July 27, 2015

Is the fact that Trump's official website has no "issues page" evidence that he's not a serious candidate?

That's an argument made here.

But:
As far as I can tell, Jeb Bush's website "contains no issues page."

And Scott Walker's website also "contains no issues page."...

The websites of Trump and Bush and Walker all look like they could have been designed by the same person. They all have a bio of the candidate with vague references to their political ideologies but no concrete plans. Those websites all feature "news" stories and social-media links instead of "issue" statements. So are the three Republican candidates who've been doing the best in the polls all unserious about vying for the presidency?

I can think of two better explanations. Either (a) they plan to add an "issues" section later in the campaign, after their positions have had more time to jell, or (b) they've decided that a continually updated "news" format is a more dynamic, effective way to engage potential supporters than a static list of policy statements....
I'm perfectly amenable to the argument that Donald Trump is not a serious candidate. But I'm interested in why anyone gets the safe harbor of being considered "serious." Does everyone who's ever gotten elected governor or senator deserve a presumption of seriousness as a presidential candidate? And what do we think we are doing when we attribute "seriousness" to a person? What is seriousness anyway? I'm asking because I think we need to be careful about getting conned by seriousness. It's easier and safer, I think, to go with our instincts rejecting people who seem to us to lack seriousness. The greater risk is that we'll instinctively and without good enough reason hand power to someone who has somehow caused us to class him (or her) as serious.

110 comments:

mikee said...

Hillary is a serious candidate. Does she have an issues page? How long between edits of her positions? Does she edit the positions every time she is caught in an outright lie, or just make them so ambiguous that they cover any situation?

Does Hillary support gay marriage this week? Last week? How about the Iraq War? Her husband when he cheats on her?

Her inability to maintain a position on any issue that does NOT correspond to the latest polling data should indicate she has zero chance of being president successfully. But hey, I was wrong about Obama, he won twice.

rhhardin said...

Serious is a subgenre of frivolous, not its opposite.

Archeology of the Frivolous.

rhhardin said...

You can't will to be serious, in other words. It's retrospective.

virgil xenophon said...

To paraphrase Louie B. Meyer about "sincerity": " 'Seriousness' if you can fake that you've got it made"

(Most attribute that quip to George Burns, but he always claimed to have gotten it from Meyer.)


Ignorance is Bliss said...

The greater risk is that we've instinctively and without good enough reason handed power to someone who has somehow caused us to class him (or her) as serious.

FIFY, for certain values of we/us.

jimbino said...

Inaterestingg that Ann spells "gel" as "jell." Must be the influence of Cosby commercials.

Brando said...

"Serious" generally means "is running because he wants to be president and is not delusional about his chances". It's meant to rule out people who are running solely to sell books or get a Fox News gig.

The problem is of course there's no way to be certain about a candidate's intentions--and it's not necessarily delusional to think another candidate might stumble or you might suddenly take off in the polls. At one point in the 2012 cycle Herman Cain led in the polls, and back in the 2008 cycle McCain was near the bottom when he turned it around and won the nomination.

With Trump, it's not his lack of issues on his website that suggests he is unserious--anyone could get an intern to draft up a list pretty easily--it's his history and connections with the Clintons and his past as a Republican moderate that makes this sudden lurch to the right make me think he hates what the GOP has become (not because he's "anti-establishment" because you really don't get more establishment than a connected NYC billionaire) and wants to sink it. If it gets his buddies the Clintons back in power, all the better.

I'm at peace with it. Democracies get the government they deserve.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

jimbino said...

Inaterestingg that Ann spells "gel" as "jell." Must be the influence of Cosby commercials.

The professor was quoting, in case you are inaterestedd

Brando said...

"Hillary is a serious candidate."

I'd say she's serious by my definition of "wants to be president and isn't delusional about her chances of becoming president". Clearly her team will be bringing out every dirty trick to get there, and the IOUs are being written as we speak.

In terms of "can she run the government competently" all we have to do is look at everything she's tried to run in the past. Except for her "bimbo smear machine" everything she's done has been a failure. So if the U.S. is ever threatened by women accusing our country of groping and fondling, she'll know exactly how to destroy them.

Thorley Winston said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thorley Winston said...

I agree with Brando on the difference between the serious and non-serious presidential candidates. I would also add that we should look at whether someone who has declared themselves to be a candidate has done the actual things a candidate needs to do if s/he is running an actual campaign – registering and paying the applicable fee(s) to the FEC, getting on the ballot in the applicable States, actually having a campaign organization on the ground in those States, etc. If someone is actually serious about running for President than they should be doing all of those things (and more). If they’re just appearing on the talk shows and the debates, they’re probably just looking for publicity for some other reason and I feel pretty good about excluding them regardless of what the polls say.

Bay Area Guy said...

The issue isn't whether Trump's website has any issues, the issue is whether he has any issues. Ya follow me?

Coupe said...

I think the whole primary system is a joke. The candidates wasting their time going to each of the states with their hands out, where they will have to pilfer and rape them to keep the oligarchy in DC in place.

If I was running, I would buy a hotel in Casper, Wyoming, and invite all the State Electors to three months of hunting, camping, fishing, and we could all agree on how we will take over the country.

We will agree there who will be the vice-President, the Chief of Staff, and who the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs will be.

Then to finish it off, we can decide to make the White House a museum, and move the Executive Branch to Camp David.

Anything less is theater.

Howard said...

No "serious" republican candidate would have an issues page at this stage. They have no idea who they need to be to win the nomination next year. To prove my point, check out Ayn Rand (Ron) Paul's page.

Hitlery does have an issues page, she calls it the four fights. Democrats need an issues page to be serious. Jim Webb is running like he is a republican.

Brando said...

"I think the whole primary system is a joke."

Can't argue with that. There are two solutions I'd suggest:

1) Go back to the smoke filled rooms and let the party bosses decide who they want to nominate. Upside--they have every incentive to pick who will be electable but also competent enough to implement policies that will be popular with their constituents. Downside--corruption.

2) Single one-day national primary held in spring of the election year. Parties can weight the votes based on voters registered with the party, as well as voters who are not (to gauge how well the candidates would do in a general election) and can weight by how well each one did in various states. No debates, but perhaps party-sponsored one-on-one televised interviews with a journalist well regarded for insightful questioning to give voters a good view of the candidates (can also broadcast that candidate's commericials and bios).

Kyzernick said...

I consider Trump to be a serious candidate. He is everything we expect of a politico, but in exaggerated form. And I think, if he can learn to filter at least some of what he says (his most damaging, off-the-mark, personal type stuff), and can talk eloquently about the issues for the next six months, he might just pull it off.

rhhardin said...

It's not the primary system that's a joke so much as the media.

News business profits require soap opera women. Only soap opera runs.

So only soap opera is ever an issue.

What cannot interest the dumbest woman can't be part of a national discussion. She'd tune away.

readering said...

I think Trump is a serious candidate because he's been seriously thinking of running for public office, including positions in New York, most of his adult life. What you see is the culmination of what he's been working towards for decades. But he waited until retirement age, which is too long.

Brando said...

"It's not the primary system that's a joke so much as the media."

The media certainly plays its part in it--candidates and parties alike cater to what the media wants (in terms of spectacle) because without the mass media coverage they feel they'd be at a disadvantage.

It's gotten worse over time as "sound bites" and shorter news cycles dominate. The silliest gaffes can destroy otherwise strong candidates, and the most vapid messaging benefits weak candidates--case in point, Hillary. She's managed to be substance free and avoided any sort of real questioning, and she's been officially running for several months and unofficially for several years.

Sebastian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sebastian said...

"I think we need to be careful about getting conned by seriousness."

Thanks for the advice. I think you're safe though. As a former O voter, you are not at risk of being conned that way.

"it's his history and connections with the Clintons and his past as a Republican moderate that makes this sudden lurch to the right make me think he hates what the GOP has become (not because he's "anti-establishment" because you really don't get more establishment than a connected NYC billionaire) and wants to sink it"

Right. Trump is serious about damaging the GOP and helping Hillary!

TosaGuy said...

No one is Feeling the Bern since Trump has taken over the limelight. That is not to say that his minimal support has ceased, but it does mean that no one else will get a chance to pay attention to him.

Quaestor said...

Perhaps another reason to leave off an issues page is security. An issues page containing statements like "Governor X stands for Y" is an invitation to malicious hacking, which could create an unwelcome distraction.

The claim that Trump's website proves his candidacy is un-serious is specious. Trump may well be in this mainly because he delights in self-aggrandizement, but looking at his website for evidence of that is silly. It's much better to consider the fellow's entire public career. A moment's reflection on his history should raise hackles of suspicion, that the Trump campaign is much like the Trump Plaza, the Trump Taj Mahal, and the Trump Princess -- the ratio of foundation to decoration is less than unity.

Brando said...

"Right. Trump is serious about damaging the GOP and helping Hillary!"

I suppose it's possible that Trump doesn't really care about whether Hillary or some Republican wins the White House next year, and he is just in it for attention. But then, if he were in fact trying to kneecap the GOP and help Hillary, would he do anything different from what he's already been doing?

Anonymous said...

Blogger Brando said...
"Right. Trump is serious about damaging the GOP and helping Hillary!"

I suppose it's possible that Trump doesn't really care about whether Hillary or some Republican wins the White House next year, and he is just in it for attention. But then, if he were in fact trying to kneecap the GOP and help Hillary, would he do anything different from what he's already been doing?


If in fact Boehner and McConnell were trying to kneecap the GOP and help Hillary, would they do anything different from what they are already doing?

This question is so dumb.

Hillary is destroying her own campaign. She is the worst campaigner in the history of campaigns. I doubt she will even win the Democrat nomination, let alone the Presidency.

Does this mean she is trying to get Trump elected as President? Does it mean she is trying to get a Republican elected as President? If she were in fact trying to kneecap the Dem party and help Republicans, would she do anything different from what she's already doing?

We can play this game all day. Hopefully when it's thrown back in your face you can see what a silly question it is.

Anonymous said...

Blogger Sebastian said...
Right. Trump is serious about damaging the GOP and helping Hillary!


You've got this completely backwards. Hillary! is damaging the Democrats to help Trump get elected. Hillary is self destructing while Trump is rising. Hillary is going to go down in flames, and she knows it. She doesn't even want to be President, instead, she wants to fill the coffers at the old Clinton foundation and keep the spigot flowing for as long as possible.

Before this is over, the rug is going to pulled straight out from the Democrat party and it'll be in shambles.

The real election is between 16 Republicans. Whoever comes out on top of that contest is going to be the next President. And my suspicion is Hillary! is going to hand it to Trump. Not because she thinks Trump is a Democrat or a liberal, she could care less. She just wants money. But because he is rich and can donate lot's of money to their charitable foundation and make them richer.

The Democrats don't stand a chance this cycle. Once the Republican is picked, it's game over. Hillary! is going to self destruct and all the smartest people are going to say, "Wow! We never saw that coming."

Brando said...

"Hillary is destroying her own campaign. She is the worst campaigner in the history of campaigns. I doubt she will even win the Democrat nomination, let alone the Presidency."

We'll check back in on that this time next year. Lousy a campaigner as she is, I don't see her getting Obama'd again. It would take some major new scandal far beyond anything the Clintons faced already.

And your comparison is flawed--Trump is not sabotaging the GOP because he's a "lousy" campaigner--in fact his current success demonstrates remarkable success for such a baggage-laden man in his first campaign for any office. He's sabotaging the GOP because he's running the exact type of campaign he criticized the GOP for in the past! Did he not as recently as 2012 say that Romney's big mistake was his "self deportation" comments? Does he not have long connections to the Clintons, having endorsed single payer health care and a wealth tax? But I suppose he must be sincere now. After all, he did go after Obama with that birther nonsense long after everyone outside the fringe dropped the topic. I guess that puts him apart from Hillary, who would never associate with such fringe theories, except that her campaign originated it back in '08. You know, when she counted among her supporters one Donald Trump.

I know nothing I have to say will convince you--you think he's the real deal, and I'm some sort of McConnell/Boehner apologist (though I've never expressed support for that wing of the party but I guess anyone attacking Trump needs to be pigeonholed, as that's easier than addressing arguments). So I won't bother arguing further with you on this--it would take Trump actually admitting that he hated the GOP right wing all along to get his current supporters to acknowledge it, and who knows--even then I'm sure they'll try to spin it.

Brando said...

"The real election is between 16 Republicans. Whoever comes out on top of that contest is going to be the next President. And my suspicion is Hillary! is going to hand it to Trump. Not because she thinks Trump is a Democrat or a liberal, she could care less. She just wants money. But because he is rich and can donate lot's of money to their charitable foundation and make them richer."

Are you suggesting Hillary is going to intentionally throw the election to Trump (the GOP nominee) so that he can pay her off? I just want to make sure I read that correctly.

BarrySanders20 said...

Althouse says :"I think we need to be careful about getting conned by seriousness. It's easier and safer, I think, to go with our instincts rejecting people who seem to us to lack seriousness. The greater risk is that we'll instinctively and without good enough reason hand power to someone who has somehow caused us to class him (or her) as serious."

That's a great point. It's why John Kerry and his running mate, John Edwards, still cause me to laugh. They both could only pretend to seriousness. Partisans don't care and will vote for the party, but the middle 20% make these types of judgments.

Obama sold his seriousness and got elected twice. He's incompetent but cool and serious. The Kerry types are rejected and the Obama types are not, (but then the Obama types go and appoint the Kerry types to negotiate nuclear deals with Iran).

GWB- serious even though lighthearted and goofy (some say lightheaded) sometimes. McCain - not really serious, just wanted to be president because he wanted to be president. Romney - serious, but lost to another serious-projecting person.

Hillary? Not serious. Just desperate.

Anonymous said...

Are you suggesting Hillary is going to intentionally throw the election to Trump (the GOP nominee) so that he can pay her off? I just want to make sure I read that correctly.

No. I'm suggesting that whoever gets the Republican nomination is going to win.

Hillary doesn't care who it is. She just wants to collect as much cash as she can while she still can.

Ann Althouse said...

The jell/gel distinction can be difficult — read this — but I think jell was the better choice here. The verb "jell" means to form a jelly, and the verb "gel" means to form a gel.

"Do Teams Gel or Jell?... Gel is what you put in hair. When you “gel” things, you create a thick goo, like concrete. Teams are not a thick goo. Teams are flexible and responsive. Jell is what you want teams to do. You want them firm, but not set in concrete. When teams jell, they might even jiggle a little. They wave. They adapt...."

Anyway, the notion that the "jell" in "Jell-o" was a respelling of "gel" as in "gelatin," may be correct, but "jell" was also already a word, and it dates back to the early 19th century.

Consider this: "When we speak of a group or a team coming together to form a cohesive whole or when we write about an idea becoming a concrete plan of action, we usually use the spelling jell for the verb. However, gel can also mean something has taken definite form. I like to reserve gel, though, for congeled, as when a gelatin sets. The dessert gelled; the plans jelled."

Anonymous said...

as that's easier than addressing arguments

Yeah, because you're making arguments, instead of advancing conspiracy theories.

Next you'll be telling us it's a valid argument that fire doesn't melt steal.

D.E. Cloutier said...

The nail that sticks up continues to get hammered.

Trump is a serious candidate. He isn't a loose cannon. He has a plan. Political junkies should watch and learn. (Like any political candidate with a lot of business experience, he will shut down his campaign quickly IF and when he concludes he can't win. He won't throw good money after bad.)

We all know that two issues often have the most impact on U.S. Presidential elections.

The first is the economy. If the economy is bad, the party that's not in the White House wins.

Hoover, bad economy. FDR wins.
Carter, bad economy. Reagan wins.
George H.W. Bush, bad economy. Clinton wins.
George W. Bush, bad economy. Obama wins.

The second issue is defense. Defense doesn't mean unnecessary military adventures in foreign lands. Defense means protecting America, including its borders. Defense means keeping undesirables out of the country.

Trump has focused on both issues. (Trump once said, "Don't get sidetracked. If you do get sidetracked, get back on track as soon as possible. Ultimately sidetracking kills you.")

Trump said in his book "The Art of the Deal": "You can't con people, at least not for long. You can create excitement, you can do wonderful promotion and get all kinds of press, and you can throw in a little hyperbole. But if you don't deliver the goods, people will eventually catch on."

He knows he has to keep his campaign promises to solve the illegal immigration problem and to "make American great again" if he wins. He won't want to go down in history as a failure.

D.E. Cloutier said...

Correction, my comment: Make that "make America great," not "make American great."

Brando said...

"No. I'm suggesting that whoever gets the Republican nomination is going to win.

Hillary doesn't care who it is. She just wants to collect as much cash as she can while she still can."

I would take up a collection to pay her off if I thought that would keep that family out of power. But I think they want power and vindication more than anything.

The GOP can beat her, but it's not a sure thing. The last four elections have been very close--about a six point margin at most--and the GOP only won the popular vote once since 1988, and in their only two electoral wins in that time it came down to a single state. Even a weak nominee for the Dems goes in with those advantages.

khematite@aol.com said...

I liked it better when The Great Mentioner decided whom we had to take seriously.

http://www.barrypopik.com/index.php/new_york_city/entry/the_great_mentioner

Brando said...

"The first is the economy. If the economy is bad, the party that's not in the White House wins."

That's true, but I'd add a caveat--it's more the "perception" of the direction of the economy rather than the overall state of it. In 1992, the economy was in recovery, but the voters still perceived the economy as poor. In 2012, the economy was still weak (in a weak recovery) but the perception was that it was recovering (which technically it was) and certainly in a better direction than the economy in 2008, which was perceived in free fall.

If unemployment starts steadily ticking up next year, the GOP will gain an advantage, though that'll depend on how soon that happens and how deep the numbers.

richard mcenroe said...

Both Bush and Walker, whether you agree with them or not, have documented records of political accomplishments. Trump has a documented record of serial bankruptcies, jilted investors, use of the law against private citizens for his own political gain, a string of failed vanity product launches, a cancelled game show and high profile, big-ticket divorce. That may be suitable for a Senator from Minnesota but not for the Presidency.

richard mcenroe said...

D. E. Cloutier, you're still thinking Trump is running to win. This good friend of the Clintons is running to make sure the GOP loses, and he WILL run third party. Do you see ANY Hillary voters abandoning the Hildebeest for Trump?

richard mcenroe said...

"Gel" is probably right for a Trump campaign.

Brando said...

"Both Bush and Walker, whether you agree with them or not, have documented records of political accomplishments."

There's a group of people who see that as a bug and not a feature--these were the same voters that supported "outsider" candidates like Perot, Forbes, Al Sharpton--they see the system as corrupt and only someone coming in from the outside can fix it. Note this same argument was used to make Obama's lack of political experience a "plus" as well.

While there's something to be said for an "outsider" perspective, the problem is that it overlooks many of the qualities that are needed in being a competent president--including understanding and being able to work the system. Governors probably have the most relevant experience when it comes to prepping for the presidency, as they also have to deal with legislatures and cabinets and various bureaucracies in their state. The downside for a true "outsider" is that once in office, they're going to have to rely more heavily on certain advisers and allies (as Obama did with Rahm, Pelosi and Reid) than a more seasoned pol would have--for better or worse.

furious_a said...

I hate politicians with issues. They're way too confessional.

D.E. Cloutier said...

Richard McEnroe, when have you seen Trump, who has a rather large ego, play second fiddle to somebody else?

Headline at CNN yesterday: "Trump on Clinton: 'What she has done is criminal'"

Link:
http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/26/politics/trump-hillary-clinton-emails-cnn-poll/

Curious George said...

Bernie has an issues page. Part of it insisting that everyone make $15/hr. Sadly he also has an employment page, where he states interns get paid $11/hour. So he is not just a socialist, he is dumb socialist.

Brando said...

"Sadly he also has an employment page, where he states interns get paid $11/hour."

This seems to be the usual practice of the Left. "Please force me to do the right thing! I wish I could pay more in taxes, if only the government would make me!"

furious_a said...

If I was running, I would buy a hotel in Casper, Wyoming, and invite all the State Electors to three months of hunting, camping, fishing, and we could all agree on how we will take over the country.

I'd do like Silvio Berlusconi, and invite the electors to my villa to party with the girls in the Bunga-Bunga room. And make sure I had pictures, for later.

furious_a said...


Gellin' like a felon...who's tellin'?

Quaestor said...

Bernie has an issues page. Part of it insisting that everyone make $15/hr. Sadly he also has an employment page, where he states interns get paid $11/hour. So he is not just a socialist, he is dumb socialist.

If asked why the disparity between his words and his deeds, the Bern will likely resort to "can't afford it" or something that boils down to "can't afford it," leaving himself open to still more embarrassing questions.

Bernie exists as a candidate strictly because the Left has been well and truly hoist with the petard of President Zero. Without intellectual honesty the Left finds itself reduced to the myth of the insufficiently "progressive" presidency.

surfed said...

I'm starting to like the guy as a candidate in spite of myself. Hell, in spite of his self.

Quaestor said...

...but "jell" was also already a word, and it dates back to the early 19th century.

My source dates jell to the mid-18th century as a back-formation of jelly. Gel is a variant, which dates to the late 19th century.

Quaestor said...

Sanders appeals to people who think Stalin wasn't really a communist.

Anonymous said...

Curious George likes to brag about how he supposedly owns a small company with several employees, but what kind of business owner doesn't know the difference between a worker and an intern?

Anonymous said...

They don't know what the issues are. They don't know whence the issues wind blow. They need polls to tell them what issues voters care about. But then, voters are fickle, they bend with the wind too. Catch-22, vicious whirlpools.

If they had principles... Oh well, until pigs fly.

TosaGuy said...

"but what kind of business owner doesn't know the difference between a worker and an intern?"

Under Bernie's $15/hr for workers and $11/hr for interns economic model, everybody will be able to get an extended internship.

Anonymous said...

Quaestor said...
Sanders appeals to people who think Stalin wasn't really a communist.

No, Sanders' appeal is: he is not Hillary. Democrats want to win, but no Democrat dares run against the Dowager. "Independent" Sanders shows them the way. O'Malley follows. But got caught in the White Lives don't Matter Trap.

Trump wins the polls because of Republicans' dissatisfaction with the wusses. Sanders is leftists' Trump.

Brando said...

"Curious George likes to brag about how he supposedly owns a small company with several employees, but what kind of business owner doesn't know the difference between a worker and an intern?"

The "worker vs. intern" distinction is one that normally gets derision on the Left, as they believe employers just call some workers "interns" in order to get free or cheap labor out of them. If Sanders is paying these "interns" by the hour then it is clear he is getting labor out of them (and not just letting them volunteer for college credit) so why is he only paying them $11 when he believes no worker should make under $15?

The answer is probably about making omelets and needing to break eggs, and how the only way we can get $15/hr for all is by underpaying his interns now, or some other rationalization.

Related to this, with NY implementing a statewide minimum wage hike to $15, while I think this is lousy for employees (many of whom will find it harder to find work) and employers (many of whom have genuine need for under $15/hr work but now have to get by with fewer employees) at least the country will see how this little experiment goes. It'll take a while to see the full effects, but somehow I don't think upstate NY will rebound.

Brando said...

"No, Sanders' appeal is: he is not Hillary. Democrats want to win, but no Democrat dares run against the Dowager. "Independent" Sanders shows them the way. O'Malley follows. But got caught in the White Lives don't Matter Trap."

I sense that's a part of it--a lot of liberals (for good reason) don't trust Hillary and at best are uninspired by her. They see Sanders as a purer personification of the Democrats' id.

I think Biden is supposed to make his own decision soon.

furious_a said...

Under Bernie's $15/hr for workers and $11/hr for interns economic model...

Once they get discouraged and drop out of the labor force, they don't count in the unemployment rate anyway. So win-win!

Anonymous said...

OpenID madisonfella said...
Curious George likes to brag about how he supposedly owns a small company with several employees, but what kind of business owner doesn't know the difference between a worker and an intern?


Brilliant!

If they raise the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour, everyone should just start calling their employees interns, instead of workers.

traditionalguy said...

A good way to better understand Trump is to listen to David McCulloughs audible book "Truman" section dealing with the 1947 brilliant moves to recognize Israel after partition sneaking it past the antisemitic State Department headed by The General Marshall leading up to a nomination and a brilliant 1948 campaign in which HST was called all the names Trump has been called including JackAss.

No one was admitting that they would vote for him and the ridicule of the media was thick. The polling companies stopped polling since Truman was so far behind Dewey in September, 1948. The top 50 media pundits called it 50 to 0 for Dewey.The FDR new Dealers turned on him and supported Wallace the socialist. The solid South despised him for integrating the military and federal jobs and voted for Strom Thurmond .


But by late October 1948 HST had it won by doing exactly what Trump is doing today. Live and learn from real history.

Etienne Mathieu said...

You can't adjust the minimum wage without mandating minimum hours. A lot of people are requesting less than 40 hours from their employer, so they won't lose their welfare. They can't live on $600 a week.

tim in vermont said...

If Hillary were a "serious candidate" you would think she would have a position on Keystone XL by now. When is she going to tell all of those blue collar workers that the "net roots" don't want them to have work?

Matthew Sablan said...

Just looking at San Francisco, and a giant bump in minimum wage has an impact on marginal jobs. In fact, a lot of places start feeling the squeeze before the rule even takes effect!

Higher minimum wages might, sometimes, be beneficial if the current existing one really is exploitative. But, all I know is that I make more than minimum wage, and every increase in minimum wage has ended up hurting people in my income's purchasing power while not actually making things better for the people who make the new minimum wage -- and there's usually now fewer of them.

Brando said...

"But by late October 1948 HST had it won by doing exactly what Trump is doing today."

I'd be lying if I said there wasn't some part of me that would like to see this just for entertainment value. Is InTrade still a thing where you can bet on elections?

Matthew Sablan said...

On is Hillary serious: I believe she is. She wants to president, but feathering her accounts and pocketing some money is the safety valve if it doesn't happen. It's win-win. Trump's probably the same way: Being president would be awesome. But, if he's not president, he'll find some upside.

Brando said...

"If Hillary were a "serious candidate" you would think she would have a position on Keystone XL by now. When is she going to tell all of those blue collar workers that the "net roots" don't want them to have work?"

The shame of it is that because Hillary has no real opposition (even Sanders has gone light on her, focusing instead on his own lefty ideas) and has closed off the media, there's no real opportunity to challenge her on the serious fissures in the Democratic coalition. The GOP has its own divisions and issues, but the Dems are facing them as well and Hillary's best hope is waging a content-free campaign and hoping she can scare enough voters away from the GOP that they'll buy this pig in a poke.

Brando said...

"Just looking at San Francisco, and a giant bump in minimum wage has an impact on marginal jobs. In fact, a lot of places start feeling the squeeze before the rule even takes effect!"

There will be some initial effects, but I think most of the damage is longer term, and harder to see--like employers not adding as many new jobs as they would otherwise, or automating sooner. It's possible some of these things would have happened absent the wage increase, but it's very likely that these increases make such things more likely.

Matthew Sablan said...

"The GOP has its own divisions and issues, but the Dems are facing them as well and Hillary's best hope is waging a content-free campaign and hoping she can scare enough voters away from the GOP that they'll buy this pig in a poke."

-- This is called a base turn out election. It's how GWB won, and possibly how Clinton did it too. It's been SOP for at least ~20 years. Obama pulled it off spectacularly. As much as we might mock McCain and Romney as RINOs, there is no doubt they put out a lot more content, ideas and ideology.

And the other side, which always said it wants substance, jumped on them, asking for more and more, until they could hang them with the rope.

Politicians have learned to not give details -- because details lead to losing.

pm317 said...

The greater risk is that we'll instinctively and without good enough reason hand power to someone who has somehow caused us to class him (or her) as serious.

Like you all did Obama.

That entire last paragraph you wrote is worth repeating. This has been my problem all along. What or who is presidential? If Bernie Sanders can be taken seriously why not Trump? {BTW, I am not Trump supporter or anything like that.}

Matt said...

It seems pretty obvious to me that a serious candidate is one who legitimately thinks he / she can win because they have built the kind of solid campaign that makes winning likely. As opposed to someone who runs just to get issues out there [as far left or far right candidates do] or runs as a celebrity. Trump seems to fit into the category of celebrity'.

Everyone knows these days you have to have a very strong grassroots ground game AND political election infrastructure to win. It also helps the have the official party seal of approval. Obama overcame that by having an incredible grassroots campaign that made his win inevitable. Trump has neither a strong grassroots or the blessings of the GOP. So he is running a Cinderella campaign. His chances are slim to none.

damikesc said...

The GOP can beat her, but it's not a sure thing. The last four elections have been very close--about a six point margin at most--and the GOP only won the popular vote once since 1988, and in their only two electoral wins in that time it came down to a single state. Even a weak nominee for the Dems goes in with those advantages.

True.

Before Obama, Democrats hadn't gotten a majority of the popular vote (even Gore didn't get a majority, not that it really matters) for 32 years --- and then, they BARELY got it.

Things can change dramatically.


There's a group of people who see that as a bug and not a feature--these were the same voters that supported "outsider" candidates like Perot, Forbes, Al Sharpton--they see the system as corrupt and only someone coming in from the outside can fix it. Note this same argument was used to make Obama's lack of political experience a "plus" as well.


I can't agree completely. Few don't have at least respect for Walker. Bush, at least to me, comes across as another Boehner or McConnell --- they will simply mouth the proper words and not do much to make anything worthwhile happen. Bush will do whatever the Chamber of Commerce wants (hasn't the GOP given ENOUGH corporate welfare out this year?) and I don't trust him to hold the line on anything important.

I can see Walker doing things. He won't be splashy or flamboyant --- but I trust him to do what he says.

This seems to be the usual practice of the Left. "Please force me to do the right thing! I wish I could pay more in taxes, if only the government would make me!"

They're also ignoring the workers they're "helping", at least in Seattle, requesting cuts in hours so they don't lose their government perks.

Related to this, with NY implementing a statewide minimum wage hike to $15, while I think this is lousy for employees (many of whom will find it harder to find work) and employers (many of whom have genuine need for under $15/hr work but now have to get by with fewer employees) at least the country will see how this little experiment goes. It'll take a while to see the full effects, but somehow I don't think upstate NY will rebound.

I thought it was just for food workers --- and, more specifically, for food workers where table service isn't part of the job.

I figure we'll either see:
1) Lots more machines taking orders and not screwing them up as badly.

or

2) Lots more workers asking for fewer hours because they'll lose benefits and, shockingly, you can't really live well in NYC on $15 an hour.

Terry said...

We've got about 320 million people in the US. If the government cuts us all a check for a million bucks, that's 320 trillion bucks. But wait, the million dollars won't be a gift, it will be a loan! The 320 trillion is an asset as well as a debt. Total cost: $0.
And charge everyone 0% interest. How can anyone default on a 0% rate loan? They can't!
We will all be millionaires! Whoopee!

Sebastian said...

"by late October 1948 HST had it won by doing exactly what Trump is doing today." Umm, no.

All the "arguments" made for Trump, on this and other threads, justify Americans getting Hillary!, good and hard.

MadisonMan said...

Why should any candidate have views today so far ahead of the election when every voter knows that those views will change in the future depending on how the wind blows?

I can see Walker doing things. He won't be splashy or flamboyant --- but I trust him to do what he says.

It's more likely he will do things that he doesn't say.

tim in vermont said...

The greater risk is that we'll instinctively and without good enough reason hand power to someone who has somehow caused us to class him (or her) as serious. - Althouse

You mean like a guy two years out of the Illinois State Senate? Naah! Could never happen.

tim in vermont said...

It's more likely he will do things that he doesn't say.

I trust him on that score too.

David said...

Harold Stassen was always a serious candidate. He had issues pages.

Michael K said...

HST had it won by doing exactly what Trump is doing today."

There was quite a bit of difference in a president running for re-election and a guy like Trump who has never held office and has a string of bankruptcies as his business model. However, Angelo Codevilla has it pretty well figured out.

Trump has hardly scratched the surface and may not be able to do more than that. Yet our rulers know the list of things divide them from the American people is long. They want to avoid like the plague any and all arguments on the substance of those things. They fear the rise of an un-intimidated leader more graceful and precise than Trump, someone whose vision is fuller but who is even more passionate in championing the many resentments the voicing of just a few channeled so much support to Trump.

Here are some examples: Justice Kennedy’s majority opinions in Windsor and Obergefell preemptively accused anyone who opposed redefining marriage to include homosexuals of being “offensive,” “hateful.” Refusal to honor homosexual unions, he wrote, is not “explicable by anything except animus.”


Read the rest. Pretty good stuff, by my lights.

grackle said...

Trump has a documented record of serial bankruptcies, jilted investors, use of the law against private citizens for his own political gain, a string of failed vanity product launches, a cancelled game show and high profile, big-ticket divorce.

Yet Trump has amassed 10 billions in wealth. All the above, even if it were true, will make no difference. Trump is immune to these types of criticisms. It’s not going to make people withdraw their support. Everyone already knows he’s an effective businessman, these canards only highlight that fact.

Ditto all the chatter about Trump’s contributions to various Democrat politicians in the past. Doesn’t matter.

One vulnerability I see Trump having is the up-coming Fox-sponsored debate. If his answers are weak he may stumble and fall.

It will be the most watched debate in the history of televised debates. I think it could be a disaster for Trump; but I believe it could also help him gain even more support.

I’ll guarantee one thing:

Trump will not be billy-clubbed by a moderator like the hapless Romney was.

richard mcenroe said...

Sorry, re: Trump I meant to say, "use of the law against private citizens for his own financial gain", i.e., his exploitation of eminent domain.

Anonymous said...

Blogger Michael K said...
Read the rest. Pretty good stuff, by my lights.


It is a pretty good read, except that he's naïve. He believes a better candidate can come along and do what Trump is doing but not be Trump.

Not in today's day and age. They will all be alinsky'd in one way or another. Either by their own party, the Republican party, or by the Democrat party.

Don't make perfection the enemy of the good.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Wife was watching some Wall Street Journal "news" videos yesterday; I was listening while catching up on some book-keeping.

The genuine news FACT - Trump dissing McCain did not result in universal popular dissing of Trump - took about 5 seconds. This was followed by the "news" staff informing us that the populace was at fault here for not reacting properly, then presenting as "news" four possible explanations for this failure on the part of the People.

So much for "news" these days; so much for the WSJ.

Michael K said...

"He believes a better candidate can come along and do what Trump is doing but not be Trump."

If Trump is still a Republican in November 2016, I'll vote for him but I don't think he will be.

Anonymous said...

eric blogger profile #18404081201496033214 said: everyone should just start calling their employees interns, instead of workers.

There is more to it than just changing the name.

there is a lot of misinformation about internships in the marketplace.

Companies Train Interns and Hire Employees

In other words, be clear about the outcomes you expect from your internship program. There are six criteria from the U.S. Department of Labor to help guide the analysis of whether the intern must be paid:

The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment;

The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern;

The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff;

The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded;

The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and

The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.


https://info.sequent.biz/blog/bid/293738/What-s-the-Difference-Between-an-Intern-and-an-Employee

Michael K said...

"The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern; "

So you don't have to pay them ? Come one Inga, companies hire employees and train them too. You just don't know anything about running a business. Admit it.

Drago said...

What no one in this thread seems to mentioning (and I might have missed it if someone did) is that the old performance-based turnout models for national elections are no longer relevant. It doesn't matter how bad the economy is. It doesn't matter how obama has over-reached with federal power.

None of that matters.

The dems have imported a new electorate. The dems have spread that electorate around the entire nation and have already changed the potential outcomes in a half dozen previously reliable republican states.

It's over.

Maybe not quite this election. But certainly by the next. Or the next.

And if you think this permanent underclass that has been imported will ever vote for anyone other than sugar-daddy regardless of how bad things get, well then, I give you the entirety of central and south america.

BTW, did you see the headline that already 1/5th of El Salvadorean population has been transplanted to the US?

We are on our way to Greece status thanks to all these MS-13 "dreamers" and their families.

However.....however. Is there some small, miniscule chance that this seeming inevitability can be avoided.

Perhaps. Perhaps.

But not with the "opposition" party that currently "runs" the House and Senate.

And with Roberts/Kennedy on the Supreme court, we have to be quite realistic about our national trajectory.

Phil 3:14 said...

I want to see a Trump/Sanders 3rd party ticket: the "Angry" slate. No policy or issues statement needed. They will keep giving their red meat speeches and even use each other as their foil, "My running mate is an idiot and doesn't how to manage money....". It would be like all of these news/talk shows where two political opposites debate an issue. We all come away feeling good that our guy is brilliant and the other guy is a jerk.

We don't want solutions, we want confirmation.

traditionalguy said...

In the 1948 campaign Truman was not much of an incumbent. He was seen as a two bit ward healer from a hick town in a hick state who had inherited FDR's White House that he was totally unworthy of having set foot in. He was a Scots Irish Southern Baptist farm boy that with no college degree and he talked funny.

Dewey was a famous New York Attorney General fighting organized crime that was elected Governor of New York for two terms and had come very, very close to winning the 1944 Presidential election from a old and sick FDR. Dewey and the Northeastern GOP moderates said over and over they wished Truman would go into hibernation and not destroy American foreign policy before Dewey could hit the ground running.

Dewey was a lifetime practicing Episcopalian who felt entitled to his place. Truman had no place.

But Dewey did a Hillary like entitled to the job campaign and said absolutely nothing except platitudes. Dewey was a jerk who did not know a farmer from one of house servants.

HST took three campaign train trips and and and his wife and daughter spoke with extreme elegance in a fighting spirit to 30,000,000 common Americans who remembered the past depression and War and knew fighting leaders were their only hope of prosperity.

After it was over the unanimous opinion was that it was a miracle.

Curious George said...

"madisonfella said...
Curious George likes to brag about how he supposedly owns a small company with several employees, but what kind of business owner doesn't know the difference between a worker and an intern?"

Bragged? I think I mentioned it once Penquin. My company has more than several employees BTW. And I do have an intern. My intern makes more than $15/hour. I pay him what he is worth to me. I know that concept is foreign to a union slug like yourself.

I also have 6 employees that make less then $15/hour. If I was forced to pay them $15 hour they would be history. I would outsource overseas. But they are thankful for the job.

Bernie said everyone working full time should earn $15/hr. His interns work full time.

Beldar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Real American said...

Trump isn't a serious Republican candidate, but that's because he's not a Republican.

steve uhr said...

Walker's website is a train wreck.

Beldar said...

Let me propose a bright-line test.

When a candidate, when pressed for specifics -- as Trump was when he was asked, "How exactly are you going to MAKE the Mexican government pay for the border fence? -- responds by saying, "I'm much smarter than you think, I'm a great negotiator, have you read my book, 'The Art of the Deal'?" then that's a b*llsh*t candidate.

Trump is nothing BUT b*llsh*t, back to front, top to bottom. And until it was profitable as a means of enhancing the "Trump Brand," which comprises almost all of his claimed net worth, he was a Democrat b*llsh*t artist.

I feel dirty for adding to his celebrity even with this comment, which is as full of scorn as I can make it. I assuage my feelings by thinking I might cause one or two eager suckers to re-evaluate. But that's probably hubris on my part -- and The Donald is ALL about hubris and depends entirely upon those who aren't persuadable by rational arguments or objective facts.

Anonymous said...

It's not that hard to make Mexico, along with other countries, pay for their illegals.

In 2014, you may be surprised to know we handed out over 100 billion in foreign aid world wide. Granted, this isn't an even distribution. Nor is illegal immigration.

But its a start. He could simply declare that every illegal costs us X number of dollars and therefore, that amount will be deducted from foreign aid.

The beauty of being President is, you spend the money. If you don't want to you don't have to.

This is one of those common sense things that should have been done awhile ago. But it isn't done because really, the politicians aren't serious about stopping illegal immigration.

I've been kind and generous with my response to you, Beldar, because I know you're one of those open minded moderates who can be convinced with facts, reason and logic, to change their mind. Right?

Michael K said...

If you take away the jobs by eVerify and make the border harder to cross, you solve 85% of the problem. Maybe not the Muslim jhadis but we know how to deal with them. Mr Smith and Wesson tell us that.

Beldar said...

eric, refusing to follow the law is what Obama is doing.

Are you saying that the next POTUS should promise to do that, and that would secure your vote?

If you think Mexico's government depends on American foreign aid to stay in power, you're as deluded as Trump.

But even your suggestion, I'll grant, is more specific than anything Trump has laid out.

I'm not a moderate. I'm a conservative. Trump isn't. I live in the real world. Trump lives in
B*llsh*t-Land, where people think that tough and unspecific talk is a real solution.

narciso said...

foreign aid doesn't have that big an influences, but remittances from emigrants in the states might I don't know how that could be curtailed, but there's a thought, of such notions don't seem to occur to the Wharton grad,

gadfly said...

But there is only one issue: Do Black Lives Really Matter? And there is but one answer to police-hating blacks: Not if it gets in the way of socialism.

walter said...

Clearly Trump has never driven from WI to IL via highway...

Bobber Fleck said...

Meanwhile, Hillary announced she has a plan to create a plan to address issues. Her plan to create that plan will be announced in 10 days.

Rusty said...

OpenID madisonfella said...
eric blogger profile #18404081201496033214 said: everyone should just start calling their employees interns, instead of workers.

There is more to it than just changing the name.

there is a lot of misinformation about internships in the marketplace.

Companies Train Interns and Hire Employees

In other words, be clear about the outcomes you expect from your internship program. There are six criteria from the U.S. Department of Labor to help guide the analysis of whether the intern must be paid:

The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment;

The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern;

The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff;

The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded;

The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and

The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for
the time spent in the internship.

https://info.sequent.biz/blog/bid/293738/What-s-the-Difference-Between-an-Intern-and-an-Employee




He's still a hypocrit. If somebody works for you, no matter in what capacity, they are employed by you and deserve to get paid. If Sanders believes the minimum wage should be 15.00 and hour for everybody. Everybody includes interns.
When you lead by example people follow. Whe you lead with rhetoric people vote democrat.

Curious George said...

What someone really needs to ask Bernie Sanders is why $15/hour? Why not $20. $25?

Brando said...

"What someone really needs to ask Bernie Sanders is why $15/hour? Why not $20. $25?"

Because $15 is the magic number that we all know every employer across the country in every industry for every job can afford to offer its employees without having to lay anyone off.

Quaestor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quaestor said...

Because $15 is the magic number that we all know every employer across the country in every industry for every job can afford to offer its employees without having to lay anyone off.

And when every employer has raised the price of his goods or services to cover the increased cost, the purchasing power of $15 will be about the same as current minimum wage.

John said...

I doubt that anyone really knows if trump is a serious candidate. Perhaps not even himself.

Is Hilary a "serious" candidate? She certainly seems less serious than Trump in the way she is running. A case could be made that she is only running to raise money for her slush fund/foundation. Once she is out of politics, the donations will dry up so she needs to milk it as long as possible. She has had one stroke, could she survive a real campaign or presidency without a second one? This may be the real reason she is non-running such a lackadaisical non-campaign.

Trump can't win? Perhaps not. Perhaps he will get tired of running and drop out. Perhaps a hundred other things can happen. Right now he seems to be the front runner nationally for good or bad. Even if he was not serious when he jumped in, perhaps now he is thinking "Hmmm.... Maybe I could really do this."

So far he has raised a whopping $2mm, almost all from himself. A week or two back he had spent a horrifyingly huge $93,000. He has probably gotten more ink than all the other candidates, on both sides, combined.

Not serious?

Seriously?

John Henry

John said...

Sebastian said, perhaps tongue in cheek,

Right. Trump is serious about damaging the GOP and helping Hillary!

That has been a meme all along.

Then over the weekend he came out and said that Hilary should be in jail. So maybe not?

And if Hilary is looking less and less like a serious candidate, as I think, how does helping her do anything?

John Henry

John said...

Trump isn't a serious Republican candidate, but that's because he's not a Republican.

Well then, what about Sanders?

He has never been a member of the Democrat Party. He has been pretty vocal his whole career about not belonging to any party. I don't think he is even registered as a democrat voter.

How can he possibly be a serious candidate by that standard?

More to the point, if he is not a Democrat, how can he legally even run as one? He has spent his career as an independent, he should be forced to run as one. New Hampshire has been making noises that he may not qualify for their ballot because he is not a Dem.

John Henry

Coupe said...

Rather than raising the minimum wage, we should be demanding lowering the amount of money going to the Oligarchy.

But they won't let you think like that... No sir...

Americans are sheep.

furious_a said...

What someone really needs to ask Bernie Sanders is why $15/hour? Why not $20. $25?

$15/hr focus-grouped best.