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Thread: Let's make America Grate Again.

  1. #81
    Senior Member calamus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Let's make America Grate Again.

    I think that one reason people in the US tend to be "all-in" on one side or another of the spectrum is that the political climate here has become so polarized. I voted for Trump, and I like much of what he's done, but I still cringe almost every other time he opens his mouth. But since there is so much hostility against him, particularly from the left, I generally find myself defending him when a discussion turns political. I will agree with a reasoned objection to specific points if the person I'm talking with is reasonable, but there is an enormous amount of unreasoned hatred and demonization that colors most of the opposition to Trump. Trump supporters and conservatives (and they're not always the same camp) generally regard Hillary Clinton as evil, on the other hand, but I believe that their objections tend to be based more on objective reality than the media-manufactured anti-Trump hysteria is. Much of the latter is ridiculous -- people hate him "because he's a nazi and it's racist to expect people to show identification in order to vote or to have secure borders" according to the prevalent narrative, which is absurd. But Clinton really did look the other way and refuse support at Benghazi, and the Clintons are unquestionably corrupt. Also, a staggeringly large number of their political opponents have suddenly showed up dead under mysterious circumstances, as have an appallingly large number of journalists who've investigated those deaths.

    During the last election, when people asked me how I could possibly vote for Trump, what I told them was that it looked like it was a choice between a sociopath and a psychopath, and with a choice like that, the more prudent course would be to vote for the sociopath.
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  3. #82
    Senior Member calamus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Let's make America Grate Again.

    Also, right now the left is pushing an agenda that most of those who disagree with them believe will destroy whatever freedom is left in this country, and will lead to economic disaster as well. So there is push-back, and polarization. Also, during the Obama years, the race card was repeatedly played, and racial division deliberately whipped up to a fever pitch for political reasons, also contributing greatly to the polarization.
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  4. #83
    Senior Member Empty_of_Clouds's Avatar
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    Default Re: Let's make America Grate Again.

    Quote Originally Posted by calamus View Post
    I think that one reason people in the US tend to be "all-in" on one side or another of the spectrum is that the political climate here has become so polarized. I voted for Trump, and I like much of what he's done, but I still cringe almost every other time he opens his mouth. But since there is so much hostility against him, particularly from the left, I generally find myself defending him when a discussion turns political. I will agree with a reasoned objection to specific points if the person I'm talking with is reasonable, but there is an enormous amount of unreasoned hatred and demonization that colors most of the opposition to Trump. Trump supporters and conservatives (and they're not always the same camp) generally regard Hillary Clinton as evil, on the other hand, but I believe that their objections tend to be based more on objective reality than the media-manufactured anti-Trump hysteria is. Much of the latter is ridiculous -- people hate him "because he's a nazi and it's racist to expect people to show identification in order to vote or to have secure borders" according to the prevalent narrative, which is absurd. But Clinton really did look the other way and refuse support at Benghazi, and the Clintons are unquestionably corrupt. Also, a staggeringly large number of their political opponents have suddenly showed up dead under mysterious circumstances, as have an appallingly large number of journalists who've investigated those deaths.

    During the last election, when people asked me how I could possibly vote for Trump, what I told them was that it looked like it was a choice between a sociopath and a psychopath, and with a choice like that, the more prudent course would be to vote for the sociopath.

    There is so much that Trump fails* at, from fundamental behaviour through to complex strategies, that there is no real need for additional "unreasoned hatred" against him. And no doubt he is just as corrupt as the next politician, probably more so given his business track record. It wouldn't not surprise me if people generally voted for him on the grounds of perceived personal gain. Trump promised much there and, now that tax season is upon the US (to take one example), supporters are finding the promises to be hollow.

    He is also a science denier. That fact alone should have excluded him from office.


    Trump is the living embodiment of the Dunning-Kruger Effect.



    *in many ways the biggest issue here is that he fails utterly at being a decent human being, in any facet. I've not seen or heard of him doing anything that wasn't totally self-serving.

  5. #84
    FP Enthusiast Emeritus mhosea's Avatar
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    Default Re: Let's make America Grate Again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    Trump promised much there and, now that tax season is upon the US (to take one example), supporters are finding the promises to be hollow.
    Most people have no clue how to figure out whether their taxes went down or not. There are two confusing factors. One is if you make more money, you tend to pay more taxes even when your tax rate is lower. The second is if you have less withheld, you tend to have a lower refund or owe more. Neither is evidence that your taxes didn't go down. In fact one of the things that went along with the new tax law was a relatively aggressive reduction in withholding rates. People should have expected lower refunds (in fact getting a refund at all is bad financial management--should have adjusted your w4 to avoid it) because of that. The sort of people who could possibly not see their taxes reduced itemize deductions and found that they were limited this year by the caps on mortgage interest and state and local income taxes. While not being able to itemize as much is going to be very common, what's not going to be common is the same person not coming out better with the standard deduction combined with the lower tax rates than they would have under the old tax law. That's typically going to happen in states with very high state income tax rates and very high property values or tax rates.

    My net tax rate went down a fraction of a percentage point, and my taxes were simpler than they have been in years. I also owe a lot of money come April 15 because of under-withholding. I just happen to be smart enough to know what that does and doesn't mean. So, I'm a fan of the taxes as they are this year. My concern is that the tax rate reductions aren't permanent, and if they return to the old rates with the other aspects of the law as it is now, my taxes actually will go up then. I'm sure people across town with $1.5M houses and big mortgages are already paying more this year, but I doubt they're the sort of people you had in mind. They hated Trump to begin with.
    Last edited by mhosea; February 22nd, 2019 at 10:28 PM.
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    Default Re: Let's make America Grate Again.

    I was just going by what the economists in the US are saying. Hearing a lot about people having less refunds or even owing money to the IRS, hearing nothing suggesting anyone is happy with the state of their taxes. Anyway, taxes aside, Trump is an ass.

    And, as Mencken apparently puts it sometime in the early 20th Century:

    "As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

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    FP Enthusiast Emeritus mhosea's Avatar
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    Default Re: Let's make America Grate Again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    I was just going by what the economists in the US are saying. Hearing a lot about people having less refunds or even owing money to the IRS, hearing nothing suggesting anyone is happy with the state of their taxes. Anyway, taxes aside, Trump is an ass.
    To be sure I've heard from some folks whose taxes went up. I do live in Taxachusetts. But thinking you paid more taxes solely because your refund is smaller is plain ignorant, and that seems to be the lion's share of the complaints. I think they screwed up the withholding rates, but that just affects the timing of when you pay taxes. It doesn't affect your actual tax burden.

    Don't know what "the economists in the US" are saying. AFAIK, all the indicators are good. Lots of worries about not reaching a deal with China, but the stock market reaction late last year felt engineered to me--great opportunity for the big guns to fleece the common man who sells too late. I can never get in on the ground floor in something like that, so I don't try, but I could front-load my 401K contributions early in the year while the market was still oversold. My take home pay in January was pathetic.

    Why is anyone willing to quote Mencken? Wasn't he arguing against democracy itself? The other thing the common man will do is vote in corrupt leaders. What's the solution? Bolshevism? Monarchy? The US government was constructed to deal with the inherent problems of representative democracy by building in a system of checks and balances. It's why Trump finds his administration in court so much. For all the vitriol against Trump, I never hear a well-formed rational argument explaining why things are so bad now. Sure, there's stuff not to like, and lots of sore feelings, but I look around and see the country thriving. GDP growth is good, non-farm payrolls good, unemployment good. It's like we have too much success and somehow must find excuses to reject it.
    Last edited by mhosea; February 23rd, 2019 at 12:23 PM.
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    Default Re: Let's make America Grate Again.

    Quote Originally Posted by EricTheRed View Post
    +1, Jordan Peterson has an amazing intellect and backs up his ideas with facts rather than emotion
    Yeah, that's the same guy that told us we are the first country that was behind iron curtain that he's been to on his visit. I guess his intellect is on par with Jeremy Hunt, who told us we were a soviet union vassal state just now.

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    FP Enthusiast Emeritus mhosea's Avatar
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    Default Re: Let's make America Grate Again.

    Quote Originally Posted by adhoc View Post
    I guess his intellect is on par with Jeremy Hunt, who told us we were a soviet union vassal state just now.
    I like Peterson, and I think he's insightful and thoughtful on a level that really would be a mistake to toss out over a gaffe like that. Peterson is a psychologist, not a politician. Perhaps you had a right to expect him to research the geopolitical history of the region prior to his visit, but it's not really what Peterson was about or there for. For Peterson it really would have been a highly personal gaffe. He would have found it interesting on a personal level to visit a state that was actually under the Soviet thumb. Soljenitzen made a big impression on Peterson. Did they set him straight when he said it or just bitch about it afterwards? Peterson is the kind of guy who really would have appreciated a real-time correction.
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    Default Re: Let's make America Grate Again.

    Nah, nobody even bitched afterwards really. Just my personal remark. Noone (Slovenian) bitched about Hunt either, even though he was flat out insulting.

    I think Peterson is alright.

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