Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Democratic Party in Crisis?

Another gift from Laurie:
"Here is a new topic suggestion for you - I'll call it TMITIRT (the most interesting thing I read today.) The conclusions of several writers that are linked should make you and J. happy.

Don’t believe the Democratic Party is in crisis? Then read this tweet."

And here is what Eric had to say about the topic a few weeks ago.

Personally, I think most rational citizens understand that the government is inefficient, ineffective and some what not to be trusted.  And the Democrats answer for every issue is give the State more money and control.  I can see how that may reduce support for them.


Laurie said...

I should have posted my link more carefully. This is the article that is really fascinating:

America may be in a reinforcing feedback loop of growing inequality and Republican rule

The in depth explanation makes much more sense then your arguement that rational citizens hate govt. I believe the most educated citizens tend to vote for the democrats.

Anonymous said...

The Republican Party wrecked the economy, wants to reengage in a series of fruitless wars, wants to take away your health insurance, and is running Donald Trump for president, while winning the popular vote for president only once since 1988. And it's the Democratic Party that's in crisis?

Sean said...

I think both parties have fundamental problems. Democrats got their clocks cleaned in 2010, which has made the electoral map for the U.S. House and in many state legislatures a serious uphill climb because districts were gerrymandered to the GOP's advantage. (For instance, Barack Obama won PA by 5.5% in 2012, and Democratic House candidates in the state earned 83,000 more votes than Republican House candidates, but the GOP still won 13 of the 18 House seats because they controlled the redistricting maps.) The weakened bench you see for Democrats nationally is in large part due to this decade in the wilderness beginning to take hold.

Republicans, on the other hand, are challenged on a national level. The Electoral College map is unfavorable towards them. (Hillary Clinton could lose Florida, Virginia, and Ohio and still win the Presidency in 2016 if she wins the other Obama 2012 states.) And many of their policies are out of step with where younger Americans are.

Sean said...

"Personally, I think most rational citizens understand that the government is inefficient, ineffective and some what not to be trusted."

This has been effective propaganda from Republicans for decades, because it works to lay the faults of anything the government doesn't do perfectly at the feet of Democrats.

But it also explains why you have a bunch of woefully ill-informed and not-ready-for-prime-time folks at the top of the GOP Presidential race right now -- because Republicans have taken it as gospel that how you manage the government is irrelevant.

John said...

I think there is a lot of difference between these statements. I don't think people hate government. I think they appreciate many aspects of government. They just don't agree with giving government even more control of their personal lives and wallet.

"rational citizens hate govt" Laurie

"rational citizens understand that the government is inefficient, ineffective and some what not to be trusted." JTA

Laurie said...

part of my fun in commenting on your blog is twisting your words and views just slightly, enough to annoy you but not enough for you to correct, so my version of your views stands. I missed the mark this time and have probably ruined my fun by letting you in on it.

John said...

I think we have significantly different opinions regarding this.

"Republicans have taken it as gospel that how you manage the government is irrelevant."

In my view it is the Democrats who have chosen to not "manage". The Democrats seem to simply believe that giving the public employees, public programs, etc more funding will in some way improve results. Good management requires that goals are set and people are held accountable for improving effectiveness, quality, throughput, services, etc.

As we have discussed often, repeatedly the Democrats fight against these simple concepts. Which ironically were apparently were updated under Clinton's watch...

John said...

Don't be concerned, I will only correct them when they become aggregious like this one. Keep having fun. :-)

Sean said...

"Good management requires that goals are set and people are held accountable for improving effectiveness, quality, throughput, services, etc."

What evidence is there that Republicans are better at this than Democrats?

jerrye92002 said...

I'm surprised that anybody thinks that the voters of this country make rational and informed decisions about their government. That "educated citizens tend to vote for Democrats" is absolute proof.

I'm also amused about even the headline "America may be in a reinforcing feedback loop of growing inequality and Republican rule" when it is well known that Republican policies generally promote economic growth, and proven fact that economic growth DECREASES income inequality.

Anonymous said...

" is well known that Republican policies generally promote economic growth..."

It doesn't matter how many times you repeat this lie, it still will not be true.


John said...

I don't know if the GOP folk are better... But at least they are willing to try.

The GOP supports accountability in the schools, the DFL supports the Teacher's Union, Steps, Lanes, Tenure and No Rewards/Punishments.

The GOP supports making Union dues voluntary, the DFL supports forcing people to join and pay. Even though we know via Private Industry that having Union employees increases the cost of doing business. (ie increases cost to tax payers)

The Conservatives typically try to limit the funding with the view that it will force bureaucratics to make hard decisions, implement improvements and prioritize better. The Liberals say we just need to increase funding to the level "government needs" to do what we have tasked them with.

Imagine if I gave my Engineers and unlimited budget and no clear measurables... How much time and money do you think they could spend in pursuit of a ideal solution?

Sean said...

You should have just stopped after "I don't know if the GOP folk are better." Assertion that you prefer one ideology over another does not mean that said ideology produces results. There's no proof that GOP politicians do any better at running government from a managerial perspective than Democrats. Nor is there any proof that the policies you cite GOP politicians as wanting to implement produce better results than the alternative.

Laurie said...

it seems like this topic has veered into some of the same tired talking points, so I will just insert something completely unrelated that I thought you should see, John, as you make "both side do it" arguments all the time.

How Honest Is Your Favorite Candidate?

looks like significant differences in honesty to me.

Laurie said...

so I found my link pretty persuasive, that we will be stuck with right wing govt for a long time, and probably to a more significant degree than we have now. While I still think Hillary will win I spent my drive home considering how the country would change if the GOP won the presidency and kept control of congress. I found the proposition depressing / scary and am curious as to what others think as to how the country would change. So pick your favorite GOP presidential candidate and predict how the country would be better (or worse) if they were to win. Don't cheat and pick someone slightly sane like Kasich who doesn't have a chance. To make it more interesting you could assume that the senate gets rid of the fillibuster so we get the full effect of conservative governing principles/policies.

I know the left point of view would likely include a comparison of blue and red states that is unfavorable to the red states. Would the GOP go through with major cuts to SS and medicare?

John said...

Ignoring Laurie's most recent bout of ADHD for now.

Almost every successful company in the world uses the policies I cite. I think that is pretty significant proof that they work. Can you think of one successful organization who says...

"oh let's leave the vision, goals and measures to the employees"
"oh it cost more last year so I guess we need to automatically increase spending again"
"oh the quality and performance of that subsidiary is very poor so I guess we had better increase spending, preserve the jobs / methods of those employees and give them a raise?

These are the types of comments the DFL politicians often seem to make. Remember what happens when I say let's make government live within 1/3 of the USA GDP. I am told that government needs to be funded to do what it is supposed to do... (ie open checkbook)

Imagine how long any other organization would last with that mantra... The reality is that people in organizations can spend whatever you give them... Not because they are bad or greedy, it is simply because they think their work is important and more good can be done.

Someone needs to set a budget, define the high level goals and demand performance from the organization, not just keep writing more checks.

jerrye92002 said...

Sean has a legitimate observation. The big criticism (from Tea Party types and others) is that "establishment Republicans" only claim they can better manage Big Government, when what needs to happen is to make government more efficient, and to further reduce its size to only those things it should and actually can manage better than can states, local governments, individuals or private organizations.

I perhaps should have said that /conservative/ principles and policies would encourage economic growth. We take as axiomatic such things as "it isn't possible to tax our way to prosperity" and "government that governs least governs best." To the degree Republicans are able and willing to [figure out and] implement those conservative policies effectively, they work. That there are not a lot of great examples of that is the great frustration.

Laurie said...

my comment was very on topic- which is the possible feedback loop of growing inequality and republican rule.

You think things would be better managed with the GOP in control, I think this would be disasterous. I chose not to go into which states are in better shape - blue states or red states. I think if I wanted to make the effort I could pretty easily find sources that show states which are controlled by dems doing better on a wide variety of measures. What is your evidence that the GOP manages govt more effectively? Remember we are talking about the govt and not companies.

jerrye92002 said...

Laurie said, " Would the GOP go through with major cuts to SS and medicare?"

That illustrates exactly why the GOP will NOT make "cuts" to these programs. There are only two possible scenarios: One, the GOP actually figures out how to SAVE these unsustainable programs (it isn't hard) by reforming them. The Democrats and Media will then lie as wildly and as long as it takes to turn the public against these sensible reforms, showing Paul Ryan pushing Granny over a cliff, for example. Two, the Democrats will continue to demonize Republicans for wanting to reform and save the program by accusing them of "cuts," while ACTUALLY cutting $500Billion out of Medicare, and forcing Social Security to be cut by at LEAST 25% when the "trust fund" (a fiction) runs out, if not before. There is a "Scenario 1A" in which Republicans, knowing how they will be demonized for trying, simply don't. That's functionally equivalent to 2 and pretty much what we have right now on a broad range of issues.)

"It isn't what the public knows that causes trouble, it's what they know for certain that just isn't true."

John said...

I actually read the whole VOX article. They seem to be rather illogical. They state that the low income folks need education and unions to teach them which vote will help them. Then they say the poor vote Democrat.

"those who are less well-off need unions and public education to get them the political information they need to self-place in line with their economic interests. The rich do not."

"Certainly Democrats have plenty of incentives to mobilize the poor, who do tend to vote Democratic. But because of declining union infrastructure, various forms of disenfranchisement, and the weak social networks of the lower class, organization is difficult and costly. Moreover, the Democrats' most active donors may not be super eager to see the poor get super engaged in politics."

I don't think folks need too much education to understand that the Democrats support the handing out of free stuff. That shows up in almost every DFL and GOP advertisement.

John said...

Laurie, I meant your "honesty" link.

Laurie said...

the point you missed is that poor people don't vote and it is very costly to try to change this. I receive emails from a new group that is trying to increase turnout. So far it seems too hopeless to give them any of my money (which only goes to environmentlal organizations.) Anyway, here are a few fun facts about who doesn't vote: (also remember that turnout in 2014 was something like 35% - I think)

What’s more, the study found that those who were most unlikely to vote are demographically distinct from likely voters:

They are young: 34 percent of nonvoters are younger than 30 years old and the vast majority—70 percent—are younger than 50 years old.

They are racially and ethnically diverse: A full 43 percent of nonvoters are Hispanic, African American, or other racial and ethnic minorities. That is roughly double the 22 percent of likely voters comprised by minorities.

They are less affluent than likely voters: Almost half—46 percent—of nonvoters have family incomes less than $30,000 per year, while only 19 percent of likely voters are from low-income families.

They are less educated than likely voters: While 72 percent of likely voters have completed at least some college, most nonvoters—54 percent—did not attend college.

and the other point is even if they do vote many vote against their own interests.

Laurie said...

Jerry, what is the difference between reform and cut? A great many seniors could easily be pushed into poverty and the next generation has even greater need for full benfits to cover basic needs. My favorite senator, Elizabth Warren, is on MSNBC right now talking about this topic. If you want to learn more about why SS shouldn't be cut I'm sure her reality based views could be easily found online.

Sean said...

"Remember what happens when I say let's make government live within 1/3 of the USA GDP. I am told that government needs to be funded to do what it is supposed to do... (ie open checkbook)"

Again, you have constructed your favorite strawman and set it ablaze. I have yet to hear a Democratic politician suggest an "open checkbook". (And certainly, if there's any combination of party and issue that fits the "open checkbook" description, it's Republicans and the military. But I digress.)

There's also the historical record that destroys your hypothesis. It wasn't a Democratic VP that said "deficits don't matter". It wasn't a Democratic President that started throwing around "free stuff" and kicking away the surplus.

On and on and on and on... You can't ignore history because you disagree with how it went down.

jerrye92002 said...

"Jerry, what is the difference between reform and cut?" -- Laurie

None, so far as Democrats are concerned, but that is, of course, another liberal fantasy. The simple fact is that, WITHOUT reform, there WILL be cuts to these programs because they are unsustainable. The other FACT is that, WITH reform, those cuts do NOT need to be made, and that seniors would be BETTER off in the longer term, rather than worse as the Democrats will cause to happen.

John said...

I think your point is that it is in some way government's responsibility to get these irresponsible citizens to the polling place, and to convince them to vote for more government programs / spending. (ie free stuff) The things you believe to be in their best self interest.

As for "best self interest", many poor people are smarter than you give them credit for. They understand that there is no free lunch. They understand that some of the policies promoted by the Democrats just make it harder for the American companies to compete in a competitive global economy. Which then puts their jobs at risk...

John said...

What % of the USA's GDP should be controlled by the government? (ie politicians, bureaucrats, public employee unions, etc)

Any party that continues to demand double digit biennial increases when inflation is ~2% and population growth is slow seems to be managing the government poorly. And then they are going to demand big increases again this year, instead of prioritizing better and making effectiveness improvements... And they will complain when they are blocked.

Sean said...

"What % of the USA's GDP should be controlled by the government?"

I have already answered that question. You are unable to accept that I won't see this issue through your frame. And you continue to throw in irrelevant things like this:

"Any party that continues to demand double digit biennial increases when inflation is ~2%"

Consumer inflation has little overlap with the basket of goods and services that the government buys.

jerrye92002 said...

I still remember being absolutely appalled when one of MN's DFL legislators, queried about the GOP suggestion that perhaps State spending should be reduced during the last economic downturn, acted shocked and said, "Government has NEEDS." As if families don't??!!!

And I don't believe you have the right measuring stick. Government spending should allow economic growth to exceed population growth plus inflation, while spending stays "even" with those two things or actually gets SMALLER as new efficiencies and economies of scale kick in. But that is not the case. MN State spending, since 1960, has grown at TEN TIMES that rate. Who are the people claiming that there is not one dollar of waste, fraud, abuse, inefficiency or inefficacy that could and should be cut, and screaming about "cuts" even when the rate of growth is reduced?

John said...

What is your frame then again?

"We must give the government employees as much money as they ask for to do what we have vaguely asked for?

Why do you keep using that tired and total misleading 10X number?

MN "Local and State": 2B to 57.5B
MN Population: 3413864 to 5379139
Period 50 yrs
Average Inflation 3.7%
Indicator: 18 to 110

See comments for more info

Sean said...

"We must give the government employees as much money as they ask for to do what we have vaguely asked for?"

I can see I'm wasting my time here.

John said...

Maybe... But I will ask again...

What is your frame then again?

Laurie said...

I agree with Sean that your questions are dumb so I am going to cycle back and answer my own question since no one else will (the one about how would the country change under republican rule?)

the answer is the deficit would explode.

Even the conservative Tax Foundation believes these plans would balloon the national debt.

Donald Trump's plan would cost over $10 trillion.

Bobby Jindal's plan would cost $9 trillion.

Rick Santorum's would cost $1.1 trillion.

Jeb Bush's plan? $1.6 trillion.

Marco Rubio? More than $1 trillion over the next decade.

The Republican Tax Plans Are All Basically Insane liberal view based on analysis by the tax foundation

The Problem With Republican Tax Plans conservative view based on analysis of 3 plans by the tax foundation

Laurie said...

Here is a link that seems related to this topic to me:

The GOP and the Rise of Anti-Knowledge

it ties together things I sort of knew already. I especially like the term "anti-knowledge."

I expect it will qualify for my MITIRT designation. Does anybody else read things that stand out as making you understand at a deeper level or look at things in a new way? Throw up a link.

Here is where I found the link and another favorite blogger adds a few thoughts to the topic:

the effects of anti-knowledge on democracy

Laurie said...

while I do other things besides surf the web (like laundry and walk 4 miles) I did find two other related links that are strong contenders for MIRIRT:

I’ve seen America’s future – and it’s not Republican

Days of Desperation
There’s a reason Bush, Kasich and other establishment Republicans aren’t gaining traction. Their conservatism no longer makes sense.

I would't keep throwing up links that interest only me but it's so easy and there might be something others find interesting. You can answer the question w/o reading anything new about the future of the republican party - doomed or growing in dominance.

John said...

So many links that seem to forget that fiscal conservatism is not dependent on race... It is dependent on philosophy...

John said...

That being... Should people control the fruits of their labors? Or should the government?

Laurie said...

I didn't understand your brief replies at first. My take is that you think the GOP will do well or dominate because people of all races like low taxes. There is too little info in your answer for me to agree or disagree with so I just debated myself - are the dems in crisis or is the future democratic. While my links seem to contradict each other I think I agree with both. The feedback loop will lead to continued republican control of congress and the changing demographics will lead to another democratic president.

Mostly I find it fascinating that an apparently intelligent republican (that would be you or I wouldn't have read your blog for so long) seems to be completely blind to and uninterested in how the republican party has changed. I thought all my links trashing the republican party would get some reaction. Maybe I need to post just one more to put you past the tipping point where you could see what a mess the party has become.

who's to blame for this mess?

John said...

Please remember that I like gridlock. I am fine with Hillary as President as long as Congress is GOP.

This supports my social liberal and fiscal conservative views.

Laurie said...

I am curious about your very limited responce to my links. I am trying to decide if you have been persuaded, at least a little, that the GOP has gone off the rails, but don't want to admit it or if you didn't read any of them.

I am leaning toward you didn't read them. If you had I think you would have defenseively put up a dems are crazy too comment- look at Bernie Sanders.

Laurie said...

Here is a link to a short story about Ben Carson that I found very amusing. I will put it under the category of anti knowledge. I can't decide if these types of lies are harmless or concerning. (concerning because of what a pattern of lying indicates about the psychological fitness of a prospective leader of the free world.)

Ben Carson and the Tale of Redemption

jerrye92002 said...

John, I keep using that 10X number because I actually did the math, year by year, and found that, had State spending merely kept pace, the budget this year would have been about $3B, rather than the $30B it is, or 10X higher. QED.

And Laurie, I am baffled at how you can be concerned with "the deficit would explode under Republican rule" when Obama has DOUBLED the national debt, increasing it by more than all previous Presidents put together (roughly). And when I look at the history of MN State spending, I see exactly two brief periods when State spending did NOT increase substantially, and both of those were while Republicans were in control of the legislature.

Now there is certainly a legitimate complaint that Republicans have been rather hapless at stopping Obama's extremely awful agenda, but whom should be blamed here, the one DOING the awful, or the ones failing to stop it?

John said...

I read them all. Just did not find them very interesting. It is pretty easy to find these articles that pick on the extreme people on each side.

It does seem that Carson is going to implode. It is strange that someone so successful would have felt the need to embellish.

On the other hand, I don't doubt that his supporters will say this is a partisan attack... Kind of like Hillary's supporters.

jerrye92002 said...

I can see Ben Carson coming out of this as a stronger candidate, as a "victim" of the press, in the same way as Hillary gains points when called a liar by Republicans.

The problems with the Politico story, and every news branch that picked it up, is that the headline doesn't even match the body of the story. What Carson says happened is in fact the most likely scenario given the known facts, and even his 50-year-old recollections are almost exactly factual, according to Politico's own "investigation."

Too bad black Republicans aren't allowed to play the race card against the media, but that appears to be the double standard at play here.

Laurie said...

you are a good sport to read my links, John, even when you don't find them interesting. I only found one thing worthy of sharing today, but I am going to give you a break and not post a link

John said...

I find them somewhat interesting as a study in psychology. I am often amazed how people rationalize the behavior of "their candidate" even when it seems highly suspect. Jerry and my Mother have similar views on the Carson exagerations. It is just that Liberal press... Even though one of the groups picking it up is the Wall Street Journal.

The same for the Liberals and Hillary, no matter how suspect her behaviors have been.

I also find it interesting how almost every journalist and blogger wants to focus on the extremist in each party, and then somehow claim that those are the bulk of that party.

Please feel free to leave links any time. I just delay reading them until I find time.

jerrye92002 said...

"I am often amazed how people rationalize the behavior of "their candidate" even when it seems highly suspect."

Only because to YOU it seems like a rationalization, rather than a rational response. Like most "psychological observations" it says as much about you as it does about whom you observe.

I would like for you to explain, in clear and rational terms, what about Carson's West Point story was a lie or even exaggeration. Pretty sure I can explain why Hillary's misstatements are orders of magnitude more serious, and not equivalent at all, though the liberal press would like you to believe such.

John said...

I am sure the Liberals see it totally differently and Ben has more than one "error" out there. The reality I assume is the Carson is an extreme narcissist like Trump. Therefore he embellished his life story, and with that much ego maybe he did not even realize he did it.Carson Not Accurate

I would not call it a deal breaker, however it does go to determing what his character is like. Just like Hillary's email mess helps to describe her character.

The reality is that their supports will happily overlook these defining behaviors. And I can't blame them since most of the these "movers and shakers" have questionable character.

Not knowing much about him, I think Rand Paul is probably one of the most straight shooters, however that does not mean he will be popular. In fact, it probably keeps him from being popular.

jerrye92002 said...

I think the reality is that Ben Carson is a really good and humble man, probably unsuited to the rough-and-rougher road a black Republican faces. I like his quote, "If you can find somebody who 100% accurately remembers events of 50 years ago, tell me, so I may sit at his knee and learn."

And I WILL overlook this tempest-in-a-teapot media smear job, because it is long past and says almost nothing about his fitness for high office. On the other hand, we have Hillary, who RECENTLY told PROVEN and highly consequential lies while IN high office, for raw political purposes. Anybody notice the media going all apoplectic over those?

The Democratic Party doesn't have a crisis so long as they are safe in the loving arms of the major media.