Bruce Kay 
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Re: “Letters to the Editor for the week of November 15

Day 3..... couple more dislikes, yet still only a stoney (but seething!) silence from the Marrie Antoinettes of the Sea to Sky corridor. I guess the entirety of the robust statistical evidence is all mine!


" As evidence, the article notes that the share of national income (including capital gains) going to the richest 1 per cent of Americans has doubled since 1980 from 10 per cent to 20 per cent, the level it was in the first Gilded Age. The share going to the richest 0.01 per cent quadrupledfrom 1 per cent to almost 5 per cent, which is larger than it was in the 1880s. This concentration of income among the super-rich is happening in many countries, including Canada."

https://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/Details…


fascinating fact: Much of this multi decade "re-distribution of wealth" occurred during the great recession, indicating with force that at least for the top 10 percent, there essentially was no recession, just another glorious opportunity for more predation.

Posted by Bruce Kay on 11/17/2018 at 5:47 PM

Re: “Letters to the Editor for the week of November 15

huh. 4 "dislikes" so far yet not one of them has the sack to belly up and school me. I thought by now all the Terrence Corcoran and Comrade Black groupies would have compiled a significant statistically robust rebuttal by now, in defence of their sacred cow - the boogie man of re-distribution of wealth "rolling like a tsunami from the Left"..

oh wait. Perhaps that means they in fact have exactly zero statistically robust rebuttal?

That would be tragic. It would mean that modern day Canadian Conservatism is built entirely upon nothing more than smoke, mirrors and a broom stick jammed up the rear

0 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Bruce Kay on 11/16/2018 at 4:34 PM

Re: “Letters to the Editor for the week of November 15

More general hilarity from the Pique letters to editor, this time from Perri Dom!

Perri, while there are numerous general errors throughout your complaint ( Global Warming as we know it is mostly a result of human activity, not "partly") there is one gargantuan one that cannot go without rebuttal, which is your characterization of recent tax initiatives:

"one of the greatest wealth-redistribution eras of our lifetimes, rolling like a great tsunami from the left. "


Ummmm.... no. Whatever nefarious communist plot you see brewing with nothing more than an accounting for a previously externalizer cost such as a carbon tax (which you neglect to mention will be progressive to the point of revenue neutral ) it literally is a fart in the wind compared to the decades long and statistically substantive "wealth re-distribution" that steadily and deliberately delivered by the barrel load to those who least need it, extracted from those who actually do.

There is no better directly analogous example than your sidesplittingly funny sense of injury at what amounts to a very minor attempt to address this inequity of costs, opportunity and need by the application of the property speculation tax, which while certainly is an "injury" to generally invulnerable wealthy speculators in their single minded drive to commodify basic housing needs into a growth investment vehicle, it is no injury at all to those who simply wish to find a roof over their heads without sticking their head in a noose of that debt you mention.

Thats right - the privilege of the very few to expand their investment portfolio's ever skyward at exponentially exploding rates is only one of many examples of the only "wealth re-distribution" of note, now well into its third decade and starting when Ronald Reagan leveraged the term "trickle down economics" to the now well known hoax that it is!

Whatever has been "trickling down" for decades has not remotely been matched by the flow that has been "Niagra Falls torrenting" up. All I can say if you find yourself so alarmed at any little hiccup in that pattern is you know as little of the historical record of wealth redistribution as you do about global warming.

https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/75-006…

2 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Bruce Kay on 11/15/2018 at 11:29 AM

Re: “Letters to the Editor for the week of November 8

At this point it is worth noting 2 things:

1) The majority of criticisms levelled at Pro Rep are logical fallacies. I have pointed out two glaring ones others have pointed out many similar. A logical fallacy is an incompetent heuristic. It is incompetent not because it is a heuristic which are often useful decision shortcuts even if crudely applied. It is incompetent if it is based on fallacy. It seems "logical" because it "makes sense" but it relies on the "sense" remaining critically unexamined.

example: Jordan Sturdy says "Special projects, transportation, local health care and education issues, economic development priorities and more are better managed and monitored when you have an accountable politician."

Offered as criticism of Proportional Representation, this only "makes sense" if you accept his implied premiss...... that there is no local popularly elected representative under Proportional Representation. This is flat out false, as any skeptical examination of Pro Rep will reveal, but the purveyor of any logical fallacy depends upon you, the reader, to not invest anything in any skeptical examination, to instead accept his implied terms of reference:

The utterly refutable premiss that Proportional Representation offers no "accountable politician". This is a classic Strawman Argument - an incompetent heuristic or if you prefer, a logical fallacy.
As noted, this is not the only logical fallacy. Any reasonable attempt at critical skepticism will reveal that the majority of not just Jordan's arguments but also the similarly written appeal by the Chamber of Commerce is littered with them as well.

Which leads to:

2) Heuristics are not uncommon in human discourse and decision making - quite the contrary, but there is a clear distinction of "reliability" between those that are competent and those that are not. Unfortunately, this is seldom apparent if you just let your "gut" decide which is which.

Here is an example of a competent heuristic:

If a pattern of incompetent heuristics is detected in any argument, their argument likely has no competency at all. If that is all they got, it is reasonable to suspect they got nothing. Can you find fault with this heuristic? Is it based on a fallacy?

In all likelihood, the purveyor of logical fallacy has got nothing. Or at least nothing they are willing to actually put on the table. So what exactly Jordan are you not willing to reveal as to why you really don't like Pro Rep?

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Bruce Kay on 11/10/2018 at 9:40 AM

Re: “Letters to the Editor for the week of November 8

It is heartening to see the above letter writers eviscerate with fact the deceptive rhetoric that is consistently employed by those who have a vested interest in preserving the status quo of First Past the Post.

As a classic example of the mangling of reality that typically is employed, consider the following example from the previous week comments section:



"Which is more undemocratic... 45% of the vote with 51% power or 5-15% of the vote dictating what the government cant do, through their balance of power. At the end of the day PR is less democratic most of the time!"




At a casual glance (if thats all you are willing to give it) his logic sounds plausible. If you stop to regard it skeptically for even a brief moment, it becomes obvious that both his mathematical assumptions are entirely false:

1) First Past the Post regularly gives us 45% of the vote with 100% power.... not 51% as stated!


2) Pro Rep never gives those who use it "5-15% of the vote dictating what the government can't do". He is describing a Coalition government, not Proportional Representation.

5 to 15% cannot dictate anything under a Proportional Representation government. They can try to persuade in committee or similar, successfully if a majority vote results, but no tiny minority can wield any bludgeon of "dictation" purely by what we experience now - the fluke circumstance of luck, Andrew Weaver propping up an otherwise minority "Winner take All" NDP Horgan. This fluke circumstance of luck does provide a glimpse of what collaborative government trends toward - pragmatic compromise, not extremism - but at the end of the day, winner still takes all power.

Horgan is right now the one who dictates, only slightly moderated by the threat of Green support. That dictation occurs under First Past the Post, not proportional Representation. That dictation occurs even more ruthlessly in any majority FPTP government.

You really think all this proportional representation stuff is confusing? Not nearly as deliberately confusing as those who oppose it with what Mark Twain says about "statistics" being used with all the sophistication of a shotgun.

5 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Bruce Kay on 11/08/2018 at 11:02 AM

Re: “Letters to the Editor for the week of November 1

Anyone who still doubts the fundamentally undemocratic effects of First Past the Post need only take a look, once again, down south where "democracy" is nothing but a cynical joke used to conceal the protected entitlements of a traditional minority.

The Republican party just gained more power in the US Senate. They did so despite the democrats winning by 12% in the popular vote. There is no coincidence that without any discernible exception, Conservatives ( in this case Jordan Sturdy) oppose any correction of this effect. Conservatives will never say it aloud, but their opposition to any improvement to the democratic process is rooted in the simple empirical truth that the status quo works just fine for them, and quaintly naive notions of liberal democracy be damned.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2018/…

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Bruce Kay on 11/07/2018 at 9:39 AM

Re: “Letters to the Editor for the week of November 1

Jordan - despite much prompting, you continue to ignore two obvious things in your continued disparagement of proportional representation.

1) All the "Art of the Deal" complaints you level at "cooperation" are an accurate description of First Past the Post, minus any ability for compromise. By offering the current Green / NDP coalition as proof, you only highlight that the winner takes all majority is more nepotism prone, not less. By its very nature, a coalition / collaboration must be open to both compromise and agreed on objectives. A good example is of this is what you see right now - Greens and NDP pragmatically making compromises to navigate the yin yang of ecology and economy, LNG and Site C dam both being prime examples. If you think Weaver is some sort of "crazed extremist" by supporting both then all I can say is you are a good fit with Wilkinson's so called Liberals.

2) You know better than most that as an MLA under a majority government, you had next to zilch influence on actual policy and law, that being the sole domain of the Premier, her pool of unelected henchmen and some carefully selected Cabinet Ministers. Your primary role was to first secure a Majority for Christie Clark then obediently vote for her legislation, carefully designed to serve her constituents - Lobbyists and real estate developers primarily, not the middle class voter who now cannot afford an apartment in their own home town.

You now have more influence and responsibility as an opposition critic than you ever had in your majority Liberal government. With a Proportional Representation government you right now would not be sniping from the penalty box, you would actually have a seat at the policy table, something much appreciated I'm sure if you are sincere in hoping to fix the loss of the Greyhound bus service.

The "Art of the Deal" now has a negative connotation ascribed to it, thanks to the idiot down south. Other people all over the world show quite clearly that the most complex problems can only be managed well with collaborative sophistication by all effected parties, which is the true art of the deal.

7 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Bruce Kay on 11/01/2018 at 7:23 AM

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