Interesting point from Booman.
During the discussion, Fox host Brian Kilmeade asked pro-labor guest Robert Zimmerman if President Obama was taking a “big risk” by opposing Walker’s law. Zimmerman responded by saying that Obama was speaking “for the mainstream of our country, and the mainstream of Republican governors who are not siding with Governor Walker.” Kilmeade responded by saying, “I think Gallup, a relatively mainstream poll, has a differing view. And here’s the question that was posed. Do you favor or disfavor of taking away collective bargaining when it comes to salaries for government workers. 66 percent in favor, 33 percent opposed, 9 percent up in the air.
Imagine my surprise when I found that the polls said not such thing:
Americans strongly oppose laws taking away the collective bargaining power of public employee unions, according to a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll. The poll found 61% would oppose a law in their state similar to such a proposal in Wisconsin, compared with 33% who would favor such a law.
Wisconsin teachers were right (and Bill O’Reilly wrong) when they chanted “FOX LIES!”
It appears that FOXNEWS CEO Roger Ailes will have his own problems with the truth:
“It was an incendiary allegation — and a mystery of great intrigue in the media world: After the publishing powerhouse Judith Regan was fired by HarperCollins in 2006, she claimed that a senior executive at its parent company, News Corporation, had encouraged her to lie two years earlier to federal investigators who were vetting Bernard B. Kerik for the job of homeland security secretary . . .
Now, court documents filed in a lawsuit make clear whom Ms. Regan was accusing of urging her to lie: Roger E. Ailes, the powerful chairman of Fox News and a longtime friend of Mr. Giuliani. What is more, the documents say that Ms. Regan taped the telephone call from Mr. Ailes in which Mr. Ailes discussed her relationship with Mr. Kerik.”
Glenn Beck is gonna need a bigger blackboard.
The main argument with this post is at the OkCupid blog is that it is not a longitudinal study; that post is the result of a cross-sectional analysis of their dating site data.
My point behind saying this is that there are differences in ideology in a population at a single point in time across age groups, which should not necessarily mean that there are similar changes in an individual person across time.
For example, the person at the point where economic and social beliefs intersect (at age 32) was born in 1978 and first voted in a Presidential election in 1996. Think Ross Perot and “I did not have sex with that woman”. The point where economic beliefs begin getting more restrictive (at age 40) was born in 1970 and likely first voted in a Presidential election 1988. The point where economic beliefs cross over from permissive to restrictive translates has the person being born in 1959, who was voting age in 1977 and likely voted in their first Presidential election in 1980. The point where they cross again, presumably near age 60, has them being born in 1950, and first voting for President in 1968.
One could see how the voting behavior might change post Clinton Impeachment (Clinton ‘won’ in a three-way race in 1996 with 49.23% of the vote), to the left or right. One could see how the voter in the age of Reagan might have thought about Dukakis (who lost by to George H. W. Bush by 7.72%; BTW, Ron Paul was running as well, and earned 0.47% of the vote); Similarly, the Carter voter in 1980 (who lost to Ronald Reagan by 9.74%; incidentally non-Republican and -Democratic vote share was 8.23%!, which might explain the teabaggers) or the Nixon voter in 1968 (Nixon won by only 0.7%; the independent vote share was 13.86%!). Context is important.
One would expect there to be switch to risk-aversion as you approach middle-age and retirement, and a reversal towards entitlements once you are eligible. But what is also important is the starting point. Political behavior is often set in adolescence (although there can be changes, myself for instance). The party with the electoral advantage now is going to be at an advantage over time, especially giving the baby boom and post baby boom demographics. I suspect that the 18-year old voter in 2008 is substantially more liberal than any in recent American history. I tend to agree with “the Demographics as Destiny” from Cato regarding Republicans and the Tea Party rather than a headline of “the Democrats are Doomed”.
My wife – a special education school teacher – and I have a bit of a policy disagreement regarding teacher merit pay.
Most can agree that our Education System is broken (see anything by John Taylor Gatto) and some sort of reform is necessary (even if it rankles some of the President’s core constituents). Sometimes that change can only be motivated through monetary incentives. On the macro-level, I can see the potential benefits. On the micro-level, it’s likely that her students may not ever achieve sufficiently for her to earn said bonuses.
While I’m not necessarily opposed to merit pay, even in a Union environment, I have a problem with the mechanism for earning those incentives, and how there could be a long-term misalignment between the outcome expected (educated students) and the data measured, distorted by short-term individual gain (executive bonuses). Basically, an administrator can ‘work the numbers’ to earn a bonus, totally above board, and still fail at the long-term mission of education.
I’ve already heard stories of local districts being accused of monkeying with metrics, and also heard others regarding services being in-sourced or out-sourced solely for monetary savings and irrespective of the quality or appropriateness of service. The spreadsheets certainly distilled the data to highlight what was best.
On the surface, a data-driven approach dissolves many of the existing problems by being totally objective. If 500 students out of 800 go to college, that is a 63% advancement rate. Dispassionate statistics are immune to political and ideological pressures. There is no room for argument – data and spreadsheets don’t lie. Unless we ask them to…
“Going down with crime.” For years, that was the phrase among Philadelphia police about their culture of minimizing or dismissing complaints from crime victims. This practice kept crime statistics low, thereby improving the department’s image.
In articles and series published in recent years, The Inquirer examined that long-standing practice – especially the “downgrading” of rapes.
Former Police Commissioner John F. Timoney eventually acknowledged that many rapes and other sex offenses had been improperly classified and had received little or no investigation. The department eventually admitted that its sex crimes unit had misclassified 1,822 crimes dating back to 1995.
It’s unclear if the downgrading happened on the beat, at the precinct, or at the roundhouse.
There is little incentive (beyond avoiding work) for unionized, uniformed officers to downgrade statistics, as the metrics would likely not aid them in promotions, and would not receive bonuses in this fashion outside of their contract. It’s also unclear if senior uniformed or civilian management had any bonus monies, incentives, or promotion opportunities tied to the statistics. It’s hard to imagine how PPD leadership wouldn’t have some sort of stake. It’s also fair to consider the political pressures that might have been at play.
Most depressingly, by reflecting dropping crime rates and promoting their own performance, they were likely reducing state and Federal aid in both manpower and money, leading to a more dangerous environment for both Police Officers and citizens. This was more than a Philadelphia problem, with the issue appearing on University and College campuses as well as other towns and municipalities.
The PPD subsequently employed CompStat to evaluate the metrics, but they are still initiated by people and paper.
Yes, metrics are important, but they can’t be everything, and they can distort and obfuscate just as much as they can lend clarity. What you decide to measure (teacher performance) – and what you choose to ignore (administrative performance) – are subjective choices. If you make uninformed choices at the onset, your errors are compounded at conclusion.
Further, who understands all the various coefficients, powers, and standard deviations? Statistics was my single worst subject, bar none (okay, not really, you can throw Chemistry and Physics in their too. And advanced maths. All of them), and I know I’m not alone. Does the citizenry even understand the problem:
[ARNE] DUNCAN: Here’s another Gallup result that I think is fascinating. This is the most remarkable finding. Everyone thinks their own school is good and that everybody else’s school is bad. That’s a constant theme. (See Tables 2, 3, and 4 on Page 11.)
KAPPAN: Why do you think that exists?
DUNCAN: Too many people don’t understand how bad their own schools are. They always think it’s somebody else’s kid who’s not being educated. They don’t understand that it’s their own kid who’s being short-changed. That’s part of our challenge. How do you awaken the public to believe that your own kid isn’t getting what they need and you don’t know it. If they would wake up, they could be part of the change. We need to wake them up.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say they don’t know their school is bad. I would say that they have no idea which data points are important, and that they would prefer those who do to make the best decisions possible. Education Reform is a little like the Federal Deficit, everyone knows its important, but no one really knows why, what to do about it, or how it affects them.
The ubiquity of computing devices, always-on-internet, and a fire hose of data will make it even more difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff, or even easier to cherry pick or work the data. We can’t be data driven without being data literate.
If I lived in NY-23, I don’t know how happy I would be about the wingnut-and-teabagger circus parachuting-in and interfering in provincial politics (wherein I agree with Newt Gingrich!). At this point, it really is a pointless race for the Democrats, not in that it isn’t winnable, but that no matter what happens it’s bad news for the GOP. Incumbents in the Northeast get reelected because they deliver and/or avoid scandal, not because they engage in the far-right jihads of Mrs. Palin, Beck, et. al. After all, NY-23 delivered for Obama by 5-points.
Continue the purge! Conservatism can’t be fail, it can only be failed, by gutless moderates unwilling to sacrifice electability in the name of defeating the Muslim-scourge, or the liberal-socialist-fascist Dark One. After decades of courting extremists, the Republican establishment will have to reap what they have sown, as will their constituency. The streets will run with Cheetos and Mountain Dew, as the teabaggers celebrate their first electoral scalp, and the fact they have finally arrived in a fashion not seen since the Know-Nothings prowled the legislature.
Please, take your party further to the right. Keep venerating St. Ronald Reagan and palling-around with people that normally scare their neighbors:
The self-identifying conservative Republicans who make up the base of the Republican Party stand a world apart from the rest of America, according to focus groups conducted by Democracy Corps. These base Republican voters dislike Barack Obama to be sure “ which is not very surprising as base Democrats had few positive things to say about George Bush “ but these voters identify themselves as part of a ‘mocked’ minority with a set of shared beliefs and knowledge, and commitment to oppose Obama that sets them apart from the majority in the country. They believe Obama is ruthlessly advancing a ‘secret agenda’ to bankrupt the United States and dramatically expand government control to an extent nothing short of socialism. While these voters are disdainful of a Republican Party they view to have failed in its mission, they overwhelmingly view a successful Obama presidency as the destruction of this country’s founding principles and are committed to seeing the president fail.
I wish the same thing on New Jersey Republicans. All the happy talk and faith-based economics will get you nowhere. Cutting taxes may be good tactics during an election, but it’s a poor strategy for good governance. Please, Chris Christie, opt-out of government healthcare, so NJ can add record insurance premiums to it’s ‘highest’ roster of unemployment and taxes. It’s time to stop evangelizing and start allowing people to be bitch-slapped by the Invisible Hand.