Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Qualitative Left

Sorry about my lack of posting the last couple of weeks. I’ve had lots of things on my mind, lack of motivation at night, David Lapidus County Board work, an inability to finish posts, and other poor excuses. I’m going to try to be a little bit less rhetorical in the future because I’m much more interested and focused on the real issues and real status of our society today politically, socially, religiously, etc. than loosely throwing out partisan talking points or irrational criticisms. Thus, I’m sorry if I have offended others in previous posts. The following piece has been in the works for quite a long time but I’ve finally finished it. While numerous writers have looked at extreme liberal thinking and have tried to paraphrase their encounters generally, they have not come up with an accurate label for these far-left individuals. Labels tossed around include “socialists”, “moonbats”, “limousine liberals” and “Hollywood left” but none of these terms really accurately describe the thought process of the far left. You can call the liberal elite of this country anything you really want to but I’m going to coin this demographic “The Qualitative Left”.

Who these people are?

One of the quickest things I picked up on campus, both within the classroom and outside discussion is that the left loves to make claims about conservatives and big business and will offer talking points consisting of ignoring the poor, destroying the environment, caring only about money, and the list goes on. These same people will speak harshly about Republicans who aren’t in favor of increasing the minimum wage, want a more equal tax policy, don’t want more social welfare programs, want to drill in the Artic. But are these people usually able to discuss issues objectively and understand why raising the minimum wage might be detrimental to the business climate, why a tax policy may be hurting investment opportunities, why social welfare programs in the past have not proven to always get people out of poverty, and why drilling in the Arctic may be wise to keep oil prices down? No, and very often you will be talking to people of the “qualitative left”, a mass of demographic that pulls disproportionably from woman, minorities, liberal arts professors, social service professionals, teachers, artists/creatives, and nonprofit activist types.

There are many factors that are central to forming people’s political beliefs and typical answers will include parents’ political beliefs, religious beliefs, geographical upbringing, and education. I think one of the key components is your college concentration which not only helps form your worldview but also is an indication to what type of thinker you are. All people think both quantitatively and qualitatively but the Qualitative Left tends to be draw from liberal arts majors based on humanities and less math intensive social sciences. The data from Facebook reflects that students in more qualitative majors will be more liberal and the more quantitative and career-oriented majors are more conservative (or less liberal). These liberal arts majors are where the Qualitative Left draws their strength from and these students will be the teachers, artists, professors, nonprofit activists, social workers, etc. of the future.

Quantitative Majors:

Real Estate= Lib (31) VLib (3) = 34; Con (41) VCon (1) = 42

Finance= Lib (60) VLib (6) = 66; Con (85) VCon (10) = 95

Math= Lib (106) VLib (38) = 144; Con (35) VCon (2) = 37

Accounting= Lib (76) VLib (9) = 87; Con (76) VCon (6) = 82

Mechanical Engineering= Lib (125) VLib (22) = 147; Con (137) VCon (9) = 146

Physics= Lib (64) VLib (18) = 82; Con (15) VCon (2) = 17

Civil Engineering= Lib (31) VLib (6) = 37; Con (17) VCon (4) = 21

Economics= Lib (211) VLib (33) = 244; Con (137) VCon (12) = 149

Qualitative Majors

English= Lib (387) VLib (32) = 419; Con (62) VCon (3) = 65

Political Science=Lib/VLib= NA (Exhausted Search Engines, estimation over 1,000 each category); Con (229) VCon (24) = 253

Art= Lib (149) VLib (58) = 207; Con (17) VCon (0) = 17

Social Work= Lib (90) VLib (24) = 114; Con (5) VCon (0) = 5

Journalism= Lib (397) VLib (71) = 468; Con (74) VCon (5) = 79

Education= Lib (114) VLib (20) = 134; Con (24) VCon (1) = 25

History= Lib (399) VLib (122) = 521; Con (116) VCon (11) = 127

Sociology= Lib (247) VLib (96) = 343; Con (42) VCon (6) = 48

Nursing= Lib (169) VLib (22)= 191; Con (78) VCon (3) = 81

Marketing= Lib (90) VLib (7) = 97; Con (35) VCon (0) = 35

Management/Human Resources= Lib (20) VLib (1) = 21; Con (12) VLib (0) = 12

The data comes from Facebook and rests on a number of assumptions. First, the sample is representative of the real political proportions of the major. I think Facebook is a fair assessment since a large percentage of the student body is on the site. Second, the sample of UW students can reflect the trends of other schools in the US and thus our society in general. Obviously, you look at every UW class 30 years later there will be fewer liberals and more conservatives but the general trends will most likely still exist for most majors. Third, the “quantitative majors” are filled with “quantitative thinkers" and vice versa. There are obviously many exceptions to all students in all these majors but I think this generalization is fair. Fourth, the data leaves out moderate, libertarian, apathetic and other political data. It would have taken more time to get the data and I think looking strictly at the right versus the left should provide an accurate assessment of generally where the Qualitative Left study and are trained.

Problems with Qualitative Thinking

There are many problems with qualitative thinking in terms of public policy. First, in terms of looking at policy decisions from a cost-benefit analysis and exploring the trade-offs of particular legislation, qualitative thinking leads a person to believe that particular legislation is either good or bad. To the qualitative left, they see a tax policy such as the ending the estate tax as “unfair” or “a give-away to the rich” because it would effectively give wealthier people (who have large estates) the right to not be taxed again on their financial assets. These same individuals would fail to understand the argument that these individuals have already paid taxes on this sum of money or that private-sector investment and private giving might substantially increase. Quantitative people can obviously disagree and can make sound arguments pro estate-tax or anti estate-tax but the problem is the qualitative left often cannot even debate or begin to understand the issues.

Second, when discussing the merits of a particular policy in quantitative terms, the qualitative left will change switch the discussion framing the issue emotionally in qualitative terms. I experienced this ploy often during SSFC meetings and one particular instance stands out. When we were discussing the merits of SAFEwalk in terms of financial dollars per walk, hours on duty, and whether SAFEcab could be a more cost effective alternative, members of FUSE kept bringing up woman’s safety using the language of “a rape should be prevented at any cost”. Maybe the city of Madison should create a police state with thousands patrolling the dorms, apartments, and streets to ensure that no woman ever gets harassed or sexually assaulted….sounds awful cost-effective and wise in a society of limited resources. Safety isn’t even one of the main issues where qualitative thinking is normally applied. Topics where qualitative thinking is more often applied are the environment, housing, welfare, taxes and military.

Third, the qualitative left in general puts much more weight in evaluating public policy decisions on a social level and factoring in other qualitative variables. Social variables are very hard if not impossible to measure, even more difficult than environmental variables. Thus, the idea of triple-line accounting (economic, environment, social) is so hard to implement in a cost-benefit analysis. But even within triple-line accounting, the environmental and social costs need to be quantified and often the left will refuse to do it. They will refuse to try to quantify these variables because they’d rather that the social and environmental costs/benefits be put ahead of fiscal issues or they don’t have the ability themselves to even estimate these variables. If we have absolutely no ability to estimate the social or environmental costs/benefits, I believe that they should not be included in any analysis. Here’s a quick example of the left putting excessive emphasis on social and community well-being. When hearing about a plant of a large company closing in their city or country, they think solely about the people who are going to be losing their jobs and not about the efficiency of the economy, the possible gain to shareholders, or effect of people in another geographical vicinity gaining jobs. Typical blame will be placed on greedy management rather than restrictive union rules, low productivity, or a change in the economy. Sympathy will go out to the workers who lost their job and people will lament the loss of social ties and future of the community. The losers will be emphasized and any gain to particular stakeholders will not be mentioned. The discussion of the alternative (ie socialism) will not be discussed but surely aspects of capitalism will be criticized. Why? One possible reason: comparative advantage probably isn’t even in the vocabulary of the qualitative left.

The idea of the difficulty in engaging liberals in political discussion has been well documented by conservative writers including John Leo, Ann Coulter, Dennis Prager, Jonah Goldberg among others. This is because of a number of reasons but it most definitely stems from the qualitative thinking of many in the far left. Go to the central hubs of the far-left blogosphere like The Huffington Post or Daily Kos and this pattern of thought will be reiterated. Why actually discuss the trade-offs and central aspects of legislation when you can throw inflammatory comments and make unsound but rhetorically witty comments? It’s because the left’s ideas often do not make sense quantitatively and hold little objectivity. Being outnumbered in a qualitiative left bastion of thought, educated conservatives and libertarians can continue to win debates because of the ability to think logically, numerically, objectively. Hopefully, the Republican Party can fully return to being an objective party with an emphasis on fiscal restraint, social restraint, and clear quantitative thought. The Democratic Party in its current state with its far-left electorate and supports will never advocate rationale and objective policy.


  • There's still a problem with your broad brush of liberals being too qualitiative.

    As the statistics point out, self-identified liberals aren't just confined to qualitative majors. The math and physics majors in particular seem to tilt very leftward, and several of the other quantitative majors are more or less even.

    So, it appears that the left is very well represented across the academic spectrum. I don't see why this prevents or disuades us from using methods such as cost-benefit analysis.

    By Blogger Ben, at 11:07 PM  

  • Yes, I agree that math and physics stick out greatly amongst the rest of the other quantitative major in terms of being clearly left of center. But what's clear is that most people who are advanced quantitative thinkers and use math/physics are not math/physics majors but rather are in engineering, computer science, or business. Why the small segment of people in these basic sciences are liberal I'm not certain? I have a couple of guesses (interest in basic research rather than applied research; future in academia/basic research rather than applied/private firm research) but I do not really know. The fact though is that math and physics are still much more conservative than many qualitative majors within the liberal arts including english, art, sociology, social work, education, etc.

    The left is very well represented across the spectrum but clearly the right isn't. The qualitative left as a group isn't mostly business, engineering, or health workers but rather traditional liberal arts graduates who then move into jobs such as education, creative arts, non-profit work, etc. There are demcrats and liberals who are analytical (I know several who work with me at a economic consulting firm). They would use cost-benefit analysis in terms of making public policy decisions but you never hear strong cost-benefit arguments from Democratic politicians or most far left individuals. The majority of Democratic Party draws mostly from an electorate of qualitative thinkers however. There are a lot of qualitative thinkers on the right also (think Religious Right) but in my opinion they are a much smaller minority.

    By Blogger Tim, at 1:49 AM  

  • Interesting analysis - fascinating little blip in Nursing.

    Generally, I think conservatives are not accurately accounted for on the facebook. I know many here on campus who simply don't feel it's necessary or even worth the time.
    Facebook is a very "qualitative" beast except, perhaps, for the total number of friends one has.

    This must be added onto the general dearth of conservatives at the school to begin with.

    By Blogger Brad V, at 11:11 AM  

  • Brad, it is not just Conservatives who are not on Facebook, there are plenty of liberal earthly folks who also don't feel its worth their time.

    By Blogger Kellie, at 12:10 AM  

  • Tim, I wouldn't say that only the "left" has childish logic when it comes to debating politics, or that it's a result of qualitative thinking. However, you are correct in asserting that the ideology of democrats is based more in quality (morality, commitment to the poor, etc) while conservatives are more in quantity (business growth).

    But I do object to your name calling at the beginning, particularly in calling liberals "socialists." There are a number of students on this campus who dabble in social theory, and they are typically capable of having a decent conversation without relying on saying "fuck bush!" As you'd probably find, it's much more intelligent ideology, as most of them have a general understanding of market economics, enough to form a well-reasoned critique (independent of whether you agree with them). Personally, I am studying econ, and if you study it enough, you'll see that there's a normative side, and the split comes when you decide on equity vs. efficiency, and many on the "left" (although I would argue most dems are moderates, as they still support free trade and relatively free but limited markets) would side with equity on moral grounds, you know, since Jesus was all about helping people and hated on profiteers.

    So just in general, it was a nice effort, but also keep in mind that the "left" and "democrats" are not synonymous, and most liberals on campus are just as afraid of socialism as you are.

    By Anonymous John, at 11:18 AM  

  • Amen to that John. I mean equality..trying to make the world a better place, not only caring about whats in your bank account when you retire, helping others, doing what you enjoy...jeez such crazy ideas.

    By Blogger Kellie, at 1:56 PM  

  • Thanks for commenting John and I agree with you on most of the points you offered. The right often does take unobjective stances sometimes in the name of "homeland security", "morality", etc. and I didn't really talk about them in this article.

    I am economist also John and have thought a lot about normative and positive economics. Positive economics is the study that we can truly measure ("what is"). Normative economics is "what ought to be" which is opinion. Right now, I'm not exactly sure where I stand in terms of government interplay especially within distribution. At the present time, I've basically taken the stance that in terms of government and business, the one thing we can control is efficiency and our policies should reflect this. Therefore, government should be small and public goods (ie infrastructure, civil law, security, education, environment) should be its emphasis. In terms of equity, it should be individuals and private/religious organizations that help out the poor and people who have made bad decisions.

    "Jesus was all about helping people and hated on profiteers"--Yes, he did warn against "loving money", "greed", etc. but he never advocated the government to be a force of redistribution. He placed the blame on individuals...that is why while calling for a small/efficient government I must also speak out against selfishness, luxury goods, MTV-style living.

    I never labeled anyone socialist. These are labels that conservatives throw out consistently. I do think that on this campus though many people are border-line socialists and do not even know it. Many of their views will be altered once they get into the workforce and grow older.

    "As most of them have a general understanding of market economics.."
    --I disagree with you John the most on this premise. Most students do not understand economics on this campus or choose not to follow the principles they've learned. Many will criticize big-box stores (ignoring economies of scale), complain about urban sprawl (ignore housing supply/demand), refuse to recognize the free market as the source of prosperity for most in this country.

    --There are many liberal economists and I definetly respect them. Often times I move leftward in terms of economics (ie ecological economics). But these people are rationale thinkers and have good basis for their beliefs. Economists such as NY Times writer Paul Krugman should be taken seriously. Much of the left in my opinion doesn't and this part of the reason why I wrote this article.

    "Most dems are moderates as they still support free trade"
    -Not true. A majority of the caucus voted against NAFTA in both the House and Senate. In the recent CAFTA vote, barely any DEMs in the Senate or House voted for the measure voted (Senate vote 55-45; House 217-215). And CAFTA was a fairly small and insignifcant trade agreement. I think the DEMS will move to the left on this issue in future elections (i've heard others say this also). It's too bad because the gains from trade through comparative advantage are great and usually the losers can be compensated.

    Kellie--I do truly care about making the world a better place. I would not essentially donate hours of my time to SSFC if I didn't care (SSFC means very little to my resume). Even if you tried to make the presumption that I was simply trying to save myself SEG fee money, I spent at least a couple hundred of hours in committee/looking at budgets--not to save myself money but to make this world more efficient, keep groups cost-effective, represent the students who don't use most of the services GSSF groups provide. I wouldn't tithe if I didn't care. I wouldn't be going into urban planning/real estate development if I didn't care or enjoy what I was doing.

    By Blogger Tim, at 5:00 PM  

  • Tim I did not say that you don't care about what you are doing, but you try to push the idea that people who do things because they care about them and want to effect change like teachers, nurses social activist, etc are of less value or some how are not as good as you are because you are going into real estate and urban planning. People do what they love and are good at, we should not judge them because of the way they live their lives especially when they see themselves as doing good. I do however agree that we do need more math and science type majors and engineers, but the way to do that is graduate more students from high school, and make sure more and more students can afford and go to college, this will proportionatly raise the amount of students graduating in these areas. The way to do that is not by having less teachers or social activists or what have you, because they themselves help make the world a better more efficient place to live. I would argue that your demonization of teachers especially is incredibly out of line. If you don't graduate more and more quality teachers then you will have less efficient schools, less graduates and less people entering into higher education, and thus less people entering the work world as engineers and science researchers.
    I will be blogging about this more this weekend, and other ideas to make improvements in areas that we are currently lacking in.

    By Blogger Kellie, at 5:49 PM  

  • "Most students do not understand economics on this campus or choose not to follow the principles they've learned."

    I agree with you on this; however, the people I was talking about are a select few--I'd say there's maybe a dozen or two in the category of the intellectual left, those who do understand the economics behind Walmart and much of what the left "whines" about. Most democrats (and unrealized socialists) only know that they should despise these things, yet they couldn't tell you why. There are a few of us who understand the economics, that understand that these things do yield better market efficiency, but who still question their necessity, or even the necessity of laissez-faire efficiency.

    I'm sure that you're familiar with the "political compass" idea, that it's not a linear spectrum with liberal at one end and conservative at the other. It's probably a 5 dimensional, looping and transporting plot of politics in real life. Although you and I are at very different ends of the linear spectrum, in many ways we are very similar. In fact, I'll probably agree with you more than I'll agree with Krugman.

    I do self-identify as a "radical leftist" (but not in the sense that I wear tie-died shirts and birkenstocks and spoke hash after a long day of protesting the establishment). I'm kind of cross between green-anarchist and non-authoritarian socialist (so somewhat Marxist but not Leninist or Maoist). I too do not fully know what the role of the state should be; at this time the nation-state apparatus is necessary. I don't know if central planning is the answer, but the market system as it is now is inherently oppressive. If the markets were to reform today, with everyone on a level playing field, it could be successful--however, people started out ahead at the beginning of modernity and the formation of capitalism, and gave certain individuals a head start on others, which resulted in the majority being kept down.

    "He placed the blame on individuals...that is why while calling for a small/efficient government I must also speak out against selfishness, luxury goods, MTV-style living."

    I also agree that the role of the state shouldn't necessarily be to redistribute wealth; but this is the most equitable way to provide for others--to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, comfort the afflicted, etc. It would be wonderful if charity could replace state intervention, or even that there would be no need for charity--we are all seen equal in the eyes of God but not in the eyes of the market. But I see most philanthropy as self-serving, as a way for the rich or corporations to do PR. It's like the Nobel effect--he created the prize out of guilt of the harm TNT created; but I would seriously doubt that there is usually any guilt at stake, typically it's a fear of losing business. As you know, charity is usually not self-interested behavior (at least with a financial payoff), so there's typically ulterior motives. Also, there's problems with biases or conditionality with charity--people might only give to white males, or require that recipients convert to a particular religion, etc. Not to mention that there really isn't any significant charity given on behalf of most people--the Waltons only dish out a few thousand a year, while many of their employees struggle to make ends meet.

    I also agree with you that lavish living is unnecessary--I personally have a loose diet of rice, bread and milk, don't shop at the mall, and prefer used books to big-budget movies. While my roommates have energy-sucking mini-fridges and waffle-makers, I try to buy out of necessity alone. For everyone to do this would definitely hurt our economy, but i don't think it would be critical--people wouldn't need more money to buy huge pickup trucks and mansions. That would be interesting to study, how people would be affected by reduced consumption. The main problem is that capitalism is dependent on constant innovation and expansion, (Marx says it is revolutionary and will continually overthrow itself) and relies on consumerism and materialism.

    As for NAFTA democrats, Clinton enacted it and Bush seeks to expand it, so it clearly crosses the aisle. Many Dems supported both, and Many Repubs opposed both. All liberals in Congress (with the exception of Sanders from VT) are still bonafide Capitalists, which I would argue keeps them in the moderate bounds of the spectrum.

    There are many on campus who are borderline Socialists, as you say, but none have either an intellectual or pragmatic basis to make the plunge into the "dark side." They have some reproduced social interests, yet are apathetic enough to drink instead of attempt to make change. While you may not disagree with the politics of myself and some of the left (like SLAC or WISPIRG) I'm sure you appreciate our commitment to what we believe in, and dedication to creating the world we wish to live in (free of poverty, pollution, oppression, etc.). To me, that's what democracy is, not just voting. Unfortunately, most Democrats have no commitment to make change, and thought that Kerry would make all their wildest dreams come true.

    Hopefully that all made sense, I'm in the middle of reading Malthus.

    By Anonymous John, at 9:48 PM  

  • Okay. A few general points. First, your analysis could be viewed as somewhat flawed or biased if only because inherently, the way you went about this was (as you would suggest it should be) a quantitative measure. It took no account of the actual scale or range of views people identify. For instance, I would say that many people in the political science major would probably identify as conservative or liberal, yet have more complicated views than, say, an engineering student.

    As far as why math and science majors would not have the same conservative leanings as other, applied quantitative majors, here's my best guess. Math and science majors probably come the closest to being in line with the overall averages for the university. Their majors will most likely land them in teaching positions, or pursuing further careers in academia or research. They are therefor less concerned with the IMPLICATIONS of qualitative OR quantitative data than they are with the data itself. People in engineering, econ, etc. are more of linear quantitative thinkers, where there is a chain of causal relationships.

    I also think that it would be flawed to say that most liberals, even the qualitative thinkers, are unable to think quantitatively. I would argue, however, that there are certain areas in which the qualitative, in their minds, justifies IGNORING the quantitative. SAFE was a great example. I would say the big nay-nos for the quantitative reasoning are : rape, poverty, race, unemployment. The qualitative values of what is good or bad makes it improper, in many liberals' minds, to speak of these in cost-benefit (or any other quantitative measure). For example. For the price that SAFE would propose we pay for SAFE walkers, we could probably better train existing police officers, or put a few more police officers (with far more training, and better equipment than SAFE walkers) on the streets, instead of 8 individuals a night with red shirts and walkie talkies. These police would also help deter OTHER crimes (robbery, vandalism, theft, etc.) and be a much more cost effective option. Furthermore, with a FRACTION of what SAFEWALKERS cost, you could practically line the streets and sidewalks of campus with emergency bluelight phones. Either of these options would ACTUALLY, QUANTITATIVELY reduce the number of rapes on campus. Yet, because the individuals who use SAFE walk are largely people who have had prior experience with harrasment or sexual assault, or have a fear of these crimes, it is more important to make them FEEL safe than it is to QUANTITATIVELY use the most cost effective method of getting the largest reduction in these crimes. In terms of poverty, welfare and unemployment, people look at the QUALITATIVE value of someone potentially not being able to feed their family or pay necessary medical costs TODAY. Instead, they should look at the data. The only places in which welfare states have actually IMPROVED, in the long run, the state of poverty, is ones where benefits are provided equally to all citizens, regardless of needs. In cases like Canada, free health care is available not just at clinics for the uninsured, but to successful capitalists as well. In Sweden, homes and health care are provided to ALL citizens who are either working or in school, regardless of their income level. This means that those at the bottom levels can get jobs without risking actually LOWERING their income level in the immediate future, only with the HOPE of someday creating a better life for themselves or their children. Historically, a need-based welfare system DOESN'T work. However, this quantitative and historical data can't be brought into the debate, because QUALITATIVELY, even if it's better in the long run, putting somebody at risk NOW is not okay.

    In terms of race, the quantitative measures are only brought up in lights that favor the historically disadvantaged. The qualitative truth that our country is tremendously unequal, as are incarceration rates, income levels, education levels, and several other indicators, becomes more important than the QUANTITATIVE numbers that offer solutions. To support a system based on merit, rather than on affirmative action or racial quotas, while clearly better for everyone involved in the long run, is racist, because anything which does not make up for the actions of past generations is QUALITATIVELY wrong.

    While the right in this country definitely tries to impose its morals through the law, and through campus politics, what many liberals fail to recognize is that so does the left.

    Affirmative action is an inherently MORAL system. A need-based welfare state is inherently MORAL. The lesser scrutiny that is given to victims of alleged rape is an inherently MORAL decision.

    The differences I see then are these:
    1) On purely ECONOMIC issues, conservatives are quantitative, whereas liberals (as in the case of affirmative action and the welfare state) tend to think more qualitatively. Thus, libertarians and other conservatives who share modern "Republican" or "conservative " views only on economic issues, are definitely quantitative, rather than qualitative.
    2) The conservative qualitative thought comes from years of Judeo-Christian-Islamic philosophy and theology, whereas the liberal qualitative thought tends to come from more modern, changing, emotional ideas of what the "universal morality" is.

    While I'm not religious, and my views have little to do with religion, I can see why conservatives would tend to think that their morals are more valid than those of the liberals. They have stayed consistent over centuries. Regardless of the separation of the Church and State, it's important that people recognize that our nation's founders were Christian, and, furthermore, that our entire society, our legal system, everything that we do day to day comes from a long history that is intimately tied with Jewish, Christian and Islamic beliefs and customs. Most conservative social beliefs are based on preserving what religious individuals see as the status quo. On the other hand, many of the programs (again, affirmative action and the need-based welfare state) are unique to America, and are relatively new.

    The conservatives also pass qualitative moral judgement (at least in my view) only in areas that are not quantifiable. For example, there is no quantitative measure of a way to solve the problem of unwanted children or the immorality of abortion. There is no quantifiable way to solve the relationships of homosexuals. However, the liberals tend to ignore available quantitative measurements when they feel that QUALITATIVEly, the actions suggested by the quantitative data are morally wrong. For instance, providing jobs to those most qualified to do them, or college admissions to the most qualified students, would quantifiably maximize SEVERAL measueres of economic success. However, ignoring the past racial inequalities in this country is seen as QUALITATIVELY immoral. Similarly, doing away with the idea of a graduated income tax, which then goes to fund a need-based social welfare system is QUANTITATIVELY wrong. We wouldn't want to be socialist, and provide housing and health to EVERYONE, but we also can't expect the poor to support themselves. Nevermind the fact that millions live in poverty and don't search for jobs because the quality of living provided by the State is higher than that provided by having two working adults in one family.

    By Blogger BadgerZach, at 3:05 AM  

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