(Author’s note: this is a post about ideas, not politics. It is unrelated to current events. It simply examines the philosophical views expressed by our Chief Executive.)
In a number of speeches, the President has outlined his views on the legitimacy of government. Following the Tea Party success in 2010, he resolutely responded to those [...]
Consider this a Robin Hanson-style post.
Obama ran on transparency, civil liberties, press freedom, and a less militaristic foreign policy. However, his record is poor. His presidency has been more like a third Bush II term. How should we interpret that?
1. Obama was never sincere.
2. Obama was sincere, but power corrupts.
Arts and Letters Daily recently linked to this essay by economist John Quiggin arguing that Keynes’s old ideal of the 15-hour working week is both within our economic grasp and a morally desirable ideal that advanced nations should promote. Quiggin, for those of you who are not aware, is a well-known [...]
I’m currently writing Compulsory Voting: For and Against with Lisa Hill. After that, though, I’m doing another single-authored book. My working title when I sent the proposal to the publisher was The Politics of Voting: Competence and the Right to Rule, but that’s a bit boring. They’d like something more provocative.
Here are some of the [...]
Fundamentally Post is wrong and everyone else linked to above is right: Jefferson was [...]
A recent discussion on my Facebook wall has prompted me to share a few thoughts about libertarianism and the Israel-Palestine conflict. Let me start with one point: I am no expert on the history of the area. Many, but not all, people whose knowledge of that history I trust share (I think) much, but not [...]
Four years ago, President Obama won the presidency while promising hope and change. Under George W. Bush, America seemed to stop being a country that respects freedom and the rule of law. Bush held suspected terrorists indefinitely without any hope of a trial, spied on American citizens, violated our rights under the Patriot Act, used [...]
In the market, most of my fellow citizens are my civic friends, part of a great cooperative scheme. One of the vile and repugnant features of democracy is that it transforms these people–people who should be my civic friends–into my civic enemies.
Today most Americans will do something morally rotten–they will vote, despite being [...]
Over 132 million people voted in the 2008 US Presidential election. Why did they do that? Are they just plain stupid?
There is a nagging worry that voting is a bad bet, like buying lottery tickets. Even when the Powerball jackpot is huge, the expected utility of buying a ticket is negative—the ticket costs more [...]
1. I discuss third party voting (including the myth that Nader cost Gore the election in 2000) on Al Jazeera’s The Stream. At the very end, I blame bad media on bad voters–mainstream media sucks because of how we consume information.
2. Do hormones influence women’s voting behavior? Kristina Durante and her colleagues think [...]
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