12 Comments

Yascha doesn't believe in the Left explanation on all issues ((of course), but he is too hesitant while pushing back on the Left's version when he is interviewing anyone from the Left; I think this makes the interviews less interesting. This is not the case with Andrew Sullivan. He interviews left wing speakers and then he goes after them (in a civil way, of course) and they go after him and the debate is more robust and brings out the assumptions of each side.

Apart from the factual inaccuracy that is pointed out below, Prof. Sharkey believes that the problem of violent crime (and perhaps all social problems) can be solved by the government giving gargantuan sums of money to NGO's and other left-wing interest groups. Evidence? Never mind.

Expand full comment

"The reaction of 'Okay, let’s dismantle police departments' is entirely justified based on what people saw during the pandemic [and] during the protests, and over the past five years when police killings haven’t fallen at all."

Nonsense. You completely lost me there. We've seen an organized campaign to delegitimize policing by ideologues who cherry picking a small number of incidents in a country of 330 million. Not anything to support the ludicrous idea of abolishing the police, which no other modern society has ever even considered.

Expand full comment

Patrick Sharkey has a great idea to "invest in the communities". Could he please elaborate on how to do this at scale? Money is not the only obstacle. My understanding is that there's the greater problem replicating at scale even the best "proven" interventions. Interventions work great when implemented by their original authors, but to scale, you need to bring in people who do it for pay, not as a life calling, and then even the best ideas fail.

Expand full comment

Why do so many "progressives" seem to have a problem imagining solutions to social problems that do not involve using violence to extract resources from citizens and distributing those resources to government selected institutions? The financial resources that "progressives" collectively have themselves could be put voluntarily toward solving the problems they express so much comcern about, but they don't. If "progressives" want after school programs in Detroit more readily available, what is stopping them from pooling their resources voluntarily and implementing them? There isn't a lack of government funding problem; there is a lack of community funding problem. Particularly, the communities that claim to care so much about particular problems, like "progressives", do not voluntarily fund solutions to problems they say they care about.

Personally I think there would certainly be a lot more good that came from the government funding after school programs than purchasing billions of overpriced military equipment that won't be used, or used unjustly, but we are already over 20 trillion in debt and the government shouldn't be taxing people except for what is required to fund the most essential aspects of government, which after school programs, or foreign aid, or farm subsidies, are not. Everything else is plunder. It doesn't matter if it is plunder with good intentions. It doesn't matter if I take my neighbor's property, sell it, and give the money to a charity; that would be theft and immoral. If political factions do it, it is no better. I doubt Sharkey would appreciate it if someone took 1/3 of his profit from his book sales and gave it to a charity of their choice. "Progressive" political philosophy seems to be founded on a fundamentally unethical conception of property rights. That is, if a democratic state, through a majority or zealous minority, agrees that property should be taken from some people and given to others, then it is virtuous. It seems to go no deeper than that. Because certainly in 2022 there is no greater a moral justification for income taxes on dentists, architects, or welders than there was in 1910. Yet that is what we have and what any progressive state requires to fund its plans. Solving "inequality" is not worth creating serfdom in the attempt.

Expand full comment

Thomas Sowell.

Expand full comment

Globalization and changes in family structure have been devastating for the poor throughout 1st world countries. It's in those water that the poor drown, but the affluent swim and thrive.

In terms of income discrepancies, it's critical to note the differences between single and 2-parent households. I have seen tables in which income and SAT scores of children follow percentage of 2-parent household....down to single parent household. BTW, the highest household incomes are not those of white people, but of immigrants from certain Asian nations...not all, but largely India and China.

I also sense that the "defund the police" movement was mere euphemism for "abolish" or "demoralize" the police. It's revealing to see which cities are experiencing high increases in crimes and the attitudes of some of its more vocal citizens toward the police.

Expand full comment

Just got around to listening to this and am a little disappointed in Yascha's simple acceptance the trope that police brutality and racism are endemic. Usually, his views are more nuanced. Also, I think understanding the demoralization of police is tied to humanizing them, which I know is a radical concept for many. I would suggest some pundits actually TALK to cops -- maybe Carmen Best, the police chief in Seattle who retired in protest over the disrespectful and damaging response to police here.

Expand full comment

The most reliable path to violence and incarceration is illegitimacy, fatherless home, and educational underachievement. The rise of illegitimacy correlates with the rise of the Great Society – a consequence foreseen by Sen. Moynihan. Isn’t there also a big finger to point at government teachers unions which keep children in failed schools while the less structured and innovative charter schools (in NYC for example) produce poor POC children who compete at the top with other schools in the state?

And where is the debate about culture that ridicules educational advancement, e.g., acting white or Asian? Culture matters too!

The interviewee just pulls out most of the typical liberal tropes about the causes of violence, e.g., poverty, whose implicit fix is greater wealth redistribution, while also conveniently ignoring that there are impoverished communities without significant violence, e.g., Appalachia.

Yascha, you need to step up your game on challenging interviewees.

PS: What’s up with your interviewee’s comment “Forecasting into the future”? Is he Yogi Berra incarnate?

Expand full comment