Monday, October 05, 2015

Leftist irrationality

Conservatives are well-used to Leftist irrationality.  If you present a Leftist with some fact that undermines one of his claims, you will get not cool reflection or rational debate but rather rage, abuse and avoidance.  In a face to face situation, the Leftist will actually walk away from you.  So it is clear that, with Leftists, we are dealing with emotions not reason.  They can write whole articles about (say) socialism without for one moment considering the facts about the practical impacts of socialism.

And those of us who can remember it remain quite astounded at the ecstasy among Leftists when Obama won his first Presidential election.  Winning an election is cause for celebration for anyone but the Left really seemed to lose all touch with reality. They really seemed to believe  that Obama's win signalled the time when "the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal".  Not since King Canute has such a claim been made in politics and even Canute was more level-headed than that. Commentators spoke of "Obamania" and the "Obamessiah".

So we don't really need anyone to tell us that the Left are more emotional than conservatives but it is nice to see it confirmed in a careful set of psychological experiments and surveys.  The abstract below:

Are Leftists More Emotion-Driven Than Rightists? The Interactive Influence of Ideology and Emotions on Support for Policies

By Ruthie Pliskin et al.


Although emotions and ideology are important factors guiding policy support in conflict, their interactive influence remains unclear. Based on prior findings that ideological leftists’ beliefs are more susceptible to change than rightists’ beliefs, we tested a somewhat counterintuitive extension that leftists would be more susceptible to influence by their emotional reactions than rightists. In three laboratory studies, inducing positive and negative emotions affected Jewish–Israeli leftists’, but not rightists’, support for conciliatory policies toward an adversarial (Studies 1 and 3) and a non-adversarial (Study 2) outgroup. Three additional field studies showed that positive and negative emotions were related to leftists’, but not rightists’, policy support in positive as well as highly negative conflict-related contexts, among both Jewish (Studies 4 and 5) and Palestinian (Study 6) citizens of Israel. Across different conflicts, emotions, conflict-related contexts, and even populations, leftists’ policy support changed in accordance with emotional reactions more than rightists’ policy support.


A more detailed summary HERE

The authors looked at emotion generally but I have always argued that anger/rage/hate is the dominant emotion among Leftists.  The authors above added in anger to their study more or less as an afterthought but did find that anger was a particularly powerful motivator among Leftists.


California Labor Union That Fought for $15 Minimum Wage Now Wants an Exemption

The labor union that led the charge for a $15 minimum wage hike in cities across California is now moving to secure an exemption for employers under union contracts.

The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor buried the exemption on the eighth page of its 12-page proposal for the Santa Monica City Council to review Tuesday while deciding whether to follow Los Angeles and increase the minimum wage.

The loophole would allow employers with collective bargaining agreements to sidestep the wage hike and pay their union members below the proposed $15-per-hour minimum wage.

James Sherk, a research fellow in labor economics at The Heritage Foundation, said the exemption is a union attempt to encourage businesses to unionize by making themselves the only low-wage option as union membership continues to drop off.

“This proposal would force any worker in Santa Monica whose labor is worth less than $15 an hour to purchase union representation in order to hold a job,” Sherk said. “Unions should not be able to selectively exempt themselves from the harmful consequences of the minimum wage hikes they lobby for.”

The move in Santa Monica is not the federation of labor’s first attempt to compound a collective bargaining exemption into a minimum wage increase.

The federation received an outpouring of criticism when it attempted to push the same carve-out for unionized employers after Los Angeles decided to increase its minimum wage from $9 to $15.

“This is hypocrisy at its worst,” the Los Angeles Times wrote in a blistering editorial. “It plays into the cynical view that the federation is more interested in unionizing companies and boosting its rolls of dues-paying members than in helping poor workers.”

Rusty Hicks, the head of the federation, released a statement in May saying that businesses and employees under collective bargaining agreements should have the ability to negotiate a wage below the law’s mandated minimum in exchange for other benefits.

“This provision gives the parties the option, the freedom, to negotiate that agreement. And that is a good thing,” Hicks said.

Hicks told the Los Angeles City Council to thwart the measure’s passage unless the exemption was included, but he ultimately lost the battle after receiving significant backlash for the request.

In Santa Monica, where council members ordered a rewrite of the minimum wage proposal Tuesday night, the exemption stirred no controversy among members. Council members told a local paper the exemption would remain in the final minimum wage proposal.



Labor unions awarded millions from federal agencies

Under President Obama, federal agencies are doling out tens of millions of dollars to one of the Democratic Party’s most essential constituencies: big labor.

The grants range from safety training to union membership recruitment to whipping up support for the president’s signature program called Obamacare, a Washington Times review of federal contracting records shows.

Last week, for example, the Department of Energy awarded a $900,000-plus grant for the development of a safety regimen for workers facing hazardous duties in energy and waste jobs. It didn’t go to a safety firm or training school but rather to a labor union: Akron International Chemical Workers Union. And the local Democratic congressman in Ohio got to score some political points with his blue-collar constituents by announcing it.

“It’s clearly an insight into how this president and his administration have used taxpayer funds to accomplish political purposes,” said Rick Manning, president of Americans for Limited Government. “Congress needs to look at this, and dig out these grants specifically given to unions and eliminate them.”

(Corrected paragraph:) In President George W. Bush’s tenure, the federal government awarded about $29 million in grants to two of the largest groups representing big labor, the AFL-CIO and SEIU. In contrast, Mr. Obama has thus far awarded at least $53 million to these two groups — 83 percent more than Mr. Bush’s entire tenure.

“I’m utterly unsurprised federal grant-making to unions has increased under Obama. This administration has a way of rewarding their friends and harming their enemies,” said Doug Holtz-Eakin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office and now president of the American Action Forum, a center-right policy institute.

Two years ago, the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO was awarded $593,956 by the Department of Heath and Human Services to go door to door and use social media to recruit low-income Latinos to sign up for the president’s signature health care law. The local San Jose chapter of the SEIU was given $1 million to do the same thing but to focus on uninsured Asians and Pacific Islanders within their union. Its Los Angeles branch was given $500,000 to target multiracial populations speaking Tagalog, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Japanese, Laotian, Cambodian, Hmong and Vietnamese.

Last year the Illinois affiliate of the AFL-CIO was awarded $400,000 for outreach to “promote best practices in response to plant closings and mass layoffs” within the state by the Department of Labor. And, since 2011, the Idaho affiliate has been given more than $300,000 to monitor pending or actual closures of plants and potential affected employees and “assist in the collection of information regarding specific groups of dislocated workers.”

Mr. Manning said grants given to unions to bolster Obamacare enrollment or to further recruitment in their own ranks should be first on the list.

“Some of these grants are just so obviously political — this administration has utilized that capacity to its fullest,” he said.

Mr. Obama, who is ideologically in line with collective bargaining and big labor ideals, has used his tenure to appoint like-minded individuals to the Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board, among other federal agency posts, who in turn use their positions to give grants and push pro-labor initiatives.

“The biggest single thing the president has done is make labor-friendly appointments to the National Labor Relations Board and various positions within the Department of Labor,” said Ruth Milkman, a City University of New York sociologist specializing in labor issues. “The president has revived a long historical tradition of appointing people to these positions who are supportive of labor relations. Under Reagan and Bush, there were people who didn’t believe in collective bargaining in those positions, which made it difficult to pass initiatives that benefit ordinary workers.”

Mr. Holtz-Eakin agrees the biggest change benefiting labor has been through presidential appointments. Mr. Obama has pushed the NLRB so far left, negotiations are now made at “the five-yard line,” Mr. Holtz-Eakin said.

Most recently the NLRB ruled a contractor can be liable for the labor violations of a subcontractor, reversing decades of precedent at the board and infuriating free market conservatives and business.

In addition to making pro-labor appointments within the federal government, Mr. Obama has used executive actions to push union-supported positions, such as making more salaried workers eligible for overtime pay, requiring federal contractors to provide paid leave and using project labor agreements — which gives unions monopoly bargaining power for all workers, not just unionized ones — for federal construction projects.



Jindal calls for return to Judeo-Christian heritage

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal opened his Believe Again town hall meeting with a prayer for the victims of the shooting at an Oregon community college and a Manchester school bus rollover.

“Today is a pretty tough day if you’ve been watching the news,” he told about 80 people at the Shores Event Center in northeast Cedar Rapids Thursday.

“We pray for the comfort, the peace only you can bring … and heal broken hearts,” Jindal, head bowed, implored.

That seemed to set the tone for his hourlong remarks and question-and-answer session that ranged from his anger with “surrender Republicans” who won’t seize the opportunity to defund Planned Parenthood to the need to return to the Judeo-Christian heritage of the United States.

Jindal, the 44-year-old second-term governor, is angrier with Republicans, who control both chambers of Congress, than he is with Democrats, who, he said, are honest about their intentions to move the nation to the left and expand the role of government.

“At least Bernie Sanders calls himself a socialist,” he said. “We’ve got conservative who will say one thing when they are running for office and they do another when we actually elect them.

“So our choice in Washington is you’ve got honest socialists or lying conservatives. That’s a heck of a choice,” he said to chuckles.

Jindal called America an “inherently Judeo-Christian nation” where “government didn’t create our rights. Government rather secures our God-given rights.”

He went on to say that part of the Judeo-Christian heritage is “we don’t discriminate against anyone.” America can be a diverse society and defend religious liberty, he said.

Jindal is toiling in the low single digits in polls, but has high favorability rating among Iowa Republicans. His net favorability rating is double Donald Trump’s and puts him in fourth place behind Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina and Marco Rubio. He’s well-positioned for a “moment,” as one campaign aide put it.


There is a  new  lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc.


For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


No comments: