April 1, 2017

Super-rich to get soaked in Trump's tax reform, a la his 2000 presidential plan?

In another interesting twist, complementing his preference for single-payer healthcare, Trump proposed to pay off the national debt through a one-time tax on the super-rich, back when he was considering a Reform Party campaign for President in 2000.

I was watching some old videos of that exploratory committee, and they referred to his "Robin Hood tax" idea: tax the whole wealth (not just annual income) of individuals and trusts that were valued at over $10 million, at 14.25%, one-time only, and that would deliver roughly $6 trillion in revenues, which was the size of the debt at the time.

He offered to end the estate tax to put a little something in it for the rich. But mostly the goal was tax cuts for the middle and working classes, saving Social Security, and paying off the debt.

That overall picture doesn't sound too different from the way he pitched his tax plan during the campaign, and he went to great lengths to emphasize that it was only an initial position during a negotiation with Democrats, Republicans, House, Senate, etc. If the rates for the very rich went up from his initial proposal, meh, whaddaya gonna do?

But that was only tax rates on a person's annual income. The Robin Hood plan was a one-time tax on their entire net worth. There's a lot more money sitting around out there than there is being earned in a given year.

Does Trump still believe in a one-time clawing back of 15% of the largely ill-gotten wealth made over the past 30-40 years? He said he no longer believed in it when asked in 2011 by George Stephanopoulos, but he also said that about single-payer during the 2015 Fox debate, and we know how much he's been pushing for negotiating drug prices and praising universal healthcare right up through 2015. Maybe he's quibbling over the exact rate -- now he only supports a 10% tax on the wealth of the super-rich, and maybe that threshold has been raised to $20 million.

He did go public with a plan to levy a one-time tax of 10% on corporate profits sitting overseas, to bring the remaining 90% of that wealth back into the country and hopefully put it to good use. So the basic idea has still been bouncing around his head. He didn't say he wasn't also thinking of levying a similar 10% tax on wealth already sitting here in America...

One thing seems unlikely to have changed -- his underlying worldview or tone. Here he is in a '90s internet article from CNN:

"By my calculations, 1 percent of Americans, who control 90 percent of the wealth in this country, would be affected by my plan," Trump said.

"The other 99 percent of the people would get deep reductions in their federal income taxes," he said.

It's hard to ignore his playing off of one class against another, aiming to draw support from "the other 99 percent" even if it cost him votes, reputation, or whatever, from the "1 percent of Americans who control 90 percent of the wealth". Whatever specifics may have changed in his mind, something as fundamental as a worldview has not.

From another ancient internet article:

[Advisor Roger] Stone said Trump's polling shows that 65 percent of the public supports the "Robin Hood" tax concept.

"The tax issue solves a lot of other things -- the Social Security trust fund shortfall, plus it gets rid of the inheritance tax, and everything starts to fall into place," Trump said

Stone said Trump will soon release a plan for universal health care akin to the Canadian system.

"We'll put out a health care plan that will make Ted Kennedy blush," Stone said.

Nobody seems to have noticed just how forcefully Trump was willing to push the idea the first time he considered running for office. The counter-campaign was just throwing everything at the wall and seeing if it would stick. Reporters have minimal research skills (they cannot be bothered to google, let alone search Lexis-Nexis), and would not have pursued the story anyway because they're lazy. Plus Trump was hitting his enemies from so many angles, constantly changing them up, that they couldn't drill too hard even if he did have a weak spot within the GOP primary.

The only one to look in depth was the Politifact article linked at the top of this post, and it must have gotten buried under the avalanche of the 99% of their stuff that is BS propaganda hit pieces. Crying "wolf!"

In their research, Politifact turned up some quotes about how ridiculous some thought Trump's soak-the-super-rich plan was, including Stephen Moore -- a Reaganite supply-sider who would go on to become an economic advisor to Trump and a campaign surrogate (the really spastic one). I think Trump hired people like that in 2016 to fly under the radar while running as a Republican, in order to not disorient GOP loyalist voters too much too quickly.

I sense folks in the Trump movement opening up to the idea of "who cares about tax cuts for the rich?" ahead of the tax reform legislation that is sure to be a bigger shit-show than the healthcare circus. Ann Coulter was on Hannity the other night pointing out that W. Bush gave the very rich a yuge tax cut, and what did they turn around and do with the money other than bring in guest workers? (Or off-shore their business, or put it into the casino of the stock market hoping for their money to make more money without having to hire anyone.)

The idea that the super-rich are aching to hire Americans at decent wages is a total farce by this point, and even Hannity (caught off-guard) couldn't argue with those facts.

Trump himself blasted the carrot rather than stick approach during multiple rallies, such as in Erie and Wilkes-Barre PA. Politicians have been offering zero-interest loans to companies if they stay here, then they take the money and run overseas anyway, where they sell their product back into the US with no tariff. "There's going to be consequences" tax-wise, has been his mantra, not "tax cuts to the top will boost hiring and incomes".

Bernie whipped up so much of the Democrat and independent voters about his own "Robin Hood tax," which would have gone to pay for free college for all (Craaazy Bernie, kids need real jobs and real training). Trump would use the revenues to pay down the debt instead. Still, there may be enough support among the public that Trump and/or Crazy Bernie can turn up the heat on Congress to get something like this into the tax reform code.

34 comments:

  1. The people who cried the most during the Republican primary, the economic TrueCons, were correct that Donald Trump posed an existential threat to them. Unlike with the neurotic RACIST! folks, we never did tell these folks their fears were unfounded. We've always been honest.

    Before I left twitter, the gaslighters were trying to put forth that Trump, rather than making Washington more populist, was himself becoming Republicanized. I only took a cursory glance at this nonsense because, well, they're gaslighters*.
    What would you say to the Trump Train who has heard this argument?

    *A phenomenal benefit from not being on twitter anymore.

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  2. How about a robin hood tax to pay for infrastructure, aka spread the fucking wealth! The so called debt is not debt at all. Who is the debtor, the US Treasury, who is a monopolist that prints it's own currency. The treasury debt gets spent into the economy, it's really a credit/debit accounting formality. The debt then accumulates disproportionately in the 1/2 of 1 percenters, where it's used to lord it over others. Once your past 10 million, the utility of a dollar goes close to zero. Pick your amount, I'm not trying to argue. If Trump can figure out a way to spread the wealth without an uptick in the staples cost/inflation, he's elected 4 more years.

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  3. The US government does not have control of the money supply, the Federal Reserve does.

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  4. Treasury debt is backed by tax revenues and the ability to print money. The "debt" is in US Currency, so there is no debt, since the US has a monopoly on their right/ability to legally print US Dollars.

    Obama's presidency doubled national debt and all we had was a persistent deflation and record low interest rates. And as long as 99 percent of the money is concentrated in about 100 families hands they can borrow forever, still no inflation because there won't be enough dollars in circulation.

    10 Year bond rate rose about 50 percent after Trump won, on the expectation of infrastructure spending and lower personal taxes, which will spread the wealth a little and have physical/electronic currency enter into circulation.

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  5. Albionic American4/1/17, 12:31 PM

    Libertarians keep propagandizing apocalyptic nonsense about hyperinflation and an economic collapse in the U.S. because they want to win a theoretical argument about "Austrian economics," a fringe view that most economists reject. If they really wanted to make Americans' lives better, they would stop obsessing over their discredited economics and emphasize economic nationalist policies which increase employment in producing tangible wealth and raise ordinary people's real wages.

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  6. Another interesting change since 2000 is that there are a lot more individuals / trusts in the fat tail of the wealth distribution, and presumably that tail is worth more than it used to be, even adjusting for inflation.

    Inequality has steadily increased over the past 16 years, so more wealth is concentrated in that super-rich part of the distribution.

    So if the debt were the same as back then, Trump wouldn't even have to tax the wealth at the same rate. There's more of it to tax.

    On the other hand, debt has more than double since then in real dollars. So there's more to pay down than before.

    What's the balance of those two changes? Who knows. But it's possible that there's still enough in the super-rich tail to pay off most/all of the debt, at roughly the rate he proposed back then.

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  7. Here's a question: what does Trump do if there is another systemic collapse of the financial system? What kind of real monetary and financial reform is possible?

    Anyone here familiar with the proposals laid out here?:

    http://positivemoney.org/


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  8. The elites will attempt to defend their wealth with force, just like they did last century when hiring strike-breakers, armed guards, etc. So... I am worried, as a young man. Living in a SWPL, politically homogenous area is both somewhat safer and easy. But there are no guarantees in SWPLdom.

    Perhaps a compromise, doing partial debt default and partial wealth confiscation, is appropriate. But almost everyone wealthy, even those making "only" six figures, tends to have ill-gotten gains, so I would set the lower bound for confiscations at $3-5 million. I know too many dangerously greedy 'upper middle class' people, I guess. And it's not like the lower classes have been working hard. They fell for college-ism out of wealth-lusting gullibility, besides their subprime mortgages, and credit card debt, and everything else. Of course, these things were only possible because we had no enforced borders at the time. Advantage-seeking foreigners tend to "borrow" more, and save less.

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  9. Ive been looking at tea leaves and suggested trump do this for populist jab at Left. http://www.socialmatter.net/2017/01/29/heres-how-trump-should-tax-the-rich/

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  10. Good comments at that post about targeting which super-rich groups to tax more than others -- manufacturers less, FIRE more.

    That will accelerate the break-up of corporate class solidarity.

    Any time you hear libertarians whining about how the government shouldn't be "picking winners and losers," it means our targets have picked up the real enemy, and they're trying to persuade us to not push the button.

    Sorry, suckers -- you picked your own winners and losers, now it's our turn.

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  11. "The elites will attempt to defend their wealth with force, just like they did last century when hiring strike-breakers, armed guards, etc."

    That was different -- they hired guns to point at lowly workers, not the executive branch of the federal government, which btw controls the national military.

    If any super-rich retard got so deluded that he tried to hire force against tax collection, Donald "Commander in Chief" Trump would send the national military in so fast it'll make ya head spin.

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  12. OT, but kind of not really...
    Drudge has a link to the LA Times having a panic attack about Trump. Much of my feeling tired from Twitter was the mental breakdown of liberals. Some people love it, but it's just too disturbing and scary to me. But mostly disturbing which lead to exhaustion.

    Anyway, do you get the sense, as I was getting before I left, that the #1 fear and main driver of liberal outrage is that Trump will be successful with his economic populism. Their thinking: popular and productive economic policies will be tied to the Right-wing, ergo, we will have Nazism.
    This seems so crazy and blinkered to me, but these people are crazy and blinkered with their anti-racism. How much has J.K. Rowling written now on that theme? Seven Harry Potter books, five prequel screenplays slated: she's the nagging mom freaking out over a rebellious teen. My son said nobody he knows talks about them or really seems into them, yet she still is revisiting it after she even said a long time ago she was done.

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  13. Random Dude on the Internet4/2/17, 1:05 PM

    A "soak the rich" tax plan will continue the Republican party down the path of being the party of nationalism and the Democrat party down the path of being the party of globalism.

    Democrats can try to make a pitch for the globalist cuckservative and libertarian class to jump over on their side, which is what Hillary did for her run. Democrats make very little talk about taxing the rich in our current year, it's all about identity politics and victim-grievance interest groups. Democrats can be the party of Black Lives Matter and the Koch Brothers, making it totally toxic and unpalatable for the independents and moderates who grow increasingly disgusted at the bedfellows the Democrats are hanging their futures on.

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  14. Pretty soon Democrats will have nothing to offer normal Americans -- we've already stolen the populist class issues, the non-interventionist foreign policy issues, the civil liberties /surveillance state issues, pretty soon the universal healthcare issues, even the tax the super-rich issues.

    If Trump takes some of that wealth tax on the 1% and sets it aside to forgive student loan debt -- fuhgeddaboutit, the Democrats are fucked for the next 50 years.

    But unlike Crazy Bernie's plan, it will be part of steering young people toward useful training and apprenticeships (he praised Germany's model when Merkel visited). Not toward Useless Degrees For All.

    You won't have to raise the minimum wage either when those high-paying jobs return to our country. But might as well make it $15 / hour and index to inflation. There goes the very last thing that the Dems could campaign on.

    They are rapidly being reduced to offering only shrill identity politics, multiculturalism, open borders, global corporatism, and deep state boosterism. Wow, can't wait to pull the lever for that!

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  15. Random Dude on the Internet4/2/17, 4:32 PM

    The inclusion of jilted cuckservatives, libertarians, and unabashed neocon globalists will not be able to offset the numbers of independents, moderates, and Bernie voters who will defect to the Republicans if Trump makes good on a "soak the rich" tax plan, infrastructure spending, meaningful healthcare reform, etc.

    Democrats will embrace these groups with open arms because of their fundraising abilities but these new Democrat fringes will be up against an increasingly hostile and anti-white political party. Tom Perez and Keith Ellison are going to have to try to calm the waters to make sure people like Bill Kristol and Mitt Romney feel at home with a party that is getting filled up with the likes of Donna Brazile and people who think it's a good idea to have Mike Brown's parents give a speech at the DNC. So interestingly enough, the addition of these new fringes may depress the non-white turnout even further.

    It's going to take some skilled politicians to make all these fringes feel taken care of and I don't think the Democrats have any right now except for Bill Clinton. The Democrats are now full of petulant babies and future non-white saviors with little credentials. I don't think the "first president" factor exists now; that came and went with Barack Obama. Cory Booker, Julian Castro, and Kamala Harris are banking on that sentiment and I think they're going to be badly mistaken.

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  16. I can't wait until Dems have their 1996 moment and nominate Howard Dean with Cory Booker as running mate.

    Hey, you guys remember that guy from 20 years ago? Well he's back and more relevant than ever!

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  17. "anti-racism... J.K. Rowling"

    It sounds like you have not read the books, Dahlia. They are totally racist- normal people are called "muggles" for not having wizardry/ sorcery magic powers. The 'secret society' aspect of Hogwarts is comparable to Mormonism- even the architecture is similar. Really, Mormon temples look like Hogwarts. And they both emphasize meaningless ethics, like 'being social,' elite education, and winning positions of authority.

    Great Britain's religious climate is allegedly weird, extreme, and exclusive, because so few people go to church there. So Rowling plagiarized from ancient Greek mythology, Orthodox Christianity, and everything else mysterious yet familiarly Western. She is the kind of author who inspires more fan fiction than admiration. She is envied, not liked. She is a cult hit, among those people my age who reread her books like a Koran, but her peak is long over. Her branded candies, with freaky flavors and names, are no longer in stores.

    "nagging mom freaking out over a rebellious teen"

    A divorcee is not going to nag like a typical mom does. Her daughter's rebellion, if any, is even more different. I'm not a parent, so I can't comment further, but my point is clear. What do you think of her being similar to Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat, Pray, Love infamy? Here are the connections: youth obsession (because divorcees refuse to admit they are less attractive than at their peak), unusual sexuality (as devotion to reverse Puritanism), personal empowerment (claiming immediate family is evil, society is oppressive, norms are negative, radical individualism is the true nirvana...), one can have a best self, regardless of choices and behavior (Harry P. attempts to torture the villain characters, but can't really do it because he is metamorally innocent- this fictional world's magic is subject to neoliberal-style magical emotion);
    from Wikipedia on E,P,L : " "narcissistic New Age reading", and "the worst in Western fetishization of Eastern thought and culture";
    and finally, both are utterly upper-middle class, writer for people whose parents' friends are writers.


    The Willy Wonka craze was similar to H.Potter in its superficial setting, but had an actual moral, to be humble and respectful. W.W. candy is still available. Roald Dahl will be an actually classic author this century. Rowling will not even last her whole lifespan, at this rate. She will be like an author of eugenicist fiction was last century- peaking ~1915, gone by 1940.

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    1. Jk Rowling was writing racist stories? If anything, her stories were an unwitting allegory for neo-liberalism and its anti-racism: some whites are really good, some whites are evil and it all depends on how they treat the non-whites.

      No, her "Voldemort" and his associates are the ultimate evil because they're bigoted against the non-magical people.

      As I was discussing with my teens yesterday, JK Rowling is an utter fool. A talented and creative fool, but she's a fool, nonetheless. While she was churning out her fables that were as subtle as a kick to the head, white, poor and working class girls were being drugged and put in sex slavery on an industrial scale in *her* country. And when this came out, what did the pre-eminent authoress of moral pop culture have to say? Not a f***ing thing. I'm sorry, but it just seems to me that if the extremists on your side were responsible for tens of millions of deaths in the 20th century and under your tutelage, your girls end up in sex slavery, that *that* is the worse evil.

      Don't ever forget: the atrocities in England weren't committed due to Communist leaders and they weren't done in backwater, third-world countries. They were done and committed with the hyper-educated neo-liberal regime fully in charge in the world-class country of England.

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  18. "I can't wait until Dems have their 1996 moment and nominate Howard Dean with Cory Booker as running mate."

    Or, nominate nobody. There won't be much point if they don't have the money to fund a campaign to their liking- they plan on spending $100 million to unseat Ted Cruz. Not happening- nobody will invest in such a boondogle.

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  19. Random Dude on the Internet4/2/17, 8:31 PM

    > Or, nominate nobody. There won't be much point if they don't have the money to fund a campaign to their liking- they plan on spending $100 million to unseat Ted Cruz. Not happening- nobody will invest in such a boondogle.

    That is why Democrats will embrace their former enemies like the Koch brothers, the Bushes, the Romneys, etc. They want their fundraising abilities. The Democrats are a huge political machine and they need lots and lots of money to keep the machine turning. Hillary raised almost double the amount Trump did. Didn't get her elected but they needed to raise close to a billion dollars to try to get people to be #WithHer.

    This will continue to confound Democrats who will spend like drunken sailors for increasingly worse results. If Democrats can't win despite nearly a 2:1 ratio of funding, will it take 2.5:1? 3:1? We want being a Democrat to be so prohibitively expensive that it becomes increasingly not worth it to run in suburban white areas. We want an energized Republican party that isn't afraid to start making inroads in previous Democrat strongholds, bleeding the Democrat beast dry, stunting globalism in America. The GOP should be the party of the middle with tactics that almost resemble guerrilla warfare: start small, win some surprise victories in previously blue strongholds, and build from there.

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  20. "No, her "Voldemort" and his associates are the ultimate evil because they're bigoted against the non-magical people."

    This distinction between being evily anti-muggle and muggle-tolerant seems like lip service paid to a Marxist view of the prole / lumpen-proletariat classes. The magicalism of special, talented people, like the young fans who plan on being journalists, architects, prostitutes, or lawyers, is a big part of conventional racism, and present in HBD, too. Ender's Game is similar. The idea is that human worth is determined in great part by talent. That's chauvinist/ IQ supremacist logic, and definitely racist when applied to HBD data.

    So we mostly agree about race in the books... but the films had many presumably white characters cast as non-white. That was weird to watch, even for white liberal families.

    I think H.P. dramatically using the "evil" torture spell, an officially forbidden one, clarifies that Rowling is an amoralist. H.P. gets reprimanded for using minor magic at home, among muggles, but not for torturing an enemy. Rowling means that the means and ends people pursue don't really matter. When my high school had a H.P. club, with personality testing where almost everyone was placed into 'Gryfindor,' I was bothered, but realized this is their religion, and a big part of why they don't respect my actual religion.

    -

    The upper middle class says:
    Just have a good time at school, as defined by being a victim who beats the upper class bullies, a hypercompetitive outcast who takes power from them, and so on.


    But here are some character profiles:

    a lonely, elderly homosexual [Dumbledore] who (in a "homophobic" twist everyone politely ignores) had a gay lover who is the Voldemort precursor, by the way V. appears to be gay too, which Agnostic would approve of, in terms of anthropological accuracy,

    a lycanthrope who mostly cannot be healed, because Rowling's magic overall is aggressive and violent, not healing or benevolent,

    Sirius, a Che Guevara-type godfather, implying they have a God in that world, which is entirely inconsistent with the lack of any churches or temples throughout 7 novels,

    memory-wiping one's own parents (Hermione does this) nonchalantly, because... muggles just don't understand what it's like to be a SWPL upper middle class liberal girl

    the hero has incredibly rich parents, but it's not at all clear how the Potters amassed wealth

    I could go on and on. But did you read the books or watch the movies???

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  21. @ Random Dude on the Internet

    "suburban white areas"

    But people can live wherever they want, it's a human right!

    So why would white flight to suburbs continue as the normal biogeographic phenomenon? Do you realize politics is downstream from war, and the deepest anger and fear among everyone anti-Trump is that white men are not being exploited (as in wage slavery, where their earnings are taxed to pay for those who steal their own jobs) and cruelly harmed (divorce-robbery, police bias re: Obama's son Trayvon, make-work to subsidize white women not marrying the white men who love them, jobs offshored (hurting blacks too), etc.) so much now?

    It's not about saving "our oppressed, sympathy-deserving, minority neighbors across the globe," or anti-Trumpism would mean donating to real charities, to provide the refugees with clean water in the Middle Eastern refugee camps, not paying for them to rape Swedes.

    -

    I suspect liberal politicians will be like journalists, switching to lobbying, akin to public relations. It was always about money and power for them.

    They never remember MN Senator Paul Wellstone, and Bernie never answered Ralph Nader's many phone calls. They are not sincere.

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  22. It would be lulzy af if it's Nader rather than Bernie who comes out to campaign with Trump in favor of single-payer healthcare and wealth tax on the 1%.

    He has more integrity, non-partisan image, and we know that all Levantine Christians support the Trump phenomenon, secretly or openly.

    The anti-Bush / anti-Gore reunion tour.

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    1. You know, that actually could happen!

      There's Ed Shultz who actually visited CPAC as a friendly adversary, obviously more there for the Trump-populist movement. Nader has an interesting history. Though old, I could definitely see him become active if Trump continues going in that direction.

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  23. "It would be lulzy af if it's Nader rather than Bernie who comes out to campaign with Trump in favor of single-payer healthcare and wealth tax on the 1%."

    He won't want to do it, but he might follow Dennis Kucinich in defending Trump from unfair attacks. I have gained respect for Mr. Kucinich because he was honest, of his own accord, about how his own phone call was "wiretapped," so Trump's lines were likely tapped too.

    "He has more integrity, non-partisan image, and we know that all Levantine Christians support the Trump phenomenon, secretly or openly."

    His integrity was compromised by Occupy Wall St. teasing him- he wants good civic action, but gets trolled by bobos and violent radicals. They kind of take him for granted, and think he's deplorably decent, too moral and conventional. They don't want to 'compromise' with conservative values or personality traits.

    His non-partisan image is cultivated- he avoids right-wing stuff like the plague.
    Levantine Christians are scared of Muslims, but glad Egypt's President, al-Sisi, is friendly with Trump now. That really protects the Copts of Egypt from Islamist violence.


    "The anti-Bush / anti-Gore reunion tour."

    A gorgeous dream. By the way, the Bushes and Clintons are very close friends, so it's really hyper-powerful dynasties vs. everyone normal. I think Nader is wise to build his legacy now, writing books people can read after he passes, and go on speaking tours to make a lasting impression on young people. I wish I had known when he was visiting locally, but it wasn't publicized well. Maybe next time, if he can keep touring at his advanced age.

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  24. We're not aiming to convert Occupy Wall Street types -- they're just partisan posers who will remain ungrateful for us achieving their goals. Look at how they've ignored Trump killing the TPP within his first week.

    We're aiming for the normies who resonated with that "America" ad that Bernie ran. People who would go see a Michael Moore movie.

    Not Bernie or Moore themselves, perhaps, since they're too image-conscious to make common cause with Trump. But their audiences are totally within our orbit of influence. All we'd need is a familiar trustworthy face in their minds. Kucinich or Gabbard would be great as warm-up acts, but they don't have as much brand recognition as Nader (or so I think, for the normie audience anyway).

    We should also get some moderate New England Republicans, current or former, who are more friendly toward single-payer and a wealth tax on the 1%. Maybe Susan Collins (one of the few R's who voted to negotiate prescription drug prices rather than accept whatever rape-prices Big Pharma wanted).

    There's such broad popular support for these plans, although the current Representatives and Senators are so partisan or just plain bad, we would have to go outside of them to fill out a full schedule of speakers.

    Oh my God, I've got it: "Live Aid -- for America"! A full day of fiery speeches from across the partisan spectrum, as long as they're in favor of single-payer / wealth tax / etc., headlined by the bringing-everybody-together deal-maker-in-chief.

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  25. While we're writing letters to Trumpa Claus, how about when the breaking up of the media monopoly comes -- and Trump is headlining with Julian Assange?

    He strikes me as very non-partisan and willing to make an appearance if it would put the cause over the top.

    Hell, he could speak at single-payer, wealth tax, or whatever rally, not just dealing with media / deep state. The people we're trying to reach put him on a pedestal.

    He sure needs help, too -- he's in no position to look a gift horse in the mouth.

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  26. "We're not aiming to convert Occupy Wall Street types -- they're just partisan posers who will remain ungrateful for us achieving their goals"

    I would aim to negotiate with them, at least indirectly. They are dangerous, because they hate normies. Some would convert if persuaded, and I think some already support Trump. A few, so far.

    Assange is a nice guy, who, like Snowden, will be rehabilitated once Trump is capable of reliably pardoning 'criminals.' I think Trump will issue many pardons, to 'tax evaders,' 'militia members,' and all sorts of people victimized by the neoliberal-prison complex.

    I think this will cause many shitlibs to suicide, especially where I live,because those in SWPL strongholds are extra wimpy. They are paranoid, and think conservative guys are a physical threat to them. Not really, but they feel that way, out of the liberal version of disgust- despair.

    I will try to help them come to terms with the release of political prisoners, but they are stubborn in their desperation. I am worried I will feel guilty for not saving them,but I'm kind of arrogant in believing I can make any difference at all.

    -

    Speaking of Wikileaks, did you see their tweet about Yemen's massive, many hundreds of thousands of patriotic people anti-war protest? They don't like getting droned, or fighting the Saudis. Deep State wants to take its Middle East operations for granted, while assaulting St. Petersburg. Nobody with normal feelings will put up with this hypocrisy in the form of ignoring yuge peace protests while complaining about Russia's support of Assad's war. Deep State is losing coherence and common sense. They seem ready to collapse in time for Easter or May Day. The whole world has great holidays ahead :) .

    -

    I also wonder why you, Agnostic, believe normies listen to speakers and events so much. I think they listen to mass media more, which is pathological, but normal. They don't like attending events where they are not in control. They don't like doing activism. They're really lazy.

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  27. "I think they listen to mass media more"

    They went to Trump rallies, not to CNN or Fox News.

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  28. They went to Trump rallies, not to CNN or Fox News."

    Not to misconstrue data, I think that cable network audiences are awfully high, and do partly constitute a constant rally. I hear about what the talking heads say surprisingly often, but only from normies. Smarter people read more, dumber people don't understand politics, and so my definition of normie is dumber than your definition is. My idea of normie, in this case, is someone who likes reality TV, also finds tabloids such as HuffPo interesting, and doesn't know Trump's middle name, or that he has several siblings.

    Because my region is overly college-educated, I assume normies are much dumber, but slightly less mislead, as a correction. Trump rallies were sizable, but weak- no call to action, except voting. I don't think the campaign was recruiting for supporters to join the campaign volunteer teams, or even reminding everyone to register to vote. It was oddly easy to call it demagoguery, and while my rally preferences are unusual, "Steeeve" Miller should have had an even greater production role. Trump very intentionally alienatated the educated upper middle class, I think. Maybe he considers them his main opponents- lawyers, journalists, professors... various ideologically overpowered shitlibs. Miller would do even better in triggering the unarmed, SUVed, suburban UMC, especially by telling the story of him converting his own parents to conservatism.

    Finally, my region is so non-normie as to barely have any Trump supporters, and the worst violence outside of Chicago was at the San Jose rally, because California is, militarily, ~1/4 Mexico. Sacramento was fine- inland areas are mostly shitlord country, with no physical tolerance for gangs trying to intimidate the shitlords. The shitlords are ascendant now, as in Orange County.

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    1. Ag's right on this. My husband developed the shorthand, "he listens to Fox News," to explain why a conservative didn't like Trump. This seemed to mostly come up during the primary. These guys didn't really warm up to Trump as much as they hated Hillary or just wanted their side to win.
      Normie vs ??? not a good dichotomy for framing and examining Republican supporters vis a vis Trump.

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  29. Cable news ratings went up only due to Trump coverage -- mostly rallies, debates, etc. Trump performances.

    Viewers weren't actually paying attention to the talking heads -- otherwise Trump would have lost big-league in "who won the debate?" polls, opinion polls, primary voting, post-primary Convention, blue states in the general, Electoral College, etc.

    There's not that many smart people in your area, or any area, because they're rare. You're using relative concentration to confuse yourself into thinking you're all so much smarter than other places, when most of the Silicon Valley drones did not even break 1500 on the SAT / GRE.

    Ditto for using "college-educated" -- means nothing during the higher ed bubble. It's a sign of striving, not smarts -- unless they all went to top schools, which they did not.

    It's the yuppie drones who have shit for brains about policy -- not just the tendency for clever-silliness and Dunning-Kruger effect, but having a sheltered and insulated life, where lack of experience deprives them of any intuition -- leaving them with only reasoning, which is not going to help when they have sparse knowledge with which to reason, for all topics.

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  30. "Normie vs ??? not a good dichotomy"

    Yeah, normies are a strange demographic. Republican democracy is not cognitively normal, yet normies are defined, in great part, by being typically ignorant, irrational voters. Republican supporters of Trump seems like an oxymoron- Trump is destroying the party itself, just like Bernie and even Dr. Jill Stein did to the (D)s. So I think the biggest electoral anger-fulcrum for liberals is that they must adapt to a new opponent, who is not yet another cuckservative, who is not easy to lump together with the Bushes, Nixon, etc. The frustration is emotional and mental, not yet physical, even though they long for such dangerous catharsis.


    "Cable news ratings went up only due to Trump coverage -- mostly rallies, debates, etc. Trump performances."

    I think they went up due to Hillary and Bernie too. All three campaigns were media-centric, not conventionally political. They all argued over identity dominance and who has the best supporters. But only Trump truly appreciates his supporters, so he won.


    "Viewers weren't actually paying attention to the talking heads -- otherwise Trump would have lost big-league in "who won the debate?" polls, opinion polls, primary voting, post-primary Convention, blue states in the general, Electoral College, etc."

    I think slightly retarded normies totally do listen to the talking heads- I hear about their content too often. In non-elite places, I bet many people believe the opposite of what the heads say. But I don't know the ratio of elite:non-elite places and populations.

    I guess I overestimate intellectual sycophancy, because the smart people (yes, mostly top schools, some professors themselves, yet extra-prog., even openly communist) I do know personally are like that- dependent on steadily personal media, but quiet about their news sources, as if that's impolite to mention. They generally like the people they are close to too much to much like, say, Rachel Maddow, but trust journalists and anonymous bureaucrats. It's awkward that among them, moderate liberals consider themselves conservative.

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  31. Trump's economy-renationalization continues. Make America work again?

    http://www.breitbart.com/texas/2017/04/05/trump-admin-creates-reporting-tool-h-1b-abuse/

    This is great news to pass on to such exploited workers, mostly men in tech. I know about 5 of them, and hope they report their ex-employers.

    Just a low estimate of the economic costs, given that H1-Bs are not only in computer-tech:

    "If the H-1B visa program had never been introduced and enacted, computer science job availability in the labor market would be up 11 percent and wages in the tech industry would have increased by five percent, Breitbart News reported."

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