The Third Option of Empiricism

As a Sociologist, one of the reasons I love Economics is because it gives me a target rich environment for examining human social behavior. And one of the reasons I hate Politics is because it gives me a target rich environment for examining human social behavior. When the two come together, I just throw out all the models and go home to watch something on Netflix (House of Cards maybe?).

One of the greatest social phenomenon, one that I think hasn’t been studied nearly enough, is why people vote against their own self-interests. Enter Obamacare.

Thinking of the Jimmy Kimmel thing, where he pretty much showed that people are uneducated about the ACA, followed up by Bill Maher (video below). But it doesn’t extend to just any kind of people, it extends to very educated people – people with advanced degrees; the kind of degrees where you’re taught to rely on Empirical Evidence (a.k.a. proof) before making claims.

So the question of why, and what do they hate about Obamacare, no one really knows. When asked, these folks usually say something like this: “I don’t know, I just can’t put my finger on it, I just know in my gut that it’s bad.”

Some Empiricism. That doesn’t fall into either Inductive or Deductive reasoning. Is there a third option?

Like Social Security, the ACA is a long term, economically self sustaining program, which will give lots of people access to healthcare that wouldn’t otherwise have it. And let’s be clear; Social Security is an economic and Social Success story – until Congress started “borrowing” against it.

Yeah, I can go into Max Weber’s power and class theories, or go into the bombastic theories of C. Wright Mills, but I’d rather watch House of Cards at this point.

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