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December 08, 2018

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John D

governments that plan for the future... Jeremy Corbyn would now be prime minister.

I think I see where the problem is.

Rafi

1. Kids (being kids) are dumb.
2. Dumb kids like free stuff and will vote socialist.
3. Give dumb kids the vote.

"head of politics at Cambridge University"

David

Heh. Quite.

Y. Knott

- And kids do what their parents tell them to - "Mummy, who should I vote for?" " - Why, vote for that nice Mr. Corbyn, dear. He wants to give us lots of free stuff, and save our Earth - and doesn't he look sort of like a short-bearded Santa Claus?"

"Yes Mummy..."

Me personally (and yeah, I know nobody gives a $hit ;) I'd introduce a compact - taxpayers vote. We're paying for it, we decide who gets to spend it. So no criminals, no welfare cases, no illegal immigrants and no children. You get your voter card with your first tax return.

Sorry kids...

Bloke in North Dorset

Its in my podcast feed but I haven't got round to listening yet, but my response is likely to be the same as it is to anyone suggesting lowering the voting age to x:

If x are wise enough on aggregate to affect my wealth and freedom then they are wise enough to be able to smoke, drink, gamble, be fully responsible for their crimes and go to adult prisons, join the armed forces and fight on the front line, drive and be responsible for all their actions like the rest of the things the rest of the grown up population does now.

David

The irony being that children and teenagers tend to be quite selfish and self-absorbed, to a degree unbecoming in adults, and are accustomed to free stuff, all paid for out of sight by someone else, much to the youngsters’ indifference. It would therefore hardly be surprising if voting children tended to favour policies that pile up unsustainable debt, all left for whatever generations follow them.

Apparently, this constitutes “planning for the future.”

Andrew M

Women are selfish and self-absorbed, and are accustomed to free stuff, all paid for out of sight by someone else. Shouldn’t we rescind their right to vote?

Horace Dunn

It seems only fair that six-year olds should get the vote. After all, their generation will spend their entire working lives paying off the eye-watering national debt our recent governments created. Debt that was necessary in order to enact policies informed by "social justice" principles as defined by, among others, the Guardian.

Ten

head of politics at Cambridge University

Fears not in the least making an ass of himself, apparently, which rather labels the university. And both exist in this, our 21st Century. Such progress.

Ten

Women are selfish and self-absorbed, and are accustomed to free stuff, all paid for out of sight by someone else. Shouldn’t we rescind their right to vote?

The mark of advanced culture is never questioning the obvious.

Ten

If x are wise enough on aggregate to affect my wealth and freedom then they are wise enough to be able to smoke, drink, gamble, be fully responsible for their crimes and go to adult prisons, join the armed forces and fight on the front line, drive and be responsible for all their actions like the rest of the things the rest of the grown up population does now.

Disagree. The first three are vices, the next two a drain on society, the military qualification is a frequent rightist canard and also a drain on society, as is driving, I'm afraid.

Voting requires property. Nothing more. From there, one per head of household.

One vote per household.

The Sage

If six year-olds are able to make informed decisions about their governance, what is next on that slippery slope? Pushing the PGTLBBQ agenda by a roundabout route, I'd say.

WTP

Cambridge this time? Ever notice how trebuchets are always at the wrong universities?

Sam Duncan

I vividly remember the day Mrs. Thatcher entered Downing Street. I was seven. I also vivdly remember, not just having no idea what it meant, but knowing that I had no idea what it meant.

Ten years later, I thought I did. But it was almost ten years after that before I actually began to properly understand.

Personally, I'd raise the voting age back to 21. Or even higher. And I'm serious about that, Prof. Runciman.

The Sage

I remember the "white heat of technology" speech when I was six and that would have wowed me. Fortunately, the one about "the pound in your pocket" when I was ten decided the slant of my views from then on.

Ten

Real: The importance of setting boundaries for peaceful existence.

Make believe: Six year olds should vote. What's the worst that could happen?

https://twitter.com/wrathofgnon/status/890007166991482881

David

I think I see where the problem is.

I suppose you could take it as an inadvertent admission that socialist thinking tends towards the adolescent. I’m sure it’s coincidental that what came to mind on reading the piece was an episode of Malcolm in the Middle, in which the boys steal Hal’s credit card and run away to start a new and grander life in a hotel room, making enthusiastic use of room service.

R. Sherman

Voting requires property. Nothing more. From there, one per head of household.

I'd add in having a non-governmental job. That is owning property or working for oneself. The people who pay the bills call the shots.

Hopp Singg

...an inbuilt bias against governments that plan for the future.

In five year increments, as I recall.

Sam

Ah cmon, this is just like when Professor Peterson muses on radical ideas to better understand issues, no? It seems more idle chit chat than anything approaching serious consideration. The “at least it would be exciting” is the tell

Hopp Singg

It's a pissing match. Whenever any other academic suggests lowering the voting age, he can now reply, "(sniff) well, my proposal goes further than that!"

David

Saw this. Seemed apt.

David

Also somewhat relevant.

Spiny Norman

I have no doubt a similar survey in the USA would yield an even larger majority of Democrats (and perhaps an even smaller minority of Republicans).

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Regarding the six year olds, to be fair, they are probably as mentally qualified to vote as most "entertainers" who like to hector real people with their idiotic views, and for that matter certain members of congress.

Voting requires property.

Define property, there are plenty of tax-paying people who can't afford to buy real estate, may live in a place (e.g., NYC or similar shithole) where a car is not a necessity, and whose other "property" consists of whatever fits in their apartment.

I'd add in having a non-governmental job.

Including the military and first responders ?

Make it simple, you pay into the system, you get to vote, otherwise, no.

WTP

I’m with Muldoon on this except, again, the problem lies not with our politics but with our culture. No matter how you choose to “qualify” people to vote, the incentive will be there to game or cheat the system. Political parties will divide up parcels of land into small, inexpensive chunks to sell to their favored class, they let illegal aliens register to vote, they institue a one dollar/pound poll tax and/or muddy up the difference or definition as to what is welfare vs taxes. Hell, the idiots in our academic institutions already regard any tax break as “welfare for the rich”. This problem will NEVER be fixed at the polls. By the time the voting is to be done, the die has already been cast. The only realistic, long term solution to this problem is upstream at the educational, religious, and cultural level.

Monty James

Oh, let's not leave it at voting. I say lower the age for holding office to six, as well. Having the polls shift forty percent because someone made his opponent break down into a crying fit at a debate will be priceless entertainment. For all of us here in hell.

Hopp Singg

This is all why I like voting with my feet:

I am the electorate.

Electropastel

Ah cmon, this is just like when Professor Peterson muses on radical ideas to better understand issues, no?

That's it. He's not suggesting giving votes to children, he's suggesting that votes should be taking away from the senile who are like children.

Besides, he's demographically aware enough to know that even if the votes of Badwhite parents are cancelled out by their 2.3 children and the votes of Goodwhite parents are doubled by their 1.3 children, the overwhelming blockvotes would be in the hands of conservative cultures that (a) have lots of children and (b) bring up those children to respect their parents and be proud of their tradition.

Sam

Oh I didn’t mean to suggest it was intelligent musing, but musing nonetheless.

While we’re musing, why be so ageist by limiting to 6 years of age? I say extend it thoroughly all the way to children in utero....oh wait...hmmm that’s a can of worms...well we seem to have finally found the intersectional floor.

[+]

“If 16- or 17-year-olds voted in the 2017 general election, there is a chance that Jeremy Corbyn would now be prime minister.”

I'll pass thanks.

Daniel Ream

No matter how you choose to “qualify” people to vote, the incentive will be there to game or cheat the system.

Two years Federal Service. Service guarantees citizenship.

Ten

Voting requires property.

Since I said that, the upshot being that culture defines culture. Or as WTP observes:

WTP: the problem lies not with our politics but with our culture.

[...]

The only realistic, long term solution to this problem is upstream at the educational, religious, and cultural level.

WTP also declares property-based voting corruptible, which it is, but which again we must defer to culture to manage. Culture is upstream; politics - hence, corruption - is downstream. Whether the latter exists is a function of the former. Voting is no less or more corruptible than the church or academy or media.

They've not been immune and neither will a sounder voting principle, therefore the prior consideration takes precedent, which is culture. No amount of manipulation of the letter can prevent a manipulation of the law.

Muldoon: Define property, there are plenty of tax-paying people who can't afford to buy real estate...

Don't care, especially because "tax-paying" is no more qualification than citizenship, which is no more qualification than stepping over a national border and not leaving. By now the right's notions on taxes are most bizarre.

...may live in a place (e.g., NYC or similar shithole) where a car is not a necessity, and whose other "property" consists of whatever fits in their apartment.

Property = real estate, ergo holding, station, vested interest, and a mutual cultural anchor, among other essentials. Confirming the principle of the American electoral college, whether the welfare state or Wall St., urbanism is on the other hand a parasitic blight on the democratic republic and no less a scourge on civilization than the rest of the statist toolkit.

R. Sherman: I'd add in having a non-governmental job [qualifies for voting].

Ditto. Axiomatic.

Muldoon: Including the military and first responders ?

Public servants are no more privileged where voted representation goes than anyone else, therefore the rule does not change, more so when a given public class could comprise even a potential drain on a domestic people. Here again the ostensible right becomes a classist hive when it privileges its empty, cliched qualifier "the brave men and women of X" in establishing it's own official socialist cliques. Privilege dropped-out privates and ambulance drivers?

Make it simple, you pay into the system, you get to vote, otherwise, no.

Simplistic, probably. There is no originalist, structuralist principle whatsoever to justify paying for citizenship hence to vote. There is, however, a mountain of worth in tying the vote to a sustainable culture, for which a constitutional, common law framework serves that culture and not the other way around.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Property = real estate, ergo holding, station, vested interest, and a mutual cultural anchor, among other essentials.

I see. So COL Beauregard, sipping mint juleps on the veranda of the plantation gets to vote, but Lester Lunchbox who drives The Colone's John Deere CP690 doesn't because he rents his house.

Dr. Zotz in his residency, making on average the princely sum of $16/hour for his average 80 hour week and paying off 8 years of student loans, doesn't get to vote.

Joe Bob Baggadonuts who just finished vo-tech as an HVAC repairman and is saving for a house but has to rent in the interim doesn't get to vote.

Public servants are no more privileged where voted representation goes than anyone else...

No one said they were more privileged, the idea is that they are not less so.

Here again the ostensible right becomes a classist hive...

Yet here you are dividing up people into classes based on who you think gets to vote.

Privilege dropped-out privates and ambulance drivers?

Gee, glad you are not some condescending classist. You clearly are not a serious person.

Alice

The head of politics at Cambridge University has called for children as young as six to be given the vote

Does he think all the 'woke 6 year old' tweets were true?

Ten

I see your skill at engaging above your intellectual pay grade remains tethered to a remarkable talent for assumptions, begged questions, projections, and the colorful conclusions you draw from them, Muldoon.

Will we review your previous insights on military discipline and its potential for collective civilian virtue next? Just because your thoughts were left in such a senseless state the last time doesn't mean I don't remember them fondly.

I see you haven't forgotten either.

Darleen

Here again the ostensible right becomes a classist hive when it privileges its empty, cliched qualifier "the brave men and women of X" in establishing it's own official socialist cliques.

Anarchist bullshit.

There ARE legitimate functions of government - and it is stated in the US Constitution - to secure (not grant) the rights of citizens. One of the first things a government does (local or national) is to protect people from having their basic rights to life and property taken by force. A police force, military and a judicial system to provide a neutral arena to solve conflicts between citizens are basic necessities, NOT socialism/collectivism.

Darleen

Also.

Maybe only ex-military should be allowed to vote.

Theophrastus

Coming soon...votes for all primates!

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Maybe only ex-military should be allowed to vote.

Why only ex ? Why would a one term E-3 warrant a vote any more than an active component guy at 18 or 28, and what of the reserve component types, do they get to vote only if not drilling or on active duty ?

R. Sherman

Including the military and first responders?

The former certainly; the latter, thanks their very powerful unions, not so much. The problem with public employees of any stripe is that they vote to feather their own nests, not to benefit to public at large. And when you call them on it, suddenly they wrap themselves in the "public service" mantle and scream "Why do you hate cops and firefighters!?!"

Ten

Here again the ostensible right becomes a classist hive when it privileges its empty, cliched qualifier "the brave men and women of X" in establishing it's own official socialist cliques.

***

Anarchist bullshit.

Oh? It is visibly structural in the US and it stems from common law and principle: Collective and especially public institutions, paid by the people, are fundamentally suspect and it is, to your eventual point, the state's obligation to protect the latter and its rights from the former.

The police and military are, contrary to prevailing rightist flag-waving, not exempt. In fact, they are among the first to fall under that scrutiny. Further, their sloganed "brave men and women" are no more a guiding moral force for culture than any other. That's not a slight, it's a valid observation of a greater principle.

That's hardly anarchic, and the evident fact that rightists convert a vague sense of hero-worship to a rite of social and cultural moral passage - typically substituting it for anti-left pushback, which it isn't - is technically abhorrent to that structure because it eventually risks it. It becomes left-leaning, in a sense.

There ARE legitimate functions of government - and it is stated in the US Constitution - to secure (not grant) the rights of citizens.

I didn't say otherwise; you jumped to conclusions and I'm afraid you projected.

And here comes your two disconnects, emphasis mine:

One of the first things a government does (local or national) is to protect people from having their basic rights to life and property taken by force. A police force, military and a judicial system to provide a neutral arena to solve conflicts between citizens are basic necessities, NOT socialism/collectivism.

First, rights are compromised by any and all government agencies and second, conflicts are therefore not entirely between citizens, if they're even the majority of them. There is no such thing as a neutral arena, not today there isn't.

I'm afraid you've made the same disconnect Muldoon did. Just as there is no organized, empowered agent of private persons justified to ensure cultural success and longevity by an arbitrary morality, there is no organized, empowered agent of public persons justified to ensure cultural success and longevity by an arbitrary morality.

Culture - a people - survive because their overall principles are robust and, in the case of the classic west and to your point, they establish logical, rational, fair, and transcendent rights to allow themselves to coexist together.

NTSOG

It's an interesting conundrum that the areas of the developing human brain that mediate social-moral judgement don't begin to develop until late teens, hence recent moves in Australia to raise the age of criminal responsibility by several years. At the same time progressive types want to lower the age limit for voting and driving of those same juveniles who, in their eyes, cannot yet make reasonable judgements and understand about the potential criminality of acts they may commit. There is a reason children are protected in the Law lest they be abused and others take advantage of them and also because their own morally unbridled immaturity lead them to act and cause harm to others and themselves.

Chester Draws

Ten: drinking alcohol is not a vice. Drinking is a pleasant activity that millions of people do each day with no ill effects. Drinking too much is a vice, either as drunkenness, or as alcoholism is you have dependents.

But then too much of anything is a vice. Eating isn't a vice, only gluttony is. Wanting nice things isn't a vice, only greed is.

Doing things that are not ideal for your body is not a vice anyway. The current moralistic tone about "risky behaviour" is actually just killjoys using a convenient stick. Drinking alcohol is less risky than parachuting, mountain climbing, horse riding etc, but the moral campaigners aren't interested in stopping those things, because they aren't actually interested in lowering risk, only in preventing people from "immoral" behaviour.

And you can fuck right off with your "rightist canard" about military service too, until you can find me some leftist countries with no military obligations on the populace. The draft is a reality of modern political existence that we forget about because it hasn't been used in most Western democracies for a while, but assuredly will be a reality in any shooting war. Military service is not a right wing thing, it's only a thing that right wing people tend not to pretend doesn't exist.

BTW, if young children vote as their parents tell them, then the Left doesn't gain by lowering the voting age so low. Children's parents will tend to be in their late 30's and early 40's, when the leftist phase of the young is wearing off. Small children can also be extremely moralistic -- they don't yet see the world in greys. The maximum age for Leftism is about 15 to 18, precisely when children start to rebel against the politics of their parents.

Ten

Maybe only ex-military should be allowed to vote.

Given France today, Macron could be pleased. Eisenhower not so much.

Ten

And you can fuck right off with your "rightist canard" about military service too...

Rightists are so touchy about structural conservatism.

What I said, obviously, wasn't about service, whatever that can be construed to mean. It was about morality-by-class and therefore effective rule by standard or ethic, or as many American rightists apparently now have it, preference for a semi-official primacy of a particular authority agency under color of patriotic nationalism.

...until you can find me some leftist countries with no military obligations on the populace.

If it takes that much of a stretch to make the counterpoint, well...

The draft is a reality of modern political existence that we forget about because it hasn't been used in most Western democracies for a while, but assuredly will be a reality in any shooting war. Military service is not a right wing thing, it's only a thing that right wing people tend not to pretend doesn't exist.

All of which is neither here or there, unless the premise switches from only-ex-military-vote (up-thread) to among that voting class only draftees don't vote, which, wouldn't that be an arbitrary, moralistic, discriminatory thing for the democratic rightist who a moment ago was on about Joe Pickup's right to a representative voice while paying off his federal student loan but hadn't thought it through quite enough.

I don't actually mean to inflame the argument, Chet, but since you had, allow some reason to penetrate. Such staunch rightism just isn't structural conservativism - they conflict quite a lot in history - and besides, the original point referred to how to maintain a people who's collective aim, presumably, wasn't jingoism, militarism, collectivism, the state church, or any other oppressive system.

Just maybe the folks who own the place should, through their vote, represent the folks who own the place.

Although 300 was just a hell of a movie, wasn't it?

Frederick Bartlett

David Runciman comes from a long line of often-distinguished academics.

But the breed seems to have lost something with time ... perhaps we should strongly discourage nepotism in academia.

McGehee
“If 16- or 17-year-olds voted in the 2017 general election, there is a chance that Jeremy Corbyn would now be prime minister.”

And he thinks this is a point in favor of either Corbyn or this cockamamie idea of his?

They just keep justifying our revolution. Every damn day.

Runcie Balspune

In America there's a movement to lower the voting age to 16.

When I was in sixth form a few of my fellow students, having seen Logan's Run, thought that mandatory extermination at age 30 was a great idea.

The problem is, that almost everyone over the age of 18 thinks that 18 is too young - apart from people pimping their new book with outrageous comments.

Douglas Levene

I have a better idea. Let's raise the voting and driving ages to 25 and lower the drinking age to 16.

R. Sherman

There ARE legitimate functions of government - and it is stated in the US Constitution - to secure (not grant) the rights of citizens.

No one disagrees with that proposition in the abstract. The problem is that governments are made up of people, all of whom are flawed. Thus any institution purporting to "govern" the rest of the polity will, by definition, be flawed. The trick is to minimize the damage government can inflict and maximize the impediments to government accumulating ever more power over others. Absent those impediments, governments will, repeat, will accumulate as much power as they can until they have it all and there is no personal autonomy left and none of those rights.

As noted above, every single law, no matter how well-intentioned and/or how trivial takes a melon-baller to one's personal autonomy and personal unalienable rights and carries with it the threat of force to the point of death. Every single law requires enforcement and its a trade-off between outsourcing that enforcement to a flawed human institution and every man for himself. However, the same problems arise: government law enforcement or other "first responder" institutions tend to be more and more about protecting their privileged positions and less about the duties they agreed to undertake--not all individuals within the institutions, but the institutions themselves. There purpose becomes maximizing their take from the public coffers and perpetuating the institutions, and the examples are legion. In my own career I've watched it happen in minor municipalities and public service entities.

It was for that reason, I excluded public employees from the "voting" equation above. Make no mistake, they create nothing and they pay nothing into the system. This is not to say the services they perform have no value. Rather, the payment they receive is created by the taxpayers with non-governmental jobs. They money they nominally pay in taxes comes from our pockets.

Aside: I live in a rural area which used to be serviced by a volunteer fire department. Every year I paid fifty bucks and got a sticker for my window so that I got fire protection. Then the locals voted to incorporate the district into a property tax financed public entity, upon the representation that a) our homeowner's insurance rates would go down and we'd get better service. What happened was, our tax bills went up, the district hired three full time firefighters and a chief who promptly unionized. Ninety-five percent of our tax dollars go to pay salary and benefits for the employees while the number of runs the fire district makes annually have decreased by 25 percent. Oh, and the bulk of the actual firefighters are still the same volunteers who did it before.

Yes, I realize certain public services are a necessary evil. Marines, for example. I'm not (yet . . . bru-ha-ha-hah) ready to go overthrow a tinpot dictator myself. I just don't have a romantic view of it.

Spiny Norman

I see it was someone else's turn to be a pompous ass today. Hal took the weekend off?

Sonny Wayze

"No matter how you choose to “qualify” people to vote, the incentive will be there to game or cheat the system."

Yep. I wonder what Twain would have written about Gondour if he could have seen what subjects degrees are granted in these days:

https://americanliterature.com/author/mark-twain/short-story/the-curious-republic-of-gondour

Hal

I see it was someone else's turn to be a pompous ass today. Hal took the weekend off?

Hmmm???

As you've just shown, you really need to confirm the meaning of words before wildly pounding on the Post button---Just because the spell check says you got the spelling right obviously doesn't mean you actually understand any of those words you're desperately flailing about or what they're actually discussing.

For all of my posts, what we've all seen and keep seeing is that I merely point out the way things just matter-of-factly are. And as a reflection of that accuracy, at no point have I ever been the least bit refuted, merely frantically and petulantly denied . . .

Quite certainly, if all you want to do is pout, well then, as David and others are fond of observing, your sisters in arms at Eternal Mentalism would apparently be quite eager to have you type up a contribution, where you are giving us the definite impression of fitting right in with them . . . .

Richard Cranium

Hal, you are tedious more often than not.

JuliaM

Oh, I don't know. Watching our House of Commons debates, I think a lot of them are very large toddlers. So why shouldn't their peers have a chance to vote for them?

Farnsworth M Muldoon

It was for that reason, I excluded public employees from the "voting" equation above. Make no mistake, they create nothing and they pay nothing into the system.

If you want to exclude the union organizers and officials, I am on board, but everything else is not so cut and dry. I too live in an area served by a volunteer fire department, but it is funded by tobacco taxes, property fees/taxes, and some donations. By a quirk of geography, the Muldoon Plantation sits on a county line which is also the the border of the next town over which has a full time FD who, nothing against our guys some of whom I know, are much more skilled and have better stuff and are much closer to the plantation. The question then is what is the net economic effect for the community as a whole if Stately Muldoon Manor burns to the ground because our guys didn't get there in time, or if it was saved by the union guys from NextTownOver (who have a mutual support agreement with our guys because we are in the boonies).

Next we get to the EMTs. Here we have ambulances and crews that belong to county EMS, the NextTownOver fire department EMS, and a private outfit. They all provide the same services, and all get paid for those services (except the FD) by the same mix of insurance, out of pocket, Medicare, Medicaid, and other government funds. Do the private EMS guys only get a fractional vote inversely proportional to that portion of their salaries and benefits that comes from government funds ? Same for the private fire departments - do the guys in California get a proportional vote based on how much LA county water they used ?

Then there are entire other classes of public employees, does the guy making prosthetics at the VA get a vote ? The civilian machinist in Corpus Christi doing depot level maintenance on Army helicopters ? NASA and CDC scientists (the real ones) ? The ladies at the DMV ?

One fundamental fallacy is that public employees, just because they are paid with money that came from other people, are somehow immune to the effects of bad economic policies and aren't hurt by high taxes along with everyone else - even if they are not creating things, they are consumers of things and thus part of the cycle.

You pay taxes, you vote. We can throw a history and civics test in there as well which will eliminate a lot of members of congress, and almost all anarcho(fill in the blank)s, and large chunks of people who claim or pretend to be libertarians.

Spiny Norman

Thanks for proving my point Hal, brilliantly.

Daniel Ream

I see it was someone else's turn to be a pompous ass today.

I could post some more literary analysis, if you like. We all have to help out where we can.

Hal

Thanks for proving my point Hal, brilliantly.

An' such a cyoote l'il' lip you have pushed out there . . . .

And sometimes I manage brilliantly, but usually it's merely stating the obvious, or as Richard notes, that which so recurringly permanent and ongoing that it's tedious . . .

Ray

While I think government employees shouldn't be voting, the real problem is that there shouldn't be so many of them that their vote can make a difference.

Connor

It's stupid but it's still part of the effort to push down the voting age to suit the left. First ask for 6, then 'compromise' at 15.

David

I could post some more literary analysis, if you like.

[ Summons henchlesbians. ]

David

First ask for 6, then ‘compromise’ at 15.

This item from the archives comes to mind.

Note how Dr Swift, our leftist philosopher, starts by claiming that the family unit is obstructing “social justice,” and is something that many of his peers would like to see “abolished,” before offering a supposedly moderate alternative. By which he means, abolishing private schooling and encouraging neurosis among functional parents. (Being so moderate, Dr Swift would allow the reading of bedtime stories, even though he thinks such activities are “unfairly disadvantaging” the children of negligent parents.)

In much the same way that Professor Runciman rejects the weighting of votes to favour adolescents, in effect giving them more than one vote, then pitches his less “insane” alternative.

David

The professor’s podcast, incidentally, can be found here. The most relevant part starts at the very end, around 37 minutes in. Note the repeated conceit that older voters simply don’t and won’t ever care about the sort of world their children and grandchildren, the people they love, will inhabit.

WTP

K...so I’ll pick up the pompous ass banner, just to dodge another discussion of literary allusions in The Wizard of Oz...putting aside the obvious fact that politics is downstream from culture, basing voting on land ownership has another flaw in that unless you have an army, you don’t really own that land. You’re just licensed to use it. Hence eminent domain. Easements. And other fundamental underpinnings of (functional) real estate law.

WTP

Ah, David...your link to Dr. Swift’s credentials on that link that you link to oddly 404’s at Oxford. That’s the one with the trebuchet, correct? Has anyone seen Dr. Swift lately? Or have I again stumbled on to one of those Guild of Evil operations that I’m not supposed to talk about?

David

Has anyone seen Dr. Swift lately?

[ Wipes bar nonchalantly. ]

Clam

This item from the archives comes to mind.

That's a really good post (and thread), David. One of your best. Love this bit:

the underlying idea is to displace responsibility (and an exploitable sense of guilt) from those who might deserve it – neglectful parents, say – and then pin it onto the left’s Designated Oppressor Group - i.e., just about anyone who’s functional and remotely bourgeois. We’re told that, “Parents reading their children bedtime stories… are unfairly disadvantaging other people’s children.” But functional parents don’t “unfairly disadvantage” the children of bad parents. Bad parents do that.

Have a glass of something on me. *ping*

David

Have a glass of something on me. *ping*

Bless you, sir. May your squiggly pasta quills be drained with utmost thoroughness.

But the post in question and subsequent thread do highlight a standard moral inversion of leftist thinking. Those doing the right thing, being conscientious, are chided as wrongdoers, an affront to “social justice,” and are encouraged to become pretentious and neurotic. While the selfish and negligent are presented as victims, as if they were in no way responsible for their own selfish and negligent behaviour. Say, not reading to their own children and thereby impeding their development.

Such is leftist piety.

Ten

One fundamental fallacy is that public employees, just because they are paid with money that came from other people, are somehow immune to the effects of bad economic policies and aren't hurt by high taxes along with everyone else - even if they are not creating things, they are consumers of things and thus part of the cycle.

Cycle? The excesses created by pay, consume, and even reside-to-vote systems - especially where "reside" becomes what it is today in a borderless US - cause or allow runaway conflicts of interest in representation to the point of ruining a Republic. The status quo that includes a much too large and influential of a government cannot inform its own solution either, and simply being taxed delivering a right to vote is faulty on its face.

None of the arguments in this non-existent "cycle" are structural, original, or constitutional, and they're definitely not conservative. Voting "rights" aren't mentioned until the 14th Amendment to the US constitution and even then almost in passing. 200 years later they've arguably become the most abused birthright in the system; obviously we have to back up to origins and drop the foolhardy "skin-in-the-game" arguments rightists use today to warrant exclusively paid participation. To make any right the product of paying for it is as patently absurd as inventing them out of thin air.

When the aim is preserving a culture and people, voting as a function of property ownership is much more logical. That can't make property-based voting foolproof or even inherently recommended - see: the sacred "democracy" - but it does illustrate a necessary contrast. However the left prefers the mob have primacy and the right prefers give it to the State, and here we are. To wit:

You pay taxes, you vote. We can throw a history and civics test in there as well which will eliminate a lot of members of congress, and almost all anarcho(fill in the blank)s, and large chunks of people who claim or pretend to be libertarians.

So supporting Leviathan and knowing some civil stuff good and like Orange Man, anarcho-quasi-libertarians bad. Military good, I suppose, and probably oaths, and somewhere probably there's some argle bargle to argue for them. Nobody's found it yet.

More sensibly, assuming there's to be a democracy and governance by the people, the argument that representation be tied to the most organic, enduring footing a people have in their functional, traditional, extended community is a very good one. Two centuries of sloth have done irreparable damage to the constitutional American Republic and now it is irrecoverable so what's next?

Among others, Reactionaries actually have a strong argument against American federalism and its democratic system because to them it cannot endure and the experiment failed, as predicted over two centuries ago by its own founders. They'd prefer to replace it with a just monarchy, which in effect is a type of property system, not unlike the one that created English common law.

Of course it's not perfect. But by contrast to today's mess, how do real options play out. What's the rational new way to do things, with all this history in the rear-view mirror.

Unfortunately, where modern democracy goes, the liberal right became the left so slowly they didn't notice it themselves. That much we do know.

Sue Sims

Does anyone else find that their eyes glaze over when attempting to read Ten's comments, or is my brain dissolving into a mush?

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

Including the military and first responders ?

Yes, absolutely.

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

Two years Federal Service. Service guarantees citizenship.

Why should I be forced to serve the State? The State is not my master.

Sporkatus

All this time discussing lowered voting age and the "unfair advantage" of the elderly, and not a single mention of Wild in the Streets?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_in_the_Streets

Ten

But the post in question and subsequent thread do highlight a standard moral inversion of leftist thinking. Those doing the right thing, being conscientious, are chided as wrongdoers, an affront to “social justice,” and are encouraged to become pretentious and neurotic. While the selfish and negligent are presented as victims, as if they were in no way responsible for their own selfish and negligent behaviour.

By now a standard rightist recourse to national dysfunction is to capitulate to the Sacred Democracy and, as with a woman's right to choose, defend every man's, woman's, and child's right to a voice. Just not under 18 or 23 because 17 and 22 will not do.

And felons: No vote unless they've - love this slogan - paid their debt to society. That's the left's slogan and hardly any more valid. Of course, it's also the opinion of two-thirds of...voters.

First the right lost itself and then it began to fear for its reputation. Pretentious and neurotic might apply.

Spiny Norman

Does anyone else find that their eyes glaze over when attempting to read Ten's comments...

He and Infallible Hal should have their own blog, where they can parade their obvious superiority to an audience of themselves.

... or is my brain dissolving into a mush?

I think that's the intention, burying you in it so you'll just agree and make the avalanche of horseshit stop.

Morporke

... “so I would exclude reception [age-children].”
Pah! Reception-ageist!

WTP

Wild In The Streets...$3.99 WITH my Amazon Prime “membership”. Not that $3.99 breaks the bank but trying to remember why I bought into this thing. I hate being nickeled and dimed on top of recurring charges...but I digress...

To Ted’s point, the state isn’t your master so long as you can go to another state. Unlike the land you may think you own. But to Muldoon’s point, “even if they are not creating things, they are consumers...”, agree with much of the rest of your post but this part I think is missing the point that the consuming done by first responders and other necessary defenders of property yet not producers of such would be done by the actual producers were it not for the conditions that necessitate the employment of said defenders. Who would likely be otherwise employed productively to satisfy the demand that is suppressed by not just the taxes necessary to support the defenders but also the government overhead, graft, etc. of administering their services.

Steve E

But the post in question and subsequent thread do highlight a standard moral inversion of leftist thinking. ...

Such is leftist piety.

Isn't that an intended feature of leftist ideologies? Bring everyone down to the lowest level, equally share in the misery and despair? Except, of course, for the elite that rules over all.

The conceit of leftists is they all believe that they will be part of the elite ruling class administering the rites. That's true leftist piety.

Darleen

Maybe only ex-military should be allowed to vote.

Why only ex ?

I drop a Heinlein reference in the comments and no one picks up on it.

[wipes tear]

Darleen

Rather, the payment they receive is created by the taxpayers with non-governmental jobs. They money they nominally pay in taxes comes from our pockets

I'm going to need more coffee, but I'd like to tease this out a bit.

Humans are flawed so all human institution will have flaws. Agreed. Therefore, human government institutions should be legally limited. This is why I find the decades-long expansion of Federal bureaucracies and their powers unconscionable.

But would taking away the franchise from public employees really limit their political power much at all? Are you willing to strip them of their 1A rights to petition, to speak? Should they be banned from social media? Having a blog? Speaking at rallies?

Then there's the idea that any money they earn isn't really their's because 'taxpayer'. THAT I disagree with. Yes, taxpayer $ do go for a service, but once that service as been rendered, the $ now belongs to the earner. I hold that for any transaction - whether it I'm paying for groceries or for a judge to hear my small claims action.

Those that receive government welfare, food stamps, section-8, etc, have performed NO service for the money paid to them. It never becomes their property.

pst314

"I drop a Heinlein reference in the comments and no one picks up on it. [wipes tear]"

I got it immediately, but delayed commenting due to the number of heated and/or poorly expressed comments--GHW Bush told me that it "wouldn't be prudent" to comment before I read them all carefully. :-)

As a historical note, the ancient Greeks in general, not just the Spartans, demanded military service of all adult men. I don't know what the penalty was for shirking that duty, but banishment seems a likely minimum.

R. Sherman

@Darleen

The underlying assumption is the public employees exist independently of everything else and are a requirement for the functioning of self-government. They are not, as my illustration of my volunteer fire department was meant to demonstrate. And that's for a service which people would universally say is necessary for "government." The vast majority of such "service" are merely sinecures financed at taxpayer expense. Further, the sad truth is there is no accountability for government bureaucracies which screw up. For example, there is no legal doctrine which requires police to protect you from crime, even if that crime is happening in front of their very eyes. If they do act negligently, doctrines like sovereign immunity and official immunity insulate them from responsibility.

My point is, when public employees can exercise their franchise for the purpose of protecting themselves instead of the public at large, doom becomes inevitable. (See, e.g. Illinois state financial condition or your own California.) Further, it is not the market which dictates their pay for their "services," but their ability to harness the legal force of government to put its hand in our pockets, which they get by voting for politicians who promise to help line their nests in exchange for said votes.

Finally, no one is required to seek or accept a place of employment in government. If the franchise is important to someone, then s/he can remain in the private sector.

I understand some public employment is a necessary evil. I prefer to minimize it in favor of personal responsibility and let the chips fall where they may.

Darleen

They are not, as my illustration of my volunteer fire department was meant to demonstrate.

Since fighting fires is not an everyday issue, this isn't really a fair comparison.

How do we translate a volunteer FD into a volunteer/unpaid military? police force? Civil court to decide if contracts have been breached or fraud committed?

Ten

WTP: ...the consuming done by first responders and other necessary defenders of property yet not producers of such would be done by the actual producers were it not for the conditions that necessitate the employment of said defenders...

The purpose of the vote has to be established. Capitalists naturally tend to tie it to production and consumption - to the furtherment of a people by economic means. Muldoon tied it to a "cycle".

The negative vicissitudes of a government's influence on an economy aside, the purpose of the vote should be to maintain a stable, durable, robust people, and not specifically influence their natural economy.

Darleen: But would taking away the franchise from public employees really limit their political power much at all?

Hopefully.

Are you willing to strip them of their 1A rights to petition, to speak? Should they be banned from social media? Having a blog? Speaking at rallies?

Assuming a democratic system based on common law - 1A followed from them - not prevent them individual influence but prevent them collective influence. See: the union, the lobby, and especially, the tax collections or debt expenditures used to influence the public's thinking and therefore policy.

Then there's the idea that any money they earn isn't really their's because 'taxpayer'. THAT I disagree with. Yes, taxpayer $ do go for a service, but once that service as been rendered, the $ now belongs to the earner. I hold that for any transaction - whether it I'm paying for groceries or for a judge to hear my small claims action.

Monetary concerns are not interchangeable with social concerns and especially cultural concerns, nor should they replace them. The purpose of the vote should not be excessively economic or abstract, but cultural and personal.

Steve: [...isn't an]intended feature of leftist ideologies [to b]ring everyone down to the lowest level, equally share in the misery and despair? Except, of course, for the elite that rules over all.

Exactly, which is a personal concern not essentially represented by joint or collective capitalistic commerce, consumption, production, or cycles.

R. Sherman: ...there is no accountability for government bureaucracies which screw up. [...] when public employees can exercise their franchise for the purpose of protecting themselves instead of the public at large, doom becomes inevitable.

Presumably a people's doom together with their culture's.

The right's ostensible goal is the furthering of individual rights. It's over-reliance on collective economies - especially with its deeply inadequate grasp of federal influence - impedes that goal and probably prevents it.

Darleen

but prevent them collective influence. See: the union, the lobby, and especially, the tax collections or debt expenditures used to influence the public's thinking and therefore policy.

So a blog run by one person is okay but not by two?

The purpose of the vote should not be excessively economic or abstract, but cultural and personal.

Why should my federal franchise have anything to do with "culture"?

R. Sherman

How do we translate a volunteer FD into a volunteer/unpaid military? police force? Civil court to decide if contracts have been breached or fraud committed?

As I said above, some functions are indeed better accomplished by government. (Courts, for example, are constitutionally created.) The trick is to minimize them.

As for the military, it's worthwhile to remember that through the 19th Century, we kept a very small professional military and relied upon state militias to provide troops to fight. Consequently, each war had to have to have the blessing of the states if it was going to be successful. Further, through WWII, wars were deemed to be extraordinary expenses. Thus, war bond sales were necessary. Contrast that system with the current one where Presidents can deploy our troops for decades with unlimited deficit spending, i.e. our kids' inheritance, to "nation build" for eternity.

Finally, as for police, I'm not saying that a police force is a bad thing. I'm saying the institution of public policing is not as we romanticize it to be. See, e.g. the woeful performance of the Broward County, Florida Sheriff's department of recent memory. As I said, there's no legal obligation for the police to protect you or me or anyone. Absent such, what purpose does a police department serve?

As you noted above, the purpose of government should be to protect our rights and individual autonomy and otherwise leave us the hell alone. The larger government is,--even the government institutions of which we think fondly--the less likely it is to do that in my view. They're too busy perpetuating their own existence and maximizing their influence and power.

Ten

Not sure that demands answers, Darleen, but 1) preventing collectivism is a thoroughly supportable position, especially when it derives from the public sphere - which tends not to content itself at two bloggers - and 2) your federal franchise should indeed not have anything to do with culture, which seems impossible, that being the apparent focus of federal franchises.

It's self evident. It's telling how tortured the polemics become when motivated instead by self interest.

Hal

Two years Federal Service. Service guarantees citizenship.

Why should I be forced to serve the State? The State is not my master.

---With his comment of Federal Service, and particularly Two Years,---and with a possibility of also intending humor---Daniel is presenting an argument that is a direct quote or paraphrase of Robert Heinlein.

I think it's an interesting argument.

Of another suggestion that someone had that I also think is interesting, somewhere in my piles of assorted notes is a proposal from someone else, from somewhere else, during a discussion of something about [going to college/being in the military/getting educated/scholarships/paying for education/something] . . . Of the following, I'm definitely paraphrasing and prolly expanding on that proposal, but As I Recall, whomever's proposal is something to the effect of:

Soooo . . . you wanna go to college or get some sort of expensive educational training, but you don't have the money. Well then, what about . . . .

A) Join the military, complete the term, the government hands off full payment scholarship for any subject, any school, any training, whatever the choice of the individual. And definitely yes, Any.

A1) ---An interesting variation that one could discuss is differing amounts of scholarship for different MOS codes, with a definite focus on the more lethal or front line the MOS, the greater the return.

B) Join a military or government related program that pays full scholarship, Etc, for education related to that program, one such example being the Health Professions Scholarship Program

C) Join a proposed variation of the WPA and take part in Whatever Is Declared Necessary---but which is definitely going to be far short of anything military or military involvement, will instead be, say, lots of construction or maintenance Stuff, general staffing Stuff, small items creation or building Stuff, Whatnot---, mebbe get no scholarships for something, but way definitely, from the government, get full occupational training, housing, whatnot, for whatever is needed to do. Mebbe as a detail, once a term of service is completed, have access to full occupational training, housing, in other areas Of That Program---If the program doesn't feature training in underwater macrame, the individual can't get that training from the program.

D) Do not join any such program, do not contribute any such service, get no government educational support whatsoever.

D1)---And an interesting variation on the latter could be for a mandate that only the government gets to hand out such scholarships, i.e. such can exist, but under no circumstance is there any government funding or support for any program that is other than A), B), or C).

---Certainly, someone is totally free to work one's way through college, get the parents to pay, get handed something from Uncle Fred rather than Uncle Sam or John Bull.

On an organizational level, if Some College wants to hand out scholarships, SC has to pay for that entirely out of house, get alumni to pay for such, Etc.

If Other College is a government supported organization, such as Big City Community College, BCCC can not do any such scholarship because the local government is footing the BCCC operational expenses.

And utterly yes indeed, if Hipster T. Fantasybux offers some loansharking system that claims to be a scholarship program, that can occur because it's not the government and can at least claim to be a reputable business---stop giggling, I tell you!!!---and can thus assure potential suckers that They Too can Go To College, Etc . . . . At a recent event I was at, someone commented on friends who now have such a level of student loan debt that they won't have all such paid off until at least retirement, no idea of what was studied or what any recent jobs . . .

Farnsworth M Muldoon

...when public employees can exercise their franchise for the purpose of protecting themselves instead of the public at large, doom becomes inevitable.

Which really is no different than someone in the AFL-CIO, the ABA, the Longshoremen, the NBA, the AMA, GLAAD, BLM, AARP, or the AA&CSCBR&TA - or any other voter, for that matter. Everybody votes for that person or proposition, except maybe for the county coroner, who or which will benefit him or herself the most. An individual can justify the choice by saying, or even believing, that the choice was made for the good of the county/state/nation, but for every person who believes that, there is someone who believes the choice was a disaster for the county/state/nation. It may be enlightened self-interest, but it is still self-interest.

Outside of a machine run jurisdiction, Joe GS-6 voting for Sen Cornpone because he promised AFGE members a 1% raise holds no more influence than my voting against him because he is a socialist bastard who will raise my taxes, or that of the guy assembling UH-60s voting for Cornpone's opponent because he said he wanted to ramp up procurement and production of all military Sikorsky product lines, and is no different than that of a GM worker voting for the guy promising the next bailout, or that of an Iowa farmer looking for a guy supporting ethanol subsidies, or that of a lawyer voting for the guy blocking tort reform, or the doc voting for the guy promising malpractice caps, etc., etc.

With public employees, though, the culprit you are looking for is not the individual voter, but the unions lobbying Sen Cornpone and raising other mischief. If you want to fix the problem, you get rid of public employee unions, at present, there are no protections the AFGE offers some poor slob forced to join that aren't already included in Federal law, there is no reason for them to exist, and there sure as hell is no reason that a federal employee should be paid federal dollars to do union work on government time instead of doing their damn job.

R. Sherman

Which really is no different than someone in the AFL-CIO, the ABA, the Longshoremen, the NBA, the AMA, GLAAD, BLM, AARP, or the AA&CSCBR&TA - or any other voter, for that matter.

[Snip]

With public employees, though, the culprit you are looking for is not the individual voter, but the unions lobbying Sen Cornpone and raising other mischief.

Of course. The critiques have been around for awhile. But unions do not arise ex nihilo. They exist because individuals create them after politicians allow collective bargaining in order to a) maximize the politicians' power by b) buying support through public employee wages and benefits.

The problem is, if you eliminate the public employee unions tomorrow, you still don't eliminate the other problems of bureaucratic creep, featherbedding and accountability which come with any governmental organization charged with regulating/controlling citizens' behavior.

Thought experiment: The AFGE is gone tomorrow. In 2020, a presidential politician campaigns on eliminating large swaths of the federal bureaucracy and lowering salaries and benefits to make them commensurate with the private sector. His/her opponent campaigns for the opposite. How do the massive number of federal employees vote? (BTW, you could change "federal employees" to "Social Security recipients" or whomever receives taxpayer funded money without contributing to the system.) When the people who "take" outnumber the people who "make" on the voting rolls, it's "Goodnight, Irene" to the republic. This is why progressives are so keen to increase the former, because it's easier to buy their votes.

R. Sherman

Sonovabitch.

I was trying to close the damn link tag and hit post from "Preview" instead.

Off to the comment gulag.

David

I was trying to close the damn link tag and hit post from “Preview” instead.

[ Fixes HTML dumpster fire. ]

If you don’t mind, I’m trying to finish a glass of wine here.

Darleen

the culprit you are looking for is not the individual voter, but the unions lobbying Sen Cornpone

Public employee unions should be banned - inherent conflict of interest as they are NOT negotiating with their employer (the public) but with the bureaucrat they are in a position to help get re-elected.

Darleen

"Social Security recipients" or whomever receives taxpayer funded money without contributing to the system.

Ok, quibble here. Not all people receive benefits that exceed their contributions. I've read that people retiring today that have contributed over 40 years will not see in benefits what they have contributed.

Farnsworth M Mulldoon

I've read that people retiring today that have contributed over 40 years will not see in benefits what they have contributed.

I ran the numbers for myself a while back, if I make it to about 130, I should break even.

R. Sherman

I bought an indulgence for the HTML fail. "Into the coffer the coin rings. Out of comment purgatory the soul springs.

R. Sherman

Social Security has always been a fraud. The moment Congress discovered there was excess money being paid into the system which it could distribute to buy votes and that fraud was allowed by SCOTUS, the system was doomed. Sure, when more people died than collected, it was a great scam. Now, not so much.

WTP

Of course as someone said further up thread, the real problem is educational/cultural and once you fix that, in the greater scheme of things the composition of a large-ish electorate is moot. Either the powers acknowledge this or they are overthrown by a pissed off significant majority. When the “educators”, news readers, and entertainment media all spout the same mantra, getting ideas that differ from theirs communicated is close to impossible. Democracy does die in darkness.

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