Herman Cain’s Pseudomathematics

Here’s Herman Cain, from an interview with Chris Wallace:

Here is how we arrived at it. I had some of the best economists in this country help me to develop this plan. You know, my background is mathematics. It was a simple regression analysis. We took the government data and looked at how much tax revenue from personal income tax, how much tax revenue came from corporate tax, how much revenue came from capitol gains tax, how much revenue from the death tax. We added them all up and you do a simple regression analysis and say in order to reduce this much on corporate income, personal income and national sales tax, what should that number be if we equally break up those three buckets. It was a simple regression analysis.

Over at Tapped, Paul Waldman points to some problems with Cain’s statement:

I like how he says it was a “simple” regression analysis, when he knows full well that maybe 1 percent of reporters even know what regression analysis is. And guess what: That’s the point. Herman Cain was a math major in college, so I would assume he knows what regression is and isn’t used for. On the other hand, statistics and mathematics are not the same thing, so maybe he doesn’t. But in order to figure out whether his plan adds up (spoiler alert: it doesn’t), you would definitely not use regression. Regression is used to determine the relative influence of a group of independent variables on a dependent variable within a population. For example, you might want to know the relative influence of education, parent’s income, and height on people’s income. You could use regression for that (putting aside questions of causal direction). You can read more here if you care to.

But you wouldn’t use it to figure out whether Cain’s plan adds up. For that, you’d use something much simpler: algebra .09 times total corporate income, plus .09 times total personal income, plus .09 times sales = total tax revenue. CAP used this less obscure mathematical technique to determine that Cain’s plan would generate only about half the revenues we need to run the government, all while increasing taxes for the poor and middle class and slashing them for the wealthy. Good stuff.

My guess is that Cain keeps saying that his plan was produced by a “regression analysis” when he’s challenged because it’s a way of saying, “It’s based on a statistical technique that you don’t understand that goes by a name you’re unfamiliar with, so I just won the argument.” And when he’s dealing with reporters, he’s usually right, about that at least.

Finding out that Cain was a math major gives me the same flush of embarrassment I get when I hear that a Jew did something bad. As for bamboozling people with mathematics, that’s just an old creationist trick.

Come to think of it, it’s pretty much what I do in my calculus classes, but at least there I’m not deliberately trying to confuse people.

1. #1 Jr
October 14, 2011

Presumably what Cain means is that he tried to predict how the income would change after his tax changes. They would after all likely increase if you cut taxes.

Just assuming that people behave the same even after tax rules changed, as Waldman and CAP does, is simple and occasionally reasonable but can be very inaccurate.

2. #2 Lyle
October 14, 2011

Note that the corporate tax is no longer an old fashioned income tax. Its more of a gross reciepts tax with a dividend and goods and services purchased exemption. In particular it taxes wages (and does away with the payroll tax). Its not clear from what is said if interest would be deductable.

3. #3 Collin Brendemuehl
October 14, 2011

Seeing the whole plan would make more sense than just posting a left-leaning, substance-free critique. Cain does not go into a lot of detail on his split taxation approach — a combination of (1) low flat income tax and (2) low flat sales tax. Anyone here really think that our news-tainment people could actually report it accurately? Or that Jason would give it anything other than a Soros-esque treatment?

4. #4 David
October 14, 2011

You misunderstood. By “regression” he meant “regression from being smart”

5. #5 Comrade Carter
October 14, 2011

On the other hand, if what’s posted IS a left-leaning, substance-free critique; why doesn’t the vast Cain Machine come on here and point that out.

Or is the “Soros-esque”?

6. #6 Moopheus
October 14, 2011

I think what he meant to say is “my tax plan is simply regressive.”

7. #7 idahogie
October 14, 2011

WTF is a “Soros-esque treatment?” That looks very much like a code-word talking point of zero substance, and marks the commenter as untrustworthy.

8. #8 AL
October 14, 2011

Seeing the whole plan would make more sense than just posting a left-leaning, substance-free critique. Cain does not go into a lot of detail on his split taxation approach — a combination of (1) low flat income tax and (2) low flat sales tax. Anyone here really think that our news-tainment people could actually report it accurately? Or that Jason would give it anything other than a Soros-esque treatment?

That’s the point of Wallace’s question. He said he couldn’t find any information on Cain’s website about how the plan would actually lower every rate yet still raise revenue, so he gave Cain the opportunity to explain it simply, and Cain squandered the opportunity by avoiding all specifics, speaking in overly-general terms that he looked at ways to reduce rates (completely avoiding Wallace on the increasing revenue part), and just throwing out obscurantist phrases like “regression analysis.”

At the very least, he could’ve just said it was standard Laffer curve economics that lowering taxes inspires people to work more thus raising revenue. The audience would’ve been favorable to that explanation.

9. #9 Greg Esres
October 14, 2011

Cain said: “my background is mathematics.”

Having an undergraduate degree in some subject doesn’t really convey deep, long-term knowledge in that subject, unless you enter a field where you’re using it every day. So when someone volunteers that they majored in “X”, that doesn’t make anything they say more credible. Maybe the reverse, because ability erodes a lot faster than confidence.

10. #10 D. C. Sessions
October 14, 2011

For that, you’d use something much simpler: algebra .09 times total corporate income, plus .09 times total personal income, plus .09 times sales = total tax revenue. CAP used this less obscure mathematical technique to determine that Cain’s plan would generate only about half the revenues we need to run the government, all while increasing taxes for the poor and middle class and slashing them for the wealthy.

And then you assume that people won’t change their behavior to optimize their taxes. For instance, by incorporating themselves and hiring out as subcontractors (the employer saves 9%, thanks to subcontractors being exempted but labor isn’t) and you save the income tax because you can take your pay as dividends.

There went 18% right there, and you can even use a similar dodge to get around the sales tax as well.

11. #11 Dr. I. Needtob Athe
October 14, 2011

For a long time, Republicans have been offending biologists, environmental scientists, medical scientists, cosmologists, statisticians, and just about every other type of scientist there is. It was just a matter of time before one of them got around to mathematicians.

12. #12 Chris Auld
October 14, 2011

Cain’s statement is so confused it’s hard to make sense of what he might be trying to get at, and certainly one would not use regression analysis to do the arithmetic he seems to be talking about. But he might have been trying to describe estimates of how tax revenues vary with posted tax rates. As D.C. Sessions says above, people generally change their behavior when tax rates change, so we need estimates of those behavioral effects in order to estimate the change in revenue resulting from a change in rates. Here for example is a paper reviewing some of the relevant econometric literature,

http://elsa.berkeley.edu/~saez/saezslemrodgiertzJEL10round2.pdf

The remaining problem with Cain’s statement under this charitable interpretation is that no such analysis is, or should be anyways, “simple,” as these are quite challenging empirical questions.

13. #13 Collin Brendemuehl
October 14, 2011

idahogie,
Well, since Jason has transformed himself into a political hack, there is something to be said. So if you have a comment with some substance, I’d be glad to hear it. (What really interests me is the change in his writing style this past year. POr perhaps it’s just that our boy is growing up.)

AL,
I also wish he would publish more. His website is simply an outline. But hey, it’s a better plan for money management than buying guns and giving the to Mex. drug lords so they can kill US citizens.

Still, there is enough there that would produce jobs and revenue (with historical evidence — they worked in the past) that a formulaic response might be pushing things to an unreasonable level. (It is a better model than the brontosaurus.)

Dr.,
So you’re offended? I thought liberalism was marked by tolerance for those things one does not like? Then again, I plan to greatly offend all the progressive eugenicists who are called scientists.

14. #14 TylerD
October 14, 2011

I used principle components analysis with the Schwartz information criterion to come up with my tax plan. I will not share the details of my analysis with anyone nor explicate the assumptions behind it BUT LOL U SHUD BELEEB ME CUZ I R SMRT MATHY MAN.

15. #15 JSC
October 14, 2011

“Dr.,
So you’re offended? I thought liberalism was marked by tolerance for those things one does not like?”

Nice equivocation.

“Then again, I plan to greatly offend all the progressive eugenicists who are called scientists”.

Since that is a null set, we shouldn’t have to suffer your banality any longer.

16. #16 TylerD
October 14, 2011

Eugenics is a pretty cool discipline. I have a plethora of options when it comes to dogs because of it.

17. #17 dean
October 14, 2011

jsc, collin is a religious loon – don’t expect anything substantive from him.

I think Jason has hit the point exactly with “As for bamboozling people with mathematics, that’s just an old creationist trick.”

Mr. Cain knows, I’m reasonably sure, that what he said is a load of crap. Whether or not he studied any statistics when he got his bachelor’s in math, he presumably knows about regression – enough to realize most the public only knows “it’s complicated”. By making his joke of a “plan” sound technical he wins people to his side and expands his reputation.

18. #18 Tom English
October 14, 2011

Cain, I’m embarrassed to say, has a master’s degree in computer science from Purdue. It’s surprising that he went with the “regression” gobbledy-gook when 9-9-9 has been tested extensively in simulation — SimCity, that is.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/13/herman-cain-999-sim-city_n_1008952.html

19. #19 Tony P
October 15, 2011

Meanwhile last week I went to a talk on using regression analysis of the Social Security Death Index, you can pretty much nail the AN and GN of the Social Security number, and get a list of 10 possibles for the SN portion of the number using that analysis of the death index.

And the enterprising soul in the group figured out how to get the entire index for \$0 using ancestry dot coms search page. Nice little restful page scraper and off he went.

And what do you need to get the Area and Group numbers (AN/GN), just a place of birth and a birth date. Which brings up something else. If you can predict that with high accuracy, the last four digits don’t mean crap.

20. #20 Collin Brendemuehl
October 16, 2011

Loons live on the lake.

Some bamboozle with mathematical tricks. Some do it with uninformed comments intended to misrepresent. And others do it with slurs. But alas.

Of course, my remarks in this thread have been on the lighter side. This is not the deepest topic ever posted. Besides, it’s hard to beat HuffPo for academic integrity.

As to the nature of science … that is where I have real concern. The progressive ideals (a set of assumptions outside the realm of science and without empirical or other foundation) promoted here have maintained the damage of the eugenics movement. In the late 19th and early 20th c. it was treated as a science. Today it is not given that distinction but the processes remain in place, with ESCR being the most public example. Instead of being treated as an individual discipline, today eugenics has blended into other disciplines as a working assumption. In the social sciences abortion and euthanasia are quite common as you already know. There is the unspoken quantity of infanticide, exposed in IL by Jill Stanek but protected in 3 votes by Obama.

Null set? Ya, right.

21. #21 dean
October 16, 2011

“In the social sciences abortion and euthanasia are quite common as you already know.”

collin, you really are a liar and an idiot.

22. #22 dean
October 16, 2011

And my hands are even shakier this morning than most. Where, exactly, do you see all of this “unspoken quantity” of infanticide? From stanek’s accusations that, when investigated, found no broken laws? From the foolish notion that a fetus is no different than a living person (like the mother)? And how, from the reality that there is a difference in opinion on the topic of abortion, do you get to the idea that eugenics is widely practiced?
You need to come up with facts rather than politically motivated hate-fantasies.

23. #23 Economic mastermind
October 16, 2011

I always agreed with a regular flat tax in place of income tax and the Infernal Revenue Service.

We could do a 10% sales tax and exclude school supplies and necessity groceries (milk, bread, eggs, etc.) and this would raise tremendous revenue for big government as well as be fair to everyone.

There are 12 million illegal aliens here that pay ZERO payroll taxes, yet they recieve benefits and sponge off of the system costing the rest of us tax payers serious money.

The current earned income credit is crap as well. It gives enormous amounts of benefit to people who do not contribute to society. They use everyone else’s work to obtain cell phones, internet, cable tv, and other life necessities. At least they call it necessary.

A fair tax system is needed. This redistribution of wealth should be banned and replaced with a system that encourages work based methods of welfare. Want a new cell phone? Need gvernment to pay for it? Ok. It will cost you 250 hours of community service. Same with cable tv, etc. All non necessity items welfare recipients buy instead should come with community service stipulations. Non essential items should not be free becuase of income levels or race. End of story.

I love how the goons protesting wall street love to bash capitalism. Little do thye know that the clothes they wear, the cell phones they worship, and other things are directly related to ig business and capitalism. If they hate capitalism, they should go naked, raise their own food, make their own clothes and manufacture their own cell phones.

As a matter of fact these corporations should obtaina list of everyone at the wall street protest and deny them service since they hate these businesses so much. I would.

24. #24 Collin Brendemuehl
October 16, 2011

collin, you really are a liar and an idiot.
And how, from the reality that there is a difference in opinion on the topic of abortion, do you get to the idea that eugenics is widely practiced?
You need to come up with facts rather than politically motivated hate-fantasies.

Opinion? I like history better. Check out eugenicsarchive.org. Plenty of good reading out there. And let’s not forget the founder of the modern abortion movement, Sanger, whose goal it was to reduce minority populations. FF to today with Ruth Bader Ginsburg saying exactly the same thing. It is common, but it is also easily ignored by those who just do not want to talk about it.
Your side has Singer and Sanger. Not much more to say there. Unless, of course, you think a child of 6 mos or even older should still be subject to disposal.
It is we who love life. It is the progressives and their disciples (Mao, A.H., Stalin, Pol Pot, S. Hussein, Sanger) who proved to be the greatest of death merchants.

25. #25 The Christian Cynic
October 17, 2011

And let’s not forget the founder of the modern abortion movement, Sanger, whose goal it was to reduce minority populations.

Genetic fallacy.

FF to today with Ruth Bader Ginsburg saying exactly the same thing.

[citation needed]

It is the progressives and their disciples (Mao, A.H., Stalin, Pol Pot, S. Hussein, Sanger) who proved to be the greatest of death merchants.

Is this serious? Am I right in assuming that “A.H.” stands for Adolf Hitler? Because I can conclude two things from that: 1) you’re an idiot to think that Hitler was “progressive” in the sense of left-wing, and 2) you’re so dishonest that you can’t even spell out the name you imply. Maybe you’re trying to protect yourself with a little plausible deniability, but I don’t buy it.

It is we who love life.

Ah yes, those life-loving social conservatives who support imperialist wars (at least when their guy is president), the death penalty, and letting people without health insurance die.

26. #26 dean
October 17, 2011

Christian Cynic, cb was (I assume) referring to a 2009 interview Justice Ginsburg gave to the New York Times Magazine. This would be the relevant part:

Q: Are you talking about the distances women have to travel because in parts of the country, abortion is essentially unavailable, because there are so few doctors and clinics that do the procedure? And also, the lack of Medicaid for abortions for poor women?

JUSTICE GINSBURG: Yes, the ruling about that surprised me. [Harris v. McRae—in 1980 the court upheld the Hyde Amendment, which forbids the use of Medicaid for abortions.] Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion….

The extremists on the right went on about her “advocacy for eliminating the poor and minorities”, when it seems obvious she was talking about public opinion over Roe vs Wade at the time it was passed.

I’m pretty sure cb was serious when he wrote “It is we who love life.” His life probably is good enough to love. It’s the life he would inflict on others that would suck.

27. #27 Paul
October 17, 2011

9-9-9 wouldn’t be close. Excluding WWII & Obama’s spending (which many consider outrageously high) the Federal budget has averaged 20% of GDP, with a std dev of just 3%. (OMB web site).
Since 9-9-9 (personal income, corp income and cap gains) totals far less than the GDP, clearly the 9-9-9 would have to higher than 20-20-20, and then adjust upward for gaming the new system, to make up for the missing tax basis.
Cain also appears to be deliberately excluding the inheritance tax, without explanation–Currently that tax only applies after the first \$2MM, so it’s hard to understand why he’d ignore that revenue.

His plan is simple, but stupid.

28. #28 Paul
October 17, 2011

BTW, Including WWII and Obama, the average is just 21% GDP. SD doubles to 6% though, because we spent 40%+ GDP for 3 years in a row. Obama is projected to spend about 29% GDP this year. Not close to WWII spending, but it is what it is.

29. #29 gocart mozart
October 18, 2011

MC CRAZY BREAD “9-9-9 is a Joke”

Hit me
Going going gone
Now I proposed 999 a time ago
Don’t you see how now they’re reactin’
They only come and they come when I poll well
I’ll get the right sound bite to sell well
I don’t care ’cause I stay paid anyway

[click my name if you want the whole song]

30. #30 Rev.Enki
October 18, 2011

Lemme guess, he put the actual calculation, data he used, etc. in “supplemental data”.

31. #31 Collin Brendemuehl
October 19, 2011

dean, Ginsburg’s remark is not read so much for any apparent advocacy as it is for being a reiteration of.what we have clarified since the beginning.

Also, Hitler was as much a product of the post-enlightment thinkers as were Stalin and Mao — leftists who killed even more than he.

As to the supposed genetic fallacy, not so. The system has inherited her path, hence the targeting of minority for these services. You might read Kevin Klements “When is genetic reasoning not fallacious?”

Enjoy.

32. #32 dean
October 19, 2011

No colliin, you simply continue to lie about the point of that interview. When you’ve already decided you know what was meant (as you have), facts are no longer important (as you’ve demonstrated: you don’t care a whit about facts).

Your comment about the origins of hitler, mao, and stalin are so absurd I can’t really understand how anyone could believe them: it hints at a truly warped and dishonest take on history.

33. #33 Collin Brendemuehl
October 20, 2011

Dean,

Have you ever read a history book?

This whole era, beginning with (mostly) the late French Rationalists, gave us the “liberal” world we know today. The term and theme of “progress” has been there since long before the later “progressive era” that we might generally identify with W. Wilson.

Stalin & Mao were Marxist-Leninist. That’s easy. And what was their goal but the improvement of the human condition through the elimination of capitalism, Christianity, and their effects on society. Marx was quite specific.

Hitler stated specifically that he intended to correct what Marx got wrong. Add a little Nitzsche to that and you get trouble. Read his material. It’s all there.

wrt Ginsburg’s remark — I’m not changing the contextual meaning of her remarks. What I am doing is looking at the substance behind one of her points. That seems pretty simple. And it is consistent with the abortion movement. Another example that they provided requires that you look up the Nightline episode from the early 1990s where PP leaders where questioned about the relationship between Sanger and Hitler. Their response was clear: You take your friends where you can find them. They did not deny it, but actually acknowledged it in an attempt to minimize its meaning.

Two books that you might find valuable: Hurst, History of Rationalism. Russel Kirk, The Conservative Mind. Because ideas drive history.

34. #34 Peter
October 20, 2011

Being Liberal is bad therefore bad means liberal.

35. #35 dean
October 20, 2011

cb, i have, and clearly i have a much better understanding than you.

or perhaps it is simply your lack of honesty.

36. #36 dean
October 20, 2011

damn shakes.

hitler also stated he was doing god’s work – that is a simple summary, but it matches you depth of analysis.

and yes, you are incorrectly representing Justice Ginsburg’s comments – you are assuming there is a “culture of abortion” that is widely promoted and promulgated: that is not what she said, and it is not the situation today.

it seems the only thing driving your view of history is your bias.

37. #37 eric
October 20, 2011

Collin @34: wrt Ginsburg’s remark — I’m not changing the contextual meaning of her remarks. What I am doing is looking at the substance behind one of her points. That seems pretty simple.

You are changing it, quite dramatically. The substance IS pretty simple, just not what you represent. Ginsburg is saying the people who decided Roe probably had legal medicaid funding for abortion in mind. She is not saying anything about “reducing minority populations.” She’s not saying its a good idea, bad idea, goal of the pro-choice movement, not a goal of the pro-choice movement, or anything else.

How you can represent a statement that starts “Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern…” as saying “I personally think we should reduce minorities, muhahahaha,” and still call yourself an honest person, is beyond me.

38. #38 Collin Brendemuehl
October 20, 2011

Then, for the rest, let’s give a larger quote:

Q: If you were a lawyer again, what would you want to accomplish as a future feminist legal agenda?

JUSTICE GINSBURG: Reproductive choice has to be straightened out. There will never be a woman of means without choice anymore. That just seems to me so obvious. The states that had changed their abortion laws before Roe [to make abortion legal] are not going to change back. So we have a policy that affects only poor women, and it can never be otherwise, and I don’t know why this hasn’t been said more often.

Q: Are you talking about the distances women have to travel because in parts of the country, abortion is essentially unavailable, because there are so few doctors and clinics that do the procedure? And also, the lack of Medicaid for abortions for poor women?

JUSTICE GINSBURG: Yes, the ruling about that surprised me. [Harris v. McRae — in 1980 the court upheld the Hyde Amendment, which forbids the use of Medicaid for abortions.] Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion. Which some people felt would risk coercing women into having abortions when they didn’t really want them. But when the court decided McRae, the case came out the other way. And then I realized that my perception of it had been altogether wrong.

So you are saying that she did not have the perception that Roe was about minority populations? Even given the contextual discussion of feminism, the perception which she held remains a matter of her historical understanding.

I will allow that her “we don’t want” statement is a figurative one. But still it is difficult to suggest that there is *nobody* behind a “we” — it is the feminist movement and reproductive management that she is discussing here. That is eugenics.

She understands the scope of the issue. So do I. But not you.

39. #39 Michael the little boot
October 21, 2011

Read the quotation again, Colin. She’s saying the problem is reproductive rights for minority women haven’t been straightened out, and she thinks they should be. Don’t know why I’m responding. I guess I hope you’ll listen. Or read. You know, rather than throwing out context-mangling quotations and eyebrow-raising (not to mention badly outdated) words like “eugenics.” Want to have a conversation? Or do you just want to feel “correct”?

40. #40 dean
October 21, 2011

“She understands the scope of the issue. So do I. But not you”

No, you don’t understand, because you haven’t really tried. You seem to think that any discussion of reproductive rights equates to enforced elimination of minority groups. in short, you see eugenicists running everything that relates to women’s health, reproductive rights, with some evil “abortion movement” controlling everything. If there were any evidence you were at all concerned about women, or the poor, or minority groups in general, your deceptions and lies might be easier to explain. We don’t have that evidence , so it’s difficult to grasp the reason(s) for your foolish take on society and your willingness to distort/blatantly misrepresent history and Justice Ginsburg’s comments.
Your accusations and assertions have no more credibility than did Senator McCarthy’s in the early 1950s.

41. #41 G. cuvier
October 22, 2011

I am amazed that nobody has challenged Colin’s hilarious contention that Adolph Hitler was a “Post-Enlightenment” thinker. Perhaps if he would indulge me, could he explain which was the greater influence on Hitler; David Hume’s “An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding” or Martin Luther’s “On the Jews and Their Lies”?

42. #42 eric
October 24, 2011

So you are saying that she did not have the perception that Roe was about minority populations?

Hmm, well, two people answered you while I was gone, but for the record I agree with them; the full quote indicates Ginsberg thought Roe was decided against a backdrop of politics of class…not race. Her mention of “women of means” and walking to a clinic show that the issue was one of rich vs poor. And, as you acknowledge Collin, she is not agreeing that forced abortion of one subpopulation is a good thing, she is simply relating what she thinks some people at the time thought.

So, you completely misrepresented her by claiming she thought eugenics was a good thing when she clearly didn’t say anything of the sort – she’s merely describing what other people might have thought.

You also misrepresented her statement by claiming its about eugenics against minorities, when in fact its more a statement about class – i.e., that Roe was an attempt to give poor women a choice that rich women already had in practice, if not in law.

Now, if you want to backtrack and claim that when you said “minority populations” you were talking about poor people, then we can at least put aside that second error on your part. But that still leaves you misreperesnting her description of an historical position as her position.

And of course all of this discussion misses the larger howler on your part, which is your claim that progressives are death merchants with a goal of eugenics. How you arrived at that conclusion from a few cherry picked quotes is beyond me.

43. #43 Collin Brendemuehl
October 24, 2011

Where do I begin … ok …

“Eugenics” is hardly dead though some might consider the term outmoded. It is tough to find another suitable to describe the reduction of lower classes (whether racial or economic) which are considered inferior and thus unsuitable for reproduction.

Let’s not forget the corollary egg donation movement that asks, for reproductive purposes, the availability of eggs from young, intelligent, and attractive women — those deemed most suitable for reproduction. eggsploitation is what Jennifer Lahl calls it. Perhaps her video might be enlightening.

Of course Ginsburg things the issue of “reproductive rights” for these other classes need to be “straightened out”. But that is the problem. This “right” has resulted in the destruction of class (both economic and racial). As evidence, note that 40% of all abortions occur in the black population — only 13% of the US overall population. At that point it becomes tough to escape the clearly ambiguous distinction between class designation methods.
So am I wrong saying that it is about race rather than economics? All one has to do is to look at the movement so that Ginsburg’s statement has its fuller context. Not just the context of east coast liberal elitist feminists.

G.,
Let’s not over simplify things. We cannot ask either that or whether there is some overarching specific which in and of itself is necessary and sufficient. What the whole nation of Germany faced was the results of its Rationalism. History has shown us that Reason is adequate, and that was recently acknowledge by a German politician at the anniversary of the Berlin Wall raising. Reason is not an adequate source for Rights. Nor is it adequate for Truth. But Reason (Rationalism) moved by Hegelian ideals led the nation to dismiss church/religious moral authority. When Hitler declared that the state would take care of the soul of the nation, that was the point where the state became the State. And that is hardly reflective of Luther. Just ask Bonhoeffer.

44. #44 Wow
October 25, 2011

“those deemed most suitable for reproduction”

So you’ll shag any old bag, Col?

You see if you don’t, then you’re selecting those most suitable for reproduction.

And women do so too.

I’ll call it “Spermsploitation”.

45. #45 eric
October 25, 2011

Collin: This “right” has resulted in the destruction of class (both economic and racial). As evidence, note that 40% of all abortions occur in the black population — only 13% of the US overall population.

Destruction – I do not think it means what you think it means. Are you saying there are no black people any more?

The % of abortions in a subgroup is a terrible indicator of relative population growth. In your head it might seem reasonable to start with “40% of abortions…” and conclude “black population undergoing destruction.” But in reality the two don’t correlate at all. In fact, demographic projections for the next several decades say that you have it completely backwards: the US percent of whites is expected to decrease, while hispanics and blacks are expected to increase. See for example web.mit.edu/cortiz/www/Diversity/ChangingUSDemographics.pdf. In our era, providing birth control opportunities to poor women has correlated with a relative decrease in births among the wealthy. (The two are probably not causally related at all – its a coincidence, nothing more. But the point is, you are completely, factually wrong in your logic.)

Now, some or many progressives probably want people currently on the low income part of the spectrum (including blacks, whites, greens, purples, whatevers) to earn comparatively more. This would have the result of reducing the number of poor people in our society – a “destruction” of poverty NOT through extermination of poor people via reduced birth rates, but through increasing their prosperity. I find it hard to believe that anyone could be against that.

46. #46 eric
October 25, 2011

Continuing…

So am I wrong saying that it is about race rather than economics?

It appears from the quote to be about economics for Ginsberg. Its about economics for me. The only one here who keeps implying that “poor” means “black” is you.

47. #47 Webmaster
October 25, 2011

I also wish he would publish more. His website is simply an outline. But hey, it’s a better plan for money management than buying guns and giving the to Mex. drug lords so they can kill US citizens.

48. #48 Anton Mates
October 25, 2011

As evidence, note that 40% of all abortions occur in the black population — only 13% of the US overall population. At that point it becomes tough to escape the clearly ambiguous distinction between class designation methods.

My last response on this fell into the mod filter due to a link, so: In the US, the relatively high abortion rate among black and Hispanic women reflects a comparably high unintended pregnancy rate. Which in turn reflects a lower rate of contraceptive use (even after controlling for income).

Black women aren’t having abortions because they’ve fallen prey to some evil eugenics scheme. They’re having abortions because, like white women, they want to have children only when they choose to do so. Abortion and contraception are two methods by which women control their own fertility; less contraception means more abortions.

49. #49 dean
October 25, 2011

” Abortion and contraception are two methods by which women control their own fertility; less contraception means more abortions.”
True. Of course, folks like cb want both completely eliminated, which will benefit nobody. But then he’s already demonstrated a total indifference to facts. (Plan on him pulling out the “but most planned parenthood sites are in poor/black neighborhoods” foolishness next.)

50. #50 Collin Brendemuehl
October 26, 2011

Eric,
Not me along. To both Sanger and PP, those poor people coming into this country were both ethnically inferior and economically a burden. The categorization was inseparable, hence her assistance with the program in Germany.
And I said destruction, not elimination. Take away a high percentage of a population’s children and you reduce its presence significantly. Is that not destructive?

Anton,
You express a popular naive opinion. But it is still beneficial for the pro-life, non-Progressive position. First, what is “unwanted” and second, are human beings to be defined out of existence because economics is more important than life?
Back in the 80s, the ads rang out “every child a wanted child” and the promise of reduced poverty and reduced child abuse were clearly stated. But both have proven false. Will that stop progressive materialism from exercising control? Being wrong hasn’t stopped the progressive so far.
And your presumption on motive shows your lack of integrity.
When it comes to PP site locations, let’s took more at their target audience instead of their facilities. For instance, start with Google Maps. Find a city. I chose where I live — the metro of Columbus OH. Then add Planned Parenthood to the search. Four locations are identified. One is near OSU. (All those poooor college girls.) The other three span the largely black center band of the city.
Next, add “abortion services” to the search and you get some other interesting results. Of the 8 results identified, 3 identify pro-life centers. The remaining 5 look to be abortion facilities. There are others in this search which were not identified with a red flag and I know of one abortion center on Cleveland Ave which was not marked at all. There is none identified in Dublin or New Albany.
Check the demographics of your city. You may find the economic/racial mix quite telling. Let the evidence speak.

51. #51 eric
October 26, 2011

And I said destruction, not elimination. Take away a high percentage of a population’s children and you reduce its presence significantly. Is that not destructive?

Collin, the poor and minority populations which you claim are being “destroyed” by access to abortion and other family planning services are actually increasing in both absolute and per capita terms. It’s as simple as that.

If you want to call that increase “destruction,” be my guest Humpty Dumpty.

52. #52 Dan L.
October 26, 2011

Collin, what is your freaking problem?

Why can’t you just accept that there is no secret atheist liberal conspiracy to reinstate the Soviet Union? Why do you always assume everyone who comments here is acting in bad faith? Why all the comparisons to Hitler and Stalin? Do you seriously think we’re all just biding our time until we can start the purges? (Also, can’t you come up with anything original? You’re not exactly the only one pushing this tired “atheists are just like STALING!!!11!!!” bullshit.)

What’s wrong with people having different political opinions than your own and blogging about them?

BTW, Cain’s plan is seriously regressive. It taxes the four lower quintiles MORE than they currently are, the top quintile less, and the top 0.5 percent make off like bandits, and substantially decreases total revenue. There’s plenty of rigorous analyses online that confirm this.

53. #53 eric
October 26, 2011

BTW, Cain’s plan is seriously regressive.

I’m pretty sure most everyone with a brain knows that by now. The political question is whether regressiveness is a feature or a bug. Folks like CB are on the ‘feature’ side.

Or at least hold the belief that whether it is regressive in practice or not is trumped by some other factor, such as simplicity or some other principle.

54. #54 Dan L.
October 26, 2011

@eric:

Yes, but if he disagrees with progressive taxation I’m prepared to argue at length why it is desirable.

Then again, I’m giving Collin entirely too much credit considering his entrance into the thread:

Seeing the whole plan would make more sense than just posting a left-leaning, substance-free critique. Cain does not go into a lot of detail on his split taxation approach — a combination of (1) low flat income tax and (2) low flat sales tax. Anyone here really think that our news-tainment people could actually report it accurately? Or that Jason would give it anything other than a Soros-esque treatment?

Notice how he instantly leaps to the conclusion that Jason is against the Cain plan only because Jason is a political liberal (and therefore just like George Soros?). It can’t possibly be because Jason honestly and legitimately disagrees with the plan. It’s the same thing as Collin’s obsession with atheism being equivalent to Soviet communism: if you disagree with Collin it is because you have some hidden agenda. If everyone was being honest we’d just admit to being part of some secular/leftist conspiracy, right?

Note how he doesn’t even address the argument being made in the OP. How about it Collin? Care to explain how regression analysis would have been relevant to creating Cain’s plan?

55. #55 Anton Mates
October 26, 2011

And I said destruction, not elimination. Take away a high percentage of a population’s children and you reduce its presence significantly. Is that not destructive?

The US black population is growing, Collin. It’s growing faster than the non-Hispanic white population. Its share of the total population is increasing. There is no way in which you can meaningfully say that its presence has been reduced, let alone that it’s been “destroyed.”

(Not that it would be sensible to refer to a population with a low birthrate as having suffered “destruction” anyway. The populations of Greece and Hungary are currently falling, but if you claimed that either country had been destroyed, people would doubt your sanity.)

First, what is “unwanted”

An unintended pregnancy is one which was against the woman’s wishes at the time it began, either because she didn’t want to get pregnant at any time in the present or future, or because she wanted to put it off until later in her life. Unintended pregnancy rates are calculated from interviews and surveys such as the National Survey of Family Growth. It’s amazing what you can learn about the goals and reasoning of women by actually talking to them!

and second, are human beings to be defined out of existence because economics is more important than life?

What does this have to do with anything? Are you saying that black women have more unwanted pregnancies because they’re so greedy?

Back in the 80s, the ads rang out “every child a wanted child” and the promise of reduced poverty and reduced child abuse were clearly stated. But both have proven false.

This is another total non sequitur, so it’s rather amusing that it’s also wrong on multiple levels. The “Every child a wanted child” slogan was coined in the 20’s, not the 80’s. And multiple studies have found an association between legalized abortion and decreased child abuse and poverty, though I wouldn’t say that the causal relationship has been 100% proven yet. (See Gruber, Levine and Staiger, 1999, “Abortion Legalization and Child Living Circumstances: Who is The ‘Marginal Child’?”; or Bitler and Zavodny, 2004, “Child Maltreatment, Abortion Availability, and Economic Conditions”; or Sorenson, Wiebe and Berk, 2003, “Legalized Abortion and the Homicide of Young Children: An Empirical Investigation.”

And your presumption on motive shows your lack of integrity.

Ah, yes. The man of integrity wouldn’t go around trying to understand women’s motives by doing silly things like asking them. He’d take the high road and simply tell them what their motives must be.

I chose where I live — the metro of Columbus OH. Then add Planned Parenthood to the search.

Four locations are identified. One is near OSU. (All those poooor college girls.)

Why, that’s odd. I thought you said that the feminist abortionist eugenicists wanted to increase the reproductive output of “young, intelligent, and attractive women.” Yet here they are helping college students avoid unplanned pregnancies! Seems a bit backwards.

I’ve been to that Planned Parenthood, by the way. It contributes hugely to the reproductive health of the young women at OSU. I mean, I’m sure they benefit far more from your mockery of them–nothing builds character like open contempt!–but still.

The other three span the largely black center band of the city.

What do you know, dean can foretell the future!

56. #56 dean
October 26, 2011

notice that cb refers to things as “pro life” and “abortion centers”? dishonesty doesn’t get much more blatant.

anton, it’s not telling the future – folks like him continue to press the “planned parenthood is overly represented in poor and minority neighborhoods” despite evidence that it isn’t true. he also ignores the fact that abortion is a small part of what planned parenthood does.

it’s no surprise by now that he’s not working with any sense of honest discussion.

57. #57 NJ
October 26, 2011

Dan L. @ 53:

Why do you always assume everyone who comments here is acting in bad faith?

He knows that he is acting in bad faith, so he projects that onto those who disagree with him. Standard creationist tactic.

This has been another edition of simple answers to easy questions…

58. #58 Dave M
October 26, 2011

G. Cuvier: While Collin is clearly using the concept here as a club, rather than for good, I do think that there is a certain sense in which Hitler’s quasi-mystical nationalism does reach back to “post-enlightenment” thinkers. (Of course he most likely gets them as badly wrong as he does Nietzsche.)

I refer to German Romantics such as Hölderlin and Novalis, influences also on Heidegger (who was also clearly a Nazi, even if Hitler was not a Heideggerian). In this context “post-enlightenment” means not only “after/influenced by the Enlightenment” but also “reacting to/against the Enlightenment”, and indeed in the Romantics we see a definite skepticism of the power of unaided reason. Traditionally we associate “romanticism” with mystical woo, and there is a bit of that in there (not as much as in Hitler, but he’s not *simply* making it up), but nowadays the Romantics are taken much more seriously as philosophers (see Frederick Beiser’s work for example, or Richard Eldridge).

Sorry, I’ve just been reading about these guys, and I wanted to plug that stuff. Not that it really helps Collin, who is clearly at sea here. But in a way Hume is indeed relevant, in that Hume awakens Kant, the quintessential Enlightenment philosopher, from his “dogmatic slumbers,” and everything in Germany for the next 50 years (including the Romantics) is “post-Kantian”. So, “post-Enlightenment.”

/pedantry

59. #59 Anton Mates
October 27, 2011

dean,

it’s not telling the future – folks like him continue to press the “planned parenthood is overly represented in poor and minority neighborhoods” despite evidence that it isn’t true.

Oh, I know. I just thought it was hilarious that he went ahead and did this even after you predicted it.

Of course, it would hardly be a bad thing even if Planned Parenthood was targeting abortion services to poor and minority neighborhoods. Poor and minority women have more unintended pregnancies–again, they themselves report this, if you bother to ask them–and less access to health care. We should be directing additional services to those women; god knows they get less than they deserve in every other area of health care.

he also ignores the fact that abortion is a small part of what planned parenthood does.

Yep. Ohio’s Planned Parenthood does a lot of abstinence education, actually, along with all the Pap smears and STD testing and whatnot.

60. #60 Wow
October 27, 2011

It’s also odd that to make planned parenthood euthanistic it would have to be going round and making minorities go to the abortion clinic.

As far as it’s possible to ascertain, these people are coming to the clinics, not being rounded up and herded into them.

61. #61 Dan L.
October 27, 2011

@NJ:

Good answer. I think that takes care of the rest of my questions as well.

62. #62 Anton Mates
October 27, 2011

As far as it’s possible to ascertain, these people are coming to the clinics, not being rounded up and herded into them.

But don’t you see? Providing minority women with a service that they’re actively seeking out is racist! Instead, PP should place all the clinics far, far away from where they live, so that they won’t be tempted to exercise the rights that they’re obviously not competent to enjoy. It’s for their own good, poor things.

63. #63 dean
October 27, 2011

” Instead, PP should place all the clinics far, far away from where they live, so that they won’t be tempted to exercise the rights that they’re obviously not competent to enjoy. It’s for their own good, poor things.”

Actually, cb is probably in the “close down all those places so no woman can have an abortion or any access to health services or birth control, cause wanting those things is a post-enlightenment affliction and is ruining civilization.”

64. #64 bsk
October 30, 2011

Cain doesn’t get the meaning of regression analysis wrong.

Being wrong requires coherence first. This is just word salad.

65. #65 Geri
November 2, 2011

Fantastic post I very much enjoyed it, keep up the good work.

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