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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Trump's First Year In Office

The graphic below comes from the WaPo article How the Trump era is changing the federal bureaucracy (Click directly on the graphic to enlarge it):

Read the entire article HERE.

President Trump may not be an ideological conservative, but sometimes he takes a pragmatically-conservative position in governance.


  1. Ideological or practical, surprisingly enough, Trump is the most conservative POTUS we've had since Coolidge. Maybe Reagan.

  2. Unfortunately, this shrinking has come at his own expense. He's failed to appoint his own people, leaving Obamaites in place who hamstring, sabotage and fight rearguard battles against him.

    The bureaucracy needs major reform. I read somewhere congress is calling for an audit of the DoD and I say, great! But don't stop there. We need an independent, outside audit of every corner of government.

    Also, compensation for federal workers has ballooned way above what the average comparable private sector professional get.

    So, this is a haphazard, ramshackle start.

    1. "The bureaucracy needs major reform." Agreed.
      Right along the political spectrum here you won't find disagreement.

      How do we get to an effective external audit? I don't see it happening and in the meantime you have this move to tear out any portion of government which doesn't support naked militaristic capitalism.

    2. Rail against it all you want, but free market capitalism is mankind's natural economic state. Also, it has a proven track record, having lifted billions of human souls out of poverty.

      "How do we get to an effective external audit?"

      I don't know. One of the many reasons I quit blogging is I ended up with more questions than answers.

    3. For markets to be free they must be regulated. Unregulated markets do not create or insure a truly free markets environment. They ultimately result in less competition and tend to be monopolistic.

    4. @ RN:
      Yes, yes, peace is war, love is hate, freedom is regulation.

      Do you have any idea what an oxymoron is?

    5. Where are these "unregulated markets" you speak of?

      Even drug dealers and international arms dealers operate based upon the laws of supply and demand.

    6. RN's comment could be charitably read as a reminder that regulations can be designed to steer a market towards the conditions of "perfect" competition, eg. a market where labelling is well regulated is more competitive than one where buyers are misinformed.

    7. Jez, no one here argues for anarcho-capitalism. I am a Hayekian, and he believes in government regulation. The argument among reasonable people is, how much?

      I ask again, where are these theoretical "natural monopolies?"

      The most recognizable monopolies and near-monopolies lounge in a walled garden of government regulation that protects their monopolistic power.

    8. A PRIME EXAMPLE of US Government stifling technology thru regulation to the detriment of the individual.

    9. SF: I know you espouse Hayek, but Warren seems to think the idea is oxymoronic.

      We could argue about what constitutes a true monopoly, but can we agree that oligopoly has arisen without regulatory support? Operators large enough to abuse their scale to distort the market: supermarkets, online services, mass media, public transport, and of course software. The example I've used before is MS Office, a product whose value lies principally in its entrenched market share. To collaborate with other Office users (pretty much everyone, only the most specialist of snowflakes are stubborn enough to eschew Office), you are pretty much condemned to using Office yourself. I wonder how popular Office would be, were it not for this network effect?

    10. Jez,
      Free-marketeers would argue that excessive government regulation sets a high bar to entry into the market, thereby protecting big corps.

      Overall, I have generally been in agreement with EU efforts to punish and unbundle such abusers.

      Google-YouTube is another near-monopoly, and I don't like the idea that a search engine owner also owns products and services that search engine steers you into... but there's Duck Duck Go...

      Also, ever heard of Open Office?

      So, I am not taking a dogmatic stance, but pointing out there is some good thought and good points on both sides of the issue, as long as we stay away from the fringes and avoid the trite twaddle that often clouds good debate in the broad middle.

    11. @ jez:
      RNs statement is oxymoronic.

      Necessary regulation is one thing but government intervention to pick the winners and losers, in the marketplace, cripples innovation and harms consumers. Regulation is also used to punish or reward favored or unfavored special interest groups and this is an anathema to a free society and unaccountable to the public.

  3. Government grew under Reagan. He merely slowed the growth.

    Dismantling government as the bannonites/trumpistas desire isn't going to work either.

    But hey, not to worry, chaos can be fun. Right?

    1. More dishonesty from “Rational Nation.” I don’t think anyone here (or in the present White House) is suggesting that we dismantle government. What I hope for (and I think this view is shared by most truly rational people) is for the federal government to abide by the United States Constitution ... which limits the authority and scope of the federal government to its ENUMERATED powers, period. If we can just manage this, our country would be much improved. If Trump can move us along in this direction, he will be remembered as a good president.

    2. Sorry, bannon essentially said exactly that. But hey, who's paying attention? Certainly not the adoring Trump admirers.

      BTW, Trump has no idea what the constitution says and couldn't care less.

      It is unlikely Trump will be remembered as anything but a disaster.

    3. @ RN:
      In case you haven't noticed (something...something "who's paying attention?"), Bannon isn't employed by the Government. "Trump admirers", seem to have a better understanding of the Constitution than you. Most didn't vote for Obama. Obama is already considered a "disaster" except by sycophants.

  4. If Trump wants Civil Service "reform" the first thing he needs to do is attack the federal pay scale...

  5. Replies
    1. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is characterized by deficits in social-communication, alongside patterns of restricted and repetitive behaviors (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). In looking for a potential explanation of this disorder, Simon Baron-Cohen noticed the higher prevalence of ASD in males than in females as well as a parallel between domains where cognitive gender differences have been reported and areas of high and low abilities in ASD. This led him to formulate the extreme male brain theory of autism (Baron-Cohen, 2002). As a starting point to this theory, Baron-Cohen argued that sex differences can be classified as falling into two domains of human thought: “empathizing” and “systemizing”. Empathizing refers to the tendency to attribute mental states to others or to have empathy or sympathy. It has also been equated with “theory of mind” or the ability to understand that others have thoughts, emotions and desires. Systemizing is the tendency to organize things into systems or to develop rules or principles to understand complex systems. Baron-Cohen further argued that, within the general population, males have a propensity towards systemizing whereas females have a propensity towards empathizing. Following up on these ideas, Baron Cohen (2002) suggested that individuals with ASD show an extreme pattern of hyper systemizing and hypo empathizing and labeled them as having an extreme male brain.


  6. The "spam folder" is active again for no apparent reason.

    1. Sorry Ducky, we have no control over the spam folder. I don't know why they are going in there. If I "delete" a comment it's gone, can't be recovered. Comments in the spam folder can be marked "not spam" and be recovered.

  7. It's a mixed bag. Trump hasn't done most of what he said would do, which is good because most of what he said he would do was windowlickingly retarded. In fact, the few good things Trump has done are the exact polar opposite of what he said he would do.

    As long as those hilarious pranksters at the NSA keep Trump receiving his "orders from Putin" we're in good shape.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. FT,
      the Dow's performance has KEPT ON reaching a long series of UNPRECEDENTED highs since the first day after Donald Trump got elected

      A manifestation of optimism. To a certain point, capitalism runs on confidence.

      I know that you'll disagree with me, but market performance is not necessarily the economy for everyone -- especially for those who don't have disposable income so as to be able to invest in the stock market.

      In sum as I see it...

      If market performance is poor, everyone suffers. If market performance is high, not everyone benefits.

    2. Does FT credit Obama for the consistent long-term performance of the Dow during his terms?

  9. Author Michael Wolff is now saying that he has tapes


    the White House is now suing to stop the publication of the book and the dissemination of excerpts from the book.


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