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Old 09-11-2011, 07:15 AM
whburgess whburgess is offline
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,202
Default The real problem sneerers, Experts vs. Masses, and subsidizing hiring Vets.

Both of these guys are the best; I'm always glad to see either one of them.

Some points I want to comment on.

In my opinion, Paul Krugman is not the problem.

Most people are not reading Paul Krugman. The people who read him are not people who can be influenced either way by his tone; his audience are thinkers who are interested in the content he has to say.

The people who are influenced by tone, and that is most people who vote, particularly people in the middle who don't have much of an ideology, are influenced by the political tone in the popular culture. They hear people such as Bill Maher, Rosie Odonald, Jeneane Geroffalo, Sean Penn, Matt Damon, Michael Moore, etc. and are alienated. There are characters on the right who do the same, but they are not as ubiquitous as people on the left in those areas where the people we are talking about happen to flip the channel to. People whose minds are up for grabs are not listening to AM radio and hearing Limbaugh; they are flipping over to HBO just in time to hear Bill Maher ranting again about how stupid Americans are to audience applause and a panel of degenerates saying weird stuff like how they'd like to hate-f*ck Michelle Bachman--to more cheers. They are flipping through channels and stopping on the entertainment news channel to listen the latest gossip on their favorite movie star just in time to hear another drug addled rock star who has been in out of rehab 17 times talking about how GWB is 'the biggest terrorist in the world'.

Arrogant experts versus ignorant masses

Glenns exposition on experts versus the masses is excellent. This depth of thinking is the reason I come to this site. I want to make a point that is a little bit beside the point Glenn was making, but I think it's still connected. The point he does make is excellent and I have no further comment on it except to say he is right on target. Except I think he is a little off when he juxtaposes the expert community against the masses. Actually, the masses respect experts and do not regard them with suspicion. The only people they regard with suspicion are those who come to them saying "I'm right, you're wrong, and I have the experts on my side".

This is why Perry doesn't say "The experts (Scientists) are wrong about this". He knows this wouldn't fly with anyone. What he says is "We have some experts on our side as well". Thats all he needs. For the other side to say "But we have more experts on our side" only makes the experts on Perry's side more interesting, perhaps underdogs even. Everyone likes underdogs, particularly if they are perceived to be subject to unfair treatment by the refs in the MSM who act as if what they have to say doesn't matter.

This dilemma is compounded when Perry and others are treated with contempt because they don't go with the 'consensus'. Americans may be stupid in some ways--but in some ways they aren't; they know those minority of scientists who aren't part of the consensus are experts as well. They figure if an expert can go against the consensus and still be an expert then surely a non-expert shouldn't feel any shame in doing so as well. To call them stupid is to call the experts on their side stupid -- and only an idiot would call an expert stupid instead of simply disagreeing with them. Particularly when the idiot calling the expert stupid is not themselves an expert.

This why those who truly take an alarmist view of climate change will NOT see people like Perry as the biggest threat to their cause. They will see people who use climate change as a political issue to paint Republicans as idiots, anti-science, etc. as the biggest threat to their cause.

Tax credits for vets in combat

I had a little difficulty understanding this one.
Preferring vets in the job queue may not be 'obviously correct' in the sense that it would be incorrect to not do it, but it is certainly 'morally defensible.'

I strongly disagree that the monetary payments and health benefits we give Vets in combat are compensation for putting their life on the line. There is no compensation for that. We pay them because they and their families need food, shelter, etc. They are not mercenaries. They are patriots fighting for their country.

We don't have to subsidize their preferential treatment in hiring in order to honor them. And if he is saying that doing so in some way denigrates their service by equating material benefit with honor, then I see his point.

But he seems to be saying that it is inappropriate to honor them in a way that shows them preference over those who don't serve because they've already been paid, and this just amounts to discrimination. I find that rather disagreeable.

Last edited by whburgess; 09-11-2011 at 07:51 AM..
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