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/ .
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?
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?
lol idk but that game was dope as hell
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.
Yes, of course.
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)
Isn't LIHEAP proposed for either drastic reductions or total elimination every year?
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.
I would feel bad.
Who was the fine VP at Jive Records that you wanted to smash?
What's a step that Americans on both sides of the aisle would agree to that would help balance the budget?
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
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?
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...
What more can you say about the art over drugs movement and it's impact?
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
Great group! But I'm not with Brookings. But no more hints. :)
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?
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.
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
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.
Like once every three months. He is a smart dude he fuckin' with Mark Zuckerberg.
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?
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.
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.
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.)
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?
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!
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!
You got any plans on collabing with Maxo Kream ? Cause you should
Are there any significant differences between the campaign trail Trump budget and the one they just presented?
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.
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
What would a healthcare tax look like if the US were to go the single-payer route?
I got rid of em.
Mike Dean Havok Sean Solo
Me Z-Ro Fat Pat Scarface Devin the Dude Big Pokey
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.
When will the next Houston Rap Festival be and will you be attending the next one?
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?
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.
What is your favorite album of 2016? Doesn't have to be rap/hip hop
I'm new to Reddit
Welcome! And enjoy your gradual decline into madness.
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?
Thanks! How do I personally, or how does the US government?
Personally. When writing the follow up report. What are the success markers?
50 Cent Get Rich or Die Tryin', Lil' Wayne Lights Out, Sade The Best Collection.
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.
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?
How would one get into your line of work? Are you hiring any interns or entry level positions for newly grads?
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.
Do you mean politics specifically, or the federal budget world?
What's your favorite in studio or out of studio memory of Pimp C?
Since we have a debt based currency, over the long run will we have to continually grow the debt to sustain the currency?
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.
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.
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.
I didn't know that! I left him a comment. If he ever need me for anything just let me know!
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.
Heh heh heh. Maybe it will make for a good story at the office water cooler on Monday morning.
Yeah, this is definitely coming up, haha.
Is there really a video of Black Al Capone knocking out T.I. and will it ever be released?
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.
I plead the 5th. All that is over with. We focused on positive energy only
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.
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?
having sweet things is the party.
touche, we would essentially be living sustainably at that point... in the dark lol
I do get paid every time you do iTunes or amazon and that's good.
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. :)
conjured up out of thin air.
You speak of the fractional banking system, yes? lol
Am I incorrect?
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.