…from the quill of Antisthenes

In an attempt to sell us the fraudulent ‘climate changing’ tax scheme, the Green/ALP government is scratching the barrel. One trick, beside hiding the decline, is to pretend that only stupid, uneducated people don’t believe that the Australians by paying more for everything will somehow reduce the temperature of the planet. Guru Garnaut and other Gillard gnomes are surprised that the ignorant public lacks confidence in their confidence trick. What can they do? Tell the truth? Not likely. They need a taxpayer funded campaign, something like “Trust scientists? Sure can!” Or perhaps a barrel of worms. The desperate government insults citizens using the citizens’ money in the process. Even a pupil in elementary school knows not all teachers can be trusted on everything and by now everybody ought to know that not all scientists can be trusted on matters outside their area of expertise and sometimes not even then. All those taxpayers grants, financing what the government wishes to hear…

In a special report on „Democracy in California“ The Economist of 23rd April, 2011 devoted a lot of space, albeit not much thought to the question of the Californian version of direct democracy. Residents can influence their governance by referenda (accepting or rejecting a proposal by legislature), recalls (removal of elected representatives from the office before the expiration of the term), initiatives (a measure out on the ballot by a petition) and by voting on such an initiative, if it qualified for a ballot, called then a proposition. Many believe that this makes California ungovernable – the people do not know what is best for them and can not foresee the consequence of their decisions. [There is, of course, more than a grain of truth in it and could be a matter of another article.] The flood gates were apparently opened by a successful and simple Proposition 13, which placed a tax cap on real estate, both residential and commercial. It appears that most people erroneously believed that the cap applies to residential property only.

A part worth quoting in full:

Political scientists normally assume that the older, more educated, wealthy and attentive voters are, the better informed they will be. But Kimberly Nalder, a professor at California State University at Sacramento, discovered that at this instance the opposite was true. The factors that usually indicate greater knowledge instead predicted ‘not only lack of accurate understanding but actual misinformation.’ Thus Ms Nalder found that the best-educated (those with more than a master’s degree) were most likely to answer incorrectly that Proposition 13 applies only to residential property. Those with the least education (high-school dropouts) were most likely to get it right.

If ‘educated’ people can’t get such a simple matter right, what are the chances their perceptions of the alleged anthropogenic global warming and a tax scheme to reduce it are anywhere near reality? Close to zero, I guess. In the meantime the ‘uneducated’ worms are beginning to turn. By the way, this is not an attack on the Californian education or education generally, nor an attack on the principles of direct democracy. It is simply a reminder that being older, educated, richer etc. does not immunise you to a stupidity virus.

About Antisthenes

A Greek philosopher, a pupil of Socrates. Led a revolt, with Diogenes, against the demands of the city-state and the sophistication of life. Accepted the interrelation of knowledge, virtue, and happiness; and sought the ideal condition for happiness in return to primitivism and self-sufficiency. Rejected all social distinctions as based on convention, scorned orthodox religion as a fabrication of lies, and studied early legends and animal life in order to arrive at a true understanding of natural law. The individual was free and self-sufficient when he was master of his passions, secure in his intelligence, impervious to social or religious demands, and satisfied with the poverty of a mendicant. Needless to say, a person who on the Fog of Chaos adopted the Athenian philosopher's name has nothing whatsoever in common with him.
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