Fox News

Don't Let Tucker Carlson Make You a Victim

Virtually everyone is better off because of market capitalism.

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The country is going to hell and laissez faire capitalism is to blame.

"Families are being crushed by markets," says Fox News personality Tucker Carlson. "The American worker is in crisis," says Republican consultant Oren Cass. "The opioid epidemic, in particular, has ravaged whole communities," says Hillbilly Elegy author J.D. Vance.

One thing is for sure: People are angry. "Voters around the world are revolting against leaders who won't improve their lives," as Carlson put it in his now-famous January 2 monologue. It's hard not to be filled with righteous fury at America's elites—after all, we're getting screwed. Aren't we?

In fact, the data suggest nothing of the sort. Decades of what Ben Shapiro called "supply and demand economics" have brought about miraculous gains in human well-being. These are most dramatic at a global level: In just 10 years, extreme poverty around the world has dropped from 18.1 to 8.6 percent. But contrary to the picture painted by Carlson and others, the United States has fared swimmingly as well.

According to the World Bank, infant mortality in the U.S. has plummeted from 26 per 1,000 live births in 1960 to 6 in 2017. Adult mortality fell by more than half over the same period, from 372 per 1,000 men to 180.

The opioid crisis is real and tragic, and it's right to be concerned by news that life expectancy in the last few years has started creeping down. But it's critical to keep these sad, scary developments in perspective. For all the problems America faces, we're still talking about a few tenths of a year shaved off people's time on Earth, on average. That's a matter of months measured against nearly a decade of additional longevity since 1960, achieved thanks to the wonders of the market.

U.S. life expectancy
FRED/World Bank

Losing sight of that context—the incredible gains not just in the developing world but here at home, and not just in terms of gross domestic product but in terms of real health-related outcomes—creates a strong knee-jerk temptation to start meddling with the mechanisms that have given us so much prosperity. To demand that government do something, anything, consequences be damned. What seems far more likely is that the consequences will damn us.

It's true that the country can be doing well at a macro level even as certain demographic groups or geographic communities suffer disproportionately. Like Vance, you may think that concentrated suffering is reasonable grounds for government intervention into the market. But the existence of suffering is by no means a dispositive case. Every policy involves tradeoffs. Sometimes the proposed solution is worse than the problem itself.

There is also honest disagreement stemming from a real lack of certainty about the cause of many social problems. Why has it suddenly become trendy to assume market failure is at the root? Given global capitalism's positive decadeslong track record, isn't it possible, and even highly likely, that recent discomfiting trends have some other explanation? Interestingly, folks on the right didn't seem to have trouble accepting that cultural dysfunction and government interference were combining to trap people in poverty when the people in question were inner-city ethnic minorities. Only now that it's mostly rural, Republican-leaning whites who are struggling have they decided that too much laissez faire is definitely to blame.

Conservatives often complain that the left turns a blind eye to facts that don't fit its preferred political narrative. They're right, but they're just as guilty. They say people are dying but ignore how much longer we're still living. They say middle-class wages are stagnating but ignore the fact that cheaper goods have increased families' purchasing power and made it harder over time for the super-rich to buy a better quality of life than the average American. They say the market is failing you but ignore the reality that you're astonishingly more likely to be among the winners under capitalism than among the losers—and that, if history is any guide, even short-run losers win big over the long haul.

Arguably the most disappointing thing about this development on the right is how thoroughly it buys into "victimhood culture." But maybe that's how we ended up with such a striking disconnect between empirical reality and public perceptions: If the only route to social status is by claiming to suffer oppression, the surest route to popularity will be by convincing people that they, too, are oppressed.

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233 responses to “Don't Let Tucker Carlson Make You a Victim

  1. You didn’t listen to everything Carlson said did you. a portion of what he was referring to was the elites over regulating us for the “benifit” of planet over humans

    1. She heard it. She just chooses to ignore it.

    2. You didn’t respond to everything she wrote, how is that fair of you?

      She chose one topic of his rant. That’s a perfectly normal way to respond.

      I suppose your comments is a perfectly normal way to respond too, but yours is just stupid and whiny.

      1. Damn triggered…

    3. She made a rather weaselly response to one of his statements.
      Yes, things have gotten better than they were in the 1960’s, but that’s largely due to efforts that ceased by the 1970’s. Western society is only coasting now on the achievements of everyone born before 1940, and it won’t last for much longer.

      I disagree with his solutions, but Carlson’s diagnosis is correct, as are the root causes he cites.

      1. Western society is only coasting now on the achievements of everyone born before 1940,

        True

      2. “Yes, things have gotten better than they were in the 1960’s, but that’s largely due to efforts that ceased by the 1970’s.”

        I can personally vouch for that after working for a decade at an R&D company that was behind many of the advances that Reason touts (accurately) as market successes. You couldn’t make the lens in an iPhone without the hydrostatic spindles that our founders developed in the 1960s (a 2-3 order of magnitude improvement in accuracy over everything else in the world at the time), nor could you make the hard drives, SSDs and integrated circuits serving up Reason.com, Amazon.com or Google Maps.

        The enabling change was an across-the-board improvement in manufacturing accuracy. A 0.010″ circularity tolerance was considered tight in 1940, but by ’70 we could hit 0.000010″ if we needed to. That hasn’t moved much, with subsequent gains coming from broader adoption rather than new capabilities. So it’s not surprising that the VLSI industry is choking on every die shrink, or that Intel and GlobalFoundries lost the performance crown to TSMC.

        Another catch: Our company started out in the ’40s making salon hair dryers because that was the only work available. Other major players had similar histories. Reason is absolutely right that a minimum wage can kill entry level jobs, but outsourcing can kill entry level business opportunities.

        1. Fairly common for outsourcing to occur because of artificially inflated costs in wages, capital expenditures and other variable and fixed costs. Outsourcing is sometimes the only way for a business opportunity to survive. Even in the event it is used not for survival but simply to improve profitability, outsourcing can lead to new entry level business opportunities from the money saved. Take it one step further and the costs consumers save via the seller outsourcing can in turn create entry level business operations for the buyer.

          1. I agree with you on capital expenditures, but is outsourcing to a managed economy a long-term solution to that? If China lets you build a factory with less hassle today, that’s great. But they’re likely to become as bad as the US or worse in short order (if they aren’t already). At that point you’ll have even fewer options for redress than you do here, and no domestic talent to run a comparable plant here. That’s not a good BATNA.

            The best examples of artificially inflated labor costs that I can think of are in white collar industries with legal barriers to outsourcing. If you run a clinic, you’re required by statute to hire doctors and nurses who are certified by professional boards that function like unions. (Their members are chosen by the workers they’re supposed to regulate, they’re not answerable to management or customers, they almost never revoke licenses and they rely on process-compliance rather than outcomes to determine if a worker is qualified.)

            A Costa Rican doctor who delivers better patient outcomes while being paid one-third of what a US doctor makes can’t even offer online consultations to US patients. If that doctor becomes a permanent US resident or a naturalized US citizen, he/she can’t practice here.

        2. U.S. innovation still continues, just maybe not in the field in which you used to work. Look at fracking, or oil drilling. Texas produces more than ever, thanks to innovation. You sound just like the “peak oil” progressives. You see what you want to see.

          1. You’re forgetting that fracking was delayed by the abundance of cheaper alternatives, not by physical barriers to using it. Maybe you meant robotic horizontal drilling, but in that case you’re talking about a follow-on effect of improvements that predate Baby Boomers’ entry into the workforce and were pretty refined decades ago (like high strength stainless steels, fiber optics, semiconductors and VLSI). It’s also something that was held up by lack of need as much as by lack of technology.

    4. I didn’t watch Carlson’s spot but if he said “Voters around the world are revolting against leaders who won’t improve their lives”, he surely wasn’t suggesting that more AOC sorts of rulers (“leaders”) is the solution. I’m nearly certain that he was noting that our rulers CAN’T improve the lives of those they rule and they must get out of the way! Sadly, those who are ruled often think the solutions lie in more of the same.

  2. Why has it suddenly become trendy to assume market failure is at the root?

    Suddenly?

  3. Tucker Carlson is a fat-headed opportunist who realizes now is not the time to buck the conventional wisdom that Government Almighty is the source of All The Things. He’s just another windbag whining and complaining that “the market” has failed because it only gives people what they want rather than what they should want and would want if only they were as smart as Tucker Carlson.

  4. No. Not everyone or even virtually everyone is better off because of market capitalism. To claim that is to show a complete misunderstanding of what market capitalism is and indeed what markets are and how they work. The freeer a market is the more efficient it will be and the more overall wealth it will produce in the aggregate. Individual results, however may vary. Lots of bad and unfair things happen in markets because lots of bad and unfair things happen in life. Just because the market degrees something doesn’t mean it is fair or just.

    This is the point that market enthusiasts have completely lost sight of. The laws of economics are laws of mass behavior in individuals. They tell you what results different policiies and the market if left alone will produce. They say nothing about the relative value of those results. Just because something happens because the market doesn’t give that effect any moral weight. The market is not the word of God.

    1. At least you said enthusiast instead of fundamentalist.

    2. Of course it’s true that not every market outcome is fair or good for everyone.
      But the plain historical fact is that market capitalism is the only thing that has ever improved the material condition of very large numbers of people. And I don’t think anything else can continue that trend long-term.
      I’m not sure it’s really even possible to answer the question of whether everyone is better off because of capitalism.

      1. Not only that, a free market has a bias of more rewards for people who make better individual decisions, and less rewards (or other kinds of “rewards”) for people who screw up.

        Now if there was only a political philosophy for those of us who like this.

      2. “But the plain historical fact is that market capitalism is the only thing that has ever improved the material condition of very large numbers of people.”

        I dunno.
        Imperialism did too.
        Of course, the two kinda go hand-in-hand

    3. The market is not the word of God.

      For all intents and purposes, it might as well be.

      Unless you have some better means of organizing economic activity, markets are indeed the best option on the table at the moment. And especially when you speak of “redress”, markets had better be first and foremost in the calculation since you’ve already conceded that is the most optimal solution otherwise.

      But far be it from me to be a market absolutist. If you have a better means, lay it down. Otherwise you are letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.

    4. you could replace the words “market capitalism” in your entire rant with the word “individual freedom” and it would not change your meaning one bit. It also would not make you right. You reveal your distinctly collectivist mindset with your statement; making individual freedom incumbent upon whatever the collective wishes to allow.

      1. You don’t have any fucking clue what you are saying or even talking about. You don’t think individual freedom is the only and ultimate value of government. If you did., you would be an anarchist. And I bet you are not that. You just want your fucking pony.

  5. What Carlson was getting at but did a very poor job of explaining is that “the market says” is not an answer to the question of should we do something. The people at Reason don’t give a shit if some industry dies because of competition from China. Well, the people who lost thei jobs certainly care. And neither reason nor anyone else has the right to deprive them of moral standing to demand redress because whatever happened to them was the “result of the market”. That doesn’t mean we owe them redress or some policy to protect their jobs. It does, however, mean we owe them a better answer than “fuck you, the market says you had it coming”, which is the answer reason proposes.

    1. What answer is that exactly?

      1. The answer is it depends. Life is hard like that. Sometimes you give and intervene and other times you don’t. Figuring that out is why we have a Republic. Whether an answer is right or wrong depends on your values. And since we all different values and different perceptions even if we share similar values, no one answer will satisfy everyone. The art of having a Republic is to find an answer that everyone can live with.

        1. Nicely put.

        2. Great, but how de we reconcile your intelligent framing with the full-retard partisanship that now owns American politics?

          1. I agree with both John and Earth Skeptic on this. In John’s defense, the economy is *already* managed by full-retard partisans who coddle darling industries at public expense while being overtly hostile to industries that have held up very well under global competition.

            That hostility was perfectly summed up when Gary Cohn told Trump “I can sit in a nice office with air conditioning and a desk, or stand on my feet eight hours a day. Which one would you do for the same pay?”

            *Nobody* stands all day in factories. My lab at an instrumentation maker was cleaner than an operating room (literally, and by a wide margin). I could have climate control to a tenth of a degree Fahrenheit if I needed it. The guys in the factory were well-paid technicians with good benefits, and the parts they made were worth more than a house.

            Cohn has never worked a day in his life with as much exposure to global competition as a

            1. ..CNC operator at a company like ours. We held a performance lead over everyone else in the world for over 30 years despite the fact that our competitors included giants like Canon (whose competing division had a bigger budget than our entire company and was formed in the first place because Canon viewed our equipment as too critical to their operations to be handled by a third-party supplier).

              A bailout suckling like Cohn has no business shorting the competitiveness of industries that consistently win on the global market. His own industry is distinguished by stasis and regulation.

          2. “the full-retard partisanship that now owns American politics”

            Isn’t that just a… market result?

        3. Well spoken John.

    2. “the market says” is not an answer to the question of should we do something

      We? Like collectively or do you mean “one” or “a person”?

      people who lost thei jobs … moral standing to demand redress

      Redress for what? Losing your job because of market forces is some kind of injustice?

      That doesn’t mean we owe them redress or some policy to protect their jobs.

      Oh ok.

      It does, however, mean we owe them a better answer

      Who is we and why do we owe anyone any answers?

      1. We? Like collectively or do you mean “one” or “a person”?

        Yes as in the Republic that we live in. If you want to be an anarchist and claim that governments are illegitimate, fine. But that is a different argument. As long as there are governments, they represent the collective “we” and owe a duty of care to their citizens.

        Redress for what? Losing your job because of market forces is some kind of injustice?

        Redress in the form of economic policies that will prevent them from losing their job. You want a policy that allows you to have cheap shit. They want a policy that lets you have a bit less cheap shit but them to keep their jobs. Why is your claim to cheap shit necessarily superior to their claim to keep their job? It isn’t. You just claim it is because FYTW and you want your cheap shit. And maybe you should get it. That is indeed the entire debate and I am not saying you are necessarily wrong anymore than they are.

        Who is we and why do we owe anyone any answers?

        The government that is supposed to represent and protect their interests. You seem to be an anarchist but not realize it.

        1. If you want to be an anarchist and claim that governments are illegitimate, fine. But that is a different argument. As long as there are governments, they represent the collective “we” and owe a duty of care to their citizens.

          It’s not a different argument. It’s the crux of this argument. You think some coercive monopoly that you’re not a part of, but that you’ve named “we,” should threaten people with physical harm to prevent them from participating in voluntary human interaction, aka market forces.

          Redress in the form of economic policies that will prevent them from losing their job.

          To do that, you have to threaten people into submission and physically punish noncompliance. Not only is this morally wrong, it usually comes with a raft of unintended consequence that cause people to want more and more intervention.

          You want a policy that allows you to have cheap shit.

          A want a society that values individual liberty. That may or may not result in cheap shit. It may reduce the standard of living for all I know.

          The government that is supposed to represent and protect their interests. You seem to be an anarchist but not realize it.

          I prefer that human interactions be as voluntary as possible. Call it whatever you want.

          1. Good for you. They disagree. And they live here to and they have a right to getting their way just as much as you do. You don’t like their preferred policy and they don’t like yours. Neither one of you has a right to call the other morally illegitimate such that they can never get their way. That is the part you don’t seem to understand You just are claiming moral superiority because your desired result is that of the market. And that is bullshit.

            1. Neither one of you has a right to call the other morally illegitimate such that they can never get their way.

              “Republicans for moral relativism”

              1. Yes Jeff. Nothing says thoughtfulness like claiming everyone who disagrees with you holds a morally illegitimate position. I will forgive you for that because I honestly don’t think you even understand your own position.

            2. You just are claiming moral superiority because your desired result is that of the market.

              The claim is that voluntary interaction is morally superior to forced submission. It has nothing to do with outcomes. You are focusing on outcomes. You believe you are so superior to others that you have a legitimate right to use threats of violence to get your way. Libertarians don’t operate under such illusions.

              I suppose you don’t care when you’re the one holding the gun, but the person on the receiving end would probably disagree. And rightfully so.

              1. Right. The market isn’t good because it’s the market and is infallible in producing optimal results. Libertarians (at least those that operate based on principle and not outcomes) think the market is good because it is the natural result of free individuals doing what they do. And it doesn’t hurt that it seems to work rather well overall.

                1. What John is saying is that often times, free market proponents don’t or refuse to recognize that “the market” doesn’t always work for everyone 100% of the time.

                  As such, it behooves us (as proponents of the free market) to be honest about this and not sound like callous autistic assholes.

                  Nothing is served by just saying “fuck them” when someone like Tony mentions how many people are killed by guns every year. But saying “It is a tragedy that so many people are killed by guns each year. Unfortunately, that is the price we must pay to maintain this freedom” might win over some hearts and minds.

                  1. As a Free Market person and Libertarian, I understand that free market does not always provide Americans with job security at the same company or same position.

                    This sucks but so does government butting into the market and causing some “unexpected” company to go under or people to lose their jobs.

                    The free market can allow the unemployed to jump right back into the job market. When government is too involved, it can make jumping back into the market more difficult (licensing for example)

                    The difference between me and the Anarchists, who are lying about being Libertarians, is that they dont even want government to help businesses by building roads or making sure employees will have a government to try and protect their property rights.

            3. Neither one of you has a right to call the other morally illegitimate such that they can never get their way.

              Sure, a free market with free people engaging in uncoerced voluntary transactions is morally equivalent to a heavily regulated market with coerced people engaging in distorted transactions!

              1. Little Keffy built another strawman in his art class! Your sure are a busy lil’ fella at your kindergarten, aren’t you?

                1. Fuck you, Last of the Shiteaters!

              2. in other words, you have already compromised your position so why not go all in on coercion?

                Not exactly a convincing argument.

          2. You think some coercive monopoly that you’re not a part of, but that you’ve named “we,” should threaten people with physical harm to prevent them from participating in voluntary human interaction, aka market forces.

            Where was this said?

            1. It wasn’t. But people are either incapable of understanding the point, as in Jeff’s case or just unwilling to do so becthey don’t like it in Juice’s case. So they just pretend that my point was something that it wasn’t but is easy to refute.

              1. You made good points John.

            2. We? Like collectively or do you mean “one” or “a person”?

              Yes as in the Republic that we live in.

              If We The Republic is our current form of government, then it is a coercive monopoly. If it is to provide “redress” for the result of market forces (voluntary human interaction), then it must cause involuntary human interaction. The main way it ultimately accomplishes this is to threaten people with physical harm. There may be intermediate threats, such as confiscation of property, but any resistance to that is met with physical force.

              1. If We The Republic is our current form of government, then it is a coercive monopoly
                any govt is a monopoly and even Libertopia would entail some of that.

                It was clearly stated that That doesn’t mean we owe them redress or some policy to protect their jobs.
                That reads suspiciously like NOT demanding redress, so it’s quite a leap from suggesting that “markets don’t always have good and great outcomes” leads to men with guns showing up.

        2. Redress in the form of economic policies that will prevent them from losing their job.

          Here’s a great economic policy that will accomplish that goal!

        3. That is indeed the entire debate and I am not saying you are necessarily wrong anymore than they are.

          I am.

          SEVERAL caveats aside, if the rules were agreeable and equally applied at the onset, you don’t get to flip the table because your oil change and lingerie shop didn’t pan out as planned. And unless you can point to a specific economic policy that singled you (or yous) out or gave someone else a special cutout, you are in the wrong, infringing on my right to do business with others without interference. Full stop. This isn’t a company town.

          You don’t get to be a capitalist when buying milk, but Marxist when buying eyeglasses. That won’t fly.

          1. But we don’t live in a free market utopia and the government DOES pick winners and losers.

            1. But that isn’t specific to markets, and would be a problem regardless of the economic system.

              And if you wanted to argue that the organization of government is batshit, I hear ya, and would sign you up for my newsletter for some bold experiments in governance that might yield better results (including the libertarian approved less government).

              But place the problem where it starts- government intrusion/corruption, and fix that instead of adding more complexity to the problem.

            2. Libertarians want to minimize then eliminate government picking the winners and losers in the market.

              The “unintended” consequences are never worth it. The consequences should be expected because it is impossible for politicians, economists, and TOP MEN to manage market forces better than the market between businesses and customers.

              Furthermore, Socialists are able to take “squishy” regulation turned picking winners and losers and completely fuck up an economy. Massive regulatory machines already jump that moral hurdle that Socialists normally need to get citizens to agree to.

              1. From every comment I have read from you on here, you are a died in the wool socialist parading as a libertarian.

                1. Poor trolls like Baron. They hate Libertarianism and any discussion of it.

          2. ^this Qsl.

            Libertarians are fine with tiny and limited government having minimal impact on society.

            Libertarians are not okay with the government going Socialist to save General Motors just because it provides thousands of jobs to Americans.

            In reality GM is run like shit, its vehicles are not nearly as good as they could be, and employee liabilities are outrageously burdensome to be competitive.

    3. It does, however, mean we owe them a better answer than “fuck you, the market says you had it coming”, which is the answer reason proposes.

      The Kevin Williamson “Move to the city and learn to code” solution.

      1. That article was very revealing of the almost religous nature of his thinking. Note he didn’t say those communities were going to die and there was nothing we could do even if we wanted to. He said they “deserved to die” meaning that their death is right and just. He was saying that since the market decreed the result it was automatically just.

        His thinking is also surprisingly Marxist when you think about it.Like Marx, Williamson believes that economics is the final word on events and the highest and most true motivation. Marx famously said that religion was the opium of the masses. What he meant was that things like tradition and religion and culture and community were just drugs that held people down and kept them from pursuing their real nature which is economics or class as Marx saw it. Williamson is saying largely the same thing only in different language. If you like your community or your family or your traditions, too bad. Those things are just opiates that keep you from pursuing the only just course which is to go wherever and do whatever the market demands of you. Instead of becoming the new Soviet Man as Marx demanded. Williamson demands everyone become “homoeconomicus and be willing to sacrifice anything necessary to meet the demands of the holy Market.

        1. That article was very revealing of the almost religous nature of his thinking. Note he didn’t say those communities were going to die and there was nothing we could do even if we wanted to. He said they “deserved to die” meaning that their death is right and just. He was saying that since the market decreed the result it was automatically just.

          Suppose Williamson believes that it is right and just that individuals’ liberty be protected above all else. This is obviously a non-empirical philosophical conclusion (and could be religious). Then yes, the consequence of that right and just system would also be right and just. You can disagree with it, but I don’t see it as necessarily believing “what the market decrees” so much as that the result of a just system is itself just.

          At any rate, there’s also the argument to be made that the right way to fix at least some of these ills is in churches, synagogues, and other elements of civil society, not government. I don’t think believing in that rather than federal intervention means that you don’t care or otherwise worship the market.

          1. What good is liberty is you are unable for whatever reason to enjoy the opportunity that comes with it? It is easy for some fat bastard like Williamson with his high paying job as a hack to wax philosophical about liberty. He will never suffer any of the consequences or risks that come with the policies he demands. If he did, he would be the first one crying about it.

            And you cannot magically solve social problems by telling people to go to church. You want people to behave in less dysfunctional ways, then ensure that doing so results in a better life. If your love of freedom and access to cheap shit results in large numbers of people with no realistic chance at a secure life no matter what they do, you preaching at them to get to church is going to be pissing in the wind

            1. Indeed. What good is liberty if it doesn’t produce the outcomes we’re looking for? Time for the government to step in and devise a plan to rearrange the economy in order to create those desired outcomes. Who knows, the plan may take as long as five years, but at least it would represent a great leap forward!

              1. Jesus Christ you are stupid. You really are. If there is no way to live a secure and better life no matter what you do, why would you bother to be responsible? Do you have any understanding of how life works or do you just wander around and emote?

                1. It’s not the government’s job to provide economic security for people. It’s the individual’s job to secure that for him/herself.

                  If there is no way to live a secure and better life no matter what you do

                  Under what conditions would this conditional be applicable?

                  There may be some people who cannot find a way to live a secure and better life based on their current location or circumstances. Hey, maybe these people should leave and find opportunities elsewhere! But wait we can’t say that, that’s too condescending and patronizing. Better to give welfare to the hillbillies so that they don’t feel belittled.

                  1. It’s not the government’s job to provide economic security for people.
                    So why argue against a point no one is making?

                    The govt can and does enact policies that make security more or less difficult to secure through taxes, regulation, and other means. I’d settle for rules re: harm done to third parties by negligence or malice, but even that is going to include some govt role.

                    When did this place reach the point that challenging the sanctity of the market became heresy? It’s an imperfect mechanism; that it is better than any other means of organizing an economy is also true, but the latter does not negate the former.

                    1. I don’t think that anyone is claiming that the market is perfect or sacred. Just that there isn’t anything better or more fair as an alternative.

                    2. Where is this free market yall speak of?
                      Sounds like a great idea in theory

                    3. Free market is exemplified in yard sales.

                      No government intervention unless your state requires taxes on all sales including second hand sales.

                      The seller sets the price and buyer either agrees to that price. If there is negotiation, then maybe an agreed upon price is reached. Payment is exchanged for the product or service.

                      The seller does not need a team of lawyers to sell. The buyer does not need a lawyer to enter into a simple verbal sales contract. The seller does not need an HR department to handle family helpers. The seller does not accountants to manage salary and tax collection for the state.

                      Obviously my example of yard sale does not scale for Corporations but its still an example of free market.

                  2. This comment reminds me of MNG for some reason.

              2. Indeed. What good is liberty if it doesn’t produce the outcomes we’re looking for? Time for the government to step in and devise a plan to rearrange the economy in order to create those desired outcomes.

                Sounds like a job for President Buttigieg!

                1. Sounds like a job for President Buttigieg!

                  Something tells me his Five Year Plan would represent a Great Leap Backwards.

              3. How the fuck did you get that from what he wrote? Genuinely curious because I didn’t get the sense that John was saying that liberty is only good if it produces the results that he wants.

            2. I think you are sort of missing the unseen side of things, John. Yes, some jobs could be saved at the cost of having slightly less cheap stuff. But those policies cause harm in all kinds of places too.
              Yes, it’s understandable that people who stand to lose their jobs because of trade think the way they do and want the policies they want. And you can’t just ignore or dismiss them. But you also have to ask whether their preferred policies do as much damage in other places as the policies they don’t like do to them.

              1. All this talk about measuring and comparing benefits is utilitarian.

                Allowing people to interact as they wish is libertarian. If you don’t like the outcome, gather some friends and help those with fewer benefits, it’s called charity. It’s voluntary.

                1. True, BigT, but there is a pretty small number of people you will convince with the pure principle argument. Most people want policies to be tailored to certain outcomes. You can’t sell libertarianism to people who aren’t temperamentally inclined to it without making the case that it provides outcomes at least as good as what people are used to.

                  1. Where does this exist?

              2. If you cock your head sideways and squint a bit, you could view creative destruction as an externality the market really doesn’t have a good answer for in the short term. Which, okay, but address that rather than throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

        2. What is the market but the collective result of the will of individuals exercising freedom to act upon their choices? If an act of an individual exercising their freedom is just, then how does it magically become unjust when it is aggregated? You are still stuck in socialist voodoo thinking; believing that somehow the rules change when we group things together. They don’t. You are confusing the morality of the individual act, with the system that allows it to occur. Once again, this is just what socialists do; group guilt. There are two levels of moral questions here that you are missing. There is the question of whether the act is moral, and then the question of whether the methodology is moral. This is where libertarians have the hardest time reaching conservatives and progs. They only can conceive of an act as having one moral dimension. They never consider that acts generally have multiple ones. From a methodological viewpoint, yes, the market is always just. Why? because the act of a person exercising their freedom is always just. This is what libertarians mean when they say the market is always right.
          You also are trying to act as if economic activity can somehow be separated from other aspects of life. Probably the only thing Marx was right about, was all actions being economic. Culture and community are economic activities, going to church is an economic activity. Everything you do is economic. It is simply “Human Action”.

          1. Looks like Baron is an ACA proponent

      2. “The Kevin Williamson “Move to the city and learn to code” solution.”

        That’s also a shitty answer. A decent coder needs to be in the top half of the IQ curve. The people that are struggling with jobs are largely in the bottom half of the IQ Curve.

        Now the Mike Rowe answer: “Learn how to weld, etc” is a far better answer.

        1. One of the points Carlson made is that not everyone is cut out to be a coder or to get paid to talk out of their asses about subjects they know nothing about the way Williamson does. The thinking behind our current trade policy was that we would open our markets up to any and all foreign competition and as a result ship our low margin manufacturing overseas and shift the economy towards higher return manufacturing and more than that services. The people who lost their jobs were supposed to magically retrain into different fields and be absorbed into the richer economy. Well it did not work that way. People are not fungible. And there are some big second order costs that come with assuming they are.

          1. Since no one can see the future, why not side with allowing people to be free? You have no idea what policies to help people keeps their jobs will do, what the hidden costs will be, what industries will not be developed, or technologies invented. I have no idea either. that is why I side with freedom.

            1. No, you side with the theory of markets.
              You’ve made no acknowledgment or specifications about reality vs your abstract idea

      3. Yeah, funny how the conservative solution of “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” only seems to apply to other people. When someone suggests that it may be applicable to conservatives too, then suddenly a giant freak-out ensues.

        1. You are running around this entire thread claiming just that. If you want to be a troll, pick an act and stick with it.

          And also spare me your racism. This will come as a surprise to you but lots of black people don’t live in the ghetto and have jobs in factories and places like that too. You have to be a first class racist to think that trade is a white issue because everyone knows black people never have jobs I guess. Amazing

          1. I didn’t say anything about black or white, John. But be honest. I’ve consumed my share of right-wing media too. And you know as well as I do that whenever the subject of inner-city poverty came up, at least in the Pre-Obama Era, the typical comments always trotted out were “it’s their own damn fault” and “they need to get their shit together” and preaching the gospel of personal responsibility. Now when the shoe is on the other foot, those same conservatives are blaming The Man for keeping them down and refusing to accept responsibility for their own choices. And you’re enabling it.

            1. Jeff, your inability to escape your entirely collectivist perspective is fascinating.

              1. dude, he is right for calling out conservatives as being whiny bitches though. They do pretend to be all for self-sufficiency but in reality they all want welfare and gifts from uncle sam.

                1. So you’re defending his collectivist whining with more collectivist whining?
                  Interesting choice

        2. Yeah, funny how the conservative solution of “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” only seems to apply to other people.

          Except autists like you seem to think that they didn’t do that to begin with.

        3. We can all agree that it’s hard to pull yourself up when the government’s got their boot on your neck.

          1. +100

          2. exactly. so how is the conservative solution of “putting a boot on the other guys neck” going to help?

    4. I’m seriously torn on this one. On the one hand, I generally view markets as a Good Thing. Likewise, we’re also talking about the people whose grandparents demanded labor unions and minimum wages, which made moving manufacturing off-shore attractive in the first place. So, given that the proles fucked with the market first, and the market responded by eventually fucking them in return, “fuck you, the market says you had it coming” is not an entirely illegitimate response.

      On the other hand, I apparently have a fundamentally different conception of liberty than libertarians. To the libertarian, liberty is apparently the freedom to trade with anyone in the world they please, on any terms of their hearts desire without regard to the effects to their local neighborhood.

      1. However, I tend to equate freedom with autonomy. The more self-sufficient I am, the better position I’m in to tell the rest of the world to fuck off if it doesn’t like my act. So, am I more free for having the ability to trade for exotic things from exotic lands, or am I more free for being able to tell the exotic people in those exotic lands they can kiss my shiny white ass, because I am not dependent on them for anything.

        Such as it is with nations. As long as we’re worshiping at the feet of the Founders today, I’ll point out that their preferred method of funding government was through tariffs. They did that for two reasons: 1, they preferred foreigners bear the expense of funding government than taxing their own citizens, and 2. they wanted to promote domestic industry in the interest of self-sufficiency. So I tend to think they were more in sympathy with my conception of liberty than the libertarian version.

        1. However, I tend to equate freedom with autonomy autarky.

          there, FIFY

          1. No you didn’t.
            You projected your own fantasy onto his statement. YOU, and nobody else, equated autonomy to autarky.

        2. being free is being able to make the choice yourself, whatever it may be. And leaving it at that. Your household is not my household.

    5. The countries that don’t have free markets are not places I would want to live.

      The simple fact is that the free market has a number of inseparable elements, some of which are beneficial and some of which are not. Carlson’s argument is like complaining about friction because I scraped my knee, without acknowledging that without it we wouldn’t be able to walk anywhere.

      He omits that the free market has brought a number of benefits (many of which are pointed out by the article above). Access to “cheap shit” means that almost every house can afford a refrigerator, which protects their health; it makes computers and cell phones affordable, which gives people access to education, the ability to apply for jobs anywhere in the country, and to keep in touch with friends and relatives.

      Second, he doesn’t mention a solution. The government could ban imported goods, or raise tariffs so high that nobody would ever buy foreign. Of course, there would either be easy workarounds or hugely oppressive punishment to enforce the rules.

      Third, automation is a huge threat to workers as well: it’s not just cheap overseas labor that puts Americans out of jobs. As computing power gets cheaper, more and more jobs will be done by machines. That’s an issue that requires serious thought, not trite anti-elite posturing.

      I feel bad for workers who end up unemployed, or farmers who end up selling milk at prices below cost because of extreme competition. But let’s hear some holistic solutions.

  6. The opioid crisis is real and tragic and there is absolutely nothing in the libertarian bag of tricks that would do anything about it.

    1. Yes there is. The opioid crisis is a direct result of government making opioids illegal, encouraging an unaccountable black market, where users of bad drugs have no recourse in courts, where no one dares test random samples like Consumer Reports.

      Opium poppies are as cultivated as maize, as wheat, as cattle and butter and apples. People have been using opioids for millennia without these problems. The opioid crisis didn’t happen until government got in the way.

      1. The human body processes natural opiods very well and they are extraordinarily safe to use. Synthetics and tainted black market opiods not so much.

    2. Contrary to popular opinion, libertarians aren’t utopians. We accept the world is an imperfect place and we can’t solve every social issue known to man. That being said, legalization would improve the situation because people wouldn’t be dropping dead from fentanyl.

      1. They are not Utopians in the sense of believing there is a physical Utopia. They are however pretty Utopian in the sense that they think their policies are morally justified regardless of the actual results they produce.

        1. Deontologists, in another word. Except none of them can agree on what the rules are.

          1. That’s a big word for you, Tony.

        2. “They are however pretty Utopian in the sense that they think their policies are morally justified regardless of the actual results they produce.”

          Pot meet kettle.

          No surprise since that sentence came from a Progressive Republican, I guess.

        3. i simply believe that morality is something an individual does, not a group.

    3. I think legalizing geef would give a lot of people better options.

    4. Why am I not surprised that you don’t see more freedom and liberty as a solution.

  7. Same old story. Government causes problems, statists blame everybody else, promise that more government is the solution. Rinse and repeat.

    It happens because bureaucracies expand. When there’s a small surplus of work leftover at the end of the week, someone sticks around and does it. When it reaches, say, 20 hours extra work, hire someone new — boss gets to look better, but now has to find make-work to fill in the surplus of labor. As more work comes in, some of the make-work disappears, but not all, and on it goes.

    Bureaucrats advance by increasing the size of their bureaucracy. Their only competition is other bureaucrats doing the same. Once one is promoted, he encourages his sub-bureaucrats to find more work.

    On and on it goes. Throw politics and coercion and monopoly into the mix, voila — the State!

    In markets, this kind of wastage results in bankruptcies, and nothing else ultimately keeps bureaucracies in check.

    Governments not only have no competition, they make the rules and hire the enforcers.

    The only solution is get rid of coercive monopoly governments.

    1. “Governments not only have no competition, they make the rules and hire the enforcers”

      Bingo. Like monopolies? Government is the ultimate monopoly. That’s one reason it is so inefficient, ineffective, and sclerotic.

  8. I love how for the last 100 years, Republicans were telling everyone who was poor to get off their asses and get a job, McDonalds and Walmart are hiring etc. Of course, now that working class white people are struggling, it’s everybody else’s fault. Either Mexicans are stealing “their” jobs or corporations are sending “their jobs” overseas.

    1. The Republicans who said that were sometimes wrong, though not always. What Republicans did do before the last 30 years or so was understand that lack of employment and opportunity produces social disfunction. Somehow, in the last 30 years, they got so greedy and so in love with cheap shit and their corporate donations that they convinced themselves that the causation was the other way around; that the reason why jobs were disappearing is becuase the people were dysfunctional and deserved to be unemployed. And that was fucked up and wrong. And part of what Carlson was talking about.

      1. because cheap shit helps produce more jobs and help poor people more than government programs

        1. No it doesn’t.

  9. And for anyone who thinks that any thought that goes deeper than “we must do whatever the market dictates” is some sort of Marxist, consider the case of Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson hated industry. He thought that a free society if it was going to last must consist of yohman farmers who all owned a stake in things and that such a society must avoid allowing industry to flourish at the expense of small agriculture.

    Jefferson I think was pretty wrong about that. I wouldn’t want to adopt his proposed policies. But that is not the point. The point is that Jefferson thought more about what a society should look like than ‘whatever the market degrees” and understood that there is more to political economy than treating the “free market’ as the word of God. The free market in Jefferson’s view was a means to the larger end of a stable and free soceity. There were more concerns than just having a free market.

    Jefferson is one of the greatest classical liberals of all time. One of the worst things that the Neocons, and yes, the total commitment to free trade on the right is the result of the dreaded Neocons, have done is to rewrite classical liberalism and specifically the Founders as some kind of radical liberatarians. They were not. And while Libertarianism may be a species of classical liberalsm, it is not the entirety of it.

    1. Jefferson et al admired self-reliance, individualism. That’s what those farmers epitomized in his day. Today the equivalent is the small businessman, the entrepreneur.

    2. Are you trying to say “whatever the market decrees”? Because you have said, twice now, “what the market degrees”.

  10. families are being crushed by markets wtf?

    1. “families are being crushed by people exercising their freedom” —-that is what they really mean.

      1. Status quo market distortion = freedom to you?

  11. Tucker is right.
    We are all victims of capitalism.
    We suffer horribly from the choices of food, clothing, houses, cars, etc. that are available to us all.
    If we were smart, we would allow all those wonderful, kind and prudent ruling elites to make our decisions for us like they do in such proletariat paradises like Cuba or North Korea.
    Then, and only then, will we be finally be free from the chains of choice and capitalism forever.

    1. Yeah because the two choices are total free market and North Korea. There are no graduants in between.

      1. Because you are only viewing it through your Progressive lenses, slaver.

  12. Some workers do get blindsided when “their” employer suddenly becomes non-competitive. I’ve audited a few, and worked at one, where it was obvious to me (if not to everyone else) that technology had passed the employer by and it wasn’t long for the world. I thought, “Get over your inertia and start looking for a better job.” In the one case, the shop guys’ union actually went out on strike for higher wages, the owner had to cave or lose everything immediately, then once some outstanding orders were shipped, he closed the doors just about the time the market for lathe operators tanked in the area. I’m sure the newly unemployed workers never blamed the guy they saw in the mirror every morning.

    1. Some people do really get screwed. There seems to be this idea that life is somehow fair and everyone who loses their jobs or their business somehow deserves it. Nothing could be further from the truth. The world is a nasty place. The market is a nasty thing. Plenty of people suffer all kinds of misfortune due to no fault of their own. And lots of very undeserving and awful people find great reward. That is how life works. You cannot say that the market is always just or that the free market benefits everyone. It just doesn’t. That doesn’t mean that the government should redress every wrong or embark on the impossible task of making life fair or just. But, free market advocates are dellusional if they think Markets give ideal results in every case. They don’t. If they did, life would be fair and it isn’t.

      1. As it has been said many times, Capitalism is the worst economic system except for all the rest.

      2. To be fair John, some American workers want to get paid a bunch and clock and out of their jobs.

        If you expect them to get more skills each year to make themselves more competitive, some of those people look at you sideways.

        Some people pick employment strategies where they have multiple skill sets and if laid off can seek a job in a field that is hiring. Some people pick employment strategies where drinking or smoking pot all weekend during their days off is their use of spare time.

        Why should people who plan for their job going away be punished via higher taxes to subsidize workers who didn’t plan well for being laid off?

        1. I’d wager that a good portion of white collar workers have fewer skills and do much less (unless you count screwing around on Facebook all day) productive work for their median salaries and employee benefits than the “unskilled” workers who punch a clock.
          But they have the right kinds of bullshit on their resumes and advance as a matter of course.
          Administrative bloat is a thing.

  13. Market capitalism is great. It does take a government, a general societal morality, and other institutions to make the construct work, though. Just don’t pretend that the market construct should extend beyond the U.S. borders as if there were a global government.

    1. Exactly that. One of the things that is often completely forgotten is the need for societal trust in order for markets to work. You have to have a society that has a monicum of honesty and trust in each other or free markets don’t work. I can’t do business if everyone in society thinks it is okay to steal or that it is a moral imperative not to associate with or do business with the rival tribe. I can do business but I won’t do it very efficiently and the market no matter how free won’t produce anything close to the amount of wealth and efficiency as it would in a society that isn’t tribal and does have a level of trust and shared morality.

      1. Think of how much more information we have, thanks to the internet, to know who we can trust to do business with and who we can’t. It’s harder to take advantage of people today. It’s usually people’s own greed that get them in trouble. Looking for that too good to be true deal. People’s greed is the con man’s best friend.

        1. It’s not really about doing business, AlmightyJB. The specific assertion being refuted here is something like this: “Market capitalism is great . . . and by that we mean in the international sense, of unilateral free trade, supranational governing bodies, and open borders.” Probably unilateral crippling of energy production, too.

          It’s pure bull shit. Sorry. And it is most definitely driven in part by greed, with many in power profiting handsomely as a result. Such greed is a good example of why a relatively more moral and scrupulous citizenry is obviously going to be generally better off than one that is less so.

          We won’t get into the more obvious societal cancers: the disintegration of the family, mass incarceration, shocking crime rates in areas, permanent government dependency supplanting jobs, drug addiction and overdoses, general dysfunction.

          Culturally and politically, your liberty and Constitutional freedoms are ultimately only as good as the level of general agreement on such principles (and many would say these are moral principles) among the people.

      2. markets lead to honesty, not the other way around.

        1. As the tech giants have so demonstrated…

  14. Too often, as I have frequently memorialized on these here pages, Reason scribes subscribe to a roseate vision of the overall economy that is narrow and shallow.

    For one, Reason fails to take into account the costs of having so many one-parent households.

    Two, Reason neglects to consider the costs of the pack of pachyderm in the parlor called two parents working. The cost to maintain a decent middle class standard of living have dramatically increased in the last fifty years. Part and parcel of maintaining that standard was ONE PARENT working, not both.

    Three, Reason overlooks the overall costs of taxes, regulatory compliance, and opportunity costs of servitude to government. Those costs have not gone down in the last fifty years.

    Four, Reason over emphasizes the labor hours necessary to purchase electronics factor in taking the temperature of the overall economic well being of folks. That it takes fewer hours of work to buy a stove or a computer or a Tee Vee should not be accorded too much weight in measuring how prosperous we are.

    Five, Reason undersells the fact that there are more Americans out of the workforce than at any other time.

    Six, Reason fails to account for the impact of debt upon economic growth, both public and private.

    Seven, Reason fails to account for the third-world infrastructure we have. Ever been to Boston’s Logan Airport? Driven the roads in and around Boston? NYC? The Garden State Parkway?

    1. All true. The reason staff fails to take into account the various societal structures that allow our markets to function as well as they do. In many ways they are just as obsessed with government as the Progressives they hate.

    2. The cost to maintain a decent middle class standard of living have dramatically increased in the last fifty years.

      Because the middle class lives a life of luxury compared to fifty years ago. And it naturally costs more. But if you want to buy what it required to live the standard of fifty years ago it will cost you a much smaller percentage of your income. Fact is that standards have gone up because we can buy a shitload more stuff with our money.

      1. sarc, I haven’t communicated with you in a couple of months, and you go and peddle that Postrelian pablum!

        How about two important aspects of life, health care and matriculating at an institution of higher learning?

        Do you doubt that you could have bought a whole lot more health care in 1964 than you can today? Most middle class folks, heck even poor folks, could afford to pay out of pocket for doctor visits and most medications. Not today.

        How about college? You could have bought a whole lot more progressive pablum peddled by red diaper doper babies in 1964 than you can today. And you did not have to emerge with a six figure debt to do so.

        Don’t get me wrong. I am, after all, blessed with a sunny disposition and believe that man can do great things and when we have a truly free enterprise society, we will have far greater prosperity.

        1. Government is the main culprit in both those calamities.

        2. Both of those things are government failures, not market failures.

          Had health insurance not been coupled to employment because of wage controls, and had health care been able to function as a market with transparent prices instead of the third party payer system encouraged by government programs, it would be a completely different world.

          However the quality of health care is much better than fifty years ago. I’m sure that affects the price.

          Ditto with college. Colleges based their budgets not on markets, but on government backed loans.

          It’s been beyond fuckered up, but not by liberty. Quite the opposite.

        3. I haven’t been here for a couple months because there’s no point. Used to be actual debates where I could learn something. Now people just shout insults, like “Postrelian pablum” without actually making an argument. This place is a boor.

        4. I haven’t been here for a couple months because there’s no point. Used to be actual debates where I could learn something. Now people just shout insults, like “Postrelian pablum” without actually making an argument. This place is a boor.

        5. I haven’t been here for a couple months because there’s no point. Used to be actual debates where I could learn something. Now people just shout insults, like “Postrelian pablum” without actually making an argument. This place is a boor.

          1. Well, I’ve missed you sarcasmic. Hope you are doing well.

          2. sarc, you post immediately following my comment regarding the cost of health care and college was somewhat of a non-sequitur.

            Why? My initial post concerned Reason’s failure to take into account a plethora of factors which I contend affect overall prosperity.

            Do you know me to be anti-free enterprise? There is no regular here who has been more stridently anarcho-free enterprise than me.

            However, just because one is a free-enterprise purist does not thereby mean that is incapable of observing economic reality, including the fact that not everything is peaches and semen for everybody.
            That government has caused the problems with health care and college education is not at issue and my post does not contend otherwise.

          3. And I didn’t shout any insults. Don’t you know that I like alliteration?

            1. Reason has had articles addressing all of your issues. They seem not to be as vigilant as in the past, and have more progressive apologetics, however.

        6. There was a lot less healthcare to buy in 1964, when life expectancy was 20 years less than it is today. When it comes to healthcare, like other things, it is much more luxurious today than in the past

          1. “There was a lot less healthcare to buy in 1964”
            I’m not so sure. It was different and less advanced healthcare but in 1964 doctors still made house calls.

            People died at home without leaving behind hundreds of thousands in medical bills to give them a few more months.

            Some of these medicines simply prolong the sedentary lifestyles of old people. I dont want to be confined to a lazy boy chair an extra 20 years just because of some expensive medicine.

            If a medicine helps me be active an extra 10 years, then great. I for one dont want to live past 75 years old. This fascination with 110 year olds laying under a blanket unable to move, but they’re still alive!

            1. Criticizing modern medicine for the fact that some people voluntarily waste their money on prolonging their lives seems a bit odd to me. (Personally I agree that it’s not a choice I would make, but it’s someone’s right to do so if they wish.)

    3. oh lord….not another person harping this whole “disintegration of the family” bullshit.

      1. That bullshit that creates the need for an ever expanding social safety net?

  15. I 100% agree with Buffet that healthcare is the tapeworm of the U.S. economy along with the destruction for the working class. Speaking from experience, the treatment for ruptured disc under Obamacare is opioids and possibly surgery after meeting your 7-10k deductible. Insurance policies do not cover MRIs, PT–only the opioids. A steroid shot in the back is now considered outpatient surgery and can cost up to $7-10k My 90 year old Mother had a ruptured disc back in the 1960s, while a steroid shot was performed by her primary physician for (at that time) $25 bucks, adjusted for inflation would be $140.00 today. Guess what–if you do not get the swelling down on your spinal cord (the steroid shot) it is so painful and dysfunctional that you might just end up an opioid addict, depressed with nothing to lose. I’m fortunate to have the capital and time to navigate this fucked up system. Poor construction workers usually do not have the same time and money and their life ends. Just. Like. That.

    I would not make the argument that everyone who ODs on opioids has a back injury. But damm if my guess is that it is at least 50-60%.

  16. Didn’t “free minds and free markets” Reason just publish a lengthy rant from a guy advocating that the federal government take over the housing market because black folks can’t figure shit out unless they live in “integrated”neighborhoods? Not a single Reason columnist has bothered to debate the topic. But Tucker Carlson is such a threat we’ve gotten two articles.

    1. Most staff at Reason are not Libertarians, so most of the articles skew Lefty or Anarchists positions.

    2. doesn’t change the fact that carlson is a socialist piece of shit and his argument is too.

  17. So libertarians really believe no crony capitalism exists? WTF is Obamacare? We don’t have to be blind to see the return on medical stocks since that law passed- highest growth stocks along with tech. Some of the mergers and aqs were the biggest deals in history on Wall Street The wealthy and middle class foot the bill for high school dropouts, illegal immigrants. The wealthy get it back on the gains, the middle gets fucked. I am an investor, but sometimes you only have to look right in front of you to see how to play the game.

    1. no. simply that gov “solutions” will only make that cronyism worse.

      1. “Muh status quo!”

      2. Well we should be promoting drowning that revolving door between Government and Fortune 500-1000 Corporate Boards in the bathtub (the Elizabeth Warren model) ?

  18. I had no idea that John was Tucker Carlson’s page boy. Now it’s all starting to make sense.

    1. You have no idea about a lot of things. But that is because you are an idiot. I have been thinking about this sort of thing for a long time. I understand what Carlson is getting at and don’t even think he did a particularly good job of it. But my opinion of Tucker Carlson has nothing to do with the issue at hand.

      Few things better sum up the state of your intellect than that you actually seem to think “you agree with Tucker Carlson ” is any kind of a meaningful argument much less one worth making

    2. “chemjeff radical individualist|1.23.19 @ 6:14PM|#

      I had no idea that John was Tucker Carlson’s page boy.”

      This is why I laugh when you bitch at me. You openly insult people then pretend to be deabting in good faith.

  19. The squirrels run this site. Comments get lost in the ether or I get logged out ten seconds after logging in. Fuck this. Comments are run by right winger anyway. There are no libertarians left.

    1. I am the only one. There can be only one.

      1. No true libertarian would claim that, therefore you can’t be.

        1. Would claim that they’re Libertarian?

          1. There can be only one.

            Either that or a poor attempt at a no true Scotsman joke by me.

  20. Government caused the overdose “crisis”

    1. In some ways yes. But the deeper problem is why so many people have become so nihilistic and self destructive that the fall prey to drugs legal or otherwise. I understand the harms of prohibition and all of the horrible things the government has done. But ultimately none of that matters if you are not interested in taking or abusing the drugs. The government made the problem worse but it didn’t create the underlying problem of people feeling so hopeless and self destructive

      1. Despair and hopelessness come after the drugs, which come after the govt policy that makes other treatment options damn near unaffordable, and after the emergence of black markets ready to fill the need for relief.

        A bit further up, middlefinger posted a reasonable synopsis of how people react to the options before them. Then as always, treating what may be a public health crisis as a criminal problem misses the point.

      2. Who cares if people OD on drugs? Its Darwinism. The USA should not be spending trillions to make addiction problems worse. Let families and local resources help addicts.

        We should have learned from the Prohibition and now the War on Drugs. Both are 100% proven failures. Both never stopped what they were intended to stop and actually caused far worse. Use of prohibited substances went up and gangs/Mafia got magnitudes stronger because of the bans.

        You cannot force people to not do things to themselves. The Nanny-State never works as designed.

      3. Good Lord, so you think the government should/could help people feel less “hopeless and self destructive”?

  21. The thing is, lots of people have failed under the current system.

    They aren’t going to just go away and die quietly, or move to another country. They’ll vote for policies to address their problems.

    And the question is going to be this – full blown socialism as pushed by AOC and Bernie Sanders, or the sort of half-ass pushed by Carlson?

    1. People fail under any system, and lots of people have succeeded under this one. More worrisome is that otherwise sane people would sign on to AOC or Sanders when there is a vast library that documents that abject failure of what those two prescribe.

      1. There are options other than Libertopia and socialism. If those on the right make the choice all or nothing then those people harmed by the current system are going to choose socialism. If you want to tell millions of people to go fuck themselves the market decrees it, you cannot then act surprised when they turn to people who don’t say that

        1. Re: John,

          There are options other than Libertopia and socialism

          Like for instance Trumpista Juche, John?

          Yeah, quite a choice.

          1. Trump really does live inside your head. There is no subject that you can’t relate to Trump and the horrible tortures he appearently subjects you to. You are crazier than Hihn.,

    2. Carlson isn’t as cute as AOC, so we go with AOC.

      1. Before the final determination, however, there really ought to be a dance-off.

  22. Like Vance, you may think that concentrated suffering is reasonable grounds for government intervention into the market. But the existence of suffering is by no means a dispositive case. Every policy involves tradeoffs.

    If you dismiss people’s problems as a mere policy trade-off for the greater good, you shouldn’t be surprised that what they hear is “I got mine, fuck you”.

  23. According to the World Bank, infant mortality in the U.S. has plummeted from 26 per 1,000 live births in 1960 to 6 in 2017. Adult mortality fell by more than half over the same period, from 372 per 1,000 men to 180.

    WTF?

    Still 100% last I checked

    1. I’d say it means per year, but the numbers are way too high. Maybe per 100,000 population?
      I’m pretty sure the adult lifetime mortality rate is still 1.

      1. This is a fair point, haha. But the World Bank does use that language, and defines it as “the probability of dying between the ages of 15 and 60.”

  24. Don’t Let Tucker Carlson Make You a Victim

    Trumpistas are merely preparing the ground for what’s coming: a Fascist coup d’etat perpetrated by a scared and paranoid Orange Potatoman, probably after he loses his reelection bid which will expose him to prosecution for being such a “good” and honest businessman. Between the myriad of excuses and platitudes from his Trumpista supporters will be that laissez-faire Capitalism has screwed the [white] American Worker? through the importation of cheap goods from China and brown people (yuck!) from “shithole” countries. And Trumpistas will believe it because at this point they’ll believe anything, going by what Trumpistas post here…

    1. Some American workers have faltered, but it largely occurred because of their lousy judgment and conduct. They chose a quick paycheck over an education, stuck with dying industries and declining towns against all evidence, sent their children to lousy schools, blamed others for their problems, and saw street pills, superstition, intolerance, tobacco, backwardness, alcohol, energy drinks, needles, and Donald Trump as solutions to their self-inflicted problems.

      I sense that successful, modern Americans and communities are becoming less sympathetic to the rural citizens and communities because of the hard turn toward bigotry and belligerent ignorance. I hope things get better for our less-successful people and communities, but I wonder whether some punishment must be inflicted before the subsidies and other assistance will be provided.

      1. Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland ? You sir are an idiot. What education you have received has not served you well. Perhaps you should try to get a refund. We have moved our manufacturing to Marxist slave states where an unhappy worker is sent off to a gulag. And even in our own country, 30 million uneducated unskilled illegal immigrants have invaded our towns and destroyed the local labor markets. I particularly find your smug assumption that someone who repairs automobiles, builds our homes and business places, grows our crops, is necessarily ignorant and has shown bad judgement . I see by the “reverend ” title in front of your name that you are a man of the cloth. As such you earn your dinner by pedaling lies and implausible stories to your congregation which bely reason. As such you are the one pedaling ignorance.

    2. And you are calling Trump paranoid??

      Look in a mirror.

  25. Sending American jobs to China is not an exercise in free market capitalism, but a greedy betrayal of our neighbor and nation. Free markets properly refer to enterprises within a single nation, not to the whole world.

    1. Are Chinese no more my neighbors than someone in Alabama or Alaska? Why should I feel some sort of made up allegiance to someone just because they were born in the same jurisdictional region as me?

      1. Human nature.
        But its apparent that you’re more familiar with abstract ideals and beholden to the status quo.
        So much so that you’re willing to consider current trade agreements with the likes of communist China as “free” market

    2. Free markets properly refer to enterprises within a single nation, not to the whole world.

      That’s a novel definition. Where’d you get that from? A market limited to one side of a national border is not any kind of free. Do you know what “free” means? Free means that you don’t stop people from engaging in the transactions they want to engage in. No, China is not a pure market economy (nor is the US). That doesn’t mean that no trade with China is more free than open trade with China.

      Trade does hurt some people. It also benefits a whole lot of people. I don’t want government picking winners and losers through trade policy any more than through any other coercive actions.

      1. Because that’s not the status quo already?

  26. Free markets properly refer to enterprises within a single nation, not to the whole world.

    I can’t even tell if this is sarcasm or not any more.

    1. I know. If anyone needed proof of the poison of nationalism, this is it.

  27. Carlson’s whining is great, because it reflects conservatives’ continuing loss of the culture war, but his cynical, hollow populism would be much better if delivered with his old bowtie and gold-buttoned prep blazer.

  28. The natural progression of companies in unregulated markets is towards a monopoly. Econ 101. I don’t know that we have many monopolies, but we certainly have oligopolies such as the Telcoms like Verizon and AT&T. They’re paying politicians to remove regulations (net neautrality), which increases their stronghold. They gave themselves a nice tax break, deficit be damned. I don’t have the figures, but I’m pretty sure middle class wages have not kept up with inflation over the last 20 years.

    1. “They’re paying politicians to remove regulations (net neautrality), which increases their stronghold.”

      Perfectly wrong. Net ‘neutrality’ freezes in place the current players by limiting alternate business models.

    2. You know, I heard the whole monopoly trope all through high school and undergrad. However, if one looks into it, the whole thing starts to fall apart. Can you name a single company that has ever achieved monopoly absent government intervention? I mean, we are told this scary story all through our youth, so it must be true, right? What other reason could politicians have to want to scare us into giving them more regulatory powers?

      1. Sorry Baron, but you’ll need to take this up with your fellow travelers who believe that Google and Facebook have monopolies.

      2. I don’t think many monopolies can naturally occur… And any that can probably can’t last for that long… IN A FREE MARKET.

        The problem is we don’t have a free market. We never have. We never will.

        That said, I do think we have seen many cases of businesses that have grown to the point of being so powerful and wealthy they can buy politicians. That they can manipulate markets to enough of a degree that it has some shitty outcomes, Google and FB would be 2 examples of this.

        One thing that occurred to be a few months back when discussing monopoly on here is: Okay, some company will eventually lose its power in basically 100% of cases. That’s cool… But if a company is doing something really shitty, how long exactly should we let them do their shitty thing before it’s a problem?

        Personally I think most monopolies don’t even matter. Who really cares if there is a hot dog monopoly or whatever? But with things like Google the nature of their business, and their clear political biases, worry me. I’m not saying we should do anything, merely that it is troubling in some ways. So at what point is something enough of a problem to do something? What if Google were advocating gassing all the Jews? Well, communism is WORSE than that, and they are shilling for it… Soooo… Just sayin’.

  29. “In just 10 years, extreme poverty around the world has dropped from 18.1 to 8.6 percent. But contrary to the picture painted by Carlson and others, the United States has fared swimmingly as well.”

    Notice how she’s not talking about rising income levels of poor Americans?

    Tucker’s point is that our supposed “free market” is tilted toward Americans who own, and against Americans who work, particularly on the issue of immigration.

    Refute that.

    1. Consumption rates are a better indicator of economic well-being than income. It reflects the value gained by dropping prices due to, amongst other things, cheap imports. Using this metric it is clear that poor Americans are far better off.
      Tucker’s point is wrong and simply more socialist propaganda.

      1. Wrong.

        Having a cheaper t-shirt is cool. But no longer being able to saaay own a home, pay for healthcare, etc are ultimately more important, and weigh on peoples minds more.

        We have cheaper widgets, but the lowest quintile is in fact worse off in many respects. Not in all, but in some of the important ones.

        And are you so daft that you don’t know the income rates are already adjusted for cost of living, which ALREADY captured the cost savings from cheaper imports? And it’s STILL down. And they fudge even the COL numbers by using a number of scams like substitution of hamburger for steak etc, which means it is probably worse than government numbers imply.

        People aren’t MASSIVELY worse off or anything, but if people can’t take care of the big things like buying a house, that is FAR more important than widgets.

        As far as things go, I’m doing fine. Suppressed wages help me as a business owner in many ways… You can tell people they’re better off with an iPhone than owning a home all you want, but the reality is people won’t buy that argument… And they’ll be pissed about not being able to buy a home. That is political reality, like it or not. The mob must be placated sometimes, it’s for the elites to find a smart way to placate them that does the least damage.

    2. Sounds like a good incentive for people to own stuff (i.e. save).

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  31. People simply can’t keep up when we’re doubling the money supply about every 11 years. That has very little to do with “capitalism”, however.

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  33. Tuck fucker!

  34. “Voters around the world are revolting against leaders who won’t improve their lives”
    That’s the problem right there. When we vote for leaders who will “improve our lives” by any means other than trying to get out of the way and let us achieve we’ll lose something (usually freedom) in the process.
    Improving our lives is our responsibility.

    1. Yes it is.
      And the revolt is against leaders who are doing anything but trying to get out of the way.

  35. Seriously? Carlson was not attacking capitalism but the arrogance of elites who refuse to accept any view other than what they think will keep them in power. Talk about a careful selection of facts. As for infant mortality, it has fallen for two reasons – better medical technology and a decreasing birth rate. Fewer babies being born means fewer babies dying. I realize Reason has decided to move left, so I should not be surprised they have begun to lie and misrepresent facts like all the other leftist media outlets

  36. Different nations have wildly different standards as to what will be counted as a dead infant. In decades past, this made the USA look very bad in comparison to nations where a baby is not even anything until maybe a week or two after emerging from the womb and they have decided whether to give it a name or drown it in a canal for some defect. New York state inches toward the latter standard, of course, with abortion on demand now unhinderably legal through full term.

    Will New York bureaucrats count an infant aborted at 35 weeks and 3 days as an infant mortality stat? Of course not. The deceased (likely dismembered) fetus is treated at the removal of a hangnail or a mole or something. Another American state might fight like hell to keep a 25 week preemie alive, and if that heroic effort fails, count the failure as an infant death.

    So be careful what you talk about when throwing infant mortality statistics around.

    At heart I am a poor Montana farm boy who admires and envies successful private entrepreneurs, has infinite compassion for small business people who fail and lose it all under crushing burdens of excess regulation and taxes, but who made it in life myself by plugging away on government payrolls, having a few good ideas, and investing very luckily.

  37. Funny. The author ignored everything Tucker said pretty much.

  38. Blame big government (government education system, excessive regulation (95,000 pages in the Federal Register), excessive taxation (75,000 page-long federal tax code), excessive spending ($22 trillion national debt), minimum wage laws, war, drug war and Federal Reserve), not free markets/capitalism.

  39. This has to be about the dumbest articles I’ve read. Why even write this article, just to shoot down Tucker’s ideas? You can’t just disagree, you have to show the world you disagree? Your points about the middle class just shows you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  40. Carlson is wrong about a number of things, but from what I’ve been able to glean, his beef is mainly with crony capitalism.

    So what if things have improved. That’s not the the metric we should solely judge the human condition by. Things have improved DESPITE the impositions of the state and those with their snouts deep in the public trough. The marijuana, ahem, liberalisation movement is a good case in point. We’ve exchanged the ability to legally smoke a joint for a raft of new taxes, regulations, education programs, and the black market thrives and the drug raids continue due to the taxes imposed, etc., etc.

    All those bright and shiny things. These aren’t the freedoms you’re looking for. Move along. Move along.

  41. The 2-minute No-Challenge rule needs to go.

  42. And I wonder what Slade would make of the Yellow Vests in France? Just a bunch of rabble-rousers miffed over higher fuel taxes? Sure, she could sympathise–taxes are bad, after all–but no doubt she’d miss the bigger point. Straws, camels, backs, breaking. But no, stop moaning already. Life is so much better. Don’t you know you can smoke your joint in peace and get a pizza delivered by drone in ten minutes or your money back? Your freedom, however, can’t be got back at any price.

    I no longer wonder at the effete snobbery of many on the Reason staff.

  43. Tucker Carlson has the economic mentality of a 5 year old, why would anyone listen to him? He’s just sucking Trump’s dick and promoting Trumponomics.

    1. How exactly would you improve upon what he said?

  44. We do not have a laissez faire capitalist economy. Decades of government meddling domestically and overseas has benefited certain sectors at the expense of others; specifically, multinational financial and manufacturing entities that are positioned to take advantage of the global marketplace. By making it more expensive to employ American workers domestically, by making large ares of the world safe for American corporations to do business, and by entering into trade agreements that favored foreign economic interest over the domestic interests, the U.S. government ensured that those multinational concerns reaped the lion’s share of the overall growth in the gross domestic product while the middle class went into debt trying to sustain the standard of living their parents and grandparents enjoyed.

  45. I am glad I don’t listen to Tucker Carlson. I am confused enough already.

  46. Using macro statistics misses a lot of information. A few billionaires become fabulously wealthy by moving manufacturing to slave nations while millions of workers remain in stagnant wages may still look fine on a macro GDP statistic. But it misses the malaise create by this type of policy. Free market is not “we buy someone else’s stuff with low tariffs, yet they refuse to buy our products unless they first apply massive tariffs and debilitating quotas are on our products. And allowing perhaps 30 million illegal uneducated undocumented unskilled workers to ross the southern border into our towns to compete with American workers ,while they also gobble up all of our entitlements; is not an example of a free market labor policy. Although, once again, it enriches those who purchase services at the expense of those who provide services. Which may look just fine on a macro scale.

    1. Well stated.

      1. Damn. Too bad this won’t let me edit my grammatical errors.

  47. It’s already been said, but this is retarded.

    Anybody who watches Tucker even semi regularly (which I barely even do that), knows he isn’t against capitalism.

    He IS again crony capitalism. Excessive regulation. High taxes. Moralist elites demanding everybody agree with their every insane whim on social issues. Etc.

    He does have a, GASP SHOCK HORROR, nationalist streak in him… Which frankly I agree with. I think that capitalism has to be tempered very slightly with some moral values of some sort… Because being completely amoral gets you shooting striking workers because you don’t want to give them a $.10 an hour wage hike.

    I don’t like what a lot of formerly American companies have done with giving zero consideration to America, their American workers, their American stock holders, etc. The reason “What is good for General Motors is good for America, and vice versa.” quote worked back then is because GM actually gave a shit about America, and wouldn’t sell out the country to increase short term profits 2.38% next quarter, even if it was on net worse for the country in the long term.

    I think much of the modern globalist mindset IS indeed good for short term gains, and maybe even midterm… But a lot of it is very much not LONG TERM good for the businesses, or the country. I’ve ranted on various reasons previously and won’t here, but sometimes short term interests and long term interests can be at odds with each other.

  48. I always get my Real-World Conditions Report from the World Bank. They are so impartial there!

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