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comment by wasoxygen
wasoxygen  ·  527 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Trump - Will it be awful? Will it be successful? What are your predictions?

When I see the word "prediction," I think of something like this:

    "It will be a very dramatic change in the sky, as anyone can see it. You won't need a telescope to tell me in 2023 whether I was wrong or I was right," Molnar said at the presentation

I don't see many clear, measurable, falsifiable predictions here. Some of the predictions are already true. How will we know if we had any understanding of current events if we can't check our hypotheses later? Saying "it's going to be a disaster" and claiming validation every time something bad happens is too easy.

Bryan Caplan has recorded a number of bets, some concerning Trump.

Scott Alexander has published a list of predictions for 2017 and keeps a scorecard. He also made ten specific predictions about Trump. Some paraphrased examples:

    Total hate crimes incidents will be not more than 125% of their 2015 value at any year during a Trump presidency.

    The U.S. Muslim population will increase throughout Trump’s presidency.

    The Trump cabinet will be at least 10% minority.

    No large demographic group will be forced to sign up for a “registry.”

Other sources make some predictions, but the ones I saw were often fuzzy and unclear, like talk of "impeachment" without specifying whether Trump would be removed from office.

Here are my guesses. In brief, I predict more of the same.

The Wall

There are now "more than 580 miles (930 km) of barriers in place" along the 1,954-mile (3,145 km) long Mexico-U.S. border.

I predict that the wall will be improved, but will remain less than half the length of the border. I predict that Trump will not force Mexico to pay construction costs (talk perhaps, but not actions like garnishing money transfers or withholding aid). Aid obligations in 2015 were $586 million, mostly for drug enforcement. The number varies a lot by year, but I predict it will not drop below the 2012 reported value of $215 million during the next four years.


There were 12,265,000 employees in U.S. manufacturing jobs in October 2016. The trend has been downward since the 1980s, though there has been some recovery since 2010.

I predict that this number will be lower than 12,265,000 by the end of 2020.


Twitter will still exist and annoy in 2020.

Trump will remain president for a full four-year term.

The number of abortions induced, as measured by the CDC, will continue to decline as it has for years, with no conspicuous change in the next four years.

The U.S. will remain a signatory to the Paris Climate Agreement.

The number of mosques in the U.S. not be less than the 2,106 counted in 2011 during the next four years.

U.S. GDP growth will be positive for at least three of the four years from 2017 to 2020, and not lower than -2% in any year.


Which of these do you think I got wrong? What are your concrete predictions?

ThatFanficGuy  ·  526 days ago  ·  link  ·  

What are your thoughts on the Russia-US (and vice versa) relationship under Trump?

wasoxygen  ·  525 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I don't think I am well-informed enough to have a confident opinion.

My default expectation is that things will go on about the same as they have been going, which seems to mean that cooperation and bonhomie will be roughly proportional to visibility: conspicuous coordination in space, begrudging tolerance and sniping in official channels, rivalry and maneuvering in proxy war states, and unrestrained battle in arms racing and cyberwarfare.

While I was bottom-feeding on music videos and dashcam highlights recently, YouTube recommended something a little different: a speech Putin gave to some wonks at an economic forum. I was rather surprised to see the evil empire cartoon strongman speak in calm, measured tones, telling a version of history from the other side of the curtain. It's hard to know how to parse a prepared talk from a KGB man, but if his goal was to unsettle the audience with the image of a reckless bully upsetting delicate balances and toying with disaster, it worked; I was unsettled. (There is some analysis here and there and at that other place, all at standard Internet quality.)

We don't worry about the Bomb very much anymore. Well, most of us. It's hard to judge the risk of unlikely events with very large consequences. I haven't seen good evidence that our next commander in chief is more likely than his opponent to stumble into apocalypse. It's hard to know how to parse bluster and bloviating too.

If there is any signal to read amid all the noise, it seems to indicate that Russian leadership favored this outcome. I don't know if there was a "personal beef" (as was certainly true among many voters) or if Trump seemed more friendly, or manageable, or if it was thought that he would weaken a superpower rival. Maybe they thought it would be good for a laugh (or лулз?).

We haven't had a world war all century and it would be nice to keep it that way.

What do you think?

ThatFanficGuy  ·  524 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I, myself, am not quite well-versed in the matter, hence asking the question, but I did see some things around.

Ever since I'm in the home city, I keep hearing what the news are saying; not the least amount of airwaves go to Trump these days. The news treat Trump in a defensive tone pretending to be neutral, which itself is unsettling, given the shit the old prez said over various media. I can't give you any examples (mostly because I didn't want to listen closely), but something was said about Trump being "constantly under attack" by his opponents for things he says, as if he's the poor victim of unjustified offences by the evil men and women that he's done nothing to wrong.

All of which, I suppose, is to say that official Russian media paint Trump as a friendly figure to the Double-Headed Eagle (which is the Russian coat of arms), much like it was before the election (I remember my groupmate asking me, after I told her the results of the election, "That's good, right? He's good for Russia, isn't he?"). If Trump's to be as bold as his pre-election speeches implied (which seems to be false now that he's in the office), Russia-US trade is going to improve, which would mean lower prices for US produce. For an average Russian, it's an obvious improvement, but I can't see how trading that for a narcissist at the wheel of the country of most powerful military in the world is worth it; I'd rather pay the same and have someone like Hillary - a cold-blooded politician but not sick in the head - in the position.

I believe it was rd95 who said in a different thread that people nowadays look for ways to feel safer through validation or assurance because of Trump. I guess I'm looking for the same as far as the two countries' relationships go. I know nothing, and I'd like to know something for certain; or, to put it in better terms that you've used, to have a more confident opinion.

    (or лулз?)

No idea how you've found that, but kudos.

jadedog  ·  524 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I happened to stumble on an AskReddit asking:

Russians of Reddit, how is Donald Trump being portrayed in your Media?

There were answers from both Russians in the US and in Russia.

If you're interested, I'll leave the link.

snoodog  ·  524 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Some of the better quotes:

"Fellow Russian (ukranian, actually) here. My family all voted trump too. My parents told me it's because Clinton and the democrats were trying to rebuild the soviet union but in america."

"A lot of communities of legal immigrants sympathize him because he says that legal immigration is OK and illegal immigration is not OK."

"Some chose him because of the belief that Hilary would start a war with Russia. Others chose him because of his business background, and feel like he would improve the economy. Many chose him because they hate obamacare. I'm not saying the Russian community loves him or anything, but given the two options, almost all chose trump."

ThatFanficGuy  ·  523 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    "A lot of communities of legal immigrants sympathize him because he says that legal immigration is OK and illegal immigration is not OK."

Man, that's some solid logic right there.

Russia does have a problem with illegal immigrants, though: people from the poorer southern countries (Azerbaijan, Tajikistan etc.) come to work in Russia illegally en masse. There's a certain disdain for "churka" (a derogative term for people of skin more brown than that of a typical Russian; plural "churki") among the general population, and many people want them gone out of the country because they take jobs that most would scoff at anyway (street sweeper, janitor etc.). There are even measures to make illegal immigration from those countries more difficult.


ThatFanficGuy  ·  524 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Thanks. Some of the replies were interesting, like the Mongolian guy getting Russian news in his country.

Mostly everything I expected to hear, otherwise. Clinton's bad, Trump's good. Clinton = war, Trump = good businessman = good economy (somehow).

blackbootz  ·  526 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Woah. Why have abortions steadily declined? Had we hit some zenith in the nineties? I thought the number of abortions would stay steady or increase. Have all the TRAP (targeted regulation against abortion) laws been working? Is this a result of the preaches and calls for abstinence?

francopoli  ·  526 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Better sex ed. ADA made birth control free and/or low cost. Also with 'Plan B" over the counter there will be fewer unplanned pregnancies as well.

Funny, when women and girls don't get pregnant in the first place, they don't have abortions.