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Author Topic: Instead of ranking states, let's rank variables!  (Read 17258 times)

Zxcv

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Instead of ranking states, let's rank variables!
« on: January 27, 2003, 02:07:33 pm »

Everyone has their favorite state, and we tend to emphasize the features of that state that put it in the best light. This is "putting the best foot forward."

But the spreadsheets are our connection to reality. Those features we emphasize for our states are often spreadsheet variables. So we should be able to rank variables in a way that is 1) plausible, and 2) puts our state high in the rankings. Other things not quantified, the "intangibles", also have an effect on our choices, but if you can't first get your state pretty high in the rankings (if not in first place), you are not being realistic, and are not making FSP success pre-eminent.

Just as we ranked states in other threads, let's try ranking spreadsheet variables in importance. This should correspond to the weights you assign when you run the spreadsheet.

I'd also like to use this thread to investigate the notion of dependent variables. These are pairs of variables that are related, or "correlated". One prime example would be the Vot, Pop, and VotingAgePop variables. I have run a correlation between Vot and VotingAgePop variables on the big spreadsheet (it is a spreadsheet function, easy to do), and find the correlation coefficient is .97 (1.0 would mean "perfectly correlated"). This means these two variables are essentially the same variable. When weights are assigned to Vot and VotingAgePop, putting a 10 in each of them is pretty much the same as putting a 20 in one and 0 in the other. The same is true for any other pair of highly correlated variables, so be careful you don't overweigh these by assigning high weights to both.

BTW, I am using variable names that appear either on the small spreadsheet or the big one. I will send my big spreadsheet (that has many more rows than the small one) to anyone who asks.

Here are correllation coefficients for pairs of interesting variables:
Pop, VotingAgePop: 1.00 (perfect!)
Vot, VotingAgePop: .97
Vot, Pop: .95
GovEmp, NEATeach: .81
Pop, Job: .79
Dep, FarmSubsidy: .66
Tax, Ideology: .60
EFI, SBSI: .56
Area, PrivateLand: .52
Tax, Revenue: -.69 (now that's interesting!)

Bottom line here, is that I would use just one of Pop, Vot, or VotingAgePop variables, and zero out the weight on the other two. And I'd down-rate the Job weight somewhat since it correlates pretty well with Pop, and NEATeach since it correlates pretty well with GovEmp. If anyone wants any other pair of variables checked, let me know and I will add them to this list.

Now to the ranking of variables. Here's how I rank them, along with the percentage of total weight I assign to them (note that both spreadsheets totals all the weights, so if you make sure the total equals 100, then each weight becomes the percentage of total weight). First for my big spreadsheet:

Vot: 20%
Ideology: 8%
Gov2, Dep, Pres, GovEmp, UrbArea%, PrivateLand, EFI, SBSI: 5%
Job, Tax, NEATeach, Revenue: 4%
Area, Geo, Blm, Gun, Homeschool: 2%
Native%, Fin, Inc: 1%
Land, HunterOrange, HunterTraining, MCHelmet, BikeHelmet, SeatBelt: 0.5%

This yields 728 for WY, a 67-point lead over 2nd-place SD.

Now for the small spreadsheet:

Voters: 25%
EFI: 10%
Spending, Dependence, Taxes: 8%
Geography, Prez, UrbanAreas, GovEmp: 5%
Jobs, NEA, PrivLand: 4%
GunControl, Homeschooling, Natives: 2%
Finance, Income, LandPlanning: 1%

This yields 652 for WY, a 40-point lead over 2nd-place SD.

I'm interested in any other rankings of variables folks want to come up with. Then I'd like to haggle over these; I certainly think my numbers can be adjusted to be better. Tell me if you think I've weighed things too high or too low.  :)

Finally, I'd suggest if you can't come up with weights that put your favorite state in the top 3, you might as well forget about intangibles, and choose another state. Or find more spreadsheet data that will help your state out!
« Last Edit: January 27, 2003, 02:14:22 pm by Zxcv »
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JasonPSorens

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Re:Instead of ranking states, let's rank variables!
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2003, 10:44:09 am »

How you weight the variables depends on whether you use the website spreadsheet or Paul's bigger spreadsheet.  When using the latter, I found myself making a conscious effort to weight variables with little range (e.g., 6.7 to 10 on gun control) more heavily.  On this spreadsheet, then, I gave the following weighting:

1. Voters in 2000 (14.5%)
2. Federal dependence (10%)
3. Campaign finance (8%)
4. Population, geography (my variable, not Paul's :)), ideology, jobs (5.5%)
8. Government employment as % of pop (4.5%)
9. State & local spending (4%)
10. Federal land ownership (as wholly positive factor) (3%), state & local taxes (3%), conservative presidential vote (3%), population % in urbanized areas (3%), voting age population (3%)
15. Natives as % of pop (w/ 50% as least ideal) (2%), crime rates (2%), gun freedom (2%), # of NEA teachers (2%), private land (as unambiguously positive) (2%)

Everything else was below 2% and not terribly important.

With this weighting, Wyoming came first, 33 points ahead of Alaska, which was 44 points ahead of North Dakota, which was 14 points ahead of Delaware, which was 6 points ahead of Vermont, which was 15 points ahead of New Hampshire, which was 21 points ahead of South Dakota, which was 12 points ahead of Idaho, which was 3 points ahead of Montana, which was 61 points ahead of Maine.

The pattern is therefore one in which Wyoming and Alaska are well ahead of the rest, and Maine is well behind the rest.  A total of 71 points separate North Dakota and Montana, the bookends of the middle group.  Non-quantitative factors may almost be enough to bridge that gap (climate, natural beauty, "lived freedom"), but such intangibles would not be enough to put any state other than Alaska ahead of Wyoming - unless there are some "litmus tests" that should be used to eliminate states outright.  Someone for whom coastline is absolutely essential should favor Alaska, for example.  Someone for whom a job in a high-paying, specialized field is absolutely essential should probably favor Delaware, though nontangibles could theoretically put N.H. or Idaho ahead.

This is all pretty much what we already knew, and accords well with the findings of the smaller spreadsheet using my ideal weightings.  I'll follow up with a message about how shifts in the weights affect the rankings, but here again, the differences between the "Re-Examination of the State Comparison Spreadsheet" findings and the findings from Paul's spreadsheet are very similar.
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Zxcv

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Re:Instead of ranking states, let's rank variables!
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2003, 01:26:35 pm »

Quote
When using the latter, I found myself making a conscious effort to weight variables with little range (e.g., 6.7 to 10 on gun control) more heavily.

This is our difference in philosophy on weighing. I tend instead to pretty much ignore the data and think only in terms of what I think is an important factor, then let the results fall out as they may. About the only case where I didn't do that is the farm subsidy thing which made AK 10 and everyone else essentially 0, which I fixed by rigging the normalization, not the weight. But we know we disagree on what weighing is for, already!  ;)

Isn't Fin (Campaign Finance) the spending only for federal-level candidates? This, and your high weighing for federal dependence, makes me think you are emphasizing the federal aspect of things more. I guess I focus more on what is doable within the state.

I'm surprised you put Vot so low, too. Oops, I just noticed you also have Pop at 5.5% and VotingAgePop at 3% so that's really higher than what I have for Vot+Pop+VotingAgePop. We really ought to throw one or two of these variables out.

I also prefer GovEmp as a total number rather than a percentage of population. I think they will be our opponents and it is important to deal with their number. A percentage measure downgrades the difficulty we will have with them in big states like Idaho. Or maybe you should put a little weight in both the total number and the percentage measures of GovEmp. Of course you did have the numerical measure of NEA employees, so that correlates...

BTW I woke up this morning and realized what was going on with those correlations. Here is what I wrote:
Quote
Here are correllation coefficients for pairs of interesting variables:
Pop, VotingAgePop: 1.00 (perfect!)
Vot, VotingAgePop: .97
Vot, Pop: .95
GovEmp, NEATeach: .81
Pop, Job: .79
Dep, FarmSubsidy: .66
Tax, Ideology: .60
EFI, SBSI: .56
Area, PrivateLand: .52
Tax, Revenue: -.69 (now that's interesting!)

Bottom line here, is that I would use just one of Pop, Vot, or VotingAgePop variables, and zero out the weight on the other two. And I'd down-rate the Job weight somewhat since it correlates pretty well with Pop, and NEATeach since it correlates pretty well with GovEmp.

Well, I realized that our Pop variable is a "less is better" and our Job variable is a "more is better", so that means you would not downgrade the Job variable, but upgrade it. I.e., the higher you put Pop, the higher you should put Job too, because increasing Pop is implicitly decreasing the importance you place in Jobs.

I think.   :)

My comment for NEATeach still holds, since both NEATeach and GovEmp are both "less is better".

And the Tax/Revenue negative coefficient is explained this way. Alaska gets a lot of revenue from the oil, and thus sets taxes low. Removing Alaska makes the correlation between Tax and Revenue +0.19. Still pretty low (weren't taxes intended to bring revenue, after all?). Maybe we are on the wrong side of the Laffer Curve!  ::)

You really ought to put Ideology in the small sheet. Didn't you say somewhere, when you first dug up and posted about it, that it was one of the most important variables?
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JasonPSorens

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Re:Instead of ranking states, let's rank variables!
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2003, 02:56:51 pm »


Isn't Fin (Campaign Finance) the spending only for federal-level candidates?

It is.  However, I think it's a decent proxy for state-level spending as well.  Unfortunately, not every state even keeps track of how much candidates for state office spend.  (Maybe that's a good thing for libertarians, but it makes our measurement task difficult!)

Quote
This, and your high weighing for federal dependence, makes me think you are emphasizing the federal aspect of things more. I guess I focus more on what is doable within the state.

Well, federal dependence is the biggest variable dealing with autonomy potential.  (Federal land ownership and geography deal with this aspect as well.)  We have lots of variables dealing with what's possible within a state, but I think we should definitely keep the possibilities for autonomy in mind.

Quote
I'm surprised you put Vot so low, too. Oops, I just noticed you also have Pop at 5.5% and VotingAgePop at 3% so that's really higher than what I have for Vot+Pop+VotingAgePop. We really ought to throw one or two of these variables out.

Probably so.  I would vote for throwing out VotingAgePop, as it is fairly closely correlated with both Vot and Pop, but Vot and Pop are less correlated with each other.

Quote
I also prefer GovEmp as a total number rather than a percentage of population. I think they will be our opponents and it is important to deal with their number. A percentage measure downgrades the difficulty we will have with them in big states like Idaho. Or maybe you should put a little weight in both the total number and the percentage measures of GovEmp.

Well, yes, that's what I'm doing.  If I were to use total GovEmp, I wouldn't weight % GovEmp at all, and I'd give a lower weight to Pop.  You can do it either way.

Quote
Well, I realized that our Pop variable is a "less is better" and our Job variable is a "more is better", so that means you would not downgrade the Job variable, but upgrade it. I.e., the higher you put Pop, the higher you should put Job too, because increasing Pop is implicitly decreasing the importance you place in Jobs.

Well, not really...That holds true in my dataset, but not yours.  In your dataset ID gets punished for having a lot of jobs, and so does NH.

Quote
You really ought to put Ideology in the small sheet. Didn't you say somewhere, when you first dug up and posted about it, that it was one of the most important variables?

Yeah, I think it's pretty important, at least among state-level political culture variables.  I do plan to add it to my spreadsheet; just give me some time! :)
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Dave Mincin

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Re:Instead of ranking states, let's rank variables!
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2003, 07:37:22 pm »

Hmm, variables, statistics, number of voters. voting trends!
Guess im not as smart as the group as a hole...I  am so sorry group...but what i think of when I move to our new home is  who will be there to shake my hand, welcome me, show me arround!

Numbers are grand, but to my way of thinking it really comes down to the people.  As I read the threads, and try to gain knowledge about what is going on...one state sticks out, and that is New Hampshire!  They have a program for us, and are organize, and really want us to come.  What other state can say that?

Please forgive me in advance if this is the wrong place for this, but I'm still learning my way arround!
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Zxcv

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Re:Instead of ranking states, let's rank variables!
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2003, 12:17:35 am »

Actually, in digging through the "litmus test" variables (variables not so important in and of themselves, but that give an indication of the culture of the state), two states stand out as being very freedom-friendly - ID and NH. And they would be good states if we could find 40,000 activists.  :P

Unfortunately, our most important variable, population, knocks them down a lot. And they both have a problem in that their culture of freedom is in danger of eventually being watered down by immigration of statists.

If we choose either one of these at the 5000 mark, I would not be terribly disappointed, but we would sure have our work cut out for us in the recruiting area. I realize we are only "legally" committed to 20,000, but we'd sure want to try to beat that number by a significant margin.

Jason and others, I'm interested in seeing your ideal weight vector for the small spreadsheet, the one most people will be working with.

You know, I've been thinking the small spreadsheet needs a condensed discussion of each variable, to talk about things like variable correlation, whether the variable should be "more is better" or "less is better" (that's arguable on some of them), and generally, strategies for weighing. And maybe some links to some of our discussions here about it. That way people won't be so much in the dark when it comes time to try assigning weights. We tend to forget, they haven't immersed themselves in this stuff like we have.

I might take a shot at making a few of these if you think it would be a good idea.
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Robert H.

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Re:Instead of ranking states, let's rank variables!
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2003, 04:33:08 am »

Actually, in digging through the "litmus test" variables (variables not so important in and of themselves, but that give an indication of the culture of the state), two states stand out as being very freedom-friendly - ID and NH. And they would be good states if we could find 40,000 activists.  :P

Unfortunately, our most important variable, population, knocks them down a lot. And they both have a problem in that their culture of freedom is in danger of eventually being watered down by immigration of statists.

Good points.

New Hampshire seems ill-suited here in particular, especially when you consider the possibilities for future growth and the expansion of a freedom movement.  If the FSP were to succeed in New Hampshire, it would undoubtedly draw numbers of freedom-minded folks from the neighboring statist regimes: Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, and even New York, I would think.  After all, historically, people have migrated to better locations more often than they have improved life in their own home regions (without war, that is).  Such a migration would effectively leave those surrounding states even more securely in statist hands and isolate New Hampshire.  HeyDuke has indicated that people seem to be moving from Massachusetts into southern New Hampshire now in just this fashion.  It's simply easier for them to move a short distance than to try changing Massachusetts.

We should also note here that, currently, New Hampshire is considerably more free than its neighbors and has several features that others should be emulating if they really admired New Hampshire all that much: no state income tax, no state sales tax, no auto insurance requirements.  But the surrounding states are not currently emulating these attractive features, and I have to wonder if they would be more likely to do so in a future where New Hampshire had drawn off more of their liberty-oriented inhabitants than it has even now.  It doesn't seem likely, and for that reason, I believe the FSP would be painting itself into a corner in New Hampshire even if it did succeed.

We sometimes get a bit ahead of ourselves in thinking about the future of this project and assume that the New England states would topple like dominoes if New Hampshire went full bore liberty.  But right now all we have to work with is the current scenario, which seems to present us with one state that is considerably different than its neighbors, and yet, seems unable to persuade them to join it.  Other New Englanders seem to enjoy traveling to New Hampshire to make tax-free purchases, but then return home and leave their own state systems pretty much unchanged.  Perhaps it's that they like the programs their tax dollars fund too much to do away with them.  Another factor that is indicative here is that the rising third party movement in this region of the country is the Green Party, a statist party, while the rising third party in Wyoming (a state that is also considerably free already) is the Libertarian Party.  So while these populations may be experimenting with third parties, what sort of parties are they: statist or liberty-oriented?  The answer to this question may, and I believe does, tell us a great deal about where these regions are headed in general.

Thus, overall, the prospects that a freedom movement would succeed and then expand from tiny New Hampshire into this sort of surrounding environment are remote.  Given the possibility of future immigration of statists as well, as Zxcv has speculated, it is difficult to say if a liberty movement could even be sustained in the future.

However, the populations of the western states are more politically alike than different, and they have less distance to travel on the Jeffersonian highway because they generally start out closer to our positions.  They would be more likely to emulate the success of a liberty movement in one of their neighboring states.  The distances between their communities also make it less likely that they would just pick up and move to Wyoming, thereby increasing the chances that they would work for instituting similar changes at home.  Travel times are much shorter in New England, and thus more conducive to migration.

Quote
If we choose either one of these at the 5000 mark, I would not be terribly disappointed, but we would sure have our work cut out for us in the recruiting area. I realize we are only "legally" committed to 20,000, but we'd sure want to try to beat that number by a significant margin.

Quite so.  We'd have to wait around for a good while before we'd ever know if we'd even gain a sufficient number of activists to make a realistic try at higher population states like Idaho and New Hampshire.  Thus we would lose the invaluable services that a gradual wave of advance migrants could provide in terms of infrastructure and acceptance.

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Re:Instead of ranking states, let's rank variables!
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2003, 01:54:26 pm »

Gentlemen,

Forgive my lack of knowledge, and quite frankly my belief in using purely staticial data to make a choice of the best place to move.

Find that one factor that is very difficult to gage and I believe will be critical to our sucess, is livablity.

I am hopeful that when we finally reach our numbers and begin the migration, that we will be a diverse group, a cross section of America, so to speak, with one thing in common, that being our love for freedom.

That means young people, families, business people, and hopefully some retired folks.  Keeping in mind that our new home, I believe, will need to offer something for everyone.

For the young, concerts, movies, a place to look at pretty girls on Saturday night.  For those of you that are married,  unhappy wives make for an unhappy family...in the interest of fairness, guess and unhappy husband too!  Places for new business to prosper, places for the older amoung us to do there thing.  Anyway I believe I have made my point.

I have made my choice, but in the interest of fairness and objectibility I believe the 2 most liveable states offering the widest range of living options are NH, and ID.

Well believe it's time for me be to be quiet and hear what others think.  Would welcome your comments, even if you feel differently!
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Re:Instead of ranking states, let's rank variables!
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2003, 02:20:27 pm »

I tend to downgrade livability (actually, I weight it as zero  :) ) when I use the spreadsheet. First, I don't think any of the states in question (except maybe DE and ND) are all that unlivable. Second, because the measure we have in the spreadsheet includes factors I think are opposed to livability. Third, because how livable a place is has so much to do with things like personal attitude. Fourth, because bringing freedom to a state is the best way to increase its livability, so we will be fixing this criterion no matter where we go.

The number one criterion has to be Population/Number of voters (the two are highly correlated, so I tend to treat them as identical). As to what the number two criterion is, there will be a lot of argument about that!  ;)
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BillG

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Re:Instead of ranking states, let's rank variables!
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2003, 12:46:03 am »

RobertH wrote:

Quote
Another factor that is indicative here is that the rising third party movement in this region of the country  is the Green Party, a statist party, while the rising third party in Wyoming (a state that is also considerably free already) is the Libertarian Party.

Take it from someone in the Green Party here in NH...the Libertarians (party) outnumber us by a wide margin and are much better organized!

BTW - not all Greens are statists - there are a good number of anarchists sympathizers, natural capitalism (Paul Hawken)advocates and a growing number of geo-libertarians (I am one).

Greens have some issues in common with Libertarians...

1. ballot access issues
2. decriminalize victimless crimes
3. homeschooling
4. anti-interventionist foreign policy
5. devolution of centralized political power
6. end corporate welfare
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Robert H.

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Re:Instead of ranking states, let's rank variables!
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2003, 03:37:18 am »

Take it from someone in the Green Party here in NH...the Libertarians (party) outnumber us by a wide margin and are much better organized!

Maybe some Democrats split off and voted with the Greens in 2000 then because the Greens managed 4% to the LP's 1% in the presidential race - a difference of 20,000 votes.  The LP did manage 3% in the 2002 NH governor's race though.  It doesn't look like the Greens ran a candidate in that race.

Greens seem stronger in Maine where they managed 6% in the 2000 presidential race - more than 34,000 votes over the LP, and then 9% in the 2002 ME governor's race.  In Massachusetts, Green's got 6% of the vote in the 2000 presidential race, as compared to the LP's 1% - a difference here of over 100,000 votes!  Greens got 3% in the 2002 MA governor's race as compared to the LP's 1% - a difference of over 50,000 votes.  Greens in Vermont managed 7% over the LP in 2000 - a difference of 19,000 votes.  The Greens apparently didn't run a candidate for governor in Vermont in 2002 although I see the LP candidate got 928 votes.  There was an independent who managed 10% though.

So it looks like Greens don't run in as many state-wide elections as LP candidates do in these states, and they may be weaker overall in New Hampshire, but they do seem to be able to turn out votes better than the LP when and where they actually do run.  They're certainly rather numerous in Massachusetts.

http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2002/
http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2000/

Quote
BTW - not all Greens are statists - there are a good number of anarchists sympathizers, natural capitalism (Paul Hawken)advocates and a growing number of geo-libertarians (I am one).

That may be true of some, but the overall emphasis of the Party seems to be geared toward statism.  And I may be wrong here, but don't Geo-libertarians deny property rights as far as land ownership is concerned?
« Last Edit: January 30, 2003, 04:18:00 am by RobertH »
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Re:Instead of ranking states, let's rank variables!
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2003, 08:47:07 am »

Have to be careful about interpreting the Nader vote.  In AK, Nader got 10%, compared to Browne's 1% (over 20,000 more votes).  This doesn't mean AK voters are raving envirofascists, however.  It means a small minority of AK voters are raving envirofascists, while the majority take a relatively conservative position.  (All of Alaska's federal reps are hated by establishment environmentalist groups.)  In MT, as well, Nader got 6%, compared to 1% for Browne (over 22,000 more votes).  In ND Nader beat Browne 3-0%.  We can't compare figures for SD, ID, and WY, b/c Nader wasn't on the ballot there, but I suspect Nader would have beaten Browne handily there too: he simply had more name recognition.  Browne did not beat Nader in any state in which both were on the ballot.
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Re:Instead of ranking states, let's rank variables!
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2003, 10:25:17 am »

Jason wrote:

Quote
Have to be careful about interpreting the Nader vote.  In AK, Nader got 10%, compared to Browne's 1% (over 20,000 more votes).  This doesn't mean AK voters are raving envirofascists, however.  It means a small minority of AK voters are raving envirofascists, while the majority take a relatively conservative position.  

Can you describe your use of the term "conservative" in the context of your statement?

I basically agree w/Jason. Here in NH Nader received a lot of "protest" vote from people who don't normally vote at all...which includes a lot of idealistic college age kids - who are voting for the first time and aren't fluent at all in green theory and have no interest in building a party. To them libertarianism appears to be the extreme choice (supporting "capitalist polluters")even with their pro decriminalization of drugs stance (hey greens have this too).

If you look at Nader's campaign (btw - he never joined the Greens nor officially endorsed the platform!) it was essentially a wake-up call that identifies the dangers of state-sponsored capitalism and it's disasterous influence over politics and the resulting foreign mis-adventures (all in the name of "national self-interest"). Whose interests exactly are we protecting? Hasn't the assertion of supporting these interests in the past (supplying ruthless thugs w/money, arms, intelligence) somehow gotten us into the current problem we are facing?

I cannot understand why this is not in alignment w/ libertarianism who stand for free enterprise rather than corporate welfare?

Ralph Nader's father was a small businessman (I think he owned a dry cleaner). He has never spoken against the interests of the small-scale business owner...he just abhors trans-national corporations that buy political influence and the mess it creates for the average joe. Isn't that who libertarians are targeting politically - the same average joes?

Can't we have a discussion about how western influence (ideas, images, products, foreign policy, etc) threaten cultures around the world (and therfore give rise to ethnic radicalism/western hatred) because they know no boundaries?

If libertarians could just acknowledge this point upfront, then greens should initially not prescribe some sort of government intervention (either nationally or proposing "one world" government schemes) to address the problem.

The Greens have been flooded by progressives who have nowhere else to go politically and who can't give-up their "statist" beliefs and have difficulting thinking holistically. The original concept of the Greens was based on the ideals of "neither left nor right but infront". It takes some careful and thoughtful analysis and synthesis of political/economic/social theory to walk this tightrope but it can be done. This is my personal goal.

The basic Green premise is that our current hyper-industrialism & consumerism is not in alignment with the fact that we ALL live on this earth with a fixed amount of natural resources. Now the question (if you believe the premise) is what can/should we do about this that doesn't create a worse situation than we are trying to address?

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Re:Instead of ranking states, let's rank variables!
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2003, 10:59:34 am »

Jason wrote:

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Have to be careful about interpreting the Nader vote.  In AK, Nader got 10%, compared to Browne's 1% (over 20,000 more votes).  This doesn't mean AK voters are raving envirofascists, however.  It means a small minority of AK voters are raving envirofascists, while the majority take a relatively conservative position.  

Can you describe your use of the term "conservative" in the context of your statement?

Most Alaskans favor "wise use" of government lands and so on.  I actually think the libertarian position is potentially more environmentally friendly than the conservative position here.  We would oppose more funds for the Forest Service for logging, for example.  There isn't strictly a "libertarian" position on how government lands should be used, but putting them into private ownership is certainly where we would part company with establishment environmentalists.

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I cannot understand why this is not in alignment w/ libertarianism who stand for free enterprise rather than corporate welfare?

Well, Nader also stood for higher taxes and more regulation of private property.  It is difficult to make the case that most Nader voters would be supporting us when we move in.  Most Nader supporters favored Gore as their second choice.
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"Educate your children, educate yourselves, in the love for the freedom of others, for only in this way will your own freedom not be a gratuitous gift from fate. You will be aware of its worth and will have the courage to defend it." --Joaquim Nabuco (1883), Abolitionism

Kelton

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Re:Instead of ranking states, let's rank variables!
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2003, 11:18:16 am »

<<off topic>>
I believe the only thing that libertarians and greens have in common is that they recognize that the Repugnocrats in power are making things worse.  Greens seek to correct problems with a fresh new version of populist statism, while libertarians see the source of problems in statism itself.

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. . .the foundations of our national policy should be laid in private morality. If individuals be not influenced by moral principles, it is in vain to look for public virtue --The U.S. Senate's reply to George Washington's first inaugural address
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