actorartathleteauthorbizcrimecrosspostcustomerservicedirectoredufoodgaminghealthjournalistmedicalmilmodpostmunimusicnewsworthynonprofitotherphilpolretailscispecialisedspecializedtechtourismtravelunique

MusicLil’ Flip here launching Kinglife Family on 3/17/17 - Ask me Anything!

Mar 16th 2017 by lilflip713 • 9 Questions • 144 Points

I am Benjamin from Turret Psychoanalytics. I am responsible for the development and deployment of our new Artificial Intelligence that can predict human behavior using social media. We are launching it as a marketing product at CeBIT in a few days. I would love to have a conversation with reddit about the advancements we have made in sentient Artificial Intelligence and its potential implications on society.

Answers to some basic questions: I am 20 years old. My background is mostly in psychology. My title is Chief Data and Information Officer. Our website is https://www.bigdatacanada.co/ .

Proof: http://i.imgur.com/ePoDr54.jpg

Q:

I remember how frustrated I was that I couldn't get your braids on my custom character in Def Jam: Fight for NY. Sup with that? You call for a braid monopoly?

A:

President Clinton is known for giving the USA a surplus deficit wise. What actions will need to be taken by the Trump administration if we want to have a result similar to that?


Q:

Have these analytics helped you to be dangerous?

A:

lol idk but that game was dope as hell


Q:

Clinton increased taxes, cut spending, and was lucky enough to inherit a major economic boom. Without any part of that, he would not have balanced the budget. The fiscal position is tougher right now, and so there would be need be either extreme cuts, or very large tax increases, or a combination. Depending on when the cuts come, to balance in the 10th year (budget typically take a 10-year look), there would need to be on net about $6-8 trillion in deficit reduction (depending on how you do it), ramping up to $1 trillion in the final year. That would be about a 20% change from baseline, which is massive. Imagine all government benefits or all taxes changed by that amount.

But in truth, the focus on a balanced budget is misplaced. In the budget world, we focus on deficits and debt as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), which is more or less the nation's income. The concept is this: let's say you leave school with $75,000 in debt, and you get a job making $25,000 per year. Right now, your debt is 3 times your income, and your ability to meaningfully pay it off is pretttttty slim. Okay, but now you exceed amazingly at work, and 5 years later you've gotten lots of promotions, and you're making $80,000. Let's say, along the way, because you were getting promotions, you actually took out a little more debt, and ended up at $80,000 in debt. Did you situation improve? Absolutely. Right now, the government debt net of it's financial assets its about 68.4% (my preferred measure), and deficits are 2.9%. What matters is where we're going. From 1950-1990, we ran deficits most years, but debt (I realize this is held by the public, but net of financial assets is a newer concept) dropped most of the time. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_United_States_public_debt#/media/File:US_Federal_Debt_as_Percent_of_GDP_by_President_(1940_to_2015).png

The answer is that we need to close our fiscal gap, and that's a much easier task.

A:

Yes, of course.


Q:

What's going on Flip? I don't know if you remember we did a track called Don't Let It Make You about a year ago, and shot the video. I just wanted to say we appreciated you and your verse came out super dope. We getting ready to put it on a project we dropping later this year. We ended up not using the video we shot out there and it crossed my mind to ask, how you'd feel on coming out to Cali, to reshoot the video and perhaps work on some other things?

A:

Thanks for the great response. Why don't we (the government or people who can) close the fiscal gap then?


Q:

Assuming your technology is designed for good, what would happen if it's used for evil?

A:

man thank you... yea just hit me up and we will figure it all out.


Q:

Despite rhetoric, we've made significant progress on it (though admittedly most of the decline was CBO, which takes a conservative approach, i.e. slow to incorporate new data, updating estimates). http://www.cbpp.org/research/federal-budget/decline-in-projected-long-term-debt-mostly-reflects-slower-health-cost

But the US government also enacted a large amount of legislation for the purpose of deficit reduction since 2010 - more $4 trillion of savings over the decade.

A:

Everyone has a different definition of what makes something evil. I will go out on a limb though and say probably bad things.


Q:

How different was DJ screw when he was sober versus when he was drankin? (Hope you don't mind me asking in an ama about you, I figured it would fit in the thread)

A:

Isn't LIHEAP proposed for either drastic reductions or total elimination every year?


Q:

Good definition. How do you feel if your software was used for bad things?

A:

Honestly he was the same person no matter what.


Q:

Obama's final year called for a reduction, but his first years called for large increases. Bush 43's first budget called for an 18% reduction. That's pretty drastic, but not in the realm of complete elimination. Budgets before FY1996 are not online, and Bush 41 and Reagan were before my time, so I couldn't answer that.

A:

I would feel bad.


Q:

Who was the fine VP at Jive Records that you wanted to smash?

A:

What's a step that Americans on both sides of the aisle would agree to that would help balance the budget?


Q:

Predicting behavior seems like a page out of the Minority Report movie.

Can it predict crime before it happens?

A:

hmmmmm... i plead the 5th!!! lol


Q:

Great question. The answer is that most of the low-hanging fruit is used in deals. There just aren't trillions of dollars for things that each side says is fine. In order to get to a place, one side needs to have the ability to exert its will, or each side needs to be willing to do stuff it doesn't like. One of the biggest issues with growing polarization is that agreeing to the stuff you don't like is a much bigger deal. Bush 41 increased taxes. When's that happening again? For the Joint Select Committee of Deficit Reduction, Paul Ryan was one of the Republicans appointed. Not a chance in the world that he was going to accept big tax increases. Chris Van Hollen was there on the other side. Not a chance he was going to go for major Medicaid cuts.

A:

Theoretically, yes. However, it is a question I don't want answered. It would not be just to punish someone for something they haven't done yet, even if you could stop it from happening.


Q:

If you could pick the best reddit username made today, whose would you pick?

A:

What are some of the more surprising things that the average American wouldn't know about major spending / how the government pays for things?


Q:

I will be in Hannover, Germany next week. Can you provide a bit more information about your presence at CeBIT 2017? Where is your stand located?

A:

urs iz dope


Q:

I think that humans generally don't deal with percentages or multiplication well. And so even if we know how much things "should" cost (questionable), I don't think anyone intuits the multiplication of that across the population. So, when people hear, "The budget is $4 trillion," that sounds crazy. But when I tell you that Social Security and health care make up half of that, it's a little less crazy. In truth, I think humans (myself included) are bad at estimating everything until they're forced to make percentages add to 100. That's how people can think that foreign aid is 28% of the budget, when it reality it's (depending on whom you ask - this is an impossible question because the classification of what's really foreign aid is too murky) is anywhere between like 0.2% and 2%.

I'd check this out: http://www.cbpp.org/research/federal-budget/policy-basics-where-do-our-federal-tax-dollars-go

A:

Our booth location can be found at our CeBIT page feel free to come visit me or one of our team at the booth while you are there. If you would like we can supply you with a ticket code as well.


Q:

Is this the first AMA from a Rolls Royce?

A:

If the federal government eliminates the national endowments for the arts and humanities, how likely is it private citizens will step up and donate funds to sustain these programs while the obese orange man is president?


Q:

RemindMe! 5 days

A:

https://twitter.com/KinglifeFamily/status/842480611487076353

TRUUUU #KINGLIFEFAMILY #CLOVERGLAFAMILIA

Q:

It depends. There are some things, that private donations handle really well. But part of the issue is that donations are obviously limited. What about in a recession? And of course, this is much bigger for something like health. We're pretty good at donating to sexy diseases like cancer. But the federal government has a vested interest in looking at things that only might be an issue, but might be "wasted" money. For instance, we were looking at Ebola for years before the scare.

I will say that my personal believe is that not everything would be made up. What percentage of very rich people do you think would donate 25% of their income? Certainly not 100%.

http://democracyjournal.org/magazine/32/the-voluntarism-fantasy/

A:

I sincerely doubt that it will. It operates completely offline to avoid situations like that.

Edit


Q:

Who they want?

A:

What are the political leanings of people who work with you?

Clearly they all actually understand how a budget works like, instead of just throwing out rhetoric like Trump and the GOP...

Or are there a significant amount of Republicans who believe the GOP has a good budget plan?


Q:

So can your AI will predict which craft beer I will drink when I go to a restaurant?

A:

FLIP!! FLIP!!1 FLIP!!! #GAMEOVER


Q:

Without going specifically into where I work:

Most (though obviously not all) of the career people who work for the federal government are center or center left. So the majority of career people who work at in OMB (the President's budget group) are Democrats - but it doesn't lead to anything either way because the career people do very technical jobs. The same is true of CBO (Congress's budget group). There are four corners of the Budget Committees, the House and Senate Democrats and Republicans, and those are obviously filled with partisans. And there are budget and fiscal policy think tanks all over the spectrum.

I would say that probably at least 2/3 of the people who work on fiscal policy issues are center left folks.

The more one's job is in numbers rather than policy, I think the more they realize when the numbers do and don't add up.

I'll give a bit of recent history as an example. I discussed in the first comment in this thread the history of the recent budget caps. The first set of caps are known typically as the "pre-sequestration caps," despite that not really being a good term for them for two reasons. The second, lower caps are known as the "post-sequestration caps" or the "JSC sequestration caps" (I like calling them JSC sequestration caps). In 2012, we were at the pre-sequestration cap. In FY2013, in the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA), the post-sequestration level was increased. In FY2014, Democrats wanted to be at pre-sequestration levels, and Republicans wanted to be at post-sequestration levels. The Senate Democrats passed a budget resolution, and started trying to write appropriations bills at pre-sequestration levels (all were filibustered to death). House Republicans passed a budget resolution, and began trying to write bills at post-sequestration levels. And their T-HUD bill was so extreme, with just that 5% cut, that they pulled their own bill. There was eventually a shutdown (over Obamacare, but also topline levels), and the outcome was a two-year deal, raising FY2014 and FY2015 levels (http://imgur.com/a/7j0D1).

In FY2016 and FY2017, we got a deal again. There has never been a year where we've been at the post-sequestration levels, and the one year it was tried, Republicans failed. And Trump's budget is calling for 10% below sequestration. Any budgeteer understands the deep difficulty in actually doing that.

That being said, I think it should never be underestimated how powerful a sitting president, particularly a new one, is at getting his/her party to come along to ideas.

A:

yes! What it would do is take your post/comment history and create a model of what you are interested in based on that. The cool thing that it can do is fill in the gaps in your interests using some fancy math. So even you if have never talked about your craft beer preference online it would be able to predict it.


Q:

Who was the coldest freestyler (besides you, the freestyle king) at those sessions in Screw's house?

A:

What are the political leanings of people who work with you?

Clearly they all actually understand how a budget works like, instead of just throwing out rhetoric like Trump and the GOP...

Or are there a significant amount of Republicans who believe the GOP has a good budget plan?


Q:

I don't want your or any other software reading my comments and then making a prediction / recommendation on those comments. How do we stop you and others from making this bullshit?

A:

Fat Pat, Big Pokey, Big Hawk, Big Moe.


Q:

This is all to say that there's currently a budget for travel and for protection, and it's not difficult to move around money to make it work. I promise you that this money was appropriated.

A:

We may be the only company who works with data from social media in this exact way, but we are not the only ones working with social media data. The best way would be to not use social media at all. However, that isn't really realistic in 2017. What you can do is email companies and say that you don't like this practice and that you won't buy products that are marketed with targeted advertising. Please don't do this though, I really like my job.


Q:

Did you and T.i. ever squash your beef?

How influential were video games to your music?

If I send you my copy of U Gotta Feel Me will you sign it? Edit* I bought this album when it came out in 2004

A:

Who is it you work for?

Do you freelance for private companies or think tanks trying to analyze how the federal budget will affect them or their agenda, or are you working for some entity within the government?


Q:

What king of programming language do you use?

A:

yea we sat down and ironed everything out like grown men. video games are influential to my life yes i will sign it for you...


Q:

I do not freelance, but won't tell you if it's in Executive Branch, Legislative Branch, or with a think tank. Sorry :(

A:

We use Python for our AI.


Q:

What more can you say about the art over drugs movement and it's impact?

A:

Brookings!!!


Q:

we teach kids how to paint, act or how to play instruments. we want kids and the youth to use art as an outlet to make money instead of selling drugs. theaartoverdrugsmovement.com

A:

Great group! But I'm not with Brookings. But no more hints. :)


Q:

How did the Clover G'z & Dipset "Super Ball Weekend" mixtape come together?

A:

I did. Just yesterday I was wondering what sorts of things budget analysts think when reading such an unusual budget. Turns out, in this case anyway, at least one of them thinks more or less what I thought (with far less swearing!).


Q:

man i was doing so much music and shows with dipset we just get in the studio and work and we choose what we go use the song for later.

A:

Haha, well, this is my measured response the day after. Yesterday was a very long day with a lot of unhappiness. There are a lot of things I'm willing to compromise on. Food, shelter, and heating are not among them.


Q:

What's your favorite food and is it better with rice?

A:

Republicans have preached that reducing taxes will boost the economy and net tax revenue will remain the same. In you experience and analysis, have you found this to be true?


Q:

Shrimp but i dont like fried shrimp with rice just grilled shrimp with rice.... i never tried fried shrimp with rice though so ima try that shit.

A:

Stealing from an answer in another place, the concept behind supply-side economics is that taxes are so high, that they disincentive work, and so, while cutting them loses revenue, it gains back at least some from increased work.

So, if your taxes are cut, you earn a little bit more per hour worked, so you might work more. But, on the flip side, you might decide that you can actually work less to get the same income, so you might work less. That's the concept, and the question is behind the income effect and the substitution effect.

It's tough because most people can't dial up or down their work. I have a salaried job. I can't go to my boss and say, "Hey, I'd like to work 5% more hours, so please pay me 5% more."

At some level, this is certainly true. If you went from 100% taxation to 90% taxation, you'd probably get more work. But from 39.6% to 35%? That's less clear, and there isn't evidence to support it. We certainly didn't have kick-ass growth during the Bush 43 era, and we certainly lost a lot of revenues. It might very well have been true for Kennedy going down to 70 percent. But that top tax rate was hitting so few people, it's hard to imagine it really had a large change. Again, it depends how many people are being affected, how much their incentives are changing, how much they're able to change their work, and how much they actually do.

Reagan's own budget group, in his final year, estimated that his first round of tax cuts cut revenues by 26%. Subsequently, he raised taxes by 14%, relative to that new base.

In truth, labor is not being supplied by prime-age folks at the rate we would expect, and it's unclear why. I don't believe it's exorbitant benefits because Europe does better than we do. Here's a very long report on the decline in prime-aged male workers: https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/sites/default/files/page/files/20160620_cea_primeage_male_lfp.pdf


Q:

You and Chamillionaire still talk much?

A:

At some level, this is certainly true. If you went from 100% taxation to 90% taxation, you'd probably get more work. But from 39.6% to 35%? That's less clear, and there isn't evidence to support it. We certainly didn't have kick-ass growth during the Bush 43 era, and we certainly lost a lot of revenues. It might very well have been true for Kennedy going down to 70 percent. But that top tax rate was hitting so few people, it's hard to imagine it really had a large change.

This assumes people understand marginal rates: many don't. If the top rate went to 100% for 2017, it wouldn't impact anyone I know (unless the bracket was lowered significantly). I would pay the same as I paid this year.


Q:

Like once every three months. He is a smart dude he fuckin' with Mark Zuckerberg.

A:

Sure, that's fair. Though I imagine that most people earning at that level know something about marginal rates. But I think conceptually we can know that this is true under a flat tax with a maximum wage. I just meant to say that the concept it's 100% without merit, but that I think it's essentially not applicable at the levels Republicans talk about now.

And of course, directly to your point, the fewer people in that top bracket, the less of an effect. If the top bracket is only hitting 1,000 people, how much does it really matter if they dial up their work 4 more hours per week?


Q:

Can you teach me how to ball? Please?

A:

I agree, most people earning at that level know something about marginal rates but a lot of others don't and assume that a rate hike on the top 20% or even the upper 50% is going to affect them when they are in no danger at all.

And I'm given to understand that most of those in those top brackets don't earn their income from labor but from rents and other unearned income: hours of work per week doesn't play into it.


Q:

sure, my advice is to always try to make the money you spend right back. thats what i do. and i also always save money.

A:

Yeah, that's correct, though it doesn't have to be that way. It's only that way because the capital gains rate is lower than the top marginal tax rate.

(This is also why the focus on the top rate at the expense of the cap gains rate really is lacking if the goal is talk about growing inequality.)


Q:

Do you still live in Houston permanently? Favorite rapper from back in the day fa sho. Attitude and Sunny Day was my favorite songs from back then.

A:

We have such an optimistic society, where no one wants to burden the high-income classes in case, through hard work, they end up there themselves. As most people understand, hard work is only part of it. If hard work alone made you wealthy, field workers and mothers of young children would be in the 1%


Q:

im still in htown but i live on the road!!!

A:

Haha, that's right. I think I personally have pretty radical views on what people deserve. People don't get to pick whether they're born smart. In what possible world could it be fair for that to be the difference between being a mega millionaire and dirt poor? Obviously hard work is a factor, but it takes almost no imagination to recognize that there are huge elements that are totally outside of our control.


Q:

Was there ever a time you felt like you wouldn't make it big, is there anything about ur hustle or personality that you think helped you the most to get onto the big spotlight?

A:

Quite a few people work "under the table" at legal and illegal jobs. Working construction I see many who do this.


Q:

i never doubted myself

A:

Do you think there's a significant sex bias in terms of non-reported work? Because the long-term trend for men is different than for women, which is one reason Jason Furman in his paper thinks it's likely demand-driven.


Q:

Who makes your favorite grillz?

A:

I don't know. What I do know is there are many men in the trades that under report or work on cash basis that is not reported at all. There is also the drug trade where the wife can work a minimum wage job while the husband sells drugs. A little SNAP or SSDI on the side with this and you can live a comfortable life. There is a very large underground economy out there.


Q:

a lady did mine

A:

There is a very large sex divergence, so we need a working theory to explain it. I'd check out the paper I linked to above, which talks about DI rolls. One other question is whether those folks are even includes in the denominator if they're so worried about reporting their doings.


Q:

Can you tell the people on here that don't know about u calling in on freestyle Friday on 979 the box in Houston before everything?

A:

Wow, that was much to read and I still contend that the author does not understand what happens in the shadow economy as he calls it. How does he count the legal immigrant that collects the check and distributes cash to the five undocumented immigrants that work under him. How does he count the crews I compete against for construction work that are completely off the books. Do you think the guys in the hood answered his survey honestly?

I have really enjoyed your explanations of fiscal policy. Thanks!


Q:

i use to battle as well them was the good ole days

A:

I'm glad you read it! That's a great point, and I couldn't tell you. All I know is that the government uses advanced statistical methodology to try to estimate and account for non-response bias, but we obviously can't tell. There's frequently no natural experiment to see how well the methods did.

I couldn't really expound beyond this because this isn't my area - I just know that the author, Jason Furman, is incredibly highly respected (and Matt Damon's freshman year roommate in undergrad) and is a person who does all he can to make sure he's not biasing data through omission.

Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it!


Q:

If you could go back in time and redo anything, would you ?

A:

Do you think trickle-down economics works or would you have a middle-out approach that targets an increasing demand that leads to increasing supply?


Q:

hmmmmmmmm i wish i did more tapes with dj screw

A:

The concept behind supply-side economics is that taxes are so high, that they disincentive work, and so, while cutting them loses revenue, it gains back at least some from increased work.

So, if your taxes are cut, you earn a little bit more per hour worked, so you might work more. But, on the flip side, you might decide that you can actually work less to get the same income, so you might work less. That's the concept, and the question is behind the income effect and the substitution effect.

It's tough because most people can't dial up or down their work. I have a salaried job. I can't go to my boss and say, "Hey, I'd like to work 5% more hours, so please pay me 5% more."

At some level, this is certainly true. If you went from 100% taxation to 90% taxation, you'd probably get more work. But from 39.6% to 35%? That's less clear, and there isn't evidence to support it.

Reagan's own budget group, in his final year, estimated that his first round of tax cuts cut revenues by 26%. Subsequently, he raised taxes by 14%, relative to that new base.

In truth, labor is not being supplied by prime-age folks at the rate we would expect, and it's unclear why. I don't believe it's exorbitant benefits because Europe does better than we do. Here's a very long report on the decline in prime-aged male workers: https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/sites/default/files/page/files/20160620_cea_primeage_male_lfp.pdf


Q:

When do you evolve into Big Flip?

A:

I can't get behind trickle-down economics. It seems to me they could possibly work if you remove greed from the equation, but cutting taxes on the wealthy does nothing at all to my situation (below poverty level) and my boss just got a bit richer. A small business owner who needs seven employees to do her work is going to keep seven employees on the payroll no matter what rate her taxes are taken. Eight would just be too many, and if she can get away with paying minimum wage she certainly will.

Apple, admittedly an extreme example, has $246 billion cash on hand and 115,000 employees worldwide, yet they went to court last year over $2 million in unpaid wages for not allowing Apple store employees to take meal a rest breaks. They ultimately lost that case. Changing their tax rate will not result in higher wages, nor will it result in more people being hired. It will only result in further enriching the wealthy.


Q:

prob never the lil flip is already branded

A:

Supply-side is theoretically on the individual rather than business side. Conservatives will make the argument that cutting corporate taxes is good for workers because they say that economics says that any tax on corporations is ultimately borne by workers or consumers (it does say this), but I've never been sold on that because if it were true that it were 100% borne by other folks, I don't think they'd actually argue so vehemently for lower rates.

But yes, changing the after-profit tax rate isn't going to suddenly create more demand for extra workers. That is absolutely correct. And they already got to write off that extra worker's salary for purposes of taxes anyway, so the argument extra doesn't fly.


Q:

You got any plans on collabing with Maxo Kream ? Cause you should

A:

Are there any significant differences between the campaign trail Trump budget and the one they just presented?


Q:

I haven't heard his stuff yet but that's possible.

A:

This depends on what things Trump has said that you believe. He has frequently changed his position. Which statement do you want to believe?

On the campaign trail, he pretty frequently said he'd take care of troops, vets, and (via zeugma) ISIS. This budget majorly boosts military spending, and vets spending, and it increases war spending. It also has some money for border wall stuff, and it gives more money generally to DOJ (where some of this is housed). On this side of things, I'd say, absolutely yes.

Trump was never specific about what he wouldn't really cut in a lot of places, so that's harder. But in the vague "I'm going to take care of you" sense, absolutely not. A lot of these cuts would hit people who voted for him.

And of course this doesn't include things like the Obamacare replacement plan, which has $880 billion in Medicaid cuts, which at times he promised to not cut.


Q:

you still got twenty inch spinners on ya drop?

and if you had to create a Houston supergroup consisting of 3 producers and 6 rappers to make the next H-town anthem who would you pick

A:

What would a healthcare tax look like if the US were to go the single-payer route?


Q:

I got rid of em.

Mike Dean Havok Sean Solo

Me Z-Ro Fat Pat Scarface Devin the Dude Big Pokey

A:

It's big. It's really big. Depends how generous we want to be, but we're talking 8ish% of GDP (maybe $10-25 trillion over the decade, depending on how we do it). It's cheaper on a per-person basis than our current system, but that's a lot of new tax to get people to swallow.


Q:

What are your craziest Kappa beach party memories? Much respect from Ft. Worth!

A:

It's cheaper on a per-person basis than our current system

Can you go into this a bit more? Because if that's true, it's an amazing argument for single-payer. Is that counting health insurance, some average of medical bills, etc.?


Q:

man i remember the one when i filmed i can do dat music video. and my fav was when kanye west and scarface was there

A:

Yeah, sure, with all else being equal, an organization that is running 0 profit can afford to have lower prices than one that's running a profit. By that very issue, government can do some things cheaper than private market. We see this in the fact that government student loans charge lower rates than the private market - and the government still profits off of them. Among other things, the federal government is incredible liquid at not risk-averse at the margins.

Take this as an example. Do you want a play this game with me: heads, I give you $100,000, but tails you give me $100,000? The expected value of that game is no profit! But we absolutely do not want to play that game because the value of gaining $100,000 is a lot less than the badness of losing $100,000. Because we are resources limited. That is not the case for the federal government. If it's down $50 billion one year, but up $51 the next, it just doesn't matter. It can run deficits and print money. But for me, if I'm down, I miss my rent payment. So, that allows the government to not have to charge a risk premium.

In addition, the more people involved in something, the more risk can be spread, and the more efficient we can be. Think of insurance as an example. Spreading risk over 300 million people is safer than spreading it over 10 people. So yes, it's cheaper on a per-person basis. And we see that in Medicare rates. And that's also partly seen in the fact that we spend more per capita than other countries for worse health outcomes (http://i.imgur.com/VqU3FFN.png), though part of that is surely deadly chemicals we allow, and part of that is also that they allow for the government to negotiate prices. But yeah, it's certainly cheaper, all things being equal.

The conservative response is, "That might work in theory, but in reality, competition and the quest for greed actually forces innovation and itself drives down prices in the long run, whereas government doesn't really have an incentive to drive down prices." That might be correct - and in fact that's why Obamacare's exchanges were conservative ideas. But that requires actually competition and not monopolies, and b) those are fighting against what I had above. The neat thing about the price negotiation is that that itself is a competitive act that forces competition from the providers. And as I said, we see this borne out in the data, so I personal believe that the conservative rebuttal is far oversold.


Q:

When will the next Houston Rap Festival be and will you be attending the next one?

A:

So is my impression correct that the GOP and WH are trying to sell this budget in terms of the 'trickle down' theory that tax cuts for the richest will result in job creation?


Q:

idk yet

A:

We'll have a better answer to that when we see the bigger budget likely in May. This budget only had discretionary spending (about 1/3 of the budget), and it didn't have any tax policy.

That being said, President Trump has been pretty explicit about the fact that he believes his policies will lead to higher growth, which is the concept being supply-side economics - that there will be a change in the underlying supply of labor in response to changes in tax policy. His tax cuts he proposed on the campaign reflected that. So probably, but we will have to wait to be certain.


Q:

Who were your biggest inspirations and helped/inspired you get into DJing?

A:

How do you think the cuts will affect agencies like the National Parks Service and the U.S. Forest Service?


Q:

dj screw dj red alert funk flex dj clue dj kay slay ed lover

A:

Well, for what it's worth, the budget will not pass. It's just an initial place the Trump administration is digging in for leverage. I still think it's hard to tell what they're going to do. Bush 43 more or less kept non-defense discretionary growing with inflation, and just boosted defense greatly.

I personally think that Democrats will shut down the government before letting the non-defense discretionary numbers go below what are called "sequestration levels" (the second caps, referenced in the first question above). But it's really tough to figure out political pressures.

Right now, the topline levels are essentially flat from FY(fiscal year) 2016 to 2017 to 2018, and that's on purpose. The two-year deal that boosted defense and non-defense for FY2016 and FY2017 gave more money in the first year than the second in order to create levels that would facilitate a future deal and make it harder to go below (Murray/Ryan did that as well): http://imgur.com/a/7j0D1

So, people who want more funding are in a good negotiating place for FY2018 funding (what Trump is proposing), but it will be harder in the future years because the blue bars will keep growing with inflation, and it's harder to get an increase than it is to keep something flat.


Q:

84's or Blades?

A:

This might be too broad of a topic but Ill give it a go anyways...

I contend that a representative govt. is almost inherently dysfunctional (to a degree) due to shifts in policy that occur every few years. Imagine a company that changes positions/focus/CEOs on a dime every few years. How can government programs succeed if down the line they get changed, reduced funding etc.?

Have you seen this happen to a significant degree or am I making too big a deal about it?


Q:

hmmm depends on the whip

A:

I think that's certainly a very real thing, and bigger the bigger the issue is. For instance, we just that the Obamacare exchanges signed up fewer people this year than the previous year, which is the first time that has happened. It was the difference between the Obama administration pushing very hard to sign people up, and the Trump administration did not do anything. But we can see even more in enforcement of regulations. During the Bush administration, the Department of Labor scaled back on most activities, except for union busting.

I think it's pretty clear that having a single-party system would be more efficient in that changes would be done not for political reasons, there wouldn't be whipsawing of markets (as might happen with the health market - there's a reason some parts of Obamacare are still being phased in 7 years later), and there would be no one working to undermine laws. But I'm not really sure how to get around that, except with less frequent elections. And we don't want to make it toooo hard to pass laws.


Q:

Who would win out of a freestyle battle. You or Cassidy? And also what is the longest you've ever freestyled?

A:

Does a "stimulus bill" actually stimulate? If so, for how long and how far does it reach? Do all sectors get a boost or just some?


Q:

that would be dope i freestyled like 12 hours

A:

The idea behind a stimulus bill is that, given a shortfall in demand, it will be temporarily plugged by a commensurate increase in government spending.

The government already has a bunch of what are called "automatic stabilizers." Check out figure 4 on the second to last page: https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/114th-congress-2015-2016/workingpaper/51005-AutomaticStabilizers.pdf

These come from means-tested entitlement programs, i.e., entitlement programs that spend based on a formula, rather than a set amount determined each year, where your eligibility is based on your income. An example is Medicaid. If you lose your job and your income, you automatically become eligible. Another is unemployment insurance. (I'm happy to give more if you're curious). So, in a recession, lots of people lose their jobs, and the government automatically spends more. At the same time, because we have a progressive income tax, people pay less of their income in taxes, so they have more to spend. And in the extreme example, we give money through the tax code in refundable tax credits (the Obama stimulus bill created some of these and expanded some other ones).

As you can see from the picture, it deepened the deficit in bad times, and made it smaller in good times.

The point of a stimulus bill is to do more. So, well-targeted stimulus bills work. Ones that don't lead to more spending don't.

This isn't to say that investment isn't great, but it's not the purpose of a stimulus bill. The only way investment in a stimulus bill is "right" is if there's immediate hiring and building. This, by the way, is why all those infrastructure investment reports in 2010 showed as many jobs as they did.


Q:

What are your life goals?

And where do you see yourself in 10 years?

A:

I never thought of Unemployment Insurance as a stimulus but yea, thats exactly what it is, interesting. The Obama stimulus was the one coming to mind when I asked. Seemed like a big chunk of money and was curious if it really paid off, or it others would too.

The point of a stimulus bill is to do more. So, well-targeted stimulus bills work. Ones that don't lead to more spending don't.

This made so much sense after looking at the graph. Thank you so much, Ill save this for the next time it comes up in a conversation.


Q:

to get a billion

A:

Yep! That's why unemployment insurance was expanded to 99 weeks during the height of the recession! In truth, it's really wonderful that many (though by no means all) morally good things are also economically good during recessions.

I would check out "The Recovery Act: Restoring Growth" on page 161 of the PDF (156 of the report) of this: https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/sites/default/files/docs/2017_economic_report_of_president.pdf Just look at the graphs, and you can get a sense. Here's Jason Furman's big piece on ARRA (the stimulus bill), which is really something. Again, I think the graphs and tables will get you most of the way there. https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/sites/default/files/docs/cea_arra_report.pdf

I'm glad you found it useful!


Q:

If you could go back and spit a new verse on one old song of yours, what song would you choose?

A:

Again, I think the graphs and tables will get you most of the way there.

Thanks! Pictures for the bigger words! Lol I have a small curiosity of causality/correlation economics. So this is awesome.


Q:

That is a hard one. Just for the simple fact i love all my versions but there are certain tracks that i hear and im like damn i could have slowed down on that word or i rushed that word. So there are a few records where i feel i coulda done better in a few words. Sometimes i write three or four versions of one track or one verse. That is just the competitive spirit in me.

A:

Haha, well, I say this is as someone who deliberately does math instead of words for his job. Causality is obviously very difficult in economics, but this is one we're more certain of. I'm new to Reddit, so I didn't realize I was supposed to edit my response instead of just posting an addendum, but I responded again below with something that drives that point home.


Q:

Who is the most humble dude (or dudette) from the Houston rap scene? Have a great day my man.

A:

I'm new to Reddit

Welcome! And enjoy your gradual decline into madness.


Q:

Devin the Dude.

A:

Oh, you know what I absolutely should have linked to but didn't? This: http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2015/8/18/9168417/budget-deficits-growth-rate

We had higher growth in the deficit era than we did when we were modernizing. The whole point, again, is that we should make up for lost demand with government spending.


Q:

What is your favorite album of 2016? Doesn't have to be rap/hip hop

A:

I'm new to Reddit

Welcome! And enjoy your gradual decline into madness.


Q:

J. Cole 4 Your Eyes Only.

A:

Haha, thank you!


Q:

What do you prefer, regular or super poke 84s?

A:

Good answer, Thanks.

Follow up. Q: How do you account for value when priming the spending pumps at the center of an economy the size of the US?


Q:

Regular regular.

A:

Thanks! How do I personally, or how does the US government?


Q:

If you could only listen to 3 albums, what would they be?

A:

Personally. When writing the follow up report. What are the success markers?


Q:

50 Cent Get Rich or Die Tryin', Lil' Wayne Lights Out, Sade The Best Collection.

A:

It really depends on why we're spending the money. Just yesterday, OMB Director Mick Mulvaney was talking about the success of nutrition programs and said (incorrectly) that after-school nutrition programs weren't helping performance, and so they were failing. But sometimes we just give people food so they don't starve.

And, in fact, the government is often an entity that deliberately makes low-return investments. Roads and bridges between major areas don't need government funding to happen. But that bridge connecting those 50 people with the rest of society? That's something big. To use the Post Office as an example, NYC could run it its own independent, NYC-only post office, and stamps would be cheaper. But we have a national rate, even if you're going to Alaska. Think of how much it would cost to send stamps between places in Alaska if we had a localized stamp rate.

Anyway, this is all a long way of saying that it depends on the project. If the goal of something is to stimulate the economy, that's what you look at. If the goal is to improve test scores, that's what you look at. If the goal is to help people get jobs, that's what you look for. If the goal is just to help make people's lives less miserable, that's what you look for.

Anti-poverty programs are pretty big for me, so I assess how many people they're keeping out of poverty. I assess how much they close the poverty gap for each dollar spent.


Q:

You still got 30k around yo neck? Thatd be nice but the only ice i need is a WHITE GOLD GRILL!

A:

So based on what you've been saying, what Justin Trudeau (Canada) has been saying (run a deficit to spur growth) is good economic policy?


Q:

It just depends what day of the week.

A:

In an economic downturn, it certainly is. I discussed fiscal stimulus in some detail here: https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/5zzssm/i_am_a_federal_budget_analyst_with_a_focus_in/df2ghlv/

Let me know if you have questions after this!


Q:

Can you tell how the joint "Like A Pimp" came together? any story from that era?

A:

I was very unhappy seeing the reduction in funds to the EPA in Trump's proposal. Shouldn't this be one of our priorities? What is your opinion on this?


Q:

Man that was me and David's like 4th song we did together and so he had came to Houston and been like i got this joint with him drinking his hennesey and we got on it.

A:

I was also very unhappy. Trump's EPA pick is of a similar opinion to Trump, though, and the really incredible thing is that the Trump skinny budget called for even deeper cuts to the EPA than Pruitt himself asked for.

If you care about future generations, this should be!

Allegedly, a bunch of Republicans are displeased with the EPA cuts, but being silent about it doesn't really help anyone.

For reasons discussed in my first post, this budget is doomed to fail, but it's still deeply problematic because it sets negotiations for a lot of programs we care about at a much more difficult place.


Q:

James Harden or Hakeem??

A:

Where is it widely considered worthwhile to spend much more money among budget wonks even though it is acknowledged a good portion of it will be wasted, and so therefore wouldn't be palatable to the public?


Q:

DAAAAAAAAAAAAMN thats a kinda hard one but I gotta go with Hakeem.

A:

I realized I misread your question! This has to be a priorities question, I think, and not one that budget wonks hold a special answer to. Economists will give one answer, and there are certainly programs that economists will agree make sense (automatic stabilizers and stimulus spending - see here: https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/5zzssm/i_am_a_federal_budget_analyst_with_a_focus_in/df2ghlv/). But there's no reason that our government's goal should be maximizing economic growth at all costs. The point of growth is for that to translate into utility for people. There's no point of growing if people don't get to reap the benefits. So what about the programs that don't really help growth, but we consider necessary for civilization, like parks and some elements of the arts? So, this is why I think this ultimately becomes a values question.


Q:

From a co-worker: Do you have a family? What keeps you grounded?

From me: What do you think of the shift from rappers mostly writing raps to mostly freestyling raps? Is is better for the culture and the advancement of the form?

A:

How would one get into your line of work? Are you hiring any interns or entry level positions for newly grads?


Q:

Yep i have family and my family keeps me grounded.

If youre good at it it is if youre not good at it then i would recommend not doing that.

A:

Do you mean politics specifically, or the federal budget world?


Q:

When r u coming out with some new music? Last tape was dope

A:

leaning more politics but a bit of both. I was in DC this past summer and the idea of doing something bigger than myself really appealed to me!


Q:

Me and Killroy got a project called no feelins and we got another one coming around soon. The single came out on V DAY.

A:

My first job out of college was on a political campaign, which is sort of a badge of honor because everyone knows that it's terrible work that takes incredible stamina (it was 76 hours a week, not counting transportation). After that, I interned for a year, building my resume and my network, until I finally got my first permanent job (I was pretty picky, so that hurt). I am incredibly fortunate that my parents live so close to DC and were happy to support me through unpaid internships as I worked on this.

My jobs more or less randomly ended up going towards budgeting (though I did major in math). My office sadly is not hiring, and the budgeting world is actually quite small. All of OMB (which is largely the M part anyway) isn't many more than 500 people, CBO is around 235, each corner of the budget committees has only about 20 staff, and there are very few budget think tanks.

If you want to get involved in the budget world, I'd probably try for CBO or OMB.

If you want to get involved in politics generally and don't have a resume for it, it really helps to be independently wealthy or a place you can crash in the area. Otherwise, people go for the cheapest housing they can find ($600 at like the barest of minimums) and work part time while interning and lose money all the while.

I think campaigns are a good place to start because, while they pay shit, most will get the workers free housing (at least on the Democratic side), and there are always more campaigns. And beyond that, it's a great bonding experience, and people leave campaigns and go everywhere, so your network expands a lot. But it's really terrible work, with people yelling at you all the time.

I would also definitely get a USAJobs account, for sure! And sign up for the senate employment updates and the House employment listserv. And many agencies also have their own employment updates. For instance, CBO does.


Q:

who is the craziest person you met in the industry?

A:

What do you think of John Kasich?


Q:

Hell 90% of us entertainers are crazy.

A:

During the debates, I quipped that John Kasich is the sort of guy who visits elementary schools and talks to the kids about Smokey the Bear and Scruff McGruff. I think he's in person an incredibly nice guy.

He's a former chairman of the House Budget Committee. He likes to take credit for being there during when the budget was balanced, but he voted against the bill that balanced the budget (Clinton's tax increases).

John Kasich's budget resolutions called for the deepest cuts to Medicare of any budget resolutions (i.e., ones that actually passed the full chamber) of all time ever, much deeper than Paul Ryan's (though his deepest cuts were phased in over time, so it's unclear what it would look like 30 years out), with the possible except the of FY1982 House budget resolution (this was the year that the Republican budget resolution defeated the Democratic budget resolution on the House floor when Southern Democrats en masse did whatever Reagan asked - I reached out to the House Budget Committee health staffer of that time, but she couldn't remember the size of the Medicare cuts proposed).

In general, I think he's pretty overrated. He's not unhinged, but he's not remotely moderate, if that's what you were asking.


Q:

I seen you been doing a lot of painting ltely. What was your favorite piece to paint?

You the real Underground Legend! Respect from KC

A:

Does the money trickle down?

I'm put this very simply knowing it's a very complicated answer


Q:

The Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, all the nintendo shit.

A:

Quite all right! Stealing from myself from another answer, the concept behind supply-side economics is that taxes are so high that they disincentive work, and so, while cutting them loses revenue, it gains back at least some from increased work.

So, if your taxes are cut, you earn a little bit more per hour worked, so you might work more. But, on the flip side, you might decide that you can actually work less to get the same income, so you might work less. That's the concept, and the question is behind the income effect and the substitution effect.

It's tough because most people can't dial up or down their work. I have a salaried job. I can't go to my boss and say, "Hey, I'd like to work 5% more hours, so please pay me 5% more."

At some level, this is certainly true. If you went from 100% taxation to 90% taxation, you'd probably get more work. But from 39.6% to 35%? That's less clear, and there isn't evidence to support it.

Reagan's own budget group, in his final year, estimated that his first round of tax cuts cut revenues by 26%. Subsequently, he raised taxes by 14%, relative to that new base.

In truth, labor is not being supplied by prime-age folks at the rate we would expect, and it's unclear why. I don't believe it's exorbitant benefits because Europe does better than we do. Here's a very long report on the decline in prime-aged male workers: https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/sites/default/files/page/files/20160620_cea_primeage_male_lfp.pdf


Q:

if you had not been an Artist, what would you be doing ?

A:

Good answer


Q:

Playin pro basketball. I was the three point and the free throw champion two years in a row.

A:

Thanks - hope you found it useful!


Q:

What's your favorite in studio or out of studio memory of Pimp C?

A:

Since we have a debt based currency, over the long run will we have to continually grow the debt to sustain the currency?


Q:

When he first got out of jail we was in the studio doing verses for people. We had done six back to back and he kept telling me how proud he was of me.

A:

I'm sorry, I wish I knew more about monetary policy, but I really don't. But from what I know, I don't believe that should be the case among other things because we also control our own monetary supply, and our debt is in our own currency, which is also the world reserve currency. But I'm pretty outside my area on monetary supply.


Q:

[deleted]

A:

You just showed that you know 100x more about monetary policy than the person you replied to. Seriously. "Debt based currency" is a meaningless term. If you see someone use it, it's generally a tell that they read far right wing tinfoil hat type sites. I've asked people who use this term to explain what it means and they can't.


Q:

I didn't know that! I left him a comment. If he ever need me for anything just let me know!

A:

I typically have a rule against engaging with gold folks because it's always pointless. Given that this was my first AMA (and really, first time on Reddit, except for the occasional search for deep video game-related knowledge), I figured I should answer everything! You can see my mistake carried out below.


Q:

Favorite Kanye album?

A:

Heh heh heh. Maybe it will make for a good story at the office water cooler on Monday morning.


Q:

Hands down Graduation.

A:

Yeah, this is definitely coming up, haha.


Q:

Is there really a video of Black Al Capone knocking out T.I. and will it ever be released?

A:

Solar, exactly. But most of our economy is based on Oil. We were head in the right direction. And since Trumps new budget completely guts the NASA budget, I don't think we'll even research the mining technology let alone fund a mission.


Q:

I plead the 5th. All that is over with. We focused on positive energy only

A:

Sure, yeah. I should have made two separate points. First, I think we can keep growing because of other resources. The reason we weren't growing for thousands of years is that we weren't really accumulating stuff. We were just living.

Second, though, just living at current levels is way better than just living in poverty. That is, I'm not convinced that growth itself is the party. I think having sweet things is the party.


Q:

I already own a lot of your stuff but I want to complete the collection, what is the best way to buy classic flip albums in high quality MP3 format? is this something that I can email you about, or should I just go through i-tunes?

Do you get a reasonable amount of $$ when we buy from amazon or itunes?

A:

having sweet things is the party.

touche, we would essentially be living sustainably at that point... in the dark lol


Q:

I do get paid every time you do iTunes or amazon and that's good.

A:

Yep! Though your fun part at the end brings up a good point that a lot of the valuation that we have right now is based on current costs of energy. If that goes up, a lot of our machines become a whole lot less valuable. So I amend my point to admit that the value of life would go down, but yes, it would still be pretty sustainably, but just in the dark. :)


Q:

How's life treating ya Flip?

A:
conjured up out of thin air. 

You speak of the fractional banking system, yes? lol

Am I incorrect?


Q:

Man shit I treat life.

A:

I mean, the value of physical objects is always subject to change. Gold isn't that awesome if we're in a nuclear fallout shelter. People liked it because it was shiny and malleable and pretty rare. It's only in the 20th century that it started to have legitimate, actual great use. Things are worth what we want them to be worth.

I don't think an IOU for services is any different than a thing that people will directly trade for services.


Q:

Favorite Chappelle Show skit?

A:

The dinosaur egg, and then also the one where everyone thought he got rich.