‘Why are people in the south Republican when they should be fiscally liberal?’

HUMAN 1
1. Lack of education means a lot of people can’t actually determine what economic policies are good for them or bad for them.

2. People who can’t discern the effects policy decisions will have on them latch onto any explanation that sounds adequate by people they trust and believe.

3. Politicians who wish to manipulate the uneducated and ignorant tell these people what they want to hear rather than present sound policy decisions because these people do not understand policies.

4. Once people have heard a politician tell them what they want to hear they will associate the policy decisions these politicians advocate for as being good for them.

5. When no one understands the effects certain policy decisions will have you can pretty much argue any policy decision as being good for anybody as long as you sound convincing. For example: “We should lower taxes to create jobs. With lower taxes more companies will have more money to create jobs.” People want to hear how they will get more jobs. Lowering taxes does mean companies will have more money so they could hire more people this ought to work.” Then people assume the job tbey get will be a good job so they don’t worry about social programs since they won’t need them once they have a job which lower taxes will get them.

If you’re saying education, you’re missing a step.

Southerners could have improved their school systems long ago.

White Southerners, and rural people in general, are voting for their interests. They’re just voting for their interests relatively instead of absolutely.

To feel like you’re doing better, you need to be doing better than someone else. It’s more important to put a floor under you and have people in a status you can never descend to—a status they can never climb from—because then you have security.

Continue reading “‘Why are people in the south Republican when they should be fiscally liberal?’”

‘Why do liberals hate facts?’

HUMAN 1
I am assuming that the computer program did not factor in race at all and instead focused on actual circumstances which black people just tend to be worse off in. Then ‘ProPublica’ got outraged when doing simple data mining because working to actually resolve and understand issues has been well outside of the American left’s wheelhouse for decades.

HUMAN 2
The algorithm is literally biased

Yeah, you can say you have a completely race-blind algorithm, but if it’s blind to racism impacting the data, it’s going to have a result that suffers from racism as well.

For example, asking, ‘Was one of your parents ever sent to jail or prison?’ is really closely akin to asking whether someone’s grandparent was a slave before forcing them to pay a poll tax or take a literacy test. The question may not be inherently racist, but the question it’s asking is addressing a reality that was racist and affected people disproportionately.

If you’re white, your parents are less likely to have been arrested by police for smoking weed in the 1970s. If you’re white, you’re more likely to have gotten off with a warning when you got in a fight in high school than prosecuted for a felony. If you’re white, you probably have a social network that can provide you with a job more easily because your family, friends, neighborhood, and classmates were allowed to inherit and increase their wealth.

An algorithm that perpetuates systemic biases probably is not a well-designed one. Continue reading “‘Why do liberals hate facts?’”

‘What do you think of gentrification?’

Gentrification is a problem because it flows from historical discrimination, and the power dynamics tend to fall along those lines.

If everyone had equal wealth, or if wealth really were distributed according to merit, gentrification might just be some unpleasant but necessary feature of changing economies, labor markets, and urban life.

But instead what we have in the United States is a society where some groups have been robbed of wealth generation after generation, and others have been gifted that wealth and allowed to inherit it instead. So even if most de jure racism either is no longer on the books or can’t be openly enforced, we still have the equivalent of grandfather clauses operating all over the place.

Continue reading “‘What do you think of gentrification?’”

‘Crime Isn’t Caused By Race. It’s Caused By Lead Levels in the Air’

HUMAN 0
TL;DR: Lead levels and violent crime are incredibly strongly correlated. This is much higher than traditional correlations between violent crime based on demographic stats (living in a city, being black, or being a Southerner all increase your chances of both committing or being a victim of violent crime).

This holds true at the country level, the state level, the city level, and the neighborhood level, and the evidence is extremely strong.

HUMAN 1
So people don’t cause crime; lead causes crime.

It’s sort of like the idea of replacement level in major sports. The quality of play may go up or down over time, but we mostly judge people in relation to their peers and what we expect the average person would do.

Continue reading “‘Crime Isn’t Caused By Race. It’s Caused By Lead Levels in the Air’”