***Official Political Discussion Thread***

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If a private company is deemed too essential to national interests (stability, security, etc.) that it can’t be allowed to fail, then it should be nationalized. Period.
Respectfully disagree.

Boeing is necessary imo to stop Airbus from monopolizing the industry.
 
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I was thinking this today.

It was a warm, sunny day -- unusually warm for March where I live. I was feeling good about our prospects for defeating COVID-19. The streets had been empty the past few days and people seemed to be taking it seriously.

Then I saw that everyone was out. Especially kids. Playing football, talking in groups, treating this like summer vacation. Adults were out too, being less cautious about maintaining distance than they had been the past week.

It's only been a week since we really started shutting down. A bunch of these people ARE infected and don't know it. Today, they just infected a bunch more. Many of them will be asymptomatic too and won't know it. They will infect everyone they come in contact with over the next 2-3 weeks. We will see a second wave, and a third wave, and a fourth wave...
I’ve felt conflicted after reading these kinds of accounts. On the one hand, I’m prone to highlight the many people actually practicing social distancing and not the minority of selfish folks. I have no data, but I genuinely believe there are more people thinking of others than there are guided by a YOLO philosophy. We have a tendency to take the good and the just for granted, focusing more on the evil. On the other hand, clearly there are people willing to put other lives at risk.

I want to practice an anti-carceral politics, but if people don’t want to abide by the honor code, what then? I’m against extractive fees and fines and locking people up, but how else to discipline bad behavior? How to endorse a model of fines without empowering a police force that might use those new mandates against black people, poor people, and those criminalized for their very existence?
 
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There’s a second ad they are running to which attacks him for it. Not sure if it’s this or another super PAC. They better let that **** run.
 
8,794
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Joined Aug 20, 2001
It doesn't matter in terms of the money—it's tax money that's going to be spent. Whether it's via a publicly owned entity or via a contract to a company in the private sector doesn't make a difference in terms of the money itself.

And I don't buy for one second the innovation and cost savings arguments. Indeed, there probably isn't a clearer-cut example of why these arguments are bull**** than Boeing's own operations over the past few years...
Yesterday Rusty said something to the effect of “Nationalize Boeing, screw the executives if they don't want to take government salary." That aside, looking at this as purely a matter of USA security, nationalizing them would also be screwing over the other 35k Boeing Defense employees by also giving them government salaries. You would then have to figure out how break up their Services division which would be a logistical nightmare. Not to mention, this nationalization would be a result of announced policy, so stockholders would have the heads up that the government is going to buy stock for a takeover, meaning the stock price will go up a lot, increasing the cost to taxpayers even more. If we look at all the defense companies that would fall in this "essential to national security" distinction then the US would also likely have to create a fund with enough money to buy all these companies and somehow spinoff the "non-essential parts". Other countries have partly nationalized militaries and it doesn't work so well because it's harder for the government to keep up with speed of technology than it is for a private company. If it was critical for any county to nationalize their defense industry then they could probably do it, but there would subsequently be a lot of court battles. I truly believe there would need to be a threat to mainland US for this to even be a realistic consideration.

What is really getting lost in all of this is that Boeing has three business units (Commercial, Defense and Global Services) so while their defense unit is critical for national security, it's not even the reason for the bailout.So unless the loan mandates this loan can only be used for Boeing Defense, at which point it would be more than likely rejected or not taken in full, then this bailout will be used for Commercial Airplanes. The national security bit was just a GOP way to slide them funds.

I don't know what to tell you about innovation and cost-savings being BS. The flight control system developed for the 737 MAX was the first of its kind and was designed to save airlines money. It would have cost way more if you didn't have the expertise of flight control engineers, simulator and test pilots, etc. that were apart of the original program (which you wouldn't if they were nationalized). Yes, there was a critical oversight which I have previously acknowledged and expressed grief for, but it wasn't so much Boeing's operations as it was their culture which led to quelling of the issue that caused the crash. I think similar levels of bureaucracy also exist within the government which would lead to similar problems except the taxpayers would be footing the bill.
 
8,794
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Joined Aug 20, 2001
Boeing is necessary imo to stop Airbus from monopolizing the industry.
How would nationalizing Boeing facilitate Airbus monopolizing the industry?
I would argue that eliminating shareholder buy-in limits growth potential therefore limiting talent acquisition and R&D.

But again, I see your point, I just disagree.
What blackintellect blackintellect pretty much hit it on the head and I alluded to those points in my post. Lower salaries means engineers will go elsewhere and the government wouldn't be able to keep up with the R&D. Airbus is already assembling airplanes in the US, this would open the door to them just opening Engineering Centers in the US and taking all of the domestic talent and market share.
 
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Joined Aug 24, 2012
What blackintellect blackintellect pretty much hit it on the head and I alluded to those points in my post. Lower salaries means engineers will go elsewhere and the government wouldn't be able to keep up with the R&D. Airbus is already assembling airplanes in the US, this would open the door to them just opening Engineering Centers in the US and taking all of the domestic talent and market share.
How are you guys defining nationalization? Or, more to the point, what does nationalization look like (procedurally, in terms of democracy, inequality, etc)? What does nationalization look like given the challenges (and opportunities) of federalism? And if nationalization of Boeing means “no more cutting corners on safety” what of the idea of regulatory capture?

A lot to read these days, but I’ve been trying to think about just where nationalization fits, so to speak, within leftist politics. Very useful overview of the growing lukewarm support for nationalization post 1990s (Borris Kagarlitsky, “Is Nationalization Dead?” 2000).
 
4,395
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Joined Jun 28, 2004
I’ve felt conflicted after reading these kinds of accounts. On the one hand, I’m prone to highlight the many people actually practicing social distancing and not the minority of selfish folks. I have no data, but I genuinely believe there are more people thinking of others than there are guided by a YOLO philosophy. We have a tendency to take the good and the just for granted, focusing more on the evil. On the other hand, clearly there are people willing to put other lives at risk.

I want to practice an anti-carceral politics, but if people don’t want to abide by the honor code, what then? I’m against extractive fees and fines and locking people up, but how else to discipline bad behavior? How to endorse a model of fines without empowering a police force that might use those new mandates against black people, poor people, and those criminalized for their very existence?
First try carrots instead of sticks, pay people not to work and provide any and supports to make staying at home easier. After that I know we need sticks to deal with those who won’t follow stay at home orders. But to our point, I’m also weary of using the cops and the criminal legal system.

Perhaps there could be neighborhood volunteers block wardens who would not have arresting powers but could shame and compel their neighbors into following orders. This could be especially useful in black and brown neighborhoods where the respected members of the community would be far preferable to having law enforcement sweeping the streets.
 
14,833
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Joined Mar 27, 2004
I’ve felt conflicted after reading these kinds of accounts. On the one hand, I’m prone to highlight the many people actually practicing social distancing and not the minority of selfish folks. I have no data, but I genuinely believe there are more people thinking of others than there are guided by a YOLO philosophy. We have a tendency to take the good and the just for granted, focusing more on the evil. On the other hand, clearly there are people willing to put other lives at risk.

I want to practice an anti-carceral politics, but if people don’t want to abide by the honor code, what then? I’m against extractive fees and fines and locking people up, but how else to discipline bad behavior? How to endorse a model of fines without empowering a police force that might use those new mandates against black people, poor people, and those criminalized for their very existence?
Great point and I share the trepidation. The problem (at least from who I saw out and about) is spoiled suburban kids, but I could see the police targeting the wrong people. Also, the fines would be nothing to a rich family but could be disastrous for lower income families or for those who have lost their jobs.

Side note -- I saw Fauci talk about the second wave. I was referring to short-term waves, like every month or so, whereas he was talking about a second wave next winter since it appears coronavirus will migrate to the southern hemisphere over the news few months and then would return north just in time for next winter.
 
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Joined Feb 21, 2006
I would argue that eliminating shareholder buy-in limits growth potential therefore limiting talent acquisition and R&D.

But again, I see your point, I just disagree.
Growth of a publicly owned entity would be predicated on democratic processes. So to the extent that the GOP and a smaller and less committed segment of the Democratic Party are committed to the destruction of the public sector, there are certainly concerns related to the intentional sabotage of any public entity. But this is the major problem facing public institutions—underfunding and intentional subversion—not something inherently problematic about the public sector in general.
 
14,833
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Joined Mar 27, 2004
First try carrots instead of sticks, pay people not to work and provide any and supports to make staying at home easier. After that I know we need sticks to deal with those who won’t follow stay at home orders. But to our point, I’m also weary of using the cops and the criminal legal system.
This is following a nice pattern of "this is why we can't have nice things." At each step the government gives us a chance to show personal responsibility but we can't handle it so they have to increase the enforcement of rules.

At first cities tried encouraging social distancing... but people just huddled in bars. It kept getting upgraded so now it's stay-at-home except to go grocery shopping or for brief, solitary walks. But people are violating that too. So next is to shut down all parks.

Keep this up, idiots, and soon we'll have martial law.
 
8,794
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Joined Aug 20, 2001
There still would be Boeing if it were nationalized and it would largely run as it did before save for three things.

No more cutting corners on safety.

Much smaller pay for higher ups

The American people are the shareholders
  • No more cutting corners on safety.
    • Not justifying the 737 MAX crashes but can you please point to me outside of that design flaw where Boeing has cut corners that has led to safety in-service safety issues?
  • Much smaller pay for higher ups
    • This would be terrible for the entire industry because it would cause a mass exodus to remaining private companies.
  • The American people are the shareholders
    • Boeing has manufactured ~1/3 of of the world's in-service planes and does the MRO on a great deal of them. In addition to facilitatiing global air travel (~4.5B global and ~800MM domestic passengers) they also create the products that defend the freedoms of the United States and their allied nations. They might be private but they are working for Americans, shareholders or not.
How are you guys defining nationalization? Or, more to the point, what does nationalization look like (procedurally, in terms of democracy, inequality, etc)? What does nationalization look like given the challenges (and opportunities) of federalism? And if nationalization of Boeing means “no more cutting corners on safety” what of the idea of regulatory capture?

A lot to read these days, but I’ve been trying to think about just where nationalization fits, so to speak, within leftist politics. Very useful overview of the growing lukewarm support for nationalization post 1990s (Borris Kagarlitsky, “Is Nationalization Dead?” 2000).
Excellent point. I think we all might have differing definitions of nationalization. I am more so speaking against it conceptually but I would love to hear a more proper definition because I could be thinking about this the way.
 
633
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Joined Aug 24, 2012
Great point and I share the trepidation. The problem (at least from who I saw out and about) is spoiled suburban kids, but I could see the police targeting the wrong people. Also, the fines would be nothing to a rich family but could be disastrous for lower income families or for those who have lost their jobs.

Side note -- I saw Fauci talk about the second wave. I was referring to short-term waves, like every month or so, whereas he was talking about a second wave next winter since it appears coronavirus will migrate to the southern hemisphere over the news few months and then would return north just in time for next winter.
Great post. Especially because it helps sharpen the class critique of the crisis. Did you read about the rich fleeing to the Hamptons, hoarding food and compromising the health of others? (https://www.google.com/amp/s/nypost...virus-leads-to-class-warfare-in-hamptons/amp/)

Let’s be clear: social distancing was demanded of black folks way before corona. Poor folks long had limits on their access to and enjoyment of public space. It has been the rich and the wealthy who have despoiled the planet and who, because money is no object, pose the greatest danger. The stick for the rich. That’s a message I can stand by.
 
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Joined Feb 21, 2006
Yesterday Rusty said something to the effect of “Nationalize Boeing, screw the executives if they don't want to take government salary." That aside, looking at this as purely a matter of USA security, nationalizing them would also be screwing over the other 35k Boeing Defense employees by also giving them government salaries. You would then have to figure out how break up their Services division which would be a logistical nightmare. Not to mention, this nationalization would be a result of announced policy, so stockholders would have the heads up that the government is going to buy stock for a takeover, meaning the stock price will go up a lot, increasing the cost to taxpayers even more. If we look at all the defense companies that would fall in this "essential to national security" distinction then the US would also likely have to create a fund with enough money to buy all these companies and somehow spinoff the "non-essential parts". Other countries have partly nationalized militaries and it doesn't work so well because it's harder for the government to keep up with speed of technology than it is for a private company. If it was critical for any county to nationalize their defense industry then they could probably do it, but there would subsequently be a lot of court battles. I truly believe there would need to be a threat to mainland US for this to even be a realistic consideration.

What is really getting lost in all of this is that Boeing has three business units (Commercial, Defense and Global Services) so while their defense unit is critical for national security, it's not even the reason for the bailout.So unless the loan mandates this loan can only be used for Boeing Defense, at which point it would be more than likely rejected or not taken in full, then this bailout will be used for Commercial Airplanes. The national security bit was just a GOP way to slide them funds.

I don't know what to tell you about innovation and cost-savings being BS. The flight control system developed for the 737 MAX was the first of its kind and was designed to save airlines money. It would have cost way more if you didn't have the expertise of flight control engineers, simulator and test pilots, etc. that were apart of the original program (which you wouldn't if they were nationalized). Yes, there was a critical oversight which I have previously acknowledged and expressed grief for, but it wasn't so much Boeing's operations as it was their culture which led to quelling of the issue that caused the crash. I think similar levels of bureaucracy also exist within the government which would lead to similar problems except the taxpayers would be footing the bill.
What does all of this have to do with Boeing being "too big to fail," so to speak, which appears to be the premise for access to certain segments of the corporate bailout, which you brought up yourself? If they're not too big to let them fail within the boom-and-bust cycle of capitalism that they, then we should let them ****ing fail. If they are too big to let them fail, then they should not exist as an entity in the private sector. I mean, stop for a moment and think about the ramifications of a private sector company which operates with the knowledge that the federal government considers them too big to fail. What part of that dynamic seems acceptable to you?

Would there be practical challenges to nationalizing a company like Boeing? Of course. Those things could and should be discussed and debated. For example, I disagree with your argument about stock prices, at least in a timeframe beyond the immediate horizon—if it becomes known that the federal government is going to institute a takeover of Boeing, shareholders would likely be trying to offload those shares, since once the feds gain a majority share those stocks would be worth comparatively little. But regardless of a potentially perverse short-term effect on stock prices, saying something like "nationalizing a major corporation would be tough" doesn't seem like a particularly compelling argument against doing so in light of the alternative.

Lastly, the 737 fiasco isn't some anomaly in terms of utter disasters in the private sector driven by greed. It's just the most relevant example to the topic at hand. And, in that vein, it had a whole lot less to do with "a critical oversight" or a unique company "culture" than it did with the fundamentally sociopathic reality that quarterly stock dividends are the exclusive driving force of the private sector.
 
5,631
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Joined Aug 22, 2012
There still would be Boeing if it were nationalized and it would largely run as it did before save for three things.

No more cutting corners on safety.

Much smaller pay for higher ups

The American people are the shareholders
Oh yes, Mitch McCconells Wife has a much cleaner heart than Boeing Executives

Agree on much smaller pay top down, good luck with retaining talent

American people already subsidize Boeing through taxes via their defense division, I'd rather the opportunity to atleast make returns on the stock if I so choose
 
5,398
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Joined Dec 12, 2012
I was thinking this today.

It was a warm, sunny day -- unusually warm for March where I live. I was feeling good about our prospects for defeating COVID-19. The streets had been empty the past few days and people seemed to be taking it seriously.

Then I saw that everyone was out. Especially kids. Playing football, talking in groups, treating this like summer vacation. Adults were out too, being less cautious about maintaining distance than they had been the past week.

It's only been a week since we really started shutting down. A bunch of these people ARE infected and don't know it. Today, they just infected a bunch more. Many of them will be asymptomatic too and won't know it. They will infect everyone they come in contact with over the next 2-3 weeks. We will see a second wave, and a third wave, and a fourth wave...
As healthcare professionals risk their lives to treat people, a bunch of ungrateful selfish Americans are helping to ensure there is no end to this.
 
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