Some of it sounds ridiculous - for every new federal regulation, 2 existing regulations must be eliminated. How is that considered feasible by any rational person? It might sound great if you don't think too hard about it.
The scariest things for me are the backing out of climate change accords and the opening up of additional shale/gas/etc resources. We really don't need to be heading in that direction, energy-wise.
Everything I've seen so far suggests Trump isn't what blue-collar voters ordered for.
On top of that, "regulation count" is not a natural category, since one regulation can specify an arbitrary number of things. If you replace A) No smoking and B) no littering with C) No smoking or littering, have you changed anything substantive? You have not.
Regulation complexity, of course, is a natural category, but it's hard to measure before the fact and doesn't lend itself to easily-applied "follow for a guaranteed reduction" rules.
I otherwise agree that the measure is too simple.
Washington D.C. may be where regulators work (though some of that is outside the District), but regulators are a very small share of the population. The vote in D.C. has little to do with regulators (it has a lot more to do with race, but even saying it was solely about that would be oversimplifying.)
The perception is that all these "horrible" duplications and inefficiencies exist.
The reality is that the duplications are actually slightly different business cases that are are difficult or impossible to generalize (it was easier to copy/mutate) and that seemingly irrelevant code has potentially far reaching and damaging consequences (oh, that was important?)
The essential problem is that we look at these individual lines of code instead of realizing that they grew as part of a dynamic system.
Refactoring code isn't a good analogy.
Try refactoring DNA.
It becomes quite tragic (or hilarious) when teams try to simplify such systems and instead end up breaking lots of business process that was ugly, but worked.
DNA/evolution is orders of magnitude more messy than that, but it gets things done more safely and efficiently than some refactoring efforts I've seen.
"Read My Lips: no new APIs!"
Check who the Trump campaign says is going to be leading the switchover of the EPA. I think I know where most of the slashed regulations are going to come from.
Of course you provide no reason at all except an unsupported assumption to believe that the size of the completely wrong thing that you cite is an indicator of unnecessary complexity, and the fact that you cite the completely wrong thing is a pretty good sign that you have zero knowledge of the domain from which to form a judgement.
You can beat that moneyed system if you happen to be an eccentric billionaire, who happens to have been a household name for decades, who will say anything, racist, misogynistic, hateful, lies and false promises, to get the exposure to get elected despite not paying for it.
Just about anything else and you need money to get exposure, get on television, get yourself in the spotlight. He just didn't happen to have needed money to get exposure, but that's an exception, in exceptional circumstances, and limits potential candidates to those with exceptional media/wealth backgrounds. That's not a model that makes sense to sustain.
And there is a reason for that: "Hillary Clinton was the candidate of the military industrial complex and international finance capital."
Promising to never accept special interest money, only to go on to actively seek out and take it a mere months later, proves that it's necessary to win in an election.
So in my opinion he hasn't demonstrated anything useful.
But he had big money! :)
As for Congress, we also already have a good fix, we just never got around to passing it. Congressional politics are full of money because the districts are too large, on average. The districts are too large because in the 50 states, with 320 million people, we have only 435 voting members in the House of Representatives.
The solution is more Representatives and smaller districts; when you don't have to run a campaign in multiple expensive markets across a broad area, you don't need as much money (and can get to know your constituents better).
And it turns out... there's a constitutional amendment for that.
Way back in 1789 when Congress met for the first time after the Constitution went into effect, they submitted twelve amendments to the states. Ten of them were ratified quickly and became what we know as the Bill of Rights. The other two were not ratified by enough states, and were mostly forgotten.
Today, it's common for Congress to put a time limit on an amendment, saying it has to be ratified within X years or it's dead. But back then they didn't do that. So in 1992 a random university student discovered one of the two "forgotten" amendments and that it was still legislatively "live" -- it would take effect if enough states ratified them. He campaigned hard and got the amendment (which says any increase in salary for members of Congress doesn't take effect until after the next House election) ratified, as the 27th amendment.
The other one is still sitting out there, and would become part of the Constitution if enough states (currently, 27) would ratify it. And it changes the formula for how many Representatives there are, and how they're apportioned. The original text of the Constitution set a cap on the size of the House of Representatives, at one Representative per 30,000 people. The apportionment amendment would raise that to 1 per 50,000, and the version passed by the Senate would require increasing the number of Representatives as the population of the US grows.
So if you want real change in Congress, campaign to get the House of Representatives enlarged. There's even already an amendment available to help you, if you can get it ratified.
Sounds like a good thing then to filter out non-universally good ideas and a great measure to make it harder to buy politicians. Gov needs to do less, not more.
A minor correction to this fascinating story: according to Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twenty-seventh_Amendment_to_th...), Gregory Watson, a UT Austin student, discovered it in 1982. The significance of the year 1992 (in this connection) is that that's when it actually became part of the Constitution.
He's actively seeking suggestions on his transition site.
Share your ideas.
Which is to say if, after electing someone to office, we immediately 1) forgot we voted for them, and 2) became completely unaware of their continuing existence and actions in office only then would elections be truly a sufficient substitute for term limits. Otherwise, given the choice, enough votes will be cast to keep the incumbent in office just because he/she is familiar. The thinking seems to go something like: well, that's the name I recognize, and hey, the world hasn't come to an end in the past few years, so... why not. Let's just keep 'em. Versus this other person who might do all kinds of things I can't foresee and may not like.
I can see arguments for term limits, particularly in positions where the composition of the electorate means the other major party isn't likely to seriously challenge the governing party's preferred candidate (usually the incumbent) which makes their position very safe indeed.
But anti-corruption isn't one of them. Arguably, from a point of view of anti-corruption, the incumbent needs the special interests a lot less than the new challengers...
The challenge of term limits is that they hurt effective politicans the most, so it's always got to be a balancing act.
And his program is not only term-limits. mostly going after the criminals and clean up the mess. They should be worried, and are already crying.
Should be doable even with the press witchhunting him and later with the antiliberal nonsense he will come up to please his voter base.
I am of the opinion that politicians corrupted themselves by selling their ability to shape the laws that govern the country and decide who is punished and who is rewarded.
We must elect trustworthy politicians, we must make it harder for big money to interfere, and we must have faith in our government. It's hard for me to say right now, given our current president-elect, but it's true. There truly is no good alternative to democracy.
"Many forms of Government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." -- Speech in the House of Commons (11 November 1947)
What kind of system is that?
Self-government and/or a stateless society.
There are no examples of 350 million people being governed WITHOUT a government, and for good reasons.
There never is, until the first time. If nobody tried to do things that haven't been done before, there would be no progress.
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man." ~~ George Bernard Shaw
I'm sorry, but that sounds like the kind of thing an edy 18 year old would say.
Please don't do that, this is HN, not Reddit.
Please don't do that. There's no need to smear other sites. Ending the sentence at "Please don't do that." should suffice.
As much as we'd like to believe otherwise, virtually ALL progress is incremental. Technological AND societal.
I'm sorry, why should I feel obligated to give you an example? Like I already said once, there are no examples of something that hasn't been done... yet. So your repeated request for something that isn't required strikes me as kinda pointless.
I certainly think anarchy could work, if the underlying technological stuffs were the enforcers of equality.
*The book is called "Distress", https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distress_(novel)
Case in point: A couple of weeks ago, a jury acquitted the Bundys after they'd occupied a federal building and used threat of lethal force to keep federal authorities from evicting them. If you'll pardon my snark, this is what happens when you turn jurisprudence over to a handful of rednecks.
Along very similar lines, modern-day politicians make decisions affecting (in some cases) millions of lives and trillions of Dollars. The issues they decide on are complex, and ideally we'd want lawmakers to really work at their "trade:" To deeply study the issues and consult competent experts. Our current crop of professional career politicians, some of whom are evolution and warming deniers heading up education and environmental/energy committees are spectacularly failing to live up to this expectation, and there's no good reason to believe a selection of people randomly chosen from the population would do better, on average.
Wanton numerological regulation slashers should be wary of Chesterton's Fence.
On the scale of meaningfulness, this idea is somewhere between the Dow Jones Industrial Average and middle school kids playing with margins, spacing, and font size to satisfy a teacher's page-length requirement.
"The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the government." - Tacitus
Complexity is one thing (although it should be obvious that complex domains often require complex descriptions). But number is arbitrary.
Suppose there exists a set of three distinct regulations regarding ways to safely manufacture a drug, and a dangerous new process is invented for which there is wide consensus that a new regulation is required. Which two of those first three should be discarded? Must every new regulation be weighed in arbitrary relative value against every other possible combination of two regulations in that subject matter area? That department? The country? By reductio ad absurdum, the cut-two-to-add-one rule means that the ultimately correct number of regulations is one. And if it's not one, then there must be some higher "correct" number of regulations at which point the subtraction rule would no longer apply.
Your argument seems to be "whatever that number is, surely it's lower than what we have now". How is that number decided and by whom? Subject matter experts? Voters weighing ballot options written by government officials? Does the number somehow fall or rise to make room for new needs judged important enough? If so, by whom? Is one complex regulation better than ten simple ones? Are ten simple ones more "corrupt" than one complex one?
Unfortunately there's no obvious way to apply a tree-shaking algorithm to the full body of regulations, other than to have humans look at a rule and all agree that the "blue dress on Sundays during harvest" rule can be scrapped. And Chesterton's fence makes many of those judgments risky. So now we're back at politics.
If you make a habit of making regulations long and multifaceted because scope to pass new ones is limited, it probably becomes easier to bury terrible ideas in amongst things people actually really want to pass.
There's a lot of big industry rich people who would love less regulation.
Squeeze the SMB and make it harder for new business to enter and survive in the market.
Sure, but the priority order should be:
Simply concatenating 50 regulations into one super-regulation is not a win.
I think that, of these three, reducing complexity is the only one to which we should directly aspire; reducing the length and number of regulations is, I think, helpful only to the extent that it reduces, or at least doesn't increase, complexity.
Much like with code really. Your cleve 2 line function is really clever, but most of the time the easy to read 30 lines and 3 function version if probably better.
While the "+1 minus two guideline" has plenty of shortcomings in the long term, there is lots of low hanging fruit now, and it's an important mindset shift.
Guys, don't just add LOC. Refactor, clean it up and make it better. Remove blocks we don't use anymore.
The repeal of pointless old laws comes up relatively often here in the UK. Some of our laws are really old - the government was talking about repealing some that were passed almost 750 years ago recently http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-30334812
That is exactly why all laws should have sunset rules built into them.
We should have listened to Thomas Jefferson who wanted all laws, even the constitution itself to expire every 19 years
But also, spending that time cleaning up old laws sounds an awful lot like "doing something useful that will actually impact people's lives".
As a very rough guide. Replacing one big function with two smaller functions is often better than replacing two small functions with one big one.
I ran into problems along those lines in the UK buying some stuff in Spain. Apparently "don't money launder" translates in to a 1 ft high stack of EU regulations that no one understands. I'm not convinced they are hugely better than the three word version.
Canada has a variation on this law.
Edit: Also note that in the preamble it specifically says "Canadians and small businesses." This law does not impact, for example, environmental or safety regulations for real estate developers or utilities. Trump will almost certainly try to cut EPA regulations but something like the Canadian law would never allow that.
You're pointing to a proposal (or more succinctly an initiative). Saying it is nothing like an implementation is misleading.
Regulations are issued by the executive branch, not Congress (repealing regulations is actually done by issuing regulations specifying the regulations to be repealed, so the process for repeal is the same.)
Also, "a regulation" isn't a well-defined unit.
Sounds like the meaning of the executive's order to 'repeal two for every one new' could be decided within the executive branch, then. And since everyone within the executive branch is responsible to the chief executive … maybe it could even work.
He can certainly try: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2014/11/20/365519963/...
In the general case, though, a lot of legislation gives the executive wide discretion as to the details of regulations, and so the president can direct his subordinates to change regulations however he wants, within what the law allows.
E.g. with a budget example the Congress might want to subsidise cantaloupe farms, and budget $100,000,000 for cantaloupe farmers, to be allocated 'as the Secretary of Agriculture may direct.' The president would be within his rights to order the Secretary of Agriculture to only allocate that money to cantaloupe farmers with a total net worth of under $1,000,000, or to give no more than $100,000 to any particular cantaloupe farmer, or (possibly — this one's a stretch) to prioritise farmers of the famed Golden Lucy cantaloupe before all others. But he can't direct that the money be spent on rutabaga farmers.
Similarly, if the Congress writes a law which gives the pertinent executive department some latitude, the President may order that department to exercise that latitude however he likes.
It seems the thing to do would be hire interns to start scouring for every "A married woman shall not chop down a birchwood tree on the day of her wedding while wearing her bridal gown" style law.
If this idea persisted for 50 years maybe they'd have to start repealing actual relevant regulations.
Sure, but how many of those exist at a federal level? Those are often city, county and sometimes state regulations.
Those are just from randomly clicking around Title 18 which are actual crimes. When you get into regulations you end up going through stuff like this:
Yes the "repeal two regulations before imposing one" is just a gimmick, but there are an insane number of federal laws and regulations that are, at best, unneeded.
Sure, it too should probably be consolidated - perhaps under the Lacey act or the Plant Protection Act or Alien Species Prevention and Enforcement Act. But it's not actually a dumb regulation, just an inefficient expression.
You can probably imagine that the letter carrier uniform one may have been in response to fraud. Same for the false weather reports - it's kind of useful to be able to whack someone on the wrist for publishing a hoax tornado warning.
I'm all for the idea of cleaning up our soup of regulations, but I think it's worth noting that many of them exist for a reason, and it's typically more complex than the famously silly "can't ride a horse in a dress on sunday"-type laws still found on some state books.
Putting my geek hat back on, It'd be cool if we could train an LSTM to de-dup laws... ;) But I guess in the meantime there are interns.
I would expect there to already be a federal law prohibiting fraud.
In that case, you have a choice between banning attempts, together with everything that is indistinguishable from an attempt, versus effectively giving fraudsters free reign, despite having a law that technically forbids successful execution of an attempt. Classic legal balancing act: how valuable is the freedom of dressing up as a postman compared to not having to question the authenticity of each and every on of them?
Some should be state laws.
It's very difficult for States to regulate those effectively because without federal funding, they are medium term losses that inhibit growth. One of the reasons the Federal Government gets such a bad rep is because they're the one who needs to take a tough position on this.
Likely because proving intent to avoid taxes and tariffs is much harder than proving you've mailed something. I would bet it's a way to get around having complex expensive investigations for what was a common problem. Pass a law, now it's easy. You mailed tobacco? You're guilty. Case closed, problem reduced, taxpayer money saved.
It's hard to prove that you are a criminal, but criminal goes out at night. So every citizen should stay home after 10pm.
Sure, but that's literally the case with every regulation. The point is to use them when the negatives of the behavior will likely outweigh the negatives the regulation might introduce. In a perfect world, there would be no laws, and free markets would work at peak efficiency all the time.
Now, I don't have enough information to argue authoritatively about the efficacy of this law, but based on the actual wording, where it says it's okay to do it for business as long as you've met all state and federal requirements means I think it's likely that for the most part it has little impact on individuals (who need to mail tobacco rarely) and businesses operating legally.
The trouble with listing a dozen very specific laws like this and considering them all reasonable is this: what if the list had 1,000 items? 10,000? And with no way to know which are the actual meaty laws (like trademark law) and which are just specific instances of said laws (like Smokey the Bear).
This is a perfectly reasonable law that I would not want to see repealed. Don't you agree that it's bad for people to be allowed to impersonate mail carriers? It would facilitate identity theft through rifling mailboxes, make burglary easier, etc. What's wrong with that law?
> I don't see any particular harm from somebody wearing a postman uniform any more than say someone who wants to dress up as the UPS man.
You don't generally get official correspondence from the IRS through UPS. I'm fine with protecting the mailcarrier uniform. There are government expectations associated with that uniform.
Second, it is already illegal to forge correspondence correspondence from the IRS. Why make people who, for whatever reason, want to dress up like Cliff Clavin subject to six months in federal prison? Similarly, I agree mail fraud is real and one can abuse the mail for nefarious means, however again mail fraud is illegal and, in respect to your example, mailing anthrax the people is also already illegal.
I suppose the problem I'm trying to highlight here is a tendency for government, at times, to create laws that are, at best, silly, and, more often, harmfully over-broad in short-sighted attempts to stop behavior that is (or can be) readily addressed by existing laws. It can lead to harmful side effects.
I do like the idea of simple laws, though, and I hope that a future civilization may flourish under the Golden Rule as its only law.
I don't agree on any specific difference between dressing up and impersonating in general, as I'm not sure how you are defining the difference, but to my mind impersonation is likely hard to prove, and if the desire is to stop the behavior, preventing dressing up is a useful way to make sure the law is enforcable.
I do agree there is a difference in importance between impersonating a police officer and impersonating a mail carrier, but in both cases I think the base reason is the same. To keep specific expectations and abilities granted to the individual as a government employee from being abused by others.
> Second, it is already illegal to forge correspondence correspondence from the IRS. Why make people who, for whatever reason, want to dress up like Cliff Clavin subject to six months in federal prison? Similarly, I agree mail fraud is real and one can abuse the mail for nefarious means, however again mail fraud is illegal and, in respect to your example, mailing anthrax the people is also already illegal.
Because if something is routed through the mail system we have a record of it, and information regarding it's origin. If someone dresses up as a mail carrier and puts it in your mailbox, not only is that record lost, but likely nobody around will pay any attention. Some random person putting something in your mailbox may attract attention, if only because those around might think they are trying to steal mail. Which takes us to stealing mail It's harder to steal mail when you have no business in anyone else's mailbox because it's illegal. Neighbors seeing a stranger rifling through a mailbox may be likely to call thge person out or even call the police. Preventing people from impersonating a mail carrier is very useful here.
It's worth noting that other carrier services are legally prevented from using your mailbox. Your mailbox/mail slot is considered federal property. There is thus a chain of custody when things are shipped through USPS, unless someone breaks the law.
> I suppose the problem I'm trying to highlight here is a tendency for government, at times, to create laws that are, at best, silly, and, more often, harmfully over-broad in short-sighted attempts to stop behavior that is (or can be) readily addressed by existing laws. It can lead to harmful side effects.
Sure, those exist. I don't think this is a good case of that.
If the goal is to aggressively double down on every single possible fraud case, where are the laws prohibiting dressing up as a forest ranger, environmental protection agent, President of the United States and various members of Congress (via those realistic-looking masks they sell before Halloween), USDA inspector, SEC controller, four-star Army general or any other government-related position of authority?
I can easily re-engineer a core business application in a couple weeks. It'll do most of what the existing solution does, will be unit tested, and easily extendable. But, it won't cover all those edge cases we've all forgotten exist and that one exception that's required for client 2 who needs red buttons instead of blue buttons and remember that time we ran into the problem where the year-end report took 3 days to run, and locked up the weekly reports because new years eve landed on a Friday which made Justin stay in the office until 2AM trying to get the database back online?
I'm not a law professor, or a lawyer, or in any way involved in law, but the similarities between a 200+ year old set of rules that govern our society and a legacy application that we can't simply turn off for 6 months why we re-engineer it to be "better, but does exactly the same thing" is frightening. We've got a piss poor track record as software developers being able to take on a massive refactor and not introduce more bugs, what the hell makes us think we can consolidate hundreds of thousands of edge cases in law and not miss a bunch of actually useful things?
"In the U.S., responsibility for food safety is divided among fifteen federal agencies. The most important, in addition to the F.S.I.S., is the Food and Drug Administration, in the Department of Health and Human Services. In theory, the line between these two should be simple: the F.S.I.S. inspects meat and poultry; the F.D.A. covers everything else. In practice, that line is hopelessly blurred. Fish are the province of the F.D.A.—except catfish, which falls under the F.S.I.S. Frozen cheese pizza is regulated by the F.D.A., but frozen pizza with slices of pepperoni is monitored by the F.S.I.S. Bagel dogs are F.D.A.; corn dogs, F.S.I.S. The skin of a link sausage is F.D.A., but the meat inside is F.S.I.S.
“The current structure is there not because it’s what serves the consumer best,” Elisabeth Hagen*, a former head of the F.S.I.S., told me. “It’s there because it’s the way the system has grown up.” Mike Taylor, the highest-ranking food-safety official at the F.D.A., said, “Everybody would agree that if you were starting on a blank piece of paper and designing the food-safety system for the future, from scratch, you wouldn’t design it the way it’s designed right now.”
For example, the United States has seven uniformed services with commissioned officers. Can you name them? Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, typically people can get immediately. Given a moment to think, most people also come up with the Coast Guard. But what are the other two?
The Public Health Service Commissioned Corps is the sixth. Which most people kind-of get and realize that's why the Surgeon General wears a vice-admiral's uniform (in fact he is a commissioned vice-admiral -- not of the Navy, of the Public Health Service). They have a commissioned corps because part of their job is being deployed -- often alongside combatant officer corps from other services -- into emergency situations. They were organized for that duty along military lines by the first Surgeon General.
How about the seventh? Oh, that's NOAA. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. You know, the people who do the weather forecasts. They have a commissioned officer corps, and the director is a rear-admiral (again, not of the Navy -- a rear-admiral of NOAA). Why do they have a commissioned corps? Because they've historically rendered assistance to the military in situations where land and coast surveys and weather information were necessary, and commissioning them gave them protection under the laws of war (otherwise, if captured, they could be executed as spies).
Similarly, why is it that certain financial crimes get you investigated by the Secret Service and not the FBI? The Secret Service protects the President, after all, and that has nothing to do with finance. But originally they were chartered for the narrow purpose of fighting counterfeiting, back when Congress was reluctant to authorize a general-purpose federal law-enforcement agency. Then, since they had a good intelligence network across the country as a result of the anti-counterfeiting mission, presidential protection got tacked onto their charter (at that time, Congress didn't want to proliferate federal enforcement agencies). Today, they investigate some types of frauds and other financial crimes because it still falls under their original anti-counterfeiting charter.
You can literally write books about this stuff if you dive into the history of it, and you'll often find that there were good, rational, justifiable reasons for why things were set up the way they were.
GP's point was that redundancy has been accumulated over the years. Of course there's usually a rational justifiable reason, but that doesn't mean it's still a valid one.
Really interesting stuff on the uniformed services.
And yet... consider the Secret Service thing. Congress was reluctant to concentrate federal law-enforcement power in one agency. And the history of the FBI shows that may have been the right idea.
There may have been real problems with the Water Hyacinths as an invasive or endangered species, for example. And we certainly don't want to make it legal for people to change traffic signals at will!
I had actually expected to find oodles of needless cruft and "dead code", but I'm starting to think that it might be possible that most regulation is there for a reason... who'd a thunk it!
Both because it would help with the problem where people don't understand the intent of a law or regulation and so assumes they are stupid, and because it would make passing genuinely stupid laws and regulations harder if you have figure out ways to set out the intent and an "outcome test" in a way that doesn't xpose how bad it is.
A lot of laws would fall due to having been passed due to ignorance.
A lot of others would fail to pass in the first place because legislators would be forced to use legislators laying bare intent to punish based on morality rather than provable benefits to society - it's hard to get people to oppose laws where someone claims massive harm if a law isn't passed; it'd be easier to get people to oppose laws justified by a view of morality they may not share.
And even if they still pass, it provides a much clearer attack surface for people campaiging for a repeal.
But conversely it also provides a strong defense for laws with good purpose that actually work.
There's a lot of regulation around internet services and people under the age of 13. The primary effect of these rules has been that American internet services ask for your DoB and then ineffectively try to ban you from signing up if you say you're under 13. Do parents really need this?
To me, this sounds like a quarantine law. All countries have these, e.g. it is not allowed to transport certain meat products or other foods across German borders.
Once again, a "standard" anti-trafficking law.
What? Such things exist? Are these "traffic signal preemption transmitter" devices used in e.g. ambulances?
A ban on "drug subs", commonly used on the southern border these days. Gangs actually manufacture high-sea-worthy subs in the jungle.
> Yes the "repeal two regulations before imposing one" is just a gimmick, but there are an insane number of federal laws and regulations that are, at best, unneeded.
Unfortunately, you picked out the worst examples of "unneeded" laws.
Yes, they're used at some intersections to forcibly change the light to green. And they're basic IR transmitters so they're ridiculously easy to make.
no postal service carrier uniform allowed on Halloween
It's both comical and sad that I think you're correct in that assessment, but only because it's been so gridlocked already, that it's just the continuation of what we know and what we know it to be pretty shitty.
There are entire books written filled with silly, outdated, or absurd laws and regulations (both federal and state).
Here's just a taste:
> 18 USC §1382 & 32 CFR §636.28(g)(iv) make it a federal crime to ride a moped into Fort Stewart without wearing long trousers.
> 16 USC §551 & 36 CFR §261.16(c) make it a crime to wash a fish at a faucet if it's not a fish-washing faucet, in a national forest.
> 21 USC §461 & 9 CFR §381.171(d) make it a crime to sell "Turkey Ham" as "Ham Turkey" or with the words "Turkey" and "Ham" in different fonts
> 18 USC §1865 & 36 CFR §7.96(b)(3) make it a federal crime to harass a golfer in any national park in Washington, DC.
The job of the SEC, for example, is to provide a framework for the public to safetly invest in and own parts of corporations while providing qualified investors more freedom to invest in riskier ventures. The SEC decides what financial disclosures best fulfill its job requirements and imposes fines on violators. However, the laws that actually punish executives for breaking SEC rules are written by Congress and the courts are the last step that decides whether Congress or the agency are overstepping their bounds.
Regulations as a landscape change much faster than laws and are consolidated all the time so there's a lot less cruft than the rest of our legal code would lead you to believe.
Still though, I think it's helpful to point out that the legal nature of regulations allows them to move faster and reduce internal complexity while the legal code is mostly append only.
And that's why we have so much red tape. Apparently there's a type of person who can't abide not having all possible minutia of life legislated.
Also, I don't think anyone is saying that they're critical to the functioning of civilized society, just that they're not ridiculous and outdated, and that being truthful about the topic of discussion is important in a discussion. We can, and should, debate whether they're needed! But we first need to understand what arguments there are in favor of keeping them.
Here's the law: https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/9/381.171
This is one of a large number of sections of the law that define what food products mean, for every food product on the market, and lead to a consistent UX at markets. It's not like someone passed the Turkey Ham Font Sizes Act of 1947 or something.
It's these sorts of laws that prevent people from labeling, e.g., high-fructose corn syrup as "corn sugar". http://corn.org/facts-about-the-cra-petition-on-corn-sugar/
Trump has complained about "the FDA Food Police, which dictate how the federal government expects farmers to produce fruits and vegetables and even dictates the nutritional content of dog food."
So, expect to see corn sugar in your sodas as soon as a new federal regulation gets passed. And something else, as soon as people figure out what "corn sugar" is.
More important context for the "ham" law is that the criminal penalty statute they're citing is actually meant to pair with this offenses statute:
... it captures a bunch of other regulations by reference, including labeling laws, but that doesn't mean someone passed a law saying it should be a federal crime to use the wrong font for ham.
HFCS is probably not significantly different from table sugar as far as human metabolism goes.
The longitudinal nutrition studies in humans necessary to tease out the differences are difficult to perform well. I think it's worthwhile to at least keep in mind that these different sugars do have different effects on the body, especially given the levels of consumption we're seeing in the US.
What is dangerous is the suggestion that sucrose is safer than HFCS; it misleads people into believing they are making a healthy choice when they drink sugared soda made with cane sugar. They are not. Sucrose in significant quantities is extraordinarily bad for you, for the same reason HFCS is!
The metabolic pathways are different. If you want to argue that this is not a meaningful difference given the evidence we have, that's fine. I can understand that. I clearly stated that doing the kinds of studies that would be able to show such evidence are difficult to do. Do you think this is a fair assessment? I get the impression that you think I'm trying to muddy the waters. That's not the case.
That should absolutely still be on the books. You'd have people cleaning fish in bathrooms.
"The following are prohibited: (c) Cleaning or washing any personal property, fish, animal, or food, or bathing or washing at a hydrant or water faucet not provided for that purpose."
This is the sort of thing that would just be a normal rule, in a contract or something, in a privately-managed park. For a federal park, it's perfectly reasonable for it to just be a federal law.
You could also imagine a world where it's simply illegal to be in a federal park without signing a contract with the government, which would get these sorts of things out of the CFR, but that seems like it would be worse for the American people at zero benefit. And personally, I'd still call things in those contracts "federal regulations".
You could also imagine a world where national parks become privatized.
So to forbid washing fish at a faucet in a national park... you literally do have to make a federal law (or a regulation with the force of federal law).
This is also why they have their own law-enforcement agency (the United States Park Police): Congress was, for a very long time, reluctant to authorize a general federal police force, so many agencies have their own specific police force operating solely within that agency's jurisdiction. It also creates fun inter-jurisdictional issues since the U.S Capitol building has its own separate police force, but the Capitol building is on the National Mall, which is Park Police territory.
The issue here is that the statute authorizing criminal penalties covers a whole range of national park regulations, some of which clearly merit stiff penalties, and some of which are just about washing fish safely.
I just assumed that over 250 years some cruft was inevitable.
It's something that sounds simple and good to someone who not only isn't aware of the details of what it would mean in practice, but also isn't aware of their own inability to understand the details and nuance, or that there are details and nuance. It was a Dunning-Kruger election.
The Dunning-Kruger effect effect is itself an example of Dunning-Kruger effect but given that the Dunning-Kruger effect does not actually exist in general, the Dunning-Kruger effect effect may be the only instance of Dunning-Kruger effect that actually exists.
High brow smack (condescension) like that and "basket of deplorables" are what America revolted against.
If the liberal left was truly smart, why did they allow the president to run up more national debt than all presidents prior...combined?
Why is that even offensive to anyone? Just because of someone's personal insecurity about not having a college degree in anything? I've worked around plenty of people without college degrees (4 year vet, USAF, enlisted), they have nothing to be insecure about... except for uninformed ideas about the world (IMHO).
Is it the subtle "I got this" confident arrogance of the expert? If so, then how is that any worse than a confidence and arrogance NOT based on intelligence/education/experience? (i.e., dunning-kruger)
If the liberal doctor says you have cancer and need an operation and the conservative mechanic says it's just soreness and to take two Advil, are you going to discount the doctor because he is liberal elite, or because he is full of himself and has terrible bedside manner?
If merely getting a college education makes you more liberal (as can be seen in exit polling), does that mean that merely knowing/understanding more things has a liberal bias? Doesn't that mean knowledge itself has a liberal bias? Does that sound like a preposterous conclusion to you? Modus tollens, and all that (not that even using the language of logical discourse is valued at all).
No wonder this "anti-intellectualism spring." Election as proxy-class-war and proxy-culture-war (not to mention proxy-gender-war), that much has been made clear.
“Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'” ― Isaac Asimov (RIP)
Broadly, the uneducated US population has historically distrusted experts and competence, preferring uneducated populists with charisma. This has generally led to the US having worse outcomes in many many areas. You can review any particular situation you know something at an expert & educated level about; usually that's in mild disarray to poorly done due to this gap between educated understanding and the electorate's choices.
This urge was understood: hence why the original US constitution had no popular vote provision for the President. It is instructive to read the rationale for the electoral college on Wikipedia.
Consequently, I'm a republic fan, but not a Republican.
I would also note that Fox News & descendants have specifically operated in a post-fact pro-opinion mode for years and years, defining the situation and the worldview of much of the uneducated populace. It lacked only a candidate to run on the Fox News/Drudge Report platform.
One could also remark that technology is inherently a political statement, and that the social media of today inherently promotes poor discourse. Elections 2016 rode in on Twitter, and disinformation campaigns flooded Facebook. It's not on Facebook to censor lies, but it's on Facebook to meditate on the modalites of media.
But, as all good nerds know, code has no politics, and politics is dirty, and politicians are liars, and politics doesn't affect them. So it's better to write code and not think about the consequences. (sarcasm, there)
Well folks, it's time to think about consequences, and ponder the events of the post-WW1 era.
Could be wise to not end up on an anti-Trump list assembled from private Facebook groups and demanded by a thin-skinned egotist.
Well, on that note, I'll be zipping my mouth on this one.
He expounds on and develops this idea much more.
I hold it close to my core that critical thinking skills go hand-in-hand with a brighter individual and collective future. What do I say to someone who I think is falling into the trap of a logical fallacy that doesn't sound like I know better? If I think someone is misguided, am I supposed to listen to why they feel the way they do, then ask them to consider something not as wrong? What if they hold it true as their own set of Good Facts and are not open to conversation?
Or is the point of the article that maybe I'm objectively wrong about many policies I hold dear? LGBT equality, gender equality, etc, are causes that I'm actually wrong about and I should look at the other side for inspiration, regardless of where their 'Truth' comes from?
I'm deeply saddened that I not only observe and sometimes identify with the smug left, but I also have many conversations with family and friends who I would describe in a similar article with a different bent as the angry, illogical right. What do I do to reach those folks?
I'm also worried that their way of life is actually dying, because it is dying. Their jobs, their biggest source of pride, are disappearing, and attempting to repatriate them will likely result in big business investing in capital (robots) over labor (rural workers).
I want to support a smart policy that helps them get back on their feet. Is thinking that Donald Trump likely won't be able to bring them what they seek a smug liberal policy? If so, am I supposed to feel bad about thinking it, try to convince people about it, shut up about it, or none of the above?
Additionally, I think this is the type of article that appears when both sides live in an echo chamber. Yes, this is an excoriation of the smug left, but the smug left and this article only exists if we live in our own bubbles. The thing nobody knows and everyone wants to figure out is how to break down those barriers.
Listen, really listen to them and think why do they have this opinion. What feelings are behind it. This is how you have a conversation with a person and not a lecture.
I think a difference I've seen this election is between verifiable facts and debate-able opinions. I can listen and probe intently until my partners face is blue but, for example, if they believe the world is flat, there's very little middle ground we can get opinion-wise since we fundamentally disagree about the shape of the earth.
I try to be as open as possible to differences in opinions and try my best to accept conflicting evidence to my world view. But, if someone is trying to convince me of something a couple google searches could easily disprove, I end up exasperated by the discussion. What do I do there? Not trust google?
My knee jerk thought is that these folks have been misinformed by people they trust. I want to help fix that, not lecture them. The tactics dont matter as much as the result.
This lead to rethinking pretty much everything I do. I think it can be summarized in one word - patience. I have to pick my battles carefully. I shouldn't jump to every opportunity to debate. I have to let some things go. I have to identify the good opportunities - where I can say something truly engaging, touching. Most importantly, I have to be brief. No long answers, at most just 1 reply after that. No battles, they can't be won on the spot but perhaps I will make the other party reflect on what I've said later. This means that I have be efficient, leading to thinking about the other people involved, why they have their position and how to bring to their attention that there are other just as credible positions.
A couple of quotes I find worthy:
Plato: "[...]if you talk to any ordinary Spartan, he seems to be stupid, but eventually, like an expert marksman, he shoots in some brief remark that proves you to be only a child".
Epictetus: "Never call yourself a philosopher, nor talk a great deal among the unlearned about theorems, but act conformably to them. Thus, at an entertainment, don't talk how persons ought to eat, but eat as you ought. [...] So that if ever any talk should happen among the unlearned concerning philosophic theorems, be you, for the most part, silent. For there is great danger in immediately throwing out what you have not digested. And, if anyone tells you that you know nothing, and you are not nettled at it, then you may be sure that you have begun your business. For sheep don't throw up the grass to show the shepherds how much they have eaten; but, inwardly digesting their food, they outwardly produce wool and milk".
That's why people like Putin.
So now you taste by yourself what you did to the world with too much left liberalism. Good luck with that and have your own Putin as a result.
Each step must not make revolutions and counterrevolutions. Each step mustn't break people's minds. Each step must consider everything (not "goal for goal"). So conservatism is much more complex because you need to consider everything and with this knowledge make hard decisions, not just run to the sun with some hope that everything will be all right, like drug addicts do. For me, leftism and all modern liberalism is infantile and conservatism is for grownups.
"Trump capturing the nomination will not dispel the smug style; if anything, it will redouble it. Faced with the prospect of an election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the smug will reach a fever pitch: six straight months of a sure thing, an opportunity to mock and scoff and ask, How could anybody vote for this guy? until a morning in November when they ask, What the fuck happened?"
Wow, considering this was written in April, that ended up being remarkably prescient, eh?
It does an excellent job of diagnosing the American Left's political and social ills. It left out the most important part: a solution. It never actually validated either ideology nor proposed a solution beyond "make sure to respect and empathize with the other side."
I feel you never actually addressed the veracity of the parent poster's statement, just the tone. It is a valid criticism, to be sure, but I would like more.
Things having to do with sexual behavior are in the realm of irrational "out of the box" so to speak, trying to bring logic into the discussion doesn't bode well for either side and can lead down a long and treacherous path deep into the ontology of human psyche.
Things I'm talking about are "simpler" things like:
- gun control. most discussions with liberal anti-gun opponents end up in 2 basic scenarios: "guns are bad mmmk" or "you must be some kind of a gun-toting redneck"
- illegal immigration. this is a huge can of [il]logical blunders from the liberal side. but essentially boils down to "dis rasist".
- global warming or rather it's anthropological component. normally starts and ends by labeling the opponent "a climate change denier" no matter how adamant one is about trying to convey that this is specifically an anthro component of it that is being discussed.
- then there's the ever present "dis rasist" and "h8r" labels used every time there is a racial component to the issue. these are applied at will. don't like Obamacare (or anything Obama)? - "rasist h8r"; think the dude had a gun and not a book when a [black] cop shot him? - "major league racist"... etc ad nauseum.
there are other liberal sacred cows but these are just some of the ones talked about more often esp lately with the election and all.
If the prospect of forcing millions of innocent women already suffering from a miscarriage through a trial (not to mention ALL the added cost and effort) doesn't horrify you, it should.
Secondly, over 50% of fertilized eggs never actually implant into the uterus and get washed out. If nature itself is tossing fully half of the fertilized eggs out, then a few more won't make much of an ethical difference.
you saying there's no difference between a fertilized egg and the fetus 2 hrs before childbirth?
I'm making the distinction of in-person discussions only because I do think sweeping negative statements have been made on both sides incessantly for years, but nowhere nearly as toxic or shameless as from the safety of anonymity. If that's the major source of "seeing both sides" for the public majority, seeing venomous Tweets and dismissive Facebook posts, it's no wonder that we're dealing with such a schism of understanding and fundamental respect.
Liberal crowds tend to be passive-aggressive in general ("give us our safe space you fn bigots or we'll burn something" :) ) so these in person discussions also only work in "private" settings.
Observing this as we speak - "stupid rural whites ("hicks" from the article we're discussing) are to blame for trump's victory" type vibe in the lib news + street protests.
If opinions are voiced in a respectful manner with the goal of achieving an understanding between those who think differently rather than a victory then the responses you receive are absolutely unacceptable, at least to me. I do hope you'll understand how someone can be wary to unquestionably validate generalizations about anyone, including liberals, without being provided much insight to the specific statements or situations that have preceded them. I personally respond well to self-reflection, as I find it important to keep mental context for my own emotions and motivations. From our conversation, allow me to offer some: I don't make the negative statements you've experienced but I have not dismayed them, not seeing them as equal to pain evoked from other derogatory statements like ethnic/gay slurs. Part of this is because my experience includes those derogatory statements coming from the mouths of those rural Americans so there is some "logical" motivation behind the statements being thrown back in their direction. Respect was not received, respect is not provided, and now here we are, worse off than before. Now aware of this, I will not enable a platform for those comments to be made regardless of the situation.
Sure. But, as an example, one would have to be [intellectually?] dishonest to turn a blind eye to rampant namecalling and smear campaign tactics "the left" has employed during the elections. Don't think you need to go as deep as to analyze specific situations to see that.
This also fails to address the survivor's bias that perhaps those who actually can enter college may already be predisposed to liberalism due to locality and family circumstances.
To abuse the old HN gripe, correlation doesn't imply causation.
Do you have evidence to support that? Because here is mine: Exit polling for the most recent election:
Scroll down to the "Education" and especially the "Education by Race (white)" sections.
Peripherally (I call it that because of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religiosity_and_intelligence), look at the "Religion" section, protestant christians vs. "none".
You haven't answered the actual point of my argument, which is "college degrees don't necessarily bestow liberal viewpoints."
Intellectual Yet Idiot (IYI)
(not aimed at you)
My most salient criticism is the slam against GMO's... I've done my own homework there and I haven't found solid evidence that there is something systematically wrong with all GMO's.
That said, I think there is certainly some anti-intellectualism on the Right and behind Trump's success (no surprise). However, I don't think the nation is awash in irrationality, racism, misogyny, etc (though that is the Left's scary, dishonest spin) and the election was, at least partly, a repudiation of the Left's posturing as the intellectual, reasonable alternative.
I am a person who tries very hard to be centrist with the hope of getting closer to some "universal truths" (my Facebook page is practically a monument to political moderation) and this is the most difficult time I've had in years of trying to do this.
I would characterize the political alignment of government employees to be as diverse as the nation's. "The government" as a liberal-partisan force seems a bit inaccurate given that the House and Senate have had Republican majorities since 2012. That said, my exposure with U.S. government employees is limited to Defense/IC; I won't discount a bias --liberal or otherwise-- in NSF or other grants programs.
The LEOs blocked research into marijuana use for pain, nauseousness, etc. for decades because they don't want to admit that they dedicated their lives to a pointless "war" on drugs and they still heavily influence what gets studied today.
The anti-tobacco scare-mongering is beyond belief. Researchers admit that nicotine is not the "most addictive drug in the world" per the propaganda, they can't even get rats addicted to it in isolation. It turns out it is nicotine plus chemicals in tobacco smoke that make smoking addictive and the cognitive and physiological benefits of nicotine are just starting to be known. The big problem here is that if research legitimizes nicotine use (even as a pill or whatever) it can threaten the cigarette taxes that many states depend on so it is opposed which is a pretty cynical way to fund your govt in my book. The "second hand smoke" hysteria is statistical non-sense pushed by the anti-tobacco zealots.
I think the climate research is politically tainted as well but I won't go into that.
So who should fund science? Industry? They won't fund any science. They will fund research into engineering and technology. But they won't fund basic science. Furthermore expecting industry funded research to be unbiased is like expecting turkeys to vote for a second Christmas.
(probably government-funded research)
I see your point about bias being present in grants distribution, but there is no better way that is apparent. Too liberal, and you waste money on useless research. Too conservative, and you stifle important research that has no immediately marketable use. Scientific grant administration is difficult. As to government employees being in charge of grant distribution, who else should perform this function? Where else would the funding come from? The U.S. is a world leader in scientific research due to its generous (in comparison) funding.
"The Intellectual Yet Idiot" from "Skin in the Game" by Nassim Taleb
I think the point you're making is that credentialed individuals shouldn't be blindly trusted; on the other hand, those that say that all experts are clueless are falling for the very same fallacy decried by Taleb.
That said, I appreciate your posting of this link; it was a good read (I'm not being snarky).
So why people make so much hype about this 20%? Because they don't have much perspective and freedom in their mind to understand that. They just have very simple filters and Trump's lack of knowledge hits them. And now they can condescend to him and feel good.
But what about other 80%?
I happen to agree with you in concept, although I'd put knowledge closer to 30% (guesstimate).
In my line of work I would say that knowledge is a third of what I need, and the rest is a mix of patience, ability to learn things I don't know, humility and ability to work well with others.
Are these the traits you would look for or something else?
And how would you rank Trump on these? (or yours, if you have others)
So, it is emotional intelligence, persistence, will, ability to make friends, charisma, luck, fearlessness, high motivation, sensitivity, humility, ironic perception of the world, ability to resolve conflicts, ability to make boundaries, healthy aggression, ability to cope with your own aggression and aggression of others, ability to cope with doubts, deep understanding of other people, ability to learn things, ability to understand, ability not to divide everything to black and white, ability to break patterns in mind, lack of mind problems... etc.
You also not only need to know many complex things. You need to know unique things, and this things must create something like 3D network in mind. They must be linked with each other. The quality of this network and quality and uniqueness of facts are 100 times more important then amount of facts.
So if some liberal know many things like "LGBT is good", "aggression is bad", "people are equal" and usually they just repeat that over and over, this is nothing. They can read books, but reading by itself doesn't create links and facts that they read aren't unique. This is just something like propaganda but more subtle. They install kernel of left liberalism in their mind and that kernel controls them. They don't have ability to control it. They don't even understand that it's exist.
So if we look at this like points in RPG, I rank Trump higher than Clinton. He understands people much better so he has better emotional intelligence and many other things. He is good showman and this means that he has many social abilities. He is funny. He is businessman so he is very adequate in life. He has healthy aggression and this is good. He is more fearless. He doesn't fear to look stupid. He doesn't have much shame and I thinks it's healthy. He has charisma. He has healthy family.
As to the wider point that more educated people are more liberal, there is plenty of evidence that liberal views are forced on people in the education system. That doesn't mean people are liberal because they are smart. If all universities were Christian, as they once were, that wouldn't prove that Christians were smarter.
For all the reasons people do/claim to vote for Trump because of, the "he says what's on his mind, he's anti-PC" always stood out the most, when things like this come up.
* Bringing facts to the conversation isn't acceptable.
* Calling Trump out for the things he actually says and does isn't acceptable.
* Insulting Trump by calling him an insecure man-child isn't acceptable, because he'll sue.
Trump was a buffoon 2, 10 and 20 years ago, and he is a buffoon now. That he somehow magically got elected doesn't actually change that, and it amazes me what we're all willing to forget, and how fast.
Merit doesn't actually matter anymore. We'll rather elect a misogynistic, racist, incompetent, inexperienced ill-tempered man than the qualified, boring, moderate woman.
Sorry for hijacking and possibly ruining your eloquent post, but all this honestly baffles me.
This isn't true even on the face of it; it went up from ~10 trillion to ~18 trillion. And aside from that; the national debt exploded due to the economic collapse that happened months before Obama was sworn in. The accusation is wrong on the facts and disingenuous.
The money to the banks, I'm not so sure.
Don't forget Obama was handed two active wars that he had to fund. They were spending billions per day on military operations. He wound them down as fast as he could but it still took years.
Actually, the majority of Americans agreed with Hillary Clinton. She won the popular vote by over a million votes. We just use an outdated system built to appease slaveholders that does not necessarily represent the bulk will of the people. Trump won on a technicality of our (antiquated and frankly awful) system, not on a mandate.
>If the liberal left was truly smart, why did they allow the president to run up more national debt than all presidents prior...combined?
The president doesn't make the budget or handle the accounting of the US. Congress does. Guess who controls Congress? Hint, not the liberal left.
While I agree that the electoral college is not the best system, we can't really know what the results would have been if the popular vote determined the presidency. Campaigns are optimized based on the electoral college and each would have been run differently on a different system. Also, voter turnout may have been different because you no longer have partisan strongholds which may discourage voting.
A plurality did, not a majority.
But still more than went with any individual alternative.
> Trump won on a technicality of our (antiquated and frankly awful) system, not on a mandate.
It's not so much antiquated as evil; it's designed specifically to magnify the power of voters in states with people counted for assigning representation that don't vote (primarily to secure slavery, but its continued to reward other forms of disenfranchisement since.)
Thank you for providing me with the opportunity to look up the difference :)
Wikipedia  also recognizes this meaning.
It may have been built with slave/free state "fairness" in mind, but even today the mechanism serves to level out the tyranny of the majority, from the states' perspective.
I like to add there is still 4 million votes that are being counted. Projection even from CNN is that Trump wins the popular vote.
Also, following on your second point, if the Dems are so smart how could they not see that Clinton was a fatally flawed candidate. We'll never know but I think its likely Sanders would have won versus Trump.
All of the people positions of power in the DNC were pro-Hillary. That's why they were blinded. Their mind was made up before the election cycle even started.
> All of the people positions of power in the DNC were pro-Hillary. That's why they were blinded.
Running a campaign vs running a country is very different, no doubt. But many will make a case there. She has dropped the ball on the election, besides other list of things vs someone won against all odds (CNN projecting less than 1% odds of winning).
The interesting thing is much as people like to say Trump is stupid, anti-intellectual, just a TV personality, somehow he had intuition to poll in the right states at the right time, to understand what people want and respond do. All that while the both the Republicans, and Democrats, the media, the DOJ and POTUS where against him.
Taking everything away and just comparing based on those things, it is possible to draw some conclusions perhaps.
Interesting theory when she got more votes.
Because the prez doesn't actually get a say. Congress sets the budget and the prez is obligated to pay it. If the taxes that congress sets aren't enough to cover it, the prez has to borrow the money. Given that Congress has been controlled by the Republicans for the past... 6?... years, you're barking at the wrong crowd.
Congress is in a sweet spot here, where they can blame the president for the huge debt that is congress's doing.
> America hasn’t put its demons — including racism, anti-Semitism and misogyny — behind it. White people still make up the vast majority of the electorate, particularly when considering their share of the Electoral College, and their votes usually determine the winner.
By intentionally continuing to attempt to associate support for trump with a litany of unacceptable -isms that are the guilty burden of being white (men), he exposed the attitude that people are revolting against.
His message appealed to people in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Yes, it's pretty sad that people were willing to vote for him despite the racism, sexism, and general demeanor. Did many really vote for that, or did they vote to get out of NAFTA and introduce protectionism under the idea that they might get some of their former glory back. They hear MAGA and think back to when Detroit had the highest average income in the country. When Flint didn't have poison in the water. It's about you first, others second. It's a powerful message, one that people who don't support trump seemed to fail to recognize under all the absolutely horrible awful things constantly coming at us.
Compare that to Hillary basically saying "meh, they'll vote for me". How much extra effort would it have taken to keep those 3 states democrat.
I don't think a person who's construction job was taken away by an under-the-table worker really cares what color the other person's skin is, the milk and bread he can't afford now leaves the same hole in his pantry.
Same thing for software development offshoring - is it racist for those out-of-work Disney engineers to want their jobs back?
The parent of my comment was saying that this was abnormal, whereas it is (sadly, perhaps?) quite common in voting.
So apparently he's no more abnormal than McCain and Romney were, to those voters. Or at least they felt their other options this time were a lot worse. Or something. It's hard to draw a hard conclusion from the numbers here.
People really, really, really, don't like it when you deny or trivialize their experience. I think it was the final straw that led to the Trump victory.
This is a good thing to touch on, because it very handily demonstrates an area where differing opinions became a crux upon which the election turned. Trump was "on the record" joking around in a manner that, despite Clintonian assertion otherwise, is not at all uncommon, amongst men and women. It is, also despite assertion, not universally accepted that offensive words are equivalent to harmful actions. For instance, although I did not vote for Trump, I will never accept this precept as valid.
The racism and sexism are sort of victims of their own overuse. I've said, unto exhaustion, that fighting sexism with sexism and racism with racism is equivalent to fighting a fire with fuel, but political beliefs state that racism against whites and sexism against males is justified and therefore non-existent, so it gets deployed rampantly. This election is one obvious result.
Or possibly there's just a lot of it around.
Yes, I supposed we could fix that by not complaining about them being racist and sexist.
No attempt at political correctness will ever impact the freedom to believe anything at all, hateful, loving, or totally rational. That freedom is fundamental to being human. It is not granted by any organization and cannot be revoked using any known mechanism, no matter what your opinion on those thoughts.
We don't need code to believe and express that we are free to say hateful things. Even those on the left believe they are free to say hateful things about people on the right. They've simply fooled themselves into believing that feeling justified about that hate means that they aren't being hateful.
Here's a spoiler alert for being human: everyone feels that exact same justification. It is literally meaningless.
Again its not about ism although they play a part. Its about establishment vs anti-establishment. Hillary Clinton was the candidate of international finance and military complex.
The more people insist it was racists and sexists behind the vote, the more they miss the point. Part of the Trump vote was reacting sharply to the labeling + ridicule technique.
There are other options. Learn more about why they feel the way they do, understand them. These are (most of our) countrymen, fellow humans at the very least.
Education, understanding, compassion. Not ridicule.
The fact that the average American knows so little about the political process that they think the president can just tell a corporation where they have to employ people makes my head hurt. Badly.
The message of this election was: just lie to people. Even if there's no factual basis in our known reality to back up your statements, if you tell them what they want to hear they'll believe it. And that's really, really sad. I feel for the people who have lots manufacturing jobs, but the way out of that hole isn't voting for a guy who's going to remove any social safety net you previously had available...
The poll states that 44% of the queried republicans said "No" to the question.
I've never believed that these polls offer wisdom into the mindset of people - they're too reductive and simplistic.
13% think Obama is a Christian. 77% are not sure if he was born in the US.
I agree the "mindset of the people" is more complex than this, and such a belief about Obama may not be the main driver of their voting behavior.
But they are being truthful about saying they believe what they believe, right? They either believe it or they don't. In my eyes this kind of mass susceptibility to conspiracy theories is a huge sociological phenomenon that should be explored.
How much did they try to understand Obama voters? Not at all. We got 8 years of racist attacks, "you lie!", and scorched earth tactics. I appreciate your invitation to be magnanimous but I'm not feeling it yet.
This is a cycle.
I assert that it is probably no longer a factor for the majority of Republican voters.
I think this is the source of the narrative, rightly or wrongly. I don't see any evidence it had anything to do with the Reagan or Bush presidencies.
In my lifetime I didn't see the uptick in overt white supremacy until President Obama took office. I think it is a combination of cyclical liberal excuses and some legitimate labelling.
The reason is because it's much much harder to repeal laws than to add new ones, so they tend to increase over time. Regulation bloats.
Not random selection, of course, but better than nothing.
Now you like LGBT, in 50 years you will kill them.
Same with many things.
The problem is that you do all this things to the world. And poor world must bend to your changing mind.
USA, keep this mind-changing insanity to yourself, ok?
Just so we're clear, 50-80 years ago I wasn't alive. ;)
But if you insist on doing things this way, you could make this sort of case about all sorts of countries:
"50-80 years ago, you were killing Jews in Europe; now you're not and are so happy about it." Well, except not everyone is happy, of course.
"50-80 years ago, you Japanese were enslaving people in countries around yours, now you're not and are so happy about it."
"25 years ago, you Swiss wouldn't let your women vote in elections in your canton, now you do and are so happy about." See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appenzell_Innerrhoden#Women.27...
> Now you doing opposite and are so happy with it.
I dunno about _happy_. There are a bunch of people not happy with marijuana legalization, and a bunch more who are not terribly happy with it but are even less happy with the state of things.
Just like there were people who were not happy to end alcohol prohibition, but were even less happy with the state of things when prohibition was in effect.
> Now you like LGBT, in 50 years you will kill them.
Just like the Swiss will repeal women's suffrage and various countries in Europe will go back to murdering Jews, right?
Or perhaps, just possibly, that might not happen? Maybe?
> The problem is that you do all this things to the world.
Really? How, exactly, is "the world" affected by the legality or not of marijuana in the US? There's some interaction with our immediate neighbors due to attempts to eliminate smuggling operations, but other than that, what is this doing to "the world"?
>Really? How, exactly, is "the world" affected by the legality or not of marijuana in the US?
It's simple. CA accepts -> other states accept because they look after CA & NY & TX -> UK accepts because in such things they look after USA -> EU accepts because in such things they do what USA & UK do -> Russia accepts because in such things they do what EU do (yes, it is true).
5-10 years for each step.
I really fail to see how this is the "fault" of the US. This is literally one of the first things children are taught: "if all your friends went and jumped off a tall building, that doesn't mean _you_ have to", etc.
In practice, different places may want different approaches for legalization or not of such things, because of cultural or demographic differences. And that's perfectly OK, though may cause friction at borders.
Terms limit worsen the revolving door, because the reps focus more on their next job than actually legislating. They become incredibly short term sighted.
The real fix would be to outright ban gerrymandering and force the officials to have to represent a mixture of political views.
IMO this is the best thing in there. The burden of complex legislation is incredible, and there are tens of thousands of pages that could be simplified and/or removed entirely. It'd be a very long time before we ran out of stuff to prune and the benefits of doing this would be enormous.
It's hard to overstate the benefits of individuals being able to actually comprehend the legal areas in which they operate.
Are "regulations" strictly countable? It sounds like trying to minimize the number of lines (or characters) in a code base. Fewer lines (or characters) doesn't mean it will be more readable.
You can view the text of proposed and implemented regulations in the Federal Register:
particularly under the Proposed Rules and Rules listings.
A rule will add to/amend/repeal some part of the Code of Federal Regulations. This can be anything from clarifying a few words or fixing drafting issues to implementing major regulatory changes.
It doesn't seem clear to me what this proposal would impact--does a minor amendment to an existing paragraph require a repeal of existing regulations? Would it need to meet some threshold of increasing regulatory burden--how would that be determined? What if it decreased burden?
You can look through daily issues and see that they tend to just be handling the daily business of the government. Today's includes changes to fishing zones (restoring access to an area that had been overfished a few years ago), adding more airworthiness checks to certain aircraft parts, reducing restrictions on certain tires for trailers, and adding restrictions against financial institutions processing transactions involving North Korea.
Would each of those need to repeal two prior regulations to take effect? What would quantify a previous regulation? And would they all be able to?
So we want to add new regulation A. We have removed regulation B and C. Purely by coincidence the new regulation A is roughly the same length as A, B and C combined. But its one regulation.
The Gingrich Revolution was founded on term limits, and yet here we are.
"Additional shale/gas" makes no sense at least now because of market conditions. There's an untold huge level of zero-coupon debt hanging because of the last shale revolution. It does nothing to help use market discipline to wean us off hydrocarbons, but it might still be the "bridge fuel" even green people were touting ten years ago.
Myself, I think there was epistemic closure against any hydrocarbon activity in the chattering classes a few years back. This will make the compromises necessary to navigate emerging alt. technology more difficult.
Re the point of reducing regulation, Larry page actually recommended a variation of this to the president of South Korea to reduce legal complexity of its government:
"Reducing complexity, in fact, was a theme throughout the talk. Page recounted how when he was trying to simplify things at Google, he suggested the company take all of its rules and regulations and keep them at an easy-to-digest 50 pages. He even suggested a similar idea to the president of South Korea, Park Geun-hye. "I said, 'Hey, why don't you just limit your laws and regulations to some set of pages? And when you add a page, you have to take one away.' She actually wrote this down. She's great."
This is as stupid as having the president of South Korea say, "You should keep the code to Google to a page and half. It would make it easier to understand."
Seriously, this makes no sense beyond claptrap. Why 50 pages? Why not 1? Why not 5 million? Why an arbitrary limit at all? The whole idea hinges on the idea that somehow this is obvious and an intrinsic good. It's not. It's not even a metric worth optimizing for, because it has zero concern about actual societal effects.
And some of them are frightening. Frightening enough to make me want to steer clear, but the DNC did not put forward a candidate that made me feel any better. Calling for a Manhattan project to defeat encryption? Yikes.
America lost this election long before November, I'm sure of that.
The best thing for everyone would be for market-based solutions that have clear advantages. Solar, wind, electric cars, nuclear, etc.
Republicans, for example, will put solar on their homes and drive electric cars if there are obvious advantages.
> Many people don't believe in Global Warming
Just read the comments of any Wall Street Journal article on solar, coal, or even Elon Musk. People don't want electric car rebates or carbon credits.
I don't understand that you even made such entries.
I don't hear anything about the sun when climate change is brought up and it's over 99% of the mass of the solar system. Then you have people talking about feeling how warm it is when we are talking about small changes.
If it was 82 outside and you polled people, you'd get all kinds of results. But suddenly anthro climate pushers are super sensitive thermometers. They talk about weather events when you try to have a climate discussion all the time.
Questioning is science, especially when you can't prove it like the speed of light.
Market based solutions only work if the market is fair i.e. all players are subject to the same conditions. The problem is (a) fossil fuels have large subsidies all up/down the chain and (b) fossil fuels do not have a surcharge for their impact on the environment.
You have to play the hand you're dealt, or whine about it, telling everyone how ignorant they are. In another decade, when the Democrats take Presidency or the Senate, maybe you'll get some offsetting charges. Of course, we'll have lost a decade and the problem will be much worse, if no forward progress is made.
Solar hasn't gotten cheap enough that some people really want it: https://www.wired.com/2016/03/las-vegas-utilities-really-don...
There are still numerous opportunities for people to convince Republicans to start believing in climate change and making the energy market fair and equitable to allow renewable technologies to compete. Look at what is happening with solar panels when their subsidies are removed. It's not pretty.
Furthermore, we need cheap clean energy everywhere in the world. Fossil fuels are not going away fast enough.
Here's the link: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9740748
Term limits for State congressional representatives seems not to have accomplished that though: http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2015/01/16/states-sho...
>regulation, 2 existing regulations must be eliminated. How is
>that considered feasible by any rational person? It might
>sound great if you don't think too hard about it.
I think that's the reason Trump becomes president of the US. It may sound ridiculous to you but he is 100% correct with that point. Everybody knows that there are too many government regulations, people across the whole political spectrum agree on that.
And although I'm from Germany, I can tell you rules that can be removed. For instance rules that require you to own a gun in certain counties, there are other actually ridiculous rules. There are YouTube videos about that and as a matter of fact these rules are not enforced.
We need to relax our constrained thinking to start modernizing outdated structures. It's sad that Donald Trump must do this job.
I've investigated the same complaint for EU law and all you can find is bizarre propaganda making ridiculous claims in bad faith – they make the regs sound absurd, but you can find out the real purpose within half a minute of googling.
Famous example: requiring Cucumbers (bananas etc.) to conform to a certain shape, including curvature for different quality grades. Reasoning: the retail industry wanted it (they couldn't agree on a common standard), it helps trade by establishing standard grades. It's also been repealed as a result of the populist pressure, but by then everyone had been using it and they just continued.
The thing is this: most laws were invented with good intentions and reasoning behind. But that doesn't mean they thought well enough about them.
But they don't agree on which ones should be removed. It's why "everybody knows" Congress is terrible but they keep getting re-elected. It's because everyone likes their representatives but hate all the others.
So they might want to start a program for that. Or they could start with one type of laws.
>It's why "everybody knows" Congress is terrible but they
>keep getting re-elected.
What would be the alternative? No Congress? ;) I mean it's there and it should certainly be improved.
> It's because everyone likes their representatives but hate all the others.
It seems so in the US, but in Europe there is also a trend towards this highly polarized direction. I hope people would take things easier and maybe try to understand the other politicians as well. For instance one could watch both CNN and Fownews. ;)
I defer to actual political experts to discuss the proposed solution and its nuances.
The limits create a constantly revolving legislature that is easier to manipulate and will in general do a poorer job. If he really cared, we'd see something on campaign finance reform; but alas, he doesn't actually want to get money out of politics.
I love my party, but in my district, my party's primary is the only election with a meaningful impact on anything. And my party has this district, in order to keep us from ever gaining a majority of our state's legislative caucus.
To drain the swamp, restore democracy. Any effort to decrease voter participation is inherently corrupting. Make it easier to vote. Make sure everybody's vote is counted equally. Of course, "counted equally" should be a matter of debate. Get rid of gerrymandering. Get rid of the electoral college.
Wouldn't pass in a million years. Why would congress pass such a law against themselves? And as a constitutional amendment, it would require a 2/3rds majority.
Any Republican member of congress who goes against that is going against a core part of his platform.
Many fervent Trump supporters, including a number of influential ones on social media have stated that any elected Republican that doesn't support Trump's platform will see a challenge from a pro-Trump candidate in the 2018 mid-terms. It will likely be the end of them if they don't go along with it.
I can't imagine many Democratic voters will be happy if their representatives vote against an anti-corruption measure. Especially considering DNC corruptions and cronyism essentially cost them the election.
Trump is the social media president. I'm confident he'll be able to get support for this from the electorate.
Term limits are one of those things that Americans always expect to be good before they are implemented, but never actually are more satisfied with the affected institution after they are implemented. They attack a boogeyman (the "career politician" that is supposedly worse than the neophyte politician) that many politicians attack at the start of their careers (and many later, trying to construct themsleves.as outsiders) so often that people have internalized the idea that experience is a negative trait in governing.
If these statements were made by incredibly scholarly policy wonks who love nothing more than to learn about the government and think about how it could be improved, that'd be one thing (it'd still be a very suspect statement though). However, I can't imagine that this came from any place more scholarly than people assuming that none of this stuff could possibly exist for any good reason. If they want to get rid of specific regulations, they should just get rid of what regulations they think are unnecessary.
The policy also assumes that any new regulation would be equally unnecessary. It would turn any attempt to add a regulation into a political battle to not only add the regulation, but also a political battle to get rid of two others. This could cause needed regulations to not get passed because some vested interest has the political power to defend the two preexisting regulations. So it neither helps necessary regulations get adopted, nor does it help to get rid of unnecessary regulations. Again, if they think there are so many pointless regulations, just get rid of them. No need to bundle everything together like this.
That's corruption, or the Establishment, or something.
Why would you vote for an amateur politician instead of a professional career politician?
Aren't career politicians better than amateur politicians? If a politician is doing a good job, why would you artificially limit their term?
The branch of government with the highest approval rate is the Judicial branch, where Supreme Court Justices are appointed for life.
Another proposal which could have a similar effect would be to drastically increase the number of representatives so that each one represents a smaller number of people (say 50,000). Having many more reps would reduces the individual power and influence of any one rep in particular and could dissuade them from acting in their own best interest.
Point is, the more I've been involved in politics (including running for office) the more I realize that you're not just going to march in on the first day and get stuff done. Kind of like that first day with that new codebase, eh? Now, I don't know that one out to be "Congress critter for life", but you don't just waltz in an go "my constituents want $THIS" and expect it to just happen. So a little experience might go further than electing the "outsider" who isn't "beholden to special interests".
"Career politicians" and term limits are an easy thing to point to that don't actually deal with the problem which in my mind has more to do with each individual representative carrying too much importance because there are so few of them. Also one person cannot reasonably represent the views of 1M constituents.
I don't see how that follows. Wouldn't the limit encourage a congressional rep to cravenly maximize whatever personal benefits they can once they're in their final term? They don't need to fear re-election.
We will exactly be heading in the wrong directions. One regulations for rich Republicans and remove 2 regulations protecting poor minorities.
It's easy to game. Now every new regulation is as big as two old regulations.
Its going to require an amendment to the constitution (which takes decades) and from experience a newbie MP Congress man etc will need one entire cycle to get to grips with the system and become effective.
Having inexperienced elected representatives just gives more power to the executive - which is not what I think Trump wanted.
Doesn't sound that ridiculous to me, we have to find a way to eliminate useless/ridiculous regulations because they just pile on...
Sadly, that quickly leads to huge compendiums of regulations covering a lot rather than neatly organized reasonably scoped regulations.
It probably could have been worded plainly instead of adding a conditional. Federal laws should be considered in their own right, not in comparison towards other federal laws.
I'd read this more as a position and statement of intent than a concrete plan. The devil will be in the spirit of the execution, not the letter.
Very "rational" non-arguments. You must have thought hard about it to come up with those.