May 2008

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Comments

Lupus

We already have the "average" majority taxing the most successful/skillful at higher rates. Well attempting to, they are usually successful/skillful for a reason, and it's not cause they like to pay a dime more than they have to.

All trends I see are that the "average" majority wants to pay for more programs (national health care) by such an uneven tax code.

Oh, along the same lines, the poor have forced through a number of "minimum" wage bills. Essentially taxing the minority business owners. Paradoxically this reduces the number of jobs available for those same poor.

Bob

Example:
1) drugs. Despite what you say, the majority of the people in the U.S. are brainwashed to the point that they believe drug users are all thieves and murderers. They will not support the freedom to eat/drink/inject/smoke whatever you please.

2) privacy. The majority of the people in the U.S. believe that the government should be granted the ability to spy on our personal communications, with or without a court order.

3) required identification. The majority of the people in the U.S. believe that it is acceptable for the government to require that all citizens carry a National or State I.D. which authority can check any time they please.

Scott, you have to keep in mind that most of the people who see humor in Dilbert, who are your fans, and probably the type of person you gravitate towards, are the ones who know that Dilbert is true. The people around you might be reasonable, and have common sense, but the majority of the people in the U.S. are not reasonable, and have a hard time thinking for themselves. You, Scott, are living in a bubble, as we all are. Everybody lacks enough perspective to get an unbiased view on a large group of people.

Why would the president need to get involved in social issues, anyway. What business is it of yours, as president?

pay attention

Well, a majority in the United States would support the government listening in on the phone conversations of Jihadists who are trying to kill us. If foreigners don't have the constitutional right to plan to murder thousands of innocent men, women and children without the government eves-dropping on them, then the Constitution has been torn up by Bush and we all live in the worst police state in history. Sob.

Juan

The US foreign policy in regards to Cuba seems to be controlled by a very vocal minority in Florida. Even after we've normalized relationship with Viet Nam, China, and Russia, Cuba is left out due to the amount of clout the state of Florida has during a presidential election. The majority of Americans don't seem to care, the majority of American businesses are losing out to foreigners who are investing heavily in Cuba.

Also you could argue that Iowa and New Hampshire (and any of the states in that have early primaries) seem to have much more clout as far as domestic policy initiatives from presidential hopefuls compared to larger states that have primaries and caucuses later in the election season.

olie

Scott: "Most Americans are not gay, but the majority supports gay rights. Most Americans don’t want to kill themselves, but the majority favors legal euthanasia. Most Americans don’t use drugs, but still favor legalizing or decriminalizing drugs. Most Americans are religious, but favor the separation of church and state. [...] So when would the majority choose to oppress a minority?"

While that's how it is where you & I live, it's not clear to me that the majority of Americans support gay rights, favor euthanasia, favor leagal/decriminizalized drugs or want the church completely out of the state.

In fact, I can see any one of these things going the other way. And that'd be bad.

John Reedy

Suicide booths.

http://awritersblock.com

Jeff

Circumcision. Anti-trust exclusions (AMA, pro sports, etc.) Eminent domain. Grandfathered exemptions (EPA limits, etc.)

All but the first might seem economic, but I think a strong case may be made otherwise.

Rabboleth

As far as numbers go, they're moot if a particular group does not have enough power to get what they want. When women are referred to as a minority, is has nothing at all to do with how many women there are. What makes them a minority is their comparatively low social status.

But back to the topic...

Favor a minority over the majority, and members of the majority will feel screwed-over. They'll complain of evildoing. Favor the majority over a minority, and members of the minority will feel screwed-over. They, too, will complain of evildoing.
Which one a person prefers depends, at least in part, on what group they are in. Distinctions of good and evil seem to be a based on whose ox is being gored.

Jen

How about people who live in states with a small population, like Wyoming or Montana?

Over their quite vehement protests, wolves were reintroduced in Yellowstone National Park because people from large states (like New York and California) thought that was the right thing to do.

Or arbitrarily declaring that snowmobiles generate the most air pollution in the Yellowstone and should therefore be banned. (Never mind the million [not kidding] buses, cars, and RVs that travel through Yellowstone in the summer).

People in masses are stupid, and that is why the US was intended to be a REPRESENTATIVE REPUBLIC, not a democracy.

Steven McDaniel

"I’m willing to change my mind on this issue if you have some good examples where majority rule in the modern United States would be evil"
Are we talking about the same country who elected George W. Bush...TWICE?
I rest my case." Ramas

Yawn! That has surely been said of every president of the United States, especially by those who align themselves with the other party. I like the way Mad Magazine put it: [Bush is] the worst president since, well..Clinton.

Alex

@Ramas:

>

Huh, books like "The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations" presents a good case against this quote.

Francesco Orsenigo


Are you telling me that, as a President, you would legalize file sharing and/or allow "piracy"?

Paddy

(a) Public Transportation Choices: The majority & the government discourage the use of a train for cross country traffic or even between my choice of 2 big places within a state (they choose the places and I buy a ticket on their terms). Within a city as well, some places arent tractable unless you have a car but what about having a bus albeit it takes only a few people a day

(b) Choice in Medium of Instruction in Schools: If I am a spanish immigrant and if I choose to have my kid educated in spanish as a medium of instruction with English as a second language (inverse the currentr situation of english as primary and a choice of your language for secondary), can I do that?

T.I.M.

I had no comment yesterday, then just now one popped in my head.
Education.

Smart People, by definition the minority, are inevitably oppressed by Stupid People. The state can never elevate the intelligence level of Stupid People to that of Smart People so it then bureaucratically lowers the intelligence level of Smart people towards that of Stupid People. This oppression negatively effects every remaining moment of the victim's life. Evil itself.

Stupid People always exhibit a necessity to tear down smart people, it makes them feel so though they are smart. But the act of tearing down a smart person ACTUALLY makes them yet more stupid. You can see where this oppression will lead: where we are now then worse.

Dave Oblad

It is evil to wrong someone. It is evil not to correct an obvious wrong.
And it's especially evil if you know you're supporting the wrong doing.

Case-1:
Your grandfather stole something valuable. He passed it to his son, who
passed it to you. The original owner wants it back from you and you refuse
because you didn't steal it yourself, even though you agree it was his. You
know you should not steal from others but keep it anyway. That makes you
a thief, just as guilty as the original thief. To hurt someone is the highest
form of evil and to steal from someone hurts them. Thus stealing is evil.

Case-2:
North America belonged to the native Indians who lived here for centuries
prior to the early settlers. Settlers refused to recognize Indian ownership
of this land because their King had legally claimed ownership of it. Tribes
foolish enough to fight for their land were systematically slaughtered.
We inherited this land from our forefathers who stole it from the rightful
owners. The majority know this truth, but refuse to return the land to the
original rightful owners. Making us all just as guilty as the first settlers.
Thus the majority, all whom refuse to give the land back, are thieves and
thus evil.

Best wishes Scott, from Dave :^)


Andy Coulter

how come every presedential candidate from massachusetts looks herman munster.

kennedy is the exception. he only looks like a warty douche bag.

Andy Coulter

rick santorum is a handjob.

a

How about gang rape?

~C4Chaos

hah!

http://blog.newhumanist.org.uk/2008/01/banned-myspace-deletes-largest-atheist.html

end of discussion.

~C

Matt Hearn

I'm curious where you get your figures; last I checked, a majority of Americans were NOT in favor of drug legalization, and a majority of American support some level of gay oppression (mostly they just want to prevent gay people from getting married, but a surprising number would at least tacitly support efforts to eliminate the "lifestyle"). I don't have the numbers handy, of course, because I'm LAZY, but I'm wondering where you got yours.

Ramas

"I’m willing to change my mind on this issue if you have some good examples where majority rule in the modern United States would be evil"

Are we talking about the same country who elected George W. Bush...TWICE?

I rest my case.

bvb

I am reminded of a great scene in "West Wing" where president Bartlett notes that America is a republic, not a democracy. We elect other people to make decisions, and this is especially wise since the complexities of most important issues make it difficult to impossible for the majority to make an informed decision.

I also like the quote "A person is smart, people are stupid".

Americans (I am one, by the way) as a group tend to be greedy, selfish, spoiled, etc. There are fine examples of generosity and pulling together in a crisis, but generally the public seems to want to be given stuff.

And then there is the media, which as a group seems to mislead - usually to fufill a perceived role as a counter to the "government establishment". Driven by sales, they tend to play towards the public's greedy, selfish, spoiled side. I don't trust "the public" to make good decisions (including electing the "best" person to lead - but hopefully a true leader that is wise somehow gets the job). Maybe the best we can hope for is the "check and balance" system of government.

Stephen W. Stanton

The majority view is often sub-optimal, perhaps even "evil" on many economics issues:

1. For trade protectionism / tariffs.
2. For soaking the rich with taxes.
3. For deporting illegal immgrants and restricting immigration.
4. For socialized healtchare systems that have proven unweildy in all cased where tried.
5. Against development and construction (to restrict supply of new real estate)
6. For overtaxing oil and pharma industries in ways that would hurt consumers (example: http://meganmcardle.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/01/fantasy_pharma.php )
7. Against "bix box" retailers that make life more affordable.
8. For "employer paid" taxes (vs. payroll deductions) which misunderstands the concept of "tax incidence".
9. For higher capital gains taxes
10. For make-work jobs that retard productivity and against layoffs that are necessary to increase productivity
11. For restrictions on speech (hate crime laws, harrassment, college speech codes, etc.)

I could go on. Sure, there isn't any issue as big as "pro-slavery" or "pro-genocide", but many, many smaller issues that hhave a huge negative and unfairly distributed impact in the aggregate.

btw - Women aren't minorities. They're just over half the world's population.

bvb

I agree with those who question your assertions about what the majority of Americans favor.

Maurice Condie

I think paedophiles would be discriminated against as a minority. We might all join in BUT the public are notoriously badly programmed moist robots.
A paediatrician was beaten nearly to death a year ago because some people are not precise about their discrimination…

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