Give children the vote

by John Quiggin on August 17, 2019

Looking at the array of ignorant and vindictive old men attacking Greta Thunberg and other young climate activists, the case for lowering the voting age is just about unanswerable. Anything that could be urged in justification of stopping 16 year olds, as a group, from voting, is equally applicable to those over 60 (a group to which I belong). Over 60 voters are, on average, poorly educated (the school leaving age in Australia was 15 when they went through and I assume similar in most places), and more likely to hold a wide range of false beliefs (notably in relation to climate change).

Worse, as voters the over 60s have ceased to act, if they ever did, as wise elders seeking the best for the future. Rather (on average) they vote in a frivolous and irresponsible way, forming the support base for loudmouthed bigots and clowns like Trump, Johnson and, in Australia, Pauline Hanson (the last of whom, unsurprisingly, supports an increase in the voting age). Substantively, they respond to unrealistic appeals to nostalgia, wanting to Make America Great Again, and restore the glories of the British Empire, while dismissing concerns about the future. If my age cohort were to be assessed on the criteria applied to 16 year olds, we would be disenfranchised en masse.

Of course, we can’t do that kind of thing in a democracy,. That’s why we should act consistently with the core democratic principle that those affected by a decision should have a say in making it, unless they are absolutely disqualified in some way. In my view, that makes an open-and-shut case for lowering the voting age to 16.

But where should we stop? If we set the bar at the level of emotional maturity and intelligence shown by say, the crowd at a Trump rally, most 12 year olds would clear it with ease.

So, how about giving everyone a vote? For young children, that would amount to giving parents an extra vote, though it’s worth noting that opponents of womens’ suffrage made the same claim about husbands. In any case, the assumption that parents would vote in their children’s interest seems much more defensible than the idea that the old, as a group, will vote unselfishly about decisions (Brexit, for example, or wartime conscription) that will have little effect on them, but drastic consequences for the young.

More importantly, the age at which young people stop doing as their parents tell them is well below 18. Allowing them to engage directly in the democratic process would be an unambiguously good thing, whether or not they chose more wisely than their elders.

{ 79 comments }

1

nastywoman 08.17.19 at 7:19 am

100 percent agreed!

2

Tim Worstall 08.17.19 at 8:10 am

“attacking Greta Thunberg”

As you, JQ, say the solution to climate change is a carbon tax. As does near every experienced economist in fact. Greta doesn’t appear to. At which point are we allowed to ask for experience in solving the problem being outlined?

3

Richy Dust 08.17.19 at 8:20 am

I’ll raise your 60 and table my 80. The array of ignorant and vindictive old men, and young men, attacking Greta Thunberg are doing that because they make a handsome living from it. To blame any particular cohort of the electorate for tolerating that is doing the same job. The ignorant and vindictive will chortle because you are not being paid.
The real problem is how do we work democracy while struggling through a blizzard of deceit? I would like to see your thoughts on that.
By the way – we used to send our ne-er do wells to you. Why did you release Rupe?

4

KC 08.17.19 at 8:22 am

Do the arguments apply equally to any permanent or semi-permanent residents -e.g., international students?

In any event, I agree that democracy entails giving everyone a say in how they are governed, especially in decisions that matter to their wellbeing and their freedoms to live lives that they have reason to value.

5

J-D 08.17.19 at 10:32 am

More importantly, the age at which young people stop doing as their parents tell them is well below 18.

Is there any age at which parents can rely on their children doing as they’re told?

According to Wikipedia:

Eighteen is the most common voting age, with a small minority of countries differing from this rule. Those with a national minimum age of 17 include East Timor, Greece, Indonesia, North Korea, South Sudan and Sudan. The minimum age is 16 in Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, Malta, Nicaragua and the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey (three self-governing British Crown Dependencies). The highest minimum voting age is 21 in several nations. Some countries have variable provision for the minimum voting age, whereby a lower age is set for eligibility to vote in state, regional or municipal elections.

6

Joshua Gans 08.17.19 at 11:12 am

7

BPH 08.17.19 at 11:24 am

As Richy Dust pointed out, the attacks on Thunberg are financially motivated. Those are bought and paid for by wealthy in the fossil fuel industry. In fact, the whole anti climate change nonsense is a cardboard cutout creation of the those mostly old men like the Koch brothers. So is the curation by fossil fuel money of fake cures for global warming that serve to maintain fossil fuel consumption.

That should tell us that the best strategy is to attack the wealth of anyone profiting off of fossil fuels. Propose a tax directly on the wealth holdings of the people who profiter from fossil fuel mining and distribution. The tax should be confiscatory, as is appropriate for people profiting from wrecking the world. The carbon tax won’t touch the current executive and large shareholder incentive.

This is simply addressing the perverse incentive.

8

Lee A. Arnold 08.17.19 at 11:41 am

Never heard of Andrew Bolt before. He is quite a shit head.

9

Orange Watch 08.17.19 at 12:53 pm

The flipside of Greta Thunberg is, depressingly, all the trollish nihilists who would combine ignorance (willful or otherwise) with a reckless desire to sow chaos for its own sake as they see themselves as both powerless and not subject to consequences for their actions. Admittedly, this contingent can currently start voting at 18, and unless there were accommodations made to make child voting as convenient as possible would be only a little more likely under a youth voting program to be flagrant fascists ‘for the lulz’ owing to their relatively lazy patterns of sociopolitical engagement.

10

P.M.Lawrence 08.17.19 at 1:05 pm

Anything that could be urged in justification of stopping 16 year olds, as a group, from voting, is equally applicable to those over 60 (a group to which I belong).

Oh? How about the original logic for all this, as a safety valve buying off nuisance value? Think it through: most 16 year olds are already bought off, in that they are usually dependents, but contrariwise those over 60 are either not already bought off like that, or if they are they indirectly sway the middle aged in that the middle aged don’t want adverse precedents that will eventually hit them (whereas what happens to the young won’t ever hit them, at any rate not again). This is the underlying logic for why so many French wanted to retain universal conscription: most were not faced with it any more but all gained from general defence.

Over 60 voters are, on average, poorly educated (the school leaving age in Australia was 15 when they went through and I assume similar in most places), and more likely to hold a wide range of false beliefs (notably in relation to climate change). Worse, as voters the over 60s have ceased to act, if they ever did, as wise elders seeking the best for the future. Rather (on average) they vote in a frivolous and irresponsible way, forming the support base for loudmouthed bigots and clowns like Trump, Johnson and, in Australia, Pauline Hanson (the last of whom, unsurprisingly, supports an increase in the voting age). Substantively, they respond to unrealistic appeals to nostalgia, wanting to Make America Great Again, and restore the glories of the British Empire, while dismissing concerns about the future.

See above. Even if they are wrong, that is all the more reason they should be consulted – under that logic. If nothing else, it is your last chance to set them straight without repressing them, and if you do repress them you have lost. (Note, it is only under that logic that they put up with you.)

Of course, we can’t do that kind of thing [disfranchising] in a democracy,. That’s why we should act consistently with the core democratic principle that those affected by a decision should have a say in making it, unless they are absolutely disqualified in some way.

That’s not a core democratic principle, not nowise, not nohow. That’s a core principle of equitable governance (assuming, for the moment that that can be had), as well as of that safety valve logic above. The core democratic principle is that “we” rule, but leaves “we” undefined (and, furthermore, democracy cannot define it without circularity). But that’s why Rome had to fight its Social Wars – because “we” is not enough for viability, under at least some circumstances.

By the way, the “reformers” of the Reform Bill movement had no qualms about disfranchising those who they considered adverse to the trends of the Whig theory of history. They disqualified a great many poor Tories who had inherited the vote, particularly in the West Country. Macaulay even showed an awareness of it.

11

Dipper 08.17.19 at 1:59 pm

Well let’s just go the whole hog and only allow children to vote. Anyone under 18. No lower limit. After all, it’s their world.

12

Antoine 08.17.19 at 2:30 pm

13

ccc 08.17.19 at 2:30 pm

“how about giving everyone a vote” … “the core democratic principle that those affected by a decision should have a say in making it”

The largest disenfranchised such group is not children and any principled argument on voting expansion would have to take that other group into account. Such arguments already take place elsewhere.

14

Dipper 08.17.19 at 2:32 pm

For clarity, people are not in general ‘attacking Greta Thunberg’. They are attacking the replacement of the democratic process with the use by various adults of a 16-year old child as a human shield for their opinions. We can no longer question any aspect of Climate Science, as any querying of it is ‘attacking Greta’.

15

Alan White 08.17.19 at 2:34 pm

As an over-60er myself, I also find my peers overwhelmingly self-centered and willfully ignorant about most important matters, especially anything that might matter beyond their lifetime. Your argument to lower the voting age is utterly valid with well-based premises.

16

Anarcissie 08.17.19 at 3:04 pm

In a polity where some have much and others have little or nothing, like that of the United States, it seems that elected representatives are easily corrupted or misled by those having power, wealth, or higher social status, and the general public itself is, most of the time, easily manipulated into supporting foolish or immoral policies and actions. Therefore, extending the vote to 16-year-olds or younger people would simply extend the present corruption, deception, and manipulation downward towards younger people. That our elective democracy has a bad effect on people, increasing as they grow older while exposed to it, is evidenced in the first sentence of Mr. Quiggin’s article above.

Perhaps sortition (from people of whatever age) would be better.

17

Denverite 08.17.19 at 5:12 pm

Never commented on here before, but just wanted to chime in that I’d trust my kids to vote for the collective best interest far more than I’d trust my parents. Hell, I’d trust their judgment more than my own TBH.

18

Andy 08.17.19 at 5:49 pm

What demographic groups in the US tend to have more children & hence more voting power as a result?

I mean, if it’s a moral imperative, then the effect doesn’t matter. But I’d be curious about the effect.

19

Heliopause 08.17.19 at 7:10 pm

Hmm, a large cohort of voters who can’t drink, smoke, gamble, drive, go to an R rated movie, sign a contract, have sex with an adult, work a full-time job, or in general do what they feel like doing at a given moment. Imagine what they could accomplish if they voted as a bloc.

20

Lee A. Arnold 08.17.19 at 8:00 pm

Dipper #14: “They are attacking the replacement of the democratic process with the use by various adults of a 16-year old child as a human shield for their opinions.”

You are out of your mind.

21

Kenny Easwaran 08.17.19 at 8:55 pm

“What demographic groups in the US tend to have more children & hence more voting power as a result?”

Parents do.

Interestingly, although married men voted 10 points more Republican in the 2018 election than unmarried men, and married women voted 10 points more Republican in the 2018 election than unmarried women, parents seemed to vote almost identically to non-parents, regardless of gender (there’s a 1 point effect on women and an opposite 3 point effect on men, but this is probably just noise).

https://www.cnn.com/election/2018/exit-polls

There’s an odd seeming effect where parents of “only boys under 18” were 5 points more democratic than parents of “only girls under 18” or “no kids under 18” but parents of “both boys and girls under 18” were 5 points more republican. I don’t know if this is showing that there is a divide among parents between parents of one child and parents of multiple children, or just an effect of reaching small sample sizes with the finer subdivisions.

22

Dave Heasman 08.17.19 at 10:05 pm

“people are not in general ‘attacking Greta Thunberg’.”

People in particular are, though. Your Arron Banks smirking at the prospect of her drowning at sea..

23

J-D 08.17.19 at 11:13 pm

P. M. Lawrence

It is true under every actual system of government, and under every conceivable system of government, that ‘we’ rule, for some value of ‘we’. Democracy means something more specific than government, so democracy means something more specific than that ‘we’ rule, for some value of ‘we’. So your definition is inadequate.

24

Omega Centauri 08.18.19 at 2:04 am

Hard for me to get excited by this sort of notion. In the USA, the right wing think tanks evaluate every possible change from the perspective that tipping the playing field rightward is the only thing that matters. Thats why they are continually hatching schemes to statistically disempower any group which statistically votes left of center. It also affects issues such as should Puerto Rico be allowed to become a state. In this case, it is assumed that it would vote heavily Blue, and thus all R lawmakers will vote against it on that ground alone. So lots of reforms might be helpful, but none will be allowed to come to pass. And none will be evaluated or debated on merit.

25

John Quiggin 08.18.19 at 5:35 am

Tim @2 “As you, JQ, say the solution to climate change is a carbon tax. ” Well yes, but restricting the franchise to people who agree with me seems like a big ask. On the other hand, given that I would be the only one voting, the task of counting would be simplified.

Joshua @6. Also Alan Runciman in The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/dec/06/give-six-year-olds-the-vote-says-cambridge-university-academic And apparently Bentham suggested 12. I wonder who else has reached the same conclusion. It’s the logical solution as soon as you think about it.

26

Dipper 08.18.19 at 5:59 am

@Dave Heasman “Your Arron Banks” Arron Banks is not ‘people in general’. He’s not ‘my’ Aaron Banks either. He’s just one person.

27

stevelaudig 08.18.19 at 6:58 am

Not having much of a future, is consistent with”dismissing concerns about the future.” How about this: a person’s vote is weighted according to how much, actuarially speaking, future they have. If a 16 year-old has an ‘actuarial” future of 75 years. Their vote has a value of 75. If a 75 year-old has a projected life span of 3 years, their vote has a value of 3. Let’s hear the objections roll in.

28

bad Jim 08.18.19 at 8:07 am

In the U.S., the argument over the voting age was couched in terms of the injustice of drafting young men into military service at 18 while denying them the right to vote until they were 21. Of course, the 26th amendment roughly coincided with the end of the draft and the end of the Vietnam War.

Subsequent legislation has largely tended to reduce the rights afforded to adolescents. A driver’s license used to be the right of nearly any 16-year-old, but at least in California it’s carefully restricted. There are no longer any jurisdictions in which anyone less than 21 can buy a beer, and there are moves afoot to restrict gun ownership and tobacco use to adults as well. These are sensible and well-meaning measures to reduce harm. Who knows? They may actually do some good.

That said, given the last few election cycles, it’s far from obvious that 16 or even 12 year old kids would be worse voters than adults. Kids don’t dependably make the best decisions for themselves, but adults don’t dependably make the best decisions for anyone else, either. It would be nice to see some polling.

I was cemented in my views at the age of 13, volunteering at the Democratic Headquarters in 1964, LBJ vs AuH2O. I cast my first vote for George McGovern. Come 2016, watching the debates, I, my brother and sister-in-law preferred Hillary, but their 9 year old son liked Bernie; the next year, guessing how soon Trump would be gone, he alone was sane enough to know it would take another election.

29

Chris Bertram 08.18.19 at 8:19 am

Referring to Greta Thunberg as “a child” and claiming that she is just the vehicle of manipulative adults, as Dipper does, is vile. 16-year-olds are not children: they can have sex, marry, drive cars, get exploited at work, and vote in the Scottish independence referendum. 16 is a good age to be getting involved in politics. Comments that claim she doesn’t have solutions to the problem that has inspired her to mobilize millions of young people are simply beside the point: that mobilization is about getting older people who are actually in power to come up with an implement solutions, which they are failing to do.

30

Dipper 08.18.19 at 8:59 am

@ Chris Bertram “16-year-olds are not children”

here’s Gaby Hinsliff in The Guardian.

“Greta Thunberg’s unique strength when she first emerged as an activist was that, as a child, and one with Asperger’s to boot, she had almost unassailable moral authority. Her critics argued that if she was old enough to tell world leaders what to do then she should be old enough to take the heat for it, but most people recognise that hers is still an innately vulnerable age; not quite a child, not quite grown up, instinctively evoking protective feelings in anyone with an ounce of humanity.”

So there we have it. Old enough to have valid opinions. Young enough that they shouldn’t be challenged.

31

Tim Worstall 08.18.19 at 10:10 am

JQ@ 25
“Well yes, but restricting the franchise to people who agree with me seems like a big ask. On the other hand, given that I would be the only one voting, the task of counting would be simplified.”

Well, two if I get the vote, three if we add Bill Nordhaus…..

“And apparently Bentham suggested 12. I wonder who else has reached the same conclusion. It’s the logical solution as soon as you think about it.”

And 12 was about – in Bentham’s time – when a child was considered ripe for entering the adult world.

Possible to approach this from a slight angle. Rather UK specific but. Currently, and recently, it’s necessary to continue education or training of some form up to the age of 18. By definition those we insist must be further educated are those we consider to be currently insufficiently educated. It might be a reasonable idea to not draw the voting pool from those we have just insisted are insufficiently educated to the point that they must forcibly be educated some more.

32

Dipper 08.18.19 at 10:16 am

This post confuses two things. You may feel 16-year olds should have the vote, but that isn’t what Greta Thunberg is campaigning for. She is campaigning for less democracy, not more. Specifically she is campaigning for decisions “led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice”. And don’t start on how Citizen’s Assemblies are democratic institutions, given that the Extinction Rebellion site itself states “the general public can understand complex information, deliberate on options, and make fair and impartial choices.” I’m not sure why you wouldn’t just respect the outcomes of elections?

33

ccc 08.18.19 at 10:38 am

Chris Bertram @29: “that mobilization is about getting older people who are actually in power to come up with an implement solutions, which they are failing to do.”

That’s too narrow to correctly describe Greta’s activism. She clearly pushes for both political change/mobilization *and* immediate individual action. Greta is a vegan activist, for example, and encourages other individuals to go vegan.

34

JimV 08.18.19 at 1:04 pm

Brains are not fully developed at age 16 (or 18 or 21, in most cases). That worries me a little. Also, there is something to be said for experience. I am more in favor of an age limit, as I have definitely lost many IQ points (whatever they represent) since turning 60. There are exceptions (younger people and older people who would vote wisely), but I don’t trust the majorities below 21 and above 65 and I say to hell with them. (Maybe there could be special exemptions for certain people, e.g. Greta, although that could be gamed.)

What I would really like to see is some kind of public audit of those elected. Have them make policy predictions and see how they turn out. Does cutting taxes increase jobs? Will there be more or about the same number of hurricanes in the next ten years? Will the Iraq war stabilize the Middle East? They should have to take stands and be disqualified from office at some level such as below 40%. (Everyone could submit their opinions for official registration and those who scored highly enough would be qualified to run for office, and to pontificate elsewhere. Here, for example.)

Also, no term limits, but no one should be able to campaign or raise campaign funds while in public office. Do your job while in office. So no consecutive terms.

None of which is going to happen, but as long as we’re spit-balling.

35

William Timberman 08.18.19 at 1:08 pm

Vile is definitely the word for it. Bravo Chris Bertram.

The process of individuation begins at birth. Parents do what they think they must to influence its path, but, as all of us who are parents know, they fail as often as they succeed in getting the result they’d hoped for. (They fuck you up, your mum and dad. They may not mean to, but they do.) This is a good thing.

The people we’re pleased to think of as adults evolve out of all sorts of diverse influences, and only someone as confident in their own bigotry as Dipper appears to be could imagine that they’ve fathomed them all, even in a sixteen year-old who, for reasons they couldn’t possibly understand, makes herself publicly available to their mean-spirited scrutiny.

36

hix 08.18.19 at 2:04 pm

The troll tabloids could subsitute the old men with young women anytime and nothing would change. Even in a world where tabloids would not be controled by crazy billionaires with a political agenda, she would receive lots of nonsense from those. Being mean is just part of the buisiness, for example the comments about Megan Markles lattest dress and the like…

37

Orange Watch 08.18.19 at 6:03 pm

stevelaudig@27:

If your degree of franchise is tied to your actuarially estimated lifespan, if we use the US as an example, this would have the effect of giving 10-20% more political power to the richest people in the richest regions as compared to the poorest citizens in the poorest areas, and for one’s degree of franchise to not uniformly decrease with age if wealth concurrently changes. This does not seem like a course of action anyone even vaguely concerned with social justice could hope to defend, and it also seems like an excellent way to encourage feedback loops. If we do not make it personalized, then we need to decide what would be acceptable and unacceptable cohorts. Do we allow races to be lumped together? Sexes? Smokers vs. non? Able vs. not? Workers in hazardous industries vs. the idle rich? Do we just do a national average for a birthyear? Even if we just do that, how frequently is it refactored? Also, there are risks inherent in any system where distinct votes possess distinct weightings WRT fraud and anonymity.

This idea might be superficially appealing but as soon as you put even a tiny bit of thought into how it would play out in practice, it becomes obvious that it opens the democratic process to an insane amount of potential abuse.

38

Doug Alder 08.18.19 at 6:38 pm

I’ll see your 60 too and raise it to my 70

that mobilization is about getting older people who are actually in power to come up with an implement solutions, which they are failing to do.

Chris Bertram @29 Exactly.

Also economists saying that a carbon tax (CT) will solve the problem is a big mistake. Yes such a tax is direly needed but it won’t stop oil/coal/NG production. Even though it costs more to produce a barrel of tar sands dilbit than it can be sold for they are still drilling and pumping the crap out – there are major government subsidies in play as well as loss write offs on income generated elsewhere.

Even if the CT is revenue neutral (like it is here in BC) people get used to paying more at the pump or wherever and continue polluting. What’s really needed is a complete end to all corporate welfare in carbon energy production field as well as a CT on source carbon – right now it is the end user that is being taxed. Those subsidies should be redirected to alternative energy producers, researchers, and the companies that make wind turbines, solar grids etc.

39

Dipper 08.18.19 at 7:00 pm

@ Lee A. Arnold “You are out of your mind.”

I don’t think so.

Either I’m meant to listen to Greta Thunberg, or I’m not. I assume Greta Thunberg, as an active member of Extinction Rebellion, shares the same opinions as Roger Hallam which include supporting criminal activity because <a href="https://rebellion.earth/the-truth/"a large range of extreme things are about to happen.. In which case this appears to have been made the official position of all climate activists including yours truly.

What you cannot do is say that Greta is right about this but not about that, because then I’m not listening to Greta, I’m listening to you through the mouth of a 16-year old autistic girl.

40

John Quiggin 08.18.19 at 9:18 pm

Dipper, I’m guessing that you are middle-aged or later. If so, you are doing a great job of making my case.

41

Omega Centauri 08.18.19 at 9:59 pm

Dipper alludes that a citizens commission with randomly chosen participants would be equivalent to a general election. But they are not comparable. In the former case the participants are given sufficient time and resources to study the issue, whereas in the general election few of the voters will have studied the issue and to have had access to expert opinion. Instead they are mostly subjected to paid political advertising with scant check on the truthfulness of the messages.

42

Lee A. Arnold 08.18.19 at 11:54 pm

Dipper #39: “I assume Greta Thunberg, as an active member of Extinction Rebellion, shares the same opinions as Roger Hallam which include supporting criminal activity… What you cannot do is say that Greta is right about this but not about that…”

First, you seem confused about ‘this’ and ‘that’. Nonviolent civil disobedience (which is a criminal activity by definition; that’s a necessary part of it) is a time-honored way to effect democratic change. These people are referencing Gandhi & Dr. King. Nonviolent civil disobedience does not “replace the democratic process”, it calls attention to a drastic issue that is to be redressed by the democratic process.

Of course, non-violence does NOT include the flying of drones into aircraft at Heathrow, but it sounds from that TV interview as if Hallam is saying that there will be violence such as that in the future, if climate change is not properly addressed and people are threatened with famine due to an agricultural collapse. Well, sure, that’s an obvious prediction: people are going to go crazy. On the other hand if Hallam has threatened violence on his own account, then he is to be repudiated.

And secondly, in any case to “assume” as you do that one person (Thunberg) must share all of another person’s (Hallam’s) opinions, is another sloppy intellectual error for your growing heap of them.

43

Tabasco 08.19.19 at 1:13 am

“Give children the vote”.

Boris Johnson has five (or is it six?) children.

In the alternative, people should each get x votes, where x=1/fees their parents paid for their school education (adjusted for inflation).

44

Heliopause 08.19.19 at 2:37 am

@29
“16-year-olds are not children”
The 16 year olds where I live would like to know where you live, because where I live 16 year olds can’t vote, drink, smoke, gamble, marry, sign a contract, can only drive with restrictions, and can only have sex with restrictions. They can be exploited at work, but by law to a lesser degree than 18+ workers (in fact, 18+ workers would love to have laws such that they could only be exploited to the extent of 16 year olds).

45

eg 08.19.19 at 2:45 am

Orange Watch@37

I think Steve may have intended each age cohort to get the average life expectancy nationwide across all socioeconomic/racial groups as their vote multiplier in order to correct for the variations you correctly identify.

46

Chetan Murthy 08.19.19 at 2:48 am

Dipper @ 39:

Either I’m meant to listen to Greta Thunberg, or I’m not. I assume Greta Thunberg, as an active member of Extinction Rebellion, shares the same opinions as Roger Hallam which include supporting criminal activity ….

Ah, back to your old tricks, Dipper. You put her views and actions in the bin of “criminal” from the get-go. Yessir, She’s right in there with Martin Luther King, Jr. Great going, Dipper! If only all the opponents of serious action on AGW were as brilliant as you! Truly, we’d have the problem licked by now!

47

ph 08.19.19 at 4:11 am

Young people are clearly capable of telling right from wrong. Living at home at the age of 28 isn’t going to do much to make any individual more mature in most cases. Jean d’arc’s you and (virginity?) made her an ideal champion for a particular cause.

The innocence of children, however, is in my view a complete myth. We need look no further than bullying which remains prevalent in Australia, the UK, and the US for all the advances we see in material wealth. Brain development matters, and not all parts of the brain develop the same way and at the same rate.

My direct experience as a teacher of 25 years experience is that the majority of learners today are very good at social media. However, many have significantly lower attention spans and reasoning skills than those just a decade older. How many of us have students who “fact-check” the lecture as we speak, but can’t make a connection between this week’s lecture and two prior because….?

Given the excellent discussion on talent recently, I’m astonished that we somehow assume that “talent” exists in a vacuum. Experience matters; raising a child matters; getting a job matters; assuming day-to-day responsibilities for a family matters. Learning how to control an automobile or some reasonably complex set of physical and mental tasks matters.

If they don’t what precisely is the rationale for giving children of sixteen the vote? Why sixteen if experience doesn’t matter? If experience and brain development do not matter, why should a child of fifteen, fourteen, or thirteen be denied the rights of those just months older?

In my view, we should raise the voting age to twenty, ditto with smoking and drinking. Children should be allowed to have a childhood and should not be drafted into adulthood when they are, in my view, clearly unable to manage their own lives.

Nor do not believe in creating social situations in which children of ten to thirteen are forced to make decisions about sexual activity, alcohol consumption, tattoos, drugs and/or climate change. But that’s in fact exactly what is happening today when these children grow up in families where older siblings, peers, and parents are engaged in these activities.

Very few people believe a sixteen-year old makes an ideal mother, or father. Why exactly is that if these children are as capable as adults at making sound decisions? Anyone here want to turn decision-making in the home over to the kids?

Most of the over-sixties decried here grew up in a culture where sixteen-year olds got married, or went to work early. How’s that working out?

48

Dipper 08.19.19 at 6:54 am

the things that are annoying me about this whole Greta Thunberg thing are:

1. The UK recently had the biggest democratic vote in its history to leave the EU and we have spent three years with the establishment desperately trying to not implement it. And now I’m being told that non-violent direct action is the true way forward. No. Votes first and foremost please.

2. The UK has been leading the way in reducing Carbon emissions, so why are we getting targeted? It is pretty clear that the main source of future carbon emissions will be China, so when is Greta sailing off to China to protest? She isn’t.

3. The notion that because older people are less educated they should be denied the vote. Immigrant communities and ethnic minorities are also, generally, less educated. Anyone here in favour of excluding Blacks in America or Native Australians in Australia from the vote? No. So why ‘old people’?

So much ‘left wing’ politics is about constructing alliances of people based on identity, class, or gender, and then constructing arguments that, locally applied, deliver power to those groups undemocratically, and then finding reasons why those same arguments cannot be applied beyond the domain that gives the results you want. It is nothing to do with making most people’s lives better.

49

hix 08.19.19 at 7:17 am

Fortunatly, we do as a general rule give adults who are not allowed to drive and never held a job as well as never had children and life with their parents the right to vote. All life experiences matter and excluding those would make voteing outcomes a lot worse.
According to phs logic, i guess Italy should have a voteing age of 30 just to make sure at least 50% of the male first time voters are finally mature enough not to life with their parents anymore.
Or maybe those are all just dumb old stereotypical conservative wasp criterea for being adult enough to vote.

50

faustusnotes 08.19.19 at 8:06 am

Just a reminder folks that after the brexit vote Dipper was on here sneering at the idea of the current generation of British children trying to restore EU membership when they grow old enough to vote. He was crowing over having ruined the future they want. It’s no surprise that he thinks it’s cool for Arron Banks to want Greta T to drown. He wants to drown a whole generation of his own nation’s children.

When you read Wilfred Owen’s Parable of the Old Man and the Young and wonder why a generation of European elders were willing to slaughter their children for no gain, when you think such people must be impossible to imagine – just remember Dipper. He’s one of them.

51

Moz of Yarramulla 08.19.19 at 8:56 am

I like the US approach of “no taxation without representation”, which exempts children, immigrants and those with criminal convictions from all taxes as well as the obligation to vote.

I would, though, reverse that, and say voting should be restricted to taxpayers. By that I mean all tax and any tax. If I buy something online from a US supplier and have to pay tax on it, congratulations I get to vote. Likewise if a child buys a lolly and pays sales tax… voter! If an illegal immigrant is charged payroll tax… voter! If a felon, even someone on death row, pays income tax on the token wage they get paid for slaving in prison… voter!

52

Moz of Yarramulla 08.19.19 at 9:03 am

I quite like the competancy test applied to adults as a definition of the extreme edge of who gets the right to vote. Anyone who can pass that test should be allowed to vote, and any restriction should be of the same form: a universal test which can reasonably be passed by any likely voter. I do think, though, that some kind of residency restriction should apply, possibly of the form “anyone who passes should be entitled to vote in at least one place”, so that legal residency could be used as a geographic restriction but not entirely deny people the vote (as Australia and Aotearoa did to me, when I moved to Australia but was not yet a citizen).

I think restrictions based on citizenship (as distinct from legal presence), age, intellect, religion, wealth etc have no place in a free society. Especially conviction-related ones… why on earth would you ever say to prisoner “we think you have no place in society” by removing their right to vote? You’re explicitly taking away their say in the law. That’s just asking prisoners to decide that their reciprocal obligation to obey those laws is also void.

53

Dipper 08.19.19 at 9:20 am

just a reminder that faustunotes lives in a country where literally no-one understands a word he says. That’s not an accident.

54

ccc 08.19.19 at 10:12 am

@50: faustusnotes: I bet most everyone of you here in your personal and professional life generate C02 equivalents that greatly overshoot the global per capita sustainable level. (Exhonerating information welcome!) I find such actual behaviour at least as vile as Dipper’s words.

As for Brexit: this blog is extremely biased toward concern for UK people. From my POV the key fact about the UK is that it is one of, if not the, worst tax evasion system perpetrator in the world. It is thereby a major cause of worldwide economic inefficiency, needless suffering, and support for violent, undemocratic regimes. I care much less about every person living in the UK than I do about the people elsewhere currently harmed by the UK’s tax evasion system.

If the EU were to say “enough is enough” and expediate a hard Brexit *and* swiftly proceed to crush the UK economically until the tax evasion system is dismantled (with worsening living standards for every UK inhabitant as collateral damage) then I’d be for that as a package deal. Bad for the UK, a small part of the world, but overall good for the world.

Sadly that won’t happen because the tax evasion cancer is in paneuropean and worldwide metastasis.

55

nastywoman 08.19.19 at 11:46 am

@54
”this blog is extremely biased toward concern for UK people. From my POV the key fact about the UK is that it is one of, if not the, worst tax evasion system perpetrator in the world”.

The above surprisingly? connects to the other thread of Mr. Q – about the financial industry – like…
Like has anybody ever thought here – that ”the Dippers” -(and thusly also ”Brexit”) only was made possible by ”the, worst tax evasion system”?

Like:
IT firstly brought all of these tremendously ”Rich fureign Tax Cheaters” to London – and then somebody had to deal with all of this dough these Rich Fureigners brought…
it had to be stuffed somewhere – like… like into some GREAT apartments in Mayfair – and then to keep all of these apartments clean – there had to be all of this ”Service Personal be important – which really… made some ”Dippers” mad…

And THEN they all voted for Brexit –

Right?

So it’s actually the fault of ”the worst tax evasion system” – AND the ”Financial Industry” which caused the Brexit?
-(and all the envy of ”good British people” who couldn’t afford London anymore?)

Right?!
– or… wrong?
Dipper?

56

Lee A. Arnold 08.19.19 at 12:15 pm

You have an election. People don’t like the results: there are vested interests & there is the dispossessed. So they fight it, by other means. They all look to the next election. The problems are corrected, or else the fight goes on. None of this is new.

What is new?

1. The foreground emergence of increasing complexity & interconnection of the issues, requiring comprehension that exceeds our individual cognitive budgets, including notably the acceleration of climate change.

2. The political dominance, over the last 40 years or so, of the economists’ fantasy that the market system will find the correct outcome of interconnection & complexity, by automatically correlating all the little bits of information into a spontaneous order or a general wisdom of the crowd, if only we just increase competition and education.

3. The populist resurgence of what we might call the “downsizing” tribes (away from globalization, away from the EU) as a cranky response to failures in that same competitive market system, instead of dealing head-on with the realities of slowing economic innovation & growth in the developed countries, and increasing financialization.

57

Dipper 08.19.19 at 3:01 pm

@ccc “From my POV the key fact about the UK is that it is one of, if not the, worst tax evasion system perpetrator in the world”.

Evidence?

58

Lee A. Arnold 08.19.19 at 3:38 pm

Dipper #48: “1. The UK recently had the biggest democratic vote in its history…”

So now you are arguing that cherubic 16-year-old activists will sway voters, — but that some Leave voters were NOT swayed by the dark-money targeting of voters with lies about the EU, immigrants, & jobs on Facebook (and in apparent violation of British campaign laws)? Thus dark money, in other words, “constructing [an] alliance[s] of people based on identity, class, or gender, and then constructing arguments that, locally applied, deliver power to those groups undemocratically”? (your words)

You’re right, you are not out of your mind, you are a propagandist. Nobody normally uses the language of that identity-politics baloney except frustrated academics & thinktank propagandists.

59

Dipper 08.19.19 at 5:02 pm

@Lee A. Arnold “the dark-money targeting of voters with lies about the EU, immigrants, & jobs on Facebook (and in apparent violation of British campaign laws)?”

Not so fast! These allegations have been taken through the courts and found in favour of Boris Johnson and also Leave campaigner Darren Grimes.

Those trying to overthrow the vote are now reduced to saying not only were the people deceived but also the courts have got it wrong. Desperate stuff.

Just a reminder Remain ‘experts’ promised a recession and half a million jobs lost if we voted to Leave. Growth has exceeded the EU, we have increasing real wages for the first time in a decade, and record jobs. Who was lying?

60

ccc 08.19.19 at 8:50 pm

@56 Dipper:
https://financialsecrecyindex.com/en/
See right side table and note the *: “British overseas territory or crown dependency. If Britain’s network were assessed together, it would be at the top.”
https://www.taxjustice.net/tag/the-spiders-web/
https://spiderswebfilm.com/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treasure_Islands:_Tax_Havens_and_the_Men_Who_Stole_the_World

61

Heliopause 08.19.19 at 9:06 pm

@48
“So why ‘old people’?”
The OP obviously despises old people (“on average”) because they don’t vote correctly in his estimation. But he’s also obviously uncomfortable with the implications of taking the vote away from them. That’s where the brainstorm of extending voting rights to children comes in. I have attempted in my comments to gently point out that this is completely contrary to the general drift of recent cultural evolution, which has increasingly infantilized young people and children. There might also be unforeseen consequences to activating that constituency that aren’t necessarily to everyone’s liking, but I assume this is mostly a mental exercise so no worries.

62

J-D 08.19.19 at 9:37 pm

A lot of tags in this comment: I hope no errors.

John Quiggin began this post:

Looking at the array of ignorant and vindictive old men attacking Greta Thunberg and other young climate activists

Dipper responded:

For clarity, people are not in general ‘attacking Greta Thunberg’.

Dave Heasman responded:

People in particular are, though. Your Arron Banks smirking at the prospect of her drowning at sea.

Dipper further responded:

Arron Banks is not ‘people in general’. He’s not ‘my’ Aaron Banks either. He’s just one person.

It was not John Quiggin’s original assertion that people in general are attacking Greta Thunberg. He observed, correctly, that some people are doing so, and gave a characterisation of them (or some of them). The observation that some people are attacking Greta Thunberg is not invalidated by pointing out that there are other people who are not attacking Greta Thunberg. Of course it’s true that not everybody is attacking Greta Thunberg. I can’t think of any good reason why Dipper would think it was worth pointing this out. One of the articles linked by John Quiggin referred to Arron Banks attacking Greta Thunberg; another referred to Andrew Bolt attacking Greta Thunberg. If Dipper has some basis for defending Arron Banks and/or Andrew Bolt against the accusations of having attacked Greta Thunberg, that might be a relevant response.

In another comment, Dipper quoted a paragraph from an article by Gaby Hinsliff in The Guardian, including this line:

Her critics argued that if she was old enough to tell world leaders what to do then she should be old enough to take the heat for it …

Gaby Hinsliff was making a mistake, but it’s not the mistake Dipper thinks; it’s the mistake of normalising bad behaviour because she’s inured to it. By suggesting that it’s inappropriate to direct at a person as young as Greta Thunberg the kind of abuse that has been directed at her by Arron Banks and Andrew Bolt, she’s indirectly suggesting that it can be appropriate to direct that kind of abuse at older people. That’s a mistake. That kind of abuse is not the kind of heat that anybody should take for advocating action on climate change by world leaders. It might be understandable (although it might still be inappropriate) in the heat of a moment’s exchange: as a considered and deliberate publication, it’s contemptible. (Andrew Bolt publishes something contemptible: fire hot, water wet.) Some people might be better equipped than Greta Thunberg to handle that kind of ‘heat’ (although as a matter of fact, as far as discernible publicly she’s handling it pretty well), but that doesn’t justify it.

In another comment, Dipper wrote:

She is campaigning for less democracy, not more. Specifically she is campaigning for decisions “led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice”. … I’m not sure why you wouldn’t just respect the outcomes of elections?

The site Dipper linked to proposes Citizens’ Assemblies selected by sortition, not election. Classical Greek political philosophers, who first analysed the concept of democracy, held that sortition was a more democratic procedure than election, which they apparently considered tilted in the direction of aristocracy. A lot has changed since classical antiquity, including in the practice and the conceptual understanding of democracy, and I’m sure that good arguments could be developed against the classical Greek conclusions (conclusions which I imagine have directly or indirectly influenced the proposal for the selection of Citizens’ Assemblies by sortition), but the contrary conclusions should not be assumed (as Dipper appears to be doing) without first developing arguments for them.

63

Lee A. Arnold 08.19.19 at 9:57 pm

Dipper #59: “These allegations have been taken through the courts…”

Neither of those allegations deals with the Facebook scandal, which so far as I know has not been taken through the courts, nor produced credible answers from UK Parliament or US Congress. https://www.ted.com/talks/carole_cadwalladr_facebook_s_role_in_brexit_and_the_threat_to_democracy?language=en

64

Faustusnotes 08.19.19 at 10:27 pm

Actually ccc, I was vegan for the first 15 years of my adulthood, didn’t fly, didn’t drive and didn’t have aircon. I think I can make a pretty good claim to a blameless life as far as global warming goes. But I stopped because global warming happened anyway, despite my efforts. Guess what? It’s a communal problem, and individual sacrifice is a worthless solution.

Dipper, I know it’s hard for you to imagine that an English speaking westerner would lower themselves to learn a foreign language, especially an Asian one, and its natural for you to assume every English speaker in the rest of the world is like you, swanning around yelling at the locals in English and complaining that no one understands us, but some of us actually do learn the language of the country we live in. People here understand me just fine thanks, and learning a second language has enriched my life. You should try it – it may be too late to benefit from its protections against dementia, but it might help you to realize that foreigners are human too.

65

Anarcissie 08.20.19 at 12:07 am

I wonder if there are any objective studies of to what extent people are aware of what is going on around them based on such characteristics as age (or, class, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, education, etc. By ‘objective’ I mean having reference to the material, measurable world with as little interpretation as possible. For very simple examples, consider the phenomena associated with things like transit, banking, food. Some people can understand and predict prices, costs, planning, regulation, which have concrete, perceivable, pretty much unarguable outputs, and others can’t. I certain realize there are Higher Things, but these are subject to invidious interpretation and other vices of ideology. The aforesaid facts would give people some basis on which to judge whether the voting age should be lowered or raised, or other discriminatory filtering employed or removed — an element hitherto missing in this discussion, unless I missed it.

66

faustusnotes 08.20.19 at 12:37 am

Heliopause, it’s not a “brainstorm” to extend voting rights to children, various people have been suggesting it for various reasons over a long time period. It’s certainly natural to extend the franchise to anyone who is considered old enough to join the army, have sex, or work. It’s certainly ridiculous that conservative parties regularly push the age of criminal responsibility down on the belief that children as young as 12 or 14 can make adult decisions about crime, but refuse to accept that they should therefore also be able to vote on criminal justice issues.

The argument for excluding elderly people is also obvious. Dementia beyond a certain level of symptoms should be disqualifying (and not just of voting, but also the right to make financial decisions, to look after children or other elderly, to drive etc). An alternative to age-based exclusion could be a test of some kind but it’s clear that such a test is too easy to manipulate for political advantage. Age-based boundaries are however obvious to everyone. Restricting the franchise to 14 to 75 year olds makes perfect sense then: sure, some 14 year olds are too immature to vote, but some 73 year olds are too senile to vote. And certainly too demented to be voted for…

67

Moz of Yarramulla 08.20.19 at 7:45 am

faustusnotes, in Australia children as young as 10 can be criminalised. I think the argument that you’re old enough and mature enough to form the intention to commit a crime and understand the consequences but not old enough to vote is incredible. Literally in the sense of “not at all credible”.

68

J-D 08.20.19 at 9:14 am

Dipper

The UK recently had the biggest democratic vote in its history to leave the EU and we have spent three years with the establishment desperately trying to not implement it. And now I’m being told that non-violent direct action is the true way forward. No. Votes first and foremost please.

Your choice of language (using the term ‘establishment’) supports the deceptive notion that the division is between some (poorly defined) elite group which opposes Brexit and the mass of the population which supports it. If you wish to be truthful, you should acknowledge that the division cuts across every elite group and the mass of the population.

The people who are striving either to prevent the UK from leaving the EU without a withdrawal agreement or to prevent UK departure from the EU in any form are striving to achieve those goals by means of a vote of some kind; they’re not striving to achieve either of those goals without any vote.

So much ‘left wing’ politics is about constructing alliances of people based on identity, class, or gender, and then constructing arguments that, locally applied, deliver power to those groups undemocratically, and then finding reasons why those same arguments cannot be applied beyond the domain that gives the results you want. It is nothing to do with making most people’s lives better.

You just made that up.

faustusnotes

When you read Wilfred Owen’s Parable of the Old Man and the Young and wonder why a generation of European elders were willing to slaughter their children for no gain, when you think such people must be impossible to imagine

The attitudes you deplore were not limited to old people, and young people (some of them) were complicit: it was a young man, not an old one, who wrote Into Battle.

Conversely, Eugene Debs was sixty-two when he went to prison for opposing participation in the First World War. (Admittedly, he doesn’t count as a European elder, but I expect further research could uncover European examples.)

Dipper

Just a reminder Remain ‘experts’ promised a recession and half a million jobs lost if we voted to Leave.

If there were people who predicted those consequences would follow the vote, it’s possible those predictions have been proved wrong; but if there were people who predicted those consequences would follow once the UK actually left the EU, those predictions have not yet been put to the test.

Heliopause

… I assume this is mostly a mental exercise …

Brazil lowered the voting age to sixteen in 1988; Austria did so in 2007, Malta in 2018. So the idea that other countries might also do so is not fanciful.

(In Iran, the voting age for presidential elections was first set at fifteen in 1981, raised to eighteen in 2007, again lowered to fifteen in 2009, and again raised to eighteen in 2011.)

69

P.M.Lawrence 08.20.19 at 9:48 am

Readers, my resources are limited, so I have only been able to continue this discussion with J-D while cross posting over at https://johnquiggin.com/2019/08/17/give-children-the-vote, and it will be a little while until I can even continue that. It seemed worth drawing readers’ attention to that. So far, the discussion seems to me to be marked by cross purposes and using language differently, e.g. he removes my own quotation marks as well as other qualifying language when ascribing views to me, no doubt without appreciating that they are material.

70

John Quiggin 08.20.19 at 11:24 am

Heliopause @61 “The OP obviously despises old people (“on average”) because they don’t vote correctly in his estimation. But he’s also obviously uncomfortable with the implications of taking the vote away from them”

You could, at various points in history have substituted “white male property owners”, “white males” and “males” for “old people” in the above. Your assessment of the case for expanding the franchise would have been just as good.

71

ccc 08.20.19 at 1:33 pm

@64 Faustusnotes: “It’s a communal problem, and individual sacrifice is a worthless solution.”

Classic bad excuse.

Every significant collective action problem has micro/macro interaction. Policy level carbon taxation is more likely to be proposed and pass if more individuals voluntarily take steps to reduce their own climate impact and create social pressure on others to do the same. Significant political change never happens in a context of social/individual inaction.

You know this. So what’s up, really?

72

Faustusnotes 08.20.19 at 3:20 pm

No ccc. I took all the actions that are needed and so did many of my fellows but the world is still going down the shitter, faster than expected, because you, John q, dipper and all the rest didn’t. It’s obviously a collective action problem and demanding individuals do their part is useless. Don’t lecture me – i did my pet and advocated the same of others, and the world is still doomed.

We all need to solve this problem together. End of story.

73

Dipper 08.20.19 at 6:02 pm

@ ccc “British overseas territory” etc … London is dominant in this in the same way that Germany is dominant in producing polluting cars. There are sound reasons as well as bad reasons for the way international finance works. And your regular reminder that we know at least one place and amount of Russian money that was laundered – €200 billion through the Estonian Bank of Danske Bank. That’s in the EU, but not in London.

@ J-D, Lee A. Arnold. the search for the right electoral combination, the right court case, that will turn a loss into a win. Remain lost. Get over it.

@ faustusnotes. Congratulations, well done. All that ‘number systems for rabbit’s ears and things that fly’ etc. Very confusing.

@ J-D “You just made that up”. Yes. Correct. I observed things, drew my own conclusions and formed my own opinion. It seems to explain a lot of things quite well.

“If there were people who predicted those consequences would follow the vote”. yes there were. Followed by ‘not when we vote, when we trigger article 50’, then ‘when we leave’, shortly no doubt to be followed by ‘not when we leave but in a few years time.’

74

mtraven 08.20.19 at 9:14 pm

Regardless of whether children are competent to vote (I agree that they should be considered so at younger ages than now), their interests should be represented. This means that if they can’t vote, their parents should be able to vote in their interest. Turns out this is an old idea called Demeny voting,

75

J-D 08.21.19 at 8:37 am

Dipper

@ J-D, Lee A. Arnold. the search for the right electoral combination, the right court case, that will turn a loss into a win. Remain lost. Get over it.

Don’t tell me to get over it. For the umpteenth time, I have no dog in this fight; I’m on the other side of the world, it doesn’t affect me. I was never under it and therefore have no need to get over it. Why is this so difficult for you to grasp?

Remainers are not trying to prevent Leaving by court action; no court action can stop the UK from Leaving and I think they know that. They are trying to find the right electoral combination to stop it: an electoral combination is, by definition, a combination of votes. That’s what I stated before: the means they are trying to use to stop the UK from Leaving are votes, and votes are the means which you endorsed.

@ J-D “You just made that up”. Yes. Correct. I observed things, drew my own conclusions and formed my own opinion. It seems to explain a lot of things quite well.

If it is in fact the case that your conclusions are (validly) based on observation, then it would be wrong for me to say that they are fabrications. However, no evidence has yet been presented that your conclusions are (validly) based on observations, and I don’t believe they are. They still strike me as fabrications.

“If there were people who predicted those consequences would follow the vote”. yes there were.

If there really were, it should be easy for you to cite examples. That you don’t makes me wonder whether this is a fabrication.

Or, as the saying goes on the Web, ‘Pics or it didn’t happen’.

76

ccc 08.21.19 at 10:09 am

@72 faustusnotes: “I took all the actions that are needed but …”

Also a classic bad excuse.

The argument isn’t that behaviour X from faustusnote, one single person, is sufficient for macro level outcome Y.

The argument is that one individual’s voluntary behaviour change, and social pressure on others to change likewise, on the margin increases the probability of macro level outcome Y (and of us “solving this problem together” through politics).

Again, you know this. So what’s up, really?

77

ccc 08.21.19 at 10:16 am

@73 Dipper:

“London is dominant in this in the same way that Germany is dominant in producing polluting cars.”

That only supports my argument, thank you!

“There are sound reasons as well as bad reasons for the way international finance works.”

I can’t find any good reason for tax evasion systems. But if you can then please spell them out.

“… we know at least one place …”

We know many places where big money was laundered. Money laundering is also only one among many problems with the tax evasion systems. So citing such an instance inside EU is no objection to my claim or argument. The claim was not, remember, that the UK/London is the only tax evasion system. Only that it is one of the worst, if not the worst, perpetrators and dismantling that system would be a net win for the world. Do you have any objections to *that* claim?

78

Lee A. Arnold 08.21.19 at 11:59 am

Dipper #73: “Remain lost. Get over it.”

I don’t care that Remain lost! Stop changing the subject. I pointed out that your accusation that Thunberg is being used undemocratically is is just ridiculous, and that Cambridge Analytica-Facebook’s untraceable propagation of lies in the Brexit referendum is a far better example.

I don’t care that Remain lost, because now we get to observe whether Leavers will begin to comprehend that their economic & social problems have nothing to do with the EU in any profound way, and everything to do with their own intellectual incompetence. (Aided and abetted by the decades-long blindness of the mainstream economics community, and by publications such as Financial Times and The Economist, to the social unrest caused by their brand of economics.)

A related psychological experiment is happening in the US, where we get to observe the Trump voters reacting in a variety of ways to the fact that they couldn’t recognize a psychopathically short-sighted man with a narcissistic personality disorder, much less foresee the domestic & international harm he would do to the country.

79

Faustusnotes 08.22.19 at 12:22 am

No ccc it’s not a bad excuse. I did something and you didn’t. If anyone here has excuses to make its not me. I also advocated for others to do more, and organizations connected to my lifestyle changes did the same. Yet global warming happened anyway, because those changes were not enough, people refused to do them, the disinformers used then as an excuse to turn the whole issue into a debate about guilt, and people like a lot of the people on this website used those personal actions as an excuse for hippy punching. So surprise! After 15 years of being ignored, sneered at and hipppy punched I decide that my personal changes – and the advocacy for them – was not enough. Because you can’t tax, talk or eat your way out of an extinction level crisis, and anyone who says you can at this late stage is either wrong or trying to trick you. It’s a collective action problem, and individual lifestyle choices won’t fix it.

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