The Right Way to View Competing Political Horrors

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Warren
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Re: The Right Way to View Competing Political Horrors

Post by Warren » 12 Jun 2019, 19:38

JasonL wrote:
12 Jun 2019, 18:57
Mo wrote:
12 Jun 2019, 18:41
If you’re going to talk about balance, then shouldn’t PDs have equal or lower case loads to prosecutors? My point is less about public defenders qua public defenders, but about negative rights requiring positive rights, but somehow not counting as positive rights. The defense of a right should stand on its own, rather than negative = simple and good, positive = incoherent and bad.
I don't think this is true. It is the talking point of every lefty I've ever met who wanted to do anything whatsoever and call it a right, but it doesn't hold. "Oh you want property rights but not a right to police" Literally yes I don't have a right to police as it stands. Something something roads and somalia.

I'd be willing to go so far as rights of process that exist only as contingencies of the state monopoly of force being a special category of rights or something, but they are contingent even in principle. A right to a BLT simply can't pass a test like that. Positive rights are not rights, they are policies and then you can defend them as such. They are subordinated to the defense of negative rights because that's the whole point.
I put it this way: We are endowed with certain rights. They are negative rights. The State is constituted to secure our rights. Securing the rights of the people is the just and proper function of The State.

I'm not sure if that aligns perfectly with what you said. Or perhaps you're trying to get at something else. You keep saying we're off topic, but I can't pin down what the topic is.
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Re: The Right Way to View Competing Political Horrors

Post by Aresen » 12 Jun 2019, 19:59

Jennifer wrote:
12 Jun 2019, 17:31
Aresen wrote:
12 Jun 2019, 12:19
nicole wrote:
12 Jun 2019, 10:00
JasonL wrote:
12 Jun 2019, 09:37
I'm more or less Cowenian on growth. It's the greatest engine of suffering mitigation ever to exist on the earth and by such a large magnitude, if you do something you know will cost a half percent of growth to mitigate some near term unrest, you own that suffering over the long term. You have become a moral monster and I don't care what your other good intentions were. That's if you know it will cost growth. If you don't know, there is an affirmative moral obligation to make the best good faith effort humanly possible to evaluate costs to growth in any scenario where what you want to do could potentially have an effect.
This is similar to how I am except instead of growth, I focus on (anti-)fertility-related policies, because contraception is the actual greatest engine of suffering mitigation ever to exist on the earth. The more that Democrats get into things like family leave, housing policy, etc., the more you have to wonder if their support for abortion, sex education, etc., is preventing more births than they are encouraging through other policies. And I'm starting to have real concerns about that, but it's still better than the other side.
I think in just about every country that has these family leave, child support, and other 'pro-family' policies, the cost of raising kids still outweighs the government support by a wide margin. My personal feeling is 'Why the hell should I have to support your life choices?'
Speaking as another childfree-by-choice: I have some sympathy with that argument, but only to an extent. I mean, I have definitely complained about such people as "This never-married mother of nine quit her McDonald's cashier job after catching pregnant with her ninth child" ... but at the same time, it's not those nine kids' fault that their mom apparently suffers from a pathological inability to learn from her mistakes, and we can't call ourselves a civilized society if those kids are left to starve, or freeze because it's winter in New England and they lack coats and other winter gear.
We can have a whole conversation about the efficacy and ethics of child welfare policies, but the 'pro-family' policies supported by governments are targeted at and overwhelmingly benefit the middle and upper-middle class. They are not primarily promoted as a means of child welfare.
Beside, not all "parents in need of assistance" fall into this category; modern America offers plenty of opportunities to fall into dire financial straits through no fault of your own: illness (or storm damage) not covered by insurance being just one example.

And even describing motherhood and childbirth as a "choice" only goes so far: IIRC 50 percent of American pregnancies are unplanned, while multiple states go out of their way to make getting a safe and legal abortion much more difficult, time-consuming and expensive than it has to be.
Abortion is an entirely separate issue. While the middle and upper classes are less directly affected by abortion bans - which you and I already agree are bad - the broad support of the 'family benefit' comes from them. Also, most western countries already allow legal abortion while having the 'family friendly' policies in place, so this argument is irrelevant outside of Redstate America.
Finally, last but not least: while it is undeniably true that no individual person "needs" to become a parent, the way you "need" to have a functioning heart and lungs and other biological/medical necessities ... but as someone opposed to the extinction of humanity, I say it's obvious that society overall "needs" a certain number of children produced each year, to offset people dying out of it.

So if you're a parent and you do at least a halfway decent job of raising your kid to adulthood -- even if you're doing this for purely "selfish" reasons a la "I want the joys of parenthood for myself, and only give a shit about 'the greater good' so long as it helps me and mine" -- like it or not you're doing something useful and necessary for quote-unquote "society," and I don't think it's a problem if "society"" helps very slightly offset the costs you've taken on, via tax breaks or credits (though, of course, there is definitely room to debate just how high those credits and breaks should be).

At the same time, of course, I agree parenthood should be a choice, and firmly oppose all efforts to prevent people from getting or learning about contraception and abortion, if they want the latter.
This is just an intergenerational formulation of the free rider problem. Whether I benefit from somebody else having kids is irrelevant.
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Re: The Right Way to View Competing Political Horrors

Post by lunchstealer » 13 Jun 2019, 11:01

Warren wrote:
12 Jun 2019, 19:38
JasonL wrote:
12 Jun 2019, 18:57
Mo wrote:
12 Jun 2019, 18:41
If you’re going to talk about balance, then shouldn’t PDs have equal or lower case loads to prosecutors? My point is less about public defenders qua public defenders, but about negative rights requiring positive rights, but somehow not counting as positive rights. The defense of a right should stand on its own, rather than negative = simple and good, positive = incoherent and bad.
I don't think this is true. It is the talking point of every lefty I've ever met who wanted to do anything whatsoever and call it a right, but it doesn't hold. "Oh you want property rights but not a right to police" Literally yes I don't have a right to police as it stands. Something something roads and somalia.

I'd be willing to go so far as rights of process that exist only as contingencies of the state monopoly of force being a special category of rights or something, but they are contingent even in principle. A right to a BLT simply can't pass a test like that. Positive rights are not rights, they are policies and then you can defend them as such. They are subordinated to the defense of negative rights because that's the whole point.
I put it this way: We are endowed with certain rights. They are negative rights. The State is constituted to secure our rights. Securing the rights of the people is the just and proper function of The State.

I'm not sure if that aligns perfectly with what you said. Or perhaps you're trying to get at something else. You keep saying we're off topic, but I can't pin down what the topic is.
I don't think you have to gin up a positive right to counsel on someone else's dime in order to have a negative right not to be deprived of life liberty or property without due process and effective counsel. Negative rights are about people not doing something bad to you. The state can look at a person and say that they don't have effective counsel and either provide it for them or choose not to deprive them of life liberty or property. Now, that would make our criminal justice system unworkable because there would be effectively no way to preserve the rights of the indigent and still enforce their compliance with laws. So as part of the cost of doing criminal justice business, the criminal justice system needs to be providing at least some people with effective counsel on its own dime. But that's not to enforce a positive right to counsel, but to ensure that it does not transgress the negative right to not be deprived of life/liberty/property without defense.
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Re: The Right Way to View Competing Political Horrors

Post by Jennifer » 13 Jun 2019, 17:19

Aresen wrote:
12 Jun 2019, 19:59

We can have a whole conversation about the efficacy and ethics of child welfare policies, but the 'pro-family' policies supported by governments are targeted at and overwhelmingly benefit the middle and upper-middle class. They are not primarily promoted as a means of child welfare.
Sure, but the issue of "precisely what aid or benefits should families get" is distinct from "should they get any at all?"

Abortion is an entirely separate issue. While the middle and upper classes are less directly affected by abortion bans - which you and I already agree are bad - the broad support of the 'family benefit' comes from them. Also, most western countries already allow legal abortion while having the 'family friendly' policies in place, so this argument is irrelevant outside of Redstate America.
Well, I'm currently smack in the middle of redstate America, so the argument is sadly relevant to me. (Indeed, I live in the specific red state that is SO determined to outlaw abortion, it will apparently sic the law on me if I catch pregnant and leave the state long enough to get a safe and legal abortion elsewhere!) Which, combined with the statistics "No form of contraception is 100 percent reliable" and "50 percent of American pregnancies are unplanned," gives the lie to the statement "Parenthood is an entirely optional choice."
This is just an intergenerational formulation of the free rider problem. Whether I benefit from somebody else having kids is irrelevant.
I don't think "tax breaks for people with dependents" is a "free rider" issue, anymore than letting people deduct medical expenses from their taxes is. And I have a hard time even fathoming the mindset of someone who might think "Hmm, well, this guy's annual pretax income is exactly identical to mine ... yet his actual tax bill is lower because HE got to deduct the cost of his appendectomy! Why is our government 'punishing' me for not having my appendix removed?" Or, ""I am furious that those parents are no longer being charged sales tax on their baby's diapers! Speaking as a childfree who doesn't need to buy diapers in the first place: I feel that somehow I am being forced to subsidize your reproductive choices."
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Re: The Right Way to View Competing Political Horrors

Post by Aresen » 13 Jun 2019, 17:47

Jennifer wrote:
13 Jun 2019, 17:19
Aresen wrote:
12 Jun 2019, 19:59
This is just an intergenerational formulation of the free rider problem. Whether I benefit from somebody else having kids is irrelevant.
I don't think "tax breaks for people with dependents" is a "free rider" issue, anymore than letting people deduct medical expenses from their taxes is. And I have a hard time even fathoming the mindset of someone who might think "Hmm, well, this guy's annual pretax income is exactly identical to mine ... yet his actual tax bill is lower because HE got to deduct the cost of his appendectomy! Why is our government 'punishing' me for not having my appendix removed?" Or, ""I am furious that those parents are no longer being charged sales tax on their baby's diapers! Speaking as a childfree who doesn't need to buy diapers in the first place: I feel that somehow I am being forced to subsidize your reproductive choices."
That's disingenuous, Jennifer. The argument you posed and that I responded to was that I (or 'society') benefit from others having children. However true it may be, it is still a free rider problem - just as much as the example of the man who puts up a streetlight for his own purposes but helps his neighbours make their way home at night.

However, you are conflating this with the issue that those getting the child benefits or the medical deduction are being favored by the government. This is not a 'free rider' problem; it is an issue as to whether it is appropriate for the government to favor one group or another based on their situation.
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Re: The Right Way to View Competing Political Horrors

Post by Jennifer » 13 Jun 2019, 17:57

Aresen wrote:
13 Jun 2019, 17:47
Jennifer wrote:
13 Jun 2019, 17:19
Aresen wrote:
12 Jun 2019, 19:59
This is just an intergenerational formulation of the free rider problem. Whether I benefit from somebody else having kids is irrelevant.
I don't think "tax breaks for people with dependents" is a "free rider" issue, anymore than letting people deduct medical expenses from their taxes is. And I have a hard time even fathoming the mindset of someone who might think "Hmm, well, this guy's annual pretax income is exactly identical to mine ... yet his actual tax bill is lower because HE got to deduct the cost of his appendectomy! Why is our government 'punishing' me for not having my appendix removed?" Or, ""I am furious that those parents are no longer being charged sales tax on their baby's diapers! Speaking as a childfree who doesn't need to buy diapers in the first place: I feel that somehow I am being forced to subsidize your reproductive choices."
That's disingenuous, Jennifer. The argument you posed and that I responded to was that I (or 'society') benefit from others having children. However true it may be, it is still a free rider problem - just as much as the example of the man who puts up a streetlight for his own purposes but helps his neighbours make their way home at night.
Ah, I misunderstood you. But who exactly is the "free rider" here -- the parents whose spawning habits have almost certainly resulted in measurable, objective financial losses for them (excluding the relative handful of exploitative "stage parent" types), or us childfrees who enjoy the benefits of NOT living in a dying society where we rank among the youngest members (or at least, the youngest members of the generation for which you can assume "Yeah, almost everybody is functionally literate and numerate, because they all went to school whether their parents could afford tuition or not") -- and we're not the ones spending our money and free time and losing sleep and dealing with all the other downsides of raising a thoroughly helpless newborn into a functional human adult?
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Re: The Right Way to View Competing Political Horrors

Post by Aresen » 13 Jun 2019, 18:19

Presumably, the 'free rider' is the unpaying beneficiary - me.
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Re: The Right Way to View Competing Political Horrors

Post by Mo » 13 Jun 2019, 18:34

These people were mad at me and had the temerity to ask me to get fired for speech I disagree with. I dislike their views, so we should ban their speech and kick them out of the country.

https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/273966 ... son-d-hill
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Re: The Right Way to View Competing Political Horrors

Post by Jennifer » 13 Jun 2019, 21:02

Jesus Christ. IMO, despite his tenure, maybe he oughtta be fired for trying to get his students banished from the country. Reminds me of that bigoted teacher in Texas who got canned last week after sending tweets urging Trump to investigate her "illegal" immigrant students at her school.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/texas-teac ... mmigrants/
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Re: The Right Way to View Competing Political Horrors

Post by Jennifer » 13 Jun 2019, 21:09

Come to think of it, perhaps there's a clue here regarding the thread topic -- "the right way to view competing political horrors" -- ANY political position involves looking at certain people or groups of people and saying "They're part of the problem in need of fixing." (Among those of us who skew "libertarian" those problem people or problem groups include, like, "the DEA" or "the cops who engage in civil asset forfeiture" or things like that.) So maybe it's worth judging a political group (at least partly) by "Who are the 'problem people' they want government to solve"?

And in that vein -- I really dislike the fact that for practically my entire adult life, the Republicans said the "problem people" were not the ones with actual wealth and power/legal authority for the most part -- no, it's always been people like "poor Mexican immigrants with landscaping jobs" or "women who think their health insurance ought to cover health issues involving female-specific body parts" or "gay people who want to marry each other" or "these Mexican-ancestry students at my high school" and whatnot.
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Re: The Right Way to View Competing Political Horrors

Post by Aresen » 13 Jun 2019, 23:56

Mo wrote:
13 Jun 2019, 18:34
These people were mad at me and had the temerity to ask me to get fired for speech I disagree with. I dislike their views, so we should ban their speech and kick them out of the country.

https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/273966 ... son-d-hill
Jennifer wrote:
13 Jun 2019, 21:02
Jesus Christ. IMO, despite his tenure, maybe he oughtta be fired for trying to get his students banished from the country. Reminds me of that bigoted teacher in Texas who got canned last week after sending tweets urging Trump to investigate her "illegal" immigrant students at her school.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/texas-teac ... mmigrants/
Can I just hate everybody yet?
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The Right Way to View Competing Political Horrors

Post by Mo » 14 Jun 2019, 17:30

Adam Serwer just spit some hot fire here about the conservative right’s reaction to liberalism. I would question some of it as there are corners of the far left that did go against liberalism for the reasons listed, but the first paragraph is quite the indictment.
What is notable is that crisis of faith in liberalism for this faction of the religious right comes only now. It is true, as The New York Times’ Ross Douthat writes, that “liberalism has never done as well as it thinks at resolving its own crises.” Yet this faction did not abandon its faith in liberalism’s capacity to solve problems during the decades of Jim Crow. It did not cry, “To hell with the liberal order!” over mass incarceration. It did not erupt in fury over the shattering of Latino families at the border, or the Trump-made aftermath of the catastrophe in Puerto Rico. It did not question whether liberalism had failed after the first, third, fourth or 15th mass shooting at a school, or because it is typical for Americans to beg strangers on the internet for money to cover their health-care costs or after an untimely death. The state of emergency occurred when, and only when, liberal democracy ceased to guarantee victory in the culture war. The indignity of fighting for one’s rights within a democratic framework is fine for others, but it is beneath them.

Some perspective is in order. Douthat looks to the future and asks whether a society “dominated by virtual reality and eugenics and mood-stabilizing drugs, post-familial and post-religious and functionally post-human,” would “deserve the political loyalty of (let us say) a traditional Christian or Muslim, just because it still affords them some First Amendment protections? It is reasonable to say that it might not.”

Black Americans did not abandon liberal democracy because of slavery, Jim Crow, and the systematic destruction of whatever wealth they managed to accumulate; instead they took up arms in two world wars to defend it. Japanese Americans did not reject liberal democracy because of internment or the racist humiliation of Asian exclusion; they risked life and limb to preserve it. Latinos did not abandon liberal democracy because of “Operation Wetback,” or Proposition 187, or because of a man who won a presidential election on the strength of his hostility toward Latino immigrants. Gay, lesbian, and trans Americans did not abandon liberal democracy over decades of discrimination and abandonment in the face of an epidemic. This is, in part, because doing so would be tantamount to giving the state permission to destroy them, a thought so foreign to these defenders of the supposedly endangered religious right that the possibility has not even occurred to them. But it is also because of a peculiar irony of American history: The American creed has no more devoted adherents than those who have been historically denied its promises, and no more fair-weather friends than those who have taken them for granted.
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Re: The Right Way to View Competing Political Horrors

Post by Hugh Akston » 14 Jun 2019, 17:53

Those all seem like perfectly cromulent reasons to abandon liberal democracy. The state doesn't exactly need permission to destroy you.
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Re: The Right Way to View Competing Political Horrors

Post by Mo » 14 Jun 2019, 17:55

They’re definitely more legitimate reasons to abandon it than the fact that somewhere there’s a drag queen reading hour.
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Re: The Right Way to View Competing Political Horrors

Post by Hugh Akston » 14 Jun 2019, 17:56

fer rilla
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Re: The Right Way to View Competing Political Horrors

Post by Jennifer » 15 Jun 2019, 17:24

Jennifer wrote:
13 Jun 2019, 21:09
Come to think of it, perhaps there's a clue here regarding the thread topic -- "the right way to view competing political horrors" -- ANY political position involves looking at certain people or groups of people and saying "They're part of the problem in need of fixing." (Among those of us who skew "libertarian" those problem people or problem groups include, like, "the DEA" or "the cops who engage in civil asset forfeiture" or things like that.) So maybe it's worth judging a political group (at least partly) by "Who are the 'problem people' they want government to solve"?

And in that vein -- I really dislike the fact that for practically my entire adult life, the Republicans said the "problem people" were not the ones with actual wealth and power/legal authority for the most part -- no, it's always been people like "poor Mexican immigrants with landscaping jobs" or "women who think their health insurance ought to cover health issues involving female-specific body parts" or "gay people who want to marry each other" or "these Mexican-ancestry students at my high school" and whatnot.
On the same note, but phrased better and more succinctly, here's a post I saw on Facebook today (plus a description for those who can't see Facebook embeds):



The image is a screenshot of two Trump tweets: one from 18 aug 2018 saying "Censorship is a very dangerous thing & absolutely impossible to police. If you are weeding out Fake News, there is nothing so Fake as CNN & MSNBC, & yet I do not ask that their sick behavior be removed. I get used to it and watch with a grain of salt, or don't watch at all." Second one from today, June 15, saying "All in for Senator Steve Daines as he proposes an Amendment for a strong BAN on burning our American Flag. A no brainer!"

This image is accompanied by a quote from Adam Bates: "More evidence for the argument that the right wing is every bit as PC as the left, but where the left polices speech to protect marginalized communities, the right uses it to protect institutions of power and violence."
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Re: The Right Way to View Competing Political Horrors

Post by dhex » 15 Jun 2019, 20:20

Goody reductionist shit powers Fb servers. Probably got a bunch of 2nd year grad students in a morty machine as a fuel source.
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Re: The Right Way to View Competing Political Horrors

Post by Shem » 21 Jun 2019, 00:46

JasonL wrote:
08 Jun 2019, 09:27
Economic growth matters more than almost everything else in a practical sense.
This is too broad. Trade is the most important thing. Can people buy and sell goods and services from each other? Is law and culture arranged to encourage transparency to enable people to trade with fewer worries of being taken advantage of? Focus just on economic growth, and you can wind up trading immediate value for a system that provides less now but more as a result of sustainability.
dead_elvis wrote:
12 Jun 2019, 13:20
I do get perturbed at how much lefties sometimes push this idea that restraint is impossible and that there aren't 5 billion ways to get off with each other that don't involve impregnation.
It sort of depends on who you are and where you live. Some places, there really aren't 5 billion ways. Some other places, there are, but social sanction means a lot of people will never know about them, and even if they do, they'll never get the education to make the most of what they have (even condoms do require a basic level of knowledge to use properly, and a lot of teenagers don't wind up getting that). In that situation, the arguments you hear can start to sound and even become pretty similar to "we are powerless to keep these people from fucking."
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Re: The Right Way to View Competing Political Horrors

Post by JasonL » 21 Jun 2019, 10:06

Shem wrote:
21 Jun 2019, 00:46
JasonL wrote:
08 Jun 2019, 09:27
Economic growth matters more than almost everything else in a practical sense.
This is too broad. Trade is the most important thing. Can people buy and sell goods and services from each other? Is law and culture arranged to encourage transparency to enable people to trade with fewer worries of being taken advantage of? Focus just on economic growth, and you can wind up trading immediate value for a system that provides less now but more as a result of sustainability.
I agree with the primary focus you have there as I think those things are key to growth, along with other things like the much pooped upon capital formation. Where I get nervous is in the details of the sustainability analysis. It is true that we don't want to burn through everything, but it is also true that if Paul Erlich had his way, or Greenpeace or any number of other green groups, we'd all be a lot worse off. They set the margins of tradeoff at zero to negative value for continued growth. Explicitly seeking to stop it in many cases. Where I'd put the line is, yes we don't want to despoil the planet beyond habitability, but long run compounding effects of growth will completely dominate most sustainability arguments that are made by those types of people.

That's not to say I set the green margin at zero value going the other way, there are lots in between policies like I'd much rather tax carbon than tax income - that may be the purest policy expression of how I look at this.

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Re: The Right Way to View Competing Political Horrors

Post by Shem » 21 Jun 2019, 12:13

JasonL wrote:
21 Jun 2019, 10:06
Shem wrote:
21 Jun 2019, 00:46
JasonL wrote:
08 Jun 2019, 09:27
Economic growth matters more than almost everything else in a practical sense.
This is too broad. Trade is the most important thing. Can people buy and sell goods and services from each other? Is law and culture arranged to encourage transparency to enable people to trade with fewer worries of being taken advantage of? Focus just on economic growth, and you can wind up trading immediate value for a system that provides less now but more as a result of sustainability.
I agree with the primary focus you have there as I think those things are key to growth, along with other things like the much pooped upon capital formation. Where I get nervous is in the details of the sustainability analysis. It is true that we don't want to burn through everything, but it is also true that if Paul Erlich had his way, or Greenpeace or any number of other green groups, we'd all be a lot worse off. They set the margins of tradeoff at zero to negative value for continued growth. Explicitly seeking to stop it in many cases. Where I'd put the line is, yes we don't want to despoil the planet beyond habitability, but long run compounding effects of growth will completely dominate most sustainability arguments that are made by those types of people.

That's not to say I set the green margin at zero value going the other way, there are lots in between policies like I'd much rather tax carbon than tax income - that may be the purest policy expression of how I look at this.
I didn't necessarily mean environmental sustainability; I meant sustainability of institutions. People can tolerate a lot of inequality of outcome if they have the sense that the process is fair, but for that to happen, you need to do things to encourage transparency and prevent too much benefit as a result of unequal information. You can drive a lot of economic growth by letting that go, but doing that makes people feel screwed, and if you're afraid of populism above all else, you have to do everything you possibly can to avoid that, because populists feed on that "I'm being screwed" feeling.
"VOTE SHEMOCRACY! You will only have to do it once!" -Loyalty Officer Aresen

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JasonL
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Re: The Right Way to View Competing Political Horrors

Post by JasonL » 21 Jun 2019, 13:22

Oh. Yes I agree with that. Things like that are wrapped into my stipulation of long term growth in my formulation.

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Tuco
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Re: The Right Way to View Competing Political Horrors

Post by Tuco » 23 Jun 2019, 09:57

Aresen wrote:
13 Jun 2019, 23:56

Can I just hate everybody yet?
Try it. It's liberating.

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Jennifer
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Re: The Right Way to View Competing Political Horrors

Post by Jennifer » Yesterday, 01:33

The official Twitter account of the Oregon Republican Party said this about the armed militiamen threatening the state capitol:


Heavily armed militia lays siege to Oregon's Capitol as Senate Democrats cower in fear. #orpol #orleg #capkillsjobs #hb2020 #Oregon11 #orcot
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b

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Jennifer
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Re: The Right Way to View Competing Political Horrors

Post by Jennifer » Yesterday, 01:35

[Reads responses] Ooh, and they used a fake photo, too:

"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b

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