The most important issues

It’s been awhile since I sat down and tried to figure out the issues that I care about most. Off the top of my head, here is a new list showing my current focus:

The 5 top issues:

1. Ukraine/Russia and the broader war on authoritarian nationalism. This also includes issues like Nato enlargement into Asia and Australia. I see a real risk of WWIII and I’m disgusted by how little effort the US and Europe are making in support of Ukraine. We should have reacted to the invasion the way we reacted to Pearl Harbor, with an all out effort to supply Ukraine with money and weapons (albeit not using American troops.) And somehow our sanctions actually made Russia richer.

2. Immigration: Let’s have much more immigration, both low skilled and high skilled. At least as much as Canada, on a per capita basis.

3. Zoning: Abolish it and fight NIMBYism more broadly. It is the single most effective way to boost living standards of those already here.

4. Drugs: Legalize them. We have 400,000 in prison for violating drug laws. When we repealed alcohol prohibition the crime rate almost immediately plunged sharply. So don’t say the drug inmates would be doing other types of crimes.

5. Abortion: Legalize it. Let mothers and doctors decide. (And my view on this would not change if you convinced me that abortion was “wrong”. Shooting heroin into your veins is wrong, but should not be illegal.)

(BTW. Trump is wrong on all these key issues. So don’t tell me that I agree with Trump but just don’t like his personality.)

Second tier, but still important:

6. Identity politics: End it. The woke are the biggest current threat to free speech, but there are also plenty of GOP politicians trying to restrict it.

7. Free trade: End trade barriers (and that includes barriers to international services such as air travel) with countries that are not trying to conquer foreign countries.

8. Global warming: Enact a carbon tax and legalize clean infrastructure such as nuclear power.

9. Monetary policy: NGDPLT.

10. Occupational licensing: End it.

11. The FDA: Take away their regulatory powers. Limit their power to recommendations.

12. Moral Hazard: End FDIC, the GSEs, Too Big Too Fail, etc.

13. Prostitution and gambling: Legalize them.

14. Public schools: Abolish them, and replace them with private schools plus vouchers.

15. Health care: Stop subsidizing with tax breaks and deregulate to reduce costs. (Also, increase self insurance, although there are limits as to how far that can be pushed. In my own case, I would have preferred going through my life paying 100% of my health care out of pocket. Not everyone can do that.)

16. Internal trade barriers: End them. Here I’m thinking of a wide range of things like agricultural crop restrictions, taxi medallions, and barriers to direct sales from auto manufacturers. There are many, many more such examples. End them all.

17. Tax code: Blow it up and replace it with a progressive consumption tax plus a land tax and a carbon tax.

18: Be less cruel to (non-human) animals: This might be the single most important issue, but I’m not an animal so I don’t have a good sense of how important it is. On animal rights, I’m not yet woke.

Third tier:

19. Privatize Amtrak and lots of other transport infrastructure (airports, airport traffic control, DMV, etc.)

20. Drinking age laws. End them.

21. Free range children: Legalize them.

Existential tier:

22. Think of a way for humanity to avoid destroying billions of people via AI run amok, manmade viruses, nuclear war, etc., etc. This actually may be the number one issue, but I don’t have any policy recommendations here, which is why I put it on the bottom. It’s a separate category from issues where I do have recommendations.

PS. These are off the top of my head; I’m sure I overlooked lots of important issues.



133 Responses to “The most important issues”

  1. Gravatar of BC BC
    11. September 2022 at 13:02

    Curious as to why you rank prostitution and gambling so much lower than drugs and abortion? Prostitution and gambling are more victimless than abortion and less damaging to the user than drugs. (Physically at least, maybe not emotionally.) Also, the number of states likely to keep abortion legal seems much higher than the number likely to legalize prostitution or even gambling. Is it just because prostitution and gambling laws are mostly enforced against businesses and customers that don’t exist as a result of such laws rather than against individuals that violate them (seen vs. unseen enforcement)?

    Drug laws lead to 400k violators in prison. Prostitution and gambling laws lead mostly to people refraining from such activities at commercial scales. Is that because people value drugs so much more, i.e., people of sound mind are willing to risk prison for drugs? Or, is that because drugs hurt people’s judgement so much that they do things that they wouldn’t otherwise do if not under the influence of drugs? The former might argue for legalization, the latter maybe for decriminalization but still treating as a public health problem (treatment not prison).

    Also, do you consider restrictions on late term abortion and parental consent requirements for minors as keeping abortion “legal”? If so, how would you define “late term”?

  2. Gravatar of Larry Larry
    11. September 2022 at 13:18

    “but I’m not an animal”

    I always thought you were a robot.

    Now I know!

  3. Gravatar of agrippa postumus agrippa postumus
    11. September 2022 at 13:30

    economist manque sumner is on a grassy knoll channelling stanley kowalski’s half cousin, who was horrified by “i am not a polack” and suggested, “but i am not an animal”.

  4. Gravatar of BC BC
    11. September 2022 at 13:42

    I’m also not sure that occupational licensing isn’t a bigger deal than zoning, especially for lower income workers whose cost of compliance is a bigger fraction of income. Zoning matters a lot on the East Coast and West Coast but doesn’t seem to matter as much in the rest of the country. Licensing restrictions seem prevalent everywhere.

    In much of the country, the main cost of zoning seems to be long commutes, which seem less prohibitive than high housing costs. Also, the commutes are long in distance but not necessarily in time. For example, one might drive 20 miles in 25 mins over mega-expressways, which doesn’t take any longer than a 3-mile, 25-min subway commute on the East Coast. Since area grows with the square of distance, a lot of housing can be added if one is not hostile to cars.

  5. Gravatar of Jeremy Jeremy
    11. September 2022 at 13:55

    For someone who has spent his whole life studying economics and 20th century America, you are very misguided or flat out wrong on most of the key issues in the country.

    Drug laws repeal wont raise the crime rate? Crime rates fell after prohibition was repealed? What utter nonsense. As everyone knows, America embarked on a huge rise in institutionalization after the 1920s. Social conservatives in the south, then Democrats, pressured FDR’s administration to radically increase the number of people in mental hospitals and keep them away from others. This system is what dropped crime rates after prohibition.
    Repealing drug laws without radically increasing incarceration and incapaciation will lead to countless people dying and a further hollowing of the economy.

    Frankly the most important issue in America is that we have an under-incarceration problem. We have too many criminals and we need to continually increase the incarceration rate until we are as safe as Western Europe or East Asia.

    You should read actually utilitarian people who actually do work on this subject and realize how incorrect your priors are:

  6. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    11. September 2022 at 14:40

    I agree we should have and should be doing more to ensure Ukraine defeats Russia, but I love the news coming from Ukraine lately. News of the Ukrainian counter-offensive alone was a very pleasant surprise, but I never guessed there’d be so much early breakthrough success. It seems a combination of Ukrainian bravery and tenacity and superior leadership, along with superior weapons supplied by NATO are allowing them to collapse Russian positions in multiple areas simultaneously. It’s great to see these murderous, lying cowards on the run.

    I’m surprised to see that monetary policy is not a top concern for you.

  7. Gravatar of tpeach tpeach
    11. September 2022 at 14:44

    Is regulation a major reason why health care in the US is so much more expensive than other countries? What specific regulations other than occupational restrictions do you have in mind?

    Also, you forgot wage subsidies!

  8. Gravatar of Eric Charles Eric Charles
    11. September 2022 at 14:58

    The abortion analogy to heroine doesn’t seem right since there are two “lives” in play. Injecting heroine only affects your own life. Question begging fallacy? Not sure.

  9. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    11. September 2022 at 15:47

    BC, Zoning has many different effects, and not just on the coasts. But yes, licensing is a big issue, especially if you include health care and education (which I sort of treated separately.)

    On abortion, I don’t favor requiring parental consent. I’d prefer to have no laws on the issue, but would be OK with laws that only restricted abortion during the final 3 months.

    The cost of the drug laws in almost incalculable. In addition to the all of the people in prison, you have the corruption of our criminal justice system. All the Fentanyl overdoses. Much of Latin American has been devastated by the war on drugs. It makes me reluctant to visit areas of central Mexico that I enjoyed visiting when young.

    Jeremy, The murder rate correlates much more closely with Prohibition starting and ending than the issue you mention.

    Michael, You said:

    “I’m surprised to see that monetary policy is not a top concern for you.”

    Why does that surprise you?

    tpeach, You asked:

    “Is regulation a major reason why health care in the US is so much more expensive than other countries?”

    The combination of regulation and subsidy. Suppose you told automakers they were not allowed to produce small cars or to import cars from overseas or use nonunion labor, and you told the public that the government would pay 80% of the cost of a new car they bought. What sort of cars would be produced?

  10. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    11. September 2022 at 15:53

    Jeremy, BTW, I’m not opposed to increased incarceration for non-drug crimes.

  11. Gravatar of Sean Sean
    11. September 2022 at 16:30

    Abortion as a top 5 issue? It’s literally irrelevant to humanities future. While I think it’s a grave moral wrong It doesn’t effect the future of America or our greatness.

    Drugs 400k in jail is not that much. We have 100k overdose deaths per year. There are a lot of lives losts.

  12. Gravatar of John John
    11. September 2022 at 16:37

    I think fentanyl deserves some sort of treatment as an issue no?

  13. Gravatar of Eric Charles Eric Charles
    11. September 2022 at 16:41

    The Reason RoundTable libertarian podcast has a interesting recent discussion about abortion starting at 29:55.

    In particular, Liz Wolfe defends the pro life position with a lot of conviction and intelligence.

  14. Gravatar of Aladdin Aladdin
    11. September 2022 at 17:03

    Don’t you know? The only important issue right now is the daily antics of a corrupt former president. According to both left wing and right wing media its the only thing anyone seems to care about. Nothing else matters.

    I used to run a movement in high-school entitled “fight apathy”. Its goal was to get people more involved in politics, as no one seemed to care. Now everyone cares, but only about the stupidest possible shit, and I deeply regret my participation.

  15. Gravatar of Peter Peter
    11. September 2022 at 18:45

    #5 conflicts with #4, not sure why you think a doctor should have a say on it period. I would actually argue medical paternalism itself is a greater problem than 4 and 5 but didn’t even make your list.

    Also you can have #5 in a “fair” world without reforming child support and custody. If men can’t have a say on their own children, then women shouldn’t be allowed to enslave them for twenty-three years.

  16. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    11. September 2022 at 19:25


    It’s true that you’ve stated before that there were supply-side reforms that could make a bigger impact than improved monetary policy, but I’m still surprised to see monetary policy be in a lower category altogether on a reform list. I suspect that if you’re view was closer to mine, meaning bad monetary policy has longer-term effects than most think, you might consider such reform a higher priority.

    Even absent that though, it just seems to me that the running policy so tight during and after the Great Recession, and perhaps too loose recently, is very dangerous politically, in addition to being costly economically. One could rationally argue that having several million people needlessly unemployed for several years is worse than banning abortions in a limited number of states, or the consequences of draconian anti-drug laws, at least in scale, if not with respect to the average individual affected.

  17. Gravatar of David S David S
    11. September 2022 at 23:42

    The U.S. and Europe should have supported Ukraine more—particularly before Putin’s invasion. However, the current claw-back offensives by Ukraine are thanks in no small part to foreign weapons and intelligence. Because, the Ukrainians have been doing all the man to man fighting themselves they can claim the greatest share of ownership for those victories. Consequently, the outcome of this war–if Putin doesn’t indulge in nuclear weapons–should be a politically stronger Ukraine. Their dependency on foreign aid will be tempered, which means they can avoid the fate of propped up governments in Afghanistan and Iraq.

  18. Gravatar of Andrew C Andrew C
    12. September 2022 at 01:19

    Kudos on being willing to write something that’s inevitably going to end with 15 million comments. I wanted to ask a couple questions about the list:
    (1) What do you make of the claim that all politics are identity politics, that politicians are always referring to people’s self conceptions as blue collar or middle class?
    (2) I know nothing about the FDIC, beyond the story of bank runs in the Great Depression. How do you avoid this type of panic if the FDIC goes away?
    (3) Do you think a public option type healthcare system could function, if not most efficiently, more or less well, given how disconnected prices are from the actual product?
    (4) Why is a consumption tax preferable to an income tax? Asking with retirees particularly in mind.
    (5) On abortion (I know, I’m sorry) your comparison to heroin seems incomplete. The argument against abortion is that it deals with another person rather than it’s “wrong” in an amorphous sense. How do you fall on this axis?

  19. Gravatar of Matthias Matthias
    12. September 2022 at 01:40

    I mostly agree. It’s good to see you mention a land tax.

    Apropos drinking age laws: no need to completely end them completely. Just copy the laws of any sensible country. Eg Germany or UK would work.

  20. Gravatar of mbka mbka
    12. September 2022 at 01:57


    I could have guessed but I still had to read on with bated breath. Till the end. And yes, confirmed, I’m on the same page as you on every issue.

    Minor quibbles, on #14 I believe (mandatory K-12 content) schooling itself is the crime, more so than the specific kind of school our kids are being sent to, and meritocracy has turned into the negative of empty credentialism in private schools too. #18, I’m not sure how good you can make it as long as you still want to eat animals, and I do.

    And on Ukraine, given all the uncertainties, I believe the collective West has produced a surprisingly good policy, it may not look as good as your suggestion would have felt, but given the complexity of the situation it may produce the best outcome. For me, that is, weakening Russia until hopefully the dissolution of the Russian Federation into a bunch of much happier and much more harmless countries. And that in turn serving as a warning to China of what can happen when starting, uh, special military operations.

    What to make of all this. Well, like you I’m an unapologetic arch-“neoliberal” in a world that has turned away from it and prefers much more suboptimal solutions that are emotionally more appealing. I wonder what our kind will be called when the movement resurrects from its current dormant state, in say, 30, 40 years. Because right now the entire world is still engaged in neo-nationalism, neo-fascism, and neo-populism, pretty much everywhere.

    The Overton window has moved to a place where stupid policies are popular in a wide array of countries. Like, we’re all Argentina now. (Apologies to Argentines!! it’s just a good quip. I couldn’t resist.) Maybe Ukraine is a turning point? I’m not sure. It doesn’t prove that populism is bad, only that Russia was foolish. The next autocrat will think they’re smarter until proven otherwise.

  21. Gravatar of Michael Rulle Michael Rulle
    12. September 2022 at 03:39

    Not bad at all——of course, as you well know, we need politics to implement these (I agree with about 3/4 of what you said). And pols seem locked into the various interests your ideas need to eliminate. Not a criticism—-just an observation. That means we the people need to change our views and force change thru elections.

    Some can happen——gradually——but we have so many propagandists it is easy to be pessimistic. I used to be an outright optimist——now I just try to be one.

    There are so few persuasive pubic figures and writers——1 or 2 appear every decade or so——-there are just not enough.

    You say you are not very persuasive (re a debate with Powell)—-but you are relative to NGDLP.

    One needs to be a generalist to address all your points.

  22. Gravatar of Lizard Man Lizard Man
    12. September 2022 at 04:44

    Doesn’t sound like it would be the USA anymore with all that change. Maybe that’s a good thing.

  23. Gravatar of kt kt
    12. September 2022 at 05:23

    “Shooting heroin into your veins is wrong, but should not be illegal”

    Yes, in my view there’s a difference between legality and morality and I run into this problem all the time. I tell people that “x” should be legal, and they automatically think I approve of it or feel that if people want to enjoy “x” then they should be able to, when the fact might be that I consider “x” to be a disgusting moral evil that people ought not buy and sell. I simply don’t want to use the violent power of the state to outlaw it.

  24. Gravatar of Carl Carl
    12. September 2022 at 05:29

    Good list.
    I would move vouchers to the top tier and add reducing public debt. I would incorporate issue 15, stop subsidizing health care, under reducing public debt. I would move abortion and drug legalization from the top tier to make room for my additions.

    I’m surprised to hear you say you don’t have policy recommendations about man-made viruses. You’ve written many times about gain of function bans. Regarding the prevention of nuclear war: I think your first recommendation about authoritarianism may be a good start.

    I think #18, animal cruelty, will factor heavily in historical assessments of our morality. I say that, hypocritically, as a meat eater, but in 150 years I imagine they will look back at us for the way we treated animals as we look back at slaveholders today.

  25. Gravatar of Todd K Todd K
    12. September 2022 at 05:40

    8. “Global warming: Enact a carbon tax…”

    A carbon tax does nothing to change the average global temperature in 2100.

    6. “The woke are the biggest current threat to free speech, but there are also plenty of GOP politicians trying to restrict it.”

    Plenty of GOP politicians? How are Republicans trying to restrict free speech? In the last ten years any restrictions advocated by the right don’t come close to what the progressives are doing.

    22. “Think of a way for humanity to avoid destroying billions of people via AI run amok, manmade viruses, nuclear war, etc., etc.

    First, the only way billions of people could die is through a new technology along with far more advanced AI than today. Viruses and nuclear war aren’t close to making that carnage, and neither are the “etc, etc” reasons that don’t exist.

  26. Gravatar of Andrew Andrew
    12. September 2022 at 06:30

    Interestingly, #6, 18, and 22 are the only ones without clearly recommended policy actions by the state. 22 explicitly recognizes this.

    I think in the case of 18, it’s borne from lack of conviction that the issue is important enough to merit state action.

    6 is interesting. I suspect because it’s the one item on this list that isn’t a state action at all, but rather individuals freely choosing who they respect, give space to, etc. in a way that you don’t like. I’m sure you can mention some state actions that have come out of this, but the underlying thing isn’t that at all. Might this be an area for more careful thought?

  27. Gravatar of Andrew Andrew
    12. September 2022 at 06:33

    Also as an addendum to my prior comment (sorry no edit function), the juxtaposition in 6 is interesting between “the woke” and “GOP politicians”. Those are two different categories of things. How would you compare “Democratic polticians” to “GOP politicians”? How would you compare “the woke” to whatever their opposite is (“the religious right”? or “the traditional elite”? or what?)

  28. Gravatar of Spencer Spencer
    12. September 2022 at 06:35

    Proper economic policy translates into social norms. Get it right and you simultaneously solve the social issues.

  29. Gravatar of George George
    12. September 2022 at 07:09

    The single greatest threat to our Republic, communist infiltration/corruption of the information, is nowhere in the site owner’s list of ‘important issues’.

    CCP programmers coded the software of our election management systems.

    Good that site owner included ‘Woke’ ideology, it should be ranked way higher, because it is a Marxist/Hegelian ‘dialectic’ whose sole CODED impact is to subvert and destroy western civilization. Chemical castration of children, drag shows in front of children, racist commissars who smear everyone as racist if they question or disagree with CRT, and apologias for satanism (muh ‘inclusion and diversity’), are all logical implementations of the dialectic, the operating system of the Left.

  30. Gravatar of George George
    12. September 2022 at 07:16

    Site owner says Trump is wrong about everything (lol), not one mention of THE CURRENT PRESIDENT.

    Can anyone say ‘whataboutism’?

  31. Gravatar of George George
    12. September 2022 at 07:43

    Election integrity is more important than all the listed ‘important issues’, because without fair and legal elections, we’re not even living in a democracy but a despotism.

  32. Gravatar of George George
    12. September 2022 at 08:09

    President Obama enacted the current Executive Order prescribing the parameters for controlling classified information in 2009. See Exec. Order 13526 (Dec. 29, 2009). That Executive Order, which controlled during President Trump’s term in office, designates the President as an original classification authority. See id. § 1.3(a)(1). In turn, the Executive Order grants authority to declassify information to either the official who originally classified the information or that individual’s supervisors—necessarily including the President. § 3.1(b)(1), (3). Thus, assuming the Executive Order could even apply to constrain a President, cf. 50 U.S.C. § 3163, the President enjoys absolute authority under the Executive Order to declassify any information. There is no legitimate contention that the Chief Executive’s declassification of documents requires approval of bureaucratic components of the executive branch.

  33. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    12. September 2022 at 08:12

    Sean, You said:

    “Drugs 400k in jail is not that much. We have 100k overdose deaths per year.”

    And the two have the same cause–the war on drugs.

    Abortion is not an important issue? Let me guess–you are a man?

    John, That’s a side effect of the war on drugs.

    Eric, I understand that opinions on abortion differ; that’s why government should stay out of the issue. Let individuals decide.

    Michael, Perhaps you didn’t overestimate my view of the importance of money, rather you underestimated my view of the importance of other issues.

    David, I still see no sense of urgency about helping Ukraine. I think the West underestimates the danger posed by Putin, just as they underestimated Hitler. (Obviously not saying they are the same–Hitler was worse, just that both were underestimated.)

    The fight against nationalism is to the 21st century what the fight against communism was to the 20th.

    Andrew, 1. Some forms of identity politics are worse than others.

    2. Canada had no bank runs during the Depression, as they allowed branch banking. But the key is sound monetary policy. Keep NGDP on track and the banking system will avoid runs. Don’t forget that much of the reckless lending was caused by the existence of FDIC.

    3. I doubt that would make much difference one way or another.

    4. I’ve done many posts on that, including one just a couple weeks ago at Econlog. Income taxes discourage saving–that’s why a consumption tax is better.

    5. I don’t view the unborn as “another person”.

    mbka, Great comment. I’d just add that I’m not opposed to schooling, just public schools. You could mandate some sort of private education.

    Carl, Yes, I’ve argued against gain of function research, but I hold out little hope that these regulations would have any effect. With nuclear weapons, there is a great danger of accidental nuclear war.

    Andrew, On animal rights it’s not that I think the issue unimportant, it’s that I’m agnostic on policy.

    Government is involved in speech issues (look at the Disney case, as well as all the cancel culture at public universities. Also, the book banning at K-12 libraries in redneck states.) But I agree that it’s not a problem confined only to government policy.

  34. Gravatar of George George
    12. September 2022 at 09:57

    The swamp rats at the FBI, and Russians THEY “colluded” with, should be indicted, not Trump.

    (Igor Danchenko trial begins Oct)

    ssumner wrote:

    “Sean, You said:”

    “Drugs 400k in jail is not that much. We have 100k overdose deaths per year.”

    “And the two have the same cause–the war on drugs.”

    This is false. The importing of deadly drugs into the country cannot logically be due to attempts to stop the importing of deadly drugs into the country.

    Look at your favorite country China. They don’t have a drug problem like we do, because there they actually engage in a “war on drugs”.

    It is precisely because of Biden’s open border, and intel agency involvement in drug trafficking (Iran Contra was a guns for drugs exchange that lead to the heroin/crack/cocaine epidemic).

    The whole narrative that the 100k deaths per year are due to the government not permitting more of it is the stupidest argument in the history of drug policy. Literally inverts truth. And so the dialectic progresses.

  35. Gravatar of Effem Effem
    12. September 2022 at 10:49

    Agree with most of these. But need much better ideas on addressing the rise in crime which typically ranks among the electorates top issues.

    Is your version of NGDPLT symmetric or asymmetric (and if so, to which direction)?

  36. Gravatar of Sean Sean
    12. September 2022 at 11:27

    Lost on Scott’s logic. Abortion yay or nay isn’t a threat to the American empire (which is what I thought he meant as “important” otherwise the list is just things he supports).

    And I’m not sure how the drug war can be increasing overdose deaths. Info not believe he is arguing we should sell fentanyl at 7-eleven and then drug deaths would collapse.

  37. Gravatar of Peter Peter
    12. September 2022 at 12:12

    @sean: they would because the vast majority of illegal drug deaths are overdoses based on unknown drug active ingredient quantity as you move from dealer to dealer. ADR’s are an extremely small portion of deaths and inline with other licit drugs as do the percentages

  38. Gravatar of Thrawn Thrawn
    12. September 2022 at 12:58

    I think my main disagreement with the above list is:

    “The woke are the biggest current threat to free speech”

    I think you are living in a bubble on this one. Anti-Woke, ant-crt, anti-gay, anti-trans attacks on free speech are much greater threats because they are being implemented as laws, supported by an entire party.

  39. Gravatar of Randomize Randomize
    12. September 2022 at 14:05

    I think I agree on 19 of these. One pushback maybe worth arguing about it: Public transportation like Amtrak might make business sense even if it loses money as a standalone product.

    Imagine that fixing the freeways to improve traffic by X amount would cost $1 trillion dollars. Also imagine that running Amtrak at a loss also improves traffic by X but only costs $100 billion dollars. See where I’m going?

    We have a screwy situation where paid but subsidized infrastructure (Amtrak) is having to compete against “free” transportation infrastructure (roads) that we simply accept will be money-losing ventures forever because of the huge economic benefits they produce. People complain that Amtrak tickets don’t fully pay for the costs while few complain that most roads don’t have tolls at all.

  40. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    12. September 2022 at 14:18

    Effem, Once we stop the war on drugs, cops can get tougher on other types of crime. In San Francisco they hardly even enforce the laws for “minor” crimes.

    Sean, The vast majority of all the drug deaths occur because people accidentally ingest more opioids than they thought they were taking.

    Thrawn, You think I’m in an anti-woke bubble, while most commenters here seem to think I’m in a woke bubble, and just don’t understand how great Trump is.

    Maybe I’m not in any bubble at all? Maybe it’s others that are in a bubble?

    Randomize, I suspect that more people would take the train with a privatized Amtrak. But if you want to add a federal subsidy of a few cents per mile for externalities, I’m fine with that–as long as Amtrak is privatized.

  41. Gravatar of Erik Carter Erik Carter
    12. September 2022 at 14:35

    Why not wage subsidies, universal catastrophic health insurance, deficit reduction, and political reform?

  42. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    12. September 2022 at 14:42

    Erik, Sure, those are very good ideas. I was just listing some that came to mind when I started thinking about the problems that obsess me the most.

  43. Gravatar of Sean Sean
    12. September 2022 at 15:26

    Sumners never been an alcoholic if he thinks the vast majority are in proper usage and not fiendish behavior. Perhaps the day of death they wanted to do a little less but an addicts going to keep pushing the line.

  44. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    12. September 2022 at 16:35

    Sean, Yeah, I’ve never been an alcoholic, but I’ve seen the effects of prohibition.

  45. Gravatar of Student Student
    12. September 2022 at 21:07

    Interesting list, I like it. Except that thing about shooting heroine into someone else’s arm under the false notion that it’s ones own arm. It shouldn’t be illegal to do what you want to ones own body… problem with abortion is, it’s not ones own body. But here I go again lol.

  46. Gravatar of Student Student
    12. September 2022 at 21:14

    This is a funny take… half way in between and yet not lol.

  47. Gravatar of Bob Bob
    12. September 2022 at 21:38

    A fun exercise is linking American’s interest in segregating their schools with zoning: The courts made segregation illegal, but then we had zoning laws that led to minimal practical integration. The best public schools around me might be free, but they are only free if you own housing that costs 8x of the housing of the median house in the weakest school district.

    I am not necessarily thinking that this path could be reversed by deregulation, as segregation is now an American value, but the fact that keeping poor people from living away from us helps our school district, and with it property values, is not good.

    I am also concerned of housing taxes not paying for infrastructure maintenance, leaving municipal budgets down to leeching sales taxes from others. This leads to all kinds of perverse incentives. Different neighborhoods competing for commercial, as ultimately the place that has an active mall can afford low residential taxes. Countries where there aren’t local level sales taxes avoid this nonsense altogether.

  48. Gravatar of Effem Effem
    13. September 2022 at 03:42

    Interesting theory on drugs and crime but I find myself looking for any evidence to support it. A handful of cities have essentially decriminalized drug use and seen their crime rise significantly at the same time. I don’t think anyone prefers SF in its current form.

  49. Gravatar of George George
    13. September 2022 at 03:59

    Trump just retruthed this meme this morning.

  50. Gravatar of webb webb
    13. September 2022 at 04:22

    What does it mean to “end” identity politics? Like, do you just tell everyone to “knock it off” and insist that they forget that groups may share political and economic interests? Do you outlaw communitarian thought? Are we defining identity solely within racial/gender/sexual/religious grounds, or do we consider political identities – such as socialist or libertarian – in this as well?

  51. Gravatar of Tom M Tom M
    13. September 2022 at 04:51

    Nice list! Always respect someone who is willing to put a bunch of opinions out knowing that people are just going to dissect everything about it.

    I still think the overlooked “issue”, which is extremely difficult for me to put into words, is something along the lines of – technology produced echo chambers. Most social media/news platforms are designed to provide content that is entertaining and angers their users/readers. People are becoming less and less happy, more and more anxious, and spending more and more of their time on platforms that are encouraging their anger and animosity toward other people. I have family on the political left and political right that barely speak anymore and look at each other like they are evil.

    Sure there have been other times in history where the political climate has been heated, but there is a technology/social problem at play here that makes this different.

    I’d be curious to hear other peoples thoughts.

  52. Gravatar of GB GB
    13. September 2022 at 05:17

    In your original post from 2015 titled “What issues are important (to me)?”, your number 1 most important issues was “US Military intervention (I’m mostly against it)”.

    Now, 7 years later, your top issue is military intervention on behalf of a foreign country (in favor).

    Arms control and reduction of the defense budget have completely dropped off your radar of concern.

    Are there any developments since the last post other than Russian invasion that resulted in your hawkish turn? I am genuinely curious if your personal philosophy has evolved towards more tolerance for military solutions.

  53. Gravatar of George George
    13. September 2022 at 05:39

    Tom M (this is for all too):

    Encourage your friends, family and colleagues to connect everyone’s thoughts and feelings and statements with WAY more “AND’s”, and WAY fewer “BUT’s”, “HOWEVER’s”, “YET’s”, “STILL’s”, “NEVERTHELESS’s”, “EXCEPT’s”, and “IN CONTRAST’s”.

    You may find that in many cases, you’ll catch yourself saying one of the dialectic negation words like “but” in response to someone’s statement, when an “and” is more appropriate because neither statement really ‘cancels’ the other. Sometimes they do, most of the time they don’t.

    After a while you’ll see that your ability to listen and understand others has substantially improved, where power jockeying gives way to common sensibilities towards truth.

    Also, distrust anyone who tells you to distrust or negate the concept of objective truth. Usually they’re trying to trick you into replacing your own ability to understand truth, with theirs, in an ideological master-slave dialectic.

  54. Gravatar of Spencer Spencer
    13. September 2022 at 06:32

    The problem with serious crimes is that the “lifers” are housed with the ones who will get out. The “lifers” literally take over the prison systems.

    Drug use should not be legalized, not encouraged. It’s already put a burden on the ERs. Drug addiction is not curable. It is always and forever, a present danger, to any addict that has quit using.

  55. Gravatar of Randomize Randomize
    13. September 2022 at 07:07

    The subsidy per mile makes sense. We’d have to do it smart to keep any hope of service to low-population areas where roads are MUCH more expensive on a per-capita basis but that seems achievable.

  56. Gravatar of Student Student
    13. September 2022 at 07:30


    Drug abuse is treatable (curable is entirely the wrong word), many people overcome drug addiction. And you could make the same argument about alcohol, do you think alcohol consumption should be illegal because some people get addicted to it? What about sex? Some people get addicted to that.

    And the biggest burden on the ER and health insurance costs is obesity, by far. Should being obese be illegal too?

    Notice how you pick and choose based on nothing but your own tastes.

  57. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    13. September 2022 at 07:39

    Webb, You asked:

    “What does it mean to “end” identity politics? Like, do you just tell everyone to “knock it off” and insist that they forget that groups may share political and economic interests?”

    Yes, that’s exactly what I do. Knock it off!

    And yes, I’m including politics. When I was young people would routinely date people of the opposite political party. What a sad decline in our culture.

    Tom, Yes, I agree. I first noticed it with email, which degraded the work environment and led to colleagues not speaking to each other. Speaking face to face often allows one to avoid misunderstandings, and reach common ground. Electronic communication is poison.

    GB. My views have not changed since 2015, and have become more dovish since the early 2000s. I’m opposed to direct US military intervention in Ukraine; I want us to provide economic and logistical support for the Ukrainians to defend their own country. I wish we’d do more to lower global oil prices, like removing sanctions on Iran.

    Yes, I still support arms control and a reduction in the US military budget. These columns simply reflect what’s in my mind at the moment.

    Keep in mind that Putin is not a normal politician. Since WWII, Saddam Hussein is the only comparable political figure, and he didn’t have 1000s of nuclear weapons. Putin is a unique threat to the world. He MUST be stopped.

    Randomize, Keep in mind that trains make no sense in low population areas. There you might want to subsidize intercity buses.

  58. Gravatar of George George
    13. September 2022 at 07:47

    Student, the ‘argument from the beard’ fallacy you’re pointing out in Spencer’s post is the exact same fallacy you yourself implement with abortion.

    “An adult caregiver (mother, etc) should not be slave to the needs of a baby human’s life”

    Using the same logic leads to -> It’s OK to murder toddlers and children who are too young to have learned how to feed and clothe and house themselves, because otherwise the would be adult caregivers would be ‘slaves’ to the needs of the children.

    Same. Exact. Logic.

  59. Gravatar of Student Student
    13. September 2022 at 07:53

    No it’s not. You should be free to do whatever you want to your own body. When a woman has an abortion, she is doing something to someone else’s body. That’s a big difference.

  60. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    13. September 2022 at 08:25

    The majority of people, in the developed world at least, explicitly or implicitly, do not consider fetuses to be people worthy of rights. This is especially true of the non-religious.

  61. Gravatar of Student Student
    13. September 2022 at 08:41


    You are right… they don’t. But watch that Bill Burr take I linked to above. Scott’s position is more reasonable than pretending it’s not a person. Fine it’s a person, so what. That’s basically bull burrs take. But I mean… come on. It would have been a cake if you didn’t throw toss it on the floor… lol.

  62. Gravatar of msgkings msgkings
    13. September 2022 at 09:04


    My take on abortion is to apply common sense. Obviously a fetus deserves rights of personhood after ‘viability’ where it can survive outside the womb (20ish weeks). And just as obviously a 3 day old fertilized egg is not a person deserving rights. The question then is where to draw the line.

    3 months is where most of the world thinks it should be, including a large majority of Americans (80% or so). Before that point it’s not reasonable to think that tiny thing is a person. And 3 months gives a woman plenty of time to decide. I would only allow abortions after 3 months for medical reasons (fetus or mother). Even rape and incest victims need to handle it before then.

  63. Gravatar of George George
    13. September 2022 at 09:11


  64. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    13. September 2022 at 09:13


    this is your first blog post in a while where I agree with almost every word. It’s perfect from front to back. And the priority order fits too, starting with point 1. Absolutely spot on.


    Another point: Since a few days/weeks your comment section seems to have been restructured. Many comments no longer appear at all or only after a significant delay. Will this comment appear? You never know.

  65. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    13. September 2022 at 09:24

    Christian, I am not sure why there is a delay.

  66. Gravatar of Student Student
    13. September 2022 at 09:36

    I hear you msgkings and Michael and Scott too… I just can’t see any rational reason why that line exists. Either it’s a person, or it’s not. Nothing magic happens at 3 months. The magic happens at conception when a new instance of a unique set of human dna is brought about. The magic happens at conception. There is not other valid point scientifically of philosophically IMO. I get that it sucks for the woman, as mature made them the vessel that carries this child for 9 months. That’s kinda unfair. But life isn’t fair.

    But I hear you all. I do.

  67. Gravatar of George George
    13. September 2022 at 10:15



    Fake News and corrupt swap rats are panicking, lol.

  68. Gravatar of George George
    13. September 2022 at 10:18

    Apologies Student, I had conflated your profile with someone else, memory glitch.

  69. Gravatar of George George
    13. September 2022 at 10:25

    Michael Sandifer:

    “The majority of people, in the developed world at least, explicitly or implicitly, do not consider fetuses to be people worthy of rights. This is especially true of the non-religious.”

    Upon which source data are you basing that assertion?

    Rasmussen reports 2/3 of voters favor banning abortion after 3 months, which is obviously prompted by a conviction that fetuses (‘at some point’) DO have rights.

  70. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    13. September 2022 at 10:40


    the delay seems to be gone. At least this was the case in my previous comment. Of course I can only comment on the previous comment. How it is in the future, I do not know, I might report again in a few days.

    2-3 comments in favor of Ukraine and against Mr. Xi did not even appear 2-3 weeks ago. Pure text, no links, no swear words. Maybe some kind of word filter. Maybe too long. I don’t know.

    Or my quote brackets, as of late? I might try this idea right away in another post.

  71. Gravatar of Randomize Randomize
    13. September 2022 at 10:43


    Let’s keep in mind that brain-dead people and tumors both have unique human DNA. I’m therefore not convinced that DNA is a reasonable “bright line” for declaring a thing to be a person or not.

    What brain-dead people and humans do not have is self-awareness, something that only humans a couple of animals possess. That, in my mind, is a more reasonable bright line to draw between a person and a non-person.

  72. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    13. September 2022 at 10:50

    Okay, I’m still too chicken for quote brackets since comments haven’t appeared. So I make normal quotation marks:

    “PS. These are off the top of my head; I’m sure I overlooked lots of important issues.”

    I’m thinking of patent rights, as you’ve said many times, at least I think that I’ve read it: End most patent rights, end most copyrights. Make it shorter, cripple them, or end it altogether.

    For example, currently Moderna, Biontech and Curevac have tried to patent the essential parts of mRNA technology for themselves.

    And they are now suing each other for billions of dollars. And most importantly, they are massively preventing other companies from getting involved in this new technology. To our detriment, to the detriment of all mankind.

    Put an end to this madness! In the field of medicine and biotechnology, it is particularly harmful. These people are trying to patent entire technologies.

    Another example: CRISPR. A super technology, but no products come on the market because it is heavily patented. What is the point, really. This is so evil. There are few things more evil than that.

    China and India could produce millions of Covid vaccines for themselves, for Africa and for the whole world. Millions of lives could have been saved. But Moderna and Biontech are preventing it.

  73. Gravatar of Peter Peter
    13. September 2022 at 11:32

    @effin: Don’t confuse decriminalization of trivial amounts for personal possession with decriminalization of production, sales, or holding moderate amounts. I can’t walk into a Walgreens in San Fran and purchase 100% pure quality tested uncut cocaine. Nor can I sell it legally.

    @george: Most of your posts trollish but you spot on with the lack of moral distinction between abortion and infanticide if the argument is one of paternally slavery

    @Michael: Irrelevant, generally the tyranny of the majority is condemned in the classical liberal western world. The majority of people didn’t think Africans worthy of rights either but I’d suggest you wouldn’t condone chattel slavery of them

  74. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    13. September 2022 at 12:57

    Student, Do you believe our legal system should start treating post-conception “people” as people? Do they count toward HOV lanes on highways. Life expectancy data? Funerals? Tax deductions? Census data?

    Or do you just want to apply the “people” characterization to abortion laws?

    Peter, Back around 1900, drug stores did sell cocaine.

  75. Gravatar of Student Student
    13. September 2022 at 15:21

    If you drive wrecklessly and kill a woman that’s pregnant, they will charge with double homicide… so I mean the law already is treating them as people in serious cases. If the tax deductions are meant to encourage having children, they why not? The rest are definitional things. It doesn’t really matter as long as it’s consistent.

    If an alien of an AI were objectively looking at the evidence, I’d bet money they would call them people though. It takes mental gymnastics to conclude otherwise IMO.

  76. Gravatar of George George
    13. September 2022 at 15:25


    None of my posts are INTENDED as ‘trolling’, but I also believe there is nothing wrong with it, when done well, it’s fun within limits, site owner does it, posters here do it, from my perspective, so your assessment that ‘most’ of my posts are trolling actually made me smile.

    Perhaps such prefaces of ‘negation’ logic statements are felt necessary because otherwise you yourself would be attacked by the site owner, just like what happened when a little while ago another poster wrote a favorable response to something I wrote, without any critical narrative, and the site owner almost bit that guy’s heads off with multiple question marks and how dare he, lol.

    It’s OK, if you (this goes for everyone else too) want to include prefacing ‘negation’ dialectic as a defensive mechanism in this often ‘hostile’ blog (that’s what all dialectic faith logic does, site owner establishes the tone), feel free to do so if it means you can feel safe in expressing your own ideas without getting accused of being a ‘nutcase’ through guilt by association smears and slanders with yours truly.

    The logic of the core lie within the ‘wokecom’ narrative that abortion is ‘really about’ ‘women’s rights’, to your point about ‘paternal/maternal slavery’, I submit that it’s way past an “if” the argument is about that…it IS is the argument.

    Abortion, so it goes, must be permitted, even UP UNTIL BIRTH (Democrat Party psychos voted against the ‘Born Alive’ bill, because they want to maintain an ongoing fresh supply of fetuses for trafficking and funding their campaigns, and for evil purposes I won’t go into detail here), because if it is not permitted, it would effectively compel the bearing mother into ‘maternal slavery’.

    The reason THAT logic was invoked was because the CORE logic controllers pushing the narrative through media, government, schools, hospitals, Planned Parenthood, are devotees of a dialectic faith demonic cult with an operating system derived from a radicalized Young Hegelianism that views even biological truths as intolerable ‘fetters’ of ontological reality that must be transcended through negation. It goes all the way to negating everything simply because it was created.

    It’s also why the cult preys on children. Children they view are closest to God, so they believe they are defeating and hurting God by harming children.

    The world was in a spiritual, i.e. Informational, war that most people, including myself, never knew was even occurring because I too trusted msm, the propaganda arm of the Democrat Party which has been ‘captured’ by the cult.

    Symbolism will be their downfall.

  77. Gravatar of George George
    13. September 2022 at 15:36


  78. Gravatar of msgkings msgkings
    13. September 2022 at 15:46

    @Student: The dividing line has to be arbitrary because that’s how laws work. Is someone who’s 20 years and 364 days old really not mature enough to drink until the next day? Can someone 17 years and 364 days old not be trusted to vote or buy a gun?

    3 months is the compromise most people agree on because it’s common sense that a collection of cells or 1 cm sized lump of flesh isn’t a person yet. Viability cuts it too close, and 3 months is plenty of time. It’s the obvious correct idea, no magic required.

    I respect the position that every fertilized egg is a person, but that’s not the reality of how things are. And your definition of personhood that early, which defies common sense, does not give you the right to have the state decide what a woman can do with her own body. Because up until some future point, it is only HER body.

    It’s like the pile of sand problem. How many grains of sand does it take to make a ‘pile’? It’s more than 10, less than 1,000,000. So common sense decides.

  79. Gravatar of Dale Winstead Dale Winstead
    13. September 2022 at 16:00

    First time commenting. I love the list and agree with one minor exception. And that’s the reason I’m finally adding a comment to one of your posts. In your list, I would replace all instances of “legalize” with “decriminalize.” Once government “legalizes” something, they add useless and usually harmful regulations to the “legalized” use. Just eliminate the laws that make those items or use illegal.

  80. Gravatar of Peter Peter
    13. September 2022 at 16:11

    Yet the law doesn’t have to work that way, statutory law isn’t necessarily the best nor only system and if it’s going to used, strict liability doesn’t have to exist either. There is absolutely no requirement for strict arbitrary age limits. You make the moral case then criminalize against that, arbitrary lines in the sand aren’t that, that’s just judicial laziness.

  81. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    13. September 2022 at 16:58

    It might help to realize that the line is not that arbitrary in most countries after all. It is exactly the time in most countries when two essential things have happened:

    1) The critical time of pregnancy has passed. Before this time, close to all spontaneous abortions occur. 50% of all (!!!) pregnancies abort spontaneously. And mostly before this time. This is not obvious to most lay people.

    2) It is the transition from embyrogenesis to organogenesis, i.e. the organs are now (roughly) laid out and are now differentiating. Before that, the child has no differentiated organs and therefore not really a brain as well.

  82. Gravatar of Sara Sara
    13. September 2022 at 17:53

    So you want a one world NATO, presumably because NATO is peaceful and wonderful, but you are worried about NATO encroaching on China? If NATO is peaceful and wonderful, and the goal is a one world NATO, then why are you worried?

    Are you also worried about China violating Taiwan, Philippines, Vietnam and India’s land/water/air space? Does that imposition concern you? Will that imposition lead to WW3, or should we only blame NATO, India, Taiwan and Vietnam for their audacity?

    What you really mean to say is that you hate Russians, russian culture, and everything Russian, so when NATO sends 1.5B in weapons to Kiev, and those weapons land on the doorstep of Donbas residents, well — that is all good and wonderful because those Donbas farmers are simply backward Putin-loving, Russian loving, ingrates who refused to accept the 2014 coup. They deserve your punishment.

    Scott, either you believe in self determination or you don’t. You are all over the map. Either you support Donbas’s fight for autonomy, and free elections, or you support coups when it suits your interest, spending 5B to overthrow an elected politician, and then subjugate the people who disagree with you.

    It’s good thing you aren’t an attorney, because logic isn’t your strong suit.

  83. Gravatar of George George
    13. September 2022 at 18:19

    Lindsay Graham is a stupid tool of the Regime, very easy to tell he’s engaging in a psyop against people the Democrat Party is losing right now (it will probably work on many of them), and not just a badly timed legislation from actual conservatives. What a moron!

  84. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    13. September 2022 at 18:23

    Dale, That might work. I just want to make sure that you don’t continue to have an illegal drug trade, which is where most of the violence comes from. Big corporations should be allowed to sell drugs.

  85. Gravatar of dtoh dtoh
    13. September 2022 at 19:08

    1. Ukraine. Agree but a) not sure if it’s better for Russia to lose quickly or lose slowly, and b) don’t forget about China which is a much bigger threat.

    2. Immigration. Let’s legalize what we have. Not sure we need more. (Maybe we can just annex Latin America.)

    3. Zoning – Can I start a pig farm next to your house? Development can have very high externalities. It needs regulation.

    4. Drugs. Legalize sale. Make use a misdemeanor punishable with a fine.

    5. Abortion – Let the legislatures decide.

    6. Identity politics. Totally agree.

    7. Free trade – Agree, but it needs to be truly reciprocal and cover both trade and investment, and major changes that cause severe disruption need to be phased in over 10 or 15 years.

    8. Global warming – No need for a carbon tax. If restrictions are removed on nuclear, carbon will get mostly priced out of the market.

    9. Monetary Policy – Agree but also replace FOMC with an iphone app.

    10. Occupational licensing – Mostly agree, but not sure about pilots and brain surgeons.

    11. FDA – Hmmm. Not sure about that. Do you remember thalidomide?

    12. Moral Hazard – Not possible. Politicians will always cave in a crisis. Instead require highly paid employees to receive compensation in subordinated debt that vests 5 years after retirement. If a bank needs to be bailed, Fed gets to keep all the equity and subordinated debt.

    13. Prostitution and gambling – Leave it up to the local/state government.

    14. Public schools – Mostly amen. Not sure you need to blow up the good public schools, but definitely go to 100% voucher finance. Also, disband U.S. Department of Education and get rid or guarantees for student loans.

    15. Health care – Eliminate tax breaks. Forbid the sale of low deductible plans. Require all insurers to offer a fixed price (premiums vary only on age, obesity and smoking) bare bones high deductible plan that anyone can purchase.

    16. Internal Trade Barriers – Eliminate almost all federal government regulation of trade and manufacture.

    17. Tax code – Get rid of all income taxes. National sales tax on personal spending (with a $5k/pa/per person exemption.) State/local taxes on fixed assets (property, jets, artwork, etc.)

    18. Animal Cruelty – Yes in general

    19. Privatize transport – Yes. Might want to lease existing infrastructure to operators on 10 to 15 year contracts.

    20. Drinking age laws – Maybe…. or at least relax them.

    21. Huh??

    22. Might need a (somewhat) benevolent super-power for this one.

  86. Gravatar of mbka mbka
    13. September 2022 at 22:19


    great and level headed comment on pregnancy and embryo development.


    The 3 months are chosen more for the purpose of being well ahead of the grey zone where organs / brain etc would be half-developed or any potential viability exists outside the body of the woman.

    To add to what Christian and MSKings said – without viability outside the body you could make a reasonable philosophical argument that the developing fetus IS in fact part of the woman’s body and not an independent being, not even potentially at that stage. And, a single cell is patently NOT a person or else we’d have to conclude that we all shed millions of persons a day, and casually so. It may be a potential person in someone’s eyes but potential persons don’t count, nor do potential businesses, potential income etc.

  87. Gravatar of mbka mbka
    13. September 2022 at 22:25


    mostly agree on patents and copyright. The purpose of patents is that they force inventors to fully describe the invention and therefore to maker it easy to replicate. In exchange they get protection from replication for a limited time. For Pharma companies this starts counting at patenting, not at start of commercialization, which often comes much later than the patent. So pharma companies are already quite disadvantaged. The Covid vaccines are more of a special case here and were a huge risk, commercially and legally. The companies still could get sued big time for side effects. So on that issue I am with them.

    But yes, one could simply not patent inventions. Then inventors would keep their trade secrets secret and there would be an incentive to obfuscate the production knowledge to the maximum. That’s not a good incentive either. Patents were invented to prevent precisely this.

    On copyright, totally agree. It is evil in its current form which only exists to protect Mickey Mouse and the rest of Hollywood.

  88. Gravatar of Student Student
    14. September 2022 at 04:41

    Folks, the abortion debate will never end because it’s hard to compromise in and most people don’t choose based on facts or reason, they choose based on what outcome they want to have in the end and then reason to that.

    Sand starts when their is one molecule of it. A pile is not a precise thing. Sand is. It has a chemical formula. One molecule, a trillion molecules, it’s still all sand.

    And sometimes compromises don’t make sense and are unjust in any form. Like for example with slaves. It’s not a full human being, it’s a full human being… let’s compromise on their being 3/5ths of a person.. that’s not sustainable. Because you can’t compromise on such things as that.

    In any event, this was an interesting list. I like almost all of it. But we have this thing upon which there is no compromise possible. You have people comparing a member of the human species to a tumor or whatever.

    We know from science that the origin of human life is conception. That’s just a scientific fact. Uninterrupted and barring unforeseen death (by any cause), it would become a person. We may argue about whether or not a 1 day post conception zygote has inherent rights (like we did regarding the rights of a slave) but scientifically the case is closed. The origin of any animal is the point of its conception. That’s just the fact of the matter.

    If you all want to take the POV of the slave owner or the nazi and argue that we can comprise on 3/5ths of a person or that we are only going to purge society of it’s unworthy degenerates, not those that deserve full rights, then fine. That’s a hard pill to swallow for me though.

  89. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    14. September 2022 at 05:10

    dtoh, You said:

    “Zoning – Can I start a pig farm next to your house?”

    This is a common misconception. Zoning laws have nothing to do with public nuisance issues, which are handled by other laws. Zoning is aimed at preventing residential construction. End of story.

    It’s much easier to build a house in Tokyo than in LA.

    “5. Abortion – Let the legislatures decide.”

    That’s what I’m doing, telling the legislature what to decide.

  90. Gravatar of Ricardo Ricardo
    14. September 2022 at 05:21

    Sumner says he is disgusted by how “little effort”.
    It is amazing how people who never served their country, particularly old men, suddenly become war hawks, ready to send young men to their death. His idol Bolton is another loser who wouldnt get past bootcamp in the female section, but now is a walking mouthpiece for war. You almost wonder if these people are compensating for some weakness, perhaps a lower testosterone level as they age. Too wimpy to serve at 20, but now that Sumner and his buddy bolton – a known liar – is beyond the drafting age, and beyond really any age worthy of any type of service, low and behold they are both now rambo, ready to take on the world and show us how tough they are. This is another example, and more proof that Sumner is NOT a libertarian, despite calling himself him one. Hint: libertarians are not interventionists. They dont believe in an almighty police state, hell-bent on subjugating others. As I stated before, please put on your helmet, grab a gun, and go yourself. They are accepting volunteers. If it means that much to you, do something, but dont force others. So the next time you cry about “doing something” I want to hear that you are writing from the front lines.

  91. Gravatar of mbka mbka
    14. September 2022 at 06:20


    unless I’m mistaken, the US Army is an army of volunteers.

    For the rest of your tirade, isn’t it tiresome to just blabber on and on in useless ad hominems?

  92. Gravatar of Carl Carl
    14. September 2022 at 08:03

    Regarding policies that may make nuclear war less likely, it seems revocation of the hair trigger response may be a good idea although I need to think through the game theory implications of that a bit more. I’ve also heard people advocate for dual key requirements and congressional approval for nuclear war. I don’t have as much faith in the last proposal since Congress has already abdicated its responsibility for declaring conventional war.

  93. Gravatar of Randomize Randomize
    14. September 2022 at 12:13


    Please allow me to preach a philosophy on good governance: that we should have laws that will, with a high degree of certainty based make the world a better place. This certainty should be based on ethics, science, and logic. In the absence of such certainty or basis, we should err on the side of fewer laws and greater personal liberty. Can we agree on this philosophy?

    You’re advocating for protecting people from murder, which I agree would make the world a better place. That said, please feel free to define what it means to be a person if you don’t like my “self awareness” answer.

    Because it isn’t walking and talking. Lots of people can do neither.

    It’s not unique human DNA because, as described above, lots of non-persons have that too.

    And it isn’t “potential to grow into a person” either. If that were true, a sperm on course to hit an egg would also be a person.

    I’ll eagerly await your reply.

    And keep in mind, if your reply isn’t rock-solid, be aware that you’re proposing to enforce your feathery ideas of what defines people on the rest of us under threat of imprisonment.

  94. Gravatar of Student Student
    14. September 2022 at 12:19

    Fewer laws are better. On the rest, that’s the mental gymnastics I was talking about. You just called a sperm swimming to the egg the same thing as a fertilized egg. There are millions swimming… come on. Mental gymnastics.

  95. Gravatar of steve steve
    14. September 2022 at 12:56

    Student- If its a human being at one day post conception then by your reckoning it should have the same rights as the mother, but you actually seem to be pushing to prioritize the rights of the fetus. You want to do it a time when the fetus is specifically dependent upon just one person, the mother, and there is no way to replace that dependence.

    Nazis? The Nazis took choices away from people. They made sure the good Aryan women carried babies to term. Forcing adults to do something they dont think is best for themselves or for their family and having the state make that decision seems pretty much in line with Nazi thought.


  96. Gravatar of Randomize Randomize
    14. September 2022 at 14:19

    Those mental gymnastics are how a (I hope!) rational and science-driven person tries to define personhood. Please offer your own definition and try to do better than “It has human DNA!”

    And then acknowledge that you’re willing to imprison people for disagreeing with your opinion. Who knows, maybe even the red states will start executing people for it.

  97. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    14. September 2022 at 14:41

    No one was talking about troops from the US. If you were seriously following the situation, you would know that it is about basic military material that has been denied to Ukrainians for about 6 months on specious, unserious arguments. Thousands of Ukrainian soldiers are dying because the West is not equipping them correctly. The war could have been over already, thousands of people could have been saved. Putin would be gone. It is extremely shameful.

    Vaccine manufacturers are pretty much excluded from lawsuits and liability issues in Europe. It’s the same in the US. The state has taken over basically all risks of that kind. Otherwise no one would make vaccines with all these crazy vaccine opponents making up all kinds of things and then suing.

    Maybe patent the drugs for a very limited time. But stop the massive abuse that is going on right now: whole technologies are patented. Other companies are flooded with billion dollar lawsuits and threatened because of alleged technology use. Medical progress is massively hindered. This is the wrong way.

    You make no serious arguments at all, other than an alleged “scientific” consensus to your advantage. Only this consensus does not exist, it is your pure fantasy, it has nothing to do with science. It is pure pseudoscience based on massive knowledge gaps on your side, with no will to learn anything and improve. And then you pass that massive ignorance off as consensus. It’s ludicrous.

  98. Gravatar of Peter Peter
    14. September 2022 at 18:31

    @Christian: I don’t know what kookery you were raised in but no, it’s pretty much accepted as universal fact life begins at conception (zygote fertilization) in any species that uses sexual reproduction

  99. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    14. September 2022 at 23:50

    That’s the problem. He takes a singular biological event (he doesn’t really know much more than that) and, on the basis of it, claims that abortion laws follow quasi-automatically from it, that it is quasi-scientific and that there can be no compromise. It is pretended that scientists support his way as a broad consensus, but the opposite is the case: The fight against abortion in the US and other countries is not scientifically motivated at all but close to 100% political and religious. It has nothing to do with science, if you would ask doctors and scientists in this field, based on majority opinions, you would end up with about the “usual” abortion rules that exist in modern western countries today. So much to the kookery.

  100. Gravatar of mbka mbka
    15. September 2022 at 06:24


    “it’s pretty much accepted as universal fact life begins at conception (zygote fertilization) in any species that uses sexual reproduction”

    Nothing could be further from the biological consensus. Technically, all sexually reproducing species have a haploid and a diploid phase in their life cycle. For some species, nay, entire clades, the haploid cycle can be organisms entirely different from, and just as long lived as, the diploid ones – especially in fungi and algae. Haploid = one set of DNA, Diploid = 2 sets of DNA. In most animals, including humans, the diploid phase is dominant and so we only get tiny and short lived haploid forms. We call them sperm and egg. They are however genuinely independent life forms. Yes, we all spawn multitudes of tiny little animals. Proto humans really, in a different life cycle. Only a tiny fraction makes it into the diploid cycle. But they’re still alive, even when haploid, and contain all the good DNA we humans contain. See, e.g., here

    So to summarize: sperm and eggs (one set of DNA, haploid) are as equally alive in their own right as the fertilized cell (2 sets of DNA, diploid) that eventually develops into an embryo first, and into a person later. They just don’t live that long. And they don’t have consciousness and all the other goodies that persons have. Neither has the fertilized egg, or the early blastocyst etc. Look up embryogenesis here for example . An empty ball of undifferentiated cells is not a person. Neither is my liver, which is FAR more differentiated than that.

    The fertilized egg fetishism is just an aberration derived from misunderstood religion. It has nothing to do with actual ethics.

  101. Gravatar of George George
    15. September 2022 at 08:06

    All these pro-abortion posters with cognitive dissonance throwing projections, smears, and absent of substance ‘criticisms’ all to justify in their minds that murdering babies is good ethics, using the pre-scripted msm narrative lie of ‘women’s right to choose’ as their crutch, never bothering to explain how it is good ethics for anyone to ‘have a right to choose’ to murder another.

    Every pro abortion advocate is conveniently ignoring and evading the fact that they all have been born. Pro life is a logical requirement for there to even BE this ‘pro death’ narrative, FROM THE SAME INDIVIDUAL, in all cases. Everyone who calls for murdering babies are themselves dependent on their mothers and abortion doctors NOT murdering them.

    I wonder how many of these people would, if any learned in their particular case that their mother WANTED to abort them but for whatever reason were not, would kill themselves to be consistent with what SHOULD have happened according to their own warped logic. If ‘women’s right to choose’ was the standard, then the only justice would be to kill those whose mothers were ‘denied’ the opportunity to kill them.

    Oblivious arrogant blowhards negating their own realities for the sake of unwittingly defending a mass fetus trafficking industry financed with taxpayer money and funneled back to funding campaigns of a political party controlled by satanic pedophiles.

    Student is correct that life begins at conception, if we define human life in a non-contradictory way. Every single argument made that would deny a fetus the definition of a human life, every single one, would logically apply to adult humans who are absent the same exact categories claimed as absent in a fetus. From consciousness, to shapes of arms and legs, all the claims ‘negating’ a fetus would apply to certain adults, in which case the logic would deny those human adults even the definition of being human!

    Noticeably ABSENT in every ‘pro abortion’ narrative is RESPONSIBILITY. It is as if they believe the 100% dependency of younger human beings on older human beings is a ‘mistake’ in reality, a mistake THEY see as a mistake by God, (notice the anti-religion rhetoric pushed by Christian List and mbka and others, that biological facts ‘imprison’ people in their physical bodies whereas a ‘more just’ world would be for motherhood to be destroyed.

    Ancient death cults BELIEVED THE SAME THING.

    The ‘new’ ethics is in fact a retrogression to PRE-ENLIGHTENMENT gnostic and pagan cult ideologies.

  102. Gravatar of Student Student
    15. September 2022 at 08:30

    Enough for now. We are not going to agree. Just kill your babies and don’t feel bad about it. Vote in your state elections on it, and accept when you win or lose and don’t burn down the capital over it. Learn to lose with honor.

  103. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    15. September 2022 at 08:52

    I have not advocated for or against abortion. I think both sides make certain mistakes, and the maximum extreme of either side is rarely good. Nevertheless, it is noticeable that one side often argues in a particularly grotesque way.

    I have only pointed out glaring errors in Student’s pseudo-argumentation. Your text is unfortunately another grotesque example. You cannot argue with facts. Your text is brimming with insults, accusations, screams in absurd capitalization and very, very little to no substance.

    Already in the first sentence you use even the simplest words such as “baby” and “murder” outside the serious definition but on the other hand you really expect that one takes your absurd babble seriously. Again, this is just ludicrous. One cannot have a conversation if the other person changes the meaning of even the most basic words.

    You may be making one singular, good argument in the whole text, that is easily refutable though, but 90% of your remaining text is so bad that it’s not really worth going into right now.

  104. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    15. September 2022 at 09:11

    This type of discussion is not about agreement. It’s about understanding the other side and wanting to learn some really cool new facts. In your case, I don’t see any interest in that. I see disinterest and ignorance even towards the most basic facts.

    “when you win or lose and don’t burn down the capital over it. Learn to lose with honor.”

    That’s really rich from the anti-abortion faction, especially since the storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters. Large parts of that faction apparently still haven’t digested the defeat at the hands of a geriatric like Biden. Pretty huge parts of this camp still deny Trump’s defeat even today, saying it was all a big conspiracy like 9-11 and the moon landing.

    Personally, I didn’t lose at all either: I personally don’t mind the Supreme Court’s decision, I think the decision was factually correct. I would have decided differently, purely for political reasons: Keeping the peace, avoiding increasing division in society, and a long tradition of Roe v. Wade, with a different precedential decision. But purely on factual grounds, I can understand why they changed the decision. Maybe you also try to understand from time to time. It helps you growing as a person.

    Scott’s attitude doesn’t seem so wrong to me: Leave it to the doctor and the pregnant woman. What’s to be said against it? The whole theory by the extreme part of the antiabortion faction is based on the idea that the abortion doctor and the pregnant woman are both inhuman, psychopathic, compassionless monsters. What kind of human image is that and where did you get it from. I hope not from a mirror.

  105. Gravatar of Student Student
    15. September 2022 at 09:51

    I like thinking as well. He says, so what if it’s a person or not, let the woman choose. That’s more reasonable because at least it makes sense. You all might not like it, but the beginning of a human being is it’s conception. If not acted upon (or dying naturally) it would become a full person. The action on it is what kills it. Which is the entire reason for the abortion procedure. As bull says. I got a baby in me… get it the fuck out of me… I don’t want it. I can understand that. I cant accept deny the reality… make all of your arguments, it’s a zygote, it has no heart beat or no brain or it’s the first Tuesday after the second Thursday on a full moon.. fact of the matter is it’s a entity of the human species that which not acted upon is just like you and me. You favor money and time. I favor the dignity inherent in the life of another person. C’est la vie.

  106. Gravatar of Student Student
    15. September 2022 at 09:54

    Not all pro-lifers are fascist clowns.

  107. Gravatar of Student Student
    15. September 2022 at 09:55

    *I like Scott’s thinking as well…

  108. Gravatar of Dale Dale
    15. September 2022 at 10:20

    I tried to comment on this post earlier, but got an error of some sort, and it never appeared. So trying again. First time I’ve commented on one of Scott’s excellent blog posts. I almost completely agree with this one, with one minor exception. Which is the reason for this comment. In the blog post, I would replace all instances of the word “legalize” with the word “de-criminalize.” Legalization implies additional regulations the government likes to impose when legalizing. See legalized marijuana in many states. I would prefer just removing unnecessary and frequently harmful laws from the books.

  109. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    15. September 2022 at 11:29

    Or he says something quite different: Why should an ignorant person who has no interest whatsoever in embryogenesis and organogenesis have so much power over women?

    Why shouldn’t two other people be allowed to decide: The woman who is pregnant and whose 100% cooperation we need, because otherwise the embryo will not survive.

    And secondly the doctor, who has all the experience in the field and the actual major interest in all attainable knowledge about this field.

    Or in short, some kind of Golden Rule of libertarianism: Do not give people power over other adult people. And especially: Do
    not give ignorant morons any power over other adult people.


  110. Gravatar of Carl Carl
    15. September 2022 at 14:11

    To your point Christian, I think the abortion debate has been interesting. I hadn’t realized before that the embryogenesis/organogenesis boundary was such an important factor in people’s decision making. It doesn’t look like it aligns with the first trimester, but it is a point of transition, along with the development of consciousness, that I can see are important transition points for many people here.
    One thing that I haven’t heard mentioned, but matters more to me than the stage of development is the argument from probability. We consider it criminally negligent to leave rat poison on a kindergarten table. We don’t consider it criminally negligent to leave rat poison on a barn floor in rural North Dakota. The former has an unacceptably high probability of terminating a human life; the latter an acceptably low probability. The odds of terminating the development of a conscious being by killing a sperm cell is very low. The odds of terminating a conscious being by killing a zygote is 50%. Sure, abortion may just kill an embryo, not an organism and it may kill something that isn’t yet conscious but there’s a 50% chance the act terminates consciousness from developing in a living entity.
    For me, the only convincing argument for abortion is the civil rights of the mother.

  111. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    15. September 2022 at 16:41


    good comment, now we are talking. It’s also possible that embryogenesis/organogenesis is not a factor for most people, but it should be.

    I have to commend you, you seem to fully understand the situation: 50% of embryos die in the first weeks anyway. Now you say that is little. Well, that’s a typical glass-half-full-half-empty debate. I say 50% death rate is extremely high and most people don’t realize that we stand at 50%. To Student for example, I explained it and he still fully ignores it, so you see many people just don’t care.

    Anyway, this embryonic phase is an unstable situation where 50% of embryos die and where you can say: It is not really a human being, but it is a potential human being.

    Let’s be clear here, the argument about the potential human being is not (only) about the 50% death rate, but about organs and consciousness simply not being there yet.

    A person whose brain is no longer working is considered dead. The heart beats, the person breathes, he is warm, everything is “normal”, but the person is dead, the brain is no longer working sufficiently. If this is valid, then one cannot claim (like Student) an embryo without a sufficient brain is equal to a full human being. No, it is a potential human being, which is in a transitional stage somewhere between life and death.

    So, if one goes these argument about “potential” to the end, then then one must ask, why then the strict separation at the conception. The sperm, seen in this way, is a very potential human being as well, approx. 50% of the human being are already put on there. With an egg cell it’s even more than 50%. Why does Student not save the sperm? Now this is not a joke, these problems are real: women today often have their eggs frozen. Can these cells then simply be destroyed later? Some of these eggs are fertilized. Can these cells be destroyed? Why should this not be an illegal abortion? This makes no sense.

    Or his grotesque argument with the aliens who would find an embryo and “objectively” call it life. Of course they would. But this already starts at the cell level, not at the embryo level.

  112. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    15. September 2022 at 20:15

    Ricardo, Why am I stuck with the most stupid trolls in the blogosphere? After writing a post saying the US should not send troops to Ukraine, this is the best trolling you can come up with? Really?

    Can’t you Russian financed trolls try a bit harder? How about citing the way I dodged the draft at age 16? That’s always a good one.

  113. Gravatar of Student Student
    16. September 2022 at 05:11

    Christian list and Carl,

    Occam’s razor applies here. Look at all the words you need to use and assumptions… animal life begins at its conception, when a new member of a species instantiated. That’s is. Simple and consistent with the biological process.

    Notice, mother and doctor… that leaves out an important figure… the father. He should have a veto on their choice to abort (in cases where she wasn’t coerced by trickery or force and when the life of the mother is not at stake). It’s his baby too.

    Now should it be illegal? That’s a different (albeit related question). I am ok with state by state approach, even though it’s certainly an evil act… But Roe was a terrible decision based on flimsy arguments.

    What is the purpose of law? The enforce property rights, to apply the rules more equally to everyone, to protect the weak from the strong (or perhaps better stated as to to protect the just person from the unjust person or to desist the rapacious in order to leave others in peace).

    So the mother doesn’t want to raise (again there is no issue when the life of the mother is at stake) her child due inconvenience. It takes money and time. Does inconvenience justify murder? Does it conform with the purpose of having human laws? I don’t think so, so my vote is opposing abortion on the basis of protecting the innocent party from the not innocent party (which is why a rape exception is so hard to ignore).

    You can bend over backwards to argue it’s not a member of the human species until some magical point, but thats an almost impossible point to define (because it isn’t true, conception is the true definitional point). But what’s really going on is that legal abortion is about giving a mother a right to terminate the life of her child on the basis of its inconvenience to her.

  114. Gravatar of msgkings msgkings
    16. September 2022 at 06:34

    @Student: Words have meanings and a 2 month old embryo is not a “child” or “baby” or “person”. It’s a tiny piece of flesh inside a woman and a person has autonomy over their body until another person is involved. 12 weeks is a good cutoff because we know that’s well before another person is in there.

    See, very few words, Occam’s razor indeed. This is basic common sense. Things are what they are and a clump of cells a few weeks old is not the same thing as a baby/person/child.

  115. Gravatar of Student Student
    16. September 2022 at 07:13

    We are all clumps of cells.

  116. Gravatar of msgkings msgkings
    16. September 2022 at 07:18

    @Student: but not all clumps of cells are people. Words have meanings.

  117. Gravatar of Student Student
    16. September 2022 at 08:06

    Clumps if cells composed of human genetic material that engaged in metabolism of energy and growing and developing into a full blown human adult are… on its way in the River that is life, ever changing as it flows… (and the dreamer is just a vessel that must follow where it goes… yes I stole that from a song lol)…

    Not all clumps of cells are human people, but instantiated clumps developing into adult members of the species homo sapien are…

  118. Gravatar of msgkings msgkings
    16. September 2022 at 08:21

    No, Student, they are not people before some point and they are people after some point. That point is hard to exactly nail down but it’s not hard to know when you are well before or well past it.

    Words have meanings. Before 12 weeks it’s not a person or baby or child. After 30 weeks it is a person or baby or child.

    You brought up Occam’s razor. Use it.

  119. Gravatar of Student Student
    16. September 2022 at 08:24

    I will. A conceived instance of an individual is a person. No other definition has any concrete basis. You definitions are pulled out of you butt. Today it’s that definition, tomorrow it’s any other, in 50 years when am incubator can sustain an embryo then we back to where we are now…

    And yet, conception remains the point at which a new instance of a human being is originally instantiated.

  120. Gravatar of Student Student
    16. September 2022 at 08:27

    Consider it from an agent based computational science POV. We does an agent get instantiated? When it has received its final characteristics or when a unique agent gets instantiated?

    Again, this argument as devolved into unproductive even tho I am off today and have nothing better to do right now lol.

  121. Gravatar of Student Student
    16. September 2022 at 08:33

    *when does an agent.

    My apologies, I am the king of typos.

  122. Gravatar of Carl Carl
    16. September 2022 at 08:43

    Abortion feels like bullying to me. Even if the fetus has not achieved consciousness and it doesn’t have organs, I still feel like it’s callous to treat it like a cyst when I know there’s a 50% chance it will develop organs and consciousness. That said, I understand someone saying that it’s not murder if the victim has no organs and no consciousness. I also understand someone saying they never gave the government control of their uterus.
    There are slippery slopes on all sides of this argument. I have simply found my footing here by some mix of logic, sentiment and convenience.

  123. Gravatar of msgkings msgkings
    16. September 2022 at 09:06

    Student, I absolutely respect and understand your take on this. It’s a valid take. However, it is not the only one. That does not give you the right to have the state decide what a woman can do with her body. Her take may be different from yours. So you can advocate that no one ever get an abortion, you can urge your friends, family, and sexual partners not to. But you cannot impose your beliefs on them.

    My take is as valid as yours, and more logically correct. You are winning a very narrow definition game. I am describing simple reality. Before 12 weeks that is not a person deserving rights. Words have meanings.

  124. Gravatar of msgkings msgkings
    16. September 2022 at 09:09

    By the way, “A conceived instance of an individual is a person” is a definition you made up, and is not correct. That is not what “person” means.

  125. Gravatar of Student Student
    16. September 2022 at 10:29


    I didn’t really make it up, I took it from the concept of instantiation within agent based modeling. Attributes differentiate or vary among agents. Instant is toon is the creation of a unique instance of an agent.

    Maybe that doesn’t work, but it makes sense to me.

  126. Gravatar of Student Student
    16. September 2022 at 10:31

    *instantiation is the creation of a unique instance of an agent…

  127. Gravatar of Student Student
    16. September 2022 at 10:47


    If one we to represent an embryo as an agent, they would most likely instantiate an instance of a class “human” of something like that. Then they would assign it attributes, tiny, not conscious, dependent on mother for food and survival, 2 days post conceived or what ever. But they are an instance of a type called human or whatever. Before they are instantiated, they don’t exist. Once they are instantiated, they have attributes and begin their “life cycle”.

    That seems pretty clear to me.

  128. Gravatar of Thaomas Thaomas
    17. September 2022 at 03:21

    A pretty good list. I’d say “make marginal moves in the direction of” rather than the binary way the list is framed. My conservatism in this regard is based in part on the estimates of benefit and costs that do not necessarily reman the same as the scale of the reform changes. “Unintended consequences.”

    Probably because there is no one thing to DO, but policing-crime prevention/punishment is a big area missing from the list.

  129. Gravatar of Martha Martha
    19. September 2022 at 20:34

    It seems strange to support immigration, yet when they reach your presitgious enclave of Martha’s Vinyard, an all white, wealthy community, you suddenly send them back to Florida or Texas.

    It seems to me that you want immigrants to flood the U.S., so long as they don’t flood your rich, white communities.

    After all, it’s good for the rich to have a surplus of workers, so that salaries are lowered, and maybe also for political purposes, but once they arrive in your town that is when you draw the line. What happened to calls for reparations, historical culpability, and like one Yale professor proposed: “taxing white people and only white people”.

    It seems to me that the best way to support your calls for reparations and a white tax is to let these immigrants live in your posche mansions. Surely, some rooms must be available.

    And forcing states and communities to abide by federal abortion laws is just weird. People who support this type of imposition, and this top-down governance, where everyone else must abide or otherwise have a strange view of how government should work.

    These are the types of people you have to worry about. Because once they get power… they don’t like to relinquish it.

  130. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    22. September 2022 at 10:51

    “It seems strange to support immigration, yet when they reach your presitgious enclave of Martha’s Vinyard”

    I live in “Martha’s Vinyard”?

  131. Gravatar of Djockvic Djockvic
    25. September 2022 at 14:30

    Your last sentence says “I’m sure I overlooked lots of important issues.” Is election integrity included? Just curious why you did not touch this topic.

    Regarding immigration, does your mention of Canadian system suggest you prefer legal immigration to open border policy?

  132. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    25. September 2022 at 21:51

    Djockvic, Not sure what you mean by an open border policy. I had thought that meant legal immigration. Illegal immigration is what happens without open borders. So why contrast open borders with legal immigration.

    And I’ve done many posts criticizing the modern GOP’s attempts to overturn elections.

  133. Gravatar of Djockvic Djockvic
    27. September 2022 at 09:09

    Thanks for replying my post. I mean open border by allowing people coming across the border into America without vetting or going through the procedure as Canada does.

    Democrats attempted to stop certifying elections before. Did you criticize them as well? Your reply suggests you are either confident in our election system integrity or do not care at all.

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