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SixthCity

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  1. I love this line of thinking. I can picture you as a corporate executive, calling people into your office, "Congratulations, Mr. Smith, after working for our company for 25 years we've decided to allow you to work in a new emerging field. Good luck on your retraining, I hear you can take out student loans at very reasonable rates. Actually, sir, I envy you. It isn't everybody who gets to start a new career in their 50's!" Granted moves within the labor market do get much harder with age, is the premise incorrect? Or do you just find it emotionally unsatisfying?
  2. We Do Not Have a Trade Deficit We have a capital surplus Thank goodness for Kevin McCarthy!” isn’t something one says every day, but in the matter of President-elect Donald J. Trump’s backward and destructive plan to resurrect 19th-century tariffs, the gentleman from California is invaluable. Trump wants to impose 35 percent tariffs on . . . somebody. He does not seem quite sure. One of the reasons for that is that Trump has the question of trade deficits mixed up in his head with the question of offshoring and, like most Americans, he does not understand either of them very well. http://www.nationalreview.com/article/442828/donald-trump-trade-deficit-ignorance-and-misunderstanding
  3. The neo-malthusian hysteria of the 70s, and the apocalypse which never came, should render everyone a skeptic of the need for some kind of centralized population control.
  4. Indeed, but Murray's proposal limits the UBI to those making below a certain amount (30k if my memory serves correctly). Those making some money get cash benefits to bring them up to the 30k mark. This is all from memory so sorry if not correct. His proposal also eliminates all other social welfare programs and replaces them with the cash distribution.
  5. From noted conservative writer and intellectual, Charles Murray: A Guaranteed Income for Every American Replacing the welfare state with an annual grant is the best way to cope with a radically changing U.S. jobs market—and to revitalize America’s civic culture When people learn that I want to replace the welfare state with a universal basic income, or UBI, the response I almost always get goes something like this: “But people will just use it to live off the rest of us!” “People will waste their lives!” Or, as they would have put it in a bygone age, a guaranteed income will foster idleness and vice. I see it differently. I think that a UBI is our only hope to deal with a coming labor market unlike any in human history and that it represents our best hope to revitalize American civil society. http://www.wsj.com/articles/a-guaranteed-income-for-every-american-1464969586
  6. The fear here is that people are going to remain skeptical until it's too late. I think it's already happening, and a few huge technological advancements (near-AI, driverless cars, etc) will push us off steep cliffs. What happens if this happens and we don't prepare (and we could argue about what "prepare" means until we're blue in the face)? This folds into the conversation of the universal basic income, which I don't think is a crazy idea.
  7. Belief doesn't enter into it. Workers can't believe payrolls into existence. If automation is our friend, where are these net-positive effects? It's been going on for decades, the positives should have shown up by now. Instead it's been a cascade of negative and the data set is substantial. Whether or not automation is "our" friend, what do you propose to do about it? Outlaw computers? No, just divert some of the profits they generate toward mitigating the destruction they cause. Tit for tat, if you will. Technology doesn't cause "destruction", but it does allow for the creation of value without the need for human labor. As computers/robots do more and more and the need for labor becomes less and less, this means that owners have the ability to accumulate more of the capital and have less of a need to distribute it to laborers (higher profits). I am not sure what the long term solution is for this problem, because the companies themselves will eventually suffer if they don't allow for some redistribution of wealth as there won't be enough people with enough money to buy their products. The alternative view is that it allows that human labor to do other productive things. The modern telephone didn't doom switchboard operators to lives of destitution. Instead, it allowed them to work in new emerging fields. This does not necessarily lead to more consolidation but can create new industries that weren't imaginable before. There has been some speculation that this will run into an inevitable limit however as technology improves further. Some say that new jobs will necessarily require higher and higher cognitive ability that many in the population will be unable to satisfy. That will lead to a permanent underclass that lacks the ability to do the only work needed in an economy more integrated with advanced technology. I remain very skeptical of that claim but find it interesting to think about.
  8. SixthCity

    Abortion

    I'm down with this.
  9. The Economic Stupidity of the Carrier Bailout It’s not conservative, but rather a rejection of economic reality. One particularly tough and indigestible nugget of talk-radio stupidity afflicting the guts of conservatism is the idea that there is some sort of fundamental difference between bribing a business with tax cuts and bribing it with a wheelbarrow full of cash. The Trump-Pence bailout of Carrier’s operations in Indiana provides an illustrative case. This is an example of banality hardening into orthodoxy, the worst habit of the pop-con mind. It started with a good point. Once upon a time, U.S. personal-income tax rates were very high: 91 percent in the Eisenhower years, though hardly anybody paid that rate. Democrats such as John Kennedy and Republicans such as Ronald Reagan believed that these rates were far too high. Both Kennedy and Reagan made what we might broadly call “Laffer curve” arguments for tax cuts, though Reagan’s actual budget proposals were not quite as sunny as Arthur Laffer tends to be on the question of the real budgetary effects of tax-rate reductions. Milton Friedman took a more gimlet-eyed view with his advice that if tax cuts produce revenue growth, then you haven’t cut them enough. http://www.nationalreview.com/article/442665/trump-carrier-bailout-economically-unsound
  10. I would argue that many of the regulations shouted down by the right ARE in fact targeting these free market failures in a similar vein as Second Amendment supporters shouting down common sense gun regulation. If you're more sensible than that, great! Where do you draw the line? What is and what is not acceptable to be regulated? How about food safety regulations? Pollution regulations? Banking regulations? Should a greedy few who hide their tangled web of deceit well be allowed to take down the housing market again? When you get a mortgage, are you supposed to know whether or not that mortgage may be repackaged and gambled on in a way that could topple the economy? Should companies be allowed to sell food which may taste really good, but has hidden dangers that you have no idea about until they kill you 5 years later? How would you even know which food it was that was unhealthy? How can things like that be self regulated by consumer choices? Many times, it's not obvious whether a product has ill long-term effects. Should companies be allowed to slowly pollute the water supply because the massive profits outweigh the long-term damage (whose cost will be spread amongst everyone)? There are so many things to consider with what should and should not be regulated that free market advocates gloss over. I'm not sure they have considered the ramifications of deregulation. Either that or they don't care because it will net them more money. You raised a lot of great points. Each is complex enough that entire libraries can be written about the theory and complexity of each area. I just don't have the time to respond to each one in depth. I would reorient the focus of the conversation however. First, it's important to build a overarching philosophical framework so we can analyze each question based on guiding principles. If you have time, here is a good place to start: (This guy has a lot of podcasts that address some of the issues you raised: http://www.hoover.org/publications/defining-ideas/libertarian) Once again, no one is arguing for anarchy here. I lament that his debate is almost always framed in straw man terms as "anarchy v. my common sense regulation." For each problem, the question must be raised: is this something the government can stop? Then, is this something the government should stop? If yes to the first two questions, it becomes a debate about tradeoffs. No regulation comes without tradeoffs and second, third, fourth, etc. order effects. Some are easily decided in favor of the regulation and some against. Most debates are closer to the middle. Again, the question is not whether a line should be drawn but where it should be drawn. Regulations come with costs and tradeoffs, some justifiable and some not, that's what makes the debate so interesting. Edit: In the background of this argument is the proper avenue of regulation. Some problems are best solved by non-coercive means that allow people to favor or disfavor certain actors based on their behavior (substandard providers will lose the ability to sell things at a certain price and may go out of business altogether, people with abhorrent or obnoxious views stand to lose business, etc.). Some problems are best left to the tort/contract/property/criminal law system which served as the primary regulator of market actors until the recent creation of the administrative state. (I would argue that this system still does a very good job) Some problems are best left to the ongoing watch of an administrative agency. Each avenue presents different strengths and weaknesses, some self evident and others less so.
  11. Watch the debate. Not likely, I have work to do. Make your points in your own words. Synthesize and evaluate. Oye
  12. We certainly do not need politicians and experts to make these decisions for us. The reflexive need for political authority to determine what we can and can't buy by definition eschews our choice. If you don't want to buy from Wal-Mart, fine. More power to you. But introducing political power to tell me I can't buy from Wal-Mart because it doesn't fit your values is an illegitimate use of state authority. This is in many ways the essence of conservatism. Sure, we distrust business. We distrust government at least as much though, and one can always decline to do business with a specific company. Unless, of course, the government gets involved. There's also the factor that the laws of economics are sometimes about as breakable as the laws of physics, while political laws can change on virtually a whim. Without government intervention, businesses tend to collude and reduce actual choice. They also corner markets and exploit both people and shared natural resources. Why compete if you can avoid it? Why worry about a future beyond your next board meeting? We can never allow anarchy in business. These are all good points. What you've identified is the foundation of anti-trust theory and the "tragedy of the commons" theory. Both are legitimate market failures that mainstream free market advocates accept as requiring intervention. Those in favor of total market anarchy are anarcho-capitalists who are a fringe of the libertarian fringe. The anarchic model becomes the favorite strawman of those arguing vaguely from the left: how will we get roads?! people will be able to pollute! Have you heard of Standard Oil!? In reality, no sensible person is in favor of no government regulation or presence in the economy, even the most strident libertarian types. The question is not whether or not we need to draw a line but where that line should exist. This is a good debate (long, sorry) between a classical liberal and an anarcho-capitalist. I think the former does a good job of articulating a view of government that intervenes when necessary but whose power is neccessarily limited to true market failures:
  13. But would witholding whatever federal funds the sanctuary cities stand to lose be considered "coercive?" That's the threshold question here. I'm pulling from pure memory but I think the language in Sebelius and the principle from the cases you listed barred the federal government from "holding a gun to the head" of local jurisdictions (re pulling funding if they don't adhere to federal policy). What constitutes the crossing of that threshold is unclear to me but I think they would have to stand to lose a lot of funding.
  14. I remember hearing there is a full size swimming pool somewhere on the middle floors.
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