Is this why we can't agree on any issues?

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?

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.

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?

And this is why we can’t agree on the issues.

Nope, my response does not mean the answer is no. It means that the answer is irrelevant to the thread.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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?

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.

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)

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.

It certainly helps me understand your perspective, so … cauliflower I guess.

Should I expect these low-authoritarianism Democrats to assert themselves in RKBA debates anytime soon?

(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.