Wednesday Highlights

Moving the week right along. With Links!

  1. From where I come from, “black bodies” brings to mind not racial politics but Planck’s constant and black body radiation. ‘Tis a better place I deem.
  2. Death comes to all men.
  3. Law and international relations, part one and two. In which it is admitted that all attacks on civilian objects not in time of war is an international war crime. Drone fans take note.
  4. Mr Kerry is anti-science.
  5. Wolves and their large scale construction projects.
  6. Oh, that’s going to play well with the grandchildren.
  7. A well played reverse fisking.
  8. The intrinsic problem with the “GOP war on women” tactic. ‘Tis feminists and the pro-abortion left which war on women.
  9. Apparently in outer space mass is not conserved. Who knew? Perhaps however there is another hypothesis.
  10. Tourism and the Black Sea.
  11. Curling participation apparently involves more than beer.
  12. Cinema. If the Ark has a rudder, the Noah being portrayed is Gilgamesh with a pseudonym.

 

31 Responses to Wednesday Highlights

  1. The intrinsic problem with the “GOP war on women” tactic. ‘Tis feminists and the pro-abortion left which war on women.

    Not sure how the GOP is the party against single motherhood. It was the GOP side that paid the daughter of a recent VP nominee 100′s of thousands of dollars to speak to children abut the joys of being a single mom. And red statism and single motherhood metrics seem t track pretty well.

  2. Boonton,
    So, the Democrats are against single motherhood? Seriously?

  3. So your mounting an argument from emotional responses. Republicans are ‘against single momism’ because that’s what you feel and that what seems to be a ‘Republican way to think’. Yet you do not think that position should be measured by any objective metrics.

  4. Boonton,
    No. I’m mounting the argument as “in comparison”. Compared the the Democrats the GOP has a better position.

  5. You’re saying a position that either produces worse results or no results at all is better? I’m having trouble following this.

  6. Or if you want an analogy….you’re saying the GOP is like a very fat person who eats junk food all day long but in between spends his time nagging everyone around him about how horrible preservatives are, how America’s food industry isn’t organic, how all this crappy food is ruining out health while the Democrats are like a regular person who isn’t exceptionally fat or thin and eats a mix of good and bad food yet rarely make a big deal about it.

    You’re telling us the fat person’s ‘position’ is better. Does that merit anything more than a shrug?

  7. Boonton,

    Or if you want an analogy….

    Nah. I’m saying the GOP is like a fat person who says eating all that crap is bad but is fat on account of eating. The Democrat is an equally (if not more) fat person who tries to convince you that that eating junk food is better for you.

    Whether that merits a shrug or not is up to you. But seems to me convincing people that eating bad food is worse than knowing (and telling people) that eating bad food is bad but not having the willpower to reject it for yourself.

  8. Nah. I’m saying the GOP is like a fat person who says eating all that crap is bad but is fat on account of eating. The Democrat is an equally (if not more) fat person who tries to convince you that that eating junk food is better for you.

    Minus 100 points for analogy abuse.

    And we know who is isn’t as equally fat since we have scales. Republicans, there fail.

  9. Boonton,
    Uhm, are you grading yourself for poor analogy abuse? Look. You said the GOP was not hypocritical because they say they are against single motherhood but don’t actually do the thinks to oppose single motherhood. Therefore in the analogy “being fat” is about your actual responses and work against single motherhood. You thinking that the Democrats are better than the GOP “against single motherhood” is exactly like my analogy or perhaps even worse.

    You claim the Democrats are better in their “works” at preventing single motherhood whilst at the same time they are in point of fact actually the champions of policies enabling single motherhood. So in the analogy apparently the GOP are the fat guys who say (but don’t stop eating) junk food is bad, but the Democrats are fatter and both claim junk food is good and that they aren’t fat at all.

    Congratulations on digging yourself a deeper hole.

  10. You claim the Democrats are better in their “works” at preventing single motherhood whilst at the same time they are in point of fact actually the champions of policies enabling single motherhood.

    If Red States have more single motherhood than blue how exactly do you sqaure this? Are states electing Republicans who enact Democratic policies and in return the blue states enact Republican policies as some sort of strange trade?

    Or is it that it is totally unkown what policies may cause or prevent single motherhood…or even if there might be reasonble policies that have an influence on it?

    In that case we have Republicans who talk up doing something about single motherhood, but won’t or can’t fix their own houses while demanding kudos for nagging other people about their houses, even other people whose houses are more in order than theirs.

    What I also think we have an example of here is emotional politics getting around the facts. Hence we have people who think deficits increased under Clinton because they have a mental narrative that says ‘Democrats = deficits” or in this case Republicans are the ‘solution’ to cultural problems, except they aren’t.

  11. Boonton,

    If Red States have more single motherhood than blue how exactly do you sqaure this?

    Let’s see. Single motherhood is most common and a problem in urban areas. What makes you think they urban areas in this country are dominated by GOP constituencies and polices?

    Still digging I see. Let me know when you’re dong with that.

    I think you are confused by Clinton and his era. If you recall the deficits came in control because (a) Clinton when the Dems had Congress cut military spending sharply and (b) didn’t increase domestic spending because he couldn’t after the Dems lost Congress and (c) he preferred political jujitsu (which was effected if annoying) of taking the opposition parties proposal (like cutting welfare eligibility) claiming it as his own and “forcing” it through Congress. You seem to have forgotten that while Clinton helped cut welfare by cutting eligibility this horrified the Democratic party at the time. When it was successful in getting people off roles and gainfully employed they shut up somewhat. The current White House has forgotten that turn of events, while defenders like yourself who normally indicated economic motives are powerful seemingly forget that when discussing policy (like when you pretend extending unemployment won’t discourage job seeking).

    But what you are attempting (by digging a bigger hole again) is that you think that the Democrats raise domestic spending on social programs less than the GOP. Specifically, that they prefer more than the GOP to spend money on social programs. Their rhetoric supports this. Do you have evidence to back that up? That raises two problems for you. If they do prefer domestic spending then your “emotional politics” argument is flawed (because of emotional reasons perhaps?) If on the other hand, their rhetoric is the contrary to their actions, this is exactly the thing on which you are accusing the GOP w.r.t. programs which reduce single motherhood. You’ve put yourself in the position where if you are right … accusations you’ve aimed at me apply to yourself and if you are wrong, the same thing occurs.

    That’s an interesting bind you’ve put yourself into.

  12. You can peruse page 6 of http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr62/nvsr62_01_tables.pdf.

    While the correlation is by no means perfect, births to unmarried women are higher in red states than blue ones. There are a few exceptions (Mormon dominated Utah, for example). You cite ‘urban areas’ as the core of the problem, yet last time I checked California and New York suffered no lack of either blueness or urban areas. Texas, likewise, has plenty of urban areas too.

    If this is an important issue, you should be able to cite policies the GOP has embraced to deal with it and cite whether or not they were successful. The only policy that comes to mind is opposing SSM, which does not seem to do much for illegitimacy rates despite the cliam by activists that they are ‘defending’ marriage and children.

  13. Granted it isn’t adjusted for inflation but http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/spending_chart_1980_2018USb_15s2li111mcn_30t_30_Defense_Spending_Chart examines your claim whether the deficit reduction under Clinton happened because defense spending was cut. What jumps out at me was that defense spending in the late 90′s was higher than it was in 1980, when we were supposedly fighting the cold war. It remained higher than even the mid-80′s. In fact just glancing at the data it’s hard to even notice a blip representing the Gulf War.

    We likewise see after 2009 that defense spending levels off but doesn’t really fall all that much from a ‘new normal ‘ of about 800B per year. In fact you could say the entire current deficit can be accounted for by the difference between the old normal in defense spending (say $350B/yr or so) and it’s current level of about $800B a year.

  14. Boonton,
    So your position is that the Democrats favor lower domestic social spending than the GOP?

  15. Boonton,
    Red/Blue state is the wrong comparison. Look at Urban vs rural/suburban. Remember the high detail red/blue drawings the large urban centers are where you’re “blueness” resides.

    Are you really trying to go on record saying unmarried women with children is not a problem for urban Blacks but is primarily a suburban white one? Truly?

  16. Boonton,
    Besides you’re still digging.

    Look, let me lay this out in simple terms. Here’s what was said.

    Premise One: Single motherhood is bad/hard on women. (we aren’t debating this premise)
    Premise Two: Economic incentives influence people. (this is one of your common thesis and so far we aren’t debating this)
    Conclusion One: Therefore economic incentives enabling/easing single motherhood are bad/hard on women, i.e., anti-woman.

    Observation One: Democrats far surpass the GOP at enacting legislation making single motherhood easier, i.e., which provide incentives to become a single mother
    Conclusion Two: Therefore in this regard the GOP is less not more anti-women than the Democrat.

    To these logical steps you provided an analogy (which as I said was flawed .. in the light of the above perhaps you can see how). Either “fatness” is policies enabling single-motherhood (my most charitable interpretation of your analogy) or “fatness” is an analog of single motherhood. You suggested Democrats are “thinner” and that their speech/policies are just the same as the GOP by pointing to GOP policies/sponsorship which enable single motherhood … but this mean you feel that the Democrats sponsor such bills less than the GOP, which doesn’t make sense. So, either “fatness” = policy and “junk food” = policy rhetoric or “fatness” = single motherhood and “Junk food” = policy. Neither holds water with your notion of Democrats being thinner and fit but the GOP being fat.

    You are stuck (so far) with your analogy in arguing (as I see it) that single women are more likely to be Republicans (seriously!? … this is why I term this the “less charitable” conclusion because it makes no sense) or that the GOP is the party that sponsors and supports single motherhood more than the Democrats. This is an interesting notion, i.e., that the press and popula impressions has so badly misstated things that the GOP is the party actually sponsoring such bills but that the Democrat take the “credit” in press and public mind (that is that the Democrats hold such bills back and don’t sponsor them, but that the public impression is that they do and the GOP holds them back).

  17. Boonton,
    In case I’m not clear, you seem to be disputing observation one in the above, i.e., that Democrats sponsor/support policies providing financial and social assistance for single mothers more than the GOP. Furthermore the observation you use to do that is to look at a state level and note that single motherhood exits at similar if not greater rates in “Red States” (which as I note, ignores that those single mothers mostly live in urban areas which are blue … but as noted above … how do single mothers vote Red or Blue?). (updated)

  18. Boonton
    Your analogy does support the notion that the GOP is fat and preaches thin but doesn’t practice thinny very well, but the Democrats are fatter and preach/practice that junk food is good.

  19. Red/Blue state is the wrong comparison. Look at Urban vs rural/suburban. Remember the high detail red/blue drawings the large urban centers are where you’re “blueness” resides.

    By definition a red state is one that elects Republicans which means one would expect Republican policies would dominate even if they have small areas of ‘urban blueness’. If Red States have failed to be better than Blue states, in fact have been worse, then that’s failure.

    *****
    Premise One: Single motherhood is bad/hard on women. (we aren’t debating this premise)
    Premise Two: Economic incentives influence people. (this is one of your common thesis and so far we aren’t debating this)
    Conclusion One: Therefore economic incentives enabling/easing single motherhood are bad/hard on women, i.e., anti-woman.
    ******

    If we observe, then, that blue states do not have higher rates of single mother hood then we must conclude:

    1. Blue != incentives for single motherhood.
    2. Incentives do not influence people.
    3. Incentives are harder to understand than they appear at first glance.

    I suspect #1 and #3 are pretty important. For example, red states have low costs of living. So lower taxes, lower regulation, make it easier to get by with part time work, welfare and other stop gaps thereby allowing someone to have lots of kids out of wedlock. Higher cost of living, though, requires more reliable income, which makes it trickier to cut corners which means even if you have a non-work based method of supporting yourself, it’s harder to toss a lot of kids into it.

    Likewise career tracks can sometimes end up encouraging single parenthood. I recall when I first took sociology I remember reading a study that noted for lower income girls, teen motherhood made economic sense. For many that had career tracks in the administrative sector (i.e. secretaries), tenure on the job drove pay. So working from 18-25 then taking a year or two off to have kids would really harm your lifetime income. In contrast having a kid at 16 when parents could help in raising the child thereby freed up the entire 20′s for a run at the career. What’s interesting about that case is generous welfare benefits could counter that incentive since it could replace the income loss from choosing to have kids in your mid-20′s (when you’re more likely to be married than before). Of course such a policy would help the single as well as married mom, but the point is that understanding the incentive is often more complex than it appears at first glance.

  20. Boonton,

    By definition a red state is one that elects Republicans which means one would expect Republican policies would dominate even if they have small areas of ‘urban blueness’. If Red States have failed to be better than Blue states, in fact have been worse, then that’s failure.

    Untrue. Take Georgia as a prototypical Red state. A “small” area of urban blueness would be the not-very-small Atlanta. If the single mothers are predominantly in Atlanta *and* the city is controlled by a Democrat (like Illinois/Chicago a blue state for which, unlike Georgia Chicago is large enough to beat the downstaters in State-wide races) … *and* the support/welfare policies are managed in the city by Democrats then all it means is that your metric is bad. Turn it on its head. Ask yourself, how do single mothers vote. Or at the very least you need to examine whether how these social policies are effected in a Democrat controlled city within a GOP controlled state, which trumps which? Closer to home, do Chicago schools and Chicago programs for single mothers depend on state funds? Or not?

    If we observe, then, that blue states do not have higher rates of single mother hood then we must conclude

    4. That your metric is flawed.

    Keep trying. At least you’ve stopped digging and using arguments that are supporting the wrong side.

    You might just concede that *with respect to single motherhood* the GOP are less anti-women that the Democrats. (added) I mean … there are other aspects to the “less/more” w.r.t. women than single motherhood.

  21. Take Georgia as a prototypical Red state. A “small” area of urban blueness

    And Mississippi? Alabama? Louisianna? Arkansas? Are they also poor red states held in check by their huge areas of urban blueness?

    And how about New York and California relative to Texas? You’d think if your theory held up they’d have higher rates to Texas? After all both of those states have big urban and big non-urban areas but NY and CA being blue in both the urban and overall areas should be a ‘double whammy’ while Texas being Red at least overall should counter that a bit no?

    You might just concede that *with respect to single motherhood* the GOP are less anti-women that the Democrats. (added) I mean … there are other aspects to the “less/more” w.r.t. women than single motherhood.

    So the GOP here is pro-woman simply by reputation regardless of results? You’re telling me stopping single motherhood is pro-woman and I’m trying to give you some opening to tell me how the GOP has done that. At best all you seem able to do is make excuses, supposedly rabidly Blue urban areas in…uhhhh…Georgia….is keeping the state from getting Red enough to bring about a feminine utopia but that’s ok, the GOP can substitute imaginary results for actual results in the real world

  22. Boonton,

    So the GOP here is pro-woman simply by reputation regardless of results? You’re telling me stopping single motherhood is pro-woman and I’m trying to give you some opening to tell me how the GOP has done that.

    I’m telling you something different. I’m telling you that programs making it easier to be a single mother are those which are anti-woman on account of those programs make for more single mothers. You tell me why you think the GOP supports programs for single mothers more than the Democrats. In today’s links I think I’ve got one or two links that define for us what hypocrisy is, which is saying things which you don’t believe. I believe you are either being hypocritical or arguing a “devils advocacy” position here.

    I fail to believe that you think that Democrats and the programs they promote help single mothers make ends meet and deal with their problems less well than those from the GOP. So tell me frankly. Do you or do you not think that the Democrat platform and practices assist single mothers more or less than those from the GOP?

  23. I’m telling you that programs making it easier to be a single mother are those which are anti-woman on account of those programs make for more single mothers.

    Back to the beginning, you’re saying Republicans make programs that produce fewer single moms, Democrats make more. Yet Red States are unable to demonstrate this. Either you’re wrong about what Republicans really do or your party is a party of failure.

    Look at it like this, if you said Republicans support gun rights more than Democrats I’d agree with you. We can objectively test this by looking at gun laws in Red States versus Blue States. While I’m sure the correlation is not perfect, I suspect we’d generally find Red States have more open gun laws than Blue. So clearly Republicans have no problem in, say, Texas, making their gun policies felt. So what’s stopping their anti-single mom programs?

  24. Boonton,

    Back to the beginning, you’re saying Republicans make programs that produce fewer single moms, Democrats make more.

    Nyet. I’m saying programs which provide more support for single mothers are providing economic incentives for people to become single moms.

    So what’s stopping their anti-single mom programs?

    Do you find that California vs Texas has more social welfare programs? I suggest that California has more social welfare than Texas. Voila. QED.

    Connecticut has more open gun laws than many red states. Hmmm.

  25. Do you find that California vs Texas has more social welfare programs? I suggest that California has more social welfare than Texas. Voila. QED.

    This would prove that social welfare doesn’t make single moms then. You forgot Texas has more single moms. You claimed that Texas couldn’t implement anti-singlemom programs because of deep blue ‘urban centers’. Yet you just said that Texas…despite it’s ‘urban centers’ has managed to do less social welfare than CA. Therefore your argument collapses…yet again. It’s a good thing you don’t build houses for people.

  26. Boonton,

    Therefore your argument collapses…yet again. It’s a good thing you don’t build houses for people.

    Nope. Sorry. Your still arguing the wrong point. The point isn’t whether Calfornia vs Texas has more single moms it is whether those incentives have any effect. If Texas had the same sort of liberal social welfare policies as California would they then have more or less single mothers. As you pointed out differentials in social background, culture and cost of living also have effects. But as you will note, we are talking about politicians and their policies. You have to compare apples to apples mah friend.

  27. Boonton,
    Texas vs California is a bad example … their unmarried birth rate is roughly on par.

    But you’re shifting your argument. Now your argument is that your “reason #2″ (economic incentives don’t change behavior) is the basis of your argument.

    The question remains (which you dodge) which party do you believe will offer more assistance to single mothers? You need to answer that.

  28. Nope. Sorry. Your still arguing the wrong point. The point isn’t whether Calfornia vs Texas has more single moms it is whether those incentives have any effect. If Texas had the same sort of liberal social welfare policies as California would they then have more or less single mothers.

    Except that California has slightly less than the national average and Texas has slightly more. This makes no sense at all if you accept that CA is a pretty blue state and Texas a pretty red one. Either neither CA nor TX have any luck establishing blue or red policies, or such policies don’t matter at all. In which case why should the GOP get any credit for ‘opposing’ something they only offer impotent policies against?

    But you’re shifting your argument. Now your argument is that your “reason #2″ (economic incentives don’t change behavior) is the basis of your argument.

    Actually I’ve centered my argument on #1 and #3. To refresh your memory those would be:

    1. Blue states are not providing exceptional incentives for single mother hood relative to Red states.

    3. Incentives are harder to understand than they appear at first glance.

    #3 I think is especially important. Incentives often play out in unexpected ways. That may mean a policy that appears on it’s surface to offer an incentive in one direction actuallyy offers an incentive in the opposite direction.

    For example, consider a program that provides subsidies to daycare. That might seem like an incentive towards single motherhood. Single woman can go out to work easier, leaving the kid in daycare. But the response to getting rid of the daycare may go the opposite direction. Since work is less of an option for a single mom, they may respond by having more kids.

  29. Boonton,

    Actually I’ve centered my argument on #1 and #3.

    “Especially #3″, but the effect is not the crux. We are discussing the pro/anti women status vis a vis single motherhood compared between GOP and Democrats policy makers. You are not actually arguing any particular points of my hypothesis and conclusions. You aren’t disputing that economic incentives invite actions. You aren’t so far as I can tell (by your steadfast repeated refusal to answer direct questions) arguing that Democrats do not support social policies which make it easier to be a single mother. What you are arguing is that because neither of us has finer grained data to actually correlate policy to district with comparable living conditions and standards, that in the absence of data that the poor (red) states have more single mothers and wealthier blue ones. You could try directly answering my question twice asked (now three with this repeat).

    Since work is less of an option for a single mom, they may respond by having more kids.

    And get larger welfare checks, which again is another welfare program. They might figure the cost of one more kid to them is less les than the payout from more kids. But that’s yet another welfare program for single mothers. Woops. Now if they were destitute and starving with one kid, if they had more kids it would just get worse, you’d think “less daycare” wouldn’t make starvation just because it is harder to be a single mom. So, again social programs are still providing incentives. Bad example. Retry?

    Incentives often play out in unexpected ways.

    Which is another way of saying the effects of the incentives are hard to see. So? I agree completely with that. But by not denying #2 (which a central thesis of much of your thought) … you are stuck with the logical syllogism as given, that is w.r.t. single motherhood the Democrat policies are more harmful than the GOP’s.

  30. And get larger welfare checks, which again is another welfare program. They might figure the cost of one more kid to them is less les than the payout from more kids.

    You’re not describing any welfare system that exists anywhere in the US. You are making assumptions, though. For example, you’re assuming choosing to have more kids could only happen with welfare. Well there’s child support. There’s also support from their own parents. In my daycare example it’s more a lifestyle thing. If doing the job gets too hard, an alternative becomes more attractive…namely staying home and raising kids. In terms of money any welfare benefits probably would be much less than the added costs of another kid, but kids do tend to have benefits beyond simply being cash cows (and unless you have a child star, they are never cash cows….the cash cow is you, not the kid(s)!).

    People live also for self esteem, being able to brag about themselves. Saying “I’m a parent” is a type of bragging right that usually gets more mileage than “Well I’ve worked assorted min. wage jobs for multiple decades now”. I suspect in my daycare subsidy hypothetical the real incentive would be what type of investment in time and energy would be greater for the person….being a parent again or building up a successful career? If the cost of the latter is going to go up, the first becomes more attractive.

    Which is another way of saying the effects of the incentives are hard to see.

    Which kind of makes it pointless to obsess over whether you’re supporting a policy tomake it ‘easier’ to be a single mom. If you’re trying to prevent harm your metric is have you reduced or increased single momism.

    Look at it this way, you’d like here to be fewer highway deaths. OK, so say someone supports putting more signs on highways, more ‘rumble strips’ and so on. It may turn out that driving becomes so routine that drivers end up paying even less attention and get into more accidents. If that’s the case you’d say the policy is a failure. You don’t get any points for clinging to the policy on the grounds that it makes it ‘harder’ to get into an accident while causing more accidents.

  31. Boonton,

    You’re not describing any welfare system that exists anywhere in the US.

    Untrue. In your universe the US there has no EITC, no child tax credit, no SNAP programs … and so on. Or where they exist the payout is independent of the actual number of dependents. When you wake up and realize that you are in this universe which has such programs, you can correct your misstatement.

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