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aliad

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Problems with objective evaluation of government policies. Part I. The unemployment data paradox
The correct scientific way to determine the affect of the policy should be to reset time to 2006 and then run forward with a different policy to see if we get different results. And then do that a dozen more times for each policy to see if the ... read more

Why is the crime rate so high in Venezuela?
I suspect that socialism, or at least this particular implementation of socialism, is part of the answer. For many years there have been two exchange rates. The first was the official, legal exchange rate that the government would arrange for a few ... read more

Should the ideal of democracy be about holding politicians accountable?
In theory I'm for this idea. But the sort of "results" that most spring to mind are the day to day conditions of community life. And there are many things that affect those, coming from both many different politicians and forces over which ... read more

Can competition be created in an education market of perfect irrationality?
Yes it would. But I've heard stories about consent decrees where sometimes once both parties and a judge agree on a settlement it can be tricky to go back and re-argue the ... read more

Can competition be created in an education market of perfect irrationality?
Yes, that is why you would want at least some political leverage. The only way around that I can see is to sue against requiring college degrees (without looking for a major in a specific area) as discriminatory based on disparate impact. Then ... read more

The one thing that Trump has in common with Berny Sanders is trade
I'm wondering is there will be an insider vs. outside detention to US Polonius that develops as cutting across left vs. right. If both party establishments agree on the same side of an issue as the politically safe or 'mainstream' one, ... read more

Why are Education and Health Care Outcomes So Bad in the United States?
I agree that it is important to look at what we are measuring when we talk about having "poor" educational results nationally. Because in national contexts we are usually talking about average the statistics of standardized test scores. But when it ... read more

What can Berny Sanders do when there's a Republican congress?
It can't do a spinoff that substantially reduces it's assets unless it can satisfy it's creditors that the risk of d3efault on its obligations is not going up. A simplified example: you are likely to go bankrupt in the near future and ... read more

Can competition be created in an education market of perfect irrationality?
National achievement tests + Employer Attention If you can implement national testing that both covers skills that employers are interested in and that produces enough differentiation to be useful to employers, then with a little encouragement, ... read more

What can Berny Sanders do when there's a Republican congress?
It's already too late to avoid the to-big-to-fail trap. The world banking system is already in a very fragile state. My gosh, the Bunds, the safest of the safe, is in major trouble. Because splitting up a bank requires a serious accounting and ... read more

Should a Special Prosecutor be appointed for the email scandal?
I'm sort of ambivalent on this one. If not special prosecutor is appointed and the AG does not file any charges against Hillary in the coming months, there is a large segment of the population that will think that Hillary was let off because of ... read more

The politics of invasive species
I think any question that sets out to evaluate whether some phenomena is 'good' or 'bad' is going to be referencing cultural values. It's pretty straightforward to ask something like does introduced grass Y become more than x percent ... read more

Integration of Muslim Immigrants: US vs. Europe
I'd say 1 is very important. Both needing to find a job and having a job are big motivators for understanding how the outsiders that are the majority think. Having a job where you encounter individuals from the mainstream society is also a big ... read more

Health care wait time in Europe
The type of surgery referenced in the linked arrival are quality of life issues, that is, you aren't going to die if you don't get the surgery but you aren't going to be able to function to your normal standards either. Now people who are ... read more

Should atheists support teaching both evolution and creationism in schools?
I think its fairly clear that volcanic eruptions have cause global cooling in the past and I'd give us a 50/50 change of being able to replicate the phenomenon well enough to repeat the effects. I do agree that a lot of GW activists have ... read more

Should atheists support teaching both evolution and creationism in schools?
Yes, I wouldn't claim that resentment of prestige signally is a majority or even principal factor in AGW skepticism. But the fact that creationist and AGW skeptics are only somewhat overlapping groups, just means this is an opportunity for ... read more

Does the end of military conscription threaten democracy?
Your right that to a certain extent I was probably conflating late imperial and late republican problems in my mind. But in the time of Caesar the official pay of the troops was low enough that their main income was loot that was made possible by ... read more

Does the end of military conscription threaten democracy?
The roman republic had several other factors against it which had to be combined with a professional military to end democracy. 1 - incompetence in actually paying for your military and providing adequate retirement. We need to the VA situation ... read more

Should efforts by made to stump out Halloween?
I think modify rather than stomp out would be a better strategy. In many neighborhoods it's already becoming customary to only go to lighted or decorated houses. Suppose you combine this with a campaign to change to catchphrase from ... read more

Should atheists support teaching both evolution and creationism in schools?
I like to think I would allow them to present their case, though I can't know if I would be that high minded in actual practice. Prestige signally can work batter than logic with the uncommitted or loosely committed. But if you signal to ... read more

Are there any arguments for wealth inequality being desirable?
Focusing on enthusiastic support for wealth inequality: It supplies an avenue for micro punishments and micro rewards that moreover can be implemented in an egalitarian rather than authoritarian manner. If someone does something really Wong you can ... read more

Should atheists support teaching both evolution and creationism in schools?
I don't know if I'm just the right audience to comment on this post or if I'm exactly the wrong audience. I was taught creationism by my parents and am still a young earth creationist to this day despite not thinking the Bible is ... read more

Are there any arguments for wealth inequality being desirable?
It's a fundamentals part of monetary wealth is that it's transferable. If you want to have any sort of trade or commerce you have to allow items of value to be transferred from one entity to another. A transfer implies that there was an ... read more