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Opening Arguments

Point of view

Oh, bite me:

Rugged American individualism could hinder our ability to understand other peoples' point of view, a new study suggests.

And in contrast, the researchers found that Chinese are more skilled at understanding other people's perspectives, possibly because they live in a more "collectivist" society.

"This cultural difference affects the way we communicate," said study co-author and cognitive psychologist Boaz Keysar of the University of Chicago.

It's hard to believe that the school graced by Milton Friedman could also have someone who produces drivel like this. How hard is it to understand other peoples' point of view in a "collectivist society" in which everybody, you know, thinks alike? One thing about us rugged individualists -- we tend to judge others by what they do, not who they are.

Posted in: Current Affairs


Bob G.
Thu, 07/19/2007 - 8:05am

This "cognitive psychologist" needs to get his head out of his...well, you know.

And you're totally correct about us judging people by WHAT THEY DO, rather than WHO THEY ARE...!!!

A collectivist society only produces LEMMINGS.

I would like to think that OUR society (still) produces free thinkers viv-a-vis individualists.


Thu, 07/19/2007 - 9:05am

>>we tend to judge others by what they do, not who they are.<<

Take George W. Bush, for example. He rose to the top position in the land quite simply by being the most capable person in the land. A true rags to riches story. This son of a President and grandson of a Senator failed at successively bigger and more important jobs until he was chosen to fail at the biggest and most important job of them all.

Our leader, the ruggedest individualist of them all. Didn't take nuthin' from no one. Did it all his own self.

Yeah, I know, this post wasn't supposed to be about George W. Bush and, irrational Bush hater that I am, had to drag him into it.

Leo Morris
Thu, 07/19/2007 - 9:14am

Well, look at Bush's poll numbers. He is being judged for his actions, yes?

Sue M
Thu, 07/19/2007 - 9:23am

Had to laugh when I saw this post. Some of us are also falling into that trap. I was basically called a beer swilling redneck because I worked in a union shop; and I classified the person who said that as an elitist snob because he talked down to me and stood on the other side of the fence---we all have our frame of reference.

Thu, 07/19/2007 - 12:49pm

>>Well, look at Bush

Leo Morris
Thu, 07/19/2007 - 2:07pm

Is it your intention to argue that, except for George W. Bush, we have elected the most competent, capable people as president? It seems to me that the ones who reach the top rung on that particular career latter are more or less the same kind of people.

A J Bogle
Thu, 07/19/2007 - 2:24pm

Isn't that the "peter principle" rising to the level of ones incompetence?

on a side note - "graced" by Friedmann? you've got to be kidding me - what a hack! his bizarre and illogical economic theories and his disciples are largely responsible for the failed economic policies of today.

Leo Morris
Thu, 07/19/2007 - 3:09pm

Yeah, those bizarre and illogical Nobel laureates.

tim zank
Thu, 07/19/2007 - 4:10pm

Yeah, and I wish that stupid stock market would quit breaking records, don't those investors realize the economy sucks?

A J Bogle
Fri, 07/20/2007 - 8:35am

Leo - like there haven't ever been any people on the Nobel list that shouldn't be there? You might even say Nobel Laureate Jimmy Carter was not deserving - so too is Freidmann. - the bottom line is every day the wild west "free" market economic theories from Friedmann and his disciples like Laffer (whose bogus "curve" has been completely discreditted) are losing gorund -even by former Friedmann followers like Paul Craig Roberts (former top Reagan economic adviser) and Alan Blinder.

The S&P is still 17% behind its peak in the late 90s, a measure of economic activity widely recognized by analysts as a much more accurate gage of the economy than the "old school" Dow. Most stock analysts hardly pay attention to the Dow anymore, which by the way adjusted for inflation would need to be closer to 18,000 right now to reach its past peaks.

As far as the so called "great" economy Mr Zank by what measure are you basing this opinion? just the dow? Because there are record home forclosures that one has to go back to the depression to beat, negative savings rates and high personal debt, one has to go back to the 1920's to beat that, manufacturing and construction continues to shed jobs, negative foreign investment, huge federal deficit (down slightly but still higher than the previous records under Reagan), growing trade deficits - I can go on.

The bottom line is that "demand side" economics such as Keynes and Galbraith professed are coming back in vogue, just as Friedman's free market supply side theories are tossed on the trash pile.