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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Behind Enemy Lines

It was only a matter of days until Crooked Timber (which recently starred in Progressives on Parade) delivered on the Duck Dynasty kerfuffle.

John Holbo, a philosophy professor at the University of Singapore, alleged he had predicted A&E would cave, because money. Apparently not worthy of mention was the fact that A&E's ignominious collapse came with unseemly haste, and without even a hint of an apology, or even a nod in the general direction of one.

Were I truly devious, I might hypothesize that the whole episode was engineered as part of a vast liberal media conspiracy to keep the GOP boxed as a regional ethnic party.

Seriously: even NRO went for a HuffPo-style ‘stand with Phil’ slideshow. (You can click it after reading Steyn’s column on “The Age of Intolerance”.) Man, there’s no way GOP outreach proceeds by convincing lots of undecideds this sort of ‘the only intolerance is intolerance of intolerance!’ double-talk is the bright future of freedom.

Up until now, I have largely stayed out of the progressive fever swamps. However, several things caused me to abandon caution: a lot of time in hotels, the conviction that progressives and GLAAD had tried to perpetrate a character assassination, and this:

[#25] Get more misty eyed about how, while you decry the GOP, the firing of the Duck Dynasty Patriarch for saying that he never saw a black person mistreated in Jim Crow Louisiana, and that that black people were “happy” before civil rights–so much so that they were a-singing in the fields as they worked, and they weren’t singing the blues …

To which I responded:

[#27] Oh, for pete’s sake. Here is what he actually said:

I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field…. They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!… Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.

It is obvious to anyone without an axe to grind that he never saw blacks being treated any differently than he was, and that they had a nobility that welfare and entitlements destroyed.

Now you may disagree with his assessment of the Great Society et al; although it is worth keeping in mind he is echoing Patrick Moynihan, among others. But you have absolutely no basis upon which to disagree with the factual elements of what he said; to do so amounts to, on precisely zero evidence, calling him a liar.

Very classy.

Which ignited a 527 comment thread. Did I mention I spend a lot of time in hotels?

Greatly condensed:

My position: Calling someone a racist, or a liar, and especially both without cause is very nasty. He said nothing racist; rather, his point is about welfare, not blacks. Progressives are not in a position to contradict his first hand experience, so calling him a racist (or liar, or idiot) on that account is baseless. Doing so, despite that, is clear evidence of the progressive totalitarian reflex: those who disagree aren't even entitled to their own experiences, and the goal is to first demonize, then delegitimize the speaker. As to charges of homophobia, GLAAD is setting itself up as the arbiter of rightthink and rightreligion, and is demanding Robertson bow to them.

Their position: You are defending someone against being called a racist; therefore, you are a racist. It doesn't matter that he said nothing about Jim Crow, therefore Robertson is okay with it, therefore racist. John Holbo, a philosophy professor and author of the post, decides his inference powers are sufficient to determine Robertson's racist meaning, even if there are no racist words, or evident intent. Anyone who defends him is an idiot. And lynchings. And obviously widespread abuse of blacks, therefore Robertson is a racist, idiot, and liar.

I found several things amazing … no … appalling about the thread. Not the amazingly antagonistic tenor — that's internet 101 — but rather the way that nearly all the commenters proved my argument for me: that progressives are inherently totalitarian, and are immune to anything contradicting their progressiveness.

They immediately insisted that Robertson was lying about seeing black sharecroppers mistreated. Yet when I noted that The Immortal Life of Hentrietta Lacks which included a lengthy description of her life growing up poor in the 1920s south, neglected to mention any mistreatment, then so much the worse for the book. One of the very few to seriously consider my point, Mao Cheng Ji, even went so far as to read histories of black sharecroppers, and noticed the same thing.

So much the worse for those histories, then, because nothing may contradict the progressive narrative.

Nor could the fact that the Robertson family adopted a half black child.

But ignoring reality isn't enough to exhaust the progressive mind, so they invented some by vandalizing (#312, 321) and eliding (#345, like our own Harry Eagar did here) Robertson's words.

By the end of the thing, they had gone the full progressive monty: demanding he not be allowed to preach his false religion, and insisting it is OK to prevent incorrect speech, so as to avoid spreading thoughtcrime. And a philosophy professor to the very end thought his inferences to be the gold standard of reality.

The eeriness of the whole thing is being able to see how when progressives get power, murder is never very far behind.

The irony of the whole thing is delicious. Progressives attacked Robertson because they hate his kind.

281 comments:

1 – 200 of 281   Newer›   Newest»
Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

I went for the work of reading up the thread. Or some of it.

I can tell you gave them a run for their money. My favorite quote from you:

"Until you get that — even if you don’t agree with it — then your comments amount to nothing more than a dog criticizing logarithms."

Not my style, but definitely a bold one.

Howard said...

Progressives play second fiddle to no one when it comes to intolerance.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Howard;

But clearly that's not racist in anyway, because Fox News!

Hey Skipper said...

I can understand why people are in favor more collectivism and less individualism. I don't agree with them, at least in part because many of my entering arguments are value laden, and therefore are largely beyond argument. But I can at least see how they got to their position, and I'm not the least concerned they will perpetrate evil in pursuit of their goals, or even more evil once having attained them.

Clovis is a good example. I don't agree with him on many issues, but I am convinced his only path to obtaining his preferred ends is persuasion, not coercion or demonization.

But after that slog at CT, I am no closer to comprehending the Progressive mind. I think anyone other than a Progressive would find that whole thing an exercise in self-caricature, or a very earnest attempt to prove every charge I have made about progressives.

Even more puzzling was a philosophy professor persisting in what appeared to me, as a non-philosopher*, gross philosophical errors.

Absolute certainty is a very frightening thing.

*Okay, more accurately, I cannot think of a way in which the world would be worse off if philosophy was to vanish without a trace.


Clovis:

I didn't know you are a glutton for punishment.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Skipper;

But most of Clovis' ends cannot be achieved without coercion. For instance, universal health care. I couldn't opt out of such a system, I will be coerced in to participating. And not everyone has to be persuaded, only a working majority. Those in the minority will coerced, not persuaded.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,


You compared the guys to dogs barking at a logarithms table and somehow I end up being the masochist? I only pointed out the provocation was a bold one. Of the kind that would be solved by a "who is the fastest gun" contest in an Old West movie.


If I really had the powers of coercion, I would turn you and AOG into more precise provocateurs, since I have no idea what are my own ends to divine what you guys are talking about.

As for universal healthcare, AOG, that's can be as coercive as any of the thousand things you already pay with your taxes: people vote if they want public funded healthcare, then institute how to pay that with new taxes. That process is usually called democracy. You guys inaugurated its reintroduction in the modern world, and now you tell me I am the menace?

And for the record, I do agree that the ACA is a more coercive then the picture above - as it happens, that's also your own invention, and fortunately we did not copy this one yet down here.

Harry Eagar said...

Robertson did not ssy, 'when I was 17, I never saw black people unhappy'; he said, 'I say today that black people were happy when I was 17.'

This not from some derelict on the street but a preacher and teacher.

Maybe he didn't understand Jim Crow when he was 17. Very believable. But to say, 50 years later, that everything was better then is nonsense. He's either a jackass or a racist, defending in 2014 the conditions in Monroe County in 1960.

Most likely he's a jackass and a racist.

Unlike some who entered the fray without knowing anything about Robertson, I had seen him in action, I understood (because he is very like the people I grew up among) the kind of violent, racist creep that used to fill the southern backwoods.

Had Skipper known that Robertson advocated threatening a 14-year-old boy dating his granddaughter with gunfire, perhaps he would have hesitated to wrap himself up in Duck Dynasty camo. Perhaps not.

But if defending Jim Crow in 2014 isn't racist, it's hard to imagine what could be.


Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] You compared the guys to dogs barking at a logarithms table and somehow I end up being the masochist?

There's probably a language barrier thing going on here -- I was only trying to convey some amazement that you plowed through the whole thing.

[AOG:] But most of Clovis' ends cannot be achieved without coercion.

What Clovis said. There are all manner of things in any functioning society that government coerces.

That sort of thing isn't what I meant. Rather, I was referring to the totalitarian coercion that is Progressives default setting. GLAAD is the perfect example -- demonstrate fealty to their demands, or else.

[Harry:] Robertson did not say, 'when I was 17, I never saw black people unhappy'; he said, 'I say today that black people were happy when I was 17.'

Here you make precisely the same gross error that Dr. Holbo made over at CT.

You inserted your own meaning into his words, and you get there by refusing to acknowledge what the guy actually said.

And the danger sign is that you asserted Robertson said somethings, and put those things in quotes, yet neither is anything Robertson said.

That is, at the very least, cheating.

And then you further your error by saying Robertson was talking about "black people" (your words, not his). But he wasn't; he was talking about black sharecroppers -- the only blacks he knew at that age.

But wait, there's more. You, as with the totalitarians at CT, have assumed for yourself the authority to pass judgment on the validity of his first hand experience.

And there's more more. Robertson's clear meaning -- which progressives only avoid by torturing his words to death, and then a bit more -- is that many things for many blacks have gotten worse since Jim Crow. Do you care to dispute that?

As if that isn't already more enough, you are also trotting out a complete travesty against logic: not(B) = A

Had Skipper known that Robertson advocated threatening a 14-year-old boy dating his granddaughter with gunfire, perhaps he would have hesitated to wrap himself up in Duck Dynasty camo. Perhaps not.

Just in case you are wondering, I assume that every such assertion you make, without a substantiating link, is wrong.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Skipper, Clovis;

I don't think those things can be separated. Once you've made the philosophical decision that it is OK to coerce people to do things for their own good, you've started down the slippery slope that ends with GLAAD.

Hey Skipper said...

AOG:

Sorry, I just don't get that.

...

Okay, wait, I thought it through a third time, and now I see your point.

Many, most, taxes and similar impositions are not for our own personal good, but to fund various government operations.

However, the ACA is a very different kettle of fish. Forcing people to pay for coverage they find morally offensive is just one obvious sign.

(Anyway, I my reference was more to the naked coercion that progressives are all too happy to resort to, ACA or not.)

Hey Skipper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Clovis e Adri said...

AOG & Skipper,

---
[AOG] Once you've made the philosophical decision that it is OK to coerce people to do things for their own good, you've started down the slippery slope that ends with GLAAD.

[Skipper] Many, most, taxes and similar impositions are not for our own personal good, but to fund various government operations. However, the ACA is a very different kettle of fish.
---

So you both actually did not answer my point: when you institute taxes to pay for public funded healthcare, this is not something you sell to people "to their own good". And this indeed can be described as "impositions [that] are not for our own personal good, but to fund various government operations".

The argument behind it is, above all, one of the "help thy neighbor" type. And there again, once you *convinced* (as opposed to coerced) a majority of your fellows to vote for that, this is as coercive as any other thing you pay for with taxes.


Why on Earth the Land of the Free decided to institute public healthcare not by the above simple procedure can be the topic of another thread - my point here is just to defend that "my own ends" (or the only one explicitly cited here) are not necessarily coercive.

It is not the first time AOG wrongly accuse me of coercive ideas: in that AIDS medicine's patent discussion he also unfairly imputed me that. I should sue and rightfully coerce him to pay me moral damages. Is Peter allowed to practice in the US? I am hiring.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Clovis;

No, because once the government takes my money to buy my healthcare, the government choses that healthcare for me, for my own good. The government is also deciding how much I will spend for healthcare, for my own good. So, not like other taxes / programs.

you *convinced* (as opposed to coerced) a majority of your fellows

Two wolves and a sheep, voting on dinner.

Let me ask you one question -- Mr. Eagar is going on about Jim Crow in another thread. Do you think Jim Crow is wrong? Why, if a majority is convinced (not coerced!) to vote for it?

Hey Skipper said...

So you both actually did not answer my point: when you institute taxes to pay for public funded healthcare, this is not something you sell to people "to their own good" ...

There is some very significant differences between publicly funded Medicare and the ACA.

Probably the most important is that there is no mandate to partake of medicare (yet), nor is there a requirement for doctors to accept medicare patients (yet).

So the provision of, and participation in, medicare is an entitlement, not an obligation.

Of course, for all taxpayers Medicare requires appropriating some of my salary. But that is why, while my leanings are decidedly individualistic, I am not a libertarian: the alternative is worse.

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,

Your answer makes no sense if we are not talking about ACA, as I believe I made clear. As Skipper promptly remarks below your answer, usual public healthcare is, like Medicare, a form of entitlement, not an obligation.

The two countries I lived more extended periods of my life (Brazil and Germany) had both publicly funded healthcare, and in both I had the option of using the public or the private one. I was obliged to finance both in some way or another, through taxes, but I never felt any less or more coerced than paying for garbage collection - or, taking that back, garbage collection in Germany was a much more coercive act than healthcare funding in my everyday life.


Your comparison to Jim Crow is misguided enough to give me a pass on not answering it.

Harry Eagar said...

'Do you care to dispute that?'

Yes, root and branch.

Hey Skipper said...

Yes, root and branch.

So far I see neither roots, nor branches.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Clovis;

By "misguided" I presume you mean "too clearly demonstrates the flaw in my comments".

Harry Eagar said...

Skipper, Robertson was not talking about sharecroppers, although his talk was artfully contrived to leave that impression -- that he and the black workers were equal. So they might have been as far as the weeds were concerned.

However, black and white sharecroppers would never work alongside.

Robertson's family were tenant farmers and the black workers were their employees. (There is a small possibility that they were landlords but most likely tenants.)

In Monroe County, tenants were not close, much less equal, socially, economically, legally or politically to black rural proletarians.

The difference explains a great deal about Robertson's attitudes.

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,

By misguided I mean you are either changing topics or ignoring the arguments already presented.

The basis of my argument is that a particular policy (public healthcare in this case) presents a very moderate level of coercion, compatible with the ones we all are used to in any modern democracy.

When you thus present me with a counter-case that requires coercion of many higher orders of magnitude, you are not giving me an argument. That's how misguided you are.


As a side comment, your vision of democracy - "Two wolves and a sheep, voting on dinner" - may look like cynical wisdom to you, but it fails to explain why it does happen that the wolves did not eat all the sheep.

If all that explains the dynamics of the implementation of publicly funded healthcare is your wolf allegory, why does it stop there? The wolves could take so much more, couldn't them?

I guess you are acquainted on why your founding fathers devised the two separate legislative bodies, the congress and the senate. The former should be the voice of the people, the latter should tame that voice were it getting too populist. You are echoing the same fear of the hungry wolf they had back there - with the difference they were satisfied enough with those balance and checks they instituted. You look to believe you know so much better. But do you?

Annoying Old Guy said...

Clovis;

You should actually read the Founding Fathers on democracy and their opinion of it. To give you one quote from Ben Franklin, "A republic, if you can keep it". The Founders very carefully did not implement a pure democracy, but a democratic republic (as I mentioned earlier in this very comment stream). The US Constitution is filled with barriers to democracy, that's why I admire it.

As for misguided, I am not changing topics. Your view, as far as I could tell from your earlier comments, is that it is sufficient justification for law if a majority freely supports / votes for it. My view is that no, there are things which are not valid regardless of the vote count. If you think there are limits, even against a majority vote, of what a government can do, feel free to elaborate them.

P.S. I'm not sure how, even if I was misguided, a simple "no, I don't" wouldn't have sufficed as an answer you could write.

Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:] Skipper, Robertson was not talking about sharecroppers, although his talk was artfully contrived to leave that impression -- that he and the black workers were equal. So they might have been as far as the weeds were concerned.

However, black and white sharecroppers would never work alongside.


Bollocks. If you follow the thread long enough at CT, you will find Mao citing histories from the period that say something quite different about racial segregation in the rural south.

You are giving a perfect example of Progressive "thinking" in action. He was, in fact, talking about sharecroppers and his — not your — life experiences. On the basis of precisely nothing but the racist dog whistles in your head, you have concluded he is both a liar and a racist. In doing so, you make exactly the same mistakes — almost as if there is a script involved — as the denouncers at CT did: apropos of absolutely nothing, you have convicted him of thoughtcrime.
And It really looks like projection. As a Progressive, you are sure his kind are virulent racists, therefore Robertson is a virulent racist. You do that with gun owners, and the TP: you pick an isolated example that you can demonize, then extrapolate it to the entire group.

That is exactly the way actual racists (aka groupists) think. It stinks.

Robertson's family were tenant farmers and the black workers were their employees. (There is a small possibility that they were landlords but most likely tenants.)

How about linking to some evidence? Oddly, the the very first thing I stumbled upon doesn't agree:

Because of financial setbacks during his childhood, the family lived in rugged conditions having no electricity, toilet or bathtub. The family rarely went into town to buy groceries, and instead lived off of the fruits and vegetables they grew in their garden; the meat from deer, squirrels, fish and other game they hunted and fished; and the pigs, chickens, and cattle they raised.

Oh, and I can't help but notice that when challenged to dispute the assertion that some things are worse for blacks now than under Jim Crow, your root and branch dispute doesn't even amount to dust.

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,

----
I'm not sure how, even if I was misguided, a simple "no, I don't" wouldn't have sufficed as an answer you could write.
----
Because I do not like incomplete answers. And to write a complete one asks for a honest discussion, in order to be worth of both our times. So I apologize if your question was sincere and I interpreted it as a diversion.

The very fact I am pondering the levels of coercion imply I do not think majority votes are the only measure we should take for laws to be approved.

As the devil is always in the details, it is a much harder task to elaborate on meaningful "limits, even against a majority vote, of what a government can do". The proof of it being that, for all your founding fathers have written in that Constitution, +200 years later you still (apparently) believe their balances and checks failed and you ended up in ACA slavery.

Or to go back to your own question, let us notice that the same country, under the same old Constitution, was able to enact Jim Crow laws and also to later on repel it.

My point being then that those "barriers to democracy", or insurance against madness (populist or not), that you so admire in the US Constitution, are filled with holes. And any elaboration of limits I myself may devise will also be. Or do you disagree?

erp said...

Skipper, we are in fact forced to participate in Medicare as I found out 14 years ago when my husband and I became 65. By law, no insurance company could sell us health insurance.

I'm finding utterly hilarious that we are being instructed on our Constitution by one who has learned about it from leftwing teachers in a country that doesn't have anglo foundations but leans toward the French, you should excuse the expression, model.

It took almost a hundred years for socialists starting with Wilson to subvert our fellow citizens from We, the People to We, the Peons, but they did it. Now they're showing their true colors by cavorting with crony capitalists aka fascists quite openly and real capital 'C' Communists are coming out of the woodwork to gloat.

Mazel tov.

The FF warned that their gifts to us would only work with an informed citizenry. Well 50 years of teachers union led public schools took care of that and now the cherry on top of the sundae is the new Common Core curriculum where history has been completely overhauled to fit the narrative.

Harry Eagar said...

Skipper, your quote does not say they were 'croppers but that they were poor.

Tenants could be very poor. In bad years, they had less income (sometimes) than their seasonal help. But it was fightin' words to call a tenant a 'cropper.

A tenant was a capitalist who paid cash rent and paid cash wages for labor. A 'cropper saw no cash and owned nothing but his labor and maybe a mule. (You might ask Guy about tenants; I believe his wife's family may rent to tenants. Midwestern tenants, not having to put up with TP-style government, are often well-to-do, even multimillionaires, unlike Southern tenants, who were usually poor; but the economic organization was the same.)

I am not faulting you for not knowing the social/political structure of the rural South. Not one American in 10,000 does, except rural Southerners, of whom I am one.

Clovis, American rightwingers have always been antidemocratic and quick to say so. It is kind of amazing it has not come up here earlier.

You might ask what principle of self-governance they apply (or wish to apply). The answer is always the same and instructive. But ask Guy.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Clovis;

It's certainly the case that no clever legalism or governmental structure can be guaranteed to resist subversion but it's also true that some structures are more resistant than others. The Founding Fathers' approach, which I think was a good one that resisted for long time, was to create a government of specific and limited powers. It is that limitation the tranzis have spent a century undermining and universal health care is a prime example of how a wedge issue is used to do that. That's what I mean by the slippery slope - once you've said we are going to ignore the structural limitations on the government for this, what prevents the same for other policies? I agree with the Founders that the best way to have limits is to explicitly limit the scope of the government.

Mr. Eagar's comment on being "antidemocratic" is a result of two failures in his analysis both involving self governance. One is to conflate it with pure democracy, and the other to conflate with governmental control of personal activity. Those of not dedicated, as he is, to the untrammelled power of a totalitarian state, think of self-governance of consisting primarily of voluntary (conscensual) relations among adults, with government involved only where absolutely necessary.

erp is quite right that such self-governance requires an informed citizenry and it's been a non-stop effort by the tranzis to change that.

Mr. Eagar;

I fail to see what your distinction between tenant farmer and sharecropper means in practice. Neither owns anything, because the tenant is paying rent for the land. I also wonder how sharecroppers, in your view, survived at all if they never saw any cash. Did they raise food in purely a subsistence manner?

As for my wife's family, they have both tenants and sharecroppers. It's a bit different as it's clan based (everyone involved is related, through a known path, to everyone else). Further, the tenants / sharecroppers also own their own land as well.

Midwestern tenants, not having to put up with TP-style government, are often well-to-do, even multimillionaires

I am not faulting you for not knowning the social/political structure of the modern Midwest, but that's in the top ten of the laughably obtuse things I have seen you write.

Harry Eagar said...

Laughable? Really? I don't know the exact figure today, but when I left Iowa in 1987, 30% of farmland was farmed by tenants. Some were very large operators and wealthy.

As I said, not one American in 10,000 knows how Southern agriculture was organized. I had thought you might be the exception.

'croppers subsisted on 'rations' that were provided as part of the 'furnish' by the landlord in exchange for labor. In the Yazoo Delta (the center of sharecropping), the plantation maintained stores to issue rations periodically. In other places, there were independent stores where 'croppers could 'draw' versus an understood furnish.

In the '30s, 'croppers in the Alabama Black Belt had per capita income as low as 10 cents a day, almost all of it furnish.

The absence of cash is the central plot device in John Faulkner's (brother of William) outstanding novel 'Dollar Cotton.'

A good discussion of the differences between tenants and 'croppers (especially the social distance) is in Linda Flowers, 'Throwed Away.'

Flowers and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (author of 'The Yearling') gripe about having to pay cash to laborers even when crop prices were ruinous, Rawlings in her memoir 'Cross Creek.'

Charles Aiken's 'The Cotton Plantation South' is very good on the big picture.

It has been so long I no longer remember where I learned about pellagra, probably from Victor Heiser's 'An American Doctor's Odyssey.' In any case, in order to cover their furnish, 'croppers had to plant every inch to cotton. You can see this in pictures the Farm Seurity Administration published.

That left a diet of fatback, cornpone, blackstrap molasses and coffee. As you can see from the linked article, at least hundreds of thousands died.

http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/28/6/1734.full

Nut graf:

'As noted above, pellagra is a disease caused by a deficiency of niacin (or the amino acid tryptophan, which the body converts to niacin) in the diet. Severe cases are marked by dermatitis, diarrhea, dementia, and coma leading to death.13 Nearly 100,000 deaths in the United States were attributed to pellagra in the first four decades of the twentieth century, making it the most severe nutritional deficiency disease in U.S. history. Most of those deaths occurred in the South, and blacks and women bore the brunt of the disease.14 There were many cases for each death, as death represents only the extreme end of the spectrum of disease. Pellagra was seasonal, striking in the spring when stored food was exhausted and the new crop and the money it brought were still months away.'

'Money' here being money of account, not cash.

While the 'cropper owned nothing, the tenant had credit and to have credit he usually had some assets, like a truck, tractor, plows.

The position of tenants became increasingly desperate after World War II, and they (per Flowers) stopped being able to clear their debts at the end of the year.
In the better years (for the Flowerses the '20s when they were truck farming for northern markets), tenants finished the year in surplus and bought pianos, just like landowning Iowa farmers.

Finally, in 'Little Heathens,' Mildred Kalish describes how an Iowa family that owned a thousand acres free and clear lived almost without money during the Depression.

The economic conditions of tenants and 'croppers tended to converge, as I said earlier, but in Monroe County they never converged so that white 'croppers and black 'croppers worked in the same field. Could not happen.

I have gone on at length because this kerfuffle reveals several things: how easy it is to get Christians to rally to you by saying you are a Christian even if your beliefs (like Robertson's) are not very Christian; and how very ignorant Americans are about conditions in the South a few years ago.

Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:] Skipper, your quote does not say they were 'croppers but that they were poor.

Robertson's quote says they were sharecroppers ("I'm with the blacks, because we're white trash), and he worked with black sharecroppers. Yet you decided for him, absent any evidence at all, that he wasn't. Perhaps because you didn't know there were more white sharecroppers than black?

Then you asserted that [the] economic conditions of tenants and 'croppers tended to converge, as I said earlier, but in Monroe County they never converged so that white 'croppers and black 'croppers worked in the same field. Could not happen.

Wrong.

From Google Books The Rural Face of White Supremacy: Beyond Jim Crow:

Washington [who grew up as a black sharecropper] remembered black and white sharecroppers accompanying one another when fishing or going to church services … the sharecroppers took turns transporting each other … Among these sharecroppers, the two races lived side by side and under similar conditions … Despite his memories of the shared difficulty of life, Parker clearly enjoyed recalling other memories of interracial life on the Ray plantation, especially the end of the workday …

There's much more along that vein, but I don't feel like doing that much typing.

And here is a quote from a white farm owner circa 1910:

I think that we give them [blacks and whites] about the same thing.. . .If there is any difference I don’t know it.”

We have white men working on the farms. We frequently have applications every day. But when the white men come and are willing to work we have to say: We cannot afford to pay you any more, because I can get a negro for 60 cents a day; if you are willing to work at that price the first vacancy we have you can have it. We occasionally put a white man in that way.


(From a economic study looking for a racial differential in sharecropper wages. Short answer: there wasn't one. BTW, the study specifically mentions looking at payroll records for farms that hired both black & white sharecroppers -- see page 192.)

I am not faulting you for not knowing the social/political structure of the rural South. Not one American in 10,000 does, except rural Southerners, of whom I am one.

I am faulting you for concocting a noxious accusation on invented evidence. Just like the gentle folks at CT, you are so certain of your correctness you didn't bother to spend a few minutes with google. (I found the above two sources on the first two pages of [black white sharecroppers])

You called him a jackass and a racist because … well … I'm still at a loss. His statement of first hand experience corroborates history, although it is rather rough on Progressives (and your) insistence on what history and his first hand experience of it must have been.

Harry Eagar said...

If you read what you wrote, it doesn't say the white and black 'croppers worked together. It says they recreated together.

And it says that when 'croppers sought day wages (not available in all areas), they might end up working together. But then they were not working as 'croppers.

I am not getting why you seem unable to comprehend that a 'cropper had nothing to sell but his labor and nothing to buy with. How do you imagine a white 'cropper would end up working in a black 'cropper's field, or vice versa. Who's the employer?

And, yes, I am aware that white 'croppers outnumbered black ones, although that was not the case in, say, South Carolina.

A while back you asked if thought that black sharecroppers (or their present-day equivalents) are better off now or worse.

Please re-read the paragraph about pellagra and get back to me.

Hey Skipper said...

If you read what you wrote, it doesn't say the white and black 'croppers worked together. It says they recreated together.

Don't limit yourself just to my excerpts, although they easily go far enough to make astonishing your claim that they did all sorts of things together, yet somehow they didn't work together.

Really? How does that work? Or are you completely immune to evidence that contradicts the progressive narrative on Robertson?

(But at this point, it doesn't matter. Robertson made a claim about his black contemporaries' attitude towards life, which you had the gall to contradict despite knowing absolutely nothing about his life or, apparently, life in general for sharecroppers.)

I am not getting why you seem unable to comprehend that a 'cropper had nothing to sell but his labor and nothing to buy with. How do you imagine a white 'cropper would end up working in a black 'cropper's field, or vice versa. Who's the employer?

Whoever owned the farm, obviously. Sharecroppers didn't own their fields, they worked someone else's.

A while back you asked if thought that black sharecroppers (or their present-day equivalents) are better off now or worse.

Along with linking, you can also copy and paste, so I'm not left justifying a statement I never made, which actually is:

And there's more more. Robertson's clear meaning -- which progressives only avoid by torturing his words to death, and then a bit more -- is that many things for many blacks have gotten worse since Jim Crow.

What is most perplexing (as opposed to astonishing and appalling, those are other categories) is that you can say He's either a jackass or a racist, defending in 2014 the conditions in Monroe County in 1960. without sussing for an instant he isn't defending Monroe County in 1960, but rather using Monroe county in 1960 as the cudgel with which to beat the effect of welfare policies upon blacks.

CT didn't get it, and you apparently don't either.

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG

---
It's certainly the case that no clever legalism or governmental structure can be guaranteed to resist subversion [...]The Founding Fathers' approach, which I think was a good one [...] erp is quite right that such self-governance requires an informed citizenry [...]
---
I quote your different phrases together to ask if your opinion could be resumed as such: You believe the Constitution was written under good political notions of policy, but its right application declined due to the nature of the people, who no longer is informed enough.

If so, I beg you to compare the above opinion with the one you gave not long ago, on Keynesianism:

"A policy that can't be implemented by actual humans is not a valid policy."

Which leads me to conclude that, within your view, your founding fathers did no great job, for their political principles turned out to be invalid: they did not pass the test of time under our human nature. They, as Keynes, instituted ideas that could not work within the human realm.

Although I believe I am just following your own thoughts to reach the above conclusion, here I ask you to correct me if I misinterpret you.


In the meantime, I do invite you to consider it all under other prism. Let's suppose your founding fathers were indeed smart lads who delivered a good and valid Constitution. Let us suppose they intended it to be an organic body, capable of evolving to the tasks they could not foresee but would be important to their descendants.

The notion of the State investing in public sewing systems, or water distribution ones, were by their time quite reasonable - gosh, they were reasonable to the Romans so much time before. Everyone needs water, everyone would like to see garbage out in order to prevent diseases and make for better air around. As such, I do not see any of the FF investing time and energy to argue that anyone wanting water should only dig their own wells. Did they?

Now let us suppose you take healthcare, in modern times - where we are so much richer and technology provided so many revolutions - as a concept analogue to water, seen as essential and a mundane part of our lives. Why do you believe we should be only digging our own wells here then?

See that my question above places healthcare under a more usual context (not the ACA), where its coercion level is like the one involved in garbage collection, and where you made no effort yet to show me it contradicts the expected levels of coercion already implied in the society the FF lived in.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Clovis;

So many issues, where to start...

Let's start here - "A policy that can't be implemented by actual humans is not a valid policy". Is your claim that the US Constitution was never implemented? Otherwise, it was implemented successfully, unless you define success as "forever", in which case we can never actually observe a successful policy. Moverover, in my claim that you cite, I imply (and will now state explicitly) that an informed citizenry can implement this policy, which means it can be implemented by humans. As far as I can see, Keynesianism has never been successful.

The notion of the State investing in public sewing systems, or water distribution ones

Ah, you've lost the thread already. One of the key points of the US Constitution was federalism which divided things among different levels of government (local, state, federal). The state governments were far less constrained in such areas. The Founding Fathers would see the sort of things you mention as local and state responsibilities, not federal. The Founding Fathers very explicitly viewed the states as laboratories where such things could be tried, but if you do it at a federal level that is destroyed, which makes universal health care something I think would clearly by opposed by the Founding Fathers. (Also note there are plenty of unincorporated areas of the USA where one can avoid such things if it's important, and I have lived in such places. This is very different from a government program you can't escape).



Quite so - there is a clear procedure for modifying the document, and that procedure is not "let's make up new meanings for existing words". When slavery was outlawed, it wasn't done by the sort of creative reinterpretation / analogy you use here, but explicit modification of the document.

P.S. Not everyone agrees that it's a good idea for the State to run water distribution.

Mr. Eagar;

Ah, we have gone from "often" to "some" and "multi-millionare" to "wealthy", as in "Some were very large operators and wealthy". My other point was your "TP government", which is funny because you are lumping Kansas, Iowa, Illinoi, Indianna, and other states as basically the same, for centuries. You of course failed to answer my question of what it is a tenant farmer owns that a share cropper doesn't.

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,

---
So many issues, where to start...
---
Well, I am patient and eager to learn. Take a breath and keep on.

---
Moverover, in my claim that you cite, I imply (and will now state explicitly) that an informed citizenry can implement this policy, which means it can be implemented by humans.
---
My point, that was unfortunately implicit, is that "an informed citizenry" may well be the kind of undefined requirement that can explain anything.

Krugman could certainly argue that Keynesianism is just perfect, only if humans were all good economists to grasp so and live by it - he would be setting his own bar to the notion of "informed".

By the way, in passing I would like to comment on Erp's statement: "The FF warned that their gifts to us would only work with an informed citizenry." It looks like the advise of the homeopathic doctor treating you for cancer: "Hey, I'll give you this special water with sugar, but don't you forget to take your chemotherapy too on Mondays". [By what I mean: if you have a citizenry informed enough, you could just take simple democracy and do not worry so much about what those citizens may end up voting for.]

---
Quite so - there is a clear procedure for modifying the document, and that procedure is not "let's make up new meanings for existing words".
---
I am really not interested in playing semantics on you. My point was more that some things may change meaning over time, not over my will. The idea of everyone getting some minimum water to live was not polemical back then. The idea of everyone getting to see a doctor could sound strange, given the limitations they had then (which may no longer be valid today).


---
The Founding Fathers very explicitly viewed the states as laboratories where such things could be tried, but if you do it at a federal level that is destroyed, which makes universal health care something I think would clearly by opposed by the Founding Fathers.
---
I have two points here: (i) the above does not prohibit a "federation" of healthcare programs, still largely run within local/state levels but with a coordination among them all in federal level. And (ii), supposing your POTUS is not a club of ignorant non-anglo-saxon-but-French-influenced-idiots like myself, I am trying to understand how they end up concluding the contrary using the same Constitution you invoke.


---
(Also note there are plenty of unincorporated areas of the USA where one can avoid such things if it's important, and I have lived in such places. This is very different from a government program you can't escape).
---
Sorry, I do not get your meaning here. Are you saying you live far away from cities and free of "suh things" (which ones?)?


Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,


BTW, I forgot one more point concerning your private water distribution link: I really would prefer to separate the discussion in one part over principles - that's where we started it - and maybe later on we can go back to talk about efficiency. I know this last one may be as important as the first, but the topic is wide enough as it is.

Clovis e Adri said...

Ops, a correction: where I mention POTUS above, I've meant SCOTUS.

Harry Eagar said...

'You of course failed to answer my question of what it is a tenant farmer owns that a share cropper doesn't.'

Tools, credit.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] So you both actually did not answer my point: when you institute taxes to pay for public funded healthcare, this is not something you sell to people "to their own good". And this indeed can be described as "impositions [that] are not for our own personal good, but to fund various government operations".

(Apologies, I'm catching up. AOG has already answered, and I did too, but here is a different take.)

For reasons that don't matter here, the US has left healthcare, like most of the rest of the economy, to the market. [Longish list of significant caveats, plus Medicare and Medicaid, here].

What Obama and progressives wanted was single payer healthcare, but they couldn't get that. So instead we got the ACA. In order for it to work, it had to compel purchase of healthcare coverage, and it had to mandate what individuals purchased; well, had to is perhaps too strong. The ACA didn't have to spread risk pools to people who aren't exposed to those risks (e.g.., maternity coverage for men), but it did.

However, there is nothing in the Constitution that allows any of that. (Chief Justice Roberts let the ACA off the compulsion hook, but likely for reasons that didn't have anything to do with the Constitution.)

If the notion of a contractually limited government is to have any meaning at all, then the ACA violates it. Even if the ACA is a good idea that will work, it is still fundamentally wrong in ways that entitlement programs are not: the ACA eliminates all constraints on the federal government.

And those constraints, absent Constitutional amendments, are not a matter of majority vote. (Perhaps I should say majority vote violated them.) So even though the coercion involved is no greater than other gov't programs, its basis is quite threatening: if congress can compel me (with a vasectomy) and my wife (fortyfifteen yrs old) to pay for maternity coverage, what then is off limits to Congress?

Or to go back to your own question, let us notice that the same country, under the same old Constitution, was able to enact Jim Crow laws and also to later on repel it.

Except that the country didn't enact Jim Crow laws, the states did. And it is worth wondering how things might have turned out differently if the Civil Rights act, instead of imposing all sorts of laws on the states, had instead simply prohibited racially discriminatory laws.

[AOG, in response to Clovis about water and sewer systems:] Also note there are plenty of unincorporated areas of the USA where one can avoid such things if it's important, and I have lived in such places. This is very different from a government program you can't escape

There are many places in the US where running water, gas and sewer lines is prohibitively expensive due to distance and low population density. Lots of people heat their homes with propane, get water from wells, and have septic systems instead of sewers.


[erp:] Skipper, we are in fact forced to participate in Medicare as I found out 14 years ago when my husband and I became 65. By law, no insurance company could sell us health insurance.

Apologies, I wrote out of ignorance, and didn't even try to alleviate it before typing.

I'm finding utterly hilarious that we are being instructed on our Constitution by one who has learned about it from leftwing teachers in a country that doesn't have anglo foundations but leans toward the French, you should excuse the expression, model.

Frankly, I'm amazed at how much Clovis knows — he would blow the average American high school senior, and many college students, right out of the water.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Clovis;

"an informed citizenry" may well be the kind of undefined requirement that can explain anything.

I think you mean "justify" anything. However, this has been well discussed from the days of the Founding Fathers till today, that a democratic republic requires a certain level of virtue on the part of the citizens. In this particular, historical evidence indicates that such a level of virtue is achievable in our reality. The difference between your hypothetical argument by Krugman and mine is that I have historical evidence to support my claim, he does not.

you have a citizenry informed enough

Ah, well that real question is, what is "informed enough"? The goal of a well structured constitution should be to reduce that requirement as much as possible. I think the US Constitution did quite a good job in that regard, as it took almost a century of deliberate effort by the tranzis to break it down.

I am really not interested in playing semantics on you

"Semantics" is "the meaning of", so you don't want to discuss what any of this means? You would prefer me to stick to purely procedural issues (that is, syntax instead of semantics?)

My point there was that the Founding Fathers would have seen that as a local/state issue which they treated quite differently than the federal government.

To answer your points

(i) I think it does. The history of such things is that the federal government ends up controlling, not "coordinating", such efforts. Any such coordination can be initiated and sustained by the states, there is no need to get the federal government involved except to destroy the laboratory aspect.

(ii) Political pressure essentially. The current Democratic Party is completely ruthless and is supported by an even worse press corps. As part of that, we have four justices on SCOTUS who will vote the tranzi policy line regardless of the issue, so It's the same sort of intimidation that enabled FDR to get the Wickard vs. Filmore decision out of SCOTUS. Morever, even experts can get things wrong.

<a href="http://thinkprogress.org/media/2009/10/23/65881/pelosi-serious/>Here</a> is a tranzi oriented report on then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi being complete aghast at some one for even <i>asking</i> if the ACA was Constitutional, and dismisses those who adhere to the Constitution as "tenthers" (e.g. those who think the 10th Amendment is not null and void).

I'll also second Skipper in that he describes the slippery slope I keep mentioning -- once you say "things change, we need to do this" without bothering with the actual procedures needed to modify the Constitution, you make it an irrelevant document. This is a primary political goal of the tranzis and the modern Democratic Party, because it interferes with their lust for power and totalitarian desires.

Harry Eagar said...

'By law, no insurance company could sell us health insurance.'

Not true.

Harry Eagar said...

'I'm finding utterly hilarious that we are being instructed on our Constitution by one who has learned about it from leftwing teachers'

Much better to learn it from Sarah Palin who teaches that if a private business decides its employee is a racist loon and it doesn't want to employ racist loons, that violates the 1st Amendment.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Sarah Palin who teaches that if a private business decides its employee is a racist loon and it doesn't want to employ racist loons, that violates the 1st Amendment

Quote, please. I have read what she wrote and I saw no mention of the 1st Amendment.

Do you ever check your sources, or just blindly republish the Journolist talking points?

Harry Eagar said...

'Quote, please. I have read what she wrote and I saw no mention of the 1st Amendment.'

Lemme see. Open Google. Type in palin + robertson + first amendment. First result:

http://popwatch.ew.com/2013/12/19/sarah-palin-phil-robertson-duck-dynasty/

That's some hot constitutional action there. I had forgotten most of those.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Fail. There is no quote from Palin mentioning the 1st Amendment with regard to Robertson. Try again, this time provide me with a quote of what Palin said, not some random headline writer.

erp said...

Skipper, IMO most of what Clovis "knows" about the U.S., the Constitution, etc. is wrong. He reminds me of that Woody Allen movie, I can't remember the name of it, where scientists in the future try to make sense of an earlier earth period.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

I'll take that as a compliment - if you are having as much fun reading me as in a Woody Allen movie, I ought to charge you some tickets. You can pay me in books: choose the best one that describes together the American society , its history and with a good cover of the Constitution as well, and mail it to me please.

After reading it, would you take me seriously?

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

----
So even though the coercion involved is no greater than other gov't programs, its basis is quite threatening: if congress can compel me (with a vasectomy) and my wife (fortyfifteen yrs old) to pay for maternity coverage, what then is off limits to Congress?
----
And that's the reason I explicitly did not want to discuss the ACA - I do agree it is a bit more coercive than standard public healthcare (where by standard I mean, for example, the programs instituted in many European countries). After all, I do have a hard time to understand why SCOTUS thinks the commerce clause allows the Federal Govt. to oblige you to pay for maternity coverage - but that's probably because I am no anglo-saxon. (BTW, Erp, did you notice the countries who gave meaning to the name "anglo-saxon" happen to enjoy public healthcare?)


Anyway, my purpose was to argue that public healthcare does not necessarily means coercion beyond the pale. The discussion is heading to constitutional sides mainly because AOG has chosen to hide behind it - I am proposing the possibility of delivering some form (any form) of public healthcare, be it under Federal or State laws, and to analyse how coercive that need to be. My claim, not disputed here up to now, is that it is no more coercive than most things we already take for granted in our societies.

In fact, I believe most of my political/social ideals are less coercive than AOG's philosophy of life. For all his talk of freedom, he loses no time in constraining other people's choices whenever he likes it (examples: making divorce harder; or ensuring absolute monopoly of life-saving chemical formulas).


----
There are many places in the US where running water, gas and sewer lines is prohibitively expensive due to distance and low population density. Lots of people heat their homes with propane, get water from wells, and have septic systems instead of sewers.
----
Sure, the same down here. When I've written "[the FF would not defend] that anyone wanting water should only dig their own wells.", I've meant they would not oppose that public funded water systems should not be built.

AOG's remark - that the FF would not make it a Federal business - is really not to the point here, for I am not using the term "public" as synonymous to "federal".


erp said...

Clovis, I already suggested that you start with Paul Johnson's, The Intellectuals, and then any of his other books. I do take you seriously and it scares the h*ll out of me.

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,

---
[Clovis]I am really not interested in playing semantics on you
[AOG] "Semantics" is "the meaning of", so you don't want to discuss what any of this means?
---
I've only meant that I did not want to torture words out of their usual meaning to make my argument.

---
[On SCOTUS decision] (ii) Political pressure essentially.
---
Hmm, aren't those judges tenured and with their life and pension guaranteed no matter what? So why would be they bowing to political pressure?


----
My point there was that the Founding Fathers would have seen that as a local/state issue which they treated quite differently than the federal government.
----
Fine, AOG.

But then let us suppose that in some alternative universe, where ACA did not happen, the majority of your State (Illinois?) citizens vote for instituting a public healthcare system at the State level. For example, they institute a tax that would be used to pay the treatment of a number of poor people per year. Or maybe they copy the scheme implemented in Massachusetts. Do you believe it would be a great coercion by their part on you? What would be your main arguments against it, please?




---
I'll also second Skipper in that he describes the slippery slope I keep mentioning -- once you say "things change, we need to do this" without bothering with the actual procedures needed to modify the Constitution, you make it an irrelevant document.
---
Actually, here we get to a point where, to my anguish, Erp is indeed right and my French influences make it harder to grasp things.

Our judicial system (mirrored in the French one) does ask for explicit changes in the Codes for something new to be taken on board.

But your law of the land system does allow for new jurisprudence to take effect once new interpretations are voiced in courts by the judges, AFAIK.

Which means that new decisions by SCOTUS on Constitutional matters happen to look like a lot with "modifying" the Code itself (the Constitution in this case).

So, as I see it, it looks like as if you had two ways for your Constitution to be "organic" and follow the new times, either by explicit changes effected by extra-majority votes, or by SCOTUS magic wand.

I know I am being extremely simplistic above, but I hope you get my doubt: after many things changed over the interpretations of your Constitution to allow the Fed. Govt. to do many things it was not supposed to by the FF, why should a (federally funded) healthcare program be out?

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

But that book is not about the US, is it? Why would it help me to understand your society?

Now, on scaring you, suddenly I am more like Fred Krueger (or would you say Fred Krugman)? I thought your Woody Allen comparison more classy.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] And that's the reason I explicitly did not want to discuss the ACA - I do agree it is a bit more coercive than standard public healthcare …

Compare the US Constitution with that of any other country (or in the case of the EU, a collection of countries).

I can't remember the exact number, but an approximation is close enough. Printed in 12 point Times Roman with standard margins, the US constitution is written on four pages; add the Bill of rights and that amounts to six. Printed in 12 point Times New Roman with standard margins, it amounts to about 20.

Brazil's is more than 20 times longer.

The difference is where the ACA is pivotal. The US Constitution's concept of rights is negative — it describes what the government may not do. All other constitutions that I am aware of take the opposite approach: they are positive, in the sense that they lay out what government is supposed to do.

The ACA, more than any other legislation I can think of, completely tramples the US Constitution's organizing principle. If Congress can compel participation, a concept which is alien to the Constitution, then there is no limit to what Congress may do.

Yet the whole idea of the Constitution is to put explicit and confining limits on government's reach.

The result is Manichean. Either you believe that limited government produces, on average, better results than unlimited government, or you believe the opposite.

I believe that history's verdict is clear.

And Harry is proving the point. Handing the reins (I first typed "reigns", which is, IMHO, a brilliant visual pun) to progressives, for whom there are no limits on their virtue and knowledge, paves the path to the hecatombs.

Hey Skipper said...

erp:

I think the very best place to start is not "The Intellectuals*", but rather Thomas Sowell's A Conflict of Visions.

I have never read a more even handed book on political philosophy.

Harry would hate it.

--

* I have read "The Intellectuals". I am sure it is accurate; the problem is that it is susceptible to ad hominem criticism. Sowell's book isn't.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Clovis;

public healthcare does not necessarily means coercion beyond the pale

In my view, if it's un-Constitutional, it's beyond the pale. I have also been discussing universal health care in general, not specifically the ACA since you made that point. Additionally, you may think the state/federal issue is just a word game, but to me it is very fundamentally as it is a vital component of our Constitutional order. It makes, in my view, an enormous practical difference. One of my primary objections to what passes for our current political order in this nation is precisely that blurring, as if it doesn't matter.

As for me constraing other people's choices, I don't consider coercion to prohibit theft, or to say that one must obey a voluntarily signed contract.

aren't those judges tenured and with their life and pension guaranteed no matter what? So why would be they bowing to political pressure?

It's a mystery to me as well, but I suspect that it's mostly social. Once they move to Washington D.C. basically everyone they hang out with is a tranzi so a ruling against some tranzi power grab could result in social ostracism. There is also Old Media which does the same. Also note, only one or two judges need to be swayed. As I noted we already have four who were selected basically because they no long really believe in the Constutition. This was a precedent set by FDR, which is part of why I consider him the worst President of the USA.

majority of your State (Illinois?) citizens vote for instituting a public healthcare system at the State level. [...] Do you believe it would be a great coercion by their part on you? What would be your main arguments against it, please?

Yes, I think that would be coercive. I would be strongly tempted to move out of the State if that happened. My primary arguments would be (1) it's coercive, (2) not a proper function of government, even at the State level, and (3) it won't work and will end in failure.

Which means that new decisions by SCOTUS on Constitutional matters happen to look like a lot with "modifying" the Code itself

They shouldn't. That they do is a corruption of the system. That it is, as you note, a "magic wand" makes it a Very Bad Thing.

Let me quote to you a proverb - "two wrongs don't make a right". That other coercive and/or un-Constitutional things have been done does give license to doing more of them. If so, then we should just stop pretending the Constitution has any meaning at all, as Ezra Klein does.

Harry Eagar said...

'Harry would hate it.'

Maybe. If it is anything like Sowell's other screeds, Harry would be able to pick apart its false claims with one hand tied behind his back.

Been there, done that.

erp said...

Sowell doesn't do screeds Harry. If anything, he's too reasonable and dispassionate.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
[On US Constitution] Brazil's is more than 20 times longer.
---
Yes, right there you see a cultural difference that goes far beyond constitutional matters: Brazilians can be truly prolix. We inherited it from the Portuguese.

But back to the US Constitution, such compactness comes with a price. A lot of things got to be decided later on based sometimes in quite generic ideas. Hence it was inevitable the myriad of SCOTUS polemical decisions.


---
If Congress can compel participation, a concept which is alien to the Constitution, then there is no limit to what Congress may do. Yet the whole idea of the Constitution is to put explicit and confining limits on government's reach.
---
And we are back to my question: it is not like your SCOTUS members were not aware of that, right? And yet...

AOG gave me his take on why SCOTUS ruled as it did. What is yours?


---
Either you believe that limited government produces, on average, better results than unlimited government, or you believe the opposite. I believe that history's verdict is clear.
---
Is it?

Sincerely, I do not think the greatness of the USA comes from its Constitution.

That' s why I made my point on the redundancy of asking for virtue rom the citizenry in order for the whole thing to work. It was that virtue that made your country what it is, not that 6 pages of paper some fellows redacted so much time ago.

Given a prodigious population, you can produce great results with either philosophies of work (limited or unlimited govt.).
Take Nazi Germany as your historical counter-example. Where of course, by "great results" I mean what they could achieve in terms of power, economy and technology, ignoring any discussion of the social and moral aspects.


As for the book reference, thanks, I'll take a look.

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,


---
Additionally, you may think the state/federal issue is just a word game, but to me it is very fundamentally as it is a vital component of our Constitutional order.
---
At no moment I've discarded it as a word game.

It is just that I started talking about public healthcare, and you made an argument it is a task forbidden to the Federal Govt by the Constitution. But I made no prior requirement that it should be a federal program...

---
My primary arguments would be (1) it's coercive, (2) not a proper function of government, even at the State level, and (3) it won't work and will end in failure.
---

... and when I explicitly made it a State program, invalidating your Constitutional argument, you still keep the coercion factor as beyond the pale, but with no hint of counter-argument on why.

So I rule this is no longer a rational discussion, but an enumeration of your Commandments for life.


---
[On SCOTUS decisions on Constitutional matters] They shouldn't. That they do is a corruption of the system. That it is, as you note, a "magic wand" makes it a Very Bad Thing.
---
As I remarked above to Skipper, it looks to be consequence of the nature of your Constitution. And SCOTUS had always the role of arbiter of constitutional matters, so theirs was the magic wand per construction.


---
Let me quote to you a proverb - "two wrongs don't make a right".
---
Well said. But perhaps an infinite sum of wrongs has as limit a right.

It looks like both parties and agendas influenced SCOTUS decisions, over time, to depart from the initial FF grounds. Maybe in the final results ends up being the best one. Up to now, it has been working for you guys (I mean, as a nation).

erp said...

Clovis, our greatest treasure are our people, people with great dreams and ambition who came here from every country in the world to make those dreams come true, not to stick out their hands for a free phone.

The Constitution is vague and leaves lots of room for interpretation, but it also spells out specifics where they're needed.

The Constitution is like a children's coloring book with broad outlines details to be filed in by each individual to suit his or her own taste -- but no going outside the lines to infringe on the other kid's page.

It can be amended, but the process is difficult. That's the genius of it.

As aog says, that's not a bug, it's a feature.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Clovis;

I explicitly made it a State program, invalidating your Constitutional argument, you still keep the coercion factor as beyond the pale

You realize those are two different arguments (un-Constitutional and coercive), right? When you asked about it as State issue, I answered with no reference to the federal Constitution, and I have laid out earlier my arguments on why it is coercive which also don't depend on the Constitutional point.

I think it's coercive, you don't. I believe in maximizing consent as a fundamental principle of government, you believe ... well, I'm not really sure except maybe "government should do good things for people without worrying about implementation details or effects".

Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:] Maybe. If it is anything like Sowell's other screeds, Harry would be able to pick apart its false claims with one hand tied behind his back.

Hardly. I took a look at a couple RtO posts on Sowell. Here you comment on a Wonkette post that slams a Sowell article on the Zimmerman case.

Other than deeply desiring to have your own preconceptions massaged, I can't imagine why you would give that witless pile of sentences and a stuck caps lock key a tongue bath rather than go to what Sowell himself said.

Perhaps it is easier to agree with a ranter than counter a reasoned argument.

Your review of Sowell's book The Housing Boom and Bust is really an excuse for you to recite your blinkered and irrelevant talking points rather than addressing what the book said.

(As an aside, From a NY Review of books article The Financial Crisis: Why Have No High Level Executives Been Prosecuted, comes this quote listing the ways in which the government encouraged banks' behavior:

It was the government, in the form of the executive, that strongly encouraged banks to make loans to individuals with low incomes who might have previously been regarded as too risky to warrant a mortgage.

Previous items in that para refer to other reasons near and dear to your heart.)

Just as the ACA absolutely was bound to have very unwelcome outcomes, about which Pres Obama either repeatedly lied, or was too stupid to comprehend, the CRA also had inevitable consequences, about which your review says nothing, but I'll bet Sowell's book says a great deal.

So you no more successfully refuted anything Sowell — in large part because you never actually address what he said — than you have substantiated your defamatory accusation that Robertson is a racist loon.

You have made assertions that were relevant and wrong, or, where correct, completely irrelevant. And upon that decidedly shaky foundation, Robertson is a racist by some magical definition of the word not found in any dictionary, and which you haven't bestowed upon us.

I have an idea. Take his quote and, after providing us your definition of racism, explain to us precisely how what he said is racist. No goal post shifting, and no dog whistles only hyper-tuned progressive minds can discern.

Hey Skipper said...

[HS:] [On US Constitution] Brazil's is more than 20 times longer.

[Clovis:] Yes, right there you see a cultural difference that goes far beyond constitutional matters: Brazilians can be truly prolix. We inherited it from the Portuguese.


The EU constitution is 855 pages and almost 160,000 words long.

You suggest that such compactness comes at a price.

Compared to what? A constitution like Brazil's, or the EU's, which specify what government must do inevitably are so byzantine that it is nearly impossible to apply them. On top of that, asserting positive rights runs afoul of reality. When a constitution asserts positively that government is required to provide full employment, how exactly is that supposed to happen? What if government attempts to provide full employment make unemployment worse?

In contrast, the assertion of negative rights is simple, which is why the US Constitution is so short and clear. Obviously, there will be a lot of contesting where the boundaries lie — technology and the 4th Amendment are a perfect example. Just as over time certain clauses in the Constitution (most notoriously the commerce clause) have been abused beyond recognition.

That isn't the Constitution's fault.

And we are back to my question: it is not like your SCOTUS members were not aware of that, right? And yet...

AOG gave me his take on why SCOTUS ruled as it did. What is yours?


(I am not a lawyer, but I read a fair amount of legal stuff, so I'm going to summarize what I've read that I find reasonable.)

In Constitutional law, the premise is that all laws are consistent with the constitution. Courts only address constitutionality when cases come before them.

Also, courts, and especially the supreme court, must always have their own legitimacy in mind when making rulings. Constitutional review acts as a check on the other branches, but it can't be seen as substituting itself for the other branches.

This is a difficult balancing act. We probably wouldn't be wrapped around the abortion axle if Roe v. Wade had decided it was up to each state. On the other hand, it is a very difficult argument to make that female autonomy is depends on mailing address. Women either have, or do not have, reproductive autonomy.

And a great many people think dictators in black robes are shoving gay marriage down their throats.

So when it came to the ACA, I strongly suspect that CJ Roberts decided that the Supreme Court was not going to strike down in its entirety such a huge piece of legislation, because to do so would have unduly risked the Court's legitimacy.

And by calling the coercion involved in the ACA a tax, the decision did limit Congress's power.

It is also possible that he saw what a complete cock-up the ACA was going to be, and decided that the best way to check Congress in the future was to give it what it asked for now.

[HS: ]Either you believe that limited government produces, on average, better results than unlimited government, or you believe the opposite. I believe that history's verdict is clear.

Is it?


There is a term for all the collection of native English speaking countries: the Anglosphere.

One of the things that characterizes the Anglosphere, and has done to a significant extent over the last couple hundred years, is limited government.

Compare the track record of the Anglosphere to countries that haven't had limited government, on almost any measure you wish to choose.

That's what I mean by saying history's verdict on limited government is clear.

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,


---
You realize those are two different arguments (un-Constitutional and coercive), right?
---
I do. If at some point they were mixed, that's was only your doing ("In my view, if it's un-Constitutional, it's beyond the pale").

---
I think it's coercive, you don't. I believe in maximizing consent as a fundamental principle of government [...]
---
Not true. I've agreed it is coercive, only that I qualified the level of coercion, compared to other coercive acts of life in society.

You ignored the comparative, and continued to operate on absolutes. Which is ludicrous, given that if you want to "maximize consent", you should be prepared to deal with functions defined over Real numbers, instead of a binary subset of the Integers.


---
you believe ... well, I'm not really sure except maybe "government should do good things for people without worrying about implementation details or effects".
---
What I believe, but I am not sure you do, is in honest arguments.

Annoying Old Guy said...

In my view, if it's un-Constitutional, it's beyond the pale

That is, A ⇒ B. Then you say I'm not being honest if I argue "B" without A, even though logicians agree that "A ⇒ B" is not equivalent to "B ⇒ A".

As for relative vs. absolute, you asked a question, I answered. I pointed out why I consider your relative measure irrelevant.

On the other hand, there are people who think universal health care is so important that it justifies any level of coercion. Why shouldn't I take them at their word?

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
So when it came to the ACA, I strongly suspect that CJ Roberts decided that the Supreme Court was not going to strike down in its entirety such a huge piece of legislation, because to do so would have unduly risked the Court's legitimacy.
---
Well, that's a very interesting point of view, thanks.

So Meta-constitutional points would be the origin of their ruling.

Yet, if that's true, in the end of the day SCOTUS would have allowed Congress to effect changes contrary to the Constitutional just because Congress is Congress. Didn't the FF foresee that any Superior Court could end up with a legitimacy problem if they needed to be always against a majority?

---
And by calling the coercion involved in the ACA a tax, the decision did limit Congress's power.
---
Hmm, how so?

---
One of the things that characterizes the Anglosphere, and has done to a significant extent over the last couple hundred years, is limited government.
---
And yet, many of them nowadays enjoy... public healthcare. I know, I am being repetitive by now, but it strikes me that you guys tend to pick and choose what to stress of your cultural background and common heritage.

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,

---
As for relative vs. absolute, you asked a question, I answered. I pointed out why I consider your relative measure irrelevant.
---
Sorry, but I completely missed that one. Could you point it out again or cite where above it is?

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,

Forgot to answer this one:

---
On the other hand, there are people who think universal health care is so important that it justifies any level of coercion. Why shouldn't I take them at their word?
---
Maybe because you are not talking to one of them right now. Or at least I believe I have written enough in this blog to make it clear I am no Cuba admirer.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Clovis;

You responded to it here so I presumed you had seen. It's about two wrongs not making a right.

I realize you're not an admirer of the Cuban regime, but I thought I would provide some context about the kind of thing that has formed my view on the subject.

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,

---
You responded to it here so I presumed you had seen. It's about two wrongs not making a right.
---
Oh, I understood that only in terms of the arguments over the Constitution.

But then, are you implying that all the other coercive acts practiced through taxes by government (federal, state and local) are wrong? I mean, whatever you pay for garbage collection, water systems, roads, police and fire depts., and so on?

You say you want to maximize consent, but you give me little to understand how to do that math in a way you would agree with.


---
[...] but I thought I would provide some context about the kind of thing that has formed my view on the subject.
---
Do you have Cuban roots?


As it happens, I've met a few Cubans here in Brazil during my grad studies. I shared my office back then with one for a while, so I had my share of talks about Cuba. One of them was the son of a personal secretary of Fidel (I mean secretary as the lady who picks up the phone, not a political figure) and in Cuba he studied with one of Che Guevara's sons who also became a physicist. Due to his mother, he used to have access to Fidel's library - he used to boast about reading Hawking's "A Brief History of Time" from Fidel's own copy. Interestingly, he deserted from the island (I don't know what it may have cost to his mother) and, although he grew up among Cuba's "elite", he was much more critical of the regime than the other Cubans of more "common" background (i.e. not near their circles of power).

But I digress - I just wanted to say that, to the extent I could hear about Cuba from Cubans themselves, it is neither the hellhole one may imagine, nor the fantasy island of good healthcare the Left may paint sometimes. But definitely no model to follow, even more compared to so many successful democracies that implemented reasonable healthcare programs without destroying freedom - why to pick up only the worst case scenario to form your view?

Annoying Old Guy said...

Clovis;

A tax for the general welfare is, in my view, far less coercive than a de facto product mandate. That is, funding for the military (which is a general good, benefiting the citizenry in general) is very different from universal health care (which is effectively the government forcing each citizen, individually, to purchase a specific product). There is a grey area, of products that require large scale infrastructure (e.g. sewer systems) although I think this is more frequently used as an excuse rather than to describe a real problem. Still, it remains that case that saying already extant policy A is too coercive in no way justifies implementing overly coercive policy B.

I have no Cuban roots, and I didn't choose the Cuban example, people who support universal health care do. What does that say about their viewpoint, and their willingness to use coercion for their policy? Here is another example of what universal health care supporters think. In terms of arguing about such a policy, it is to me irrelevant what you think or would do, as you won't be implementing it here in the USA.

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,

---
In terms of arguing about such a policy, it is to me irrelevant what you think or would do, as you won't be implementing it here in the USA.
---

I only wish you could have said so a few dozen posts ago. It would save us both valuable time.

Harry Eagar said...

'Take his quote and, after providing us your definition of racism, explain to us precisely how what he said is racist. No goal post shifting, and no dog whistles only hyper-tuned progressive minds can discern./

Do I get to bring context to the table like I did with Sowell (pointing out that his claim that the crash happened on the coats was complete bunk)? Or not?

Why would a white man, a professional controversialist, stand in front of a white audience and point the finger at black people? If the gummint policies were so bad, and if the honkies and the darkies were both the same pre-gummint, why did they not affect the honkies exactly the same? Why did Robertson say them and not us?

Harry Eagar said...

'Take his quote and, after providing us your definition of racism, explain to us precisely how what he said is racist. No goal post shifting, and no dog whistles only hyper-tuned progressive minds can discern./

Do I get to bring context to the table like I did with Sowell (pointing out that his claim that the crash happened on the coats was complete bunk)? Or not?

Why would a white man, a professional controversialist, stand in front of a white audience and point the finger at black people? If the gummint policies were so bad, and if the honkies and the darkies were both the same pre-gummint, why did they not affect the honkies exactly the same? Why did Robertson say them and not us?

Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:] Do I get to bring context to the table … Why would a white man, a professional controversialist, stand in front of a white audience and point the finger at black people?

The problem with bringing "context" to the table is provides you the opportunity to just make stuff up, just as you did here. As if it wasn't already bad enough to reject out of hand — despite a host of reasons why you were wrong to do so — someone else's first hand experiences. Now, with your statement-posing-as-a-question, you wish to impose upon him his state of mind.

Besides, it allows progressives prior restraint on speech: if you decide after the fact that you don't like someone's "context" (a pox on Derrida) then you get to convict based upon nothing more reliable than your own rank prejudices and ignorance.

Just like at CT. How much clearer does progressive arrogance have to be before progressives can manage an inkling of it? He has no right to his own experience, his own words, his own meaning, or even his own mind.

And, then, again, just like at CT, you simply disregard the words on the page to come up with "… point the finger at black people." If there was anything you should not be able to extract from what he said, it surely is that.

That is why I think your, and progressives' accusations of Robertson's racism is complete, despicable, hogwash. You have arrogated to yourselves the wielding of that nasty tar brush, yet are endlessly incapable of reaching that end except through simply shouting "racist" as loudly as you can.

So I'm betting you can't justify your defamation without, in effect, inventing evidence out of whole cloth, which is what your appeal to "context" amounts to.

If the [government] policies were so bad, and if the [white sharecroppers] and the [black sharecroppers] were both the same [pre-Great Society], why did they not affect the [white sharecroppers] exactly the same?

Presuming you don't wish to argue that things have not gotten, in very significant ways, worse for blacks since Jim Crow, then that is a brute fact you don't get to wish away.

As far as Robertson is concerned, welfare policies share the blame. I think he is right. And there are nearly an endless list of reasons why

Unfortunately, progressive hubris can never admit that progressive policies, which are always right because they are the policies of progressives, might just have created a disaster. Therefore, you react as if what Robertson said was a racist comment, when it was the exact opposite of racist. It continues to be an ongoing source of astonishment that progressives relentlessly, and uniformly invert, the clear meaning and context of this words.

… like I did with Sowell (pointing out that his claim that the crash happened on the coats was complete bunk)?

Except you didn't. You trotted out a litany of your own talking points, many of them irrelevant, while ignoring the necessary consequences of the CRA.

And especially like you didn't do with his column, because you didn't address a word of it.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] So Meta-constitutional points would be the origin of their ruling.

The part of it that decided the mandate wasn't a mandate but instead was a tax. (Which, IIRC, is what Obama & Dems wanted to call it, until they realized they couldn't get the ACA passed calling it a tax, so they called it a penalty. When the challenge made it to the SC, that allowed Roberts to interpret the ACA based upon the premise that legislation is constitutional.

Going the other way would have contradicted that premise, while allowing progressives to paint the court as black robed kings. Instead, Roberts, in effect kicked the ball back into the political arena, rather making the result judicial.

Yet, if that's true, in the end of the day SCOTUS would have allowed Congress to effect changes contrary to the Constitutional just because Congress is Congress.

Except it isn't entirely true, neither in the case of the ACA, nor in general.

The Court's decision invalidated part of the ACA: states couldn't be forced to participate in the ACA's Medicaid Expansion.

And in Citizens United, the SCOTUS gutted legislative restrictions on political speech. Progressives loathe the decision, and Obama made an ass out himself over it at the subsequent State of the Union address.

[Hey Skipper:] And by calling the coercion involved in the ACA a tax, the decision did limit Congress's power.
---
[Clovis:] Hmm, how so?


Because it drew a line in the sand — should Congress in the future pass a law which contains a mandate, then that will be sufficient cause to find it unconstitutional.

And yet, many of them nowadays enjoy... public healthcare. I know, I am being repetitive by now, but it strikes me that you guys tend to pick and choose what to stress of your cultural background and common heritage.

You are right, to the extent that "enjoy" is the correct word.

But that is beside the main point. The ACA (IMHO, clearly not as a legal matter) was a gross affront against the Constitution. Regardless of whether single payer healthcare is a good idea, turning US healthcare into single payer is a political non-starter. So the ACA got as close as it could and still have enough votes to pass (and its passage alone was constitutionally dubious). It only got to passage through relentless obfuscation. It is likely that Democrats still have a majority in the Senate, and possibly Obama is still president, only through repeated bald faced lying about what the ACA entailed.

To me, the ACA is a dangerous precedent that can't possibly work well enough to overcome its manifold abuses of the Constitution as a contract between government and citizens. That is why equating the degree of coercion between the ACA and other government functions is focussing on the wrong thing.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
Regardless of whether single payer healthcare is a good idea, turning US healthcare into single payer is a political non-starter.
---

I am aware of that. My real intent was never to defend the idea as a practical matter. I was just using it to test for coherence over that "you shall not coerce" principle.


---
To me, the ACA is a dangerous precedent that can't possibly work well enough to overcome its manifold abuses of the Constitution as a contract between government and citizens
---

If you really take the initial intent of the FF on board, you can not escape the conclusion that you guys are in a big mess, and ACA is only the last one of it.

The irony of it is that, probably, had you not allowed such a mess to happen, you would not be the powerful country you are. For it is hard to imagine you would be in the same position today, had the federal govt not taken the reins in critical points of history, in such ways that could only lead to it grabbing more power than supposed to by the FF.





Harry Eagar said...

I didn't read his column. I had a bellyful of Sowell already.

If you want to continue to argue that black people were better off before they were allotted their share of civil rights be my guest. My position is different.

You never did address the voting issue, did you?

Now you're not addressing the question: why did Robertson mention black people at all? I read his statement. I do not agree with it, but IF I did, then there would be no reason to mention black people at all. He could have said 'poor rustics'

You and Robertson can continue to believe the myth of the happy darkies, but people who went out and asked would tell you you were wrong.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1298&dat=19690409&id=o7EwAAAAIBAJ&sjid=wYoDAAAAIBAJ&pg=1234,2485140

Harry Eagar said...

'For it is hard to imagine you would be in the same position today, had the federal govt not taken the reins in critical points of history, in such ways that could only lead to it grabbing more power than supposed to by the FF.'

It would be a lot smaller, for sure.

Skipper's complaints ae not new. I recently read all the antiintervention editorials of Garet Garrett from 1939-42. According to him, the first thing to go whould be the ability to criticize the administration..

Reality has a hard time breaking through into rightwing politics.

And erp thinks you don't understand our Constitution. I think you got the big points.
'

Annoying Old Guy said...

I was just using it to test for coherence over that "you shall not coerce" principle.

Who has that principle, that you can test it?

As for the historical record, I think our nation would be richer and more powerful had the government avoided taking additional power and control at those "critical" moments. For instance, the Great Depression would a poorly remembered downturn except for government "taking charge".

erp said...

aog, the government did more than take charge of the Depression. It was an earlier attempt at creating a panic in order to gain more power. However, the citizenry in those days were a lot more informed and it didn't work. To be fair, there were no Obamaphones then either. This time may be the charm.

Harry, No one here has claimed that colored people were happy back before they were put into custodial care. We said they were better off because the hope of a better life for themselves and children was still alive. Children had parents and a community. Not all white people were like those made famous in novels like Uncle Tom's Cabin. They learned the basics in those de jure segregated schools which the new de facto segregated schools can't seem to match.

It's not surprising that you got a bellyful of Sowell. For someone like you, his sensible low key telling it like is must be very hard to swallow and impossible to refute.

erp said...

Harry, we did intervene and yet we can't criticize the government anyway without the IRS or some other federal agency down our necks.

Odd that?

Harry Eagar said...

erp, stop making stuff up. A large fraction of American blacks were illiterate. Whites, too, back then.

Your fantasies about a happy tribe of darkies are still fantasies.

No question black people are better educated today than ever. Probably many of them out in Silicon Valley or flying airplanes etc. are pretty happy that today they do not have to limit their aspirations to becoming a Pullman car porter.

erp said...

Give it up Harry. No one said anyone was happy, only that they were better off than those in custodial care today.

Fighter pilots and captains of industry, black or white, aren't in custodial care to my knowledge.

Your references move from period to period, century to century. The kings of England and France were illiterate at one time too. What does that prove?

Poor black and white kids still can't read and the schools that spend far more than the average have the worst track record. 'Splain that please.

The vast majority of these kids have no secure homes or families. It is a tragedy of gigantic proportions inflicted by your side Harry. The side that can't seem to see the results of their meddling. Now the new idiot mayor of NYC wants to provide dinner for school children in addition to breakfast and lunch. The SEIU trolling for more members is the likely reason.

erp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Annoying Old Guy said...

Hmmmm, "darkies". One is left wondering about the visceral thrill an putative anti-racist gets from using terms like that...or "tribe", for that matter. Remember, kids, terms like that are racist only if uttered by the politically incorrect. The Proper Sort of People get a permanent pass.

Hey Skipper said...

[Hey Skipper:] Regardless of whether single payer healthcare is a good idea, turning US healthcare into single payer is a political non-starter.

[Clovis:] I am aware of that. My real intent was never to defend the idea as a practical matter. I was just using it to test for coherence over that "you shall not coerce" principle.


I think I left my intent unclear. I was speaking of progressives. They knew that single payer was a non-starter, so instead they concocted a monstrosity the contents of which they deliberately obscured, and about which they pervasively lied. In their pervasive arrogance, they decided that their awesome rightness about everything meant that where the rest of us failed to agree, we must be forced.

If you really take the initial intent of the FF on board, you can not escape the conclusion that you guys are in a big mess, and ACA is only the last one of it.

The irony of it is that, probably, had you not allowed such a mess to happen, you would not be the powerful country you are.


Perhaps, although that requires a lot of alternative history to balance the books between the costs and benefits. The trampling of the commerce clause, our grotesque tax code, and the gutting of federalism don't exactly fall in the credit column.

[Harry:] I didn't read his column. I had a bellyful of Sowell already.

No, of course you didn't. Instead you simply put your stamp of approval on a Wonkette piece that was horrible even by Wonkette's abysmal standards.

When I google ["Restating the Obvious" "Thomas Sowell"], counting generously, there are three results (two if you count by separate subjects).

One of which you didn't actually bother to read.

There is nothing so close minded as a progressive.

If you want to continue to argue that black people were better off before they were allotted their share of civil rights be my guest.

Harry, do me a favor. Instead of telling me what I want to argue, how about quoting what I am actually arguing? Because the former and latter are no more alike than chalk and cheese.

I know I have mentioned it before, but the similarity between you and the assembled wits Crooked Timber is astonishing. I can't count the number of times someone there, rather than addressing my argument, told me what it was. Turned out to be very convenient for them, particularly when it came to point evading.

erp understands completely: there is a difference between poverty and impoverishment. Robertson's point was about the latter: that in ways that matter more than the merely material, blacks are worse off today than during Jim Crow. But since progressives resolutely refuse to even attempt to understand others' points of view — a waste of time, since progressives already view everything correctly — you (collectively) completely fail to understand the distinction.

Which is precisely why I used the line at Crooked Timber that Clovis cited at the top of this thread: Until you get that — even if you don’t agree with it — then your comments amount to nothing more than a dog criticizing logarithms.


Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,


---
As for the historical record, I think our nation would be richer and more powerful had the government avoided taking additional power and control at those "critical" moments.
---

I will tell you one moment I was thinking about: the decree to end slavery.

Of course, many made the argument that the Fed. Govt was being too coercive. When I read confederate arguments, sounds quite familiar with yours.

Left to the States, slavery hardly would end so soon. And maybe your economy, used to have that free workers, would not evolve as it did - this is what happened in my own country, which as I commented some time ago, resembled your South back then in many ways.

Harry Eagar said...

Skipper your claims about impoverishment are perhaps comforting but they buy no shoes.

They also assert, without any evidence, that the underclass was created by liberal policies. erp is explicit; she denies there was an underclass.

With you, the factual jump is implicit.

But there was an underclass before (the theme, you know, of that Kentucky post) and there remains an underclass.

One of the mysteries of human behavior is the persistence of underclasses. I had a psychologist tell me once that it is because men are inhibited from doing better than their fathers; and I think there is something to that.

In any event, your steadfast refusal to acknowledge the emergence of an educated, self-confident, successful American black sector is amazing. I guess you just don't have any sense of how bad things used to be.

erp said...

Actually Clovis the argument about slavery centered on states' rights, not coercion and certainly not on the lot of slaves themselves which was only the emotionally charged peripheral argument... and BTW, slaves weren't free. They were very expensive. I tried to find a source that I could trust online, but I couldn't so I'll rely on my memory which was that about 12% of planters owned slaves.

Harry, you can't be serious. Perhaps you could take Skipper's advice and respond to what we are actually saying.

There will always be an underclass, but our system allowed people of ambition and ability to move out of it and make a better life for themselves. That's virtually impossible now that every member of the downtrodden is a valuable cog in the system of keeping the elites in power.

In addition so many of the modern underclass are substance abusers and/or the poor unfortunates suffering from mental illness who were thrown out of hospitals to make your side feel better about themselves. It's called de-institutionalization and it worked great in creating a permanent homeless population about which the media can wax and wane depending on whether a Democrat or a Republican is in the White House.

Currently the homeless apparently don't exist because their plight isn't on the front pages and leading the news programs as they was during Bush's terms.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Clovis;

I will tell you one moment I was thinking about: the decree to end slavery.

That's not taking more power and control, it's making less. I suppose I must remind you again that my metric is the amount of consent that results. I count as coercive those laws that reduce consent, therefore this comes out as "not coercive". Perhaps your error is in thinking laws are intrinsically coercive, which is not my viewpiont at all. That's my I am a minarchist and not an anarchist.

Did you also know that that decree applied only to states in rebellion, not the entire USA?

When I read confederate arguments, sounds quite familiar with yours.

That's a rather pathetic dodge - can I accuse you of having arguments similar to Fidel Castro? He's in favor of universal health care, using arguments very similar to yours. Do you believe that valid arguments are rendered invalid and unacceptable if they are espoused by a bad person? If not, what's your point here?

Left to the States, slavery hardly would end so soon

It's unclear how soon slavery would have ended. I don't see that as particularly relevant, however. In terms of the economy, hasn't Mr. Eagar been arguing not much changed in that regard in the last 250 years in the south?

And maybe your economy, used to have that free workers, would not evolve as it did

Slavery was illegal in most of the USA before the Civil War and most of the economic wealth was in the free states. Those economies would have developed effectively the same way and purely in economic terms slavery would not have had much impact on the overall development of the nation.

Harry Eagar said...

'in economic terms slavery would not have had much impact on the overall development of the nation.'

Wow. All those jobs in the north that required cotton? To say that slavery was illegal in most of the nation is obtuse. It was implicit everywhere.

'our system allowed people of ambition and ability to move out of it and make a better life for themselves. '

Not if they were black, it didn't.

Annoying Old Guy said...

All those jobs in the north that required cotton?

You're ranting faster than your keyboard can keep up. Do you mean that (1) if slavery had continued, no cotton would have been produced or (2) ending slavery would have halted cotton production or (3) ending slavery would have eliminated all the jobs in the north dependent on cotton?

Also, do you mean that if region A doesn't have slavery, but trades with region B that does, region A has de facto slavery, because slavery would be implicit in region A?

erp said...

Harry, you can't be unaware that there were successful blacks all over the country before, while and after slavery existed in the south. Your side has no coherent argument, so just be happy your side won and will destroy the country that gave everyone their best shot at achieving their hearts' desire.

Harry Eagar said...

'Also, do you mean that if region A doesn't have slavery, but trades with region B that does, region A has de facto slavery, because slavery would be implicit in region A?'

If it's the same polity, of course.

'there were successful blacks all over the country'

Successful black naval officers? No, not any. (I chose that because my father was a Navy officer.) Quit

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,

---
That's not taking more power and control, it's making less. I suppose I must remind you again that my metric is the amount of consent that results. I count as coercive those laws that reduce consent, therefore this comes out as "not coercive".
---
If you read what you actually wrote up above, you'll see you proclaim, in absolute terms, another condition to classify a law as coercive: to be un-Constitutional. I quote you again: "In my view, if it's un-Constitutional, it's beyond the pale."

The South had a good case to make on the Fed. Govt. infringing the order built by the FF. The validity of holding slaves was even certified in Supreme Court decisions. What authority had the Feds to tell them not to? How - within the Constitution of then - can you allow for the Federal Govt. to take that action?

To the extent I get the FF federalism you so much enjoy, I can not see how the Confederates where not in their rights. The North coerced them, didn't they?
To the point the whole thing only got "Constitutional" again with the South under North's heavy boot accepting the modifications to the Constitution.

You look to see no problem in the "progressives" of then making mandates for someone to lose his money (slaves). But somehow it is now a great Constitutional sin to make a mandate for you to lose your Money (ACA). Quoting Skipper, "Discuss".


---
Do you believe that valid arguments are rendered invalid and unacceptable if they are espoused by a bad person? If not, what's your point here?
---
No, I do not, and I hope my questions above make clear what was my point.

BTW, your comparison with Fidel on health care would make no sense. My arguments were certainly different from his.


---
Those economies would have developed effectively the same way and purely in economic terms slavery would not have had much impact on the overall development of the nation.
---
You have great confidence on you crystal ball, don't you?

I believe you forget the whole economic model that was connected to slavery. And in fact was the reason for the war, since it led the South to have quite different opinions on tariffs, taxes and so on.

Do you confidently imagine the Confederates winning the Civil War and things going on pretty much the same for the USA afterwards?


Hey Skipper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:] They also assert, without any evidence, that the underclass was created by liberal policies …

Do they? Where?

Please, be precise. Do me a favor and never imply anything from what I have written. It is hard enough to get complex ideas across without you deciding for me what they are. Asserting that I, or erp, failed to take on board that blacks were very, very poor, would be a real insult if it wasn't so laughably wide of the mark.

I'll save you the bother of making something else up for me. Since Jim Crow, violent crime in black communities has soared. So has illegitimacy and fatherless families. Oh, yeah, drug addiction. It even may well be that schools were better — no, sorry, less worse — during Jim Crow than they are now in places like D.C., Detroit, Chicago, et al.

Perhaps you can argue that those things aren't true, or perhaps you can argue that they did not get much worse, much faster for blacks than the rest of the population since Jim Crow. Certainly you might try to argue that progressive policies didn't aggravate societal changes in black communities.

But that would require you actually taking on board, and addressing, the criticism of progressive policies, instead of trotting out strawmen in orc-like hordes.

Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:] In any event, [Hey Skipper's] steadfast refusal to acknowledge the emergence of an educated, self-confident, successful American black sector is amazing.

No, what is amazing here is your inexhaustible ability to just make offal up, and then sling it at a wall. Unless, of course, you can show where I refused the obvious...

(NB: if you can find anyplace where I said, implied, intimated, suggested, hinted, nudged, or insinuated anything of the kind, then by all means quote me and I'll apologize. But otherwise, it is you who needs to be repentant.)

[erp:] 'there were successful blacks all over the country'

[Harry:] Successful black naval officers? No, not any.


Every time I think a progressive has cranked the non-sequitur meter to eleven, I quickly find I was wrong.

Hey Skipper said...

[AOG, to Harry:] Do you mean that (1) if slavery had continued, no cotton would have been produced or (2) ending slavery would have halted cotton production or (3) ending slavery would have eliminated all the jobs in the north dependent on cotton?

AOG, I can't believe I have to explain this to you. Since slavery in the south was essential to the North's economy, then the end of slavery would mean the collapse of both the North and the South's economies.

Which is clear from hist …

Oh. Never mind.

Harry Eagar said...

'Every time I think a progressive has cranked the non-sequitur meter to eleven, I quickly find I was wrong.'

How is that a non sequitur? It is one example among thousands.

erp says Americans were free to rise. It was not true until liberals forced the issue.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Clovis;

Yes, the Confederate States had a good argument. I am still not sure if I would have agreed they had a right to leave the Union without the permission of the federal government. On the other hand, the Constitution does guarantee specific rights to citizens and not even States can abrogate those. If you want a Constitutional justification you could start there. It is a question of who is a citizen and that is clearly a decision of the federal government, not the States.

You look to see no problem in the "progressives" of then making mandates for someone to lose his money (slaves)

No more than I consider it a problem if a fence loses money because stolen property is returned to the rightful owner.

I would point out that it's not me who thinks it is uncoercive to, by law, take the productive labor of person A for the benefit of person B. You claim to object to slavery but only seem to really object to the underlying philosophy if it's done by private actors, and not if done by the government. I think it's wrong in all cases, no matter who does it.

To bring it back to your example, in slavery I can point to the person who has had his labor stolen, and therefore it is not coercive to cause the thief to lose money. In your case, who is the thief? Who have I trangressed against that I should be punished by fines? And after all, in both cases I support removing a mandate that limits individual freedom. You seem to have a more ... nuanced view.

I believe you forget the whole economic model that was connected to slavery

No, I didn't, because it wasn't. Or is your claim the economy (particularly the economy in the Union states) collapsed after the slaves were freed? It's not a crystal ball I'm using, but the historical record. The slaves were freed and we can observe the effect of that, which turns out (for the overall American economy) to be not much. In fact, the post Civil War era (till WWI) was the period of the strongest economic growth of the USA. (Sorry, Skipper, I wrote this before I saw your response - isn't it amazing to be able to so totally disregard actual history?)

But if we dig a little deeper, one notes your implication would only be a problem if people were more productive as slaves than freemen. Otherwise you get a boost, and development economically faster, without slavery. Is that truly what you think?

erp said...

No Naval officers? Why didn't your hero Frankie, the first and hopefully last, of the infamours new deal, change that while dealing to stack the court and seed the government with his picko friends.

erp said...

Americans were always free to rise. That's why people came here by the millions from every hell hole in the world. Blacks were in a very singular position having come here against their will and then enslaved. That travesty doesn't change that for others, coming here was a way to make a better life for themselves.

Lefties have never made anything better, except perhaps bettering their bottom lines.

Sorry for all the typos. I guess this subject is so infuriating, I literally can't see straight.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

---
I guess this subject is so infuriating, I literally can't see straight.
---

As a matter of fact, you never seem to be able to see straight on anything.

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,

---
On the other hand, the Constitution does guarantee specific rights to citizens and not even States can abrogate those. If you want a Constitutional justification you could start there.
---
Except the Constitution - and the FF federalism - made it pretty clear it was up to the states, and the Supreme Court was in agreement.

You are a sissy Yankee thinking you can legislate what you think is good for the other States. You took power by force and coercion to change so, even though there was a binding contract, called Constitution, setting things in stone.

You approved of Theft and breaking contracts back then. If you were half smart a Yankee as you think you are, you would realize that if you "don't consider coercion to prohibit theft, or to say that one must obey a voluntarily signed contract", as all the States signed voluntarily the Constitution contract, to break it later on was a Very Bad Thing. Absolutely against the Founding Fathers principles. Hey, a few of them had slaves - and made good use of them, take a look at Mr. Jefferson you dumb Yankee!


---
To bring it back to your example, in slavery I can point to the person who has had his labor stolen, and therefore it is not coercive to cause the thief to lose money.
---
Don't you get it? In terms of arguing about such a policy, it is to me irrelevant what you think or would do, as you won't be implementing it here in my States expect we go to war!

You want to "free" a good and law abiding niger, who will have no place to go, when I give him all he needs for, only to make you feel good? He has no labor stolen, he gets food to eat - and he is pretty Expensive, for God's sake! See Erp up above, she agrees with me! That's a smart lady, thanks God she lives in the South now and lost that North Yankee bulls**t babbling.


And actually you did not answer my question at all: Do you confidently imagine the Confederates winning the Civil War and things going on pretty much the same for the USA afterwards? We would make you pay hell, and no more talking of lesser tariffs for this industrialized garbage you do only due to our hard work in the South!

erp said...

So much for reasoned discourse. It's impossible to undo what decades of propaganda have done.

Clovis, why on earth would we go to war with Brazil -- to steal some oxygen from the rain forests or did you mean Brazil would have invaded us to free the slaves? The notion is ludicrous.

I think after all, the isolationists may have been right. Strictly regulate immigration to only those who can prove they want to become part of We, the People and let the rest of the world kill each other on a routine basis as they've done from the beginning of time.

PS: Is there such a think as Anglo-envy? Methinks it's shown up in Clovis big-time.

Annoying Old Guy said...

I think it very unlikely the Confederacy could have won the Civil War.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,


As I said, you can't get anything straight these days.

I was obviously impersonating, in farcical ways, a Confederate up above, not a Brazilian. It was a recourse to evidence where AOG's arguments had parallels with Confederate ones. It was intended as half-joke, but I guess the joke is on you if you actually took it serious in order to write your isolationist disclaimer.

I have been taking AOG seriously up to now, when I've convinced myself he is only interested in a honest argument up to the point he can hide his weaknesses. I won't bother to lose more time in a discussion that ends with "it is to me irrelevant what you think", for this beforehand nullify any reason for engagement at all.

Harry Eagar said...

It would have been nice if Roosevelt had done what you suggest, erp, but the conservatives in the Democratic Party would have blocked him.

The Democratic party was not the monolithic bunch of commies you imagine. Even today, after exporting most of its racists to the GOP it is not uniformly staunch on progressive platform issues. Ask Jimmy Carter about that. Or cast your mind back to the policy disputes about the Equal Rights Amendment.

I see you now admit that America was the land of the free except if you were too dark.

I chose 'naval officer' as one (of thousands) of examples, because an appointment to Annapolis was the vehicle my father used to escape the destitution of his family during the Depression. It is not a trivial matter that it was not available to blacks or most Hispanics.

Hispanics, though, make an instructive example. Going through dad's Lucky Bags (the Naval Academy annual), you find a scattering of cadets with Spanish surnames who won appointments from southwestern states. These were not, alas, the upwardly mobile offspring of Mexican wetbacks but sons of the old Spanish landed aristocracy.

Not daughters, either, of course.

The open door had a nasty habit of slamming in the faces of tens of millions until progressive ideas took hold.

Next thing, I bet, you'll be telling me that it is really conservative to open places to talent. But when the conservatives were in the saddle, somehow that opening never occurred.

erp said...

Harry, when were conservatives in the saddle?

erp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:] How is that a non sequitur? It is one example among thousands.

erp says Americans were free to rise. It was not true until liberals forced the issue.


Because that isn't even close to what erp said, which (using the newfangled miracle of cut & paste) was this:

… there were successful blacks all over the country before, while and after slavery existed in the south.

She wasn't talking about the Navy, nor did she posit for even a syllable that there were not barriers to blacks' success; rather she clearly stated that successful blacks existed.

I'm dying to know why progressives are so prone to vandalizing other's statements.

[AOG:] Yes, the Confederate States had a good argument.

The Confederacy had a good argument only as long as it was possible to assign blacks to a lower order of life. Once enough people think otherwise, then the Constitution and slavery could no longer co-exist.

Unfortunately, the Confederacies invocation of states' rights in defense of the indefensible was largely responsible for nearly eliminating the concept.

[Clovis:] Except the Constitution - and the FF federalism - made it pretty clear it was up to the states, and the Supreme Court was in agreement.

You are right, a great deal was left up to the States. Even the 1A wrt religion spread more by osmosis than anything else to the states.

Of the many ways in which the original sin of slavery remains with us today, the undermining of federalism is right up there.

You are a sissy Yankee thinking you can legislate what you think is good for the other States. You took power by force and coercion to change so, even though there was a binding contract, called Constitution, setting things in stone.

I think you are making a category error here. The Emancipation Proclamation was issued during the Civil War, yet there is nothing in the Constitution that limits what the government can do during a civil war. Had the Civil War not started, and had the southern states been willing to subject themselves to an adverse outcome, then the US could pass a constitutional amendment eliminating slavery.

However, that wasn't the case.

Which means you are arguing that because unconstitutional coercion was used to free slaves, then other instances of coercion are OK.

But the parallel is strained to the breaking point in three ways. The Civil War was completely outside the Constitution. Virtually no coercion was used to free the slaves, as the Civil War was ongoing when the EP came out (iow, the war would have been fought to its end even in the absence of the EP). And virtually as soon as the extra-constitutional war was over, the 13th Amendment was passed, which made constitutional any further coercion required to free the slaves.

And actually [AOG:] did not answer my question at all: Do you confidently imagine the Confederates winning the Civil War and things going on pretty much the same for the USA afterwards?

I imagine worse, particularly for the South. Slavery is seductive to the masters, who without force would never had to understand that it is cheaper to buy than to steal.

Harry Eagar said...

'The Confederacy had a good argument only as long as it was possible to assign blacks to a lower order of life. Once enough people think otherwise, then the Constitution and slavery could no longer co-exist'

Agree more or less with your major premise, but now explain to me why rightwing propagandists in 2014 sell Acton's lectures on the war waaaay below cost.

erp said...

What are rightwing propagandists?

Of course the Constitution should have been amended and a long time before 1863 because then it could stayed intact instead of greatly reducing states' rights as the war did to the detriment of everyone.

The EP didn't do slaves a favor by throwing them out into a very hostile environment with no support system in place and when the war was over, they were left to the mercy of the carpetbaggers.

It should have been done legally and with some semblance of organization to make a smooth transition.

As usual conventional wisdom is wrong.

Hey Skipper said...

... now explain to me why rightwing propagandists in 2014 sell Acton's lectures on the war waaaay below cost.

Until you provide a link, the only explanation I can offer is that once again you are trafficking in baseless innuendo.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Skipper;

I thought about this a bit after I posted and I came to basically the same conclusion as you did, that the Confederate arguments eventually run aground on the rock of shared humanity.

I also realized that Clovis makes another error in presuming a false dichotomy, that policy A must be either required or forbidden by the Constitution, which is not the case. The pre-Civil War Constitution could be argued to be ambiguous on slavery, neither explicitly permitting nor forbidding it and therefore either action by the federal government was Constitutional.

P.S. What's interesting here is that pro-life factions essentially make this same argument, that a fetus is a human being, yet now that argument is rejected by modern liberals.

P.P.S. I had to laugh at "the whole economic model that was connected to slavery" fail leading Clovis to conclude my argument is weak.

Harry Eagar said...

Will the Mises Institute do?

http://mises.org/daily/4188

Heh.

I cannot post on line the book catalog of the rightwing propaganda organztion from whom I bought -- at very low prices -- Acton, Burke on the Ftrnch Revolution and some other righwing tomes. They are in storage so I cannot trll you the publisher's name, which i have forgotten.

Liberty Institute or something like that..

Annoying Old Guy said...

Um, what's your point?

To quote, " In almost every nation and every clime the time has come for the extinction of servitude".

So, you give us a right-wing screed from 1866 that argues for the abolition of slavery and this shows...what?

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
Which means you are arguing that because unconstitutional coercion was used to free slaves, then other instances of coercion are OK.
---
That's not quite my point.

I was only showing an instance where the Constitution was changed through the action of the Federal Govt., and quite outside the means devised by the FF, with a motivation based on "changing of times and aspirations". That's not different from the same arguments I used for acceptance of public healthcare today if that was what the people massively wanted.

You may very well not accept such changes based on the legalist position of not crossing the Constitution, as AOG in fact argued. I hence tested him on why his position would be different with regard to Civil War and abolition.

The reason his position there is different is not legal, neither logical. It is only because, in that case, he agrees with the cause in question. The same looks to be the case for you.

So I am not defending the coercion once used in that case allows for new coercion now. I am only pointing out that, if you agree with the coercion used then, you are not allowed to use an absolute legalist position against healthcare today. At least not without beating yourself.


In the end of the day, AOG's principle of "maximizing consent" is only his personal preference for life. It is not enshrined in the Constitution, neither was it followed by the FF themselves. It is not better, neither worse, than any other principle someone else my prefer - for example, that "the State can be used to promote greater good". So when some of our friends here make ridicule of the last one, and promote the first one, it is OK as long as they stop arrogating a superior ground for themselves.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] So I am not defending the coercion once used in that case allows for new coercion now. I am only pointing out that, if you agree with the coercion used then, you are not allowed to use an absolute legalist position against healthcare today. At least not without beating yourself.

On its face, that is a compelling argument, particularly for someone who is not from the US.

But I think it is less strong then you do, because it contains implicit assumptions that, when examined, invalidate the analogy.

Summarizing heroically, the US civil war started because the Federal government refused to allow slavery in new states. Noting unconstitutional or coercive about that.

Subsequently, slave holding states seceded from the union. That was completely extra-Constitutional, as was the coercion used when they first started seizing federal facilities, then fired on Ft Sumter, thereby starting the Civil War.

Which fatally undermines one implicit assumption, that the EP involved coercion. It didn't. The Civil War started over secession, and ended with the defeat of the Confederacy.

That is the first reason I disagree with your argument: it assigns to the EP coercion which did not exist.

The second implicit assumption is that the period after the secession of the Confederacy was within the problem space of the Constitution. But it wasn't, and it makes no sense to impose upon an extra-Constitutional situation Constitutional constraints.

In contrast, the ACA occurred entirely within the Constitution's problem space, and the coercion involved follows directly, and exclusively, from the ACA itself, rather than some preceding event.

There may well be other instances that could show that I am talking out both sides of my head, but the Civil War isn't one of them; the analogy fails.

In the end of the day, AOG's principle of "maximizing consent" is only his personal preference for life.

Without re-reading this thread, I don't think he said that it was enshrined in the Constitution. Rather, his point is that pushing governing power as close to the governed as possible will mean that government is far more likely to operate with the greatest consent, and the outcome will be much better than government concentrated and estranged from the citizens.

I agree (with my version of his argument, anyway).

(AOG, apologies in advance)

erp said...

Just to clarify that the Constitution nowhere and in noway states that blacks aren't human.

That's in contrast to lefties who describe an unborn baby as a non viable tissue mass. Here's the quote:

“Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within the Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.”

No mention at all of slaves.

This is why there's such an emphasis on rewriting history and only including snippets of original documents in modern textbooks.

erp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
erp said...


BTW - free persons didn't extend to women, who IIRC, weren't even counted at 3/5th value.

Harry Eagar said...

Well, no mention except 'all other persons.'

Harry Eagar said...

Context means something, Guy, since Acton (not someone I admire, because of his antidemocratic, authoritarian lifestyle, by the way) tried to square the circle by saying he opposed servitude while spending hundreds of pages defending the CSA.

Annoying Old Guy said...

AOG's principle of "maximizing consent" is only his personal preference for life

Um, yeah. I thought that was obvious.

Although, as Skipper points out, I would be interested in which part of the Constitution you think permits secession.

Context means something, Guy

Then tell us, o sage, what it means.

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,

---
Um, yeah. I thought that was obvious.
---
It would be, had you not mixed it with your particular interpretation of the FF and the Constitution.


---
Although, as Skipper points out, I would be interested in which part of the Constitution you think permits secession.
---
If we sign a contract, and you do not fulfill your part, why am I obliged to keep up with mine? That was the reasoning of the South as far as I understand it.

Also, one correction to your discussion of post-Civil war economy: I did argue things would go worse had the South won, and you then show me how they went very well after the North won - do I really need to point out the error in logic here?


Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
There may well be other instances that could show that I am talking out both sides of my head, but the Civil War isn't one of them; the analogy fails.
---
I will accept your corrections, both for lack of time to research the topic and because I never intended the analogy to be complete in every aspect (few analogies ever are).

I will only remark that, by restricting it only to slavery, you oversimplified matters to a point that only favors your argument - the States' rights and trade questions never entered your consideration - but I'll leave at it. (I am also tired of playing the South's advocate here, it is a position I'd never thought of finding myself in).



---
Rather, his point is that pushing governing power as close to the governed as possible will mean that government is far more likely to operate with the greatest consent, and the outcome will be much better than government concentrated and estranged from the citizens.
---
That would be true had not him denied healthcare at State level too, or any other level AFAIK.

AOG's definition of maximizing consent is only true as far as his consent is involved. If he is in the losing side of the voting booth, so much worse for general consent.

Annoying Old Guy said...

If we sign a contract, and you do not fulfill your part, why am I obliged to keep up with mine? That was the reasoning of the South as far as I understand it.

But ultimately an incorrect argument - it was the South that first violated the contract, not the Union.

I did argue things would go worse had the South won

Where? If you check, you'll note I quoted your statement when I discussed the economic results post-Civil War. Let me quote you again - "I believe you forget the whole economic model that was connected to slavery". How exactly is that an argument that things would have gone worse if the Confederacy had won? I don't see a logic error on my part, I saw you moving the goal posts. But feel free to point out where you made this argument previously.

AOG's definition of maximizing consent is only true as far as his consent is involved.

No. Unless you think of slavery as a consensual relationship. Do you?

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,

In case you missed, I quote myself as written up above:


"Left to the States, slavery hardly would end so soon. And maybe your economy, used to have that free workers, would not evolve as it did - this is what happened in my own country, which as I commented some time ago, resembled your South back then in many ways."

I wonder how you extract from this text that I am arguing your economy would do better under South victory.

But even not presenting again this excerpt to you, it is a mystery to me how you understodd what you did from my other quote, "I believe you forget the whole economic model that was connected to slavery".

If there is anything in my English style that led you to such error, please let me know.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Clovis;

I didn't extract that from the quote in your most recent comment. On the contrary, I was responding to your claim I failed to do so. Let me quote you again - "I did argue things would go worse had the South won". So, where exactly did you make that argument?

With regard to "the whole economic model that was connected to slavery", it was in the context of my claim that the overall American economy and particularly the free state economies would have proceeded much the same whether slavery was abolished or not. I can only interpret your quote as a counter-claim that no, it would not have, because it was so connected to slavery. You might also ask Skipper, who interpreted that comment exactly the same way I did.

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,

---
Let me quote you again - "I did argue things would go worse had the South won". So, where exactly did you make that argument?
---
At exactly the quote I gave you above: "Left to the states ...".

I am recognizing that to end slavery was good for the economy, and countries that delayed it, as mine did, did not good in economical terms.

As for "the whole economic model that was connected to slavery", I was obviously (at least to me) referring to the South economy, not to the North. So let me make it explicit by rephrasing it as the following: "the whole South's economic model that was connected to slavery".

Any further ambiguity to clarify?

Harry Eagar said...

'I am recognizing that to end slavery was good for the economy'

This remains controversial among econometricians, and it is not so easy to show that it is true for the US South.

After slavery ended it was replaced with peonage, and cotton production went way up, over time, but whether you can say that the Southern economy improved is doubtful.

Cotton production rose thanks to soil mining, and arable acreage has been falling sine 1860.

For an agricultural economy, all of this is more negative than positive.

The shift to a modern, industrial or service economy came very late -- as Harry Truman used to recall, when he was president there were still 2 million working mules in Missouri; and surveys done at the same time found that indoor plumbing -- or even modern outdoor santitation -- was rare in rural Georgia.

It is very far from obvious that ending slavery, by itself, was economically positive for the South.

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,

Let me correct another possible ambiguity.

In my phrase "Left to the States, slavery hardly would end so soon. And maybe your economy, used to have that free workers [...]", I have meant "free workers" as people who work for free (slaves), not people who are free and work - gosh, that's quite a bad construction by my part, consequence of thinking in Portuguese while writing in English.

Was it a source of confusion?



Harry,

I doubt that the net result over the US economy would be negative after abolition. By the contrary, you greatly enhanced your potential consumers for goods and unleashed workers locked in a specific area of the economy so they could potentially go for any other one.

Even the destruction it brought for the South, while making things worse there for some time, may have made the North Industry more competitive at the world stage: since the South was in ruins and its wages greatly diminished compared to the North, they end up being a source of very cheap and reliable basic materials for the North.


Now, if we loot at the South's economy only, I believe you, it may be hard to identify imediate positive results coming from abolition. Yet, in the long run, the surely benefited from being in the greater US economy.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Clovis;

That certainly contributed, but here is the main confusion --

I wrote

"Slavery was illegal in most of the USA before the Civil War and most of the economic wealth was in the free states. Those economies would have developed effectively the same way and purely in economic terms slavery would not have had much impact on the overall development of the nation"

I think this is clearly talking about economy of the non-slave states and its domination of the overall economy of the USA. You replied directly to this, quoting it, with

"I believe you forget the whole economic model that was connected to slavery".

Both Skipper and I took this to mean you were referring to the subject of discussion, the economies of the free states. Mr. Eagar seems to have read it the same way as well, maintaining that the free state economies were dependent on the slave states due to cotton production.

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,


---
[Clovis] "I believe you forget the whole economic model that was connected to slavery".

[AOG] Both Skipper and I took this to mean you were referring to the subject of discussion, the economies of the free states.
---

And I thought that, clear as it was that the only economy based in slavery was the South, my phrase would mean that I was talking about the whole South's economic model, as I already corrected later on.

I also indicated, prior to this point (in the thread that started your reply on economic matters) that part of the reason for the war was the difference between both economic models, hence I assumed it was clear enough.

The South wanted free trade with the world, lesser tariffs for importing and no troubles to export its raw materials to the European markets. The North wanted just the opposite, in order to protect its nascent industry.

I did not in fact argued it explictly - for I guess anything I say on the topic should be trivial to you - but when I stated your economy could go worse if the South economic model prevailed, it meant less consumers for its North's goods (slaves had no salaries to buy stuff), less immediate protection against international competition at that point in history, and as I pointed out above, the South's destruction also gave for some time cheaper access to raw materials.

So, I do not believe at all your conclusion that abolition was negligible to the economy. If you want to argue so, at the very least please tell me: if we suddenly disappear with 10% to 15% of your population (hence, consumers), what would the the effect of that in the Economy? And now if we suddenly reapper with them, what do you think may happen?


Annoying Old Guy said...

Clovis;

clear as it was that the only economy based in slavery was the South

Heh, explain that to Mr. Eagar, who explicitly claimed above that the entire USA economy was based on slavery (e.g., his remarks about cotton). He's hardly the only person I have encountered who thinks the same thing, I presumed your were just one more.

[Side note - the entire cotton string is an amusing demonstration of how Eagar's economics are purely rhetorical devices. First slave produced cotton was essential to the North economy ("all those jobs") and then not, when cotton production increased after abolition.]

if the South economic model prevailed

Ambiguous - in the South, or over the entire nation?

if we suddenly disappear with 10% to 15% of your population (hence, consumers)

You mean modern day consumers, or consumers with the disposable income of slaves?

I think slavery was economically bad for the South, and this is a key reason I don't think it would have lasted much longer than it did. For the overall national economy, it represented a minor drag because of how dominant the free state economies were over the slave states.

One might ask, how would the American economy fare if Appalachia disappeared?

I would note also your focus on consumers seems bizarre to me - economic wealth is not built on destruction (i.e., consumption) but on production. Otherwise we could increase food production by releasing locust swarms (consumers par excellance).

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,


---
[Clovis] if the South economic model prevailed

Ambiguous - in the South, or over the entire nation?
---
In the South but with influences over the rest of the nation: expanding slavery to the new states and ensuring macroeconomical policies (tariffs, etc) helpful to their agrarian business instead of the industrial one.

---
You mean modern day consumers, or consumers with the disposable income of slaves?
---
I've meant the first as the extreme case. The slaves in a first moment would contribute little, but in medium term you can not ignore the importance of roughly 10-15% of the population to the economy.


---
One might ask, how would the American economy fare if Appalachia disappeared?
---
I might, if you tell me their relative weight in the population back then.


---
I would note also your focus on consumers seems bizarre to me - economic wealth is not built on destruction (i.e., consumption) but on production. Otherwise we could increase food production by releasing locust swarms (consumers par excellance).
---
If you see yourself as a not much different from a locust swarm, AOG, I can not help much more than suggesting a visit to the psychologist might be in order.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Clovis;

Slavery was already restricted in new states, so the level of contra-factuality in your hypothesis is very ambiguous. My comments have focused very specifically on slavery and its economic impact so I don't think we're talking about the same hypotheses.

As for locusts, your comment is quite a bizarre non-sequitor, as I didn't mention myself at all.

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,

---
Slavery was already restricted in new states, [...]
---
Was it? As I understand it, not yet when South seceded.

---
As for locusts, your comment is quite a bizarre non-sequitor, as I didn't mention myself at all.
---
So you are not part of any human economy as a consumer?

Harry Eagar said...

It is interesting that no capitalists thought to compete with slave-grown cotton by using free labor to grow it. While he econometricians continue to struggle with their regressions, experience tells us that servile labor often returns greater profits than free labor.

Then there was the destruction of scarce capital (yes, children, there was a time in history when capital was scarce), which was certainly a setback for southern economies. (In the British Caribbean islands, the capitalists were compensated, in the belief that they would continue to invest there, so that no special provisions would have to be made for the freedmen. Of course they did not, leaving the workers destitute and ruining the very rich economies of the islands.)

The expansion of the North was based on labor exploitation that was as bad as slavery -- as the slavers always reminded the abolitionists. If you don't believe me, a visit to the East Side Tenement Museum will clarify things.

All this discussion, of course, amounts to a justification of slavery: if the only objections to it are economic, then wherever slavery outcompetes free labor, then capitalists will prefer slavery, as indeed they always have.



Hey Skipper said...

[AOG:] Slavery was already restricted in new states, [...]
---
[Clovis:] Was it? As I understand it, not yet when South seceded.


Because new states were going to be admitted as free states, the balance of power between free and slave states was going to shift against slave states. That is why the South seceded, because they saw the handwriting on the wall.

[Harry:] It is interesting that no capitalists thought to compete with slave-grown cotton by using free labor to grow it. While he econometricians continue to struggle with their regressions, experience tells us that servile labor often returns greater profits than free labor.

That is only interesting to those captivated by single factor explanations. If, at the time, everyone was convinced there was no competing against slave labor, then no matter the objective truth, no one is going to give it a go. Also, your single factor explanation completely ignores the consequences over time between costly vs. free labor: the former will try to conserve labor, the latter will be promiscuous in its use. Yet over time, experience tells us that conserving labor always, or close as darnnit, produces greater profits.

Which is why your unsourced, example free statement that "servile labor often returns greater profits" is wrong: you have to ignore time to get there, then, by definition ignore history.

All this discussion, of course, amounts to a justification of slavery: if the only objections to it are economic, then wherever slavery outcompetes free labor, then capitalists will prefer slavery, as indeed they always have.

That has to be the most preposterous sentence I've seen from you in a long time. You use the rhetorical if to posit a foolish assertion, follow it up with the empty set, then reach a vacuous, and historically contradicted, conclusion.

Clovis e Adri said...

Harry,


---
While he econometricians continue to struggle with their regressions, experience tells us that servile labor often returns greater profits than free labor.
---
It indeed does, most of the time.

When AOG argues that it is not true, since cotton production enhanced later on, he is being disingenious: agriculture has steadly got more efficient due to introduction of new technologies, it has not much to do with the regime of work.



---
The expansion of the North was based on labor exploitation that was as bad as slavery as the slavers always reminded the abolitionists. If you don't believe me, a visit to the East Side Tenement Museum will clarify things.
---
I believe you. AOG, with his "maximizing consent" principle, does not care for that at all. As long as the ex-slave is working "by his own will", it does not matter if he is doing as bad as when a slave.

But the fact that many times people in the bottom has in fact very little freedom of his working choices, is one of the weakest points of AOG's philosophy. He may argue it nos not a bug, but a feature, but ultimately he thinks so because he surely never experienced economic suffering in life. (I am hearing Erp calling me Communist by now)


---
All this discussion, of course, amounts to a justification of slavery: if the only objections to it are economic, then wherever slavery outcompetes free labor, then capitalists will prefer slavery, as indeed they always have.
---
After all my AOG bashing, Harry, here I need to defend him: he has argued from the very beginning against any kind of coercion, and based on principles, not economic returns.


Annoying Old Guy said...

Clovis;

To elaborate a bit on Skipper's response to the restriction of slavery in new states, at a minimum any new state north of the top of Texas would be a free state. The Compromise of 1850 added to this, adding California as a single free state instead of a split free / slave state. This also set up New Mexico and Arizona to determine their status by referendum, having previously been set to be slave states. As Skipper notes, this was a key issue for secession because the changing composition of the Senate was making a 13th Amendment increasing likely even without a war.

Mr. Eagar;

It is interesting that no capitalists thought to compete with slave-grown cotton by using free labor to grow it

No, it's not. It's a very typical government subsidy effect.

servile labor often returns greater profits than free labor.

Only in a local sense, just as a company that gets large government grants/loans/subsidies has a higher "profit" than a company that doesn't. The overall economic impact is negative. It's an example of concentrated benefit, diffused cost.

All this discussion, of course, amounts to a justification of slavery

No. We're just arguing it's not just wrong, it's stupid.

Clovis;

When AOG argues that it is not true, since cotton production enhanced later on

That wasn't my argument at all. It was about the dependency on cotton of jobs in the northern states.

But the fact that many times people in the bottom has in fact very little freedom of his working choices, is one of the weakest points of AOG's philosophy

What I observe is that the implementation of my philosophy does more to improve the lot of those at the bottom than any other. The question is, what matters more - results or intentions? I go with results.

I also don't see the benefit of changing that from "little freedom" to "no freedom". Even at its worst, free markets did less to lock people in to poverty than our current welfare state.

Harry Eagar said...

'he has argued from the very beginning against any kind of coercion, and based on principles, not economic returns.'

So he has but he has also used the economic argument. Since his preferred non-coercive labor regime has never existed anywhere, it may make him feel warm inside but it addresses no actual issues.

'It indeed does, most of the time'

And even when it doesn't, capitalists will choose it. We have examples of that in Brazil right now, do we not?

In any case, it is laughable for him to claim that over time free labor is more efficient and thus will be chosen. When do free marketeers ever choose the long term over quick returns? Never in my experience.

However, this is not theoretical. When slave-grown cotton was not available, capital was quickly deployed to Egypt and Fiji to grow cotton under conditions that were, if not very good, at least not chattel slavery. As soon as the South returned with its peon-grown cotton all thee existing farms shut down.

Annoying Old Guy said...

his preferred non-coercive labor regime has never existed

As always, I have to ask how you are defining "coercive" here. I'm presuming it includes calling the fact that objective reality requiring production for continued existence "coercion", as it forces people to work.

it is laughable for him to claim that over time free labor is more efficient and thus will be chosen. When do free marketeers ever choose the long term over quick returns?

Frequently, in my experience. I have been personally involved in very expensive projects that had no immediate payoff. You can ask Skipper about the Dreamliner if you want another example. Or perhaps foresters. Or Midwestern farmers. Not to mention any capitalist who planned to have their children inherit control of their company. That you can observe business and never have experienced any of these things is quite amazing.

But why do you see that as a problem? After all, in the long term, we're all dead, right?

Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:] When do free marketeers ever choose the long term over quick returns? Never in my experience.

Then your experience is blinkered to the point of perhaps presenting a hazard to you.

Essentially everything my company does is with the long term in mind - B777 and B767 acquisitions aren't done to fluff the next quarter's numbers. In fact, I can say that as confidently for every company I have worked for and just about all that I can think of.

Since his preferred non-coercive labor regime has never existed anywhere ...

What the heck does that mean?

Clovis e Adri said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,


---
To elaborate a bit on Skipper's response to the restriction of slavery in new states, at a minimum any new state north of the top of Texas would be a free state.
---
I am almost changing topics, but since you mention Texas: why is it that Texas entrance in the US, done in terms that specifically allowed for it to secede any time it wants, is OK, while the South deserved war for seceding? I am curious to have your take here.



---
What I observe is that the implementation of my philosophy does more to improve the lot of those at the bottom than any other. The question is, what matters more - results or intentions? I go with results.
---

I would rather have intentions and results. Anyway, you would help your cause if you bothered to show this data you observe that so convinced you that your philosophy is above all others.


---
Even at its worst, free markets did less to lock people in to poverty than our current welfare state.
---
There again: Data, where are you?

Clovis e Adri said...

Harry,

---
[On slavery and profit returns]
And even when it doesn't, capitalists will choose it. We have examples of that in Brazil right now, do we not?
---
Sometimes, although this is far from being the standard: there are far away rural places where peonage still happens, so the workers are not under shackles, but end up in some utterly illegal eternal debt system [doesn't that happen in the US too, with illegals in farms?]. Now and then some farmer practing it is denounced and the police goes there to bust it all.

In cities, a more recent thing is more alike what happens in the US already for a long time: illegal foreigners, having no legal options of work, end up being severely explored in illegal terms too. Recently many Bolivians have been found in this situation in big cities, like Sao Paulo, working for companies that were hired to make cloths for these famous multinational upper-class brands.

I guess, though, none of these cases would be called "slavery" for AOG, for no one was working at gunpoint. They were all acting on their "own will" - except many were being mislead by their patrons, either because they were analphabets with no knowledge of their rights, and/or because they were foreigners in fragile conditions.


---
In any case, it is laughable for him to claim that over time free labor is more efficient and thus will be chosen. When do free marketeers ever choose the long term over quick returns? Never in my experience.
---
Well, there are no shortage of cases where workers under some semi-slavery scheme, in poor countries all over the world, do work that ends up being for American companies.

I do not want to point fingers here, but thought this should be mentioned after AOG and Skipper declarations of love for their companies up above.

erp said...

Skipper: In the land of unicorns, the sun always shines and people just pick luscious fruit off the trees and pumpkins off the vines and sip nectar from the sparkling streams and live in harmony with all the creatures on the land, in the sky and in the sea. This is sometimes phrased as: From each according to his ability; to each according to his needs. I've never heard mentioned from whence this bounty comes or who decides who gets what and who gives what. Mere details, I'm sure.

Clovis: Check the welfare rolls and see what happens when people aren't "coerced" to work aka as paying their own way.

I sincerely hope your reading of scientific data is more accurate than that above. Skipper and aog reported on their experiences with companies for which or with which they worked. You translate that as "declarations of love."

A language thing again?

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

---
Skipper and aog reported on their experiences with companies for which or with which they worked. You translate that as "declarations of love." A language thing again?
---

It was a language thing in the sense that I used irony. You of all people should have understood, since you just love to be ironic all the time.

My use of irony was justified by the fact that both AOG and Skipper changed subjects when answering Harry. Harry pointed out how companies would prefer short term instead of the long one - but in the context, it was obvious he was talking about how those companies think about their interaction with society, e.g. they would rather have profits with semi-slavery now (as they do in many countries where that's possible) than to first make things fair.

Now, to the above point, Skipper and AOG gave answers that showed that companies quite understand how to make long term investments in their own business. Was it really the topic Harry touched? You, with you great mastering of the English language, Erp, may well explain that to me.

Annoying Old Guy said...

why is it that Texas entrance in the US, done in terms that specifically allowed for it to secede any time it wants, is OK, while the South deserved war for seceding? I am curious to have your take here.

Is this a serious question? You answer it yourself - the annexation fo Texes was "in terms that specifically allowed for it [Texas] to secede any time it wants".

Annoying Old Guy said...

you would help your cause if you bothered to show this data

I have. Multiple times. The discussion of it has filled entire comment strings.

Annoying Old Guy said...

both AOG and Skipper changed subjects when answering Harry

No, we didn't. Eagar's point, as it has been for years, is that companies will choose short term profits over long term ones. Adding some claim about "make things fair" is changing the subject. After all, this was in the context of discussing slavery purely in economic terms, therefore it's obvious his comment was in the same vein, purely about economics.

companies quite understand how to make long term investments in their own business. Was it really the topic Harry touched?

Yes, it was, as noted above. Eagar has claimed in a similar vein that free market types would happily poison all their customers for short term profit, which is stupid in terms of long term profit.

erp said...

Clovis, I'm afraid even the Bard of Avon couldn't make sense of Harry's English.

Throughout this string and others like it I have been waiting for you to use one little word ... and there it is. ... "they would rather have profits with semi-slavery now (as they do in many countries where that's possible) than to first make things fair."

Bingo.

It's not fair mommy. He got a big piece of cake than I did. Fair's fair.

That's why I goaded you with the famous "fairness" slogan of the Communists.

You want fair. Read "Harrison Bergeron."

Harry Eagar said...

'Or Midwestern farmers.'

You mean the Iowa farmers who mined out half the topsoil accumulated over the past 11,000 years in 110 years?

Eight inch average down to 4 inches as of 1987 when I left Iowa.

You know, although I am a southerner by birth and heritage, I lived a long time in the Midwest and studied its agriculture.

Harry Eagar said...

'Data, where are you?'

Liberals have over the past several months been trumpeting the fact that economic mobility is much greater in Europe than in the US.

Harry Eagar said...

'I guess, though, none of these cases would be called "slavery" for AOG, for no one was working at gunpoint.'

David Brion Davis tried to define 'slavery' just in its western context and it took him 2 volumes of about 1000 pages to do it. Which is why I don't know about this non-coercive labor regime that Guy favors.

In the Brazilian context, I was thinking of the family that politically controls one of the poorest states. Sorry, I have forgotten which one.

They personally are very rich, and not just rich but by economic control and keeping their clients poor, they reinforce their political power. That story resonated with me, as it is exactly what the landowners of the US South did.

erp said...

Harry, why go so far from home. Why doesn't it resonate with you that the rich crony capitalists aka fascists running this country right now are not just rich, but by economic control and keeping their clients poor, they reinforce their political power.

Same old, same old. Works the first time and every time.

Harry Eagar said...

Let's see: oil well blowout in the Gulf because of hurry-up evasions of safe operating schemes. Chemical spill in W. Virginia because of failure to repair concrete revetment.

Yep, companies are famous for making prudent, nonrevenue-enhancing outlays that protect the public and public resources and guard against 'black swan' dangers.

In the west, governments have been trying to keep businesses from dumping their crap in the streams for at least 900 years. And how often have businesses absorbed the cost of not dumping, unless coerced?

I'm sure there must be an example, somewhere, but I cannot think of one.

erp said...

Liberals ?? ... economic mobility is much greater in Europe than in the US.

And yet, alas, they're still here.

BTW - why the switch back to liberals. Has progressive lost its luster?

erp said...

Oil spill in gulf probably sabotage. Not familiar with the WV incident, but whether it's true or not, it doesn't match the multi-millions of tax dollars skimmed off by lefty politicians instead of securing the levies in New Orleans.

BTW - didn't the Love Canal and Three Mile Island hysteria turn out to be grossly overstated or downright wrong?

Would you mind pointing out which western governments were begging people not to discharge chemical waste into the waterways 900 years ago? Oh, please let me guess: Norway?

Annoying Old Guy said...

Ah, the income mobility study which is shoddy work even for liberals.

Annoying Old Guy said...

And I see Mr. Eagar is moving the goalposts a long way down field once again.

First "When do free marketeers ever choose the long term over quick returns?" is morphed in to "companies are famous for making prudent, nonrevenue-enhancing outlays that protect the public and public resources and guard against 'black swan' dangers", which puts a straw man on top of the shifted goalpost. And then "Never in my experience" turns in to "not in every case".

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,


---
Is this a serious question? You answer it yourself - the annexation fo Texes was "in terms that specifically allowed for it [Texas] to secede any time it wants".
---
Yes, it was a serious question. And you see no contradiction between that, and the South getting in a war for seceding? Interesting. Anyone else thinks different here? Skipper, all right with it too?

---
[Clovis] you would help your cause if you bothered to show this data

[AOG] I have. Multiple times. The discussion of it has filled entire comment strings.
---
Damn it, I have lost all that action then. Was it before I was born?

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,


---
Throughout this string and others like it I have been waiting for you to use one little word ... and there it is. ... "they would rather have profits with semi-slavery now (as they do in many countries where that's possible) than to first make things fair."

Bingo.
---

Wow, Erp, and you needed to wait through the hundreds of lines I've posted here already. That's a persistent woman. And all that waiting just to drop your old line about mommy. I guess it used to be a funny one in the last century...

Clovis e Adri said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
erp said...


Again a language problem. It was meant to be taken as pathetic, not funny and I waited because I wondered how long it would take for your true colors to immerge.

They always do you know.

Are you a middle child?

Clovis e Adri said...

Harry,

---
In the Brazilian context, I was thinking of the family that politically controls one of the poorest states. Sorry, I have forgotten which one.

They personally are very rich, and not just rich but by economic control and keeping their clients poor, they reinforce their political power. That story resonated with me, as it is exactly what the landowners of the US South did.
---
The family is the Sarney one. Pretty Corleone-style people.

Their state is the worst one in the country in almost every measure you can imagine. It is no coincidence that bizarre beheading following a soccer fight, that Erp posted here at GG some time ago, happened right in their State (Maranhao).

Every time our Libertarians friends here exalt Federalism and letting things to local states, which surely will make always a better job, I shudder thinking about Maranhao.

Harry Eagar said...

That's the one.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,


---
Are you a middle child?
---
Another background check?

I may answer this one if you first answer the one I asked you before: Are your sons/daughters conservatives?


On my "fair" point, I guess it is useless to point out I was not talking about communism, right? I mean, to hope people work in better than slavery conditions should be something even conservatives may approve of, you know. I mean, true conservatives. I am not sure you qualify for that either.

erp said...

Fair is one of those childish words used by the left. Most people grow up and understand that life isn't fair. Some people are bigger, smarter, better looking, have better family connections, are born in a free country, etc. There is nothing fair about it. If you want things to improve for impoverished people, you best hope they are left to figure out for themselves what's best for them and don't have a bunch a busy body lefties descending on them to help.

Remember: The most dangerous words in the English language are: "We're from the government, and we're here to help you."

Harry Eagar said...

She is frankly for unfairness. Probably if she had drawn the short straw she'd sing a different tune.

What if, erp, they decide what's best for them is not letting racists and rich people foreclose their options?

I bet nobody ever told erp and her husband on their travels, sorry, we don't rent hotel rooms to people like you. I am sure, in fact, that she has never experienced unfairness and that is why she shrugs it off.

erp said...

Never experienced unfairness. You bet I have. I wanted to be much taller and thinner and I wanted a pony and a convertible ... and that's only for starters.

You lefties are ridiculous.

If there was no room at the inn, we'd sleep in the car. I'm shrugging off an unspecified notion of fairness which has no meaning. Like the Communists' sophomoric slogan, the devil is in the details.

Skipper went into great detail using short declarative sentences to try to make you see that material goods are not the key to happiness and contentment.

Likewise your wringing of hands over boorish behavior in Brazil and Clovis' blaming it on backwater states when the president of the U.S. and his fascist cronies are doing the same thing here with nary a single tsk tsk from either of you, is illuminating and goes to my point which is in your world what lefties do is good and anti-lefties are hateful racists for opposing them.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Clovis;

you see no contradiction between that, and the South getting in a war for seceding?

No, I don't. I am utterly mystified that you do. What part of "Texas is specifically allowed to secede based on its treaty of annexation" is not clicking in for you?

Mr. Eagar;

What if, erp, they decide

Right there is the entire problem with your world view and tranzi politics. Who, exactly, is "they"? You and Clovis say companies, or the government, should make things "fair" without ever mention who "they" are that decide what is "fair". I have to agree with erp that it is a very childish way to look at politics.

Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:]Liberals have over the past several months been trumpeting the fact that economic mobility is much greater in Europe than in the US.

Liberals have been trumpeting the fact that women earn 77 cents per male dollar.

Which makes me think that liber … progressives are happy to believe, and mention in State of the Union speeches, just about any darn thing, no matter how transparently foolish, that fits their narrative.


Let's see: oil well blowout in the Gulf because of hurry-up evasions of safe operating schemes. Chemical spill in W. Virginia because of failure to repair concrete revetment.

Let's see: Challenger. Columbia.

Your point?

[Clovis:] My use of irony was justified by the fact that both AOG and Skipper changed subjects when answering Harry. Harry pointed out how companies would prefer short term instead of the long one - but in the context, it was obvious he was talking about how those companies think about their interaction with society, e.g. they would rather have profits with semi-slavery now (as they do in many countries where that's possible) than to first make things fair.

No, I didn't change subjects. Harry made a normative claim that is only occasionally true. Which, to repeat, was this: When do free marketeers ever choose the long term over quick returns? Never in my experience.

That is risible nonsense. It is so bad it isn't even wrong. (And self defeating: one contradiction renders his experience very suspect.) Free marketeers almost always choose the long term over the short; otherwise, there wouldn't be a free market for Harry to complain about.

I am almost changing topics, but since you mention Texas: why is it that Texas entrance in the US, done in terms that specifically allowed for it to secede any time it wants, is OK, while the South deserved war for seceding? I am curious to have your take here.

I must claim almost perfect ignorance about Texas's accession to the United States. What little I might know is that Texas is the only state that was a country first.

BTW, the South started the Civil War. And after secession, it was no more part of Constitutional law than Mexico or Canada.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,


---
Never experienced unfairness. You bet I have. I wanted to be much taller and thinner and I wanted a pony and a convertible ... and that's only for starters.
---

I can believe you live indeed an unhappy life. Just please do not project it onto others. I am pretty happy with mine.


Now, to single out one simple word from a long sequence of phrases, taking it out of context, to then build all this "wake up, life is tough!" discourse is pretty... unfair, to use a word you are fond of.

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,

---
No, I don't. I am utterly mystified that you do. What part of "Texas is specifically allowed to secede based on its treaty of annexation" is not clicking in for you?
---
So, to question motives, meanings and the logic of this in a greater context is something that makes you mystified?

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,


---
[Harry] Let's see: oil well blowout in the Gulf because of hurry-up evasions of safe operating schemes. Chemical spill in W. Virginia because of failure to repair concrete revetment.

[Skipper] Let's see: Challenger. Columbia.
Your point?
---
And we are changing subjects again?

Do you really see Harry's examples as analogous to those two accidents?

He is talking about wilful negligence. You believe Columbia and Challenge were wilful negligences? I hope that, as a pilot, you'll answer that carefully.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
BTW, the South started the Civil War. And after secession, it was no more part of Constitutional law than Mexico or Canada.
---
Hey, there is a logical mistake here. If you recognize them as independent countries, they had all the right to expel external forces from their soil. So how did they start the war?

erp said...

Clovis, I was waiting for the word, "fair," as I explained above because it is a favorite of the left. Fairness is meaningless in the political sense unless you are comparing the number of chairs allocated to each political party in a chamber, but to the weak minded it sounds, well, fair.

To be fair to you, it took you a long time to introduce it. You obviously understand that it is the signal that all other arguments have failed.

You want "fair" wages to be paid to unskilled third world workers who prior to the jobs in question being available were $0.00.

What in your opinion would that fair wage be? Enough to support a family with all they require to live a middle class western life, purchase a 7 room house with all appliances, two car garage with two cars in it ... because the people who pay the wages probably have all that and more and it would be only "fair" for the workers to have the same?

Usually these kind of sophomoric world-shattering matters are settled in all-nighters among college sophomores and by the time people are grown up, they understand they really don't have all the answers, in fact, you don't even have a small percentage of the questions steeped as you have been in leftwing propaganda all your life while living as the child of two medical doctors who I will be so bold as to presume are among the 1%ers of Brazilian society, if not financially, surely in prestige. I confess almost complete ignorance of Brazilian affairs.

Perhaps you too will learn that when you grow up or not. Harry and his friends never have. They still glory in being part of the great cultural revolution even if they only did so in their imaginations and after 50+ years and several trillions of dollars later the downtrodden, both black and white, are worse off and only the poverty pimps aka community organizers and their cronies are very much better off living it up among the other rich and famous. U.S. cities that are victims of lefty policies run amok are in ruins, literally in some cases like Detroit.

So again I ask, what would be the fairest in your opinion. Should companies keep their operations here, give the unions their head and go out of business severely limiting goods and services available? Let the government run everything ALA the Soviet Union where the bread basket of the world was turned into a grain importer and where even the most basic things were unavailable, except, of course, vodka, the drug of choice to keep the peasants from rising up?

Please tell me. I so don't want to be unfair.

erp said...

And in conclusion, one picture is worth at least 10,000 words.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] Hey, there is a logical mistake here. If you recognize them as independent countries, they had all the right to expel external forces from their soil. So how did they start the war?

In part that is a philosophical problem -- they were internal forces until they were external.

As for the rest, secession was an act outside the bounds of the Constitution; in order for there to be a logical mistake, the Union would have had to acquiesce to the secession.

The South's secession created another instance of Clausewitz's dictum: War is nothing but a continuation of politics with the admixture of other means.

Hey Skipper said...

erp:

Precisely -- progressives sling the "fair" around as a foregone conclusion, yet it is almost always ungrounded in any argument.

Economic mobility is the latest example. Some study purports it no longer exists, or is greatly reduced from the past, then leap in a single bound to "inequality", without stopping for second to wonder if the study might be a bit ripe, or whether there might be other -- non-economic and non-suffrage -- things going on.

Like, oh, say, fatherless families.

Hey Skipper said...

[Harry] Let's see: oil well blowout in the Gulf because of hurry-up evasions of safe operating schemes. Chemical spill in W. Virginia because of failure to repair concrete revetment.

[Skipper] Let's see: Challenger. Columbia.
Your point?
---
[Clovis:] And we are changing subjects again?

Do you really see Harry's examples as analogous to those two accidents?

He is talking about willful negligence. You believe Columbia and Challenger were willful negligences? I hope that, as a pilot, you'll answer that carefully.


No, I'm not.

First, Harry cherry picks some isolated notorious incidents as proof that capitalists always sacrifice the long term for the short term. Oddly, it doesn't occur to him that the fact such incidents are rare, hence their notoriety, rather contradicts his thesis. And he makes the further mistake of forgetting that incidents just as notorious have happened under government's purview. And all that is en route to progressives' weakness for single factor explanations. Almost all mishaps have a long and complex causal chain, but for him, only one matters.

I happen to know a fair amount about both mishaps. Just as it is the sure sign of an axe grinder to place blame for the Gulf and WV spills on willful negligence, I wouldn't impose something so simplistic on the shuttle losses.

There is a psychological phenomena called "normalization of deviation". It refers to increasing acceptance of deviations from rules or specifications when the deviations do not have any substantial result. What at first gets attention becomes, over time, accepted. The consequence is organizational negligence — not willful, but negligent nevertheless.

With regard to Challenger, someone got it.

Less forgivably, exactly the same normalization preceded Columbia. The vehicle was not designed to take ice impacts from the fuel tank, but it had been taking them for years without any serious consequences. Until …

erp said...

... now for a palate cleanser ...

Annoying Old Guy said...

Clovis;

to question motives, meanings and the logic of this in a greater context is something that makes you mystified?

No. You asking "given X is true, is X true?" is what mystifies me. I answer "because X is true" and you ask "don't you see the contradiction?". No, I still don't and I am mystified as to what contradiction you think is obvious here.

erp said...

aog, if I may be so bold as to try to demystify the issue.

It boils down to "it isn't fair." Why should Texas get a better deal than any other state? Different times, different agreements, etc. make no difference.

Texas hated by all lefties post Johnson, is thriving ... and ... and this is big ... they have permission to secede. No fault, no foul. Texas may say hasta la vista whenever they want.

Another big problem with Texas is the only conservative politician with any brains and the courage to use them and is down there and apparently he has no skeletons in his closet, except, that he was born in Canada.

Don't know the legalities, but I'll take Cruz as Attorney General if he can't be president. DOJ needs a modern-day Hercules to clean it out.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

---
I confess almost complete ignorance of Brazilian affairs.
---
That would be nothing, were not your ignorance so much greater than that.

There are limits to where I can keep up a discussion with a radical right-winger, Erp, and we have got there. I truly have better uses for my time than lose it presenting to you why I am against slavery everywhere, not only in my backyard.

Up to now, you only proved Harry right. The answer, Harry, over to when some people would practice slavery or not, has little to do with returns. The answer is "whenever they can get away with it".

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
There is a psychological phenomena called "normalization of deviation". It refers to increasing acceptance of deviations from rules or specifications when the deviations do not have any substantial result. What at first gets attention becomes, over time, accepted. The consequence is organizational negligence — not willful, but negligent nevertheless.
---

Sure, that happens everywhere. We are all humans. From corporations to nuclear missile bases, as we have been witnessing as of late, people do get too much used to "deviations".

But there is another very important difference between the shuttles and Harry's examples: the last ones represent private enterprises working for their own good, but externalizing all the major consequences of their negligence to the public.

None of the shuttles poisoned waters used by entire populations and ecosystems.

Further, in the shuttle case, error ultimately resulted in death and the people operating it would be, by far, the least interested in avowing negligence. Can you say the same about BP?

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,

---
No, I still don't and I am mystified as to what contradiction you think is obvious here.
---
The contradiction is constitutional. The secession of states was not explicitly allowed in the Constitution. How do you place Texas' agreement within the same Constitution invoked as a reason for Civil War after South secession?

You were in this same thread saying, about the blurring of Constitutional orders, that "One of my primary objections to what passes for our current political order in this nation is precisely that blurring, as if it doesn't matter."

So a separate agreement with a particular State can have precedence over the Constitution itself? What "order" is this?

Annoying Old Guy said...

Clovis;

How do you place Texas' agreement within the same Constitution invoked as a reason for Civil War after South secession?

I don't.

You yourself wrote "Texas entrance in the US, done in terms that specifically allowed for it to secede any time it wants". It has nothing to do with the Constitution in the case of Texas. As I noted earlier "Texas is specifically allowed to secede based on its treaty of annexation". I don't see any reference to the Constitution in either your or my claim.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Clovis;

So a separate agreement with a particular State can have precedence over the Constitution itself?

A treaty, not just an "agreement" is valid if it does not directly contradict the Constitution. There is nothing in the Constitution that prohibits a treaty with an independent nation (Texas before annexation) containing an exit provision.

Annoying Old Guy said...

As for "blurring of Constitutional orders", that is the blurring of federal vs. state vs. local. Treaties are inherently a federal matter, so I don't see where any such blurring would occur in this case.

Harry Eagar said...

'Who, exactly, is "they"?'

Voters

Harry Eagar said...

'If there was no room at the inn, we'd sleep in the car.'

And if there was room in the inn, you'd still sleep in the car if you weren't white; at least until the lefties changed the laws.

You continue to demonstrate that you know nothing about the country you live in and have never experienced unfairness.

'

Harry Eagar said...

Skipper, does it never occur to you to wonder why these disasters are as uncommon (I would not say rare) a they are, or less common than they used to be?

Why the Big Branch mine disaster was so much less fatal than the monthly disasters before regulation by gummint of free markets in coal mining?

Or why garment factories go up in flames in Dhakha but not in Los Angeles?

Harry Eagar said...

Well, well, well. On Saturday the mail brought me (at the cheapest price of any mail system in the world, despite unionization) the catalog of Liberty Fund Books. I had not heard from them for several years.

Liberty Fund was where I got my very cheap copy of Acton's lectures in favor of the Confederate States of America.

They are no longer offered.

I suppose it is possible that someone there read the book and wondered whether it really advanced their mission of encouraging "the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals," but not likely since 1) other books of Acton's are still in; and 2) the lineup includes some notorious anti-semites.

erp said...

Harry, if we knew there would be no room at the inn, we'd make other arrangements or go elsewhere. We're not like leaves blowing in the wind waiting for our betters to come take care of us. Why are you so concerned with my personal life? Don't believe me. Who gives a rat's patoot? Suit yourself.

Los Angeles is a little funky, but comparing it to Dhakha? (do you mean Jakarta) may be a little over the top.

Coal mining again. You know that strip mining is safe and done correctly does not leave permanent scars on the land. Why are you against it then? Nuclear power is safe if done correctly. Again why ban it and demonize it? Oil, ditto? Solar power technology not up to the demand for power. Maybe in the future. Wind power does far more harm than the meager power produced. I don't think you'd like to live without power, but maybe in Hawaii it might be doable. Other places, not so much.

Top soil destroyed by farmers? Why would they destroy their prosperity? Oh yeah, for short-term gain.

Your arguments are ridiculous.

As has been said by others, we need the government like a fish needs a bicycle.

erp said...

Again I am gobsmacked by another of your ridiculous statements. The mail is the cheapest in the world despite unionization?????

Check the current deficit, but perhaps arithmetic wasn't your best subject. The P.O. is being subsidized to the tune of billions by us yahoos who pay taxes.

Lord Acton is your top priority? This may be the silliest of a long line of silliness.

Why not get het up on the president of the U.S. and his intent to drive the country further into third world status with the power of his mighty pen and how all the bobbleheads in congress are nodding their heads in unison.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

Here is an interview made by one of your guys with Mr. President:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/02/02/not-even-smidgen-corruption-obama-downplays-irs-other-scandals/

Enjoy.

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