Here is a concept that I’ve tried to teach: the difference between a valid argument with which you disagree and a bad argument.
Let me see if I can clarify this. Even though I tend to lean to the left in economics, I still believe that a valid argument can be made for Supply-Side economics. My disagreement with Supply-Side is that, since its advocates tend to be very pro-free market, they tend to reject regulations that would make it effective when used. What good does it do to cut tax rates for job creators if they either sit on the money or create the jobs in other countries? Nevertheless, rejecting Supply-Side theory as a possibility is wrong; at its core, the theory is valid.
A bad argument example is the current insistence by so many that the key to economic recovery is to use Supply-Side theory now. We are currently living in conditions that are the antithesis of when the theory should be used; Supply-Side tax cuts make sense when we simultaneously have high unemployment and high inflation. We may hear about rising gas prices and conclude that inflation is high, but that is incorrect, largely because of the huge hit this country took in real estate prices. Anyone arguing for tax cuts for the wealthy and for corporations is making a bad argument.
It’s subtle, but it’s important to distinguish these. It helps explain why some disagreements become so heated, because people fail to acknowledge that someone else’s argument is valid.