Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Trump versus Hillary Debate

See here:

Hillary got hammered on the economy. She never clearly committed to rejecting the disaster of free trade, nor even mentioned the issue of free trade or deindustrialisation *except* when Trump raised it and in response to Trump.

In the first few minutes, Trump was all over the disaster of free trade and the catastrophe of deindustrialisation, even if he should have concentrated on protectionism rather than corporate tax policy. Trump was completely correct that Hillary supported NAFTA.

At 11.40 onwards, Hillary fails to mention that Bill Clinton’s financial deregulation is a big explanation for the financial crisis of 2008. Nor was Bill Clinton’s economy anything much but a sham driven by a stock market bubble and private debt.

Trump went on a brief rant about government debt, but private debt is the issue, not government debt.

As for Trump’s tax cuts and plans for massive infrastructure spending, this will drive the US into deep deficits and huge Keynesian stimulus – broadly speaking, precisely what is needed. Combined with trade protectionism and labour market protectionism, this is again, broadly speaking, exactly what America needs.

America could certainly do with a new progressive tax system, especially one which taxes deleterious speculative activity and parasitic rentier capitalism, but such a new tax system should only be introduced when the economy is booming and full employment is restored.

I am also rather puzzled why the issue of Hillary’s health was not raised by Trump.

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  1. With Hillary saying that she is now against NAFTA and TTP, it is her taking the defensive, her basically making an admission of guilt. No statement on why she thought it was the right thing to do at the time.

    She is basically adopting all of Bernie Sanders' positions. He cornered her on trade deals, and now she is against them seeing that it is less politically profitable.

    This will ruin her.

  2. I think these debates are more about persuation. Trump needed to show that he could be presidential, he is not this crazy racist and he doesn't have a temperament problem. He accomplished all that IMO. Although he spoke when he was nat suupposed to, so Hillary was more refined in that area. As far as Trump beating her with energy and all that, It was not so. Hillary performed well.

    1. "He accomplished all that IMO."

      He did precisely the opposite. He came across unstable, incoherent, fragmented and volatile. She, OTOH, remained stern, calm, collected, authoritative. Matriarchical. Made him look like a mixture of the naughty teen cousin and that old drunk pervert uncle.

    2. Hillary called Trump sexist, racist and crazy. Trump called Hillary: Secretary Clinton. So in my mind Trump was not even trying to win the debate, his main concern was to look and act presidential, to be taken seriously. He was not using the nastiest attacks on Hillary that he could have. Most of the snap polls say that Trump won the debate. I think he lost the debate to win election.

    3. the unscientific online polls had Trump win, but all that's evidence of is that the Trump campaign was much better at spamming and tweeting to their followers to vote in these polls.

      The CNN/PPP poll of debate watchers had Clinton win, either by fair margins (~20 pts, per PPP) or by huge margins (~45 pts, per CNN).

      The CNN and Frank Luntz focus groups had Clinton overwhelmingly win too.

    4. In fact you are spreading gossip. You provide no evidence for your claims. Your scientific CNN poll was rigged. It sampled 41% Democrats compared to 26% Republicans.


    5. Thanks for the link, Kristjan. Hillary won a poll conducted by the Clinton News Network itself. Shocker.

    6. I might've overestimated the numbers from memory, but CNN/ORC and PPP are respected pollsters. It may very well be that more Democrats tuned in to watch the debate, and thus the number sampled skewed Democratic, but that's something to quibble with the pollsters.


      The biggest subsample there were the young people who said she won and made it more likely to vote for her

      and I'm just repeating the CNN/Frank Luntz (who is a conservative spin doctor) said.


      It's important to note that MSNBC's small group of mostly older white men in Columbus, OH generally didn't like Hillary's performance (there was one older woman who didn't like Clinton, one black man, and one younger guy).

      I don't think it was a slam-dunk win, but it was certainly a decisive win. I don't think very many voters at all went from undecided to go to Trump, and I don't think many Trump voters went to Clinton. I do, however, think that many of those liberal-leaning millennials who were parking their votes with Johnson or Stein may have switched their opinion to leaning Clinton, and there may have been a few Trumpers who went from lean-Trump to undecided.

      But that's just a gut analysis. I think at best this went from a Hillary +3 race to a Hillary +4 race.

    7. Here is another one that supprts my theory


    8. I do, however, think that many of those liberal-leaning millennials who were parking their votes with Johnson or Stein

      Not a chance in hell.

      I think at best this went from a Hillary +3 race to a Hillary +4 race

      Yes, if the polls are using a 4-way race questionnaire:


  3. "I am also rather puzzled why the issue of Hillary’s health was not raised by Trump."

    She looked very well and healthy... alert, cogent, sharp, etc...

    Would have been a big mistake by Trump...

  4. Yeah, but we have to see this through the eyes of the average, non-knowledgable person instead of those like us who know these issues by heart. The first third of the debate was Trump's strong suit, painting a gloomy and populist picture about trade and manufacturing and trade. But here's the thing, Hillary successfully argued a positive (albeit too generalistic) picture of her own plan, and was successfully evasive (think: Mitt Romney in his first debate against Obama) against her record on NAFTA or on Bill Clinton's record. Most still remember the 90s as a good decade, and most absolutely do not understand that the Bush tax cuts didn't lead to the financial crisis. But they do know that "Trumped-up Trickle down" economics is no good! So they basically went to a draw here.

    second 2/3s of the debate, Hillary crushed her. Trump was extremely defensive, and at times rambling and incoherent. In some segments, what she said in some debate focus groups was more popular among Trump-leaners than among HRC-leaners and undecided!

    This reminds me a bit of the first Romney-Obama debate, where Obama started off okay but slow, and just got slower, slower and more boring, while Romney remained energetic and successfully evasive.

  5. Fine that he ostensibly is about those policies if (and only if) he can be trusted to actually carry them out.

    So far as I can see, Trump can only be trusted to carry the water for Bibi. That he would capitulate to moving the Israeli capital to Jerusalem (as he did this week) and engage in Iran-bashing (as he did last night) despite their latter's compliance with the agreement a full year later:


    ...all serves to tell me that The Don has "American Interests" at heart about like Eric Cantor or John McCain.

    Especially when he talks about not letting certain elements in the country, but says nothing about the hornets nest of Israeli Foreign agents that should be made to comply with the Law or be deported. As Eisenhower and Kennedy rightly accomplished.

    InB4 "Alt-Right", "SJW," "Neo-Liberal," or whatever the epithet of the week is: This is none of those things. This is "Truthism."

  6. Um, so is nobody bothered about the house and senate elections then :-)

    They are what actually matter, not which one of these two are president.

  7. Of course she supported NAFTA. Good for her.
    You are foolishly obsessed with some imagined inherent evil of not having tariffs and how it affects everything. No tariffs on Canadian goods? Why that will send the jobs to China! Insert eye rolling emoji here.

    1. You can't even offer ANY counterargument to my refutation of Ricardo's free trade by comparative advantage theory, cucked Ken.

    2. More insults. You know what that means, right?
      I did LK. I demonstrated clearly that *you cannot even correctly state* the argument you criticize.
      But to the point at hand. I accuse you of essentialist thinking, for only that can link a free trade agreement with Canada to trade issues with China.

    3. No, Ken B, **your** original comment is a laughable piece straw man of idiocy:

      "No tariffs on Canadian goods? Why that will send the jobs to China!"

      Nobody here is complaining about free trade with Canada. The argument is that free trade under absolute advantage tends to outsource manufacturing to the Third World, and impoverish the West, especially when some of those Third World countries like China cheat too, and engage in mercantilist policies to capture manufacturing.

      (2) and you still cannot offer *any* counterargument to my refutation of Ricardo's free trade by comparative advantage theory.

    4. And no doubt on (2) you will slink away like a salted slug, unable to offer anything in response.

    5. I gotta admit, I'm still trying to wrap my head around Comparative Advantage/Absolute advantage ever since I took that online economics course [that I never bothered to finish.]

      I can't make any sense out of Ricardo's theory, other than to say it doesn't seem like it would work the way it's claimed. They used the Britain/Cloth/Portugal/Wine hypothesis.

      I think it's crackers, I just can't put my finger on why :D

    6. LK, you have no counter argument because you misunderstand the equations. If I prove to you that X > Y, mathematically, and you say "so X < Y" there's really no place to go. But anyone can see your argument is wrong, because your argument was equally "forceful" against any form of specialization. Your argument, if correct, would refute the theory of division of labor. Just go back to your arguments, and substitute "architect" and "secretary" for the two parties involved splitting design work and typing between them.

    7. Rubbish, Ken B. How many f*cking times do I have to repeat the same argument?:

      (1) The purely logical, abstract and mathematical argument for free trade based on internal labour hour costs and comparative advantage, and the view that total output would therefore be higher under free trade is of course **correct,** if one accepts the absurd assumptions and keeps the argument abstract.

      That is, on its own **abstract terms**, it stands as correct, and I think I have already said this in the comments section before.

      (2) But you seem totally unable to understand the devastating counterargument: in the real world, what you produce matters. Ricardo and neoclassical free trade apologists have to rely on an argument that assumes constant returns to scale, as well as a load of other unrealistic assumptions.

      In *the real world*, industries have constant, increasing or diminishing returns to scale. The path to wealth and first world development for most countries lies in manufacturing, not in dead-end diminishing returns to scale sectors like agriculture.

      Also, Ricardo’s comparative advantage argument for free trade actually uses a naive labour theory of value assumption in its argument. Who cares about immediate labour hours, when the long-term benefits of industry are far better than immediate increased output based on labour time?

      (3) This is why Ricardo's abstract argument utterly fails in the real world. Portugal would be justified in developing a manufacturing cloth industry and other industrial sectors(even if it required imposing tariffs) and ignoring free trade. In the long run, this is what will make it rich. Wine and diminishing returns to scale sectors are a path to poverty.

      This fundamental argument has been made to you again and again in the posts and in my previous comments to you, but you have no response.

  8. What did you lot think of hillary's trickle down accusation?

    1. Not wrong with respect to *actual* trickle down or supply side economics, but Trump isn't pushing that per se, but trade and labour market protectionism.

    2. Seems to be a rather sound observation, based on the way his taxes are skewed.