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Old 07-20-2019, 09:12 PM
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The biggest obstacle that each political cause faces


Been pondering a question of late - what is the biggest obstacle that each political cause faces? (not about right or wrong, but simply, the difficulty of it).

Thought of a few, more contributions or analysis/picking-apart welcome:

  • Abortion (the pro-life side): The biggest obstacle the pro-life side faces is that it requires imposing a huge inconvenience on pregnant women who are not pro-life. It demands that these women put up with 9 months of pregnancy (and also further costs/complications beyond birth) because pro-lifers do not want them to abort. That is a hard political sell - it generates a backlash of "Why are you telling me what to do with my body?"
  • Fighting against climate change: The biggest obstacle here is that in order to stop or reverse climate change, it requires people to make big sacrifices that are painful in the short term in return for benefits that are hard to see or imagine in the long run. It is hard to get people to buy into that.
  • Criminal justice reform or prison reform: Many people have a vindictive attitude towards prison inmates and want them to suffer. Any sort of reform that sounds like "going soft on prisoners" (i.e., shortening their sentences, improving their living conditions, etc.) runs afoul of their desire to see criminals suffer. It is one reason why Joe Arpaio was popular among some folks for his deliberate attempts to demean prisoners and make them suffer. Some people have gone to great lengths to ensure that prisoners in the South will not get air conditioning, for instance, despite temperatures rising to near-lethal or lethal levels.
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Old 07-20-2019, 09:21 PM
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LGBTQ rights: Ignorance about what rights LGBTQ folks and allies are actually demanding.
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Old 07-20-2019, 10:27 PM
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Republicans: Biggest obstacle is that their base is literally dying, and the more young and minority people there are the less likely they are to stay in power.


Climate Change Deniers: Biggest obstacle is climate science.
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Old 07-21-2019, 07:32 AM
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Political campaign funding reform: USSC (Citizens United).

Net neutrality: US Congress.
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Old 07-21-2019, 07:47 AM
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Political campaign funding reform: USSC (Citizens United).

Net neutrality: US Congress.
I thought Ajit Pai was the biggest obstacle to net neutrality.
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Old 07-21-2019, 08:03 AM
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Climate change: We are beyond the point where any current "fixes" will save us. We need new technology if we hope to address climate change.
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Old 07-21-2019, 09:57 AM
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[*]Fighting against climate change: The biggest obstacle here is that in order to stop or reverse climate change, it requires people to make big sacrifices that are painful in the short term in return for benefits that are hard to see or imagine in the long run. It is hard to get people to buy into that.
But does it? Although it'll cost money in the short term I also thought renewables would lower energy costs, improve health (coal is bad for health), create jobs, etc.

A solar panel setup, home upgrades and electric car cost a lot upfront but after they are bought you save several hundred a month on energy bills.
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Old 07-22-2019, 06:52 AM
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A solar panel setup, home upgrades and electric car cost a lot upfront but after they are bought you save several hundred a month on energy bills.
I think that is exactly the point being made.

Buying an electric car in the UK is 10k more than an equivalent ICE model. Converting my house to solar power is about 10k as well. Combined, that 20k investment may save me about 150 a month in bills. That's a long pay-back time that is pretty unappealing.
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Old 07-22-2019, 07:59 AM
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I think that is exactly the point being made.

Buying an electric car in the UK is 10k more than an equivalent ICE model. Converting my house to solar power is about 10k as well. Combined, that 20k investment may save me about 150 a month in bills. That's a long pay-back time that is pretty unappealing.
The problem with this analysis is that it presumes the cheaper route is viable in the long term. Hell, I could lower food prices if I didn't need to worry about sanitation or if I could use lead lined cans again; it would be laughable to say "but eating safe food and not using poisonous metals costs me an extra $2000 a year". We should be applying the same derision to the concept of "it will cost people more to prevent the climate from becoming incapable of sustaining life". The alternative is a dead world with healthy bank accounts.
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Old 07-22-2019, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble View Post
I think that is exactly the point being made.

Buying an electric car in the UK is 10k more than an equivalent ICE model. Converting my house to solar power is about 10k as well. Combined, that 20k investment may save me about 150 a month in bills. That's a long pay-back time that is pretty unappealing.
But the solar panels will last thirty years. And the electric car may last twenty. Plus after the panels expire setting up new ones is much cheaper than the initial install. Plus home value goes up.

So after the ten year repayment period it's free money.

A loan whose payment is equal to your old gasoline and electric bill for ten or more years is still cheaper than using fossil fuels because once the bill is paid you have free energy.
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Last edited by Wesley Clark; 07-22-2019 at 08:05 AM.
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Old 07-22-2019, 08:10 AM
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Harsh but fair.
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Old 07-22-2019, 12:15 PM
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But the solar panels will last thirty years. And the electric car may last twenty. Plus after the panels expire setting up new ones is much cheaper than the initial install. Plus home value goes up.

So after the ten year repayment period it's free money.

A loan whose payment is equal to your old gasoline and electric bill for ten or more years is still cheaper than using fossil fuels because once the bill is paid you have free energy.
This assumes that solar panels require no maintenance. It also ignores the opportunity cost. A lot of things have to go right for it to be worth the money.
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Old 07-22-2019, 04:52 PM
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Climate change: We are beyond the point where any current "fixes" will save us. We need new technology if we hope to address climate change.
carbon eating bugs
1 child policy globally
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Old 07-23-2019, 01:11 PM
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But the solar panels will last thirty years. And the electric car may last twenty. Plus after the panels expire setting up new ones is much cheaper than the initial install. Plus home value goes up.

So after the ten year repayment period it's free money.

A loan whose payment is equal to your old gasoline and electric bill for ten or more years is still cheaper than using fossil fuels because once the bill is paid you have free energy.
You don't have to make the case to me, the point is that humans are humans. Not always perfectly rational beings and very easily put off taking the course of long-term benefit by the short term pain.
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Last edited by Novelty Bobble; 07-23-2019 at 01:15 PM.
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