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Trump on Trade ... Stupidity and Childish Continue


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#501 andydp

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Posted 17 October 2019 - 11:50 AM

View PostLFC, on 16 October 2019 - 04:15 PM, said:

From the link:
So Ron Vara is the man that Peter Navarro WISHES he actually was. It's more than a bit sad and pathetic.

One important takeaway we all have overlooked:

saying that he had read one of the professor’s books



How did we miss the admission of the President having read something ?
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#502 LFC

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Posted 17 October 2019 - 11:55 AM

View Postandydp, on 17 October 2019 - 11:50 AM, said:

One important takeaway we all have overlooked:

saying that he had read one of the professor’s books


How did we miss the admission of the President having read something ?

He looked at the pictures. To him that's reading a book.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#503 Rich T Bikkies

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Posted 17 October 2019 - 11:58 AM

View Postandydp, on 17 October 2019 - 11:45 AM, said:

Rich: would you then "knock me up"*** and explain it in detail ? TIA (Thanks in Advance)

It just means "lock up", but references the slam of the cell door, too, which of course is much more intimidating in prison. Sometimes you used to come across the phrase "banged up with your own chamber pot", but British prisons have improved since then. I fear that with Priti Patel as Home Secretary they will get bad again.
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#504 LFC

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Posted 22 October 2019 - 04:58 PM

As expected it sounds like Trump's trade "deal" with China unwinds a little bit of his damage but achieves next to nothing, and perhaps nothing at all, from the baseline we were at before his stupid trade war.

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The United States has reached a “very substantial phase one deal” with China in the high-stakes trade negotiations between the two economic superpowers, Donald Trump says.

But don’t look too closely. Like many of the deals announced in the White House, there may be less there than meets the eye.

Indeed, it looks as if the parties restored if not improved agricultural purchases – which may be too late for many U.S. farmers – that had more or less been in place at the start of this messy split. All the promises about ending China’s forced technology transfers from American companies were left for another day, as were promises to end Chinese currency manipulation and substantial national investments in specific technologies like 5G that Trump has called unfair.

So, the tough talk has merely postponed the tough issues.

It may even look as if Team Trump blinked first, with Trump agreeing to talk $250 billion of new tariffs off the table in return for soybean purchases that had been the case before the tariff war.

A very artful deal.


The piece goes on to discuss how there are supposed to be more phases, that the soybean issue was offered up by China 2 years ago, and (as we all know) this is all about Trump's desperation to get a deal, ANY deal, before the election.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#505 Beelzebuddy

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Posted 22 October 2019 - 05:55 PM

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as we all know
So do the Chinese, so much for leverage, eh Donny boy?
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#506 AnBr

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Posted 15 November 2019 - 06:27 PM

Farm bankruptcies jump to highest level since 2011 as Trump’s tariffs bite

Too bad for these farmers, but there is a certain poetic justice here. It is the sticks that voted for him, which outsized the majority of the electorate with gerrymandering, voter suppression laws, voter purges and other GOP electoral dirty tricks via that leftover relic of slavery days, the Electoral College.
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#507 LFC

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Posted 18 November 2019 - 09:41 PM

Trump's imminent trade deal with China?

Posted Image

Here's the opener but read on. It looks like Trump is desperate for a deal and willing to grasp at almost anything, just as predicted.

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While you weren't looking — perhaps while you were watching impeachment hearings — the trade war with China went off the rails and lost its meaning.

To understand why, you have to know why the US started a trade war with China in the first place. It began with a very specific investigation, one using Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 to examine claims of Chinese theft of US intellectual property.

The investigation determined what many in the business community had been talking about for years: that China abused its US partners, stole the IP of American companies, forced those companies to reveal their technology to Chinese counterparts, and muscled US firms out of the Chinese economy in favor of state-owned enterprises.

This, the Trump administration said, was a problem beyond the capacity of the World Trade Organization. It was a problem worth going to economic war over. And so we did.

But so far this trade war has accomplished nothing aside from breaking up US supply chains and souring relations between the US and China. And now instead of discussing meaningful ways the Chinese economy will open to US businesses, trade negotiators are reportedly haggling over how many soybeans China will buy.

In fact, the status of the negotiations today sounds a lot like the status of the negotiations back in December 2018, when the US and China temporarily laid down their arms. Back then, The New York Times called the treaty — which included a resumption of soybean purchases on China's part — "less a breakthrough than a breakdown averted." The "phase one" deal the administration is now working on would do much the same thing.

Of course, that's if we ever sign the deal.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#508 LFC

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Posted 02 December 2019 - 03:28 PM

WTF is President Numbnuts doing now?

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President Donald Trump returned from the long Thanksgiving weekend ready to open up a new front in his trade war.

On Monday, Trump announced on Twitter that the US would impose steel and aluminum tariffs on Brazil and Argentina in response to what the president described as the countries’ “massive devaluation of their currencies, which is not good for our farmers.”

“Therefore, effective immediately, I will restore the Tariffs on all Steel & Aluminum that is shipped into the U.S. from those countries,” Trump said, adding that he wished the US Federal Reserve should act so “that countries, of which there are many, no longer take advantage of our strong dollar by further devaluing their currencies.”

Though the self-proclaimed “Tariff Man” favors protectionist policies, the president’s decision to ramp up his trade feud is somewhat unexpected. In the spring of 2018, the Trump administration placed tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum on a slew of trading partners, including the European Union, Mexico, and Canada. (They’ve since been removed on Canada and Mexico as part of the USMCA deal.)

Initially, the Trump administration had also threatened other trading partners — including Brazil and Argentina — with those same tariffs, but ultimately struck a last-minute deal to avoid those duties. The administration limited steel and aluminum imports through quotas instead.

Still, according to CNN, after Canada, Brazil supplied the most steel to the US in the beginning of 2019. Last year, Brazilian steel exports to the US added up to $2.6 billion. Argentina isn’t as big a supplier, with just $700 million, per the Washington Post.

But now Trump wants to revisit tariffs, though his reasoning is confusing — and the push seems to have caught the new recipients of Trump’s trade ire off guard.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#509 LFC

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 03:31 PM

Another week, another announced trade deal with China. With the lack of details on what the U.S. will be getting I suspect that Trump has panicked over his trade war's impact on the economy (only for electoral reasons, of course, not because it's hurting people) has him desperate to do anything he can spin as a "win." I predict right now that if this even comes to pass (50/50 at best and that's likely highly optimistic) it will, in reality, be a Trump surrender for nothing more than a handful of token, meaningless talking points the same as we saw in his dealings with Canada and Mexico.

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In a major concession, Washington will half the 15 percent tariffs imposed on $120 billion in Chinese goods, like clothing, that were imposed September 1 and had a bigger impact on American shoppers than previous rounds.

Trump said existing tariffs of 25 percent on $250 billion of Chinese imports would stay in place pending further negotiations on a second phase deal.

But there was little detail on what the United States will get in return for reducing the leverage.

Trump said phase two talks, seeking a much broader reset of the trade superpowers’ relations, could start “immediately.”

He said Beijing had already “agreed to many structural changes and massive purchases of Agricultural Product, Energy, and Manufactured Goods, plus much more.”

Markets, however, appeared skeptical.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#510 LFC

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Posted 26 December 2019 - 03:52 PM

Farmers (and others) who supported Trump continue to get what they voted for, and their getting it hard.

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A new Washington Post story about the difficulties American farmers are facing under President Donald Trump’s trade war reveals that some farmers have had to significantly reduce their food consumption to make up for plummeting incomes.

The story describes the struggles faced by Andy and Anne Lee, two dairy farmers who live in upstate New York who received a federal bailout check of $4,100 this year but who nevertheless recently applied for food stamps because they were still having trouble putting food on their table.

However, Lee so far has been unable to get her family’s SNAP benefits approved despite the fact that her net farm income was -$12,979 last year. After getting turned down in her initial request for food stamps, Lee went to her local food pantry to pick up necessary groceries.

According to the Post, the Lees are not alone in finding difficulty in getting financial assistance buying food during a tough times for farmers.

“An estimated 197,000 farmers, farmworkers, fishermen and forestry workers use SNAP, according to a study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, but farmers say they sometimes find it difficult to qualify because of complicated rules governing self-employment income,” the Post explains. “And the Trump administration has long-term plans to tighten SNAP eligibility for many.”

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#511 LFC

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 12:30 PM

Trump's inane tariff and trade policy has been a boon for top Republican lobbyists. Once again the connected guy gets the cash and the little guy gets the shaft.

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In letters to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Elrod asked that gas-powered water heaters be exempted from the administration’s 25% tariffs, writing that the cost would be “devastating” for the company’s balance sheet. “We had all the boxes checked,” Elrod said. “Or so I thought.”

The process didn’t go as he expected. It’s the stuff that libertarians like Elrod dread: Low-level staffers with limited industry knowledge issuing seemingly arbitrary decisions that can save or smash a company’s bottom line.

Every few weeks, a list comes out with a new batch of lucky winners, and losers. “Non-electrical wall candelabras, of wood, each with 3 wrought iron candle holders” received a pass, for example, but none with one or two candles.

There is no mechanism for appeals.

Overall, Trump’s tariffs have not had the effect that the self-described “Tariff Man” promised. Companies have moved manufacturing out of China — and it has mostly gone to Vietnam, Taiwan and Mexico. Tariffs are chiefly behind a months-long decline in domestic manufacturing, Federal Reserve researchers have found. The total loss of jobs across the economy may be as high as 300,000.

But constantly up-in-the-air trade agreements and the byzantine, opaque exclusion process has been a blessing for one set of players: Washington’s influence industry, including the firms of former Trump officials and allies like inauguration committee chief Brian Ballard, former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and Trump fundraiser Marc Lampkin.

Ballard was once Trump’s lobbyist in Florida. He’s since been dubbed “the most powerful lobbyist in Trump’s Washington.” A cancer therapy firm, Varian Medical Systems, paid Ballard and a colleague $540,000 to lobby the White House, the trade office and Vice President Mike Pence on trade issues, filings show. The outreach included a meeting with Trump’s director of trade and manufacturing policy, Peter Navarro.

Since then, four of Varian’s five exclusion requests have been approved — which, the company said in an SEC filing, boosted revenues by $23 million. (Navarro said he doesn’t intervene in the exclusion process.)

Priebus’ firm, Michael Best Strategies, was hired by a Wisconsin company, Primex, to handle exemptions for its timekeeping and temperature measurement devices. “You’re not gonna do it on your own,” Primex CEO Paul Shekoski said in an interview. “It’s suicide actually.”


More on the poor sucker who believed in Trump. It's tough to feel sorry for him, though. Trump had a long career of screwing over small companies like his and there was literally no reason to believe he'd suddenly change his ways.

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Companies with enough resources and savvy can not only push their own cases, they can work to undermine those of competitors. Elrod began to understand that in early August. He had been on the trade office’s website, waiting to see if he would get his exclusion and watching for requests from competitors, when he noticed that an industry giant had formally objected to his application.

Rheem Manufacturing Company is a Japanese-owned conglomerate and one of the world’s largest producers of water heaters, including in the United States. It challenged Elrod and a handful of other companies that had claimed they couldn’t find alternative sources for their products outside of China, arguing that Elrod could find suppliers in Japan, Germany and South Korea — or buy from Rheem itself.

Elrod quickly fired back with another letter, laying out how difficult and expensive it would be in practice to move production to another country. Amid a rush out of China, factories in Vietnam are holding out for enormous orders and shunning the relatively small quantities that Eccotemp imports. Plus, after developing his heaters over more than a decade with a handful of suppliers, finding one that could meet his exacting standards would require months of tests and new certifications.

That did not sway the government’s trade office, the USTR, which in late September posted a one-page form letter saying that Elrod had failed to demonstrate his products weren’t available outside of China. Thinking that his original ask for exclusions might have been too broad, Elrod then filed individual requests for several of his models, hoping the government might exempt at least a few of them.

But Rheem had reinforcements. New comments in opposition arrived on the letterhead of King & Spalding, a law firm with sleek offices across the street from the White House and a complement of former government officials. Stephen Vaughn had left the firm in 2017 to serve on the administration’s “beachhead team” at USTR, served as the agency’s general counsel — where he oversaw the exclusion process — and then rejoined the firm in 2019.

Fees paid for legal services aren’t public, but records show that Rheem spent $610,000 on lobbying on all federal issues in 2018. Neither Rheem nor Vaughn responded to requests for comment.

“I don’t have anyone on Pennsylvania Avenue,” Elrod said. “That letter probably cost them more than we’ve spent on legal expenses in the last five years.”

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#512 MSheridan

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Posted 30 January 2020 - 01:00 PM

Wilbur Ross:

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I think it’s almost physically impossible for there to be a recession this year.



I trust we are all feeling better now.

#513 Traveler

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 08:18 PM

Coronavirus
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#514 LFC

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 09:28 AM

Sycophancy at its worst. This is how fascism arises. If there's anything American business is good at anymore it's maximizing short-term gain.

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In a towering act of sycophantry, the National Association of Manufacturers announced Friday that it will be giving Ivanka Trump the organization’s first ever Alexander Hamilton Award for “extraordinary support of manufacturing in America.” The organization made the outrageous claim that “no one” — no one! — has ever “provided singular leadership and shown an unwavering commitment to modern manufacturing in America” like she has.

NAM is a trade group representing the interests of the manufacturing firms. In September, Ivanka and NAM’s Manufacturing Institute announced an expansion of a skills training and apprenticeship program created by Toyota Motor North America. Apparently, this constituted leadership and commitment to an industry like mankind has never seen.


So how are things going in manufacturing, one of Trump's supposed big success stories (according to him)?

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Let’s set aside the fact that Ivanka’s own businesses (and her father’s) frequently manufacture their products abroad, and just focus on manufacturing in the United States. As the President runs for reelection, he is pointing to a strong economy as a “success” for American workers and touting what he says is a resurgence in blue collar jobs.

But this ignores a key fact: manufacturing entered a recession in 2019!

By October of last year, U.S. manufacturing had seen two consecutive quarters of contraction. The sector shed 5,000 jobs in December and 12,000 jobs in January. In December, the Institute of Supply Management’s manufacturing index displayed the fastest rate of contraction since June 2009. And although the ISM suggests an uptick may be on the horizon, the sector still lags behind most others.

So whatever Ivanka and the Trumps are up to, it ain’t working.

Unlike most sectors, manufacturing is one in which Trump has taken direct action in the form of tariffs and despite his righteous, self-congratulatory bluster, they have likely amounted to a net decrease in employment.

Let’s look at steel tariffs, ostensibly meant to increase domestic production of steel. Well, we have added roughly 1,000 jobs in steel production, but estimates show we may have lost 75,000 manufacturing jobs where steel is an input. So more people are making steel, but way fewer people are using the steel. It’s a net loss.

What is a manufacturing success? I think most of us would say increased employment and increased wages. Further still, we’d probably say improved working conditions. However, in this context it’s challenging to see any extraordinary results.

According to the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, manufacturing employment peaked in June 1979 with about 19.5 million workers. Employment had already fallen precipitously by the time the U.S. entered the 2007 recession, when the number of Americans employed in manufacturing stood at 13.7 million. The industry bottomed out around February 2010 at 11.4 million. By the time Obama left office in December 2016, manufacturing had rebounded to 12.35 million. At the end of January, this figure was 12.85 million — following two straight months of declines.

Posted Image

Put another way: Manufacturing employment is 34 percent lower than it was at its peak in 1979. Manufacturing employment has grown 3.5 percent since Obama left office, lagging overall non-farm employment which has grown by 4.5 percent.

Diving further into the numbers reveals that manufacturing jobs are no longer more lucrative than the average job. From the BLS:

Quote

In 1990, average hourly earnings of production workers in manufacturing ($10.78) were about 6 percent greater than those of production or nonsupervisory workers in the total private sector ($10.20). By 2018, however, manufacturing workers were earning approximately 5 percent less ($21.54) than their total private sector counterparts ($22.71). Over this same period, manufacturing production workers’ share of total private sector employment fell by half, from 17.2 percent in 1990 to 8.5 percent in 2018.

Another way to measure success is to look at growth in total production. Every month, the Institute for Supply Management issues a report on the economic activity of the sector. The good news is that the index was 50.9 in January. (Anything over 50 indicates expansion, anything under indicates contraction.) The bad news is that while the broader economy has expanded for 129 straight months, this was the first time since June of 2019 that the index showed growth. Further, it’s unclear how real or sustainable this expansion is. The ISM report shows that to the degree there’s any positive change, it originates in either pharmaceuticals or computer and electronic products. Tariffs, Trump’s favorite thing, are not helping.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#515 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 10:40 AM

From time to time it's worth recalling that starting around 1980 there was a push to have the government take steps -- an "industrial policy" -- to shore up the manufacturing sector. The opposition varied, with some insisting that The Magic of the Invisible Hand would take care of it without government interference (with a dab of American Exceptionalism thrown in) and insisting that The Future Is In Services. I confess it took a long time for me to figure out that the "services" in question weren't automotive, fast food, etc. but rather finance. To this day I wonder when the average American worker will be a banker.

The average American dollar, on the other hand ... yeah.

We, as a nation, chose to turn our backs on manufacturing. Someone should figure out whose idea that was and give them credit.
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#516 Traveler

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 08:59 AM

Indeed. IIRC, FIRE has more than doubled as a percentage of GDP since 2000.
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"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#517 LFC

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 09:30 AM

View PostTraveler, on 13 February 2020 - 08:59 AM, said:

Indeed. IIRC, FIRE has more than doubled as a percentage of GDP since 2000.

Here's a chart of how various sectors have been doing.

Posted Image
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

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#518 Bact PhD

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Posted 16 February 2020 - 04:13 PM

View PostLFC, on 13 February 2020 - 09:30 AM, said:

Here's a chart of how various sectors have been doing.

Posted Image
I get the overall trend; however, I am curious about a couple of things.

This chart only goes through the first 2 years of the Obama administration, as we were coming out of the Great Recession. What do many of those lines do under the later Obama years? The first couple under DJT?

Interesting that the "Information" line is nearly flat, despite all the talk about IT, the Internet, yada, yada. Alternatively, is a lot of that classified under "Professional and Business Services"?
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#519 Traveler

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 09:35 AM

PBS includes FIRE. No surprise there
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