Thursday, January 03, 2008

Iowa predictions

Just for fun (and recognizing that I have been essentially boycotting the presidential race up until this point), here are my guesses as to how the Iowa caucuses will shake out:

DEMOCRATS
Edwards, Hillary, Obama

REPUBLICANS
McCain, Giuliani, Romney, Huckabee

I have a small side bet with my wife, whose list is:

DEMOCRATS
Edwards, Obama, Hillary

REPUBLICANS
Romney, Huckabee, McCain, Giuliani

We shall see who is closest.

UPDATE: Guess that proves I wasn't paying close attention. Currently CNN is projecting an Obama, Edwards, Hillary finish, with the Republicans stacking up as Huckabee, Romney, Thompson, McCain and Giuliani.

Maybe I should turn the blog over to my wife....

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4 Comments:

Anonymous caracarn said...

I'm glad to see that Obama came out clearly on top. I like Obama and I dislike Hillary, who trots out the machined message hoping for Pavlovian responses. I wouldn't mind seeing Obama become President. Whoever wins the primaries, the Democrat will beat the Republican....because the Rep candidates (except for Ron Paul) are stuck in an echo chamber of war mongering and social engineering. America has moved on.

I'm delighted to see that Ron Paul smoked Rudy the mini-Mussolini. Paul came in close behind McCain and Thompson, getting two delegates to their three. Paul did better than the polls showed, and mirrored his fifth place earlier straw poll in Iowa. If he keeps mirroring straw polls in the other states, look for Ron Paul to be a front-runner. Thompson will finally say goodbye after New Hampshire and Ron Paul is funded through Super Tuesday. Despite the mainstream media's best efforts, Ron Paul's message will continue being heard.

1/04/2008 9:02 AM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

I thought you'd be happy, Caracarn; congratulations! Though I'm still not sure how you can support both Paul and Obama, seeing as how they hold nearly opposite views on many, many things. I take it you're supporting change, and don't much care what form the change takes? Or is it that opposition to the war is your overriding criteria?

1/04/2008 8:33 PM  
Anonymous caracarn said...

Change and opposition to the war (and the idea of pre-emptive war) are two major factors. Also, I can be sure that Obama and Paul are not lackeys for the Washington status quo establishment (including the corporate oligarchy). That's also important to me. Considering those three things alone, I think we would get back on track in this country.
I don't know if some kind of universal health care (Obama) would be the best route, but I do know that ending the waste of money and energy in Iraq would free up a lot for focusing on the homefront whether it be in the form of giving us back our money by ending the income tax or by using it for things like infrastructure, energy R&D, health care, etc. Of course, drastically reducing the 130 bases and 550,000 troops we have in various parts of the world (as Paul would do) would be even better.
I would hope that Obama hears Paul's message on economic policy if he takes the White House, because Ron Paul has some very good advice on that. He is more informed on the issue than perhaps any other candidate. Specificaally, our current inflationary monetary policy controlled by a quasi-government entiry called the Federal Reserve needs to be addressed. Inflation and deficit borrowing are major contributing factors to many of our problems including gas prices, health care, and even immigration.

1/06/2008 1:37 PM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

Change and opposition to the war (and the idea of pre-emptive war) are two major factors. Also, I can be sure that Obama and Paul are not lackeys for the Washington status quo establishment (including the corporate oligarchy). That's also important to me. Considering those three things alone, I think we would get back on track in this country.

Fair enough.

don't know if some kind of universal health care (Obama) would be the best route, but I do know that ending the waste of money and energy in Iraq would free up a lot for focusing on the homefront whether it be in the form of giving us back our money by ending the income tax or by using it for things like infrastructure, energy R&D, health care, etc. Of course, drastically reducing the 130 bases and 550,000 troops we have in various parts of the world (as Paul would do) would be even better.

As I noted in my post about Ron Paul, the estimates of savings from bringing the troops home are wildly overblown. Yeah, bailing out of Iraq would save some serious cash. But beyond that, the only way you see significant savings is by sharply cutting military manpower.

Specifically, our current inflationary monetary policy controlled by a quasi-government entity called the Federal Reserve needs to be addressed.

I strongly disagree, as you know. No offense, but I think much criticism of the Fed is based on a misunderstanding of its purpose, economic theory and the practical drawbacks of a gold standard.

The question is: is eliminating inflation important enough to you that you're willing to sacrifice economic growth -- and turn control of the money supply over to the government, instead of the market -- in order to get it?

As long as inflation is relatively tame, the answer by any objective method should be "hell no."

Yes, inflation is bad for people on fixed incomes and people who save money in their mattress. But switching to a gold standard, or giving government direct control of the money supply, would be far worse for far more people. And as long as inflation remains tame, the harm it causes is minimized.

Never mind the other point: that inflation contributes to economic efficiency by constantly eroding the damage caused by earlier economic decisions. Pay raises and price hikes must constantly be rejustified. On a macro level, that's a powerfully good thing. Yes, it's annoying to watch the value of a past pay raise go down. But the flip side is that goods automatically get cheaper (in constant dollars) over time, unless the seller can and does raise prices.

The problem is that people (and capuchin monkeys...) have a strong loss-aversion bias. People tend to strongly prefer keeping what they have, putting more effort into preserving existing wealth than they put into acquiring more. The bias is so strong as to be irrational, as the described experiment shows.

Thus inflation rankles people at a basic evolutionary level, by eroding the value of what they already have.

But that ignores the larger effect, which is that a fiat/Fed system makes everyone better off by fueling economic growth. The economy expands faster than it would otherwise, providing more jobs than it would otherwise, and wages generally grow faster than inflation.

1/07/2008 10:11 AM  

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