FDA

Reactions to Trump FDA Chief Rumor: Unmitigated, and Unsupported, Fear of a Libertarian Planet

Jim O'Neill condemned by Gizmodo as "insane" for believing in regulatory techniques that can speed life-saving medicines to market

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A rumor, not linked to any named source, is circulating (Bloomberg seems to have first reported it yesterday) that Donald Trump is likely to name Jim O'Neill to head the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Mithril Capital

O'Neill is currently a managing director at Mithril Capital, an investment firm co-launched by Peter Thiel, who is on Trump's transition team.

Gizmodo is hitting the panic button hard at this rumor, with its headline: "Trump is Considering an Insane Silicon Valley Libertarian to Head the FDA."

The bill of indictment against this dangerous madman, who they find "pretty freaking terrifying"?

he has advocated for the FDA to give up on vetting the efficacy of new drugs before they come to market. O'Neill, in other words, would like the FDA to stop performing one of its primary functions and let all of us act as lab mice. Such a move might allow drug makers to rake in tons of cash on untested medical treatments that might not ever work.

"We should reform [the] FDA so there is approving drugs after their sponsors have demonstrated safety—and let people start using them, at their own risk," O'Neill said in a 2014 speech at the conference Rejuvenation Biotechnology. "Let's prove efficacy after they've been legalized."

Those "insane" ideas that relate to the FDA may seem familiar to readers of Reason as they have been defended at length and intelligently here by our science correspondent Ronald Bailey, at most detail in this 2012 article.

In it Bailey presents some facts and analysis Gizmodo might not be aware of, or maybe not care about. (Gizmodo does not make the slightest attempt to actually explain why O'Neill's ideas are allegedly insane or bad for America.)

Bailey notes that "a 2010 study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by researchers from the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas found …that the delays caused by requirements for lengthier trials have instead resulted in the loss of 300,000 patient life-years while saving only 16 life-years."

Bailey reports skyrocketing costs and time to get potentially lifesaving drugs through the FDA gantlet, and that it is Phase III trial on efficacy and potential side effects that are the largest cause of this time and money sink, "Between 1999 and 2005, clinical trials saw average increases in trial procedures by 65 percent, staff work by 67 percent, and length by 70 percent," Bailey writes.

Writing about health policy analyst Avrik Roy's call, like O'Neill's, for allowing drugs that have passed Phase I and Phase II to be conditionally marketed, Bailey notes:

Speeding up drug approvals saves lives. A 2005 National Bureau of Economic Research study found that, on balance, the faster FDA drug approvals made possible by new funding legislation passed in the 1990s saved far more lives than they endangered. In fact, new drugs saved up to 310,000 life-years compared to 55,000 life-years possibly lost to the side effects of drugs that were eventually withdrawn from the market.

Conditional approval would accelerate access to more drugs, especially drugs that aim to treat the common diseases that afflict more of us. Not only would conditional approval get drugs faster to sick people willing to take a risk on a new treatment, sales of the drug would help fund the Phase III trials needed for full approval….

Roy is not alone in his advocacy for conditional approval. In a February 14 Wall Street Journal op-ed, former FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach argued that "after proof of concept and safety testing, the [new therapeutic] product could be approved for marketing with every eligible patient entered in a registry so the company and the FDA can establish efficacy through post-market studies."…

Delaying access to new drugs kills people. As Competitive Enterprise Institute general counsel Sam Kazman has observed [PDF], "Whenever FDA announces its approval of a major new drug or device, the question that needs to be asked is: If this drug will start saving lives tomorrow, then how many people died yesterday waiting for the agency to act?"

All points that Gizmodo doesn't want to address, enjoying indulging its rampant libertarianphobia instead. Most of the points in Gizmodo about how dangerously unsuited O'Neill allegedly is to run FDA have zero to do with the FDA, but are just generic expressions of incredulity at libertarian ideas

"Here are some other reasons why it would be completely insane to let this man oversee the health and safety of all Americans," according to Gizmodo:

  • He's a fan of settling independent libertarian societies at sea and serves on the board of the Seasteading Institute. "If we want to achieve freedom, seasteads are by far the best prospect," he once said.

  • He thinks organ donors should be paid, a troubling notion that essentially turns the human body into a commodity. "There are plenty of healthy spare kidneys walking around, unused," he said in a speech at a 2009 Seasteading conference

That may be a "troubling notion" to Gizmodo for reasons they don't seem to think worth mentioning, but it is one that would also save a lot of lives, as detailed in Ronald Bailey's 2001 classic "The Case for Selling Human Organs," but fear of markets is more important than lives saved to Gizmodo no doubt.

They also poke cheap fun at O'Neill for being "surprised that people at the FDA like science" because he said in a 2014 talk "As a libertarian, I was inclined to believe that the regulatory costs that the FDA impose kill a lot of people and provide a lot of harm to the economy, and I don't deny that… but one thing that surprised me is that the actual human beings at the Food and Drug Administration like science; they like curing disease and they actually like approving drugs and devices and biologics."

Said to a libertarian audience, this means O'Neill has gotten over what might be a kneejerk libertarian prejudice against FDA bureaucrats, which should rightly be seen as a good thing when considering the nexus of libertarians and FDA chieftainship.

The day before the O'Neill rumor went public on Bloomberg, Bloomberg columnist Tyler Cowen wrote somewhat admiringly of the idea of Seasteading, belief in which apparently disqualifies one for government service to Gizmodo.

I just finished reading the forthcoming book on Seasteading by Joe Quirk and Patri Friedman, and far from the instant marker of irresponsible kookoo-birdism that Gizmodo blithely assumes, the idea, when properly and soberly considered in its business and ecological promise even outside its political one (though they are all interconnected), is a likely route to nothing less than one of the most likely ways to actually solve any imaginable pile of interconnected problems such as hunger, soil depletion, fish extinction, ocean acidification, and carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.

FDA or no, O'Neill's association with promoting Seasteading alone should be sufficient to earn him some considered respect from anyone concerned with humanity's future on earth.

O'Neill does have previous executive branch experience under a GOP administration, having served as principal associate deputy secretary of health and human services and a speechwriter for the Department of Education during George W. Bush's administration.

Other reports on the O'Neill controversy, most at least a bit less hysterical, from The Hill, and International Business Times (which features voices upset that O'Neill doesn't have medical experience or medical doctorates), and Salon.

O'Neill, who I interviewed for my 2012 book Ron Paul's Revolution: The Man and the Movement He Inspired, has not responded to a request for any comment on the FDA rumors.

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  1. Please let this be true.

    1. Even if were to just be a rumour, I darn well hope that Thiel is seeing it being spread and leaning hard on Trump.

      1. Trump is so horrible.

      2. Peter Thiel is the left’s WORST NIGHTMARE. A gay billionaire who isn’t on the Democrat plantation, he’s got the ear of President-Elect Hitler. And he killed Gawker.

        1. I wonder if Penn will cry about this one too?

        2. Trump is turning into the Democrat’s and the left’s worst nightmare. He’s managed to become a popular President before he even took office. If he does even moderately well for the next two years, and avoids becoming #NextHitler, all their hysteria makes them look like fools.

          And in 2018, 25 Democratic Senate seats are up for grabs, versus only 8 GOP seats.

          Look at the ancient Democratic leadership, their shallow bench, their devastation at the local level, and their internal party rifts (identity politics, BLM, Bernie, SJWs, Muslims, Jews).

          Imagine Democrats going into 2018 and 2020 with the white working class in Trump’s camp.

          Eight years ago, they thought they had a lock on the future.

          1. “…all their hysteria makes them look like fools.”

            Not just them. Not by a long shot. Take a look around here.

            1. Oh, yeah. It seems to be slowly dawning on many that Trump means some opportunities for liberty, as I’ve been saying for months…. *cough*

        3. Watch the gays abandon the left as the years go by.

          1. I think gay men will. I don’t expect anything to change with the lesbian vote.

            1. You don’t think a few more Islamic terror attacks and migrant rapes might do it?

        4. Yeah, not only that but a gay LIBERTARIAN billionaire. Is there anything that could bring on a more epic leftist pants shitting epidemic that that? I think not.

          1. I still can barely look at my Facebook feed. The salty tears, the foaming mouths, the hands-on-hips outrage….

  2. MORE PANTSUIT SHITTING PLEASE!

  3. “?He thinks organ donors should be paid, a troubling notion that essentially turns the human body into a commodity. “There are plenty of healthy spare kidneys walking around, unused,” he said in a speech at a 2009 Seasteading conference”

    And the hospitals, doctors, medical help, suppliers involved in organ transplants are all working for free to avoid the taint of ‘commodification’, correct?

    1. My estate owns my dead body (well, once I die). Pay my estate for the organs.

      1. Are your orphans going to be for sale too, or will they be buried with you?

          1. Then you can have the little urnchins decoratively placed around your mausoleum.

            1. Aw, cute.

          2. Oh fuck, what sort of libertarian are you? I’m going to hold a raffle for who gets to shoot my orphans out of a cannon and claim any who survive. You’re no fun at all.

    2. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: only a sad, pathetic, weak loser gives their organs away for free.

      1. There is only one organ that I give away for free. Well, I lend it, then take it back. Lend it, take it back. Repeatedly, sometimes for a good thirty seconds.

        1. I didn’t realize one could lend one’s appendix.

      2. *proxy Swissy narrows gaze

    3. ^THIS, my former roommate is an anesthesiologist. He has done, maybe a dozen organ transplant surgeries. He got paid for every one. So did the surgeon, nurse etc, etc, etc. It seems everyone can get paid except for the poor sucker that gave up the organs. Fuck those people.
      If my family could sell me organs after death it would remove alot of the concern I have about dying. And save how many lives? 2 Kidneys, lungs, heart, liver, corneas. I am an easy 350K on the hoof, but fuck wits like these won’t let ME sell my own fucking body.
      And this is exactly why I have a card with my drivers license that expressly forbids that my organs be donated as well as listed as such in my will.

  4. The vast majority of Trump’s score as president will be earned after 1-20-17, but man, I like this.

    1. I really didn’t like the candidate, but the choices for the cabinet are certainly making him look better.
      And the pathetic whining from the left makes me wish I *had* voted for him; the left is just not willing to accept that as bad as Trump is, their candidate was judged WORSE.

      1. the left is just not willing to accept that as bad as Trump is, their candidate was judged WORSE.

        This is the election in a nutshell.

      2. I’m slowly getting happier and happier that I pulled the Trump lever at the last minute. If his cabinet appointments keep leaning the way that they are going, he’ll already be more libertarian than Clinton ever was or would’ve been. If he starts eliminating regulations and cutting taxes, as well as slow down on the strongman rhetoric a bit, I’ll officially be a fan rather than a skeptical voter.

        1. Fuck, it’s looking like he’ll be more libertarian than fucking Johnson/Weld would have been. I pull the Trump lever to spite that fuck. Now it looks like it was the best decision I could have made. Who’da thunk it?

          1. Johnson is a Dem-RINO who owned one “Don’t tread on me t-shirt”.

      3. This is looking like the best possible outcome.

    2. The trade protectionism is not going to end well.

      1. I’ll wait to see how that shakes out. I agree that anything restricting trade is bad, but he’s yet to actually do anything (other than the crony Carrier deal).

        1. Funny thing about the crony Carrier deal. It is fully within his Democrat background, and the people who would have proposed it themselves a few months ago are the ones crying the hardest now.

          1. The Carrier deal was basically a photo-op. Any tax breaks came from the state, not from the feds. It was a triumph of style without substance.

        2. The Carrier deal doesn’t restrict any trading.

      2. The trade protectionism is not going to end well.

        Funny you say that.

        I heard a guy on Fox talking about some of Trump’s trade advisors, and he said, “they aren’t quite at “Reagan” levels of support for Free Trade”….

        ..which made me suddenly remember something that Trump himself pointed out….. that Reagan imposed huge tariffs against Japanese automobile imports in the 1980s.

        AND he increased Agricultural subsidies, over his own objections

        I think the idea that Trump is going to radically change the direction of US trade policy is super unlikely. I think he’ll make a few flagship gestures to appease some of his supporters, but nothing that either hasn’t been done before or won’t be done again by even more ‘free trade’-rhetoric-spewing pols.

        1. But in this is the problem, politicians see it as their birthright to fuck with people’s economic livelihoods inorder to score political points.even if it is just a little here or there its stil intervention.

    3. I’ve been very satisfied with Trump’s picks for administrative positions. If there’s anything that can benefit from house-cleaning, it’s the administrative state. Ordinarily the top people change, but unless someone drastically different heads the agency, the drones stay the same. Trump’s picks, at least for EPA, FDA, and DoEd, have been drastically different in ways that may change the culture of the agencies. I don’t expect mass firings or anything, but I do hope that routines bend enough to break.

      I still expect him to be bad on immigration, trade, and war, but those will probably be high profile battles that will receive pushback. The stuff that flies under the radar, like EPA rule-making, will certainly be better than we’ve had.

  5. All points that Gizmodo doesn’t want to address, enjoying indulging its rampant libertarianphobia instead. Most of the points in Gizmodo about how dangerously unsuited O’Neill allegedly is to run FDA have zero to do with the FDA, but are just generic expressions of incredulity at libertarian ideas

    But they fucking love science.

    1. I probably should have put the quote in a blockquote tag instead of italics, but you get the point.

      1. Best modern art I’ve seen today.

    2. They love fucking raping science.

      1. You’re saying science didn’t give affirmative consent to be fucking loved

  6. It would be fantastic if Trump were to appoint Obama or Hillary to some cabinet post. Watching the faux-hyperventilating progressives twist in the wind for a few hours as the opposing forces of religious cult worship and knee-jerk Hitler comparisons collide.

    1. Hillary for secretary of state

      1. Ambassador to Libya.

        1. Ambassador to Antarctica!

            1. Unfortunately we don’t have an ambassador to North Korea, but ambassador to Cuba or Venezuela will do in a pinch.

              1. And how about Gary for Reggae Ambassador?

            2. Ambassador to Taiwan.

    2. Appoint Hillary to head the Department of Education… and then abolish it. Gotcha!

    3. “knee-jerk Hitler comparisons”

      I’m actually reading Mein Kampf right now (as I am interested in both history and political philosophy). I’m only about 20 pages in, but it’s funny how much his tirades resemble those of modern-day leftists. I’m in a section right now where he’s ranting about how poverty is not really the poor person’s fault. He’s already gone off on a few tangents about the need to reorganize society and plan it out from the top down.

      1. I have yet to work up the required interest to read it, but please keep up the reviews or do so when you finish.

      2. Please, post some Hitler quotes that sound leftist. They’ll be great for memes using pictures of modern-day leftists.

      3. Keep count of how often he mentions syphilis.

      4. No spoilers please. I’m waiting for the movie.

      5. Socialist was the second word in his name brand. I never understood how people miss that.

        1. Had that argument the other day with a Derpbook Progtard. They pull out the Whoopi defense.

          “Yeah, well that Socialism is not really Socialism-socialism.

  7. a troubling notion that essentially turns the human body into a commodity.

    You.

    Dumb.

    Motherfucker.

    1. I’ve been donating sperm since I was 12, and I’ve never seen a dime.

      1. You need a demand to go with that supply.

        1. I’ve had my tires slashed a few times. There’s a demand.

          1. I don’t think demands to stop are what economists are referring to.

            Grammar pedants: did they abolish the ending sentences in a preposition rule?

            1. “From now on, ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.”

            2. It was never a real rule in English. If we were speaking Latin, then the rule still exists. The ‘no ending sentences with prepositions’ rule was made up by some classicalists who thought English should be more like Latin.

      2. You are not supposed to mail it in, Playa.

        1. Oddly, I do have a supply of dry ice.

          1. You’re needed in the Rat’s Brickbat….

  8. That man barely looks old enough to shave. Somebody tell him to get off my lawn.
    Seriously, though, Trump is really impressing with some of these picks (I know O’Neill isn’t a pick, yet.)

    1. Trump is really impressing with some of these picks

      You mean like Jeff Sessions?

      1. Not him, no. But many of the others have been pretty good picks.

      2. “some”

        lern 2 reed moran

  9. While I’m at it, here’s what lady Hillary had to say about fake news during Reid’s retirement ceremony:

    “The epidemic of malicious fake news and false propaganda that flooded social media over the past year ? it’s now clear the so-called fake news can have real-world consequences,” Clinton said during a speech on Capitol Hill.
    ….

    “This isn’t about politics or partisanship,” Clinton continued during her speech Thursday at a ceremony honoring retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

    Lives are at risk ? lives of ordinary people just trying to go about their days, to do their jobs, contribute to their communities.”

    “It’s a danger that must be addressed and addressed quickly,” she said.

    I’ve been pretty critical of left leaning comedians for their utter inability to offer up even the most milquetoast parody of Obama or Clinton, but this quote is a pretty good defense of SNL. When you are this far beyond what the Onion might say, it really does belie parody.

    1. Well, what did you expect her to say? “I was a horrible candidate. I’m an amoral, corrupt, lying witch who screams at the help; the American people thought I probably should be in prison, and the Democratic party should never have engaged in the dirty tricks they did to get me the nomination”?

      1. Your post literally puts lives at risk!

      2. Well, it would have been nice if she were at least as honest as Nixon, but that’s asking too much.

    2. Ehh, I think she was referring to the PIZZAGATE shooter.

      The funny thing is Democrats talking about fake news in a ceremony honoring Harry “I’ve seen Romney’s tax returns!” Reid.

      1. Let’s go with this week alone.

        How many shootings have there been before, and how many since?

        But THIS is the one that matters.

        1. Of course, she’s bringing out the old moral outrage, like with video games and so much else. Which is hilarious to see her doing yet again, a month after losing an election to Donald Trump.

          But the reaction I keep seeing to that line is that she means her loss puts lives at stake.

          There was that guy who shot up the Family Research Council. All those years ago.

    3. it’s now clear the so-called fake news can have real-world consequences

      You mean like the riots and attacks on police after the fake news of “Hands up, don’t shoot”?

      Or jailing that guy over the fake news that Benghazi was the fault of a video?

      Or that fake news about Hillary’s health, before she had a public seizure at the 9/11 memorial?

      Or the fake news about the inevitability of President Hillary?

  10. I would give up a testicle if it paid for my student loans.

    1. Hmmm, I know some “people”, what’s your family medical history like?

      1. So they even do testicle transplants?

        1. Their business model is less ‘transplants’ and more ‘foreign delicacy’.

          1. This conversation is getting me… kind of turned on.

          2. Valley oysters?

  11. Do they even do. Sigh. Stupid phone

    1. Is that the new diet Mountain Dew slogan?

  12. BTW, I have a suspicion that Elon Musk is looking around hoping to find a way to keep his ‘stud of silicon valley’ badge; if the subsidies for his cars and solar generators get pulled, he’ll have to figure out how to earn a living.

    1. There’s always his missions to Mars.

  13. “Trump is Considering an Insane Silicon Valley Libertarian to Head the FDA.”

    Libertarian Moment brought to you by the God Emperor.

    Kneel before Zod!

    1. I told people it would be like this. You agreed with me, as I recall. But it’s funny to see all these comments: “OK, maybe there is an upside to Trump….”

  14. Unfrozen Caveman…Website?

  15. Gizmodo, proving once again that tech journalists are functionally retarded and politically to the left of Salvador Allende.

    1. Why aren’t there more Silicon techies out there that lean right or libertarian? Considering that the products that tech companies and startups sell are marketed as a way of “disrupting” the status quo, you would think that libertarianism would be incredibly popular to those types, but it isn’t. The majority instead associate with the most cultish, repressive forms of leftist ideology, and it makes no sense to me.

      1. Technocrats. They think governments can engineer social solutions like they engineer the latest iteration of snapchat.

        1. In other words, many of them imagine themselves as brilliant top men, so they want and expect the government top men to be just as brilliant as they believe themselves to be.

        2. I know a software developer who once proposed that the government impose a tax on automation that would then be used to provide living stipends for people who were “put out of work” by said automation.

        3. Because a lot of them, were too snobish to lower themselves to take any classes in a flimsy science like “economics”. Seriously I’ve had people telle that i was part of the problem when i was getting a degree in econ rather than a STEM. Whats funny is that my knowledge in economics got me my spot where im at where i program and manage a team of who builfs automated solutions.

      2. It must have something to do with the K-12 and university education systems. We have been sending generations of kids through a system that tells them the correct way to think instead of how to think. They have unknowingly been indoctrinated into an ideology and are unable or unwilling to break away from the cult. I really want to laugh at the absurdity of the modern progressive movement, but deep down inside these fools scare the shit out of me, like every other cult.

      3. My sense is that techies were often more on the libertarian side, 20-30 years ago. There were always lefties and liberals, too, but there’s been a strong infestation of idiot millennial SJWs who think socialism is “obvious.”

      4. Having lived there not long ago, I can say that there’s a strong libertarian impulse among a lot of programmer/engineer types in SV, especially the ones who haven’t been there long. The CEO types are more likely to be SV lifers, which means they’ve absorbed the politics of the Bay Area for way too long.

      5. Having lived there not long ago, I can say that there’s a strong libertarian impulse among a lot of programmer/engineer types in SV, especially the ones who haven’t been there long. The CEO types are more likely to be SV lifers, which means they’ve absorbed the politics of the Bay Area for way too long.

        1. “..I can say that there’s a strong libertarian impulse among a lot of programmer/engineer types in SV…”

          Yes, but can they fix our squirrel infestation? The geeks in D.C. cannot seem to handle it.

      6. Without doing an anecdotal deep-dive into the political views of “techies”, I will note that the vast majority of “tech journalists” are cut from a different, dumber cloth than practitioners.

      7. Many years ago, IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers) magazine published a list of around 40 current influential engineers in the field at the time with their favorite books. Atlas Shrugged was easily represented at the highest rate. Second was Gravity’s Rainbow.

  16. How much power do agency heads have to cut the employee count? I’d love to see 10000’s of bureaucrats given their walken papers.

    1. *ing papers

      1. Was gonna say, you leave Christopher Walken alone, he’s a national treasure.

        1. Christopher Walken or Tevin Campbell a greater man? You decide.

          1. And people complain about the music I post.

  17. As bad as some of Trump’s more prominent nominations have been, if this one is true, it’s another step in a bunch of really good ones that have been announced recently.

    1. Honestly, the only cabinet appointee that I find to be cringe-worthy is Sessions, but even that was an understandable choice considering that he was one of the few senators that supported his campaign from the very beginning of his candidacy. The other appointees have mostly been average, with a streak of good appointees over at least the last week. They have mostly followed a pattern of appointing people from both the establishment and anti-establishment sides of the fence.

      1. I agree about this assessment of his picks, especially Sessions, but when I compare not only the fascist incompetents of the current admins cabinet AND what a compete horror show Clinton’s would’ve been (Podesta and Palmeiri?!?!?!) I will gladly give Trump the benefit of the doubt.

        Watching Pruitt run the EPA will be like watching Goodell have to hand the Lombardi trophy to Brady this year.

      2. Still not out of the woods yet. If he picks Bolton for state it would be a big blow. If pretty much anyone but him gets it, I’ll breathe a sigh of relief.

  18. “…it is pretty freaking terrifying that President-elect Donald Trump is considering appointing staunch libertarian and Peter Thiel crony Jim O’Neill to head the FDA. ”

    In the mind of the prog controller, liberty is terrifying.

    1. Notice the use of crony, cronies are only ok when beholden to democratic politicians.

  19. Trump Expected to Tap Labor Secretary Who Prefers Foreign Labor to American Workers

    Say what you want about the views of Breitbart writers and their commentariat, but they at least have more of a spine about their own platform than, say, HuffPo was about Obama back then. Note: I’m a fan of the Puzder hire, but I still think that this shows a contrast between how the right and the left treat their favorite candidates.

    1. “The fact is that there are jobs in this country that U.S. citizens, for whatever reason, are reluctant or unwilling to perform,” he said in a 2013 Politico op-ed in which he advocated for expansionist immigration policies.

      Cut welfare and payroll taxes and then we will see how motivated the American worker is.

      1. There you go.

      2. There is no work that Americans won’t do. There is work for wages that Americans won’t accept. In this way, uncontrolled immigration is a form of crony capitalism; by effectively subsiding cheap labor, both major parties buy off business constituencies.
        An example: some years ago, I owned a small fencing company. My material costs were roughly $12 per foot for a 6′ high privacy fence. The big company in town offered the final product, materials and labor, for about the same.
        Now, they have economies of scale. They buy huge amounts of material, etc. But, they also used mostly illegal immigrants. There was simply no way for me to compete.
        Ironically, tougher border control made the problem worse. Back in the day, immigrants would cross the border for the harvest, make what was to them a large chunk of cash, then go home to their families.
        Now, it is more d difficult to cross the border, so once you get here, you stay. Which means you bring your family. Which means you are supporting that family here. Which means you need to make more money. So you leave the farm and go to the city, displacing American workers.
        Which is why wages for construction, janitorial, etc. work have fallen. But the costs of construction, for example, have not fallen for the consumer, which means the construction companies are making extra profit due to cheap labor.

        1. Gonna disagree here:

          “An example: some years ago, I owned a small fencing company. My material costs were roughly $12 per foot for a 6′ high privacy fence. The big company in town offered the final product, materials and labor, for about the same.
          Now, they have economies of scale. They buy huge amounts of material, etc. But, they also used mostly illegal immigrants. There was simply no way for me to compete”

          As a (presumably) ‘small company’ you could have hired from the same labor pool.

          1. I don’t know anything about the fencing business, but I’ve run a business where my material costs at wholesale were more than the big company was able to sell it for at retail. That’s when I got out of the hardware side of the business. (although I did end up selling hardware at cost for a while in order to get the service business).

            It really can be that big of a difference.

  20. I think one discovery Reason writers may make this year…

    … is that = many of their journalistic peers who they previously considered super-reasonable, and who could (theoretically) totally be on board with at least “some” minor libertarianish tweaks to Leviathan?….

    that many (if not most of) those selfsame reasonable people will now screech like banshees at at any slight reduction of the regulatory state, ….and while doing so, accuse said regulatory-reducers of being nothing short of Nazi Racist Corporate Anti-Government Reactionary Death-Mongers

    something like that.

    Basically, this same Gizmodo reaction, multiplied a million times over. And the more-reasonable the proposal? The more ridiculous their objections will be (and more ad-hominem-oriented, changing the subject from the shitty regulations to the characters of the people involved)

    1. e.g. the “hearing protection act” will certainly get a lot of quality Derpitorials, for instance.

  21. The Disenfranchised White Working Class Male Concern Troll Campaign continues with a particularly insufferable example:

    The ‘Springsteen paradox’ that explains why Trump won Michigan

    1. I don’t care what the others say, even the revered Nebraska is a shitty album, just like everything else The Boss shat out of his gaping maw-hole.

      1. Never been a fan. “Hungry Heart” and “Glory Days” are okay, but that’s about it.

          1. I can’t think of a keytar without thinking of this song.

        1. His two best songs are sung by The Band and Manfred Mann.

          1. I didn’t know ey b0ss wrote Take A Load Off Fanny . Learns something new every day ~~~~~

            1. The Band’s version of Atlantic City is a damn good song, and I will not tolerate any disagreement.

              1. Hank Williams III covered the same and it’s also much better than the original.

        2. “Dancing in the Dark” was on “Born in the USA”, came out during my high school years, and is, because of that timing, an instant teleportation to my own glory days. In fact, want Glory days on that same album? So was Hungry heart, now that I think about it.
          But dancing in the dark is the Springsteen song i like the most.

        3. “Never been a fan. “Hungry Heart” and “Glory Days” are okay, but that’s about it.”

          Didn’t like “Hungry Heart”. Enjoyed “Glory Days” as a dirge, celebrating those who found HS the peak of their lives and ended up in a double-wide before the tornado hit.

      2. There is exactly one good thing I can say about Bruce Springsteen: At least he’s not John Mellencamp.

      3. *raises hand

        Born to Run is the worst song ever written or preformed by any creature in the entire multi-verse.

        *ducks

        1. What sort of monster are you?? It’s five stars in my iTunes. (But my only Springsteen track.)

    2. From HM’s link:

      “Despite our own industry’s instability, we celebrate the disruptions of Uber, Airbnb and other apps that can lead to the loss of thousands of jobs, replacing them with precarious piecemeal work and leapfrogging over decades of progressive worker-protection legislation hard won by unions and community planning regulations meant to keep neighborhoods affordable for the working class.”

      Michael Luongo (and by extension CNN) thereby admits he hasn’t a clue. Those ‘progressive’ laws did exactly the opposite of what they were intended to do, and Mr. Luongo is too fucking dumb to understand that.
      Mr. Luongo, go piss up a rope with your fave loser, The Hag.

      1. It’s truly amazing how the left can gloss over how much of the union agenda was based on racism, and, to some extent still is, i.e. Davis-Bacon.

        1. “It’s truly amazing how the left can gloss over how much of the union agenda was based on racism, and, to some extent still is, i.e. Davis-Bacon.”

          And, under the absolute lie, of ‘concern for the poor wage earner!’
          The best that the left can offer in support of M/W is bogus claims that it does not reduce employment; never is there a factual showing of any benefit other than an anecdote or two.
          In fact, the left ignores the harm done (as in the loss of low-income child care in Oakland several years ago) and pats themselves on the back for fucking things up, which remains un-reported.

          1. But you see, low income people who try to start buisness to better their lives are actually evil, because the business they make don’t follow regulations! Besides they should know their place as wafe labor rather than as capitalists.

      2. … community planning regulations meant to keep neighborhoods affordable for the working class.

        +1 Oakland

  22. If FCC became more like FDA approving new phones – after all look at Samsung batteries, unsafe! – Gizmodo’s attitude would come around a little bit.

  23. “Fear of a Libertarian Planet”

    Yes, please, I’ll take two of those. Ok, just give me everything you have in stock.

  24. “All points that Gizmodo doesn’t want to address, enjoying indulging its rampant libertarianphobia instead.”

    Gizmodo is Gawker.

    Gawker is the same bunch that started and ran Jezebel.

    Gawker was like a newspaper. In a newspaper, you have various sections. You have world news, national news, the business section, the sports section, there might be a lifestyle section or a section on the arts.

    With Gawker, Deadspin was their sports section, Gozmodo was science and technology (business), Jezebel was lifestyle, etc.

    All these sites were sold to Univision a few months ago in wake of the Hulk Hogan verdict, but it shouldn’t surprise anybody to see that the people who also started and operated Jezebel are hostile to libertarianism.

    Far as I’m concerned, Jezebel is Alt-left and Gizmodo came from the same place.

    1. Far as I’m concerned, Jezebel is Alt-left

      Except you don’t need the alt- modifier. Nobody on the right subscribes to white nationalism or salutes Hitler.

      Crosspost a Jezebel article to HuffPo and you won’t see any outrage…. Amanda Marcotte writes for Salon.com, for crying out loud. You really can’t go too far to the left, even if you veer off into crazytown.

      1. “Nobody on the right subscribes to white nationalism or salutes Hitler.”

        I’ve seen exactly that with my own two eyes, and, anyway, we’re mostly talking about the audience rather than the writers with the Alt label. The writers pander to the Alt label, but the Alt-whatever is a bunch of trolls that congregate at various sites.

        I’ve seen the left praise China’s one child policy.

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..20038.html

        I’ve seen them praise Castro.

        Maybe one of the reasons you can’t go too far to the left is because no one calls them out for pandering to the Alt-left. Maybe we should start doing that.

      2. Veer off ? The left is full blown nutland already.

  25. Trump, just please listen to Thiel. I don’t care if you have to give him the moon and half of Mars for the deal, just fucking do it.

  26. It seemed like only yesterday I was a lone voice in the wilderness, decried and derided for foretelling that a libertarian moment was at hand…

    You’re welcome.

    1. SIV|12.9.16 @ 12:39AM|#
      “It seemed like only yesterday I was a lone voice in the wilderness, decried and derided for foretelling that a libertarian moment was at hand…”

      You were nothing of the sort. You were and are an obnoxious twit. Go away.

      1. Trump wins, Sevo hardest hit.

    2. I was saying something similar, rather less pro-Trump, but seeing him as clearly preferable to Hillary, and a chance to make some advances for liberty. I am already feeling rather vindicated.

  27. He thinks organ donors should be paid, a troubling notion that essentially turns the human body into a commodity. “There are plenty of healthy spare kidneys walking around, unused,” he said in a speech at a 2009 Seasteading conference

    Somebody doesn’t know that human bodies are already commodities. Have been commodities for as long as there have been human bodies. Everything is an economic transaction, everything is bought and sold – if not for money then for something else.

    Human beings are bought and sold and rented out even now – and no mere wave of the legislative hand will ever stop that tide. The question is, do we harness that for mutual good using the free market, or do we continue to exclude these transactions and so continue to impoverish the world?

  28. You see, if I decided to identify myself as a white woman named Wendy and demand to enter the Miss USA contest, that’s kosher. If I want to sell my organ to a dying man who might rich enough to pay for it, then it’s batshit libertarian insane.

    “That’s because it benefits the rich, while the poor can’t buy organs, you see how that’s unjust”.

    It would seem that while Trump is a staunch protectionist, he’s sympathetic to ending onerous government regulation that’s set up for “PC” purposes. The Carl’s Jr CEO was totally against ACA and high min wage.

    That’s the intoxicating spell of right leaning populism. You can sort of extract the good parts of free market while opposing the creative destruction and competition part.

  29. “Trump is Considering an Insane Silicon Valley Libertarian to Head the FDA”

    Last I checked, it was the left that was telling us that it wasn’t politically correct to refer to people as “crazy” or “insane” because that was insulting to people who suffer from mental illness.

  30. Bailey’s cost-benefit calculation is correctly framed, and is exactly the sort of math that proves that nuclear energy increases the life expectancy of a population by simply providing power. That ALL other generating methods produce hundreds of times more casualties per terawatt-year produced is just icing on the cake–except to altruistic looter collectivists. To those worthies, the attraction of a possible government job coercively lording it over someone else’s health decisions to the point of killing them is PRECISELY THE POINT of patterning the FDA after a cross between Wizened Christian Temperance Union faith-healers and a Soviet Socialist police state bureaucracy. Surely Soviet starvation, National Socialist genocide and Pol-Pot socialism’s killing fields have more than proven the ethical argument in Atlas Shrugged, no?

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