Photograph via snooOG

Neutral Politics is a community dedicated to evenhanded, empirical discussion of political issues. It is a space to discuss policy and the tone of political debate.

What is Neutral Politics?

Neutral Politics is a community dedicated to evenhanded, empirical discussion of political issues. It is a space to discuss policy and the tone of political debate.

Is this a subreddit for people who are politically neutral?

No - in fact we welcome and encourage any viewpoint to engage in discussion. The idea behind r/NeutralPolitics is to set up a neutral space where those of differing opinions can come together and rationally lay out their respective arguments. We are neutral in that no political opinion is favored here - only facts and logic.

Neutral Politics is strictly moderated.

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We expect the following from all users:

1) Be courteous. Demeaning language, rudeness or hostility towards another user will get your comment removed. Repeated violations may result in a ban.

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608,822 Subscribers


What concerns drive the US restriction on allowing Ukraine to use American weapons in Russia?

The US Ambassador to Ukraine has said they don't "enable or encourage the use of our weapons in Russia, outside Ukraine's territory". Why is that? What possible consequences is the US guarding against by maintaining this restriction?

05:50 UTC


If a country has the terrain and climate conducive to producing illicit drugs, is that a form of "resource curse"?

The resource curse is the phenomenon of countries with an abundance of natural resources (such as fossil fuels and certain minerals) having less economic growth, less democracy, or worse development outcomes than countries with fewer natural resources.

I'm wondering if having the terrain and climate conducive to producing illicit drugs can be added to that list of resources that potentially "curse" a country.

Examples could be Afghanistan, whose only major export is poppy products that are estimated to account for more than 80 percent of global opium and heroin supplies, and Colombia, which recently set a record high for cocaine production.

Do such countries suffer in the same way, and for the same reasons, as the ones with mineral resources to extract? And if so, is the "Norway model" a viable way out for them?

17:05 UTC


Who is protesting at US university campuses and what are their goals?


There is a months-long protest movement currently happening on university campuses in the United States that's related to the Israel-Hamas war.

Protesters "have issued calls for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, an end to U.S. military assistance for Israel, university divestment from arms suppliers and other companies profiting from the war," and more moves in support of the Palestinian people.

Meanwhile, a pro-Israel counter-protest movement has emerged, prompting at least one conflict between the two groups that turned violent. High-ranking Democratic and Republican politicians have been critical of the protests, while also defending free speech.


  • Who are the people behind this movement and the counter movement?
  • Other than what's mentioned above, what are the goals behind the protests?
  • Which, if any, of those goals are within the power of the protest targets (politicians, university administrators) to achieve?
  • Have the protests been successful at influencing the desired changes?
  • To what degree have attempts to resolve the protests been successful on any of the campuses?
09:47 UTC


I'm trying to make a somewhat comprehensive collection of news sources to have a global perspective, please suggest additional or alternative sources!

I like to focus on geopolitics, defense, and international relations. Not particularly interested in culture, business, technology (in this context).

Western perspective:

Council on Foreign Relations
Financial Times
Le Monde
Christian Science Monitor

Latin America:

El Universal (MX)
El Nuevo Dia (PR)

Middle East:

Jerusalem Post
Al Jazeera


South China Morning Post


Taipei Times
The Diplomat

What do you think should be added to have a wide range of ideologies and regions represented? I realize Africa is not included, so suggestions there would be recommended. I would also like to include some highly conservative and leftist sources that are still somewhat serious.

Thanks very much for any suggestions.

11:14 UTC


Is the starvation in North Korea intentional or is it because of sanctions and a lack of resources?

When I say "starvation ", I mean it in the literal sense, not just hunger. If it is in fact intentional, I would suppose it is a punitive starvation targeted at certain groups, right?

Source that highlights North Korea's food shortages: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2667111522000263

16:36 UTC


In countries with declining birth rates, what specific economic and political effects have been seen?

Roughly half the world's population lives in countries with sub-replacement fertility and it's especially prevalent in developed countries.

But this is not a new phenomenon. Fertility rates have been declining in these countries for decades, so I'm wondering if enough time has gone by that we now have a good picture of the economic and political effects of this shift. There's a lot of hand wringing out there about the future, but what about now?

20:59 UTC


What actually changed upon passage of CA SB14?

I've seen a number of articles about this bill that is now law, but reading the text of the bill hasnt given me much clarity into what actually was changed. SB14 was a recently-enacted California law to change the criminal penalties for human trafficking of a minor.


The articles I originally read indicated there were concerns about the specific ages in the bill, which caused an amendment but I see no mention of age in the final bill.

Other articles make mention of other concerns but I see nothing in the final version addressing those concerns. I also see no mention of the changes in jail terms mentioned in articles such as this

I also attempted to read the actual law, I found this which seems to have penalties higher than those 1 year claimed in some of the articles.

17:13 UTC


Has the Fair Work Act of 2009 affected wage growth in Australia in any way?

I recently read an interview with Bill Kelty and Paul Keating wherein they criticized the Fair Work Act of 2009 for its supposed negative effects on productivity and wage growth. The Business Council of Australia has also made similar criticisms. On the other hand, the Australian Council of Trade Unions released their own research paper which absolved the law and attributed the declining productivity rate to underinvestment in skills and infrastructure, managerial complacency, and changing terms of trade, among other factors.

How valid are these points?

09:37 UTC


Where can I find a list of important legislation passed from each administration?

I've been searching and this is ridiculously difficult to find. I just want a simple, clean website that shows drop down lists of, for example:

- Here's everything the FTC has done under Biden, Trump, Obama, etc.

- Here's everything the Agriculture dept has passed under each president...

- Etc

If this was created and made EASILY accessible for all Americans, it would be so helpful. I don't care about the president who wins, but rather their appointees and cabinet picks in my opinion do much more damage (or help). And a list like this would inform us all as to the ramifications of each administration.

16:09 UTC


What are the arguments for and against the idea that the U.S. and U.K. failed to provide adequate security assurances to Ukraine under the 1994 Budapest Memorandum?

The 1994 Budapest Memorandum was signed by Ukraine, Russia, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Under it, Ukraine agreed to give up the nuclear weapons inherited after the Soviet dissolution in exchange for security assurances, especially from the U.S. and U.K., respecting its territorial integrity and political independence (another source)

In the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2014 and ongoing occupation of Crimea and parts of the Donbas region, there has been significant debate about whether the U.S. and U.K. have lived up to their commitments under the Budapest Memorandum.

Did the US and UK actually fail to provide promised assurances?

05:02 UTC


What are valid arguments for and against enacting right to disconnect laws?

Recently, the Australian government enacted right to disconnect laws much to the unease of employer groups. They argue that this move is fraught with uncertainty on what exactly constitutes "unreasonable" contact. Likewise, employer groups in the Philippines baulked at the introduction of a similar bill last December saying it would disrupt "workplace peace" and deter foreign investment.

How valid are these points and are there ways to prevent these laws from resulting in undue litigation against employers?




18:13 UTC


What are the pros and cons of the Biden administration's proposed capital gains tax increase to a top marginal rate of 44.6%?

The Biden administration has presented its revenue proposals for the 2025 fiscal year, which include increases to the capital gains and net investment income tax rates for those whose taxable income exceeds $1 million. (PDF pages 79 & 80, including footnote.) It is projected to increase revenue by $289 billion over 10 years. The additional stated purpose is to reduce wealth inequality.

Under the proposal, the two rate hikes together "would increase the top marginal rate on long-term capital gains and qualified dividends to 44.6 percent." That's up from 23.8 percent under current law and it would be the highest such rate in 100 years.

Historically, what have been the pros and cons of high marginal rates on capital gains and investment income? What impact have those rates had on markets, retirement accounts, and innovation? Is the projected revenue increase worth its potential cost to the economy?

10:39 UTC


Separatism vs. balkanization

Separatism is the belief that a group of people of a particular heritage, race, religion, ethnic group, etc. should gain independence or autonomy from a ruling country.

Balkanization is a term coined after looking at the history of the Balkan region over the past 150-200 years, and is often used by some people to negatively describe what separatist movements advocate for.

I'd like to learn more on this topic, and maybe try to form an opinion based on what I'll read.

For context: I'm French. France is a unitary, centrally-controlled state, and one of the basic principals of our constitution is "indivisibility". We generally believe that we are one People and the law should apply equally everywhere to everyone. But there are varying separatist movements in France, such as in Corsica, Bretagne, Catalogne, Pays Basque, but also in overseas territories. There are also separatists movements in other European countries (Scotland, Catalonia, Transnistria...) and all over the world (Xinjiang, Western Sahara...). Some left-wing movements support or take part in them (Scottish Greens, Plaid Cymru), some oppose them (PTB in Belgium, in French). Same goes for centrist and conservative movements (here about Brittany, France, here about Corsica, France, or here about Quebec).

I would like to read opposing arguments from both sides, what different ideologies support, on what principle or evidence, and maybe have access to ressources. I'm sure authors have probably theorized on this subject.

Does separatism divide people? Does it weaken nations? Does it bring political power closer to the people/workers? Does it depend on the nature of the separatist process - is it a bourgeois process or a worker's movement? Where do you draw the line? Should one make their opinion on a case by case basis? What criteria would you use? There must be so many different cases throughout continents. How do opposing political groups articulate their common fight for separatism? etc. So many questions come to my mind as you can tell.

TL;DR: what makes a separatist movement "good" or "bad"?

This is my first ever Reddit post; please tell me if it disrespects some rules or conventions.

15:23 UTC


What are the arguments for and against France paying $100 billion in reparations to Haiti?

I came across this news article about a collection of non-governmental civil society groups claiming France should pay reparations to Haiti to cover a debt formerly enslaved people were forced to pay in return for recognising the island's independence.

Given Haiti's history and the ongoing crisis there, what are the arguments for and against France paying these reparations?

04:36 UTC


Why does homelessness in the US look so bad when the data suggests it isn't that bad

Hello, homelessness is a problem in the US, as with anywhere, and I have always wanted to fix it. But, after doing some research, I found that wealthy European countries such as the Netherlands have similar rates of urbanization and homelessness(US with .18% homelessness and the Netherlands with .23% homelessness), though the Netherlands is more urbanized than the US(~84% population in an urban area in the US, vs ~94% in the Netherlands) or New Zealand, with a higher homelessness rate of .86% , and an urbanization rate of ~87%. But my question is why is homelessness in these places less visible? Is it because the homeless population is more cared for by those societies than in the US or is it simply that they are good at building around their homeless population?
Sources: Urbanization rates are taken from wikipedia, which cites the statistics as from World Bank, among other sources, whereas homelessness rates are taken from the OECD report on homelessness by country.
Links: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urbanization\_by\_sovereign\_state and https://www.oecd.org/els/family/HC3-1-Homeless-population.pdf The OECD data is a little old but all of the referenced country's are within a few years of each other, would prefer more recent data though.
Additionally, here is an article outlining the homelessness crisis in the US: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/features/addressing-the-u-s-homelessness-crisis/

12:03 UTC


Have any U.S. states successfully implemented evidence-based policies around transgender health?

In a context of unprecedented numbers of national and state-level bills focused on LGBTQ+ folks, and particularly the transgender and nonbinary folks, which U.S. states (if any) have been successful in passing evidence-based policies regarding the transgender health? If so, what factors contributed to those policy-making processes? If not, what barriers exist in states where policies are arguably not based on the evidence?

There seems to be broad consensus among clinicians in support of health care that meets specific needs of transgender people, and standards of care that emphasize the need to consider potential benefits and harms of any medical procedure. Scholarly studies have also repeatedly found associations between structural stigma, including restrictive policies, and poor mental health outcomes among LGBTQ+ folks.

With the understanding that attitudes toward the LGBTQ+ community closely tied to cultural, moral and religious beliefs, is there a way to reach some kind of consensus on evidence about the health needs of trans folks, and to implement policies accordingly?

13:07 UTC


Dissecting the Wage Policy-Housing Affordability Nexus in a Post-Pandemic Context

Hello r/NeutralPolitics,

The post-pandemic economy has cast a stark light on the societal challenges posed by the widening gap between wage growth and housing costs. My research, "Wage Policies and the Housing Affordability Crisis – A Critical Analysis of an Escalating Dilemma," explores the complex nexus of wage stagnation, housing market dynamics, and broader economic pressures, and how these factors contribute to rising income inequality and a worsening crisis in housing affordability.

With a basis in empirical data, the study critically examines the effects of urban planning, globalization, and monetary policy on housing markets, and advocates for evidence-based policy initiatives aimed at ensuring economic equity and housing stability. The objective is to address systemic challenges and avert threats to societal harmony and economic sustainability.

In light of this research, I would like to invite a discussion on the following questions:

What empirical data most convincingly illustrates the correlation between wage policies and housing affordability, and how have these dynamics shifted post-pandemic?

How can case studies of urban planning, globalization, and monetary policy inform policy actions that address housing affordability?

What are the evidence-based recommendations that emerge from this research for fostering economic equity and stability in housing markets?

For a more comprehensive view of the findings and for use as a basis for discussion, the full paper is available here.

Thank you for engaging in this critical conversation.

06:40 UTC


How does a House makeup of 217 to 213 Equal a One-Vote Majority for Republicans?

This isn't a rant. It's a civics question. I don't understand how the House rules work to make this true. Since Mike Gallagher hit the eject button, I've been seeing everywhere in the press that the Republicans now only have a one-vote majority in the house and that if they lose another then the gavel gets handed over to the Democrats. I don't understand the math. How would 217 to 213 equal a one-vote majority?
EDIT: Thanks everyone. It all makes sense now. :)


17:46 UTC


What's the status of the bail reform movement in the US and what's the evidence supporting alternatives to cash bail?

For about the last eight years, there's been a revitalized bail reform movement in the United States.

It's rooted in the idea that cash bail not an equitable way to get people to show up for their court dates, because poor people are far less likely to be able to afford bail. They remain in jail awaiting trial and often lose their jobs as a result, further exacerbating their poverty. Even if they're later found innocent or the charges are dropped, the damage is done.

One of the reforms being pursued is the dramatic reduction in the use of cash bail, to be replaced with things like pretrial support services, simple reminders, electronic monitoring or PR bonds.

There is debate about whether bail reform overall is working, but there's also a lot of misinformation out there about it. In an attempt to strike the right balance, New York City has changed its bail policy a bunch of times in recent years.


  • What does the most current research tell us about the effectiveness of bail reform policies?
  • Is there evidence that certain aspects of the policies clearly are or aren't working?
  • In countries with no history of cash bail, how do they ensure that people released while awaiting trial will appear for their court dates?
  • Are there jurisdictions in the US that implement some of those methods, and if so, what are the results?

Thanks to /u/-myredditburner- for the idea to explore this topic.

04:25 UTC


Have nations around the world been moving away from democracy recently, and if so, why?

A book published three years ago suggests democracy is on the decline globally, while a recent objective study "finds little evidence of global democratic decline during the past decade."

Is there an accurate way of measuring this kind of trend, or is it always going to be subjective? If we do have a good way of measuring it, what's the evidence that nations have or haven't been moving away from democracy recently?

Experts who think they have been cite a lot of different reasons.

If the trend of nations shifting away from democracy does exist, is there academic consensus on the reasons behind it?

Thanks to /u/SerpentEmperor for the original idea and some sources for this submission.

12:10 UTC


Where is the Wagner Group today? What role do they play in the Ukrainian war if any post-Prigozhin?

Yevgeny Prigozhin died under mysterious circumstances following an attempted coup in Russia.

Outside of the Ukrainian War, the Wagner Group is also involved in contracts across the African continent

What is the fate of the Wagner group post-Prigozhin? Are they still working as a distinct military group in Ukraine separate from the Russian military?

Are they still running missions outside of Ukraine as in Africa?

Who is their leader today?

How has their structure changed?

19:23 UTC


How, if at all, has Floridas immigration law requiring employers to file with e-verify affected the state?

"On May 10, 2023, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a new immigration bill into law, which, among other immigration enforcement measures, requires employers with more than 25 employees to use the federal E-Verify system to verify the employment eligibility of new employees. The requirement takes effect July 1, 2023."

I guess it is only like 8 months old, but has there been any notable affect yet?




17:51 UTC


What methods, if any, have been proven to reliably predict SCOTUS decisions based on their oral arguments?

Today, the Supreme Court heard Trump v. Anderson (1), a.k.a. the Colorado case that decided that Donald Trump is ineligible to appear on the Colorado Republican primary ballot. In the past, pundits and legal analysts have used oral arguments to make predictions about how the court will rule.

Often this takes the form of legal experts forming subjective opinions, and in this case, the broad consensus among such experts appears to be that the Court appeared much more receptive to the arguments presented by Trump’s legal team than the Colorado voters’ legal team (2, 3). However, some researchers have taken more objective approaches to tackle the same question, for example, by counting particular features of oral argument (such as number of questions, sentiment analysis, interruptions, etc.) and applying some kind of model (4, 5).

My questions are:

  • In the past, what methods have performed the best at predicting the outcome of SCOTUS cases based on oral arguments?
  • What do those methods say about Trump v. Anderson?


  1. https://www.nytimes.com/live/2024/02/08/us/trump-supreme-court-colorado-ballot
  2. https://www.politico.com/live-updates/2024/02/08/trump-supreme-court
  3. https://www.reuters.com/legal/trump-brings-fight-stay-ballot-us-supreme-court-2024-02-08/
  4. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-to-read-the-mind-of-a-supreme-court-justice/
  5. https://academic.oup.com/book/27148/chapter-abstract/196549212?redirectedFrom=fulltext&login=false
06:49 UTC


What is the political background to the issues at the southern US border and what evidence exists that particular people or parties are responsible?

Big caveat: I am not American.

What is the political background to the issues at the southern US border and what evidence exists that particular people or parties are responsible?

Article with background information about the current situation:


There is a notable increase in illegal(?) immigration to the US, which puts the US-Mexico border basically at the center of the upcoming US elections.

The increase appears to be caused by immigration from south America due to violence and political unrest.

But what are the underlying factors on the US side of things? How does the severity of the current issues at the border compare to historical norms? Are certain laws that could alleviate the sitation being kept "hostage" by either side for political clout? Is this a result of bad policies of past governments? Or a failure of the current one?

Is there any evidence this can (partially?) be pinned on one side or the other?

05:32 UTC


If it's still possible for Nikki Haley to win the 2024 Republican nomination, what is her path?

Jim Geraghty with National Review stated in an article that it is impossible for Haley to win, but that it could still be advantageous for her to remain in the race. Geraghty pointed out that remaining in the race might make Trump dislike her and feel vengeful, but it could also give her serious political leverage with which to influence his campaign and possible presidency.

Article: https://www.nationalreview.com/the-morning-jolt/nikki-haley-at-a-crossroads/?lctg=649d7e8e5c611349e34dd0ea&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=MJ_20240124&utm_term=Jolt-Smart

Article (no paywall on this one): https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2024/01/23/nikki-haley-gop-trump-new-hampshire/72312421007/

What is the evidence that she does or doesn't still have a path to the nomination? If she doesn't, what are the pros and cons of her continuing to run?

16:18 UTC


What is the process for Argentina to transition to the dollar? What’s the evidence for and against it being a solution to their economic and deficit woes?

Context: Argentina grappled with persistent inflation, reaching 25% in 2017, despite attempts to address it through interest rate adjustments yielding limited success. The severe 2018 drought impacted soy production and tax revenue, contributing to economic challenges. Global factors, including Federal Reserve interest rate hikes, led to a significant rise in the US dollar's price, affecting Argentina. Seeking financial support, the country secured a substantial $57 billion IMF loan, implementing austerity measures. The 2019 election brought a change in leadership with Alberto Fernández, who opted against further IMF funds. Economic challenges persisted amid the COVID-19 pandemic, prompting the reintroduction of restrictive policies for stability.

Currently, the newly elected President that ran on a campaign to end inflation, Milei, is proposing full dollarization

  • What evidence is there that a dollarization will have an effect on inflation and wealth?
  • Are there pros and cons to dollarization. Specifically in the case of Argentina?
  • What barriers are there in Argentina to implement dollarization?
  • Are there any academic journals on the dollarization of Argentina, and if so what was their conclusion, if any?

edit: Not sure if I can edit the original post per the rules of the subreddit (so I apologize ahead of time, I can delete this edit if that’s the case), but I forgot to add the inflation rate in argentina for 2023 is 185%

14:52 UTC


How does the current level of world conflict compare to the past?

Right now, there's active war in Ukraine and Gaza, lower level conflict in Yemen, Myanmar, Niger, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, on the Israel/Lebanon border, throughout Syria, and tensions in the South China Sea, Venezuela, North Kosovo, on the India/Pakistan border, on the India/China border, and more. The list is long.

On the other hand, modern media is fast and ubiquitous, so we might be getting a greater sense of global conflict than we're used to, which contributes to a cycle of distress.

During the 40-year Cold War period, worldwide battle deaths were pretty common, but the period since then has, by some estimates, been one of the most peaceful in human history.

So, what does a dive into the data show? Are there more conflicts today than in past periods of modern history or does it just seem that way? Are the conflicts more or less lethal? If the perception is different from the reality, what does the collection of evidence tell us about the reasons for that?

23:48 UTC


Resource Recommendations to learn about 2010's Ukraine Conflicts

Posting in a couple different subreddits, as I don't know which is the best place to get an answer. I've been looking for books, papers, or scholarly articles about modern Ukranian history to get a better understanding of current events. Basically anything more substantial than 5-minute summaries on CNN or the like. Does anyone have recommendations? Specifically looking to learn more about the Donbas war and the Revolution of Dignity, but I'll take anything you guys think is relevant.

A few sources I've looked at so far: an interview with Wolfgang Sporrer from the beginning of the current invasion (concerning the Minsk Agreements) and a report done by the Rand Corperation analyzing the annexation of Crimea. Also read the Wikipedia article on the Euromaiden protests. Not sure how good these sources are though - this is very much a new field of study for me.

00:36 UTC


What is Egypt's role with respect to the flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza?

An October 19 article in the Economist reads: "In the end the best Mr Biden could do was secure an Israeli pledge not to obstruct aid deliveries and an Egyptian one to let 20 trucks a day into Gaza."

This seems to imply that Egypt is limiting aid to 20 trucks per day, while Israel wants to allow unlimited aid via the Egyptian border.

On the other hand, this October 21 article in the Guardian reads: "The Rafah crossing point between Egypt and Gaza has finally opened to allow in a trickle of aid for the first time in two weeks, after intense negotiations involving the US, Israel, Egypt and the UN... Under the US-brokered agreement, only 20 trucks are being allowed in on Saturday, deliveries from the Egyptian Red Crescent to the Palestinian Red Crescent organisation."

This seems to say that Israel and the UN were parties to the agreement, but it says nothing about which parties were pushing to allow more aid and which parties sought to limit it. What accounts for the Economist's statement that Egypt is the party limiting aid? Is there a primary or more detailed secondary source to illuminate this question?

01:38 UTC


What's the evidence about the advantages and disadvantages of "red flag" and "yellow flag" gun laws?

Given the recent mass shooting in Maine, I’m interested in firearms regulation. Apparently Maine does not have so called “red flag laws” but does have what some call “yellow flag laws”.

  • What evidence is there that the implementation of these laws has had an effect on gun violence?
  • Is there data about the empirical consequences of the different varieties of these regulations?
  • What barriers there are to implementing these laws?
  • Does polling indicate they're popular among voters?
15:55 UTC

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