Monthly Archives: May 2023

Why the MAGA GOP is not really concerned about the US Defaulting

What Me Worry?
What? Me Worry?

Today while listening to the ”Sisters in Law” podcast they were asked Why the GOP is not worried about the US defaulting on its debt? It is a good question and the Sisters in Law gave several good answers but I think they really missed the mark and I’d like to share my take on an answer.

There are several things to keep in mind when trying to answer this question and the most important is that there are some 271 GOP members of congress. That’s a lot of diverent views of the problem even not considering all the ’conservative’ mover and shakers exerting their influence. So with that in mind lets get started.

First, for the extreme MAGA wing of the party any hurt done is totally immaterial. All that maters is “Owning the Lib’s”. This is a two teared goal. First the Lib’s in the congress have to be seen to cave in to them. Next if the Libs do not cave in any and all harm can and will be all the Lib’s fault. This will most likely be expressed in the classic abuser ”Look What You Made Me Do!” If the Lib’s had just been good little boy’s and girls and done what the MAGA told them to do nothing would have happened.

Next, for the regular GOP members it is as simple as they just do not believe anything bad can happen to them. They are the ”Elite”, ”The Chosen One(s)”, the ones who never seem to get in trouble even when they are in the middle of it. A while this is mostly true for the top 5% (what I like to call the Upper/Uppers) they will, at most, have to curtail some of their staff. After all it is hard to tell the difference in how you live when your net worth goes from $5 Billion to $3 billion. Or million for that matter. Now it is much easier when your income goes from $100,000 to $60,000 or from $40,000 to nothing.

Finally, for the members of the GOP who do realize just what default can and will mean; they think that the political gain for them, both personally and party wise, fair out ways any suffering of the mass’s. Indeed, some of this group actually think they see ways to personally gain, both politically and financially. That they maybe mistaken never seems to cross their minds.

In closing please remember that this is just the top three answers to the question. Also, my dear reader, remember that anyone of the MAGA GOP can switch between any and all of these answers and can mix them anyway they want. Just remember we are in a political game of ’Chicken’ and that game can only end in two ways; Someone swerves or someone dies. Sometimes two someones.

A Simple Solution to the AI Problem

Puzzled Computer

For the past few months I’ve been hearing a growing alarm over the ”AI Problem”. First my credentials: lI have been a ”Coder/Programer/Software Engine/Software Designer” since 1973. A while I retired in 2013 I’ve kept up a lively interest in the industry. Also I am a great fan of Science Fiction, in fact some of my earliest favorite stores are Dr. A’s Robot novels & short stories. A while I have never directly worked on any Artificial Intelligence projects i have written a few programs that faked being human. It is not as hard to do as the layman thinks.

My suggestion to the current issues with AI is quite simple. Let’s just go back to the legal doctrine on who is responsible when a slave broke the law. Back in Roman times the owner of a slave was held responsible for any and everything a slave did, good or bad. Let’s just do the same thing with all programs, AIish or not. The person, corporate or individual, should be held responsible for anything the Program does. Criminal or Civil.

I know that it will take a lot of effort to work out the details on how the law(s) would work but we have a great deal of legal history to draw from, Roman, Byzantine, Islamic, and Chinese just to name a few. The benefits would be great. First and for most there is someone who can and should be held responsible for the use/misuse of a program. I also know that there can, and should be, objections to this idea but I am convinced this a place to start.

Hypothesis on Why the Debt Limit Crisis

Apocalypse?  NOT!
Apocalypse? NOT!

This is not a conspiracy theory. It is, at best a Conspiracy Hypothesis. For sure it is my idea of why the Crisis is happening. So sit back, get comfy and hang-on the ride just might get bumpy.

First I do not think there is a single causal factor for the Default crisis. I think it has many causes, big and small and I’m not going to try give them any any order and I just may leave out a few. So, dear reader, if readers there be, feel free to share with me your ideas.

To start with let’s look at the very bad idea that politics is a Zero Sum game. While politics can be played as a zero sum game doing so means there can be no compromise. There is no possibility of everyone wining or loosing. This goes against everything politics is suppose to be about, ”Compromise” is what it’s all about. Yes, there are some things you can’t compromise on but you need to be very clear in your own mind just what they are and what standing your ground will cost. You always have to assume the other side has their own no-compromise issues too. An you have to be ready for everyone to loose.

As an example of what I’m talking about let’s look at one of the most well known Zero Sum games, Tic-Tac-To. Played correctly neither ”X”s or ”O”s can win, it always ends in a draw (by the way it’s the same in chess). Unfortunately way too often when you try to play a non-Zero Sum game as a Zero Sum game you can end up with all the players loosing. A well known modern example is the doctrine of “Mutually Assured Destruction”. (A wonderful movie explaining this is ”War Games”)

Another idea helping the crisis along is that the other side will blink. This is a fools bet. It is based on the false assumption that the other guy is going to blink and you have nothing to loose. I politics this comes down to believing your people are willing to pay the price of everyone loosing. It is kind-of like playing Chicken by driving your car head on into another car believing that even if you hit you won’t be that bad hurt. In this case we have two sides playing Russian Roulette with fully loaded automatics pointed at their heads.

Finally I think a big reason for the crisis is the hubris of the House GOP Leadership. Particularly the current Speaker of the House. In making the deal(s) to get elected Speaker Rep. McCarthy demonstrated just how badly he wanted to be Speaker and that he was not willing to give it up for any reason. He now has the problem of not being able to control any of the several factions of his party. That he really is not a leader, but just a mouth piece for the current, most powerful faction. That he can not negotiate in good faith because any and every thing he agrees to has to be taken back to his caucus and it only takes five votes to renege on his agreement. That there are rumored to be a sizable number of votes in the GOP house caucus for forcing a default just makes things all the more difficult.

So that is it for now. Do let me know what you all think of these ideas I promise more once my ideas come to geather.