Donald Trump

Tucker Carlson Thinks the Problem With America Is Market Capitalism

The populist pundit couldn't be more wrong.

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|||LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS/Newscom
LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS/Newscom

If there were any doubt of the direction the Trump-dominated GOP is taking, Tucker Carlson's monologue on Fox News Wednesday should remove it. Carlson's not a political leader, but he's a bellwether, and his words are already being cheered by prominent conservatives. Meant as a rebuttal to Mitt Romney's New Year's Day op-ed, the speech wasn't original, but it reveals the degree to which Republicans have embraced the populist authoritarianism they once condemned.

Carlson began with several swipes against "bankers" who exploit the working class to line the pockets of spooky elites. If that anti-capitalist lingo sounds familiar, so does his contemptuous shrug at the ways free markets improve lives. "Does anyone still believe that cheaper iPhones or more Amazon deliveries of plastic garbage from China are going to make us happy? They haven't so far." This is a time-worn rhetorical technique of freedom's enemies, who sneer at material standards of living in order to elevate abstract social goals over the needs of actual people. In fact, cheaper consumer goods have benefited Americans immeasurably. Some 85 million now own iPhones, for instance, and use them not as trinkets, but as work tools or devices to keep in touch with loved ones. And while Amazon may deliver "plastic garbage," it also delivers syringes to diabetics, toys for special-needs kids, and even prosthetic limbs for the disabled—all, of course, made of plastic. Freer markets and abundant, affordable imports, have made the average American wealthier than Rockefeller, and 90 times richer than the average human being.

Does that translate into happiness? It depends. More wealth means better access to innovative medical technology, cheaper and safer transportation, cultural riches of art and music. But by making possible a wider spectrum of experiences and opportunities, it also means more chances for disappointment and fear—the real source of the "alienation" capitalism's accused of generating. Money can't buy happiness, but material prosperity is a necessary ingredient for the good life, and the practical elimination of poverty today is giving more people than ever before the opportunity to lead lives in ways that accomplish their own goals.

Government policies that curtail their choices are, by definition, obstacles to the pursuit of happiness and impose harms that politicians literally cannot imagine. Consider "cheap iPhones": nobody can calculate the hours saved thanks to driving-directions features, the lives saved through quick access to 911, or the millions of simple, happy conversations that screentime or text messaging makes possible for families separated by long distances. To deride this as materialism is to scoff at simple, even beautiful human joys. Imagine the consequences of eliminating smartphones (you can't) and you get a sense of the inhumane sentiments that anti-materialistic slogans conceal.

Yet to Carlson, economic freedom is disposable—"a tool…created by human beings" "like a staple gun or a toaster," which politicians can eliminate if they decide it's "weaken[ing]…families." Since "the goal for America is…happiness"—which includes things like "dignity, purpose, self-control, independence, above all, deep relationships with other people"—the failure of international bankers to make people happy and give them rewarding family lives is grounds for bureaucratic control. Although pitched as anti-government populism, Carlson's prescription is clear: government management of the economy in order to force citizens into what politicians consider "happiness."

But America's "goal" isn't "happiness"—it's freedom to pursue happiness. That phrase was written by people who rejected the idea that government gives us liberty to serve collective ends. Their commitment to self-determination has often been attacked by strongmen who think government should manage our choices in order to stabilize society. "Man is man only by virtue of the spiritual process in which he contributes as a member of familial, social groups, the nation," wrote Benito Mussolini. "Fascism is therefore opposed to all individualistic abstractions based on eighteenth century materialism…[and] does not believe in the possibility of 'happiness' on earth as conceived by the economic literature of the 18th century."

Yet free economic exchange is inseparable from genuine dignity and valuable relationships. That should be clear at least to women, who for generations were denied independence by laws that restricted their freedom, often in the name of preserving "the family" and protecting their virtue. The first stirrings of feminism did destabilize long-standing traditions about the family, as freedom usually does—witness the controversy over the climax of Ibsen's A Doll's House, in which Nora is so emboldened by her experiment with economic freedom that she finds strength to leave her unhappy marriage. Few women today would choose to return to an era when their fates were shaped by government to serve what officials considered the social good. Yet for Carlson, women's economic freedom is among the most fundamental ills in our society. Thus he condemns hard-working female executives such as Sheryl Sandberg who think it's "more virtuous to devote your life to some soulless corporation than it is to raise your own kids."

Obviously family is important. But like everything, it's a blessing when freely chosen, and a burden when conscripted as a political device by which the hopes and dreams of actual people are subordinated to the demands of political authorities. Restricting freedom in order to encourage "deep relationships with other people" doesn't promote, but obliterates, dignity, self control, and independence. It's a recipe for squalor and resentment, not happiness. Yet it's the go-to recipe for authoritarians who see individual pursuits as trivial compared to the perpetuation of the state.

Freedom—economic or personal—is not "created by human beings." It's the rightful, natural state of all persons. It can unjustly be destroyed, but never transcended. Nor were the infinitely diverse institutions we call "the market" ever "created"—they're a spontaneous order generated by the free choices of countless individuals pursuing happiness as they decide. Some of their choices may be foolish, or seem so to outsiders who lack full information. But the freedom to make choices, for all its disruptiveness, is the only thing "independence" or "happiness" can ever truly mean.

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215 responses to “Tucker Carlson Thinks the Problem With America Is Market Capitalism

  1. Hmm… I usually like what Carlson thinks, but I’ll have to research deeper into this one… I am inclined to agree with this article on the matter.
    https://aladyofreason.wordpress.com/

    1. To be clear, the Reason.com article above….

      1. The botsite has evolved into botcommenting.

      2. You gotta stop putting your blog URL in each of your comments. Isn’t it already linked to your username? It’s not very ladylike to end your comments like that.

        1. I’m sincerely curious: Why is adding my link such a huge issue? How is it rude? No one is forced to click it! And it doesn’t take traffic away from here since everyone had to read what’s on this site first to even see my links… People have reacted very forcefully to it, and the only reason I’m responding to you is you actually said something in a civil manner. I just consider it like my own signature… Nor do I mind in the least when others add their link in comments on my blog. A levelheaded, mature explanation as to why this is unethical or taboo enough to warrant vitriolic reactions would be nice… Why can’t people who don’t want to click my link simply not click it and move on instead of getting enraged?

          1. And I’m surprised I’m getting such backlash for this when many others have used vulgar language and pure rudeness and vitriol in many of these comment threads yet no one tells them to mind their manners… I’m not directing this towards you, Chipper Morning Baculum, I’m just pointing this out in general….

            1. We have to our up with a lot of spammers here. So when someone new appears and has a self serving link with their comment, hackles go up.

            2. And I’m surprised I’m getting such backlash for this

              Here’s the thing, as I see it … You seem to post a lot of one-liners that have the bland “cool story, bro” flavor of bot comments. When you couple that with a link to your blog in every comment, it seems like your only purpose in commenting here is to drive traffic to your blog — i.e., your comments appear to be nothing more than ads.

              If you want to remedy this, I would suggest commenting less often and putting more effort into your comments, so that they actually contribute something to the conversation, or at least are funny. Then the tail wouldn’t seem to be wagging the dog.

              1. What Ray means is do as I say, not as I do. Typical controlling little man.

            3. You know how much libertarians hate it when someone capitalistically self-promotes…

            4. Your links aren’t getting traction here because you aren’t adding anything to the libertarian conversation. In practice, this means bashing authority, hero-worship, and conformity. If you do that, I haven’t seen it in your comments, or your blog, which I didn’t read much of.

              Plus, calling your blog lady of reason sounds like a thin attempt to piggy back on reason.com’s brand.

              1. “In practice, this means bashing authority, hero-worship, and conformity. If you do that, I haven’t seen it in your comments, or your blog, which I didn’t read much of.”

                Did you bring that straw man all the way from home, or find it on the way?

          2. It’s not unethical or taboo, but it goes against the conventions here. The convention here is to link to your blog through your username, which you already did. If someone wants to read your blog, they can click on your username. Seeing your link over and over is an annoying eyesore to most here, probably, and gives your comments the aesthetic of a spambot. It’s the same reason people find spam comments and ads annoying. Hope this explanation helps 🙂 Please continue to contribute!

            1. Thanks for the honest answer…. I can’t say I fully agree, but your civility is a breath of fresh air among the vitriol on this site… Note too, others add supplementary links all the time though in other threads including videos and other articles. What I really want to know, is how some manage to insert the link into a sentence or a word to avoid the “eyesore” that is a url… I’d like to know how to do that… I’d gladly switch…

              1. http://www.echoecho.com/htmllinks01.htm

                Following the instructions on the page gives you a handy-dandy link like this.

                1. When I try that it says the link is too long and converting to tinyurl kills the link.

                  1. Sorry for the confusion…That was another account I made but never put my link in the comments….

                  2. Sorry for the confusion…That was another account I made but never put my link in the comments….

                    1. And sorry it got repeated twice! It’s hard to tell if it got sent…

            2. Seeing you comment here at all, baculum, is annoying.

          3. If you come to a website to push your website, it’s bad form. Most of your comments appear to be comments for the sake of commenting so you can put your URL out there. Now, you may not be doing that but that’s how it appears and you’ll make no friends denying the reality of your actions.

            And vulgar language and rudeness are par for the course on libertarian forums. It’s half the fun (though I don’t use vulgar language myself and try to stay polite) but comments like that show you aren’t really involved with the libertarian community and just impersonally want people to read your blog. Again, that may not be your intention but that’s how it appears.

          4. There is also a lot of misogyny on libertarian boards and forums so, ironically, a gender neutral screen name is helpful.

          5. I think you’d arouse more interest if, instead of putting in the link every time, you did as various other commenters who’ve had blogs (such as the Urkobold and the Wine Commonsewer) have done and either stick in such a reminder maybe every 3rd comment or so, or only to new entries when they’ve had one, rather than the main page.

            But at least you’ve cleaned up your copy. Misspellings and grammar goofs had been contributing to the impression you gave of being a spammer.

          6. TBH – it makes you look like a spambot.

            Even with topical comments it does that. And if you post nothing but ‘Hmm, this article made me think’ (or variants) along with the link you basically are a spambot.

            Not that half of us post anything worthwhile more than half the time . . .

            1. Hmmm, this comment makes me think.

              1. Gary, could you provide a link to your blog?

          7. How is an empty, borderline-nonsensical comment like “To be clear, the Reason.com article above….” coupled with a link supposed to be treated?

          8. Dear LOR:

            Chipper’s feewings are easily hurt. As for his, hers, its knowledge of what is :ladylike, ignore his, hers, its prating as you would any dolt’s, which is what he, she it, is.

          9. Dear LOR:

            Chipper’s feewings are easily hurt. As for his, hers, its knowledge of what is :ladylike, ignore his, hers, its prating as you would any dolt’s, which is what he, she it, is.

          10. @A Lady of Annoying Reason, you’re making the disapproval of adding your blog link to your comments very personal.

            1. Maybe the lady is a tramp.

      3. The article above is mostly bullshit. There is nothing wrong with Carlson ripping banks because the whole banking system is a nest of crony capitalism. The regulators stack the decks making it very difficult for small and medium banks to survive.

        And while I am a free trader I don’t see anything wrong with Trump driving a hard deal with China to lower tariffs on American exports. Screaming some short term pain without taking into account the gains Trump already has banked in the trade war. For instance China reduced auto tariffs for the EU and Japan from 25% to 15% to put pressure on the US, and auto imports jumped 70%. Now it looks like the US will get the same 15% rate.

        But don’t hold your breath on Trump getting any credit for prying open China’s auto market for all competitors.

        1. There is nothing wrong with Carlson ripping banks because the whole banking system is a nest of crony capitalism. The regulators stack the decks making it very difficult for small and medium banks to survive.

          Yes there is something wrong with ripping the banks – it distracts people from understanding that the problem is not the banks but the regulators and government.

          And while I am a free trader I don’t see anything wrong with Trump driving a hard deal with China to lower tariffs on American exports.

          Then you’re not a free trader. A free trader would understand that its not government’s place to interfere in trade – or else its not free. Tariffs are the government putting a gun to our heads and saying ‘buy from politically favored constituencies or else you’ll be killed’. Period. Its nothing else.

          How can you have a problem with the Chinese government screwing over its own citizens to the benefit of Americans to the point that you’re willing to kill other Americans to stop that?

          1. The Chinese government interferes in trade all over the place. It’s ridiculous to sit back and unilaterally disarm yourself in the face of that.

            1. Tariffs are a tax on Americans. When China imposes tariffs or interferes with trade, why would the solution be for the United States to impose additional costs on Americans?

            2. It does make sense to stop punching yourself in the face because your neighbor is beating his kids.

          2. If what Trump is using to be the best tools in his arsenal, as an interim pressuring point to make the Chinese reform their own abusive tariffs against us, then so be it, international relations is an anarchistic relationship not a libertarian one.
            Of course it is the interim nature of it that justifies its use mostly, he has said over and over that he want no tariffs on either side.
            Furthermore, our interim can be devastating to the Chinese, we can wait it out much easier and longer than they can, eventually they will blink, and we will be closer to no tariffs than just Chinese ones on us.

    2. First of all Reason/staff despises Trump and I get it . I didn’t vote for Trump either but I do appreciate many of his initiatives/Executive orders & policies. Unfortunately the Reason staff have decided to often side with progressives on almost everything that involves Trump. I watched Tucker Carlson’s show the night in question and primarily his beef with Romney is in his phony & sanctimonious diatribe against Trump. His comment about cheap goods from China is relevant because while free trade is important and unbridled capitalism is desirable we cannot assume that all trade deals are good for us and that crony capitalism is anything like free market capitalism. In the case of Mitt, he trades on his high morals but at Bain the objective was to make a profit regardless at what cost to the “working man”. Okay I understand it, but people do get hurt sometimes unnecessarily in the process. Just quit acting like saint Teresa. I don’t believe his comment about Sheryl Sandberg condemned her decision to not have a family his point was more that it should not be celebrated at the expense of those that choose not to sacrifice family.

    3. Hmm….Carlson’s selling a book backing the premise of his diatribe. Does that help any?

    4. The article is an extreme misreading of the monologue.

      It is, in many instances a deliberate 180 degree twisting of what Tucker is saying.

  2. Who?

    1. ANTIFA doxxed him and banged on his front door at night.

      He puts on a good freak show, if you cotton to that sort of thing.

  3. That sounds awfully close to “Nobody needs 23 types of deodorant”.

    1. Amazon deliveries of cheap crap from China don’t make anybody UN happy. And Calvinists hate the idea of happiness anyway.

      1. What do they think of deodorant?

  4. 1. Capitalism is not the same thing as free markets. Heck, it isn’t the same thing as free market capitalism either.
    The current system is actually swinging dangerously close to corporatism right now, egged on by bankers and bureaucrats who really do deserve some swipes.

    2. Letting an unfree, unregulated, slave-labor staffed market like China compete with a heavily regulated Western economy isn’t libertarian. It just stupid.
    Libertarian principles only work well when both parties are playing on the same field with the same ball.

    1. You don’t have a clue what those words mean, do you?

      Just because you can’t control other people and other governments doesn’t mean you should double down on controlling anybody you can get your hands on.

      1. Oh for fuck’s sake. Back to the basics for fucking Alphabet Soup and the Senile Mexican:

        In a capitalistic society, the production and pricing of goods and services should be determined by the free market, or supply and demand, however government regulation can and does occur. In some cases the government may favor a private owner giving them a monopoly on the market and preventing free competition. This can occur through regulation. When lenders, capitalist corporations and governments cooperate as “social partners” to negotiate and manage a national economy, you get corporatism.

        Free market capitalism on the other hand, is an economic system based solely on demand and supply, and there is little or no government regulation. In a free market system, a buyer and a seller transact freely and only when they voluntarily agree on the price of a good or a service. A transaction will occur when the buyer and the seller agree on a price. Because a free market system is based solely on supply and demand, it leads to free competition in the economy, without any intervention from outside forces.

        Understand now?

        1. Not sure if you are recognizing the tariffs issue in this, but of course unregulated is the best.
          But what do you do if the country you are dealing with is taxing its citizens for buying from you? Do you ignore it, or do you do what you can to pressure them not to do that?
          Tariffs are govt interference in free market capitalism, and not a clean playing ground for capitalism.

    2. Re: Fancylad,

      1. Capitalism is not the same thing as free markets.

      I love it when foolish statists pretend to play economist.

      Capitalism is a PROCESS: Where CAPITAL (savings, or postponed consumption), CAPITAL GOODS (land, tools, etc are used together to transform goods of a lesser value into goods of a higher value, for the purpose of trade and wealth accumulation.

      Free markets only mean markets unburdened by government action. That’s it. Capitalism thrives in a free market. Both are, of course, not the same thing necessarily, but the fact that Corporativism exists is only evidence of government intervention, not the fault of the market nor capitalism.

      2. Letting an unfree, unregulated, slave-labor staffed market like China compete with a heavily regulated Western economy isn’t libertarian. It just stupid.

      What’s stupid is your contention. Trade is between INDIVIDUALS, always. You’re NO ONE to tell anybody else with whom they should trade. You’re not the world’s mommy.

      1. Capitalism is a PROCESS: Where CAPITAL (savings, or postponed consumption), CAPITAL GOODS (land, tools, etc) and LABOR are used together to transform goods of a lesser value into goods of a higher value, for the purpose of trade and wealth accumulation.”

        For some reason there’s a lag between my typing and what goes in the field, when using Edge. I blame Google.

        1. You might want to blame Reason’s peculiar webcode.

          Regardless, I like how you define terms frequently in your argument. This can lead to arguing whether the definition is correct, but it seems like so many problems that are argued are based in people having wildly different definitions of the terms at play. Also see, Right vs. Left. Freedom. Capitalism. All terms that people often argue with no agreement on terms.

        2. Capitalism is the system that is most likely to rise in a free market economy. However, other systems are possible, though unlikely.

      2. Not if capitalism is understood the way other -isms are. I had to had this pointed out to me. Capitalism would be rule by capital. Why use a Marxist term if what you really mean is free enterprise?

        1. It’s funny that you would make such a comment, but then refer to Marxism which is clearly not “rule by Marx”

          What’s your take on feminism? Or baptism? How about colloquialisms?

    3. 2. Letting an unfree, unregulated, slave-labor staffed market like China compete with a heavily regulated Western economy isn’t libertarian. It just stupid.

      “The Chinese government takes away liberty from its citizens. That’s why, in the name of fairness, the US government should take away liberty from ITS citizens as well!”

      1. We’re only voluntarily giving up our freedoms (we are a democracy after all) until it convinces China to free it’s own people. This clearly isn’t a race to the bottom.

        1. Republic.

        2. We are so selfless. It just brings a tear to my eye.

      2. “Freedom is keeping your slaves offshore”

    4. unfree, unregulated

      Hmm. Which is it?

      1. That caught my eye too. It’s like reading “semi-automatic assault rifle”.

      2. The people are unfree, in some provinces you just can’t up and quit a bad job. In addition they have few guarantees if any, for example docking wages for minor or bogus infractions is common.
        The factories are unregulated, no environmental standards to worry about, ect.

        This isn’t very hard to understand.

    5. “2. Letting an unfree, unregulated, slave-labor staffed market like China compete with a heavily regulated Western economy isn’t libertarian. It just stupid.”
      Try putting those words together such that they are not internally contradictory; I doubt you can.

      “Libertarian principles only work well when both parties are playing on the same field with the same ball.”
      Bullshit.

      1. Two companies make the same product.

        Company C is allowed to pay people whatever it can get away with, and it’s dumping all its waste in the local river for free.

        Company A has to pay its people a “living wage”, plus benefits. It’s got a team of lawyers working round the clock to make sure it’s meeting a myriad of nonsensical regulations. Despite this it’s often fined by regulatory bodies just because they can. Its waste has to be disposed of at a special hazardous waste treatment facility two states away for $0.85 a pound plus shipping. The special trucks transporting the waste have to be inspected and certified twice a year. A $200-700 Transporting Hazardous Waste fee is charged by every state they cross.

        Of course Company A isn’t the only business in its country suffering a huge government imposed burden. Everyone from barbers and street vendors to guitar makers and farmers have license and regulatory hurdles to jump.

        Since there’s zero chance Company A’s government is going to relax regulations, how does free trade and open international markets remotely work in the interests of Company A.

        Now I was never saying this was right, but crippling over-regulation and bureaucracy needs to be tackled before we fret about tariffs and international free trade, because that’s putting the cart before the horse.

        1. Well written

        2. “Now I was never saying this was right, but crippling over-regulation and bureaucracy needs to be tackled before we fret about tariffs and international free trade, because that’s putting the cart before the horse.”

          Yes, adding more regulation is certainly the cure for too much regulation.
          You have your ass in front of your brain.

        3. I’d rather breathe the air in California then Shenzen even with the crippling over-regulation.

    6. The libertarian solution to “unfree, unregulated, slave-labor staffed market like China compete with a heavily regulated Western economy” is not to put more burden(tariffs) on the heavily regulated economy, but to lessen the regulation.

    7. ‘Market Capitalism’ is the phrase used here, not ‘Free market’ nor ‘Capitalism’. They’re very specific about the form of firm inside the market that is being criticized.

    8. Upvoted. In other words only free people can create free markets.

  5. writes Timothy Sandefur

    Oh Christ, King of the Cucks.

    Sandefur, as you might remember, wanted to purge all Ron Paul-supporters from “the libertarian movement” back in 2008(-present, I believe)..

    He hates Lysander Spooner too, IIRC

    1. Ad hominem, ever heard of it?

      Got something substantive to rebut about the article?

      1. Ad hominem is all SIV knows. Well, that and how to make a chicken curl its talons and flutter its nictitating membrane in ecstasy. Allegedly.

    2. Re: SIV,

      Oh Christ, King of the Cucks.

      That thoroughly justifies Carlson’s statist thesis. The logic is settled, folks!

      Carlson: “Does anyone still believe that cheaper iPhones or more Amazon deliveries of plastic garbage from China are going to make us happy? They haven’t so far.”

      Idiots. Both you and Carlson.

      1. Fuck you, you illiterate dumb ass. Show me where I defend Carlson’s essay/speech anywhere in that comment. I didn’t even fucking read it. I was commenting on Sandefur who I’m familiar with since he used to write for Liberty almost 30 years ago.

        In this essay we could start here:

        Carlson began with several swipes against “bankers” who exploit the working class to line the pockets of spooky elites. If that anti--capitalist lingo sounds familiar

        I will give Sandefur credit here. Usually when defending central banking and the whole”socialism for the rich” crony banking system we have the knights of capital spell it -Semitic

  6. I can never remember – is Tucker Carlson the retarded one and Joe Scarborough the Down Syndrome one or is it the other way around?

    1. Re: Jerryskids,

      Carlson is the one that said that immigrants make this country dirtier and poorer, without evidence. He also is the one who said that he doesn’t “worship the market like a god”, whatever he meant by that. Scarborough is the one who recently got hitched to a blond woman who works with him on Tee Vee.

      1. Well, there are those who think “the market” can solve every ill you can imagine and will get upset if you suggest otherwise.

        1. Freedom shouldn’t have to solve “problems’ to be justifiable.

    2. They both have a terminal case of the Stupids.

      1. No, no Jeffy, you’re confused again. You’re thinking of you.

    3. I can never remember – is Tucker Carlson the retarded one and Joe Scarborough the Down Syndrome one or is it the other way around?

      Yes.

  7. “Does anyone still believe that cheaper iPhones or more Amazon deliveries of plastic garbage from China are going to make us happy? They haven’t so far.”

    I just love it how statists like Carlson and Trumpistas bring everyone else down to their pit by the use of the collective pronoun “we” and “us” when making these moralistic pronouncements and assertions.

    *I* am VERY HAPPY with my purchasing options, Carlson, thank you very much. If *you* are not happy with your choices, that’s ON YOU, you motherfucking collectivist asshole.

    1. There’s not enough variety in beard oils for my taste. This is clearly a market failure.

      1. You should go into the beard oil business then.

        1. Nah, federal legislation is the better means here.

      2. Just because a woman is pretending to be a gay guy’s girlfriend doesn’t mean she requires some kind of special lubricating oil, BUCS.

        1. Believe me, Chipper, she does.

          She does.

          Back me up here, Alternate-Universe Me.

          1. Over six hours late, but consider our ass b-backed up.

  8. “Carlson’s not a political leader, but he’s a bellwether . . . . It reveals the degree to which Republicans have embraced the populist authoritarianism they once condemned”.

    This almost gets it right but not quite.

    Again, the reason Trump won the nomination was mostly because of Democrats participating in open primaries. Trump didn’t do especially better than his competition in states with closed primaries. Up until the point where it didn’t matter anymore and Trump had run away with it, Trump won every single open primary except for two–one was to a Cruz, a native son, in Texas and the other was to Kasich, a native son in Ohio. In other words, Trump kicked other Republicans’ asses with his primary rhetoric about free trade and taking NAFTA and China to task. It’s no wonder either–since those are the arguments that used to be the bread and butter of the Democrats. People generally only register to vote when they move, and there were a lot of white, blue-collar voters all over middle America who’ve been registered Democrat since before Barack Obama was elected. If you called them up on the phone, they’d tell you they were Republicans in 2016–but that doesn’t mean they can participate in a state with a closed primary. In open primary states it didn’t matter.

    1. Look at the chart.

      http://www.cnbc.com/2016/03/22…..aries.html

      Feel the wrongness.

    2. Or perhaps current Democrats were taking advantage of the opportunity to cross over in open primary states and vote for the Republican candidate that they most wanted to have running against Her in the general election.
      See: consequences, unintended

      1. They did this in sufficient numbers to throw the primaries off–all over the country without any organization or publicity?

        And then they showed up at the polls again in November to make him win over Hillary Clinton?

        Seems far-fetched.

        The explanation that Trump’s anti-free trade rhetoric resonated with the same swing state, rust belt voters that rhetoric always had–back when they identified as Democrats–makes much more sense.

    3. I’m also not sure when the Republicans have ever rejected ‘populist authoritarianism’. I mean, we can go all the way back to the Civil War . . .

  9. Likewise, guess why Trump beat Hillary Clinton? A lot of it had to do with Trump eating the Democrats’ lunch. The white, blue collar, middle class in the rust belt used to be the Democrats’ bread and butter. Trump took it away from them.

    You’re right about Carlson being a bellwether. It’s important to remember, however, that it isn’t that the Republicans’ have changed so much as a huge influx of Democrats came into the Republican party. The opinions of that demographic haven’t changed much since they voted for Bill Clinton and Barack Obama in 2008. It’s the Democrats who changed. They went from a party of the beaten down labor union types to a party of feminists, environmental radicals, gay rights activists, and social justice warriors. The swing vote for the Republican Party is made up of voters who were registered Democrats voting for Barack Obama ten years ago, but then ten years ago, Barack Obama was a labor union guy bailing out GM and campaigning on the slogan, “Marriage is between a man and a woman”.

    1. Likewise, guess why Trump beat Hillary Clinton? A lot of it had to do with Trump eating the Democrats’ lunch. The white, blue collar, middle class in the rust belt used to be the Democrats’ bread and butter. Trump took it away from them.

      To quote Howard Dean in the aftermath of 2016: We’ve got a New York Billionaire speaking to our traditional voters.

      Howard Dean was one of the few Democrats that learned lessons after 2016. That’s why he’s not in charge of the DNC.

    2. “It’s important to remember, however, that it isn’t that the Republicans’ have changed so much as a huge influx of Democrats came into the Republican party. ”

      While I think you are pretty much always spot on in this analysis and most of the above is true, I think going as far as saying there was a D influx into the republican party is an overstatement. Many D’s and Ind’s that were massively turned off by the robot-establishment-hag either stayed home or held their noses and voted for Trump as a way to “shake things up.” There’s a chance they swing back to the D’s if they run anyone reasonable and take a couple notes from the populist playbook.

      However, to your point, many of those old beaten down union boys are going to have a tough time going back and voting for a party where the white male is now the enemy if you aren’t a muslim-black-LGBTQRST. The SJW’s on the left are a nice daily reminder to not vote for them.

      1. “There’s a chance they swing back to the D’s if they run anyone reasonable and take a couple notes from the populist playbook.”

        Well sure, but given the pattern of late that’s a really big if.

        Who in their existing pantheon stands a chance of being such a moderating force? And if not someone already in play then how might any newcomer have the gravitas necessary?

        While conceivable, it is not remotely likely.

  10. Oh wow. So I actually read that entire opinion piece. Carlson has lost his mind. Either that or he has finally revealed himself to be who he really is: well on his way to national socialism.

    – He rails against Mitt Romney’s stint at Bain Capital like he was on Obama 2012’s re-election team
    – He believes markets should serve people, fundamentally misunderstanding what a market is
    – Rails against cheap plastic crap from China, like he was protesting some Super Walmart expansion in the 2000’s
    – He wants politicians who feel true love towards Americans (barf)
    – He rails against libertarians for worshipping markets above all (so much for that Libertarian-Republican alliance!)
    – He’s anti-marijuana, of course, because he doesn’t think families should have to put up with stoner 19-year-old kids at the dinner table, and besides, legalizing marijuana is all a conspiracy by politicians to get us all stoned while they rake in the tax revenue
    – And this chilling gem:
    “Culture and economics are inseparably intertwined. Certain economic systems allow families to thrive. Thriving families make market economies possible. You can’t separate the two.”

    You know who else wanted to create an economic system that was geared towards allowing families to thrive?

    1. Carlson is against the weed?? Dude has been to enough Grateful Dead shows, I’m kind of shocked he’d take that stance.

    2. It’s the latter. Carlson was always a proto-fascist.

      1. A proto-fascist with a prime-time show on Fox News. Think about that for a moment.

      2. It’s the bow ties, isn’t it?

    3. Woodrow Wilson?

      1. An actual proto fascist.

    4. It’s the shining pot of tax revenue gold that’s getting weed legalized. Conspiracy? No need to think that deeply

    5. That guy with the mustache?

    6. I mostly like Carlson’s rhetoric and argument about 85% of the time.
      Recently I did notice a few disturbing things he espouses that absolutely had no legs.
      The financial arguments here criticized are questionable but clear as to how wrong Carlson is, I tend to see it that Carlson doesn’t have enough time on-air to be nuanced about what he is saying on this.
      But, for example, his attack on the marijuana capitalist was way off-base and completely indefensible.
      The capitalist had Tucker on ropes with his argument, and Tucker tried to make something out nothing, falling back on the idiotic argument that business and governments were dulling the senses of young people.
      See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDvQsfQvS4Y

  11. I read Carlson’s piece. I liked it. It doesn’t actually propose any policy solutions but I think it reframes the goals of policy in a useful way.

    He also correctly predicts that libertarians will not react positively.

    1. Let’s face it, Libertarians react negatively to everything. So, predicting a negative L reaction is just shooting fish in a barrel. Or is that ducks in a barrel? In any case, some hapless creature is sure to die.

      1. Just not the monkeys, they’re having too much fun in that barrel.

      2. I don’t like your comment, Ecoli.

  12. Carlson doesn’t devote a lot of his column to specific proposals, but I could figure out a few: Keep dope illegal, tax capital more than income, avoid the extremes of “market fundamentalism” and socialism, and create a country with (list of good characteristics), which requires only goodwill and willpower.

    He points to some real problems, but seems better at tub-thumping than coming up with specific ideas.

    1. And I agree with this:

      “Culture and economics are inseparably intertwined. Certain economic systems allow families to thrive. Thriving families make market economies possible. You can’t separate the two.”

      Basically, a free economy with a safety net – so you don’t dash your brains out when falling from the tightrope of capitalism – plus an actual preference for citizens and resisidents vis-a-vis people with no connection to the country, helps set the stage for forming good families, while good families uphold the free-market system. Conversely, bad family situations undermine the free-market system.

      1. “Basically, a free economy with a safety net… helps set the stage for forming good families”

        You are an idiot. The safety net is what allows people to ignore forming real connections to family and community. There is no risk associated with acting like a toddler or a thug long past an aporopriate age when the guvmint has your back.

        Excommincation from the clan is no longer a threat to keep reprobates in line.

        1. Why the ellipsis? I suppose truncating the quotation makes it easier for you to miss the point.

          My metaphor makes clear the purpose a safety net ought to have, and it’s not what you said.

          1. Ever been to the circus? If you fall from the high-wire act, the safety net allows you to land in one piece so you can climb back up again. The management doesn’t allow you to take a nap on the net.

            1. The difference between a circus and a government is that a circus has to get you back up on that wire to keep the punters coming in and paying.

              The government doesn’t.

              A government run circus *would* let you nap on the net.

          2. I wouldn’t complain too much about the ellipsis. Particularly since it removed your “tightrope of capitalism’ phrase. Which is extremely pejorative given that, unlike all the other attempted alternatives. it benefits substantially many more than it harms.

            If people see the need for ‘safety nets’ then they can build their own. Not advocate government imposition upon everyone else.

            (ie. Fuck off slaver.)

      2. there was plenty of human history before the safety net. The prevailing dynamic before the ‘net was lifelong interdependent family attachment which prevented some brain bashing and caused some. What’s good or bad about the change? I can’t say.

        1. Anglo-America had pauper relief for several centuries. Let’s just say that until comparatively recently it wasn’t a suspect in breaking up intact families.

    2. It seems that Carlson is merely being a traditional conservative in this article. Ie, a bad libertarian.

    3. tax capital more than income

      Does he say that? Or could it be read as tax income the same as capital?
      I’m kinda curious what cuckatarian rationale Sandefur has for taxing income at a higher rate than capital, to discourage labor?

      1. neither should be taxed.

        1. No shit but I see the disparity as more of an argument for cutting the labor tax than raising the capital tax.

  13. Since “the goal for America is?happiness”?which includes things like “dignity, purpose, self-control, independence, above all, deep relationships with other people”

    I’m so glad there are people like Tucker Carlson to tell use when we are happy or have dignity and purpose or deep relationships with other people. I would never have been able to figure this out myself.

    1. self-control promotes the avoidance of remorse, not happiness

  14. Tucker Carlson is a beta nonfactor. Why should anybody give a shit what he thinks?

    1. Like most alt-righters and trump supporters, he is painfully beta, trying so hard to scrape together some semblance of masculinity. But in the end the closest they can come is attaching themselves to some stronger character who they fellate and grovel before in the hopes of getting some scraps from the master’s table.

      1. Awesome comment.

        1. LOL

          Funniest part: the eunuch doesn’t even realize what he just did.

          Baron: you’re shallow and uninsightful, seemingly capable only of parroting groupthink.
          But sure, go on about how “others” are betas and insecure. I’m sure you’ll come up with something “original”

      2. I doubt the only masculinity wiener boy is familiar with is the weiners he fellates. Other than that it’s sounds like a bunch of big talk from someone who never did anything ‘masculine’ in his life. Which is a whole lot of the people around here.

  15. Observe the untethered Carlson, spinning wildly with no apparent center of gravity. The son of a government propagandist doesn’t fall far from the tree.

  16. Poor Tucker, he’s really gone off the rails. He’s concerned about a serious problem, which is what happens when the robots take over. However the solution isn’t socialism. It’s actually pretty simple, and is built into capitalism. Basically when you make enough money to retire, you do so and let others do the work. And there will always be enough work left for people to do. The problem however is that people tend not to retire and instead keep working. I honestly don’t understand that. Isn’t it better to troll the message boards all day and then take a leisurely break to shop at Walmart? You can learn the proper way to broil, and if you mess up so what? There’s always tomorrow.

    It’s the economic equivalent of the ‘Rapture’ – people make enough money to be liberated. In fact I would argue this is exactly what the prophets had in mind. Many people think the bible promoted socialism. Quite the opposite. It is deeply capitalistic, and I would be happy to have this debate if you promise not to devolve into spittle flecked bullying.

    1. ok, I’ll bite. How is the bible deeply capitalistic?

      1. And thou say in thine heart, “My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth.” But thou shalt remember the LORD thy G_d: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth. ? Deut 8:17

        This is actually a warning against socialism, which is the belief that you’re entitled to the wealth around you. You’re not. Also the whole point of the Bible is how to get into the Promised Land/Kingdom of Heaven. Though I argue that it’s actually a roadmap back to the very Garden of Eden.

        1. How does that reconcile with rich men having less odds of making it into the kingdom of heaven than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle?

          1. Good question! You have to look at the whole story. It was about a rich kid who didn’t want to give up all his wealth to follow Jesus. Jesus was really saying, you have to be willing to give up everything for me. Well I’m sure he was a good kid, but he just wasn’t ready. That’s ok.

            Another example is the parable of the vineyard. Jesus says, “Am I not allowed to pay you what we agreed to? Now take your penny and be on your way.” It’s a vindication of free market capitalism.

            Sometimes people say the “Render unto Caesar” line is a defense of government. They are wrong, and if they turned on their brain they would quickly realize why.

  17. After reading Carlson’s monologue I can see why it caused such a shitstorm. Tucker subtly suggests using government force to privilege de wimmens jus might have far more profound perfectly-foreseeable negative social consequences than were anticipated. I certainly don’t agree with much of what he wrote but I admire his courage for tiptoeing in that minefield.

    Now I gotta go see if Jack Baruth weighed in.

  18. Wow. The dance video must have really gotten to him.

  19. Actually it’s not “the bankers” per se, real power is being grabbed by credit card processing companies, Visa and MasterCard especially.

    1. And the railroads!

  20. In the film version of “The Swamp Thing” the hero, played by Ray Wise, creates a drug that makes everyone “more of what they are”. Trump does this to an entire country without having to use a drug on people. Carlson was a mediocre neocon who rarely said anything of significance. One dose of Trump and he stands revealed as an authoritarian asshole obsessed with what he sees as a degenerate population corrupted by immigrants.

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg was merely a progressive legal scholar but now she shows off her elitist views about the poor. The entire Democrat party reveals itself as having less diversity than the Borg. Ocasio-Cortez shows a level of ignorance that should embarrass a high school freshman. Ann Coulter shows that she actually is insane.

    Every one seems to become more of what they really are from just a small whiff of Trump.

    He may be a lying fool obsessed with himself, or an incompetent who couldn’t run a hot dog stand, or the greatest deal maker of all time. But irrespective of all the things he is or isn’t, Trump has shown Americans what their leaders really think, and for that he has performed a service for America that surpasses that of any other American politician.

    1. good points

    2. Cool.

    3. The only level of ignorance I see here is in your rantings of stupid. Ocasio-Cortez is a person that has all the ignorant republicans scrambling around ranting and crying lol…..it is funny to watch the ignorant rant and rave. They cant help being stupid and it is sad yet it is funny to watch the stupid ones try to anoint themselves as being smart ahahahahhaaha thats funny shit.

      1. akita96th|1.6.19 @ 7:23AM|#
        “The only level of ignorance I see here is in your rantings of stupid. Ocasio-Cortez is a person that has all the ignorant republicans scrambling around ranting and crying lol…..it is funny to watch the ignorant rant and rave. They cant help being stupid and it is sad yet it is funny to watch the stupid ones try to anoint themselves as being smart ahahahahhaaha thats funny shit.”

        High school sophomore? The “lol” is a tell.

    4. The only level of ignorance I see here is in your rantings of stupid. Ocasio-Cortez is a person that has all the ignorant republicans scrambling around ranting and crying lol…..it is funny to watch the ignorant rant and rave. They cant help being stupid and it is sad yet it is funny to watch the stupid ones try to anoint themselves as being smart ahahahahhaaha thats funny shit.

  21. I’ve never found anything Tucker Carlson said even mildly attractive. He has never been a friend of freedom as far as I can tell. He’s basically a medievalist.

    1. I actually think his debacle started when the bolshies targeted his home and threatened his wife a few months ago. Until then he was just an immigration restrictionist. But he started to radicalize after that. Also a few days later his kids got him into a bit of trouble at their country club. I think these events served to expose his misogyny. Soon after this he had an interview with Ben Shapiro where he said that we should restrict autonomous vehicles to protect truck drivers – the first signs of his anti-capitalism and appeals to his ‘deplorable’ low-achievement male base (which ironically doesn’t really exist). I condemn the threats of the bolshes, but I also think they did a good thing by flushing out his extremism. Give Ben Shapiro his spot.

      1. Sorry I meant this as a new comment, not a reply. One thing I would like to add however is that he is appealing to the ‘proud boy’ base, now that Gavin McInness had to bow out. He thinks they are motivated by economic anxiety, which is why he’s proposing all this crypto-socialist nonsense. But in fact they are motivated by fascism and anti-immigrant frenzy. It’s cute that he so profoundly misunderstands them. These pundits are victims of their own bs. #dontgethighoffurownsupply

      2. bolshies targeted his home and threatened his wife a few months ago.
        Good god time has flown, and I realized I spent most of that time programming a porn game. There must be more to life.

      3. WTF? Immigration restrictionist? Sorry unbridled immigration and open borders is economic suicide with a entitlement (SS/Medicare) system that is ready to implode. I am in favor of increasing immigration but not at the point of making this country insolvent and turning it into a third world crap hole which is what most progressives like yourself (who masquerade as Libertarians) are in favor of. We need responsible immigrants that are willing to assimilate if that resembles fascism then it proves my point you are really just a progressive.

        1. If we don’t have the will to not give people SS/MC, then we don’t have the will to build and staff a 2,000 mile long wall. Instead we need to abolish SS/MC, and if you disagree then YOU sir are the progressive trying to turn our country into a third world crap hole. Also as I’ve said many times. DREAMers should renounce welfare and medicaid and then Americans would have no excuse not to welcome them with open arms.

  22. Capitalism stinks because it doesn’t produce feelings of sharing, caring and love.

    1. You’re doing it wrong.

    2. I don’t think that was the point of Tucker’s monologue.

  23. I live and work with people who grew up in the Soviet Union and have been free since 1991. They may not be happy with everything in their lives now but barely surviving, never having a enough food or comfortable shelter never brought them happiness. Top that with constant worry that you were going to say the wrong thing or that your parents were going to be taken away in the middle of the night which would be the result of a government who controls everything and you have the recipe for misery.

    1. I wish most of the Progressive crowd would understand this.

      1. Sometimes I think they do. Control is so important to them that the misery caused by it would be worth it.

    2. Trump is trying to control everything. He to is a Russian cog in the wheel of treachery…Dont blame liberals for the russian loving republican party, treason is their reason for being.

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    1. Now THAT’S what I’d call “spam”…

      1. Yes, it is spam but that doesn’t make other spam less spammy.

  25. Propaganda works by making an issue emotional, so the facts don’t matter, then by inserting misinformation to achieve the desired mass psychosis.

    Are you afraid of losing your freedom? Have there been enough dubious assertions to convince you that only free market capitalization will allow you freedom? Then you swallowed the propaganda, hook line and sinker.

    If you can cast aside your brainwashing for a moment try to consider the real, tangible difference between capitalism and socialism.

    Socialism has more rules and regulations. No society exists without them but it’s not a case of more or less being better, it’s about having the right ones.

    Right and wrong, justice and corruption. Choose the right rules and your society will be just.

    Happiness is the knowledge not belief that your life is in order. Justice is based on truth, reality and the acceptance of which is a prerequisite for rational behaviour.

    If freedom from rules defined happiness in a free market there would be many more transactions at gunpoint.

    We define how our economy works. We have designed ours to work like a casino, where the elite are the house and recessions, depressions and interest keep the middle and lower class enslaved.

    We need the right rules to be free.

    1. “We need the right rules to be free.”

      Yes, non-arbitrary rules which limit themselves to their proper sphere and don’t single out any particular group or class for screwing.

    2. Wait, is it 1984?

      1. Being capable of only binary rhetorical responses is a symptom of brainwashing.

    3. All that BS proves how little you know about anything….SFB syndrome is what I call it.

  26. “Carlson began with several swipes against “bankers” who exploit the working class to line the pockets of spooky elites. If that anti-capitalist lingo sounds familiar, so does his contemptuous shrug at the ways free markets improve lives. ”

    Reason – Bank Bailouts are Free Markets

  27. Can’t see the forest for the trees. The American middle class, especially men, have been put upon by the federal government. The family is under assault by government regulation and parental rights are all but dead. Long term relationships (marriage) between men and women are declining as is the resulting children of these. Fatherhood has been redefined as paying “child support” with now 40% of children not living in their fathers house. The first generation os “single mother home” children are faced with a hostile environment so men forego marriage and children (living in mom’s basement) and women long for “marriageable men” as they earn more than the man who has no reason to earn, but can’t get past their biology to “marry up”. You would think Libertarians would understand he is talking about government regulated families making us all miserable.

    1. Yes, men are under attack. Young men are purposefully misled and become confused during puberty and adulthood.

      Men are tactile, problem solvers and athletic competitors who should be taught to embrace and develop their instincts, not be ashamed of them.

      Single mothers don’t have a fucking clue.

    2. Oh, good! I see you found the Jordan Peterson videos. You should watch the one on how to tell an ideologue. You would find it very enlightening.

    3. You are truly a simpleton judging by your comments….You are a cluless fuktard.

    4. Rules(laws) regulations have all come about because they needed to be. In the old days no one payed child support and fatherhood was no more dead then than it is now except then they could have children from all kinds of women and carry on like nothing happened. Men ran off from their wives and children all the time and the state had to take care of them..Is this your vision of the good old days with no stinking rules and regs… To say now is worse only proves how total stupidity has kidnapped yer fukn brain. Children were abused physically and sexually more so in the old days because no one cared to make it an issue. Women were abused more in the old days because no one wanted to get involved with a husband and a wife, even if the husband was a brute who loved to beat and subjugate his wife and in some cases kill or maim and still walk the streets…And yet no one really cared, so all those pesky laws were not there to protect them and I guess for you those are the good old days…right asshole.. To you total freedom means the right to fuk over someone anytime you want. Your a typical libertarian asshole. All that crap you have commented on shows what a major shit fer brains you really are. Your a trumpanzee with a batch of made up numbers to justify your lies.

  28. “Does anyone still believe that cheaper iPhones or more Amazon deliveries of plastic garbage from China are going to make us happy? They haven’t so far.”

    I would suggest O’l Tucker move to 1980’s Yuma for a few months. Then he’ll understand how cheaper iPhones and especially more deliveries of plastic garbage from China have made the people here happier. Its easy to talk about how material possessions are unimportant when you’ve got a lot of them and its easy to get more whenever you want.

    1. Historical materialism is definitely the way to go…

  29. “Freer markets and abundant, affordable imports, have made the average American wealthier than Rockefeller”

    While I agree somewhat with Carlson and somewhat with the author, the above statement is ludicrous on its face. While it is true that average American has access to a vast array of far more sophisticated consumer items than Rockefeller could even dream of in his time, to equate “the average American” with his socioeconomic position is pure stupidity. Hell, most of the alleged 1% aren’t even in his socioeconomic league.

    Rockefeller had the ABILITY to purchase the finest that his era had to offer. While true that it was rudimentary and inferior by today’s standards, at the time it was finest his world had to offer, and Rockefeller could do it with cash.

    Today’s “average American” can and likely does fill his/her home with 60″ flat screen tv’s, iPhones, X-Box’s, etc., (all the better to receive the mind-numbing spectacles of the circuses that will distract him/her) yet these wage slaves purchase these “fabulous” things through credit which further enslaves them to a system designed to keep them shackled.

    Adam Smith wrote The Wealth of Nations, which many claim to be the basis for western capitalism, but he first wrote Moral Sentiments. Without the former, the later will inevitably degenerate into tyranny. Reason argues strictly for the later, someone needs to be arguing for the former. Carlson may be a populist dolt, but at least he is skirting around the edges.

    1. Excellent point.

    2. Tucker’s point on wealth is that it is relative. It doesn’t matter if I have awesome stuff. If you have more awesome stuff than me, your rich. His point is that the disparity of wealth between rich and poor has become too extreme. The rich have way more awesome stuff than the poor and to a greater degree in recent memory than ever before.

      That this cash grab through capitalism is driving the middle class into obscurity, something I in California can personally attest too.

      His overarching point is that republic cannot last with a small ruling class and a large poor class. The poor will vote themselves socialism to “get even’ with the rich. While this wont work, it will create a distructive force that will destabilize a republic.

      If the capitalists want to spare america this horror show, they need to figure some way to grow the middle class.

      …cause capitalism is not working

      1. “His point is that the disparity of wealth between rich and poor has become too extreme.”
        Which is an opinion based on no objective measure; it is bullshit.

        “…cause capitalism is not working”
        More bullshit.
        Fuck off, slaver.

      2. Capitalism doesn’t work because greed doesn’t work.

        The greedy are never satisfied and the oppressed always eventually rise up against them. The days of throwing the oppressed some table scraps are numbered.

        The fix can only be the right rules and regulations which will be, quite correctly, perceived as opposing greed in favour of social justice.

        1. That’s something akin to what the French said…… right before “The Reign of Terror”

          I like Milton Friedman’s question to Phil Donahue. Where are you going to find these Angels.?

      3. We don’t have a Free Market economy. We have a Fascistic economy, or crony capitalism if you like. We have private ownership with defacto government control. Every industry is regulated from stem to stern , keel to mast tip by some government regulating authority and has been for decades and you pay tribute to the government to proceed.
        There is no such thing as too big to fail in the free market.

        Ronald Reagan was right when he said that governments mindset is, “If it moves, Tax it, if it keeps moving, regulate it, if it stops moving, subsidize it.”

  30. “Freedom?economic or personal?is not “created by human beings.” It’s the rightful, natural state of all persons.”

    You’re confusing the abstract idea of freedom with one’s practical, physical ability to do XYZ on planet earth which is very much determined by human beings. One has a “right” to economic freedom like a seal has a “right” not to get eaten by sharks.

  31. Things get a bit confusing surrounding the definition of capitalism when billionaire capitalists start funding bernie bro socialist political campaigns?

  32. Fucker Carlson. Amirite?

    /high five.

    It’s worth reminding, although conservatives have been mostly on the right side of the free speech coin these past few years and have formed some sort of an alliance with libertarians, conservatism is still a collectivist ideology too.

    There is but ONE ideology in the history of Western civilization that has puts individualism at the core of its principles: Classical liberalism.

    And classical liberalism died (murdered?) a long time ago. The liberals of today aren’t classical liberals. They’re progressives.

  33. If you want “quick access to 911,” you’re better off with a flip phone with physical buttons that work reliably and have minimal backlighting. What you don’t want is a big LCD screen that will spoil your night vision for 5-10 seconds after you look at it and alert everyone within 200 yards to the fact that you’re making a call.

  34. Carlson was pretty vague about this, but I’m curious what trade policies Sandefur would advocate as more favorable to free minds and markets. The politically viable ones don’t seem like winners:

    Trump without tariffs would have lost to Hillary and taken more votes from Johnson. So the LP would have an even more embarrassing defeat and the rest of us would have a weak Democratic president pinned to the ideological left by a fringe that almost denied her the endorsement.

    Alternately, if President Trump had changed his mind and asked Congress for tax reform without tariffs, the result would be another blue collar sop to offset the rest of the package, or smaller corporate tax cuts, or more debt, or better odds for Berniecrats in 2018.

    Now let’s play make-believe: Even an LP-controlled Congress and White House couldn’t cut Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security (10% of GDP) without forcing belt-tightening in the most remunerative parts of service economy. Trump supporters would love that: lower medical and dental bills combined with stable manufacturing wages (since nobody buys US-made goods unless they’re essential and price-competitive).

    Cutting training subsidies (education) would cause a lot of white-collar jobs would be automated overnight.

    Cutting the military would probably cause some client states to increase their military spending and domestic taxes, and others to seek protection from someone else (with concessions, since military empires don’t work for free).

  35. Please excuse my typos, which the CMS here won’t let me edit: Cutting entitlements would gut the most remunerative parts of *the* service economy, while cutting education would cause a lot of white-collar jobs *to* be automated overnight.

    Regardless of what the federal and state governments do, Trump supporters will get most of what they want. That’s not because Trump is a genius, but because he put his finger to the wind and realized that it was already blowing in this direction for concrete reasons that government can’t do anything about.

  36. Among our most important choices: discretion to dispose of our earnings as we wish. Excessive taxes remove that choice for everyone who pays them, and grants government freedom to dispose of those resources. Only moderate taxes can restore this fundamental freedom.

    Good article!

  37. The trouble with Tucker Carlson is he is Tucker Carlson a FOX news nobody who thinks he is an expert on all things conservative..Tucker Carlson is an expert in running his mouth hole on FOX dont call them news. He suffers like all conservative mouth holes from a debilitating disease called shit-fer-brains syndrome. If Tucker Carlson had a brain he would take it out and play with it.

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  39. Unfortunately for Reason Magazine, Tucker Carlson is not wrong.

  40. The banks are the Federal Reserve, the Federal Reserve is the banks. They/it are most certainly NOT market capitalism, and condemnation of such is most certainly NOT an attack on market capitalism.

    END THE FED, Does the author of this nonsense think that Ron Paul is against market capitalism?

    1. Limited liability corporations are not the free market either.

      They wail at tariffs as taxation. When do they wail at payroll taxes?

      The pattern is clear – Free Market at Reason means corporate profits.

  41. Is it okay to post part of this on my website basically post a hyperlink to this webpage?

    Pohon plastik

  42. The problem is that Reason thinks that China is a free market. Give me a break. Apple didn’t become one of the largest companies in the world by selling cheap iPhones. Maybe the US supporting Communism is why all the young folks are overwhelmingly supportive of socialism. China is proving that it works. It’s probably why wages are stagnant in America also. China being part of the market has dictated that.

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  44. Tucker’s comments were SPOT ON.

    Reason as usual is filled with unpersuasive gobbledy gook.

    1. The gobbledy gook is all yours.

  45. I think we should all be a little nervous whenever politicians and their media supporters start talking about the government’s supporting families. It is bad enough when the leftist politicians do it. (For them it usually means taking money from its rightful owners, keeping a nice cut for themselves, and distributing the rest to people they feel do not have enough of it.) But it can get really rough when the social conservatives do it. For them it often means forcibly interfering in people’s personal lives to support their notions of traditional “family values” and appropriate lifestyles. Besides, given our civil masters record of success on other things, having politicians and bureaucrats promoting “family” might not pay off very well for families. We are talking, after all, about people who could foul up a train wreck.

  46. First they come out with the nationalism, then they come out with the socialism. When the state of emergency comes I’m moving to Israel.

    1. Correct me if I am wrong, but Israel is a collectivist society?

      1. Israel is a terrorist apartheid occupied state.

        You should go there as a Palestinian.

  47. While you can’t really argue with anything the author says about the the virtues of the market and liberty, he seems to come off as most capital L libertarians do in that he seems to be overly Utopian.
    Libertarians seem to want to put the cart before the horse in some areas, especially when it comes to the border and immigration. Yes, if we lived in a perfect world then the free flow of people and capital across borders would be a great thing. But we live in a world that is far from perfect and people who actually believe in liberty are a distinct minority.

    The author claims that “Freedom is the rightful natural state of all persons” but it clearly is not. While it may be rightful, it clearly by any observation of the world at large, is not natural.
    The Declaration correctly observes that ” all experience has shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves”….

    The world is what it is and as much as I would love to live in a perfect world, alas, here we are.

    I don’t watch cable TV so I don’t know what Tucker advocates and I am not defending anyone. It just seems to me that we become our own worst enemies when we reject a slice of the cake because we can’t have the whole thing.

    I really need to clean this up and make my point clearer, but I have to go to work.
    Bye Yall.

  48. ‘Carlson’s prescription is clear: government management of the economy in order to force citizens into what politicians consider “happiness.”‘

    No. His prescription was modifying the tax code so that the worst destructive excesses of the current system, such as Bain Capital, do not get the opportunity to destroy jobs and families.

    The tax code picks winners and losers, and defines how entire sectors operate. One can define the tax code without government making any specific choices for anyone.

  49. Excellent, Mr. Sandefur. I haven’t followed Mr. Carlson very closely, so didn’t realize how horrible his view really are until now. I’m always amazed at how many self-appointed experts are certain that they can run people’s lives better than the individual persons themselves can. I’m even more amazed at how many people swallow that line and say “Yes, please run my life so I’ll be happier!”

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