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The effects of liberal economics.

regebro
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9/7/2009 3:58:08 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
In some other debates here, economic issues have been touched upon, although not discussed in detail. I would here take the opportunity to show some of the effects of economic policies on different parts of society.

What I want to do is to look at the effects of liberal economic policies, liberal here being defined in the European sense, meaning free from state intervention, basically. I guess in the US they would call it neo-liberal or libertarian or something.

It's possible to take a look at these effects, because there are in fact institutes that measure how liberal/free different countries economical policies are. So you can correlate them to other measurements, such as wealth, income equality and other things.

I've used the Frasier institutes measurement of economic freedom.

First of all let's look at something completely uncontroversial. Everyone admits that from a purely economical standpoint a more liberal economy will give a country more wealth. Here we can see how that looks:

http://i29.tinypic.com...

Well, that's pretty clear, more freedom, more GNP/capita. Unsurprising. We also know (because again, everyone knows this), that the more liberal and capitalist the economy, the higher the income inequality. Rich get richer, poor get poorer. Let's look at that, we compare economic freedom with a GINI index, the measure of income inequality.

http://i25.tinypic.com...

Well, here it's harder to see, but it looks like the GINI index goes down the higher the freedom is. Yup, doing a Pearson correlation on the data shows the correlation is clear, -0.29, the GINI index goes down when freedom goes up. Clearly income equality goes down when freedoom goe... what? WAIT A MINUTE! The GINI index measures income INequality. High is UNequal. Low is more equal!?

Well, whaddayouknow. It turns out that a free economy means a MORE equal income distribution. I guess everyone knew wrong...

But still, there is more poverty in these evil capitalist countries, right? Right?

Let's look at poverty in developing nations. Again, it's UN's numbers, and UN measures poverty in developing and non-developing countries differently (from good reasons), and doens't really measure poverty in rich countries at all (mainly because there isn't very much to measure):

http://i32.tinypic.com...

Eh, OK, the more freedom the less poverty. Well, OK, I guess that was expected. After all, more national income and less inequality must mean less poverty.

But clearly, we also know that people live better lives in countries that have a more socialistic and controlled economy, right? After all Cubas health care is bloody FANTASTIC, right! Everyone knows THAT! Let's look at how economic freedom compares to UN's Human Development Index, which measures things like education, health care and other non-economic factors in life.

http://i28.tinypic.com...

Wow. A correlation of 0.72. That is very high. Clearly, economic freedom, by making countries richer, gives them the ability to have better health care and schools.

But come on, at least we know that having socialist policies like giving loads of power to the unions, and having a very regulated work market means that we get lower unemployment. That correlation is clearly going to show that economic freedom is negative.

http://i30.tinypic.com...

Oh. Well, fudge it, I give up. The economic liberals win. It seems like economic freedom is great for everything. It's probably is good against acne and makes the sun shine more too. Blegh.

;-)
So prove me wrong, then.
regebro
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9/7/2009 4:46:26 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/7/2009 4:31:28 AM, Puck wrote:
A Pearson correlation of -0.29 is barely a relationship at all. Certainly not enough to draw a conclusion.

That's not really true. Since we are talking about a social science here, there are too many variables to ever get up to really high correlations, the correlations of 0.79 that one graph has is almost shockingly high in that context. We can absolutely and decidedly draw one conclusion: More economic freedom does *not* create higher income inequality.

It is clear though that with a correlation of -0.29, there isn't likely to be a direct relationship, but something indirect. I would guess that with higher economic freedom, you also typically in the long run get higher political freedom, and with that also comes higher political demands on social responsibility of the state.

But that is a guess.
So prove me wrong, then.
Puck
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9/7/2009 6:14:14 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/7/2009 4:46:26 AM, regebro wrote:

That's not really true. Since we are talking about a social science here, there are too many variables to ever get up to really high correlations, the correlations of 0.79 that one graph has is almost shockingly high in that context. We can absolutely and decidedly draw one conclusion: More economic freedom does *not* create higher income inequality.

Not from that specific data though. Economics does not allow for controlled experiments, that does not equal lowering the standards of what constitutes a good correlation (insufficient for determining causes anyway, they can only by themselves indicate a relationship between two variables). Less than 3 constitutes as less than a poor relationship, to use that statistic as indicative of anything else is an abuse of statistics.

It is clear though that with a correlation of -0.29, there isn't likely to be a direct relationship, but something indirect.

Which makes any inferences drawn from it moot - if the variables do not correlate, are indirect, i.e. one is not influencing the other; a pearsons correlation will not indicate any relationship of value.
regebro
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9/7/2009 6:53:08 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/7/2009 6:14:14 AM, Puck wrote:
At 9/7/2009 4:46:26 AM, regebro wrote:

That's not really true. Since we are talking about a social science here, there are too many variables to ever get up to really high correlations, the correlations of 0.79 that one graph has is almost shockingly high in that context. We can absolutely and decidedly draw one conclusion: More economic freedom does *not* create higher income inequality.

Not from that specific data though.

Yes, from that specific data.

Economics does not allow for controlled experiments

Which is why you use statistics. Remember, this is not a selection of data. This is all countries that exists in both datasets. Hence you can't say that there is a hidden variable that influences the data. There are no hidden variables, because it's ALL countries. All relevant variables that do exist are a part of that data. The data clearly shows that higher economic freedom does NOT lead to higher economic inequality when all is taken into consideration.

that does not equal lowering the standards of what constitutes a good correlation

Yes it does. If you can make exact controlled experiments, then you must have higher requirements on the correlation, and that's for two reasons:

1. It's a controlled experiment, so you would expect a clear correlation if there is a correlation.
2. A controlled experiment is by definition a subset of the data. You can't in physics take *all* cases of apples falling to make sure they fall downwards. You have to look at a subset. But this data is not a subset.

(insufficient for determining causes anyway

True, but irrelevant.

Less than 3 constitutes as less than a poor relationship

Scuze me, but the highest possible is 1.

Which makes any inferences drawn from it moot

Not at all.
So prove me wrong, then.
Puck
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9/7/2009 7:11:43 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/7/2009 6:53:08 AM, regebro wrote:

Not from that specific data though.

Yes, from that specific data.

So explain how a low relationship is meaningful about the two variables, when the data specifically states, there is no meaningful relationship.

Economics does not allow for controlled experiments

Which is why you use statistics. Remember, this is not a selection of data. This is all countries that exists in both datasets. Hence you can't say that there is a hidden variable that influences the data.

Statistics are used on both controlled and population experiments, not being controlled has no bearing on its usage as its a tool for extracting population data, no matter the methodology. In addition, saying, all possible data was present, does not in anyway exclude that you are measuring related variables (there's a reason why upper limits are adhered to generally, as you risk distributions to norms that are inherent in large populations of data - i.e. the measure will lack discrimination power).

1. It's a controlled experiment, so you would expect a clear correlation if there is a correlation.

A correlation is a descriptor of gradients - "there is a correlation" is an empty statement, as correlations relate to strengths of relationships between its variables. General population data is not counted as controlled in any event - saying, all countries were present, doesn't make it controlled either.

2. A controlled experiment is by definition a subset of the data. You can't in physics take *all* cases of apples falling to make sure they fall downwards. You have to look at a subset. But this data is not a subset.

And? This does not magically make the correlation any better. You are confusing 'this is a good relationship for economics' - doubtful in itself, but irregardless at the moment, and 'this is what constitutes as a good relationship' - which is a standard dictated by the range of the statistical measure itself.

True, but irrelevant.

Not when you start throwing around causal statements. :)

Less than 3 constitutes as less than a poor relationship

Scuze me, but the highest possible is 1.

Apologies: +/- .03
regebro
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9/7/2009 7:41:59 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/7/2009 7:11:43 AM, Puck wrote:
At 9/7/2009 6:53:08 AM, regebro wrote:
Puck:
Less than 3 constitutes as less than a poor relationship

Scuze me, but the highest possible is 1.

Apologies: +/- .03

Oh, yeah. Totally. Note that the correlation here is 0.3.

Not from that specific data though.

Yes, from that specific data.

So explain how a low relationship is meaningful about the two variables, when the data specifically states, there is no meaningful relationship.

Except that the data states there is a meaningful relationship.

You are confusing 'this is a good relationship for economics' - doubtful in itself, but irregardless at the moment, and 'this is what constitutes as a good relationship' - which is a standard dictated by the range of the statistical measure itself.

No, I'm not confusing anything. I am saying: "This is a good relationship for economics". There is no confusion, that is exactly what I am saying.

'this is what constitutes as a good relationship'

A meaningless statement as what constitutes a good relationship depends on the context. Therefor this statement is meaningless without context. The context is in this case that it's economics.
So prove me wrong, then.
wjmelements
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9/7/2009 8:22:32 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
So you support the libertarian definition of liberal?

I was expecting you to be the modern liberal, with all sorts of arguments for third-party price controls and fallacies supporting the such.
in the blink of an eye you finally see the light
Puck
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9/7/2009 8:28:41 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/7/2009 7:41:59 AM, regebro wrote:

Oh, yeah. Totally. Note that the correlation here is 0.3.

Which only indicates a poor relationship.

Yes, from that specific data.

A poor relationship is not specific anything, so no.

Except that the data states there is a meaningful relationship.

Except it doesn't. 'Meaningful' in statistics is actually measurable, but does not belong to the class of analyses in which a correlation is part of which is why the gradient is divided into group ranges of strength in which -.029 constitutes as barely registering.

You are confusing 'this is a good relationship for economics' - doubtful in itself, but irregardless at the moment, and 'this is what constitutes as a good relationship' - which is a standard dictated by the range of the statistical measure itself.

No, I'm not confusing anything. I am saying: "This is a good relationship for economics". There is no confusion, that is exactly what I am saying.

It is when you equate that to, 'therefore this is a good relationship' which you appear to do given you are attempting to draw a meaningful conclusion from it.


'this is what constitutes as a good relationship'

A meaningless statement as what constitutes a good relationship depends on the context.

Maybe in layman's language, not so in statistics - where there is a standard from which a result is applied to - at best you may say, given economics there is a limit to what we can expect, therefore this statistic is good for economics, this does not equate however in dealing with the actual relationships between variables in a measurable sense. A poor correlation is still poor. Being economics data does not change that one whit, does not make the relationship any clearer nor make one variable magically influence another stronger.
regebro
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9/7/2009 8:48:33 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/7/2009 8:28:41 AM, Puck wrote:
At 9/7/2009 7:41:59 AM, regebro wrote:

Oh, yeah. Totally. Note that the correlation here is 0.3.

Which only indicates a poor relationship.

It's still a negative correlation, and clearly shows that there is not a positive correlation. QED.

Yes, from that specific data.

A poor relationship is not specific anything, so no.

It's still a negative correlation, and clearly shows that there is not a positive correlation. QED.

Except that the data states there is a meaningful relationship.

Except it doesn't. 'Meaningful' in statistics is actually measurable, but does not belong to the class of analyses in which a correlation is part of which is why the gradient is divided into group ranges of strength in which -.029 constitutes as barely registering.

It's not -0.029. It's -0.29, which I have now pointed out to you twice. It's really hard to take you seriously when you can't keep -2.9, -0.29 and -0.029 separate.

'this is what constitutes as a good relationship'

A meaningless statement as what constitutes a good relationship depends on the context.

Maybe in layman's language, not so in statistics

No, even in statistics.

I have by now explained this to you and it's completely clear that you have not a leg to stand on, and instead you are trying to make this into some sort of stupid word game. It isn't.

The correlation is there, and it is impossible to claim that more economic freedom leads to higher economic equality, when the correlation in fact is the opposite. That the correlation is not string doesn't change this.
So prove me wrong, then.
Volkov
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9/7/2009 10:01:31 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
Not an economist, I can't really say whether or not this is actually true, so I'll throw the question out there.

The second graph (http://i25.tinypic.com...) shows that the higher the freedom, the lower the income distribution inequalities. But it also shows that once it starts getting above or around 8.0 on the freedom index, there is a trend that starts moving slightly upward to more unequal distribution. In contrasted, between about what looks like 6.5 and 7.5, we see a downward trend which equals less inequal economic distribution.

If I'm reading the graph correctly then, it appears as if some regulation of the market, not overbearing but some, helps keep unequal distribution low - while less regulation does in fact start trending towards more inequality, as does heavier regulation.

Would this be the correct sentiment?
regebro
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9/7/2009 10:45:17 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/7/2009 10:01:31 AM, Volkov wrote:
Not an economist, I can't really say whether or not this is actually true, so I'll throw the question out there.

The second graph (http://i25.tinypic.com...) shows that the higher the freedom, the lower the income distribution inequalities. But it also shows that once it starts getting above or around 8.0 on the freedom index, there is a trend that starts moving slightly upward to more unequal distribution. In contrasted, between about what looks like 6.5 and 7.5, we see a downward trend which equals less inequal economic distribution.

If I'm reading the graph correctly then, it appears as if some regulation of the market, not overbearing but some, helps keep unequal distribution low - while less regulation does in fact start trending towards more inequality, as does heavier regulation.

Would this be the correct sentiment?

Oh, sure. And I would like to mention that I have shown this graph to many people on several discussions forums as well as two blogs. And I haven't mentioned that, specifically to see if anybody picks it up.

You are the first. Congratulations! :-)
So prove me wrong, then.
Volkov
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9/7/2009 10:53:01 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/7/2009 10:45:17 AM, regebro wrote:
Oh, sure. And I would like to mention that I have shown this graph to many people on several discussions forums as well as two blogs. And I haven't mentioned that, specifically to see if anybody picks it up.

You are the first. Congratulations! :-)

Cool, do I get an award or anything?

I also have a quick question about the graph itself; I know it takes in economic freedom and income distribution, but it appears that once you start getting lower than 8.0 on the freedom index, everything seems to be going in wildly different directions, ie., one area has an economic index of about 6.5 and a Gini index of 25, while another with the same economic index has has a Gini index of 55.

Does this graph take into account demographic and geographical barriers to income distribution as well, or does it simply go by freedom/Gini? Because I know while Canada has a fairly free economy, our income distribution is wildly different from province to province, region to region, and even demographic to demographic (from Caucasians to First Nations, for instance), and that would probably bring our income distribution score a little higher than would be expected.
regebro
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9/7/2009 11:01:41 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/7/2009 10:53:01 AM, Volkov wrote:
Cool, do I get an award or anything?

You get the "Eh, whattabaoutthat!" award. :)

Does this graph take into account demographic and geographical barriers to income distribution as well, or does it simply go by freedom/Gini?

It's just freedom/GINI, which is why you can't really draw any other conclusion from it than that freedom doesn't cause income inequality (as a generality). But that's all I wanted to show when I included it.
So prove me wrong, then.
Volkov
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9/7/2009 11:02:55 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/7/2009 11:01:41 AM, regebro wrote:
You get the "Eh, whattabaoutthat!" award. :)

Probably better than an "'attaboy" aware.

It's just freedom/GINI, which is why you can't really draw any other conclusion from it than that freedom doesn't cause income inequality (as a generality). But that's all I wanted to show when I included it.

Ah alright, thanks.
Puck
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9/7/2009 4:35:08 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/7/2009 8:48:33 AM, regebro wrote:

Which only indicates a poor relationship.

It's still a negative correlation, and clearly shows that there is not a positive correlation. QED.

A negative correlation only relates to the direction of any relationship of the two variables - it adds nothing to the 'this is a poor relationship, I can therefore definitely conclude..'

Yes, from that specific data.

A poor relationship is not specific anything, so no.

It's still a negative correlation, and clearly shows that there is not a positive correlation. QED.

See above. Drawing any conclusions from a correlation is sketchy, even strong ones, see also FSM.

Except that the data states there is a meaningful relationship.

Except it doesn't. 'Meaningful' in statistics is actually measurable, but does not belong to the class of analyses in which a correlation is part of which is why the gradient is divided into group ranges of strength in which -.029 constitutes as barely registering.

It's not -0.029. It's -0.29, which I have now pointed out to you twice. It's really hard to take you seriously when you can't keep -2.9, -0.29 and -0.029 separate.

Pointing out a typo is not a rebuttal. :)


'this is what constitutes as a good relationship'

A meaningless statement as what constitutes a good relationship depends on the context.

Maybe in layman's language, not so in statistics

No, even in statistics.


I have by now explained this to you and it's completely clear that you have not a leg to stand on, and instead you are trying to make this into some sort of stupid word game. It isn't.

It shows your lack of understanding of statistics when you continue to assert what you do. Simply that.


The correlation is there, and it is impossible to claim that more economic freedom leads to higher economic equality, when the correlation in fact is the opposite. That the correlation is not string doesn't change this.

A weak relationship between two variables is there, again, 'a correlation' is a meaningless term in statistics. Degrees of relationships determine the strength of any claim related to correlative evidence, and one that constitutes as poor, renders any conclusion as suspect (regardless conclusions cannot be drawn from correlative data alone). Whether the case is still true, is irrelevant to that statistic as a measure of it, as it clearly indicates barely a relationship at all.
JBlake
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9/7/2009 5:13:33 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/7/2009 10:01:31 AM, Volkov wrote:
If I'm reading the graph correctly then, it appears as if some regulation of the market, not overbearing but some, helps keep unequal distribution low - while less regulation does in fact start trending towards more inequality, as does heavier regulation.

Ding ding ding! We have a winner.

A fine defense of American Liberalism.

P.S. What is the label used everywhere else for what Americans call Liberals?
feverish
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9/7/2009 5:16:24 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/7/2009 5:13:33 PM, JBlake wrote:


P.S. What is the label used everywhere else for what Americans call Liberals?

America's liberals are conservatives to us.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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9/7/2009 5:17:51 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
I thought they were called Social Democrats
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
JBlake
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9/7/2009 5:19:52 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/7/2009 5:16:24 PM, feverish wrote:
America's liberals are conservatives to us.

If American libertarians are liberals and American Liberals are conservatives; what are American Conservatives?
Volkov
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9/7/2009 5:23:33 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/7/2009 5:19:52 PM, JBlake wrote:
At 9/7/2009 5:16:24 PM, feverish wrote:
America's liberals are conservatives to us.

If American libertarians are liberals and American Liberals are conservatives; what are American Conservatives?

http://bnp.org.uk...
feverish
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9/7/2009 5:23:45 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/7/2009 5:19:52 PM, JBlake wrote:
At 9/7/2009 5:16:24 PM, feverish wrote:
America's liberals are conservatives to us.

If American libertarians are liberals and American Liberals are conservatives; what are American Conservatives?

Nazis.

jk
feverish
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9/7/2009 5:24:32 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/7/2009 5:23:33 PM, Volkov wrote:
At 9/7/2009 5:19:52 PM, JBlake wrote:
At 9/7/2009 5:16:24 PM, feverish wrote:
America's liberals are conservatives to us.

If American libertarians are liberals and American Liberals are conservatives; what are American Conservatives?

http://bnp.org.uk...

lol same thing.
TheSkeptic
Posts: 1,362
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9/7/2009 6:16:07 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/7/2009 5:19:52 PM, JBlake wrote:
At 9/7/2009 5:16:24 PM, feverish wrote:
America's liberals are conservatives to us.

If American libertarians are liberals and American Liberals are conservatives; what are American Conservatives?

Idiots...
TheSkeptic
Posts: 1,362
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9/7/2009 6:16:43 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/7/2009 5:23:45 PM, feverish wrote:
At 9/7/2009 5:19:52 PM, JBlake wrote:
At 9/7/2009 5:16:24 PM, feverish wrote:
America's liberals are conservatives to us.

If American libertarians are liberals and American Liberals are conservatives; what are American Conservatives?

Nazis.

jk

I see we share the same consensus :)
regebro
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9/7/2009 10:05:47 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/7/2009 4:35:08 PM, Puck wrote:
At 9/7/2009 8:48:33 AM, regebro wrote:

Which only indicates a poor relationship.

It's still a negative correlation, and clearly shows that there is not a positive correlation. QED.

A negative correlation only relates to the direction of any relationship of the two variables - it adds nothing to the 'this is a poor relationship, I can therefore definitely conclude..'

It's still a clear and definite negative correlation, and clearly shows that there is not a positive correlation.

See above. Drawing any conclusions from a correlation is sketchy, even strong ones, see also FSM.

It's still a clear and definite negative correlation, and clearly shows that there is not a positive correlation.

It shows your lack of understanding of statistics when you continue to assert what you do. Simply that.

It's still a clear and definite negative correlation, and clearly shows that there is not a positive correlation.

A weak relationship between two variables is there, again, 'a correlation' is a meaningless term in statistics. Degrees of relationships determine the strength of any claim related to correlative evidence, and one that constitutes as poor, renders any conclusion as suspect (regardless conclusions cannot be drawn from correlative data alone). Whether the case is still true, is irrelevant to that statistic as a measure of it, as it clearly indicates barely a relationship at all.

It's still a clear and definite negative correlation, and clearly shows that there is not a positive correlation.

You write a lot, but you don't say much.
So prove me wrong, then.
regebro
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9/7/2009 10:08:15 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/7/2009 5:16:24 PM, feverish wrote:
At 9/7/2009 5:13:33 PM, JBlake wrote:


P.S. What is the label used everywhere else for what Americans call Liberals?

America's liberals are conservatives to us.

Correct, they are. But the label used would be "social democrats".
So prove me wrong, then.
regebro
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9/7/2009 10:12:53 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/7/2009 5:19:52 PM, JBlake wrote:
At 9/7/2009 5:16:24 PM, feverish wrote:
America's liberals are conservatives to us.

If American libertarians are liberals

Well, no, they are libertarians really. That can be seen as a form of liberalism. The prefix would be "nutcase-", I guess.

There is no liberal party in the US. There are liberals both withing the Democrats and the Republicans though. They typically go under the label "centrists".

and American Liberals are conservatives; what are American Conservatives?

They are religious conservatives. If you ask for what label they would have outside the US, it would be "Christian democrats".
So prove me wrong, then.
Puck
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9/7/2009 10:22:57 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/7/2009 10:05:47 PM, regebro wrote:

It's still a clear and definite negative correlation, and clearly shows that there is not a positive correlation.

It is not definitive as the statistic itself shows. If it was it would be much higher. It's that simple.

It's still a clear and definite negative correlation, and clearly shows that there is not a positive correlation.

Whether it is positive or negative is irrelevant to the numeric value of the statistic itself, and the strength of the correlation that details. It remains a poor correlation, no matter how you may wish it otherwise.

You write a lot, but you don't say much.

Appears the issue is not my end. :)
comoncents
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9/7/2009 10:31:08 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
trickle down economics is the only way to go!

(there is a little bit of sarcasm in my typing)

anyone against this theory.