Noted for Your Nighttime Procrastination for December 15, 2014
Morning Must-Read: Dirk Schoenmaker: Macroprudentialism

Morning Must-Read: Noah Smith: Cultural Liberalism Is About Personal Responsibility

Noah Smith: Cultural Liberalism Is About Personal Responsibility: "Under a social censure model...

...punishment is communally imposed to get people to avoid unhealthy behaviors, such as drugs and broken families. Under a personal responsibility model, people are educated about the risks and dangers, and told that it is incumbent upon them to avoid doing the bad stuff.... Of course, this is a huge generalization, but I think you see this dynamic at work in the case of marriage and the case of drugs. The 'secret traditionalism' of upper-class liberals is no secret. It is simply the outcome of the repeated quiet exercise of personal responsibility....

Social conservatives, in my experience, often tend to argue that the lower classes of society are not smart enough to handle personal responsibility.... I am not a big fan of that idea.... But I suspect you'll find at least hints and threads of this idea throughout the arguments of many social conservatives. So that leaves the question: If personal responsibility works better than social censure, why?...

At the aggregate level we now have a bit of circumstantial evidence favoring the liberal, health-and-responsibility-based approach over the conservative, punishment-and-censure-based approach on both marriage and drug use.

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