Category Archives: Economics

The “March For Science”

Derek Lowe explains why he won’t be marching. I agree.

[Update a while later]

Arthur Lambert isn’t attending either:

…there’s no denying this march is political. It is a mistake to position the scientific method against the Trump administration or any other one, for that matter. That would serve only to undermine a central premise of the march: that scientific knowledge is apolitical. Organizers argue that the march is “nonpartisan.” While this may be the official line, I’m skeptical of whether anything approaching it can actually be achieved, especially on the heels of a divisive election. For example, I recently spoke with a colleague who was organizing a poster-making session for the march. She proudly described her design as an “I’m With Her” arrow pointing toward planet Earth.

I was also “with her” last November, but that should be beside the point. I fear that, contrary to its mission of inclusion, the march may actually alienate many of those it seeks to convince. Scientists are highly educated, the academic version of the 1 percent Wall Street class. They are also overwhelming Democratic. I can assure you that this has little to no impact on their science or for the potential public impact of their findings. But it would not be unreasonable for a rural blue-collar worker, watching the marches from afar, to perceive them as yet another attack from the condescending elite. We cannot drum up the broad support for science that the march seeks by aggravating a deep divide already present in this country.

Want more Trump? This is how you get more Trump.

[Update a while later]

Bill Nye is the perfect talking head for a march against science:

March organizers have paid lip service to critical thinking and “diverse perspectives” in science. However, Nye is a good example of someone who promotes science as a close-minded ideology, not an open search for truth.

He attacks those who disagree with him on climate change or evolution as science “deniers.” He wouldn’t even rule out criminal prosecution as a tool. Asked last year whether he supported efforts to jail climate skeptics as war criminals, he replied: “Well, we’ll see what happens. Was it appropriate to jail the guys from ENRON?”

Real science encourages debate. It doesn’t insist that scientists march in lockstep. Or that they speak with one voice. In fact, scientists disagree on far more issues than the March organizers admit.

Bill Nye the lock-up-the-heretics guy.

[Update mid morning]

Bob Zimmerman says that the march against science is a Democrat Party operation.

[Update a while later]

“I love Neil de Grasse Tyson, but he’s wrong on climate.”

I don’t find him all that lovable, myself.

[Sunday evening update]

Judith Curry has a lot of links to “untangle the March for Science.”

[Bumped]

[Monday-morning update]

Bill Nye the Constitutional-Ignorance Guy.

[Update a while later]

Nye freaks out when schooled by an actual scientist on CNN. Just like his meltdown with Tucker Carlson.

The Trump Voters

They want respect, and here’s how to give it to them:

…trade and immigration haven’t been so costless for everyone. Those things provide the most benefit to cosmopolitan people who enjoy global travel (and have the means — professional or personal — to do a lot of it), who can hire nannies and landscapers to do work that other people have to do themselves, who have a taste for strange foreign foods, who are not directly competing with immigrants for jobs, because their jobs tend to be highly language-intensive, or rely on U.S.-specific social capital, in a way that’s hard to outsource. Immigration and trade have been worse for people who compete with immigrants, or tradeable goods and services, and who value a particular community and place over novelty.

Elites, then, tend to give themselves too much moral credit for their position, overlooking the fact that it is always easier to be in favor of enhancing the welfare of others if those enhancements do not cost you anything. But I think that’s not the only thing they overlook.

For one thing, they often seem oblivious to the fact that people care more about their role as workers than they do as consumers. If you go from having a relatively high status and secure job to lower status, lower-paid, and less secure work, the psychological stress of worrying about your future and feeling that you have lost ground may not exceed the psychological benefits of cheaper stuff.

Want to get more Trump? That’s how you get more Trump.