Jonathan Koon-shum Choi, chairman of the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce, Hong Kong. “But China is very smart — just keeping its mouth shut.”

    Just to remind: TPP was a free-trade agreement that the Obama team forged with Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. It was not only the largest free-trade agreement in history, it was the best ever for United States workers, closing loopholes Nafta had left open. Some 80 percent of the goods from our 11 TPP partners were coming into the United States duty-free already, while our goods and services were still being hit with thousands of tariffs in their countries — which TPP eliminated.

    As I also noted last June, the other people we disappointed by scrapping TPP, explained James McGregor, author of “One Billion Customers: Lessons From the Front Lines of Doing Business in China,” were China’s economic reformers: They were hoping that the emergence of TPP “would force China to reform its trade practices more along American lines and to open its markets. … We failed the reformers in China.”

    Trump is susceptible to such giveaways, not only because he is ignorant, but because he does not see himself as the president of the United States. He sees himself as the president of his base. And because that’s the only support he has left, he feels the need to keep feeding his base by fulfilling crude, ill-conceived promises he threw out to them during the campaign. Today, again, he put another one of those promises ahead of United States national interest.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/06/o...-giveaway.html


    Difficult to argue with the results though the motivation might be questioned.

  9. #2559
    Senior Contributor GVChamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    GVChamp,



    that's bizarre enough, sure...but that's not so very far off from the arguments espoused by the we're-on-the-verge-of-becoming-Greece crowd.
    Probably so, I'm just irritated because this argument popped up on an otherwise-intelligent forum. It falls into the "engineering talking about economics" mistake.

    Although economists still make similar stupid mistakes. Cochrane said raising interest rates will actually raise inflation rates...because nominal interest=real interest+inflation, and raising interest rates can't raise REAL interest rates, so inflation has to rise instead.

    Like, wtf.
    "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

  10. #2560
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    well, that's not the only stupid thing Cochrane has said...it's pretty clear (both then and in retrospect) whom was more correct in the big 2009 Krugman v Cochrane nerd-off.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  11. #2561
    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    Forecasting is hard

    Bureau of Labor Statistics, Monthly Labor Review article, October 2017

    Projections overview and highlights, 2016–26

    Changing demographics in the population will have far-reaching effects on the labor force, the economy, and employment over the 2016–26 decade. The overall labor force participation rate is projected to decline as older workers leave the labor force, constraining economic growth. The aging baby-boomer segment of the population will drive demand for healthcare services and related occupations.

    Continued slow labor force growth; moderate economic growth, which is faster than the previous decade; and continued increases in healthcare employment are a few highlights from the most recent projections prepared by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). These projections provide a comprehensive view of expected changes in the U.S. economy over the 2016–26 decade. The projections comprise nearly every facet of the economy, from population and labor force to gross domestic product (GDP) and productivity.

    This article presents an overview of the 2016–26 projections. Some highlights include the following:

    • The labor force is projected to grow at a compound annual rate of 0.6 percent, from 159.2 million people in 2016 to 169.7 million people in 2026—an increase of about 10.5 million people.
    • GDP is projected to grow 2.0 percent annually over the projections decade, about 1.5 times the rate of the previous decade, 2006–16, when GDP grew 1.4 percent annually.
    • Real output in the service-providing sectors is projected to grow at an annual rate of 2.2 percent from 2016 to 2026, which is faster than the 1.0-percent growth experienced from 2006 to 2016.
    • Healthcare and related occupations account for 17 of the 30 fastest growing occupations from 2016 to 2026. Other occupations in the top 30 are generally energy-related occupations or employed in computer and information industries.

    https://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2017/ar...ts-2016-26.htm

    Aside from these particular authors, how accurate are the BLS’ projections?
    Labor force projections to 2016: more workers in their golden years
    (Labor force projection as of 2007 off by 3.1% or 5.05 million too high. GDP 17.7% too high in nominal terms. Non-farm payroll 4.5% too high.)
    https://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2007/11/art3full.pdf

    An overview of BLS projections to 2016
    (Real GDP forecast off by 8%, or $1.2 trillion too high.)
    https://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2007/11/art1full.pdf

    Industry output and employment projections to 2016
    (Manufacturing employment projections 2.7% too high.)
    https://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2007/11/art4full.pdf
    Trust me?
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