Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: Bill Clinton

The Paris Climate Agreement’s Failure Was Structurally Inevitable

President Trump has pulled the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement:

Unfortunately, the Paris Agreement was poorly designed from the start and never really had a chance of meaningfully addressing climate change. Trump’s decision today was produced and facilitated by these weaknesses.

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Obama’s Legacy: The Evidence Beyond the Punditry

As President Obama’s term draws to a close, every political writer under the sun is offering a hot take on how he’ll be remembered. These can be fun to read, but they don’t tell you very much about what really happened while Barack Obama was president. So today I’d like to look at some of the evidence and data we have on this president. Let’s see how he stacks up next to past presidents and America’s friends and rivals.

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The 16 Types of Politicians

A couple years ago I did a post dividing voters into 8 political types. I would now like to do something similar with politicians.

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Voter Turnout Has Nothing to do With Rising Inequality

When I talk to people about the threat rising economic inequality poses to the consumer economy, I am often told that the problem is participation. The story goes that disadvantaged groups have lower turnout, and because of this their interests are underrepresented. Bernie Sanders plans to win support for his egalitarian agenda through a “political revolution”, but all he means by that phrase is exceptionally high voter turnout:

…if Bernie Sanders becomes President of the United States, it will mean that there will be a huge increase in voter turnout. If there is a huge increase in voter turnout, our Republican colleagues may not be running the Senate or the House. So my life will be made a little bit easier. As I mentioned earlier, Louise, Republicans do well when people don’t vote. For me to get elected, we’re going to have to have a huge increase in voter turnout, and that will carry in a lot of other people in the Congress and Senate

The turnout story is especially popular among left wingers in the United States, because the US has unusually low voter turnout for a rich democracy. But the refrain is heard abroad as well–left wingers in Britain think that Jeremy Corbyn can win by raising turnout. There are right wingers who make similar arguments–Ted Cruz claims that republicans lost in 2012 because of low voter turnout among evangelical Christians. It’s a seductive argument, because we all like to believe that our own beliefs are common sense and that there’s a silent majority out there who agree with us. Unfortunately for all those who make turnout arguments, the data indicates that they are bunk.

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Hillary Clinton Started the Whole “Obama is a Muslim” Thing

Over the last week, republican candidates Donald Trump and Ben Carson have been taking a lot of heat–Trump for refusing to deny that Obama is a Muslim foreigner, Carson for explicitly stating that Muslims should not be president. We’ll discuss what both of them said, but I want to remind everyone of something we seem to have forgotten–it was Hillary Clinton who started this, and any person who supports Clinton while criticizing Trump or Carson is at best deeply ignorant of Clinton’s past and at worst a naked hypocrite.

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