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1  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Europe-Middle East-Africa Refugee Crisis General Thread on: May 04, 2016, 11:59:34 am
It says a lot about the current state of the European Union that an influx of ~1-1.5 million refugees, by all accounts a rather tiny proportion of the European population, has created a traumatic political crisis that's devouring the system. The United States managed to handle the Vietnamese and the Cuban refugees wave, which were on a somewhat similar scale relative to the proportion of the population, with relative ease in the past. Similarly, refugee crises in the past were handled admirably by Europe, of interest to this thread ought to be Greece's response to the influx of Albanian migrants in the 90s, the response to Somali refugees etc.

Sure, this latest wave is very substantial but it's not so substantial that it totally dwarfs refugee waves of the past. The issue is that there has been an utter breakdown of political capacity and will to do anything about the crisis. The response from the West has been inchoate, inconsistent and there has been little attempt to effectively coordinate to handle the crisis. Europe/the United States, for instance, could have forwarded a payment system to Jordan or Lebanon from the beginning or they could have set up a system to allocate refugees etc. None of this would have been easy but I don't think it would have been all that difficult either. In the past, there was effective coordination. In the present, it appears that the "Western" nation-states that once commanded great authority and respect could be plagued by crippling anxiety attacks if three fishermen on a boat were washed up on the shores of Cape Cod or Sicily, which the media would cover as a MIGRANT CRISIS.

I blame Merkel for all of this. These are the costs of destroying the EU's legitimacy time and time again by crippling the democratic process. It's also the cost of economic stagnation/decline. When social trust was much higher and there was more faith in "the powers that be", migrant crises were easy to deal with. Now that this isn't so, the specter of a dank kebab cart is "triggers" those in the European safe space.

edit: for all of my bluster, I am actually pretty sympathetic to those working class Europeans who are angry about the migrant crisis. In previous times, when things were much better, they resented migrants but did not lash out by joining fascist parties, which tells me that they are not inherently evil or malignant. They're simply angry and justifiably so.

As far as the sensational crime stories go, yes, out of a population that is over one million, there will be plenty of rapists and thieves and murderers. There's no justification for this behavior, of course. However, there are obvious issues when attempting to compile crime data on these populations and comparing them to the domestic population at large: there are going to be obvious reporting discrepancies that are accounted for by differing cultural norms surrounding crime and how it is conducted and done, more particularly surrounding rape/sexual assault.
2  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Free Trade on: May 04, 2016, 11:13:42 am
Ideally, Hillary Clinton would defend NAFTA and, in general, the fruits of trade while pledging to do her best to ensure that the gains from trade are equally distributed among the population, with a disproportionate share of these gains given to those who are adversely affected by trade. If she can't run to Trump's left on this issue, she might as well do her best to make a strong case for trade imo.
3  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Is the Republican party a racist party? on: May 04, 2016, 02:08:45 am
Fair enough man, I actually agree with you to an extent as far as taxes go. Someone saying they are irritated with the tax code tends to be a shibboleth for terrible political views, hence the criticism I guess. That was unfair of me!
 
4  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Is the Republican party a racist party? on: May 04, 2016, 01:52:44 am
The fact that sbane can support the Ryan plan and not identify with the Republican Party is telling, isn't it? There are roughly zero racial minorities who are anti-tax zealots like sbane so it makes sense that the GOP faces hurdles with them but surely more than 10% of South Asians should be voting Republican. That is a pathetic figure that speaks volumes about the GOP's current predicament. Anyways, I am disappointed to see that sbane has turned into a "don't taxe me obame" type when we live in one of the lightest taxed developed nations. Sad!
5  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Northern New England vs Southern New England on: May 01, 2016, 05:10:57 pm
Massachusetts and Connecticut are two of the most unequal states in the country. To my knowledge, along with New York, they blow the former Confederacy out of the water. The financial sector looms large in Connecticut and the academic-industrial complex looms large in Massachusetts; both states once contained a very light manufacturing sector. As a result, both states are sharply polarized along class-lines; there's a tremendous cultural divide between Boston and the rest of Massachusetts and another tremendous cultural divide between the New York metro area in CT and the rest of the state. Contrary to stereotypes involving "WASPs" or "Yankee culture", neither state is particularly defined by the elites but, regardless, the elites of the Boston metro area and Fairfield County punch above their weight.

For whatever reason, these stereotypes about WASPs have been applied to Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, even though the three above states are, if anything, dominated by the scruffy remnants of long-dead industrial communities, logging towns and small-farming. Yes, there are resort towns in Maine/New Hampshire, some wealthy migrants to all three states but, ultimately, they are incredibly poor in comparison to their counterparts in MA and NH.

Hopefully, if the primary process has imparted any knowledge, it is that New England is not some sort of highly-affluent, highly-educated, enlightened liberal utopia. Sure, the median voter in this region is unusually secular but it's still a hotbed of chauvinistic nationalism and a large degree of racist sentiment, as evidenced by the triumph of LePage in 2014. Further, it would be a mistake to see any of these states as a citadel for Obama-style technocratic, education-focused liberalism.

edit: I ignored Rhode Island because it might as well be on a different planet imo.
6  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Kasich says that people are 'probably' born gay on: April 30, 2016, 01:24:14 am
I don't really see how this is even a political question.

For a politician... when it comes to issues on sexuality, gender and access to rights and facilities, whether or not you believe that someone is inherently how they present themselves does matter.

Why does this matter though? Supposing that people could decide to be gay in a vacuum, why should that have any effect on their ability to access rights and facilities? It would still be discriminatory to allow firms to punish them for a lifestyle choice that is inconsequential and damages no one.
7  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Since joining the Atlas Forum, have you moved more leftward or rightward? on: April 29, 2016, 07:17:52 pm
It's nearly been 10 years since I first posted on this forum and, shockingly enough, I'm basically the same person in terms of my politics. I'm still very passionately opposed to inequality in all of its forms and very concerned about class. I'm now a cultural liberal/radical, whereas I was pretty culturally conservative in the past, but this was more because I was constrained by my hometown's toxic politics. I remember this because, even when I was opposed gay marriage, I told people to stop calling others "fags" or whatever and felt that people's hatred towards gay people was disgusting. I just couldn't imagine supporting gay marriage because it was universally deplored in my community.

I'd note that I'm discussing "values" here. My policy positions have changed because..I'm not a dumb pre-teen and have read hundreds of books/thousands of articles since then. However, I don't think that my basic orientation towards politics has changed. I called myself a socialist when I was 12. I'm still a socialist.
8  General Politics / Economics / Re: The economic cost of not being a white male on: April 28, 2016, 07:59:00 pm
To be blunt, the reason why economists are wrong about discrimination is that they either see discrimination as the result of an information problem or the result of some kind of preference. In either case, there is a incorrect evaluation that ought to be corrected by market forces. In reality, discrimination has little to do with some economic agent not recognizing an employee's "true" value in the workforce: discrimination is the result of social forces acting upon individuals and making them less capable than others or making them believe that they are less capable than others. In this regard, SAT scores are virtually useless: yes, Asians perform much better on SAT scores than other racial groups but there are reasons why this is the case and it's not due to some immutable genetic factor or cultural superiority. East Asian households tend to be more stable than White households, migrants from east Asia tend to have higher levels of educational attainment than immigrants from other countries and there are cultural reasons that dispose them towards excelling at standardized tests and mathematics. Russians tend to be much better at math because most bright Soviets, who would have been social scientists or historians elsewhere, were shoved into mathematics and physics so their math pedagogy is stronger. Why am I referencing these rough explanations? Because they serve as evidence that the differences that exist between ethnicities are the result of social forces that are mutable. If we know that could reduce levels of racial inequality or economic inequality and fail to act on this knowledge, I'd argue that this constitutes a kind of discrimination.

I don't know if this is a clear or coherent point but, based on what I can tell, economics is effectively useless on this subject because the determinants of discrimination lie outside of the purview of economics. There are trade-offs in every social science: economists have become very adept at working with quantitative data but, as a result, they're increasingly out of touch with the empirical underpinnings of social science. There are assumptions behind the assumptions that economists employ and they're painfully unaware of those assumptions.
9  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Harris Wofford's incredible (love) story on: April 28, 2016, 02:04:47 am
Tony is right, of course.

Nothing he is saying is controversial is it? All else equal, more relationships between men and women will feature economic considerations that could be described as a "power imbalance" that distorts the choice of the lesser privileged party. To my knowledge, this is less likely to effect gay couples than it is to effect straight couples: the pay gap plays a role in this as do social norms.

However, this is still incredibly creepy and makes me feel very uncomfortable!!!
10  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Greek-American vote on: April 24, 2016, 05:07:05 am
It's downright bizarre just how many Greek-American politicians there are. They're a pretty insignificant ethnic group that has managed to produce a number of very important governors, including Spiro Agnew, Charlie Crist and Michael Dukakis, along with a plethora of congressmen/women and holders of lower offices.
11  General Politics / Economics / Re: Solve Income Inequality on: April 23, 2016, 05:55:53 am
Yes, differences in capital endowment explain only a tiny fraction of GDP per capita differences. We can also look at things like development aid having pretty much zero correlation with economic growth for poor countries.

We also observe that access to natural resources tends to have a negative impact on growth in developing countries.

What we do know is that institutions matter a lot. Countries that embraced capitalism, like South Korea or West Germany saw tremendous growth and became essentially Western countries while those that chose paths closer to your preferred system, like East Germany or North Korea remained in abject poverty.

Note that among people who study these things the above facts are fairly elementary. And taken together they strongly indicate that just dumping a pile of money into some African dictatorship would do basically nothing to improve the situation for the people of that country.

The issue here is that you're presenting these "fairly elementary" facts as if it is commonly agreed upon that development aid has little effect on both human and economic development. That's an incredibly contentious claim. There is no consensus among development economists on this question. It's the equivalent to stating that "it's a consensus among politicians that abortion should be a personal choice". No, there are loads of prominent development economists who are avid proponents of increasing foreign aid flows, whether it's through a model that's more focused on industrial development or whether it's through the standard "human development" model that's rooted in Sen's reframing of the ends of development economics.

This is preposterous stuff Gustaf. I don't agree with MOP but there's no need to make stuff up to refute his claims. You could actually be nuanced instead of a sneering/pompous dick. I'm assuming that you will write a very good response to my post that is nuanced and that will reveal that, indeed, you are a trained academic economist but, that said, it would be nice if you used this knowledge to present an argument that wasn't facile and that didn't treat posters like they were children. In my view, this is a very major problem of the field: economists are prone to telling laymen and the public that economists, without question, believe that free trade is wonderful or that markets are fantastic without revealing the pesky facts and nuances that define the field and its structure. What makes economics so interesting is not "comparative advantage" or "the price system" but, rather, the particulars relating to these concepts: what is the magnitude of the gains of trade? What are the distributive effects of trade? When do prices misallocate resources? When do externalities come into existence?

If economists stop acting like they'd be opening pandora's box if they told the public that, actually, trade can have very underwhelming effects on growth, maybe we could have a more honest dialogue about trade in which the words of the profession weren't taken with a heap of salt. No one trusts what economists have to say because economists say things that are, as a point of fact, facetious.
12  General Politics / Economics / Re: Solve Income Inequality on: April 23, 2016, 05:47:37 am
Considering that "conditional cash transfers" have proven to be stunning successes throughout the developing world and there have been a number of very intriguing studies on the wide-ranging benefits of a "universal basic income", I don't understand what would be such a terrible idea about redistributing income from the developed world to the developing world. If anything, this idea is very much in-line with the existing literature on this subject. No, this would not solve inequality or come anywhere close to it but it's hard to argue that it wouldn't be the most effective tool at eliminating extreme poverty. Is it a plausible policy solution? No, of course not but it's unlikely nature is not an excuse for sneering at other posters and referencing macroeconomics.

Long-run growth theory is very underwhelming. It's really telling that two of the most important innovations in this field have come from "institutionalists" and "endogenous growth theory". Did economics really need to be told from afar that technological processes and institutional structures play a large role in spurring growth? The models are quite good/interesting and I have nothing against either Romer or Acemoglu but it's quite strange when economists tell laymen that the chief determinants of growth are related to capital accumulation, technological diffusion and institutions. These facts are things that a precocious 7 year old could understand.
13  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Predict the Democratic primary result in each NYC borough on: April 19, 2016, 10:44:47 pm
Manhattan: Clinton 67%, Sanders 32%
The Bronx: Clinton 67%, Sanders 32%
Brooklyn: Clinton 59%, Sanders 40%
Queens: Clinton 61%, Sanders 38%
Staten Island: Clinton 56%, Sanders 43%

As we saw in the Boston metro area, affluent left-liberal voters will vote Clinton at rates approaching the vote share that she will receive among Latinos/African-Americans, which won't be nearly as high in New York as we think. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the UES/UWS give Hillary a higher proportion of the vote than, say, Harlem.

Brooklyn will be very interesting. My hunch is that the rapid gentrification of the borough will result in some strange results, particularly in quarters of the city that are just beginning to gentrify, where pioneer gentrifiers will give Sanders close to 90% of the vote and the original residents give him 30%. So there might be a few census tracks that appear to be entirely non-white that vote for Sanders for this reason.

I will now accept my accolades!

Crown me King of New York!!
14  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Kasich: Don't drink alcohol if you don't want to get raped on: April 17, 2016, 12:47:16 pm
"Governor Kasich, how do you propose to reduce the number of police officers who are murdered each year?"

"Gee wilikers guys, is this issue really that complex? If cops remained indoors at all hours, no cops would be murdered. Also, I hear that they try to handcuff dangerous murderers and try to lock them up for life? Yeah, they should stop doing that, that's a great way to be murdered at some point. Problem solved!!"
15  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Predict the Democratic primary result in each NYC borough on: April 15, 2016, 01:03:51 am
Manhattan: Clinton 67%, Sanders 32%
The Bronx: Clinton 67%, Sanders 32%
Brooklyn: Clinton 59%, Sanders 40%
Queens: Clinton 61%, Sanders 38%
Staten Island: Clinton 56%, Sanders 43%

As we saw in the Boston metro area, affluent left-liberal voters will vote Clinton at rates approaching the vote share that she will receive among Latinos/African-Americans, which won't be nearly as high in New York as we think. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the UES/UWS give Hillary a higher proportion of the vote than, say, Harlem.

Brooklyn will be very interesting. My hunch is that the rapid gentrification of the borough will result in some strange results, particularly in quarters of the city that are just beginning to gentrify, where pioneer gentrifiers will give Sanders close to 90% of the vote and the original residents give him 30%. So there might be a few census tracks that appear to be entirely non-white that vote for Sanders for this reason.
16  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Sanders: Hillary Clinton is "not qualified" to be President on: April 06, 2016, 11:41:01 pm
No wait, do people actually think that quote this merits anger and hostility? Hillary Clinton, and her allies, have been implying this about Bernie Sanders from the very beginning of this year. Hillary Clinton, and her allies, have suggested that Bernie Sanders isn't a real Democrat, that he's "a liar", that he's opposed to the Affordable Care Act, that he was opposed to the auto bailout, that he's responsible for Sandy Hook etc. To me, that's a pretty dirty campaign rooted in deception and spin.

In contrast, I think that Sanders' attacks have been fair and above the board: yes, it's reasonable to draw a contrast between him and Hillary on campaign finance because he's disadvantaged by not having a "PAC". It's reasonable to draw a contrast between him and Hillary on the Iraq War because she spoke in favor of the war on many occasions and refused to apologize for this for years.

The Clinton campaign's problem is that there are very few ways to hit Sanders in a substantive manner. She can't hit him from the right, that would destroy her candidacy. She can't effectively hit him on policy issues because Democratic primary voters love his policy stances. The only effective campaign strategy, on her part, is to emphasize non-economic issues and try her hardest to "play the gender card" at every turn.
It's really hard to believe your false indignation. But to respond to your first question, Bernie stepped in it and he's going to pay the price.

huh? I'm not angry. The only time I was actually irritated at Hillary Clinton was when she, in a very undignified manner, insulted the intelligence of young Sanders supporters. That was pretty terrible. I think that, in general, her attacks make sense. I understand why she'd hit Sanders on these issues, why wouldn't she? After all, it is a political campaign. However, I also think that Sanders is entitled to hit back.

However, I am annoyed at Hillary supporters on this forum for being irritating hacks. You might not realize this but, whenever you insult Sanders supporters, you insult my parents and my friends. I actually have nothing against supporters of Hillary Clinton, outside of those on this forum who have acted like undignified pests at every turn.
17  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Sanders: Hillary Clinton is "not qualified" to be President on: April 06, 2016, 11:32:34 pm
No wait, do people actually think that quote this merits anger and hostility? Hillary Clinton, and her allies, have been implying this about Bernie Sanders from the very beginning of this year. Hillary Clinton, and her allies, have suggested that Bernie Sanders isn't a real Democrat, that he's "a liar", that he's opposed to the Affordable Care Act, that he was opposed to the auto bailout, that he's responsible for Sandy Hook etc. To me, that's a pretty dirty campaign rooted in deception and spin.

In contrast, I think that Sanders' attacks have been fair and above the board: yes, it's reasonable to draw a contrast between him and Hillary on campaign finance because he's disadvantaged by not having a "PAC". It's reasonable to draw a contrast between him and Hillary on the Iraq War because she spoke in favor of the war on many occasions and refused to apologize for this for years.

The Clinton campaign's problem is that there are very few ways to hit Sanders in a substantive manner. She can't hit him from the right, that would destroy her candidacy. She can't effectively hit him on policy issues because Democratic primary voters love his policy stances. The only effective campaign strategy, on her part, is to emphasize non-economic issues and try her hardest to "play the gender card" at every turn.

To be fair to Hillary Clinton, she is disadvantaged as a woman running for public office. She has difficulties being a "natural politician" for this reason. Nevertheless, I think it's fair to say that her campaign tries to extract any possible advantage from her gender, particularly in terms of optics. After all, it's what allowed her to thrash Rick Lazio in New York. So, I can't blame her for this.
18  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: The Clinton campaign goes PUMA on: April 06, 2016, 11:18:17 pm
Early reporting today suggests that she'll be reporting the "I wish he spent as much time criticizing George W. Bush as he does criticizing Obama" line,

Epic fail, if true.  The last thing Hillary Clinton should be doing is bringing light to her many similarities with George W. Bush on regime change and citizen surveillance.

^^^

If I'm recalling this correctly, the last time she used this line, Bernie quickly responded by bringing up the Iraq War. It's a counterproductive line of attack.
19  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of Landslide Lyndon? on: April 06, 2016, 11:10:20 pm
He has a very strange addiction to "trolling" and needs professional help. I am quite serious about this: perpetually trying to get a rise out of people on the internet, for whatever reason, can become a very unhealthy habit. Alternatively, it could be an expression of underlying psychological issues. A third option, which is the most likely option, is that it could be both a unhealthy habit and an expression of underlying psychological issues.

Get help man! This is unhealthy. At the very least, it isn't constructive.
20  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Sanders gets testy after being asked about Sandy Hook on: April 06, 2016, 06:04:02 pm
So this milquetoast bullsh**t that's at least as much a sop to trial lawyers as it is a meaningful form of gun control is now being held up as a litmus test for the Democratic nomination? Huh.

Sanders' record on gun control is nothing to be proud of, but it's a testament to how thoroughly Democrats have ceded the issue that this and a couple of similar votes are (apparently) the most potent charge that Clinton has on the subject despite the duration of Sanders' tenure in Congress.

(Maybe I'm being hyperbolic, but, as someone who is militantly pro-gun control, even anti-"gun rights", can anyone tell me why suing gun manufacturers is something that I should care about except as a stealth tactic to drive them out of business and increase the cost of firearms, eventually reducing the number that are held in private hands? I can't believe that the actual goal is that radical.)

I think that anyone with a brain should be opposed to such a measure. Yes, the gun industry is most certainly deplorable, but individual gun retailers are, ultimately, people and deserving of fair treatment under the law. Those who have studied gun violence understand that the most effective, most efficient and most fair policy would be a blanket ban on hand-guns coupled with a mass gun buy-back and that measures that fall short of this would be deeply ineffectual. As a result, these weird back-channel strategies are worse than useless: why should we promote policies that would entail massive costs for certain individuals, who are not at fault, and few public benefits? This smacks of unfairness. I don't like those who own gun stores but I don't think they should bear steep costs for the sake of little public benefit. Further, these costs would be unpredictable, difficult to prepare for and would appear to be a petty, arbitrary punishment meted out by hypocritical/irrational liberalism. Hardly a win for gun control if you ask me!

Repeal the Second Amendment and ban handguns! FFS, nothing else will work. We know this.
21  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: "Big Oil" Bernie has investments in fracking companies on: April 04, 2016, 06:55:30 pm
As someone who was part of a divestment effort, I can't take this seriously. Most investments, whether they're 401ks or endowments or various indexed funds, are difficult to track at the level of the firm and, as a result, individual investors, and institutional investors as well, tend to ignore the specifics of investment in favor of looking at broad categories and yields. Obviously, I think that institutions should make ever possible effort to limit the manner in which their endowment finances ethically dubious practices but individuals face steeper constraints, particularly if they're investing their money for the sole objective of retirement. The opportunity cost of delving into portfolios far exceeds the social benefit of moving a few dollars here and there. This is not true for institutions but it's very true for pensioners...
22  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Opinion of Bernie's Income Tax Plan? on: April 02, 2016, 11:18:24 pm
Taxing high incomes more is everything I hate about the left - they want to give it all to the illegals, to the Muslims, and to successful people they throw up a big middle finger and say, we want to give it to losers.

(And my point about Muslims was just that liberals care about not offending Muslim sympathies - refusing to even call it radical Islamic terrorism - yet they certainly don't care about outright stealing hordes of money from successful people for no other reason than "fairness.")

You do realize - given your demographic profile and the, uh, somewhat fragile state of mind demonstrated by your posting history -  that you represent more of a "terror" threat than all but an almost negligibly small share of American Muslims?

I mean, I enjoy trolling message boards (yes, even the fundie segment had a good bit of trolling in it), but it's not like I say a word of this stuff outside of it, so whatever.  That's part of my shtick is to go a bit overboard, I'll admit  My main point was that I oppose raising taxes on 6-figure incomes to redistribute it more to those in lower rungs and that I do favor encouraging success.

Look, RFayette, you might be a Stanford CS student but you're not all that special, wonderful or great nor do you merit the word "success". To be blunt: you are an "aspie" who was inducted into a cult-like organization. By any metric that does not look at expected earnings, that would be considered a glaring red flag. Of course, I am not the type of person who evaluates others in this manner.

Whenever someone who is majoring in "Computer Science" or "Engineering" or "Finance" at a top-ranked universities starts blathering on about the merits of "encouraging success", we all know what you mean: "I deserve more than others because I am objectively superior to others". I find that hard to believe. In truth, I do not think that you have earned much of anything nor do I think your counterparts have. Further, you are very disposable: this country could deport all of its engineers and computer science majors and import them from another country or quickly train hard-working/willing students. Oh no, you say, how dare the government disrespect me in this manner. It..it is unfair!!!

What is my point here? My point is that this smug sense of superiority that you increasingly embody is not congruent with the facts of your existence nor are they really congruent with the facts of anyone's existence. We are all disposable. None of us generates much "value" by virtue of our existence alone and there will always be a substitute that could replace us. These facts don't justify treating anyone in an undignified manner, of course. They're simply reminders that fairness is crucial. If you demand to be treated with respect, you best demand that others be treated with respect or you will be hung out to dry in the future.
23  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: The Resort Factor for Trump: What's Driving It? on: April 02, 2016, 10:54:20 pm
The obvious answer is that "resort" communities tend to attract a certain demographic that's aged, affluent and, for lack of a better word, "anti-cosmopolitan". Of course, this is not true of Cape Cod or the Grand Tetons but I don't see any evidence that Trump did particularly well in either place. His noteworthy performances have been in retirement communities.
24  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Great Brazil Topic on: April 01, 2016, 12:54:31 am
Was it a tactical error for Moro to go after Lula by releasing that audio transcript?
25  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: More American Students Leaving US for College Education Abroad on: March 30, 2016, 11:54:47 am
For the most part Tony, I don't think the travel abroad experience is helping as many people as even you want to hope. Sure tons of ignorants go on their luxury vacation, but remember the vast majority of people don't even have a degree. It's best to separate the groups. No doubt ignorance of the world is widespread in colleges, but the majority in that segment probably does understand those matters quite well, particularly amongst the wealthy who can afford such a trip.

I mean yeah, as I said it's obviously a marker of privilege and that's a problem onto itself.

That said, I'm not as sure that rich kids are necessary much more aware of the world around them than poorer ones. There are plenty of wealthy, ignorant people

Yeah, they're the sort of people who can talk about their favorite restaurants on multiple continents but who have never visited lower income neighborhoods of their own city. Or who brag about how the friends they made while studying abroad "broadened their horizons" while having no friends with a substantially different class background at home.

For what it's worth, this is a global phenomenon, one that's even more extreme in Latin America than it is in the United States. For instance, it's quite common for the children of Mexican elites to stay confined in their gated communities, rarely venturing out until they are pre-teens or teens. Then, they attend private schools before attending private, "prestigious" universities in America, which become their experience with diversity.

To be fair to the Mexican elite or the elite from other countries in Latin America, it's not as if our elite is any better. The truly wealthy in the United States are blissfully ignorant of their own country.

Note: I am not talking about someone who is merely affluent and from, say, Lincoln, Nebraska. I'm talking about the children of "quants" or the children of partners at "big law" firms or the children of executives.
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