Jobs

We Don't Really Need More Jobs

What people are really after is not jobs, but the incomes that come with them.

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Construction
MTAPhotos / Foter

The employment report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics last week reminded us that, after five years of recovery, the unemployment problem is not solved. The unemployment rate remains over 6 percent, and one third of the unemployed have been out of a job for more than six months. Counting discouraged people who have dropped out of the labor force, and those who would like to work full-time but only have a part-time job, some 11 percent of Americans are unemployed.

Everybody is talking about jobs, but do we really need them? Do people really want to work?

Most people, if offered the alternative between their current job on one hand and, on the other hand, the same salary but no job would choose the latter. Many do make this sort of choice. Casey Mulligan, a University of Chicago economist, calculates that half the depression of the labor market during the recent recession lies in the incentives created by the expansion of the safety net.

And note that anybody who gets bored without a job or needs the sentiment of being useful can do charity work. So why do most of us want to work at paid jobs?

The answer is simple. What people are really after is not jobs, but the incomes that come with them. And people want incomes because they want to consume during their leisure time. Life is not about making useless efforts, but about enjoying things, many of which, alas, only come with some effort. Jobs are the cost; consumption is the benefit.

These are rather banal economic ideas, although economists sometimes forget them. As for politicians, they don't get paid for promoting the truth.

According to a Gallup survey, 70 percent of American employees don't feel "engaged" in their jobs, which basically means that they are there only for the money. And the remaining 30 percent, who are "engaged," would likely drop their jobs if a salary did not come with them.

Some people do love their jobs, but what they love is more the self-reliance, and thus the dignity, that comes with the income. Some people also find a leisure component in their jobs, such as its social dimension (gossiping, meeting people) or the intellectual pleasure or challenge of certain forms of work. In some cases, there is something a person likes so much in his job that he would do that part even if he were not paid. This partly explains why, over the past few decades, individuals with more education have have tended to reduce their leisure time in favor of more work, while less educated ones have done the contrary, as shown by recent research by economists Mark Aguiar and Erik Hurst.

Still, even people who love some conditions of their jobs would not stay if they were asked to work for free.

People don't love their jobs for the effort, the schedule, the commuting, the obnoxious bosses or co-workers, etc. Most workers would likely drop the nine-to-five job and concentrate only on what they really like to do, if only their incomes continued flowing.

The implications for public policy of this simple fact that jobs are a cost, not a benefit, are momentous. The goal of public policy should not be to create jobs, but to allow people to earn as much as possible, which amounts to increasing general economic efficiency. Paying people to dig up holes and fill them up again—the extreme case of government make-work programs—would create jobs and incomes for the lucky diggers. But the incomes coming with such inefficient jobs are simply transfers from taxpayers. Moreover, inefficient jobs carry a net economic cost imposed on consumers, who do not benefit from the production of the goods and service they value most.

As paradoxical as the statement may look at first, the goal of public policy should not be to destroy efficient jobs either. For this is what labor market restrictions actually do, as confirmed by much econometric research. American labor markets are less restricted than European markets, but many regulations do hamper them, from minimum wages to the deeds of bureaucracies like the National Labor Relations Board.

What is needed, then, are not jobs per se, but jobs that are efficient, that is, jobs that produce goods what consumers want. If governments were only to stop destroying efficient jobs through labor market regulations, most of the job-cum-income problem would be solved.

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237 responses to “We Don't Really Need More Jobs

  1. There’s this thing called the Protestant work ethic.

    No really.

    It’s not just that being useless to the point that no one is willing to pay you to do anything is shameful. And it’s not just that the only job to be ashamed of is a job poorly done.

    It’s that being completely useless all day, every day would quickly drive some of us insane. And useful work actually helps keep good people sane.

    Granddaddy had Alzheimer’s. Used to sneak out of the house in the middle of the night and walk down the middle of the road. Had to put him in a local place where he could be watched 24/7. He’d follow the maintenance guys around and try to help paint, carry tools, etc. When Mom asked him what he was doing, he said, “Working my job although they don’t pay me much”.

    Even when he didn’t know who he was, he tried to make himself useful.

    All you useless, government sponsored parasites out there, who live off of other people’s work, you really should be ashamed of yourselves. And if you aren’t, I hope you starve to death. Instead, we live in a country where obesity among the poor is a problem. Something’s gotta be wrong!

    1. Great post. I do wonder sometimes though in the age of automation, as machines do more and more of the gruntwork, what will be left over for people to do that actually produces something worthwhile.

      Because I agree that humans weren’t meant to be sitting on the coach eating cheese doodles watching television for 12 hours a day. It’s debilitating to the heart, the mind, and the spirit.

      1. It may come to that in the future, where we have to learn to adapt to a more leisurely world out of necessity.

        But the willfully useless people we’re talking about here aren’t the vanguard of that future. These people aren’t useless out of necessity.

        We still have poverty in this country–and in the rest of the world. We still have lots of problems that need solving. These people aren’t useless because they’re unneeded.

        They’re useless because we’re paying them to be useless.

        1. Yeah, but the problem is we are not technologically capable of that yet. It’s sort of like the greenies wanted to force us off of fossil fuels before a viable alternative is ready.

          I have no doubt that we could get there. I agree with Diamandis on the concept of the future of plenty, even though the guy is a complete dummy on other topics. But the problem with getting there is the same problem we have now with all the joblessness, the fucking luddites in our government.

          If there is anything that will prevent mankind from ever achieving it’s full potential, it’s definitely not meetings as someone once said, but bureaucracy.

          1. Technological unemployment doesn’t require anything close to a fully-automated society to trigger a downward economic spiral. It’s all about thresholds and tipping points.

            If/when a future society of “radical abundance” arrives, 2 things are almost certain to be true: 1) “Money” and monetary systems will be obsolete, and 2) All governments will be powerless, since they are predicated on mass acceptance of monetary systems.

            Most likely we are approaching to the dawn of the resource-based economy. But there will be a long and painful transition period along the way, sadly.

        2. “They’re useless because we’re paying them to be useless.”

          It’s even worse than that. The US government (not “we”) imposes a tax structure that incentivizes the poor to remain useless in perpetuity.

          The effective marginal tax rates on the working poor are astronomical when the reductions in entitlements (i.e., FICA tax plus the value of the loss in food stamps, SSI and other cash benefits, Section 8 housing, Medicaid, EITC) are included in the calculation. For the working poor, the marginal tax rates on earning additional income can be well over 100%. The loss of benefits occurs at various stages, so a poor person with below-average earning prospects realistically sees no reason to take the first step. Even if he has the old Weberian work ethic, he’d be crazy to aspire to over 400% of poverty line. At that point he instantly losses his entire ObamaCare subsidy, and faces a marginal rate that can be as much as 700,000%. Seriously, that’s my marginal rate at 400% of poverty line, but I’m 60 years old. The marginal rate is much lower for younger people, but it’s still thousands of percent. For a person with low-level skills, it would take years for his income to surpass the loss of the ObamaCare subsidy.

          1. The US tax and welfare system is so bad that proposed increases in the minimum wage will not generally improve the lot of people who currently work full time for minimum wage. Their higher income from employment will be effectively offset by a loss of entitlements. To a very large extent, an increase in the minimum wage is a tax on employers with very little benefit to the employees fortunate enough to keep their jobs.

            1. Cato – not to mention the bracket creep that comes along with raising the minimum wage.

            2. fairtax.org is the only answer. Minus the prebate, tax businesses, and apply the tax to the stock market.

          2. As much as I dont like any incone tax, the negative income tax fixes that problem. We can end ALL transfer programs and guarantee no one is in poverty and make marginal changes in work pay off.

            I did a back of envelope calculation once and the flat rate would be just under 40% for deficit neutrality. Effective rate is much lower due to very high standatd deduction(the only deduction).

          3. It’s important to note that most government benefits available to the poor are only for those with dependents. Most of the working poor without dependents are not eligible for such things as Medicaid, Section 8, EITC, etc.

        3. The ambitious will work at play. Many hobbies involve a heck of a lot of work.

          The unambitious will to some extent be entertained by the ambitious with their hobbies. The rest…well, who cares if they find entertainment or not? The smarter a living thing is, the more easily it gets bored, but the more easily it becomes occupied.

      2. Well, I think it’s fair to say that the core of what makes work important, meaningful, goal-directed, effort doesn’t have to be rooted in a job, per se. The real question is whether people can self-direct that well.

      3. “….what will be left over for people to do that actually produces something worthwhile.”

        I build furniture Mike. I am thinking of learning to build violins. I grow timber. I reload. I garden. For people who must be productive to have meaning in their lives there are always things to do. For those that don’t no amount of things needing to be done will get them off of their ass as long as they have a lunch that someone else is paying for.

        Great post Ken. You are right on the money.

        1. I garden

          HA! I knew you were a secret racist!

          1. I thought my blueberries were a little too…Northern…

          2. Dude, an article about Gardening, by a dude named Gardner (frantically searches for Alex Jones’s number).

      4. We only have this problem because we gave up on exploration and expansion. If we were still trying to expand our footprint as a species – there would be no shortage of work. Cities in the sky, on the moon, on Mars, continuing the conquest of the universe would keep billions busy … verses us being all crammed up here on one rock, fighting over resources.

    2. You want a war on women and you hate the children, racist!

      /the proglodytes

    3. It’s that being completely useless all day, every day would quickly drive some of us insane. And useful work actually helps keep good people sane.

      This is absolutely true and incredibly important. If you want to see someone’s character rot in short order, have them live without some meaningfully directed effort or purposeful activity.

      1. That’s true, but not necessarily unenjoyable.

      2. So, like a career politician?

    4. How sad that some people are so lacking in creativity that they wouldn’t know what to do with themselves without a boss to tell them, and sadder still that they imagine most people suffer that condition.

      1. Yeah, I started my first little business in grade school. I started out selling snakes. Then, when I got a good list of those customers going, I started breeding mice and selling them to the snake owners at school. Got some of the teachers on the program, too.

        I’d much rather work for myself, but the relationship between an employer and an employee, there really isn’t much difference no matter which one you are. It’s just that employees pay employers with their time and effort, where the employers pay employees with cash.

        I had a boss one time that wasn’t really cutting it. I was paying him in time and effort way more than what he was worth. I was willing to work for less money, but only because I expected to be paid in better opportunities. He hired his son, instead, but I was the one really keeping things running.

        I gave him a couple of warnings at his quarterly reviews, explained to him that his performance as a boss really wasn’t satisfactory–and that there was a risk I could replace him with another boss. He didn’t really respond, and so I had to fire him.

        I hired another boss at another company to replace him, and the new boss gave me much more money and more opportunities for my time and effort.

        So, what’s the real difference between a boss and an employee?

        1. Ken,
          Greatest comment ever.

      2. How sad that some people think you need a boss in order to work.

        1. I do find it a lot easier to take orders than it is to get up a project from the ground floor myself. I do the latter too, but often I crave the former as a break.

      3. Hunting and fishing, berry and mushroom picking can kill a lot of time when you don’t have a job.

    5. “It’s that being completely useless all day, every day would quickly drive some of us insane.”

      That is modern psycho-babble, clearly. I doubt there is anyone here who works out of fear of losing their mind. The Protestant work ethic smiled on work as a means of glorifying God on earth.

      So, putting aside the God bothering and the phony psychology, why work? Coz it’s immoral not to? Is that the best you can come up with?

      1. Yes–but it’s not immoral because someone’s imaginary god allegedly said so, but because morality is properly derived from facts of reality with man’s life as its ultimate standard.

        I’m sure that many of you suspect that productiveness is an actual virtue, but are bored and unconvinced by notions of a “Protestant work ethic”. Productiveness has nothing to do with, and is actually antithetical to, mysticism. You derive the virtue of productiveness from life on earth, not rationalistic theories about a supernatural god.

        1. There is absolutely nothing immoral, from a libertarian standpoint, about doing the absolute minimum you must to get by. That’s actually one of the great features of laissez faire. You can get as much or as little as you want out of as much or as little as you are willing to put in. So if you happen to place a very high premium on leisure, it’s yours for the having if you’re willing to make a tradeoff. Even Rand, who literally deified productive genius as she saw it, would certainly concede that A) not everyone is a productive genius and B) the productive genius owes nothing to anyone but himself and may prioritize his time any way he wishes. Living a “productive” life (for some definition of “productive”) is a fine personal value, but being a slacker isn’t a moral failing.

        2. “but because morality is properly derived from facts of reality”

          The facts of reality are that if you are going to have people who are productive, you are also going to have people who are leeches. Yet I see only praise for the productive and sneers at the leeches. This is Puritanism. Without the theological underpinnings that are required for consistencies’ sake. The poster, Ken, must have been aware of this and thus his attempts to dress up his theory in psycho-babbical garb,

          1. I just told you that you don’t need “theological underpinnings” to arrive at the virtue of productiveness.

            And your claim that you cannot have producers without the existence of moochers is absurd; actually, it’s the other way around. But even then, the moochers can only remain in existence as long as they are fed by producers (who have thus far been disastrously generous with the leeches).

            1. I just told you that you don’t need “theological underpinnings” to arrive at the virtue of productiveness.

              There is a difference between an assertion and an argument. Within the context of libertarian ethics, there is no virtue in productiveness and no lack of virtue in laziness. So long as the productive fellow and the lazy fellow both abide by the NAP and don’t harm anyone, they are on exactly equal moral footing.

            2. “But even then, the moochers can only remain in existence as long as they are fed by producers (who have thus far been disastrously generous with the leeches).”

              I started life on this planet as a little moocher. Didn’t you?

              1. Yeah, but some of us grow up and start to take care of ourselves.

                Did you?

                Some people spend their whole lives as little moochers. They never stop feeding off of other people, much less start taking care of themselves.

  2. You mean people are bored with paying jobs that do things like call my phone every morning asking me if I want to go on vacation to puerto Vallarta and putting blog ads on Reason.com. Who knew that such free market jobs would be so unfulfilling? I think we need an economy that emphasizes priorities like the proper placement of ads on my Facebook page than things like defeating fascism, sending a man to the moon, cleaning up the environment because, you know, those latter things were championed by fascist socialists like fdr and Kennedy.

    Did you hear that Denmark is now producing 20% of their power from renewables? Dumbasses.

    1. “You mean people are bored with paying jobs that do things like call my phone every morning asking me if I want to go on vacation to puerto Vallarta and putting blog ads on Reason.com. Who knew that such free market jobs would be so unfulfilling?”

      Your condescension towards people who have to work crummy jobs is nauseatingly elitist.

      You think online advertising and telemarketing are bad jobs? Do you imagine that in a socialist economy, no one would have to be a janitor?

      I usually ignore your posts, but this one’s so ridiculous–in a very typical way–I just had to point it out.

      If someone had written a parody comment of American socialist, trying to make you look ridiculous on purpose, they couldn’t have done a better job.

      1. “Your condescension towards people who have to work crummy jobs is nauseatingly elitist.”

        Is that like when libertarians call people that teach their kids and collect their garbage leeches or no?

        I don’t really care if you respond to my posts as I don’t really care what cultists think so, do me a favor, and go fuck your mother. Mmm-Kay?

        1. If you didn’t care you wouldn’t be posting here you lying sack of shit.

        2. I’ve never called garbage men or teachers leeches. That must be the voices in your head.

          I have a lot of bad things to say about the unions that represent those government employees and turn what should be honest work into welfare for the useless among them and union bureaucrats. Do you imagine that I can’t criticize government employee unions and all their parasitic behavior because they parasite off of legitimate work?

          Way to miss the whole point of criticizing parasites!

          And it isn’t just garbage men and teachers we’re criticizing when we go off on the unions. What about all those useless, redundant bureaucrats who have nothing to do with teaching or garbage collection or anything else useful?

          Meanwhile, you still pretend that digital media is a job to be ashamed of? The only job to be ashamed of is a job poorly done–to think otherwise is to be an elitist. You think I’ve never had any crummy jobs? I’ve been proud of the work I did at every single one of them. Despite the attitudes of elitists like you.

          1. “What about all those useless, redundant bureaucrats who have nothing to do with teaching or garbage collection or anything else useful?”

            Like Lawyers, Bankers, Stock traders, etc…?

            1. You mean professionals that people find useful–so useful that their customers willingly pay them for their work?

              No, I didn’t mean them at all.

              1. If you check below, Smithy wants US citizens to pick cherries!

                1. I just saw that!

              2. what do they create? Nothing. They leech off the creative works of others. the very definition of leeching.

                1. Someone out there thinks they create something. Otherwise they wouldn’t pay them. Now maybe it is all a racket designed to take money from the pockets of suckers. I’m willing to honestly admit that is a possibility. It’s also possible that you just don’t understand what they do, but see them getting paid a lot, and hate them for it. Or maybe there is something else entirely going on.

                  Either way, if you don’t value bankers, lawyers, and stock traders, there is something you can do about it that libertarians will 100% support you in. Don’t give them your money.

                2. The people who work in the securities and real estate markets create liquidity, without which most fixed and negotiable assets have no exchange value at all.

                  Spare me your Leninist nonsense, please.

                  1. fiction. government creates money. no one else. Those who work in securities leech money off those who create, since they are not capable of creating anything of value.

                    1. You do realize that money and value are two different things, right?

                    2. no they aren’t. they are both make believe things.

                    3. fiction. government creates money. no one else. Those who work in securities leech money off those who create, since they are not capable of creating anything of value.

                      I said liquidity, not money, dumbass.

                      It’s quite apparent that you’ve never given the concept of liquidity a second thought.

                      The only reason – the ONLY reason – you can realize any exchange value whatsoever for any company you create, any share in a company you own, any real estate you own, any building you construct on that real estate, any gold you possess, etc. is because a ready market exists for all of these items due almost entirely to the activities of speculators and the infrastructure that supports those speculators.

                      You would not be able to exchange any of those things for anything at all – currency or any other medium of value – if those speculators and their infrastructure wasn’t there. You might delude yourself and give me some Chomskyite nonsense about how you’d just conduct one-off exchanges between “producers”, but it’s all the same old pastoral fantasy dumbasses like you have been engaging in since the first Jew was burned in the Middle Ages. “Producers” wouldn’t exchange anything with you for those things, either, because they’d know that if they did they’d be stuck with them for some indeterminate period of time until another “producer” came along.

                      Every system that has attempted to do away with speculation had led to starvation or desolation. Every one.

                    4. Excellent comment Fluffy.

                    5. incorrect. pointless to discuss this further as you have no clue what you are talking about.

                    6. “Pointless to discuss…”

                      Said the abject socialist retard.

                3. In commercial real estate, I use lawyers all the time. In fact, customers often have to compete with each other in order to get the best lawyers to work on their deals. The advice our lawyers have given me and the contracts they’ve written are worth more than what I’ve paid them in fees. And we’ve paid them hundreds of thousands of dollars.

                  As far as bankers and stock traders go, bankers’ pay is set by the market for banking professionals. The people who own those banks’ stock are paying those people out of the company’s profits. If the people who are willingly paying them think their work is worth more than they’re getting paid, who are you to object? If you don’t want to pay them, don’t buy that bank’s products and don’t buy that bank’s stock.

                  I don’t use a stockbroker, but my dad used the same one for years. This broker did in-depth analysis in the municipal bond market, which was extremely valuable to my dad. Dad took profits he wouldn’t have taken otherwise and avoided risks he wouldn’t have avoided otherwise because of that broker, and he considered what he willing paid the broker to be well worth it.

                  You see the difference between someone who’s willingly paid and a government union bureaucrat who’s paid by threatening people like me with criminal prosecution if we don’t pay our taxes, don’t you?

                  1. yes it is very nice for lawyers who set up all the rules and profit from them by taxing everyone who actually create goods and services. Everyone is forced to pay for the leeching lawyers, by law.

                    Now you understand how lawyers leech?

                    1. Do you understand that in commercial real estate there are all sort of overlapping and conflicting liabilities and contractual obligations that need to be sorted out?

                      In a perfectly libertarian world, I’d still need to sort out all those liabilities and contractual obligations.

                      I’ve had people break contracts. I’ve had people ignore sale contracts they’d signed–after I’d already spent a lot of money and time improving the land.

                      If I sell a building with an electrical defect to a buyer, who’s legally responsible for that? Is it the subcontractor electrician? The private inspector? The contracting builder who supervised the whole thing? The civil engineer? Am I the one that’s liable?

                      Are there any criminal penalties possible?

                      All of these questions (and how to handle them) would still be legitimate in Libertopia. And we haven’t even begun to talk about what happens when a subcontractor and a primary contractor have a dispute…with each other, much less, me.

                      Anyway, Contracts are a way for individuals to make enforceable laws among themselves. If you don’t think having a professional help me with that is valuable, I don’t know what to tell you other than that I do find it valuable. And I willingly pay for the service.

                      By what right can you make qualitative judgments for other people?

                    2. “If I sell a building with an electrical defect to a buyer, who’s legally responsible for that? Is it the subcontractor electrician? The private inspector? The contracting builder who supervised the whole thing? The civil engineer? Am I the one that’s liable?”

                      Funny how lawyers don’t even decide that. The courts do.

                    3. Oh, gee, I’m so glad you told me! I wouldn’t have known otherwise…

                      Actually, most such disputes never go to court.

                      And, in the end, you’ll find a lot of the time, in the cases that are decided in court? A lot of those findings are based on the law.

                      And the lawyers that specialize in this stuff, they know a lot about the law. Some of them have been practicing for decades, and they have track records, histories, ways to avoid disputes in teh first place,… You’d be surprised!

                      Anyway, nobody’s making you hire a commercial real estate lawyer if you don’t want one. It’s just weird that you think other people, what, shouldn’t be allowed to–because you say lawyers are useless?

                      Isn’t that what you’re saying?

                      Again, by what right can you make qualitative judgments for other people?

                    4. I am not saying anything more than the ignorant low information drones on here are saying about government workers.

                  2. So the lawyer that advised you on your contracts, the banker that invested your money, and the stock broker that advised your father didn’t get their training from a person that likely got a salary from the government and may have been an icky union member? I have a fine paying private sector job, but I’m the first to admit that I got my expertise, in part, from going to a public university. Are those things financed by government thugs holding guns to your head while you do your 1040s. I haven’t seen those guys yet . Doing taxes at your house must be really nerve- racking.

                    1. Bankers don’t invest money, they steal money. Lawyers are only needed because they have created a system which forces you to use them…by law.

                    2. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that Smithy has no idea what “bankers” do. He has this image of a fat white guy in a suit smoking a cigar and sipping a martini while the evil profits just magically roll in.

                    3. +1 monocle

                    4. i am quite aware of what the leeches look like. It is quite apparent you are so brainwashed, you do not.

                    5. If you’re trying to suggest that I shouldn’t complain about the terrible damage public employee unions do to our country because certain public employees do things that are actually valuable?

                      Then I’ve already answered that question.

                      There’s a difference between a parasite and a host. Parasites have a hard time telling the difference–but I don’t.

                      Seriously, just because I’m criticizing the parasites doesn’t necessarily mean I’m criticizing the host. You need a really twisted view of reality to need that explained to you.

                      Just because the teachers’ unions are damaging our schools and hurting our children, for instance, doesn’t mean that teaching is useless. Meanwhile, even if I were willing to finance public education of my own free will, that wouldn’t mean I couldn’t also criticize the blood sucking unions that make it so hard for so many children in our schools.

                    6. This is like Liz Warren’s stupid trope about how I shouldn’t criticize the government because I use the public roads. What is that supposed to mean?

                      That because I’m willing to pay for the roads, I should also be willing to pay for whatever stupid plan any given government employee union bureaucrat dreams up? That’s stupid on its face. Is it supposed to mean that because I paid for the roads, I shouldn’t be able to drive on them?

                      It doesn’t make any sense.

                      It only makes sense in the context of the warped world view of the place and context you originally read that thinking in. That kind of thinking should disappear in the light of day, like a weird dream. It doesn’t have any basis in reality.

                    7. If you are suggesting that i should not complain about the leeching lawyers, bankers, and wall street drones, because they are too stupid and incompetent to actually create useful things for society, you are an idiot.

                      Not sure why you have such a hard on for public unions. You lack of education is telling. How did that failed private school treat you?

                    8. YOU DIDN’T BUILD THAT!

                      And you guys think Lizzie Warren won’t win.

                    9. The other thing that really bugged me about that statement of hers?

                      I did build that road!

                      You wouldn’t believe how much money in fees developers have to pay to cities and counties. You have to pay so much based on how many thousand square feet you’re building.

                      Building industrial and office buildings, you still have to pay fees to the the local school district. It’s much higher for residential, but still!

                      You know much cheaper it is when you buy into a “senior community”, where all the residents are 55+? The reason it costs less to buy in those communities/buildings is because those buildings were exempted from school district fees. The difference between the 55+ community and the regular house/condo is the cost of the fees!

                      So, anyway, Liz Warren says I didn’t build that because I use the roads and the schools? Well WTF is that supposed to mean?! Who does she imagine is paying for these roads and schools? Aliens from another planet?! The people paying for it are the developers, who pay for it initially, and eventually the residents and investors who buy those homes, and, ultimately, become taxpayers.

                    10. Because they use the roads, they shouldn’t complain about how their tax money is spent? Or when it’s squandered on government employee unions fat pay and retirement packages? Is she saying taxpayers shouldn’t use the roads or schools if they’re going to complain about how their tax money is spent?

                      And yet progs go around the interwebs parroting this stuff like it makes sense to anybody but them. They’re living in a dream world. You know what they’re like?

                      They’re like Scientologists. They believe things for their strange reasons because the people around them believe it, too. Ask them a few questions, and they get all confused–because it doesn’t make any sense.

                    11. “They’re like Scientologists. They believe things for their strange reasons because the people around them believe it, too. Ask them a few questions, and they get all confused–because it doesn’t make any sense.”

                      I think it’s because their philosophy is merely reaction-based rather than having a unifying principle. The goodhearted ones, anyway. The rabid prog/socialists do have a unifier – absolute power over others, hence the lack of any coherence. In my analysis anyway.

                    12. Why do you have such a hard on for public union members? Just because you have no retirement savings or package, does not mean others should be dragged down to your level. Pull yourself up. Why don’t you have retirement savings and a nice package?

                    13. I have a really nice package, actually.
                      Well, that’s what the ladies tell me, anyway.

                    14. “Why do you have such a hard on for public union members? Just because you have no retirement savings or package, does not mean others should be dragged down to your level. Pull yourself up. Why don’t you have retirement savings and a nice package?”

                      I’ll do fine in my retirement, actually. Are you a government employee, may I ask?

                      Do you really not see anything wrong with what you’re asking?

                      Do you imagine that the funds for those fat, government employee pension benefits fall out of the sky?

                      You know the money for those ludicrous benefits come out of the taxpayers’ pockets, don’t you?

                      Why should working people, many of whom are less “fortunate”, those who don’t have rich pension plans, why should they be forced to finance ridiculous pension benefits for government employees, when they don’t have a pension of their own?

                      If they don’t get a pension, shouldn’t they be using that money to finance their own retirements?

                      Again, you still seem to be assuming, underneath it all, that everyone who doesn’t willingly make sacrifices of themselves for your benefit is selfish. But there’s nothing selfish about pensionless people wanting to finance their own retirement instead of yours. Selfish is expecting people without pensions to finance your retirement because…because you want them to?

                    15. FYI to Ken, I made my Lizzie snark post before I saw your better Lizzie post.

                      Re: the OMG SKOOLZ! and who “built that”, also, no one is “given” an education; it’s something you have to work for, or else everyone would be well educated.

                    16. no one is “given” an education; it’s something you have to work for, or else everyone would be well educated.

                      Even that doesn’t go far enough. Proggies have pushed the notion that education is something that can be forced into people, who are entirely passive. When the reality is the complete opposite. You can’t force someone to learn. They have to want to learn or you’re just wasting everyone’s time.

                4. That you are too intellectually constrained to comprehend what someone else does for a living is no indication that what they do for a living is not work.

        3. “Is that like when libertarians call people that *welch on their debts* leeches or no?”

          Yes, parasite, it IS like that.

          1. Yep. Hey, wasn’t AmSoc the guy who ripped off the bank and its account holders for like 100k?

            1. Geez, you guys keep complementing me on my financial acumen. Really. I know, I know I’m a socialist who will take a corrupt capitalist’s money and that I’m pretty good at it. Really, though, enough with the accolades.

              1. Honest question: did you give that money away to people who needed it more?

                1. No, of course not. I’m for having a reasonably-sized public sector and having rich people pay high rates of taxes to finance it. I don’t donate my money and find charitable giving a rather poor method to organize a society.

                  1. But it wasn’t completely the bank’s money. My understanding is pretty basic, but loans are issued out with account holders’ money as the issuance…that’s why you have to pay interest and pay the loan back. In fact, that’s a small part of what caused the financial crisis in 2008

                    Not an awesome system, but there it is.

                    You weren’t taking that money from Cecil Rhodes and his ivory, mahogany, smoke-filled pantry of power…it was people like Victor Jimenez, Claudia Masterson, Jim Nelson, Peter Dorset, Melissa Robinson.

                  2. So if you don’t mind me asking, how much money did you get from the “corrupt capitalist”? I’m trying to determine at which point you think someone is rich enough to start taxing them at a high rate, and how you came up with that number. And are you currently being taxed at a rate lower than you think you should be, given whatever your income is? If so, you could voluntarily pay more in taxes. Private charity isn’t the only way.

                    And to be clear, I’m not going to swoop in with a tu quoque here. I’m honestly trying to understand why you seem unwilling to use your own money to solve the problems you see in the world.

                  3. AMSOC. So you are a liar, a thief, and stingy. I’m not surprised.

    2. I think we need an economy that emphasizes priorities like the proper placement of ads on my Facebook page than things like defeating fascism, sending a man to the moon*,

      You mean an economy based on war? It’s already been tried; they call it Seon’gun and you can see the effects of it here.

      1. I am not sure that is what AmericanIdiot means. I don’t know what that sentence means. I am pretty sure he/it doesn’t know either.

        1. He thinks people need to be given grand ventures by government, because they can’t find meaning in smaller things on their own. As for grand ventures motivated by profit? I’m sure the ick factor is too high.

    3. -1 Soundstage in Burbank

    4. Did you hear that Denmark is now producing 20% of their power from renewables? Dumbasses.

      So you’re saying that we should make welfare conditional on the production of energy by the recipients? Something like pedal powering generators for 10 or 20 hours a week?

      I could get on board with that idea.

      1. It always makes me laugh when I hear people talking about these small European countries and what they do and try to equate it to a country with 300 million people, nearly as large and diverse as all of Europe combined. Demographics means nothing to an idiot. It’s like saying that collectivism or socialism works well for a family of 3, so we should just take that and try to run a country of 300 million people with the same concepts.

        1. Hyperion|8.9.14 @ 11:52AM|#
          “It always makes me laugh when I hear people talking about these small European countries…”

          If commie kid didn’t pick those cherries, who would?

          1. all the illegals invading our borders and all the traitors hiring them over US Citizens?

            1. First we find out that working at online advertising is a job people should find embarrassing…

              Now we find out that the elderly on fixed incomes, who can’t do their own yard work anymore, and single-moms, who desperately need cheap day care, are “traitors”–because of who they hire to mow their lawns or watch their kids?

              Do you statists not have any shame at all? Are you not aware that the people you’re demonizing are average, regular Americans?

              If you can’t compete with illegal aliens for work, most of whom only have an 8th grade education and many of whom can’t speak English, then you should have done one of three things:

              1) You should have gotten your GED.

              2) You should have stopped doing so much meth. Tweakers suck!

              3) You should have avoided that felony conviction.

              Is there some other explanation for why you can’t can’t compete with illegal aliens?

              You know, hundreds of millions of Americans don’t have any trouble competing for jobs with Spanish speaking, relatively uneducated, immigrants, like you do.

              1. “Is there some other explanation for why you can’t can’t compete with illegal aliens?”

                In Smithy’s case, I have a feeling it’s a matter of comparative intelligence.

                1. It’s weird.

                  It’s like a really selfish mentality they have to think that the rest of the world should rearrange itself so as to make it easier for them to be overpaid or even employed.

                  It’s like a basic morality issue: they need to accept that other people don’t exist for their benefit. Otherwise, they treat other people like that’s why their there.

                  And, yet, if you say to one of them, “I’m not here for your benefit”, they think you’re the one that’s being selfish. If single moms won’t give up cheap childcare–so that they can be more overpaid, I guess. Then that makes single moms selfish in their world.

                  1. Ken – I think you hit it on the nose. It’s total projection. Socialists are completely selfish people who want what everybody else has without having to really earn it.

                    I always relish in the hypocrisy in what they say? “People who have wealth and goods are greedy so they don’t deserve. I deserve that wealth and those products. But I’m not greedy, no.”

                    The whole philosophy is “someone else has something that I want, and I should take it.”

              2. they are not traitors if they hire illegal s. Much easier to bitch about how bad the economy is than to admit you are a big reason why.

              3. Since you know nothing about me, i find it interesting you can make such statements. But i would not expect much from a low IQ libertarian drone.

                In order to have a vibrant economy, jobs of all skill and education levels are required. The illegal invaders are nothing like an average US citizen, since they are not US citizens!

                The illegals do nothing but push wages down, put more people on welfare roles, increase crime, increase disease, and push the US further towards third world status. But that is the Libertarian dream after all.

                1. “In order to have a vibrant economy, jobs of all skill and education levels are required.”

                  Actually, labor is a resource and having more of it available at lower cost is better.

                  If having a large supply of cheap labor doesn’t make for a “vibrant economy”, then over the past 15 years, China must have had the most unvibrant economy in the world.

                  1. China is a third world country. Take a look outside the major cities…let me know how that looks. I know you want that for America…I don’t.

                    1. “Take a look outside the major cities…let me know how that looks.”

                      In the history of the world, there has never been a time when more people have been lifted out of starvation level poverty more quickly than in the China since they joined the WTO in 2001.

                      In 13 years, hundreds of millions of people in China lifted themselves out of subsistence level peasantry–despite there being a huge supply of cheap labor? No!

                      It was because there was a huge supply of cheap labor.

                      When the price of oil is high, does that make the economy “vibrant”? Does inflation make for a “vibrant” economy?

                      Why would keeping the price of labor artificially high by protecting* the lazy among us from competition make for a “vibrant” economy?

                      *Not that such attempts at protection are particularly effective anyway.

                2. “Since you know nothing about me, i find it interesting you can make such statements.”

                  I know that you have a lot of anxiety about illegal aliens “invading our borders” and you called people who hire them “traitors”, presumably, for hiring them instead of you or…other Americans like you?

                3. Jim – I was more or less riffing on the projectionism of redistributionists. If you personally were implied, sorry.

                  However, are you socialist? Your take on libertarian philosophy seems to be this: “The illegals do nothing but push wages down, put more people on welfare roles, increase crime, increase disease, and push the US further towards third world status. But that is the Libertarian dream after all.”

                  Whatever my stance on illegals is, the libert. philosophy is one that says that once capital is expanded within a spontaneous economic system, more individuals and classes have access to capital rather than centralized/command economies where capital is tightly controlled by the State and is doled out.

                  If you wish to get people off welfare, you wish to decrease command economics. If that’s the case, then you have some libertarian qualities.

                  1. When you have 92+ million unemployed and underemployed, how does adding tens of millions more the labor market help those already here…legally?

              4. Is there some other explanation for why you can’t can’t compete with illegal aliens?

                There actually is a legitimate reason why a similarly situated US citizen might not be able to compete with an illegal alien in our current environment: regulation. Mr. Citizen faces the prospect of jail and major financial consequences if he skirts the rules and takes less money per hour than the government says he should earn, or doesn’t collect all the benefits the government says he should collect, or doesn’t work in an environment as safe as the government says it should be. Mr. Alien can take less money per hour, take less benefits, or work in less safe conditions by virtue of operating outside the government’s blessing to begin with. The consequences he faces if caught amount to a long bus trip back to some place where he has friends and family, and where his experiment in the American labor market doesn’t follow him around precluding him from working or living a normal life. Mr. Citizen, on the other hand, faces the prospect of a lifetime of tax liens and a criminal record that will blot every background check run on him from that point forward. So the incentives are quite different.

                (cont’d)

                1. Essentially what you are saying is that a person legally constrained from offering his labor on certain terms doesn’t deserve a job if he can’t undercut his competition who is able to offer his labor with no constraints. This would be analogous to me saying to you: You don’t deserve to be a commercial real estate developer if you can’t undercut Jim’s Commercial Real Estate Inc, which has been given a special exemption from having to comply with the FLSA, OSHA regulation, EPA regulation, or any building codes.

                  That doesn’t make anyone a “traitor” for responding rationally to absurd incentives created by government, but it also doesn’t make anyone some kind of piece of shit for their inability to compete when they are operating under a different set of rules.

                  1. Of the Mexican immigrants that come here to the U.S., many of them only have an 8th grade education. My understanding is that education is only compulsory through the 8th grade. And the low on the totem pole laborers who come here to be gardeners and clean houses typically only have an 8th grade education.

                    Many of these people don’t speak English, as well.

                    If you can speak English, and you have a high school education, and you can’t compete for jobs with immigrants who don’t speak English and only graduated from Jr. High? Then you’re pretty lame.

                    And I’m speaking as someone who competed against Mexican laborers for construction jobs in San Diego–back in the day.

                    1. I heard you the first time. Restating the same thing without addressing a syllable of what I said was kind of pointless. Speaking fluent English and having a GED or high school diploma doesn’t really mean shit in terms of competitiveness in low skill and no skill jobs. Being able to dodge $30/hr worth of regulatory compliance costs, on the other hand, is a unique advantage.

                    2. People do not compete for jobs only on cost. Many of the jobs illegal aliens are filling pay more than the minimum wage.

                      Having a high school education and being able to speak English makes it easier to get a job, and it makes it easier to get a higher paying job.

                      Illegal aliens aren’t queuing up at Home Depot or on well known streets near construction sites because illegal jobs are easier to get than legal ones.

                      When illegal aliens come here, they want their children to learn English and go to an American high school–so that they’ll be competitive in the job market.

                      Let’s not miss the forest for the trees.

                      I believe the effect you’re talking about is several orders of magnitude smaller than the problems this piece is talking about.

                      Casey Mulligan, a University of Chicago economist, calculates that half the depression of the labor market during the recent recession lies in the incentives created by the expansion of the safety net.”

                    3. I think there are other legitimate factors that contribute, too.

                      Some people don’t live where the jobs are. If you were unemployed in Las Vegas over the last five years, you need to get the hell out of Las Vegas.

                      Crime records by way of the drug war don’t help.

                      Like I said, people thinking that having a low wage job is more shameful than being on the dole is a problem. People not being willing to take the jobs that are available is a problem.

                      I should also add that there’s nothing about being a native-born, American citizen, English speaker that prevents you from taking a job that pays under the table–just like illegal aliens do.

    5. Says the ass wipe who stole his mortgage.

    6. Please use the preview feature, AmSoc. Your grammar is atrocious.

      1. You don’t need good grammar to be a good commie.

      2. Hi, are I writing a thesis or commenting on a web page. Stop being such a snob.

        1. Am I. You aren’t commenting, you’re trolling. You do know the difference, don’t you? Probably not.

        2. Stop being such a snob.

          Says the asshole writing off internet marketers and telemarketers as worthy of insult.

          1. You should tell that to sevo and mr. Shultz, who have some pretty obvious issues with dmv workers and school principals that belong to labor unions. I don’t actually recall making contemptuous assumptions about telemarketers. It was others who made those arguments and I’ll leave it them to defend those assumptions. I merely stated that their jobs are likely to be unfulfilling

            If the point of the article was that there should be high paying jobs, regardless of merit, why couldn’t those jobs be public as opposed to private sector ones?

            1. Because public sector jobs are not based on what the person receiving the benefit is willing to pay for that job, and thus a mutual economy cannot be sustained by them.

              1. Just like lawyers, bankers, realtors, etc… all leeching middlemen who legislated themselves into existence. They create no value.

            2. american socialist|8.9.14 @ 12:41PM|#
              “You should tell that to sevo and mr. Shultz, who have some pretty obvious issues with dmv workers and school principals that belong to labor unions”

              Yes, and I see you have no evidence why I shouldn’t.
              Did you have a point, or just wanted to waste bandwidth?

            3. If the point of the article was that there should be high paying jobs, regardless of merit

              I..what? Is that really what you got out of this article? I mean, how?

            4. If the point of the article was that there should be high paying jobs, regardless of merit…

              Well, there’s your problem. That wasn’t the point of the article. At all. Not even close.

        3. american socialist|8.9.14 @ 12:20PM|#
          “Hi, are I writing a thesis or commenting on a web page.”

          Most times, you’re just lying. Let’s be honest here.

        4. Stop posting unintelligible garbage. Take a second and check it first or continue looking like a fool.

          1. Take a second and check it first or continue looking like a fool.

            All the grammar in the world isn’t going to be able to prevent that.

        5. True, but you are still presenting yourself in a public forum.

    7. “Who knew that such free market jobs would be so unfulfilling?”

      Yes,
      1) Because everyone here promises that a freed market = utopia!
      Commie kid, you need to leave those straw men alone!
      2) And gov’t jobs are so fulfilling! Just look at the enthusiasm next time you go to the DMV!

      Parasites gonna lie…

      1. Sevo – (Prog mic on)
        See, this is whay socialismm is awsome, becuz when you work for the DMV or on a collective farm where you dont earn profitz, you work for the society as a whole and you’re conshence is clean and godly.

        When you work for evuhl kapitalists, then your werking for somone els’es money and are sad. UGH kapitalists don’t getit becuz there all Rand bumping greed mongers.

        /Prog mic off

        1. dmv workers help keep drunks and maniacs off the road. Does the guy calling me at 9 am on sunday telling me that I have won a prize– a vacation to Orlando! Yay!– provide a useful service ?

          If libertarians make such broad brush assumptions about dmv workers– the majority of which I have found to be perfectly pleasant and professional– can I at least say that I find calls from legions of phone bank employees a tad annoying? I know, I know finding telemarketers annoying is prima facie evidence that you are an elitist swine.

          1. AmSoc – Actually, I’m just strawmanning a bit based on physical conversations I’ve had with people (usually at uni) and a few well-placed internet political rags (e.g., The Nation, Slate, Salon).

            Public service jobs are one thing – but to glorify them or hold them to a higher plane of existence is another.

            I was merely commenting on the collectivist ideology where soul-crushing menial jobs for the gov’t or with no profits are dandy vs. menial jobs with some profits being evil and soul-crushing. Menial jobs that are soul-crushing are exactly that…but the difference lay in what one does with the benefit (pay).

            My example included farming – private farming is bad, while collective farming is good. Nevermind that collective farming is serfdom, essentially, while in a private farm, the farmer may do with the crop what he wants.

            I’m neutral on the DMV – many are good. Many take 2 hour breaks. Some don’t know how to do their jobs (a couple personal experiences).

            I’ll give you that the telemarketeers are annoying. Oy gevalt.

          2. “If libertarians make such broad brush assumptions about dmv workers– the majority of which I have found to be perfectly pleasant and professional-”

            OK, I figured this was one of the regulars being a troll, but now I know it for sure.

            1. Ayn – Most likely.

              Okay, my favorite DMV story: I had to get a document apostilled to work overseas. I brought in my document, the lady said “oh neat, where you going to work?…Yeah, have to do this a lot…”

              Then I had to get a different document apostilled for the work visa the next day (a notarized police record – which is common for work visas). I go up to the same lady and she says “I can’t do that. I don’t know why you would need it done.” Same person, same basic thing, two commonly apostilled documents…totally different responses.
              Must have been close to lunch or closing, I guess.

          3. dmv workers help keep drunks and maniacs off the road.

            In the same way that NASA keeps the earth from flying into the sun.

    8. “those latter things were championed by fascist socialists like fdr and Kennedy.”

      Well, they were both pretty high on war, and the associated hardware. But ‘cleaning up the environment’ is bullshit that had to wait for later ignoramuses.

  3. This makes no sense, other than to acknowledge that most people would like to get income without having to work for it. Duh.

    And if they quit working, why should they get income? Seems like a recipe for lopsided income distribution … a disaster in a democracy full of fallible humans. When Peter can vote to rob from Paul …

    1. And if they quit working, why should they get income?

      Because someone needs to keep that Senate seat.

  4. It’s amazing what desperation can do to a work ethic.

    1. Yeah, if they really had to starve to death, none of them would starve.

      Those that couldn’t find willing charities would suddenly find ways to make themselves useful.

      1. Day work is almost illegal. The number of regulatory hoops that an employer has to jump through makes it very difficult to hire a guy off the street for a quick job.

        1. Let me rephrase. It is illegal.

          1. No shit, Scruffy. People who excoriate the unemployed for being too “lazy” to go out and “look for” work just don’t know what seeking employment is like these days. Today, you’re not going to get near a legal job without a background check, medical exam, and drug test, and sitting through “training” sessions about “sexual harassment”, “racial sensitivity”, “safety”, etc. Most of that is handled by outside employment agencies?often, an applicant doesn’t even know what company he has applied to until after a job offer is made. The other day I was conversing about this with someone who said, “those unemployed people just need to go out and pound the pavement, and knock on a few doors!” I explained to him that if you go to a business today and knock on the door to ask for a job, you’ll be escorted from the property by the security guards.

            1. This is a good point.
              When I was out of work, my mother went all old school on me about pounding the pavement and knocking on doors. You can’t just walk into an office building and go talk to HR.

              Also, do to our police state, there are millions of people who are almost unemployable at legit, legal jobs.

      2. Good thoughts and all, and everyone around here will agree with you more or less, but it’s not going to happen. As long as politicians can buy votes with handouts, then handouts are only going to increase. Things will only change after complete economic collapse and reboot. And there is no other possible outcome. How long it takes and how much suffering is to be done first, is the only question.

        Was it Franklin who made that quote about the people voting themselves money would be the end of the Republic? Well whoever said it was a genius.

        1. De Tocqueville

          1. Ah… thanks.

      3. Necessity, as they say, is the mother of invention. Perhaps in this case it could be the mother of initiative!? Of self-preservation!

  5. If governments were only to stop destroying efficient jobs through labor market regulations, most of the job-cum-income problem would be solved.

    Oh, yea? What about the regulating jobs lost?

    Why don’t you capitalists ever think about the regulators well-being? Who in the private sector is going to hire them?

    1. HAHAHAHAHAAA

    2. Now you’re just being mean by pointing out economic fallacies put forth by Krugman.

      1. Well, Krugman has a prize and you don’t! So there! You wrong, Krugman right!

    3. For the same reason we hate women and children and wear monocles and top hats, just because.

    4. Think of the regulators, those poor, poor regulators. We have to do everything we can…..for those regulators. Lmfao

      1. Somebody think of the tax collectors

        1. “Somebody think of the tax collectors”

          I do! I DO!

      2. Yeah, just because they’re living in a mansion down the road while some of us struggle to pay the mortgage on our 2 bedroom ranch because of the shitty economy the regulators have caused, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t feel sorry for them. I mean, IF any of us wanted to cast off all of our morals and values and turn into complete backstabbing opportunist weasels, maybe we could become regulators also. You know, that’s it! When everyone works for the government, utopia will finally appear!

    5. Making sure polluters clean up their toxic chemical spills will only lead to an “open commons” dilemma. Or so I’m told by Reason’s resident science correspondent, Ron Bailey ( B.S. Philosophy)

      1. polluters will clean up their toxic waste all by themselves. At least that is what the fantasy land people say. Just look at the US before the government regulated pollution…heck look at China today. that is what the libertarian fairy tale looks like. Slave labor, massive pollution, child labor, very low pay, etc…

        1. Jim Smithy|8.9.14 @ 1:21PM|#
          “heck look at China today.”

          Yep, a real example of how
          .
          .
          .
          .
          GOVERNMENT CAUSES THAT, you idiot!

          1. of course it does. The government forces farmers to pollute water ways causing massive algae blooms. The government forces industry to spew mercury, lead, and other heavy metals all over.

            Where do you come up with this stuff?

            1. No, dumbass.

              If farmers and industry were dumping mercury, lead, and nitrogen on to MY PROPERTY, I could stop them using litigation, and would not require the EPA to microregulate all human activity to do so.

              If I can protect MY property, why can’t the US government protects ITS OWN property?

              1. I think you broke his brain.

        2. Uhm. China has a libertarian government? Does Cuba? Did the USSR? Does Saudi Arabia?

          Or, no wait…the ex-communist theocratic warlords in Somalia must be libertarian!

          In other news: clouds now determined to be made out of lima beans and stone is melted by cigarette lighters because they’re made of plastic.

      2. Actually, yes.

        We’ve always had a mechanism for punishing people who damage other people’s property. It’s called the civil and criminal court system.

        Polluters dumped stuff into American rivers for a century because the US government asserted that it owned the rivers and then did nothing to enforce that ownership.

        1. how does a person own a river…say the Mississippi? Or how about the Great Lakes? Next you will say a private corporation should own the air…only way to keep it from getting polluted.

          You fairy tale clowns sure do crack me up.

          1. The Mississippi already HAS a property owner – the US government.

            I’m pointing out that a new regulatory infrastructure and massive state was not necessary to protect the Mississippi.

            All that was necessary for the protection of the Mississippi was that its property owner act in defense of its property – something that property owner FAILED TO DO.

            It would also have been quite easy for the pre-1932 system to protect the air, too – at least, to the extent that actual harms can be demonstrated from air pollution. Harms that can’t be proven – well, no, not so much. So your big complaint about minarchism appears to be “It fails to address harms that can’t be proven!” which honestly is kind of a head-scratcher.

          2. Jim Smithy|8.9.14 @ 2:51PM|#
            “how does a person own a river…say the Mississippi?”

            Man, you are easily confused.

          3. Riparian rights were an aspect of common law that was severely limited in the US during the early mid 19th century under the guise of promoting industrial development.

        2. But…but, without legal positivism, privileged classes and total police surveillance, how would any laws be enforced?

          Rely on a law? Oh, libertarians are such fairy tale believers in fantasy troll logic Ayn Rand kapitalism Americkkka

      3. american socialist|8.9.14 @ 12:45PM|#
        …”Ron Bailey ( B.S. Philosophy)”

        Regardless of his credentials, his posts are unlike yours in being free from constant lies.
        Did you major in lying, misdirection and general mendacity?

        1. LOL – maybe his major was in Sociology.

  6. Most employers won’t even consider hiring someone who has been out of work for more than 6 months. We now have a large segment of the population out of work who are unemployable. We have created a caste system of unemployables.

    1. I sit in on most interviews for my department. One of the first things we always look for is gaps on a resume.

      We now have a large segment of the population out of work who are unemployable. We have created a caste system of unemployables.

      Combine that with the growing number of people who are also unemployable because they committed a crime at any time in their life and it’s even worse.

      1. According to Libertarians, they should stop being lazy, start a business, get an education. Why are they being so LAZY looking for a handout!?!?!? If they can not get off their butt, that is their fault. If they starve, die, get sick, whatever…their fault. Libertarians got theirs, too bad.

        1. Hmm. What’s the basis for your belief that libertarianism admonishes these beliefs?

          Symptom vs. Cause – the libertarian position is to eliminate frivolous laws to stop criminalizing otherwise decent people, ergo solve the problem rather than the side effect.

          If regulations and compliance are too burdensome to hire or start a business, then relieve some of the regs. Again, solving the cause rather than the effect.

          Still, I’d like to know where you get your idea of libertarian philosophy? Primary or secondary sources are fine. And thanks!

          1. It’s a troll, it’s incapable of rational thought. Instead, it just start saying ‘libertarians say this, libertarians think this… blahblahblah’, without any basis in fact at all for those allegations.

            1. Yeah, I’d call troll. I won’t lie and say I’ve never trolled Salon.com in my day, but it’s pretty obvious I’m joking.

              But the talking points were way too strawmannish to be educated at all. Unless they got all their info from places like Salon, DailyKOS, MediaMatters, Young Turks, etc., whose whole “libertarians are evuhl because they’re not Democrats/Socialists or are capable of counterintuitive thought”.

              Then again, my parody site (which I need to work on…) is basically just a constructed prog-troll…

        2. Hey idiot, it’s because of your all intrusive gov’t/police state that has made so many people into unemployable “criminals”.

        3. Guess what asshole: most of those unemployable people went to prison because of an illegal, immoral, and unconstitutional war on drugs that is fully supported by the bloated intrusive government you so cherish and the unions you think so highly of.

          You are an immoral piece if shit.

          (If this a regular just trolling us, you’re a fucking genius.)

  7. Societies decline when their social systems become corrupted, and when the economies that provide necessary productivity slowly fail to provide enough to support the population to the same degree of affluence it once did.
    Despite the bullshit that flows from politicians, bureaucrats and the media – the buying power of the average American has declined in the last 40 or so years. A “job” doesn’t mean shit. Buying power is what we all want. Politicians point to manufactured “statistics” and use buzz words to manipulate people to vote for them. The media suck the backsides of power. Academics and talking heads engage in unrealistic mental masturbation to the point where the obvious is buried so deep it is fossilized. It’s really kinda depressing.
    Economies prosper when the net productivity per capital increases. The answer to so many issues is economic policies that expand genuine productivity (not rock-polishing) beyond population growth. Of course the trick is actually doing that versus talking about it.

    1. The only thing that can possibly save the USA right now, well nothing can actually save it in it’s current form at this point, but the only salvation for us now is that the USA break up into separately governed states, regions, or even countries, where some of them will be able to escape leftist/progressive rule, and prosper. I’m going to go ahead and predict, call it bias, that the most libertarian leaning region will prosper the most, and the most leftist region will become the next Detroit or Venezuela.

      Otherwise our bloated federal government will completely collapse the economy and there will be a real breakdown of society as we have known it.

      1. The problem with your optimistic scenario is that no smaller political entity would accept responsibility for a share of the national debt or for the Federal entitlements of its inhabitants. It really is difficult to envision a scenario in which the USA doesn’t turn into Detroit writ large.

        I’m not sure that your prediction would hold up. California has such good weather and such pleasant scenery that it would probably attract outside capital even with an extrapolation of its statist trend.

        1. Nice hand-waving on why liberal California keeps transferring its tax money to tea partiers in Mississippi. It’s the nice weather.

          1. California should just stop making those transfers.

            Problem solved.

            Libertarians happy.

            What are we arguing about again?

          2. CA makes money from a bunch of industry that outsources labor (China, Mexico, red states) or expands out of state. The hated one percenters makes their living on intellectual properties and investments. Imagine that, they invest on things outside of California!

            Toyota moved one of its headquarters to Texas. Small businesses close or

            So yeah, it’s more than fair that CA pays off the sources that allow their companies to save money. And don’t be stupid, just because a state is “red” doesn’t mean there aren’t statists who benefit from free money, just as reddish parts of California also contributes to revenue.

        2. In addition, the Statist/Leftist regions would constantly attack the free regions. Of course, in the long run the freer ones would win, but still there’d be a lot of warfare.

          1. Well, we’d kick their sorry asses, just liked happened the last time, but that’s another story.

            1. True enough 🙂 Lax gun laws make for good shots, haha. Wasn’t it in World War II when Yamamoto said the US could never successfully be invaded because there would a rifle behind every rock and tree?

              Yeah, it’d be the rugged individuals versus the rabid keystone cops…who are a foot shorter and half the weight due to food shortages.

              So: free societies win economically and militarily. And food wise, too – bacon wrapped steak versus soy loaf.

      2. agree. the low information masses keep voting for Republicans and Democrats. The USA is done.

        1. And lower intel masses keep believing in the crypto-republican message of legalized gay marriage, legalized pot smoking and legalized illegal aliens, masquerading as libertarianism pushed by their handlers at Reason.com

    2. In reality, labor makes property. Capital makes property efficiently. Without capital, everyone lives at bare subsistence.

      Wages have been falling for years because of the massive increase in prime age workers, 25-54, the kind of increase owing to massive illegal as well as legal immigration.

      Businessmen face the same question, always. Is there a dearth of workers or is there an abundance of workers?

      Of course, the cultists at Reason.com have been indoctrinated by the crypto-republicans to champion the plight of illegal aliens.

      You can disabuse yourself from Reasonoid faulty thinking by reading this:

      SOPHIE’S CHOICE OF CAPITAL OR LABOR. A FREE-MARKETS LIBERTARIAN BECOMES AN ANTI-CAPITALIST AND PERPETUATES AN ECONOMICS MYTH

      Alas, the writers are Reason.com do not understand trade at all. They are clueless as to economics.

      1. “Cultists, Reasonoid, faulty, do not understand, clueless”

        I won’t speak for Reason.com or its commentors, but to use language of attack on the forums of the mag and its readers is not really the way to discuss to the same (insults don’t win followers).

        Reason seems to be a catch-all – with legal theory, philosophy, arts, and economics with some political philosophy/theory mashed in. It’s a broad rag. They seem to be much closer to Hayek and Friedman than von Mises and Rothbard, but that’s just my takeaway.

        Now, I won’t jump to any hasty conclusions – but I’ve looked at BizarroTheater and you seem to have similar premises to the above, even if not subscribing to “One True Libertarianism”.

        Cool website and like your fisking (see my comment below), but Reason.com seems to be fairly catch-all in terms of libertarianism. Heck, the LRC’ers call the Reason crew “cosmotarians”.

        1. Those indoctrinated by the crypto-republican leaders of Reason.com have made their indoctrinates into not cosmotarians, but Cosmo Magazine Liberaltarians.

          Without doubt, they’re not authentic libetarians as Reasonoids support expanding the size and scope of government through all manners of legalization.

          Rather than these Cosmo Mag Liberaltarians here at Reason.com, authentic libertarians favor de-criminalization, ending entitlement of welfare before ending legalized immigration and so forth.

          REASONOIDS OF REASON.COM, AMERICA’S CRYPTO-REPUBLICANS

          Reason.com and its leaders ought to come clean and renounce calling themselves libertarians since they are not.

          1. I’ll just I like Reason because of its breadth. Yeah, they’ve let some goofies write for them, but basically an okay rag. Plus the commentors here are pretty civil and will engage in discussion – an overarching philosophical principle even if there is a difference in nuance.

            Like Stefan Molyneux or Jeff Berwick – I don’t agree with all of what they say, but agree on the basic premises (centralized authority is flawed).

            Sometimes they skew too much to one side or the other. At times, I think it’s PR, some of it’s because they’re Cosmo for libertarians – it’s a culture rag.

            And a culture rag is really what the libertarians kind of need. Like FEE.org – good overall site for newbies, good forums, interviews, even if some of the premises are shaky.

          2. Wait, I thought we were a bunch of actual republicans that hate all non-white, non-rich, non-straight, non-males and think everyone should be subservient to us.

            Now you’re saying that we’re actually crypto-republicans that favor gay marriage, illegal immigration, and legalization over decriminalization?

            Which one is it?

      2. Wages have been falling for years because of the massive increase in prime age workers, 25-54, the kind of increase owing to massive illegal as well as legal immigration.

        Cite.

        Pretty sure the share of the population age 25-54 has never been lower.

        And whatever impact immigration has had on that number has been dwarfed by the entry of women into the workplace.

        1. You make a wild, unsubstantiated claim, “Pretty sure the share of the population age 25-54 has never been lower,” and then you demand citation from another. What an amusing little chap you are.

          And you still fail to not grasp the part of reality that increasing population reduces wages as wages are a function of capital spending and capital spending only increases when there can be gained increasing returns to capital.

          When working age population grows, returns to capital fade. Wages fall.

          You are far from your expertise, um, “Fluffy”.

          The data comes from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau by way of tables from the Economic Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

          Besides, I’ve cited already. The link is right there in the comment you decided to challenge.

          How did you miss the link?

        2. Americans have data from the Census Bureau by age groups since 1948-01-01.

          As a percent of population, the 24-54 head count reached an all-time low of 50.0353% on 1976-11-01 after hitting a peak of 59.05% on 1953-07-01.

          From the all-time low hit 1976-11-01, the 25-54 head count as a percent of population steadily grew, hitting an interim peak of 57.60% on 1996-09-01.

          Real cap spend and real wages hit a low in 1993. Real cap spend and real wages hit interim peaks in 2000 and 2006 in the face of declining working age pop coupled with massive real increase in bank credits.

          Since then the 25-54 head count has fallen to the interim low of 50.20%. As well, real bank credit collapsed back to 1996 levels And real wages hit an all-time low for data available to discount for bank credit inflation.

        3. But it is not prime working age to total pop that should be examined, but prime working age to total working age (16-65).

          Since there isn’t easily obtained data for 55-65, we’ll need to omit those and look at 16-54, which is the lion’s share of working population as it is.

          As a percent of population, the 24-54 prime working age head count reached an all-time low of 68.6% on 1976-07-01 after reaching a high of 78.9% on 1953-09-01.

          As of 2014-07-01, the the 24-54 prime working age head count as a percent of working age population at 76.3% is near the all-time high.

          That you were “Pretty sure the share of the population age 25-54 has never been lower,” reveals that never you should trust yourself. Likely, you are suffering the effects of hyper-indoctrination.

          If Americans want wages to rise, Americans should call for an end to all legal immigration for some time, maybe a decade.

          And until Americans turn libertarian, by bringing an end to welfare, Americans ought to push to deport all illegals. Only after welfare ends, can Americans rightly open their borders.

          The call for legalizing the illegals is anti-libertarian as legalization means law and where there is law, there cannot be liberty. Yet, all the time, Reasonvoids of Reason.com call for legalizing the illegals.

  8. This fellow has trouble understanding economics, but he’s working on it. Too much leisure I guess. Tho more folks than we tend to think have trouble contending with the unbearable lightness of being.

  9. “What people are really after is not jobs, but the incomes that come with them. And people want incomes because they want to consume during their leisure time.”

    ~ Pierre Lemieux

    Lemieux reveals profound ignorance about all things commerce and thus reality.

    What anyone seeks is property, which is the right of ownership and never what is owned. Without property, there cannot be trade. Without trade, no one can gain control over what he wants in favor of what he doesn’t want. Without control, there cannot be any use and satisfaction.

    To disabuse yourselves from the foolish thinking of Pierre Lemieux, read:

    WORK NEVER CREATES VALUE. WORK CREATES PROPERTY.

    and

    WHY IS THE ECONOMY SO HORRIBLE? BECAUSE ACADEMIA ECONOMICS IS FAKE.

    1. Is that your website? Interesting subject matter there. Totes agree on the basic false premises touted in the average economics class – use value trumps exchange value and law of supply and demand (Keynesianism tinged with Marx).

      I took Macro and checked out a few other college economics textbooks. Same stuff. Keynes, Marx, etc.

      That’s just me (I’m not an economist), but even then I knew that supply does not create demand, which is what the basic premise was. Three books had the same basic flaw – manufacture a huge amount of stuff, then create demand OR have the gov’t create demand by buying the excess or routing the manufacturing base.

      No wonder fools like Krugman persist and college kids have little basic understanding of economics.

      Anyway, just my two cents. Interesting links.

      (PS – I wonder how often Mises pops up here at Reason? I know he’s the go-to guy at LewRockwell, but they’re very much “no true Scotsman” over there, as enjoyable/right as some of their contributors are.)

      1. Yes, that is my falsehoods shattering blog.

        All neoclassical schools start from the same flawed premises ? utility and scarcity. All suffer from the highly flawed belief in marginalism. Thus, their conclusions must be false, by logic ? false premises lead to false conclusions.

        The basis of Lew Rockwell / Mises.org is the Austrian School of Neoclassical Economics. Since the Austrian School is a neoclassical schoool, its as flawed as the Keynesians.

        Economics is a thoroughly flawed doctrine. Economics started with ludicrous claims by the Physiocrats. Smith doubled down on those. Ricardo added to the errors. JS Mill was among the least consistent thinkers.

        Menger and Jevons added the foolery of marginalism. Jevons was so whacked out that he believed changes in sun spots caused crises and panics.

        The economists of the 20th century have added numerous blind alley falsities based on the false premises, which came before them.

        Interestingly, Englishmen in the 1600s and early 1700s, long before the Scot Adam Smith, knew much about commerce and free trade. Dudley North comes to mind straight away.

        If anyone wants to get closer to truth, that one must read the works of bankers and lawyers who worked for bankers.

        Most of the best works were written long ago, before 1920, and often have publish dates which fall between 1856 and 1910.

        1. Oh, note: my above comment wasn’t meant to sound attack-y, I was just explaining why I like Reason – it tends to shy away from the “One True” fallacy that a lot of other libertarian-ish places tend toward.

          I’m checking out your site now and it’s nice work. It’s a breath of fresh air to see someone examining the premises (causalities) rather than the consequences or effects and just fisking the latter rather than the former. 🙂

          Again – I’m not an economist. My BA is in History and have an MA in English, so there is some background. Otherwise, a lot of learning through reading philosophy, some economic history, and practical experience (private sector, family business, etc.).

          1. I didn’t take your comments as attacks.

            Having earned BA in history as well as an MA English should serve you well.

            The history of thought whether in philosophy or economics, often reveals the struggle for power, that is, the politics of mankind through time.

            Most who speak English hardly know their tongue. They’re quite confused. They speak words, which they believe they know the meaning. Yet, they have accepted contemporary usages, which often prove false.

            In a way, their word hoards reveal slang meaning of the same words, which came into use by English speakers long ago.

            1. Coolness. And thank you – and interestingly, my studies in history and English really did cement my basic philosophies (I’m a former pseudo-lefty…then I read Marx…oy). And the tragedies of history are largely due to rent-seeking authoritarian states rather than “unbridled individuals”.

              I think you even say this on your site – the increasing of private ownership in the Middle Ages led to the death of feudalism and the growth of capital and innovation.

              And while I’m teaching right now (teach College English), I try to always stress logical fallacies and finding facts and statistics (check the premises). I usually use newsmedia for examples of fallacies. And the Orwellian shifting of language is always something I bring up (slang, word use such as literally is not figuratively, for example).

              But the training in rhetoric, argumentation, philosophy, and economics helped to dismantle leftism for me and I hope to teach that to students (it’s tricky).

              Of course, that just leads to me parodying a lot of the Leftist dogma (my underused site…), but while they’re still dangerous I think they’ve entered the “farce” period now. The mere fact that institutions change the language proscriptively is an indication of their power-seeking.

              Slang becomes formalized, words become the opposite of what they mean, rhetorical association – all of that needs to be fought. And I’m happy to do what I can.

              And thanks again.

              1. You have a fan in me for your approach, which I applaud. Indeed, you have freed yourself toward self-enlightenment.

                Your efforts with others might let them discover a bit more about themselves.

                I’ll be sure to put your site, Libertarians in the News in feed reader for daily reading.

                Enjoy!

                1. Thank you very much – and I will do the same for your prolific site.

                  And thanks again – glad you enjoy the site and my approach to discourse, as I do yours.

                  Cheers!

        2. Since the Austrian School is a neoclassical schoool

          Speaking of flawed premises…

          You’d probably in a lot better position to critique the shortcomings (which do exist) of neoclassical, classical or Austrian economics if you had any idea what they actually teach. As it is, you’re not even that good at slaying the strawman caricatures you’ve created.

          1. And you saying so, makes it so, exactly, how PM? Do tell so the rest who read your comment can be sure.

            Seemingly, you don’t know what the fallacy of strawman is.

            Facts remain.

            1) Austrian School of Neoclassical Economics is a kind of school of neoclassical economics.

            2) Neoclassical economics is predicated on scarcity and utility giving rise to price with prices set under marginalism.

            3) That basis is wrong.

            4) You are clueless about this subject and this is why your comment fails to put forth valid critique.

            Good luck PM!

    2. Oh so YOU’RE the arbiter of what is “real libertarianism”.

      Others here will be very disappointed to learn this.

  10. Can’t agree more with this article content. Yes, what people (especially young ones) really look out for, except for some, is not the job but income. However, jobs are the most secured ones for maintaining a family. That’s why jobs, especially government jobs, are still preferred. However, with increasing uncertainty about jobs the number of such people are falling. To get rid of such uncertainty, many people are opting out of the job market and opting for self employment or even entrepreneurship. That’s my observation. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

    1. Lemieux is wrong.

      In trade, in a purchase and sale, the worker sells his property in skills expressed through time, which all know as work, and buys property in wages, most often bank credits. The employer sells property in bank credits, often, and buys work done.

      As always, property means right of ownership and not what is owned.

      What most everyone seeks are buyers for their surplus property, who sell cash or bank credit in a purchase and sale.

      Without property, that is right of ownership, in cash or bank credits, no one can buy the things that one wants, that is, which that one lacks but years to gain ownership.

      In short, Lemieux doesn’t understand commerce and hence reality. And yet, here Lemieux has written a book, which he hopes to sell, writing about a topic he doesn’t understand.

      1. Ironically enough, you’ve done absolutely nothing except restate his exact premise, albeit after a very wordy and needless explication of that which was already implicit in the original wrt to what constitutes property.

        1. Not so ironically, you suffer from horrible reading comprehension skills.

          Facts remain.

          1) Lemieux claims no one wants a job, but income.

          2) Lemieux’s claim is false.

          3) Anyone wants property.

          4) No one can gain property without either making something from extant materials in which that one already has property or trading away property in a purchase and sale to acquire the property of another.

          5) You are still clueless about these heady matters, PM.

          1. “1) Lemieux claims no one wants a job, but income.”
            No, he claimed the income was the goal, not the job; strawman.

            “2) Lemieux’s claim is false.”
            See above; you’ve now added a lie to the strawman.

            “3) Anyone wants property.”
            Uh, what? Yeah, I guess, but everyone wants a piece of ass, too.
            Define “property”

            “4) No one can gain property without either making something from extant materials in which that one already has property or trading away property in a purchase and sale to acquire the property of another.”
            See above.
            Define property.

            5) You are still clueless about these heady matters, PM.

            1. Oops:
              “5) You are still clueless about these heady matters, PM.”
              For someone who claims amazing knowledge re econ, that’s a pretty lame response.

              1. And here you are again, hanging on my every word.

                If you have access to a bathroom with a mirror, quickly, run to it and stand before the mirror. Stare at yourself awhile.

                I am willing to try to understand you, to listen to your story how someone has hurt you oh so much, which has driven you to relentless anger. I understand this is why you cannot find the courage to think for yourself. And such, this is why you believe you will be rewarded by your peers for lashing out at an outsider, who happens to be me, who clearly has affected you.

                You have access to my voluminous blog with numerous entries that easily reveal the immense flaws of academia economics.

                The Internet always has been about linking rather than copying and pasting.

                Good luck trying to badger someone else. When you smarten up, beg for my attention again. I’ll help you some more.

      2. Smack MacDougal|8.9.14 @ 11:55PM|#
        “Lemieux is wrong.”

        Gee, the world has been waiting for the self-appointed ego maniac to tell us what everyone had been doing wrong forever!
        And the imbecile Smack shows up to fill the need.
        Go away.

        1. There you are again, Sevo, hanging on my every word, incapable of controlling your OCD, which drives you to comment upon anything you read of mine.

          Good luck getting your OCD under control!

          1. Smack MacDougal|8.10.14 @ 2:05AM|#
            “There you are again, Sevo, hanging on my every word,”

            Why, yes, I spent all afternoon reading your self-promo! You caught me.
            Now, after you quit patting your self on the back, please tell us how the concept of marginal utility is flawed.
            I’m looking forward to amusement.

            1. You think much too much of yourself, Sevo. Read my blog like thousands of others do.

              Oh, what is that you say? You don’t have a blog? And no one reads you?

              There now. At least you can listen to your theme song!

              Wind up Workin’ in a Gas Station

              1. So if someone doesn’t have a blog they can’t be taken seriously? There’s a fallacy for that.

                1. DesigNate|8.10.14 @ 6:15AM|#
                  “So if someone doesn’t have a blog they can’t be taken seriously? There’s a fallacy for that.”

                  And there’s an ignoramus willing to post it.

      3. Well, no. Don’t go away yet.
        Please tell us how the concept of marginal utility is a mistake.
        I’m not laughing yet, and promise if you do provide an honest, convincing explanation, I will eat my words and congratulate you.
        But I have a feeling I’ll be howling with laughter.

        1. Because I have compassion, please read onward.

          Call 1-800-969-NMHA. The call is free, Sevo.

          Yet you must at least borrow your neighbor’s phone if you don’t have one and make that call.

          Your family will thank you, if they haven’t disowned you by now. If you have any, your friends will thank you as well.

          Good luck!

          1. Smack MacDougal|8.10.14 @ 2:13AM|#
            “Because I have compassion, please read onward.”

            Hanging on my every word, are you?
            No, twit, answer the question or admit you’re simply a lying egomaniac.
            One or the other; which is it?

            1. Oh, poor, weak-minded Sevo. You have committed the fallacy of false dilemma.

              You must do better than that, seriously.

              Again, read my blog, Bizarro Theater like thousands of others.

              If you behave, I’ll put up an article that shall mock marginal utility, which, by the way, is a re-statement of the fallacy of intrinsic worth.

              I doubt that you are smart enough to understand that last phrase, so it’s unlikely that you could think your way through it.

              Good luck!

              1. Smack MacDougal|8.10.14 @ 4:21AM|#
                “Oh, poor, weak-minded Sevo. You have committed the fallacy of false dilemma.”
                Oh, poor excuse for a commenter, so you are a lying egomaniac. No surprise.

                “Again, read my blog, Bizarro Theater like thousands of others.”
                No, I’m not clicking on that to double your audience this month.

                “If you behave, I’ll put up an article that shall mock marginal utility, which, by the way, is a re-statement of the fallacy of intrinsic worth.”
                Which I won’t click on either as will millions of others avoid doing so.
                Either tell us or you could simply STFU.

      4. All you said, in an unnecessarily verbose way, is that people work for money, and that people want money so they can buy stuff. All you did was dress up a truism in fancy words.

  11. Please tell me Reason did not actually pay for this Marxist twaddle.

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