Quote Originally Posted by AlanJReiss View Post
Confused, "To call someone who disagrees with 'evil' is to discourage debate"
I didn't call you evil ... I said YES/NO overrides are evil and thats because of the way they are used.
Sometimes truth hurts but there you have it.

Discouraging debate? I'm not one who was taking their toys and going home.
I said I'm here to be taken to the rug. So far I'm standing.
Alan, the truth didn't hurt. I just didn't want to engage in that kind of debate. To say someone's position is evil is pretty overly strong, and I think it discourages debate. How can someone engage in discussion with you if you're going to say what they think is evil?

Quote Originally Posted by AlanJReiss View Post
You want me to acknowledge that alternative viewpoints are legitimate?
Where did I say that alternative viewpoints are not legitimate?
You didn't say they weren't legitimate. You said they were evil.

Quote Originally Posted by AlanJReiss View Post
Irrational NO ... its very rational and very evil.
Sorry, you said they were "very evil". [my emphasis]

Quote Originally Posted by AlanJReiss View Post
In your example you showed that three cohorts of citizens each would have rejected the three items individually and were then forced to spend the whole thing? And you now say they are happy???
Alan, of course there are many possible outcomes, and I did not review them all. The one I gave was one (of several) in which a all-or-nothing override produces a better outcome than a menu. It doesn't mean that it always will, and I was not arguing that. Sometimes voting by individual menu item will maximize overall utility, sometimes voting overall will maximize overall utility. It's hard to predict which way will work out better, and I was merely pointing out that there are certainly examples where a menu actually minimizes utility. To me, it is clear then that this debate is an interesting philosophical one, but that neither side is evil. (By the way, I can also give you an example in which each of the three items is supported individually, but the majority votes down the combination of the three -- in which case all the results from before would be, interestingly, reversed)

What you neglect to note that is that with a menu-driven override people are driven to vote selfishly. Someone who works nights may say, "I can't make it to the library in the evening anyway. What do I care if they close earlier every night?" and they vote their own self-interest. They want their public safety, perhaps, but not their schools or their library... (as in the example I provided previously). That is why some (perhaps thoughtful, and not evil) people think that splitting these up can be divisive. Divisiveness, some might call that evil, but I wouldn't. Just another approach... either can produce "better" results in terms of maximizing utility.

Quote Originally Posted by AlanJReiss View Post
Now Kim, since you were kind enough to come back after my unapologetic usage of the word Evil... I'm going to tell you what the MSBA told me when I asked them why they did NOT want the high school ballot question lumped into any other spending measure.

They said...

1. They wanted to make sure that people were not confused as to what they were spending their money on and
2. They wanted to not be pressured into voting for any other spending while making the decision to spend or not on the high school.

See Kim, the fact is that when its important; the state; the MSBA knew how to do it.
I am not uniformly against menu-overrides. With a big ticket capital item, I think it's fair to ask whether people are onboard. Perhaps even with capital items generally. I think this applies less well to operating budgets. That's my gut about where the utility maximization breaks out.

I might even support a pyramid override in some circumstances -- here's an example. A pyramid might be a useful way of determining whether people support a NEW service -- choices: no override, maintain services override, maintain services + add full-day kindergarten.