Valentines Day Ethics Nosegay, 2/14/2019: Polling, Posturing, And “Pouncing”

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

1. No, no luck finding lovey-dovey ethics stories...except that my wonderful wife Grace and I will have been married for 39 years come November, and I love her more today than the day we wed. Good job, Cupid!

2. The misinformation of polls. Three polls today illustrate how polling is used for advocacy and propaganda, rather than enlightenment. They are often the opposite of enlightenment.

Poll I: Public approval of Supreme Court Justices.

What this poll really tells us is a) that the news media’s bias powerfully molds public opinion and b) the public is always willing to give an opinion about matters they know nothing about. To even begin to be valuable, the polls should have qualified its respondents by asking, “How many judicial opinions by each justice have you read?” My guess would be that less than 1% of Americans have read a single Supreme Court opinion from members of the current court in their entire lives. The polls says that the public most approves of Justices Ginsberg, Sotomayor, and Chief Justice Roberts. This is based on what, exactly? The public approves or disapproves of what? Clearly it is nothing substantive or based on actual knowledge.. What, then, is the value of such a poll? [Source: Crooked Media]

Poll II: Post Parkland gun control. From NPR:

“In the immediate aftermath of the mass shooting that killed 17 people on Valentine’s Day, 71 percent of Americans said laws covering the sale of firearms should be stricter. Now, it’s 51 percent. When it comes to whether stricter gun legislation should be an immediate priority for Congress, 42 percent say it should be. In April 2018, it was 10 points higher.”

In other words, in the wake of the Parkland shooting when the airwaves, cables and o- ed pages were screaming with “We’ve got to do something!” stories and Parkland kid lecturing about the evils of the Second Amendment, a large segment of the population reacted emotionally and stated an opinion that it really hadn’t thought about sufficiently or wasn’t committed to. Such polls are used to justify legislation and are cited as authority by activists.

Poll III: “Medicare for All” :

In other words, a lot of people expressed approval of a policy they didn’t understand, knew nothing about, and couldn’t register an informed opinion on, but they announced their approval anyway. Who cares what such people think, or perhaps “think” is the better way to put it? They are flipping coins; they are the confused and gullible ignoramuses who pollute democracy.

Poll IV: Socialism vs Capitalism. This Fox News poll maybe the worst of the bunch:

How many respondents could accurately define either socialism or capitalism? Do they like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, the minimum wage, food stamps, and the  progressive income tax? If so, they have a favorable opinion of socialism, at least within limits. Unrestrained capitalism is a ruthless and brutal system, but it rewards risk taking, innovation, talent and industry, and creates wealth better than any system yet devised. Unrestrained socialism destroys economies and the human spirit, but it has the benefit of seeming superficially compassionate. The United States has a hybrid system that fully embraces neither capitalism nor socialism. The poll is useless.

Then we have the polls telling us that Joe Biden is the overwhelming front-runner for the Democratic nomination for President. If there is one thing you can bet the ranch on, it is that the group identification-obsessed, youth-dominated, #MeToo crazy, anti-male, anti-white Democratic Party will not nominate a 70+ year-old white guy with a dozen pictures of him groping woman and young girls circulating on the web to run against Donald Trump. There is no chance of this happening. Zero. These polls tell us that the average Democrat, like the average citizen, pays much less attention to politics than their elite, educated, engaged neighbors think. That’s all.

3. “Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias!” For months, conservative pundits have been pointing out the increasing use of the “Republicans pounce” device by the mainstream media, in which a legitimately troubling statement or action by a Democrat is framed, not by the words or conduct, but by opposition response to it, colored by the use of “pounce” to suggest violence, eager exploitation, and extremism. It’s signature significance for bad journalism. The device shifts focus away from the subject to the reaction to it; its a diversion, and misleading. Sometimes the word “pounce” is omitted, as in the Washington Post’s recent  headline, “Republicans seize on liberal positions to paint Democrats as radical.” Amusingly, it was picked up by an affiliate and re-titled, “As Democrats talk liberal positions, GOP pounces.

The “liberal positions” the mean Republicans pounced on include supporting people who don’t want to work, and eliminating airplanes and cows. I fidn it incredible that even after this transparently biased trick has been thoroughly exposed, it is still being employed. I opened my New York Times Monday and saw this:

4. Today’s Justin Fairfax scandal note. An article in the New York Times today reinforced my belief that Fairfax is tearing his party apart by refusing to resign as Virginia Lt. Governor. On the plus side for anyone who has been driven to the brink of madness by progressive double talk, double standards and hypocrisy regarding race, gender and sexual assault, the ethically-obtuse debate over Fairfax is certainly making it obvious for anyone  willing to be objective. Here are some quotes from the piece:

  • To Constance Cordovilla, the president of the Virginia National Organization for Women, the two sexual assault allegations against Lt. Gov. Justin E. Fairfax are not just grounds for him to resign — the detailed claims also demand that women side with his accusers. “It would set back survivors if we don’t because the message to them would be, ‘Here’s another case where they’re not believed,’” said Ms. Cordovilla, a longtime labor and women’s rights advocate, drawing a bright line between the charges against Mr. Fairfax and the Virginia governor and attorney general who admitted they once donned blackface. “This is a criminal charge, it’s not like saying I had a picture in my yearbook 40 years ago.”

Yes, and criminal accusations especially require the presumption of innocence.  Accusers should bot be believed because of their gender or disbelieved. Cordovilla’s statement is pure gender bigotry.

  • And in a sign that House Democrats are uneasy about forcing their members, who include 16 African-Americans, to take a firm position about whether to believe the two accusers, the talking points included a proposed answer sidestepping the question.

The allegations “against our Lieutenant Governor are credible and extremely serious and it is why my colleagues and I have called for him to step down,” the talking points said. “It took great courage for both women to share their stories. As Democrats, and as Virginians, we must continue to stand up and speak out against sexual assault.”

This is Kavanaugh-speak. False accusations are often “credible.” The word means they can be believed, not that they are true. What does “serious” have to do with anything? If the allegations are not true, it doesn’t matter if they are serious, and the fact that the allegations are serious doesn’t make it any more likely that they are true. Similarly, whether making the accusations took courage or not should have no influence over whether the accusations are believed. Making a false accusation really takes courage: the consequences of being exposed as a liar are dire. How does requiring evidence to be persuasive in any accusation against a public figure undercut opposition to sexual assault?

The talking points are incompetent and misleading.

  • Yet Courtney A. Hill, an Arlington-based political strategist who works with and tries to help elect black candidates in Virginia, argued that the focus on the allegations against Mr. Fairfax had been stirred by people who did not want to see another black governor in the state.

“We had Northam and Herring in blackface and standing next to K.K.K. members and now the conversation has shifted to Justin and Justin entirely, and Ralph is going on his apology tour,” Ms. Hill said. “I think race is helping shift that conversation. It doesn’t sit right with me, and it doesn’t make sense to a lot of people who look like me.”

Ugh. This is pure Obama-style race-baiting. Does Hill really expect anyone to believe that a white Virginia official accused of rape by tow women would not be facing the same degree of criticism as Fairfax, if not worse? If anything, his race has protected Fairfax. Nobody “had” Northam and Herring in blackface: one was in blackface 35 years ago and the other volunteered the fact that he had blacked his face in high school. Neither stood next to “KKK members.”

The longer Fairfax stays in office, the more opportunities will arise for Democrats, women and African-Americans to sound dishonest, biased, hypocritical and foolish.

 

28 thoughts on “Valentines Day Ethics Nosegay, 2/14/2019: Polling, Posturing, And “Pouncing”

  1. In other words, in the wake of the Parkland shooting when the airwaves, cables and o- ed pages were screaming with “We’ve got to do something!” stories and Parkland kid lecturing about the evils of the Second Amendment, a large segment of the population reacted emotionally and stated an opinion that it really hadn’t thought about sufficiently or wasn’t committed to. Such polls are used to justify legislation and are cited as authority by activists.

    I wonder how many people pointed out that the 1993 Brady Act, the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, and the 1996 Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act were in effect when the Columbine murders happen.

    The anti-gun cult relies on historical ignorance. They keeps complaining that Congress does nothing about mass shootings,. History shows otherwise, as Congress passed a series of bills in the 1990’s to address the problem of violent crime, which had an all-time per capita peak at the time.

    finally, here is an interesting article

    http://wearyourvoicemag.com/news-politics/why-inner-city-schools-dont-have-shootings

    In Detroit, where I work, no one ever comes to me after a shooting — not even a parent phone call to ask, “what is your plan if someone shoots up the school?” Nothing. After the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida I decided to go to them. In the lunch room, I sat with my students and asked:

    “Did you hear about what happened in Florida.”

    They had.

    “Are you concerned about something like that happening here?”

    Their answer is a confident unanimous, “No.”

    My kids cavalierly mention, “Black people don’t go around shooting up places, all reckless, white people do that.” I reminded my students of The Charleston Massacre when Dylann Roof, a white supremacist terrorist killed nine black people in their church. So even if black people do not typically commit mass killings on average, we can be victims of them. “Oh, yeah, that was crazy, Mrs. Mohammed,” another student says, “but that was a church. Ain’t nobody getting up in here with no nonsense!”

    High School students aren’t confident about much, but my ad hoc focus group of black, Latinx, and Arab-American students are very confident about their safety in our school building on the Detroit’s west side. Every morning students arrive an hour to thirty minutes in their uniform before the first bell to wait in a line to pass through a metal detector, have their backpacks searched, and get patted down by security guards. It is just not students — every parent, guest, even the postman walks through those metal detectors, gets their photo taken, and is greeted by a security guard who escorts them to the main office, right by our deputized police officer’s desk.

    Our Detroit school is a fortress. Every door is locked from the outside and equipped with sensors. Leave it open too long and the alarm screeches through the hallway like a cat in heat. All the windows have bars, and thick glass with wire mesh running through it. Shooting it out would be a waste. Only one of the metal six front doors can be opened without a pass-card or a key. And none of the side doors are ever unlocked. There are cameras at every intersection, and patrolling security guards. The main throughway doors have magnets which can be tripped by an alarm and instantly shut and lock, quarantine whatever part of the building you need it to. If there were a shooter, he would not be able to freely roam the building if that particular alarm was tripped. This isn’t The White House, this is inner city schooling.

    The solution is clear.

    Fortify all schools, with walls, bastions, barbed wire, minefields, pillboxes, and an entire company of U.S. Army infantry with support platoons.

    It is certainly cheaper than the amount of money spent to lock up black men who violate “common sense”, “sensible” gun legislation.

    • I wonder how many people pointed out that the 1993 Brady Act, the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, and the 1996 Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act were in effect when the Columbine murders happen.

      Nobody — because the narrative, of course.

      The anti-gun drive has less to do with firearms than it does with control over people’s lives. A disarmed population is a population that cannot resist when the government decides to violate the Constitution. The left has proven that by moving from “we only want reasonable gun laws” to “ban all guns with magazines over 10 rounds, and confiscate the ones already in existence with police force.” That’s where we are right now. The more powerful they become, the more radical they become, the more they will want the population disarmed to prevent armed resistance when their “reforms” run afoul of the Constitution

      The use of school shootings allows an immediate and powerful emotional hook to achieve this goal. That’s all this is. That’s all it ever has been about. They used to think in incremental terms when they had less effective emotional hooks. Now that they have a powerful one, their moving all their chips into the pot.

      • Indeed, and this comment on another blog reveals the true motivation of the spokesholes of the anti-gun cult.

        http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2019/01/ttag-contributor/will-nra-hats-be-branded-the-next-kkk-white-hood/#comment-4189908

        Put the CDC numbers in front of BIL. Asked him to decide how many lives were saved as a result of however many DGUs he believed actually happened. He was at a loss, so I recommended he accept that the number of lives lost to gunfire was at least equal to the number of lives saved (~33,000). He could not accept that number of lives saved. So I asked that if he could accept the CDC low estimate for DGUs, and that at least one life was saved for each DGU. BIL said that could not be because if there had been 250,000 successful DGUs, it would have been all over the news. I responded that the CDC was a trusted source for so much health data, why would he doubt their estimate of DGUs. BIL said CDC was the premier source for disease, but they were completely inept about guns. Then I asked him to explain what the purpose of 250,000 DGUs would have been, if not to save lives. He said that not all the DGUs saved lives, some number were unsuccessful. I asked him to pick any number of successful DGUs he believed actually occurred, and the number of lives saved he believed. BIL declared that no more than 1000 DGUs actually happen, and less than half saved a life. Seizing the opening, I noted that without firearms for self-defense, those 400 (or less) people who successfully saved their own life would be dead, and that people like him thus had blood on their hands for wanting even those 400 to be dead. BIL then raged that no one has the civil right to be judge, jury and executioner; everyone has a right to a trial, so those 400 who remained alive were guilty of murder and had no right to be walking around, avoiding jail. Then I asked, “What happened to ‘if it saves one life’, a process or action was worth it’?” Finally BIL said those actions saving a life were actions that did not result in taking another life. Finishing my slice of pizza, I pushed away from the table and said, “You and all the gun grabbers are declaring that it is mandatory for innocent people to submit to being murdered because you would rather more people be dead than admit firearm self-defense is an individual, human right.” I had to forego a number of family gatherings of pulling his strings after that (wife was livid about me making her brother say stupid things).

  2. This whole Fairfax thing is fraught with serious old racist stereotype issues in the manner of the O.J. Simpson trial. Falsely accusing a black man of rape to get him removed from power, is analogous of framing a powerful, studly black guy for murdering a classically beautiful white woman. Ironically, both Fairfax’s accusers are, I believe, black women, but I’m not sure, which complicates matters. But I just don’t see Fairfax ever suffering any real adverse consequences any more than O.J. Simpson would ever be convicted by a multi-racial jury. No way, Jose. I think ultimately, because of this strong under current no one even wants to bring up, Fairfax is basically bullet-proof. I’m sure Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and Black Lives Matters, et al., are waiting in the wings. [Does Jesse Jackson have Alzheimers or something? He’s disappeared, or so it seems. Did his son’s personal and career self-immolation do Jesse in?] Plus, you can’t let the white dudes off and slam the black guy. So, I think it’s pretty much a Mexican stand-off. All the Dems, nationally and in Virginia, will just hunker down and wait for the storm to pass.

  3. Jack wrote, “criminal accusations especially require the presumption of innocence”

    I agree.

    The following is where we respectfully disagree.

    Jack wrote, “My position is that guilty or not, a public official is ethically obligated to step down when such accusations and their fall-out makes it impossible to do his job, and renders him (or her) a liability to his party and his office.”

    This appears to me that this is based on the ginned up media smearing that’s literally created the fall-out regardless of the presumption of innocence and in my humble opinion this is a slippery slope that slopes directly away from the presumption of innocence. Encouraging him to resign enables those that unethically misuse the court of public opinion to gin up accusations regardless of truth in an effort to destroy the lives of their victim or make their lives miserable, or make their jobs harder to do and it’s all done without the presumption of innocence. In my opinion; the presumption of innocence should always override ginned up unproven accusations of criminal activity; therefore, I think the ethical stand should be for the presumption of innocence.

    So if Justin Fairfax is innocent of the things he’s been accused of why in the world should he resign and not fight for his innocence, fight to keep his job, fight for his good name, fight for his integrity, fight for his family, etc, etc? Resigning surrenders to the ginned up smear campaign and will certainly imply guilt throughout our unethical media, you know this to be reasonably true. What you’re recommending him do is to be a sacrificial lamb, sacrificing his personal character and the presumption of innocence for a party that seems to be rejecting him over these unproven accusations and you want to encourage him to put party over proving his own innocence. I can’t go along with that.

    Lastly: I don’t think using the word “impossible” here isn’t quite accurate, the word “difficult” would work. I’ve heard Democrats say that it’s impossible for Trump to do his job because of all the things he’s accused of when in fact all the ginned up media hype against Trump has only made his job harder to do, not impossible.

    • Z. Your comment is well taken. I made a far less eloquent statement a few days ago. Jack’s response to me suggests he feels that elected people have a greater ethical duty to the party, so as not to put them in a position of having to take sides, than to themselves.

      • Chris Marschner wrote, “Jack’s response to me suggests he feels that elected people have a greater ethical duty to the party, so as not to put them in a position of having to take sides, than to themselves.”

        In some ways I agree with Jacks position; elected officials definitely have a ethical duty to put the people and the duties of their position ahead of themselves, but that in no way means that they should kowtow to the cult of social justice warrior totalitarians that have fabricated a media blitz of smears against them, they should fight for themselves just as they fight for the people. Deal with the problem and continue to do their job.

        It’s a personal sacrifice to take on a leadership position as an elected official and generally speaking I think that the people that choose to take on those positions do it knowing that it’s a personal sacrifice but they put their ideology and the greater good over the personal lives; however, I think elevating “the party” and the office over the presumption of innocence simply because the fall-out of the accusations has been a media blitz of never ending smears is a bridge too far. If he’s innocent, he should fight and not kowtow to the cult of social justice warrior totalitarians that really don’t give a damn about the presumption of innocence.

        “The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.” Malcolm X. Unethical social justice warriors have won the minds of the media and a vast majority of the people and they are using their foot soldiers in the media to try to win the minds of the the rest of the people with their propaganda media blitz and smears. The cult of social justice warrior totalitarians don’t give a damn if they eat one of their own in their lust for power, it’s acceptable collateral damage that will bolster their power-base and increase their effectiveness with the masses.

        FACT: We do not know if the criminal accusations against Justin Fairfax are true or false. Jack wrote, “criminal accusations especially require the presumption of innocence”; therefore, the presumption of innocence should override the intentional manipulation that’s taking place by the cult of social justice warrior totalitarians via the media blitz smears. What if Justin Fairfax is innocent of the accusations? I care about innocence vs guilt; I absolutely refuse to scrap the presumption of innocence and take part in the unethical mob justice that’s become socially acceptable and pushed to the forefront by the cult of social justice warrior totalitarians. I will not knowingly take the first step onto an ethical slippery slope; if I unknowingly take that first step I would hope that my friends, family, and acquaintances would point it out to me. I’m a hard man, I’m not perfect, I try to be fair to both myself and others, I accept when I’m wrong and I try to learn from it.

        As for loyalty to the “party”; I sound off with a resounding, what the fuck!? If the “party” ignores the presumption of innocence and chooses a position against the elected official based on unproven criminal accusations that the elected official denies, then the party has abandoned the elected official and that elected official should separate themself from that party and become independent. The party should not be elevated to such pompous heights as to override one of our core values, the presumption of innocence, in favor of an onslaught of smears from the cult of social justice warrior totalitarians.

        All that said; if one of these ladies chooses to press charges against Justin Fairfax and they find that there’s enough evidence to actually charge him with rape, then the ethical thing to do would be for him to take a temporary leave of absence from his position until the case makes its way through the legal system. If he is found innocent of the charge he should return to his job, if he is found guilty or make plea deals then he should immediately resign.

        I’ve had it with the cult of social justice warrior totalitarians, when I see their influence causing people to scrap their core values, I choose to fight it, not kowtow to it.

        • Not sure where to put this:

          Zoltar: After a good deal of research, prayer and meditation, I have a definitive answer as to “how many angels can dance on the head of a pin”. It is a wonderful and crystal clear — an illuminating — answer and I can deliver it, at your bequest, in about 10 words. Just let me know!

          • Alizia Tyler wrote, “It is a wonderful and crystal clear — an illuminating — answer and I can deliver it, at your bequest, in about 10 words.”

            You write a comment that’s only about ten words, this I’ve got to see whether I’m interested in the topic of the comment or not. 🙂

            • Answer: both ‘zero’ and ‘an infinite number’. (6 words).

              Explanation: Angels are completely immaterial. The head of a pin is a material surface with width and breadth. Thus, the question cannot function as a question. Immateriality and materiality are non-commensurate.

              Therefore, the answer is really *zero*. Or a whole universe of angels. Take your pick!

              The question that is inevitably forming in your mind is “How then can angels have material effect? At what point, and how, does the immaterial affect the material?”

              But having answered the first question successfully (and logically), we will have to attend to other questions at some other time.

  4. Jack, a Virginia legal ethics question: How the heck can Fairfax be the lieutenant governor of Virginia and still be a Morrison and Foerster associate or partner (until they fired him for making them look bad)? Didn’t he have to take a leave of absence or something when he got elected?

  5. 2-3 Polls

    What this poll really tells us is a) that the news media’s bias powerfully molds public opinion and b) the public is always willing to give an opinion about matters they know nothing about.

    Let me ‘splain… No, there is too much, I will sum up.

    Media bias is an existential threat to our Republic. As it lurches ever more leftward, it is eventually going to lead to a Leftist majority that will undo capitalism in favor of … essentially, a government on the communist side of the socialism scale. That is, if we do nothing. What we can do, I do not know.

    This is the revenge of Nikita Khrushchev. His ghost is no doubt celebrating as we slowly bury ourselves.

    The tragedy is that the people, because of their disinterest in government and its works except to glean the most possible “likes” or “retweets” in social media, will find their freedoms removed in the name of the greater good.

    I will doubtless die in the fighting if I live that long and am blessed to remain ambulatory. I fought commies during the cold war, and I’ll be damned if I allow our country to become what I risked my life to oppose.

    4 Fairfax

    Yes, and criminal accusations especially require the presumption of innocence. Accusers should bot be believed because of their gender or disbelieved. Cordovilla’s statement is pure gender bigotry.

    Isn’t it worse than that, though? To me, it seems like a demand to deny or at least suspend due process to anyone accused of rape, with the threshold matter of just a modicum of credibility. One of his accusers appears on the surface to have a few credibility issues of her own. Does that not matter?

    Will we now be demanding a criminal charge be filed if two accusers come forth years after the alleged crime who aren’t automatically proven unreliable? The ultimate “believe the survivor” is to indict anyone alleged to have been a victim who meets a minimum credibility threshold.

    This stands our constitutional legal protections on their head.

    Does Hill really expect anyone to believe that a white Virginia official accused of rape by tow women would not be facing the same degree of criticism as Fairfax, if not worse?

    Not his problem. Race is his only concern, just as you said. Racial “justice,” to him, is far more important than any law.

    Oh, and congratulations on 39 years. I thought my 32 was pretty good…

    • Correction to the above:

      The ultimate “believe the survivor” is to indict anyone alleged to have been a victim rapist who meets a minimum credibility threshold.

  6. Might one argue that Nosegay should enjoy the protection-n-immunities provided by The First Niggardly Principle?

    And if compelled to explain/defend why, using perhaps more than several…um…references, would that explanation/defense invoke The
    Second Niggardly Principle?

  7. Poll 4
    Economic systems exist along a continuum. On one end is pure capitalism and on the other is pure communism. So, defining capitalism or socialism is predicated on your understanding of both. Unless you are a complete moron you have enough understanding to rank the two undefined points ordinally on an the continuum. Thus, the poll reflects personal values which are valid only for that individual.

    Economics is a decision science. Every type of structure provides more or fewer available choices for individuals to make. If you prefer to have choices in what you can buy or make then capitalism is preferred over socialism. Conversely, if you prefer government to guide most of your major choices then socialism is preferable.

    I wish people would stop using Social Security as a proxy for suggesting socialism is accepted if not desired. If we assume a 30 year work life with an average annual earnings of 30k per year each individual contributes $4500 per year into the pot or a total of $135K without the benefit of compound interest. Had we had a choice in where the funds were invested that value would have been at least twice that paid in and those who pass before the money ran out would have the benefit of keeping it. The point is we don’t have choice so given no option we have to approve of it. Given my work history I could have purchased a lifetime annuity that provides a larger monthly income at age 65 than social security does at age 67.

    If we add free college as is suggested just how long will it be before government decides what occupational training you will be able to get. Do you think everyone in Europe has the ability to go to University on public funds.. if you do I have a bridge to sell.

    Medicare for all is the same. In America, the adage is when free take two. We cannot deliver all the services people desire without running extreme deficits or taxing everyone at much higher rates

    No doubt we have elements of socialism in our mixed economy however moving further toward fewer choices is not the direction I believe most Americans want. I think most people impicitly understand this even if they never took ECO 201.

    • Given my work history I could have purchased a lifetime annuity that provides a larger monthly income at age 65 than social security does at age 67.

      You could have, on your own and faced with an economy with settings created by the current status quo. But it’s unlikely that everyone could, all at the same time and with settings responding to their attempts, e.g. annuity prices rising; there would be a blend of things leading to a “Race to the Bottom” (it’s a “fallacy of composition” to think otherwise). And it’s not at all certain that it would be wise to have a two tier system, with a few playing it one way and the rest the other, because of Tragedy of the Commons issues.

      • PM
        My entire point was that socialism is not that the government provides but rather it takes away personal choices.

        You cannot argue that two different people earning different incomes but taxed at an equal percentage could not purchase a life annuity or other investment vehicle with the amounts taken from the employee and employer. Obviously the payouts will be different but so too is Social Security. As to prices of annuities rising that would depend on multiple factors. If the sudden increase in financial capital lowers the cost of capital then we can expect an increase in private investment leading to higher profits, employment an incomes. Annuities are mere promises to pay and are thus risky. The problem facing Social Security now is one that would be faced by any gaurantor of future payouts. The difference lies in the government’s ability to monetize debt and pass the liabilities onto future generations. If a private firm did this it would be called a Ponzi scheme.

        You are correct that people if left to their own devices will save little current income for the future. We have been trained to be consumers not savers. And whose fault is that?

  8. Jack said: “The longer Fairfax stays in office, the more opportunities will arise for Democrats, women and African-Americans to sound dishonest, biased, hypocritical and foolish.”

    And this is a bad thing, how?

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