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RealKayAdams

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  1. Ok all you wonderful people, so here is my VERY rough first draft of a dynasty scoring system: 1. Championships: 2 points for a wild-card round victory followed by a loss in the divisional round, 5 points for a conference final loss or a pre-Super Bowl era title game loss, 12 points for a Super Bowl loss, 15 points for a league title during the pre-Super Bowl era, 25 points for a Super Bowl victory. 2. Regular season records: 1 point for each season between 0.500-0.625 (i.e. 9-7 or 10-6), 2 points for each between 0.625-0.750 (i.e. 11-5 or 12-4), 4 points for each above 0.750 (13-3, 14-2, or 15-1), 7 points for going undefeated (1972 Dolphins, 2007 Patriots, 1934 Bears, 1942 Bears, and maybe the 1948 AAFC Browns), +1 bonus point for each division title. 3. Hall of Famers: 1 point for any minor role player (such as Lofton for the Bills), 3 points for a “contributor” (owner or GM), 6 points for any non-QB position player, 8 points for a head coach, 10 points for a QB. 4. X’s and O’s strategy bonus points: think along the lines of Bill Walsh’s West Coast offense or Don Shula’s 3-4 defense. 5. League development bonus points: think along the lines of the Unitas Colts or the Lombardi Packers. 6. Cultural impact bonus points: think along the lines of the Tom Landry Cowboys or the 70’s/80’s Raiders. Hopefully this gives you all a better sense of what I think we should value and prioritize? The last three are horribly subjective, but I really want to support the dynasties whose qualitative legacies can’t be quantitatively measured with just the first three factors. A note for those stubbornly against the idea of a conference dynasty: I’m setting 1 Super Bowl victory to a value equivalency of 2 Super Bowl losses plus a division title. Does that sit well with you guys? What would you prefer? DO NOT suggest something like simplifying the entire process and using the single metric of Super Bowl victories. That would be putting way too much value dependency on stuff like a slightly-to-the-right Norwood kick or a missing goal line Lynch run. Also, please remember one of the many important lessons of the Drought Era: even a lonely 9-7 season with a quick wild-card exit featuring a Tyrod Taylor 44.2 QBR performance has value (1 point to be exact, IMO, if you read my post carefully). So in other words: please respect and cherish our mid-60’s AFL dynasty and our early 90’s AFC dynasty!! Love the marquee player + HC pairing concept!! Thank you so much for the contribution, NoHuddleKelly12. I’ve edited my original post to better represent your point of view. I suddenly realize that I have many other things I’d rather be working on this Thanksgiving week…lol…but I will get back to this as soon as the Bills’ season is over. In the meantime, anyone who wants to take up this project is free to do so! It looks like the Big Ben + Tomlin Steelers dynasty and the Wilson + Carroll Seahawks dynasty are not quite finished. We may also have to add a new one in February to place ahead of our Bills: the Mahomes + Reid Chiefs…unless the fledgling Allen + McDermott Bills dynasty can stop them.
  2. My Lord...and here I was worried that my Bills dynasty thread would be a real snoozer...can't wait for the bye weekend to be over... I'm voting for Corey Bojorquez solely because of that 12-yard punt. AMAZING.
  3. Right now I have the Otto Graham Browns at #6 under Paul Brown, but they are probably the most difficult dynasty to judge! You can make a case for them being as high as #2 or as low as #13, depending on the weighted criteria. And thank you for the Big Ben Steelers recommendation. I had a strong feeling I was ranking them too low, but it was a first draft and I thought to myself: “Whatever! You can always change it later. Stop being such a perfectionist, Kay.” The purpose of this thread is to position the mid-60’s Bills and early 90’s Bills within the context of NFL history. Removing them from my list defeats that entire purpose! The NFL and the Pro Football Hall of Fame both consider conference titles to be on par with pre-1970 league titles and proper “championships” in their own right. This acknowledgement also helps us compare teams like #6, #7, and #8 on my list with the Super Bowl era teams. So yes, you can still recognize conference dynasties and then downgrade them relative to Super Bowl dynasties as you so desire. Moving forward, the absolute bare minimum criterion for consideration on my list will be two conference titles within, say, a decade of elapsed time. For those who can’t get past my use of the word “dynasty,” humor me and try thinking of the word as meaning a “really good team for a minimum of two or so years.” Now with all that being said, is there any team I overlooked that deserves to be placed above at least the AFL Bills? Your uncle may have been a bit biased! The AAFC Browns dominated that league like no other in pro football history. The AAFC Bills were no more than a slightly above average franchise. I believe ownership politics, money, and scheduling inconveniences got in the way of the AAFC Bills joining the NFL in 1950. Your second paragraph is a big reason why I have the Brady Pats dynasty at #1. Cheating helps, too! Belichick and Ernie Adams mastered the art of cheating to the point that I feel I MUST reward them for their commitment and for their attention to detail. I think many of you are ignoring the other criteria I proposed, particularly the non-quantifiable legacy stuff like cultural impact and football strategy innovation. The mid-60’s Bills played a major role in legitimizing the AFL with their more traditional style of football relative to the rest of the league…no? The early 90’s Bills had the no-huddle offense and set a nation-wide cultural sports standard for perseverance…right? I wasn’t alive during either of them, which hinders my judgment and is partly why I’m asking these questions here. Interesting thought regarding a back-to-back championship requirement. For the time being, however, I think that is being too exclusive. And no, I am not the real Kay Adams. I am RealKayAdams. The real Kay does her own thing that is centered on GMFB and fantasy football. RealKay's niche is incisive Buffalo Bills football analysis here at TSW and dangerously subversive eco-socialist political manifestos down at the PPP sub-forum of TBD. I’m really not quite sure yet how to define and constrain the “duration” criteria for dynasties. Any suggestions? For the Bills, we’re probably looking at 5 seasons for the Kemp years (1962-1966) and at least 6 (1988-1993) for the Kelly years. Some may want to include the defense-oriented Wade Phillips era from 1995-2000 when the team was in obvious decline but still very competitive (especially in 1999).
  4. Hello, Bills fans! Let us break the bye week boredom together by addressing a random question that has been vexing me: how do the two beloved Bills dynasties (mid-60’s, early 90’s) rank in comparison with other NFL dynasties? I will start by very loosely defining the criteria as accomplishments (regular season win/loss records, division titles, playoff victories, league championships), duration, and legacy (innovations to the game, cultural impact, list of Hall of Famers). For comparison’s sake, I’m applying the NFL’s standard recognition of AFC/NFC conference championships as equivalent to pre-1970 AFL/NFL league titles. Feel free to tighten the criteria definitions as you so choose and add any dynasties I may have omitted: 1. Brady + Belichick Pats 2. Montana + Young + Walsh + Seifert 49ers ** 3. Starr + Lombardi Packers 4. Bradshaw + Noll Steelers 5. Aikman Cowboys 6. Paul Brown + Collier Browns ** 7. Halas + Luckman Bears ** 8. Lambeau Packers ** 9. Landry Cowboys ** 10. Stabler + Rauch + Madden + Flores Raiders ** 11. Griese + Marino + Shula Dolphins ** 12. Gibbs Redskins 13. Elway + Reeves + Shanahan Broncos ** 14. Parcells Giants 15. Roethlisberger + Cowher + Tomlin Steelers ** 16. KELLY + LEVY BILLS 17. Warner Rams 18. Wilson + Carroll (i.e. Legion of Boom era) Seahawks 19. Manning Colts 20. Unitas Colts 21. Bud Grant Vikings 22. Dawson + Stram Chiefs 23. Favre Packers 24. Manning + Coughlin Giants 25. KEMP BILLS Discuss. Don’t be shy! Go… EDITS: I moved the Big Ben Steelers up from #20 to #15. I altered the names of some of the dynasties to help define the time periods under consideration. Each dynasty is to be defined by either a dominant QB, a dominant head coach, or a combination of the two. Double asterisks mark dynasties that I will likely split into separate eras.
  5. That’s a Vikings video, of course. I suspect that you would get a very different response within both the Bills’ close-knit locker room as well as within the WNY community. As an example, I have two older brothers who are also big Bills fans (and may even be TBD members reading this lol…as well as my Dad…AWKWARD). I know that they would be proud and honored to have me date any one of the players on the team. Even Trent Murphy. Why? Because we are all “One” Buffalo, not “Many Selfish Individuals Who Don’t Respect or Care for Each Other and Don’t Understand the Meaning of Sacrifice for the Greater Good” Buffalo. As a loyal upstate NYer, I know that it is my civic duty to make sure the valiant warriors that proudly represent our homeland are in the right frame of mind to win the big game. If I must be the designated slump buster that ensures the 10-catch 120-yard 2-TD game for Stefon Diggs against Miami (which, in turn, helps secure the FIRST AFC East division title in my entire BLEEPING lifetime), then SO BE IT. If me going out with Diggs burns bridges with true soulmate and local Erie County restraining order initiator, Cole Beasley, then SO BE IT. If I’m forced to endure all the continuous holding and grabbing during an awkward movie date with Brian Winters, then SO BE IT. If I must deal with Del’Shawn Phillips cancelling on me, then setting up another date, then cancelling again, then setting up one more time, then cancelling yet again and ghosting me for good, then SO BE IT. If this means a blind date turns out to be a jaunt to Applebee’s on a $25 gift certificate practice squad budget with potential blood relative (ew!), Trey Adams, then you know what? SO BE IT. I have like 50+ more of these bad jokes, but I think you get the point. Remember our motto: ONE Buffalo, which is twice as unifying as TWIN Cities Minnesota. The Queen City compels it to be so.
  6. That could have been a lighthearted reference to her infamous former relationship with 5’11” 185 lb Danny Amendola (small by pro football standards). The real Kay Adams appears to be advocating for sensible sexual dimorphism between partners. RealKayAdams finds that to be quite silly and recommends prioritizing personality traits for optimal compatibility. The #1 quality that RealKayAdams looks for is the true measure of a man: how much is he willing to fight for those that cannot fight for themselves? Will he remain loyal to his vegan principles, for example, under the most trying circumstances? Will he refuse that Anchor Bar chicken wing from his immature WNY friends despite all the inevitable mockery and lame “soy boy” jokes he knows he will have to endure? But to answer your meme question: no, you have no chance. And since this is a serious football message board and not a dating advice forum, I shall end with a related football question: why is it that so many slot WR’s are so (relatively) small? Is it because the position prioritizes elite agility, and smaller athletes will tend to have this special skill due to laws of human anatomy and physiology??
  7. True, but the Bills badly need the practice of playing in the national limelight. At some point very soon (like…this year!), the expectation needs to be winning playoff games. I don’t want Sean McDermott to be thought of as just another Marvin Lewis. At the moment, there are 13 NFL head coaches who were hired in 2017 or earlier by their current team. 7 of them have already won Super Bowls. 3 of them are on their way out very soon (Marrone, Lynn, Zimmer). McVay and Shanahan were hired the same year as Coach McDermott and have already made it to a Super Bowl. And yes, we’re all very grateful that the Drought Era (2000-2016) is no more. But is it, really? Check out these other droughts: Consecutive seasons without a division title: 24 (behind only Cleveland and Detroit). Consecutive seasons without a playoff victory: 24 (behind only Cleveland, Detroit, and Cincy). Consecutive seasons without a final 4 appearance: 26 (behind only Cleveland, Detroit, Cincy, Washington, and Miami). Look at the company we keep…something really awful is in the Lake Erie waters, by the way…
  8. I was just talking about Cole and the Buffalo WR’s with my Dad over the weekend. My Dad has been a devout Bills fan since the Chuck Knox years. We agreed that Diggs-Brown-Beasley is the best Buffalo WR trio since Moulds-Price-(Josh) Reed. Diggs, the “X” guy with the perfect routes and hands, is on pace for the best statistical WR season in franchise history. Then you have the speedy “Z” guy in Brown with a career performance last year as a #1 and who completely changes the dynamics of this year’s offense when healthy. And then of course is our beloved Cole “Measley” Beasley (as Skip “Pay Less” Bayless referred to him in Dallas), an insanely clutch and fearless and ruggedly handsome over-the-middle “Y” slot guy. Ok, so my Dad then proceeded to ratchet up the conversation a bit. What about their potential for the best Buffalo trio ever, above (Andre) Reed-Lofton-Beebe? Or best NFL trio ever, ahead of Washington’s Posse (Monk-Clark-Sanders)? Or the best quartet ever, ahead of the Run-and-Shoot Fab 4 (Jeffiries-Hill-Givins-Duncan) of the old Houston Oilers days…if you add Gabriel Davis for our Bills? For those of you who have followed the NFL since the 80’s and maybe saw these players live: your thoughts? Is my Dad on to something here? Or should I warn my brothers of his dormant alcoholism flaring up again? Oh believe me, Cole gets plenty of looks! Yes, that was an intentionally uncomfortable double entendre. But there are only so many pass attempts that Josh Allen can and should make per game. Daboll needs to work in the running game more as the weather gets worse going into December and January. And I would argue that an optimal Daboll offense is one where the pass targets are spread a bit more evenly from Diggs and Beasley toward Brown and Davis. I’d also like to see more exotic and RB-friendly/TE-friendly personnel packages by the time we start playing Pittsburgh, New England, and Miami. Keep our enemies guessing! Cole is the perfect age (31), just like he has the perfect height (5’8”), weight (175 lb), eyes (blue), and personality (ultimate competitor and beloved teammate). You can still find very productive slot WR’s into their mid-30’s, right? Welker? Edelman? Ok…maybe start looking for a new one in the draft, but let’s please keep Cole as one of those experienced locker room vets for at least a few more seasons! Leave Cole’s hair as is. Even the Bible warns us of the dangers of messing with good hair (see: something about Samson, Old Testament, Book of Judges, Ch 13-16). EDIT: Biblical correction.
  9. <<< RealKayAdams fidgets with her red grading pen, adjusts her nerdy reading glasses, sternly gazes at her laptop screen. >>> We are 8.5 days past Election Night. It’s time to grade our predictions! I’ll do mine: President: 50 out of 53 (assumptions: Arizona and Georgia hold for Biden). Not bad, Kay! Not bad at all. I was wrong in both Arizona and Georgia by about 0.3% (<15k votes) each. I apparently don’t follow Omaha politics closely enough. Grade: A. Senate: 30 out of 33 (excluding Georgia). The Tillis race in NC was a slight surprise to me. I badly underestimated Ernst in Iowa and Collins in Maine. The fate of the world depends on the 2 Georgia runoff elections in January, and I still like my original choices here of Perdue winning and Loeffler losing. My bold prediction of the Dems taking back control of the Senate doesn’t look like it will come to fruition, but there were just too many expected close Senate races this year…I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. Grade: B-. House: I predicted the Dems to gain a dozen seats, but so far it looks like they will instead lose about half of that. We’re talking about 435 individual battles, so there is a fair amount of uncertainty here and I only closely follow the big Congressional names plus NYC tri-state area races. Hey, at least I correctly predicted the party that will have majority control. Grade: C. Governors: 11 out of 11. The electoral prediction equivalent of spelling one’s own name correctly at the beginning of a test. Grade: A+. Overall 2020 Election Day grade: B. There was a red wave competing with a blue one on November 3. For the executive branch, I (more or less) correctly predicted the wave crests relative to the polls. I did so mainly with a combination of the “shy Trump voter” polling theory and the expected enthusiasm gap between Biden’s voter base and Trump’s base. For the legislative branch, however, it looks like I went a bit in the opposite direction and placed too much trust in the polls. The “shy Trump voter” effect appears to have followed the Reps down ballot somewhat and did not distinguish between government branches as I thought it would have done. Perhaps I also let some of my own personal judgments of candidate quality (namely, Ernst and Collins) slip in and cloud my perception of what their constituents think? Oh well. Live and learn. Brief takeaways from this whole ordeal: 1. Polls are difficult to trust when you have such a polarizing non-traditional candidate at the top of the ticket like Donald Trump. Compare average poll accuracy between the 2018 midterm and both the 2016 and (especially) the 2020 elections. Do I owe Trafalgar and Rasmussen apologies?? 2. “It’s the economy, stupid.” That’s a phrase I’ve heard many times before, and it’s one that I believe best summarizes American electoral politics. Even with a once-per-century pandemic where polling data indicated that a large majority of Americans cared most about the health crisis issue and believed the challenger to be more capable of managing it, the incumbent with a slight polling edge on economic issues greatly overperformed and nearly pulled off a bigger upset than in 2016. Was economic anxiety the real determinant of the discrepancy between polls and results? I don’t know, but I’m raising it as a possibility. 3. Electoral demographics are shifting in the Sun Belt and in the Rust Belt as I type. A superficial post-election analysis might conclude that Trump’s legacy and the aging GOP voter base are dooming the party. A deeper analysis might indicate major Democratic Party vulnerabilities with Latinos (primarily over economic issues) and with working class whites (primarily over cultural issues) that the GOP can potentially exploit. 4. Election integrity should be a bipartisan issue. Sensible protections against voter fraud and voter suppression in 2022+ must be implemented ASAP so to not add fuel to future conspiracy theory fires. I’ll throw in proposals for an Election Day national holiday and for ranked choice voting if we want to get serious about free and fair elections, although I think we all know why those two ideas won’t be pushed (answer: status quo maintenance for the one-party corporate oligarchical establishment). 5. Corporate mainstream media is corrupt and social media is corrupting. We are all animals on a British farm circa 1984. Is there any doubt now? Does anyone on either political side disagree? 6. Accompanying the continued erosion of public trust in institutions of knowledge and expertise is a rapidly expanding communication divide between the two political sides. It’s one thing to distrust people on the other side, but it’s quite another to completely cut off contact with friends/family/news sources whose views may differ from yours! I find these societal developments to be very dangerous and troubling indeed. And on a related note with point #6…anyone know what’s happening with The Great Right-Wing Bills Fan Message Board Exodus of October 2020?? Are they coming back to PPP soon or was their move intended to be permanent? Should we instead migrate over there? I do miss our Trump-loving Bills fans terribly and worry about them isolated in their unchallenged right-wing internet echo chamber (just as this place is slowly becoming one for the left…). Also, will PPP be transitioning from “sub-forum” status to “club” status soon? If so, should we hold elections for club owners and club moderators? I recommend a decision-making triumvirate of owner, left-leaning moderator, and right-leaning moderator. Voting criteria should include familiarity with PPP’s longstanding culture of vigorous free speech, knowledge and passion for politics, enough free time to visit TBD regularly, mental stability, and good people skills. I think BuffaloHokie13 volunteered to be club owner at one point. A few names I would nominate for moderator on the left-leaning (or anti-Trump) side include Doc Brown, ALF, SoTier, Capco, BullBuchanan, shoshin, and Tiberius. Some names for me on the right-leaning (or anti-Biden) side would include Foxx, Azalin, KRC, GG, 3rdnlng, IDBillzfan, and leh-nerd skin-erd. I know I’m forgetting a lot of other good moderator candidates right now. Please don’t take your exclusion personally!!! EDIT: A grammar mistake. Poo. So…no replies to the last two paragraphs of my post??
  10. Good afternoon, my beautiful Bills fans! Let’s get right to the presidential election analysis, shall we? We can safely assume 337 electoral college votes are locked in place, with Biden holding a 212-125 lead in this regard. That leaves 15 states and 201 remaining EC votes up for grabs tonight. I’m sticking with my Election Day prediction made on October 19 (see page 26 of this thread): 3 states of 20 EC votes I have holding for Team Blue from 2016 (Minnesota-10, Nevada-6, New Hampshire-4). 3 states of 46 EC votes I have flipping to Team Blue from 2016 (Pennsylvania-20, Michigan-16, Wisconsin-10). 9 states of 135 EC votes I have staying with Team Red from 2016 (Texas-38, Florida-29, Ohio-18, Georgia-16, North Carolina-15, Arizona-11, Iowa-6, Nebraska district-1, Maine district-1). Altogether, this means that I am predicting Biden to win by a fairly narrow EC margin of victory of +18, which is somewhat closer than what the majority of polls are predicting. I believe the election will come down to one state: PENNSYLVANIA. Could fracking end up being the issue that decides the election?? The main question now is whether or not Trump can pull off what would apparently be considered a significant upset…which is really just another way of asking how reliable these polls actually are when push comes to shove? Potential factors that could work in Trump’s favor: his longstanding voter base enthusiasm gap advantage, notions of any type of hidden systemic poll oversampling error, the infamous “shy Trump voter” effect (to whatever extent it may actually be), any relaxed progressive left vote (voting third party or staying home) due to a perceived safe Biden victory, GOP new voter registration surges I’ve seen reported, and that recent Gallup poll claiming a majority (56%) of people who feel they are better off financially under Trump compared to Biden. Some potential factors working against Trump: the recent COVID-19 case spikes in swing states such as Wisconsin, Trump’s poor October job approval rating from a presidential historical perspective, any Joe-mentum from Joe’s remarkably consistent lead (relative to Hillary’s in 2016) held since mid-April and especially since early June, the electorally unpredictable fear factor among liberals of losing the election or having it stolen from an orange-hued fascist, any debate performance boost Biden received in the minds of last-second undecideds and independents by not falling apart from dementia, and various cognitive biases in play from corporate media favoring Biden. The big wild card in this election may end up being the mail-in/absentee ballot contentions. Who knows how exactly this factor will play itself out tonight and possibly this week (or month?!)? I’d feel much more confident in my final prediction if we somehow had access to all of that valuable internal polling data which every major campaign collects and keeps guarded. Instead, all we have to work with are these public polls and clues from past elections. Anyway…we’re all making educated guesses at this point, so might as well just wait until tonight… Oh yeah…don’t forget to track all the extremely important Senate races tonight! I have 12 of them for you: Maine, North Carolina, South Carolina, both Georgias, Alabama, Texas, Iowa, Montana, Alaska, Colorado, and Arizona. You are looking at outdated Poles from 2019. The one on the left is Aleksandra Kielan and the one in the middle is Karolina Bielawska. And you chose the second-place candidate, Tibs. Hopefully that isn’t going to be a trend with you, beginning tonight?! BTW, beauty pageant girls are notorious for their impeccable makeup skills. You may think you have a Monmouth-caliber or Emerson-caliber Pole, but she may turn out to be as fake as a Trafalgar or Rasmussen after washing her face. Ok sorry…I am done with the lame Pole/poll jokes. I don’t do humor. I handle the dangerously subversive left-wing political manifestos here at PPP.
  11. Yeah, “fair share” is vague populist political jargon. Though I should be “fair” to Joe Biden and admit that he does have a clearly articulated tax plan on his web site, and it is distinctly to the left of Donald Trump. Now how much of that would Joe actually push for and how much could he actually achieve during his presidency? Probably very little. Americans can’t ever agree on what constitutes paying a “fair share” of taxes. Liberals advocate for all types of progressive income tax codes. Far leftists demand highly progressive tax brackets to go along with stuff like Wall Street speculation taxes and aggressive closings of various tax loopholes. Libertarians seem to want flat taxes. Super libertarians probably want a Fair Tax on consumption only and not production (i.e. sales versus income). A few super duper libertarians want no taxation at all! I’m personally less interested in the ethical debates of various tax policies and more into the economic optimization ones. If forcing the top 10% to pay 69% is unfair, then what approximate range for this “share of total income taxes paid” percentage number would be considered reasonable? It happens to be a number heavily dependent on the particular population income distribution. And even with a proportional (flat) tax, the wealthiest 10% could still easily end up paying a very sizable portion of the total annual federal income tax revenue that is generated and collected. They will certainly pay a much larger portion than, say, the bottom 10%. That’s just plainly how the flat tax math works out for all realistic population income distributions. And forcing the bottom 10% to pay something like, say, the same 10% of the total federal income tax revenue as the wealthiest 10% would be insanely punitive toward the poor. It would also be impractical and mathematically impossible for most budgetary demand scenarios. Furthermore, what would be considered a fair share of the tax burden for the middle class? They are the economic engine of a consumer economy, but they will have to shoulder a bigger portion of the tax burden if some of the responsibility is taken off the wealthiest decile. There’s nothing fair about a flat tax!! It comes down to the marginal utility theory of income. Taxing 25% of someone who makes $1 million annually is a matter of inconvenience. Taxing 25% of the income of a single mother making $30,000 a year is a matter of survival. One of only two positive aspects of the flat tax is the simplicity in the tax code, but that’s a pathetic reason for destroying the socioeconomic mobility of a large swath of the population (it would also mean less jobs for accountants and IRS employees)! The other positive aspect is SUPPOSED to be the increase in job creation and private charity as the tax burden on the wealthy is reduced and the responsibility for improving social welfare shifts away from the government, but all the economic data I see suggests that is not actually the case in many macroeconomic scenarios (like the ones we’ve been living through for much of the past 40 years…including this current k-shaped recovery…). Yes, absolutely! The flat tax would serve as the catalyst issue needed to finally unite the white working class with the rest of the American working class on the political left. Cultural issues may matter more than economic ones for many people, but everyone has their limits. Republicans can’t win elections without the white working class. If the Austrian School economic libertarians so blatantly take over the GOP like that and start peddling their proportional and regressive tax policies, expect a very turbulent political realignment era to immediately follow. Actually…I’m not so sure a flat tax is even popular among those in the highest income tax bracket?? Simplified tax codes, after all, will close off many useful tax loopholes for the rich. But U.S. government debt is NOT the same as personal debt! Our federal government can issue its own currency (directly controlling inflation via monetary supply) and has a monopoly on risk-free treasury securities (inversely controlling interest rates via government debt). These are concepts on which Chicago schoolers, Krugman Keynesians, and MMT’ers can all agree. So the major questions and disagreements concern the “when” and “where” fiscal restraint should be practiced. As long as confidence remains high (relative to the rest of the world) in our government’s stability and as long as we are perceived to be responsible (i.e. not in danger of defaulting), I will argue that we have WAY more debt leeway than typical deficit hawks and austerity zealots think. As for revisiting the expected role of our federal government: yes, plenty of government waste to trim and departments to streamline, but there is also a certain silliness to looking at a late eighteenth century document as some sacred scroll. Sure, the U.S. Constitution is a remarkably effective first draft (er…second…Articles of Confederation and all) of guidelines for organizing a society in 2020 and beyond. Nonetheless, the Founding Fathers couldn’t have possibly anticipated all of the technological advancements made since the Industrial Revolution, the macroeconomic experiences and ethical cases analyzed since the Age of Enlightenment, the environmental science knowledge accumulated, and just the general overall explosion of sociological complexity witnessed over 231 years. From a modern perspective, IMHO, the two biggest components of society in which we must consider the federal government’s expanded role include all aspects of health care and all levels of education (albeit in a more nuanced coordination with the states for this latter one). I’d like to hear more from others on what they think would be a “reasonable” corporate tax rate. I believe Obama had 35%, Trump has 21%, and Biden wants 28%. “Reasonable” to me would be something like the GDP-weighted corporate tax rate average of the European countries plus Canada, Australia, Japan, and South Korea. I don’t know what that would be…maybe halfway between Trump and Biden at ~25%? Then again, I wouldn’t recommend raising it while we’re still navigating through a pandemic-fueled recession. EDIT: format mistake with a quoted text.
  12. Hmmm…how deep are you willing to delve into this subject?? I’d begin with the research work of the ever-so-controversial Professor George Borjas at Harvard and then follow the trail of co-authors and highly cited papers as you see fit. Some more advice for your joyous intellectual journey: 1. Don’t focus solely on studies of Latin American immigration to the Southwest. Lots of relevant research has been done on stuff like H-1B visa immigration trends, Islamic immigration to the EU, and low-skilled/unskilled Eastern European laborers in the UK. 2. Without knowing your background, I’d say that it helps to have a basic knowledge of microeconomics, macroeconomics, and statistics at a freshman/intro college course level to get anything truly meaningful out of this exercise. 3. Note how markets for low-skilled/unskilled labor follow typical supply-demand curves for goods and services (that is to say, no Giffen Paradox observed to elevate wages). 4. Also look into studies on the effects of globalization (NAFTA, CAFTA-DR, TPP, China PNTR, etc.) on non-college educated American workers. Job outsourcing is not quite the same as immigrant hiring, of course, because of how and where the generated wealth gets distributed, but the same basic mechanisms of wage suppression are present and exaggerated (i.e. more easily measurable). 5. Pay close attention to the differences in job type (i.e. skills and/or education required), immigration numbers, and economic consumption habits of the immigrant populations. These differences matter! Part of my disagreement with your stance on this topic is that I feel you are ignoring these subtleties and overgeneralizing. 6. The other part of my disagreement is a moral one: you may be valuing the slightest of economic improvements for the many (as measured by GDP or national unemployment percentage) over significant economic damage for the few (wage suppression in specific industries and substantially increased unemployment prospects for population subsets). Did this response help…? So start with Professor Borjas and his publication record at his website, Tibs! Godspeed!!
  13. Tiberius and Brueggs: I’ll stay out of whatever remains of your debate, but I wanted to add a tiny recommendation from an economic point of view and not from any ethical or national sovereignty one. It’s helpful to think of two distinct sets of jobs: the set where there is a labor supply market of American workers and the set where there isn’t. With the latter (such as many manual labor jobs in the agricultural industries), the overall American economy most definitely benefits from illegal immigrants. With the former (such as jobs in the construction and hospitality industries), there is a net overall damage to the national economy mostly from wage suppression. And if you replace illegal immigrants with legal ones (naturalized citizens or those with foreign worker visas), the same effects hold true but the degree of these effects is subdued. I believe that is what the economic data tells us, at least, which also happens to match up with economic intuition. Congratulations, Egg Boy. You are now on The List. As soon as my communist buddies take over the American government, you will be immediately assigned to Gulag #716. Yours truly will be your supervisor. But before you fret, know that I’m one of the kinder gentler ones. Most of our time will be spent on politically themed arts and crafts using those annoying plastic Sisyphus boulder-esque wrong-handed safety scissors. There will also be forced feedings of my experimental vegan recipes (I don’t measure anything…I just “eyeball” it all) and required viewings of Drought Era Bills games versus the Browns (special emphasis on the Jauron years). “Awful” is a stretch. I’ll only partly concede my point in that I could have chosen a better example that couldn’t be flagged for technicalities. Jim Crow laws varied greatly by state, legal domain, legal language, and time period. In the early morning while typing my post, I was thinking of laws that ALLOWED Southern whites to decline services to blacks on account of race and not the laws MANDATING they do so. I thought the context would have made that clear enough, as I also referenced the 1964 Civil Rights Act…a government enforcement of non-racist behavior from most Southern whites, who were otherwise inclined to routinely exercise their freedom to be racists. You are correct when you state that government intervention is going to step on someone’s toes. That is always the case. Government restricts the freedoms in one place so to (hopefully) increase the freedoms in another. It is up to the lawmakers to decide which freedoms are valued and which are not, within certain obvious limits of course (i.e. protections of Constitutional rights). This really should not be considered a controversial assertion. All the time, rational citizens are choosing to value one set of freedoms over another: the freedom to breathe clean air versus an industrial company’s freedom to cut financial corners by polluting, the freedom to not be murdered from mentally unstable individuals versus the freedom to purchase flamethrowers/grenades/bazookas/tanks/anti-aircraft artillery on a whim, the freedom from labor exploitation (inhumane work conditions, unfair compensation) versus the freedom to run a company entirely as one sees fit, etc…I think we all get the point. I’m assuming that everyone here accepts the social contract and, therefore, the belief that not all government intervention is inherently wrong.
  14. Yeah, I’m really only a Marxist in the sense that I think good ol’ Karl and Mr. Engels did an excellent job articulating the problems with laissez-faire capitalism. From the convenient vantage point of living in the early twenty-first century, however, I have to say that their nineteenth-century solutions to capitalism’s problems left a lot to be desired. With human nature having evolved into the current form that it did, I don’t think communism will work any time soon for complex social structures larger than a few hundred or so people. The classical liberal values of money, property, and socioeconomic stratification are here to stay…and that’s perfectly fine by me, really. I’m very much a pro-capitalism person. I just happen to believe that government has a significant role to play in saving capitalism from itself. So for the time being, I’ll proudly wear the scarlet letters, “S.D.,” in this country to identify myself as a social democrat. But I ultimately favor pragmatism and common sense over political and economic dogmatism, so who knows where my weird brain will be in, say, November 2024?? I hope you did well on your midterm exam?! Yes, Polish people rock! That’s why Hitler invaded our homeland first. Unbridled JEALOUSY. Cinga, I think we’re moving closer to a mutual understanding, but I need to make a few more clarifications. I’m defining tyranny simply as “any unreasonable and excessive control over an individual’s life.” That 1-D line you reference, as I understood it, is strictly a measure of the amount of GOVERNMENT control. Government control is distinct from corporate control in that a government can exercise its power to enforce law and order as well as its power to tax. One’s ability to escape government tyranny (leave country, vote for new politicians, peaceful activism/violent revolution) is quite different from one’s ability to escape corporate tyranny (leave job, boycott goods/services, use government to enforce regulations). I’m also defining corporate tyranny as the end state of either neoliberalism (companies hijacking a feeble government for the people) or of anarcho-capitalism (companies ruling in total absence of government restraint). These following three contentions undergird my definition of corporate tyranny: laissez-faire capitalism is terrible at resolving many market failures, it does not lead to anything close to optimal economic utility (i.e. well-being) at the aggregate (i.e. societal) level, and it is an amoral system frequently overrun with immoral sociopaths (as in…clinical diagnoses using DSM-5 criteria). With all of that out of the way, I’ll now restate two important themes from my last post: 1. More government control does not necessarily equate to less individual freedom. Equivalently, less government control doesn’t necessarily mean more liberty. One easily understood thought experiment among so many: a black family driving through a desolate region of the Deep South, desperately searching for food and gasoline service during the Jim Crow era, before all that pesky government intervention (1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, 1964 Civil Rights Act, 1965 Voting Rights Act, etc.). 2. The Democratic Party, relative to the Republican Party on that 1-D line of yours, is not consistently about more government control over the individual’s life. A prominent example among multiple: the broad Christian Coalition platform embedded within the Republican Party. Ok, so let’s parse through your list of 12 a little more. I assume by “income equality” you mean less extreme income inequality? The political right generally sees the extreme inequality as a feature and not a flaw of capitalism. Both sides may agree on 3 of these (eliminating racial bias, equal rights for everyone, a clean environment) in the abstract, but they often disagree greatly when you examine specific cases…to the point that the political left doesn’t believe the political right views these as legitimate societal problems to solve anymore. 7 of these that you list (better education, better health care, eliminating poverty, less people in prison, eliminating hunger, solving student debt problems, good housing for everyone) are often treated among the political right as individual moral failings (laziness, irresponsibility, hopeless incompetence) and not systemic problems for politicians to address. The right DOES make (valid) arguments that government intervention can make these 7 issues worse and that private charity can help redress them, but I always find these arguments partially adequate at best and willfully oblivious to the systemic flaws ingrained within capitalism. For the last one (good paying jobs for everyone), the political right simply has lower standards for what constitutes a “good paying job” at the lowest tiers of the wage scale. I encourage you to look into all of the advancements (energy transfer efficiencies, energy storage capabilities, materials engineering, etc.) that have been made in renewable energy technology within the past 5-10 years, compared to the first 10-15 years of this century (especially with solar!). Also, look into other countries around the world and examine how they have been transitioning their electric power infrastructures away from fossil fuels. Lots of quality academic research literature exists out there on electric power grid performances and costs using fully renewables, hybrid renewables with nuclear (my personal favorite!), and hybrid renewables that couple home/building energy systems with traditional fossil fuel power grids. The research is based on both international case studies and speculative ones for the future. This statement is worth exploring further: “When inequality grows, wages stagnate.” From a theoretical economics perspective, this doesn’t HAVE to be the case, but if often ends up being the case. Why exactly is that? Globalization, the destruction of unions, crony capitalism, and wealth-hoarding billionaires/multi-millionaires are 4 big reasons that I’m sure Robert Reich thoroughly covers in his “Inequality for All” documentary (oddly enough, I have yet to see it but eventually will!). By “wealth-hoarding” behavior, I specifically mean not investing money saved from marginal tax rate reductions back into society via domestic job-creating companies or social welfare programs like education. There’s another possible reason that I’m not sure gets discussed much. If we focus on the histogram shape of wage frequency versus wage distribution across the total U.S. population and run it through time (say, from 1980 through 2020), we’ll notice a couple interesting things. The first is that the middle class has been hollowing out for sure. The second is that there’s still more than enough “thickness” on the approximate upper half of the histogram to sustain a healthy-enough economy! In other words…if you do enough back-of-the-envelope area-under-curve calculations on the histograms and make temporal comparisons between them all, you will easily see how you can quietly convert a macroeconomy into one that caters predominantly to the wealthier portion at the near exclusion of the less wealthy portion. So contrary to what economic libertarians often argue, wages at the lower end don’t necessarily NEED to be increased in accordance with all the extra wealth creation (as measured by GDP) in order to have enough people purchasing these extra goods and services. Also not surprisingly, there is a strong correlation between highest education level attained and wage tier. So how have we allowed all this to happen? Simple: corporate media propaganda and voter suppression. I have sooo much more to say on wealth inequality and wage stagnation, but it kinda looks like we have kidnapped the thread topic like it’s a governor of Michigan…so I will talk about this stuff somewhere else and sometime after the election hysteria dies down. Look for a new thread of mine in November. Here are some working titles: 1. “Neoliberalism and the death of the American Dream.” Not bad, Kay, not bad… 2. “Reaganomics: the hideous love child of Barry (Goldwater) and Ayn (Rand).” Meh… 3. “A 40-year golden shower: what really trickled down from Art Laffer.” Ew. 4. “K-shaped recovery, economic depression, socialist revolution.” Oooh I like it! Provocative AND apropos of current events. I think I’ll go with this one!
  15. Trafalgar Group is about as reliable as Rasmussen. They’re coasting on their 2016 reputation for predicting Michigan correctly, but IMO that had everything to do with luck and not insight. A time traveler back to 2016 would find much more electorate insight from any randomly selected Bernie campaign volunteer in Michigan. They were all warning the Democratic Party of Hillary’s weaknesses in the Midwest! Anyway…I am suffering from poll-watching fatigue and cannot wait any longer to make my official Election Day predictions. I think I’ve been ready since the Friday after the first presidential debate! The few remaining undecided voters will have a negligible effect at this point, either not bothering to vote or approximately cancelling each other out on both sides. So barring any sudden candidate health crises or catastrophic natural disasters or World War 3 flare-ups within the next couple weeks, here they are: 1. President: I have Biden narrowly beating Trump 278 to 260 by keeping 50/53 of the 2016 electoral college map and then flipping Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. My reasons: I believe the polling methodologies used this year are largely correct. The modeling is not too dissimilar from what was used to predict the 2018 “Blue Wave,” and all have corrected the Midwest undersampling flaws by education level which plagued the 2016 polls. Future historians will say that Trump lost this election on the singular issue of his pandemic mishandling. Older people and suburban white women can’t forgive him for his callous and flippant treatment of COVID-19. Also, the pro-union white working class of the Rust Belt don’t hate Biden like they hated Hillary in 2016. The only factors I see keeping this election closer than the consensus poll projections are the party voter base enthusiasm differential that Trump enjoys, the expected number of mail-in ballots (disproportionately favoring Democrats) that will get thrown out on technicalities, and the small but measurable bump that Trump should expect from the fraction of his supporters who ignore and lie to pollsters. 2. Senate: This will be far more interesting to follow than the presidential battle! I’m projecting an earth-shattering transfer of power with 6 Rep-to-Dem flips (losers: Collins in Maine, Tillis in NC, Loeffler in Georgia, Ernst in Iowa, Gardner in Colorado, McSally in Arizona) and only 1 Dem-to-Rep flip (loser: Jones in Alabama). That would give the Democrats (with Angus and Bernie) a 52 to 48 majority. The problem with this prediction, however, is that so many of these Senate battles are neck-and-neck and well within the statistical margins of error in these polls. This could just as easily end up as something like a 53-47 Republican majority hold. But I’m sticking with my prediction. I think Americans are angry enough with Senate incumbent leadership this year, especially with how the pandemic economic stimulus response has been handled. 3. House: Democrats will hold it, going up from 232 to 244 (218 is needed for a majority). I’m feeling way too lazy to type out all my flips from 2018 lol. Pelosi will hold her seat over Buttar, which I hope will fuel a heightened sense of urgency among my fellow progressives. Biden, Harris, Pelosi, and Schumer potentially all in power for the next 2+ years?! Once the Great Orange Terror is removed, the Great Democratic Civil War between progressives and neoliberals must commence. In the words of legendary motivational speaker, Bartholomew Scott: “CAN’T WAIT.” 4. Governors: 27 to 23 in favor of the Republicans (VT, NH, WV, IN, MO, ND, MT, UT) over the Democrats (WA, NC, DE). Not exactly the boldest of predictions…but RealKayAdams keeps things REAL for ya. Time for Bills game! Woooooo!!!
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