This Is The Progressive Mind At Work

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Wehrwolfen, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. Wehrwolfen
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    Wehrwolfen Senior Member

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    This Is The Progressive Mind At Work ​


    By: Curt



    It’s been 80 years since Stalin’s brutal reign. Close to 150 years since the end of slavery in the States.

    But now we have progressives arguing a way back to slavery and communism…for our own good of course: (h/t JeffG)


    In the United States, as in many other countries, obesity is a serious problem. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to do something about it. Influenced by many experts, he believes that soda is a contributing factor to increasing obesity rates and that large portion sizes are making the problem worse. In 2012, he proposed to ban the sale of sweetened drinks in containers larger than sixteen ounces at restaurants, delis, theaters, stadiums, and food courts. The New York City Board of Health approved the ban.

    Many people were outraged by what they saw as an egregious illustration of the nanny state in action.

    …The United States is facing a series of serious disputes about the boundaries of paternalism. The most obvious example is the “individual mandate” in the Affordable Care Act, upheld by the Supreme Court by a 5–4 vote, but still opposed by many critics, who seek to portray it as a form of unacceptable paternalism.

    When society seeks to overrule the individual’s judgment, Mill wrote, it does so on the basis of “general presumptions,” and these “may be altogether wrong, and even if right, are as likely as not to be misapplied to individual cases.” If the goal is to ensure that people’s lives go well, Mill contends that the best solution is for public officials to allow people to find their own path.

    Yes. Government does NOT know best, the individual does.

    But wait….argues Cass Sunstein….maybe that’s not correct:

    Sarah Conly’s illuminating book Against Autonomy provides such a discussion. Her starting point is that in light of the recent findings, we should be able to agree that Mill was quite wrong about the competence of human beings as choosers. “We are too fat, we are too much in debt, and we save too little for the future.” With that claim in mind, Conly insists that coercion should not be ruled out of bounds. She wants to go far beyond nudges. In her view, the appropriate government response to human errors depends not on high-level abstractions about the value of choice, but on pragmatic judgments about the costs and benefits of paternalistic interventions. Even when there is only harm to self, she thinks that government may and indeed must act paternalistically so long as the benefits justify the costs.

    Conly is quite aware that her view runs up against widespread intuitions and commitments. For many people, a benefit may consist precisely in their ability to choose freely even if the outcome is disappointing. She responds that autonomy is “not valuable enough to offset what we lose by leaving people to their own autonomous choices.” Conly is aware that people often prefer to choose freely and may be exceedingly frustrated if government overrides their choices. If a paternalistic intervention would cause frustration, it is imposing a cost, and that cost must count in the overall calculus. But Conly insists that people’s frustration is merely one consideration among many. If a paternalistic intervention can prevent long-term harm—for example, by eliminating risks of premature death—it might well be justified even if people are keenly frustrated by it.

    …A natural objection is that autonomy is an end in itself and not merely a means. On this view, people should be entitled to choose as they like, even if they end up choosing poorly. In a free society, people must be allowed to make their own mistakes, and to the extent possible learn from them, rather than facing correction and punishment from bureaucratic meddlers. Conly responds that when government makes (some) decisions for us, we gain not only in personal welfare but also in autonomy, if only because our time is freed up to deal with what most concerns us
    You see, when the Roman empire, when the Egyptians, when Europe and the States had slavery it was really only for their own good. It freed up their time to do really important stuff. No more mundane stuff, that was all decided for them. Sounds swell. I mean it’s for your own good. All those government workers are sooooo much smarter than you and have only your best interest at heart.​
    WOW!

    This is the mind of a progressive. It’s the mind of a facist. It’s a the mind of a slave holder and a communist.

    This is the mind of a sick people.

    [Excerpt] and (Snips)

    Read more:
    http://floppingaces.net/2013/02/21/this-is-the-progressive-mind-at-work/
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013
  2. Mr. Shaman
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    Mr. Shaman Senior Member

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    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChrPMsg-NLQ]Al Franken dissects Fox News Report - YouTube[/ame]​
     
  3. g5000
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    g5000 Gold Member

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    I hate totalitarian collectivists.

    But we brought this shit on ourselves. As soon as we began making people pay a tax penalty for not buying a house or not getting married or not having children or not buying the right refrigerator or not buying the right washing machine or not buying the right energy sources, we jumped on the slippery slope to the tax penalty for not buying the right insurance. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

    A little late to be fucking bitching about it now. Everything was fine and dandy as long as you were getting your tax break that someone else had to make up the difference for, amiright?
     
  4. g5000
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    g5000 Gold Member

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    Listen to one of the arguments made by people opposed to gay marriage. They say the government gives tax breaks to married people so they will reproduce.

    If that isn't collectivism, what is? If that isn't "paternalistic intervention", what is?

    I guess when your side does it, it is benign. When the other side does it, it's fascism, amiright?
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013
  5. Wehrwolfen
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    Wehrwolfen Senior Member

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    Cass Sunstein’s Demon​



    by Richard Fernandez
    January 26th, 2013


    Hamilton Nolan of Gawker was recently incensed at the spectacle of “dozens of county sheriffs publicly declaring that they won’t enforce the Obama administration’s new gun laws, should they pass. ” Nolan writes saracastically:


    Because that’s what good sheriffs do: unilaterally decide what is and is not constitutional, based upon their constitutional law degrees close reading of Fox Nation - Hot headlines, opinions, and video from around the web.


    What would Nolan make of this declaration by the NLRB’s Chairman that it will ignore a federal court’s decision finding their commissioners were illegally appointed on the grounds that they have “important work to do”?


    Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit issued a decision finding that the Jan. 4, 2012 recess appointments of three members to the National Labor Relations Board were invalid. In response, Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce issued the following statement:

    “The Board respectfully disagrees with today’s decision and believes that the President’s position in the matter will ultimately be upheld. It should be noted that this order applies to only one specific case, Noel Canning, and that similar questions have been raised in more than a dozen cases pending in other courts of appeals.

    In the meantime, the Board has important work to do. The parties who come to us seek and expect careful consideration and resolution of their cases, and for that reason, we will continue to perform our statutory duties and issue decisions.”

    If Nolan’s reaction can be predicted by a Gallup survey he’ll probably think that the NLRB’s defiance is just fine but the sheriff’s is plain reprehensible. The Gallup polling organization’s latest survey shows the American public is more polarized than ever before. And that means in plain English, that there are two groups in America living in increasingly separate worlds.


    PRINCETON, NJ — During his fourth year in office, an average of 86% of Democrats and 10% of Republicans approved of the job Barack Obama did as president. That 76-percentage-point gap ties George W. Bush’s fourth year as the most polarized years in Gallup records.


    The political and cultural divide has been growing for some years now, and it’s bothering some pundits. According to Kathy Cripps. “Pew Research Study has documented polarization over the past twenty five years, noting a widening gap between how Republicans and Democrats have responded to survey questions about personal values”.


    The political divide is so deep that it apparently influences how people make consumer choices. When it comes to fast food, Democrats opt for Wendy’s, while Republicans seem to value the freedom of choice (or is it the freshness?) of Subway. The NFL, animal planet, Sony, Starbucks: These are Democratic choices, apparently, while the History Channel, Major League Baseball, Sharp, and Dunkin’ Donuts are red state picks.

    Long regarded as a disturbing trend by political observers, polarization has gotten the attention of business leaders in recent years. Morgan Stanley’s chief U.S. economist has estimated that political gridlock will cost the US economy a half point in GDP during this year’s second half. Over a third of companies queried by Morgan Stanley cited paralysis around the Federal budget as a major reason they’re currently restraining their own budget spending. As the President of one industry group was quoted as saying, “It’s totally irresponsible and absolutely insane. “The two parties are really dug in. Companies see the writing on the wall and business decisions are now being made on this.”

    Affecting consumer choices? Then it must really be serious. The key to breaking down this gridlock, according to Cass Sunstein, is promoting conversation between the diverging groups. He argues that if they each buy each other a coke, to use the advertising metaphor, they’ll get more peace and harmony between them. He wrote:


    A few years ago, I participated in some experiments designed to shed light on how people’s political beliefs are formed. My co-authors and I assembled a number of people in Colorado into all-liberal groups and all-conservative groups. We asked the groups to discuss three issues: climate change, affirmative action and civil unions for same-sex couples…

    Our findings were simple. On all three issues, both liberal and conservative groups became more unified and more extreme after talking to one another. Not only in their public verdicts but also in their private, anonymous statements of views. Discussions with one another made conservatives more skeptical of climate change and more hostile to affirmative action and same-sex unions — while liberals showed exactly the opposite pattern.

    So why not multiply these experimental situations? Why not start a Federal program to get people to talk to one another. The problem with such experiments is that they require the application of external energy to create Sunstein’s desired state. That makes them anything but natural; in fact it requires they be funded.

    His experiment has similarities to Maxwell’s hypothetical Demon, in which a microscopic intelligent being segregates a container of molecules into two different groups gas at different temperatures, apparently violating the law of thermodynamic without actually doing so. In Sunstein’s case the situation is reversed. His demon takes two populations that are drifting apart and recombines them by forcing them and achieving a kind of convergence.

    Critics of Maxwell’s demon argue that it is simply a word game that conceals a dodge. The defiance of thermodynamics is only smoke and mirrors because Maxwell’s demon never actually earns his keep.


    Several physicists have presented calculations that show that the second law of thermodynamics will not actually be violated, if a more complete analysis is made of the whole system including the demon. The essence of the physical argument is to show, by calculation, that any demon must “generate” more entropy segregating the molecules than it could ever eliminate by the method described. That is, it would take more thermodynamic work to gauge the speed of the molecules and allow them to selectively pass through the opening between A and B than the amount of energy gained by the difference of temperature caused by this.

    What would Sunstein’s consensus society cost? One can imagine a situation where two different populations are diverging because they can more efficiently exist apart than to adapt to another group. The issue then becomes whether the effort required by Sunstein’s demon to keep them together is worth the ticket.

    Sometimes it isn’t. This is why countries declare independence or clubs split up or why couples end up in divorce. In such cases the demon fails to justify itself and they’re simply better off apart. But when there’s an economic dependency between two diverging populations a further problem arises. The one can’t let the other go and like Pharaoh and the Hebrews, keep the other however hated, within the fold.

    The original Federal structure of the United States solved the problem of minimizing the cost of building a civil society between diverse groups by using loose coupling. It still required Sunstein’s demon but greatly lessened its cost by reducing the number of points on which they had to agree. This limited the dependence of one group upon any other by reason of economy; they could differ yet successfully coexist because their enforced consensus did not cost each more concessions than it could bear. By contrast a fully centralized system would require a degree of uniformity that would be expensive to achieve.

    To return to Sunstein’s experiment, it is clear that the more points on which the conservatives and liberals in the room had to agree the higher the wage of the demon.

    The most perverse outcome occurs when Sunstein’s demon is actually a losing proposition that must be maintained because a centralized system is desired at all costs. People are taxed more for the purpose of maintaining the centralization than for consensus; and the only hope of the music continuing is to so improve indoctrination, for want of a better term; that the volonte generale can be enforced. The economic survival of the centralized system becomes completely dependent on the continued funding of the demon. It becomes, not a case of “I want to buy the world a coke” but “I have to buy the world a coke”.

    [Excerpt]

    read more:
    Belmont Club » Cass Sunstein?s Demon
     

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