Bolsonaro Wins in Brazil

42 minutes ago, James Regan said:

Marina, We should all take care to not believe everything we read these days.

We certainly should as we should verify with more than one source. That one was genuine, I thought, inasmuch as I didn't see it refuted. Valuable insight, thank you!

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19 hours ago, mthebold said:

Your professor wasn't wrong.  I've heard the claim that Lincoln had no intention of freeing the slaves, but chose to do so because it was to his advantage.  This claim implies that the point of contention leading to the American Civil War was states' rights.  Regardless of what transpired exactly, states' rights were certainly an issue. It's complicated though: civil rights, states' rights, and the need to compete in the world were all tangled into a single conflict.  In retrospect, it seems like something discourse & diplomacy could have solved more cheaply.  

I was actually trying to be a little witty. 

My point was - Abe Lincoln was a tyrant, but as we know from history a needed tyrant. I wonder what judgement history will pass on Trump? And in a wider sense the US of A for electing him. Would be fun to re-visit this discussion later in 10 - 15 years time... 

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As we are on a O&G forum I will give a O&G example as to why I believe the nationalist protectionist agenda does not work : Jones Act. Back in the 60s and 70s American companies dominated the offshore O&G industry. Had it not been for the Jones Act, they still would. Now, I am not saying that certain imbalances does not need addressing, I do however serious doubt that the longterm consequences of how they are being dealt with are understood. It seems to me that short turn gains will come at a serious longterm cost. 

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Edited by Rasmus Jorgensen
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16 hours ago, mthebold said:

Why is Europe doing this though?  What long-term advantage could there possibly be to allowing poor, uneducated, potentially violent immigrants into a developed nation?

I think this needs to be viewed in a wider context - Europe should have been doing more to stabilize the ME a long time ago. There's a historical responsibillity. Same as there is a human responsibillity. I am NOT saying that immigration policies in Europe are perfect. Far from it. But I am saying that doing nothing is NOT the solution. 

I am betting that some of you that disagree with me go to church. Try asking your preacher what the bible says about helping people in need. Not everything is a great conspiracy. 

Edited by Rasmus Jorgensen

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15 hours ago, mthebold said:
16 hours ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

Serious question : Do you all view the world from a zero-sum perspective?

I know what a "zero-sum game" is, but what do you mean by "view the world from a zero-sum perspective"?  I'd like to be certain we agree on that definition before discussing further.  

Sorry. Loosely translated from Danish. Essentially a zero sum game, but in a general sense, so that it is not just down to economics also culture etc. 

 

Edited by Rasmus Jorgensen

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5 hours ago, Marina Schwarz said:

The majority of Syrian refugees have gone back to Syria now, though. They are war refugees: war's over, they go back to rebuild their home, for which they have my utmost admiration. Millions who rode the "Syrian refugees" wave, though, are staying. They are not refugees and they are not going back.

@Rasmus Jorgensen, my blog post, as promised. I'd love to hear your perspective. I'm sure it will be quite different from mine, which is great for a fuller picture

will read and comment on the post. 

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7 hours ago, Marina Schwarz said:

Haha. Really? Any knowledge at all? You just cram it down his throat? I doubt that. I think I'll have to make a blog post about multiculturalism.

I think you know what I meant. 

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I think I do but the German minister's suggestion did not suppose a choice in the matter and the option of choice is very important. 

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7 minutes ago, mthebold said:

Can you elaborate on the Jones Act, how it affected offshore O&G, and what longterm effect you think current policies will have?  I'm not well-versed in this topic. 

Here is a previous conversation about the Jones Act.

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4 hours ago, mthebold said:

Can you elaborate on the Jones Act, how it affected offshore O&G, and what longterm effect you think current policies will have?  I'm not well-versed in this topic. 

see comment in seperate thread. 

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5 hours ago, mthebold said:
7 hours ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

Sorry. Loosely translated from Danish. Essentially a zero sum game, but in a general sense, so that it is not just down to economics also culture etc. 

 

I'm still not following you.  Can you give me an example of "zero sum thinking" vs "non-zero-sum thinking"? 

Basically it means that an economy, culture, religion can only flourish at the expense of another. Peaceful growth and co-existence is not possible according to this way of thinking. 

I believe in the free market & innovation. Some would call me a globalist. That is not to say that the market does not need some regulation to stay free, but I will get to that later. 

Edited by Rasmus Jorgensen

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4 hours ago, mthebold said:
6 hours ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

I think this needs to be viewed in a wider context - Europe should have been doing more to stabilize the ME a long time ago. There's a historical responsibillity. Same as there is a human responsibillity. I am NOT saying that immigration policies in Europe are perfect. Far from it. But I am saying that doing nothing is NOT the solution. 

I am betting that some of you that disagree with me go to church. Try asking your preacher what the bible says about helping people in need. Not everything is a great conspiracy. 

Why is there a historical & human responsibility to aid the Middle East? 

Middle East & Africa where a lot of immigrants into Europe are coming from is partly a mess because of the European colonial powers who carved landmass into unnatural countries and then just left... After that the EU created a ridiculous economic subsidy policy that basically ensured former colonies had no chance to build their economies. 

As to the human obligation - I would seriously challenge anybody here to spend a couple of days in a refuge camp in Turkey, Syria or anywhere in Africa and feel that we need to do something. Now, I am NOT saying bringing lots of immigrants into Europe is the answer, but they came knocking. Had Europe intervened, we would not be in this mess - and yes, I believe that it is Europes responsibillity to intervene in our backyard (NOT Americas), just as it is Americas responsibillity to stop the genocide in Venezuela. 

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5 hours ago, mthebold said:

the case of China, we're dealing with an oppressive government that abuses any advantage it can find. I hear US companies talking about all the market share they can gain in China, but I doubt China will let them have it.  In the mean time, China actively steals corporate secrets, buys strategically important companies, and forces technology transfers.  It classifies itself as a "developing" nation to gain legal advantages at the same time it attempts to compete in with the most advanced nations in the most advanced technologies.  In short, China cannot be trusted. Considering that, tariffs against China, specifically, make sense purely from a national defense point of view.  We don't need China for cheap labor - or anything else, for that matter.  We'd be better off sending our business to the small, Pacific nations trying to avoid China's influence.  

But that's just my limited view.  What are your thoughts? 

I agree with the overall perception. 

That being said - I also believe that American leadership and standing in the world is based on: 

1) Economic strength

2) Military strength 

3) Ethical / moral superiority / leadership

They way I see it Americas comparative economic strength is being weakend. Eventually this will lead to weaker comparative military strength. And in my view Trumps behaviour is eroding USAs moral highground as the natural leader of the free world. In the longterm I think this will damage Americas influence. 

To be clear - I do not disagree with addressing some trade imbalances. I just think Trump is going about it wrong. He would be better off trying to isolate china, by building coaliations. He might get short-term results, but at what cost? I guess we will know in 10 - 15 years.

Edited by Rasmus Jorgensen

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7 minutes ago, mthebold said:

If Europe screwed it up, then I agree that Europe should fix it.  That said, I would note that many of these regions were technologically backward, violent holes before Europe ever arrived.  In some cases, it's possible Europe's presence was an improvement.  E.g. the entirety of Sub-Saharan Africa failed to produce a single noteworthy civilization, was practicing slavery long before Europeans arrived, and gladly sold each other to European slavers.  That's not Europe's fault; they screwed themselves up.  Put simply: before assigning blame, I would look back at the entire history and be certain blame is justified.

I don't need to spend time in a refugee camp because both I and my ancestors made the necessary sacrifices to avoid that.  I would also consider that some people can't manage resources.  It doesn't matter how much wealth and opportunity you give them; they'll destroy it all.  To wit, I recall a coworker going on about the plight of inner city kids.  I asked the obvious question: why are people who can't afford kids having kids?  In my family, we don't do things like that.  Hence, we don't suffer the way others do.  I bring this up because there will be no end to poor people making expensive decisions.  We could bankrupt ourselves trying to help them, and they'd still end up in poverty.  

Is poverty and human suffering bad?  Yes.  Is there anything we can do about it?  Not that I'm aware of.  Rather than indulging our emotions, we should stop throwing good money after bad until we have a viable plan.  

As I mentioned earlier I believe that Europe is only partly responsible. 

As to your other comments - pls have a look at this video and think it into a global contexy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBQx8FmOT_0

 

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14 minutes ago, mthebold said:

Talking about America's "Ethical/ moral superiority / leadership" sounds like buttering us up so we'll pay for things.  

I am sorry if it came out wrong. That is not what I meant. What I meant is the fact American culture is / was the global benchmark and America generally stood for what was rigth which has given America influence. that influence and being the global benchmark has helped American companies make money.

Edited by Rasmus Jorgensen
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9 minutes ago, mthebold said:

The point of America is not to be a leader; it's to mind our own business.  I don't want America to throw its weight around.  I don't want us to have "influence".  I don't want us to bear responsibility for the world's safety.  All that's led to is massive de-industrialization, debt, loss of young men to war, and politicians/corporations who care more about foreigners than their fellow Americans.  Why, exactly, should an American want any of that?  

So, fortress America? 

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OK. I understand your view. But disagree. Especially this notion that America should pay for everything. 

Thanks for a good discussion. Think we need to be careful not to go in circles from here. 

Edited by Rasmus Jorgensen
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11 hours ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

I think this needs to be viewed in a wider context - Europe should have been doing more to stabilize the ME a long time ago. There's a historical responsibillity. Same as there is a human responsibillity. I am NOT saying that immigration policies in Europe are perfect. Far from it. But I am saying that doing nothing is NOT the solution. 

I am betting that some of you that disagree with me go to church. Try asking your preacher what the bible says about helping people in need. Not everything is a great conspiracy. 

The people of Europe have apparently decided that they have had enough immigrants for now and have voted to greatly reduce the flow. This is very closely analogous to what America is going through with immigration. Europeans and Americans both realize that if we have too many immigrants too fast that we will become second class nations ourselves. The rich will increasingly get richer with cheap labor. Soon the middle class will be small enough to ignore. Then we can all be easily controlled and the wealthy can jet set around the world enjoying a global fascist socialist paradise for the wealthy and those that kiss their behinds most fastidiously.  

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7 minutes ago, ronwagn said:

The people of Europe have apparently decided that they have had enough immigrants for now and have voted to greatly reduce the flow.

 

Mo’ Money, Mo’ Invasion

... So, it makes me happy today to see Italian Interior Minister and all-around badass Matteo Salvini highlight just how sick and insane the whole immigration issue is by announcing he’s cutting in half the daily allowance of migrants from 35€ per day (PER DAY!) to 19€.

That’s nearly $1200 per month folks.

As Ron Paul so succinctly said on the campaign trail, when you subsidize something you get more of it.

So, Italy under the direction of an EU-appointed Prime Minister and government was handing out nearly €1 billion a year to migrants in a country under a brutal austerity program and laboring under a crushing debt load due to fiscal mismanagement.

Now, it doesn’t take an economist to tell you that people respond to incentives.   No wonder everyone wants in.  

... So, Salvini made a brilliant political move by highlighting this insane practice of paying people to come be subsidized by native Italians who, frankly, had very little say in the matter.

Because up until today I didn’t know Italy was paying these people €35 per day.  And I’m sure a lot of Italians didn’t either.  So, by cutting the allowance Salvini highlights the practice but doesn’t end it outright, leaving that decision to voters to continue to be outraged about.

It also puts both his coalition partners at Five Star Movement and the rest of the Italian political elite and media in a position to defend a practice that 60% of Italians are furious about, illegal immigration.

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20 hours ago, Marina Schwarz said:

I think I do but the German minister's suggestion did not suppose a choice in the matter and the option of choice is very important. 

Agree. However, it does not hurt to make an effort to understand more. Sometimes something that seems useless at first becomes interesting once you understand. Just ask my son. 

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I'm beginning to think we are talking about different things. You are talking about knowledge acquisition in general. I am talking specifically about the lack of, shall we say, reciprocity in knowledge acquisition.

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11 hours ago, ronwagn said:

The people of Europe have apparently decided that they have had enough immigrants for now and have voted to greatly reduce the flow. This is very closely analogous to what America is going through with immigration. Europeans and Americans both realize that if we have too many immigrants too fast that we will become second class nations ourselves. The rich will increasingly get richer with cheap labor. Soon the middle class will be small enough to ignore. Then we can all be easily controlled and the wealthy can jet set around the world enjoying a global fascist socialist paradise for the wealthy and those that kiss their behinds most fastidiously.  

The trouble with how Europeans vote is that the anti-immigration parties treat the symptons. Not the disease. The root cause is economic - we need to create economic growth for the entire population. In the countries I know of (including my home country) the nationalist anti-imigration parties do not support policies that support the blue collar lower middle class. But they have the support of the blue collar middle class. So, they have managed to sell this story that being anti-immigrant is being pro blue collar lower middle class. They are not. 

Example : back in the 50s Denmark GDP per capita was way below that of the united states. Now it is higher. Why? because of investment into education, infrastructure etc. The nationalist anti-immigration want to end immigration and increase social spending on elderly, blue collar middle class etc, but do not give 10 hoots about education etc (i.e. the future). Funnily, a lot of nationalist have been caught milking public coffers in their own nations and EU.... Now, they aren't the only ones doing this, but they sell themselfes as standing up for the little man,

Edited by Rasmus Jorgensen
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8 hours ago, Marina Schwarz said:

I'm beginning to think we are talking about different things. You are talking about knowledge acquisition in general. I am talking specifically about the lack of, shall we say, reciprocity in knowledge acquisition.

I think we are on the same topic. 

For clarity I will give an example : This summer I demanded of my son that he read at least 1 book during the holidays (I gave him 4 to choose from). He obliged me under strenous protests and I made him give me a resume after each chapter. Then, 2 thirds into the book he actually started liking it. And even ended up reading the sequeal. 

My point is : Sometimes people have capacity and capabillity - they just need a push or a demand. 

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13 hours ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

The trouble with how Europeans vote is that the anti-immigration parties treat the symptons. Not the disease. The root cause is economic - we need to create economic growth for the entire population. In the countries I know of (including my home country) the nationalist anti-imigration parties do not support policies that support the blue collar lower middle class. But they have the support of the blue collar middle class. So, they have managed to sell this story that being anti-immigrant is being pro blue collar lower middle class. They are not. 

Example : back in the 50s Denmark GDP per capita was way below that of the united states. Now it is higher. Why? because of investment into education, infrastructure etc. The nationalist anti-immigration want to end immigration and increase social spending on elderly, blue collar middle class etc, but do not give 10 hoots about education etc (i.e. the future). Funnily, a lot of nationalist have been caught milking public coffers in their own nations and EU.... Now, they aren't the only ones doing this, but they sell themselfes as standing up for the little man,

It sounds to me like you are making a generalization based on your political point of view. I think that all leaders are in favor of education, especially if it is practical and leads to good jobs. I am against education that propagandizes for socialism and against personal freedoms being repressed by big government. 

The fifties were right after WW2 and all of Europe was recovering economically with the help of the Marshall Plan. By the sixties they were doing well and still are except for overly large government programs and an overarching E.U. 

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7 hours ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

I think we are on the same topic. 

For clarity I will give an example : This summer I demanded of my son that he read at least 1 book during the holidays (I gave him 4 to choose from). He obliged me under strenous protests and I made him give me a resume after each chapter. Then, 2 thirds into the book he actually started liking it. And even ended up reading the sequeal. 

My point is : Sometimes people have capacity and capabillity - they just need a push or a demand. 

Yes, we are on the same topic but we diverged on the aspects. Anyway, what you did sounds like what I'd do and I will do it once my daughter learns to read. What I had in mind, though, was a willingness on one party's part (Western Europe) to learn everything they can about another party (economic migrants), combined with the utter unwillingness of parts of the latter party to learn anything about the former party. But we're discussing this below my blog post so I'll stop flooding this thread. :)

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