7 votes

Weekly US politics news and updates thread - week of October 4

This thread is posted weekly - please try to post all relevant US political content in here, such as news, updates, opinion articles, etc. Extremely significant events may warrant a separate topic, but almost all should be posted in here.

This is an inherently political thread; please try to avoid antagonistic arguments and bickering matches. Comment threads that devolve into unproductive arguments may be removed so that the overall topic is able to continue.

12 comments

  1. Kuromantis
    (edited )
    Link
    This is from last week, but: What Americans think about raising the debt ceiling

    This is from last week, but: What Americans think about raising the debt ceiling

    Earlier this week, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the U.S. could run out of money as early as Oct. 18, making it impossible for the U.S. to pay its current financial obligations and creating a risk of debt default that she said would be a “calamity” for the economy. And because almost all Senate Republicans have indicated they won’t vote to raise the debt ceiling, they’ve now created a game of chicken in which they are arguing that Democrats alone must pass an increase through budget reconciliation, while Democrats counter that the GOP should join them in a bipartisan vote to raise it, which is generally how it used to work in the Senate.

    Yet, at this point, a new poll from Politico/Morning Consult suggests public opinion may not push either party to change course, especially Republicans. Overall, 31 percent of registered voters said they would mostly blame Democrats if the country defaults on its debt, while 20 percent said they would primarily blame the GOP. However, the plurality (39 percent) said they would blame both parties equally, while 11 percent said they didn’t know or had no opinion.

    However, it’s likely that many Americans don’t understand what the debt ceiling is or what raising it entails. [...]

    Unfortunately, we don’t have recent polling that examines Americans’ understanding of the debt limit, but past polls back up the idea that many people don’t grasp what it is or what the risks are if it’s not increased. In a 2013 HuffPost/YouGov poll, for instance, 42 percent of Americans correctly responded that a higher debt ceiling allowed the country to pay interest on its debt and spending that’s already been authorized, but 39 percent mistakenly said that the debt ceiling directly increased government spending and the amount of debt the U.S. holds. This survey also found plenty of uncertainty, as 20 percent said they weren’t sure what raising the debt ceiling meant.

    5 votes
  2. Kuromantis
    (edited )
    Link
    More redistricting news: Indiana governor approves 2020s election maps for US house and Indiana state houses The map. Basically makes the 5th district safe red and that's it, even though they...

    More redistricting news:

    Indiana governor approves 2020s election maps for US house and Indiana state houses

    The map. Basically makes the 5th district safe red and that's it, even though they could definitely have gerrymandered an 8-1 or 9-0 R house map.

    (can an approved congressional map be discarded and changed for a new one? Because part of me wonders if they have harsher maps in store and may change these for them later. They probably won't but I do wonder if they could.)


    Montana's redistricting comission unveils 9 potential new US house maps for the 2020s

    One part of the article worth noting though:

    The Republican-nominated commissioners put forward four maps, all variations on splitting the state into east and west, as was done last time the state had two Congressional districts.

    The five maps put forward by Democrat-nominated commissioners were more varied, but all had in common that they kept the cities of Missoula and Bozeman in a single district.

    These commissions are bipartisan, and it seems the negative baggage of bipartisanship is carrying itself over to redistricting, which to me merits a more critical look at these commissions, at least as they were legislated to be.

    (The maps themselves can be seen here.)


    I haven't seen any recent articles about it, so I'll like to the 538 maps directly: The New Mexico redistricting comission has come up with 8 (initial?) map proposals for the 2020s for the Democratic state legislature to choose from. The most the most notable one is this map which, unlike the others who either keep the current Albuquerque district and expand the northern district or shrink the Albuquerque district, it expands the Albuquerque district significantly and gives some of the city to the Republican southern district, thus making it a swing district and giving Democrats the change to gain all 3 districts of the state in 2022 and perhaps onwards.


    New Arizona drafts spark concern in Tucson

    Arizonans got their first look on Tuesday at rough drafts of congressional and legislative district maps that will set the political stage in the state for the next 10 years.

    The drafts presented at Tuesday's meeting of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission will shift significantly over the next several weeks. The two maps so far take in only a fraction of the suggestions for the new districts. But some southern Arizona observers already were concerned at how the draft maps indicate that north Tucson could join a more urban district that reaches almost to Phoenix.

    It seems this article and 538 are fairly confident this draft will not be the final map because some incumbents aren't in the districts they represent. From a purely partisan perspective this map is slightly better than the current one because it makes it easier for a majority of the districts to be won by Democrats like the popular vote is but it IMO still has too many competitive districts when the popular vote itself simply doesn't move that much in absolute terms.

    4 votes
  3. [5]
    HotPants
    Link
    Stock, Bond and Real Estate Prices Are All Uncomfortably High Robert Shiller has correctly called three out of the last two recessions stocks in 2000, housing in 2005 and bonds/ stocks/ housing in...

    Stock, Bond and Real Estate Prices Are All Uncomfortably High

    Robert Shiller has correctly called three out of the last two recessions stocks in 2000, housing in 2005 and bonds/ stocks/ housing in 2015.

    We had a mini-recession in 2020, but it didn't go the way Shiller thought, so Shiller has recently concluded overpriced stocks make sense given overpriced bonds. Which is both comforting and alarming at the same time.

    3 votes
    1. [4]
      streblo
      Link Parent
      This is an interesting point that's somewhat tangential to /u/skybrian's article re: the self-fulfilling nature of inflation expectations.

      In reality, most investors think in terms of contagious narratives that excite the imagination, not complex mathematical models. The economist John Maynard Keynes wrote that speculative prices are determined by intuitive guesses. He said that most people arrive at a “conventional basis for valuation” for asset prices like stocks or homes, and that they accept it without much thought because everyone else seems to be accepting it. But Keynes warned that sooner or later, the basis for these prices is likely to “change violently as a result of a sudden fluctuation of opinion.”

      This is an interesting point that's somewhat tangential to /u/skybrian's article re: the self-fulfilling nature of inflation expectations.

      5 votes
      1. [3]
        HotPants
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I think shiller is saying something tangentially opposite of that federal reserve paper said. I think the fed paper was attacking the received wisdom by saying inflation expectations don't drive...

        I think shiller is saying something tangentially opposite of that federal reserve paper said.

        I think the fed paper was attacking the received wisdom by saying inflation expectations don't drive inflation at least in the short term, that it's more about wage inflation.

        I think shiller was attacking the received wisdom that markets efficiently look at valuations by saying instead that market expectations are what do drive markets at least in the short term, and that valuations are more a long term thing and simply tell you how big the correction will be when sentiment swings the opposite way.

        I think where it comes together is the taylor rule. The taylor rule says rates should be rising right now because inflation is rising.

        The Fed is saying inflation is only temporary because of COVID and see look while consumers expect more inflation in the short term, long term inflation expectations are static

        If the fed decides inflation is becoming a concern, they could hike rates and that would cause stocks to correct and possibly change the narrative on stocks being a great long term investment.

        Edit: Tech stocks are red today and one explanation is that fear of rising rates hurts tech stocks more, as more of their earnings is in the future, and as rates rise, future discounted earnings become worth less today.

        1. [2]
          streblo
          Link Parent
          Sorry, you're correct. What I meant to say is the quote is tangentially related to the commonly held belief that the fed paper is arguing against.

          Sorry, you're correct. What I meant to say is the quote is tangentially related to the commonly held belief that the fed paper is arguing against.

          1 vote
          1. HotPants
            Link Parent
            Oh, then I think we agree.

            Oh, then I think we agree.

            1 vote
  4. [2]
    pseudochron
    Link
    Andrew Yang launches "Forward Party" following split from Democrats Core principles: Rank Choice Voting & Open Primaries Fact-Based Governance Human-Centered Capitalism Effective & Modern...

    Andrew Yang launches "Forward Party" following split from Democrats

    Core principles:

    • Rank Choice Voting & Open Primaries
    • Fact-Based Governance
    • Human-Centered Capitalism
    • Effective & Modern Government
    • Universal Basic Income
    • Grace & Tolerance
    3 votes
    1. dubteedub
      Link Parent
      It always seemed like Yang was a grifter in the 2020 primaries and this really solidifies that view for me. The fact that he is going around on tour now with Marianne Williamson of all people...

      It always seemed like Yang was a grifter in the 2020 primaries and this really solidifies that view for me. The fact that he is going around on tour now with Marianne Williamson of all people saying "We don't want to be Jill Steins" is just so frustrating because that is exactly what they are doing. Our Democracy is on a fucking precipe right now and the 2022 / 2024 elections are going to be razor thin yet again. Any attempt to split off Democratic voters is a huge risk to the stability of this country.

      10 votes
  5. [3]
    HotPants
    Link
    Gas and coal reaching levels that destroy demand and growth ...energy prices are spiking as we head into winter, which will drive "bad" inflation. Bad inflation clouds outlook

    Gas and coal reaching levels that destroy demand and growth
    ...energy prices are spiking as we head into winter, which will drive "bad" inflation.

    Bad inflation clouds outlook

    Bad inflation rather reflects supply-side shocks. This is, to some degree, the situation that is unfolding in the Eurozone and other economies due to the recent huge increase of oil and gas prices. Bad inflation weighs on households’ real disposable income and hence spending. The impact is expected to be larger for households at the lower end of the income distribution, considering that a bigger portion of their expenditures goes to fuel and in particular heating, and that they also have a lower savings rate.

    2 votes
    1. [2]
      skybrian
      Link Parent
      I'm wondering if the supply of some forms of energy has actually dropped (as would happen with an oil embargo) or if it's due to there being more demand for it than ever? Also it seems like, for...

      I'm wondering if the supply of some forms of energy has actually dropped (as would happen with an oil embargo) or if it's due to there being more demand for it than ever?

      Also it seems like, for those of us who think a carbon tax would be good, higher prices for fossil fuels are what we wanted? (It would be better if the money were going to governments and/or back to the people rather than to energy producers, though.)

      4 votes
      1. HotPants
        Link Parent
        One of the articles mentioned that rebates for clean energy made coal unprofitable in China so supply dropped. Then a sudden increase in demand for goods recently, meant clean energy could not...

        One of the articles mentioned that rebates for clean energy made coal unprofitable in China so supply dropped.

        Then a sudden increase in demand for goods recently, meant clean energy could not supply all the energy demanded, so prices are going through the roof. Plus China ensured they have enough energy for winter.

        Certain commodities are prone to large price swings as it takes a while to bring factories back online and ramp up production, so you typically see glut/famine price swings.

        4 votes