Thoughts on the election polls

29/Jun/2016 Comments off

The presidential polls are weird. First off, there’s ‘uge variance among them. Some of the two-way polls have Crooked Hillary up 12 points! Some are tied. The three and four-way polls have Gary Johnson polling at 8% support. A questionable number. No way that guy breaks 3%.

How is this possible? Easy, the polling organizations are mis-weighting the populations. There are different stories with different polls, but the gist is that Democrats are over weighted while independents and Republicans are under weighted. There are more self identified Democrats than Republicans, in part because the Democrats have been so effective since 1965 in importing client-voters from the third world, but it’s not yet 52% of the electorate, as ABC assumed in their recent poll.

There’s also the issue of voters being afraid of giving a heretical opinion to a pollster, who, as a statistician-type and a media-type, is almost certainly a leftist. Hence Trump out-performed his polls a bit during the primaries and the Brexit vote massively outperformed, albeit in a different country. Finding out just who qualifies as a “likely voter” is likewise tricky. Did  I think if Trump can avoid doing foolish things like giving his opinions on Mexican judges or whatever, while emphasizing that his nationalist vision includes all American citizens, he will win MI, OH and PA and the election. It is a very, very good thing that Paul Manafort is running the show now.

p.s.

Apparently Trump is softening his stance on Muslim entry into the U.S. This is of course expected, and an out-right ban on entry always seemed a bit strong. Are South East Asian, Bangladeshi or west African tourists really going to cause trouble? Or Shia tourists? Or Turkish? Or tourists in general? A revision was in order. The point is we don’t want Sunni Afghanis or Arabs settling in significant numbers, “until we figure out what’s going on”.

Further, Trump says there won’t be mass deportations. That’s smart. The worst thing from a propaganda/persuasion perspective would be to have lots of Elian Gonzales pictures in the media. Instead, what you want to do is a Romney-style self deportation. You make it risky for employers to hire people and you steadily cut off transfer payments to illegals while giving some reward for leaving, after the border has been secured. Really, you make it clear that illegal immigrants have no long term prospects in the USA, and they’ll just move back like they just moved in.

 

 

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Down with the union

24/Jun/2016 Comments off

Yes the pound is down, yes FTSE and S&P 500 are down. Big deal.

If 2% off the S&P 500 and FTSE are the premium to the EU (or maybe about 2/3 of the premium, give that’s about what the betting markets said the probability of remain was) then I say leaving was a bargain at twice the price. Some of the drop is no doubt due to an “uncertainty” premium as well. Will the globalists punish England and Wales for this? There are easy ways to do this, especially through Mark Carney.

Who needs the EU? What good does it do that a national government can’t? European unity? Why would we want that? The idea that Europe would have another war were it not for the EU is, as our cousins say, a load of bollocks. The fact that the EU could be formed is merely a formalization of the common understanding that the age of European wars for territory is over and not coming back soon.

As far as political unity, why do we want that? We want healthy competition, that’s one of the reasons the Western world was so dynamic up through 1913. If common standards need to be adopted, let the market sort it out. If people really want properly shaped bananas no doubt they’ll be available at some price.

I do hope this British Independence Day betokens a shift toward a self-respect focused nationalism. We don’t need to deport all the Mexicans, but just maybe kids should be allowed to wear American flag t-shirts to school, and just maybe we should bias economic policy a little more toward people of average abilities.

We will see what happens to the EU. Sweden and Denmark are prime candidates to vote next, as neither uses the Euro, which vastly simplifies a Dangång and a Svenxit. Both border Norway a non-EU state, making a ‘leave’ argument easier. The Swedes are cowards, so expect the Danes to hold the vote first.

 

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Make Britain Great Again

23/Jun/2016 Comments off

brexit

Well I’ll be, it looks like a God-damned Brexit.

The votes of those red-haired, gluten-intolerant oat-eaters to the north have already been reckoned, and yet here we are, should be smooth sailing to 50.1%.

Maybe something nutty will happen with the counting. Maybe the elites will squirm out of it. I’m going to hold off on saying anything more for the moment.

happy nigel

How I feel right now

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Moody’s Analysis of Trumponomics

22/Jun/2016 Comments off

I see that Moody’s Analytics has posted an analysis of Trump’s economic proposals.

One thing to keep in mind when reading this is that Moody’s Analytics uses a 1970s Keynesian approach. It’s a bunch of equations linked together in a big Eviews matrix, solved using Gauss-Seidel. Arnold Kling tore these models apart about a decade ago. There’s no monetary offset in their model, they don’t report per capita income in their output, nor do they talk about changes in the shape of the income distribution. These are the things we actually care about. Somehow they have unemployment going up under a scenario where labor supply is pulled in and labor force participation is low and falling. It could happen, but only if the Fed wants it to, which isn’t the mechanism they use (hint, they just make it up).

You’d do well to also keep in mind that the Moody’s Analytics macro model forecasts are heavily edited. The raw model solve, that is using only the model fit to the data, no human input, is not credible. The published forecasts are essentially lines drawn in excel by hand, then subtracted from the model forecasts to yield scientific-sounding ‘add factors’, to make the model say what they want. This indicates that the model doesn’t approximate the economy’s structure very well. This might be why Moody’s Analytics were forecasting long term interest rates to rise and a strong housing recovery back in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. It’s almost as though they aren’t very good at forecasting. These are after all the same people who told us the 2009 stimulus bill would push the economy back toward full employment.

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Unpleasant things happen

20/Jun/2016 Comments off

I’m sorry to keep harping on these things, but I can’t live with myself if I don’t. The media are covering football matches and basketball games. People on social media are posting pictures of expensive food products and vacations, while our politicians, media and academics push policies which increase the expected number of child sexual abuse cases. I have to do my small part to push back.

Linked from Drudge, an American child in Idaho was allegedly raped by Syrian child refugees. It’s from Alex Jones’ news outlet, but sometimes it takes a more fringe personality to point out the naked kaiser.

This was totally predictable. People who have influence, and push for Syrian refugees, are responsible for this. The media who give them cover, the academics who pretend there’s no problem. We have England, we have Sweden, two decades of data to show there’s an issue of systematic and vastly over represented rape coming from immigrants with an Islamic background. We have data from Germany especially showing that the current crop of Syrian refugees are especially risky in this regard.

Why do I dismiss mass-shooting victims of American perpetrators as statistically not important, while focusing on a single victim of refugee crime? Because my welfare function is over-weighted toward the welfare of Americans. Americans get benefits from owning firearms. We don’t need to go into it here, but you can’t deny there are both upsides and downsides. I give some weight to Americans getting those benefits. With Syrian refugees, it’s all downside. It’s all downside because, we, as Americans, are not insane, and care more about ourselves and our neighbors, than billions of strangers outside of our club (USA), which we collectively own and manage according to the economic theories of Club Goods. We’re on a team called “America”. We compete within that team, but we also circle the wagons and use that team to advance our collective interests.

The welfare of Syrian refugees does not get a high weight. We have to have some balls here and say this. We don’t want to conquer Syria and harvest their organs, but we also don’t care about them enough to tolerate greater risk of our current club member’s being raped and having their lives ruined for it. We’re not insane, we respect ourselves. The Syrian refugees don’t bring any aggregate positives to us by coming here, unlike say, the Vietnamese.

I’m giving you an out: let’s take in Vietnamese immigrants instead, whom we might actually owe something to, morally. Vietnamese are actually much more genetically distant from white Americans than middle easterners are, so by letting them in, we get to prove we’re not racist even more than with Syrians. We could also let in South Americans according to some moderately restrictive criteria. I’m not wild about unending population growth, but for the love of God let’s make a compromise.

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Trump on the economy & Bernanke

I’ve come across an interview Trump did with Jim Cramer some years ago

 

It’s not clear to me exactly when it was shot, some time in early 2008 I reckon. I base this on the subtext of the interview, which is that the economy is weak, the dollar is weak, and oil is near $100 a barrel.  They also don’t say “double dip” which everyone was worried about in 2009-2013. The time stamp on youtube says “2012” but that is just when the video was uploaded

I bring this up because it’s striking how fundamentally right Trump is in it. He says that Bernanke needs to lower rates more than expected, that he needs to surprise markets with how much he cuts (i.e. revise the expected NGDP path upward). He also says the president needs to use political muscle to get oil producers to increase output (increase aggregate supply at the cost of some political capital to see us through the financial crisis), which given what Saudi Arabia has done with prices this past two years, seems like something they could have done.

Trump makes the case that inflation is not a problem, pointing out that house prices are falling, stock prices are falling and so are retail sales (i.e. a good proxy for nominal GDP). Again, I’m impressed by how Trump praises Greenspan (best ever) and points out that Bernanke needs to be like Greenspan and “lead the markets” i.e. raise or lower rates more than expected (to steer NGDP growth, at least that’s how we’d say it). Business leaders like Trump follow the Fed, they know how powerful monetary policy is, they’d have to to survive, to avoid making business investment against the direction the Fed is moving in.

Trump doesn’t use the language of an academic economist, but who cares? his brass-tacks instincts are spot on. If he’d been president in 2008 we wouldn’t have had a recession. Watching this, I don’t see how a Market Monetarist could think he doesn’t implicitly understand monetary policy. If you don’t like him because you want more immigration or whatever it is, just say so. You don’t need to build up sophistic explanations for ‘why he’s bad on monetary policy’.

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A little perspective

15/Jun/2016 Comments off

Democrats import hostile population to pad their voting rolls -> hostile population acts hostile -> Americans have their rights stripped to remake society to accommodate Democratic voters.

The volume of firearm-ophobia I’ve see in the media the last 24 hours is staggering. You’d think the president of the NRA murdered 49 homosexual party goers, and not a pseudo Islamic State jihadist.  I think the only way to sooth myself in this time of bigotry against traditional American culture is to order a PTR 91 GI.

I made the point a few posts back that an easy way to statistically offset the excess deaths from the odd Omega Male rage-quit-murder-suicide, or Allahuackbaring by Democratic voter-clients, is to tax firearm sales. Just a small tax to fund a low-hanging fruit way of saving other lives. It’s easy to make up for mass shooting deaths because there just aren’t that many of them, something like 900 since 1960.

To put those 900 deaths in statistical perspective, about 3,000 teenagers died in the US in 2013 because of cellphone use while driving. Judging by what I see on the roads, plenty of grownups are dying because of cellphones too. Another source I found said that 1.3 million crashes happen “every year” (whatever that means) because of cellphone use whilst driving. Everyone knows cars are dangerous, and that people use their phones while driving. If you’re an American, ask yourself: “how many times a year do I drive past an accident where someone died or was seriously effed up?” How many times a year do you see someone shot? Have you ever seen someone shot? I haven’t.

The point is it’s easy to make up for excess gun deaths by going after things that kill lots of people, because firearms don’t kill that many people. This is to say nothing of the property crime and deaths prevented by firearms, a non trivial figure. Look at professor John Lott’s youtube lectures for more on this.

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