Dilbert and cognitive dissonance

i’m a big fan of Scott Adams

wt: 170.4

FP: 205 x 6; 215,225,235 x 3

Squat: 275 x 6; 285,295,305,315 x 3

MP: 167.5,170,172.5,175 x 1

SLDL: 245,255,265,275,285 x 2

OHS: 105 x 10

SH/WS

time: 1:23

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27 thoughts on “Dilbert and cognitive dissonance

  1. I loved his Hillary endorsement.

    “But Brad, didn’t he endorse Trump?”

    Yes, but it was a very specific endorsement. He focused on the estate tax and dismissed arguments about fairness, which means his whole case boils down to:

    “If you want Scott Adams’ kids to receive many millions of dollars without working for or paying taxes on it, vote for Trump.”

    The inverse of this, which is true for far more people, is that if you do NOT want Scott Adams’ kids to receive many millions of dollars without working or paying taxes on it, vote for Hillary.

      • Then I suppose you should ignore his endorsement entirely.

        That said, tax revenue is central to the function of our society as it stands. How much of the operating cost of the country comes off the top of his estate vs. payroll taxes on people making minimum wage seems like an issue worth developing an opinion on.

        • “How much of the operating cost of the country comes off the top of his estate vs. payroll taxes on people making minimum wage seems like an issue worth developing an opinion on.”

          However, it seems like people in the low/minimum wage range are fine with paying higher income tax so Scott can get a break, so any further discussion is pretty pointless ATM.

          • @rad a. that’s a false statement. If that were a true statement if one billionaire fled to the Cayman islands, poor people would immediately have to make up the shortfall.
            B. I think most people are trying to say that they want the government to spend less. Not make rich people pay more. Recent election shows this

          • That’s because we can borrow more money to cover the shortfall instead.

            I know this; that’s why I keep coming back to “For any given amount of revenue”.

            There are three questions:
            1) How much money should the government collect in taxes
            2) How much money should the government spend
            3) How much money should the government borrow

            You get to answer *two* of them however you like, and then the third has to be equal to the difference.

            What I’m trying to convey is that once you pick an answer to “how much tax should the government collect”, either directly, or by subtracting borrowing from spending, however much is left either comes out of your pocket or someone else’s.

            This is true regardless of how much or how little total tax you think the government should collect.

            Is there anything in here that doesn’t make sense? I feel like it’s fairly uncontroversial.

          • “I think most people are trying to say that they want the government to spend less.”

            Virtually 100% of people ‘want the government to spend less’. Where they differ is on where the cuts should be made in discretionary spending.

            I.e. Rad is quite happy with cutting funds to A, but is absolutely against any cuts to B, whereas Coach would put up with less money into B as long as the budget for A remains untouched. You can’t reconcile these two positions.

            So while ‘cut spending’ is a valid point of view in theory, there’s a good reason why no one actually did it IRL.

          • Back to the original discussion, no i don’t mind that one of the reasons Scott Adams voted for Trump is that he didn’t want to pay extra taxes. It seems like an excellent reason.

          • Then despite my horrible communication skills, do you understand that I’m arguing that Adams and I should pay more taxes and that you should pay less? Did I at least get that much across?

          • I think i do. Your communication is fine btw.
            You want to pay more taxes. Scott Adams doesn’t. I also don’t. So i have to say I empathize with his position more clearly, and i can appreciate his honesty. However we seem to disagree on the importance of the estate tax. I just don’t see that my taxes will decrease appreciably or that my quality of life will improve materially if the estate tax is raised.
            To me it’s kind of irrelevant like a tax on pickle farmers. I’m personally not changing my vote because of high pickling taxes but i can understand why the pickle farmers would never want to support a pickle taxer for president.

          • “You want to pay more taxes.”

            I do not want to. I hate paying taxes. However, said taxes make my life dramatically better, as does me paying them rather than dumping the bill off on the less fortunate or future generations.

            What effect do you think cutting taxes will have on spending?

          • Said taxes make your life dramatically better?
            Remember we’re not talking about the necessity of taxes, or whether rich people should pay more, or the deficit, or whether Fatman would cut defense or Medicaid, or even whether the estate tax actually should be higher.
            I’m simply saying that i find it quite reasonable that Adams doesn’t want to pay millions of dollars in additional taxes. Implying that this makes him unpatriotic or evil makes me uncomfortable. It should make most people uncomfortable as we do things to lower our tax burden. For instance timing the sale of stock, or waiting to buy something until a sales tax holiday, or simply not giving the government like an extra $500 in April.

          • “Said taxes make your life dramatically better?”

            They do. I can expand if you want.

            “Remember we’re not talking about (…) whether rich people should pay more”

            Scott Adams was, so I have been too. That’s actually the only thing I’ve been talking about.

            “Implying that this makes him unpatriotic or evil”

            I didn’t do that.

            I did point out that his central argument for voting for Trump is actually a good reason for the vast majority of his readers to vote for Hillary.

          • Well you did imply it with “dumping the bill” and arguments appealing to envy “millions of dollars without working for it or paying taxes.”

            Saying that “his central argument for voting for Trump is actually a good reason for the vast majority of his readers to vote for Hillary”

            I could certainly agree with that if the reader
            1. Believed that the government urgently needed more income
            2. Believed that the government would wisely spend the income
            3. Believed that Hilary Clinton would be a suitable judge of those things.

          • “you did imply it”

            I disagree, so let me be clear. I have zero interest in Scott Adams’ patriotism. The flag on my passport is not the one he salutes.

            I also have zero interest in his moral character. Moral goodness and competence in the field of accounting are largely orthogonal.

            If you don’t believe me, just say so, and I’ll stop wasting both of our time.

            “arguments appealing to envy”

            Again, I disagree. I’m speaking as someone whose estate is likely to be subject to these taxes.

            As far as the rest, remember that Scott Adams and I are not talking about how much money the government should spend, let alone what it should spend it on. We’re talking about – for any dollar of tax revenue – whose pocket it should come out of: his estate, or yours?

            Spending doesn’t shrink when we cut taxes (see the OMB’s table of receipts and outlays for an illustration of this) – spending shrinks when we *cut spending*.

          • For me it was that Clinton is a strong proponent of gun control. That to me is more important than the estate tax. So that’s why I voted for Trump.

            It’s not that i am sick of arguing it’s just that it’s hard to argue like “why hypothetical people might hypothetically not be concerned about one of Scott Adam’s points about his voting decision – which i don’t necessarily agree with but understand his feelings” so i guess sick of arguing about the particular topic

            For me the appeal of Adam’s blog is his demolishing of certain anti Trump arguments that i hear frequently: that he’s an evil racist stupid dangerous potential tyrant.

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