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Old 02-08-2019, 05:16 PM
Babale Babale is offline
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Is this why we can't agree on any issues?

Inspired by a post over in Elections.

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Originally Posted by octopus View Post
I grew up in a similar neighborhood and you are 100% correct. I think everyone who has such lofty ideas of humanity ought to live a few years in a very economically depressed area and see for themselves the reality of human nature.
You know, this right here is where it all falls apart.

You look at people in a "very economically depressed area", you notice all the character flaws and crime and substance abuse and you think "man, these are such shitty people! Look how they live! No wonder they're poor! We need to keep them away from the rest of us so they don't lower our standard of living."

Meanwhile, we look at those same people, notice all the same things, and think " Man, what shitty conditions! Look how they live! No wonder there's crime and drug abuse. We need to change these environments so that the people there have the opportunity to reach their full potential."

So is this why we are so divided in the US today? And if so, what can we do about it?
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Old 02-08-2019, 05:19 PM
HurricaneDitka HurricaneDitka is online now
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Babale, have you lived in a very economically depressed area for a few years?
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Old 02-08-2019, 05:24 PM
Babale Babale is offline
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Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
Babale, have you lived in a very economically depressed area for a few years?
Next time you feel the need to weigh in on gay marriage, make sure you've been in a homosexual relationship for a few years first, for a sense of perspective.
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Old 02-08-2019, 05:27 PM
HurricaneDitka HurricaneDitka is online now
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Next time you feel the need to weigh in on gay marriage, make sure you've been in a homosexual relationship for a few years first, for a sense of perspective.
It was just a question. "No" is an acceptable answer, but I thought it would be insightful to understand where your perspective on this is coming from. Your response here does mean the answer is "no", right?
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Old 02-08-2019, 05:34 PM
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And this is why we can't agree on the issues.
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Old 02-08-2019, 05:35 PM
Babale Babale is offline
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Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
It was just a question. "No" is an acceptable answer, but I thought it would be insightful to understand where your perspective on this is coming from. Your response here does mean the answer is "no", right?
Nope, my response does not mean the answer is no. It means that the answer is irrelevant to the thread.
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Old 02-08-2019, 05:35 PM
SpoilerVirgin SpoilerVirgin is offline
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So is this why we are so divided in the US today? And if so, what can we do about it?
It's even more insidious than that. There are people living in the economically depressed area, who are struggling with substance abuse, who are living off of government benefits, who still believe that it's wrong for "those people", meaning some other group of people who are not them, to get government benefits. Because of course their problems are because of bad circumstances, while the problems of "those people" are because they are just horribly flawed, bad people.

It's a difficult problem to address, since it stems from a basic aspect of human psychology: fundamental attribution error.
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Old 02-08-2019, 05:36 PM
HurricaneDitka HurricaneDitka is online now
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... So is this why we are so divided in the US today? And if so, what can we do about it?
To opine on this portion, I don't think differing views over the best way to reduce poverty and crime are the real core / central dividing issue of our time. That's just disagreement on one issue.

For example, the "way income and wealth are distributed in the U.S." tied for 7th in a recent poll on issues important to voters.
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Old 02-08-2019, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
To opine on this portion, I don't think differing views over the best way to reduce poverty and crime are the real core / central dividing issue of our time. That's just disagreement on one issue.

For example, the "way income and wealth are distributed in the U.S." tied for 7th in a recent poll on issues important to voters.
What is telling here is the apparent inability to discern the fact that those two issues are substantially the same issue.
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Old 02-08-2019, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by SpoilerVirgin View Post
It's a difficult problem to address, since it stems from a basic aspect of human psychology: fundamental attribution error.

Agreed. Humans have a loooooong history of assuming that poverty, crime, sloth, and mental defects are all one and the same thing. And so we end up with a world where poverty is criminalized, prisons are used in place of mental hospitals, and politicians tell stories about “welfare queens.”
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Old 02-08-2019, 05:56 PM
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Most things in life are a certain balance of internal vs. external factors. Few would attribute it entirely to one or the other. It's just that liberals tend to weight it more towards the latter and conservatives towards the former.
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:00 PM
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Most things in life are a certain balance of internal vs. external factors. Few would attribute it entirely to one or the other. It's just that liberals tend to weight it more towards the latter and conservatives towards the former.
I agree with this. There's a whole lot of gray area that most people fall into between the two extremes of the spectrum the OP described.
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:17 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Babale, have you lived in a very economically depressed area for a few years?
I grew up entirely within economically depressed areas, including several years in what was termed a ghetto.

Does that give my opinion special weight? Please answer on a scale from rutabaga to skyscraper.
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:19 PM
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Most things in life are a certain balance of internal vs. external factors. Few would attribute it entirely to one or the other. It's just that liberals tend to weight it more towards the latter and conservatives towards the former.
Yes, but that's a superficial and not very informative observation. The more revealing insight is why this difference exists. Numerous studies -- some of which have been discussed here -- show that conservatives tend to prefer simple, clear-cut answers to questions like the underlying causes of poverty and crime -- often driven by preconceived "gut-feel" beliefs and enshrined values -- while liberals tend towards more analytical approaches that better assess complexity and ambiguity, and are more inclined to be influenced by academic studies and their empirical evidence. Just look at the liberal-conservative divide on issues like climate change and evolution. Of course there are intelligent conservatives with evidence-based beliefs, some of whom are even scientists, but where do you tend to find the anti-science bias on things like climate change?
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:53 PM
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I think the real issue is how white people high on authoritarianism have all moved to the GOP, which has also caused people low on authoritarianism to move to the democrats.

https://www.amazon.com/Authoritarian.../dp/052171124X

Thats why we can't get along.
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:58 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is online now
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Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
To opine on this portion, I don't think differing views over the best way to reduce poverty and crime are the real core / central dividing issue of our time. That's just disagreement on one issue.

For example, the "way income and wealth are distributed in the U.S." tied for 7th in a recent poll on issues important to voters.
Yeah but it was rated as extremely/very important to 68% of respondents, compared to 80% of respondents for the #1 issue (healthcare).

Also if you take the top 10 factors in that poll, about 5 of them are at root about economics.

Health care, the economy, taxes, the way income and wealth are distributed in the US, and trade policy.

Also immigration is, in part, about economics (but its more about white identity politics)
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Old 02-08-2019, 07:13 PM
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The inability to compromise is primarily due to one, or more, or all, of the negotiating parties refusing to accept the possibility that the other side has valid concerns. When any of the negotiating parties hold the belief that the other side's values, opinions, reasons, or goals are useless, or worthless, or not even worth mentioning, then compromise is impossible. Compromise requires a willingness to actually compromise.
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Old 02-08-2019, 07:17 PM
HurricaneDitka HurricaneDitka is online now
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Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
I grew up entirely within economically depressed areas, including several years in what was termed a ghetto.

Does that give my opinion special weight? Please answer on a scale from rutabaga to skyscraper.
It certainly helps me understand your perspective, so ... cauliflower I guess.
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Old 02-08-2019, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
I think the real issue is how white people high on authoritarianism have all moved to the GOP, which has also caused people low on authoritarianism to move to the democrats.

https://www.amazon.com/Authoritarian.../dp/052171124X

Thats why we can't get along.
Should I expect these low-authoritarianism Democrats to assert themselves in RKBA debates anytime soon?
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Old 02-08-2019, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
I think the real issue is how white people high on authoritarianism have all moved to the GOP, which has also caused people low on authoritarianism to move to the democrats.

Thats why we can't get along.
(post shortened)

I wonder when these so-called "people low on authoritarianism" will finally rid the Democrat Party of the Pelosi, Schumer, Clinton, Warren, Cuomo, and de Blasio-types. It must be those "white people high on authoritarianism" that are holding the people down.
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Old 02-08-2019, 09:16 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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It certainly helps me understand your perspective, so ... cauliflower I guess.
Sorry, rutabaga is the only vegetable.

How many years did you spend in economically depressed areas, since the question has come up?
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Old 02-08-2019, 09:21 PM
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Not a few years, but for about a year in the early Eighties, I lived in a steel mill town with an unemployment rate of 25%. Domestic violence, alcohol abuse, depression rates, and crime rates all rose after unemployment did, so they were clearly the result of hard times, not the cause of them.

Seems to me that the easiest way to reconcile the two views in the OP is to look at an area that became economically depressed and compare the before-and-afters. You don't 'have to live there, as I did.
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:12 PM
Dale Sams Dale Sams is offline
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Originally Posted by Babale View Post
Inspired by a post over in Elections.



You know, this right here is where it all falls apart.

You look at people in a "very economically depressed area", you notice all the character flaws and crime and substance abuse and you think "man, these are such shitty people! Look how they live! No wonder they're poor! We need to keep them away from the rest of us so they don't lower our standard of living."

Meanwhile, we look at those same people, notice all the same things, and think " Man, what shitty conditions! Look how they live! No wonder there's crime and drug abuse. We need to change these environments so that the people there have the opportunity to reach their full potential."

So is this why we are so divided in the US today? And if so, what can we do about it?
Who is this "you" that you're attributing such vile sentiments as "we need to keep them away so they don't lower our standard of living"? And who is this "we" who see the same situation through a much more compassionate lense??

Your very premise is poisoned from the get go.
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:52 PM
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Agreed. Humans have a loooooong history of assuming that poverty, crime, sloth, and mental defects are all one and the same thing. And so we end up with a world where poverty is criminalized, prisons are used in place of mental hospitals, and politicians tell stories about “welfare queens.”
This is where I wish we had a like button.
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Old 02-08-2019, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
Most things in life are a certain balance of internal vs. external factors. Few would attribute it entirely to one or the other. It's just that liberals tend to weight it more towards the latter and conservatives towards the former.
When I was poor I blamed it on the government but I don't blame the government for my current affluence. Oddly enough my political leanings shifted a little.
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Old 02-08-2019, 11:45 PM
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(post shortened)

I wonder when these so-called "people low on authoritarianism" will finally rid the Democrat Party of the Pelosi, Schumer, Clinton, Warren, Cuomo, and de Blasio-types. It must be those "white people high on authoritarianism" that are holding the people down.
From the way you post on this board I don't think you are capable of compromising on anything. In other words, you are part of the problem.

But fine, let me try. If we could rid the conservatives in general and the Republicans in particular of the Trump, McConnell, Cruz, and Faux news crowd we might be able to solve some problems in this country.
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Old 02-09-2019, 12:26 AM
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Originally Posted by JB99 View Post
Agreed. Humans have a loooooong history of assuming that poverty, crime, sloth, and mental defects are all one and the same thing. And so we end up with a world where poverty is criminalized, prisons are used in place of mental hospitals, and politicians tell stories about “welfare queens.”
There's a good Ted Talk about that: Poverty isn't a lack of character; it's a lack of cash by Rutger Bregman (14:58)

It is a discussion of Universal Basic Income, ultimately, but the data points he uses support the title, IMO.
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Old 02-09-2019, 04:41 AM
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Purely from octopus's quote in the OP I have to agree with it. If you place people in adverse circumstances it's more likely to all go a bit "lord of the flies". Seems like an reasonable argument for trying to eradicate such inequality. If there is further context from octopus that suggests those in deprived circumstances must have an inherent character flaw then no, I would disagree.

Nothing is certain though is it? And the truly evil position to take would be a simple assumption that the poor deserve their lot or are incapable of living any better. I lived in a deprived area for the first 20 years of my life and in an affluent area now, My mother and father were both from very poor backgrounds and the general background level of violence and criminality were light years away from what I experience now. I know from long childhood experience that being poor is not a character flaw but also that deprivation will often accentuate the worst of human nature.
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Old 02-09-2019, 04:51 AM
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You look at people in a "very economically depressed area", you notice all the character flaws and crime and substance abuse and you think "man, these are such shitty people! Look how they live! No wonder they're poor! We need to keep them away from the rest of us so they don't lower our standard of living."

Meanwhile, we look at those same people, notice all the same things, and think " Man, what shitty conditions! Look how they live! No wonder there's crime and drug abuse. We need to change these environments so that the people there have the opportunity to reach their full potential."
Will Rogers of Oklahoma once said "I never met a man I didn't like."
Gil Froshisher of So. Kalinkey once said "I never met a human I couldn't hate."

I report. You decide.
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Old 02-09-2019, 09:54 AM
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Not a few years, but for about a year in the early Eighties, I lived in a steel mill town with an unemployment rate of 25%. Domestic violence, alcohol abuse, depression rates, and crime rates all rose after unemployment did, so they were clearly the result of hard times, not the cause of them.

Seems to me that the easiest way to reconcile the two views in the OP is to look at an area that became economically depressed and compare the before-and-afters. You don't 'have to live there, as I did.
Post hoc ergo propter hoc
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:10 AM
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This is all we need to fix America

1) Disclose the UFO technology, let the American people and the people of the world have access to clean energy from the solar winds, build sustainable wind plants, dump coal and “clean coal”. Move toward free energy. Dump to utilities which charge customers outrages prices for energy

2) Release all the secret patents which have the power to change the plant for good

3) Change the monetary system, dump the federal reserve private bank with the illegal leash it has on the globe. Move towards the gold standard or Bitcoin.

4) Put Rand Paul in office

5) dump the Deep Staters in both parties who seek to keep the National Security Apparatuses going.
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:18 AM
HurricaneDitka HurricaneDitka is online now
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Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
Sorry, rutabaga is the only vegetable.

How many years did you spend in economically depressed areas, since the question has come up?
About 14 years over the course of my life, most of it in my childhood, but I've been told that's not relevant to this thread.
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Old 02-09-2019, 12:35 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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About 14 years over the course of my life, most of it in my childhood, but I've been told that's not relevant to this thread.
I don't see where that was said.

I will say this about my experiences. I started school in the ghetto. In second grade my family upgraded from a three- to a four-room apartment a mile down the road to another depressed area but one that was merely working class poor. I found myself two months behind the rest of my class.

The difference? My ghetto school was mostly black. My working class school was mostly white.

As the OP wrote, looking back I could have taken this either as a condemnation of black families or an exaltation of white families. I did neither. I took it as a condemnation of a systemically racist society that treated blacks differently. The white working class families were not lauded for their dedication to getting their kids properly educated, and not just because so many of them didn't have this dedication. They were discriminated against and locked out of much of affluent society in similar fashion, although not as forcefully and irrevocably.

Racism, classism, nationalism, and all the other ways society sorts individuals into superior and inferior groups are the true weights that the poor and the lowly have to throw off just to achieve some measure of equality with those who sailed weightless through life and consider the poor's top to be the bottom that they can ascend from.

Not all the poor and the discriminated against rise. Many are indeed crushed by this weight. They serve as convenient visible symbols through which the whole can be condemned. With history's usual irony, many of the white working class and even some middle class who succeeded with a somewhat lesser weight in the past are now being crushed by a new set of systemic societal weights. They are angry and loud and are lashing out at perceived inferiors as the blame rather than the affluent who run society. It's gotten ugly and will get worse because history is not on their side.

I just realized there's a Monty Python reference that fits here.
Quote:
Voice of the Lord: The one in the braces, he done it!

Klaus: It's a fair cop, but society's to blame.

Detective: Agreed. We'll be charging them too.
Yep. Society is to blame. Not individuals, society. Nothing can change until we agree on that issue and charge them for their crimes.
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Old 02-09-2019, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Kamaski View Post
This is all we need to fix America

1) Disclose the UFO technology, let the American people and the people of the world have access to clean energy from the solar winds, build sustainable wind plants, dump coal and “clean coal”. Move toward free energy. Dump to utilities which charge customers outrages prices for energy

2) Release all the secret patents which have the power to change the plant for good

3) Change the monetary system, dump the federal reserve private bank with the illegal leash it has on the globe. Move towards the gold standard or Bitcoin.

4) Put Rand Paul in office

5) dump the Deep Staters in both parties who seek to keep the National Security Apparatuses going.
Please stay on topic or at least make an effort to relate your comment to the topic.

[/moderating]
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Old 02-09-2019, 01:36 PM
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It's even more insidious than that. ...it's wrong for "those people", meaning some other group ...while the problems of "those people" are...
So there are too many conflicted voters, or groups of voting blocs with irreconcilably disparate priorities and viewpoints? Is that your point here?
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Old 02-09-2019, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamaski View Post
This is all we need to fix America

1) Disclose the UFO technology, let the American people and the people of the world have access to clean energy from the solar winds, build sustainable wind plants, dump coal and “clean coal”. Move toward free energy. Dump to utilities which charge customers outrages prices for energy

2) Release all the secret patents which have the power to change the plant for good

3) Change the monetary system, dump the federal reserve private bank with the illegal leash it has on the globe. Move towards the gold standard or Bitcoin.

4) Put Rand Paul in office

5) dump the Deep Staters in both parties who seek to keep the National Security Apparatuses going.
Ok. That’s enough. I’m putting you on topic limitation.

You may no longer bring up UFOs, ETs or similar in any thread in which it’s not already a part of the conversation.

No warning here but next time it will be.
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Old 02-09-2019, 02:13 PM
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I think the OP is more right than wrong.

One of the core differences between ideological liberals and conservatives is their beliefs on free will.* Liberals generally believe that many things that appear to be free choices are actually socially determined. They tend to believe that your actual ability to do things that are the rational and beneficial choice for you is a product of things like your executive function and willpower, which are determined by your upbringing, history of trauma, genetics, and other factors. (This is in addition to and apart from debates about what the rational choice is, in which conservatives tend to ignore things like the value of social status when analyzing the behavior of the poor.)

Conversely, conservatives tend to believe in a sort of 18th-century psychology/ethics that either denies the existence of these social determinants or else denies that they are relevant to analyzing moral and policy obligations.

That is why two different people can see the exact same thing—like a poor person spending too much money on a car, or someone responding inappropriately to police questioning—and reach very different conclusions about blame and policy.


*-most people who fit these labels are not especially ideological and they adopt them as an identity because of other social pressures—those people do not have consistent core beliefs like highly ideological people do. They tend to use the free will argument hypocritically, marshalling one side or the other when convenient for their tribe.
  #38  
Old 02-09-2019, 05:40 PM
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I think the OP is more right than wrong.

One of the core differences between ideological liberals and conservatives is their beliefs on free will.* Liberals generally believe that many things that appear to be free choices are actually socially determined. They tend to believe that your actual ability to do things that are the rational and beneficial choice for you is a product of things like your executive function and willpower, which are determined by your upbringing, history of trauma, genetics, and other factors. (This is in addition to and apart from debates about what the rational choice is, in which conservatives tend to ignore things like the value of social status when analyzing the behavior of the poor.)

Conversely, conservatives tend to believe in a sort of 18th-century psychology/ethics that either denies the existence of these social determinants or else denies that they are relevant to analyzing moral and policy obligations.
It's kind of a cop out, but I think there are elements of both at play in most scenario.

I really just wanted to respond to say, where you been, man?!
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Old 02-09-2019, 05:55 PM
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Post hoc ergo propter hoc
It's not post hoc reasoning if multiple studies have established a correlation.Here's one [domestic violence]:

Quote:
The World Health Organization states that 13-61 percent of women worldwide recount experiencing physical violence from a partner at some point in their lifetime, and that poverty is a risk factor.
And here[domestic violence]:
Quote:
Unemployment and economic hardship at the household level were positively related to abusive behavior. Further, rapid increases in the unemployment rate increased men's controlling behavior toward romantic partners even after we adjust for unemployment and economic distress at the household level. We interpret these findings as demonstrating that the uncertainty and anticipatory anxiety that go along with sudden macroeconomic downturns have negative effects on relationship quality, above and beyond the effects of job loss and material hardship.
And here [alcohol abuse]:

This study
Quote:
empirically addresses stressful work and non-work aspects of people’s lives seen to result, at least in part, from the enduring effects of the Great Recession, and demonstrates the associations between these stressors and alcohol use and abuse
And here [murder and suicide]:

Quote:
Unemployment and recession add to the death toll from suicide, murder and heart attacks
Besides which, my point was this: if those things happen after and not before the area becomes impoverished, they're obviously not causing it.
  #40  
Old 02-09-2019, 06:28 PM
HurricaneDitka HurricaneDitka is online now
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I don't see where that was said. ...
Post #6
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Old 02-09-2019, 07:03 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Post #6
And that's what you took away from my lengthy post. Very revealing.
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Old 02-09-2019, 08:07 PM
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I think the OP is in some ways correct.

Here's my take on the causes
1. We are comfortable enough to worry about complex issues.
2. Class divides
3. Lack of a common enemy
4. Lack of universal social norms

Simple examples
We aren't worried about how to feed ourselves so we are free to contemplate gay marriage.
We don't have people who might die for lack of being able to see a doctor for an injury so we're free to worry about how exactly to deal with healthcare in general.

Class division has been a driving force behind rebellions and revolutions throughout history

Nothing unifies people more than a common enemy, it's no longer PC to villify some other country, plus most larger powers aren't all that dissimilar from us. We don't have the USSR or Nazi Germany anymore. We can't make China the new USSR because our economy isn't independent of them. Couldn't even do it with a middle eastern country for the same reason + they couldn't be seen as a penultimate threat, despite attempts.

Issues like gun control were never even a question long ago because it was just normal to walk around with one. Now it's normal some places and non existent in others.
Lacking universal social norms is probably also partly due to the amount of communication. You can easily find people who share your views outside of your local community and reenforce them if they are different.

So basically we're divided largely because we can be.
  #43  
Old 02-09-2019, 08:24 PM
Littleman Littleman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Parker View Post
I think the OP is more right than wrong.

Liberals generally believe that many things that appear to be free choices are actually socially determined.

They tend to believe that your actual ability to do things that are the rational and beneficial choice for you is a product of things like your executive function and willpower, which are determined by your upbringing, history of trauma, genetics, and other factors.
.
To me these two statements seem to be polar opposites, or at least in conflict.

Is it social pressure that made your decision for you, or your own will power?

That said, given equal willpowers the person with external factors working against them isn't going to get as far.
  #44  
Old 02-10-2019, 06:42 AM
Novelty Bobble Novelty Bobble is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Littleman View Post
To me these two statements seem to be polar opposites, or at least in conflict.

Is it social pressure that made your decision for you, or your own will power?

That said, given equal willpowers the person with external factors working against them isn't going to get as far.
My interpretation is that it could be both, plus a combination of myriad other factors that interact in chaotic ways. Richard Parkers comment laid out a "liberal" view of the situation that accepts this chaotic mix of factors and behavioural drivers and steers clear of simply blaming those in those situations.

That's certainly how I see it and your final sentence is a very simplified version of this, i.e. take two groups of otherwise indistinguishable people and put one group under extreme financial and societal/cultural stress and bad things are more likely to happen.
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  #45  
Old 02-10-2019, 04:00 PM
Magiver Magiver is offline
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Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
There's a good Ted Talk about that: Poverty isn't a lack of character; it's a lack of cash by Rutger Bregman (14:58)

It is a discussion of Universal Basic Income, ultimately, but the data points he uses support the title, IMO.
His theory doesn't explain the success rate of those who went through the great depression versus those in long term poverty.
Poverty is a term applied post mortem to describe a monetary condition. The lack of money does not determine it’s cause. The reasons differ for short term poverty but narrow as time progresses to long term poverty. Long term poverty is often referred to as generational poverty and I think for good reason. It’s a loss of skills that should have been passed down from one generation to the next. Once those skills are lost then society cannot rectify it directly with money. In fact, any attempt to do so will add more to the number of impoverished. Generational poverty requires a restoration of the skills needed to successfully interact in a work environment.

Last edited by Magiver; 02-10-2019 at 04:02 PM.
  #46  
Old 02-11-2019, 09:56 AM
Richard Parker Richard Parker is offline
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Originally Posted by Littleman View Post
To me these two statements seem to be polar opposites, or at least in conflict.

Is it social pressure that made your decision for you, or your own will power?

That said, given equal willpowers the person with external factors working against them isn't going to get as far.
Your juxtaposition of "willpower" as against "social pressure" and "external factors" suggests to me that the contradiction you see is because of your definition and understanding of willpower. There is a common belief that willpower is some aspect of a person's character, the presence or absence of which are the moral responsibility of the individual. In this belief system, there is a kind of meta-willpower in which people choose to have or exercise willpower.

In my view, that framework is only coherent if you posit some kind of eternal soul that stands apart from the influences of earthly matter and that you are morally responsible for its state. Without that stuff, the only thing willpower can be is just one more function of the brain like the power to identify musical pitch. It is the product of some combination of good genetics, social factors, and only in some small degree the choices one has made in life (which choices themselves are also constrained by all these factors). Even in a world in which free will exists in some sense, your ability to execute the right choices is determined in large part by things everyone agrees are not in your personal control.

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I really just wanted to respond to say, where you been, man?!
Mostly lurking. I guess the spirit moved me on this one!

(Just busy, mostly.)

Last edited by Richard Parker; 02-11-2019 at 09:57 AM.
  #47  
Old 02-11-2019, 12:27 PM
bump bump is offline
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Hell, an individual can struggle with that argument within themselves at the same time.

Someone can be a dumb-ass and make really poor decisions and yet still be the product of his cruddy environment.

I recall there being anti-smoking messages from VERY early on in my life. And they seemed to stick- very few people in high school or college actually smoked, and very few in my age cohort smoke to this day. Yet literally every single day I see poor people smoking outside the public transit stations.

Part of me wants to say that they're SOL if they want public medical care for smoking related problems; it's been common publicized knowledge for 40 years now that smoking is bad.

Part of me wonders what fucked-up community they live in where they smoke anyway despite the fact that its dangers are well publicized AND it's an expensive habit for anyone, especially someone with low income.
  #48  
Old 02-11-2019, 12:42 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Originally Posted by Magiver View Post
His theory doesn't explain the success rate of those who went through the great depression versus those in long term poverty.
I have no idea what you mean by this.

Many millions of people were utterly crushed by the Depression. That other millions survived was due, first, to ameliorative programs passed by the government after private charity had failed, and second, to the giant influx of government spending promoted by war expenses. The way the Depression was solved can be answered in three words: money, money, money.

Nor can the Depression be equated to generational poverty. The Depression lasted a decade. That's a long time in someone's life, but certainly not generational.

You should take a look at the plight of black Americans before, during, and after the Depression, when they were systematically discriminated against in government programs, in war work, and in the armed forces, and ask them about their success rate.
  #49  
Old 02-11-2019, 01:25 PM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
Many millions of people were utterly crushed by the Depression. That other millions survived was due, first, to ameliorative programs passed by the government after private charity had failed, and second, to the giant influx of government spending promoted by war expenses. The way the Depression was solved can be answered in three words: money, money, money.
We have spent a great deal more on the War on Poverty than we did on WWII and the New Deal - why haven't we solved poverty?
Quote:
You should take a look at the plight of black Americans before, during, and after the Depression, when they were systematically discriminated against in government programs, in war work, and in the armed forces, and ask them about their success rate.
I don't think that's a good example. Blacks progressed socially at a much faster rate in the 50s than they did in the 20s and 30s. Of course, they were starting from much further back.

Regards,
Shodan
  #50  
Old 02-11-2019, 02:20 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
We have spent a great deal more on the War on Poverty than we did on WWII and the New Deal - why haven't we solved poverty?
I can barely see those goalposts from where I am. You have a heck of a throwing arm.

The CCC wasn't designed to solve poverty; it merely kept people from starving. Same with the WPA and other New Deal programs.

WWII spending was of an entirely different magnitude. Spending from 1933-1936 was about $26 billion. Spending from 1942-1945 was about $297 billion. On a percentage of GDP basis, government spending went from about 8-10% a year to over 40% a year. That is about double the highest percentage in any year since. Money is the answer. Lots and lots of money. Note that if spending went up 10 times and % of GDP only five times the takeaway is that the rest of the economy was hugely booming to account for the other 500%. Jobs = money. BTW, what happened to those jobs employing women and minorities when the white boys came home from the war?

Quote:
I don't think that's a good example. Blacks progressed socially at a much faster rate in the 50s than they did in the 20s and 30s. Of course, they were starting from much further back.
[sarcasm]Yeah, those ungrateful bastards rioting in the 1960s after all we did for them in the 1950s. You'd athunk they would be thank us for the free water from those fire hoses.[/sarcasm]

Last edited by Exapno Mapcase; 02-11-2019 at 02:20 PM.
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