Jason Soon defends John Lott

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

Soon writes:

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.

Soon continues:

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.)


  1. #1 jc
    August 3, 2007


    Can you understand nunace? Seriously, is everything a word game with you…..always playing gotcha with a blind cat and then declaring yourself the winner.

    Hawke has been as close to a libertarian as we can have in this socialist paradise of yours. I never suggested he was a member of the LDP, but he seemed to display strong libertarian instincts, certainly more so than any conservative.

    I mentioned Rishardson along similar lines.

    I didn’t say that they were libertarians, just that they showed strong leanings. Got it now. Ponder that for a few days and come back.

    Is it all emissions with you,oh gaseous one?

  2. #2 Iangould
    August 3, 2007

    “Can you understand nunace?”

    I swear, you couldn;t make this shit up.

  3. #3 JC
    August 3, 2007


    The trouble with you is that you never leave an argument that you have clearly lost without going troppo on us. That’s why you are left resorting to silly word games.

    The last thing a loser resorts to is correcting typos.

    Lol. Sleep it off you old socialist cave man. The wall did come down from east to west, not the other way round.

  4. #4 Ian Gould
    August 5, 2007

    IT really is pathetic isn’t it.

    That smelly homeless guy in the urine-stained pants and the vomit-covered t-shirt who follows you around screaming about how he knows you’ve been beaming microwave messages to his teeth screams at you as you finally walk away in disgust “You lost the debate.”

  5. #5 Jc
    August 6, 2007


    Talking about vomit….are you playing the part of the dog in this thread… who returns to his vomit after a few days?

    Don’t worry, at least you learned a few things about economics and no one, i promise you, is gonna read 300 comments. How lousy you are just stays with us , ok?

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