Howard Marks - Winds of Change

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Kbg
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Howard Marks - Winds of Change

Post by Kbg » Wed Nov 24, 2021 9:24 am

I think this is just excellent...pg 7-12 is what I'm posting here. His letters always tend to be very good reads

https://www.oaktreecapital.com/docs/def ... change.pdf
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Re: Howard Marks - Winds of Change

Post by boglerdude » Wed Nov 24, 2021 7:49 pm

tldr? How do we fix the country
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Re: Howard Marks - Winds of Change

Post by Benko » Thu Nov 25, 2021 11:20 am

Kbg wrote:
Wed Nov 24, 2021 9:24 am
I think this is just excellent...pg 7-12 is what I'm posting here. His letters always tend to be very good reads

https://www.oaktreecapital.com/docs/def ... change.pdf
He makes some good points e.g. new sources stoking division and using alternative facts. OTOH:

"These things complicate life in our so-called democracy"
Our country is not a democracy because our founders knew better than to create one. Best I can tell, the only people who refer to our country as a democracy are the left because they can then point out things they don't like e.g. electoral college.

"California, with 39 million people, has the same clout in the Senate as Wyoming with its 578,000"
This is a feature, not a bug, and if in 2021 given the state of California you think it should have more influence in our country I can only think you aren't paying attention.

"Serious potential threats to our democracy exist"
I agree, but I'm thinking of e.g. groups of people who burn down cities (without much pushback or legal consequence) in service of one party.

Bipartisan legislation was one thing in the ERA of JFK live and let live liberals and another today in the era of AOC.
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Re: Howard Marks - Winds of Change

Post by I Shrugged » Thu Nov 25, 2021 5:14 pm

Yes, it seems like he doesn't understand the downsides of a direct democracy.
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Re: Howard Marks - Winds of Change

Post by boglerdude » Thu Nov 25, 2021 9:49 pm

He should be talking about Ranked Choice Voting and what to do about gerrymandering
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mky11UJb9AY

Apparently we need to keep the filibuster, if the last two years have taught us anything, its that we need MUCH LESS government.

But I suppose hes a better billionaire than Putin.
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Re: Howard Marks - Winds of Change

Post by Kbg » Sat Nov 27, 2021 2:15 pm

Benko wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 11:20 am
tive.
Bipartisan legislation was one thing in the ERA of JFK live and let live liberals and another today in the era of AOC.
Or the “distinguished” MTG from Florida.

It’s amazing what our two political parties serve up for us.
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Re: Howard Marks - Winds of Change

Post by flyingpylon » Sat Nov 27, 2021 2:22 pm

Kbg wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 2:15 pm
Benko wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 11:20 am
tive.
Bipartisan legislation was one thing in the ERA of JFK live and let live liberals and another today in the era of AOC.
Or the “distinguished” MTG from Florida.

It’s amazing what our two political parties serve up for us.
MTG is from Georgia.
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Re: Howard Marks - Winds of Change

Post by Kbg » Sat Nov 27, 2021 2:33 pm

I stand corrected, nut job regardless.

Having said the above, if I were the next Republican speaker I’d find a couple of democrats who made some outrageous statements and strip them of their committee assignments. I’d probably keep doing it until several were out. Then I’d ask the dems, when does this stop?

The people of their district should determine if they serve or not, not the opposite party unless convicted of a crime.
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Re: Howard Marks - Winds of Change

Post by D1984 » Sun Nov 28, 2021 6:04 am

Kbg wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 2:33 pm
I stand corrected, nut job regardless.

Having said the above, if I were the next Republican speaker I’d find a couple of democrats who made some outrageous statements and strip them of their committee assignments. I’d probably keep doing it until several were out. Then I’d ask the dems, when does this stop?

The people of their district should determine if they serve or not, not the opposite party unless convicted of a crime.
Why did they (the Democratic House leadership) strip her of her committe assignments? That was just dumb. If you are Pelosi you WANT someone like MTG (and for that matter Cawthorne, Gaetz, Boebert, etc) to be as visible as possible and to be the face of the GOP...stripping her of her committee assignments actually goes against that in a way.

As for the people in her district who voted for her....yeah, that's quite near why I used to live and it's blood red Trump country; there are some small purplish or reddish-purple parts in Rome and in Berry College and Shorter University (Christian schools they both are but Patrick Henry College they aren't) but most of that district might as well be in rural Alabama or West Virginia, politically speaking. I think MTG got 3/4 or more of the vote there in the 2020 election. I don't begrudge the people in her district the right to choose her to serve as their representative if they wish (although I personally think she is an embarrassment to the US, to the state of Georgia, to the GOP, and to her district); I do, however, think a system that simply ignores the wishes of the minority party voters in most districts (whether ones like MTG's or their 180 degrees opposite political counterpart in SF or NYC) is unfair, is an inducement to "cheating" via gerrymandering, and desperately cries out for the following remedies:

1. RCV Voting, or Condorcet, or lottery voting, or MMPR with voting for a party instead of a candidate and then the winning party/s gets to choose the representative/s, or anything besides single member first-past-the-post (SMFTP).

2. Ban gerrymandering.

3. Either:

3A. Split each state in several larger multi-member districts (with said districts perhaps using some form of non SMFPTP voting) rather than quite so many smaller ones (just by way of example I'll use Goergia since that's where both MTG and I are from; today it has 14 districts each with one person representing it in Congress; under a Multi-Member District system these would be redrawn into several larger districts--say, two or three or four--that each elected more than one person to represent them proportion to the votes each party got in that district; if, say, District 1 has five representatives allotted to it and Party A gets 80% of the vote and Party B gets 20% then Party A gets 4 of the representatives and Party B gets 1...under our current system Party B would get 0; the current system thus incentivizes packing as many of the opposing party's voters into lopsided super-safe 80/20 or 90/10 districts and drawing as many of your own party's voters into districts that are more like 55/45 or 57/43 and thus you can theoretically win more representatives even with a minority of the vote....like I said, a perfect incitement to gerrymandering. Under a MMPR system this incentive is greatly diminished or gone altogether).

or

3B. Massively enlarge the House of Representatives and thus give each state (every state, no matter how red or blue) a LOT more representatives. The drafters of the Constitution originally wanted and envisioned one representative in Congress for every 30,000 or at most 50,000 people. That would require over 11,000 Representatives (at 30K per rep) or at least over 6,600 Representatives (at 50K per rep). Even if that's a little too much we could still maybe go to either 4,350 (a nice even ten times what we have now so Wyoming or Vermont would get 10 reps and California would get 520 and every other state would get something in between) or at the very least an even 3,000 (why 3,000, you ask?....because dammit, Communist China has 2,980 people in its legislative assembly--the largest one in the world currently--and I'll be damned if Xi Jinping is going to look at his legislature, look over at ours, look back at his again, and brag that "mine is bigger" ). Having this many smaller districts would have the effect (when combined with RCV and with outlawing gerrymandering) of giving voters a much fairer chance at electing a representative that agrees with their beliefs.

or (the best of all perhaps)

3C. Do both of the above. With each (now MMPR) large district in a decently mid-large sized state like Georgia or Virginia or Arizona (and the effect would be even more pronounced in population giants like California or Texas or New York or Florida) now having, say, 25 or 30 Representatives, it means that third parties (or nonpartisan independents...or for that matter partisans but ones that aren't as extreme as MTG) finally have a chance. Yay! No more "wasted votes"! No more "voting for the lesser of two evils just to keep the greater of two evils from winning"!



Or maybe just do nothing different regarding representation per se, let things continue as they are, and split the country (hopefully peacefully) into five or six or seven different nations and give everybody, say, four or five years to move to the one that bets fits their political leanings. The current system is simply not working for the American people.
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Re: Howard Marks - Winds of Change

Post by pugchief » Sun Nov 28, 2021 12:42 pm

D1984 wrote:
Sun Nov 28, 2021 6:04 am
The current system is simply not working for the American people.
No, it's not. But it works reeeeally well for the politicians, so don't expect things to ever change.
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Re: Howard Marks - Winds of Change

Post by Kbg » Tue Nov 30, 2021 6:27 pm

D1984/Pug,

I'm not sure geography rules will really do anything. I sat through a lecture by Charlie Cook (of The Cook Report fame) about 15 years ago and he mentioned that with the advent of highly precise geographic systems and data mining the ability to draw a congressional district the way you want it to vote was a 100% probability. He opined this technological advancement was the biggest threat to a democracy he could think of.

Definitely not a fan of a larger congress. I don't see anything good that comes of it.

So overall, I'm with Pug and pretty cynical about anything substantive changing a system that fixes things for the two parties. My state passed a constitutional amendment requiring congressional districts be drafted by a non-partisan committee...and of course the state legislature disapproved the recommendations and drew them where the majority party wanted them. My state is so locked up for one party that party members sued the party (and won) on the ability for write-in ballots to win a primary...which several have done and won. That tells you the party is being controlled by a very narrow, hard core partisanship. I guess it's good politics but we can see the impact it's having on the US for our ability to develop anything remotely resembling policy continuity or long term strategy. I personally think with China as a competitor (who is very good at long ball) this current characteristic could be very dangerous.

I think the only thing that shakes up the system in a good way that can't be subverted is for a centrist party to emerge that gains some serious popularity. Even something small as a 20% wedge could be a serious game changer. However, centrists tend not to be super passionate in politics (hence centrists) and to my knowledge there isn't a party in the US that attempts to be that. All the ones I'm aware of are right of the Rs and left of the Ds.
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Re: Howard Marks - Winds of Change

Post by D1984 » Tue Nov 30, 2021 8:04 pm

Kbg wrote:
Tue Nov 30, 2021 6:27 pm
D1984/Pug,

I'm not sure geography rules will really do anything. I sat through a lecture by Charlie Cook (of The Cook Report fame) about 15 years ago and he mentioned that with the advent of highly precise geographic systems and data mining the ability to draw a congressional district the way you want it to vote was a 100% probability. He opined this technological advancement was the biggest threat to a democracy he could think of.

Definitely not a fan of a larger congress. I don't see anything good that comes of it.

So overall, I'm with Pug and pretty cynical about anything substantive changing a system that fixes things for the two parties. My state passed a constitutional amendment requiring congressional districts be drafted by a non-partisan committee...and of course the state legislature disapproved the recommendations and drew them where the majority party wanted them. My state is so locked up for one party that party members sued the party (and won) on the ability for write-in ballots to win a primary...which several have done and won. That tells you the party is being controlled by a very narrow, hard core partisanship. I guess it's good politics but we can see the impact it's having on the US for our ability to develop anything remotely resembling policy continuity or long term strategy. I personally think with China as a competitor (who is very good at long ball) this current characteristic could be very dangerous.

I think the only thing that shakes up the system in a good way that can't be subverted is for a centrist party to emerge that gains some serious popularity. Even something small as a 20% wedge could be a serious game changer. However, centrists tend not to be super passionate in politics (hence centrists) and to my knowledge there isn't a party in the US that attempts to be that. All the ones I'm aware of are right of the Rs and left of the Ds.
1. MMPR in larger districts (even assuming each state got no more representatives and we still stayed at 435 of them total) pretty much makes gerrymandering pointless. In today's system, if you can pack all the other party's voters into one or two super-safe 90/10 districts and put all your own voters into roughly 55/45 districts then you can win overwhelmingly even if you get a minority or plurality of the vote. In a large enough MMPR district, this becomes a lot more difficult if not impossible to do....and besides, under an MMPR system even if one party (let's call them Party A here) DID manage to create a bunch of districts for itself that were roughly 55/45 in its favor and put most or almost all of its opposing party's (Party B's) voters into one big 90/10 district that wouldn't accomplish all that much due to the nature of how MMPR works. To show what I mean consider what happens in the above case under each system:

Under an MMPR system with a few large MMPR districts per state: It would simply mean that in the 55/45 districts just under half of the representatives in that district would come from Party B and just over half would come from Party A while in the 90/10 "packed" district it would mean that roughly 90% of the representatives would come from Party B while maybe one representative in ten would come from Party A. No particular advantage nor disadvantage comes from any form of gerrymandering or packing or cracking of districts; thus, gerrymandering becomes kind of pointless.

Under our current system: Depending on how good your computer software and gerrymandering skills are (and how ruthless your party is willing to be) you can (in a state that is roughly split 50/50 or 47/53 or 52/48 etc--i.e. something really close in terms of people supporting each party--between Party A and Party B in terms of actual voters) pack all of one party's voters into 95/5 or 90/10 or 80/20 districts and cram most of your own party's voters into 55/45 or 57/43 or 54/46 districts thus ensuring that even if you only get 48% or 49% of the actual votes come election day you can still win a majority or even (if your gerrymandering was effective enough) a supermajority.

2. Expanding the House of Representatives has at least four good features (when combined with larger MMPR districts as above):

A. Allows or third parties and independents to actually get some representation (whereas under today's system if you can't get at least half the votes you get none at all),

B. Allows minority party voters to actually have representation (because today in a district like AOC's or MTG's the 25 or 30% or so of voters from the "other party" get no representation at all whereas in an MMPR system with more representatives if a party even had, say, 5 or 6% of the voters in a district then that would likely be enough for that party to at least get one member to send to Congress in, say, an MMPR district with 20 or 25 Representatives; even if each district only had, say, 10 representatives then if the minority party could muster just 10 or 11% of the vote then they would at least get some representation; in today's system, anything less than 50.0001% of the vote means you get no representation at all).

C. Allows centrist or biconceptual or less extreme members of a party to actually have some representation (for instance, in an enlarged version of MTG's district with multiple representatives there would almost certainly be on or two centrist moderate Republicans and probably four or five traditional Ryan-Romney style "business and chamber of commerce and tax cuts" type Republicans as well as one or two or moderate Democrats and maybe one slightly progressive Democrat....of course MTG would probably still have a seat as well on top of all the above but hey, under an MMPR system with more representatives if she can win a seat then more power to her; her voters deserve representation as well).

D. With more Congresspersons there would actually be more people available to READ the damn bills before voting on them rather than having lobbyists (and/or soon-to-become lobbyist staffers) do the drafting and writing of bills without any actual Congressperson reading over the whole thing in detail.

3. There are very few true actual "centrists" at least of the corporatist style "centrist" that passes for centrism in America today) in this country; if this were not the case, then maybe Mike Bloomberg would be President and Howard Schultz would be Vice President. Obviously, they aren't and there aren't.

Most of what we call "centrism" in voters in the US is either:

A. Biconceptualism i.e. having some strong conservative and some strong liberal positions but very few true centrist ones (e.g. someone who is pro-gun and against abortion but is also in favor of unions, a higher minimum wage, and taxing the rich like Truman and Eisenhower did),

or,

B. What political scientists call "ideological conservatives but operational liberals"....i.e. someone who when asked states that he/she thinks the government does too much, costs too much, is too big, is too powerful, runs too high of a deficit, etc but when asked which specific programs he/she would cut doesn't really want to do that much cutting and/or actually wants to see certain programs expanded; the classic example of this is the (in)famous "keep your government hands of my Medicare" voter....or the voter who dislikes "Obamacare" by name but then is in favor of protections for those with preexisting conditions, wants to keep guaranteed issue of health insurance and not letting insurers turn away potential insureds just because they might be sick or costly, wants the health care subsidies to remain, voted in favor of expanded Medicaid, etc.

That's why you likely won't have a viable centrist party in the US any time soon.
Last edited by D1984 on Wed Dec 01, 2021 12:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Howard Marks - Winds of Change

Post by Xan » Tue Nov 30, 2021 8:57 pm

I've liked the idea of a greatly expanded Congress for a long time. Harder to bribe (or whatever the polite word is). It could be arranged for there to be recall elections frequently, or maybe there's an election every 3 or 6 months. With tiny districts, your rep wouldn't be some unknown incumbent winning all the time; it would be a neighbor that you could go and talk to. The House is meant to reflect the will of the people, and I think the above is much closer to what the Founding Fathers intended.
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