DannyBee on March 23, [—]. This is not surprising, but sad.
Years ago, i was dragged i was the only engineer in the local office into a whitehouse or maybe it was state department, i can't remember sponsored working group on online sex trafficking. The non-profits dedicated to fighting this, while seemingly well-intentioned, were completely and totally unwilling to see any other perspective or try to find shared ground. It was scorched earth approach or nothing. Literally to the tune of "we should be burning down craigslist entirely, and yahoo, google, microsoft, etc should be required to be scanning your search history and reporting you to the police if they suspect you might be sex trafficking".
It was frustrating enough that two of the other participants literally walked out.
SeeDave on March 23, parent next [—]. In defense of the "scorched earth approach or nothing" folks: from my perspective If you've ever felt frustrated at an IVR system for routine tasks such as banking, restaurant reservations, canceling a gym membership, checking a gift card balance, etc. That said, I really wish that I could come forward with a solution to the online sex trafficking problem.
Great, like the trade is going to suddenly end. All they've achieved is 'out of sight, out of mind.
Life is too short to make excuses for stupid behavior. I've been thinking about this a lot this morning. I think almost every vice would be less damaging to society if it was in the open.
Polite society doesn't want to see sex work or drugs, but they still exist. Hiding them makes things much worse for the people directly involved. It's trafficked kids with broken immigration status who are more scared of the cops than their captors. It's drug addicts who OD on tainted drugs.
Bring it all into the open. Have the government certify providers directly.
Crack down on unauthorized middlemen. Tax it.
Use the taxes to pay for programs that help people leave when they realize they can have a better life without it. We need the classic American Market here: free trade enabled by regulation that ensures market quality and protects participants from fraud.
Unfortunately I don't think this is politically possible. It would take a long, well funded campaign. The people who are willing to do that kind of work are motivated by stories of individual tragedy and focus on draconian solutions like this mess of a law. I've been thinking about this peripherally for a while, especially the bigger picture when some law is passed, and it seems exceptionally out of touch with the reality, and does more harm than good.
A depressing thought: What if we apply something akin to Occam's Razor? What if the lawmakers want to hurt the people struggling at at the lower rungs of society? To me it feels unlikely it is intentional in most cases, or conscious, but what if on some level, there is a motivation to hurt these people who they feel are inferior? You can easily apply Hanlon's razor here as a counter-argument, but that's not what I'm saying. I'm not attributing malice to any individual actor, but to something more subtle, e.
Maybe subconsciously, there's a force that's trying to destroy people who are for whatever reason unable thrive in society? I guess maybe this force IS society?
Apologies if this is a bit vague and short. I just wanted to share this thought in case it resonated with anyone else.
I'll be happy to expand upon this thought if there's interest. DoreenMichele on March 23, root parent next [—]. There can be malice, but I think this is mostly akin to the idea of "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity" only substitute ignorance for stupidity.
When I was homeless, I certainly ran into malicious behavior rooted in classism, mostly on a particular forum not HN. But mostly I ran into people who just couldn't really comprehend my situation, so they didn't really know how to be effectively helpful. This can easily turn into a case of "The road to hell is paved with good intentions. The history of the "war on drugs" is fraught with racism, there's no need to assume malice - it's quite well documented. Crusades against other vices like prostitution and alcohol have often had religious or other motivations of "purity" behind them, the same thing with nicotine.
One could argue excessive alcohol consumption and smoking are of course genuine public health issues as well, but while the anti-smoking movement started with mostly good intentions you can see the "dirty smoker" sentiment that's developed when raising taxes on tobacco products has been a decent way to generate tax revenue in a way that mostly targets the poor without raising suspicion or ire from the public.
The road to hell is indeed paved with good intentions, but often those good intentions are extremely thin veils over supposed moral superiority. I think high gasoline taxes would, on balance, benefit society. It would at the same time disproportionately affect the working and commuting poor. Besides Hal Draper, what authors would you recommend to further explore this thought?
I have been reading "Strategy: A History" by Lawrence Freedman, and reading the papers and books mentioned in the bibliography as I go. Take a look at anarcho-capitalism and Murray Rothbard. You can find many works of his on mises.
Reason and Liberty by Shayne Wissler. It can be downloaded for free online. Thanks everyone, I'll do some reading! Maybe I'll even follow up in a month or so.
No promises. Replying at the end of the thread because I think that makes the most sense. It's even worse than that: politicians created over-reaching laws and enforcement, to demographically target political opponents and take away their right to vote. You understand what I'm saying?
We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.
This is a very powerful quote. It is too bad that it was first published 12 years after Erlichman told it to Baum and after Erlichman died. It sure fits with what I think Nixon was capable of, but I wonder how embellished the actual quote given by Baum so many years after Ehrlichman said it. Would have been nice to have Ehrlichman confirm it but he was already dead when this quote was published. DataWorker on March 24, root parent prev [—].
NotSammyHagar on March 23, root parent prev next [—]. I would believe that lots of politicians do want to hurt people at the lower rungs. This is also an explanation of why there is so much opposition to welfare - I want to help 'good people' who lost their jobs and need help, but not those losers who just live forever on welfare and are in "some group I don't like".
Same argument will be used against UBI. It's very compelling for a lot of people. Malice is one possibility, but I think indifference is more likely.
Such people are the ants about their feet; they aren't usually going out of their way to step on them, but they are also not particularly troubled if they do. They don't understand how it works, and because they don't understand they feel superior, so they make decisions on behalf of the lower classes with the intent of nobly showing the masses the way while serving their own interests. There's also a lot of superior moralizing etc.
Declanomous on March 24, root parent next [—]. There's an interesting theory, which I can't recall the name of, that says that poor people understand the rich because they can empathize with them, but it takes too much energy for the rich to empathize with the poor because there are so many of them and their burden is overwhelming. So the rich don't understand the poor but the poor understand the rich, which explains why we have the laws we have. It seems more likely that the lower classes can easily empathize with the rich because they want to be the rich, while the converse is not normally true.
It would be interesting if you could explain this a little better, or find the source. Sounds a little vague but I'd like to know more.
Declanomous on March 25, root parent [—]. I'm not a sociologist, so I won't try to explain it, but that should give you a start. I can't find the article that used my exact explanation, but the rich are consistently shown to be worse at empathizing with others. My friend middle class dated a daughter of Staples founder. This was his takeaway too: while her father sort of understood ordinary people, the daughter already did not.
I think this insightful, and I suggest there is a motivation to hurt other people in general - but it's only feasible to do so when those others are relatively powerless. Hence the targeting of the defenseless. This is not a popular opinion in the modern age, as it's become dogma that "all men are brothers".
However from an evolutionary perspective, a tendency to get pleasure from causing pain sadism is a vital component in the kind of psychological makeup which thrives in a Darwinian world. We shouldn't justify this tendency but recognize it and learn to work around it perhaps by playing contact sports, for example.
Follow the money. Either the hurt being inflicted on the helpless le to more votes or business opportunities for cronies.