Plastic straws should be banned.
Resolved
NO
May 10
M$430 bet
Trying a new format where instead of a question the title is a debate topic. Plastic straw bans have been rolling out across countries over the past couple of years. A lot of people dislike this as the deem the inconvenience not worth the environmental impact. What do you think? The way this will work is that you may present an argument for or against the statement by commenting. Hopefully we get some heated discussion going back and forth. The more confident you are in your view and argument the more you should bet, however if you feel like you are being swayed to the opposing side you can begin to sell. You can also bet as a spectator without engaging in the comments on which side of the argument you think has the most merit. Resolution: The market resolves with "PROB" being chosen, thus allowing those participating and spectating to effectively decide which side has more merit and to what extent. That being said, if there isn't enough volume/not enough people participating I may use my discretion to objectively chose the argument I think has the most merit and choose YES/NO. I will try to avoid this but as an experiment it might be the best thing to do if there isn't enough people thus allowing whales to control the price which doesn't reflect the arguments presented.

💬 Proven correct

benjaminfox

zzq bought M$100 of NO14 days ago

The specifics as relates to plastic straws are something a distraction. With the details stripped away, the question is instead the more general question of how much the state should assume the role of the enforcer of "public morality". That's an easier question to answer: regardless of the felt righteousness of one's particular cause, one should be suspicious of the urge to bring a crusade against it in the public arena. Were the prohibitionists who campaigned for the 18th amendment in the US in the rights on the merits? Maybe, maybe not, but by this point we all now realize that prohibition was a mistake. (And indeed, it was repealed with the 21st amendment.) The drive to crusade for a righteous cause, to attempt to fix the world, to annihilate evil root and stem, to oppose vice at every turn, is not in itself bad. Regardless of the merits of the specific cause, those who fight for it are honestly trying to do good as they see it. But that type of zeal is often not for the overall betterment of an open and tolerant society, trampling all nuance and reason before their enforcement of a particular vision of morality on the world. Legality and morality are, and should be, distinct things. Something can be bad (perhaps including alcohol or plastic straws), without that meaning it should be banned. A society should not be ruled by zealots enforcing their particular cause, regardless of that cause's seeming righteousness. Instead, pluralism and consensus building are the way to go. Instead of imposing one's righteous will through coercion of those who disagree, far better to work to understand one another's opinions and values, to persuade with evidence and reason, and to work together to incrementally improve the world.
zzq made M$15!
ManifoldMarkets

Manifold Markets 10 days ago

Resolving this early as no as a consensus seems to have been reached. What did you guys think of this format? It seems a great way to allow users to educate others on their side of the arguement whilst simultaneously putting their money where their mouth is. Will have to try and come up with a more controversial topic for next time though!
SG

S G 10 days ago

Sed contra: Paper straws should be banned.
EdoArad

Edo Arad bought M$100 of NO14 days ago

meta: I think that this will converge to NO, as I expect more people to be in that position (so it probably won't converge to a >0 prob). I also don't expect people to change position much. on straws: it is of negligible impact on the environment compared to many other issues, and I agree with the costs of such a policy as mentioned below
benjaminfox

zzq bought M$100 of NO14 days ago

The specifics as relates to plastic straws are something a distraction. With the details stripped away, the question is instead the more general question of how much the state should assume the role of the enforcer of "public morality". That's an easier question to answer: regardless of the felt righteousness of one's particular cause, one should be suspicious of the urge to bring a crusade against it in the public arena. Were the prohibitionists who campaigned for the 18th amendment in the US in the rights on the merits? Maybe, maybe not, but by this point we all now realize that prohibition was a mistake. (And indeed, it was repealed with the 21st amendment.) The drive to crusade for a righteous cause, to attempt to fix the world, to annihilate evil root and stem, to oppose vice at every turn, is not in itself bad. Regardless of the merits of the specific cause, those who fight for it are honestly trying to do good as they see it. But that type of zeal is often not for the overall betterment of an open and tolerant society, trampling all nuance and reason before their enforcement of a particular vision of morality on the world. Legality and morality are, and should be, distinct things. Something can be bad (perhaps including alcohol or plastic straws), without that meaning it should be banned. A society should not be ruled by zealots enforcing their particular cause, regardless of that cause's seeming righteousness. Instead, pluralism and consensus building are the way to go. Instead of imposing one's righteous will through coercion of those who disagree, far better to work to understand one another's opinions and values, to persuade with evidence and reason, and to work together to incrementally improve the world.
Undox

Undox 14 days ago

I had the same thoughts as Luke, but not as well articulated in my head. I thought there are higher impact things the government can do to help the environment, and "optically" it sounds like a nanny state thing, whereas a carbon tax you might be able to sell as it is just a tax and we already have them coming and going all the time. OK that didn't work in Australia, but maybe they could have framed better. After all if you pay more for petrol, electricity, maybe you can tax income less? If you are green you end up with more cash in your pocket. Ok digressing a bit! My other thought is just discourage straw use. This could be done by private business like was done with plastic bags. Mandate a 15c surcharge for straws at fast food places, for example.
thebaysix

Luke W bought M$10 of NO14 days ago

I am no great fan of plastic straws nor one-time-use products in general. However, "banned" implies leveraging some government apparatus to 1. Define what constitutes a plastic straw 2. Enforce the cessation of selling plastic straws I simply do not believe this is a good use of governmental time and money, though this depends somewhat on the scale/jurisdiction of the government (I might be more swayed if a smaller local community wishes to ban plastic straws, as it would be cheaper to enforce). Especially with larger jurisdictions, time spent on banning straws would be better spent on actual rights enforcement (i.e., preventing crime), which is no small feat in and of itself. There is also the real possibility of plastic straw bans resulting in unintended consequences. For instance, banned products that have already been produced could easily wind up in landfills, unused, which would be an even worse waste. Also, banning could deter investment into more advanced kinds of recycling that could potentially include more kinds of plastics, which have the potential to give us the best of both worlds (easy, durable, one-time-use products that also don't sit in landfills for centuries). In most cases, I would rather an effort to reduce plastic straw waste be centered more around encouraging/improving recycling capabilities and/or presenting alternatives rather than an outright ban.
ManifoldMarkets

Manifold Markets 15 days ago

I'll begin the discussion since people are betting but not making arguments. I don't have a strong opinion so this is simply for the sake of presenting a point. YES: The majority of people only use straws as it is a habit, most drinks can be drunk directly from the cup. Lids can be designed to help control the flow of the drink if needed. We should aim to eventually stop/change all products which contribute to microplastics so why not start with straws? NO: Plastic straws shouldn't be banned as the environmental impact is minimal compared to other industries. If you really want to reduce usage perhaps charge a small fee for recieving a straw with your drink similar to plastic bags.