I don’t think they are all bad, but I think they choose to go too far in deregulation. The naive fantasy of the “Free Market” is a dream. There’s no way a pure free market can work.

If you see two libertarians having coffee, there are three different definitions of libertarianism being discussed. :-)

Point here is that no two libertarians agree on what that means. Obviously, extreme, anarchic libertariansm, be it social or free market, is not on the table, because the Constitution isn’t going anywere.

So, if there is something like a consensus out there on markets in libertarian thinking, it’s along the Milton Greenspan lines: Every regulation needs to be justified according to its “neighborhood effects” (thus, environmental regulations are OK, to an extent) and in the area of standards. I’d go so far as to say that a regulation (or policy) is OK if it has a positive ROI.

And we see the productivity vs wages split so well around that time as well


Income inequality study is one of my hobbies. It’s been rising without stopping on a straightline since the late 1960’s, well preceding Reagan, Carter, and even the hourly real wage peak that we hit in 1974. I have an article on Medium somewhere about it with a graph.

We’re not in disagreement about the problem; we’re in disagreement about the solution. The summation of the epi article says this about the location of the $$$ that SHOULD have been in the pockets of the workers, had the prior ratios of productivity to pay been maintained:

“Mostly, this “somewhere” has been in the pockets of extraordinarily highly paid managers and owners of capital.

This is incorrect. The workers (based on that prior historical ratio) have been shortchanged by TRILLIONS. The actual people at the top of the wage chain are richer by tens of billions only. The majority of that “shortchanged money” is being held on corporate balance sheets and in the public stock exchanges. It’s definitely “flowed to the top” but it’s not, for the most part, in the bank accounts of individuals.

Thus, the solutions EPI promotes are suspect. The problem is that when government manipulates the market conditions to address wage disparity, every one of those moves is either inflationary, would cause capital flight, or both; the benefit is then wiped out by the blowback to it.

CEO pay vs average employee pay also changed drastically (prior it was about 12/20 times the average employee, now it’s up to as high as 400 in some industries). We see almost every metric showing a degradation of our society for the majority and only the rich gaining more and more of the wealth/gains.

Yea, but there’s more to the story.

CEO’s get paid cash about a million a year, due to Clinton-era restrictions on tax treatment of excessive compensation. The vast majority of all that excessive comp they get is in stock awards. That stock is “minted” for the express purpose of giving it to the CxO’s. The people who pay for that stock are the shareholders, not the employees. So, although their comp looks horrible optically…..it doesn’t affect compensation for the rank and file.

Regulations are meant to prevent damage. And, guess what, economically, preventing damage is more sound financially than trying to make amends/repair damages. See BP and the oil spill.

That’s way too broad of a generalization. BP and the oil spill is an outlier. See above comment on ROI and regulations. There are plenty of regs that provide little benefit but have large costs of compliance, particulary in the area of small business startup.

The only thing that matters to them is short term gains by any means necessary

Sure, but that’s the government’s fault. SEC regulations require audited financial statements every quarter. The unintended consequence of that is that investors are unwilling to accept a bad quarterly statement or they’ll dump the stock, putting pressure on the CEO’s to show growth every 90 days.

Best not to blame the CEOs for a problem that we caused.

That’s WHY we had congress in the early 1900s and after the Great Depression impose proper regulations.

Dont use the Depression as an example. That wasn’t caused by anything that regulations then fixed. Milton Friedman won a Nobel Prize for disproving that notion.

All federal level government jobs….

I don’t have any objection whatsoever with imposing private sector rigor and accountability on the governmental workforce. The problem is that any attempt to do so riles up their labor union. Enough said.

Voting System Reform:

The electoral college is to be abolished.

I disagree. We’re too large and diverse a nation to have the urbanites deciding what’s best for the farmers; and it’s too easy for the urbanites to forget that without the farmers, they don’t eat.

Regarding the rest, I have no objection with any reform that increases accessibility to voting provided that voting security is not compromised.

- Gerrymandering Reform:

I’ve run various models on geometric redistricting. It surprisingly doesn’t change the results much, and decreases minority involvement. But I’d be good with it if those hurdles can be solved.

Districts can be no larger than a set number of people (about 50k people per district)

I don’t think a House with 6400 representatives is workable. Consider the last time you tried to get six people to agree on where to go for lunch and when to leave.

- The president will now be only one term for 6 years. However, if a significant portion of the people want the president for further terms, then it can be overridden (say 75% approval rating or so justifies running again).

I don’t think this solves any problems.

- Congressional Reform:

Term limits: Senate will be 2 terms of 3 years and House has a term limit of 3 terms of 2 years. The idea is to cap how much people can be in government so we get fresh ideas coming in and out. However, same exception applies to the presidency term limit too. If the vast majority of the people want their candidate to go beyond the term limit, then they can vote it so.

I am fine on term limits; I don’t seen that changing the senate terms solves anything. But, Let me add one:


Since life time appointments turn SCOTUS nominations into a deathmatch, I’d suggest taking down the heat a bit by making an appointment to the SCOTUS a 10 year term (takes them beyond the president that appointed them) after which they can be re-appointed if the President chooses to do so.

Regardless, my point is, government should be more local if can be, regulations are good when they are written/created to benefit society as a whole and consider the burdens of the businesses (but too many are written cause of corruption from money to just be cronyism), and there’s a way to make government work better.

Well, those views make you a member of the Tea Party. :-)

That’s just naive and too much blind trust in corporations who are set up in such a way to abuse society for self interest/gains and the naive belief of the market being a real free market in all areas.

Let me give you a thought on this one. Never seen it discussed, but I think it’s a dynamic that exists:

Suppose you lose faith in government and its institutions. You decide they’re corrupt, out for their own interests, the politicians care more about their jobs and their donors than their constituents, etc. (Keep in mind that a politician can be “owned” by the Sierra Club or Planned Parenthood just as much as they can be owned by Exxon or GM.)

What do you have left to turn your faith to?

Well, the free market and the corporations, that’s who. The free market is harsh, but it behaves according to predictable rules, while the goverment and politicians do not. And the corporations are always going to be driven by profits. That may not work in your best interests, for sure, but at least they are a known quantity and are predictable in their behavior.

Data Driven Econophile. Muslim, USA born. Been “woke” 2x: 1st, when I realized the world isn’t fair; 2nd, when I realized the “woke” people are full of shit.

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