Then during negotiations you get to my fictive clause, and you agree that a living wage in NYC is something well over $15/hr, and in Chester, TX it is something well below, and you compromise.

Well, this is sort of happening by default, as jurisdictions like Seattle (well publicized) change their minimum wage on their own. Which solves the problem to an extent. And maybe that’s the best solution for the US, long term. Let it be solved at the local level.

Example: 90% of the country favors stronger background checks for buying guns, but trying to implement that as law is a political non-starter. It is overwhelmingly clear that big money (in my example, concentrated money from the NRA) is deciding policy, not the will of the majority of voters. There are dozens to hundreds of similar issues. The problem is not that the money is equally spread, the problem is the money itself.

This is a bad example, Jack. In the case of background checks, that all sounds great to me, until I start to think about (and I know other legislators do) setting the precedent of the government doing a background check on you before you are granted a constitutional right. When I think about that, suddenly my “sounds great” turns into “that sucks”.

Further, and although I would never argue that NRA money is irrelevant, I think that THIS is the larger issue passing background checks, not dollars:

This now-familiar voting pattern, in which Democrats are concentrated into urban areas (with a few indian reservations thrown in) also concentrates the support for background checks to urban areas. Rural areas do not see the problems rampant firearms cause in urban areas, so they worry about their RIGHTS more than the general availability of firearms, and they elect likeminded congresscritters.

So, maybe there’s a better example for money-in-politics reasoning than background checks?

Labor and management look at each other as political equals (more or less) and respected rivals that can’t be dismissed.

Well, we need to get there. SOME of the younger labor leaders have made noises in this direction. We’ll see where that goes. But automation does not bode well for that dynamic.

Here you are completely ignoring (or are unaware of) the power of big business and the completely lopsided power balance in the US.

I’m not ignoring anything. If your contention is that the US has become less capitalistic and more corporatistic since WW2, I’d quite agree. Solving that problem is another matter entirely.

If the US were to prohibit public assistance, a lot (more) people would go hungry each day and sleep on the street.

I didn’t suggest prohibiting public assistance. My proposal was to make people CHOOSE between the job and public assistance. If the burger flipper is making eight bucks an hour, and public assistance is worth $11, then the burger flippers are going to quit, and nobody will replace them. You want workers in that scenario? Then raise pay.

There are no “free markets” in the industrialized world, and haven’t been for many centuries. All are regulated.

A free market can have regulations. This is a deliberate obfuscation. The *extent* to which a market is free is indeed determined by the level of regulation over it (after all, a “regulation” is simply a business decision which the government makes on behalf of the business).

A good early western world example is the Magna Carta. If you want a real “free market,” you’ll need to look at places like Somalia, where there are no gov’t protections of society and individuals, or at least none enforced.

Nope. A free market *requires* the government to enable it by providing the infrastructure and defining the parameters by which the actors in the economy interact on a (in theory) level playing field. Somalia is a failed state. It’s not a “free market” in the slightest.

You are apparently arguing for less protection from the rich and powerful to exploit the environment, their workers, and the citizens of the countries where they do business (including their own customers). We have several thousand years of empirical evidence showing that is exactly what the rich and powerful do when there are no laws (or no enforcement) to stop them.

Tell you what. *I* will tell *you* what I believe. *You* don’t tell *me* what I believe. And I’ll do you the same courtesy. Discussions end the moment people start putting words into the other’s mouths.

What I am actually arguing FOR is a return to a level playing field between economic actors. What we have now is an inefficient hodgepodge of rules, regulations, and laws which in practice turn into a mess.

I am an advocate of rationality and equality between economic actors. I recognize that there is no scenario one can dream up (short of dumping capitalism completely, which historically doesn’t end well) where labor prospers while corporations do not.

I am not sure the US left understands that last sentence very well. :-(

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.

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.