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Thread: No menu - no override

  1. #16
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    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.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt View Post
    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.
    Wait a minute 'selfishly' is an overly strong word. How can someone have a debate with you if your going to marginalize them as being 'selfish' ??
    (Hmmm... this seems to ring of deja vu' doesn't it Kim?)

    How about this... its the 'evils' against the 'selfishes' what T-shirt are you wearing?



    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt View Post
    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.
    So you are for lumping a little cost for the ambulance drivers against the big cost to fund the teacher's union?

    What Flaherty said above in #7 rings true.
    YES/NO overrides manipulate the vote and your numerical example proves it.

    I as a citizen would like to get line-item-veto power.... am I alone in this?

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanJReiss View Post
    Wait a minute 'selfishly' is an overly strong word. How can someone have a debate with you if your going to marginalize them as being 'selfish' ??
    (Hmmm... this seems to ring of deja vu' doesn't it Kim?)

    How about this... its the 'evils' against the 'selfishes' what T-shirt are you wearing?
    Alan, I intended selfish in the economic sense of acting in one's self-interest. It wasn't intended as a value judgment, it's what an economist expects people to do. But to answer your question: I'd far rather be accused of acting in my own self-interest than be accused of acting evilly.

    Alan, you can try to paint this as black or white, one option being universally better than the other. It is not altogether clear which way of voting maximizes overall utility, which I contend should be the goal of the voting mechanism. Is there some other objective function you think would be preferable?

    More choice sounds logical and better, I've merely been trying to point out that it isn't as simple as it appears on the surface.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt View Post
    Alan, I intended selfish in the economic sense of acting in one's self-interest.
    Kim, I intended evil in the economic sense of acting in one's self-interest and especially if the self wants certain things paid for by others who may not be able to afford it or want it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt View Post
    Alan, you can try to paint this as black or white, one option being universally better than the other. It is not altogether clear which way of voting maximizes overall utility, which I contend should be the goal of the voting mechanism.
    First lesson on utility. When I go into the voting booth I want two things (1) privacy and (2) choices to make my own decisions... thats called utility. I am not part of a bee-hive or ant-colony I am a free thinking person who doesn't need a 'nanny' government to tell me how to spend my money.

    Thats why its NO MENU - NO OVERRIDE... when I get the MENU then I decide what I will pay for. Simple... very simple.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt View Post
    Is there some other objective function you think would be preferable?
    More choice sounds logical and better, I've merely been trying to point out that it isn't as simple as it appears on the surface.
    I think its simple, you think its complicated.

    Line-item-veto, all modern day american presidents wanted it... Clinton got it and used it 82 times. Guilliani sued the Fed Govt (NY vs. Clinton) took it to the supreme court and because of separation of powers between executive branch and the legislative branch it was taken away from Clinton by the Supreme Court. There is talk about changing the constitution on this one. By the way Clinton was a democrat.... saw the value of eliminating 'pork barrel'.

    Massachusetts allows us to have the line-item-veto. Why? Because we are not the president and have no legislative branch to balance... so we can have it.

    Its legal in Mass we don't get it. Other cities do.
    MSBA demands it... they get it.

    Its simple, there is no other function.

  5. #20
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    An observation: voters rarely have line item authority. Rather, that's a capability left to the legislative (and sometimes) executive branches. I'm not using that as an argument for or against the point in question.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    An observation: voters rarely have line item authority. Rather, that's a capability left to the legislative (and sometimes) executive branches. I'm not using that as an argument for or against the point in question.
    Perhaps, but in Mass its legal and available to all of us and we don't get it. Other cities do give it to their electorate.
    We have a NANNY government in Wayland who lumps it all together for us.

    (Oh no - somebody is going to get upset with me for using the NANNY word.)

    NO MENU - NO OVERRIDE

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