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Thread: 2017 American Political Scene

  1. #1336
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    Bannon and Kushner prevail upon Trump to keep a 30 year old senior director for intelligence programs at NSC over McMaster's objections.

    shows you how much power McMaster has.
    We are fucking doomed...[/QUOTE]

    Wasn't that a forgone conclusion with Bannon lurking in the background? Kushner does provide icing on the cake.

    I am a little surprised you actually spelled out f.....g on a public board. What would Sister Mary Constance say?

  2. #1337
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbm3fan View Post
    Actually good job by you proving me right since it is right there in your link.



    Academic whether or not the program has a 100% cut or a 20% cut one will still have to cut the program and some people it serves. Apparently Rep. Chris Collins (R), a Rump backer, sees a 30% cut in the program so he must have been fooled by the fake news also. Or, maybe he also can read between the lines as to how a program can get funding through different avenues.
    Or at worst in the real world, 3% if at all. Or did you not bother reading it all while trying to think of a strawman instead?

    And the statement "One popular program facing elimination is “Meals On Wheels" is not an "academic" difference of opinion. It's just a fucking lie. The only thing proven here is your gullibility, and willingness to remain so when it serves.
    Last edited by Wooglin; 17 Mar 17, at 17:43.

  3. #1338
    Senior Contributor GVChamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by citanon View Post
    A -20% cut for NIH:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/...s-and-reaction

    I'm outraged by the Trump administration's proposed cuts to science. In particular, for the NIH a -20% cut would do irreparable damage to the US research community lasting decades. Furthermore, the proposed increases to the military budget does not go far enough to fund needed increases in capabilities.

    Although these are certainly meant as starting negotiation positions for the Trump team, and the NIH portion in particular will be DOA in Congress, I will still be contacting my Republican House representative to express my disapproval.
    Hmmmmm...
    The heavy weight private investment carries, coupled with the fact that U.S. public expenditures are already two to three times the size of Europe and Asia, means increasing NIH funding alone may not do the trick.
    https://www.usnews.com/news/articles...ia-makes-gains

    Looks like maybe public health research funding isn't exactly pivotal to public health, meaning there are MUCH better things we can spend money on. Unless you think we are close to some huge breakthrough in public health: I don't, but I see lots more inventions of extremely expensive, highly marginal health interventions, which will drive up healthcare spending even more.
    "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

  4. #1339
    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GVChamp View Post
    GDP per capita isn't consumption spending, though, and neither are wages. All those nations have vastly higher GDP per capita than they actually have individual consumption, which means they all have materially worse lives than what GDP per capita says. You can't eat a factory, and you can't sleep in an export.
    In developed economies, consumption tends to be in the range of 60-70% of GDP. Unless you want to dig through the stats and pull up private consumption, divide it by population and then put it into a common currency, you'll need a source.

    Luxembourg in particular is crazy because they have so many foreign workers. People commuting in from France are
    creating GDP in Luxembourg, but it's still consumption for French citizens.
    Hence my comment about excluding microstates.


    2% of GDP is about $370 billion, or $1,150 per person.
    In other words, a little under $2,500 for every employed person in the US.
    Last edited by DOR; 18 Mar 17, at 11:49.

  5. #1340
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    Breakthrough medical advancements?
    Sofosbuvir for Hep C, for example?
    Ivacaftor for cyctic fibrosis, perhaps?
    Ofatumumab for leukemia, maybe?
    Those are just some recent examples. There’s also stuff like vaccines for measles and polio; insulin treatment; microsurgery and antibiotics.

    DNA sequencing, anyone?

  6. #1341
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    Quote Originally Posted by GVChamp View Post
    Hmmmmm...

    https://www.usnews.com/news/articles...ia-makes-gains

    Looks like maybe public health research funding isn't exactly pivotal to public health, meaning there are MUCH better things we can spend money on. Unless you think we are close to some huge breakthrough in public health: I don't, but I see lots more inventions of extremely expensive, highly marginal health interventions, which will drive up healthcare spending even more.
    The situation is actually the exact opposite of what you describe. The private sector has largely exited initial stages of the drug discovery effort. What they tend to do today is purchase it license innovation at the late clinical stage from smaller venture backed companies that come out of the academic world. Venture backing for those companies start at the clinical stage. Preclinical innovations tend to be made in academic institutions with nih backing. The reason this is the case is that at this stage the r&d activities are so failure prone and risky no private company can economically benefit from them.

    Any direct medical discovery that comes out of the academic world is only made possible by knowledge generated from many many other nih backed studies that contribute to basic knowledge.

    By some measures, medical discovery is the single hardest branch of science and engineering because it deals with the single most complex set of machineries that we encounter: the human body. It requires an enormous outlay of public resources and has an intrinsically high cost and failure rate because of the complexity. It is in fact harder than rocket science.

    If you think about your life, the reason why we spend so much on medicine is that at some point, it becomes the determining factor in your left/ and quality of remaining life. The gains in public health that we have made largely refer to your quality of life up to that last 10 or 20 percent, bit once you get there, you need the new advances.
    Last edited by citanon; 17 Mar 17, at 19:02.

  7. #1342
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wooglin View Post
    Or at worst in the real world, 3% if at all. Or did you not bother reading it all while trying to think of a strawman instead?

    And the statement "One popular program facing elimination is “Meals On Wheels" is not an "academic" difference of opinion. It's just a fucking lie. The only thing proven here is your gullibility, and willingness to remain so when it serves.
    WOW! Did you just make all that up in "your" mind? Impressive!

  8. #1343
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    citanon,



    of course, that hits their pocketbook directly. that's also why Republicans are fighting tooth and nail over the AHCA.

    meanwhile, for internal Executive Branch items such as these:

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/0...verrule-236065

    Bannon and Kushner prevail upon Trump to keep a 30 year old senior director for intelligence programs at NSC over McMaster's objections.

    shows you how much power McMaster has.
    I helped mark for you the key part of your post. :P

  9. #1344
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    GVChamp,

    in addition to citanon's comments above:

    I think there's a great reason we spend more on healthcare and get less results: we spend more because we have more money, and we get less because most health-care interventions are marginal and do little to improve health outcomes, and the stats between nations are not directly comparable.
    only we're not even talking marginal improvements on health for more money spent; we're talking significantly more money with outright crappier outcomes.

    IE we spend approximately 9K/year per capita on healthcare-- almost 50% more than #2 Switzerland. it'd be one argument to say that despite this, we're #6 or #7 in terms of life expectancy. yet US life expectancy is consistently lower than that of such countries like Slovenia and Costa Rica. we're #31 or so.

    sure, demographics/statistics are not directly comparable, but this type of cost/benefit ratio is ridiculous.

    I'd prefer to just spend less money on healthcare, period, and plow those dollars into other things (especially physical infrastructure).
    this is akin to simply not fueling up a half-leaky gas tank and expecting the car to run. i prefer to fix the gas tank.
    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

  10. #1345
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    citanon,

    I helped mark for you the key part of your post. :P
    of course, i'm addressing your previous statement of how people like Mattis and McMaster would prove to be the tough hawks that would drive Trump foreign policy. as it is, they don't even have the power to choose their own people for their departments.
    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. #1346
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    Quote Originally Posted by GVChamp View Post
    GDP per capita isn't consumption spending, though, and neither are wages. All those nations have vastly higher GDP per capita than they actually have individual consumption, which means they all have materially worse lives than what GDP per capita says. You can't eat a factory, and you can't sleep in an export.

    Luxembourg in particular is crazy because they have so many foreign workers. People commuting in from France are creating GDP in Luxembourg, but it's still consumption for French citizens.

    The US is better off than what the GDP per capita figures suggest, at least in terms of current consumption.


    I think there's a great reason we spend more on healthcare and get less results: we spend more because we have more money, and we get less because most health-care interventions are marginal and do little to improve health outcomes, and the stats between nations are not directly comparable.

    I'd prefer to just spend less money on healthcare, period, and plow those dollars into other things (especially physical infrastructure).

    I don't think single payer is any sort of silver bullet, since health care spending is still rising across Western nations. What kind of savings are we going to get? 2% of GDP? That's going to get washed away in a decade.
    One reason we spend more than the rest of the world is that we amortize drug development costs for them. We have to continue spending on drug development because it's beneficial for our own people and great for the economy. However, we need to get other countries to pay more.

    The proposal for authorizing Medicaid and Medicare to negotiate drug prices is a wise idea espoused by people in both parties. It will help rebalance drug costs around the developed world.

    A second reason we spend more on health care is that we have more boundary cases and fuck ups in our society who end up costing the healthcare system an enormous amount if extra money. This is more complex to fix and in some ways is an intrinsically cost of having a freerer and more dynamic country. Solutions will slowly emerge over decades.

    A third reason we spend more on healthcare is that we pay doctors and (to a lesser extent) nurses a lot due to artificial limitations in supply. This is a political issue that is currently in a blind spot for American society. No one wants to tell their doctors and nurses that they are getting paid too much. No one wants to compromise medical care by loosening standards. Yet other countries, eg Taiwan, have taken drastic steps to limit pay for medical workers. This issue will likely not be addressed in the foreseeable future. It could be that advances in AI could relieve some of the demand to lower pay. Or maybe not.

  12. #1347
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    citanon,



    of course, i'm addressing your previous statement of how people like Mattis and McMaster would prove to be the tough hawks that would drive Trump foreign policy. as it is, they don't even have the power to choose their own people for their departments.
    No one who works in the modern executive branch would expect to be dictators of their departments. There's nothing unusual about this.

  13. #1348
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    citanon,

    No one who works in the modern executive branch would expect to be dictators of their departments. There's nothing unusual about this.
    so McMaster not being able to remove a 30 year old Flynn acolyte from a senior position within the NSC is...not unusual?

    for the most part, cabinet Secretaries traditionally have had significant freedom in choosing their own staff. this IS pretty unusual, and coupled with Trump not bothering to fill many open positions within the government, speak to Trump's desire to centralize power within the immediate WH staff instead of across the Executive Branch.
    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

  14. #1349
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    citanon,

    so McMaster not being able to remove a 30 year old Flynn acolyte from a senior position within the NSC is...not unusual?

    for the most part, cabinet Secretaries traditionally have had significant freedom in choosing their own staff. this IS pretty unusual, and coupled with Trump not bothering to fill many open positions within the government, speak to Trump's desire to centralize power within the immediate WH staff instead of across the Executive Branch.
    This may be an unusual person in the NSC, but there are unusual politically connected people across the executive branch in any administration.

    Trump wants to cut and reorganize the departments. Figuring out second line appointees seem like a step that needs to be done after reorganization plans are more concrete.

    What you really need to scrutinize is the substance of those plans as they come out.

    Also, sometimes you need to read the contents of these articles a bit more closely. McMasters wanted to sideline him only after "weeks of pressure" from the CIA. Who knows what McMasters actually think about him outside the context of the friction with the CIA. Maybe Trump solved McMasters' problem. With backing from the top, CIA complaints stop.
    Last edited by citanon; 17 Mar 17, at 20:11.

  15. #1350
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbm3fan View Post
    WOW! Did you just make all that up in "your" mind? Impressive!
    It's called reading comprehension. Behold!
    The elimination of the federal CDBG program would reduce local funding for a number of programs, including Meals on Wheels, but the overall impact on the program is uncertain. According to the Meals on Wheels 2015 annual report, the majority of the national office’s funding (about 84%) comes from individual contributions, while only 3% comes from federal grants such as the CDBG program provides:
    Made up shit is unsupported numbers like 100% and 20% that people throw around when trying to spin some feeble response because they're more concerned with saving face than just conceding they were wrong.

    Don't worry. I'm sure nobody noticed.

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