Seth Godin on ways to disagree with people. He identifies a marketing problem, a political problem and a filtering problem.
I think there is also an identification problem: When someone agrees with you, but won’t admit it because it doesn’t fit in with how they self-identify. But, if I admit that I wouldn’t be in the compassionate crowd, for example.
Steven Landsburg has help for such people. Here’s his response to a commentator on his blog who cares about coffee shop owners on Capitol Hill who are being hurt by the
shutdown but who must be…
…apparently oblivious to the fact that taxpayers also visit coffee shops, and that for every dime not being spent by a DC bureaucrat, there’s an extra dime available to be spent by a Nebraska farmer or a New York cab driver. Our commenter apparently remembered to care about the guys selling coffee in DC but forgot to care about the guys selling coffee in Nebraska.
The single biggest lesson that economists have to teach is that it’s important to care about everyone, not just about the people who happen to cross your path.