Still a good deal

Haven’t heard a lot about the Iran deal lately, but Drum with another good post on the matter.  Again, chances are really, really good that you in no way have the expertise (nor do I) to evaluate the deal, so all we can really do is evaluate who supports it.  And quite simply, the only serious opposition is the Republican Party in the United States.  That’s it.  There’s a whole damn world out there that thinks this is a good deal.  That really ought to count for something.  Drum:

The New York Times reports that the Iran deal is just a big yawn in Europe:

The matter is settled, according to Camille Grand, director of the Strategic Research Foundation in Paris and an expert on nuclear nonproliferation. “In Europe, you don’t have a constituency against the deal,” he said. “In France, I can’t think of a single politician or member of the expert community who has spoken against it, including some of us who were critical during the negotiations.”

Mr. Grand said the final agreement was better than he had expected. “I was surprised by the depth and the quality of the deal,” he said. “The hawks are satisfied, and the doves don’t have an argument.”

No arguments? I got your arguments right here. 24 days! Self-inspections! $150 billion! Death to America! Neville Chamberlain!

If the Europeans have no arguments against the deal, they aren’t even trying. They should try calling the Republican Party for a set of serious, detailed, and principled talking points.

Who you going to listen to?  The whole damn world, or the people who think Donald Trump would be a good president and that the world is not heating up.

What’s public education for anyway?

This from John Green is three years old, but a friend shared it today with NC schools starting this week.  I sure wish our legislators were smart enough to understand it’s message.

Gun correlations

As you’ve surely heard a million times, correlation is not causation.  But it can be suggestive.  Do more guns cause more gun deaths?  Maybe.  Are more guns correlated with more gun deaths?  Absolutely.  Does the evidence suggest that states that have fewer guns and countries that have fewer guns will have fewer gun deaths?  Yes.  We cannot know for sure, but given that we are talking about deaths, this seems like something we might at least want to try.  Anyway, nice Vox post on 17 charts on how America is unique in gun violence and I find these two correlations especially interesting:

These are far from perfect relationships and there’s surely a host of cultural factors and related policies, but substantially reducing our number of guns would likely reduce our number of gun deaths.  Of course, that’s not going to happen anytime soon thanks to the “out of my cold dead hands” crowd, but let’s not pretend things couldn’t be better.

Young people will vote when… they are older

Really liked this Pacific Standard piece from Seth Masket because it takes on one of my own favorite tropes– how young people today are such bad voters.  Young people always always vote on lower rates than older people.  Then they get older, vote, and write stupid columns complaining about young people not voting.  Masket:

Last week in the Boston Globe, Joanna Weiss noted efforts by campaigns to get younger people to vote, ranging from President Obama’s appearance on Between Two Ferns to Ted Cruz’s machine-gun bacon cooking and Simpsons references. As Weiss notes, getting young people to vote is a longstanding issue for campaigns. But, she adds:

The problem is getting worse. Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, director of CIRCLE, a Tufts-based center that studies civic engagement among young Americans, said the percentage of 18-to-29-year-olds who voted in the 2014 midterm elections was 19.9, the lowest ever recorded, and significantly below the 24 percent who voted in 2010.

Is the problem actually getting worse? Not really. Indeed, as the graphs on Weiss’ article show, younger voters have always turned out in lower numbers than older voters in mid-term elections, and by a pretty consistent margin…

Younger voters consistently vote in lower percentages, usually by around 20 to 25 percentage points. Why? It’s pretty simple: they have less experience voting. Lots of research suggests that voting is habitual—the more you’ve done it, the more likely you are to do it again. Younger voters simply haven’t developed the habit yet.

Voter turnout, 1948-2008.

So why was youth turnout in the 2014 mid-terms so dismal. Because turnout at all ages was dismal… [emphasis in original]

I’ll add that it’s not just habit.  Voting also correlates with residential stability, stable employment, marriage, etc.,– thinks that are all more common in your thirties than 18-25.  So, please stop worryinng about young people not voting.  Worry about all people not voting and you’ll get more young people, too.  Just don’t ever expect them to vote at the same rates.

%d bloggers like this: