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  #121  
Old 09-22-2010, 11:02 PM
grits-n-gravy grits-n-gravy is offline
 
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Default Re: Big Government Libertarianism (Glenn Loury & Jim Pinkerton)

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Originally Posted by operative View Post
Well for one thing they work directly with people who, at least with younger children, can have weak and susceptible immune systems. And it's not as if immigrants working in the education sector are subject to different laws...
So a purpose of the law is to control and/or minimize an infectious outbreak even though an outbreak may not be imminent. How is that concern any different than a country wanting to reduce public health risks by monitoring who enters and leaves its borders? FYI, the basic premise of this common sense concern is plainly laid out by the International Organization for Migration.
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  #122  
Old 09-22-2010, 11:08 PM
operative operative is offline
 
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Default Re: Big Government Libertarianism (Glenn Loury & Jim Pinkerton)

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Originally Posted by grits-n-gravy View Post
So a purpose of the law is to control and/or minimize an infectious outbreak even though an outbreak may not be imminent. How is that concern any different than a country wanting to reduce public health risks by monitoring who enters and leaves its borders? FYI, the basic premise of this common sense concern is plainly laid out by the International Organization for Migration.
Monitoring is much different than controlling. I think it's absolutely reasonable for the government to keep track of immigration flows, but there's a big difference between doing that and government actually attempting to shape the composition of migrants through restrictive policy.

I know an Indian IT professional who was lucky to be able to stay here and work. Well, not necessarily just lucky--he earned a graduate degree from one of the top universities in the country, but he knew others in his situation who were actually unable to find companies willing to sponsor them due to some cumbersome restrictions passed by congress. And I think that's very objectionable.
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  #123  
Old 09-23-2010, 09:15 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: Big Government Libertarianism (Glenn Loury & Jim Pinkerton)

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Originally Posted by eeeeeeeli View Post

To me, the conservative claim that government welfare is even a minimal driver of poverty just seems crazy. There are numerous other social and economic factors that enter, have entered, and will continue to enter with government completely out of the picture. If you seriously drill down into the causes of generational poverty, more often than not you will find that when the government provides a helping hand, people find it a lifesaver. When it does not, they simply suffer the consequences.

Making better choices, taking advantage of opportunities is something that people need to learn how to do. It doesn't just magically happen on its own as long as the government isn't there to help. Charity and community organizing, along with generous helping of good fortune can get them part of the way. But only government can guarantee the help when a citizen needs it - whether food stamps, transit service, unemployment insurance, healthcare, daycare or education. This isn't about coddling anyone. It's about helping someone improve their life.
Your post, which I excerpted, said the same thing over and over in different words...that is that there is no way to prove that government assistance perpetuates the welfare mentality and lifestyle and that it should be lauded because at least it keeps people from drowning.

This is an entirely subjective opinion, as is the conservative one. Conservatives will say that the existence of government assistance will foster the behaviors such as irresponsible pregnancy, lack of personal initiative, and sense of helplessness that cause the need for welfare to mushroom.

Another little conservative nugget is that because government assistance comes from an anonymous source there is no shame or feeling of gratitude attached to it, whereas when the help comes form a private source such as a church in the community it creates a feeling that it shouldn't be ongoing and perhaps should be repaid.
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  #124  
Old 09-23-2010, 09:18 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: Big Government Libertarianism (Glenn Loury & Jim Pinkerton)

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Originally Posted by TwinSwords View Post
Kind of glad I had a chance to know America during its hey day, before conservative economic policies destroyed it.
Oh brother!
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  #125  
Old 09-23-2010, 09:20 AM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: Big Government Libertarianism (Glenn Loury & Jim Pinkerton)

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Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
Oh brother!
:-)

A little hyperbolic, I'll grant. ;-)
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  #126  
Old 09-23-2010, 09:56 AM
eeeeeeeli eeeeeeeli is offline
 
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Default Re: Big Government Libertarianism (Glenn Loury & Jim Pinkerton)

Apologies if I was repetitive!

You are correct that there is (as far as I know of) no evidence for the conservative claim that government assistance creates dependency.

But there is evidence that government assistance gives people needed help, as well as as directly fostering self-improvement in many cases.

Take the example of state subsidized community colleges. The conservative case would be that, because they are cheaper, they make it easier for people to aim lower, settling for less instead of working harder for more exclusive private colleges. This is probably true at the margins - yet again, difficult to prove. But it is obviously the case that for millions of Americans, community colleges offer a route to upward mobility that otherwise wouldn't be possible.

You can apply this similar logic again and again to a variety of government services. The fact that a subsidized option exists may have a marginal effect on those who would otherwise be working harder. But this (unproven) claim is vastly outweighed by the general good that is provided to those who otherwise would not be able to realize the opportunity. Mass transit is an example. Health care is an example. Again, food stamps. Unemployment insurance definitely (I myself just spent 8 months unemployed, yet the stimulus COBRA subsidy and unemployment insurance extension allowed my family to make it through until I found work - that I am trained to do).

Essentially, the conservative argument is a subjective, unproven claim. The question of whether government programs do the job they are designed to do, however, is entirely empirical.
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  #127  
Old 09-23-2010, 10:35 AM
look look is offline
 
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Default Re: Big Government Libertarianism (Glenn Loury & Jim Pinkerton)

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Originally Posted by operative View Post
Because that's who the programs were designed for. This is another case where government is to blame. Government held African Americans back through vile segregation laws, and then government decided to adopt the cowbell approach--the only solution is more government. But the additional government meddling only kept people who were underprivileged and kept them underprivileged, and disrupted the social structure in the process.
It wouldn't make sense for people who were no underprivileged to fall sway to such social programs because it would entail a diminution in their quality of life--I wouldn't pretend to say that life living off the government is nice, or at least what I would consider to be nice.



I can't wait till Joe Miller gets to Washington. It's about time we had people who rejected the status quo and dared to think outside of the government box and propose genuine conservative answers.
Great cowbell line.

Just to clarify your thoughts; state and local governments kept blacks down, and once the federal government intervened with anti-segregation laws, and ultimately they were enforced, the government then weakened the family/moral structure of poor blacks through economic assistance and other programs.

My question is, do you think it was appropriate for the government to have intervened in establishing and enforcing anti-segregation laws, or should they have let the free market system take its natural course? (Sorry if I missed this answer above.)
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  #128  
Old 09-23-2010, 10:58 AM
operative operative is offline
 
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Default Re: Big Government Libertarianism (Glenn Loury & Jim Pinkerton)

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Originally Posted by look View Post
Great cowbell line.

Just to clarify your thoughts; state and local governments kept blacks down, and once the federal government intervened with anti-segregation laws, and ultimately they were enforced, the government then weakened the family/moral structure of poor blacks through economic assistance and other programs.
Yes.

Quote:
My question is, do you think it was appropriate for the government to have intervened in establishing and enforcing anti-segregation laws, or should they have let the free market system take its natural course? (Sorry if I missed this answer above.)
It's a good question and one Rand Paul had difficulty with. I think it was necessary at that point because government, in the form of state and local governmets, had done so much damage. In an ideal circumstance, there would have been no slavery, no Jim Crow, no segregation, etc. and thus no need for antidiscrimination laws but southern governments severely disrupted society. So, it really wouldn't have been feasible for rampant discrimination to end without some level of government intervention.
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  #129  
Old 09-23-2010, 11:02 AM
Jon Jon is offline
 
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Default Re: Big Government Libertarianism (Glenn Loury & Jim Pinkerton)

Interesting. I wonder about Pinkerton's comments about the relative uselessness of a college education. The latest "recession" shows a greater number of persons without college education being laid off than college grads. I believe the percentage of unemployed college grads is 4%, while those without a college education is around 11%.

The primary reason that college education is stressed in this country comes from the demand side (which strangely enough you would think would be supported by Pinkerton). People want the college degree and know that it's an entry to a better job and better economic life in the US. They don't want to spend their lives chasing after the 60% of the low-level jobs available and the risk of often coming up on the short end when the economy drops.

On the positive side, Pinkerton's one minute synopsis of the problems with the new left and new right nostrums for the economy seem spot on to me. There is a need to get innovation and production of valuable goods back on track in this country. Where are the infrastructure jobs?
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  #130  
Old 09-23-2010, 11:08 AM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: Big Government Libertarianism (Glenn Loury & Jim Pinkerton)

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Originally Posted by operative View Post
Yes.



It's a good question and one Rand Paul had difficulty with. I think it was necessary at that point because government, in the form of state and local governmets, had done so much damage. In an ideal circumstance, there would have been no slavery, no Jim Crow, no segregation, etc. and thus no need for antidiscrimination laws but southern governments severely disrupted society. So, it really wouldn't have been feasible for rampant discrimination to end without some level of government intervention.
LOL. Can you believe those white conservatives in the South kept electing those "governments" that kept erecting those racial barriers against their will?

Do you honestly believe that the Jim Crow laws weren't an expression of the overwhelming will of the conservative, white South?

The fact is that a great many of the government's role in enforcing Jim Crow (such as legal bans on blacks using public accomodations) occurred very late in the history of the racist south -- the late 1940s and 1950s -- and were passed by popular will of the white, conservative south to prevent liberals from breaking ranks and providing accommodations to blacks. In a great many cases, the Jim Crow laws were the white, conservative South's last, dying grasp on the "way of life" they so loved and fought so hard to protect and preserve.
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  #131  
Old 09-23-2010, 11:10 AM
look look is offline
 
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Default Re: Big Government Libertarianism (Glenn Loury & Jim Pinkerton)

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Originally Posted by operative View Post
Yes.



It's a good question and one Rand Paul had difficulty with. I think it was necessary at that point because government, in the form of state and local governmets, had done so much damage. In an ideal circumstance, there would have been no slavery, no Jim Crow, no segregation, etc. and thus no need for antidiscrimination laws but southern governments severely disrupted society. So, it really wouldn't have been feasible for rampant discrimination to end without some level of government intervention.
Thanks, I concur.

As far as the Great Society interventions, I want to look up some statistics regarding how many blacks were lifted from poverty to the working/middle class, as a result them. Are those still in poverty still there because of the crutch of government support, intractible circumstances, lack of modeling of internal locus of control, etc. I think what AC may have been getting at is that the rearing of some middle and upper-class children is equally dismal with respect to over-consumption, lack of societal awareness, etc., and may in fact be more problematic with regard to the pool from which future politicians, captains of industry, and on down the line, will be drawn.
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  #132  
Old 09-23-2010, 11:20 AM
operative operative is offline
 
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Default Re: Big Government Libertarianism (Glenn Loury & Jim Pinkerton)

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Originally Posted by TwinSwords View Post
LOL. Can you believe those white conservatives in the South kept electing those "governments" that kept erecting those racial barriers against their will?
I reject the notion that this is a liberal/conservative divide. I will remind you that it is the progressive icon Woodrow Wilson who resegregated DC, championed Birth of a Nation (which led to the revival of the Klan), and was generally an outrageously racist person--even those around him were astonished at how bigoted he was (see: Woodrow Wilson and Col. House). It was American progressives in the early part of the 20th century who latched on to the prevailing (pseudo)science of the day suggesting the inferiority of blacks. And it was a conservative icon, Charleton Heston, who stood out when most in Hollywood were too busy being cowards and/or communists, to oppose segregation.

Quote:
Do you honestly believe that the Jim Crow laws weren't an expression of the overwhelming will of the conservative, white South?
Well, do you think that the Rwandan genocide was the will of the Hutus? It's actually a fairly complicated question. I do think that short of government meddling, many if not most everyday southerners would not hold racist views. Just as it is very obvious that short of propagandizing and instruction from the Hutu ruling establishment, everyday Rwandans would not have killed their Tutsi neighbors.
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  #133  
Old 09-23-2010, 12:30 PM
look look is offline
 
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Default Nikki in happier days

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  #134  
Old 09-23-2010, 12:35 PM
nikkibong nikkibong is offline
 
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Default Re: Nikki in happier days

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Originally Posted by look View Post
you're dating yourself...
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  #135  
Old 09-23-2010, 12:40 PM
look look is offline
 
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Default Re: Nikki in happier days

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Originally Posted by nikkibong View Post
dating yourself.
What is illegal in 8 states?
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  #136  
Old 09-23-2010, 01:17 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Big Government Libertarianism (Glenn Loury & Jim Pinkerton)

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Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
I haven't noticed people leaning on that one as an explanatory myth to anything like the extent that the "Welfare-Queen" class of bullshit is used to prop up creaky social-Darwinist theories and libertarian Wealth-Is-Virtue catechism.
Yep. I mean, I agree with whisoxx that it's nutty to blame annoying overprotective or overindulgent suburban or upper middle class parents for the achievement gap, especially if the idea is that it's their kids who are the underclass. However, I think DenvilleSteve was the one who introduced that idea [edit: I was wrong, although I have no clue what DS was trying to say. It was Cynical. Point stands.] -- it's hardly some liberal version of Reagan's welfare Queen. (Interesting to hear that one in '10, though.)

Last edited by stephanie; 09-23-2010 at 01:35 PM..
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  #137  
Old 09-23-2010, 01:30 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Big Government Libertarianism (Glenn Loury & Jim Pinkerton)

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Originally Posted by Jon View Post
The primary reason that college education is stressed in this country comes from the demand side (which strangely enough you would think would be supported by Pinkerton). People want the college degree and know that it's an entry to a better job and better economic life in the US. They don't want to spend their lives chasing after the 60% of the low-level jobs available and the risk of often coming up on the short end when the economy drops.
Agree. I'd add, though, that despite all the talk about too many people wanting a college education (and the scourge of for-profit colleges), Brink Lindsay, among others, have argued that the real numbers of people getting college educations are reasonably stagnant and that too few do. I remember finding his argument convincing, and would be interested in a diavlog between him and Pinkerton on that topic (and maybe some others).

My perception, though, is that the real problem is that no one trusts a high school degree to mean much of anything. A lot of people go to college (or get some post-high school education) to do things that they should be able to be qualified for immediately out of high school. Part of this is a lack of and suspicion of tracking and vocational ed, part of it just that many of our high schools are unable to educate kids sufficiently (which has to do with complicated issues), whereas others are great (usually the ones where everyone goes on to college anyway).

I loved college and in an ideal world think everyone should have the opportunity, should be able to learn for the joy of learning, etc., but in reality not everyone would be interested. In the real world, I think we should be able to count on a much better skill set (good reading and math ability, the ability to write an understandable sentence, some sense of how to manage a budget and based job related skills) when one graduates.

And I didn't take Pinkerton's comment about teaching people basic job skills (like being on time, having a good attitude) as negatively as some here. What seems obvious to most of us as far as basic skills to get an entry level job really isn't something that isn't taught or inculcated in many, and that lack can make them unhireable. I used to volunteer with a program to help kids from the inner city get their GEDs and jobs (part of which was working with potential employers) and kids really didn't know and were relieved to learn a lot of basic stuff like how to interact even in a simple interview.
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  #138  
Old 09-23-2010, 02:22 PM
popcorn_karate popcorn_karate is offline
 
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Default Re: Big Government Libertarianism (Glenn Loury & Jim Pinkerton)

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Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
Another little conservative nugget is that because government assistance comes from an anonymous source there is no shame
this is what its really all about for conservatives like you, eh Badhat? All those poverty stricken children not feeling quite enough shame for their life circumstances.

Almost no child growing up poor in america gets out without deeply embedded feelings of shame. Our culture perpetuates the idea that wealth is a sign of god's benevolence and poverty is his punishment for the wicked and lazy. Believe me, the vast majority of poor kids are subjected to this bullshit to a far greater degree than you, in your comfortable obtuseness, can imagine.

If you want to know what perpetuates the cycle of poverty, I'd say its pretty much your attitude, multiplied by tens of millions of other sadistic conservatives, combining to crush the hope and joy out of millions of beautiful young souls that have the bad judgment to be born poor.
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  #139  
Old 09-23-2010, 02:27 PM
operative operative is offline
 
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Default Re: Big Government Libertarianism (Glenn Loury & Jim Pinkerton)

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Originally Posted by popcorn_karate View Post
this is what its really all about for conservatives like you, eh Badhat? All those poverty stricken children not feeling quite enough shame for their life circumstances.

Almost no child growing up poor in america gets out without deeply embedded feelings of shame. Our culture perpetuates the idea that wealth is a sign of god's benevolence and poverty is his punishment for the wicked and lazy. Believe me, the vast majority of poor kids are subjected to this bullshit to a far greater degree than you, in your comfortable obtuseness, can imagine.

If you want to know what perpetuates the cycle of poverty, I'd say its pretty much your attitude, multiplied by tens of millions of other sadistic conservatives, combining to crush the hope and joy out of millions of beautiful young souls that have the bad judgment to be born poor.
I think there's some transparently over-the-top statements in that post but I disagree with your central point. The 'wealth=God's favor' is strictly protestant, more specifically Presbyterian and Calvinist (heavily deterministic). It's really not at all in Baptist circles, let alone Pentecostal etc. which take a very different view. These are the more popular faiths among poorer Americans. So I'm not sure where you're getting this from.
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  #140  
Old 09-23-2010, 03:18 PM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default Re: Big Government Libertarianism (Glenn Loury & Jim Pinkerton)

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Originally Posted by operative View Post
I think there's some transparently over-the-top statements in that post but I disagree with your central point. The 'wealth=God's favor' is strictly protestant, more specifically Presbyterian and Calvinist (heavily deterministic). It's really not at all in Baptist circles, let alone Pentecostal etc. which take a very different view. These are the more popular faiths among poorer Americans. So I'm not sure where you're getting this from.
Have you ever read Max Weber on the Protestant work ethic and the "shame" that attaches to poverty in Anglo-Saxon Protestantism? And even if you have not read Weber, are you seriously suggesting that Baptists and Pentecostals are not Protestant sects?

Popcorn Karate made a perfectly valid point.
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  #141  
Old 09-23-2010, 03:21 PM
operative operative is offline
 
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Default Re: Big Government Libertarianism (Glenn Loury & Jim Pinkerton)

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Originally Posted by Florian View Post
Have you ever read Max Weber on the Protestant work ethic and the "shame" that attaches to poverty in Anglo-Saxon Protestantism? And even if you have not read Weber, are you seriously suggesting that Baptists and Pentecostals are not Protestant sects?

Popcorn Karate made a perfectly valid point.
You are correct that they are protestant sects but my point was that they get away from the Weber/Calvinist interpretation of wealth. Pentacostals, in particular, tend to be very indifferent, even at times hostile to, material wealth, which is why they have such appeal to poorer Americans and people in developing countries.
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  #142  
Old 09-23-2010, 03:43 PM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default Re: Big Government Libertarianism (Glenn Loury & Jim Pinkerton)

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Originally Posted by operative View Post
You are correct that they are protestant sects but my point was that they get away from the Weber/Calvinist interpretation of wealth. Pentacostals, in particular, tend to be very indifferent, even at times hostile to, material wealth, which is why they have such appeal to poorer Americans and people in developing countries.
My impression of American Baptists and Pentecostals et al. is that they are even more with obsessed with money, success and the American dream than the "mainline" churches, but I admit I have no first-hand experience of them. I once saw a BBC reportage on mega churches in the South which, frankly, filled me with disgust.
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  #143  
Old 09-23-2010, 04:01 PM
BornAgainDemocrat BornAgainDemocrat is offline
 
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Default Re: Hamil(Pinker)ton

Can't help feeling I'm debating an amateur. Tell us how much economics you know.
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  #144  
Old 09-23-2010, 04:11 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default Re: Big Government Libertarianism (Glenn Loury & Jim Pinkerton)

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Originally Posted by Florian View Post
My impression of American Baptists and Pentecostals et al. is that they are even more with obsessed with money, success and the American dream than the "mainline" churches, but I admit I have no first-hand experience of them. I once saw a BBC reportage on mega churches in the South which, frankly, filled me with disgust.
This 'wealth=God's favor' fills me with disgust. Where does that religious endorsement of capitalism come from?
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  #145  
Old 09-23-2010, 04:15 PM
operative operative is offline
 
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Default Re: Big Government Libertarianism (Glenn Loury & Jim Pinkerton)

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Originally Posted by Ocean View Post
This 'wealth=God's favor' fills me with disgust. Where does that religious endorsement of capitalism come from?
It's a natural extension of Calvin's determinism. It says that because God is all powerful, He must be responsible for all things--otherwise He could not be all powerful. Thus all that happens is God's will--who hears the message of Christianity, who accepts it, even who becomes financially successful. All are manifestations of God's will.

Florian, I'm neither Pentecostal nor Baptist, so I can't really speak from firsthand experience. It'd be interesting if there are any opinion surveys done as of late--off by hand, I don't know of any.
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  #146  
Old 09-23-2010, 04:33 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default Re: Big Government Libertarianism (Glenn Loury & Jim Pinkerton)

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Originally Posted by operative View Post
It's a natural extension of Calvin's determinism. It says that because God is all powerful, He must be responsible for all things--otherwise He could not be all powerful. Thus all that happens is God's will--who hears the message of Christianity, who accepts it, even who becomes financially successful. All are manifestations of God's will.
These are the times when I take great pride in my agnosticism.
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  #147  
Old 09-23-2010, 05:05 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Big Government Libertarianism (Glenn Loury & Jim Pinkerton)

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Originally Posted by operative View Post
I think there's some transparently over-the-top statements in that post but I disagree with your central point. The 'wealth=God's favor' is strictly protestant, more specifically Presbyterian and Calvinist (heavily deterministic). It's really not at all in Baptist circles, let alone Pentecostal etc. which take a very different view. These are the more popular faiths among poorer Americans. So I'm not sure where you're getting this from.
My sense is that the attitudes referred to are much more generally part of American culture and the American sense of morality, even among people who wouldn't use the term "God's favor" directly and might see the theological problems with that view if challenged. (My immediate family is Catholic on one side, Methodist on the other, and not very religious on either, but there was definitely a buy into the moral attitudes we are talking about. There were always lots of Baptists around, and I never had the sense that they disagreed.)
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  #148  
Old 09-23-2010, 05:16 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Big Government Libertarianism (Glenn Loury & Jim Pinkerton)

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Originally Posted by Ocean View Post
This 'wealth=God's favor' fills me with disgust. Where does that religious endorsement of capitalism come from?
Technically, Deuteronomic history and some of the prophets -- the idea that the good and bad that happen to you (and your country/nation) reflect how obedient you've been to God's will.

My experience (among American Catholics and mostly liberal Protestants) is that people see the theological problems in taking that portion of the Bible literally and cite other verses/stories -- Job, Matthew 5:45, the man born blind -- to challenge it if expressed directly. However, the underlying ideas are steeped pretty strongly into American culture and especially attitudes about money, IME. Harvey Cox wrote a good article that touched on this in the Atlantic some time ago called "The Market as God." (Obviously, the long standing thesis is Weber's, and there have been various studies showing how much various groupings in the US bought into the "Protestant work ethic" and related ideas. It wasn't at all limited to Calvinists according to the study. In fact, a lot of how it works is probably as related to Victorian ideals as interpreted as anything. I could go on and on about this in boring fashion, but will stop for now.)

As far as it not being common among Baptists, Pentecostals, and presumably other fundamentalists/evangelicals, I would strongly disagree. Not only is that contrary to my own experience with Baptists, but these notions (the Deuteronomic historian's idea that we are punished in this life and as a collective entity for disobeying the will of God) is most commonly heard among those groups -- TV preachers talking about how giving is related to good things happening and, of course, Pat Robertson et al. blaming gayness for hurricanes and awful claims like that.

Makes God a monster, as many Quakers and Arminians claimed about Calvinism.

Last edited by stephanie; 09-23-2010 at 05:19 PM..
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  #149  
Old 09-23-2010, 05:35 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default Re: Big Government Libertarianism (Glenn Loury & Jim Pinkerton)

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Originally Posted by stephanie View Post
Makes God a monster, as many Quakers and Arminians claimed about Calvinism.
Having grown up in a non-religious family, but with a cultural background of South American Catholicism, I associate religion with wealth/ poverty through ideas of compassion, altruism, service to the community, and the Marxist (or should I say Markcist?): "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." (Pun intended)

When I hear of a religion that casually links wealth and virtue, there's something stridently dissonant about it.
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  #150  
Old 09-23-2010, 05:59 PM
Starwatcher162536 Starwatcher162536 is offline
 
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Default Re: Big Government Libertarianism (Glenn Loury & Jim Pinkerton)

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Originally Posted by popcorn_karate View Post
this is what its really all about for conservatives like you, eh Badhat? All those poverty stricken children not feeling quite enough shame for their life circumstances.

Almost no child growing up poor in america gets out without deeply embedded feelings of shame. Our culture perpetuates the idea that wealth is a sign of god's benevolence and poverty is his punishment for the wicked and lazy. Believe me, the vast majority of poor kids are subjected to this bullshit to a far greater degree than you, in your comfortable obtuseness, can imagine.

If you want to know what perpetuates the cycle of poverty, I'd say its pretty much your attitude, multiplied by tens of millions of other sadistic conservatives, combining to crush the hope and joy out of millions of beautiful young souls that have the bad judgment to be born poor.
You're incorrectly describing the origins of this, for lack of a better term, cultural meme that overstates the coupling between ability and outcome. Few take seriously the idea that god orchestrates events to manage the relative succuss of individuals. Even when postulating that such a being exists said idea is laughable with numerous objections to obvious to bother stating here. Many will thank god for x/y/z, but this is just the thoughtless conversational tic that is expected of them. It ends there I think.

Said meme really originates from two effects;

I) The casual dismissal of the importance of the comparative advantages among different social-economic groups. No one wants to go around thinking "I only acheived A because I was given B&C". This unfortunaly has the side effect of attributing negative traits to the lower class that is comparitively worse off.

II) Ask a group of people to score the ability of two participants on some arbitrary task where the information of each participants compensation is given. Turns out when the compensation is unequal, even when the group knows that who is given what it totally random, the group consistently rates the person recieving more compensation as being more competent in the given task.

Unfortunatly, nothing is needed to keep this cycle of poverty from continuing. Poverty and Low Expectations is a self sustaining dynamo, and no one would dare to push hard the only probable solution, economic integration. It's not exactly a secret why suburbia took off when it did.
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  #151  
Old 09-23-2010, 06:04 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Having grown up in a non-religious family, but with a cultural background of South American Catholicism, I associate religion with wealth/ poverty through ideas of compassion, altruism, service to the community, and the Marxist (or should I say Markcist?): "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." (Pun intended)

When I hear of a religion that casually links wealth and virtue, there's something stridently dissonant about it.
I don't think it's necessarily explicitly a religious view (it wasn't in my family, as I said), but a common American cultural view, in which the God element can be more or less directly a part of it (it could be a much more agnostic version of the idea and still have the same moral force -- my dad's an atheist and I could point to a bunch of ways in which he's been affected by it). However, there definitely is some more explicit linking in some versions of American fundamentalist culture, from what I've seen. For what it's worth, while historically the Puritans get blamed for this, the Congregationalists/UCC (their most direct current descendant) isn't into it at all, at least from my observations and apart from their general acceptance of common American cultural values. On the other hand, plenty of fundamentalists seem to take it pretty literally.

Last edited by stephanie; 09-23-2010 at 06:07 PM..
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  #152  
Old 09-23-2010, 06:04 PM
Unit Unit is offline
 
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  #153  
Old 09-23-2010, 06:22 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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I don't think it's necessarily explicitly a religious view (it wasn't in my family, as I said), but a common American cultural view, in which the God element can be more or less directly a part of it (it could be a much more agnostic version of the idea and still have the same moral force -- my dad's an atheist and I could point to a bunch of ways in which he's been affected by it). However, there definitely is some more explicit linking in some versions of American fundamentalist culture, from what I've seen. For what it's worth, while historically the Puritans get blamed for this, the Congregationalists/UCC (their most direct current descendant) isn't into it at all, at least from my observations and apart from their general acceptance of common American cultural values. On the other hand, plenty of fundamentalists seem to take it pretty literally.
Yes, I have a vague recollection of reading about the Puritan's influence in what you describe as a cultural concept. I also remember the diavlog here discussing "The Family" which gave a good picture of the extreme interpretation of those principles of wealth and virtue. I just have an intuitive aversion to it, similar to invoking religion to justify violence or other forms of maleficence.
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  #154  
Old 09-23-2010, 06:26 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Big Government Libertarianism (Glenn Loury & Jim Pinkerton)

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Yes, I have a vague recollection of reading about the Puritan's influence in what you describe as a cultural concept. I also remember the diavlog here discussing "The Family" which gave a good picture of the extreme interpretation of those principles of wealth and virtue. I just have an intuitive aversion to it, similar to invoking religion to justify violence or other forms of maleficence.
Jeff Sharlett is currently doing the book tour thing in support of a followup to The Family: C - Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy. It sounds like a devastating critique, and well worth reading. I hope he comes here in support of it.
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  #155  
Old 09-23-2010, 06:56 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Jeff Sharlett is currently doing the book tour thing in support of a followup to The Family: C - Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy. It sounds like a devastating critique, and well worth reading. I hope he comes here in support of it.

Yes, he had a diavlog recently. But I don't remember whether he discussed his new book.
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  #156  
Old 09-23-2010, 08:05 PM
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Technically, Deuteronomic history and some of the prophets -- the idea that the good and bad that happen to you (and your country/nation) reflect how obedient you've been to God's will.

My experience (among American Catholics and mostly liberal Protestants) is that people see the theological problems in taking that portion of the Bible literally and cite other verses/stories -- Job, Matthew 5:45, the man born blind -- to challenge it if expressed directly. However, the underlying ideas are steeped pretty strongly into American culture and especially attitudes about money, IME. Harvey Cox wrote a good article that touched on this in the Atlantic some time ago called "The Market as God." (Obviously, the long standing thesis is Weber's, and there have been various studies showing how much various groupings in the US bought into the "Protestant work ethic" and related ideas. It wasn't at all limited to Calvinists according to the study. In fact, a lot of how it works is probably as related to Victorian ideals as interpreted as anything. I could go on and on about this in boring fashion, but will stop for now.)

As far as it not being common among Baptists, Pentecostals, and presumably other fundamentalists/evangelicals, I would strongly disagree. Not only is that contrary to my own experience with Baptists, but these notions (the Deuteronomic historian's idea that we are punished in this life and as a collective entity for disobeying the will of God) is most commonly heard among those groups -- TV preachers talking about how giving is related to good things happening and, of course, Pat Robertson et al. blaming gayness for hurricanes and awful claims like that.

Makes God a monster, as many Quakers and Arminians claimed about Calvinism.
Pat Robertson isn't exactly common viewing in inner city neighborhoods
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  #157  
Old 09-23-2010, 08:07 PM
operative operative is offline
 
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Default Re: Big Government Libertarianism (Glenn Loury & Jim Pinkerton)

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Jeff Sharlett is currently doing the book tour thing in support of a followup to The Family: C - Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy. It sounds like a devastating critique, and well worth reading. I hope he comes here in support of it.
It's strange to take on something something that has been, in general, a pro-democratic force in the past hundred years while ignoring that virtually all of the threats to democracy in the west during the past 100 years have come from the atheistic left.
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  #158  
Old 09-23-2010, 08:57 PM
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It's strange to take on something something that has been, in general, a pro-democratic force in the past hundred years while ignoring that virtually all of the threats to democracy in the west during the past 100 years have come from the atheistic left.
Would you mind giving us the top three of the threats you have in mind?
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Old 09-23-2010, 08:59 PM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: Big Government Libertarianism (Glenn Loury & Jim Pinkerton)

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Jeff Sharlett is currently doing the book tour thing in support of a followup to The Family: C - Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy. It sounds like a devastating critique, and well worth reading. I hope he comes here in support of it.
And I hate to kick over the hornet's nest, but back to that whole American Taliban thing. I still have some posts I'd wanted to respond to on that, but while obviously US conservatives are not exactly like the Taliban (doh!), if one was to make an argument that there are common threads between the two, one would point to C Street -- among others.
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Old 09-23-2010, 09:29 PM
operative operative is offline
 
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Would you mind giving us the top three of the threats you have in mind?
Well actually rating the top three is a bit tough--are we talking about the magnitude of their threat to the international community? How violent they were?

A few that come to mind:
The Shining Path (Khmer Rouge level)
The Sandinistas
Castro's Cuba

That's just in Latin America. We could also get into Africa and look at the Marxist regime that were complicit in the starvation of hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians, whose leader is now sheltered by Mugabe, another radical leftist who has plenty of blood on his hands. We could look at Communist movements in Mozambique and Angola, too.
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