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(Washington Post)   Washington Post does a Krugman. 7.9   (washingtonpost.com) divider line 387
    More: Ironic, Paul Krugman, Bruce Bartlett, Democratic National Convention, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro  
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3334 clicks; posted to Politics » on 28 Jan 2013 at 11:02 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-28 10:20:13 AM
Forgive me for noting that conservatives seem to believe that the rich will work harder if we give them more, and the poor will work harder if we give them less. - E.J. Dionne Link
 
2013-01-28 10:23:58 AM
I'd be more impressed if they did a triple US "sow cow".
 
2013-01-28 10:42:44 AM

Dusk-You-n-Me: Forgive me for noting that conservatives seem to believe that the rich will work harder if we give them more, and the poor will work harder if we give them less. - E.J. Dionne Link


Good line.
 
2013-01-28 11:06:03 AM
l.wigflip.com
 
2013-01-28 11:10:59 AM
This is a good piece.  The focus on the debt is misplaced.

Frankly, I don't even think the GOP really cares about the debt as issue #1...they certainly didn't make an issue out of it until a Democrat was in office.  It's just something they can use to try and make Dems look bad, a strategy that is borne out of not having sound policies of their own that would help the majority of Americans.
 
2013-01-28 11:11:39 AM
Provide the rich incentives for capital investment.......not incentives to horde their money.
 
2013-01-28 11:14:12 AM

Trivia Jockey: This is a good piece.  The focus on the debt is misplaced.

Frankly, I don't even think the GOP really cares about the debt as issue #1...they certainly didn't make an issue out of it until a Democrat was in office.  It's just something they can use to try and make Dems look bad, a strategy that is borne out of not having sound policies of their own that would help the majority of Americans.


YA THINK????
 
2013-01-28 11:16:04 AM

hinten: I'd be more impressed if they did a triple US "sow cow".


*wince* Salchow.
 
2013-01-28 11:16:09 AM
i.imgur.com

Don't you mean "Doing a Reagan", subby?
/or "pulling a Dick?"
 
2013-01-28 11:16:38 AM

Trivia Jockey: This is a good piece.  The focus on the debt is misplaced.

Frankly, I don't even think the GOP really cares about the debt as issue #1...they certainly didn't make an issue out of it until a Democrat was in office.  It's just something they can use to try and make Dems look bad, a strategy that is borne out of not having sound policies of their own that would help the majority of Americans.


They don't. They just want to neuter the federal government, period. Paul Ryan basically admitted last week that if a Democrat offered him all of the spending cuts he was looking for but wanted to include new revenues as part of the deal, he would reject it out of hand.
 
2013-01-28 11:19:12 AM
 
2013-01-28 11:19:41 AM

Dusk-You-n-Me: Forgive me for noting that conservatives seem to believe . . . the poor will work harder if we give them less. - E.J. Dionne Link


So all those Will Work for Food signs are bullshiat? I knew those farkers were lying.
 
2013-01-28 11:29:20 AM
If every economic forecaster will revise their GDP estimates upward and unemployment downward when considering effects of spending cuts and tax increases, you should ask a very simple question: Why the fark are we considering these measures?
 
2013-01-28 11:31:34 AM

Serious Black: Trivia Jockey: This is a good piece.  The focus on the debt is misplaced.

Frankly, I don't even think the GOP really cares about the debt as issue #1...they certainly didn't make an issue out of it until a Democrat was in office.  It's just something they can use to try and make Dems look bad, a strategy that is borne out of not having sound policies of their own that would help the majority of Americans.

They don't. They just want to neuter the federal government, period. Paul Ryan basically admitted last week that if a Democrat offered him all of the spending cuts he was looking for but wanted to include new revenues as part of the deal, he would reject it out of hand.


If I may...I think they want some parts of the government fully intact, such as the military and the DEA. What's driven them since the 80s (if not before) is that they see an enormous amount of money flowing into the government pot and they want to divert it to themselves or their friends. That's what gives us Grover Norquist and "I'm with the government and I'm here to help" and "private sector solutions are always superior to government solutions" and Social Security privatization and on and on.

Conservatives (of this type) don't give a damn about actually providing the needed services they're so keen on replacing with their own unaccountable private sector dopplegangers; they just want the money. Unfortunately for the rest of us, and for ethical conservatives too, they have a lot of very effective PR folks working for them who can make their criminally anti-social profiteering sound like just the best thing ever. Convincing a sizable chunk of the populace that the gubmint is some scary "other" rather than an extension of our own collective will is really a phenomenal bit of Orwellian mind-bending.
 
2013-01-28 11:32:16 AM
Is there where I point out that consumption is not growing our economy? Financing consumption via debt temporarily boosts our GDP, but it sure as shiat doesn't make our economy stronger.

ITT: People believing that borrowing money and giving that money to the poor and infirm is a surefire method to grow your economy in a long term, stable manner. In other words, idiots.

Full disclosure: I'm entirely against the military budget as well. I'm in favor of wealth redistribution, but it must be actual wealth redistribution. Financing wealth redistribution via debt will kill an economy. I'm in favor of going into debt to build necessary infrastructure, invest in education and technology, thinks with a positive ROI. Also, just because we increase our spending on those areas does not mean we are still justified spending our debt money on those projects with shiatty ROIs.
 
2013-01-28 11:32:59 AM
I agree with Krugman and his position on deficit spending to a point.

It is fine to use an accelerant to get the economy moving, but this action has been overused now and we have offshored too much production. We aren't using the borrowed money to accelerate the combustion of industry - we are just burning the accelerant. To extend the metaphor - using gasoline to get a bonfire started quickly is fine as a solution to get people warm. However, now there isn't any wood. We are just burning gasoline and warming ourselves next to a petrochemical fire. That is what spending $1T of borrowed money is. However, it is kind of Bush's fault. When you run $500B deficits during the good times of economic expansion you have to increase that when in recession.
 
2013-01-28 11:34:10 AM
The Washington Post was right?

What is "doing a Krugman?"
 
2013-01-28 11:35:06 AM

Zeb Hesselgresser: Dusk-You-n-Me: Forgive me for noting that conservatives seem to believe . . . the poor will work harder if we give them less. - E.J. Dionne Link

So all those Will Work for Food signs are bullshiat? I knew those farkers were lying.


Kind of the opposite of that, is what Dionne's saying. If the poor held up signs saying "Will work for pay cut so the boss can buy his daughter a new Mercedes for her Sweet 16," that would be lying.
 
2013-01-28 11:37:34 AM

Serious Black: Trivia Jockey: Frankly, I don't even think the GOP really cares about the debt as issue #1...they certainly didn't make an issue out of it until a Democrat was in office.  It's just something they can use to try and make Dems look bad, a strategy that is borne out of not having sound policies of their own that would help the majority of Americans.

They don't. They just want to neuter the federal government, period. Paul Ryan basically admitted last week that if a Democrat offered him all of the spending cuts he was looking for but wanted to include new revenues as part of the deal, he would reject it out of hand.


I recall a discussion of the Republicans' use of "strategic debt" to force cuts to social safety net programs, but right now I can't find it. Can someone help a linkster out?
 
2013-01-28 11:38:41 AM

MattStafford: Is there where I point out that consumption is not growing our economy? Financing consumption via debt temporarily boosts our GDP, but it sure as shiat doesn't make our economy stronger.

ITT: People believing that borrowing money and giving that money to the poor and infirm is a surefire method to grow your economy in a long term, stable manner. In other words, idiots.

Full disclosure: I'm entirely against the military budget as well. I'm in favor of wealth redistribution, but it must be actual wealth redistribution. Financing wealth redistribution via debt will kill an economy. I'm in favor of going into debt to build necessary infrastructure, invest in education and technology, thinks with a positive ROI. Also, just because we increase our spending on those areas does not mean we are still justified spending our debt money on those projects with shiatty ROIs.


taking care of the elderly and infirm is not done to grow the economy. It is done because it is our responsibility to take care of the people who helped build this country (the elderly), and our obligation to care for those with no hope of caring for themselves.
 
2013-01-28 11:40:57 AM

Crabs_Can_Polevault: Serious Black: Trivia Jockey: Frankly, I don't even think the GOP really cares about the debt as issue #1...they certainly didn't make an issue out of it until a Democrat was in office.  It's just something they can use to try and make Dems look bad, a strategy that is borne out of not having sound policies of their own that would help the majority of Americans.

They don't. They just want to neuter the federal government, period. Paul Ryan basically admitted last week that if a Democrat offered him all of the spending cuts he was looking for but wanted to include new revenues as part of the deal, he would reject it out of hand.

I recall a discussion of the Republicans' use of "strategic debt" to force cuts to social safety net programs, but right now I can't find it. Can someone help a linkster out?


It's called "starve the beast."
 
2013-01-28 11:41:16 AM

kitflint76: taking care of the elderly and infirm is not done to grow the economy. It is done because it is our responsibility to take care of the people who helped build this country (the elderly), and our obligation to care for those with no hope of caring for themselves.


If that is indeed the case, then we shouldn't be financing those programs via debt. We should be paying for those programs via taxes. Paying for those programs via debt WILL destroy the economy. It is happening before our eyes.
 
2013-01-28 11:43:04 AM

MattStafford: kitflint76: taking care of the elderly and infirm is not done to grow the economy. It is done because it is our responsibility to take care of the people who helped build this country (the elderly), and our obligation to care for those with no hope of caring for themselves.

If that is indeed the case, then we shouldn't be financing those programs via debt. We should be paying for those programs via taxes. Paying for those programs via debt WILL destroy the economy. It is happening before our eyes.


And yet, when Democrats suggest we raise taxes to pay for those programs, Republicans almost universally balk. I wonder why that is? Oh, yeah, cause they want the federal government to drown in a bathtub.
 
2013-01-28 11:43:27 AM

MattStafford: Is there where I point out that consumption is not growing our economy? Financing consumption via debt temporarily boosts our GDP, but it sure as shiat doesn't make our economy stronger.

ITT: People believing that borrowing money and giving that money to the poor and infirm is a surefire method to grow your economy in a long term, stable manner. In other words, idiots.


Ah, supply siders are so cute. Completely divorced from reality and the experiments that are taking place in real time here, UK, and Europe broadly demonstrating complete failure of their ideas, they still have the nerve to call those that have been completely right about the last five years "idiots". Its pathetic if you think about it.

Just take this ignorant statement:

MattStafford: Is there where I point out that consumption is not growing our economy?


Totally unaware that all an economy is at its heart is consumption. A good economy simply means that consumption is plentiful, a bad economy means the opposite.
 
2013-01-28 11:46:21 AM

Serious Black: And yet, when Democrats suggest we raise taxes to pay for those programs, Republicans almost universally balk. I wonder why that is? Oh, yeah, cause they want the federal government to drown in a bathtub.


Doesn't change the economics of the issue. I'm not a Republican, and am in favor of the majority of liberal ideas. I just understand that for a liberal system to be successful, it can't be run via debt, which is what we are currently doing.
 
2013-01-28 11:48:57 AM

bartink: Ah, supply siders are so cute. Completely divorced from reality and the experiments that are taking place in real time here, UK, and Europe broadly demonstrating complete failure of their ideas, they still have the nerve to call those that have been completely right about the last five years "idiots". Its pathetic if you think about it.


People in favor of austerity expect there to be massive pain. It isn't a failure of our ideas, it is the expected outcome. The idea behind austerity is that we need to suffer pain now to prevent even more pain in the future. You don't turn back the clock on thirty years of debt creation in a few short years.

bartink: Totally unaware that all an economy is at its heart is consumption. A good economy simply means that consumption is plentiful, a bad economy means the opposite.


No, at its heart an economy is production and consumption in equal amounts. You produce goods, trade those goods with other people who have also produced goods, and then consume those goods. Acting as though consumption is the only part of that equation that matters is complete ignorance.
 
2013-01-28 11:51:44 AM

CPennypacker: The Washington Post was right?

What is "doing a Krugman?"


Performing economic analysis.
 
2013-01-28 11:53:42 AM

MattStafford: People in favor of austerity expect there to be massive pain. It isn't a failure of our ideas, it is the expected outcome. The idea behind austerity is that we need to suffer pain now to prevent even more pain in the future. You don't turn back the clock on thirty years of debt creation in a few short years.


And these people are idiots. If you look at the last thirty years you see one third of the world lifted out of poverty. You want to turn back the clock to those days.

Let me ask you a question. Are you aware of the fact that the government deficit is simply a measure of the growth of the non-government savings in a given year? I don't think you get that basic fact.

>No, at its heart an economy is production and consumption in equal amounts. You produce goods, trade those goods with other people who have also produced goods, and then consume those goods. Acting as though consumption is the only part of that equation that matters is complete ignorance.

Duh. But you can't have production without people with currency to purchase it. The notion that we take currency out of people's hands to somehow cause an increase in production is insane. And its failing everywhere its being tried in the world.
 
2013-01-28 11:56:58 AM

MattStafford: People in favor of austerity expect there to be massive pain. It isn't a failure of our ideas, it is the expected outcome. The idea behind austerity is that we need to suffer pain now to prevent even more pain in the future. You don't turn back the clock on thirty years of debt creation in a few short years.


And thus the problem. This is medieval mindset. It's the idea that we somehow need to do penance for our sins, and people who don't ascribe to that theory are hedonistic liberals who don't understand the world. It's nonsense.

There's no explanation at all for how suffering now leads to future prosperity. It's just assumed, despite the fact that there's no evidence for it.
 
2013-01-28 12:00:45 PM

MattStafford:
No, at its heart an economy is production and consumption in equal amounts. You produce goods, trade those goods with other people who have also produced goods, and then consume those goods. Acting as though consumption is the only part of that equation that matters is complete ignorance.


No, at its heart one person's spending is another person's income. You need to keep spending going, but not let it go overboard (bubbles, inflation). As the necessities of life decline in real cost (food, transportation, housing) disposable income rises, and can be spent on more frivolous thing. Thus you can employ landscapers and chefs and actors and all kinds of non-essential service providers.

Sure, you can focus on producing goods, and you get China. That's a stage in capitalism, and we're well past it.

A nice side-effect is when some of that frivolous side pulls in foreign capital, so your musicians and actors end up helping your balance of trade.
 
2013-01-28 12:01:42 PM

DamnYankees: And thus the problem. This is medieval mindset. It's the idea that we somehow need to do penance for our sins, and people who don't ascribe to that theory are hedonistic liberals who don't understand the world. It's nonsense.

There's no explanation at all for how suffering now leads to future prosperity. It's just assumed, despite the fact that there's no evidence for it.


This. Its a near religious belief divorced from reality. If something good is happening without great cost, then there must be something inherently wrong with it that needs to be accounted for later.

And they completely misunderstand the difference between government and personal debt to boot.
 
2013-01-28 12:01:59 PM

Dusk-You-n-Me: Forgive me for noting that conservatives seem to believe that the rich will work harder if we give them more, and the poor will work harder if we give them less. - E.J. Dionne Link


That's awesome.
 
2013-01-28 12:04:06 PM

MattStafford: Serious Black: And yet, when Democrats suggest we raise taxes to pay for those programs, Republicans almost universally balk. I wonder why that is? Oh, yeah, cause they want the federal government to drown in a bathtub.

Doesn't change the economics of the issue. I'm not a Republican, and am in favor of the majority of liberal ideas. I just understand that for a liberal system to be successful, it can't be run via debt, which is what we are currently doing.


Of course it changes the economics of the issue. The fact that Republicans are actively engaged in sabotage of social programs doesn't magically suspend the painfully real needs addressed by those programs. The money has to come from somewhere, and if raising revenue is blocked, then debt-financing is the only other option. For people who actually give a damn about their constituents, letting vulnerable people suffer and starve--even if it would produce some good optics for future campaign use--is not a viable option. Not that all Democrats give a damn about their constituents either, but many do. In realpolitik terms, it's probably their greatest weakness.
 
2013-01-28 12:04:46 PM

MisterRonbo: No, at its heart one person's spending is another person's income.


And government spending is the non-government's savings. Same accounting concept.

MisterRonbo: You need to keep spending going, but not let it go overboard (bubbles, inflation).


This is the real spending constraint: inflation. There is no fiscal constraint, as the government is the monopoly creator of the currency. The constraint is in the real side of the economy, not the currency. There is not need to worry about where the money will come from (borrowing or taxation), since the government isn't operationally constrained by those processes to spend.
 
2013-01-28 12:05:37 PM

Dusk-You-n-Me: Krugman on Morning Joe


Solid, thanks.
 
2013-01-28 12:05:56 PM

Lochsteppe: The money has to come from somewhere, and if raising revenue is blocked, then debt-financing is the only other option.


The money doesn't come from the people. They don't produce it. It comes from the government.
 
2013-01-28 12:07:50 PM

bartink: Let me ask you a question. Are you aware of the fact that the government deficit is simply a measure of the growth of the non-government savings in a given year? I don't think you get that basic fact.


If you are asking if I'm familiar with the complete inanity of MMT, the answer is yes. MMT works if you view the world as an accounting ledger (with a few exceptions), but it does not work as an economic model when used for a country of 300 million individuals.

bartink: Duh. But you can't have production without people with currency to purchase it. The notion that we take currency out of people's hands to somehow cause an increase in production is insane. And its failing everywhere its being tried in the world.


I never said that austerity is going to increase production. The exact opposite will happen.

But this argument that people need to have currency in their hands for production to occur is completely misguided. Increasing the amount of currency in circulation, without having real goods to back that currency, creates a temporary boost in the economy, but it is unsustainable and will result in an eventual recession.

Here is a quick example to explain: Imagine two farmers, one growing apples and one growing bananas. They trade back and forth using currency (which is basically an IOU in this system). Suppose the apple farmer doesn't grow any apples, but continues to write IOUs to the banana farmer, and consumes bananas. Naturally, the banana farmer produces enough bananas to meet this demand, as he expects to buy apples with the IOUs. Obviously, the system breaks down once the ruse is found out. The apple farmer no longer consumes bananas, and the banana farmer no longer produces the bananas to meet the apple farmers demand.

Now, looking from any sane perspective will lead to the conclusion that the problem in this economic system was a lack of production, namely the apple farmer didn't produce any apples. From your perspective, however, the problem appears to be a lack of consumption. You see that production decreased because the apple farmer wasn't able to buy anymore bananas (the banana farmer stopped accepting his IOUs), so your solution is to try and ramp that production back up by increasing the apple farmers consumption. Your solution would be to have the apple farmer make more IOUs to buy more bananas. And, assuming the banana farmer accepts these new IOUs, production will indeed increase. The apple farmer again will be able to consume bananas. But, obviously, the system is still completely flawed, and not long for this world.

Hopefully that cleared up some of your confusion about the whole consumption/production debate.
 
2013-01-28 12:10:05 PM

MattStafford: Now, looking from any sane perspective will lead to the conclusion that the problem in this economic system was a lack of production, namely the apple farmer didn't produce any apples.


Your analogy is useless, since it doesn't actually explain why the apple farmer stopped growing apples. What was the reason? The key to understanding the issue is to understand that reason.
 
2013-01-28 12:10:21 PM

DamnYankees: And thus the problem. This is medieval mindset. It's the idea that we somehow need to do penance for our sins, and people who don't ascribe to that theory are hedonistic liberals who don't understand the world. It's nonsense.


Well, someone is going to have to suffer for our financial mistakes.

DamnYankees: There's no explanation at all for how suffering now leads to future prosperity. It's just assumed, despite the fact that there's no evidence for it.


I don't believe that austerity will necessarily lead to future prosperity. All austerity does is make the pain immediate to prevent larger pain later on.
 
2013-01-28 12:11:00 PM

DamnYankees: There's no explanation at all for how suffering now leads to future prosperity. It's just assumed, despite the fact that there's no evidence for it.


Well, back in the day, you'd expect the unemployed to die off when the cold weather hits, so the unemployment rate would drop right off. Now we have all these things like "unemployment insurance" and "homeless shelters", so the lazy bums just stick around!
 
2013-01-28 12:11:51 PM

MattStafford: Well, someone is going to have to suffer for our financial mistakes.


This is meaningless. It says nothing about what the problem is or how to fix it.

MattStafford: All austerity does is make the pain immediate to prevent larger pain later on.


Again - where's the evidence? This is like saying you should flagellant yourself now in order to avoid the flames of hell.
 
2013-01-28 12:12:24 PM

MattStafford: DamnYankees: And thus the problem. This is medieval mindset. It's the idea that we somehow need to do penance for our sins, and people who don't ascribe to that theory are hedonistic liberals who don't understand the world. It's nonsense.

Well, someone is going to have to suffer for our financial mistakes.

DamnYankees: There's no explanation at all for how suffering now leads to future prosperity. It's just assumed, despite the fact that there's no evidence for it.

I don't believe that austerity will necessarily lead to future prosperity. All austerity does is make the pain immediate to prevent larger pain later on.


Yeah, its working really well in Europe
 
2013-01-28 12:12:27 PM

MattStafford: No, at its heart an economy is production and consumption in equal amounts


Consumption drives production.

The reason spending money on "infrastructure" drives the economy is because it helps consumption: of raw material and of consumables (by those making the products). Financing things by debt is perfectly fine in itself, like taking a loan to buy food and keep a car running when you lose a job.

We can debate levels of debt, but saying debt should be never taken on for consumption is short-sighted.
 
2013-01-28 12:13:24 PM

MisterRonbo: No, at its heart one person's spending is another person's income.


If I printed up sixteen trillion dollars, and bought everything the US produced in a year, I'm sure you wouldn't have a problem with it, since all of my spending is someone else's income. However, as should be fairly obvious, people don't care how much money they have, they care about what they can buy with that money. If I bought every good and service, and produced nothing, people won't care how much money they have, because it will be worthless.

Currency is just a stand in for real goods.
 
2013-01-28 12:15:34 PM

MattStafford: Currency is just a stand in for real goods.


Not really. Currency is a good in and of itself.
 
2013-01-28 12:16:23 PM

MattStafford: MisterRonbo: No, at its heart one person's spending is another person's income.

If I printed up sixteen trillion dollars, and bought everything the US produced in a year, I'm sure you wouldn't have a problem with it, since all of my spending is someone else's income. However, as should be fairly obvious, people don't care how much money they have, they care about what they can buy with that money. If I bought every good and service, and produced nothing, people won't care how much money they have, because it will be worthless.

Currency is just a stand in for real goods.


www.culture-games.com
 
2013-01-28 12:16:51 PM

Lochsteppe: Of course it changes the economics of the issue. The fact that Republicans are actively engaged in sabotage of social programs doesn't magically suspend the painfully real needs addressed by those programs. The money has to come from somewhere, and if raising revenue is blocked, then debt-financing is the only other option. For people who actually give a damn about their constituents, letting vulnerable people suffer and starve--even if it would produce some good optics for future campaign use--is not a viable option. Not that all Democrats give a damn about their constituents either, but many do. In realpolitik terms, it's probably their greatest weakness.


That still doesn't change the economics of the issue. Financing those programs via debt is bad, regardless of the reasons why it had to be financed by debt.
 
2013-01-28 12:20:04 PM

DamnYankees: Your analogy is useless, since it doesn't actually explain why the apple farmer stopped growing apples. What was the reason? The key to understanding the issue is to understand that reason.


It doesn't matter what the reason is, the problem is that he stopped growing apples.

Perhaps the banana farmer doesn't like apples anymore. If that is the case, the apple farmer is going to have to grow something the banana farmer wants in order to get that juicy banana. (Going into debt to invest in technology or education would be a good idea here) If the apple farmer does not have the skills to grow anything the banana farmer wants, and society deems those bananas as something the apple farmer should have, they will have to tax the banana farmer and give the bananas directly to the apple farmer. That is how a sane society would react to the situation.

An insane society would just write more IOUs and see the banana production increase and call it a success.
 
2013-01-28 12:22:56 PM

MattStafford: It doesn't matter what the reason is, the problem is that he stopped growing apples.


How can it possible not matter what the reason is.

MattStafford: An insane society would just write more IOUs and see the banana production increase and call it a success.


Who is advocating doing this? What is your actual analogy to the real world here?
 
2013-01-28 12:23:06 PM

DamnYankees: This is meaningless. It says nothing about what the problem is or how to fix it.


Either the people who caused this mess suffer, or the people down the road who had nothing to do with it suffer.

DamnYankees: Again - where's the evidence? This is like saying you should flagellant yourself now in order to avoid the flames of hell.


The pain is inevitable. Financing our entire economy via debt will lead to this situation. Eventually the debt has to paid off or inflated away, and both are very painful situations.
 
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