Thursday, January 11, 2018
Sunday, December 31, 2017
Of the many good things that happened in 2017, I have the most hope that the movement against sexual predators will have long-term effects.
In many fields, men known for years to have been gropers, sexual blackmailers, and even rapists were driven out and rendered pariahs. Liberal organizations were more consistent than conservative ones in removing the offenders, but that is often what happens at the beginning of a social movement.
This movement was made by tipping public opinion, not by a change in law. This suggests to me that it will have real staying power.
Monday, December 25, 2017
Brad Wilcox, one of the leading researchers on marriage, reports that husbands who are committed to marriage for life have happier wives.
What husbands believe about gender roles does not predict their wives' happiness.
Thursday, December 14, 2017
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Friday, December 08, 2017
Allan Lichtman, the historian who has successfully predicted all the presidential elections since 1984, reminds us that that the main theme of such an election is a referendum on how well the party in power governed.
This is good news - the candidate horse race is really secondary to the years of achievement, or non-achievement, which lie before the race. This is as it should be.
The Republican Party has had total control of government for a year. They have done almost nothing with it.
On the basis of Lichtman's findings, I think they are building toward a disastrous 2020.
Monday, November 20, 2017
George Lakoff has argued persuasively that an underlying cause of the deep conservative/liberal divide is that, while both tend to view government as like a family, they have different theories of what kind of parent is best to lead a family. He calls these two views "strict father" and "nurturant parent," respectively.
This helps make sense of why conservative policy is so hard on welfare recipients. They believe a strict father should make children become responsible and self-supporting.
This also explains why they want "fathers" of all kinds to have a free hand. Theirs is a patriarchal theory in the most literal sense.
Which brings us to the mystery of "trickle-down economics." As an economic theory it has failed repeatedly. However, conservatives doggedly stick to it as the solution to all problems. Give the rich more money and give corporations a free hand, and they will do what is best for their dependents.
Liberals regard corporations as economic institutions, which respond to incentives. If you want them to create more jobs, then tie their tax breaks to actually producing more jobs.