It's time to have a 2020 Presidential Election thread


Jay Inslee just became the first governor to enter the 2020 presidential primary, and he’s going to try to make the race all about climate change.

He made the announcement in a video that centrally focuses on climate change. “Our country’s next mission must be to rise up to the most urgent challenge of our time — defeating climate change,” the video says.

Inslee is making climate change his No. 1 priority, but he doesn’t want to be a single-issue candidate. Instead, Inslee is treating climate change like an umbrella issue under which other issues like the economy, health care, and national security also fit.


Sure, but there is basically no free market constituency for anything on your excellent list. They’re all efforts that only a government or quasi-government / public utility would undertake. And it isn’t as if there isn’t labor capacity to take them on, it’s that the labor pool is tied up in pointless efforts like calling you at home to sell you crap products and services.

It isn’t the case that there won’t be any jobs in our robot future; it’s just that there won’t be enough jobs to maintain a you must work for subsistence economic model.


Yes, it’s a localized state buffer against unemployment and underpayment, which can be transitioned to/from permanent positions or the private sector. It would put onus on companies to make employment more rewarding.
Whether there will be enough jobs at a point I think is still far off (even there in most of the US) I don’t believe anyone can tell; a little over a century we were saying most of everything was discovered and invented, we will probably come up with new things (and a shorter work life). In the meantime, trying to make the world sustainable should be able to take care of the problem for now.

EDIT: and it’s always possible to not use technology if it’s better for efficient use of resources (including labor): some countries build and maintain roads using manual labor instead of highly-technical imported machines.


While I don’t doubt one can find examples of someone saying words to this effect, I’m not sure it’s true that this was the view of all the people who ought to have known better. I accept the possibility that work of a kind we can’t imagine might materialize and that we can’t really know the future, but the fact is much of what passes for work now is pointless mind-numbing make-work which produces nothing of value at all. If our future is that everyone will be kept ‘employed’ on that kind of thing as a way to obtain the means of subsistence, then it’s just UBI by another name.

I see a lot of ‘work’ here in Ecuador which is quite clearly jobs-program-make-work. E.g, the little street in front of my apartment has had parking spaces painted on it, sandblasted off and repainted, sandblasted off and repainted again, in just the last 3 months. It has been dug up and repaved 3 times in the last year. Police patrol on foot in groups of 4 or 5, even though there is very little violent crime and even though police don’t often actually pursue non-violent criminals, because that way more police officers are needed. The government employs those that would otherwise not be employed, and finds stuff for them to do.


I don’t want to turn this thread into me evangelizing MMT (I’m not even qualified for that), but I just want to address the “make-work” part - since the idea is to be an employer of last resort and not a permanent job, the point that the tasks aren’t fixed for the job should be clear. The parking spaces are painted, but that public building isn’t, or that statue needs a bit of shine, or maybe even they a day off as everyone’s being more efficient than the planners (which would have higher level goals than a single department; it would listen to what they need and make priorities) - and maybe that means a permanent job with a career doing regular maintenance work opens up (public or private) because he did a good job.
The difference with UBI is that it’s productive work that integrates people into an opt-in healthy, productive working environment that provides work experience, socialization and a sense of pride and accomplishment (cough), while not replacing social subsidies.
It might still not be enough, but, to this layman fuck, it sounds more grounded (if nothing else because it’s bottom up from public/social needs) than any alternative.



Yes, I agree with that; I just question how long there will be enough work of that nature to provide a job to everyone who would otherwise not have one.


In case anyone missed it. :)


I ask myself that every day. I communicate directives from upper management to the people who actually do the work. Then I get in trouble when things go over budget.

I’m basically a punching bag.


I guess healthcare sorta fits. Hard to dispense care when your town is under water.


I dunno. There are bad middle managers, like anything else, but to me this is like asking what do sergeants do? They run the place.


My fault for aping the fake quote. I was also thinking of «There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement», which is apocryphal as well, but it lead me to the real one: «… it seems probable that most of the grand underlying principles have been firmly established … An eminent physicist remarked that the future truths of physical science are to be looked for in the sixth place of decimals.» by Michelson and «"in this field [physics], almost everything is already discovered, and all that remains is to fill a few unimportant holes.» by Plank’s physics teacher.
So, my memory from “A short story of nearly everything” is not entirely faulty, even if the real thing was less absolute. The point remains, the future is a strange, unknowable beast, so we shouldn’t focus too much on far-off thing.

Climate change is one hell of a thing, though.


That sounds less like middle management, and more like a supervisor.

Middle management is more like a lieutenant.


Also hard to breathe when the air is poison.


The whole thing sounds an awful lot like Green New Deal to me.


One thing that is sneaking a lot into my google news headlines these days is click-bait headlines about Nuclear Fusion. Usually from a place called Futurism. Anyway, the one this morning was amusing, and it went something to the effect of “Green New Deal fails to take Nuclear Fusion into account”.


Weird poll we got from UNH, which is a pollster I trust about thismuch more than Rasmussen (mostly over their methodology). Anyway, it’s a NH poll and there’s been much debate about whether it’s good for Bernie (I think it is), bad for Bernie (some folks, notably Enten, feel that way) or just kind of suspect due to the miniscule sample size (most folks from both groups.) But since there’s not much to talk about right now, why not?

Anyway: Sanders 26, Biden 22, Harris 10, all others – including Warren – single digits.

I think it’s fine for Bernie. The person in second to him in that poll hasn’t even formally declared yet…and may not. That 22% to Biden is going to distribute fairly evenly among the other candidates if Joe doesn’t get in, and Sanders is likely to receive some of that as well. If Sanders can finish top two in Iowa – and he may win there – and then win big in New Hampshire, he’s going to have some momentum to carry into the Nevada caucuses (which he may also win) and then into his first really challenging state, South Carolina.

The poll really looks bad for Warren though. As I’ve posted, I’m loving her message and campaign, but it seems to be not finding much purchase so far.


Maybe it’s just the way I’m being spoonfed suggested news content, but I’m seeing much more press about Warren over Bernie, Biden, or Harris. In fact, other than Bernie I haven’t heard a peep about the other two in a week or more, unless I go searching for it.

With that being said, if this particular trend isn’t so unique to lonely old me, I do wonder why Warren hasn’t gained more traction. But hell, I don’t know crap about NH or its opinion-havers.


On actual policy, I think Warren is the best. I’m skeptical she’ll be the nominee, but I’ll happily vote for her if she is.


There is a heavy GOP machine working against her. She’s not as snappy and good at Social Media as AOC and she doesn’t have Bernie fanbase. Then there is her old woman issue, but if she manages to fight those up-hill battles, the best thing they’ve come up with so far is her Native American issue, which isn’t actually a lie.