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About methodical

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  1. Yeah, ideally although I'd argue that you don't need to know THAT much to know that you shouldn't be gambling peoples retirement savings in hedge-funds and weird overseas investments and other risky financial instruments to make up ground when things go down. Another problem is, they hire consultants to recommend investments, those consultants get kickbacks from the things they recommend. Similar to say 401k where companies manage what investments are offered to employees and see kickbacks for that. So obviously that's not transparent to the people that have money coming out of their checks in either case. Pensions would be great, if they were responsibly and transparently managed and enough people that were paying into them knew about investing and held their employers and trustees responsible for any questionable fund management. The problem is people don't want to learn about investing. Which I get... its tedious and boring when you have very little capital to manage, but they're essentially throwing their money into a black box and assuming things are going to be great at some future date. It'd be about as smart as sending your life savings over to your idiot cousin or a greasy haired Don Jr. looking wall street guy you don't know and saying "here make this as big as possible, I'll throw you more every month and I'll be back to collect in 30-50 years." You can't protect yourself if you don't know what you are looking at or never bother thinking about it and just assume someone somewhere is looking out for your money. Unless you have a flat fee based fiduciary advisor that isn't happening and even then you need to know how to look out for yourself.
  2. Sounds a lot like the pension gamble Frontline about KY. https://player.pbs.org/viralplayer/3017663662/ tl;dr; There was no accountability for the people running the pension, they funneled money into risky investments and hedge-funds trying to make up lost ground after the government raided the fund by not actually funding it for years before. The trustees on these things don't know investing.
  3. methodical

    Gun Control

    If you think fingerprint scanners are somehow secure you're fooling yourself, you can defeat most of them with a printout of a fingerprint that you wet. If a safe is in a house, you'd find a fingerprint pretty easily if you wanted. Bio-metrics sound cool and futuristic and I know people are starting to trust them because of their phones, but they aren't really as secure as you imagine.
  4. They suffer from the same things we do here. Disinformation on social media using scare tactics to outrage idiots and news corp. The English speaking world should come together and break up news corp and disallow any foreign entity from owning any stake in content delivery/broadcasting/reporting. We'd all be better for it.
  5. methodical

    Dem Party Budget Ideas 2019 Mega Thread

    Here's where I am torn, as one of the most liberal on this board, I have no problem with most sensible taxes (just with funding SO MUCH military industrial complex, rather than actual good). That being said, I'd want to see actual analysis of what that would mean beyond just taking money out of corporations. Investments are one of the few areas where you can actually create some social mobility in this country and yes, the wealthy benefit more but that's a product of having more capital in the first place, ultimately I'd worry that would make investing in anything that wasn't tax advantaged basically non-existent and lead to more real-estate speculation, because then you'd get several more labor intensive but larger tax advantages to up your ROI. At least until we create another bubble plus the boomers die off, then it all comes crashing down. I'd bet that it'd probably be much more effective to tax things like trades, which would hit HFT outfits and day traders so as to not discourage long term investing in the equities and bond markets.
  6. methodical

    DOJ Initial Russia Hearings

    It should be noted that this is campaign internal polling, which is detailed... not Rasmussen polls or something where its just a favorable number. This, combined with the DNC breach, probably gave the Russians plenty of detailed info on Americans to target in their propaganda campaign. Also this absolutely "IS COLLUSION" and handing an adversary information on American citizens to target them in propaganda ops. Way to go GOP.
  7. methodical

    2018 mid-term

    Publicly funded elections with any outside extra contribution labeled what it is "a bribe" and prosecuted as a federal crime for both the politician accepting it and the person funding it. Have the people fund elections and be done with it. Organizations are all made up of people, there's absolutely no reason why they should allow corporate donations or PACs to even exist, if Koch or some other wealthy business owner wants to call up a representative he's already got disproportionate representation as they'll actually take his call and hear him out there's no need for that to also be tied towards their re-election funds. That and lifetime bans for lobbying for anyone who has held a mid to high level federal office or federal regulatory agency position. Trying to end regulatory capture. Finally re-framing the debate. This whole "all government is bad, all regulations are bad and all taxes are bad" mantra the GOP has successfully pushed for so many years should simply be: "The government is the people of this country trying to do the best for ourselves as a society, we pass regulations to protect ourselves from things bad actors have done TO US in the past and WILL do in the future again if they are removed, and we all pay taxes but those of us with the greatest wealth pay a larger percentage on their highest income since this society gives us all opportunity to thrive and we all benefit more when we lift each other up." That's a few ideas, although I also agree with a higher tax on the largest incomes.
  8. methodical

    Trump's America

    But it's not claiming everything has and always was about trump for Republicans. Krugman was saying that in order to get elected they played to the same base of people that love him and see nothing wrong with what he does. Republicans always claimed those parts of the base were some sort of minority whose support they didn't need or particularly want. We have seen now that that is not true and in order to be in a position to govern nationally they rely on them. How "principled" and "moral" can you claim to be if that is the bargain you've struck as a party for the last 50 years? What ends justify the means in order to push your legislative agenda?
  9. methodical

    Trump's America

    These are the people that Reagan was courting with his welfare queen straw-man. So while he might not support him if he alive and well today, he did help build the party that jumps to action when you frame a campaign as anti-non-white skin color. This was the appeal that was being made by many a politician since Nixon, who saw the civil rights bill as an opportunity to appeal to the southern white majority and a way to whittle support away from programs like welfare by making it seem like it's not for whites, it's for those damned poor black people that are getting a free ride and living a life a luxury off of your tax dollars. So when you peel back the Reagan or whatever other popular republican politician's veneer as the face of that party, you see a foundation built on a voting block that wishes they could've had politicians like Donald Trump all along... without the old subconscious appeals to their baser instincts, they'd prefer it right out in the open.
  10. methodical

    Trump's America

    No, that's not what that thread of tweets said, although sure there are probably some people that believe that. The point is not "if you support conservative policies you are an enabler." It's that, Trump is the reflection of the constituents they are seeking votes from even now, and republican voters support him and his policies at like 90%. When they look in the mirror as a republican lawmaker they should see his ugly mug staring back at them, he's everything they've been dog whistling for 50 years to get support come to pass. He is the right wing narcissistic policies embodied and put into practice. The point was, when your party base is Donald Trump, by design (because the party built it that way since Nixon) you cant lament for the good old days, because those "good old days" were window dressing covering up all the "Donald Trumps" just under the surface. There is no "principled moral republican party" it doesn't exist, and maybe it never did, but it certainly hasn't since at least the dawn of the southern strategy and Nixon secretly extending the Vietnam war. So its time to stop pretending if you are Mitt Romney or any Republican lawmaker that wants to claim some sort of moral high ground, and if they aren't pretending then they're fools maybe for buying into it in the first place, but certainly for trying to claim it now.
  11. methodical

    S&P reached a record high in January

    I don't have a lot to add. Trump is an idiot and he'll no doubt do his best to tank the economy again before we are rid of him, but he's not doing it alone. It's time to start referring to "Trickle down economics" (supply side economics) how it was in the 1890s. It should tell you more about how viable a theory it is. Then it was the "horse and sparrow theory" as in: "If you feed a horse enough oats, some will surely pass through to the sparrow". Republican theories on business, taxation and monetary policy have been around a long time. They just like to rebrand them and dupe idiots into thinking they sound good and sensible for everyone, not just the horses. Y'all enjoy eating s#!t right?
  12. methodical

    Will our democracy survive Trump?

    You aren't thinking back far enough. I'm pretty sure the people driving (funding) this return to greatness mean pre-1913 tax wise. Even if the people voting for it think it means ~1950s.
  13. methodical

    Will our democracy survive Trump?

    It's not Trump that will be the undoing of American Democracy. He's a symptom of a much larger problem as I see it and American Democracy won't survive it unless we make it 100% a priority to elect people pledged to end it, hell it already feels a little sarcastic to call it a Democracy. The reason he gets away with unimaginable policies and lying and just in general being a lazy idiot is simple. Money, not his money, but the money being pumped into the parties and PACs by wealthy extremists and special interests. Trump helped whip people on the right into a frenzy, but that was happening before plenty by their actors spewing propaganda on their networks, but its PAC money and RNC money that tells these politicians (that are sans backbone until they decide not to run again) "hey, you better fall in line or we'll find and fund your primary opponents that will." That's the root of the problems on pretty much any level policy, from partisanship, to nobody able to stand up to their leadership. It's turned being an elected representative into a hostage to their leadership or they get the "how are you going to keep your glorified telemarketing job when we'll bury you in attack ads next cycle if you don't snap to."
  14. methodical

    Thoughts and Prayers!!!

    I just use it to be passive aggressive, it's a stupid emoji, frankly all of them are. Might as well just stick a -1 in there, because that's the use it gets. On the other hand it allows me to be dismissive without the risk of getting myself banned so its got that going for it. Although I've only ever used it on two posters and I am sure everyone can figure out who, no wait 3, redux got there with his welfare queen stuff the other day because I didn't feel like explaining how overextending yourself with credit works or why viewing the "jones's" from the outside doesn't mean that they are in a good or sustainable financial situation.
  15. methodical

    2018 mid-term

    I'm guessing you missed the QA session where he was a complete jackass to reporters and even told pbs reporter Yamiche Alcindor (a black woman) she asked a "racist question" when she was asking why he called himself a nationalist and if he thought that was emboldening white nationalists when they had a white nationalist apparently visiting the white house today. I'm not particularly surprised he can go rub it in people's faces in the press when they lost and say its because they didn't want to kiss the ring (his a$$), but he comes unhinged when anyone has the gall to question him about his appeal to the neanderthals on the extreme right. It's how the narcissist mind works; I didn't do that, you do that, but if I did that it wasn't that bad, if it was that bad then you deserved it. What's sad is there's an entire party of people out there where that's viewed and promoted as strength. Strength isn't playing to the baser instincts of old white racism, that's fear mongering. It does real damage to peoples lives to incite that in his supporters. Not just for the minorities and left that become targets for his mentally ill incel followers. It hurts his supporters too, it isolates them, and their augmented reality where everyone is out to get you and you have to be outraged and angry all the time becomes self reinforcing. It's sad to see. I grew up in Nebraska where I basically saw people going out of their way to give someone in need the shirt off their backs or help any neighbor in need. That still may exist out there, but the feeling for me now is more everyone seems colder and just generally (and I've seen this in my own family) people hooked on the right's media become insufferable pricks a large percentage of their time. I had a few old family members get sucked in and being around them when all they wanted to do was rant about Obama with fox news blaring on the TV (that was on 24/7) was frankly so miserable that the younger members of the family avoided them in the last years of their lives because it was all they'd ever discuss. In reality not all that much changed that impacted their lives, beyond being fed a constant stream of made up outrage playing to their lowest instincts. The sun still rose, work still needed to be done, and people in general are pretty good and just trying to live their lives. I wish Rupert Murdoch, Ailes, and Trump, who is both caught in and an active participant of that phenomenon the lowest rungs in hell for turning the last few years of many other peoples lives into a lonely anger fueled hell before they go.