American Dream

How the American Dream Became Unaffordable

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There's no denying that a big chunk of the economy feels pretty screwed up right now for millions of working-class and middle-class Americans. There's a widespread sense that obtaining housing, education, and health care was once fairly easy and cheap but has now become mind-bogglingly complex and expensive. Addressing anxiety around the increasing elusiveness of these building blocks of an archetypical American life is at the heart of virtually all rhetoric in the 2020 election cycle, with everyone from democratic socialist presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders to nationalist conservative Sen. Josh Hawley (R–Mo.) hastening to offer funeral orations for the American Dream—while also promising to resurrect it.

What follows is a forensic investigation into how the markets for health care, higher education, and residential housing got broken. The goal is not, in this issue, to offer a comprehensive set of solutions, though you'll see hints about possible remedies throughout. Nor is it to challenge the premise that times are tough. There is much to celebrate in the modern American economy, but pointing out the ways in which things are pretty good overall doesn't go far with people who feel like they are drowning.

Instead, we went looking for the moments at which these parts of our economy veered off track. When you reject the too-simple narrative about greedy corporations bleeding ordinary Americans dry, more complicated and (unfortunately) more intractable causes for the current crisis emerge. In each sector, well-intentioned efforts by the government to address real problems created the conditions for a vicious cycle of rent-seeking, cronyism, innovation suppression, crippled pricing mechanisms, spiraling spending, and growing debt. These are stories about how seemingly small policy changes can have big effects on incentives and choices down the line, for politicians and citizens alike.

If we're going to restructure American politics around restoring some version of the American Dream—as both Republicans and Democrats seem keen to do—we should at least know what we're facing and why. When you're trying to fix something, it's important to understand how it got broken in the first place.

For Reason's May 2020 issue deep-dive into how things got so bad, read:

Can't Afford Your Rent? Blame Herbert Hoover by Jonathan Rothwell

The feds pushed cities to implement zoning restrictions. High prices and social inequality were the inevitable results.

Student Loans Aren't Working by Mike Riggs

But free college won't fix this slow-moving catastrophe.

How Doctors Broke Health Care by Christy Ford Chapin

And politicians made things even worse

NEXT: Maternal Instincts, for Better and Worse, Drive Little Fires Everywhere

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  1. I think what we call the American Dream has changed over time. What we saw as the American Dream a century ago may not be what we consider the American Dream today.

    My question: What is the American Dream today?

    1. Well, mine is Scarlett Johansson showing up at my house in her Black Widow suit, a bottle of single malt in one hand and a box Arturo Fuente Hemmingway’s in the other. But, that’s just me.

      1. Quite the Dream. 🙂 And yes, she is absolutely stunning. Good heart, too.

        1. She is very beautiful and also seems nice and fun to be around. I can’t imagine how in the hell Ryan Reynolds let her go.

          1. He likes dudes.

    2. and that’s called an evasion, or worst …circular…you should work for Reason

      1. Words have meanings. You should learn some of them.

    3. We still have the dream. A place to call your own; hopefully that you call your own. A job that pays the bills that has some satisfaction. A family. A life. We have become too spoiled as a nation and a world. All this finger pointing and complaining. If you work hard, and plan for the future, the USA still has more opportunity than any other nation. And now is no exception, as we nosedive into a Recession/Depression. The worst part of relying on the government is that it makes us lazy, and forget that we need to be our own agents of change. Kids in school point at the teacher and say he didn’t teach me. Young people starting their working lives and refuse to plan and sacrifice to build a career. People with jobs complain that their company sucks. Voters hate their politicians, but hate them less than those they oppose, who they portray as 2d cartoon villains. Renters complain that the housing market is unfair, while refusing to consider more affordable adjacent options. We all live the in the greatest era of human history to date. We can talk magically across the world, and find info on everything. The internet is the dreamiest thing of all time. Including plenty of movies involving Scarlett Johansson.

      1. No. Everything is so terrible and unfair. That’s what they keep telling us. They wouldn’t lie, would they?

        Haha.

      2. forget that we need to be our own agents of change.

        THIS!!

        Self reliance used to be a near universal American ideal, going back to the pioneers and early settlers. Not now.

        Personal responsibility used to be ‘preached’ in our TV, schools, literature, and politics. No more.

        That’s the root of the problem.

        1. nail meet head

      3. This x100. It amazes me how people can subsequently decry lack of opportunity while turning down opportunities.

        One of my friends has been in the same dead-end job for 4 years now. On multiple occasions he had offers for employment, but they were never perfect. Some didn’t pay enough. Others were temporary to start. He still refuses to make any sacrifices and he’s in the same dead end job.

        I took a temporary job and within a year I became a permanent employee and entered management. My experience isn’t typical because we had an expansion that created the need for more management, but the fact remains that I didn’t sneer at the idea of working for a temp agency.

        So many people in this country complain about lack of opportunities and affordability and income inequality, but why do they refuse to move to the midwest? You can buy cheap land and homes out there. You can get great jobs where the pay carries you a lot farther due to reduced cost of living. These entitled fellow millenials then go on a bigoted tirade and prove they’re nothing more than coastal elites.

      4. “If you work hard, and plan for the future, the USA still has more opportunity than any other nation.”

        “There’s a widespread sense that obtaining housing, education, and health care was once fairly easy and cheap but has now become mind-bogglingly complex and expensive.”

        2 out of 3 for the USA. The American dream is quite easy to come by in Denmark, New Zealand etc…

    4. Another problem is that the American Dream was likely defined by what a 30 year old white male wanted. The country is different as is the world. So whatever the American Dream is today it is likely defined by a more diverse population that understands we live in a global world.

      1. Oh?
        Please tell us how what a “30 year old white male” wants is different from everyone else

        1. You are kidding? Maybe today at 30 year old white male wants the same as everyone else. But when I was a kid, a black man wanted the right to vote and women wanted to be taken seriously at work. The American Dream today is more diverse and more global, it not what it was when I was young.

          1. So you have no answer

            1. Nope, but plenty of feelz.

          2. Moderation….When you were a kid, black men did have the right to vote.

            Agree that the American Dream has changed over time. That is why I posed the question.

          3. when I was a kid, a black man wanted the right to vote

            How the fuck old are you?

    5. The American Dream is still functioning. It’s not the same dream for everyone but I see it working all the time. Example: my neighbor came from Mexico, bought the house across the street from me and several months ago bought the house next door. He is a carpenter and has other property (I heard). I asked his oldest son, “Did your dad study business?” The son said, “He didn’t go to school, just elementary school.” The father is always busy, has a wife, a grown daughter, an invalid child, and 3 sons.
      I know another man who came here from China with $200 and worked as a baker, then bought a very small bakery, put his two sons through the same private school as my son attended. Put his two sons through a private university. One became an engineer and the other one became an accountant. After a few years in the work force the two sons told their dad that they wanted to open a bakery . . . a bit of a shock to their old dad. My own father was an immigrant. Don’t try to tell me that the American Dream can’t be achieved. People are doing it every day.

      1. It can be achieved today, with limits. But it is order of magnitude more difficult than when I came of age in the ’50s and ’60s. Then, and for a 100 years prior, university was affordable, UC Berkeley tuition was zero, and living costs could be covered with a part time job. Employers paid for graduate school. I bought my first home for one and one half times my annual salary at the age of 30, and supported a wife and three children on my salary.
        “The three decades . . . from the mid forties to the mid seventies, were the golden age of manual labor.” Why were times so good for blue collar workers? To some extent they were helped by the state of the world economy. They were also helped by a scarcity of labor created by the severe immigration restrictions imposed by the [ Johnson�Reed ] Immigration Act of 1924.” Paul Krugman, Conscience of a Liberal, Chapter 3 (pages 48-49)

    6. What is the American Dream today?
      Depends on the American.
      Moreover, the important question of what happened to affordable homes is dodged in “Can’t Afford Your Rent? Blame Herbert Hoover.” which lays the blame on zoning. Nonsense. High home prices and zoning are both consequences of excessive population.

    7. I will explain it to you. In the fifties, when America manufactured what it consumed, most women stayed home and only the man worked. On his wage alone, they were able to buy a new home, a new Chevrolet, a new TV and a new refrigerator. Those who made more, purchased a new car every year. Those in the middle class purchased a car on the average of every three or four years. If you graduated from college you were guaranteed a job with good pay and the dollar had purchasing power. America made the best cars, the best refrigerators, the best TVs and the best appliances in the world.

      An immigrant family with nothing that immigrated to the US a few years before we did, had a new ranch home, a new Chevy and a savings account. Only the husband worked, he was an unskilled laborer in a steel mill, was paid well, had healthcare and retirement benefits. His wife stayed home and took care of the kids, there was no need to take them to a day care and pay a fortune for strangers to watch the kids. That was the American dream.

      Today, they devalued the dollar to the point where both husband and wife have to work and have to take the kids to day care, costing a fortune. Who benefits? Wall street because for the price of one worker in the fifties, they now have two working. And that didn’t satisfy their greed. They decided to take away health care benefits and retirement. And they still were not happy. There existed very cheap, virtual slave labor in some countries, the communists in China had plenty, millions of them in fact. It started with Nixon, who in the strategy to create a rift between communist China and the Soviet Union sent all steel manufacturing to the commies in China. The steel was so bad, US cars started rusting withing a couple of years. Some US steel workers facing the loss of good paying jobs, united to purchase one of the Steel plants in Pittsburgh, US Steel. Rather than have competition in the form of a US plant owned by workers, US steel decided not to sell, but to blow up the plant and the politicians gave them a tax credit for doing so.

      Today, while more and more billionaires are created, the purchasing power of the dollar has remained stagnant since the late seventies while prices for everything keeps going up. College graduates, who are in over their neck with college loans, a collective trillion and the next economic bust, work flipping burgers or pouring you coffee. With no employer health plan, workers have to decide between medicine or food. Buying a new car is no longer the norm, as most cannot afford it. So all the ads in the paper and TV are for leasing cars. Nothing is manufactured in the US. Everything, including medicines and essential health care products are made in communist China. The US does not even make its own pennicillin. The korona pandemic has shown how idiotic and dangerous it is to let someone else make everything you consume, for the shear pleasure of the 1% pocketing even more billions. It not only kills American jobs, as it has been shown, it kills people because you can’t get the vital medical devices needed to save American lives. So who allowed this to happen? Wall Street and its bought and paid for politicians who only care about more billions for the 1% rather than the well being of the American people.

      The steel mill where this immigrant worked is long gone. In fact in that Mahonning river valley, there were five steel mills, Bethlehem, Republic, Youngstown Sheet & Tube, US Steel and another I can’t recall, employing thousands of people. The gigantic dark factory buildings, lined up along the river valley, were all abandoned and stayed empty for years like solemn relics of a glorious past. Finally they were taken down. Their replacement? A huge jail, it is America’s new growth industry, privatized and their stocks gone public, a new financial instrument for Wall Street investors. How is that working out? Two judges in Pennsylvania were charged with taking a million each in bribes from private jail operators to stack the jails. Juveniles, first time offenders who usually get probation had the book thrown at them and jailed as serious criminals. You see, Wall Street does not make any money unless the jails are full.

      The American dream is on its last breath. Were it not for the huge borrowing on credit cards, that is nothing more than Wall Street’s legal Ponzi scheme, kept afloat by the Feds dumping more and more worthless paper money into the economy, the American dream would have died much sooner. Who is killing it? The gluttonous greed of Wall Street and the 1%.

  2. If you’re looking to politicians, of any party, to help you achieve the American dream, you’ve already lost.

    1. If your to politicians , of any party , to leave you alone , you’ve already lost.

    2. Policy matters.

      I’m guessing that the Globalist policies to offshore jobs and import labor supply and housing demand will not figure prominently in Reason’s explanations for why the American Dream became out of reach for Americans.

      The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 and the willful flouting of US immigration law has brought 30mil legal immigrants, 20 million illegal, *and their children*, of the total US population of 330mil.

      That’s a big shift to domestic labor supply and housing demand, *while* we offshored US manufacturing around the globe, inevitably pushing wages down, job security down, and housing prices up.

      Globalist policies aren’t the *only* reason the American Dream is increasingly out of reach, but they’re the *main* reason.

      Also, countries are people. Of course society changes when you change the people who make it up. Import Not Americans, become Not America.

      1. “What follows is a forensic investigation into how the markets for health care, higher education, and residential housing got broken.”

        As predicted, how Globalism pushed down wages and job security is entirely absent in the forensic investigation.

      2. Exactly

      3. I agree with that. I’m forever confused by Reason, as it appears to appeal to Libertarians in Name Only. Where did open borders ever come to be a libertian-defended liberty. So disappointing.

  3. OT, From what I have gathered from our governor and the lady doc here in Ohio, ‘opening’ the state economy will be like turning your water on enough so the pipes won’t freeze. Just opening the spigot to get a little stream .

  4. 25 years after Oklahoma City bombing, right-wing extremism in midst of resurgence

    On April 19, 1995, a truck bomb decimated the north face of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The blast killed 168 people, including 19 children, and injured hundreds.

    The brazen attack shocked the nation and exposed a subculture that had been gaining momentum while operating under the radar. And now, a quarter century after the horrific images of that morning were forever etched in people’s minds, experts say the right-wing extremist movement — which includes everything from the Patriot and militia groups to white nationalists and neo-Nazis — is in the midst of a resurgence.

    https://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/article242079441.html

    1. Looks like something resurrected from ten years ago warning about the Tea Party movement, which subsequently fizzled into nothingness upon the re-election of President Obama.

    2. We’ve been in a right-wing takeover of our country ever since 2016, if you haven’t noticed.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/08/18/the-breitbart-alt-right-just-took-over-the-gop/

      1. I expect the Trump/Bratfart crowd to replace July 4th with April 19 as Independence Day – the day citizens rose up against an oppressive US federal government. McVeigh will be their new Washington.

        1. I’m pretty sure it will be moved to January 20, because on that date, Trump will declare himself president for life and refuse to transition power to Joe Biden.

          Just wait and see. All the evidence is there for those who care enough to see it. I can’t remember how many psychiatrists have diagnosed Trump’s mental issues from his TV appearances.

          1. I recall people saying pretty much the same thing about Bill Clinton, G. W. Bush, and Obama. It’s pretty much a tradition at this point

            1. As is turd showing up to make an ass of himself. Again.

            2. This is not normal.

          2. It’s pretty funny that you think your whacky old uncle who can barely put together a coherent sentence will win. Alzheimer’s is a real bitch.

          3. I think all of the evidence points to a nations of fascists that came to power long before Trump was in office. But you may be too young to understand this.

            1. Nation not (s)

      2. The country has been listing to the Right ever since the late-1960’s, when President Nixon was first elected into power. This process continued under Jimmy Carter, and began to snowball under Ronald Reagan, continued to snowball with H. W. Bush Sr, George W. Bush, Obama, and now it’s even worse that Trump’s in office.

    3. “Communists are punching old ladies in the streets and Islamofascists an Eco-terrorists keep blowing people up; QUICK! hash up a distracting panic story from a thirty year old event!”

    4. Shorter Dildo: There’s so much right wing extremist violence right now, and here’s a single incident from 25 years ago to prove it!

    5. I see we’re now just believing in political fantasy at this point. One thing is for certain, a main symptom of COVID-19 is complete bat shit crazy political and societal analysis.

  5. last month I earned $10000 ultimate month by using operating online only for 3 to 5 hours on my computer and this was so smooth that i personally couldn’t accept as true with before working on this WEB CHK DETAILS JUST………..OPEN SITE

    1. Please tell that to those that lost their jobs due to Coronavirus and are not isolated in their homes with essentially, no way out.

  6. Field dispatch from state-controlled Soviet America, week 5:

    The peasants and serfs are slowly becoming more and more restless. We’re beginning to see more and more angry uprisings around the empire, especially in the governing zones where the local commissar has been especially iron-fisted. Having had a small taste of freedom, they resent having it snatched away. And funds are running low for many.

    As for the Weigelian scum in the government/media complex, they refuse to admit their costly errors, instead they are doubling down. In extreme cases, they are even resorting to dredging up old incidents such as the one in the Oklahoma City governing zone.

    1. Hey now. The government isnt at fault here. They are just “strongly suggesting” to social distance if you listen to the normal TDS crew here.

      Ignore actions like covering skate parks in sand, arrests, drones used to follow people walking in isolation, etc.

  7. way too much fed liquidity creating endless cycles of asset inflation

    1. This^. For all the attempts to fix blame on someone or other deciding to do this or that, virtually all the notions (correct) that the playing field is increasingly tilted arise from a money system that can only increase by creating debt that must be paid off in future. Not really the result of decisions/plans – but defending that system means rewarding those who currently own existing assets and have the connections to protect those assets – at the expense of those who either don’t or who are trying to create assets that can’t be protected.

      Unfortunately, the only notions of ‘money’ from the 19th century classical era that survived the transition to neo-classical/marginalist econ were the ones that reinforce the very problems that debt-based money creates. So they aren’t the solution to anything at all.

      1. “Unfortunately, the only notions of ‘money’ from the 19th century classical era that survived the transition to neo-classical/marginalist econ were the ones that reinforce the very problems that debt-based money creates. So they aren’t the solution to anything at all.”

        Steaming pile of shit.
        Tell us again how only fractional lending creates inflation, as opposed to the government printing office forgetting to turn off the press.

        1. I can’t figure out why your life is so pathetic that the only option you see is to attach yourself like toilet paper to the shoe of my comments

          1. Sevo is the shit that acts as an adhesive on that toilet paper.

            1. Still fucking your daddy, turd? Or have you found little kiddies more attractive?

          2. “I can’t figure out why your life is so pathetic that the only option you see is to attach yourself like toilet paper to the shoe of my comments”

            I can’t figure out why you assume to know what my life is like, other than that you are a lefty fucking ignoramus. Any fantasy that I ‘attach myself to your comments’ is hubris on your part; I tend to call bullshitters on bullshit, and oh, em, gee, do you EVER bullshit.
            Tell us again, you cowardly piece of lefty shit, how many million of people are gonna die if we don’t lock everybody up so you might not get sick.
            Fuck off and die.

      2. Hey JFree!
        Did you know the world’s flu cases now numbers ~2.4M (close to the number bandied about earlier for the US, you’ll note) and the world’s death toll is now ~170K people out of a population of 7.8Bn? Further the US death toll is the astounding number of ~40.5K, with the frightening increase of 2 people over the last 24 hours!!
        (Reason is blocking the cite; look it up)
        As a cowardly piece of shit, aren’t you proud of your efforts aimed at the ruination of the economy and the government imposed imprisonment of the entire population so YOU might not get sick?
        Stuff your I’M SCARED, MOMMY!!! Flag up your ass, stick first, sit on it, and please fuck off.

    2. Why do you bother with the sock puppets screech?

  8. “as both Republicans and Democrats seem keen to do“

    Oh, bull. True libertarians understand that Democrats cause problems and Republicans fix them. Reason will likely lay a share of the blame on Saint Reagan, which is completely unacceptable and proves that they all voted for Hillary. Nothing but TDS from this leftist rag.

    Did I get that right? C’mon cool kids. I’m trying to be like you here. Gimme some constructive feedback.

    1. It’s true.

      According to wingnut.com Democrats blew this year’s flu into a fake pandemic and manipulated Trump into signing off on a $4 trillion deficit.

      1. Ha! Russian stooges will believe anything.

        1. Russia? Seriously?

      2. The Democrats who refused to screen or close ports and then whined that Trump caused China’s flu by not closing down enough right before declaring Trump was a mad dictator for closing things down?

      3. Where does spending originate?

        1. Also, which party changed the filibuster so that all Senate business now requires 60 votes to pass?

    2. Something set you off man? I havent seen any of the standard people you deride as Trump worshipers post on here yet. Sometimes i wonder if your the same sarcasmic as from a few years ago, or if someone hijacked your name. But im not gonna go down that road and just assume your more vocal about certain things now. And depending on what issue your talking about, yes Democrats do cause alot of problems. Obamacare? The attempt to reduce individual rights?

      1. Did something set me off? Yeah. This place was overrun by loud conservatives and libertarians are no longer welcome because they are critical of the right, which makes them leftists. So I’m trying to praise Republican politicians and deride Democrats so I can be accepted into the cool clique. That or piss them off more. Yeah, I’m just trying to piss the asshats off.

        1. “…libertarians are no longer welcome because they are critical of the right, which makes them leftists…”

          You assume your definition of libertarian is the correct one.
          Bullshit.

          1. only True Libertarians like sevo and lovecon understand that the first tenant of libertarianism is defending whatever their favorite president does or says at any cost

            1. You do realize it was chipper and sarcasmic who started the one true libertarian game right? They began anyone who pointed out Trump who thought wasnt completely bad as trump cultists. They began the war of words, they just deny it.

              A real libertarian would recognize the decrease in regulations, better judges, and the fact that the democrats continually prove themselves more statist. But their hate for Trump superceded that.

              Sarcasmic now runs around lying about people as his primary means of argumentation, see his very first post here. He no longer provides any substance at all.

              1. A real libertarian would recognize the decrease in regulations, better judges, and the fact that the democrats continually prove themselves more statist.

                All bullshit.

                There are MORE country-of-origin requirements in the Con Man’s Mexico/Canada trade agreement and the economy hasn’t improved one fraction of a point in GDP since these fictional cuts took place The judges are all Aborto-Freaks – chosen because they want to impose MORE restrictions on women. The deficit has QUADRUPLED and his four-year term in near its end.

                But those Aborto-Freaks? Not libertarian.

                1. Right but you’re a pedophile who got banned for posting kiddie porn

                2. Because abortion and open borders are uncontroversial tenets of libertarianism? Bull shit.

                  1. Controversial? Always. But self determination and freedom of movement should not be.

                    I know the paleos differ.

                3. And don’t act like womenkind’s savior here. The only reason men defend abortion is because its convenient for baby men to have no responsibility. You just wish you could terminate your parental rights at will.

            2. Brain-dead ignoramuses likeMagnitogorsk make up these really strange combinations:
              “…only True Libertarians like sevo and lovecon…”

          2. Sevo’s definition of libertarian somehow includes enthusiastic support for Dear Leader Trump. Because blue party bad, so anything red party does is good.

            1. “Sevo’s definition of libertarian somehow includes enthusiastic support for Dear Leader Trump.”

              You bet!
              That’s if calling bullshit on TDS victims like this asshole = ‘enthusiastic support”!

        2. I hear ya man. There alot of facets to that particular issue, i would go onto more but im driving for work right now. Needless to say i understand. Hell lc1789 called you and i both socks ghe otherday because we dont agree with him. Wtf?

          1. I think it’s because you’re socks.

            1. Think what you like man. I use my initials for my handle, always have always will.

              1. Dan Halen? Big fan of your show. Your libertarian credentials are impeccable (second only to Early Cuyler).

                1. Before i started going bald i kinda looked like that.

                  1. Ha, that’s awesome. That show kills me.

              2. Derrick Haman
                Im from Indiana. Im not giving out my email because I know all the parade of terribles that could result from that.

                1. This schtick has been done before sock

        3. You literally yesterday said government wasnt forcing compliance, but simply using strong suggestions. You’re not a libertarian.

          1. “…You’re not a libertarian…”

            Well, it’s possible that there are libertarians as fucking stupid as that, but…

        4. The guy yesterday claiming the lockdown was merely a strong suggestion is deriding actual libertarians. How quaint.

          1. Not sure who said that, but it should only be a strong suggestion. And only in limited areas with high population density should it be required, but only enforced with ‘move along’ type statements, not fines or jail. Restaurants, bars, sports venues should be permitted to open if they have a distancing plan in place, as reviewed by local governments, and with PPEs for servers and attendants.

            That is, a measured response.

            1. “…Not sure who said that, but it should only be a strong suggestion…”

              A “strong suggestion” from the government is backed by guns.
              Are you naive or stupid?

        5. Yes, yes sarc – it’s everyone else’s fault that you’re a train wreck

      2. Sarcasmic is upset these days because 99% of the west (including even liberals) now understands the communist Chinese are evil, lying bastards who can’t be trusted to act as good faith world citizens and partners.

        Sarcasmic will be the absolute last westerner in the world who still has his mouth stuck on the communist Chinese cock.

    3. Pro tip: always call it “unreason”.

    4. “Did I get that right? C’mon cool kids. I’m trying to be like you here. Gimme some constructive feedback.”

      Nope — Still not a cool kid… Cool kids don’t post about their imaginary<keyword creations. Draw up a straw-men in their own heads and paint their own defined narratives around it. Then try topping that delusion by poking fun of it and pretending like their imagination is related to the cool kids without making a single point or basis of the "cool kids" stances.

      You'll need to start with a legitimate point made, an actual person (instead of an imagination), and focus on making a counterpoint instead of just trying to personally insult and poke fun.

      1. He doesnt know how to make counterpoints. Straight to attacks on morality.

    5. I’m not sure I’d go so far as to label anyone on these boards “cool kids.” (self-deprecation implied)

    6. I’m with you. All of I see is leftist calling themselves libertarians because it sounds cool.
      No libertarian I know would let the statist shills tell them what to do. They certainly wouldn’t get behind social distancing to save someone else. F you all. I’m not a goddamn collectivist. Go hide in your safe spaces and talk about Orange Man Bad and leave the world to those of us who can HANDLE IT.
      There’s no corona boogeyman!! It’s a faster spreading flu and nothing more you dopes. Next you’ll be arguing for vaccine mandates and additional welfare checks. Get the f back to work. Don’t let States tell you what to do.

  9. did the author say anything about monopsony, that is the ability of employers across an industry ability to suppress wages.

    7.78 minim wage is not a supply and demand equilibrium. too many thing prevent the employee from simply quitting and finding another job. transportation comes to mind.

    1. The minimum wage is not supposed to be a supply and demand equilibrium. It’s a federally regulated wage.

      1. I love the story about a boss telling his employee “I would love to pay you what you are worth, but the minimum wage gets in the way”.

        1. And that’s why we need Bernie Sanders.

          1. That’s why we’re mighty happy trolls like you have no currency.

          2. Haha. Maybe you do. Anyone who “needs” Bernie is a loser.

            1. Ya know, infantile egos like Koss probably, simply, do not understand the concept of ‘moral agency’; that once you are an adult, you have a moral duty to provide for yourself in ways not harmful to others.
              18-going-on-3; grow up.

        2. Problem here is that you get what you pay for. The boss pays minimum wage and expects his employees to work like he is paying them 3 times that amount. I have no expectations for what I get when I am at a business that pays minimum wage. I will get the minimum from the employee and little more.

          1. “Problem here is that you get what you pay for. The boss pays minimum wage and expects his employees to work like he is paying them 3 times that amount.”

            What are you, 18 years old? Your most responsible job maybe warehouse?
            It’s obvious you have never been in *any* sort of management, nor will you ever be.
            You.
            Are.
            Full
            Of.
            Shit.

          2. ” The boss pays minimum wage and expects his employees to work like he is paying them 3 times that amount.”

            And how’s your story going to get better by electing your ‘boss’ to receive legal dictative authority? You seem to so easily forget you can walk away from your ‘boss’ and search for the best ‘boss’ and highest wage around. If no-one thinks you’re worth more then it’s time to face reality — That’s all your worth to ‘bosses’! Maybe it’s time to see if your worth more to other individuals and just become your own boss…….. So many choices to chose from UNTIL you decide to elect your bossy criminal theft of a ‘boss’ as president/government…

            1. “…So many choices to chose from UNTIL you decide to elect your bossy criminal theft of a ‘boss’ as president/government…”

              In which case, adolescent idiots come face-to-face with the reality that the government offers no choice.
              Up against the wall, mf!

              1. +10000 🙂

          3. Moderation…There is something called pride, and earning your keep. Don’t discount that. Business owners can and should expect more from employees. In the same token, employers need to provide support and training to get what they are looking for.

    2. “did the author say anything about monopsony, that is the ability of employers across an industry ability to suppress wages.”

      No, since it’s not and never has been a problem.
      You.
      Are.
      Full.
      Of.
      Shit.

    3. did the author say anything about monopsony, that is the ability of employers across an industry ability to suppress wages.

      “Employers across an industry” is not a “monopsony”. So, no, he didn’t say anything about it because it doesn’t exist.

      too many thing prevent the employee from simply quitting and finding another job. transportation comes to mind.

      People can move for their jobs. What a concept!

      1. No. Everything is so terrible and unfair. Aren’t you paying attention?

        Haha.

  10. And here’s how it will remain unaffordable.
    CA’s ‘return to normalcy’ includes what seems to be a centrally planned economy schemed by a committee of Top Men:

    “Tom Steyer, four ex-governors to advise Newsom on path back from shutdown”
    […]
    “The recommendations of the task force also will aim to advance California’s environmental and racial equity goals. Its mission, in part, is to “shape a fair, green and prosperous future.”
    https://www.sfchronicle.com/politics/article/Tom-Steyer-four-ex-California-governors-to-15209004.php

    Thanks JFree, Hihn and the rest of you cowardly pieces of shit who managed to get the economy turned over to scum like Newsom.

    1. “shape a fair, green and prosperous future.”

      Which thing does not belong on this list?

      1. “Prosperous”; that happens without planning.
        In fact, planning is a good way to avoid prosperity.
        The other two *require* planning; they are arbitrary goals.

        1. Prosperous for Steyer and Newsom. Graft pays. At the fed level, the Biden family combined is now estimated at close to a billion.

      2. “shape a fair, green and prosperous future.” — The utopian propaganda ad painted on every-single-one of the worst disasters in history.

        Sell your souls to the [WE] foundation??? Mob-power = wealth???
        They’re all selling 3-worthless pennies for your dollar…

    2. Newsom is even goose stepping in that picture.

      California must be so proud.

      1. When the time comes to hang Newsom all that grease on his head will let him slip through the knot.

    3. Through mass immigration illegally imposed on the people of CA, contrary to their vote in Prop 187, the state that brought the US Nixon and Reagan is now a one party state, increasingly socialist in both the fascist and communist sense, like the rest of Latin America.

      Reason writers should be prevented from moving out of CA, and forced to reap what they helped to sow. Tellingly, they’re increasingly migrating to the Imperial Metropolis.

  11. “What follows is a forensic investigation into how the markets for health care, higher education, and residential housing got broken.”

    No need for ‘forensics’; it’s really quite simple.

    Give ONE person, say, a $5000 voucher to buy a car. That person will be able to buy a car for $5k less out of his own pocket.
    Give EVERYONE the $5k voucher and all the people selling cars will raise the price of the car by $5k.

    It works nearly as well if you loan everyone $5k to buy a car except that after the cars have been bought, they drop in value.

    Student loans enable textbook publishers, institutions and teachers to continually ask for higher prices, tuition and salaries. We had at least 4 decades of this.

    With housing, it’s the mortgages (banking, Fed), including the tax deductibility for those with high incomes, that enables continual price increases.

    Same with healthcare. Health ‘insurance’ (i.e., health maintenance), mandated or encouraged by government policy, enables pharmaceutical companies, medical equipment companies, medical personnel, etc. to continually demand higher prices and salaries, year after year, decade after decade.

    Some believe the FDA causes prices of approved drugs to be high. FDA approvals require hundreds of millions in drug testing but, without subsidizing these costs to the consumer via ‘insurance’, pharmaceutical companies would have to lower prices or go bankrupt. There is no such thing as ‘cost-push’ (price) inflation. If the demand (money) isn’t there, you can’t sell it.

    Enabling, the flip side of regulation, also works for food stamps. If you give them to enough people, food sellers can, and will, raise prices for everyone.

    1. Exactly. That’s why we need price controls. We can’t keep letting greedy corporations undo everything we’re trying to do.

      1. You can’t control prices of imported goods (like oil). The price controls of the ’70s, which ended for most things in ’74, continued for oil until ’81 when Reagan let them expire. The result was less production by US companies (shortage) and more imports from OPEC. After they were de-regulated, US production increased and we had glut in the mid-’80s.

        Why don’t you quit being so greedy for life, Earnesto. Just kill yourself and quit using up resources and polluting the planet.

        1. At least I’m not a selfish asshole.

          1. So prove it by killing yourself. You’re definitely an asshole.

          2. “At least I’m not a selfish asshole.”

            Fucking lefty ignoramus will have to suffice, I guess.

          3. Its pretty fucking selfish and diabolical when you do not allow poor people to purchase or stock up on basic living items, at 50% lower costs, because you hate *BIG BOX* corporations. You lefties love poverty and starvation.

      2. “We can’t keep letting greedy corporations undo everything we’re trying to do.”

        Yep, they keep getting in the way of universal poverty and a lack of toilet paper!
        Get ’em out of there; let the lefties deliver starvation, mass murder and shortages!

        1. “Bread lines are a good thing”- Bernie Sanders

        2. ……and that – dare I say – is probably the very root of their complete hatred of the “greedy corporations” they have for supplying them everything they could ever need and then some.

          Jealousy and Envy through-n-through… No time left to do anything else like be productive and positive on society.

  12. Well, I’m glad to hear that globalist progressive Reason has the answer to all our problems.

    (1) Tariff-free imports from countries with lower government-imposed labor costs while continuing to increase US labor costs.
    (2) Increasing debt and taxes to transfer money from working members of society to those thrown out of work by (1).
    (3) Widespread use of free abortion services provided by the government.
    (4) Swamp the country with impoverished, unskilled third world migrants through a policy of open borders.

    Between the lack of reproduction, getting high earners to leave the country, a wave of suicides and drug addiction, and a massive influx of new people, the US population will soon predominantly consist of desperate peasants whose “American dream” will be so modest that even a socialist government can meet it! It’s the Reason way!

    Anybody who opposes such policies is a “right wing nationalist” or something!

    1. Do you resent being labelled a right wing nationalist? What do you prefer to call someone who opposes points 1 through 4?

      1. They use to call them Republicans until RINO’S infected the platform at a 90% rate.

        1. Republicans have been in favor of free trade since WWII, at least, and the debt increased under Reagan dramatically. Nixon, Reagan and Bush did nothing to stop abortions, or immigration from less wealthy countries. ie Republicans support points 1 through 4. NOYB2 opposes points 1 through 4.

          1. NOYB2 Didn’t say free trade, do you need help reading what he wrote?

            1. I was curious about the apparent dislike of the term ‘right wing nationalist,’ and what would be the preferred term. So far no response.

              1. I’m a classical liberal.

                You’re obviously one of the many variants of illiberal, authoritarian collectivists.

                1. I prefer proto fascist, thank you.

                  1. Oh, how clever.

                    1. You can call me ‘Oh,’ but I really do prefer proto fascist.

                    2. Oh, how clever, asshole.

                  2. There’s likely nothing proto about it in your case.

                    1. What can I say? I just like the sound of proto.

          2. Bullshit. There was no free trade out of WWII, there was the Marshall plan to get Europe and Japan up on their feet as quickly as possible and out of the commie orbit.
            Europe was allowed to dump all their product in the US while maintaining high tariffs against US imports. Same with Japan, This went on through Nixon who sacrificed the US electronics industry to them. Reagan pulled the chain on automobiles, that’s the big reason they manufacture foreign makes here.

            1. No free trade? Of course not. No free markets either. That hasn’t stopped generations of politicians of all stripes to profess support for the both of them.

              1. From the nationalist perspective —
                If there’s going to be “free trade” wave it certainly should start right here at home (i.e. domestically) and not giving foreign countries a “free ride” ( generally subsidized ) while punishing our own.

                1. Are you also offended by the term ‘right wing nationalist? If so what would you prefer?

                  1. I’m not very offended by the term ‘right wing nationalist’ as long as it’s inherent definition doesn’t include any authoritative culture and/or social aspects. I think I prefer ‘Constitutionalist’ or just Republican (without the RINO aspects).

                    Frankly; I really prefer Patriotic ..Individual.. American.
                    Someone who believes in America’s definition (the U.S. Constitution) with a focus on Individual (not collective) justice and liberty where the ‘right’ flag flies — ‘Just leave us alone already!!!’

                    1. “I’m not very offended by the term ‘right wing nationalist’ ”

                      I honestly don’t see why you’d be offended at all by the term. Right wing can be for tariffs, free trade, and austerity (though sometimes not). Distrust and aversion to the poor and foreign seems to come naturally to the right wing. Nationalists are opposed to internationalists (usually leftists) or globalists (usually rightists). I don’t see anything to take offense at.

                      I like your term ‘Constitutionalist.’ It has some gravity and doesn’t really need further explanation. It’s also fairly neutral and non pejorative. ‘Republican’ is silly if (as you’ve done twice now) every time you call yourself a Republican you have to add “but not a Republican like Romney, McCain, Bush, Reagan, Nixon, Eisenhower, Hoover and the rest of those scum. I’m a real Republican.”

                      As for your preferred term, Patriotic individual American, I think it leaves a lot to be desired. First of all, American doesn’t tell us anything your ideas but instead your birth place, and not very precisely at that. ie Either North or South America. Patriotic, again not much in the way of ideas, but your love for your homeland. And individual, well I never suspected you were Siamese twins, so individual was always pretty much a given.

                    2. Perhaps the small offended would be the association of the word “nationalist” with a “Distrust and aversion to the poor and foreign”..

                      I’d like to think the right-wing had more focus on ‘individual’ justice as being granted *equally* to the poor and wealthy alike ( vs. sympathy exceptions/excuses for the poor and hateful legal-burglary on the wealthy) and dismissing any notion that an individuals ‘birth place’ (color, religion and/or sex) is of any overwhelming factor in how patriotic (“Constitutionalist”) an American can be.

                      I guess I equally associate the terms “Patriotic American” to “Constitutionalist”. After all; isn’t the U.S. Constitution suppose to be the very defining factor of what America really is?

                      As once said so perfectly well —

                      sparkstable
                      March.3.2020 at 3:11 pm

                      Equality without the qualifier as “equal in rights” or “equal before the law” is either an ignorant or (more likely the case among educated liberals) malicious obfuscation of the idea of equality.

                      Equality of outcomes is only possible in a world where equality of rights or equality before the law is thrown out the window.

                    3. mtrue really needs to give everyone a group label. This word, “individual” is either foreign or toxic to him.

              2. No free trade? Of course not. No free markets either.

                I favor free trade and free markets.

                Unilaterally dropping trade restrictions and tariffs with other countries while simultaneously imposing high labor costs and taxes on American business amounts to neither free trade nor free markets.

                That is, right wing or left wing or center, all American politicians oppose free trade and oppose free markets, even though most of them pretend to support them.

      2. Do you resent being labelled a right wing nationalist?

        Opposing (1-4) is the classical liberal stance; I’m a classical liberal.

        And, yes, I resent being called a “right wing nationalist”, in particular by proto-fascists.

    2. Anybody who opposes such policies is a “right wing nationalist” or something!

      When is the Boogaloo?

    3. “We’ll fix the low wages, job insecurity, and high housing costs caused by Globalism with more Globalism!”

  13. modern technology and medicine removing any natural tendencies for the population to stay “well-regulated” (using the 18th century definition) plus decades of government policy subsidizing breeding on the part of the already impoverished might have something to do with it as well.

    is it that the American dream is affordable, or that society is now filling up with people who couldn’t hope to achieve the American Dream if all it entailed was being able to do basic algebra?

    1. Math is racist

  14. Stop voting for socialist far left democrats and their ilk. Then you will see a return to normalcy.

    Cuomo is on TV telling us we should be worried because 507 people died in New York yesterday. Since the pop. of NY state is nearly 20 million, and 1% die each year, that is slightly more than 507 on average. In other words, the death rate will be exactly what it would have been otherwise without the scumbags forcing people out of jobs and into their homes for no reason. Fuck the left. They want people to afford shit, but they get them fired for nothing. It’s a fucking plan to force people into virtual slavery with the left in control.

    1. Urban intersectionalist, identitarian academic planners will save us all.

    2. How many people in total died in NY yesterday? Cuomo’s just cooking the books for a Fed bailout.

    3. “Stop voting for socialist far left democrats and their ilk.”

      Import Latin America, become Latin America.

      1. You’ve already become Europe, Asia and Africa. Becoming Latin America should be puer ludere.

  15. “In each sector, well-intention-ed efforts by the government to address real problems created the conditions for a vicious cycle of rent-seeking, cronyism, innovation suppression, crippled pricing mechanisms, spiraling spending, and growing debt.”

    … and repeated endlessly without a second to waste on realization that….

    “obtaining housing, education, and health care was once fairly easy and cheap but has now become mindbogglingly complex and expensive.”

    … Too many just keep ignoring what made this country great; The U.S. Constitution. And the more they plant seeds of communism instead of Constitutional Principles the worse it has/will get!!!!

    Great Article…

  16. The American dream is alive and well in the places the progs want to annex via force into their planning utopias.
    Interesting that it happens to be the states/metros run by a majority of progressives that are fucked up. Highest tax rates, fees, green/race mandates and bans in the country and everyone is happy and fulfilled. For all of that forced redistribution, at least the progressive top men can handle an epidemic or have the least amount of homeless, poverty and desperate.
    OH WAIT..

    1. Chicago and Detroit are New Edens!

  17. Radio news:
    Marin County ‘strongly suggests’ face masks…………………
    $50 – $1,000 fine if you’re not wearing one.

    1. Are they hard to come by?

      The government is good to proclaim laws and let people twist in the wind. By all accounts, it’s hard to get your hands on them.

    2. Pretty strong suggestion

      1. Don’t they light their cigars with Franklins in Marin? So no biggie.

        1. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0081485/

          One of the best, early Martin Mull flicks……

          Full disclosure: More than half of,my late father’s family along with my many of my mother’s as well live in Marin County, CA. None of them were born or raised there.

  18. First off that depends what your dream is. If it’s to have a better quality of life than most humans throughout history or around the world, that’s very obtainable in modern day America.

    If your dream is to have more stuff than everyone around you and having less stuff than anybody upsets you:
    1) You’ve let your jealousy and envy consume you.
    2) You are severely lacking in gratitude for what you already have.
    3) You’re probably a left-winger.
    and
    4) You’re never going to be happy or satisfied.

    The problem with people with this world view is that they only compare themselves against the small percentage of people with more, and never against the vast majority with less.

    To say the American dream is dead or unaffordable, not only says that dream is primarily material in nature, but is also like saying whatever social distancing standards are best for New York should be applied to the entire country (which seems to be implied often these days).

    It’s saying whatever the situation is for one small group, is the same situation for everybody else, which is never the case. We can’t judge the quality of the entire nation solely based on the feelings of the weakest, whiniest, laziest, greediest, or most entitled among us… without factoring in those of us that are very happy and grateful for their lives. Most of this is based off personal choices anyway and all those choices have repercussions, good and bad.

    Winners take responsibility for their lives and choices. Losers externalize their problems, look to cast blame on people they already didn’t like, and probably spend more time shouting down people that don’t agree with them on the internet (look at many of the replies for evidence of that) than learning marketable skills or doing something productive with their lives.

    I still think, in the end, most of us get what we deserve.

    1. “Winners take responsibility for their lives and choices. Losers externalize their problems, look to cast blame on people they already didn’t like, and probably spend more time shouting down people that don’t agree with them on the internet (look at many of the replies for evidence of that) than learning marketable skills or doing something productive with their lives.

      I still think, in the end, most of us get what we deserve.”

      The first paragraph says why there has been greater opportunity and prosperity than ever over the last couple of decades, while the second might well be mistaken given the efforts of JFree, Hihn and the other cowardly pieces of shit to turn over the economy to the government.

    2. The staff probably already hates you. Get ready to be attacked, a lot.

    3. “Losers externalize their problems”

      You could have stopped right there. That’s all that needs to be said on this topic.

  19. Where’s Tony?

    And…there are no dreams. Just nightmares.

    One long, distorted, filthy, grim, nightmare.

    /reaches for lactose free cherry yogourt.

  20. The American dream is to get extremely wealthy quickly. That’s why many fund their retirement plan by playing the lottery.

  21. Finally got off the road. Ill try to do this the best justice that I can, but Im sure Ill fail.
    This whole issue of Libertarianism, who falls into it and who doesnt is a complex issue. I consider myself Libertarian because its the party that most closely aligns with my views or how I see our society should be constructed currently. as I grow older things can affect my view and change.(Hopefully not) First is there an actual basis for what defines Libertarianism? Some random definition, a party platform(ill admit is strong but clearly has large diversity in its members). Fiscally conservative, socially liberal? i don’t think it really works, but a central idea of maximizing individual liberty seems to be the best descriptor plus the doctrine of NAP. We all come from different backgrounds with different influences and these sway us. Clearly there has been an influx of people here lately that stand stronger to one side, either the current sides of progressivism or conservatism. it can be hard to judge whos whatbecause some profess their positions while others just comment to have fun. In addition the random created accounts that spring up daily seem impossible to identify. In reality arent Libertarians the combination of both parties, the parts that push for that recognition of individual liberty. Some clearly come here because they felt disassociated with their party. Is justin amash not a libertarian because he came from the Republican party? What about Lincoln Chafee, who comes as a post Republican Democratic and now Libertarian? i dont agree with alot of chafee but he certainly supports my views on drugs and more support for education. Where do we judge this. I know my own views agree with both sides on different issues, but I diverge and go off on some weird notions of my own. Some are here because they simply want to harass others and clearly state their side. there has been a strong pushback against those who support Trump from the consvatives here, but I see that as a natural result of what they see as an undue attempt by progressives to restrict freedoms of the last decade or two. Trump certainly doesnt fit in with the current Democratic party, and I don’t really see him as a republican, but he aligned himself with that group and he’s willing to and relishes a fight, which the republicans love because they are so pathetic in that regard. I wont defend Trump as something amazing, but I do see a value in him especially since hes not a lifelong politician. he’s an outsider who’s really helped expose alot of problems and defacto corruption in our system not because of him, but his mere presence has driven people to their extremes. He’s a powerful businessman that’s use to being in charge, when you see that about Trump youll understand him better. Call him out when he does something that restricts freedom and praise him when promotes freedom. Ill put on record that I probably bend more towards current conservative ideas/values on the Libertarian spectrum, so perhaps thats why I see Trump as not bad nor good. Maybe that’s the whole problem with Libertarianism is because we can’t decide the exact values of what it means to be a libertarian. Is JesseAz more of a Libertarian than sarcasmic? Who knows, but ill support you when I agree and i won’t when i disagree. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe I’m right. I know I didnt explain these issues how I wanted to, and Im sure ill get criticism but that’s about how I see it. Anybody please feel free to attack me, i dont care. the best i can hope for is that people try to debate the ideas and stop trying to attack each other. I dont know.

      1. “to:dr”
        tl:dr. Fixed it for ya.

    1. Political Parties actually have a stated platform of ideology (see LP.org, Democrats.org, GOP.com) – whether identified politician X, Y or Z supports that platform and to what level is another topic.

      What floors me is the massive amount of GOP members that voted for the latest COVID-19 bail-out when the GOP platform specifically states, “taxpayers are protected against bailouts” as well as another 20-so platform subjects that state about the same thing.

      Another subject of interest – the Democrat.org entire website only mentions the word “Constitution” once in the context of taking credit for ending Woman Suffrage

      – yet here on wiki we have, “Each vote was extremely close and Southern Democrats continued to oppose giving women the vote.” LMAO!!!!

      The DNC’s pdf platform has 5-mentions of the word “Constitution”
      1st – an excuse to violate it –
      “While freedom of expression is a fundamental constitutional principle, we must condemn hate speech that creates a fertile
      climate for violence. ”
      2nd – A repetition of the blatant lie
      “… of passing the Woman’s vote.”
      3rd – Associating “Constitutional Treaties” as inherent “legal responsibility” debt to Indian Tribes.
      4th – Giving Puerto Rico options that “do not conflict” with the Constitution (strangely that doesn’t apply to the Democratic party in the USA).
      5th – Democrats support a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United vs Buckley
      6th & 7th – To appoint judges that make laws about “curb billionaires” and “Citizens United” from “damaging our democracy” (i.e. class warfare) which coincidentally the [WE] mob “democracy” isn’t established in the Constitution anywhere.

      …… And of course [WE] being the most prominent word on the site in an effort to “Strengthening Management of Federal Government”…
      … Sell your individual souls to the [WE] foundation and we’ll.

      The DNC platform is utterly sickening and Anti-Constitution as well established.

  22. Libertarian running against AOC:
    Michelle Caruso-Cabrera raises $1 million in bid to topple AOC

    https://nypost.com/2020/04/08/michelle-caruso-cabrera-raises-1-million-in-bid-to-topple-aoc/

    I donated. If any of you fucking Trump Trash consider yourself LP you would to.

    1. If you don’t live in her district, then you’re a foreigner trying to steal their democracy.Libertarians stay out of AOC’s election!

      1. Once again; The USA *isn’t* a Democracy!!! It’s a Republic!

    2. The person to donate to is the person most likely to beat AOC.

      And “fucking illiberal left wing LP trash” like you has no clue who that might be.

    3. libertarian

      Yeah, citation needed. All I see is a “pro-business” Democrat here.

  23. “In each sector, well-intentioned efforts by the government to address real problems created the conditions for a vicious cycle of rent-seeking, cronyism, innovation suppression, crippled pricing mechanisms, spiraling spending, and growing debt.”

    No progress can be made until we understand that efforts by the government are not are not well-intentioned and that creating the conditions for rent-seeking, cronyism, innovation suppression, crippled pricing mechanisms, spiraling spending, and growing debt are the real intentions of government.

    A Government Class comprised of all those in government and some, at least technically, out of it whose power, privilege, and profit depend upon it. Nearly all that we libertarians complain of as the failings of government greatly benefit this Government Class and are the real, intentional results of government actions. Whatever is the purported purpose or whoever is the purported beneficiary of of government action is a distraction – the power, privilege, and profit of the Government Class is the real purpose and that class it primary beneficiary.

    From the government employee janitor, using his union to get three times what a private sector janitor gets in pay and benefits, to Trump, using his office to send government business to his hotels, we have allowed a presumption of good intent to blind us to the formation of a new Government Class worse and more exploitive than even the old aristocracy.

    1. “…Trump, using his office to send government business to his hotels,..”

      Cite missing, and you should seek help for your TDS:
      “Treasury confirms it received check for Trump Organization foreign profits”
      […]
      “The Treasury Department has received a check from the Trump Organization donating the profits that its hotels made from foreign governments, a department spokesperson said Monday.”
      https://thehill.com/policy/finance/375645-trump-org-says-it-donated-hotel-profits-from-foreign-governments-to-treasury

      Go ahead, tell us how Trump bought the election, how Trump is a Russian asset, how Trump called the flu “a hoax”.
      Or, please, just fuck off.

      1. “Trump refused to promise—in an evasive, rambling response to the question—that no money contained in the $500 billion corporate “slush fund” put forth by Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell over the weekend would go to bail out his personal hotel empire.”

        https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/03/23/trump-taxpayer-bailout-my-hotels-capitalism-ordering-industries-produce-medical

      2. Trump’s Secret Service hotel racket is hiding in plain sight. And he’s getting away with it.

        https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/trump-s-secret-service-hotel-racket-hiding-plain-sight-he-ncna1136746

        There you go, and there you see that:

        Trading DC swamp rats for NYC sewer rats has gotten us only even more septic rats.

  24. “When you reject the too-simple narrative about greedy corporations bleeding ordinary Americans dry…”

    lol

    1. Ya, its not just a “too-simple” narrative its a down-right denial of reality and a pathetic excuse for not facing responsibility for ones-own-self.

      Who’s stopping ANYONE (you for that matter) from constructing their own much-needed and greatly appreciated massive human resource producing “greedy corporation”??? Don’t like what the “greedy corporations” are doing – do it better!!!

      Facing the realization that being a lazy whiny miserable “ordinary American” feeding off the gravy train of others isn’t ‘worth’ much to ANYONE would be a big first step for the left.

      1. That’s what I said about unions for years!

        If those corporations are so unjust; so corrupt, why don’t you buyout their stockholders and run them the way you think is so much better for the employees?

        Or, if you’re way is so much better, what’s stopping you union hacks from starting your own companies and competing? If you’re better, you’ll surely bury those grossly profitable entitites.

        Of, you say those monopolistic or oligopolistic companies are colluding to keep wages down but you provide no evidence. Even if they were colluding, how is that different than the collusion of world wide workers as union mobs to make demands for labor lest you use force against them?

  25. The biggest change was the doubling of the workforce, and therefore the stagnation of wages, since 1960.

    Now both men and women can slave away 70% of their waking hours for their corporate masters, while the children, oh I mean child, is being raised by strangers at the daycare, the government, TV & social media.

    At the same time women are unhappier year after year. Yay feminism!

    1. Women, and all people, are unhappier because we are all suckers under the skin. We’ve bought into so many “you can have it all” advertisements.

      Even many assumed wealthy individuals encounter unhappiness. Look at celeb divorces. Inheritances being diluted over time. The notable deaths during this pandemic.

      Here are the ones I’ve heard my whole life. And yet, this isn’t true in so many cases.

      Go to college, get a great job.

      Focus on what you love and the money will follow.

      Invest in real estate and you will be rich.

      Buy a new car and you avoid buying someone else’s problems.

      The fact is, the true sources of wealth, which many desire but only if they don’t have to put forth effort require discipline and work. We just don’t want to hear that. We’d prefer to blame externalities in our lives. That is so historically un American.

  26. It sure looks like the Reason staff members created a whole new slew of sockpuppets, and they were working overtime yesterday.

    1. There are no need for socks. The world overflows with dipshit leftists.

  27. Health care, higher education, residential housing…What are three things government has hugely distorted the market for, Alex?

    Either by regulations piled on top of regulations trying to enforce “fairness” of some sort, or by flooding the market with “cheap” taxpayer dollars, or both.

  28. “When you reject the too-simple narrative about greedy corporations bleeding ordinary Americans dry, more complicated and (unfortunately) more intractable causes for the current crisis emerge. In each sector, well-intentioned efforts by the government to address real problems created the conditions for a vicious cycle of rent-seeking, cronyism, innovation suppression, crippled pricing mechanisms, spiraling spending, and growing debt.”

    Congratulations on contradicting yourself – who the frig do you think engages in most of the cronyism and rent-seeking? The corporate donor class, you knucklehead – we live in a corporate kelptocracy. Our politicans know where their money comes from, and it ain’t “we the people”.

  29. The problem is that dreams are for dreamers. Set your goals and remove those who try to stifle you.

  30. I don’t need to read a lengthly “forensic investigation” into the death of the American Dream to know the cause and the solution.
    The cause: A political system based on the initiation of violence by an elite, e.g., rulers/ruled. How will that be moral or just? It won’t. This begs the question: Who will protect us from our protectors, when we have forfeited our sovereignty, in theory and practice?
    The cure: A new political paradigm based on voluntarism, reason, rights. That won’t happen until enough people reject the old model.

  31. “obtaining housing, education, and health care was once fairly easy and cheap”
    Really? Let’s start with housing.
    Late 1970’s: First time home buyers camping out overnight to be near the front of the line to get a “bargain” 13% mortgage.
    50’s-60’s: Rent a walk up apartment in the city until the second kid comes along so you can save up the 20% down payment for a 2 BR, 1Ba, 1000 sf rambler in the suburbs,
    50’s and before: Save up a 30% down payment, hope you can convince a bank that you are the sort that can be trusted with a mortgage (if you’re the right color and religion). Don’t worry about refinancing because the term of your loan is an effective 5 years and you can expect regular visits from the banks to make sure you are keeping up your house; if not they can call in the loan.
    Then healthcare:
    Want cheap healthcare? Just find somewhere that doesn’t use any medical technology newer than say, 1970. That way you can be sure that your cancer or heart disease diagnosis won’t be followed by an expensive course of medicine, just short, inexpensive trip to eternity.
    Education? Well, you got me there. But two out of three ain’t bad.

    1. Seems you forgot to mention a SINGLE thing about price.
      … and to think ‘cheap’ had to do with a price tag.

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