Whenever I want a clear-cut example of latter-day racial discrimination, I point to elite universities’ treatment of Asians. As far as I’m concerned, the evidence is overwhelming. The denials are not only motivated reasoning, but desperate motivated reasoning. Still, this leaves me with a puzzle. Do I really think that elite admissions officers wake up […]
Now that we correctly understand Hsieh-Moretti’s results, let’s put them in context.
The last 25 years have delivered amazing economic and technological progress for humanity. *Political* progress, in contrast, is hard even to detect during this period.
What motivates businesspeople? While the full answer is complex, the basic answer is clear: Money. People run businesses to get richer – and ideally, to get rich. And whenever I get a small taste of the challenges businesspeople overcome, not to mention the disrespect they endure in our society, I have to say that businesspeople earn every penny.
What exactly is moral fanaticism? Like moral relativism, moral fanaticism is a meta-ethical theory – a theory about moral facts and moral reasoning. Moral relativism says, roughly, that there are no moral facts, and moral “reasoning” is just thinly-veiled emoting. Moral fanaticism, in contrast, affirms that there are moral facts, but pretends that thinly-veiled emoting is ironclad moral reasoning.
Most skilled American workers are now at least somewhat afraid to criticize fashionable left-wing views. They feel quite fearful to do so on the job, and fairly fearful to do so on social media. One tempting way to quell this high anxiety is to pass new laws against political discrimination.
One of the main problems with selling housing deregulation is the perception that new construction “only benefits the rich.” Rich developers of course, but also rich home-buyers. It’s easy to see where casual observers get this idea. New housing is usually nice housing, because over time technology improves and capital depreciates. Since richer people are more willing to pay the upcharge for nicer housing, the future residents of new construction are usually well-to-do. So what do casual observers miss?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I would much rather live in a world of rational, selfish voters. Yes, such people can be callous. They would be deaf to the grand arguments of The Problem of Political Authority. Yet they would favor much better policies than the irrational, unselfish voters whose dominate actual polities. Unselfishness may lead you to “Do your part.” What good is “doing your part,” though, if you refuse to think straight about what to do?
In a reflective moment, George Orwell wrote, “Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I understand it.” Yet if you actually read his oeuvre, you’ll find a striking disparity: Orwell’s anti-totalitarian writing is massive, but his pro-socialist writing is wafer thin.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Bioethics is to ethics as astrology is to astronomy. If bioethicists had previously prevented a hundred Tuskegees from happening, COVID would still have turned the existence of their entire profession into a net negative for humanity. Verily, we would be better off if their field had never existed.