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My question for the group: how does the idea of luxury beliefs relate to Bryan Caplan’s arguments against the self-interested voter hypothesis? It seems to me that if voters are fairly altruistic as appears to be the case (young people vote for senior benefits, old people vote to fund education, non-farmers support farm subsidies) that elites who vote to de-police must on some level actually believe that the policy they vote for will be good for people other than just elites.

To me this idea seems complementary to the luxury beliefs theory in some ways and in other ways not. No one is directly “suffering for their beliefs” when they vote as Hanania points out, but elites do arrive at beliefs that in aggregate cause damage to the poor because they’re insulated from any direct experience with the consequences of those attitudes. On the other hand, the implication of luxury beliefs sometimes seems to be that elites are uniquely selfish in choosing beliefs that benefit themselves and hurt others. Based on Bryan’s arguments, this seems wrong—all voters are fairly altruistic and when an elite believes differently from their elite peers it’s not because they are less selfish, usually it’s that they, like Rob, have different direct experiences that lead them to different conclusions about what’s good for society.

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How would luxury beliefs benefit the progressive elite beyond the benefits of virtue signaling?

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They don’t, at least not in a consciously selfish way.

Bryan Caplan argues that voters are actually pretty altruistic, meaning that they don’t just vote for policies that would benefit them. In fact, they vote for lots of things that would hurt them personally if implemented (e.g. redistribution is often more popular with wealthy progressives than the working class). On some level, elites genuinely believe that the views they express through voting and public influence will make people other than themselves better off.

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I wonder if they are for keeping most of their wealth/income but redistributing the wealth of those above them.

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I've always found rather luxury beliefs idea rather weak in its insistence thar elite beliefs trickle down and cause behavior. A case of mistaking cope for causation. Rob's favorite example of marriage a perfect case in point. Denigrating marriage may be a luxury belief but that's because marriage is a luxury behavior, that is it mate markets make it so marriage has far fewer tradeoffs for elite women than lower class women because of operative sex ratios. Rob will say that poor people who get married have all these better outcomes but isn't the default explanation that poor people who get married are different from those who don't aside from being married. I assume getting married I the end result of successfully finding a partner with whom marriage has more benefits than costs. People select into marriage, they aren't randomized I to it. How much mare choice does an obese woman working a low end job have where the marriage will improve rather than harm her standard of living? But people still want kids, just as pronatalist conservatives moralize about. I assume the luxury beliefs about marriage are people just don't want to sound judgey of the rabble knowing their marriage options suck. I find conservative social constructionism ("people brainwashed by evil hippies) as lame as woke social constructionism ("people brainwashed by the patriarchy"). Maybe people understand their self interest pretty well and maybe we can't see how marriage contains costs for those not doing it. I assume when marriage stops doing certain things people just stop doing it and all the high minded moral rhetoric is just cope.

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This is missing the point perhaps, and it's not relevant to how you vote in the privacy of the election booth, but having political beliefs outside the range of acceptability for your social group can have drastic consequences in the form of ostracization. This is more true for conservatives than for liberals, both because of cons being more generally accepting and lib milieus often having more economic, sexual (though not reproductive,) and intellectual opportunities. All of this is biased by me being a con who has only lived in lib cities and being exclusively attracted to women who are coded lib.

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We all have to keep calm and carry on. No easy task, with gender fundamentalists attempting to thwart actual science education and research, and social justice thwarts actual justice. For mind/body work to get through it all, new YouTube channel: Ute Heggen

uteheggengrasswidow.wordpress.com

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I'm pretty allergic to this kind of braining/excusing groups -- "elites" "inner-city communities."

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I think that liberals also think birth control access, abortion access, safe sex teaching in schools are all important. Yes, normalizing promiscuity is bad but the liberal elite types don’t have a ton of kids because they have the impulse control to have safe sex and they have never been particularly opposed to safe sex. If we just take it as “promiscuity is good” then that could be a luxury belief, but they also have these beliefs about birth control.

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