Politics Thread


I’m not ready to go quite that far. I think it more likely that Trump has in his own head conflated the charge that his campaign colluded with Russia for which no proof has been presented to date, and the charges that Russia meddled in the election for which there is a great deal of proof. In his head the two have become synonymous so he believes it’s in his interest to not only deny the first, but also the latter as well. Unlike previous presidents, including Obama, he’s demonstrated a poor grasp of nuance. I used to think that W was the dimmest U.S. President in my lifetime, but Trump has him beat easily. At least W didn’t revel in his own ignorance and then turn around and declare himself a genius.

Obama measured his words much more carefully, sometimes too carefully. Trump is a bull in the china shop in comparison.

Trump’s defenders say that what Trump is blaming the U.S. for is his Democratic predecessor’s unwillingness to act decisively to oppose Russia’s take-over of Crimea, and at this point it’s a fait accompli so no amount of U.S. sanctions will get Russia to leave. The U.S. needs to find common ground with Russia and holding Crimea against Russia in perpetuity will only make solving the world’s problems more difficult.

I however don’t believe in rewarding dictators who invade their neighbors by granting their conquests legitimacy as this would destabilize the international order that America has sacrificed so much to build and would only serve to increase the amount of conflict in the world. So I disagree with this line of reasoning. Nevertheless it works with those in Trump’s base who are isolationists, with those who fear Illegals and/or Muslim extremists more than Russians, and with those evangelicals who believe that the anti-christ will soon take over the EU based on a common interpretation of certain obscure biblical prophecies.

I do find Trump’s craving for validation from Putin both dangerous and potentially disastrous, and grant that the possibility exists that Trump still has undisclosed business interests in Russia that Putin has the ability to either make immensely profitable or a very serious loss.


I’ve been wanting to reply to this for awhile, but never quite got around to it until this article reminded me that I still hadn’t replied:

Both Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez consider themselves democratic socialists. Nevertheless American democratic socialists are more akin to European social democrats then European democratic socialists i believe. In the US there isn’t a clear distinction between the two, with both sides often intentionally muddying the distinction. Their platform calls for universal medicare, free college tuition, a $15 minimum wage and open borders for migrants and according to the above article they are an increasingly influential part of the Deomcratic party’s base. They are running 42 candidates across 20 different states as Democrats in the upcoming mid-term elections.


I’ll ask you to do the same as @Rogar since I cannot view that article at present due to that website not wanting to comply with the EU’s GDPR regulations and either give me a link to an alternate article I can view or just quote or PM me that article.

I assume however that your American Democratic Socialists do not ultimately want to reform the model of ex-post re-distribution of wealth to a new system that would be fairer and more sustainable ex-ante.

I’ll quote from this article, which I can read (Even though it misidentifies us as “Holland. :rage: I mean I get that to the average 'Murican we’re a tiny, insignificant country the size of a postage stamp but Holland is still only a third of it, even if it actually is the model for the brand of “Dutch” culture that most foreigners know, if they know it at all”: :unamused:

“During his 2016 campaign for president, Sanders said that America needs a “grassroots political revolution.” But Sanders—like Ocasio-Cortez—is actually a reformer, not a revolutionary. In the United States, democratic socialism is akin to what most people around the world call “social democracy,” which seeks to make capitalism more humane.”


How’s this one?

Democratic Socialists of America was originally affiliated with Socialist International which I’ve been given to understand is primarily a grouping of European social democratic movements, although they’ve apparently ended that affiliation at their most recent convention. Given that the overwhelming majority of their membership consists of millennials who are fuzzy on the distinction between social democrat and democratic socialist themselves, it’s not clear to me how far they really want to go. They’re certainly a lot more militant in their hostility to capitalism than the “democratic socialists” of Bernie’s generation, and at times they even seem contemptuous of democracy when it doesn’t return the result that they desire.


Yep, the AP link does work for me, thanks.

Okay this:

"There is little distinction made between the terms “democratic socialism” and “socialism” in the group’s literature. While Ringelstein and other DSA-backed candidates promote a “big-tent” philosophy, the group’s constitution describes its members as socialists who “reject an economic order based on private profit” and “share a vision of a humane social order based on popular control of resources and production, economic planning, equitable distribution, feminism, racial equality and non-oppressive relationships.”

Is definitely Democratic Socialism, instead of Social Democracy, maybe that is why they disaffiliated themselves from the Socialist International, which in spite of the name espouses social democracy and does seek to retain the economic order based on private profits but with an overlay of re-distributive social democracy on top of it and regulations to further that at all levels.

Here have a song to go with that for America. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

If that comes true then America will have done a 180 degree turn from the USA I always thought I knew, not to mention leapfrogged us poor Europeans.

I think that is a feature that is particularly exaggerated by an FPTP system which turns elections into all or nothing affairs, lose by exactly one vote and you’re a “pathetic loser” with no influence, instead of the second most influential politician in the region. Which can turn elections uglier then they need to be, since without steady influence it also becomes nearly impossible to have a compromise effect on public policy or move the Overton window. Of course the NDP in @Cataphrak 's country of Canada has managed it in an FPTP system but that seems to be an exception.
With FPTP you either hold power or have (next to) no influence at all.


Capitalism as an economic system is clearly flawed, but it strikes me that on a macro scale it’s more forgiving of human imperfection than socialism. From Lenin & Stalin’s Soviet Union and Mao’s China to Castro’s Cuba and Chavez’s Venezuela, I’m as yet unaware of a single country that thrived under socialist rule. The huge and inefficient government that controls all sectors of the economy never withers away as Marx theorized but instead ends up being run by unaccountable bureaucrats who couldn’t care less how their policies hurt people they’ve never met 1,000 miles away. I’m also reminded of the old Russian saying, “The government pretends to pay us, and we pretend to work.” Why work hard if you’re paid the same as the slackers? Why not take it easy and be a slacker too? So I suppose that makes me more sympathetic towards social democrats than democratic socialists who I fear may be willing to discard democracy as soon as it gets in the way of the achievement of their impossible ideal.

As for the FPTP system the US uses, the separation of the executive branch from the legislative along with the geographical nature of the US’s legislature ensures that the opposition always has a healthy presence. It would be far worse in a parliamentary system wherein the party that controls the executive branch also always controls the entire legislative branch. It’s fairly rare in the US for control of the executive and both legislative branches to align to the same party, and when it does, it rarely lasts long. Odds are very high the Republicans will lose control of at least the House this fall, and if they don’t, then if history is any guide, the beating they take in 2020 will very likely be even bigger.

I’m also reminded of the fact that presidential elections weren’t originally FPTP, as originally the runner-up became Vice-President. So under the original system Hillary would be Vice President today and the tie-breaking vote in the US Senate.


I think that is about as cogent an argument I’ve heard. Ultimately Capitalism is a flawed but functional economic system. Socialism (and Communism) is an economic management system predicated on individuals being more devoted to the tenets of the ideology than their own self-aggrandizement. And really, any system that depends on the abrogation of self-aggrandizement or self-interest over the long term will require large amounts of coercive force in order to remain functional.

That is not to say that the goals of democratic socialism or social democrats are necessarily bad. The metaphorical devil is in the implementation. Sure you can try to redistribute the wealth but the wealthy of the modern era are not quite so easily pinned down. Capital flight will be rapid and near total once governments attempt to nationalize private enterprise or appropriate private property. Also what do you do once you successfully redistributed the wealth? Now everyone has a bit more in their pocket but nobody has the ability to invest in business and the government will have to effectively become the majority employer over time. Concentration of capital is necessary for most research and development processes, the creation of new businesses and innovation in general.

Socialism is a product of its time, a time where factories and land were wealth and the worker interchangeable. Who knows, perhaps some intellectual will come along to append a knowledge economy addendum to what was very much written with a labour intensive system in mind.


Though I’d still suggest that’s the system with greater resilience, on average. Presidential systems tend to gridlock and breakdown, with the US a longstanding but increasingly fragile-looking exception to the global rule…

As for “capitalism v socialism,” a lot depends on how you define the terms. Is socialism a system that’s failed everywhere it’s been tried? Sure, if it means “nationalization of (all) the modes of production,” Soviet style. But then @Gary starts talking about “redistribution of wealth” as a largely impracticable socialist idea, and I’m like, Hang on, that not only works all the time to varying degrees, but it’s historically the only way any capitalist system has ever survived in the real world.

There’s never been a system that completely removed all fetters on “the market” or individual self-interest, or allowed economic winners to completely refrain from sharing with the losers. The very idea of a system that could do that is a modern utopia, part of Polanyi’s “Great Transformation”; and the historical approximations of pure laissez-faire have always been watered down when they hit the dilemma of continuing to share a country with people while refusing to share your increasingly disproportionate wealth with them.

Similarly, while at one extreme “nationalization of private enterprise” is indeed a Soviet failure, it’s more often used as another safety valve on capitalism (as we saw in the last big financial crash a decade ago, where any number of big companies were happy to avail themselves of “socialism for CEOs”). Nationalization of some enterprises has worked pretty well, while privatization of some enterprises, notably so-called “natural monopolies,” has worked pretty terribly.

Finally, while I agree that you can’t start a business or do R&D without a “concentration of capital,” that’s what banks are for. And one of the things the government is for. You don’t need to have robber barons. :slight_smile:

The dominant economic system in the West today is a blend of “capitalist” and “socialist” ideas, and calls to shift it more in one direction are highly unlikely to result in complete abandonment of the other.

Guns of Infinity(Pt 2)

Well Portugal once upon a time came very, very close to realizing Democratic Socialism, just ask our own @ruhenri . Then there is the fact that practically the entire world is capitalist and all capitalist countries do have a vested interest in not seeing socialism succeed.

On the other hand the same could be said for the huge and unaccountable, subsidized corporate (welfare) monopolists and the ultra-rich international jetset aided and abetted by a bought and paid for capitalist government. It’s a bit like the pot calling the kettle…

The other extreme you can see in some of the working poor today as much as you could in yesterday’s slaves is that they are also incentivized to do as little work as possible, though in today’s working poor, at least in this country, it manifests in bothering by the book. A recent example our Socialist Party has called attention to is that when private subcontractors refuse to pay overtime and only give janitors three minutes per public bathroom stall that is exactly what you will get in addition to dirty, stinking bathrooms and these workers are hugely demotivated to start with so, much like with your example of socialism they also tend to do as little as they can get away with.

In general this applies to most people unless they do things they really love. Unless I’m really intrigued by a case and it is within my specialty I don’t volunteer for extra work either. Though I do handle every case I do have under me to the utmost of my abilities even if that does cause unpaid overtime at some bottleneck moments.
But then I do not work for minimum wage to start with but if I had to take a paycut down to that level I’d probably be much more inclined to just go through the motions too.

Again this is more basic human nature for all workers who feel they are under-appreciated as you can find that exact meme as it applies to almost any minimum wage earner in any megacorp. “The megacorp pretends to pay us and we pretend to work”. Particularly common among certain minimum wage office temp and flex workers, I believe.

Which is one of the best arguments for the pluralistic multi-party democracy there is. But as of right now decades of neo-liberal supply side economics have definitely swung the pendulum far too much to the side of plutocracy and even oligarchy.

Actually most R&D is done by publicly funded students and researchers at publicly funded universities and then patented and sold on for a huge private profit in certain areas such as farmaceuticals this has absolutely grown to be utterly excessive and has become an avoidable killer of people. Certainly most of the actual research part of R&D is often publicly funded with corporations only getting interested during the development stages when the research is ready to be turned into a marketable product.
In my own field of law and legal research this is doubly true, almost all legal research is conducted by governments, universities and other public entities with only a minor share of it being borne by corporations and some by NGO’s who also enjoy public funding. Yet the fruits of that research are then put into privately owned academic journals where it mostly serves to provide huge amounts of corporate welfare to certain academic publishers and effectively keeps publicly funded research from being commonly and easily available to the general public.
While his own field isn’t law I’m sure some of our academics such as @Gower do recognize this deplorable trend.

It is already shifted to another “gilded age” in America and is coming dangerously close to pre WW2 levels in parts of Europe, so I’d say runaway capitalism is definitely dominant after four decades of increasingly neo-liberal supply side economics. Which means we’re about overdue for a fresh injection of democratic socialism or old school social democracy or whatever the kids of today want to call it right about now.

This has not been my lived experience with it as our proportional system ensures almost no voter who actually bothers to vote is left entirely unrepresented and by definition coalitions themselves entail compromising with your electoral opposition, though I do concede that there is a broad preference for either right or left-wing coalitions at the moment though for decades there was more of a preference for centrist ones.


Well, well, @idonotlikeusernames inviting me to a political discussion? :smiley:

My take on the Portuguese Carnation Revolution and its initial course of democratic socialism

Yeah, after we kicked out the fascists, our revolution went into PREC, “Processo Revolucionário em Curso” which translates to “Revolutionary Process in Course” or something like that. Basically, we weren’t that far from becoming a quasi-Socialist democracy, but in the end the progressive radicalization of the extreme-left parties (well, what is today the extreme left, even our current center-right larger party - PSD - had “socialism” in its manifest back then) and the success of Mário Soares in garnering enough popular support and political, popular and institutional strength to make sure we remained a democracy, even if we had to abdicate of socialism for a social democracy, made the chips fall into a capitalistic (even if the privatization of what was nationalized still took some years) social democracy.

But yeah, nationalizations of land and some larger corporations/industries was required, whether people nowadays support them or not when looking back, our whole regime had its main bastion of support in the wealthy part of the population (well, some segments of it, obviously). The lands were worked by starving peasants in degrading conditions (my grandparents were some of them, they worked all day and at the end of it received a slice of rancid hard-as-stones bread, keeping themselves barely alive to worked the next day (lots of our peasant population in Alentejo suffered from a lot of poverty-related almost always fatal sicknesses back then because of subnutrition). Most landowners inhabited in the cities and just collected large profits from their huge land properties (some others even had their lands uncultivated, while people not far from there starved), and Salazar saw in them (and had in them) some of the most loyal supporters of the regime (note that I’m obviously not saying all of them were fascist or fascist-supporters).

Also, we had some relatively large (well, for international parameters, they were just medium sized at best) companies who basically held a monopoly over large chunks of the industrial production, due to Salazar’s political choice to oblige companies to request the government’s permission if they wanted to buy industrial machines and hire industrial workers. By the end of the regime that policy had been repealed, in large part by the influence of Marcelo Caetano (the successor of Salazar) who attempted to open up our economy a bit. Still, most industries were only able to function because workers earned low wages (so they quickly went into bankruptcy when the revolutionary government had the “audacity” to establish a livable minimum wage, which if we adapt to our current currency and inflation was something like 500 euros). Still, the large corporations were mostly nationalized as a way to reduce the political influence of an economical class that had grown under the support (and supporting, even collaborating with our political police to arrest political dissidents) of the fascist regime.

So, lands were occupied by starving peasants, some houses by people who had none, and some industries were nationalized or practically taken over by worker committees. Our GDP fell a bit that year, something like 4 or 5% if I’m not miss-remembering, but that is normal after a revolution (and just recently, our GDP declined way more due to the austerity measures imposed by the IMF and the EU). The US thought about invading us, but the progressive radicalization of the extreme-left lead to the victory of the Socialist Party (social-democrat party founded by Mário Soares, who did became, in a way, the “father” of our current political system) and the reversion of the socialist course we had been following during the PREC.

Still, we have a pretty solid welfare state, with a huge chunk of our government expenditure going to the social security, national health service and public education. Until not so long ago, our people’s conditions thrived under the social-democracy that was basically agreed by the two larger parties, center-right and center-left respectively (well, our political spectrum is still pretty much to the left, our center-left party would be to the left, way to the left, of the Democrats in the US, and our center-right party would be the moderate wing of the Democrats in the US).

So yeah, we had a temporary “democratic socialism” experiment back in the day. It didn’t went that badly, I mean, from it and the political realities it gave origin to our people was able to leave the extreme poverty in which we had lived during the dictatorship.

Well, yes, that’s obviously one of the reasons it didn’t worked. The other reason is that socialism isn’t meant to rival capitalism in terms of what is deemed as “economic success”, which is usually GDP and the almost always inevitable increasing enrichment of the rich and the impoverishment of the low-class.

Socialism’s success needs to be measured by its ability to achieve what it tried to do: distribute wealth equally among everybody, equality of opportunities and elimination of extreme poverty. 70% of humanity has only 1% of the wealth, and the top 8 richest men have as much wealth as 4 billion people. Whether we support socialism or not (disclaimer: ideologically, I tend to be a democratic socialist, while pragmatically I’m a big supporter of social-democracy as the best and more realistically achievable system), we have to admit that our species is suffering from a profound and unjust inequality in terms of life quality and equality of opportunities.

Inefficient is a subjective analysis. Just to give and example, our post office national company (CTT) was owned by the State until recently (like most public service companies were), and as such it was managed by the “inefficient” public administrators and the “inefficient” state. Well, turns out that when we privatized it (by the same amount it gave of profit to our national budget each year, unhinged neo-liberalism leads to great political decisions such as that one), after a year it was in the red, firing people and closing down post offices. Why? Because previously it had provided an amazing public service and people used it all the time, so as long as they kept their budget on a moderate level of expense it gave solid profits every year. After the privatization the new administration decided to cut back on expenses, reducing the quality of the service and making it necessary for companies and people to start using private delivery companies.

So yeah, I don’t agree with the whole “the state runs any company into the ground” narrative.

Yep, receiving a shitty payment for a shitty job results in “slacking off” much more than everyone working for the same thing and receiving the same amount of wage. Collective contracts show that there is no reduction of productivity when every worker earns equally to everyone else doing a similar job.

Yep. I don’t know about the other countries (I have heard that at least in Germany and other parts of Europe it is different) but over here 99% of the research is done by public universities (the best ones, our private universities have much less prestige and a weaker body of teachers/researchers/students) and/or through public funding. Our companies just don’t care about research, they only care about paying the lowest amount of money possible to their workers, and get the maximum amount of profit from it. And oh my, don’t you even talk about increasing the minimum wage, because if you do the top 10 richest families will quickly make some weird comments about how they can’t possibly be expected to pay their workers more than they already do.

P.S. While my experience is mostly in the field of humanities, I’m speaking about “hard-science” research.

I think the problem is that our young-adults don’t have the financial stability to actually give much thought to the state of our world and our current decay whether from an environmental/natural resources perspective or from a more broad economical and political one. The middle class is usually the one from which most political thought and activism comes from, at least from a more ideological pov, and the younger generations are basically forming a new class of poor. I’m afraid capitalism has triumphed so astonishingly that we are utterly unable to imagine an alternative to it. The same thing happened in the past, whether with political, social or economic systems. With time, an alternative will present itself, but not until we hit rock bottom. The substitution of the less qualified workers by robots and machines will lead to an unsustainable level of poverty and unemployment. With time, when things get really bad and the middle class starts to also get really affected, an universal citizenship income will have to be provided by the State (when we take a look at the private intel from citizens such as you and me the States have access, we have to admit that revolutions will become more and more difficult, the change will need to come from the elites themselves, and only when their profits really start to get affected). By then, maybe democratic socialism becomes truly attainable. (sorry for the pessimism)

Even if I’m not currently represented in the parliament (the party I voted for didn’t managed to elect a single deputy, :laughing:, hey @idonotlikeusernames, I discovered recently that it is the portuguese party associated with the european movement we had talked about), I do admit that I’m a big fan of the parliamentary system, mostly because almost every voter will have the party they voted for represented in the parliament. And from the necessity of consensus and coalitions a larger majority and a strengthened democratic culture arises.

Take our latest elections. The right-wing coalition (the austerity government) obtained more votes than any of the other parties of the parliament, getting something like 45% of the deputies, while the center-left Socialist Party came second with 38% of the deputies (I’m not talking about popular vote, in popular vote they were both on 30 something %). The leftist parties (Left Bloc, a democratic socialist party; Portuguese Communist Party, a communist party; and the Animals and Nature Party, an ecologist animal protection party) got the rest of the deputies. So, what happened? The Socialist Party made an alliance with the Left Bloc and the Communist Party (and also reached and agreement with the Animals and Nature Party, if I’m not miss-remembering) and it formed a government, why? Because together those parties had a majority in the parliament.

That doesn’t mean that all of the sudden the differences between all three parties got erased (lets just say that our revolution left some historical splits on the left, making it hard for these parties to agree with one another), they pretty much debate and negotiate a lot of what is done by the government (which only has ministers from the Socialist Party, the other parties only provide parliamentary support, as long as the political agreements established are respected), and in many things they disagree without a possible consensus.

My conclusion is: a democracy which is made by a parliament gives more breathing room for the small parties (and thus, the people they represent) to actually have a say in what the government does and doesn’t do. And that’s even more the case in countries like the Netherlands and Belgium where there are lots of parties in the parliament without any single one ever achieving an absolute majority (we have had absolute majorities here in Portugal, they are usually bad for the country).

And well, I wrote a wall-of-text, blame @idonotlikeusernames :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Thanks for letting me pitch in with my current concerns and opinions on the different subjects at hand. :smiley:


I would agree that any purely capitalist system is as doomed as a purely socialist one. The thing that concerns me more about socialism is that I think it makes a fundamentally flawed assumption about human nature. The ultimate goal is to put more of the means of production in the hands of the worker rather than owners. The problems is that “worker” ultimately manifests as the government. This is still assumed to be good as the idea is that the government is more accountable to the workers than capitalists. This I would argue is a fundamental flaw in socialist logic. The government is accountable to a majority of its constituents and even then the incentives tend to be perverse and short sighted. Capitalism can be cruel but capitalists are ultimately controlled by market forces and therefore consumers (workers) because their existence requires profitability. This usually only breaks down when the good they provide is essential to consumers and a specific capital organization (cartel, company, or individual owner) dominates market share. That is where non-capitalist controls come in, but I would argue we are generally better served by minimizing those to the extent necessary to empower the consumer with choices in the market and avoid the tragedy of the commons.

As to which form of government best provides this economic environment…results are mixed. In general though authoritarians tend to put the government’s thumb on the scale in personally beneficial and short-sighted ways.


Ironically, the more successful society as a whole is in equalizing the inputs by the non-capitalistic controls (workers having the same power over labor through organization and unions that capitalists have in laize-faire capitalism to form monopsonies (sp) ) the more wealth is allocated to a larger share of the population, the more the overall economy grows and the greater the overall wealth grows.

As laize-faire Gilded-Age type of policies and regulation continues to take the American economics system back into the late 1800s, the more society in America is reverting back to the same … eventually, everything gained from Teddy Roosevelt’s Muckraking and anti-trust policies to the Great Society advances will disappear and we’ll see America slip back into a society of great extremes with the vast majority being at the have-nots end of the spectrum.

Monopism - which is the monopoly of the labor input by the singular producer in an industry is our greatest issue currently and it is only going to grow worse as “consolidation” continues to be a back-door method of imposing Guilded Age economic policy on the modern world.


It’s about 85% in this country and we are home to some truly huge corporations with big R&D departments and still they only account for 15% of original research. It is also extremely unbalanced by sector in high-tech and farmaceuticals there is more “research” done by private R&D. With hte caveat that that research is mostly development focused into translating publicly funded theoretical research into a practical product for the (mass) market. In the more scholarly disciplines such as my own field of criminal law at least 95% is done by students and researchers at publicly funded universities with the bigger law firms and lobbyists producing only a tiny part of that. Again the research done by law firms and lobbyists is for obvious reasons more narrowly focused and goal-oriented.

Then we are truly doomed because in my estimation that is the road to slavery as we are already seeing some business focus being shifted to just trading among the ultra rich in luxury goods and 1000 Euro cocktails that are utterly unattainable for the fast majority of us. :unamused:

Our own historical experiment with unfettered libertarianism gave us the “noble republic” where families of regents controlled dynastic monopolies while most of us where dirt poor, even compared to other European countries at the time despite our (much) higher index of what we now call GDP. :unamused: Of course we were a tiny country and at the time we could largely make due by having an export focused economy and subsisting on colonial slavery to make up for the continually depressed domestic demand. The US on the other hand is not a small country with a small domestic market, nor does it (openly) have a huge colonial empire, unless you count the megacorps themselves as the modern colonizers.

As for the US of A Trump does seem poised to leave a Supreme Court legacy that takes the court back to the early 1930’s era at the very least and keep it there for generations.


There is rather compelling evidence to the contrary unfortunately. We can look at the three largest economies for example the US, China and Japan respectively in the last 30 years. GDP per capita (a fairly decent measure of the “size of the pie”) has tripled in the US, only doubled in Japan (and actually declined since 1995 when it peaked), and grown many thousand fold for China (near 0 to $10,000). The two growing pies in this data are also ones with growing inequality. Japan on the other hand has maintained excellent income equality by modern standards during this period.

Now one would argue that there as so many other factors to consider. I would agree and say that is my point. Economic inequality and economic growth don’t track well. That’s not to say that the social and political ills of economic inequality aren’t evident. I believe they are. Inequality is just a poor economic indicator for economic growth.



Probably a silly question, but why on earth does trump even have a star there?


How would I know? Probably being a big tycoon or something and he just donated a huge amount and they just give him a star to satisfy the baby.


I decided to read the article after all. Apparently it’s for being in the apprentice. Must be setting the bar low these days.

Edit actually you were partly right as well it seems @LOL_Interesting You do also have to pay for the star if you want it. https://www.businessinsider.com.au/celebs-buy-3k-stars-2015-12?r=US&IR=T


XD, the only reason possible he can be up there is that he must have paid a lot of dollars. (Since you mentioned it, the apprentice is so bad, that you can simply watch roast trump to understand how bad it is.


Unfortunately, this is not what I was talking about. GDP is flawed (acknowledged) as an indicator of potential growth rate … The effect of monopsony on economic growth. Monopsony drives the wage below the marginal product of labor. This lower wage leads to lower investment in human capital and thereby to a lower growth rate. This makes investment in human capital – and therefore the growth rate – suboptimal.

I no longer have access to the Macroeconomic articles I once did but this is something that has been studied for the past 10 years (at least) and if you have scholar credentials or such, you can order the available articles from the relevant data bases.

In the mean time, I’ll use the Wiki graph from Monopsony to try to help explain what I remember:
The grey rectangle is a measure of the amount of economic welfare transferred from the workers to their employer(s) by monopsony power. The yellow triangle shows the overall deadweight loss inflicted on both groups by the monopsonistic restriction of employment. It is thus a measure of the market failure caused by monopsony.

This loss is a function of opportunity cost to the labor for the pursuit of everything else - including education and training. Due to this fact, the investment in society of human capital is less and growth is one of the causalities of lower investment.

Your GDP measurement only shows the distribution of what growth was achieved and really misses the mark by ignoring the crux of the matter which is the loss of growth potential.

This loss of economic wealfare in the labor is a concern as the cost to educate and train labor in an increasingly complex economy is growing and further impacting the opportunity costs of labor to contribute in the macroeconomic growth of our society.