Jason Soon is very angry that I dared to criticize John Lott in this post. I wrote about Freedomnomics (where Lott claims that women’s suffrage caused a massive increase in the size of the government):
Lott doesn’t like women’s suffrage
His basic thesis is that the size of government expanded after women’s suffrage. It’s an interesting thesis. It may be right or wrong. But it does not follow from it that Lott is advocating that women be deprived of the vote since there are far more systemic and less illiberal views of checking the growth of government than arbitrarily limiting voting rights based on dissatisfaction with its outcomes.
Soon seems to accept that Lott would prefer a much smaller government and hence that Lott would think that women’s suffrage has had a bad result. As for other ways of “checking the growth of government”, this is not an argument that Lott makes, and Soon does not tell us what they are. Presumably these involve libertarians uniting and using their mighty political power or something.
To repeat – the proposition that women’s suffrage led to bigger government is a positive statement, not a normative statement. It is either true or false and the belief that it’s true is separate from the belief that women should therefore be deprived of the vote. Lambert decides to elide the two to smear Lott.
Hmmm, what did Lott’s sock puppet, Mary Rosh, write at FreeRepublic?
You have got to download this paper. Lott has done an amazing piece here. Fits in perfectly with Rush Limbaugh’s program today. Click on source URL above to get the paper.
How Dramatically Did Women’s Suffrage Change the Size and Scope of Government?
John R. Lott, Jr.
This paper examines the growth of government during this century as a result of giving women the right to vote. …
Lott does it again.
It’s pretty obvious that Rush Limbaugh was arguing that women’s suffrage was a bad idea.
Yet, Lambert has been overwhelmingly positive about Freakonomics despite the fact that its most famous thesis is that legalised abortion led to lower crime rates. But if Lambert were to apply the same treatment to Levitt that he applied to Lott (i.e. mixing positive and normative conclusions) given the obvious racial bias in the US crime statistics and the rate of black illegitimate births compared to white illegitimate births, Lambert should be characterising Levitt’s argument as the argument that ‘we should pre-emptively kill black babies before they get born and become criminals’ . Yet I don’t see him huffing and puffing about Levitt’s alleged racism as he has been doing about Lott’s alleged sexism (of course just to clarify I believe that these ways of characterising BOTH Levitt’s and Lott’s arguments are silly and a distortion of their original intent).
Anyone who has read Freakonomics would know that Levitt argues that his thesis has no normative implications because other considerations trump the abortion/crime link. Lott makes no such argument.
Notice the hypocrisy and inconsistency. I used to think Lambert was a class act but since my recent run-in I’ve concluded that he is in fact a dishonest egotistical prick.
Charming. It seems that Soon doesn’t think it possible for anyone to honestly disagree with him. (My previous post on Soon’s conduct is here.)