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commented on Stone Soup
over 5 years ago
dmhulbert: I appreciate your observations and agree with many of your conclusions. I feel that this debate has gone on far too long for a venue of this type, and expect to close my participation now. I look forward to reading your posts in the future, hopefully we may all meet again discussing ‘the lighter side’, in keeping with the nature of the website.
First of all, you base arguments 1, 2, and a footnote in 6 (George Will) using the logical fallacy of the argument ad hominen. A claim may be challenged only by the validity of the conclusion, not because you distrust the author of the argument.
In point 2, even if the argument ad hominen was not sophistic, you may be interested to know that Wikipedia gives references to many sources that rate his employer Syracuse University and its programs among the top fifty in the country. In cites at Wikipedia, Forbes magazine identified Thomas Edison State College as one of the top 20 colleges and universities in the nation in the use of technology to create learning opportunities for adults and the college was cited as “one of the brighter stars of higher learning” by The New York Times - hardly an accolade that might be given by the Times to “a fifth rate school”.
Your 3rd point involves yet another claim of your own that is devoid of any specific study design criticism, followed by an anecdotal piece of evidence.
4th, your own arguments to back up your claims for the charity debate consisted entirely of the suggestion that I acquire and analyze a book of your own choice, that re: Point 5, was written by Alfie Kohn, who in my preliminary research (not having his work at hand) has been described primarily as a left-wing leader in progressive education to support your claims; hardly a ‘clean-handed’ or unbiased source.
My final point would be this: The reason I posted a cut and paste review from a partisan source was that I despise debate citation wars, as I’ve mentioned above, and to demonstrate to you the folly of that second party technique; i.e., I too would prefer your own writing to a recommendation that I do my own research in Kohn’s book to back up your claims. I have no idea of the validity of the research your man Kohn has done, whether his work was peer reviewed, has used large population samples, were effectively longitudinal, or were free from design flaws.
Re: the cost of entitlements in the nation and generational spiraling, you can check the rises in costs (which as I’ve noted is my primary concern) in The Budget for Fiscal Year 2008, Historical Tables, total outlays for Means Tested Entitlements from 1962 till the 2012 estimate. The tables will show you the costs in billions of dollars per annum, in real dollars, by percentage of total outlays, and as percentage of the gross GDP.
ps; I will check out the Kohn book as I am interested in all pedagogical theory! with best regards, arceedee.
MatthewJB - Here’s another view to balance the closure of our debate, which can only devolve from here into into citation wars: “Sixteen months ago, Arthur C. Brooks, a professor at Syracuse University, published “Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism.” The surprise is that liberals are markedly less charitable than conservatives.
If many conservatives are liberals who have been mugged by reality, Brooks, a registered independent, is, as a reviewer of his book said, a social scientist who has been mugged by data. They include these findings:
– Although liberal families’ incomes average 6 percent higher than those of conservative families, conservative-headed households give, on average, 30 percent more to charity than the average liberal-headed household ($1,600 per year vs. $1,227).
– Conservatives also donate more time and give more blood.
– Residents of the states that voted for John Kerry in 2004 gave smaller percentages of their incomes to charity than did residents of states that voted for George Bush.
– Bush carried 24 of the 25 states where charitable giving was above average.
– In the 10 reddest states, in which Bush got more than 60 percent majorities, the average percentage of personal income donated to charity was 3.5. Residents of the bluest states, which gave Bush less than 40 percent, donated just 1.9 percent.
– People who reject the idea that “government has a responsibility to reduce income inequality” give an average of four times more than people who accept that proposition.
Brooks demonstrates a correlation between charitable behavior and “the values that lie beneath” liberal and conservative labels. Two influences on charitable behavior are religion and attitudes about the proper role of government.
The single biggest predictor of someone’s altruism, Willett says, is religion. It increasingly correlates with conservative political affiliations because, as Brooks’ book says, “the percentage of self-described Democrats who say they have ‘no religion’ has more than quadrupled since the early 1970s.” America is largely divided between religious givers and secular nongivers, and the former are disproportionately conservative. One demonstration that religion is a strong determinant of charitable behavior is that the least charitable cohort is a relatively small one – secular conservatives.
Reviewing Brooks’ book in the Texas Review of Law & Politics, Justice Willett notes that Austin – it voted 56 percent for Kerry while he was getting just 38 percent statewide – is ranked by The Chronicle of Philanthropy as 48th out of America’s 50 largest cities in per capita charitable giving. Brooks’ data about disparities between liberals’ and conservatives’ charitable giving fit these facts: Democrats represent a majority of the wealthiest congressional districts, and half of America’s richest households live in states where both senators are Democrats.
While conservatives tend to regard giving as a personal rather than governmental responsibility, some liberals consider private charity a retrograde phenomenon – a poor palliative for an inadequate welfare state, and a distraction from achieving adequacy by force, by increasing taxes. Ralph Nader, running for president in 2000, said: “A society that has more justice is a society that needs less charity.” Brooks, however, warns: “If support for a policy that does not exist … substitutes for private charity, the needy are left worse off than before. It is one of the bitterest ironies of liberal politics today that political opinions are apparently taking the place of help for others.”
In 2000, brows were furrowed in perplexity because Vice President Al Gore’s charitable contributions, as a percentage of his income, were below the national average: He gave 0.2 percent of his family income, one-seventh of the average for donating households. But Gore “gave at the office.” By using public office to give other peoples’ money to government programs, he was being charitable, as liberals increasingly, and conveniently, understand that word.” Get the book yourself for further cites.
hildegunnar: the share the wealth programs have been applied financially and through social service learning programs for years locally, on a city (for example liberal NYC) and state (liberal CA) level, and after decades and generations, the cities and states have only had to beg at the national level for further funds. The core problem, of the spiral of populations who become and remain dependent by choice, has not yet been solved. The liberal states who have not been touched by these problems have the most homogeneous, least dependent populations - those with shared socio-cultural, ethical, and religious or spiritual commonalities who are incentivized to join together for shared goals - a factor you have ignored from my arguments.
commented on Agnes
over 5 years ago
Out come the slurpee cups; here comes summer for Agnes & Trout! enjoy, ladies….
commented on The Dinette Set
over 5 years ago
The toast will help fill in the empty spots the omelet misses.
It’s nice to see good people doing the right thing for other good people, maybe more people will get involved in volunteering as a result!
Fritzoid, hi! That’s interesting, because it’s very nearly how the children in the USSR were conditioned in latency age classrooms. I wrote a college thesis on it, but cannot remember the education theory book a Russian-American participant observer living in the USSR wrote on the process (over 25 years ago). The other book I used when writing the paper was LeGuin’s ‘The Dispossessed’, because the children in that novel were also being socialized as collectivists. The Young Pioneers were given a group leader to make certain assignments were done and grades kept up for the group, and even a link or class row leader who would work with a child who was slacking.
The concept behind such pedagogy was intended to get the child to learn early to follow his role model/leaders, and sublimate his individual ego to that of the collective/group. I don’t know how that would play in the US or with parents here, and honestly I haven’t followed the research on the outcomes of early childhood education in the former USSR. If I ever recall it, I will pass on to you the book title on the theory if I see you here, in case you are interested in finding it!
MatthewJB: Mine is an apocryphal story as I’ve indicated in that post, but so are yours unless you can provide non-anecdotal backup for any of these claims: “Liberals give a much higher percentage of their income than do conservatives. Even more interesting: Non-churchgoers are more altruistic than are churchgoers.”
“Watch any group project: Those who care about it will do good work, and that lifts up everyone.”
As for your comment that children will work harder when they’re NOT graded, that is a red herring. The dynamic that I’m concerned about is that people will not work harder when they are assured of receiving the same reward as those who do not put in any effort. One child may teach another addition when he learns it, but I doubt if he would be willing to split up an academic reward, scholarship or money prize he has taken a year - or years - to earn amongst those in the class who have done poor or average work, or who have not completed any assignments.
There can be no practical comparison between the result of socially engineered shared wealth in nations with populations of under 10,000,000 (or 1,000,000), and the result of socially engineered shared wealth in a nation of over 300,000,000 with far larger percentages of dependents, and only the naive would think such comparisons could be extrapolated in any valid way.
Even as those far less populated socialized countries have gained larger numbers of dependent immigrants and their extended families, and their populations have become less homogeneous with fewer people from the home country with shared value systems acclimated to working together for common goals, benefits and entitlements have had to be cut and rationed more extensively with each decade of population rise - do the research.
Thanks for your comments Macushlalondra! Stratification of wealth assumes that wealth is a fixed sum which is divvied out by the powerful. In fact it is flexible, where more wealth can be created with a combination of capital and effort. The threat of blood in the streets is extortion. While such scenarios have occurred in starving populations, in the US the poor (with the exception of the mentally ill and addicted) are better nourished and accommodated (cars, A.C.,video games, computers cable TV, etc.) than most of the world’s population. Everyone is not entitled to be wealthy, and failure is also possible as a function of freedom.
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