Sunday assorted links

1. Heterodox Academy podcast with Charlotta Stern.  And a related paper “Does political ideology hinder insights on gender and labor markets?”

2. “…exposure to a disruptive peer in classes of 25 during elementary school reduces earnings at age 24 to 28 by 3 percent. We estimate that differential exposure to children linked to domestic violence explains 5 percent of the rich-poor earnings gap in our data,and that each year of exposure to a disruptive peer reduces the present discounted value of classmates’ future earnings by $80,000.”  By Carrell, Hoekstra, and Kuka.  The size of that effect seems large to me, but worth a ponder in any case.

3. Scott Adams on the persuasive powers of Trump.

4. “…struggling individuals were more motivated by giving advice than receiving it.

5. Can tracking your moods with a wrist band stop your suicide?  Should we even go down this path?

6. Steve Bannon debates David Frum.


From the Munk debate site:

Important Munk Debate correction: there was a technical error last night at the end of the debate. The results from the 2nd audience vote from the start of the evening measuring if people were open to changing their minds was announced, instead of the final results.

6. The results were reported incorrectly after the debate. It was actually a draw.

Nyarrgh. Left out the rest of it:

The final official audience vote on the resolution was 28% in favor - 72% opposed. Opinion in the hall was not swayed and such the debate is a draw. Our apologies for the confusion.

Say it isn't so - Prof. Cowen is now passing on fake news concerning a man who wants to restore the glory days of European racial nationalism actually being able to convince Canadians to support his views?

You got the results backwards.

1. Related (from the same site) “Why Universities Must Choose One Telos: Truth or Social Justice”

2. The claimed size of the effect is absurdly large. Nope.

3. Scott gets it. He called 2016 and he has been spot on in his analysis. Self made UHNW that is willing to speak up, it is rare.

4. Brilliant.

5. Go Verily! I’m rooting for you! (And Calico)

6. I’ve never met David Frum, but it is likely he is a brilliant man. However he is attempting to defend an untenable position. It isn’t hard to predict he would lose.

3. Scott Adams? I listened to his exchange with Sam Harris and SA spouted so much mumbo jumbo about Trump as "master persuader". He sincerely believes that there's something to admire in Trump's unique ability to make statements that aren't factually true but that speak to an emotional, "felt truth" regardless of the impact of those lies on discourse, behavior, policy and social norms. He framed Trump's calling Mexicans rapists and criminals not as words with explicit meaning and impact, but as negotiation tactics. This is nihilism, not persuasion.

As an actual nihilist, I wish people who don't know what the term means would stop using it to describe people like Trump.

“Moral nihilists assert that there is no inherent morality, and that accepted moral values are abstractly contrived” ok. Trump is unlikely able to assert anything consistent about his personal philosophy, but I stand by my statement.

"Scott gets it. He called 2016 and he has been spot on in his analysis."

Scott said right to the end that Trump would win in a landslide. Scott seems to forget that part of his prediction.

Note how (anti-Trump) advocates for the caravan have been characterizing Mexicans as rapists and thieves now, too.

300+ EV is in fact a landslide when all of your media boys said he wouldn't even crack 200, Todd.

A landslide is a landslide, it doesn't matter who's boys said what. Trump barely got in there. Not Bush in 2000 barely of course, but that was no landslide. Fake news from a Trumpy, shocking.

Didn't Scott Adams say Trump would win in a landslide? That was clearly incorrect. Maybe the guy does have some insight into mass psychology, but I don't buy everything that guy is selling.

SO Jeremy Peters in Today's NYT says “Americans who identify as Republicans are the smallest part of the electorate, currently below 30 percent.” according to
1) This is ACTUALLY the same ratio since 2007
2) In August 2018, it was Republicans 28%, Democrats 27%
So, is it impossible to get fired from the NYT?

It was an Electoral College landslide. No one who ignores the EC in American presidential elections is worth listening to.

You play according to the rules of the game you're playing, not the rules you wish (ex post) you had.

Trump taking Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa, all of which have voted blue since Bill Clinton, was an astounding feat. He was also close to taking Minnesota and New Hampshire. He won back Indiana, Florida, and Ohio.

Anyone who could follow the Electoral map over time and could do basic math knew exactly what Trump's victory plan was. His economic speech in Detroit was a dead giveaway. His attacks on China trade and illegal immigrants were transparent parts of this plan.

Adams was paying attention all along. I didn't see it until Detroit.

Before you argue what "landslide" means in an electoral sense, consider that most states are deeply entrenched as red or blue. There are only about ten states in play that matter in the EC. Trump won a great majority of those in number and electoral count.

Intuitively, a landslide should be a victory that was so one-sided, the other side couldn't have expected to win under any reasonable circumstances. Think of Reagan-Mondale as an example. But in 2016, the election was very close and could easily have gone the other way--I think shifting the vote by a percent across the country might have done it.

We can all have our own personal subjective definition of "landslide." What matters for this discussion is what ADAMS meant when HE said "landslide."

When election predictors were saying Hillary had a 95% chance of Electoral victory, the actual result was monumentally unexpected, and the EC tally was not even close. Trump got 57% of the EC against all expectations.

As I explained earlier, the result was already a fait accompli in most states. With voter consolidation at the state level (and voter fraud) we will likely never have a Reagan-Mondale size victory ever again. "Landslide" must now be viewed by what candidates are eligible to win.

But I'll certainly concede that Adams may have either been wrong or speaking in hyperbole. I give him credit though for knowing that Trump had zero chance of winning California, New York, or Illinois which would foreclose a "landslide" of the type you describe.

No reputable outlet had Clinton at 95%. The best ones had 70%, as did the betting markets.

No, that's not true.

Upshot: 85% Hillary November 8th (and 93% 2 weeks prior to the election)

CNN's prediction market had Hillary Clinton at 91% (on the day before)

Reuters/Ipsos Hillary Clinton 90% (day before the election)

You know which ones I mean (538, Iowa Prediction Market). Reuters/Ipsos is a poll not an election prediction aggregator. CNN has a prediction market? NY Times/Upshot is also just a poll summary.

I mean, sure, I'm not saying EVERY place you looked had 70%, just the best places.

Obama got 365 and 332 EC votes in ‘08 and ‘12 while Trump got 304. So by any objective measure Obama won by super landslides. When you acknowledge that fact maybe we can have a serious conversation.

Not to mention Bill Clinton with 370 and 379, were those super duper landslides?

Trump didn't win a landslide. Any serious conversation starts with Trump won a tight race and now he's President.

3. I followed Scott Adams all through the election and he nailed it. He talked as much about Hillary’s subconscious persuasion mistakes as Trump’s successes. For example remember “Love Trumps Hate”? He pointed out the first half of that says “Love Trump.”

So Scott predicted that Trump would win by just 70,000 votes? I thought he was supposed to win by huge numbers. There were plenty of other people who thought that Trump would win, just like there were plenty of people (even more) who thought Romney would win. I dunno. N of one at this point.

70k in a few states. He lost by 3 million nationally.

"Lost by 3 million."

You win or lose according to the rules of the game you're playing, not the rules you wish you had played.

If you checkmate your opponent in chess, it is irrelevant how much material you lost. In poker, it is the winner of the LAST hand, not the most hands, who takes the top prize.

Trump had wider support among the people of the several states. The EC (and the Senate) were designed as such for this reason: a feature, not a bug.

Whenever I see this 3 million vote drivel, I laugh knowing I'm looking at a Hillary supporter screaming at the sky.

Trump won 306 votes to Hillary's 232 votes.

#2 is brutal.

"Children who are exposed to domestic violence make all the other children around them worse."


Clearly we must send them all to a deserted island to govern themselves.

#5. "Should we even go down this path?"

Why not?

Be it resolved, the future of western politics is populist, not liberal...

A useless question.

#2 This is entirely unsurprising. I would expect the effects from multiple disruptive students in a class is probably non-linear.

The Obama administration worked to impede the school's ability to remove disruptive students from the classroom - exactly the wrong thing to do. The non-disruptive students pay the price for this.

We had some discussions more or less about this at Marginal Revolution in one of those nature versus nurture cycles.

The proponents of twin studies were saying "see, environment makes no difference" and some of us were saying, "no, none of those are bad environments."

There really are some bad environments out there. Enough I think to make forceful pronouncements about "nature" impossible.

All middle class environments are equally mediocre (and thus you shouldn't sweat it), but all underclass environments are equally shitty (and you should). Making the two interact drags down the middle class more than it pulls the underclass up.

Well Trump's been in charge for 2 years now so I'm sure it's all fixed.

#2 Don't know if they took this into account, but parents who are happy to leave their children in bad schools are probably not the ones with high contentiousness. So their kids probably lack conscientiousness as well as this is a highly genetic thing.

Or it's just that the kids that experience disruption have parents who can't afford to send them anywhere else and have no other option.

Also, you seem to be quite low in conscientiousness.

Boring links today...I am not motivated to click on a single one.

Bonus trivia: Jess Lee (born 1982) is a partner at Sequoia Capital. which has Bechtel as a silent partner, and was criticized for not hiring women. (Wikipedia) "In 2016, she joined Sequoia Capital as an investing partner,[9] becoming the venture capital firm's first female partner in the U.S. in 44 years of operation.[10] Hired at age 33, Lee is also one of Sequoia's youngest partners." She was product manager at Google Maps, and "in 2004, Lee was recruited into Google's associate product manager (APM) program, which had been founded and was then still led by Marissa Mayer". Small cozy world.

Very Straussian of you (especially #2 & #4).

Then you are missing out. Links today are particularly excellent. (Scott Adams may not be dead on at all times, but he was hilarious and incisive re: Trump and Hillary on SNL, with Trump being “presidential” and Hillary failing re: “drunk” joke skit.)

@God of Thunder - OK I clicked on the Scott Adams story, and it was pretty good, albeit simplistic logic. Adams is saying you should be a cartoon in life to get ahead in high visibility jobs. KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). Positive visual energy. Norman Vincent Peale. Does make sense. Does it explain Jess Lee and Marissa Meyer? Perhaps it does. Interesting to see that Adams lost 40% of his speaking income when he spoke about and seemingly endorsed (without agreeing with) Trump.

#3: Is Trump persuasive? I don't think there were many people who began legitimately opposed to Trump who changed their minds as a result of his rhetoric.

There are people who always agreed with him and felt they had to pretend they didn't, but who now feel safe revealing their actual preferences, but that skill isn't persuasion.

In other words, apart from all of the people he persuaded, he hasn't been that persuasive.

If people already agree with you, their support is not the result of persuasion.

There are a few very odd situations.

The evangelical or christian voting bloc pretty well fully supports Trump. Not what anyone would expect considering his habits, but he convinced them that he would be better than Hillary and has been.

He has changed the center on immigration. This caravan thing is interesting; remember what happened when the flood of immigrants showed up on the north Mediterranean shores. I think whoever is encouraging these people expected the same reaction. But we are seeing military being sent to the border, they are putting barbed wire barriers in place. The Democrats would be expected to be making lots of noise, with accusations of racism, but it isn't happening. I think they are afraid of being on the wrong side of this issue. Trudeau won in Canada a couple years ago promising a compassionate refugee policy. (that issue may be the cause of his losing next time). The conversation has changed, what worked two three years ago doesn't anymore.

He has convinced a large number of people that the media is not to be trusted, and we are seeing that reflected in the audience numbers. He has been extraordinarily successful in convincing Republicans in Washington that they no longer need to dive under the furniture if there is negative media. He has convinced the media, without much effort but with regular encouragement to be the official opposition to his presidency. Their vigorous efforts to take him down have discredited not him but themselves. I honestly think that they have almost no influence anymore, and they are so blinded by their enthusiasm that they don't see what they are doing to themselves. This is as historic a change as any I've seen during my lifetime. There are lots of other things that are causing it, but Trump's skillful campaign has hastened their demise.

A master manipulator gets people to do things that result in having his goals accomplished. When a large commercial property is developed and the project completed no one is happy, in fact everyone involved wants to hang everyone else. But the building is done. If it is on time and on budget the feelings are even more intense. The persuasion in that situation doesn't end in agreement; it ends in completion of the project.

How that ends up being translated in the political sphere is going to be interesting to watch. During the campaign one disgruntled Republican was easily replaced with a few hundred thousand disgruntled Democrats. A media onslaught was eclipsed by a few stadiums full of cheering supporters.

You couldn't be more wrong. Trump could not possibly have won without the "Never Trumpers" backing down. Trump did a good job of bringing them back in. The NTers have never fully embraced Trump, but they understand the necessity of tolerating him and working with him. I'm sure most of them slept well on election night and woke up with a smile.

Because of Trump's notable successes, many NTers have graduated from their "lesser of two evils" position to "not really evil, just head shaking at times."

The Never Trumpers backing down isn't why he won, that happened after he won, because in the end partisan politics destroys principles.

Just about all politics destroys principles; the politics of bipartisan compromise included.

yes! this guy gets it.

trumps gift is sensing privately held beliefs and turning them into common knowledge in a way that benefits him and hurts his opponents. that's not persuasion: it's more like a gift for coordination or sermonizing in the sense described in this essay:

he's the voice of the people.

everybody surely agrees with you, uniformly

Only a subset of the populatin agrees with him, of course, but they didn't know they belonged to that subset, or how large it was, until he spoke up.

He doesn't seem very good at changing people's minds.

Even if you think what I said is foolish, follow that link: a terrific essay.

5. Big science (and the big ed that does it) is perverse and inefficient.

People have been hacking their states for millenia. Ken Wilber can probably make an appropriately modified eeg machine write 'Mary had a litle lamb' with his mind. Feedback devices like this are available online for a couple hundred bucks. The people who do this kind of thing (science, really) are curious and fearless or desperately uncomfortable and they have the autonomy to make their own risk assessments.

Big ed has been waging war for 2 generations at least against: curiosity for its own sake, discomfort, and autonomous risk assessment. 'Should we even go down this path?' It's a space. It's populated and it's being mapped by more nimble folk than the royal 'we'.

3. I guess this is where we are all invited to write something which we hope will look good in 3 days. Okay.

While I still refuse to accept any hidden genius in Trump, I can see that his animal cunning is more cunning than I thought it was.

He was actually able to scare his base so much with the Caravan that civilian militias are forming up to defend the border.

I still say that says less about the genius of Trump than the quality of his base.

And we will really get to see if there are enough of them to stop a Blue Wave.

Trump was a Dem and turned Rep as he got older. His policies are somewhere between Reagan and Bill Clinton. His power is the he drives his opponents nuts. You get 24 hrs of TDS if he tweets out that the sky is blue. He didn't win many people over, but really showed how awful his opponent and her followers were. There were many who were not on board with Trump at the beginning, but had to go with him when it was Trump vs Hillary. His policies are icing on the cake.

The amazing thing is that he tipped his game and his base didn't care.

Both Reagan and Clinton were pro immigration, heck, Reagan gave amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants. How exactly are Trump's policies between those two?

Trump proposed to give immediate regularization and a path to citizenship to all illegal immigrants arrived in the US as minors. There were millions. The democrats refused. This was not long ago, about one year. I can understand that you have forgotten that Democrats supported, and fought for, slavery. It was long ago. Same for segregation and Jim Crow laws. But this was just one year ago. You're not amnesiac, you're just of bad faith.

Whatever you think of deal, I don't think your synopsis of it was super fair.

Should it really have been necessary for Democrats to yield the diversity lottery?

You can argue it either way, but if you are sane, you're not going to bring in slavery and Jim Crow.

And the interesting thing from the standpoint of Trump and populism is that his offer was about drastically reducing legal immigration.

North of Denver, of Lafayette of Longmont, in Loveland there is a chair and on the chair is a glass of Riesling. Ask for Clara.

The Guardian article doesn't say what you say it says. The title is: "Trump proposes path to citizenship for 1.8m undocumented youths". The article precise that this number is about twice as much as the number of "dreamers" temporarily protected by Obama's decrees.
The article mentions that Trump's plan also contained the end of the diversity lottery, and restrictions on legal immigration based on family ties. It doesn't say that total legal immigration would be diminished. This would depend on the number of work visas given each year, a number to be discussed by the congress. Trump has said many times that it did not want to lower the total number of legal immigrants but to switch from a family-based to a merit-based immigration policy, like Canada, or Australia.

The diversity lottery is a very beautiful idea: it reminds of the method of
"simulated annealing" in applied mathematics to get out of a local optimum when you try to find the best (or at least a better) optimum,
However, it was not used this way,as no one observed the result of the immigration from that lottery to design a better attribution of quota per countries. The lottery now is just a small toy which concerns only 5% of the immigrant each year.

The article reminds that the Democrats immediately rejected the plan, without trying to negotiate any changes.

"Trump has said many times that it did not want to lower the total number of legal immigrants but to switch from a family-based to a merit-based immigration policy, like Canada, or Australia."

President Trump has made 6,420 false or misleading claims over 649 days.

But yeah, go with trust as your closing argument.

How can a wish be false? it is not a fact, it is an opinion. This for what Trump said about what he wished about legal immigration.

On the other hand, I (myself, not Trump) did state a fact. Namely, that the net effect of the sketch of plan Trump proposed on legal immigration can not be determined from just this sketch. I explained why in the comments above. The statement you made that this plan "would drastically reduce legal immigration" is unsupported by facts nor by the guardian article you cite.

Grow up, or get out of your silo, as the case may be.

Yeah, anonymous citing an article that doesn't support his statement. Big surprise.

"And we will really get to see if there are enough of them to stop a Blue Wave."

At this point there's less than a 15% chance of Democrats taking both houses of Congress. So, it's looking like the Blue Wave has become just a normal mid-election result.

You are correct, but to be fair the Senate electoral calendar just really favors the Reps this year. In 2 years the Dems will retake the Senate, for the same reason (favors them).

" but to be fair the Senate electoral calendar just really favors the Reps this year."

I agree with this. The "Blue Wave" was always more hyperbole than reality. Or Fake News if you prefer that term.

Robert E Kelly >> Putin's Rat

Does that mean you believe that the Democrats are going to win the Senate tomorrow? If not, what was the point of posting it?

The reason Kelly's essay is better than your comments is that this is more citizen responsibility than horse race.

I don't think the mood is one of fear, precisely.

No fear?

I think so, because "muscular young men" and "terrorists hidden in their ranks" is not the kind of thing you say in a reasoned discussion of American rules for political asylum.

But as in a good line from Frum, this isn't about policy.

"The new populist politics is a scam and a lie that exploits anger and fear to gain power. It has no care for the people it supposedly champions and no respect for them. It will deliver nothing—not only because its leaders are almost invariably crooks (although they are), but because they have no plans and no plans to make plans."

Instead we get "Barbed wire used properly can be a beautiful sight."

So much for any theory that "authoritarianism" was an overblown concern .. barbed wire, as a beautiful sight.

Nah, it's anger, as even David Frum who knows so little of us dimly perceives:

If it is, it is not very rational anger. Look at the mistake Frum makes here:

"Meanwhile, in the Democrats’ liberal base, the mood toward the caravan is positively sympathetic. The caravan’s slogan, “People without borders,” chimes with the rising sentiment among liberals that border enforcement is inherently illegitimate, and usually racist, too."

This is just a undocumented assertion that some liberal fringe of Democrats are "sympathetic."

Since when does "sympathy" actually get up and change day today to day procedures at the Border Patrol? When does it change action in immigration courts? Which Republicans holding the presidency and the Senate it sure isn't likely to change immigration law.

It is a nonsense argument. "Some people are sympathetic therefore our border security is lost."

S/B "With Republicans holding the presidency and the Senate it sure isn't likely to change immigration law."

Good heavens, why would they need to "change immigration law"? A majority of Americans wished for a stabilized population in the 70s, and were given to expect that to be our government's policy goal, per the Rockefeller Commission. A powerful few wanted something different, and they got what they wanted, with or without changes to the law. Who, indeed, imagines that "the law" meant anything at all?

Border security was lost quite a long time ago when the tens of millions of illegals entered. Oh, and now they can't be deported because there's so many of them and it would be so unfair.

That is actually kind of the opposite of what happened.

You see now what I mean about the quality of his base? They are literally able to live in opposite land. Because they must, in order for it to 'make sense.'

" when the tens of millions of illegals entered."

This is factually correct.

"That is actually kind of the opposite of what happened."

Your response is delusional. You point to a chart showing that apprehensions dropped. At best you can say that the rate of flow has decreased.

Hilarious. You forcefully agree with me that the border is secure,

No moron.

40K apprehensions per month is not secure.

How many didn't get caught? Anyways, a chart going back 15 yrs is useless talking about something that's been a problem for more than 40 years.

Even the chart makes it clear that anonymous' claim that the 'border is secure' is ridiculous. But he never admits he's wrong.

Why does TC think that garbage debate is worth sharing?

President Captain Bolsonaro skillfully uses social media to consolidate his power. He is called the Tropical Trump.

How do I say "I'm a major cuckhold" in Portuguese?

One does not say that in Portuguese.

#6 I'm watching this but yet again I have yet to see Bannon articulate a vision for the future. It's all about it's broken, it needs to be torn down.

But what comes next?

+1. Bannon goes on and on about how he is a "Lenininst", but Lenin had a pretty clear vision for what he was going to replace the Russian Empire with: Bolshevik Communism. It's true that that went off the rails right away between the Kronstadt Rebellion, the dissolution of the local soviets, and eventually the NEP, but Lenin at least offered some future vision. What is Bannon's vision? Just restoring 1980s America? Restoring the 1950s?

Bannon's vision is "Fill it with whatever makes you happy, and you can pretend others care about. Me? I'm just the force of destruction. I'm a smart, adaptable guy. I do best in chaos. When I watch the world burn, I'm the one with all the wieners."

#6..I thought the debate was good, and here are my bona fides...


"The worst riots since the fall of Communism have swept the Baltics and the south Balkans."
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard on the Telegraph:

I don't know if he correct. What interests me is the social disruption and dislocation being seen in the wake of this Calling Run ( Debt-Deflation Spiral, Deleveraging ). This is the main reason it is silly to allow the run to go on until it stops of its own will. By that time, the least of our problems will be economic. People who see free market ideology as the ideology that will be chosen at the end of this run are sadly mistaken. It is much more likely to be deemed the cause."

Don said...
The important point of Evans-Pritchard's post is that he sees the social disruptions and dislocations that can arise from this crisis. Oddly, many people are assuming that this crisis is business as usual. Had the government's actions been better, that might have been the case, and we still might avert massive unemployment. But we are getting dangerously close to the point in Debt-Deflation that the cure will be nearly as awful as the malady. Employment in that scenario will be much worse than it is now. Then ,all bets are off.

Don the libetarian Democrat and follower of Edmund Burke

February 15, 2009 11:55 AM"

“…exposure to a disruptive peer in classes of 25 during elementary school reduces earnings at age 24 to 28 by 3 percent. "

That's why people who go to all-girls schools where there are no disruptive peers earn so much more than men do as adults. We need to end the wage-gap and make sure men earn as much as women!

What tiny percentage of women attended all-girls elementary schools?

5 - Choosing not to kill yourself can stop your suicide much more effectively. If other individuals want to make another choice, then that's none of your fucking business.

#6 - The result of the debate was a draw.

one thing Scott Adams is right - Trump takes risky steps. And it's not only others who could not stand a heat. It's quite possible, that if Trump keeps adding new problems ( without resolving older ones and Trump creates problems quite regularly -destroying Iran deal, trade war with China, nuclear race with Russia, so every few months - a new serious conflict - but none of old ones is resolved) the only end is a messy disaster. Yes, possibly some conflict situations might resolve well but it is unrealistic to build a pyramid of risks endlessly. Why? Unlike Adams who invents flashy slogans there are more or less well known regularities of complex and risky processes - one can fight difficult situations with responses which are similar in complexity to problems. So one might have luck in one difficult case using vocabulary of 7 year old and 'energy', but if there are few difficult situations - the use of 7 years old vocabulary just always ends badly. For this very reason flashy Adams could not provide examples when a series of problems were resolved. Rather the only thing which came to his mind is to point to those lucky singular cases like with Steve Jobs iPhone solution. And he plainly could not see a difference between his example and what Trump has to deal with due to his actions.

Look, if you are having lunch at your computer with a sandwich with a pickle and a drink you don't care about from a café called "Prague," with a heavy door and a clientele that isn't sure what pride is, even the ones in the fur coats who read Emily Dickenson from time-to-time, there is something seriously wrong with you Sergey, and no, having a business card that you drop in a bucket that says "Sales Engineer" at bug labs does not help. You area victim. Cry for your beloved country once more. Be frank. Stand tall and admit the skirmish is unfixable.

#1: I am impressed to learn that their are gender markets. Any money to be made in them?

1. I can't say enough good things about this well supported, well written, necessary, and long overdue truth bomb.

This notion of Trump being some kind of genius persuader is laughable.

Trump is a one hit wonder whose single hit is racial animosity.

If he were actually persuasive, we would expect his base of support to widen out, but it has held flat;
We would expect the resistance to weaken and move towards his position, but it has actually strengthened and moved away; For example, the support for liberal immigration has risen since he took office.

Trumps support has hit his ceiling, with no room for growth.

Eh, he can be more persuasive than the average politician (certainly more capable than his entire field of opposition for the presidency and two immediate predecessors at least) and still not be able to do much in the face of late 2010s social justice echo chambers, a left wing media centre and racialized US voting patterns (minorities only ever vote for Democrats).

As others have pointed out, Scott Adams is dishonest as hell. He predicted, with 99% certainty, that Trump would win the popular vote in a landslide. This of course did not happen, but Adams and the journalists who write about him like to pretend that he is some kind of brilliant soothsayer. Whenever his predictions fail to come true (which is often), he'll change them after the fact.

Trump's persuasion tactics are not particularly impressive either. He's basically a used car salesman, using bluster, repetition, and hyperbole to swindle his base of morons. When it comes down to negotiating policy with lawmakers and experts, he folds faster than Superman on laundry day, typically agreeing with whoever it is he spoke to last (e.g. establishment Republicans, his fascist lackeys, Fox & Friends).

An actually brilliant master of persuasion would not be the least popular president in history and the laughing stock / embarrassment of the whole planet despite inheriting a booming economy. Take a look instead at Bill Clinton, who enjoyed very high approval ratings even throughout his biggest scandal, and who Republicans were terrified of one-on-one meetings with because he was able to completely change their minds.

He's also wrong about how Steve Jobs handled "Antennagate" -- the Apple response that got all the headlines, and that everyone remembers, was not the one where he said "all smartphones have problems", but when they said "don't hold it like that". In fact it was Consumer Reports who initially said that connection issues were not unique to iPhones.

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