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Welcome to /townhall/! This is an anonymous-only board for debates, dialectics, and discussions of a serious nature.

As the topics discussed on this board may deal with sensitive or controversial subject matter, we expect a higher standard of conduct than elsewhere on the site, and will enforce the board's rules with a greater degree of strictness. Inability or unwillingness to follow the rules will result in a /townhall/-only ban.


1) All posts in a given thread must contribute constructively to the conversation, whether agreeing or disagreeing. Off-topic, contentless, inflammatory, or hostile posts will be deleted and result in a ban.

1a) Derails that occur as a natural result of discussion progressing from the original subject will generally not be interfered with; however, if these hinder discussion of the original topic, making a new thread is preferred.

1b) Part of contributing constructively is understanding and addressing the reasoning behind an opposing view. While this can be a tedious task and will generally not be officially enforced, please make an effort to at the very least avoid "talking past" someone when presented with a counterargument. Simply doubling down on your initial point does not advance a discussion.

1c) Be as willing to "lose" as you are to "win", and above all else, be willing to learn and understand. You will not get the most out of this board if your only goal is to persuade, and you will not even be effective at that unless you understand what you are arguing against.

2) Ad hominems and other uncivil behavior will not be tolerated. You may have a significant personal stake in some subjects discussed here, and it is normal to be frustrated when someone cannot relate; however, lashing out is not an effective way to engender sympathy for your position, and will not advance the conversation in a constructive way. Even if you find someone's argument morally abhorrent, there are constructive ways to express this.

2a) Attempting to deliberately provoke an uncivil reaction is prohibited, even if it is done within the letter of the law.

2b) Snark and other forms of mockery are strongly discouraged and may result in warnings or bans.

2c) "Strawmanning" an "opponent" deliberately will be regarded as uncivil conduct and will be dealt with accordingly. This will not apply to genuine misunderstandings.

3) While we do not claim to be arbiters of absolute moral or empirical truth and aim to moderate this board in a fair and even-handed, politically agnostic manner, the following extreme positions are considered "off-limits" regardless of how they are put forward, including attempts to "hint" or dogwhistle:

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People wish to protect children from transgendering; they wish not to have children sexualized or exposed to adult issues too early.  I can not argue against protecting children, no one can ague for sexual expression in children who can neither understand nor consent to that sort of thing.  And I can't figure that 'trans' or 'cis' is the issue, we are not to be prejudiced in that way.  What remains is that gender is inappropriate.  I know it is conventional to use gender for children, but sometimes convention is wrong.  Does ethics require all children be referred to as 'it' until they reach the age of consent when they may choose an appropriate gender?
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There are some words in there that are not for my eyes, I believe.  But...in general, transgenderism in children has become authorized and healthy, I take it.  If so, my previous impressions were just out of date.


>I have no opinion myself.

Then what the heck is this?



I have no opinion on whether transgender children are appropriate, and mostly respond to the common view, with the exception of wishing to make it a bit more logical.  I have enough opinion on the matter of age to not be against things like porn websites verifying users are adults.  This is what we are calling epistemic justice.


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Blow up here means capable of generating attention and response.  Expressions with such capacity tend to be one-liners with an ambiguous order of operations.

I realize my sense of order of operations is effected by programming, where the expression would be written 8/2*(2+2) and evaluated the same in C++ and Python.  But I gather mathematicians are not so precise.  What integer do you fill in for the question mark in the image?
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Same. As far as I understood, that's the way you do it.


You see implied multiplication and division as having the same precedent, then the order of these being left to right.  This is basically how I learned it, if memory serves.

>the way you do it
I thought I would have AN answer as well, however it appears implied multiplication may come before explicit multiplication and division in precedence, or at least experts don't all agree.



The answer would be to read from left to right in case of ambiguity, like for computers.

However, a mathematician would simply use fraction notation to avoid the issue.

This isn't some deep paradox, this is just some street magic muckery with confusing notations.


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Gain-of-function research and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race.


So has lack of discipline to use critical thinking skills when approaching media that confirms biases rooted in partisan political alliance.


Saw a new word on the news, huh?


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There have been repeated assertions by many on the left that the Trump Administration was especially racist, white nationalist, or white supremacist.  If those assertions are true, one would expect that blacks and Hispanics would swing sharply toward the Democratic Party, compared to previous presidential elections.  But as it turns out, Trump did better in both 2016 and 2020 than Romney had done in 2012.  Of course, Obama being a black candidate probably increased support for him among blacks and thereby decreased support among blacks for his opponent.  But looking at pre-Obama elections, Trump is still roughly on par with previous Republican nominees.





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Yeah, it wasn't just racist white people. It was also racist It was racist people in general.


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Most Trump supporters aren't actually racist.



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Recent events on the board have brought up an interesting topic, in exactly what it is to "strawman" someone.
Is it, as some definitions would seem to suggest, the misrepresentation of an argument in a false or misleading manner from the argument made,  or is it, as seemed to be suggested at least by one staff member, responding to what someone has argued as written, without malicious intent or dishonesty, and not what they meant to say.

For myself, I would consider the first more accurate.  Intent is difficult to assess, and direct statements, if not always reliable, are at least grounded in some consistent and objective rationality that gives a bit more reasonablity to a presumption of positions.  
Ultimately, we have to assume positions somewhere, and going specifically by what is said seems the better alternative to assuming what someone's meaning separate from the words used.
Not to say of course that people cannot change what they said if it's a mistake, as of course.  But if that mistake is made, it's on the person who made it, not the person reading it, and shouldn't as I see it be met with accusations of strawmanning or other such claims of dishonesty.  It should just be acknowledged and clarified as a simple mistake that caused misunderstanding.

I am curious on you all's thoughts, in any case. I'll provide a few links to some definitions below,  for you all.   In the mean time,  here's some questions and scenarios I'd love to hear your view on;

Is strawmanning malicious, dishonest, or otherwise immoral of an act like?
If so, why? If not,  why not?

Is strawmanning an intentional act, or is it something that can be done without meaning to?

If someone says "sharks eat people", but their intention was "people think sharks eat people", is it a strawman to argue whether or not sharks eat people?
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>Is strawmanning malicious, dishonest, or otherwise immoral of an act like?
If so, why? If not,  why not?

I think it's dishonest.  Whether it's immoral depends.  Sometimes people strawman political positions to express themselves.  You would not have trouble finding strawman agruments against, say, The Green New Deal, but that's not really arguing, but expressing distaste.  But sometimes it does hurt people.

>Is strawmanning an intentional act, or is it something that can be done without meaning to?

I think either way.

>if you know what they meant, or didn't know?

I'm mixed about this.  I often guess what people mean because I don't always find what they write to be clear (or maybe I spaced out when reading it).  Probably in the right mood, I will stick to exactly what they write.

>percentages of the examples that are wrong influence (...)
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I find this thread somewhat disengenuous considering how often the term "ad homenum" is thrown around wjen others (like myself) are being rude, which isn't the same thing as an ad homenum fallacy but is used more informally to designate one person attacking the character of another.

In one sense strawmanning means simply misrepresenting someone else in making an argument against them, in the other sense, it's deliberately misrepresenting someone's argument.

Context can make the distinction between the slighlty less rigid, more informal meaning of the term and the more rigidly formal definition of the fallacious rhetorical tactic. Either way, it's uncivil on this board, either to deliberately misrepresent another's argument or to misrepresent their motivations or thought process in an attempt to counter them.


Probably we all need to attempt to be as obtuse as possible in sticking to the exact wording of posters to avoid the various possible violations.


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Does Bitcoin have a chance of being anything but awful for the environment?

Or, most technically, is Bitcoin too conservative to move away from Proof of Work, and does this hashing inevitably displace more legitimate uses of energy?
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Different user, but i think environment is being used literally here. Dollars floating around don't take constant, multiple computers running, using lots of electricity, to maintain. This becomes a larger issue if bitcoin becomes the standard, as you will need more and more of them, and corporations will jist start running warehouses full of PCs whose sole purpose is to mine bitcoin. Energy production has always had environmental consequences, and, as it stands now, bitcoin promises to be an unprecedented energy sink.


I doubt Bitcoin will ever be motivated to make the change, but proof of stake is a thing that doesn't rely on hashing for mining.


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I should have written something to indicate the concern was burning fuel.

>I don't see why bitcoin would be worse than printed money, considering you have a tangible physical object that requires immense resources to produce and ship, compared to a string of code. Seems like bitcoin again wins out.

You are correct that producing physical objects requires energy and materials, that often come with changes in the environment, so certainly making coins or bills has a cost.  Bitcoin runs on computers connected to the internet, and all cloud services require electrical power to run.  Of course the financial systems that do transactions for dollars are also mainly computers.

The concern centering on Bitcoin has involved the founder's choice of how to reward Bitcoin miners.  Miners are those doing the work of putting transactions in the blockchain -- the transaction leger.  Anyway, the miner that solves a puzzle first wins a reward, and Bitcoin miners use a great deal of energy just for solving the puzzle.


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So apparently racists on 4chan /pol/ have started a campaign to erase famous images of black people from popular products.  And the sad part is that they're actually succeeding, and major companies are doing this!  It started with Aunt Jemima, and now Uncle Ben is getting targeted.  What is wrong with our country???
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I mean you literally violated at least rule 2a and 2c.

I mean you literally violated


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Thread and posts within are now pending mod review. The thread will be locked until I have the free time after work, or another mod can do so.

Do not spread the issue further. If I see anyone trying to make a new thread to continue it or to try to dispute this action I will respond with short bans upon my discovery of said attempts.

Just give me time to work on this.


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Alright. I am going to lay things out as I see them, and try to get this cleared up.

We'll start with the thread premise. I sincerely doubt that 4chan is responsible for the removal of Uncle Ben and Aunt Jemima. I think this is a matter of corporations being the amoral entities they are, and seeing that they can make more money by removing depictions of African-Americans that in the modern day are seen as problematic.

As for why they're problematic, it is summarized decently, here.>>5739

In this post, while your interpretation of the characters is charitable, for many, especially African-Americans, the depiction of these characters is too steeped in the harmful character archetype of the "happy slave."

So we get to here. >>9311
Where the examples of Uncle Ben, Uncle Remus, and Aunt Jemima are all lumped in together as "happy slaves." The sentiment is that these are all characters with their creation absolutely drenched in sentiment many in the modern day feel is racist.

Now: >>9313
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Consider the following excerpt:
Far from being rare, wrongful murder convictions are very common (https://deathpenaltyinfo.org/policy-issues/innocence/description-of-innocence-cases). Police are under pressure to solve a crime that has gotten a lot of attention. When they find a suspect, they want to believe he's guilty, and ignore or even destroy evidence suggesting otherwise. District attorneys want to be seen as effective and tough on crime, and in order to win convictions are willing to manipulate witnesses and withhold evidence. Court-appointed defense attorneys are overworked and often incompetent. There's a ready supply of criminals willing to give false testimony in return for a lighter sentence, suggestible witnesses who can be made to say whatever police want, and bogus "experts" eager to claim that science proves the defendant is guilty. And juries want to believe them, since otherwise some terrible crime remains unsolved.

This circus of incompetence and dishonesty is the real issue with the death penalty. We don't even reach the point where theoretical questions about the moral justification or effectiveness of capital punishment start to matter, because so many of the people sentenced to death are actually innocent. Whatever it means in theory, in practice capital punishment means killing innocent people.
( Quoted from http://paulgraham.com/real.html )

Any thoughts?
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Seems like an odd thing to focus on. Personally, I'd prioritize getting people to the courthouse in the first place. Most state-sanctioned killings aren't death-penalty convictions, they're some scared cop with a twitchy trigger finger and an inability to find their taser. We had 10 death penalty executions carried out in 2020. There were 895 fatal police shootings. It's clear which form of state-endorsed murder we should be focused on here.


I can tell there are a range on opinions on this.  Some have said here police executions are impossible, defining execution as a killing that is discretionary and not designated murder by the state.  Yet like Rabbit, you too are not explicitly trustful of the America government's use of deadly force.


All the more reason people who prioritize principles in policy decisions over practical realities are worthless.

Some ideal scenarios are just pipe dreams and it's foolish to try and pursue them. Ideal justice is sometimes literally impossible and everyone needs to learn to accept that fact or risk becoming monsters in tbat pursuit of justice.


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In pondering different issues in terms of homophobia and transphobia as well as general tolerance with my personal life, something that there's no reason to go into here but that strikes me as giving me a chance for some reflection, something hit me quite strongly.

>In modern America today, showing outright hatred of somebody due to their racial identity is widely frowned upon to the point that one could reasonably be expected to be fired from one's job, kicked out of one's apartment, booted from one's social circle, and otherwise for expressing such malice. This is justified, correctly I think for the most part, by the argument that if one is causing harm to others then self-defense in the form of trying to stop them from doing that or at least to remove them from environments where victims reside is morally justified.

>In modern America today, showing outright hatred of somebody due to their immutable (or fundamental, not likely changeable as well as core to one's behind) identity is widely frowned upon as well as widely lauded, depending greatly on the particular context. In broad terms, however, expressing hatred over somebody's religious background, sexual orientation, gender identity, biological sex, mental health status, national origin, psychological status, level of disability, or such is something that won't cost your your job, won't make you lose all of your friends, won't get you kicked of your apartment, et cetera. Exceptions exist to where, in a weirdly random fashion, some instances of hatred are punished. Generally though, no. As well, instances of hatred are often rewarded depending on the group targeted (for example, being an online comedian and social commentator creating videos on YouTube and elsewhere about the terrible natures of autistic and transgender people can make you famous and well-respected as well as earn you money).

Assuming for the sake of argument that this is morally not acceptable, a question reminds: how then shall the culture be changed, especially when it comes to law and government?

I've got a glib response but one I'd like some serious consideration on. What if the government decided to make everything a race? And I mean everything, as far as fundamental identities go.

Thus, sexually assaulting somebody for being Jewish or subjecting their house to vandalism or whatever will involve the same legal sanction as thPost too long. Click here to view the full text.
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I can't account for how other people cognate. People are weird in how they feel offended or threatened.


Has anyone here done anything like that?
Or for that matter done anything to suggest they might?

It seems to have come from absolutely nowhere to me.


Man you just described 90% of this damn board. I don't think I've followed a single logical leap anybody has made and the urgent societal issues seem like they've been assembled by a game of madlibs.

 No.8781[Reply][Last 50 Posts]

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Well, I'm confined to this structure by state order, due to the social unrest and potential social unrest triggered by police killing of Daunte Wright.

I can't say I have opinions to express (aside from a desire for survival).  I do have the observation that the state appears to be deciding -- when officers kill a subject who is not posing an imminent threat, at least in the perspective of many, are these killings to be regarded as random accidents, non-random accidents -- racism of some kind, murder, or appropriate state executions.  I've seen many opinions expressed, it is hard to analyze them fully.  You may express yours if you like.  Maybe identify which faith community you are in, so I can group opinions.  But you don't have to.

Otherwise I hope you have a nice Tuesday.
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>In retrospect, I think they were using bold to mark 'quoted' items.

Originally I tried using [tt] to write quotes. But - this is going to be silly - at work i use a command line program called "hh" and I wrote the tags like [hh] which obviously didn't work. Because I knew it was important that the quotes stood out as not my words I needed to fix it. But since the auto updater on this site doesn't update a post when a user updates it, i tried to beat out everyone who loaded the page before the mistake wasn't as easily fixable. So I made it bold, even though that's a really weird choice for quoted text.

In a different timeline that I got a job at a different company, my quotes would have looked like this 


That's terrible. I'm so sorry that these negative experiences have been happening in your personal life over and over again, and I wish you both the best this weekend.


Not that it matters so much to announce it, but I'm booked up tonight and saturday so I'll hopefully pick up where we left off sunday afternoon.

Thanks, I'm doing pretty well for myself nowadays and it's rarely relevant anymore. But the past does sneak up on you from time to time.


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Continuation from https://ponyville.us/pony/res/1080199.html of the discussion that started from >>>/pony/1080500 :
>certain prejudices in society are lessening (so statements like, say, "I'd never date a transgender person", ... et cetera are becoming highly unacceptable among regular people)
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I've actually never played it. Have you?


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Nope!  Maybe one day.



 No.8964[Reply][Last 50 Posts]

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Modern America today appears to be rather cleanly divided between two strictly divided social groups that both act in such a way that they can not only be analogized to warrying tribes, akin to ancient Romans fighting ancient Celts, but are approaching that of utterly alien separate species, akin the xenomorphs fighting the humans in the famous Sigourney Weaver helmed 'Alien' franchise.

On the one hand, you have white Christians who identify as nationalists (or, at least, act as such). This folds neatly into the conservative movement and the Republican Party specifically in terms of both of those actively seeking these people out as supporters, although of course one can be both a conservative and also a Republican while having none of those traits (please do not view this thread as being based on the premise that all Republicans/conservatives are nationalists). They genuinely and sincerely believe (or, at least, act as such) that their ethnic bloodlines as transplanted Europeans of some stripe embodies them with a long, prestigious heritage of intellectual worth, with everything from architecture to artworks to musical pieces demonstrating this civilizational inheritance. Similarly, as Christians they genuinely and sincerely believe (or, at least, act as such) that their faith tradition makes them an elect class among the general mass of humanity, with their prudence and virtue not only setting them upon a pedestal of superiority among other faiths but giving them a clear understanding that they are the anointed who can guide a fallen world into the light. These tie completely to nationalism given that, as these strident political activists argue, the Founding Fathers created the U.S. to be a white Christian nation based on the idea of a 'shining city on a hill' in which human rights are respected for those who deserve such rights in contrast to the mobs who claim freedoms but do not deserve them due to their wickedness.

On the other hand, you have everybody else. This includes not just everybody who isn't perceived as white and perceived as Christian but also anyone who doesn't fully line up on board with nationalism. In definition terms, certain classes of people such as the LGBT and others also apply here regardless of whether or not they identify as Christian or white, white Christian nationalists not considering somebody to qualify as a 'real American' / 'real Christian' if they don't conform to a certain narrow understanding of whaPost too long. Click here to view the full text.
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<I should've included: I take back my request for an apology. While it's deserved, my creation of the thread in the first place and my general behavior as such can quite clearly be said to have to have been 'asking for it'. Perhaps akin to the recent incident in which I sloppily was walking around with an expensive check poking out of a coat pocket and discovered its absence after a short while (most likely not pickpocketing but just that it fell, and somebody picked it up without being willing to return it), having no luck after retracing my steps. Behaving unreasonably in a way that's damaging to oneself is a bad idea. An apology can't be reasonably expected, and so it's not requested. Sorry for not including this addendum in my above post.>


Your OP and the ideas therein had nothing to do with our troubles, and likewise for your political beliefs, as I told you directly several times.

And as for "asking for it" because you're supposedly acting like a doormat, a doormat wouldn't accuse me of something I did not do.
Doormats aren't in the habit of claiming something occurred that factually and objectively did not.

A desire for apology shouldn't be a matter of reasonability, it should be a matter of morality.

To take your incident as an example, regardless of your own unwise action in relation to that check, if someone stole it, they acted immorally and, if they are a person of quality, should apologize and make it right.

Don't let your own troubles get in the way of seeing right and wrong. If something done is wrong, that ought to be all that matters.  Take some pride in yourself, and argue morality from what "ought", not what "is".
If enough of us do, we may well find the world improves.


I would like the thread to be deleted. If not, locked. Thank you.


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Is the $200 tax on mufflers unjust and/or unconstitutional?
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I'm not familiar with either the FPC and GOA. Can you provide context?


The FPC is the Firearms Policy Coalition, which seems to, rather than do the typical thing, attempt to challenge laws in courts instead wherever possible, as well as more generally push specific laws and bills, and does a fair bit of cataloguing new changes.

The GOA is the Gun Owners Of America, with the tagline "the only no-compromise gun lobby in washington". They're a more traditional type of rights lobbyist group, with the main distinction that they oppose any new violations of rights, regardless of if it's called a 'compromise' or not.
Their stuff is more the general lobbying type function, which is why I'm starting to lean more to the FPC, as it seems while lobbying certainly has an affect, the FPC is able to do a lot more with a lot less.


Thank you.

My general viewpoint is that the primary threat to gun rights in the long run isn't government actions to restrict freedoms but a general change in the culture such that social attitudes keep evolving, with possibly gun ownership might eventually be seen akin to ownership of cartoon child pornography in the sense of being de jure legally defended but de facto broadly hated (please don't misinterpret this as me making the moral comparison myself as I'm only saying that others believe it).

I admit that while I see this as possibly happening... I don't really know how to respond.


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Argument Summary: Raising the minimum wage hurts workers.

Supporting reasons:

- in the short term raising the wage makes jobs scarcer since fewer workers may be hired on a firm's labor budget.  This also encourages automation and process efficiency measures to reduce jobs, which might effect employment even if the minimum wage were lowered again.

- in the long term, raising the wage also reduces the number of jobs by forcing some businesses to close due to higher labor cost.

- in the long term, inflation proportional to the minimum wage increase causes no increase in buying power even for those workers privileged with a nominal increase in earnings.

Amplifying Rational:
Since an unemployed worker can be less expected to survive, at least appropriately, granting as many as possible a wage to live on, or as close as can be expected, requires minimum wage be abolished to maximize employment.


You are welcome to agree or disagree with portions or all of the argument, preferably with further discussion as to why.
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Ok, well, rebutting my own argument, I guess.  Rushing a bit because I have to get to work (for the ever-necessary OT).


>higher labor cost.
>inflation proportional to the minimum wage increase

This seems to make the assumption all wage is payed at the minimum wage.  A quick Google search gives me 1.5% of workers in 2020 made minimum wage, and their proportion of labor cost must be much lower.  Roughly speaking, it's a drop in the bucket, which explains why inflation has been increasing in excess of minimum wage for decades.

>encourages automation and process efficiency measures

Maybe, but why can't we create economic systems where that's a win?  Or in short, why is it better to exploit low wage workers than to automate?

Yes, you may have a point, J. Griffon, some businesses that rely heavily on low wage work, and can't automate, might struggle.  On the other hand, as the wage increase occurs across America, if the product or service is really necessary, people will be willing to pay more.  That's the basic idea of paying what something costs.
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>There's also the argument that renters will just raise the rent with wage, meaning the only people who actually benefit are the renters.
"Renter" denotes a person who pays rent.  "Landlord" denotes the person who receives the money.


Raising the minimum wage, as far as research has found, tends to either not decrease employment or have a modest reduction in terms of those with jobs, in comparison to a widely substantial improvement in conditions for a large number of individuals.

An interesting article on this is at: https://journalistsresource.org/economics/federal-minimum-wage-research/

Ultimately, though, this gets into a moral question that's outside of traditional economics. Accepting that a significant hike is well understand to mean some harm in terms of lost jobs, how much negativity is acceptable in comparison to the total of those lifted out of poverty (as well as those of better life station more generally)? The counter-factual is also important. What if wage subsidies were enacted? Or additional stimulus checks to people? Or expansions in health care coverage for the poor? Or changes to the food stamp program?

It's rather unclear what changes to U.S. government policy would precisely benefit the working poor the most. In my personal opinion, raising the minimum wage isn't necessarily a horrible idea but in comparison terms seems like a worse option than expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit or sweeting Obamacare exchanges or other measures that involve spending money on the downtrodden without, I believe, hurting jobs as much (or maybe even at all).

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