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OldGimletEye

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  1. I think it would be more accurate to say, inequality was the result of slavery, rather than making a statement that suggest the only reason America became wealthy was because of slavery. And you're good intent is rather hard to assume here.
  2. Imagine if some random conservative writer, when discussing the southern antebellum economy wrote the following: "The southern antebellum economy depended on free labor." Well certainly, there were free laborers in the southern antebellum economy. In fact most of the labor in the south before the Civil War was free, there being about 9 million total inhabitants of which about 4 million were enslaved. According to your logic there is nothing at all odd about the statement because well it’s true or at least sort of true isn’t? But, most people would find that statement a rather odd way to describe the nature of pre-Civil War Southern economy, given the centrality of slavery to the pre-Civil War South’s economy. And I imagine, that if complained about such a statement you wouldn’t be complaining at all about me making “mountain out of molehill” and would probably agree that such a statement had a dubious ideological motivation. Now consider the statement: "American wealth was built on slavery”. Well, I guess you could say, that the statement is sort of true in the sense slavery was part of the production process in the American pre-civil war period. But the statement is highly misleading because it leaves out a number of issues. For one, there were about 31 million people in the US before the onset of the Civil War, approximately 27 million of which were not enslaved and involved in a number of industries. Cotton was only about 5% of the GDP, despite idiot leftist claims that it was around 50%. Furthermore, we have some evidence that coerced labor is likely to have negative effects on economic development and growth. And the evidence is just limited to the United States. There is to my knowledge at least one study examining Brazil and couple of others that examine the role of serfdom in Russia. Statements like “American wealth was built on slavery” are extremely misleading, and one can only think that a person would make such a statement because they had some ideological motivation to do so. This all a bunch of baloney, And I'm not sure what fucking point you were trying to make with Sen's article. The topic wasn't about whether slavery increased inequality or about the legacy of slavery with regard to racism (and to me, those observartions aren't controversial). The issue was about DiAngelo's statement regarding the role slavery in American wealth formation. For some reason, you decided that issue wasn't really about wealth formation, but instead was about the role of slavery in perpetrating inequality and racism, even though I had specifically disputed her claim that American wealth was built on slavery. If DiAngelo had merely observed that slavery increased inequality and helped to maintain racism, I wouldn't have disputed that. I think you're the one arguing in bad faith here. And as a reminder, her claim about the role of slavery in American wealth, was just one example things I took issue with. It wasn't the only one. But, then another poster questioned my assertion that she was wrong about that (or her statement was misleading) and I had to defend it.
  3. 1. I have little patience with people who peddle historical bullshit to suit an ideological agenda, whether they be rightist or leftist. Her statement, at best, is very misleading. 2. DiAngelo has a PHD. If she wanted to make the point that the legacy of slavery was particularly hard on the descendants of slaves she could have clearly so stated. If she wanted to make the point that legacy of slavery contributed to wealth inequality between whites and blacks she could have so stated. 3. The context was American wealth in general, so I don’t understand what “context” you are talking about. 4. While she doesn’t say this in her book, around 2015, DiAngelo said, “The question is not whether racism took place, but how did it manifest itself?” Under this standard, Blair and her fellow employees are guilty. No need, evidently, to examine the facts of the case. Also with continuing questions about the validity of IAT testing, DiAngelo has no real basis to make that statement, other than it being her own personal opinion. 5. Kanoute did in fact accuse Blair of being a racist person, going so far as to post her picture, email, and phone number. Thereafter, Blair was continually harassed and Smith College didn’t really come to her defense, even after an independent investigation cleared her of any wrongdoing. All Blair got was a private apology, while still being trashed publicly.
  4. No not really. If you say , "American wealth was built on slave labor" and turns out that in reality, it was a drag on American wealth, well then that is not really an accurate statement. At best, it is very misleading. As Karl Smith says, American economic development happened in spite of, not because of slavery. A more apt example would be if about 70% of Pepsi Co's sales were based on the Coca-Cola formula and 30% were based on the Pepsi formula and then some Pepsi Co. executive comes out says,"Our wealth was built on the Pepsi Formula". Well, I guess that's sort of true, but really the statement is misleading. The wealth was built on soft drink sales and not specifically with soft drinks made from using the Pepsi formula. And it is not making a mountain out of a molehill because DiAngelo's views are right in line with many on left's views about the role of slavery in American economic development. Edward Baptiste tried to make the assertion work, and then proceeded to propose on of the dumbest theories to ever come out of academia. DiAngelo draws a lot on Critical Race Theory. And CRT people pretty much disagree with the old Marxist analysis of slavery. Where as Marxist would say, planter elites used racism as a wedge to divide the working classes, CRT people would say, well actually the white working classes were acting in their own interest. And to some extent, that is how I interpret DiAngelo's comment and believe that is what she meant. For a long time the Marxist take was probably the more common view as expressed by LBJ when he told Bill Moyer the reason for racism, which was you could rob a mind blind as long as you told him he was better than a minority. But, that view as seemingly fallen out of favor on the left. 1. If Sen is suggesting that the end of slavery was bad economically for everyone, excepting the newly freed slaves, then she is most likely wrong about that. If you’re suggesting that is what Sen’s paper means, then you are most likely wrong about that. 2. From what we know about the long run effects of coerced labor, it results in lower public and private capital investment, harms institutional growth, and harms technological growth. These negative effects most likely will economically harm almost everyone (except the elites) in a region that practiced slavery. Frankly Sen should have distinguished between the old planter elite and everyone else. 3. Sen writes: Rising black wages because of emancipation might have been economically bad for planters but it wouldn't have been bad for small famers of cotton both white and black. If slave holding planters were depressing cotton prices, fewer small farmers would have gotten into the cotton growing business. As soon the old planting class is removed, cotton prices rise. And then cotton farming looks more promising to smaller farmers. The small time farmers move in, start producing cotton, and the price begins to decrease. In fact, this what historically seems to have happened as noted by Smith. He wrote: 4. I noticed Sen cited Richard Sutch. I’m familiar with his work. In his paper, The Economics of Slavery: The Cliometrics debate, Sutch wrote: Sutch also wrote: 5. Sen interestingly cites a whole bunch of papers that generally show slavery is bad for economic development. She writes: I have already cited Nunn’s 2008 paper. Here is what Mitchener & Mclean have to say in their paper: 6. And to quote your quote of Sen: So in other words, where labor wages aren’t suppressed, because of coercive tactics, firms are more likely to invest in capital and technology? What a shocker. I think your trying to twist Sen's article to support DiAngelo's claim. Sen’s article doesn’t really support the idea that slavery was economically beneficial to everyone in the South, except the enslaved, if that is what you are trying to claim. If DiAngelo's point was that slavery increased inequality between whites and blacks and harmed the descendants of the enslaved, she could have easily wrote that, and those observations wouldn't be controversial. I also noticed that Sen proposed some theories and then went out and collected some data and tested her theories using a statistical model. Sounds like one of those “problematic epistemologies” that DiAngelo talks about. If Sen’s findings agree with DiAngelo then I guess they are good to go, but if they don’t, then evidently objectivity becomes “problematic”, maybe they are even “epistemic oppression”. And to be clear, DiAngelo's statements about American economic development aren't the only statements I take issue with.
  5. 1. If US would have been wealthier without slavery, it is rather hard to maintain that the US wealth was built on slavery. 2. At no point did DiAngelo try to qualify her statement. She didn’t use language such as “in part”, “partly”, or “to some extent”. She simply asserted that US wealth was built on slavery. No matter how she expressed it, if slavery tended to act as long term economic drag, then her statement ranges somewhere between “extremely dubious” to “outright false”. 3. Sure Southern plantation owners got rich. Nobody would deny that. We have known since 1958 that holding slaves was profitable, since Conrad & Meyer made the first empirical estimates of the returns to holding slaves. Subsequent research in the 60s and 70s confirmed Conrad’s & Meyer’s finding. Interestingly, objective quantative research showed slave holding was profitable, yet we now how a slew of left wing characters saying objectivity is bullshit (except of course when they are making claims about how the world works). 4. Between the periods of about 1870-1912 and the periods of 1947-1999, GDP per capita growth was about 2.2%. It is highly unlikely this occurred because about 87% of the population was able to increasingly exploit about 13% of the population. Moreover, discriminating against individuals and putting them in lower wage occupations, when they could be more productive is likely to be a drag on growth. And certainly, denying them human capital investments is also likely to act as a drag. I think you are under the impression because some people get rich from some economic activity, that must mean that society as whole gets wealthier. But, that is not necessarily true. It’s like saying because some people get rich from monopolies or from rent seeking, then society as a whole is better off. But, monopolies don’t make society better off. They generally make it poorer, even though they cause some people to get wealthy. And while Conrad & Meyer found slavery to be profitable, they were careful to emphasize that didn’t mean slavery was an efficient mode of production. And you’re distorting what Karl Smith said. Smith says: I’m not sure what you think you are arguing here. Indeed, on its face it seems that this supports my argument. In order to make your point here serviceable, from your point of view, I’ll have to add an assumption. I’ll assume that what you mean here is something like “southern losses were simply made up by northern gains”. Or in other words, if the south had developed differently, without slavery, then northern gains would have been completely offset by Southern gains, leaving he net result around 0. But, this is dubious line of reasoning, akin to Trump’s theories of free trade, which asserts that if two countries engage in trade, then it must be the case that one countries gains are another countries losses. That is generally just not true. Both countries can benefit, largely because of increasing specialization by both countries. If slavery had been eliminated at the start, it is probably true that certain industries that were located in the North, might have developed in the South. The industries that would have developed in each region would have depended on each regions comparative advantage or relative factor endowments. That does not imply that one region’s gains would be another region’s losses. Each region would have become a bit more specialized and the net gain for both regions would have increased. Finally, if slavery is the engine of economic growth of leftist imaginations, then they have a number of historical and empirical phenomena they need to be explain, like: 1. Why was sustained economic growth per capita a relatively recent phenomenon? Slavery was around for a long time before we observe sustained GDP per capita growth. 2. Why didn’t US GDP growth just fall of a cliff, after the Civil War? 3. Why didn’t Brazil end up richer than the US? In a prior post, I thought I unequivocally and unapologetically expressed what I would have done in the situation. But, I will go through it again. There is a certain sort of person that things they can do the old Texas two step around the issue by belching out a word salad of all the right buzzwords. This sort of person, evidently, thinks that by saying all the right buzzwords they can maintain an appearance of being a “good” person, when in fact they are nothing but a sniveling two-faced coward looking to save their own hide, at the expense of their employees. This person is great at spouting off buzzwords, but terrible at making specific judgements about individual acts. This chicken shit sort of person is unfit to sit in judgement of others. If my employees do something wrong, I will correct it. If they did nothing wrong, then I will stand by them, come hell or high water. Under the facts, of the Smith case, I would be quite clear that the employees did not thing wrong. I would make public statements to that effect. I would not require them to attend any sort of “restorative justice” session or impose any requirement on their time. I would require them to do nothing that might appear that they were just “a little bit guilty”. I wouldn’t give a damn what leftist knuckleheads had to say about the matter, excepting of course the “numerous leftist in the Niagra Falls area” that objected to the employees treatment. Any negotiation with an ACLU lawyer would be considered dead upon arrival if such negotiation did not make quite clear the employees were not at fault. The only concession I might make is that if there is any blame to be had, it is mine and mine alone and it is not the responsibility of the employees. The employees followed university procedures, which I would consider being tantamount to following directions from me. Only a chickenshit coward would give his employees an order or direction, and then when the employees followed it and things didn’t pan out the way envisioned, would turn around and try to blame the employee. I would not try to slime my way out of the situation by taking about “reconciliation and healing”, like that sorry ass university president did.
  6. Yes, I now see the the light. Because clearly, in order to fix these issues, it's quite necessary to fuck over people like Jackie Blair. What a profound insight. And you still haven't told us how you would have handled Blair's case. But, at this point, I think we can hazard a guess. You would have thrown her under the bus. But, it would be okay, because you would have used all the right buzzwords, like "reconciliation and healing".
  7. You come one. I think you are reaching here. 1. DiAngelo is a big girl. She doesn't need your help to interpret her comments. She didn't qualify her statement, one bit. 2.Your argument seems to be that all the economic losses due to slavery were simply absorbed by the descendant's of slaves and didn't affect others. I think that is highly unlikely to be the case. There are good reasons to think that one of the long term negative consequences of slavery is it impedes investment in public goods(both physical and human), which likely harms everybody. Furthermore slavery probably impedes private capital investment. Surely it's true that the descendants of the enslaved were harmed the most. But that doesn't mean that slavery made everyone else wealthier. If the US had outlawed slavery in 1776, there aren't strong reasons to think it would be poorer as a country. 3. DiAngelos views are quite common on the left. Several left wing pundits have made similar claims, like for instance Jake Silverstein of the NYT and others. Their claims don't stand up when scrutinized. Karl Smith explains further: https://www.bloombergquint.com/business/how-slavery-hurt-the-u-s-economy
  8. For one, do you really think 90% percent of the population got rich off 10% of the population? In addition, if talented people are being put into low wage jobs, when they could be in higher productive jobs, matching their skills, that seems to me an economic loss. Its not an effective use of resources. And finally, the long term growth effects of slavery seem to be largely negative. Here (by Nathan Nunn): https://scholar.harvard.edu/files/nunn/files/domestic_slavery.pdf
  9. Of course not. Except when they are demanding Jackie Blair's head.
  10. It depends on whether the idea being asserted is a theory that purports to explain a social phenomena, I think.
  11. I don't require a general history to give details about cliometrics or econometrics. I would expect, however, the statement to be accurate and give the proper context.
  12. Recently in the New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/24/us/smith-college-race.html You know, I think if I had been Jackie Blair’s boss, after reviewing the facts of an independent investigation into the matter, I would have found her guilty of doing nothing wrong. And I think I would have told all the little twitter Robespierre’s calling for her head something along the lines of “go eat shit and die”. I would have stood my employee, making clear she didn’t do anything wrong. Furthermore, I wouldn’t impose anything on her time. I wouldn’t force her to have “courageous conversation”, nor would I impose upon her any requirement to attend a “restorative justice” session, which in this case sound more like struggle session. That’s what I would have done. And I wouldn’t give one iota of hoot damn if all the “good people” thought I acted wrongly. I’d like to know what you would have done in that situation. How exactly would you decide what to do with Jackie Blair if she had been your employee. Would your decision depend on whether she was your friend? Would it depend on whether you were having a bad hair day? Would it depend on how you felt on a particular day? Tell us the method you would have used to decide her case. I sure in the hell wouldn’t want to work for somebody who was inconsistent about how they judge their employees conduct. You can try to dismiss all this stuff by stating its all about phoney “moral maxims” and the stale old musings about “dead old white guys”, but the issues raised here are not merely an academic exercise. They have real world consequences for people. And I think it rather important that we have a rather clear notion about how we go about deciding these type cases, to both serve justice to those who are victims of racial discrimination and to protect those wrongly accused. I think we can generally dismiss comments about “dead old white guys” as being the stuff of leftwing hipsterism. The fact of the matter is that DiAngelo herself has been influenced in her thinking (and has so indicated) by people like Horkheimer, Adorno, Marcuse, and Foucault. Guess what? They are all dead old white guys. So it seems to me what is at dispute here is the set of dead old white guys we should listen too. Accordingly, dismissing certain ideas by leftwing hipsters because they allegedly come from “dead old white guys” sounds about as reputable as an Amway salesman. In her book, DiAngelo continually emphasizes impact over intent. She seemingly puts no limitations on “impact”. That leaves people like Jackie Blair in the lurch. And DiAngelo doesn’t really explain whether the “impact” only standard should be limited to a particular scope. And frankly, I haven’t heard many on left qualify articulate the proper scope for the “impact” only standard. What is sad here is the left’s generally confused thinking about this matter and lack of recognition that at least, in some context, it can lead to profound unfairness. DiAngelo is a quack. The suggestion here that DiAngelo is just a scholar writing within the scope of her field is a bunch of malarkey. For instance she writes: "American wealth was built on the labor of kidnapped and enslaved Africans and their descendants." DiAngelo is not an economic historian. Not that I really care that she hasn’t taken one formal academic course, as I’m not really a fan of credentialist bullshit. But, you know she could have at least read the relevant literature in the field. It seems that she is trying to revive the old King Cotton idea, which has little support. If she had read the relevant literature in the field, she would have distinguished between the period before America was founded and the period after. The period after the US was founded, probably not. The period before, well maybe, but for reasons that aren’t likely to immediately intuitive. (See for instance Acemoglu, Johnson, & Robinson, The Rise of Europe). I think at some point I will start a thread about this . Economic history of course isn’t the only topic that DiAngelo expresses an opinion, that are not in the scope of her field. She gives opinions on psychology, epistemology, the Enlightenment, and the nature of capitalism. I think you’re under the impression that DiAngelo is the type of social scientist that formulates theories and then test those theories against experiment. She doesn’t do that. She makes no attempt to test her theory of “White Fragility”. It is all based on her “personal experience”. She disclaims the idea of objectivity, but then proceeds to make strong objective claims about how the world works. She isn’t the only leftist that does this. How people do this and don’t see the irony and contradictions in their own assertions is beyond me. At this juncture, I’m surprised that rightest haven’t started to dismiss the notion of objectivity for their own ends. They could proclaim for instance the Civil War was fought for other reasons than slavery and then proclaim it doesn’t matter what the evidence is, but that is their “own personal truth” and then throw in for good measure their “lived experiences” to support their case. The hilarious thing about this whole situation is that DiAngelo and her followers want to piss on the scientific method, but then claim they are the “Party of Science”. Here shortly, the “Party of Science” is going to earn itself about as much mockery as the “Party of Business”. DiAngelo can observe that unconscious bias exists. I believe that to be true. But, what she cannot state is who has implicit bias and even if they do when or how often that implicit bias manifest itself in a prejudicial act. Nobody knows at this juncture. That pretty much leaves us judging each case on its own particular facts. We have no idea whether people like Jackie Blair acted with prejudice until we examine the particular facts closely. DiAngelo’s book might have been helpful if it summarized the state of knowledge from psychology and social psychology about implicit bias and in/out group bias. What we get instead is largely a bunch of horseshit theorizing derived from the Frankfurt Critical School (All dead white guys) and Foucault (another dead white guy). Finally, she presents about zero evidence that her methods work. Remember, she doesn’t do quantative analysis of her own theories. About the only thing we can say about her methods is that they are highly successful in making DiAngelo rich, as she charges about 30,000 per hour. She claims capitalism is inherently racists, though its not clear to me how socialism wouldn’t be racist if unconscious bias exist. By her own theories, she has no problem getting rich from racism, the hypocrite.
  13. So it seems to me your stipulating to a few things: 1. The “impact only, intent doesn’t matter” isn’t the right standard to evaluate the scenario I presented. 2. When evaluating moral culpability, “impact only” isn’t appropriate. Would you go far to say, that in any matter concerning punishment, discipline or being ostracized, the “impact only” standard isn’t appropriate?
  14. Well I have read DiAngelo’s book and she doesn’t really make it clear when something is white fragility and when it is not. And until she clarifies matters, I don’t think anyone need to take that particular accusation very seriously. Maybe you can clarify matters, as I don’t DiAngelo will ever bother. Were Schor and Caffrety engaging in white fragility by defending themselves? Shouldn’t they just have learned to “do better” and take it on the chin, rather, than you know, mounting a defense? DiAngelo at times shows about as much nuance as George W. Bush, and while she may believe that the “impact only” standard is only for “having a conversation”, she doesn’t make it quite clear whether she believes that is an appropriate standard in any kind of disciplinary proceeding, where reprimand, censure, firing or employment termination may occur. She surely isn’t the only one that promotes the “impact matters, intention is irrelevant” standard. And it isn’t quite clear to me how others who promote that envision how that should play out, as whether it's just about “having a conversation” or whether its meant to be a tool for adjudication,’ punishment and setting standards of conduct. I suspect some on the left will envision it for precisely as rule judging conduct, finding guilt or culpability, and administering discipline. Though, I have quite a few things to say about DiAngelo's work, for purposes of this thread I talked about two examples she gave in her book because it illustrates what I’m getting at. I can understand why DiAngelo and others get frustrated when white people say “I didn’t mean that” when they, at the time should have known better. I can also understand why she and others have accordingly pushed the “impact only” standard as way to overcome that objection. However, something about that analysis doesn’t sit quite right with me. She seems to believe that in order to get people to see the wrongfulness of their actions she must remove the issue of bad state of mind entirely. But, in doing so, she gets people to admit to wrongdoing, when you know they really shouldn’t have to. One does not have to purposely mean to do a thing to have acted wrongly. A negligent oversight is enough. Pointing out that they should have been aware of a state of circumstances is enough. In one of the examples she gives, I can see totally why an apology is warranted. If I had made a similar crack about the hair, and the goof was pointed out to me (and I’d like to think I wasn’t so thick to have made the comment in the first place), I’d be embarrassed and would quickly apologize. But, I really can’t see why I need to accept much responsibility over the survey issue, as I don’t think I really need to spend much time justifying my survey taking habits to other people. It is hard for me to see how my attempts to weasel my way out of tedious paperwork would be seen as a commentary on somebody else’s intelligence. I think most people would feel the same way. The problem with both Shor and Cafferty is if the “impact only” thing is taken as method of finding guilt and then administering punishment, then both are guilty as charged. And it has not been made very clear by DiAngelo and others whether that is an appropriate use of it or whether its only about “having a conservation”. I at least know that legal ethics isn’t germane to the conversation here. Legal ethics deals with situations like mixing client funds, what to do if a client makes a factual misrepresentation to the court, attorney-client privilege, etc. It doesn’t have much relation to theories of moral blame. Theories of criminal and civil liability track more closely to theories of moral blame. Also, I'm just not concerned with just legal proceedings, but more generally with finding people blameworthy for alleged ethical offenses and the consequences that may result from that, like be fired, reprimands, and being demonized. You have little basis to make this assertion based on Larry's comments. We don't know if he got his old job back or found similar employment. As for his old employer's claims about the reasons for this termination, that sounds about as reliable as Rick Perry saying Cameron Todd Willingham got a fair trial. Misguided perhaps. Let’s find out. Are you of the general opinion that that the “impact only” standard is an appropriate standard for finding fault and administering discipline? Would you use such a standard to judge and punish on of your employees. If somebody was judged and punished according to the “impact only” standard, your general opinion about that matter would be what?
  15. First, I don’t accept the premise of accepting a few “minor casualties” in order to achieve some socially desirable goal. Particularly not when the “minor casualties” are the result of bad reasoning or unfairness in the process of judgement. It’s akin to Bush administration arguing to restrict the procedural protections afforded to alleged terrorist being tried, including withholding the government’s evidence from them so they may prepare a defense. That whole mindset can lead to people being treated unjustly and if bad enough can create cynicism about the goal that is trying to be achieve. Fighting crime doesn’t mean we should allow a bunch of bogus expert testimony into a proceeding. Nor does it imply we should allow vague and poorly specified charges. I’d say you give a great deal about moral culpability, as most people, I’d imagine do. The fact that you have indicated that Caffrety was treated wrongly, indicates you do. Suppose Cafferty had been found out as a member of a neo-nazi group. I suspect your judgement of the situation would change greatly. I’ve read her book, and she is not entire clear about how she thinks intent or a bad mental state matters. She is not clear about whether she thinks “only impact matters” should be limited to conversations or whether it should be applied more broadly to matters involving adjudication of guilt and punishment. And frankly, I don’t think many on the left have clear opinion about this either. Many of them, evidently, are completely confused. With regard to Kal’s hypothetical, depends on whether there is fault. If there is no fault, then there is no obligation to make an apology. Should Cafferty apologize?. I gave the scenario of the pedestrian running into the car or darting out into the street at the last minute (and further suppose the driver wasn’t speeding, wasn’t on cell phone, etc. Basically driving reasonably). Suppose you’re the driver’s employer. Do you reprimand him? With regard to the truck incident. I think I have gone to lengths that responsibility doesn’t always mean “did with the purpose”( in fact I think it is in my very first post), but can include negligent acts, which are by definition not purposeful, or acts where you should have been aware of certain facts and conditions before acting.
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