Monday, March 29, 2010

Put your comments on Bryan Caplan here

I suspect Bryan is most likely to reply on his own blog, EconLog.


burger flipper said...

Caplan may seem the most congenial and innocuous of the GMU mafia, but truthfully he is as evil and you label Roissy.

Andrew said...

Just because your parents aren't your fault doesn't make them my fault.

Justin Martyr said...

You don't see a difference between a single mother and a widow? I think they are both God's children and equally deserving of love, but I also think the former has made bad choices in her life whereas the latter has not. We do want to address the root causes of poverty, don't we?

And does this mean you think the 1996 reform to SSI, which removed alcoholics and drug addicts from those who were eligible from disability benefits, was a bad idea? Should it be reversed?

When you get right down to it, the whole justification for in-kind benefits over cash is predicated on the idea that people who need help often make bad choices. Would you favor eliminating in-kind transfers and simply giving the poor cash? Do you predict that this would help the poor achieve the full human flourishing? Or would it enable them to stray farther from the path to the good life?

Lord said...

Yes, because monitoring 300 million people is sooo much easier than a couple thousand insurers and providers. Perhaps camps with "Work makes free" signs on their entrances would be next.

Faré said...

Your parents ARE your fault. Inasmuch as you ARE indeed those genes, whatever those genes are are YOU, and whatever consequences they have are YOUR fault.

If we are to dismiss genetic causes because they are genetic, and environmental causes because they are environmental, what remains as causes?

People who deny causation live in a chaotic universe without logic. And then they worship force, the only thing they know, as the universal tool to solve all problems.

Michael said...

The word deserving is problematic in a symantic way but let's not play dumb. So much of a person's a product of their genetic makeup, who their parents were and what resources were provided to them. Agency cannot be seperated cleanly from the organism and likely cannot be seperated at all.

None of this means that we shouldn't create incentives for behavior that improves the collective welfare. Even if murderers are cursed with defective genes and abusive parents doesn't mean that imposing a penalty for murder is a bad idea.

John Goodman said...

The better answer is to give each individual or family the same subsidy -- for insurance and Health Savings Accounts if they choose or to a local safety net institution if they elect to be uninsured.

Let a free market for risk decide what risks are worth what price, let charitable insititions determine who is otherwise deserving or not, and allow the kind of insurance that is personal and portable -- so that the problems of pre-existing conditions don't plague people after they get sick.

Mitch said...

What Michael said. Even if we could explain a murderer's behavior in terms of nature, or nurture, or both, what does that mean for how we deal with them?

Should we say, "Oh, he has genetic variants associated with psychopathy; clearly his behavior isn't his fault. Set him free!" Um, no. Lock him the heck up! Those deserts are entirely just and consistent.

Justin Irving said...

Eating meat does not cause heart disease, see if you doubt this. Otherwise the point is valid, I feel compelled to fight this common diet error.

Anonymous said...

Tyler, your argument is no different than saying there is no free will in the libertarian sense, therefore nobody is respopnsible for being a criminal, etc... therefore we shouldn't punish people, etc...

Anonymous said...

It seems to me the point Mitch makes could be a pretty good justification for capital punishment as opposed to leniency(weed out the bad genes).

Philo said...

"This is a fundamental tension in Caplanian thought, namely the desire to promote intuitions of both meritocracy/desert and facts about heritability." (1) It's not just in *Caplanian* thought: doesn't *everyone* suffer from this "tension"? (2) Suppose you soft-pedal the heritability, admitting a large component of environmental influence; how does that help you save *desert*?

Michael Vassar said...

You can inherit desert. Most of us agree that most humans inherit the entitlement to be granted human rights etc. Many, especially in Europe where citizenship are automatically distributed along ethnic lines also think that people inherit the entitlement to citizenship. Europeans also inherit the right to inherit, as parents can't usually disown their children. Americans and Europeans agree that people inherit the right to the childcare care that a particular set of parents consider appropriate. Causality doesn't eliminate entitlement or blame, ever.

Jack Rodwell said...

It's a silly argument that doesn't really deserve to be taken seriously. Just because things are heritable doesn't mean we don't have to take responsibility for our actions.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous@1:34PM Sterilization seems like a more precise tool to achieve your goal. And that's exactly what we need ... a revival of eugenics. If it weren't for political correctness and those damn Nazis, things would be so much better in the US of A.

Andrew said...

As with most of these things, there is a bait and switch in the logical leap some people make here.

Would parental reparations fix the problem? No. Only gene therapies will fix the underlying problem.

The first socialist country that provides the world with gene therapies will get an apology from me.

We don't believe in meritocracy for the sake of meritocracy. We don't even believe in it because it's good for society. We believe in letting people alone because that way they will individually achieve their highest potential.

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Assolutamente d'accordo con lei. Credo che questo sia un concetto molto diverso. Pienamente d'accordo con lei.
Condivido pienamente il suo punto di vista. In questo nulla in vi e 'una buona idea. Pronta a sostenere voi.

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