2017 was full of hype about the risk of thermonuclear war or (somehow) World War III as the war of words between Trump and Kim of North Korea reached a boiling point. For all the criticism Trump received for tough talk and saber-rattling, he seems to be getting just as much flak for deciding to sit down and talk to Kim. Nonwithstanding, of course, the pretty typical flip-flopping: Obama offers to talk to North Korea without preconditions, conservatives freak out. Now Trump does it, liberals freak out (along with some conservatives, such as Ben Shapiro or the American Spectator). So let's take a minute and cut through the sports-team politics and get into the meat.Read More
would. Her very personal, anecdotal, no-BS approach to human connection vs. tribalism is a great compliment to our own work and probably a good way to reach people who aren't as responsive to ReConsider's brass-tacks take.
I wanted to pass along a bit of what I'd taken away from it. I believe I've become a more compassionate and (thereby) more effective discusser of politics for having read her work.Read More
It's not an easy thing to defend Trump's character. Regardless of your feelings or your belief about the validity of the scandals themselves, Trump's full year of presidency has been far more scandal-laden than any term. The fact that his base isn't eroding tells us a lot about the state of politics today.Read More
The bipartisan effort to keep DREAMers in the US collapsed, kicking the debate over illegal immigration back into the public sphere.
I've seen a lot of arguments come across my desk about different ways of dealing with illegal immigration in the US, many of which have been backed by simply bad information. In today's post we'll debunk a few myths so you can have your facts straight at your next illegal immigration debate.Read More
Many folks on both sides of the political spectrum will tell you that the reason their political opposition doesn't agree with them is a lack of education. This can go as far as groaning about uneducated (typically either poor rural or poor urban) hordes voting en masse after being fooled. Education, therefore, is the fix for the crippling political divide we have. If people are educated, they'll agree on the facts, and we'll be able to move forward.
But does this claim hold up to evidence?Read More
We've had a few readers ask why Congress wanted to lower corporate tax rates in the US. In particular, US corporations already have record-setting profits--why do they need more money? Should we, instead, be raising taxes on corporations? Indeed, plenty of articles make the case that the corporate tax cuts won't create jobs at all.
The problem with these articles is that their counter-arguments are all arguing against the wrong argument. The logic behind a corporate tax cut is not in fact, "more corporate profits will mean more jobs."
If that's not the argument, what is?
Politics tap into an unusual mixture of reason and emotion. We want to have the right answer, which requires a neutral interpretation of information and events. However, it is human nature to want to feel like we have the right answer, especially when the topic is something we care deeply about.
There is a disconnect between the pure detachment required for cool-headed discussion and the often uncontrollable emotions that are part of our nature. This is why an impassioned speech can sway huge groups of individuals better than an exceptionally well-informed but detached policy paper.
How can we train ourselves to think more effectively about politics?Read More
In the last post, we explored some different common hypotheses behind the observed phenomenon of a growing gap between worker productivity and worker pay.
Today we'll look at how tough it is to explain this gap based on how hard it is to measure different parts of the graph--and, luckily, find a few places that seem a little more pinned down.Read More