Is Studying Too Much Bad?

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  1. Avatar Christopher Carr
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    says:

    The takeaway message from this seems to be that nepotism exists.

    Some friends and I, who obviously have biased perspectives, were talking the other day about how dumb rich kids get MBAs or go into politics and smart rich kids go to graduate or professional schools. This seems to be a more-cynical analog to the “research” above.

    Professional schools, of course, have their own silly barriers to entry to keep the poor kids out – such as the 5,000 or so in fees, travel expenses, etc. it costs to even apply once to medical school.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Christopher Carr
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      My experience in hiring is limited to schools, but in some ways these can be the worst offenders with regards to nepotism and other insidious hiring practices. Code words include “fit” and “culture”. “Sure, he led a great lesson. But he is a good fit?” “Yea, he resume is great. But will she fit our culture?” Ask people what these words mean and they’ll struggle to define them in a meaningful way. But rest assured they are applied almost exclusively to candidates of color and those from poorer background (the latter is especially true in more old school schools).Report

      • Avatar Christopher Carr in reply to Kazzy
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        You took words out of my mouth that would have been in my mouth if I had thought of saying them first. I think you would be a good fit for whatever golden parachute it may be convenient for us both for me to bestow upon you some day if I am ever in such a position.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Christopher Carr
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      says:

      Nepotism exists and it is insidious. There is the obvious nepotism of getting someone you know a job. There is also the soft-nepotism of cultural fits and learning things by simple osmosis.

      Now I got my current position off of Craigslists of all places but when I interviewed I knew people who worked at the firm before my time there and was able to name drop. A lot of us went to the same law school and could talk about the same professors even if people graduated from law school way before my time.

      I know approximately one other person who got their legal position off of Craigslist.Report

      • Avatar Richard Hershberger in reply to Saul Degraw
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        says:

        I know approximately one other person who got their legal position off of Craigslist.

        If my paralegal position counts, I am number two. But that is pretty mainstream for paralegal positions.

        That being said, I was working in a document review shop in Baltimore about twelve years ago. You had to be a college grad to get in, but not an attorney. A lot of the guys in there had their J.D.s but either had not yet taken the bar or were waiting on the results. But one of them was this recent B.A. I have no idea how she ended up there. She was trying to figure out what direction she wanted to go, and was considering going for paralegal. It came out in discussions that her aunt was a partner in a big firm in Virginia. Being incredibly naïve, she didn’t know if she should talk to her aunt or not. Everybody else in the room shouted that of course she should. So she emailed her aunt that she wanted to talk about her career. The next day she got a call from the firm’s HR department, with the call starting with “We hear you will be joining us…” I haven’t talked to her in years, but I hear that she is now an attorney.Report

  2. Avatar LeeEsq
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    says:

    Durring the early 20th century, there were similar fears about the really wealthy families dominating everything and doing to much for their kids with their fancy prep schools, easy access to the elite universities, who actually didn’t even want to have an illusion of meritocracy back than, and best jobs reserved for them upon graduation. Through the income tax, the estate tax, and a bit of luck from the aftermath of World War I, and some other programs we were able to make things more equitable in the United States. The New Deal and post-World War II programs also made things more equitable. The wealthy could still do a lot for their kids but it seemed that they could do less in the period between 1920 and 1980 than they do now. I don’t know what current policies would look like but the right ones would blunt nepotism a lot.Report

    • Avatar Kolohe in reply to LeeEsq
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      Joe Kennedy was able to buy a Presidency for one kid, and had the deposit down for at least one and possibly two of his other sons. George HW Bush looks like only able to buy one of his sons the Presidency.Report

  3. Avatar Jaybird
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    says:

    There are many, many jokes of the form “A students do X. B students do Y. C students do Z.”

    C students are the ones in upper management, or are judges, or otherwise making the money/prestige while the A and B students, the chumps, are somewhere achieving down there with the worker bees.Report

  4. Avatar Gabriel Conroy
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    says:

    I don’t think the issue is so much that working-class kids study “too much.” Presumably, among two equally networked people, the study grind enjoys certain advantages.

    The issue is more that they don’t know how to network, don’t know the importance of networking, or don’t necessarily have the opportunities to network. I don’t think it’s a question of assigning blame–and to be sure, the OP doesn’t seem to suggest assigning blame is important–but it’s a question of 1) recognizing that some people may not be in on all the soft skills they need to know and 2) helping train and inform those students of the importance of those soft skills.

    It’s not just soft skills, though. Sometimes it’s hard or impossible to break into the networks. Maybe there is a certain kind of elitist ceiling. To the extent that’s true, then maybe being a study grind–to be twice as good than the others in order to get half half the opportunities–is the best, albeit very imperfect, way to counter that lack.

    That’s not the way things should be, but to a large degree it’s the way things are. I’m open to suggestions on how to change it, but I agree that simply outlawing hiring from elite schools would be a bad idea.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Gabriel Conroy
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      If even some of the anecdotes I read on the LGM thread were true, many working class kids don’t even have any idea about what schools are elite and what schools are not. A lot of what kids learn they learn by osmosis from their parents. Very few upper class kids are taken in hand by their parents and told this is how you network and this is how you schmooze. They just learn by watching. Working class kids also pick up working class soft skills in the same manner. I’m not sure that you can really teach kids these soft skills in a more direct way.Report

      • Avatar Gabriel Conroy in reply to LeeEsq
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        says:

        There are probably some things you (not you, the generic you) can “teach” and some things you can’t. I totally agree that much of the cultural capital and soft skills come from practices very difficult to replicate in a formal setting. Upper-class parents talk to their kids in a certain way, working-class kids do in another way, and middle-class kids do in yet another way, for example. Which I think is what you’re saying.

        I do think colleges theoretically could do something to encourage the type of participation and network-seeking that could help students place themselves in situations where they could learn such things. I’m thinking of campus clubs, internships, maybe intramural sports, and maybe even frats/sororities.*

        As for knowing or not knowing what are “elite” schools. I suppose there are different ways of looking at it. I imagine most working-class kids know that Harvard and Yale are “elite” schools, but might not know (or have heard of) the status of, say, a good SLAC or a mediocre SLAC.

        The eliteness of a school also probably varies on what one wants to get out of it. If you set your sites on an academic profession, it’s not always as important to have gone to an elite undergrad school, but it is important to have gone to an elite grad program, or at least a well-respected grad program. I use that example just because I know it better. I’m sure the mileage varies depending on the profession, etc.

        *I have reservations about Greek systems. But I’m not going to prejudge hem until I learn more.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Gabriel Conroy
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          1.Read the thread but in the anecdote in particular, the school in question was MIT. The student wanted to know if MIT was a good school. If your from a place where most people do not go to college and those that do stay local than your probably not going to have a very good idea about the hierarchy of colleges unless you get lucky.

          2. Getting into an elite grad program often involves going to an elite undergrad school because of the competition.Report

          • Avatar Gabriel Conroy in reply to LeeEsq
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            You’re right about #2. But I’d say that it’s at least possible for someone who goes to State “State” U to get into a masters program at Flagship U and from there make the connections necessary to get into prestigious PHD program at prestigious U. Of course, there’s a lot that can go wrong in that path, and it’s probably much easier if you start out at a prestigious undergrad institution.

            Also, the better grad programs (in terms of reputation) aren’t always at the most elite schools, although the more elite schools have the brand name recognition that can mean a lot.

            For #1, I’ll take your word for it. (Not too keen on visiting lgm.) I do wonder about MIT. From everything I’ve heard about it, it is pretty elite. But I’m not sure that makes it a good undergrad school. Not sure it doesn’t, either, but not sure it does.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to LeeEsq
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        says:

        And if they did know, they felt underconfident about applying. Notice how Loomis talks about how he was encouraged to apply for Linfield but his self-doubts got in the way.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 in reply to LeeEsq
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        says:

        My wife — a high school teacher — is heavily involved in a program (called AVID, I think) that is designed for high school kids who are on track to be first generation college students. (Kids with solid grades, good work ethics, etc who are aiming to be in college but whose parents did not attend college).

        They’re identified pretty early, although students can join at any point. They’re taught everything from how to look at colleges (“What is it known for? What will the real costs be? How much student aid can I expect? Do I want a big school or a small school? What if I change majors, will it still work if I decide I no longer want to be X?”), from how to apply (where to get applications, how to apply, how to write essays aimed at colleges), to how to apply for financial aid and scholarships, to what colleges look for in students. They’re taught what supplies they’ll need for colleges, what meal plans do and don’t cover, what necessities they’ll need for their dorms and how to determine how much money that’ll cost…

        A very large number of them end up with full rides or major chunks of their college paid for.

        It is, hands down, the most obvious program I’d never thought of. Until my wife joined the program (it’s all volunteer by the teachers. My wife mostly handles teaching, vetting, and helping with essays for college and scholarship applications as well as teaching formal communications and stuff. Helps out with practice interviews too. She teachers English, so obvious fit) it would not have occurred to me that such a program was necessary.

        I rather wish it had been around when I was in High School. Not 100% sure I’d have qualified (my mother had, IIRC, completed her degree by the time I hit HS) but there’s a lot of stuff she never did and we didn’t know about. It’s a lot different going to a local college as an adult than as an 18 year old looking at moving away.

        If nothing else, the emphasis on organization, study skills, and time management when your day is no longer structured for you might have prevented me from having two freshman years…Report

    • Avatar Damon in reply to Gabriel Conroy
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      says:

      Hell, even non poor, middle class kids, don’t know how to network…Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Damon
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        says:

        Networking is a skill reserved for the upper middle and upper classes. Unless your parents are in a career where networking his very important, this would be law, public relations, media, entertainment and the arts, certain teaching positions, finance, and some others than your not really going to see it.Report

        • Avatar Damon in reply to LeeEsq
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          says:

          I was more specifically talking about networking IN your job. You know, the stuff you do to “stay in the know” about things going on in the company, advanced warnings of open jobs, etc. Not exactly the same thing, but it’s still used.Report

  5. Avatar Tod Kelly
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    says:

    It seems the question isn’t whether or not studying too much is bad, but whether networking is good. They are not mutually exclusive things.

    Also, in regard to discussions already ongoing here, networking is not really nepotism. Orl perhaps, to whatever degree networking is nepotism, nepotism is not a bad thing. If I have a key position to fill and I have a candidate that I know, trust, and have observed succeed before, why on earth should I not choose her over some guy that send me a really, really nice resume that I don’t know from Adam?Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Tod Kelly
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      says:

      Well, the problem comes up when, after three or four iterations of the game, everybody in the union shop is white.

      “Hey, Bob. We need a new riveter for the riveting job. He doesn’t need to know how to rivet, we can teach him to rivet. He does need to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and rivet.”

      “My sister’s boy might be a good fit. He just graduated from high school.”

      Or “Yeah, I know someone. My neighbor has a BBQ every other Saturday during the summer. His brother just came back from Korea.”

      Or “My best friend since high school was pretty handy. I’ll see if he wants to move up to a union job from his non-union one.”

      And, in each case, you’ve got someone making a good call with a guy who will meet spec. But if you are a white guy and you come from a part of town where everybody you know and go to high school with is white… well, your sister probably dated a white guy (dating pool limitations, don’t ya know), your neighbor is white, your best friend is white and, when they get asked about who they know, those folks are white too.

      And nobody is doing anything wrong, you’ve just got a workforce that shares the exact same demographics as your social circle.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Jaybird
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        says:

        Besides the stage hand’s union, I don’t know of any union that came even this close to be a select guild. Even when unions weren’t the greatest a race and diversity issues they weren’t this closed to a limited circle. Most of the remaining private sector unions aren’t like this at all and are much more diverse.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to LeeEsq
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          Lee, it seems to me Jaybird’s critique would apply as much to unions as the type of private businesses Tod is referring to in his comment. So the mapping of social circle demographics onto workplace demographics would occur in either case. So it’s a problem, or not, in either case.Report

          • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Stillwater
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            says:

            Jaybird’s critique does apply to private business as well but with private business, most libertarians see it as best as morally neutral if not something that is all right and good because owners can do what they please with their property. It is used as point against unions though in certain arguments.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to LeeEsq
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              says:

              So that’s what we’re going to do in this thread? Argue about what Libertarians think?

              I’ll pass.

              I’d rather get back to the dynamics that exist that everyone agrees are harmless (even beneficial!) in the individual instance but, strangely, after multiple iterations on a group-wide scale, result in something that people think is bad (even if libertarians don’t think it’s bad, good people like you think is bad).Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Weren’t you basically playing just this game on another thread moments before writing this comment?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chris
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                No, I’m playing a different game here.

                In this thread I’m exploring the whole problem of collective action when it comes to the acts of individuals that are, in themselves, rational but result in unwanted outcomes on a group level.

                (Oh, and if we want to discuss top-down solutions that addressed previous group-level problems that resulted in the individual actions having additional reasons to make the rational decisions they’re making, that can be fun too.)Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                No, what I’m saying is that you’re complaining about Lee making it about what the other side thinks, when in the other thread your response to a post about Fiorina was the make it about what the other side thinks (or says).

                But your changing the subject to talk about the rhetoric of people who weren’t being talked about but whom you wanted to talk about is principled and knowledgeable, whereas Lee’s is borne of ignorance and merely distracts from the issues under discussion, right?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chris
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                “Vectors!”Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chris
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                I wasn’t complaining? I was saying “if you want to change the subject, I am not interested in what you want to change the subject to”.

                I am interested in discussing the dynamics of soft nepotism.

                I am not interested in what I ought to think about soft nepotism.

                (And that’s without getting into how that’s not what I’m doing in the Fiorina thread.)Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Well, as long as what you were doing on the other thread wasn’t changing the subject to talk about the group you want to talk about, instead of the issues, while that’s clearly what Lee was doing, I guess you’re off the hook.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chris
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                Over there, I’m not interested in talking about the groups I want to talk about. I’m interested in talking about the tactics that she’s using (because, seriously, we’ve seen them before… and they’re interesting tactics). Hell, I even think that some interesting things might be dug up in doing so.

                I don’t know that, over here, we’d find anything interesting in how libertarians ought to feel about soft-nepotism.

                We’d just hammer out that there are three or four plausible soft-nepotism positions worth taking, two of them would be broad to the point where we’d argue over whether it was cheating to call those positions libertarian (“those are liberal/conservative positions!”) and the other two wouldn’t be particularly interesting in themselves but then the discussion would turn to “but if you don’t agree with one of these definitions, is that really libertarian of you???” as if that were an argument in and of itself (and, indeed, as if that were a topic more interesting than the one we abandoned).

                That’s not a game I feel like playing today.

                I’d be more interesting in exploring collective action problems.

                Though if you’d like to talk about how I ought to feel about talking about meta-topics, I suppose I could generate some arguments about that.

                There are a lot of different ways to talk about meta-topics, after all.Report

      • Avatar Alan Scott in reply to Jaybird
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        In this regard, it’s a blessing that organized labor and civil rights groups wound up being political allies in the modern era. Many unions today spend a lot of effort to counteract that unconscious segregation in various ways. My best friend from high school has a full time job with an actor’s union encouraging the casting of actors from underrepresented groups.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Alan Scott
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          says:

          NPR had an interesting report on “painting down” (basically, putting a white stuntperson in blackface for when they were the stunt double for a person of color). Apparently, it still goes on… for example, it happened in the first season of Gotham.

          Oh, my gosh. Check out this quote from the article:

          “They hire the people that they know; they know a good stunt person so they’ll recommend that person,” Robb says. “And this case, the coordinator couldn’t find, or didn’t know, enough black stunt performers, so he decided to get a white stuntwoman to do the job.”

          (I, seriously, did not remember that quote when I first googled for that article.)

          Note: after going through the “coloring down” process, the stuntperson was not included in the scene. The hair and makeup tests made everybody uncomfortable.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Tod Kelly
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      As far as I’ve seen networking and nepotism are basically synonyms that both start with the letter N. The only solid difference is that positions acquired by raw nepotism can be retained through anything short of brain melting incompetence whereas positions acquired through nepotism require at least basic ability to keep.Report

    • Avatar Gabriel Conroy in reply to Tod Kelly
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      I agree that networking is not really nepotism, but I also believe “networks” are not wholly a good thing. Or rather, they’re neither good or bad in themselves, but one consequence is that some people find it hard to break through. At best, that’s one unfortunate consequence of the way things are. And maybe there’s not a better way. Maybe the alternative of “pure merit” (however that’s determined) in practice works less well. But there is a cost to it.Report

    • Avatar Christopher Carr in reply to Tod Kelly
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      I’m not even attacking nepotism, just saying that using it as an outcome that poor students “ought” to strive for is silly and glib. To pretend that this is “research” makes me laugh at the silliness of the editorial being discussed. Ha ha!Report

  6. Avatar TrexPushups
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    says:

    How about taking a step back and wondering if meritocracy with equality of oppurtunity is even a good goal?

    http://www.vox.com/2015/9/21/9334215/equality-of-opportunityReport

    • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to TrexPushups
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      I think Dylan Matthews is my new favorite left-of-center pundit. I like how he doesn’t feel the need to engage in IQ or genetics denialism or invoke ridiculous economic fallacies to make his point.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Brandon Berg
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        It’s a good piece.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Brandon Berg
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        And just what do you mean by genetic denialism? Most liberals would admit that there is at least something genetic with these things. What we don’t think is that it is all genetic or that certain groups are forever destined to be less educated as a whole than other groups because of genetics like the Neo-Reactionary crowd does.Report

        • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to LeeEsq
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          It’s standard practice in articles on, e.g., intergenerational income correlations, to ignore genetics altogether and imply or outright assert that the correlation is entirely due to advantages derived from parental income.

          I’ve seen dozens of such articles, and I have never once seen one from a left-of-center perspective that makes the kind of concessions to genetics that Matthews makes here.Report

          • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Brandon Berg
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            People tend to ignore genetics because discussion of genetics needs to be very tightly controlled least it go down a path most of us would rather avoid. Once you start talking about genetics and intergenerational poverty in the slightest, however mild or true your point is, there are going to be done of racists that seize the moment for the nefarious ideas.Report

            • Avatar Damon in reply to LeeEsq
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              Yes, on both sides, because of the narrative on one side and the fear of backlash on the other. God forbid real science be done to actually determine an answer.Report

            • Avatar Zac in reply to LeeEsq
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              I hear where you’re coming from, but should we really let racists control the conversation? Because that’s what will happen if we refuse to participate, and regardless, racists gonna…race? You know what I mean.Report

            • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to LeeEsq
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              Interesting. What other information should we suppress because ignorant people might take it the wrong way?

              To be clear, I wasn’t talking about race anyway. Whether genetics plays a role in the racial IQ gap is an open question, but it definitely plays a role in intergenerational income correlations.

              But this is all kind of a moot point anyway, because you can’t control this kind of information any more. It’s out there, and people will find it. The real question is whether they’re going to hear it from racists, and get a racist spin on it, or hear it from people who share your values.

              Also, if leftists don’t want to talk about the role genetics plays in intergenerational income correlations, then they need to stop misrepresenting these issues by pretending that they’re due entirely to financial advantages provided by their parents. I’m not particularly interested in talking about the heritability of cognitive and noncognitive skills and their effects on income for its own sake, but when I see that kind of garbage analysis being used to push for big government spending programs, I want to shout it from the rooftops.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Brandon Berg
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                It’s quite true that had W been born poor, he could have used his native abilities to find someone to lend him the money to invest in a baseball team so that after he lobbied his friends in the government to build a new stadium he could sell out at a tidy profit, it just might have taken a bit longer.Report

        • Avatar Zac in reply to LeeEsq
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          Yeah, give Brandon some benefit of the doubt, I don’t think he’s endorsing some sort of implicit “X races don’t do as well because of genetic inferiority” nonsense, just more general genetics stuff.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to TrexPushups
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      I linked to that piece above.

      I’m all for basic income but am cynical about the chances of achieving it in my lifetime or at least in the next decade to three.

      GBI still seems to exist in the realm of wonks and nowhere else.Report

    • Avatar Zac in reply to TrexPushups
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      Fascinating article, thank you for linking to that. I agree with the author that neither equality of outcome nor equality of opportunity should be the goal; rather, we should be working toward a minimum standard of outcome. Most roads won’t lead to wealth. But no roads should lead to poverty.Report

      • Avatar notme in reply to Zac
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        How are we supposed to do that without the gov’t intruding into every aspect of our lives? Or maybe I should say every aspect that the gov’t isn’t already intruding into. Next you’ll want us to gather round and sing “The Red Flag.”Report

        • Avatar Zac in reply to notme
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          Is that a rhetorical question? Or are you actually asking? (I assume responding this way will lead to you claiming I’m dodging the question, but whatever.)

          Also, what’s wrong with “The Red Flag”? It’s the anthem of the British Labour Party, they’re not exactly the Communist International. Although I’m guessing you probably think anyone to the left of the Kaiser is a socialist, and that socialists and communists are interchangeable.Report

          • Avatar notme in reply to Zac
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            It was a serious question with a side of snark.Report

            • Avatar Zac in reply to notme
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              Well, my preferred solution is a robust version of the Nordic model (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nordic_model); others have mentioned the GBI. While the latter has not been implemented anywhere to my knowledge, the former has worked out a damn sight better than what we’re doing here, and doesn’t seem to lead to the 1984-esque society you fear.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Zac
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                The Nordic Model sits on a tripod:

                The Nordic model rests on three main principles, according to Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Denmark’s centre-left prime minister: equality, trust and collaboration.

                We’re going to need to figure out how to increase trust and collaboration if we want to implement it. Oh, and equality.Report

              • Avatar LWA in reply to Jaybird
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                What just society doesn’t rest on those same three principles?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to LWA
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                Somalia.

                How do we better increase trust and collaboration and equality in a way that we recognize as “just”?

                One of the things that I’m noticing is how immigration tends to erode trust and collaboration. If the immigration is from third world countries, it might have an impact upon equality as well.

                What is the “just” way to treat immigration under these circumstances?Report

              • Avatar LWA in reply to Jaybird
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                Is it immigration that erodes trust?
                Or is it the fear and anxiety by the natives that does that?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to LWA
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                So we agree that one of the results of immigration is an erosion of trust and collaboration?

                Are we agreeing on that or are we disagreeing on that?

                I’d like to hammer that out first.Report

              • Avatar LWA in reply to Jaybird
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                Yes it does, in the same way that the result of civil rights laws was church bombings.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to LWA
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                Fair enough. We got that far.

                So. Now we are in charge of ensuring that trust and collaboration remain high.

                What do we do in order to make sure that trust and collaboration remain high?Report

              • Avatar Zac in reply to Jaybird
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                I think LWA’s point is that it can, but it doesn’t have to.Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Zac
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                Sure, you import a bunch of folks that don’t speak your language or share your values but yet the levels of trust and collaboration are supposed to remain where they were before these folks showed up? The germans are finding out what happens…

                http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3249667/Germany-state-SIEGE-Merkel-cheered-opened-floodgates-migrants-gangs-men-roaming-streets-young-German-women-told-cover-mood-s-changing.htmlReport

              • Avatar Zac in reply to notme
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                says:

                I wouldn’t exactly call the Germans models of integration (they’ve had some problems with bigotry in the past, I don’t know if you’ve heard). But that’s where I think our birthright citizenship model has an advantage over Europe: you make the new generations taxpaying citizens and they become stakeholders in the country’s success. It’s part of how America became as powerful and successful as it is.

                As for the “not sharing our language/values” thing, that’s the same sort of shit they’ve said about every now-integrated populace that’s immigrated here since the nation’s founding. *Maybe* it’s true of the initial generation, but their kids and their kids’ kids and so on generally grow up American as any of us.Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Zac
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                says:

                Maybe the Germans haven’t been models in the past but so what? We are talking about today not the past. Do you think the average German woman is going to feel better about immigration after having been yelled at to cover up by a group of immigrates? Are you saying that the Germans could be more accommodating to their new Muslim neighbors? This article is an example of the breakdown in trust that is occurring. When my kid’s school sends home a note telling them to change their dress I would draw the line.Report

              • Avatar Zac in reply to notme
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                says:

                Well, again, their refusal to integrate migrants into their citizenship is what causes a lot of these problems. We’ve got plenty of Muslims in the US, but you don’t really see that sort of thing here because we’re better at integrating folks, for the reasons I stated before.

                BTW, being aggressive about different modesty standards isn’t exactly unique to conservative Muslims. Ever been to Amish country? Or an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood? Or a Mormon temple? Or the Vatican? Unless you’re saying religious conservatives of all stripes should be screened out of society, which, hey, I’d be all for, there’s no non-bigoted way to avoid the fact that sometimes, religious conservatives will be obnoxious. But they’re fighting on what is ultimately bound to be the losing side; the rest of us can and will outlast them.Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Zac
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                says:

                Citizenship is a red herring as you can give someone citizenship but it won’t guarantee they or their kids will assimilate into the language or the culture.Report

              • Avatar LWA in reply to notme
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                says:

                Opened the floodgates….hordes of Those People roaming the streets…Defiling Our Wimmen…

                Yep, that strokes all the right fear glands of the lizard brain.

                I am mocking, but this is serious.

                Has there ever been a pogrom, purge, or ethnic cleansing which didn’t start out in exactly this way?Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to LWA
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                says:

                LWA:

                Of course you are mocking since you don’t have an intelligent or articulate response to facts in the newspaper article.Report

              • Avatar LWA in reply to notme
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                says:

                My response is your meme.

                The savage hordes are coming to destroy our civilization.
                Just like the Jews/ Gypsies/ Yellow Hordes/ Irish/Papists unchained black freedmen did. They will ravish our wimmen then butcher our babies to sell their brains for profit.

                They will play the KnockKnock game and beat up white people. They will put needles in the ballpit of Chuck E Cheese, then flash their headlights at unsuspecting drivers then kill them. They will crowd into the Superdome and rape wimmen and children then eat their corpses.
                They will breed like rats, and have 12 children by different fathers, all of whom will live off their welfare checks and drive their Cadillacs to the liquor store for T-Bone steaks.

                I would invite everyone here to read the Daily Mail article, and reflect on the long history of nativist fearmongering and tell me if this doesn’t fit it perfectly. You could dust off a Ronald Reagan stump speech from 1972 and just change the details.

                The Hordes of Wildings never have a face or identity, they are always hordes- they never speak for themselves, but are always described perfectly by strangers. They have children but never families. They are stupid while diabolically clever. They are inferior and disgusting but our wimmen are unnaturally attracted to them.

                This is your argument, notme. This is what you guys have been saying ever since I was a child in the 1960s.
                The argument never changes, only the target.

                But somehow, you tell us, this time is different. All those other nativist scares were wrong, but this one is for real!Report

              • Avatar Zac in reply to LWA
                Ignored
                says:

                LWA: The Hordes of Wildings never have a face or identity, they are always hordes- they never speak for themselves, but are always described perfectly by strangers. They have children but never families. They are stupid while diabolically clever. They are inferior and disgusting but our wimmen are unnaturally attracted to them.

                Well, see, that’s why we had to immolate Mance Rayder. That’ll show those stinkin’ Wildlings who’s boss!

                EDIT: I see now that I misread “Wildings” as “Wildlings”…thought you were making a GoT reference there.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to LWA
                Ignored
                says:

                Weren’t all the alleged or real victims of the alleged or real knock-knock games, Ultra-Orthodox Jews that were living in those New York neighborhoods that tend to be some of the most mixed in the country, if you define this as two or more very different cultures living in close proximity.Report

              • Avatar LWA in reply to LeeEsq
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                says:

                According to the Facebook memes I saw, the victims were good hard working white people, and the perpetrators were dark hued hordes with droopy drawers.

                Oh, not that anyone I knew personally experienced it- but they knew someone who passed it along, and knows it happened right down the road there, you know, that neighborhood you pass on the way to work.

                Its that same neighborhood where gay men stick live animals up their rear end, just down the road from the synagogue where they make babies into matzohs, next door to the church where Satanic pedophiles gather, behind the house where they put razors in Halloween candy.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to LWA
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                says:

                It happened to Matt Yglesias.

                At least he says it happened to him.Report

              • Avatar LWA in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                CLARIFICATION-
                For the sake of our gentle readers who may not click the link, Jay is recounting how Matt Y claims to have been the victim of random street assault, NOT that he inserted live animals in his rear end or ate the brains of babies in a Satanic ritual.

                In case you were wondering.Report

              • Avatar Zac in reply to LWA
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                says:

                Well, since you didn’t say whether or not Yglesias puts razor blades in his Halloween candy, we will simply be forced to assume that he does. 😉Report

              • Avatar LWA in reply to Zac
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                says:

                Whether he did or didn’t, is beside the point, I think the fact that he does just shows a larger point about the moral character of America.Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to LWA
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                says:

                I understand that since you can’t address the article you attempt to play it off as a joke. How very Hillaryesque of you. It is what I expect from you.Report

              • Avatar Zac in reply to notme
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                says:

                Ah yes, the classic Notme two-step. First, make a crappy argument backed by a dubious source. Then, when the person points out that’s what’s being done, say they’re dodging the argument and act like you’ve won.Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Zac
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                says:

                So now the Daily Mail is a “dubious source?” It seems to me like you won’t accept anything that doesn’t support your view. How pathetic.

                Let me also add that glyph cited the Economist. Is that dubious as well?Report

              • Avatar Zac in reply to notme
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                says:

                Pardon me if I have a hard time taking seriously the paper that supported Hitler, Mussolini and Oswald Moseley as “sound, commonsense, Conservative doctrine.”Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Zac
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                says:

                If you want to quit b/c you don’t have anything intelligent to say be my guest.Report

              • Avatar Zac in reply to notme
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                says:

                If you really believed that was a barrier, you’d never post here at all.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Zac
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                says:

                it can, but it doesn’t have to.

                Under what circumstances does it not?

                It strikes me as very, very important to hammer out the circumstances that it doesn’t because it also strikes me as something that not only could happen but *IS CURRENTLY HAPPENING*. Like in the countries that we’re holding up as a model and saying “we should do this”?

                There. It’s happening there.Report

              • Avatar Zac in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Jaybird:
                it can, but it doesn’t have to.

                Under what circumstances does it not?

                It strikes me as very, very important to hammer out the circumstances that it doesn’t because it also strikes me as something that not only could happen but *IS CURRENTLY HAPPENING*. Like in the countries that we’re holding up as a model and saying “we should do this”?

                There. It’s happening there.

                I mean, yeah, I agree, it is important we hammer that out. What do you want me to say, exactly? It’s a human enterprise, there can and will be problems. But as I pointed out before, they are still doing better than us even while having the problems you point out.

                It feels like you’re missing the forest for the trees, and I can’t tell whether it’s earnest or some kind of rhetorical ploy.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Zac
                Ignored
                says:

                Which is the forest and which are the trees?

                To flip this around, I suspect that you’re seeing equality, trust and collaboration as the cart and the Nordic Model is the horse.

                My position is that it’s the other way around.

                As such, the argument that they’re doing better than we are and pointing to their Model as evidence for that, is to seriously misunderstand what follows what.Report

              • Avatar Zac in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I think I may have miscommunicated, then. I’m saying the Model is cart and the tripod is the horse. And I’m not saying the Model is evidence for that: I’m saying that the the Model is how they turned the tripod into the quality-of-life advantages they possess.

                I agree with you that step one is the tripod. Without those things, whatever societal model you use won’t really matter, it’ll work out poorly regardless.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Zac
                Ignored
                says:

                Okay, cool. I think we’re on the same page here.

                So if we want the Nordic Model, we need to increase equality, trust and collaboration from what we have now. I think we’re agreed on that.

                Is equality, trust and collaboration something that we can increase centrally? Equality, maybe… insofar as we can cut down the tall poppies. Trust and collaboration? How would that work?Report

              • Avatar Zac in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I think education and media are probably the best places to do it; of course it’ll be denounced as indoctrination, but all education is a kind of indoctrination. After that, we’re just haggling, as you’re so fond of saying. 😉Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Zac
                Ignored
                says:

                Perhaps one of the problems with immigrants is that they hadn’t received a similar education or enjoyed the same media.Report

              • Avatar Zac in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Maybe not. But their kids will, or enough of them will, anyway. I’d argue that’s entirely sufficient. And I think the history of this country, overall, demonstrates that. Obviously we’ve had our share of problems along the way, but again, human enterprise.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Zac
                Ignored
                says:

                The history of our country resulted in, eventually, this country.

                The history of the Nordic ones resulted in, at one point, the Nordic Model.

                What’s our goal, again?Report

              • Avatar Zac in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Jaybird:
                The history of our country resulted in, eventually, this country.

                The history of the Nordic ones resulted in, at one point, the Nordic Model.

                What’s our goal, again?

                To catch up with them. They have, effectively, moved up ahead of us on the ladder of civilization. But I don’t think the gap is insurmountable. It’ll be difficult, for sure, but I don’t think we’re absolved of the responsibility to try to improve society with each generation just because it’s tough.

                I mean, the way you use “eventually” in that sentence, it seems to imply you think that we’ve reached the “end” of our history, and it’s just a plateau of stagnation from here. I disagree. I think we can reach greater and greater heights.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Zac
                Ignored
                says:

                Catching up with them shouldn’t be a problem if they keep doing what they’re doing.Report

              • Avatar Zac in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Heh, sure, I guess that’s one way to do it. But I’m not convinced their current state of affairs is a permanent trajectory. I suspect their previous successes are a norm they’ll recurse to, even if it takes a generation or two for the migrant populations to integrate and the natives to adapt.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Zac
                Ignored
                says:

                Optimistic.

                I think that without some serious education and media, there will be issues of having two standards for people in society and that does a great deal to damage equality, trust, and collaboration.Report

              • Avatar Zac in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I agree. And I wouldn’t deny I’m an optimist, either. Well, kinda. I always say that history teaches us you should be pessimistic in the short term and optimistic in the long term.Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Zac
                Ignored
                says:

                I didn’t realize they were teaching culture in our schools these days.Report

              • Avatar Zac in reply to notme
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                says:

                Trust and collaboration are not the province of any particular culture. They are skillsets, and they can be taught.Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Zac
                Ignored
                says:

                Sure they “can” be taught but are they currently taught?Report

              • Avatar Zac in reply to notme
                Ignored
                says:

                Kinda (group projects come to mind), but not quite as focusedly as we could be. But it would be worth doing, at least IMHO. Something like a “Communications 101/Teamwork 101” class would be helpful to a lot of people, I think, especially if they didn’t have good models for this at home.Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to Zac
                Ignored
                says:

                You can’t teach trust. You can preach it, but until someone is ready to accept the belief, it is unteachable.Report

              • Avatar Zac in reply to Joe Sal
                Ignored
                says:

                I think you’ve proved too much there, Joe. After all, I could make that statement about pretty much anything else.

                “You can’t teach science. You can preach it, but until someone is ready to accept the belief, it is unteachable.”

                Sounds pretty silly now, doesn’t it?Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to Zac
                Ignored
                says:

                Not at all.Report

              • Avatar Zac in reply to Joe Sal
                Ignored
                says:

                Ok, I guess you can’t teach anything, then.

                Say, how’d you learn this language we’re both writing in?Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Zac
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                says:

                Teaching values is different than teaching math.Report

              • Avatar Glyph in reply to notme
                Ignored
                says:

                [Schilling math pun placeholder]Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Glyph
                Ignored
                says:

                I think that you need to learn values (both l and r) if you want to get at least a C. (I’ll try to find a reference for that.)Report

              • Avatar Zac in reply to notme
                Ignored
                says:

                Trust and collaboration aren’t values, they’re behaviors. Are you saying behavior can’t be taught? I mean, how do you think trust and collaboration come about?

                Not to mention, I think you’d have a lot easier time teach people trust and collaboration than, say, calculus.Report

              • Avatar Joe Salaccept the belief in reply to Zac
                Ignored
                says:

                Have you ever violated someones trust? was it just a chalkboard exercise to get them to believe you again? just a once through on the calculus, just a once through on the science of trusting?Report

              • Avatar Zac in reply to Joe Salaccept the belief
                Ignored
                says:

                Different subjects require different forms of pedagogy. I don’t believe I’ve said anywhere that you teach those skills/behaviors the same way you teach calculus.Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to Zac
                Ignored
                says:

                trust is most often a belief that something is reliably good or honest, not a method or practice of a subject

                Maybe your using it in a context outside of belief?Report

              • Avatar Zac in reply to Joe Sal
                Ignored
                says:

                Hmm…yes, I think we’re using the same word to mean different things. I was using it more in the sense of how to distinguish trustworthy people/things from the opposite (i.e., how to avoid the thought process of ‘that person is from x race/religion/orientation/whatever, therefore they are not trustworthy’ and judge people on their individual merits).Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Zac
                Ignored
                says:

                I didn’t realize teaching values was so easy. It must be the liberal pedagogy.Report

              • Avatar Zac in reply to notme
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                says:

                Well, I think you’ve repeatedly made clear that there are a lot of things you don’t realize.Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Zac
                Ignored
                says:

                Yes, I’m continually surprised by the fantasies that liberals believe in.Report

              • Avatar Zac in reply to notme
                Ignored
                says:

                Conversely, I’m rarely surprised at yours. Change up your game, Notme, it’s stale.Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Zac
                Ignored
                says:

                Sure, why don’t you just rest your case again and declare victory? It is much easier than saying anything intelligent.Report

              • Avatar Zac in reply to notme
                Ignored
                says:

                As you continue to demonstrate, yes.Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to notme
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                says:

                @ notme
                I don’t know why you feel the need to paint Zac in this light, he is typically not attackish, or a victory seeker. Most often he approaches things with a calm intelligence.Report

              • Avatar Zac in reply to Joe Sal
                Ignored
                says:

                Thanks, Joe. In fairness to Notme, I’m not the only one who gets that treatment from him, it’s just that most other people would have tapped out by now. I, on the other hand, am apparently some kind of masochist.

                Also, in fairness, I’ve been pretty explicit about my desire to see him driven from the site, so I can see why he’d make it personal in return. ‘Sokay, I can take it.Report

              • Avatar aarondavid in reply to Zac
                Ignored
                says:

                @zac
                Instead of going after Notme, why don’t you provide data, links, etc. If your ideas and thoughts are so much better I am sure you can back it, no?Report

              • Avatar Zac in reply to aarondavid
                Ignored
                says:

                Good point. Links post will pop up as soon as it clear moderation.Report

              • Avatar LWA in reply to aarondavid
                Ignored
                says:

                I’ll let Zac work his side of the street, but what is notme/ Daily Mail (and by extension the conservative sphere)’s argument?

                Some cool sober caution about the harmful effects of unrestrained immigration?

                Or is it rather, that hordes of savages are roaming the street defiling our wimmen?

                This is why I made a point of the argument itself, not the content.

                There isn’t a logical response to the lizard brain argument of primal fear, other than to reject the premise.

                There are arguments about immigration control that deserve a respectful response- this ain’t it.Report

              • Avatar aarondavid in reply to LWA
                Ignored
                says:

                From reading it, it seems the argument it that immigration into the Nordic area is not turning out so great. And as time goes on, people in those areas are liking it less and less. One of the issues that comes up in the piece Notme links is that women’s safety is at issue.

                Indeed, these might be lizard brain issues, nothing more. But, if you want to change peoples minds about that, you need to dispel the fears. Calling people with those worries names and making fun of them usually, at least in my world, doesn’t endear them to you, doesn’t get them to share your opinion. Especially when there is news about places like Rotherham.
                If you want to change things, you have to move the people who don’t want change. Making fun of them doesn’t do that.
                ETA spellingReport

              • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to aarondavid
                Ignored
                says:

                When the Nordic countries started to go for immigrants in the 1950s and 1960s, the first wave gave from Southern and Eastern Europe. A bit more conservative and religious in social mores than the other Scandinavians but not that off, especially since they were only at the cusp of the great social changes that occurred during the 1960s. This was still before Second Waive Feminism and the Sexual Revolution.

                Than the immigrants started to come from countries that were from much more religious and socially traditional societies from MENA or Africa. This was after the the immense social changes of the 1960s. There seemed to have been a somewhat naive belief, exasperated by an inability to talk about it because of Scandinavian social norms, that the the liberated life style of Scandinavian countries was so attractive that the immigrants would have dropped the more traditional and stricter norms of their own cultures. This did not happen for the most part and it is frustrating Scandinavians beyond belief.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to LeeEsq
                Ignored
                says:

                So who ought to change?

                To what extent does any given society have the right to say “you can live among us and be one of us, but first you have to agree with the following list of things”?

                Does it depend on the list?

                Should we expect immigrants to speak the country’s language?

                Should we expect immigrants to try to learn the country’s language?

                Should we expect immigrants to support same-sex marriage?

                Should we expect immigrants to tolerate transpeople?

                To what extent should any given society be willing to say “you know what? Yeah, we are willing to compromise and limit ourselves in response to your sensibilities”? Should we ask women to wear longer skirts so as to not communicate confusing messages to immigrant men?

                Is even asking these questions an example of white people white knighting on behalf of white women in the face of the brown horde that we shouldn’t be afraid of living next to us?

                Will yelling “RACISM!!!” and “ISLAMOPHOBIA!!!” loudly enough address the reasons that equality, trust, and collaboration seem to be going down?Report

              • Avatar LWA in reply to aarondavid
                Ignored
                says:

                I have lost patience with the constant drumbeats of primal fear to justify ugliness and injustice.

                Men walking into Starbucks with guns is justified because of fear of homicidal baristas.

                People circling a busload of frightened immigrants and screaming obscenities at them is justified because of fear of the savage hordes.

                Cutting off foodstamps is justified by the fear of idle loafers mooching off of hardworking people.

                Imprisoning a third of the population of young black men is justified by nonexistent crime.

                Insane levels of military spending that dwarf the next 5 nations is justified by fear of something or other.

                Public housing is denied by the fear of Those People in our neighborhood.

                Zero Tolerance of all kinds is justified by fear of our children being molested by devil worshipping pedophiles or drug pushers.

                Fear, fear everywhere- no one can be trusted, everything is falling apart. The insurgents, the new people, are impious, savage, and an existential threat.

                The idea of treating all Americans with dignity and brotherhood and respect is mocked as naïve, and countered with the grim warning that whatever harsh injustice occurs, it is justified by the threat These People pose.

                This is the constant 24/7 message from the right, and has been for a very long time. All these wild crazy urban legends I listed above, were told and believed breathlessly within my memory- and I even believed some of them, to my embarrassment and regret.

                Maybe I react with such fury because a part of me is very conservative and drawn to the idea that there is beauty and truth and something very moving about tradition and culture.

                But the message here is that there is no room for Those People in this beautiful world, that they represent a threat to be hated.

                I don’t respect this view, I don’t want to engage it as a legitimate enterprise.

                It deserves to be shamed.Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to LWA
                Ignored
                says:

                LWA”

                You are the only one I’ve seen frothing at the mouth about “hordes of savages are roaming the street defiling our wimmen.” We can’t even have a discussion b/c the liberal answer is always to shout racism, etc.Report

              • Avatar LWA in reply to notme
                Ignored
                says:

                I made up all those things above, out of whole cloth?
                Really?
                Then who’s doing all the raping?Report

              • Avatar Glyph in reply to LWA
                Ignored
                says:

                Then who’s doing all the raping?

                ‘Group W’ is a deep bench.Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to LWA
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                says:

                As usual you aren’t making any sense. It is very sad to see you making light of rape.Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to LWA
                Ignored
                says:

                @ LWA
                Scarcity of reasources is a thing. Scarcity of trust is a thing. If possible, to instill trust takes time and observation of peoples behavior.

                So far yours and Zacs position relys on the notion that notme should trust that the immigrants are trust worthy, either as a group or by individual merit.

                It sounds alot like you two are demanding notme to trust your idealogy that indeed these people are trustworthy without proving the concept. This doesn’t even start at consent.

                Instead of notme observing the behavior and coming to any personal conclusion. Of course to even come to a personal conclusion there would have to be an openess that the process might result in a positive situation.

                There is a flaw in trying to hardwire trust among factions. If any of the conflicts over the last 50 years has taught us is that it’s completely within the realm of sanity to expect these things to go sideways and pear shaped.

                I think at this moment in time, there is little trust in the governments, the corporations, the political parties, and foreign factions. I would also include religion, but so many are lowering trust anchors in that harbor.Report

              • Avatar LWA in reply to Joe Sal
                Ignored
                says:

                Of all the horrible things that happen in the world, which ones would you lay at the feet of immigrants?Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to LWA
                Ignored
                says:

                Yes brother, they are without sin, and to even mention instances would start a dust up at this location.

                I guess we are at peak immigration exceptionalism.Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Joe Sal
                Ignored
                says:

                Joe

                You missed the two recent intances
                where he personally attacked me, once referring to me as sub human. Zac sees himself as the liberal defender that will keep folks like me from despoiling this liberal oasis.Report

              • Avatar LWA in reply to notme
                Ignored
                says:

                The Alinsky style book prefers “defiling our wimmen”.Report

              • Avatar Zac in reply to notme
                Ignored
                says:

                You know this isn’t a Fox News panel, right? Just saying the word “liberal” again and again like it’s a dirty word isn’t going to endear you to anyone around here, of any political persuasion.

                I think it says a lot that you think this place is a liberal oasis, though. If I wanted that, I’d hang out…a lot of other places before this one. No, this place is an oasis of people making thoughtful comments and respectfully debating with each other despite the fact that they’re all over the spectrum ideologically…or at least it was, until you showed up and started diarrhea-shitting all over the discourse here.

                On the subhuman thing, yeah, I called you a bad name. And not a very clever one, admittedly. Chris used “the little monster” earlier, which really is much better, I wish I’d thought of it.Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to notme
                Ignored
                says:

                @ notme
                I didn’t miss them. While the sub human thing wasn’t pretty, Zac at least had some reserve in it.

                Some of the dust ups we’ve had before were far more colorful without reserve and Zac wasn’t one to pile on, and like I said was least attackish.

                just sayin’Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Joe Sal
                Ignored
                says:

                Joe

                I must have missed zach’s reserve. I just remember his excuses.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I’d temper this. One result of immigration is an erosion of trust and collaboration if immigration is handled badly. The Progressive Era, one of the first real bursts of Federal government activity to make society more fair and to do something about income inequality, coincided with a big period of mass immigration that led to a nativist reaction. The end of the Progressive Period coincided with the strictest period of immigration control in American history.

                A lot of the Great Society was implemented along with a period of liberalized immigration and a growing surge of immigrants even more different to American born citizens than the massive wave of Southern and Eastern European immigrants came to.

                Immigration doesn’t have to erode social cohesion and mass immigration isn’t necessarily mutually contradictory towards liberal social and economic programs.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to LeeEsq
                Ignored
                says:

                One result of immigration is an erosion of trust and collaboration if immigration is handled badly

                Is your intuition that immigration is likely to be handled well?Report

              • Avatar LWA in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Its like anything else, in that in order to reach a goal that we agree is desirable, we first have to agree that the goal is desirable.

                Which is to say, do we all agree that an America where all different ethnic groups and religions find acceptance, where everyone believes they are being treated equally and fairly, where there is a spirit of brotherhood and camaraderie, is a goal we want to achieve?

                I am not hearing this message being broadcast by most of the leading candidates for office.

                Instead, I hear constant drumbeats about how Those People are going to roam our streets and Defile Our Wimmen.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to LWA
                Ignored
                says:

                I am a fan of increasing trust and collaboration.

                When it comes to increasing equality… I waver. There are kinds that I like very much but, at the same time, there are kinds of inequality that I very, very much want a lot more of. (There are also issues where inequality is something that is baked into the cake of “diversity” and the result of tradeoffs that follow personal preference.) I’m sure that we all see that Harrison Bergeron is an obvious spoof and nobody is talking about addressing inequality like *THAT* and, so, with that caveat, I’d be willing to shrug and say “sure, inequality, fine whatever.”

                But those are weeds too easy to get bogged down in if we can discuss the meat of trust and collaboration and what it would require for us to increase that.

                Because, seriously and earnestly, we as a society would all benefit from increased trust and collaboration. That’s a goal worth shooting for. Indeed, it’s a goal that, if we achieve it, would have people leaving their countries in droves in order to raise their children as part of it.Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to LWA
                Ignored
                says:

                Define ‘just society’, so we aren’t going around the maypole for 18 months on general definitions.Report

              • Avatar LWA in reply to Joe Sal
                Ignored
                says:

                My point was to get at precisely that.
                Can anyone here envision a society lacking equality, trust, and collaboration, and declare it “just”?

                We could even simplify it to replace “just” with “place I would like to live in”.Report

              • Avatar Zac in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I agree, we do need to figure those things out. I just don’t believe that’s insurmountable. Difficult, perhaps, but Americans have risen to challenges in the past. If the Scandinavians can do it, so can we.Report

              • Avatar Zac in reply to Glyph
                Ignored
                says:

                True, although I think it’s worth pointing out that even in their troubled spots they’re still overall doing a hell of a lot better than we are, as the graph in that article shows.

                I’m not saying the Nordic model would usher in a utopia, far from it. Just that I think it would represent a marked improvement on the status quo.Report

              • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Zac
                Ignored
                says:

                Zac: True, although I think it’s worth pointing out that even in their troubled spots they’re still overall doing a hell of a lot better than we are, as the graph in that article shows.

                The graph only shows the Gini index. If you value post-tax-and-transfer income equality above all else, sure, I guess the Nordic model is a good way to do it.

                What it doesn’t tell you is that the US has per-capita income about 20-25% higher than the Scandinavian countries (except Norway, because oil). Even with greater inequality, post-tax-and-transfer income is greater for the median American than for the median Swede. I believe that the “American premium” extends down to the third decile or so, though it’s hard to find up-to-date statistics for that.

                Which is to say, all that heavy taxation and spending has a cost, and it doesn’t just fall on the rich.

                By the way, what’s the difference between the Nordic model and the Mediterranean model (e.g., Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal)? How do you make sure that you get the former and not the latter?Report

              • Avatar Zac in reply to Brandon Berg
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, the big problem with the “Mediterranean model”, insofar as it is one, is that they have economies heavily dependent on tourism and relatively high levels of government corruption. The US, like Norway, is rich in natural resources and has fairly low levels of corruption, so I don’t think those things would be as problematic as they are in places like Italy or Greece.

                As far as the per-capita part goes…well, sure, those countries do have a lower average. But in exchange, they get universal birth-to-death health care, free college and public pensions. That seems like a good trade, at least to me.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Glyph
                Ignored
                says:

                I would like to point out that ethnic homogeneity isn’t enough to have social democracy thrive either. South Korea and Japan are really homogenous societies but they do not have anything close to a Nordic social democracy for a variety of reasons. You need homogeneity plus a host of other factors like robust democracy, some class conflict, and a bunch of other things in order to get to Sweden.

                That being said, I think that my side of the political aisle does tend to underestimate the importance of homogeneity as an important part in creating a Nordic welfare state. Many of them think that they could have it all.

                I actually think that you can have a multicultural society and a welfare state, just not in the way that many other liberals imagine. Its going to require a bit of complicated social compromises but basically you need a majority that would not aggravate and persecute the various minorities and you need minorities that will acculturate into the majority to a certain degree and will not act too militant against them. There needs to be give and take on both sides.Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Glyph
                Ignored
                says:

                The new imports are having trouble figuring out that they will have to work.

                ” The Nordic countries need to persuade their citizens that they are getting a good return on their taxes, but mass immigration is creating a class of people who are permanently dependent on the state.”Report

  7. Avatar Don Zeko
    Ignored
    says:

    Saul Degraw:
    I linked to that piece above.

    I’m all for basic income but am cynical about the chances of achieving it in my lifetime or at least in the next decade to three.

    GBI still seems to exist in the realm of wonks and nowhere else.

    It’s hardly any more politically realistic than GBI, but my preference would be for any and all reforms that increase the bargaining power of labor, especially lower skilled labor, relative to their employers. How that holds up when the robots take all of our jobs is anyone’s guess, but the trouble with reducing income inequality via direct redistribution is that without political power, there’s no way to ensure that that redistribution persists.Report

  8. Avatar Michael Cain
    Ignored
    says:

    After reading Saul’s post, the article, and the comments, I have to admit that this is one of those times when I’m glad I’m the age I am. I did my undergraduate time at a big state school. The school paid upperclassmen to live in the dorms and make sure that incoming freshmen understood how things were supposed to work. Companies big and small sent recruiters to campus in the spring semester. Professors — at least in my department(s) — were serious about helping students get in touch with the proper people. That it wasn’t an elite school wasn’t a serious handicap in getting considered for (and into, in my case) an elite graduate department.

    Of course, it’s entirely possible that my memories are colored by my being a double major in math and computer science. At that point in time, that combination was an almost-automatic ticket into a job that paid well, even for a new graduate — computing had just gotten cheap enough that everyone was finding ways to take advantage of it.Report

  9. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Soft-nepotism as a rational response to a “lemon problem”.Report

  10. Avatar Zac
    Ignored
    says:

    Jaybird:
    So who ought to change?

    I want to be totally clear here: the immigrants ought to. And given time and the opportunity to integrate, they eventually do (or at least their children and grandchildren do, which is really all that’s necessary).

    To what extent does any given society have the right to say “you can live among us and be one of us, but first you have to agree with the following list of things”?

    Does it depend on the list?

    It does.

    Should we expect immigrants to speak the country’s language?

    Should we expect immigrants to try to learn the country’s language?

    Not immediately, but yeah, and the evidence shows that they do, eventually.

    http://www.ppic.org/main/publication_show.asp?i=817

    Should we expect immigrants to support same-sex marriage?

    Should we expect immigrants to tolerate transpeople?

    Again, not right away. But again, this is like the language thing; immerse them long enough and most of them will come around in a couple generations. It doesn’t have to be 100%.

    To what extent should any given society be willing to say “you know what? Yeah, we are willing to compromise and limit ourselves in response to your sensibilities”? Should we ask women to wear longer skirts so as to not communicate confusing messages to immigrant men?

    No, we should not change ourselves to accommodate the most retrograde parts of other cultures. But I do believe that ours is the better way, and that given time and exposure they will come around to our way of thinking on such matters.

    Is even asking these questions an example of white people white knighting on behalf of white women in the face of the brown horde that we shouldn’t be afraid of living next to us?

    Not necessarily, no. I actually do think these sorts of questions are important to grapple with. But we should be wary of looking at these things too zoomed in. The big picture, the long term, is what’s important with these matters.

    Will yelling “RACISM!!!” and “ISLAMOPHOBIA!!!” loudly enough address the reasons that equality, trust, and collaboration seem to be going down?

    I don’t know. But is anyone here actually arguing that?Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Zac
      Ignored
      says:

      And given time and the opportunity to integrate, they eventually do (or at least their children and grandchildren do, which is really all that’s necessary).

      “Eventually” has tolls on collaboration. Trust too. And if we agree that our way is better than their way, on even equality.

      It does.

      What should be on the list? (I don’t need an exhaustive one but I am interested in knowing what our various lists would end up looking like. How much “haggling” room there is. There does seem to be something untoward in wanting Epcot immigrants, for example. And yet wouldn’t those be the best kind?)

      Not immediately, but yeah, and the evidence shows that they do, eventually.

      You’re using US stats again. I thought we were going for the Nordic model.

      Here’s something I didn’t know until just seconds ago. Here’s how Denmark handles the language thing:

      In 1973, the first policy regarding immigrant language acquisition was enacted. This law required all foreign workers in Denmark to complete 40 hours of language instruction within a month of their arrival in Denmark. The Ministry of Social Affairs expanded this requirement in 1975 from 40 hours to 180 hours of language instruction accompanied by 40 hours of courses to introduce workers to norms of Danish society.[40] Today, all applicants for permanent residency in Denmark must sign a Declaration on Integration and Active Citizenship in Danish Society[41] which includes the following provision:

      “I understand and accept that the Danish language and knowledge of the Danish society is the key to a good and active life in Denmark. I will therefore do my best to learn Danish and acquire knowledge about the Danish society as soon as possible. I understand and accept that I can learn Danish by attending Danish classes offered to me by the district council.”

      Immigrants that have been granted residence permits based on family reunification are required to pass a Danish language test within six months of the date they registered at the National Register of Persons. Reunified spouses benefit from passing an optional second level of the language test, which upon passing, will reduce the amount of monetary collateral their partner has to provide as a requirement of their reunification.[42]

      Golly. Just try to imagine making people sign one of those things in a country that doesn’t have the Nordic Model yet.

      Again, not right away. But again, this is like the language thing; immerse them long enough and most of them will come around in a couple generations. It doesn’t have to be 100%.

      To what extent are we okay with using that argument in the US?

      “Oh, it’s okay. Let him have his fun. He’ll be dead and his grandkids will agree with us.”

      No, we should not change ourselves to accommodate the most retrograde parts of other cultures. But I do believe that ours is the better way, and that given time and exposure they will come around to our way of thinking on such matters.

      How about the merely somewhat retrograde parts? The acceptably retrograde ones?

      How would we measure the extent to which time and exposure are working their magic?

      Not necessarily, no. I actually do think these sorts of questions are important to grapple with.

      As do I. I think that grappling with them will actually help with trust and collaboration. At the very least, refusal to grapple with them will harm them.

      I don’t know. But is anyone here actually arguing that?

      Explicitly arguing? No. Is the implication dancing around? I could see how someone might see a flash of it here or there.Report

      • Avatar Zac in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        “Eventually” has tolls on collaboration. Trust too. And if we agree that our way is better than their way, on even equality.

        Yeah, I don’t disagree. I think it’s just that I see that toll as something that will recurse back to higher levels, whereas you appear to think it will cause a relentless downward trajectory and the old heights will never be reached again. Is that what you’re arguing? I don’t want to put words in your mouth.

        What should be on the list? (I don’t need an exhaustive one but I am interested in knowing what our various lists would end up looking like. How much “haggling” room there is. There does seem to be something untoward in wanting Epcot immigrants, for example. And yet wouldn’t those be the best kind?)

        That’s a good question. Pretty much anything that’s on the SoCon spectrum of things (i.e. modesty standards, freedom of speech standards, freedom of religion standards, those sorts of things) is what comes to mind. But I think these things take time and patience, and often just waiting for the bitterest of the old fishers to die off…you know, the same way we integrate our native SoCons.

        You’re using US stats again. I thought we were going for the Nordic model.

        Right, the idea is that we, as in America, should go for the Nordic Model. As I said before, I think we’re much better at integrating immigrants than Europe is, which is why I thought the US stats were relevant. I agree that Scandinavia is clearly having problems on that front, but I’m saying that the data seems to indicate that America wouldn’t have that same problem, necessarily.

        How about the merely somewhat retrograde parts? The acceptably retrograde ones?

        Well, now we’re just haggling. 😉

        How would we measure the extent to which time and exposure are working their magic?

        The…same way we already do? We look at measures like income and language adaptation, poll folks on their stances on various issues, and so forth.

        Maybe I’m reading something into this that isn’t there, but I feel like you’re trying to make me give a very specific answer you want to this question. Am I wrong? I hope I’m wrong.

        I think that grappling with them will actually help with trust and collaboration. At the very least, refusal to grapple with them will harm them.

        I couldn’t agree more.

        Explicitly arguing? No. Is the implication dancing around? I could see how someone might see a flash of it here or there.

        Implications of flashdancing aside, this feels like you’re batting at a straw man. In this conversation, the only people who have used the terms racism or Islamophobia are…well, you and Notme (poor company to find yourself in, to be sure). Perhaps we can just stick to the points you and I have explicitly made, and then we can move on to the perceived implicit ones after that? 😉Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Zac
          Ignored
          says:

          The main thing that I’ve seemed to notice when it comes to the US is that we have gone a very different direction from the Nordic Model. We decided that it was more important to have more diversity and absorb the attendant hits to the highest levels of equality, trust, and collaboration and receive the benefit of having middling levels of all.

          This full embrace of this particular version of achiving a balance of DET&C precludes the Nordic Model with requires ET&C with very little D. (And, indeed, as Nords get more D, they see a drop in ET&C.)

          We seem to have accepted the premise that a healthy education/media blitz explaining to immigrants that they must abandon their less acceptable beliefs from their old countries and adopt the culture of the country to which they ran as fast as they could… but you seem to be okay with this process taking 50 years.

          From my POV, the process taking 50 years works within the American model.

          We see it failing, right now, in real time, with the Nordic one.

          Which is why I see it as a big deal that you keep using the American model as evidence that assimilation of other cultures is a big deal when we’re talking about assimilation of other cultures and why you use the Nordic model as examples of what is possible when you have sufficient equality, trust, and collaboration.

          Which is it? Which do you want? I don’t see evidence of “both” being possible nor ever having been possible.

          And if we’re just sticking to the points we (defined as you and I) have explicitly made, we can get back to that, then.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Zac
          Ignored
          says:

          (As for the company in which I find myself, I think you fail to see what notme represents. If you put the concept of immigration up for a vote, today, you would find overwhelming (majority) votes from notme’s POV and a minority’s voting for even the amount of immigration optimized in the American model. Yes, even in Europe. Perhaps even especially in Europe. The fact that they dare not have a referendum on this is more evidence of damage being done to the concept of collaboration and, probably, trust. If I find notme personally odious, that’s not particularly interesting to anybody. If I find him representative of how the Europe and the US would vote on Immigration if they had the option to do so, I’d try to figure out whether it’s more important to me to increase equality, trust, and collaboration or whether it’s more important to me to get in notme’s face and try to humiliate him into compliance. The average person out there isn’t like you or me. They’re a lot more like notme. While we can enjoy how much that is to our own credit, we also have to deal with the whole equality, trust, and collaboration issue and what we will have to give up (and we will have to give up some things) if we want to maintain even an American level of equality, trust, and collaboration in a society full of notmes.)Report

          • Avatar Zac in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            Honestly, I think this might just come down to a fundamental difference in our views on humanity. I think that the vast majority of people are decent and honest and want to work together with others, as long as they don’t have hatefulness and fear and mistrust being inculcated into them by others. I take it from what you’ve said that you have a dim view of people in general (again, if I’m wrong, let me know, I don’t wanna put words in your mouth). And hey, maybe you’re right about people, and I’m wrong. And if I’m wrong, then yeah, the Nordic Model would prove extraordinarily difficult to import to this country. Maybe Notme does represent the majority in this country. But I don’t think he does. I think he represents a very loud and passionate minority, but that ultimately most people don’t think that way. To paraphrase MLK, the arc of civilizational progress is incredibly long, but it bends toward people not being dickheads.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Zac
              Ignored
              says:

              I think it’s more that I believe that if we are to achieve a high level (as opposed to merely a workable level) of equality, trust, and collaboration, then we need to carefully cultivate such a thing and *NOTICE* when we are doing things that harm equality, trust, and collaboration and try to figure out why we’re harming it and whether what we are doing is to harm these three things is more important to us than these three things.

              I am more than willing to believe that we, as Americans, could achieve a Nordic Model if we put our minds to it.

              But I also see such things as “drug testing welfare recipients” as attempts to demonstrate trustworthiness on the part of the recipients to the people who see themselves as the providers of welfare and those drug tests are the price of willing collaboration.

              In that vein, I see that we could achieve more collaboration if we were willing to demonstrate more trustworthiness to each other. But there are costs associated with that.

              Those costs might make people less willing to collaborate. That will have impacts on trust. So on and so forth.

              It’s likely to end with little agreement and people calling each other names because they don’t trust each other and aren’t willing to collaborate, if you ask me.

              But maybe our grandkids will be better at this than we are. All we need to do is make sure that they get the right education and media.Report

              • Avatar Zac in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Jaybird:
                But maybe our grandkids will be better at this than we are. All we need to do is make sure that they get the right education and media.

                I think they will be. In some ways, I’m reminded of how much attitudes toward LGBT folks and issues have changed in my lifetime. When I was a kid, the idea that gay people would ever be accepted in society seemed patently absurd; in most places, it was effectively an arrestable offense. And I suspect by the time I’m in my 40s, we’ll look back on the time that was the case and think, Wow, can you believe it was ever like that? A lot of that, arguably, was due to changes in education and portrayals in the media. I think American society has been slowly expanding its circles of trust, and I don’t see anything that’s likely to reverse that trend (although hey, I’m not psychic, it could certainly happen).

                To be clear, too, even at my most optimistic, I don’t think we’ll adopt anything like the Nordic Model here until well after everyone on this site is dead and buried. I think it’s the job of our generation to do what we can to help lay the foundation for those that come after us.Report

    • Avatar notme in reply to Zac
      Ignored
      says:

      You keep yammering about the long term but we don’t live in the long term. We live in the here and now and have to deal with the issues as they actually are not as they might possibly be years from now if every assumption you make works out perfectly. Take for expample the Daily Mail article that discussed the letter the school sent home telling the parents to dress their kids differently. That is here and now and not in the future when you hope that these folks will have assimilated.Report

  11. Avatar Zac
    Ignored
    says:

    Edit. Never mind, thank you to whoever pushed that out of moderation.Report

  12. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Huh. Seems that the German Conservative types are looking to ease minimum wage laws in order to better help the incoming refugees.Report

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