Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Was 1957 America Better Than Today? (An Outright Rant!)

All right... this forwarded mass email put me into fill-tilt, bellowing rant mode!  It's a reaction to one of those email circulars that our crazy uncles keep sending us - you know the kind, offering vast, sweeping, counter-factual assertions in lieu of evidence, logic or even common sense, all in order to justify hating half of their fellow citizens. I generally ignore them, but this one is wildly popular among millions of "values" Americans who have been talked into hating tomorrow. It needs an answer.

So read on only if you're in a mood for pyrotechnics!

======     ======     ======

Nostalgia is for cretins.  America was built by men and women who dreamed and built. Who believed - and believe - in progress. Who forgo the sick drug of hate and negotiate solutions.

By people who respect skill and knowledge and the folks who have them.

America was not built by fellows like the author of this maudlin paean to yesteryear: HIGH SCHOOL -- 1957 vs. 2010 who claims to have witnessed "how far our nation has declined socially, morally and spiritually…" proceeding to list  scenarios such as: "Billy breaks a window in his neighbor’s car and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt."


Let's follow along this one comparison between 1957 and 2010:

"1957 – Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college and becomes a successful businessman.

2010 – Billy’s dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy is removed to foster care and joins a gang. The state psychologist is told by Billy’s sister that she remembers being abused herself and their dad goes to prison. Billy’s mom has an affair with the psychologist."

But go ahead and read this spectacular feat of tendentious-nostalgia* and temporal myopia.  You'll laugh... when you're not crying.

In fact, let me be honest and admit - two of these little tales, about how America had some simpler, more earthy aspects in 1957, resonate with  parts of me that are  - well - kinda conservative at-heart... in the old-better way William F. Buckley meant it. Still, most of this "1957" screed is drooling imbecility. Scenarios 6, 7, & 8 are sick fantasies concocted by a stupid, nasty mind that makes the lefty-flake PC correctoids look positively sane.

Oh, but I was inspired! So, with the other guy's list of time-comparisons in mind (in fairness - do peruse his versions), try on these additional contrasts between 1957 and 2010.

Hmmm let's see.

1957: Gracie (age 13) is raped by her stepfather. Shamed into keeping silent, she's guilt tripped for "asking for it." (Her eventual shrink, a Freudian, tells her she imagined it all.)

2011: Gracie has a black belt. Sucker is never going to attack a woman again. And just to make sure, she goes public. (Oh, and Freudians are extinct, thank God.)

1957: Thomas attends a segregated school without textbooks, heat or windows. Or hope. Every media message tells him he is destined to be a servant.

2011: Thomas attends Caltech. He carries no handicaps of preconception because of his race.  We all benefit from his research.

1957: Jimmy is a "four-eyes" who loves science. He is bullied, harassed, buggered and tormented. Everybody shrugs. "boys will be boys."

(I was there, in 1957. I fought back, really well. But I saw other boys crushed, pulverized, even driven to suicide.)

2011: In most middle class areas, severe physical bullying is almost nonexistent.  Today Jimmy is the CEO of a software company, making life better for everybody. Geeks and nerds are cool.  And whoever wrote that "fights were honorable" in 1957 can screw himself. I was there. Some fights were like that, I recall. But the other kind - pure, vicious terrorism - were far more common. (Only jerks who used to be bullies are nostalgic for those "good old days.")

1957: Gracie's rape turns into a pregnancy that will ruin her life. Or she goes to a back alley abortionist. Dies in agony.

2011:  Rates of teen sex, teen pregnancy, abortion, STDs, early marriage, and domestic violence are far LOWER in Blue America than they were in 1957. Divorce rates are higher, because women are empowered... but in Blue America even divorce is tipping downward, along with steeply-falling crime.



Rates for all of these things -- ALL of them -- are much higher in other parts of America - the parts that scream at us how much more "moral" their "values" are.  (It's plain statistical fact. And any nostalgia junkie can choke on it.)

One could go on and on, showing a thousand ways that THINGS ARE VASTLY BETTER today in the 21st Century! Indeed, shouldn't they be? Didn't those wise moms and dads of 1957 work damned hard to help make a better world?

Don't we praise them by admitting they succeeded? Don't we insult them by sneering that they failed? Think about that! Which of us here is deep-down more respectful to folks of earlier days? And which of us insults them as failures? 

== Not everything is better ==

But to be fair... I admit that some things today are worse today than they were in 1957!  Here are a few examples.

1957: Thalidomide babies are born armless. The bald eagle almost vanishes. Unregulated, toxins leak into waterways like Love Canal. Lakes are dying everywhere. School kids cry because the air hurts to breathe. Polio so terrifies parents that they keep children locked inside during summer, forbidding them from going to the public pool. (I remember it all.)

But in 1957 wise and good people dream of an era when scientists can help us all figure out what substances work and which ones do harm. Following 1957's Sputnik scare, all Americans think scientists are wonderful! Soon, Jonas Salk is the most popular man in America.

2011: Ungrateful imbeciles rage against science, following radio  ignoramuses into snits against vaccination, economics, meteorology, evolution, medicine and biology. Science has made terrific progress and we know tons more! Blue America keeps getting healthier and living longer. It's an age of real wonders and American science literacy is second only to Japan's.

But meanwhile, there's another America - that keeps smoking and shovels down pork rinds, while self-righteously screeching that liberals are ordering them what to eat -- (a damned lie).  And they die young.

And the War Against Science  (and every other profession that knows stuff -- like journalists, teachers, doctors, professors, civil servants, attorneys and skilled labor) rages on. Yep, some things are much worse.

1957: The greatest enemy of freedom and enterprise is Soviet Communism. A terrible threat and an evil empire! Democratic president Truman establishes NATO, the Marshall Plan and containment as national policy. Republican president Eisenhower maintains consistency and establishes a tradition of consensus negotiation between parties. Disparities of income and wealth (among whites) are at the lowest point in all of human history. The rich pay a lot of taxes, yet still have plenty to invest in the most vibrant capitalism of all time. Under Rooseveltian tax rates and regulation, the middle class grows by leaps and bounds.

Yes, there are Joe McCarthys on the right. But there are also Buckleys and Goldwaters who love science and intellect and negotiation and the kind of respectful argument that features - above all - curiosity and an eagerness to learn. Likewise, liberals and democrats utterly reject communism. Extremism is dumb. Moderation is in.

2011: Communism is gone and the far left is a joke. The greatest enemy of free enterprise is a cabal of 500 billionaires who appoint each other to director boards, protect each other and vote each other mega compensation packages, no matter how poorly the company does. They combine to take over American politics through secret slush funds and to finance culture war. Anyone who complains is pushing "class war."

The nation is sucked into a decade of trillion dollar quagmire wars of attrition in Asia -- but for the first time in our nation's history the rich refuse to help pay for a desperate military struggle. The nation is deliberately ripped by Culture War, weakening us worse than anything has since the Civil War.

1957: This was the time of the Greatest Generation that struggled against depression and fascism and saved the world. Also, they admired and adored Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  Sure, some of them avowed that government meddling and regulation and even tax rates might have gone too far! But they were willing to start tweaking them down, incrementally, while admitting that FDR left America so vastly better off that no leader in human history ever had such a track record.

In the 1950s, even at high Rooseveltean tax rates (and some say because of them), we had three things at once, a booming, rapidly rising middle class, the lowest disparity in wealth between the rich and middle class in history (among white males), and a hugely entrepreneurial, skyrocketing capitalism, creating so much wealth that we could afford to start thinking about other things, like health and the environment and social justice.

2011:  For decades, the right has demonized the most beloved president in American history, who was adored by the men and women who this "1957" jerk claims to have been so wise, back in the 1950s!  Think about that, while I repeat it.  The moms and dads whom he calls wondrously smart and earthy and wise - they loved Franklin Delano Roosevelt. For most of them, the only acceptable Republican was Dwight David Eisenhower - a wonderful, decent and moderate man who believed in negotiating with democrats, not demonizing them.

Now? After spending 30 years tearing down everything FDR built, what have the rightists achieved?  A rapidly plummeting middle class, the highest disparity in wealth between rich and middle class in a hundred years, and the near destruction of entrepreneurial capitalism, under the crushing weight of monopolies. And still they rage against levels of regulation that are absurdly low, by the standards of 1957!

OKAY, SOME THINGS ARE WORSE. I admit it.

LookingFutureOn the other hand... I must recall that in 1957 there were vastly more awful voices on the crazy right than the jerk who wrote this "comparison." Men who fulminated against Martin Luther King and desegregation, instead of claiming (as Glenn Beck does today) that "we invented civil rights and Dr. King was one of us!"

Men who called it a commie plot to assert that cars made smog.  Who screeched that only communists thought that tobacco caused disease. Jerks who helped cancer-causing companies to lie about it for an entire generation. Men who promised to get us off the habit of wastefully suckling the teat of foreign oil states... only to do everything in their power to keep us hooked.

Yes, 1957 was a better time...for crazies. But we still have plenty of those, and they are trying hard to catch up to the good old days.

========================

* Fascinating recent (and relevant) science: People who are better at memory, and especially telling the difference between true memories and imagined ones, seem to have a better-developed fold at the front of the brain called the paracingulate sulcus (PCS). This brain variation is present in roughly half of the normal population. It’s one of the last structural folds to develop before birth, so it varies greatly in size between individuals in the healthy population. Researchers discovered that adults whose MRI scans indicated an absence of the PCS were significantly less accurate on memory tasks than people with a prominent PCS on at least one side of the brain.  If verified, a stunning and important finding.
But well, that's science.


David Brin
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94 comments:

David Brin said...

Addendum. Last posting, in comments, Tony Fisk provided a link to the most important article of 2011...

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21228354.500-revealed--the-capitalist-network-that-runs-the-world.html

This is how it begins, boys and girls. With light.

Ed Seedhouse said...

I was there too, albeit in another country, and I agree with pretty much everything you say. The 1950's sucked.

Except: things were getting slowly, slowly, better. We figured out how to throw things into orbit. We put in social programs in the last part of the 50's and early 60's that did much to alleviate poverty. The middle class could see thing getting better, and were working toward that.

Today, while things overall in my country are far better than the 1950's, the sense is that things are getting worse for most people. We have gone forward in many ways, but backwards in others. Where's the colony on the moon for instance? More important, where's the hope for it? Gone, gone away except among the few.

Dwight Williams said...

Okay, this coalition exists more by accident than by design. The people running it? It looks as if they do need - however much they might resist - to have it made clear that spinning off a lot of those assets back into being more independently-operated firms again would be better for their own bottom lines. And everyone else's as well, most likely.

This is something that the Occupy Movement could - probably should - run with.

Speaking of reintroducing the corporate equivalent of biodiversity into the economy, Toronto Star columnist Joe Fiorito mentions something that might be of use in the financial sector: credit unions. (This is likely dependent upon what the laws of your particular corner of the planet will currently allow.)

Tim H. said...

But, what we have now started then. You'd be hard pressed to find a forced-air furnace now as inefficient as one then, or a car, there exist actual muscle cars that come close to the fuel economy of a fifties beetle or mini. (A small part of what 54 years of "Doing nothing" looks like.) Economically, we've lost our way, sequestering vast amounts of money in a small number of bank accounts prolongs the transition to cleaner technologies and will likely increase the population overshoot.
BTW, the bit on the ownership by very few people makes me want to find a copy of "Illuminatus!"

Randy W. Weeks said...

Great rant!

You should do one on how the far right and their corporate masters really want to take us back to about 1910.

Rob said...

I hated the bullying I got in school; I think it stunted my social development to be the class pariah and no one from the playground monitor to my own parents had any better advice than "just ignore it" or "hit them back, why don't you!"

That was the late '70's, and it means to me that 2011 is better even than 1981. Far better; the worst my daughter gets is a little hair pulling on the bus. It's all the bullies dare to do.

Tony's link is compelling; they're describing a metastable system, almost like a block of a radioactive isotope... if that analogy is at all accurate, then stability can only be achieved by severing interdependent connections, or by reducing the number of connecting nodes. The former corresponds roughly to enhanced regulatory regimes (damping rods) or by letting fission take place... I know which one I'd prefer.

Tyler August said...

1910?
T.R. had already led a round of progressive legislation and trust-busting by then.
They'll want Mauve Decade at the latest.

LarryHart said...

There's something in the air that's making these right-wingers erput in outright crazy talk, and it's not hard to guess what that something is. The "Occupy Everywherestreet" movements are gaining traction, and the oligarchs are on a desperate last-ditch attempt to avoid being cast as the obvious villains.

By way of example, Charles Krauthammer's latest screed which borders on clinical insanity, trying to blame Obama for everything the right-wingers do themselves:

http://tinyurl.com/3edmdxe

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/ct-oped-1017-krauthammer-20111014-2,0,3387083.story


...
President Barack Obama first tried finding excuses, blaming America's dismal condition on Japanese supply-chain interruptions, the Arab Spring, European debt and various acts of God.

Didn't work.

Hence Obama's new strategy: Don't whine, blame. Attack. Indict. Accuse. Who? The rich — and their Republican protectors — for wrecking America.

It's crude. It's Manichaean. And the left loves it.
...


Ah yes, anything his corporate masters are opposed to must be a creature of "the left", and therefore self-evidently ridiculous. If you read the column, you can almost smell the spittle foaming off of CK's rabid mouth.

It's almost sad to watch the slow realization that someone is on the losing side of history and morality, but schaudenfraude is sweet enough to overcome that sadness.

LarryHart said...

From the same Krauthammer article above:


Exhibit C. To the villainy-of-the-rich theme emanating from Washington, a child is born: Occupy Wall Street. Starbucks-sipping, Levi's-clad, iPhone-clutching protesters denounce corporate America even as they weep for Steve Jobs, corporate titan, billionaire eight times over.

These indignant indolents saddled with their $50,000 student loans and English degrees have decided that their lack of gainful employment is rooted in the malice of the millionaires on whose homes they are now marching — to the applause of Democrats suffering acute tea party envy and now salivating at the energy these big-government anarchists will presumably give their cause.

Except that the real tea party actually had a program — less government, less regulation, less taxation, less debt. What's the Occupy Wall Street program? Eat the rich.

And then what? Haven't gotten that far.

Obama is too intelligent not to know what he started. But so long as it gives him a shot at re-election, he shows no sign of caring.


Beyond wrong on so many levels that the only plausible explanation is that CK is auditioning for a job with the Koch Brothers.

Alice M said...

In one way 1957 WAS better than today: we had hope. Hope for the Space Program. Hope for a better life than our parents had. Hope that bigotry and hatred could be overcome (and that we could be a part of the solution). Today, I feel (and fear) that most of our young people feel trapped in a social, political and economic morass that offers little to hope for and even less to anticipate with even contentment much less joy. I can only hope (there's that word again) that the current miasma of greed, resentment and poverty of mind and spirit can be lifted before "the great experiment" founders under its weight.

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin in the main post:

2011:
...
But meanwhile, there's another America - that keeps smoking and shovels down pork rinds, while self-righteously screeching that liberals are ordering them what to eat -- (a damned lie). And they die young.


(emphasis mine)

I realize I'm going through some sort of weird mood swings. A few days ago, I was extremely depressed over the economy and the future (Sith Master Sean's post didn't help, but it wasn't just because of him).

Today, I'm in an angry mood, but in (what I consider) a good sense of that term--not so much mad as righteously indignant. So as to that final sentence in Dr Brin's assessment there, I say "Well, at least there's THAT on the plus side." If only they didn't reproduce so young too, it would be a self-correcting problem.

Gilmoure said...

My dad graduated HS in 1957 (middle America small farm town). At his 40 year reunion, I went with him and met his friend who'd been thrown from car in accident (no seat belts) and heard stories of the school teacher who was raped under the bleachers. My Dad's buddies were also still ragging on him for marrying my Mom (Hispanic). And then there was my grandmother who had to marry a farm hand after her first husband died because the local men wouldn't do business with her, other than try and buy her farm out from under her. She died in late 70's from degenerative nerve disease. Was a lot of that going around from folks using the farm chemicals back then. And the local lakes would get fowled by the end of summer from the all the vacationers' cottages dumping raw sewage into them. And the migrant kids of course didn't go to school. Good times, good times.

Ok, they did have some beautiful cars back then and I remember a taste of the Can-Do attitude that America had with science and progress (thanks to the classic SF authors in part) but I also remember how things really started looking bleak with Watergate and the end of Vietnam and know how finicky old cars are to keep up and running.

But now, my older cousin, who's inherited the farm, did a hippie thing walk-about for a couple of years in the late 60's before going to college and getting a degree in environmentalism and sustainable farming and now the family farm is one of the first organic farms in the mid-west and ships strawberries all over the U.S. and Canada. He also works with his migrants to get them citizenship and has even help set some of them up with land of their own. And the kids now go to school. Finally, my cousin's on the county commission and has managed to get laws in place that require all lakefront houses to be on modern septic or county sewer system and now the lakes are usable all year round. COOL!

Carl M. said...

Big Brother looks out for us today!
http://goldsilver.com/video/smart-meters/

Tacitus2 said...

Ah, Dave...I was looking forward to hearing about drinks in New York, and perhaps a visit to the OWS site with your impressions. Instead you got all ranted up over something fairly innocuous.
I have been traveling, in company with some rather progressive folks and talk has turned to the state of America. We agreed that things leave much to be desired, but had less consensus on why and what to do. Eventually we did concur that America has lost social cohesiveness, the "glue" that keeps society functioning in part by keeping us on speaking terms.
The post you link to-and btw you may consider crazy uncle to be another common use term, but it is perjorative-is doing nothing more than lamenting that we now have complex and sometimes overkill ways to deal with issues that were formerly handled in a more ex officio sense.
And on a deeper level he is bewailing a world in which this nonsense does not seem, well, nonsensical.
And in his anecdotes he is correct. To which you in high dudgeon toss out alternative anecdotes. And you are right too.
So, I will do this in two parts. Next segment....Was America in 1957better than today. (mostly stats, little commentary)

Tacitus2

Carl M. said...

And a much more apropos link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QTfNEDgusQ&feature=player_embedded

The OWS folks are in the same boat.

Tacitus2 said...

Society is built from the ground up.

Marriage rate per 1000/women
1960 73.5 2005 40.7

Divorce rate per same
1960 9.2 2005 16.4 it did peak at 22.6 in 1980. The lower rate now probably reflects the fact that you have to be married to get divorced (?)


Percentage of births to umarried women 1960 5.3 2005 36.8 with an apocalyptic 65% among blacks.

The current higher divorce rate in southern Red states is almost all due to the higher divorce rate among blacks and hispanics (77 and 50% respectively). Factor out minorities (and lets recall that blacks in the south are solidly Dem voters) and the divorce rate in Missisipi is lower than in solid blue NH.
STD rates also parallel this uncomfortable cultural divide. Higher by far in minorities.

Red staters marry earlier and have more children. This influences political views. They also live in states that are less affluent. This impacts divorce rates independent of all other factors.

There are so many stats that could be examined. 11% of adults now take antidepressants. The amount of TV and computer consumption among young people is far higher than 1957. (never you mind about the content).

If we could exorcize the racism and homophobia. If we could give women the choice of career or family (and recall the 50s housewives were former Rosie the Riveters). Then yes, the America of 1957 would in significant ways be better than today.

btw this is not exclusivly a conservative horse to ride. When educators are taken to task for our lousy return on an ever increasing school budget they quote these stats. And rightly so.

Trying for brevity on a highly complex topic

http://www.virginia.edu/marriageproject/pdfs/SOOU2007.pdf

Tacitus

LarryHart said...

Tacitus:

The question of whether things are better or worse in different eras begs the question "better for whom?" I suspect that you and Dr Brin proceed from incompatable presumptions about a starting point, and therefore will never agree on the answer.

An Archie Bunker type in 1971 might have legitimately lookew back wistfully on 1957 (or even earlier, "Mister, we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again!") as a time when the world was much better for him. The fact that his bounty came at the expense of other groups who were worse off back then...well, I suppose this is analogous to the corpoprate practice of internalizing profits and externalizing costs. Do you get to marginalize groups of "other" Americans and not count whether they were better or worse off in your calculus?

Nolly said...

1957: Thomas attends a segregated school without textbooks, heat or windows. Or hope. Every media message tells him he is destined to be a servant.

2011: Thomas attends Caltech. He carries no handicaps of preconception because of his race. We all benefit from his research.


Unless Thomas is poor. If he is, his elementary / middle / high school isn't officially segregated, but it's demonstrably worse than the school the middle class and above kids are attending, and he probably doesn't have very many Caucasian classmates, though he does have some. He still doesn't have enough books -- he may have to share with one or more classmates, he may not be able to take a book home to study, and the books aren't up-to-date. The school is probably pretty run-down and getting worse. He also has to deal with a lot more security -- metal detectors and the like. If he can manage to learn enough despite all that, maybe he can get enough of a scholarship to go to CalTech, but he'll be at a significant disadvantage compared to his peers who went to schools with actual lab facilities and enough books for every student to use one. Chances are, he'll drop out instead, because he's frustrated by the system that won't let him get ahead.

LarryHart said...

Tacitus2:

...We agreed that things leave much to be desired, but had less consensus on why and what to do. Eventually we did concur that America has lost social cohesiveness, the "glue" that keeps society functioning in part by keeping us on speaking terms.


Agreed, but there's where the whole "1/10 of 1%" thing becomes relevant. Today's wealthy and powerful share so little common experiences with the other 99% (or is it 99.9%?). Dr Brin rightly points out elsewhere that the rich and famous used to fly on the same airplanes that we did (albeit in First Class) and that the humiliations of air travel would have been kept in check if David Koch or (to be fair) Al Gore were subject to the same pat-downs as you and me.

Inequality matters precisely because it leads to a lack of community on all levels.


The post you link to-and btw you may consider crazy uncle to be another common use term, but it is perjorative


Based on the likes of the Charles Krauthammer column I posted above (and others like it), I'd say Dr Brin is just calling them as they are.


-is doing nothing more than lamenting that we now have complex and sometimes overkill ways to deal with issues that were formerly handled in a more ex officio sense.
And on a deeper level he is bewailing a world in which this nonsense does not seem, well, nonsensical.


Since you and I recently discussed C.S Lewis's "That Hideous Strength", I wonder if you are describing what Ransom talked about as "things becoming more what they are." That in the (good) old days, one could fence-sit between extremes more readily, but "now" one must either be on one side or the other.


And in his anecdotes he is correct.


Yes and no. His anecdotes present a high-comedic caricature of liberalism run wild. I might as well give counterexamples of how much worse conservatives make things today by citing examples of Mr Bruns from "The Simpsons".

LarryHart said...

Nolly:

1957: Thomas attends a segregated school without textbooks, heat or windows. Or hope. Every media message tells him he is destined to be a servant.

2011: Thomas attends Caltech. He carries no handicaps of preconception because of his race. We all benefit from his research.

Unless Thomas is poor. If he is, his elementary / middle / high school isn't officially segregated, but it's demonstrably worse than the school the middle class and above kids are attending,...


Granted, but please recognize that you are not giving an example of something that was better in 1957 than today. Rather, a reminder that we haven't yet solved ALL the problems.

Tacitus2 said...

To the premise that intact families contribute greatly to the stability of society, and the observation that this is less true than in 1957 I expect little debate.

Another thought occurs to me. It's not just the villain of the moment Koch brothers who are insulated from the problems of society.

As a whole we are now at least as segregated as then. We are an automobile culture driving past the enclaves of public housing on the way to a gated community or a manse so far out in exurbia that you don't see the problems except on the news.

How often do Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reed get close enough to street people to hear, see and smell them? How often do any of you?

Me, I grew up in a poor neighborhood and still only have to walk a couple hundred yards (on my way to working at the Free Clinic) to go by run down rentals where the folks got nuthin'.

I have more respect for those who have grand plans to help the disadvantaged if they, ya know, actually encounter them from time to time.

Tacitus

LarryHart said...

Tacitus2:

To the premise that intact families contribute greatly to the stability of society, and the observation that this is less true than in 1957 I expect little debate.


Would you accept as readily the premise that job security also contributes greatly to the stability of society?

Tacitus2 said...

LarryHart

A fair question. My first thought was, sure. My second thought was that it depends on the nature of the security. Instances where a job is a sinecure, something that you can't be fired from no matter what, are good for an individual. And for his or her family, albeit not setting very good role models. But bad for society.

The larger question of what we will have people doing, now that we have less need of ore miners, buggy whip makers and assembly line workers intrigues me.

And the problem of how to prevent outsourcing of jobs....its not like we control the rest of the planet any more.

Tacitus

soc said...

The current higher divorce rate in southern Red states is almost all due to the higher divorce rate among blacks and hispanics (77 and 50% respectively). Factor out minorities (and lets recall that blacks in the south are solidly Dem voters) and the divorce rate in Missisipi is lower than in solid blue NH.
STD rates also parallel this uncomfortable cultural divide. Higher by far in minorities.


Anyone know how well these minorities do in Blue states? It would be interesting to do a Red vs Blue comparison of the racial divide.

David Brin said...

MULTIPLE REPLIES:

Ed Seedhouse... do not mistake the lack of Lunar bases from 2001 A SPace Odyssey as lack of progress. I explain why we are actually doing better, compared to that movie future, that you might think. http://www.davidbrin.com/2001.htm

Rob I thought I'd have to teach my sons how to deal with bullies. They did get black belts. But they asked "A guy looked sour at me, is that bullying?" Amateurs. Pure amateurs.

Alice, (And Larryhart), I have great hope! Once the grouchy baby boomers are out of the way, my kids' wiser generation will be calm problem-solvers.

Gilmoure, wow. Post that And link to me ;-)

Carl, I am certainly aware that all this transparency is dangerous, if it goes just one way. I believe the smart meter info on the top corporate officers should be offered reciprocally. Still, what do you expect? Do you think that rankled grouches like this guy are even remotely aware of how unstoppable this is? And that some solution other than simply "dang future and I hate it!" will be innovated.

Seriously Carl. LOOK at that guy! Have you ever seen a more archetypical "Get off my lawn!" crotchety jerk? We'll solve this - not by bitching. But by innovating and LOOKING BACK so that even if the mighty know a lot about us...

...they will never be empowered to use the knowledge AGAINST us.

David Brin said...

Tacitus, I announced the sci fi meetup all over the place. Was last Monday at O-Reilly's on 35th. Didn't know you'd be in NYC. You know you can email me?

It ain't innocuous... it (alas) is completely mainstream centrist-to-today's-right and if more than a few dozen folks use my rant to answer crazy uncles (or better, to arm the aunts who have to live with them) then it was well worthwhile... and fun.

You claim the jerk who wrote that 1957 comparison was right a lot and harmless. Wrong. He was wrong in all and every way possible, top to bottom and evil, to boot. His conflation of the screeches of amaybe 50,000 lefty flakes with the actual opinions of 100,000,000 liberals is typically Beckian and pure batshit lying.

Above all he is filled with wrath and hatred and determined to insult our parents, who made us better people than they were... as we hope our kids will be better than us.

Divorce is the one stat that appears worse... and that's only till you realize what a mixed-boon... but still a boon... it has been to women who had it much much worse with total assholes, in 1957.

Show me the source on the way race drags down southern states... but still... forgetaboutit! The Union has been pouring money into red america endlessly, on a net-positive basis for all of my life and an entire human lifespan before I was born! Huge capital investments, universities, space centers and vast vast vast capital factory investments... far more than received by northern states. WHEN WILL IT BE ENOUGH?

Tacitus, if they are so much better, wiser at values, smarter and better capitalists, can you please give me an estimate for when they will stop using "poverty" as an excuse?

2100 CE? 2250 CE? Stardate 3349.4?

When will they start PAYING US BACK? for the net tax bonus they have received since the Civil War?

Anonymous said...

This is great and all, and I know it's supposed to be a play on views that make the past look like it was a golden age. However, you're up to date versions of the scenarios are just as wrong. Racism isn't gone, society still shames women to not come forward after a sexual assault, bullying hasn't gone anywhere(see rash of suicides due to bullying by young gay men over the last 2 years), and communism isn't actually gone but that doesn't really matter.

Tacitus2 said...

No David, you misunderstood. I was nowhere near NYC, I just was hoping those who turned up had a good time.

The citation you request is the one I listed, the virginia.edu one. Page 15 iirc. the relevant snip;

"A closer examination, however, shows that this Red/Blue geographic
pattern of unwed births is heavily dictated by the racial and
ethnic make up of each state, as well as by educational and income
levels. States such as Mississippi and Louisiana are at the top partly
due to the extremely high unwed birth percentages for Blacks (77%)
and Hispanics (50%). The state with the highest overall unwed birth
percentage is New Mexico (51%), owing mainly to the contribution of
its large Hispanic population.
If one removes Blacks and Hispanics from the equation and looks
just at unwed births among Whites, a geographic pattern more influenced
by family traditionalism emerges. For the White population
only, the unwed birth percentage in Mississippi (26%) is lower than
for the White population in New Hampshire (27%). Unwed birth percentages
below the national average of 25% for Whites are also found
in the Red states of Alabama (21%), North Carolina (23%), and
Georgia (23%). In contrast, above average unwed birth percentages
for Whites are found the in secular and cohabitation-high Blue states
of Vermont (32%) and Maine (35%) and Oregon"

So long as we are in fact based mode, I should point out that the STD data is also skewed by the following:
States with highest percentage black population: MS, LA, GA, MD,SC, AL.
And per CDC, rates of STDs in blacks vs whites: chlamydia 8.7fold greater , Gonnorhea 20.5 X, Syphllis 9.1X. Look, I find these numbers uncomfortable. I don't want to cast aspersions. But much of the social malaise you attribute to Red America is, to our collective shame, concentrated in a sub group that votes 95% Democratic.

But I must correct myself a bit. I was trying to convey births to unwed mothers and mixed up the divorce stats. Divorce in Red America is common. But as to rates here's the top 6 states: NV, Ark, WY, WV, KY, OK. Only one bible belt state in there....
Sorry;

Tacitus

David Brin said...

Anon... the difference between a lefty and a liberal has so many aspects. But this is paramount. A lefty refuses ever to admit that progress has been huge and significant. A liberal admits progress has happened, and uses that as a REASON to demand more.

The former is as crazy as grouchy right wingers. God save us from loons of right AND left... though one is currently more dangerous than the other.

bradhawks5 said...

While I agree that the article that inspired David's rant is absurd, the crux of their argument against current trends is unfortunately of great concern to may people today, which lends it more credibility than it deserves.

Our current social and government attitudes are pushing us towards a society where personal responsibility and judgment are turned over to the state instead of exercised by individuals. This should be an alarming trend for everyone as these are key ingredients of individual freedom. If we delegate all of our decision making entirely to rules/regulations/laws/lawyers/bureaucrats then we are in a very real sense no longer free.

Children who are sent home from school for wearing a shirt the reads “I support the right to arm bears” because someone might find it offensive or wearing a charm bracelet that has a pistol hanging from it because of a zero weapons tolerance rule, are frighteningly Orwellian (both instances from a school district I monitor). And instances similar to those cited in the article, where students are expelled for carrying over the counter medication or teachers who refuse to help a child stuck in a tree due to insurance liability concerns, are alarming.

Good riddance to the violence glorified in the original article, but that does not invalidate the absurdity of calling the police and filing assault charges for every little altercation or expelling students and/or contacting federal authorities for nonsensical violations of zero drug/weapon tolerance policies. Our current situation is just as flawed as that of the past, all we can do is keep striving to improve.

Overly romanticizing any era is a mistake... even though we all love to do it.

David Brin said...

Bradhawks5 I understand your perspective. On another site I pointed out two huge examples of where a "lefty" agenda took over "liberal" politics and resulted in really bad things.

The teacher community indeed, deserves some hits for guild protection rules that hurt students. Also, while the NEW MATH of the 1960s and WHOLE LANGUAGE reading methods clearly were beneficial to high IQ students, the inability to recognize that phonics and memorized skills math were far better for average or below students was simply criminal.

Nevertheless, I must re-emphasize what I said to Jeff Minot. USUALLY the extreme lefty point of view is NOT the same as the liberal one. Progressivism is vile only if you accept Beck's definition, which applies to maybe 100,000 actual lefty flakes. Beck then tirades that those are the opinions of 100,000,000 liberals. Are you really so gullible? Have you ever repeated Beck's assertions to a regular liberal while asking "do you believe this?" No of course you haven't But try 20 or 30. They are the last pragmatic moderates in America.

Your anecdotal assertions are what passes for reason on today's right... they are anecdotal assertions. They do not represent the reasonable reactions of reasonable liberal people. They are churned out by Fox to justify incantations of hatred toward the smartest people in society.

subnumine said...

The rich refused to pay for the War of 1812. They may have been right.

bradhawks5 said...

Just to clarify, I hate Glen Beck, and I am not someone who uses the word lightly. I've been willing to honestly express the sentiment for only a few people in my life, I believe that Hate is the real source of evil in this world. To me Beck is the sort of charismatic, silver tonged, pseudo-intellectual, half truth wielding, hate monger that can be incredibly dangerous (he has already seduced my father and very nearly my brother).

The examples I used were chosen specifically because I either had first hand knowledge of the incidents, or I had sufficiently researched the incidents to confirm that they had taken place and had been personally appalled that they occurred (my two nephews and a friend, a documented incident where I live, and a well documented case in England). Though the extremists love to take these incidents and blow them out of proportion and scream that the sky is falling, the fact that I have first hand knowledge of two incidents in one school district in one year, and can verify reports of at least a half dozen other incidents is a bit alarming.

I didn't mean to come off as a screaming fear monger, but I have been begrudgingly forced to the conclusion that there is validity to their concerns. Even though people use such incidents to pen venom filled absurdities like the one you referenced, I think it is important to realize that he is preying on a genuine concern of many parents. I feel we should not be dismissive of those concerns while dismantling these bile filled articles.

If we're not careful the extremists on all sides will trick us into becoming extremists ourselves.

David Brin said...

Bradhawks I see I left out quotation marks when I was cribbing from my reply to that other guy!

The last para was for you. The one before it was to HIM! Please accept my apology. I meant only to chide you lightly for asserting anecdotes. Heck, my essay is full of em!

Al said...

The general idea - that we are in many ways better off today than in 1957 - is a good point to keep in mind.

This article was unconvincing, however. As Tacitus noted, the statistics on Red State vs. Blue State look very different when race is taken into account - which is to say, using statistics about your own political allies to smear your political opponents is misleading at best.

We should also bear in mind that some of the movements that have done so much good have also done a great deal of harm. It's great that women don't feel pressured to stay with abusive assholes anymore, but it also means that women feel no shame in leaving supportive, loving husbands in favor of abusive assholes. It may sound great that a child abuser will go directly to jail, but it also means that many children are hiding the abuse where they may not have before, because they know that their cries for help would only lead to the breakup of the only family they have ever known. Maya Angelou has written about her childhood when for many years she would speak to no one except her brother, because she was traumatized when she reported the man who raped her and someone killed him.

As for the taxes going to the Southern States - once again, the figures probably look quite different when race is taken into account, but let us also remember that prior to the War between the States the twenty percent of Americans who lived in these States paid eighty percent of federal taxes - and the war left that economy devastated for over a century. Concerned about paying taxes to fix things now? Well, you break it, you bought it.

Anonymous said...

"The nation is sucked into a decade of trillion dollar quagmire wars of attrition in Asia -- but for the first time in our nation's history the rich refuse to help pay for a desperate military struggle."

Of coure they won't pay. The rich are dictators of their respective corporate states. They're scrambling now to avoid the fate of fascists like Saddam, bin Laden, Mubarack, Gaddafi...

LarryHart said...

Tacitus2:


-> Would you accept as readily the
-> premise that job security also
-> contributes greatly to the
-> stability of society?

A fair question. My first thought was, sure. My second thought was that it depends on the nature of the security. Instances where a job is a sinecure, something that you can't be fired from no matter what, are good for an individual. And for his or her family, albeit not setting very good role models. But bad for society.


Agreed. I wasn't arguning for absolute security-no-matter-what. But in 1957, a good company man could expect to make a comfortable living, put his kids through school, and retire as a matter of course. Therefore, he could concentrate on doing his job without spending a large amount of time and energy worrying about that other stuff. Good for the individual AND for the company.

"What's good for General Motors" really WAS good for the USA (from a certain point of view).

These days, you've got the likes of Alan Greenspan declaring that his job was to keep a certain minimum level of "worker insecurity" in order to supress wage levels. Everything is measured in terms of keeping down costs, which means we have cheap goods, but it also means (in Dr Brin's terms) that money is as low-velocity as it can possibly be, which is recessionary. No wonder we can't fix a recession.


The larger question of what we will have people doing, now that we have less need of ore miners, buggy whip makers and assembly line workers intrigues me.


Me too, and I'd love to have a whole long, separate conversation with you about that. I don't think we'd be all that philosophically opposed.

In addition to the question of what to do with obsolete professions. There's also the question of what to do when the system's need for human labor is much, much less than it ever was. To me, that fact should free everyone to work less for a good standard of living, which sounds to me an awful lot like what works in most of Europe. However, the prevailing view in the States seems to be that if there is less need for human labor, then humans have reduced means for earning a living, so they're "free" to be poor.


And the problem of how to prevent outsourcing of jobs....its not like we control the rest of the planet any more.


We could start by not ENCOURAGING the outsourcing of jobs with tax policy. We could also re-introduce a tarrif system that would keep US workers from having to "compete" with slave labor, and keep the country from having to compete with those willing to despoil their living space.

David Smelser said...

As for careers in the future, I think the end result might be what you see in star trek -- low service jobs (barbers and bartenders) and highly skilled jobs (captains and science officers). The only mid level jobs are red shirts and those don't turn out well.

As for reducing outsourcing, I'm in favor of tariffs based on working conditions and pollution levels. We shouldn't allow US companies to evade US labor law and environmental rules because exploiting workers and the environment is universally bad (and not just bad in America).

Tacitus2 said...

LarryHart

I guess when DB opens up a huge topic like this the threads will disperse in all directions!

Europe is on the way to a solution, but slowly. The birthrate is low, so eventually one imagines that population and demand for labor will be in balance. The US is sorta going the same direction. We no longer need, and thus no longer have, farm familes of 8 kids to help "bring in the sheaves".

There is that pesky subject of immigration in both places*, but having already played with the dynamite on racial inequality I am not gonna go there.

Hey, if you are ever in WI, (or perhaps I in IL) lets have that long discussion over appropriate beverage!

Tacitus

(in one week in France I saw more fascist/anti immigrant activity that in the past 20 years in the states! So much for their hectoring us about our right wing politics!)

LarryHart said...

Tacitus2:

(in one week in France I saw more fascist/anti immigrant activity that in the past 20 years in the states! So much for their hectoring us about our right wing politics!)


No doubt about it, Europe is going through its own anti-immigrant right-wing phase. I think it's been kept under wraps sort of the way racism was kept under wraps here in the 40s and 50s, and now it's blasting its way into the open. And I agree--Europe lecturing us about inclusiveness is kind of like...well, kind of like Waukeshau County lecturing Chicago about electoral misfeasance.

Heh.

Ok, I guess I owe you the first beer for that one.

I think you're kind of missing my point on human labor, though. Sure, populations will stabilize and so will employment patterns. But that's not exactly what I mean. Technology has helped bring us to a level of incredible productivity (unit of value per unit of work). To me, that should mean "everyone works less for a decent standard of living" rather than "capitalists pay everyone else less and keep the bounty for themselves."

My ridiculously extreme example--if we found ourselves in the Garden of Eden, everyone should live off the land for free. It should NOT mean that everyone starves to death for lack of a way to earn money to pay the owners of the fruit trees.

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin:

Alice, (And Larryhart), I have great hope! Once the grouchy baby boomers are out of the way, my kids' wiser generation will be calm problem-solvers.


Hey, I'm ONE of those baby boomers, albeit late to that party (1960). And I'm trying very hard (with varied success) NOT to be a grouchy one. I hope and pray my own efforts to "keep my anger in check" fare better than the Sleestak from "Land of the Lost".

But to your point--having an almost-10 year old of my own, I sincerely hope for her sake that you are correct. For my own sake, I see very little hope, and I find it sad that my ambitions have degraded from the expectation of a secure and prosperous retirement for my wife and myself to something resembling "As long as I don't die of torture, I'm golden." The flip-side of that reduced expectation being "A man without hope is a man without fear". And I don't say that lightly, either. I used to be an incredible coward. It's strange to find myself feeling "Nothing less to lose is another word for 'freedom'."

But as I say, for my daughter's sake, I hope for the better world that you envision. Your optimism keeps me coming back "here", as does the theme you seem to advance in your novels (knowingly or otherwise) that perhaps doing the honorable thing leads to the best outcome after all. (Here, I'm thinking primarily of the ending to "The Uplift War", but you've really got it going on all over the place.)

Corey said...

It's worth noting, on the subject of immigration, that the issue is becoming less and less significant for the US as Mexico becomes much more economically prosperous and opportunities increase.

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2011/07/06/world/americas/20110706-IMMIGRATION.html?ref=illegalimmigrants

Our own population has been growing slowly anyways, but if immigration starts grinding to a standstill, I don't suspect it'll be growing much at all before long.

Tacitus2 said...

LarryHart

I do understand your point. But it leads into another free for all discussion realm.

If we guarantee a decent standard of living, do we do so in an absolute or relative sense.
The point is no less valid for having been made before, but the working poor of 2011 live like the wealthy of 1957, and like the kings of olden times.

A wealthy man in 1957 could own his own stereo, go to the movies every weekend, and afford to buy books to satisfy his every interest.

Heck, your ipad does all that and lots more.

Technology has done this for us.
The problem comes when you define a decent living as some multiple of the bling and brass that the rich can afford. A progressive might set the percentage closer to 100% than a conservative might.

To cite an egregious example, the failure of Healthcare reform will be that Obama decided that rather than reign in costs he would make the outrageous American health care bazaar into a right.

Ah, I am running on. Night shift ahead, time to nap.

Tacitus

Paul451 said...

I've always found it odd, locally, that seemingly Very Smart People alternatively obsess over two issues: A) Ageing population. There won't be enough workers to replace the retiring babyboomers. And B) Unemployment. How do we find jobs for everyone when industry is becoming more automated?

Errr, A-B = 0 ? We replace retiring workers with currently unemployed, 1=1. Reduced unemployment levels pay for increased pension levels, 1=1.

LarryHart said...

Tacitus2:

I do understand your point. But it leads into another free for all discussion realm.


No surprise there. :)


If we guarantee a decent standard of living, do we do so in an absolute or relative sense.
The point is no less valid for having been made before, but the working poor of 2011 live like the wealthy of 1957, and like the kings of olden times.
...
The problem comes when you define a decent living as some multiple of the bling and brass that the rich can afford. A progressive might set the percentage closer to 100% than a conservative might.


I get that we can't mandate everybody an above-average standard of living.

And I don't claim to have a final answer here, but I do have some notions.

One: that in a country as wealthy as ours, there should be SOME level of necessity that can be guaranteed as a right of citizenship. And I'll even give you that "guaranteed" doesn't mean it has to be free. But it should be accessible. At the very least, we should not have (as in "Grapes of Wrath") millions starving while food aplenty dies on the vine for want of picking just because there's no profit in getting the food to the starving people.

Two: that we let people work less for less money OR work more for more money. We don't have that situation now--we have one where in order to retain a job at all, one must prove himself more willing to be a slave than those he competes with for the job. So one man is overworked (albeit grateful for an income at all) while nine others lose their homes for lack of employment. That's not my idea of what "freedom" is all about.

As I say...just notions so far, not specifics as to how to implement anything. We can hash that out at the bar.


To cite an egregious example, the failure of Healthcare reform will be that Obama decided that rather than reign in costs he would make the outrageous American health care bazaar into a right.


I agree more than I disagree. I WANT national health-care coverage as a right of citizenship. I don't necessarily think that means everyone gets "Cadillac" coverage for no charge. I wish the President had gone for "Medicare for everyone" rather than keeping the insurance companies between me and my doctor. But I don't entirely blame him. Had he not gotten the insurance companies and pharmacutical companies on board, they'd have dropped a couple'a billion dollars into an anti-Obamacare "swift boat" campaign without even working up a sweat. If 2014 actually brings us health insurance that can't be "recissioned" out from under us, I'll be...not "happy" maybe, but somewhat satisfied.

David Brin said...

Tacitus, as a guy who lived in Europe over extended periods, I can say I agree with many criticisms of their culture. This notion that society owes them early retirement and that work is somehow unworthy of respect is well, loony. They think we are nuts because we like to work, and have been adjusting the retirement age upward. No, that is an area where we're the sane ones! And yes, they are proving to be worse racists.

On the other hand, our attitudes about health care are stark jibbering nuts.

Corey is right. The greatest accomplishment of all would be the simple common sense goal of helping mexico to be a middle class ally... and moving the immigration problem border down to central america. Um duh?

David Brin said...

Al, sorry, but it does not wash. Do you hear what you are saying??? That in Texas and Alabama their dismal showing in all the "social values" metrics is excusable and they escape hypocrisy charges... because their neighbors who are in ethnic minorities are suffering hugely?

You are kidding, right? The white-conservative majority in those states run them with an iron grip, reinforced by total gerrymandering. They claim to have a total-perfect grasp of what it takes to govern well, to enhance capitalist performance, stimulate a great economy, run excellent schools and teach kids high values...

...and at the same time they are off-the-hook for lousy performance in all categories when it comes to their large ethnic minorities?

HORSE HOCKEY!

(1) Show me the proof of your assertion. All you have to do is walk down their streets and see the white folks waddling obese and smoking to know that at least some of the stats apply across the board to them. And that's at just a glance!

(2) So, you admit that these people have continued their racism of the past, failing their ethnic neighbors to a catastrophic degree that simply has not happened in the blue cities.

Remember, your statistical escape hole cuts both ways! If the white red states have low stats because they failed their minorities, then the blues have high stats because they have succeeded with theirs!

Jeez, your anecdote about women choosing jerks is both somewhat true and very repulsive.

But the claim about the Civil War is just plain dopey. Please dig this carefully: If they know a better way of life and better governance AND they have had 150 years of huge net-tax help, then the EXCUSE is OVER!

Crap! Look at Germany and Japan! Smashed far far far flatter than the Confederacy ever was, they rebounded within a single generation. That excuse is for lazy whiners. I repeat that lazy whiners.

Hell, let me repeat it again because it cannot be repeated often enough. Using Sherman as an excuse... when you claim to have a better grasp on governance and life at all levels and in all ways... and when you have had 150 years of help...

... is the hypocrisy of lazy, hypocritical whiners.

Anonymous said...

Remember Rosa Parks? Back of the bus 2011:

http://news.yahoo.com/ny-may-close-bus-makes-women-sit-back-152718020.html

This one involves the First Amendment (church vs. state), the trend to privatizing public services or subsiding private services, and chivalry.

Stefan Jones said...

"the War between the States"

I like Fredrick Douglas's term:
The Slaveholders' Uprising.

"the twenty percent of Americans who lived in these States paid eighty percent of federal taxes"

That would sure be a tragedy if the taxpayers down there actually DID ANY OF THE GODDAMN WORK.

* * *
Global warming 'confirmed' by independent study

The Earth's surface really is getting warmer, a new analysis by a US scientific group set up in the wake of the "Climategate" affair has concluded.

"The Berkeley Earth Project has used new methods and some new data, but finds the same warming trend seen by groups such as the UK Met Office and Nasa.

The project received funds from sources that back organisations lobbying against action on climate change.

. . .

Funding came from a number of sources, including charitable foundations maintained by the Koch brothers, the billionaire US industrialists, who have also donated large sums to organisations lobbying against acceptance of man-made global warming."
* * *
The harsh, metallic sound you hear are from skeptics dragging the goal posts to their next fallback position.



'pewedu': Domain name for Skunk University.

Rob said...

@Tacitus, I make the same points at times.

But still, it's difficult to be optimistic when the end effect of even a minor ailment which must be tended right away, say like a kidney stone on a weekend, is tended to only upon agreement that I forfeit all the money I've ever saved. Or that an insurance package against such an event requires a double-digit percentage of my income, which is higher than triple-poverty. With those costs outstripping inflation by an order of magnitude, it's hard for me to believe that I will continue to live "like kings".

Robert said...

Loved the rant, and I largely agree. Though, if you want to load it the other way, try 1910 vs 1940 in Europe (unfair, I admit). There were some decidedly un-crazy old people around when I was a little kid who would still sigh when they talked about the time before World War I. However, the clown who wrote the article that touched off your rant doesn't deserve to be in their company.

Bob P.

rewinn said...

"... twenty percent of Americans who lived in these States paid eighty percent of federal taxes..."

False:
Northern states: 21 million
Southern states: 9 million

Oh, wait - did you mean to exclude the 3.5 million slaves from your count of Southerners? Well, that would make the population figures roughly work out, but it also destroys your "you break it you bought it argument" since most of the "federal taxes" came from stolen property: the product of labor taken by force. A thief has no moral claim to be made whole when deprived of the fruits of his crime.

---

"...It's great that women don't feel pressured to stay with abusive assholes anymore, but it also means that women feel no shame in leaving supportive, loving husbands in favor of abusive assholes...."

Uhm, what's the "great harm" with this, exactly?

Do women really need to be protected from making bad romantic choices, or do men need to be protected from having their wives dump them?

---

"...It may sound great that a child abuser will go directly to jail, but it also means that many children are hiding the abuse where they may not have before, because they know that their cries for help would only lead to the breakup of the only family they have ever known. ..."

Also false ( and creepy; this is an argument straight from the abuser's handbook); there is no evidence that "many" children who would previously have reported their abuser are now remaining silent; abusers *already* mindf*ck their victims to shut down reporting; if you really need evidence I can go look up some case histories.

Tony Fisk said...

Stefan: Australia having passed the carbon tax, the fallback positions now appear to be:

- rearguard action saying tax will hamstring Australian economy and not achieve a thing cf China

- blood oaths that the thing will get repealed come the next election (there's an assumption there. Quite likely, but there are a few counterpoints as well)

- (media) agitation that renewables can't hack it.

- (state) regulation to ensure that renewables can't hack it.

Occupy Melbourne got evicted yesterday. Amid the usual over-hype about police brutality were other disturbing reports of police removing ID. Personally, I think that a uniformed person without ID is impersonating a police officer: not legal.

sociotard said...

Well, this is strange. And depressing. And stupid.

Call For A Strike of American Small Businesses Against The Movement for Global Socialism
Resolved that: The Obama administration and the Democrat-controlled Senate, in alliance with a global Progressive socialist movement, have participated in what appears to be a globalist socialist agenda of redistribution of wealth, and the waging of class warfare against our constitutional republic's heritage of individual rights, free market capitalism, and indeed our Constitution itself, with the ultimate goal of collapsing the U.S. economy and globalizing us into socialism.

Resolved that: President Obama has seized what amount to dictatorial powers to bypass our Congress, and that because the Congress is controlled by a Progressive socialist Senate that will not impeach one of their kind, they have allowed this and yielded what are rightfully congressional powers to this new dictator.

Resolved that: By their agenda and actions, those in our government who swore oaths to protect and defend our Constitution have committed treason against the United States.

Resolved that: The current administration and Democrat majority in the Senate, in conjunction with Progressive socialists from all around the country, especially those from Hollywood and the left leaning news media ( Indeed, most of the news media. ) have worked in unison to advance an anti-business, an anti-free market, and an anti-capitalist ( anti-individual rights and property ownership ) agenda.

Resolved that: These same factions expect that, by carrying out a radical anti-business agenda, which includes the passage and inflicting of Obama"Care" on our nation, class warfare and redistribution of wealth, and expanding the government, while killing businesses in this country with an environment hostile to business, including excessive regulations ( the average business must now spend about $11,700 per year per employee to comply with government regulations! ), and by borrowing and wasting more money than has been spent in the entire previous existence of our republic, that they will "create jobs", when in fact all they have "created" have been government jobs that consume wealth, and don't "create" it.

Resolved that: Our President, the Democrats-Socialists, most of the media, and most of those from Hollywood, have now encouraged and supported "Occupy" demonstrations in our streets, which are now being perpetrated across the globe, and which are being populated by various marxists, socialists and even communists, and are protesting against business, private property ownership and capitalism, something I thought I'd never see in my country, in my lifetime.

I, an American small business owner, part of the class that produces the vast majority of real, wealth producing jobs in this country, hereby resolve that I will not hire a single person until this war against business and my country is stopped.

I hereby declare that my job creation potential is now ceased.

“I’m on strike!”

Corey said...

Anyone who has followed this issue has known that the Earth is warming; that hasn't really been in question for decades.

The station problems were never substantial (because bad stations show the same warming as good stations, and because we have hundreds of first order stations), and besides, what about satellite data? Even UAH, a climate department run by SKEPTIC Roy Spencer, shows warming. What about rising sea levels? What about retreating glaciers? What about northward trends in biological ranges and migration patterns?


Muller's Berkeley project isn't revealing in showing that the Earth is warming; it's revealing in showing that no matter how many independent lines of data all say the same thing, self-proclaimed "skeptics" like Anthony Watts will never be convinced. Every time BEST comes along a little further, Watts changes his objection. I wonder what it'll be next...

Stefan Jones said...

I'm going to avoid depressing crap for the weekend.

Here is a lovely CGI advertisement for Sapporro Beer. Imaginative, whimsical eye-candy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=K-Rs6YEZAt8

NB: Not only am I not associated with Sapporo, I don't drink!

Richard Cartwright said...

While I agree that things are getting better, you can find a reported case or news story for every one of the guy's 2010 scenarios. As a nation we have mislaid a lot of our common sense and diluted our shared common values.

LarryHart said...

sociotard,

The "I am on strike" is a clue that this is a Randroid.

The rest of it...all the accusations against the President and the "Democrat-controlled Senate" are so devoid of reality as to be laughable except for the fact that many Americans believe this sort of shit. I mean, the Senate is filibuster-controlled by the Republicans, and the president has so far given in to the corporatists more than Clinton and Reagan did.

As to the guy "pledging" not to create jobs--that's sort of like me pledging not to vote Republican. It's a justification for not doing something he wasn't going to do in the first place. It would be more honest to say "Now I'm GLAD I'm not creating any jobs!", in the same voice that a fourth grader in my old neighborhood once declared "Well, I'm GLAD I struck out!"

Corey said...

@Sociotard

Every time I hear someone on the far right say the words "global socialist agenda, I'm instantly reminded of Chief Bromden and The Combine


For better or worse, I think you just permanently strengthened that association :)

LarryHart said...

Corey:

Anyone who has followed this issue has known that the Earth is warming; that hasn't really been in question for decades.


I wish.

The guy I refer to as my formerly-rational conservative buddy (who went insane after Obama's election) argued with a completely straight face (and wasn't being sarcastic) that the 20 inches of snow in the midwest last winter proved global warming was false.

Even though this is someone knowledgable enough to know that when air that is usually five degrees warms up to twenty-five degrees, you could easily get MORE snow, not less.

Also, even though, at the exact same time, snow was being trucked into the Vancouver Olympics because of record warming there.

Nope, it was snowing a lot in Chicago and in Lincoln, NE. Therefore, it can't possibly be global warming.

People really do believe that.

Corey said...

@Larryhart

Don't worry, I won't deny that there are crazy people in the world (if I did, you'd just point to Sociotard's awesome article!).

I simply meant that the evidence has showed that conclusively, beyond any shadow of a doubt, many times over, for quite a while :)

David Brin said...

The incantations must become more fervent and intense, as reality threatens.

It is human nature and may prevent us from reaching the stars.

David Brin said...

Wow. Go watch that Sapporo beer thing Stefan cited.

LarryHart said...

From the site sociotard pointed to:

I, an American small business owner, part of the class that produces the vast majority of real, wealth producing jobs in this country, hereby resolve that I will not hire a single person until this war against business and my country is stopped.

I hereby declare that my job creation potential is now ceased.

“I’m on strike!”


Geez, I already commented on this one without first seeing that it really IS a Randroid site. The first line on the actual site is a quote from "Atlas Shrugged Part I--the movie based on the novel by Ayn Rand".

The director of that movie claims to be "on strike" against making the other two parts because Part I was universally panned by the critics. So the baby is going to hold his breath until he turns blue. Just like the voice doing this ridiculous "pledge".

Thanks for the laugh, though, even though I now need a drink and a shower.

I think it was someone posting above said he hates Glenn Beck, and that he doesn't use the word lightly because hate is a bad thing for the one doing it. I totally agree. I try very hard not to give into the dark side, obsessing about people I disagree with to the point of "hating" them. But this Civil War III thing is causing me to HATE the culture warriors like the effing idiot who made that ridiculous pledge. I hope there is an afterlife, so he can spend eternity having God explain to him how idiotically wrong he was, and what a waste of matter and energy his life represented.

Tacitus2 said...

If we can loop back to the original topic. David I think you have some 'splainin' to do. In your admitted rant you said:

"Rates for all of these things -- ALL of them -- are much higher in other parts of America - the parts that scream at us how much more "moral" their "values" are. (It's plain statistical fact. And any nostalgia junkie can choke on it.)"

The implication was that the republican votin' rednecks in the Red states were being hypocritical as numerous markers for societal ill were higher there than in the Blue world.

Ah, but as I have tried to gently point out, those stats are deceptive. Much, perhaps most, in some cases all, of the increased rates of std, teen pregnancy and perhaps obesity in the deep South are related to the "blue within the red" sub group of African Americans. I have put forward stats to this effect, and believe me, I have lots more.

Would an apology to southern Red America not be in order? Lord knows they have their faults, and the divorce stat seems to have some validity, but you have laid a pile of calumny upon their doorsteps and they don't deserve it all.

So, you miss the paleo conservatives? Well, I miss D. Patrick Moynihan who was eloquently speaking about the self destruction of Black America long before things got this horrendous.

Here more than anywhere else Obama could be effective. He ought to be livid on the topic of the breakdown of the black family. But it seems to more or less be a forbidden zone.

Lets be honest on a very touchy subject. Black America is a mess, and there are a lot of contributing factors.

But for the moment I would just suggest that you acknowlege that the "plain statistical facts" you allude to have an element of, at best, GIGO in them.

I would not level a charge of Ostrichism at you as you can be counted on to look at inconvenient data when someone takes the time to point it out to you!

Tacitus

Dwight Williams said...

Re: Occupy Melbourne's eviction - the police removed their name tags before commencing the eviction?

Someone in Melbourne learned the Wrong Lesson from the G20 in Toronto, didn't they?

rewinn said...

@Sociotard - the author of the small business strike appears to be an underemployed process server who is peddling a political book. If offered more business than she can execute herself, would she subcontract it or violate her free market principles? I don't know, but can you see any actual businessperson refusing to make money by hiring help?

@Tacitus - would you mind linking to your data? I don't doubt the statistics you have presented, but it is impossible to discuss them intelligently without having a look at the numbers. One suspects that economics are involved; red states tend rural, blue states tend urban, and would it not be wholly remarkable if economy had no discernable impact on family?

And ... of course ... the discussion of race, family and political subdivisions of our United States is but a sideshow to the major point of OP: that an attitude favoring progress (whether politically progressive or something else) is pretty darn important to our particular nations (we may not all be Americans) and the world ... and that attitude is under attack.
---
The beer ad was delightful! Spending at least a little time each day being amused at something wonderful is, I speculate, important for health. May I recommend Rapture Bomb and Never Question Authority?

David Brin said...

Tacitus, you clearly did not read my rebuttal of that point, so I will repeate it verbatim below.

But first... "blue within red"??? So people in Alabama are automatically "blue" because they aren't white? Oh no my friend! They fall in the red column because they were GOVERNED by Red governors and legislatures, under "wise and better" red laws, in red-run schools that taught according to red agendas.

Gerrymandered states, they have absolutely no excuse that democrats ever blocked their agendas, and states have vastly more power over daily life than the feds do. Any failures are the states' fault, not the feds. ESPECIALLY COMPARATIVE rates of failure.

Bah... I will post my rebuttal now, from earlier (the heat is not aimed at you tho; you know I respect you; there was another guy who made the same point, but in really evil ways.)


(1) Show me the proof of your assertion that all red state faults can be heaped on their minorities. All you have to do is walk down their streets and see the white folks waddling obese and smoking to know that at least some of the stats apply across the board to them. And that's at just a glance!

(2) So, you admit that these people have continued their racism of the past, failing their ethnic neighbors to a catastrophic degree that simply has not happened in the blue cities.

Remember, your statistical escape hole cuts both ways! If the white-red states have low stats because they failed their minorities, then the blues have high stats because they have succeeded far better with theirs!

But the claim about the Civil War (that the red states are poor and benighted now because of Sherman's march to the sea) is just plain dopey. Please dig this carefully: If they know a better way of life and better governance AND they have had 150 years of huge net-tax help, then the EXCUSE is OVER!

Crap! Look at Germany and Japan! Smashed far far far flatter than the Confederacy ever was, they rebounded within a single generation. That excuse is for lazy whiners. I repeat that lazy whiners.

Hell, let me repeat it again because it cannot be repeated often enough. Using Sherman as an excuse... when you claim to have a better grasp on governance and life at all levels and in all ways... and when you have had 150 years of help...

... is the hypocrisy of lazy, hypocritical whiners.


Tacitus, that was aimed at another guy... a douche ... and not at you. But the logical content is equally applicable. You do not get to take Red America off the hook. They are bloody hypocrites who screech at us that they are more wise while failing wisdom in every conceivable way and refusing to even remotely talk facts or compromise, while spreading hatred of science.

Salt of the earth my intellectual ass.

Tacitus2 said...

ReWinn
I am still six hours from end of shift and perhaps a couple more from convenient laptop access. But I will post some links presently.
Perhaps I will add a few that will be harder to blame on those perfidious Red necks who, we are to believe, influence every aspect of private life in Ol' Dixie.
Tacitus

David McCabe said...

We often hear that unemployment is high because we can now produce all we need without employing everybody. That high-tech automation has made unemployment permanent, and the only question is how to administer the purple wage.

Baloney.

First of all, automation has been increasing for centuries; somehow we keep finding uses for the excess labor.

But dispense with history; look outside your window! If there's no use for further human labor, if the wonders of modern automation can supply us with all the wealth we need... Why is the sidewalk cracked? Why is everything still half-assed and ugly, especially in the public realm? Why are projects scuttled because of cost?

The fact is that our economic system is failing to allocate human labor effectively. There is plenty of work to do! How can people not see this? Am I missing something?

d said...

I second David McCabe's comments about there NOT being a labour surplus!

There are tons of things that could be done if the 1% had not salted away all of the resources

sivilce nasıl geçer said...

be sure that this will help me very much thank you

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin:

You do not get to take Red America off the hook. They are bloody hypocrites who screech at us that they are more wise...


Not only more wise, but more "real American". While (in my opinion) failing THAT test in just about every way as well.


while failing wisdom in every conceivable way and refusing to even remotely talk facts or compromise, while spreading hatred of science.


Salt of the earth my intellectual ass.

Well, "salt of the earth" might apply in an ironic sense. The salt that an invading army sows the earth with so that crops won't grow for centuries.

LarryHart said...

David McCabe:

The fact is that our economic system is failing to allocate human labor effectively. There is plenty of work to do! How can people not see this? Am I missing something?


What you're missing (I presume intentionally) is that the money to PAY workers to do all that stuff is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few, and THEY have no incentive or desire to pay workers to improve the public realm. It's not profitable for THEM.

In "Grapes of Wrath", fruit rotted on the vine for lack of picking, while millions of migrant workers slowly starved for lack of work. Sounds like a problem that could easily solve itself. Except that in real life, the problem wasn't "How can we get that food to the starving people?" The problem was "How can the owners of the food make money doing so?"

I'm afraid that were we to wake up tomorrow in the Garden of Eden, we'd all starve to death for lack of gainful employment because we'd lack a means of paying whoever claimed OWNERSHIP of the fruit trees.

Anonymous said...

Alice remembers hope; I remember fear: the air raid drills, the bomb shelters, the "duck and cover" campaign all convinced me that Armageddon was near, was just a matter of time.

Paul451 said...

Tacitus2,
I get what you're trying to argue, but I don't believe that you can fairly compare:
Blue States whole of population, with Red States whites-only.

To corrent for population mix differences, you have to compare:
Solid Blue States, whites only, with solid Red States, white only,
and
Those same Blue States, sans blancos, with those same Red States, sans rouge-cous.

And I have no idea what those numbers are, but for David's rant not to hold, at the very least African Americans would have be no worse off in Red States than in Blue States.

"Would an apology to southern Red America not be in order?"

Really? For sucking at helping minorities? Surely that's less apology-worthy as it is an "Oh and another thing...!"

(guity: Not inncent.)

David McCabe said...

What you're missing (I presume intentionally) is that the money to PAY workers to do all that stuff is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few, and THEY have no incentive or desire to pay workers to improve the public realm. It's not profitable for THEM.

Of course. This is what I meant by saying, "our economic system is failing to allocate human labor effectively". The question is, why do we so often hear from smart blog commentators that "those people are just obsolete now"?

Paul451 said...

LarryHart,
"The guy [argued] that the 20 inches of snow in the midwest last winter proved global warming was false."

I don't know if I've posted this before, but your comment reminded me of it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-F8EO3qOVk

(Turing word: Cross)

Tacitus2 said...

Statistics and contention. What combination.
My beef with David's rant was predicated on the notion that he was calling white-south America hypocritical because they tout their traditional values yet have distressing rates of stds, out of wedlock births etc. (I am giving up on divorce stats, they are problematic in several ways).

my contention was that it was cheating to use stats that were heavily influenced by a group that is certainly living in said Red states but would not regard themselves as "Red" politically, and presumably are not making noise about family values.

Black America has horrendous social issues. I take no pleasure in reporting them.

David cried foul, saying in essence that since southern whites have by and large been making the rules, apportioning the resources etc that they bear responsibility in all particulars for what I describe as "blue within red".

Conservatives tend to ascribe a little more importance to personal responsibility, especially in private matters like this, but for purposes of discussion I will foolishly march forward.

I am going to do this again in two parts, as I dread character limits. All stats will be derived from census data, or from either cdc or local health department info.

ReWinn, refer back to my earlier post that excerpts the virginaedumarriage project. It is based on census data.

Tacitus

Tacitus2 said...

Can we examine the social trends of black America outside the South? If the negative trends are due not to the residue of Jim Crow and Klan then attributing them to the white population of the South becomes problematic.

The population of Mississippi is 38% black. By numbers the largest black population in a county is Cook in IL. Chicago proper is 36.8% black. The district of Columbia is 60% black. Percentage of births to unmarried mothers in the three? MS 54% DC 59% Chicago 51.9%. Recall that the overall rate of births to blacks that were to non married women is appalling. I found a 2010 estimate of 72%.

STD rates seem to be calculated by race rather often. According to CDC the rates of chlamydia nationwide are 8.7 fold greater in blacks than whites. That of gonorrhea 20.5 fold greater. Cook county in 2008 did worse...a 24 fold differential in chlamydia and 63 fold in gonnorhea.

The overall rates of Chlamydia and Gonnorhea in DC are 4835 and 1687 per 100k respectively. In Mississippi 4079 and 1142.

I could go on, but this is depressing. Point being, as before, that statistics can deceive. Are Rahm Emmanual, and Oprah and Larry Hart to blame for the lousy numbers regarding Black Chicago? Is the consistently Democratic leadership of DC to blame for their numbers?

Red, Blue, whatever. These stats are a national shame. I just don't find it useful to put the blame exclusively on a group to whom one feels a degree of ranting animus. That is the path to ostrichism.

Sincerely

Tacitus

David Brin said...

20 minutes left before rapture deadline, california time.

Of course it's passed in Florida...

Geez read this: http://www.christianpost.com/news/harold-camping-oct-21-rapture-god-stopped-saving-people-in-may-family-radio-says-58476/

http://www.christianpost.com/news/harold-
camping-oct-21-rapture-god-stopped-
saving-people-in-may-family-radio-
says-58476/

Dang... forgot to post that... too late

David Brin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Brin said...

Tacitus, I am willing to ponder separately the cultural baggage that has long helped to stymie advancement in Black America. Though with great care because polemic here can back you in the ass, hard, years later. I went to an 80% black high school in 1968, a time of extreme tension, so I know a thing or two. Certainly Obama and the Black Muslims and Bill Cosby and others have stepped up and chided and pushed responsibility movements that have made a difference.

One can stare at the huge incarceration rates among black males and see some real reason behind their brittle, harsh feelings and a chip on the shoulder that makes them resent finger-wagging lectures. In fact, that indignant pride isn't that much different from the mania in Red-white America... what they used to call an inferiority complex, that manifests as a raging uplifted fist aimed at those who think they are better.

(A sci fi eugenics-leaning dope might even raise the issue of how removal of so many males might change genetic profiles... but he'd be an asshole. I've encountered such guys.)

Am I proclaiming the LEFT knows all? Fie! Remember, I'm the guy who proclaims the Clinton-Gingrich Welfare Reform Bill as the high point of bipartisan governance in the last 20 years, removing that dire word ("welfare") from most peoples' political vocabularies. Most of the family-disincentives that conservatives rightfully raged against were removed then. And in the CLinton economy, things were really looking up for Black America.

My greatest anger is against the DeLay monsters who kicked Gingrich out for the crime of negotiating, and who have transformed conservatism from a legitimate voice of discourse into an insane asylum.

The point is that none of this has anything much to do with the topic at-hand. It is just excuse-making incantation. There are blue states with as large a minority component as any red state and those blue states all do better on all the social metrics. California and New York vs Texas and Alabama? Hands down. All categories.

And if Texas and Bama are dragged down by their minorities it proves they are lousy at governance and CA and NY are better at helping theirs.

The issue, I remind you, is culture war, not race. All the Republican candidates except Johnson and Huntsman are screaming at the top of their lungs that Blue America is sick. Yes Paul too.

They howl that they know governance and morality and economics far better than the parts of America that are better governed, more productive, more generous ... and yes far more moral by every statistical way that morality can be objectively measured.

They ran America off a cliff, proved that they govern insanely, and are now leading a charge to retake what they ruined.

That's the topic.

Paul451 said...

Tacitus2,
Thanks for trying to dig out the actual numbers, but... you dug up the wrong ones...

David didn't mention the racial health divide in his original rant. He just said, paraphrasing, "Red states have worse stats than Blue states". It was you who said, again paraphrasing, "Ah, but that's because there's more African Americans in Red states and that screws the stats."

That's why I tried to point out that you can't actually refute David's rant that way. If you want to correct for differences in population mixes, you have to compare apple-with-apples.

White populations in Red vs Blue, and, separately, non-white population in Red vs Blue. (Or black vs black, separate to non-black vs non-black.)

Only then can you actually refute David's claims.

(Aside: I'd also love to see such an apple-vs-apples comparison between the top ten reddest voting states, the top ten bluest voting states, and the ten states that switch parties the most.)

"Conservatives tend to ascribe a little more importance to personal responsibility, especially in private matters like this,"

But don't Conservatives believe that it's better to have a society that places more value in personal responsibility? Ie, it leads to a better society, while nanny-stating leads to societal decay. If so, then shouldn't the "personal responsibility" States be vastly better off by now? Isn't that David's point?

Ie, if Conservative politicians have the inside track on Family Values, why is their divorce rate higher than Progressive politicians? If Conservatives have all the economic wisdom, why do their states suck economically? If Liberalism causes moral breakdown, like teen pregnancy, why is the teen pregnancy rate higher in Conservative states?

LarryHart said...

Tacitus2:

Red, Blue, whatever. These stats are a national shame. I just don't find it useful to put the blame exclusively on a group to whom one feels a degree of ranting animus. That is the path to ostrichism.


I'll leave it to our host to say whether the lack-of-family-values thing he's ascribing to Red America is coming from its black population. I will say that that was not what came to mind when Dr Brin mentioned the subject.

What first came to my mind was (say) Newt Gingrich and his ex-wives, or that South Carolina governor on the Appilachan Trail, vs the too-wholesome-to-believe family of the current president.

I realize that Democrats have had their bad moments too, family-values wise (JFK, Clinton, John Edwards), but if the GOP is going to run ON family values, they have to do a little better than simply "Well, we're no worse than the ones we vilify for THEIR performance."

Tacitus2 said...

Paul 45

Way back up in my initial reply...the virginiaedu study compared out of wedlock (what a quaint term) stats for Red and Blue states with minority citizens factored out. I botched editing the post and mistakenly said divorce stats instead of the correct category. Worth a read. Also, to the best of the imperfect stats I have tried to look at other race specific stats where available.

But enough.

Oh, I tried to find state by state pork rind consumption but even the internet can't answer everything.

David, interesting factoid about your earlier life.

My correlary, a year spent as the only white guy in the Black student interest house at our small college. They wanted to vote me VP of the Black Students Union. Would have looked interesting on the resume applying to Med school, eh?

Standing down

Tacitus

David Brin said...

Tacitus, you just made me smile ;-) Heck, if Clinton can be the "first black president." I once saw him play the saxophone....

sociotard said...

The trailer for the film "Chronicle"

This is why superpowers are only a good thing if everybody gets to have superpowers.

David Brin said...

Yeowch. Well, most of the cool new sci fi is variant fantasies about superpowers. Heroes, limitless, Kickass, Source Code... all low budget but cool concept.

Hey, anything to get out of sequelitis. I hope it's well done.

David Brin said...

onward...

Paul451 said...

Tacitus2,
Had a look at that report, it's mostly national stats, rather than state-by-state. (Bah, essays. My kingdom for a table.)

Their short Red/Blue essay does give me one number, Red vs Blue white-only. Red wins. But it doesn't give Red vs Blue black-only.

Do you see that it is actually quite a nasty thing if whites in Conservative states are doing better than whites in Liberal states and blacks are doing worse in Conservative states?

Anyway, noticed something odd:

When asked whether "Having a good marriage is extremely important", highschool girls agreed much more than HS boys. But when asked if they thought "most people will have happier lives, if married", boys eclipsed girls.

So boys think marriage is awesome, but don't really care if it's not. Girl's think most marriages sucks, but think it's vital that they don't.

Wonder if that explains the divorce rates?

(anyway, onward and all that.)

Al said...

Thanks to Tacitus for pointing out the different populations. Southern "Red" states have a much higher percentage of blacks than most "Blue" states. It is quite possible that blacks in conservative states are much better off than in liberal states (especially when taking purchasing power into account), but the larger numbers could result in a lower average for the whole.

There are, of course, residues of racism and racist policies. There's no denying that - but it often applies as much or more in Northern states as in the South.

We might also look at the individual blacks who moved to Northern states. Many must have been motivated types who were interested in bettering themselves. I see many of that type now abandoning the Northern States and returning to the South. They are voting with their feet.

Furthermore, despite all the hype there is good reason to believe that blacks are more likely to be a burden on the system than whites. I know it doesn't fit neatly into liberal dogma, but I've worked with blacks in the South and ... well, I end up doing most of the work. There are exceptions, of course - I've worked with a few wonderful black workers, and even many of those who won't work hard are really nice people - but the difference in work ethic (generally) is huge. We've recently had a good deal of immigration from eastern Europe, and immigrants from several of these countries have all told me the same thing, independently and without prompting: in their home countries they were told that the black workers in America did all the hard work and heavy labor, and then they came here and were surprised to find that most of them barely do their jobs at all. Actually, they are less kind in their assessment than I am, but let's just say that independent observers with a predisposition to give a positive assessment regularly end up with an assessment more negative than that of white southerners.

I have likewise had episodes where necessity has compelled my black co-workers to put in almost an average day's work, and heard them regale their friends afterwards with tales of the incredibly hard work they had performed - and what is more these co-workers are better than average among the black workers who work at the same company.

I have a European friend who lives in a nation in Africa and has married a native woman there, and he has noted much the same thing about most of the natives there. (His wife - and her small tribe - are an exception in that country.)

I don't want to be negative here. There are many admirable things about African and African-American culture, and there is much to be said for valuing other things than work and the material wealth it provides. I get along well with quite a few black or mixed-race co-workers and friends and value many of the contributions of blacks to Southern culture. To pretend that race or culture is irrelevant, however, is a farce.

I believe in dealing with people as the individuals they are, without regard to their race - and that is the very opposite of racism. However, that doesn't blind me to the fact that some behaviors tend to be associated with groups, and ignoring that does not make a person tolerant or wise. It just makes them afraid to admit the truth.

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