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About thr33

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    Political Guru

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    Politics (left-wing economically ; centrist socially ; right-wing on immigration ; non-interventionist), Math & Statistics, Economics, Basketball, Golf

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  1. thr33

    Trump Forum Approval Poll (May 2018)

    I guess it depends on the quality of polling (and an aggregate is more informative than an individual poll). Even if the topline isn't great, a lot of the internals/crosstabs can tell us something. Presidential approvals don't tell a ton about re-election bids (since the opposing candidate doesn't exist, and is just generic), though I think they have some predictive value in midterms. In terms of legacy, that's a different conversation, and you're probably right. I forget who I heard this from (I think it was a roundtable on C-SPAN), but I remember some historian recently said that when writing on history, most authors avoid writing on the last 20-30 years because there is a fair deal of bias at the time (could be in either direction), and it's difficult to contextualize what actions taken at the time could mean down the line. A little off topic, but this approach is a bit different from my favorite non-basketball topic, basketball history. There is a fair deal of value in reading and taking into account what a player's contemporaries and what sportswriters thought of a player at the time. This is mostly because there is asymmetric information - the further back you go, the less tape of players' games there is, and the less quality analytical data exists. I don't know if there is a parallel for presidential legacies or history in general to this. Though, I suppose the Overton Window is in play. A president could be successful given the standards of the time and in the eyes of his contemporaries, but might not be when viewed in retrospect by historians (and vice versa) because in different periods of time, different things are viewed differently.
  2. thr33

    Roll Call Conventions

    This seems like something that would be tied into the favorability update that Anthony has in the pipeline. Just as X% of candidate A's voters would go to candidate B after A drops out, I'm sure some percent of delegates would do the same (though at the convention, everybody has to cast a vote in the end I believe so they'd be switching, while in elections many of those defecting just won't show up in the general. Though, a lot of delegates are pretty hardcore supporters (and some underdog candidates choose delegates based on how willing they are to engage in a floor fight), so maybe it's more likely more defect to a non-favorite out of spite? Not sure.
  3. thr33

    Trump Forum Approval Poll (May 2018)

    Interestingly, Trump's approval is up to 44.4% in the RCP average, highest it's been since March of last year: https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/president_trump_job_approval-6179.html 42.1% on 538 (they make some polling adjustments): https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/trump-approval-ratings/?ex_cid=rrpromo Evidently he's in the same vicinity as Reagan (43.6%), Carter (40.5%), Ford (42.8%), and Truman (43.1%) at the same point in his presidency. Lags Obama (48.7%) by a bit, and Clinton (54.2%) & Nixon (57.1%) by fair amounts. Both Bushes, Johnson, Kennedy, and Eisenhower were a bit higher. Looks like Clinton was the first president for which there was a good deal of polling, the averages for prior presidents look like there were one or two polls a month.
  4. thr33

    Candidate Drop Out

    Awesome, thanks.
  5. thr33

    Candidate Drop Out

    Good to hear, I thought I was just playing poorly when I couldn’t get it to a two-candidate race after Super Tuesdays haha. BTW did you ever decide on whether or not to make video tutorials? I wonder if I’m playing the game the wrong way, even though I’ve read the FAQs.
  6. thr33

    2020 Scenario Issue: Free Trade

    Ah okay gotcha. These might be a good read on how Mexico/Canada are reacting (some of it is probably frustration given round 7 just wrapped up, though it was one of the more productive rounds from my understanding): https://www.politico.com/newsletters/morning-trade/2018/03/05/the-steel-elephant-in-the-room-at-nafta-round-7-123039 https://www.wsj.com/articles/mnuchin-tariffs-wont-apply-to-mexico-canada-if-nafta-is-reworked-1520355429 I'm not surprised that Congress is speaking out though, for the reasons you outlined above (RE:where they stand ideologically).
  7. thr33

    2020 Scenario Issue: Free Trade

    Sorry, just two things really: (1) That there's a secondary argument for when tariffs work (the second-best argument of Rodrik) in addition to the developing economies instance which you correctly noted. (2) That the tariffs are a ploy to scare Mexico/Canada into making a move more than Congress (there have been a ton of talks but nobody is budging, so I think this is an attempt to apply pressure in negotiations). EDIT: On NAFTA to be clear
  8. thr33

    Presidential Ranker Excel

    This seems like a very interesting project. It might take me quite awhile since I'm going to need to spend a lot of time on the requisite reading to complete this, but I would like to take a stab at it.
  9. thr33

    2020 Scenario Issue: Free Trade

    There's a lot in the above post, but here's an article from one of the leading paleoconservatives (Justin Raimondo of antiwar.com) from a couple years ago during the last primaries that sums up the grievances with those on the "old" right with 'free trade' in its current incarnation.
  10. thr33

    2020 Scenario Issue: Free Trade

    @vcczar Tariffs only work broadly in two contexts - in countries with underdeveloped economies/industries (which is what you described when speaking of 1800s America), and in second-best situations. That's just the microeconomic reality. I'd like to share this post from stackexchange, which gives the arguments (from credible leftist economists at Cambridge and Harvard) coherently: The other oft-cited examples are East Asian economies like Japan, Korea, and Taiwan in the postwar era. The second-best argument. The world is a second-best place and so movements towards seemingly-freer trade may not always be a good thing. Classic example as told by Rodrik (2015): Two footnotes. Evaluating whether something has ever "worked" is fiendishly difficult in economics. First we have to decide what the goals of the policies were and what would count as "working". Then we have to do the empirical analysis and evaluate quantitatively the degree to which the policies "worked". So while Chang and Rodrik might give examples of protectionism "working" (19th-century US, Japan, Korea, Taiwan), other economists might disagree that protectionism really "worked" in these cases. Indeed, I am not aware that Chang or Rodrik has actually conducted any empirical analyses on this matter. Chang and Rodrik merely try to argue against the extreme position that free trade is always a good thing for everybody and in favor of the modest position that protectionism has sometimes"worked". Most (all?) economists, including Chang and Rodrik, would agree with the following statements: Free trade is generally a good thing for most people. Tariffs are generally a bad thing for most people. In contrast, a significant portion of the general public would disagree. I'm not going to presume I know Trump's thinking, but here are my thoughts: • Trump has been governing as a pretty run-of-the-mill conservative for the most part. Pulling out of TPP was really the only move that bucked (modern) conservative orthodoxy, and that was well over a year ago (though many also supported pulling out of the Paris Agreement and cutting environmental regulations). Based on the results from special elections, the people who are not turning out so far? The 08 Obama-16 Trump voters. Exurban and rural white working class voters. They aren't voting for Democrats: they just aren't showing up. This could spell big trouble in both midterms (where the out-party always has systemic disadvantages, and tends to lose seats in the first midterm) and in 2020. These people didn't vote for Trump because he's a conservative, they didn't vote for Romney after all. Culture wars can only motivate them so much, they really swung on the basis of trade and immigration. The Stock Market isn't making a big difference in their lives, and the Tax bill only marginally so (most probably fall into the category of working poor as opposed to middle class). For this group, tariffs show them Trump is serious. • As for the NAFTA argument, I agree to some extent that it was a play in that regard, but I don't think the intended audience was Congress. Negotiations have been underway since late last summer, and there have been over a half dozen week-long working sessions between the delegations from the three countries. Lighthizer (who was the Deputy Trade Rep under Reagan when he levied a lot of his tariffs) has been making demands in line with Trump's rhetoric. He wants to change thresholds for part origin rules for automobile manufacturing. He wants to shift the dispute mechanism so American government and industries have more control. He wants provisions that handle trans-shipping of steel, iron, and other dumped products. He also wants Mexico to improve its labor laws (which was one of the big issues with NAFTA and CAFTA, and is an issue in TPP - if countries have no worker protections or minimum wage, and a trading bloc is created, manufacturing will move to the country in the bloc with the most lax laws). The administration is probably much more likely to settle on a renegotiated NAFTA, which will likely pass in Congress (if Trump does try to withdraw, I imagine he would face resistance; this is my preferred move, and I'd rather settle on two new bilateral deals, but I'm out of the mainstream). • I do think the bulk of the Dems believe in Free Trade and are probably center to center-right on economics. This is an artifact of the bulk coming up through the DLC (Democratic Leadership Council) in the Clinton/Third Way era. Now there are some exceptions, most notably the Members of Congress and Senators who were in government prior to 92 (though you also have a few outliers like Warren, Brown, Merkley). The bulk of the GOP in Congress is as well. Evidently 107 representatives signed a letter asking Trump not to go through with the signing. I assume there were several dozen more who would have done so, but didn't want to risk distancing themselves from the admin because they're vulnerable in midterms. One final note - the other two super-entities in the world economy (China and the Eurozone) both are highly protectionist (China has high barriers to entry, and the EU utilizes both VATs and tariffs). Even with tariffs, most other countries really can't afford not to trade with the US, since they have export-driven economies. I'm an economic leftist, but if all partners are willing to comply, I think free trade is probably the optimal solution to the market problem. I would like to share this paper though, attached see the key graphic, with the following explanation from an economist: "They find a positive impact on US welfare of a 40% uniform tariff. Negative but limited (~-1%) for a worlwide tariff. But strongly negative on Western Europe or China."
  11. thr33

    2020 Scenario Update

    So here are the current positions: I think it depends on what route you want to go. If you want to have one axis pro free-trade, and the other opposed, something like this works: To start, I adjusted the left and center left positions, and it fits pretty well. I added a portion about new markets to the center-left, and statements about tariffs to the far left and left positions. I removed the environmental portion, I think the best bet would be to incorporate that into the 'Environment' issue (since it's not a concern of anti-free trade republicans). I rewrote the far-right position so it used similar language to the others. I also incorporated some statements about bilateral vs multilateral. Some of these are a bit wordy, and you've done a tremendous job with the issues in your campaigns, so if you feel the need to edit/cut down, it could improve readability/clarity. Now, if we go the other route (the kind of 'horseshoe' issue spectrum), I think I'd nominate the following: This is a bit different. Both ends are skeptical of trade, and have the needs of the worker in mind, but for different reasons (the far-left blames big business, the far-right blames foreigners). I added environmental conditions to only the left and far-left, and tariffs to only the right and far-right. Either one is fine with me, and you probably have a better feel for which option works. I probably prefer the latter, since it seems more coherent. This could be an interesting development for the scenario either way, since you can add events about trade war (other countries either changing their ways or applying reciprocal taxes, WTO admonishing the USA, other countries forming agreements with trading partners when our deals fall through - kind of like the other countries ratifying TPP without the USA).
  12. I rarely it ever hear “DINO” used as a term. Much more often I hear “neoliberal” (referring to Democrats who are center to center-right on economics issues) used as a perjorative (as opposed to as a descriptor).
  13. thr33

    2020 Scenario Update

    Sounds good, would be happy to help. I'm going to read some platforms and statements by candidates across the board, and see what I can come up with on it. Immigration was kind of tricky for a while too. Bernie actually commented in 2015 to Vox that open borders is a Koch Brothers/right-wing proposal. Traditionally it was viewed as anti-labor (which is a big part of why unions came out against it in 07). However since then, the Dems have moved left, and while many blue collar workers support immigration reduction, service unions are such a big part of the union voting bloc (and union membership is on the decline on the industrial midwest), so they have moved left as well. I don't know when this change happened, but it was definitely in place by 2016 (and possibly earlier).
  14. thr33

    2020 Scenario Update

    Trade is a complicated issue, but given today's announcements on tariffs (global duties of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum), would it make sense to move Trump from center-left -> left? It's interesting, because the description for far-left ("Protect the American labor market. Punish companies that send jobs overseas and end free trade") seems to fit him better than left ("Increase taxes on companies that send jobs overseas. Free Trade must include labour and environmental conditions."). There are also increasing signs that NAFTA withdrawal might be on the table. It's an interesting topic. Paleocons/nationalists are happy with the move, but so are guys like Sherrod Brown and Chuck Schumer (and presumably Sanders and Warren, but they haven't spoken out yet), as well as mainstream republicans in the area (Toomey) and unions. Maybe trade is like the "Audit the Fed" debate, where both the far left and far right agree on action, but for different reasons? Just spitballing here.
  15. thr33

    Which of these states will elect a Republican senator in 2018?

    I like Ward a good deal (especially since I'm a hardliner on immigration), and think she could win the general (GOP has a very high floor in AZ in terms of registration; I think it will flip at some point, but probably not just yet). But I was just commenting on her chances among primary voters. I'd be happy to be proven wrong. McSally could then run for McCain's seat whenever he steps down.