June 27, 2007
Least. Surprising. Report. Ever.
Really, guys. This actually counted as news?
June 27, 2007 | Permalink
Totally off-topic: I think Ezra needs to school Andrew Sullivan in the realities of pharmaceutical R&D. I remember reading somewhere that most of the most useful (and profitable) drugs had been developed by public funds.
Posted by: James F. Elliott | Jun 27, 2007 12:37:32 PM
Drum mentioned that, but Sullivan didn't even bother in his retort piece today. Go figure. Sullivan still immensely dislikes liberals(unless your name is "Poodle" Blair).
Posted by: Joe Klein's conscience | Jun 27, 2007 12:49:26 PM
This is about as surprising as that Larry Bartels study from the other day showing that U.S. senators are significantly more responsive to rich constituents than to middle class or the poor. It's reminds me of that old definition of social science as an elaborate demonstration of the obvious by methods that are obscure.
But you do need good studies on these kinds of questions, even when the conclusions are so thumpingly obvious that it bores you to tears. Because at least there's a chance good research might persuade and guide those of us in the reality-based community. Though of course wingnuttia will never listen to any of it, unless it already fits their predetermined conclusions.
Posted by: Kathleen Geier | Jun 27, 2007 1:58:40 PM
Looks like Bartel's study is going to get plenty of misleading intepretations. Looks to me that the main thing it shows is that the poor are outliers in their opinions and are outnumbered, so naturally their opinions will be the least well correlated with elected representatives.
And "responsive"? Doesn't mean what it seems to. It's a statisitical term about correlation with no implication at all about responding in the ordinary sense.
Then there is the fact that we should hope that our representatives will mirror the views of the more well informed and educated. And they will, in any case, because that's what they are themselves.
Posted by: Sanpete | Jun 27, 2007 3:41:12 PM
Sanpete, did you mean to say there that politicians should ignore the opinions of the poor because they're ignorant and uneducated? Because that's what it sounds like. Maybe I'm misinterpreting.
As someone pointed out in the Bartels thead, the interesting stuff is his examination of why politicians are less responsive to the poor (meaning, as sanpete points out, their votes are less correlated with the opinions of the poor) not the mere fact that they are less responsive. Plus, the New York Times didn't write an article about Bartels's research.
Posted by: Elm | Jun 28, 2007 9:34:56 AM
Posted by: judy | Oct 8, 2007 8:26:30 AM
The comments to this entry are closed.