Politics and group bias - are you guilty?

alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior MemberPosts: 8,744 Senior Member
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/01/10/the-depressing-psychological-theory-that-explains-washington/
On Jan. 3, Jesse Myerson published an article in Rolling Stone with the innocuous title "Five Economic Reforms Millennials Should Be Fighting For." Myerson frames his agenda as an effort to do away with unemployment, jobs, landlords, private capital ownership and Wall Street. Those last four, as you might expect, made conservatives' heads explode.

"If you’re a Millennial who loves bread lines, prison camps, forced famines, and abject human misery, then you’ll love the latest offering from Rolling Stone," wrote the Federalist's Sean Davis.

But the policies Myerson advocates are rather less radical. His agenda, at its core, calls for a work guarantee, a basic minimum income, a land-value tax, a sovereign wealth fund and a public banking option. As Dylan Matthews noticed, all these policies that Republicans were labeling as socialism have been endorsed by major conservatives. So he rewrote Myerson's piece from the conservative point of view, advocating all the same policies but changing those cited as authorities and those blamed for the state of the economy.

All of a sudden, conservatives liked the article, and liberals -- well, liberals didn't really like Dylan anymore. And they told him so in pretty offensive terms.

Nothing overly earthshaking here, but highlights some of the key challenges associated with trying to get real rational debate on important issues in a partisan world. In general I think we do a much better job here than most places I've seen, but most of us are still not immune to the occasional reflexive bias.
"Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
-DoctorWho

Replies

  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,149 Senior Member
    Bias? Screw that! I HATE commies, even after they changed their names to liberals and progressives. That idiot can eat cowpies.
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • CaliFFLCaliFFL Senior Member Posts: 4,737 Senior Member
    Nothing overly earthshaking here, but highlights some of the key challenges associated with trying to get real rational debate on important issues in a partisan world. In general I think we do a much better job here than most places I've seen, but most of us are still not immune to the occasional reflexive bias.

    Did you read the Rolling stone article, including Myerson's comments on Twitter?

    3. Take Back The Land

    Ever noticed how much landlords blow? They don't really do anything to earn their money. They just claim ownership of buildings and charge people who actually work for a living the majority of our incomes for the privilege of staying in boxes that these owners often didn't build and rarely if ever improve. In a few years, my landlord will probably sell my building to another landlord and make off with the appreciated value of the land s/he also claims to own – which won't even get taxed, as long as s/he ploughs it right back into more real estate.

    Think about how stupid that is. The value of the land has nothing to do with my idle, remote landlord; it reflects the nearby parks and subways and shops, which I have access to thanks to the community and the public. So why don't the community and the public derive the value and put it toward uses that benefit everyone? Because capitalism, is why.

    The most mainstream way of flipping the script is a simple land-value tax. By targeting wealthy real estate owners and their free rides, we can fight inequality and poverty directly, make disastrous asset price bubbles impossible and curb Wall Street's hideous bloat. There are cooler ideas out there, too: Municipalities themselves can be big-time landowners, and groups can even create large-scale community land trusts so that the land is held in common. In any case, we have to stop letting rich people pretend they privately own what nature provided everyone.

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/five-economic-reforms-millennials-should-be-fighting-for-20140103
    The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me.

    Ayn Rand
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,744 Senior Member
    CaliFFL wrote: »
    Did you read the Rolling stone article, including Myerson's comments on Twitter?

    Did you miss the part where it was a deliberate troll?

    Here was the conservative version of the same article justifying the exact same policy...
    3. Eliminate job-killing income, payroll, and corporate taxes

    The government should at the very least do no harm to the economy. But our current tax system — which taxes heavily things we want more of (like income, investment, and savings) — creates huge burdens for businesses and individuals, disincentivizes investment in promising technology, and reduces the living standard of ordinary Americans.

    So how about we get rid of literally every income and payroll tax in the federal government? No more withholding from your paycheck. No more capital gains tax when you make money from stocks. No more getting your pay dinged for Social Security and Medicare. No more companies worrying about what expenses are or are not tax deductible (and no more charities worrying about that, either). Just make all corporate and individual earnings completely tax-free.

    Liberals might want you to believe this is a fantasy, but as the great free-market advocate Henry George wrote in his book Progress and Poverty, there is a single tax that can and should replace all these, and do much less harm to the economy in the process. It's called a land value tax, and it's imposed on the value of land and other natural resources before improvements are made. So the owner of the Empire State Building would pay the same amount in land tax if the building stayed up or if it suddenly vanished tomorrow, in theory.

    What's great about this is that, while taxes on income discourage people making more money and hurt the economy, the most that land value taxation could do is discourage people from making more land. But, some hijinks in Dubai aside, you can't make more land. So there are no economic distortions. People buy and sell as they would in the absence of any taxes, and yet the government can still earn more than enough from a land tax to pay for the whole federal government. So let's stop punishing job creation and implement the biggest supply-side tax reform in human history.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/01/07/five-conservative-reforms-millennials-should-be-fighting-for/
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,149 Senior Member
    Your quote sounds like it would be reasonable, since this would replace all other taxes. Something like that I might be able to support if it was completely explained as a tax policy. The other guy just sounds like another raving, "the rich are bad," OWS socialist, in which case he can just screw himself.
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,744 Senior Member
    Your quote sounds like it would be reasonable, since this would replace all other taxes. Something like that I might be able to support if it was completely explained as a tax policy. The other guy just sounds like another raving, "the rich are bad," OWS socialist, in which case he can just screw himself.

    Should it matter who is saying it and why they're saying it if they're supporting the EXACT SAME policy?
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,149 Senior Member
    Should it matter who is saying it and why they're saying it if they're supporting the EXACT SAME policy?

    YES...SOCIALISTS AND COMMIES SUCK....LOL Besides the OWS guy doesn't really seem to be approaching the land tax in the same way.....

    "His agenda, at its core, calls for a work guarantee, a basic minimum income, a land-value tax, a sovereign wealth fund and a public banking option."

    Just because 3 words coming from two different people are the same, it does not mean they are stating the same tax policy.

    Us libertarians and conservatives are supposed to agree with this? It's pretty socialist sounding to me. The land-value tax in that guys mind is probably IN ADDITION TO any other taxes already in existence. I could be wrong, as I'm working off your quotes here. I did not read the Rolling Stone article.
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 26,106 Senior Member
    It's been said that when a politician dies they are then elevated to statesman status. I wish for a veritable plague of politicians being elevated to statesman status ASAP, STAT! As to that brain cell deficient author of that screed, he can go take a long walk off an imaginary bridge over the Grand Canyon.
    If the U.S. Congress was put in charge of the Sahara Desert, there would be a shortage of sand in under six months.



  • kansashunterkansashunter Senior Member Posts: 1,444 Senior Member
    So with the majority of land in rural areas they are going to pay more in taxes?
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,744 Senior Member
    So with the majority of land in rural areas they are going to pay more in taxes?

    I'm pretty sure people are missing the point...
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • KSU FirefighterKSU Firefighter Senior Member Posts: 3,246 Senior Member
    Guys, the original author was trying to show by arguing for the same "tax" from two entirely different viewpoints, one a markedly socialist one, the other, more rooted in a conservative view, that people are biased either for or against an idea merely because it comes from someone whose views are like/unlike their own. Alpha is trying to point out that folks generally will rally behind an idea because of who came up with it, not on the merits of the proposal. Kind of like, for example, if Reagan had proposed universal health care. If Uncle Ron was for it, then it must be good, hypothetically speaking. Where the author dropped the ball was by using a tax as his example, most of us of a conservative bent are generally distrustful of any "new" taxes. Especially the ones that are supposed to abolish the "old" taxes, after the new one is up and running. We have learned through painful experience that old taxes don't go away, they just get bigger!
    The fire service needs a "culture of extinguishment not safety" Ray McCormack FDNY
  • Pelagic KayakerPelagic Kayaker Banned Posts: 1,503 Senior Member
    I'm pretty sure people are missing the point...

    There's a "point" in an ultra leftist rag like Rolling Stone?
    "The reflection upon my situation and that of this army produces many an uneasy hour when all around me are wrapped in sleep. Few people know the predicament we are in" ~General George Washington, January 14, 1776
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,658 Senior Member
    When someone proposes a plan that is supposed to make things better, we have to be able to trust the motives of those making the proposal. That is impossible in the current political climate. I believe the other side is dishonest, therefore I don't seriously consider anything they say. I believe that "my side" is less dishonest, so I will at least listen to them, and see if what they say is logical.
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,149 Senior Member
    bisley wrote: »
    When someone proposes a plan that is supposed to make things better, we have to be able to trust the motives of those making the proposal. That is impossible in the current political climate. I believe the other side ARE PATHOLOGICAL LIARS, therefore I don't seriously consider anything they say. I believe that "my side" is less dishonest, so I will at least listen to them, and see if what they say is logical.

    FIFY
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • CaliFFLCaliFFL Senior Member Posts: 4,737 Senior Member
    Did you miss the part where it was a deliberate troll?


    This that what we are inclined to believe? That he was trolling, while the Twits on Twitter were lapping it up?
    The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me.

    Ayn Rand
  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Posts: 6,536 Senior Member
    Should it matter who is saying it and why they're saying it if they're supporting the EXACT SAME policy?
    They are using the same words, not advocating the same tax. First guy is using a land value tax for the purpose of income redistribution and elimination of private property, the second is using it for govt. largess. Neither is a conservative plan.

    FYI I am in total disagreement with both articles. The only way I would go back to where only landowners get taxed is when we go back to where only landowners vote. Seems fair to me.
    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
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