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Objection. Nonresponsive.

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simpson-bowles

This is my favorite of Jim VandeHei’s responses to Dylan Matthews, which Rob linked below:

DM: The Innovation Party sounds like a typical Beltway centrist project: pro-entitlement cuts, hawkish, socially liberal, etc. Is VandeHei familiar with research from political scientists David Broockman and Doug Ahler showing that most self-identified moderate voters aren’t actually that kind of centrist at all? People who want lots of government programs but also are skeptical of abortion and immigration are a more typical kind of moderate. Why would those people ever vote for the Innovation Party?

JV: I would be careful about reading too much into studies of voter habits right now. Did you anticipate Republican voters would elect an anti-trade, pro-status-quo-on-entitlements Democrat as their nominee? Did you predict a 74-year-old man would clobber Hillary Clinton among young women? There is extreme volatility in politics and I believe most eligible voters are willing to consider something unique or different.

This is…amazing. It’s almost aggressively self-refuting.

Matthews is making a familiar but important point. Elite journalists pining for a third party candidate almost always call for one who is, like them, fiscally conservative (especially with respect to popular entitlement programs) but socially liberal. So one obvious problem with VandeHei’s latest iteration is that it’s the antithesis of “innovative,” a label we can safely say can never be applied to something once Tom Friedman has written his first dozen identical columns advocating it. An even more important problem, as Matthews observes, is that these views 1)have very little popular constituency and 2)are already massively overrepresented among Beltway elites.

VandeHei’s asserts that we should ignore the fact that both Democratic and Republican voters support federal entitlement programs. To support this, his first move is…to point out that Donald Trump is winning the nomination while being the only Republican candidate who supports preserving entitlement programs! He then proceeds to observe that Bernie Sanders is popular among young women. How this shows that voters are clamoring for the INNOVATION of Pain Caucus brand neoliberalism and plenty of it, led not by a New York billionaire but a Silicon Valley billionaire, is…not obvious.

This is an inadvertently perfect illustration of how impervious to reason VandeHei’s deeply embedded fealty to centrist Beltway received wisdom is. Somebody points out that pretty much everybody hates his ideas. His response is to cite politicians who have effectively mobilized voters who hate his ideas as evidence that people want things to be DISRUPTED based on his own massively unpopular ideas. It’s really quite amazing. If his first column was beyond parody, his defense of it is doing to parody what Homer did to the Krusty Burglar:

Jim VandeHei, everbody!

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  • Rob in CT

    Unique and different. You keep using these words. I do not think they mean…

    edit: again, to perhaps be overly fair, his approach to SS reform does not actually appear to be standard pain caucus stuff. He at least claims he’s talking about cutting rich people’s benefits. He could be lying and the idea is politically stupid, but it’s not quite the same thing as the usual raise the retirement age/cut everybody’s benefits/raise payroll taxes “centrist” approach.

    • Arouet

      Except that in order to cut poor people’s benefits, the formula is approximately as follows:

      Take away benefits from rich people -> Rich people don’t care about benefits -> Take away benefits from the poor and politically underrepresented without any objection from the rich.

      • JKTH

        Because rich people aren’t trying to cut Social Security now?

        • mds

          Fewer rich people are trying to cut Social Security now.

        • Arouet

          The ones that are shouldn’t be – considering the current contribution cap and dramatically longer lifespans for the rich, that’s a really dumb move.

          • JKTH

            I think they want to cut it more to prevent the cap from rising or going away all together.

      • Rob in CT

        This is why I called it “politically stupid” (if your goal isn’t actually to kill SS. If your goal *is* to kill SS, well then no, it’s a Trojan Horse).

        • Arouet

          Fair point. It’s so politically stupid that I was ascribing it to malice: the Trojan Horse. Given the vapidity of the rest of the article, I may be crediting him with substantially too much foresight about the results of his suggestions. Malice, incompetence, etc.

        • Denverite

          It’s also stupid as a matter of arithmetic. Cutting social security benefits for rich people won’t save very much money unless you define “rich” to include a lot of people who don’t seem very rich.

          • Rob in CT

            Fair point.

          • JustRuss

            This. Cutting the SS benefits of the 1% will save you…about 1%. It’s not a solution, but it sounds like one. “Hey I’m willing to give up all of my $500 SS benefits and get by on my monthly $10,000 pension and investment income. How come those poor people aren’t willing to sacrifice a little?”

          • Scott Lemieux

            It’s also stupid as a matter of arithmetic. Cutting social security benefits for rich people won’t save very much money unless you define “rich” to include a lot of people who don’t seem very rich.

            Also, the administrative costs involved in means-testing would swallow up much of the savings.

            If VandeHei actually have a shit about attacking elite privilege, he would favor raising taxes, not means-testing. It’s a con.

            • efgoldman

              It’s a con.

              Is it a con if he believes it? Or just innumerate stupidity?

    • Atrios

      The way to “take away” rich people benefits is to increase the top marginal tax rate. Means testing the program itself would save approximately zero money unless you define “rich people” as “middle class people.”

      • Denverite

        The issue is that a lot of the income of rich retirees is either tax-free (Roth) or taxed at reduced rates (capital gains).

        I know you’re operating under the theory that rich working people become rich retirees, but it’s a rough fit at best.

        • Aaron Morrow

          Atrios seems to be suggesting that we take away their income at a higher rate before they can invest it in their Roth or taxable account.

          While I agree wholeheartedly with raising capital gains taxes, they only apply to the wealth’s profit. I want to raise taxes on their wealth as they acquire it, as well.

        • cpinva

          “The issue is that a lot of the income of rich retirees is either tax-free (Roth) or taxed at reduced rates (capital gains).”

          no, Roth IRA’s aren’t tax-free, I don’t know where you got that notion from. contributions to Roth IRA’s aren’t deductible for the year of contribution. thus, the income used for the contributions is taxed at the ordinary rates, and their is no adjustment made to gross/taxable income. the distributions then become non-taxable, because they’ve already been taxed, in an earlier year. the entirety of qualifying distributions from a Roth IRA is exempt from federal tax, and this would make the imputed interest part of the contribution tax free. but yes, the bulk of a Roth IRA is subject to tax.

          • Denverite

            I meant distributions aren’t taxed.

          • efgoldman

            Roth IRA’s aren’t tax-free,

            Plus the IRA contribution limits keep the amount of contributions relatively small.

      • JKTH

        Right. Vandehei wants to sound all populist talking about FORCING rich people to give up their benefits when really they’re a negligible part of a rich person’s retirement income. Eliminating the cap will actually hurt them so naturally he ignores that solution.

      • Sly

        Exactly. “The the rich should not benefit as much from Social Security, which is a needed program for everyone else” is a defensible position. The most efficient way to enact that position as policy is to remove the FICA cap. Instead of creating an entirely new bureaucracy whose responsibility it is to determine who deserves benefits and who doesn’t, subject to all the lobbying and regulatory capture that would come with it, all this does is change a tax rate. Simple, elegant, and accomplishes the stated task.

        Odd that everyone who is in favor of means-testing Social Security benefits ends up recoiling at this idea.

        • The Dark Avenger

          SS is means-tested thru the federal income tax as it stands now, so this is a cure in search of a disease.

          • cpinva

            shush you! don’t tell them that, they might come up with some even stupider idea.

            oddly enough, I’m one of those people who calls SS an entitlement, but not pejoratively. I call it that, because those who have paid FICA taxes throughout their working lives are, well……..entitled to it, and this includes wealthy people, who have also contributed to it. I think the fairest way to keep the system going, at 100% of benefits payments, is to just eliminate the cap on personal service income that it’s paid on. problem solved, forever.

  • Denverite

    Oh my.

  • so-in-so

    I don’t think he is citing Trump and Sanders as examples of policy, its just “hey, you didn’t predict these guys, so obviously we can throw out everything we thought we knew about politics”. A BS defense, but not quite as self-refuting. More like “how do tides work, nobody really knows”.

    • Scott Lemieux

      I know, but he’s still massively missing the point. They were “unpredictable” in ways that refute his argument.

      • royko

        Yeah, Trump is surprising for a lot of reasons, but what he shows is that there is a pretty big constituency among independents and moderate Republicans for pro-entitlement populism, if it comes with enough anger and xenophobia. Once you understand the fact that a lot of people don’t want to cut entitlements, this becomes less crazy than VandeHei thinks.

        On the Democratic side, he’s just being kind of insulting, implying that young Democratic women voters normally would be primarily voting on identity politics. He completely ignores that Bernie is doing well among young voters because he’s running to the left and he’s running as anti-establishment. I don’t really think this is particularly shocking, but it also points toward the “everybody doesn’t hate entitlements the way highly paid political journalists do” conclusion.

        Like so-in-so said, it’s a really bad defense when you argue that because some things are surprising, we must ignore all known facts. But it’s an even worse one when those surprising things actually support the known facts.

        • cpinva

          “Once you understand the fact that a lot of people don’t want to cut entitlements, this becomes less crazy than VandeHei thinks.”

          no, they do want to cut entitlement expenditures, but they want them cut for people other than themselves and their families/friends. it’s very targeted spending cuts, for people they don’t see as “deserving”.

      • McAllen

        And while Trump’s rise was unpredictable, it seems to me that the existence of a bloc of Republican voters who disliked the party’s economic policies was predicted by a lot of people.

        • witlesschum

          Yes, this was the basic thesis of things from What’s the Matter With Kansas to that smug guy’s anti-smug liberals manifesto.

          The fact that a candidate with Trump’s positions is doing well in the Republican primary isn’t surprising, the fact that it’s Donald Trump rather than a politician is still sorta surprising, IMO.

        • CP

          It probably shouldn’t have surprised me, but I’ll admit it did. Years and years of hearing Republicans of all income levels earnestly telling me about the moral wrongness of forcing people to pay for welfare, about how History Proves that Socialism Doesn’t Work and how Detroit was destroyed because unions, and about how they don’t want an Estate Tax because they’re totally going to be rich someday and don’t want it in place then, had managed to convince me that they’d never wake the fuck up.

          Of course, being that this is Trump we’re talking about, it’s open question just how much they really have woken the fuck up.

          • so-in-so

            It will be interesting to see if they continue to reject the ‘Conservative’ program (assuming Trump looses badly in November) or go back to the GOP mainstream.

          • random

            It can’t be emphasized enough that populist economics, trade, and entitlements have almost nothing to do with Trump’s appeal. It’s a useful device for differentiating himself from the hated RINOs, but that’s about it.

            • CP

              I realized that towards the end, which is why I added the “it’s an open question just how much they’ve really woken up” bit.

              But I think Hercules’ position below is still noteworthy: “the point is not that Trump is pro-entitlement but that, as you say, GOP voters aren’t actually motivated by the desire to cut entitlements.” Or, more broadly, by anything economic, except as they perceive it to relate to the things they do care about (racism). Depending on what mood you caught him in that day, Trump has been for and against universal health care, for and against Social Security, for and against taxes, and none of his base gives a shit about any of it. All they care about is that he be the loudest bigot in the room, and on that, he’s been unwavering.

              The bottom line is that there’s a big demographic in the U.S. whose only real interest in voting is bigotry and for whom everything else is negotiable at best and completely ignored at worst. They were happy with New Deal economics back in the day when they still came from the White Man’s Party; they were happy to ditch it for Reaganite gobbledegook when its spokesmen became the new White Man’s Party; Trump’s who-gives-a-shit campaign suggests they might be perfectly happy to ditch the Reaganism too if they were convinced another faction offered a better White Supremacist Messiah. That doesn’t necessarily help us directly (I don’t think anyone’s suggesting we should try to be that messiah), but it’s interesting for suggesting the possibility of deeper and deeper splits in the other party, should the Trump supporter faction endure beyond one flash-in-the-pan election.

              • random

                Nice. I think the other side of it that VDH is missing is that the largest constituency of GOP voters really are dead-serious about slashing taxes and government programs and will fight to the death for those ends.

                That ‘fiscal conservative’ faction allied with the more-amorphous bigot-faction decades ago and I think Trump is just the latest symptom that the two factions are getting divorced, now that bigot-politics has diminishing returns.

                should the Trump supporter faction endure beyond one flash-in-the-pan election.

                As you pointed out, this faction is large and has been around for a very long time. So long as there’s an authentic bigot-faction in the GOP and another authentic fiscal-conservative faction who recognizes that the bigot-faction is hurting them, I think this same basic tension is going to keep manifesting.

          • royko

            Atrios had a good bit about this a long time back: how these conservative whites think there’s a set of “good” but meager benefits and programs that benefit the deserving (read: whites), while there’s a super-secret welfare system that only the blahs have access to that gets them wheelbarrows full of cash.

            They love to believe that welfare queen nonsense.

      • Peterr

        When VDH says “There is extreme volatility in politics and I believe most eligible voters are willing to consider something unique or different” he’s making an arguably good observation. However, when he moves from there to say “Thus, this proves my unique and different proposal is right!” he’s gone off the rails. There are lots of possible proposals out there that are unique and different, but most of them are also loony and stupid.

        As the lawyers around here would say of VDH’s logic, “This presumes facts not in evidence.”

        Imagine visiting Dr VDH, MD in his office:

        VDH: Well, you’ve got a cough, a slight fever, and a general lack of energy.

        You: That’s about right. (cough cough)

        VDH: OK, let’s amputate your right leg.

        You: WHAT!?!?

        VDH: You just said I was right. Why are you arguing with me now?

        • Aaron Morrow

          As Rob in CT brought up, this also assumes that yet another proposal from Very Serious People to reform cut entitlements is “unique” or “different.”

          Isn’t that condescending, or am I just being smug?

        • Thread has a winner!

        • Linnaeus

          I keep reading “VDH” as standing for Victor Davis Hanson.

          • DrS

            I read it as someone who just heard the news at the clinic. “VD. Huh”

        • so-in-so

          Shush. If the concept of “disruptive medicine” catches on with these not cases, watch out!

      • IS

        It looks to me like what happened is that Trump offered to fill Krugman’s empty box for “hardhats”: that is, even if Krugman missed the fact that there’s demand for that kind of candidate, it was invisible because there wasn’t an elite constituency willing to offer it, and transactions don’t happen without someone wanting it on both sides. All of which just goes with what you were saying, since you can’t say that demand for something was going unnoticed because nobody was willing to supply when everyone and their mother is trying to make the mix VDH was pushing happen.

  • jim, some guy in iowa

    the two guys at the top look like failed Simpsons characters

    Matthews: this idea won’t work

    VandeHei: yeah, so? what’s your point?

    (long pause)

    VandeHei: hey Dylan wanna watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat?

    • For a spinoff show: Matt Groening’s the Bowleses and Simpsons.

  • kped

    Strange that VandeHei is labeling Trump a Democrat. Because…he really isn’t one.

    • ChrisS

      He may have been one in name years ago, but realistically a bunch of white angry racist men are picking a white angry racist man to be their nominee.

      Surprising.

    • B-b-but Ross Douthat told me he was a liberal!

      • catclub

        It is going to be so funny when Trump is the nominee and NR comes out with an “oops, Trump IS a conservative” issue.

        • Ken

          Do you think they’ll bother shoving their back issues down the memory hole, or just brazen it out with doublethink?

  • Roger Ailes

    Jeff Jarvis is all in on the Innovation Party.

    How bad could it be?

    • Davis

      Roger, have you given up your blog? I miss it.

  • Murc

    Assuming that anything other than his racism and swagger is pertinent to Trump’s rise is shockingly generous on Vandehei’s part.

    I keep hearing people talk about how Trump being “pro-entitlement” has a lot to do with his success. It does not. Only two things do: his promise to put his boot on the necks of brown people, and his promise to kick the shit out of the rest of the world until they give us back all our jerbs and monies.

    That’s it. That’s the salient part of his platform. The Republican base doesn’t give a shit about anything else.

    • Hercules Mulligan

      Very true, but the point is not that Trump is pro-entitlement but that, as you say, GOP voters aren’t actually motivated by the desire to cut entitlements.

      And thus that the constituency for entitlement reform in this country remains 50 people, 30 of whom work for the Washington Post.

      • DAS

        Indeed, I am not sure that support for Trump coming from some perceived “pro-entitlement” stance of his even translates to support for liberalism, at least as Trump’s supporters perceive liberalism. So let me fix part of your comment

        And thus that the constituency for entitlement reform in this country remains 50 extremely smug people, 30 of whom work for the liberal Washington Post.

        The GOP base rejects entitlement-reform not because they are more comfortable with liberalism than previously thought, but because they identify entitlement-reform as big government liberalism (whence “keep government out of my Medicare”).

        Of course, the support for Trump does show that the GOP-base is motivated less by their support for conservative orthodoxy than by fear, racism and anger. And this has the GOP establishment very nervous: they’ve been pushing the line that their orthodoxy is very popular and now everyone is realizing conservative orthodoxy isn’t even popular with the supposed conservative base.

        I’m sure VandeHei would argue that, since the GOP base doesn’t embrace conservative orthodoxy in the way the GOP establishment has long claimed they did, even the right-wing GOP base are less-than-partisan centrists at heart who would embrace an idea like his Innovation Party. But the GOP base does not perceive itself as rejecting conservative orthodoxy from a position that the orthodoxy is too far away from the center and that they (in the base) are more willing to move to the center and even embrace liberal ideas and support a “Democrat”. The base rejects the GOP orthodoxy because they view that orthodoxy is insufficiently distinguishable from liberalism!

    • random

      I keep hearing people talk about how Trump being “pro-entitlement” has a lot to do with his success. It does not.

      Amen. He could easily be pro-trade and anti-entitlement and it would not hurt him a bit, so long as it was presented as an extension of his bigotry and he decried anyone critical of those positions for their ‘political correctness’.

      In fact he has been extremely critical of Social Security previously, and called for kicking about 25% of the recipients off the program for being ‘leeches’. There’s nothing coherent in his entitlement politics, other than hating certain categories of people.

  • NewishLawyer

    The real answer is insulation. The ultra elite are ultra big sorted. This is beyond Democratic and Republucan districts.

    They also have fuck you money and don’t really need to listen to pesky facts. The ultra rich seem to be quite sycophantic with each other in ways normal people are not with their friends.

    A year or so ago, there was a theatre company in Seattle that took a large donation but in exchange the company gave the donor’s play a professional production. The article I read quoted all the rich Guy’s friends at the opening party talking about how it was the best thing they saw, Broadway level.

    The ultra elite live in a world of constant ego stroking.

    • The Dark Avenger

      I have a friend in San Rafael, CA, who tells me that when the Bohemian Club wants amateur musicians for their activities, they always go with talent over any other factor in their selection criteria. An exception that tests the rule, I guess.

      • NewishLawyer

        Still the rich seem isolated. Speaking of Vox, MY just got called out on writing a puff piece about Goldman’s new bank for the masses because he did not disclose Goldman was a Vox sponsor.

        My only thought was that there are people who care about ethics and then there are people who get rich. Maybe MY will need to do an apology but there will be no real consequences for him or Goldman.

      • Brad Nailer

        Easy to do in Marin County.

        • The Dark Avenger

          I dunno, my friend seems to run into less-than-talented amateurs in the activities she does locally at least 2 or 3 times a year.

    • Conversely, David Koch and Michael Bloomberg allowed one of their favorite charities, the New York City Opera, to die because the company staged Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Anna Nicole, with an unsympathetic portrayal of the heroine’s husband, J. Howard Marshall II, who when alive had been the owner of 16% of Koch Industries.

    • AMK

      I agree with your point, but The Arts with a capital A is probably not the industry to be in if you really can’t tolerate constant obsequious rich-people boot-licking. Theatre, opera, dance etc.. all live and die by the whims of a handful of people in fewer ZIP codes than I have fingers.

    • catclub

      Somebody quicker than me noted that the JVDH article was not meant for the proles. It was a ego stroking of one or two billionaires.

  • DAS

    The quoted exchange reminds me a bit of how wingnuts, et al., obfuscate the science surrounding climate change. Would JV respond to an argument about increasing global temperatures by writing

    I would be careful about reading too much into studies of temperatures right now. Did you anticipate that there would be record cold in February of 2015? Did you anticipate that the arctic would have the hottest January on record in 2016? Clearly, these large temperature extremes indicate scientists should consider something different than old paradigms about “climate change”

  • JustRuss

    All you need to know about VandHei’s proposal is that Bill Kristol has endorsed it.

    • postmodulator

      We really need to start paying more attention to that heuristic. Kristol was pretty confident that Trump couldn’t get the nomination.

  • Gwen

    “Oh sure, replacing democracy with a feudal monarchy sounds crazy, but did anyone predict Bernie Sanders? I win the debate.”

    • so-in-so

      Been visiting alt-Right lately?

      • NeonTrotsky

        Wait, those people are into monarchism? What on earth.

        • Linnaeus

          Toryism never totally went away among the right.

          • jim, some guy in iowa

            there are people out there claiming to be the True Americans who, based on their attitude toward things today, *also* seem to think the wrong side won both world wars the civil war *and* the revolution

            • efgoldman

              *also* seem to think the wrong side won both world wars the civil war *and* the revolution

              To be fair, the attitude is mostly about the War by the Traitor States Over Slavery.

        • Davis X. Machina
        • random

          It’s not clear if they are into monarchism or just trolling.

        • DrS

          Pretty sure I still have a copy of Hans Herman Hoppe’s “Democracy: The God that Failed”, if you’re into that sort of thing.

        • postmodulator

          There’s some overlap between the neoreactionaries and /r/TheRedPill, if that gives you any idea.

        • Sly

          The fundamental tenet of Neo-Reactionary ideology is that humanity went off the rails once the Enlightenment started. It’s their version of Original Sin.

          Some (the Catholic ones) even go back to the Reformation. Once you start questioning the authority of the Vicar of Christ on Earth, well, it won’t be too long before the men-folk are raising the kids and the wimmenz and slutting it up.

        • Murc

          Vox Day is one of these nitwits, in fact.

  • Bloomberg chose not to run because he concluded a pro-big-banks billionaire could not win an Electoral College majority. He also shares most of Hillary Clinton’s views and calculated he could never beat her. I agree with his assessment that a superrich New Yorker isn’t what the public is pining for right now. The ideal candidate would need to be an outsider who can tap into the populist mood of voters.

    Like a superrich Californian who has approximately 2000 times as much money as Clinton. Especially one who’s 31 years old because fuck Article 2, that’s just so linear.

    • That should be 20,000 times as much money. Apologies.

      • postmodulator

        I think Zuckerberg apologizes for that. Maybe God does, I dunno.

        • Oh, Zuckerberg tries to be a mensh, not enough time in my world to get mad at him except over the Newark schools type of thing. It’s not his fault people like Halperin talk about him in irredeemably stupid ways. I’m sure Halperin didn’t ask his permission.

    • Kalil

      Hey, if we’re okay with a Canadian running, I don’t see why age should be an obstacle.

  • wengler

    I find it weird that these guys engage in electoral politics at all. It’s much more efficient to buy the politicians after they’ve been elected.

    • AndersH

      Buying a politician is way too gauche (and difficult!). Better get in early and make sure the people reaching the top level are fundamentally sympathetic to your interests.

      • so-in-so

        This might well the whole GOP/Koch program. A generation of GOP pols who are true believers and don’t have to be bought by outright bribery (and if they are believers, they will stay bought, so to speak).

    • Sly

      And they’re even cheaper to rent.

    • Scott Lemieux

      I find it weird that these guys engage in electoral politics at all.

      Yes, it certainly is strange that they prefer the party whose central mission is massively cutting their taxes over the party that wants to modestly raise them.

  • elm

    I haven’t read the specific paper in question, but Brookman and Doug Ahler are both excellent young political scientists and it’s nice to see them getting attention for their research. (Brookman has already gotten a lot of attention as he’s the guy who exposed the LaCour fraud, but it’s nice that this time the attention is for a more positive contribution and Ahler’s just finishing up his PhD so this is a nice way to start off his career.)

  • postmodulator

    OT: Are we going to get a UC Davis thread? Seems like another good opportunity to share academia horror stories.

  • Docrailgun

    I realize that I’m a low-information voter and not very bright, but how does one do the mental gymnastics required to be socially liberal but fiscally conservative? How are the two things not linked at their very core?

    • In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread.

      — Anatole France

      There are weak and strong versions of this position. Both may very well believe that the rights of minorities should be legally protected, that civil society should be secular, etc. This can be described as “social liberalism”. Regardless, these people believe that redistributive government spending should be reduced or eliminated.

      The weak position is that redistributive programs are ineffective or harmful, and that the poor will benefit from their elimination. This is the Villager/Very Serious Person model. They usually don’t want to completely destroy the social safety net, but want to replace it with “efficient”, frequently heavily paternalistic programs.

      The strong position is that redistributive programs are immoral, and that in their absence the only people who will suffer will be the lazy and undeserving. These are “libertarians”.

      Both of them either don’t realize or don’t care that economic inequality causes and strengthens social inequality.

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