View Poll Results: Is the "Slippery Slope" a valid concept?

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Thread: Is the "Slipper Slope Theory" a valid concept?

  1. #31
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    Re: Is the "Slipper Slope Theory" a valid concept?

    Quote Originally Posted by iliveonramen View Post
    This is my problem...."judicial activism" is subjective. When it is something that seems to support someone else, it's activism, when it supports your views then it's "following precedent". The whole idea of corporations as people or the idea of money or speech is activism. Or in your words, something that wasn't origional precedence but became precedence because of origional activism.
    Judicial activism is not subjective, either an opinion was rendered based on the proper wording of the constitution or a ruling used selective interpretation to create a legal precedent. For instance there is a certain Clinton female judicial appointee in the SCOTUS that tends to apply international law in her opinions, well that's nice and all but in our constitutional democratic republic international law is not recognized by the constitution. Furthermore it isn't about "what I want" or "What you want" it's about what is supposed to be allowed or dis-allowed via the founding document.
    Neither side in an argument can find the truth when both make an absolute claim on it.

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  2. #32
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    Re: Is the "Slipper Slope Theory" a valid concept?

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    Again, in theory, this is great. Again, in practical reality, not so much. We rarely go "backwards". We rarely actually repeal stuff that doesn't work.
    That's just the way hindsight writes history IMO. When you look back at our history, the things you the to think of as "forwards" are by definition the things that happened.

    We do change course on things all the time. For example, Jimmy Carter started us on an aggressive path towards energy independence and green energy, but Reagan completely dismantled it. LBJ set up affirmative action as the enforcement mechanism for the civil rights act, but it's penalties were only actually invoked one time shortly after it was passed into law and never again. Bush2 pushed our foreign policy hard in the direction of unilateralism, but now we're back on a policy of multilateralism. In the 90s we were marching fast towards the elimination of many of the protections of due process in the legal system, but we have since restored most of those rights. Etc.

  3. #33
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    Re: Is the "Slipper Slope Theory" a valid concept?

    teamosil, et al,

    First - I am enjoying the discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    If we try something out, and the people decide it worked out well and want to go further in that direction, is that a "slippery slope"? Or is that just responding intelligently to what works and what doesn't?

    Like, say we take gun control. The classic right wing slippery slope argument. If we do a little bit of gun control and it blows, people will say "forget that, lets get rid of it", but if it works out well, people will say, "ok, maybe we should try a bit more gun control". At some point they'll implement a gun control step that people think isn't working, they'll repeal it, and you will have found the optimal level of gun control. That isn't like somehow this unstoppable external force is preventing us from getting off the course once started, that's people making decisions. That's what democracy is...
    (COMMENT)

    Well, we are not a democracy, we are a Republic. We may use some democratic ideals, but only when it is convenient. Democracy is not a US bedrock or fundamental. We may say and teach it is, but it is reflected in what we do. When we (as a nation) are afraid, we take action, even if it is wrong. We are reactive, and not always in a Constitutional way.

    The idea of successive approximations until the problem is resolved is not the same as researching the issue, developing a plan, with expectations. That is not what we do in Government (in the US). Iraq and Afghanistan should have drilled that home to us. That demonstrates that some governments are prone to trip over "slippery slopes." Philosophically, is there anything wrong with the 'baby step" idea? No! Having said that, government attempts at trial and error approaches are notorious to rectify. The government tends to amplify the problem and expand it, rather than resolve it. Homeland Security, as an example, is not making the approach better, it just became another under-founded agency; made-up of parts and pieces that were already there. It fundamentally changed nothing, but instituted new activities that have yet to be proven sound and valid. Homeland Security merely rearranged the deck chairs (the false appearance of progress). Another example is the tax code. Everyone knows that it is screwed-up, and needs revisited, but government is incapable of taking certain steps to initiate rectification. Baby Steps presupposes that steps are taken, even if they are quite small. It doesn't work at all if one can take no steps.

    Slippery Slope in government is a much different animal than in other sectors of our society.

    Just one man's opinion.

    Most Respectfully,
    R
    Last edited by RoccoR; 10-21-11 at 02:20 PM. Reason: Spelling

  4. #34
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    Re: Is the "Slipper Slope Theory" a valid concept?

    Formal proof:

    Have a kid
    Give in one day to kids demand because you're tired
    Suffer for the next <long time period> as a result.
    ->Agree that slippery slope is a valid concept.

  5. #35
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    Re: Is the "Slipper Slope Theory" a valid concept?

    Quote Originally Posted by RoccoR View Post
    The idea of successive approximations until the problem is resolved is not the same as researching the issue, developing a plan, with expectations.
    I think you need both. You sit down, research the heck out of something, come up with a plan, do studies, talk to experts, work it all out, set expectations, and finally give it a shot. And then it may or may not work out like you were hoping, so you make adjustments or change course or stick with the plan based on the results.

    I had an economics professor once that said something that kind of stuck with me. He said that the only accurate economic model you could ever have would need to be as large as the world itself. The simpler the model gets, the more details you have to drop out, the less accurate it becomes. Human beings are really only capable of dealing with models that represent a miniscule fraction of the complexity of the real world, so our theory is always only a pretty rough guess at how something will actually work. Even in fields like physics or chemistry which are extremely predictable, it's 5% theorizing, 95% experimentation. In fields like economics or sociology the theory doesn't even begin to encapsulate 1% of the reality.

    Now, that doesn't mean we should just like toss ideas at the wall and see what sticks. We should always be taking what we think is the very wisest, most well thought out, approach possible. But that doesn't mean we'll always be right. Even with the absolute best minds in the world on the problems, we'll still be wrong 80% of the time. But that's workable. You keep that 20% and discard the 80% and over time the keepers build up more and more. Humanity is already way far down that road of learning from our experiences, but as things change you need to keep progressing with new ideas to solve new issues.

    To take your example of Iraq and Afghanistan, I think it's like this. The American people were terrified of terrorism after 9/11. They believed that most likely we were going to be subjected to a continual series of attacks, likely including nuclear or biological weapons in the fairly near term. Given what we knew at the time, that wasn't an unreasonable assumption. Tons of people spent tons of time studying the question and could support that conclusion with an enormous amount of data. The people of the US made a rational decision (which I happened to disagree with) that the risk was so high that we needed to sacrifice every other priority to protect ourselves from it. That meant trusting an administration when they said "look, we need to invade Iraq. I can't tell you why exactly because it would jeopardize our intelligence assets, but just trust me." Obviously it turned out to be the wrong choice. He was lying and got us into a mess of a war with no plan to get out. But it wasn't that nobody thought it through before we did it. They just got it wrong.

  6. #36
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    Re: Is the "Slipper Slope Theory" a valid concept?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mach View Post
    Formal proof:

    Have a kid
    Give in one day to kids demand because you're tired
    Suffer for the next <long time period> as a result.
    ->Agree that slippery slope is a valid concept.
    That is clever and would be a good analogy if we were talking about two separate entities, but we're not. The people are both the kid and the parent in your analogy. Who are we giving in to when we implement a policy? Ourselves. Who is insisting on more after they like that policy? Ourselves again.

  7. #37
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    Re: Is the "Slipper Slope Theory" a valid concept?

    Quote Originally Posted by LaMidRighter View Post
    Judicial activism is not subjective, either an opinion was rendered based on the proper wording of the constitution or a ruling used selective interpretation to create a legal precedent. For instance there is a certain Clinton female judicial appointee in the SCOTUS that tends to apply international law in her opinions, well that's nice and all but in our constitutional democratic republic international law is not recognized by the constitution. Furthermore it isn't about "what I want" or "What you want" it's about what is supposed to be allowed or dis-allowed via the founding document.
    Those are subjective. I don't know your views but when exactly did money=speech? When exactly did limited liability corporations which the founders were highly critical of become individuals with the same protection of individuals? The killing of an American citizen by drone attacks, was there due process? How about the killling of his 16 year old son? Why can't I buy a nuclear bomb? Why can't I buy chemical weapons?

    Since day 1 and the midnight appointments there has been some form of interpretation where a judge makes a ruling where the Constitution did not give a clear distinct answer. Since day 1 even the founders have expanded their powers based on the constitutin. Madison who was against a national bank changed his mind during the war of 1812 when the government needed money to fund the war. It was based on the fact that the government can print money.
    “Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.” John Maynard Keynes

  8. #38
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    Re: Is the "Slipper Slope Theory" a valid concept?

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    That is clever and would be a good analogy if we were talking about two separate entities, but we're not. The people are both the kid and the parent in your analogy. Who are we giving in to when we implement a policy? Ourselves. Who is insisting on more after they like that policy? Ourselves again.
    You don't have a point here. We give in to any number of others, be it our ego, or a minority of the population, or a majority, or a union, or religious advocates, or our primitive side, government vs private, liberals vs conservatives, owners vs employees, ad infinitum.

    One entity or a million, it's irrelevant. Even a single person battles with slippery slope within their own mind, often having front brain that tells them for example, drug addiction will destroy their life, and a more primitive side of their brain that says "this **** is good keep doing it".

    In any case, slippery slope isn't about demonstrating truths. It's a cautionary observation of how some things in the real world, behave. We can't know which ones, or precisely why, but it is a helpful tool nonetheless.

  9. #39
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    Re: Is the "Slipper Slope Theory" a valid concept?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mach View Post
    One entity or a million, it's irrelevant. Even a single person battles with slippery slope within their own mind, often having front brain that tells them for example, drug addiction will destroy their life, and a more primitive side of their brain that says "this **** is good keep doing it".
    Ok, so you're talking about something different. You're talking about if people know they shouldn't do something, but do it anyways and get hooked on it. Like maybe they eat a whole tub of icecream and then the next day they want another. We're talking about policy here though. The scenario here is that the people vote for something. People vote for what they think is best. So that isn't similar really.

    I think what is really going on here is you're just talking about situations where you disagree with the majority about what is best. You characterize the will of the majority as a slippery slope because you think they will continue to disagree with you in the future and continue to pass laws you don't like. That's not a slippery slope though, that's just you being in the minority on an issue.

    A slippery slope implies that somehow the judgement of the majority is undermined more and more each step they take in a direction, and I don't see anything remotely like that in the policy arena. Maybe one could argue that, for example, cutting education spending ultimately makes people less educated, and hence in the future they are less able to understand the value of education? Something like that? I dunno, I don't think I can come up with a good example. Maybe you have one?
    Last edited by teamosil; 10-21-11 at 03:45 PM.

  10. #40
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    Re: Is the "Slipper Slope Theory" a valid concept?

    Quote Originally Posted by iliveonramen View Post
    Those are subjective. I don't know your views but when exactly did money=speech? When exactly did limited liability corporations which the founders were highly critical of become individuals with the same protection of individuals? The killing of an American citizen by drone attacks, was there due process? How about the killling of his 16 year old son? Why can't I buy a nuclear bomb? Why can't I buy chemical weapons?

    Since day 1 and the midnight appointments there has been some form of interpretation where a judge makes a ruling where the Constitution did not give a clear distinct answer. Since day 1 even the founders have expanded their powers based on the constitutin. Madison who was against a national bank changed his mind during the war of 1812 when the government needed money to fund the war. It was based on the fact that the government can print money.
    None of the above challenges the definitions I gave. If there was some hypocracy or willful/negligent misinterpretations that actually furthers my point. Second, the constitution is very clear once read in it's entirety. I don't even want to hear the WMD argument because it's a logical fallacy, so I will leave it alone. Finally, if there are constitutional issues that need some governance there are ways to fix it using the logic of that which is necessary and proper.
    Neither side in an argument can find the truth when both make an absolute claim on it.

    LMR

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