A self-styled "libertarian" clown (judging by the blog roll) plays reductio ad absurdum with my post, some questions on unemployment for economists. He's only playing with half a deck, though. The first mistake he makes (and it's a doozy) is to equate asking people questions with telling them to "shut the fuck up". On the contrary, when I ask a question, I'm actually inviting someone to speak.
The second mistake is to twist my point about the non-representation of the unemployed in forums on unemployment into a demand that only the unemployed should have a voice.
Based on those two total distortions, "Angus" proceeds to imagine some "logical extensions" of my argument, reductio ad absurdum: "Only the uninsured should have a voice in the health care debate." "Only soldiers should make our military decisions."
We'll no, Angus, that's not how you do a proper reductio. To do it right you must begin from your debate opponent's actual premise to show why his or her argument is absurd. If you first distort the premise, you've demonstrated nothing but your intellectual dishonesty and/or your incompetence.
So let me ask you a question, Angus, is it also your position that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 denied the right to vote to white folks because it upheld the right of African Americans to vote? That's how you do an actual reductio ad absurdum and not a phony one based on glibly distorting your opponent's position.