How To Win An Argument With Those Who Already Agree, and Lose With Everyone Else

I think that I am just going to post this line from Kevin Drum largely without comment:

In particular—and please excuse the wild guess here—I imagine that most people who have a serious jones for cutting federal spending are really only interested in cutting spending on poor people. Cutting other services just isn't what they signed up for. It's the Obamaphones and the food stamps that are wasteful, not the Yellowstone snowplows and small town air traffic controllers.

One of the things I tell folks in the climate debate -- don't try to learn about the other side of the argument from yours by listening to your own folks' characterization of it, go actually listen to the other side.  This is what comes of  trying to understand people only by listening to their intellectual enemies.  It is also why I read a lot of blogs (like Drum's) with which I disagree.

Has Drum seriously not ever heard the concentrated benefits, dispersed cost argument?


  1. Matthew Slyfield:

    Drum probably has heard of it.

    He probably dismissed it as invalid either because he couldn't understand it or because he did understand it but it goes against his beliefs therefor it cannot be true.

  2. nnu-16121:

    ...not to mention perpetuating the myth that "Obamaphones" are federal government spending.

  3. John Cunningham:

    I surmise that Drum has heard of it, but he doesn't like the logical consequences so he ignores it,

  4. obloodyhell:

    }}} Has Drum seriously not ever heard the concentrated benefits, dispersed cost argument?

    You're kidding, right? Given the level of economic ignorance he's posted up on for the last year or so, what the hell makes you think it doesn't extend to this, too?

  5. mesaeconoguy:

    Exactly, though far longer than 1 year - likely decades of ignorance.

    He is, along with his pal Larry, a GSP ™ (Genuinely Stupid Person)

  6. Gil:

    Technically he's true: welfare spending is bankrupting the nation.

  7. jdgalt:

    Does this mean I have to assume that the enemy are telling the truth about their own motivations? Even if I've read Alinsky?

  8. MNHawk:

    Do low information Nation readers think Yellowstone snow plows and air traffic control took spending up a cool trillion per year?

  9. SamWah:

    Could be! Or he's just an ass. Or both; or both, and more.