Where the Right is Wrong — Salvatore Padula

 

Like Friedrich Hayek, I am a man of the Right. Though I do not adhere down the line to the contemporary orthodoxy of the Right, I firmly believe that personal liberty and personal responsibility are the cornerstones of both human fulfilment and a healthy society. I am utterly convinced that for our society to remain strong it is imperative that conservative and libertarian policy be implemented. In order for this to happen, it is necessary for those of us on the Right to win the argument and sway public opinion. Happily, this appears to be happening, both because of the inherent merits of our positions and because of the manifest failures of progressive statism.
While I am optimistic about the prospects of the American Right and I am heartened by the increasing effectiveness of our persuasive efforts, I believe that there are always areas for improvement. Specifically, I frequently encounter arguments put forward by some on the Right that are counterproductive in persuading the unconvinced — as well positions held by segments of the Right that are simply incorrect. To that end, I have compiled a list (not meant to be comprehensive) of arguments and opinions which those who desire the implementation of good policy may want to reconsider, or at least raise more sparingly.
Tax Cuts Pay for Themselves
This is a common argument put forward by many on the Right and it is not without merit. Some tax cuts do, in fact, pay for themselves. It is not, however, always (or even usually) the case. While it is absolutely true that punitively high income and capital gains tax rates disincentivize economic activity and slow economic growth, it is not necessarily true that losses in revenue will be made up by the overall increase in the size of the economy.
Whether or not that is the case is primarily a function of the applicable multiplier. Macroeconomics is far from a science and predicting what a particular multiplier will be is largely a theoretical crap shoot (as evidenced by the failure of the 2009 Stimulus, which assumed a much higher Keynesian multiplier than that which actually occurred). It is common on the Right to invoke the Laffer Curve to support the notion that cutting taxes will increase revenue. Laffer was certainly on to something and the Laffer Curve does apply under certain circumstances, but these circumstances occur when marginal tax rates are exorbitantly high. There is strong evidence to support Laffer at marginal rates of 60% and higher. The evidence for lower rates (including our current top rates) is much more equivocal.
I am not saying that we should abandon calls for lower taxes. We should, however, be circumspect about this particular claim.
More Guns, Less Crime
I like guns. I own several. I believe the Second Amendment recognizes an individual’s right to keep and bear arms. I find many claims advanced by those opposed to guns to be risible, particularly concerning assault rifles. That said, I think that gun advocates often make arguments which have the effect of shooting themselves in the foot.
While my title for this topic alludes to John Lott’s book of the same name, I’m less opposed to general claims about the effect of gun ownership and carrying on crime reduction (though the data cited to support such claims are far from compelling) than I am on individual instances where increased firearm distribution is suggested as a solution to a problem. For example, after the Sandy Hook massacre it was common to hear gun advocates call for arming elementary school teachers. This response is just as disproportionate and ineffective as were calls from the left to ban assault rifles and large capacity magazines. What’s worse, they overshadowed the sensible calls to reform our mental health system and allowed an unsympathetic media to caricature supporters of gun rights as quacks in the mold of Alex Jones. Similarly, when we object to sensible policies, such as prohibitions on carrying weapons in bars, we do much to discredit ourselves with the mass of our fellow citizens who think that alcohol and firearms are a bad combination.
Supporters of gun rights would also do well to admit that guns make certain crimes more likely. Mass killings are certainly more likely due to firearms. It’s difficult to have a mass stabbing, for example. (Though there apparently was one in in China recently, there were a large number of perpetrators and the casualties were relatively few when compared to something like the massacre perpetrated by assault rifle-armed Anders Brevik in Norway a few years ago.), and physical altercations involving firearms more easily escalate into fatalities. Conceding these fairly obvious truths doesn’t weaken our case (since nobody takes the denials seriously) and it allows us to make the reasonable argument that, given the facts that guns exist and that criminals will possess them, prohibiting legal gun ownership deprives law abiding citizens of their right to self-defense.
State Nullification and Secession
Much to my dismay, both nullification and secession seem to be increasing in popularity among segments of the Right. I’m not going to dwell upon why this poses a problem for the Right in terms of public perception. I think the reasons are self-evident. What I would like to address is why both nullification and secession are unconstitutional.
I will start with noting the social contractarian basis of our Constitution. The United States Constitution begins with “We the People of the United States.” It is not an agreement between the states; it is a compact between the people. While it is true that sovereignty under the Constitution is divided between the federal and state governments, federal sovereignty is not derived from the states, but from the people. Because our Constitution is a compact between the people of all the states, it is not within the power of individual states to unilaterally secede. While there is a natural right to revolt against an oppressive or tyrannical regime, that right is possessed by the people, not the states, and is, in any event, extraconstitutional.
Beyond that basic principle, nullification is squarely contradicted by the Supremacy Clause (Article VI, Clause 2 of the Constitution, which states that federal law is the supreme law of the land and overrides state statutory and constitutional law) and Article III, Section 2, which grants the federal courts jurisdiction over, amongst other things, cases arising under the Constitution and the laws of the United States.
The Federalist Papers also contradict the legitimacy of state nullification. Federalist No. 33 declares federal laws supreme to state laws. No. 39 explains that, under the Constitution, conflicts over jurisdiction between state and federal power are to be resolved by the federal courts. No. 44 discusses the role of the states in checking federal overreach, specifically stating that the election of new representatives is the recourse available to states. It does not mention nullification. No. 78 states that federal courts have the power to void legislative acts that are contrary to the Constitution. It does not grant a similar power to the states. No. 80 specifically denies that states have the power to invalidate federal law.
We Should Return to the Gold Standard
I deplore out-of-control spending and the profligate printing of money. Inflation is a terrible thing. I’m very critical of the policies of the Federal Reserve. That said, I think that a return to gold-backed currency is a terrible idea and is frequently advocated by people who don’t really understand what they are talking about. (Note: many advocates of the gold standard are highly informed. If you are one of them, much of what I have to say here is not directed toward you. I still think you’re mistaken though.)
There are undoubtedly good arguments in favor of having a gold-backed currency. They include long-term price stability, reduced risk of significant inflation, and the near impossibility of hyperinflation. Gold standards also make it more difficult for a government to engage in sustained deficit spending. More debatable is the assertion that a gold-backed currency has objective value in contrast to the ephemeral nature of fiat currency.
On to why the gold standard is a bad idea. First, despite claims to the contrary, gold has very little objective value. Gold certainly has industrial applications and people think it’s pretty, but there really is no such thing as objective worth. Something is only worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it. In any case, if you are looking for a stable store of objective value linking your currency to any single commodity (gold included) is inferior to a basket of goods. Second, while excessive inflation can be a serious problem, deflation is often disastrous. Fixing the money supply to gold reduces the risk of inflation at the cost of increasing the risk of deflation. As a general matter, moderate inflation (around 2%) is widely considered by economists to be desirable. Third, while a gold standard usually leads to long-term price stability, it is prone to short-term extreme volatility as the value of money is dependent upon the supply of gold.  
In any case, fiat currency is often unfairly maligned. A well-managed and politically independent central bank should have no problem responsibly managing the currency in a way that encourages growth and avoids inflation. While it is true that the Fed has pursued a dangerous policy of quantitative easing (though I’m slightly less concerned than are many about the prospects of mass inflation, I think it a real danger), this is not an inherent weakness of fiat currency. It is a consequence of the politically imposed dual mandate under which the Federal Reserve is tasked with limiting inflation and maximizing employment. These are often contradictory aims and the proper role of a central bank should be limited to curbing inflation.
Representative Peter King
The man is an ass.
Anyway, these are a few areas where I think the Right should reconsider. I’d love to know what you think and if you have anything you’d like to add to the list.

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  1. user_240173 Contributor
    user_240173
    @FrankSoto

    29 dead is actually a heck of a total for any mass killing spree.  They’ve actually just had another one in China.

    I’m sympathetic to your point that calling for armed teachers in the immediate aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting was tone deaf, however gun rights advocates have to stay on the offensive or they will be allowing the media to set the terms of the debate.

    Though some find the case for more guns less crime to be uncompelling, the case that more guns leads to more crime is utterly without basis.  I don’t think we have to perfectly calibrate every position, just keep arguing and avoid the worst arguments our side makes.

    • #1
  2. user_240173 Contributor
    user_240173
    @FrankSoto

    On tax cuts, I start out agreeing with you, and end up fairly far apart from you.

    Tax cuts only pay for themselves when the rates are exceptionally high before the cuts, and I do cringe when Republicans make this particular statement.

    However it isn’t Keynesian thinking that leads to this idea, it’s the laffer curve, which I think you’d agree is real.   I don’t have a problem with Republicans pointing out that there are diminishing returns on increasing tax rates, as well as consequences such as slower economic growth.

    • #2
  3. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Good list. I’m, of course, not entirely on board with it. I haven’t studied enough about gold to have an opinion, so I’ll leave that one alone entirely.

    You are most certainly correct about Peter King. The deference given to him because of his status as a representative and legislator demonstrates a large problem with our current system. He’s just a man, wholly like every other and deserving of no special regard. That he is, as you say, an ass should only reduce our esteem of him. And our criticism should never be shielded by his position as an elected official.

    While I agree theoretically on your point about secession and nullification, I think we are quickly reaching a point where every means short of force should be taken to call attention to the unconstitutional manner in which we are governed. If the federal government wants to hold us (the people and the states) to the standard of the constitution as it is written, then those in power should expect similar treatment from us.

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  4. Carey J. Inactive
    Carey J.
    @CareyJ

    Why is it so hard for people to grasp that creating “gun-free zones”, whether at work, at school, or wherever, just creates target-rich environments for nutjobs. The only thing that stops bad guys with guns is good guys with guns, period. 

    The states may not have the power to nullify Federal laws, but jurors certainly do. Nothing in the law or the Constitution requires a juror to say why he voted for acquittal. If the people get tired of the way a law is enforced, they have the means to render that law powerless.

    Peter King is an ass, but what did you expect from New York?

    • #4
  5. user_653084 Inactive
    user_653084
    @SalvatorePadula

    Frank Soto:
    On tax cuts, I start out agreeing with you, and end up fairly far apart from you.
    Tax cuts only pay for themselves when the rates are exceptionally high before the cuts, and I do cringe when Republicans make this particular statement.
    However it isn’t Keynesian thinking that leads to this idea, it’s the laffer curve, which I think you’d agree is real. I don’t have a problem with Republicans pointing out that there are diminishing returns on increasing tax rates, as well as consequences such as slower economic growth.

     The Laffer Curve is predicated, in substantial part, on the multiplier effect of the tax cuts. Both Keynesians and supply siders use multiplier in their constructs.

    • #5
  6. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    On guns and taxes I think all hyperbole should be avoided. These are areas where cogent, cerebral discussions should be had. Leave the hyperventilating and fainting couches to matters such as school lunches and fashion.

    • #6
  7. user_653084 Inactive
    user_653084
    @SalvatorePadula

    Frank Soto:
    Though some find the case for more guns less crime to be uncompelling, the case that more guns leads to more crime is utterly without basis. I don’t think we have to perfectly calibrate every position, just keep arguing and avoid the worst arguments our side makes.

     I agree that the case that more guns lead to more crime is without basis (though there are exceptions for particular types of crime), but I don’t think that the fact that our opponents use spurious data justifies our doing the same. We win when we point out how ridiculous and dishonest the other side is. We lose our ability to do that when they can point out the weakness in data we put forth. For me this is a question of overreach. We have an advantage on solid facts. We don’t need to make stuff up or promote questionable data.

    • #7
  8. user_653084 Inactive
    user_653084
    @SalvatorePadula

    The King Prawn:
    Good list. I’m, of course, not entirely on board with it. I haven’t studied enough about gold to have an opinion, so I’ll leave that one alone entirely.
    You are most certainly correct about Peter King. The deference given to him because of his status as a representative and legislator demonstrates a large problem with our current system. He’s just a man, wholly like every other and deserving of no special regard. That he is, as you say, an ass should only reduce our esteem of him. And our criticism should never be shielded by his position as an elected official.
    While I agree theoretically on your point about secession and nullification, I think we are quickly reaching a point where every means short of force should be taken to call attention to the unconstitutional manner in which we are governed. If the federal government wants to hold us (the people and the states) to the standard of the constitution as it is written, then those in power should expect similar treatment from us.

     Do you not see a problem with advocating unconstitutional actions such as nullification to call attention to other unconstitutional actions by our government?

    • #8
  9. user_653084 Inactive
    user_653084
    @SalvatorePadula

    The King Prawn:
    You are most certainly correct about Peter King. The deference given to him because of his status as a representative and legislator demonstrates a large problem with our current system. He’s just a man, wholly like every other and deserving of no special regard. That he is, as you say, an ass should only reduce our esteem of him. And our criticism should never be shielded by his position as an elected official.

     Beyond being an ass, he’s a hypocrite. He’s one of the most vocal critics of Islamic terrorism, but is quite chummy with Irish Republican terrorists.

    • #9
  10. user_96427 Contributor
    user_96427
    @tommeyer

    Salvatore Padula: For example, after the Sandy Hook massacre it was common to hear gun advocates call for arming elementary school teachers. This response is just as disproportionate and ineffective as were calls from the left to ban assault rifles and large capacity magazines.

    While I whole-heartedly agree that Wayne LaPierre’s call for armed guards in every school was as tone-deaf as it was asinine — I always image the poor school guard as the Maytag repairman with a sidearm — but I’m glad that some districts and states have pushed to end the complete prohibition on armed school personnel.

    Salvatore Padula: I will start with noting the social contractarian basis of our Constitution. The United States Constitution begins with “We the People of the United States.” It is not an agreement between the states; it is a compact between the people. While it is true that sovereignty under the Constitution is divided between the Federal and State Governments, Federal sovereignty is not derived from the states, but from the people.

    Interesting, but wouldn’t the fact that ratification came only through the states counterbalance this?

    • #10
  11. user_653084 Inactive
    user_653084
    @SalvatorePadula

    Carey J.: Why is it so hard for people to grasp that creating “gun-free zones”, whether at work, at school, or wherever, just creates target-rich environments for nutjobs. The only thing that stops bad guys with guns is good guys with guns, period.  

     I think it’s reasonable to prohibit guns in certain places (as I mentioned, bars seem like a good candidate). I think schools should have armed security guards. I oppose arming teachers because, among other reasons, I have a very low opinion of the average teacher and the prospect of arming him seems likely to lead to more fatalities in aggregate.

    • #11
  12. user_240173 Contributor
    user_240173
    @FrankSoto

    Salvatore Padula:

    The Laffer Curve is predicated, in substantial part, on the multiplier effect of the tax cuts. Both Keynesians and supply siders use multiplier in their constructs.

     Not really.  It’s based on a simple observation that at a 100% tax rate, there would be no above board economic activity, as there would be no reason to engage in any comerce which could not benefit you in anyway.

    We know that a 0% tax rat would return no tax dollars, and that a 100% tax rate would return no tax dollars.  And we know at the points in between, you do get tax dollars.  Therefore, there must be a percentage at which tax revenue curves downward towards the zero.

    The only thing in question is at what point does that peak exist.  It really isn’t dependent on multipliers.

    • #12
  13. user_653084 Inactive
    user_653084
    @SalvatorePadula

    Carey J.:
    The states may not have the power to nullify Federal laws, but jurors certainly do. Nothing in the law or the Constitution requires a juror to say why he voted for acquittal. If the people get tired of the way a law is enforced, they have the means to render that law powerless.

     Jury nullification is a very different thing. Jury nullification is when a jury returns a verdict contrary to the evidence in the case. It can be due to sympathy for the defendant or disagreement with the law. In either case, its consequence is limited to the particular case. It does not invalidate the law generally.

    • #13
  14. user_653084 Inactive
    user_653084
    @SalvatorePadula

    Tom Meyer:

    Salvatore Padula: For example, after the Sandy Hook massacre it was common to hear gun advocates call for arming elementary school teachers. This response is just as disproportionate and ineffective as were calls from the left to ban assault rifles and large capacity magazines.

    While I whole-heartedly agree that Wayne LaPierre’s call for armed guards in every school was as tone-deaf as it was asinine — I always image the poor school guard as the Maytag repairman with a sidearm — but I’m glad that some districts and states have pushed to end the complete prohibition on armed school personnel.

    Salvatore Padula: I will start with noting the social contractarian basis of our Constitution. The United States Constitution begins with “We the People of the United States.” It is not an agreement between the states; it is a compact between the people. While it is true that sovereignty under the Constitution is divided between the Federal and State Governments, Federal sovereignty is not derived from the states, but from the people.

    Interesting, but wouldn’t the fact that ratification came only through the states counterbalance this?

     Not quite. The Constitution was not ratified by State Governments, but by specially assembled conventions representing the people of each state. Thus, the Constitution was not a compact between states qua states, but between the people of those states.  

    • #14
  15. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Salvatore Padula:

    Tom Meyer:

    Salvatore Padula: For example, after the Sandy Hook massacre it was common to hear gun advocates call for arming elementary school teachers. This response is just as disproportionate and ineffective as were calls from the left to ban assault rifles and large capacity magazines.

    While I whole-heartedly agree that Wayne LaPierre’s call for armed guards in every school was as tone-deaf as it was asinine — I always image the poor school guard as the Maytag repairman with a sidearm — but I’m glad that some districts and states have pushed to end the complete prohibition on armed school personnel.

    Salvatore Padula: I will start with noting the social contractarian basis of our Constitution. The United States Constitution begins with “We the People of the United States.” It is not an agreement between the states; it is a compact between the people. While it is true that sovereignty under the Constitution is divided between the Federal and State Governments, Federal sovereignty is not derived from the states, but from the people.

    Interesting, but wouldn’t the fact that ratification came only through the states counterbalance this?

    Not quite. The Constitution was not ratified by State Governments, but by specially assembled conventions representing the people of each state. Thus, the Constitution was not a compact between states qua states, but between the people of those states.

     I think disarmed citizens resuts in places to go shoot disarmed citizens. A gun free zone only effects people follwing the law.

    Mass killings predate guns.

    • #15
  16. user_653084 Inactive
    user_653084
    @SalvatorePadula

    Frank Soto:

    Salvatore Padula:

    Not really. It’s based on a simple observation that at a 100% tax rate, there would be no above board economic activity, as there would be no reason to engage in any comerce which could not benefit you in anyway.
    We know that a 0% tax rat would return no tax dollars, and that a 100% tax rate would return no tax dollars. And we know at the points in between, you do get tax dollars. Therefore, there must be a percentage at which tax revenue curves downward towards the zero.
    The only thing in question is at what point does that peak exist. It really isn’t dependent on multipliers.

     Upon further reflection, I feel the need to clarify. I conflated the specific mechanism of the Laffer Curve (which is more about marginal utility) with the supply side economics generally. The magnitude of the revenue raised by a move down the Laffer Curve is a function of both marginal utility and the multiplier effect.  This is particularly embarrassing since my undergraduate degree is in economics.

    • #16
  17. user_653084 Inactive
    user_653084
    @SalvatorePadula

    Bryan G. Stephens:

    Mass killings predate guns.

    While that is of course true, it somewhat misses the point. It’s not that guns cause mass killings. It’s that they make it easier for a deranged or disaffected individual to successfully perpetrate mass killings.

    • #17
  18. user_653084 Inactive
    user_653084
    @SalvatorePadula

    Frank Soto:
    29 dead is actually a heck of a total for any mass killing spree. They’ve actually just had another one in China.

    There were at least half a dozen perpetrators in that attack. Imagine what the death toll would have been had they all been armed with Kalashnikovs. Anders Breivik killed 77 people on his own and wounded 319.

    • #18
  19. Carey J. Inactive
    Carey J.
    @CareyJ

    Salvatore Padula:

    Carey J.: Why is it so hard for people to grasp that creating “gun-free zones”, whether at work, at school, or wherever, just creates target-rich environments for nutjobs. The only thing that stops bad guys with guns is good guys with guns, period.

    I think it’s reasonable to prohibit guns in certain places (as I mentioned, bars seem like a good candidate). I think schools should have armed security guards. I oppose arming teachers because, among other reasons, I have a very low opinion of the average teacher and the prospect of arming him seems likely to lead to more fatalities in aggregate.

     Are you willing to have (and pay for) armed guards everywhere people gather? Unless you are willing to secure an area (think courthouse-level security) you are just making it easy for the nutjobs if you prohibit guns. 

    • #19
  20. Carey J. Inactive
    Carey J.
    @CareyJ

    Salvatore Padula:

    Carey J.: The states may not have the power to nullify Federal laws, but jurors certainly do. Nothing in the law or the Constitution requires a juror to say why he voted for acquittal. If the people get tired of the way a law is enforced, they have the means to render that law powerless.

    Jury nullification is a very different thing. Jury nullification is when a jury returns a verdict contrary to the evidence in the case. It can be due to sympathy for the defendant or disagreement with the law. In either case, its consequence is limited to the particular case. It does not invalidate the law generally.

     My point is that if people, in general, get sick of a law (or the way it is applied) it can become impossible to get a jury that will vote to convict. 

    • #20
  21. user_96427 Contributor
    user_96427
    @tommeyer

    Salvatore Padula:

    Bryan G. Stephens:
    Mass killings predate guns.

    While that is of course true, it somewhat misses the point. It’s not that guns cause mass killings. It’s that they make it easier for a deranged or disaffected individual to successfully perpetrate mass killings.

     Happily conceded.

    • #21
  22. user_653084 Inactive
    user_653084
    @SalvatorePadula

    Carey J.:

    Salvatore Padula:

    Carey J.: Why is it so hard for people to grasp that creating “gun-free zones”, whether at work, at school, or wherever, just creates target-rich environments for nutjobs. The only thing that stops bad guys with guns is good guys with guns, period.

    I think it’s reasonable to prohibit guns in certain places (as I mentioned, bars seem like a good candidate). I think schools should have armed security guards. I oppose arming teachers because, among other reasons, I have a very low opinion of the average teacher and the prospect of arming him seems likely to lead to more fatalities in aggregate.

    Are you willing to have (and pay for) armed guards everywhere people gather? Unless you are willing to secure an area (think courthouse-level security) you are just making it easy for the nutjobs if you prohibit guns.

     I am willing to pay for armed security guards at schools. Every school I’ve attended had them. My opposition to arming teachers is largely due to my belief that it would result in more overall deaths, even if it prevented the occasional mass shooting. My general view of guns is that I’m delighted for trained, competent, and responsible people to carry them, but far too many people who are none of those things want to carry a gun. I further believe that any private property owner has an absolute right to prohibit firearms on his property. Finally, I think prohibiting guns in bars is simple common sense. Alcohol and firearms are not a good combination.

    • #22
  23. user_653084 Inactive
    user_653084
    @SalvatorePadula

    Carey J.:

    My point is that if people, in general, get sick of a law (or the way it is applied) it can become impossible to get a jury that will vote to convict.

    That is no doubt true, but it is an entirely different issue from state nullification.

    As an aside, jury nullification necessarily involves the jurors violating their oath, which in Federal Courts is an acceptance of the following instructions: 

    You, as jurors, are the judges of the facts. But in determining what actually happened–that is, in reaching your decision as to the facts–it is your sworn duty to follow all of the rules of law as I explain them to you.

    You have no right to disregard or give special attention to any one instruction, or to question the wisdom or correctness of any rule I may state to you. You must not substitute or follow your own notion or opinion as to what the law is or ought to be. It is your duty to apply the law as I explain it to you, regardless of the consequences.

    • #23
  24. user_96427 Contributor
    user_96427
    @tommeyer

    Salvatore Padula: Finally, I think prohibiting guns in bars is simple common sense. Alcohol and firearms are not a good combination.

    I completely agree that firearms and alcohol don’t mix, but wouldn’t prohibiting people who are carrying from drinking be the better solution?  Or removing self-defense protections from people who’ve been drinking?

    • #24
  25. user_653084 Inactive
    user_653084
    @SalvatorePadula

    Tom Meyer:

    Salvatore Padula: Finally, I think prohibiting guns in bars is simple common sense. Alcohol and firearms are not a good combination.

    I completely agree that firearms and alcohol don’t mix, but wouldn’t prohibiting people who are carrying from drinking be the better solution? Or removing self-defense protections from people who’ve been drinking?

     I’d be happy to prohibit drinking while carrying, but I think enforcement would be much more difficult. The way I look at this is that the liberty interest in carrying a gun in a bar is minimal at best. As with all such matters, I’d prefer prohibitions on carrying in bars to be privately enacted by the proprietors rather than legislatively imposed, but I don’t think that a statutory ban would be unconstitutional. I personally would prefer to frequent drinking establishments which prohibit firearms. I’m willing to take the increased risk of an armed robbery in return for the decreased risk of a drunken shootout. While I’ve no data to support this (and I doubt any exists either way) I would be willing to wager that ceteris paribus allowing people to carry guns in a bar will increase the number of otherwise minor altercations which end in fatalities.

    • #25
  26. user_96427 Contributor
    user_96427
    @tommeyer

    Salvatore Padula: I’d be happy to prohibit drinking while carrying, but I think enforcement would be much more difficult.

    Short of installing a TSA station in every bar, how would it be more difficult to enforce than banning firearms outright?

    • #26
  27. user_653084 Inactive
    user_653084
    @SalvatorePadula

    Tom Meyer:

    Salvatore Padula: I’d be happy to prohibit drinking while carrying, but I think enforcement would be much more difficult.

    Short of installing a TSA station in every bar, how would it be more difficult to enforce than banning firearms outright?

    Bouncers at a lot of places have metal detector wands. Aside from that, the enforcement problems related to placing the restriction solely on drinking is that you’d end up with the problem of designated carriers who hold their buddies guns while they drink. If an altercation arises, it’s all too easy to rearm the drunks. There’s also the problem of people drinking while carrying and only passing the gun off to a designated carrier when the cops arrive.

    Basically, because I don’t think alcohol and firearms mix, I think it advisable to separate them as much as possible. I like alcohol  (in fact, I’m probably too fond of it). I like guns. I think it intrinsically irresponsible to combine the two.

    • #27
  28. user_96427 Contributor
    user_96427
    @tommeyer

    Hmmm.  I guess I’ve never been to such a bar.

    Sounds like we’ve a pretty narrow disagreement on this, but I’d say that if anyone pulls a trigger outside of his home and blows even a negligible BAC, the law should come down on him like a ton of bricks.

    • #28
  29. user_240173 Contributor
    user_240173
    @FrankSoto

    Salvatore Padula:

     

    I agree that the case that more guns lead to more crime is without basis (though there are exceptions for particular types of crime), but I don’t think that the fact that our opponents use spurious data justifies our doing the same. We win when we point out how ridiculous and dishonest the other side is. We lose our ability to do that when they can point out the weakness in data we put forth. For me this is a question of overreach. We have an advantage on solid facts. We don’t need to make stuff up or promote questionable data.

     I don’t agree that Lott’s data is spurious, which is part of the point. It certainly not definitive, but I have no problem with conservatives pushing the position that an armed citizenry is safer than an unarmed one. My threshold in regards to where these arguments make me cringe (except Peter King) is just a little  higher than yours I think.  The worst arguments drive me crazy, but the ones that aren’t our best don’t really bother me.

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  30. viruscop Member
    viruscop
    @Viruscop

    Salvatore Padula:

    Frank Soto: On tax cuts, I start out agreeing with you, and end up fairly far apart from you. Tax cuts only pay for themselves when the rates are exceptionally high before the cuts, and I do cringe when Republicans make this particular statement. However it isn’t Keynesian thinking that leads to this idea, it’s the laffer curve, which I think you’d agree is real. I don’t have a problem with Republicans pointing out that there are diminishing returns on increasing tax rates, as well as consequences such as slower economic growth.

    The Laffer Curve is predicated, in substantial part, on the multiplier effect of the tax cuts. Both Keynesians and supply siders use multiplier in their constructs.

     

    Yep. In fact, as this article by Laffer himself notes, the curve is based upon the ideas of Keynes. I would also like to note that there is no theoretical difference between Keynesians and Supply-Siders (who are really Keynesians).

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