Monday assorted links


#6. Libertarianism will never be socially accepted because it does not appeal to low IQ voters.

What is Libertarianism's answer to those with below average IQs, disabilities and limited skills?

Voluntary sterilization? Google: "Three Generations of Imbeciles Are Enough" on a slightly different take on this problem.

Just today here in the Philippines I actually met a family who had four (4) imbeciles in their family, all genetically related, very unusual. They all are grotesque and have speech impediments, but they don't act completely bat shiite crazy. One of them joked around with me and I think wants to be my friend. Sad, but probably something in their poisoned, Third World environment probably affected them during gestation. Or maybe they are all really dominant gene imbeciles, which is rare.

Oliver Wendell Holmes was a libertarian? Not likely.

I honestly have no idea. I stopped theorizing about such things after I joined the real world.

That quote comes from pretty-much the opposite side as libertarianism.

Like everyone else, they are better off without big government taxing them more and making it impossible to get a job.

Libertarianism doesn't offer policy solutions to such problems. That's kind of the point.

Guaranteed minimum income

A large intrusive state does not help the average IQ person. For example, Bulgaria used to have a flat tax, and one rationale was that they wanted to make it easy for even an average guy who wanted to own his own trucking company understand his taxes.

If you want to have an American example of this, ask any small businessperson if they do their own taxes. Most do not, because its too complicated. I was paying $950 / year for a enrolled agent. I'm not dumb either.

Progressive taxation is not what makes it difficult to do taxes. Taxes for businesses are complex because business expenses are deductible, investments have to be expensed according to a depreciation formula and then there might be different rules for federal and state taxes. A flat tax would not make any of this easier. There are online calculators that make applying progressive rates to income trivial; anyone who claims we need a flat tax in order to make it possible for ordinary people to do their own taxes is trying to pull a fast one.

I'm always amused when someone invokes progressive taxation as an example of tax code complexity. It's an almost dead giveaway that they have no clue how taxes really work.

Written by someone who employs a CFO and still pays the bill for our tax lawyers.

I've read a few libertarians who promote a high consumption tax and guaranteed minimum income as the entire tax system. I think a couple tax brackets is reasonable too.

People like you, who claim to be libertarian, are the reason that libertarianism gets a hard hearing.

If your opening line is "the reason people don't support me is because they are stupid", people will just write you off as a blow hard and find inspiration elsewhere. Inspiration matters.

Sorry, perhaps you aren't claiming this as your own view, but I think the rest of what I said holds.

If your opening line is “the reason people don’t support me is because they are stupid”,

-Which certainly may be true. Have you read Pseudoerasmus's latest post, which shows stupid people are far less likely to learn to cooperate from earlier rounds of the Prisoner's Dilemma?

I'm pretty sure the "people don't support me because they are stupid" theory fails the Ideological Turing Test in every possible way.

Why so? I could come up with a list of stupid arguments for why stupid people don't support me, and that wouldn't make them any less stupid.

Rand Paul wasn't a serious libertarian candidate. He opposed net neutrality, earning the enmity of people who care about the Internet. A serious libertarian might have a chance, but a mouthpiece for big business will not be taken seriously as a libertarian.

Net neutrality is about imposing regulations on an unrelated internet. I fail to see that as a libertarian position.


Net neutrality's goal, though, is maintaining freedom of the consumer by not having the internet divided up into fiefdoms where you have to pay to get access to the "news website" package or the "do it yourself website" package.

So which is more libertarian: maintaining freedom of companies, or maintaining freedom of the consumer?

Or are all regulations inherently anti-libertarian, no matter what they are?

I don't follow the net neutrality stuff at all but on the face it seems like a choice between corporate control of internet or government control of internet. damned if you do, damned if you don't

You make my point. Net neutrality has nothing to do with libertarianism. It is a top down control of the internet by bureaucrats.

Libertarians are not about asking government to control prices or levels of service.

In a synopsis, there are two views of the internet. In one, you understand how it all works, and how that includes ancient regulations (from government, non-government, and quasi-government institutions). In the other, you don't know how it works, and just fantasize that it is free market magic.

If you want the fantasy, you can preach that "unregulated" networks exist and that you favor them. Mermen and Bigfoot, while you're at it.

@Gochujang, i think your argument would be more compelling if net neutrality addressed an actual existing problem, rather than a theoretical risk that might occur in some dystopian future.

Hmm, 2007, did bittorrent fail in the time between then and when NN was enacted? Last time i used BT it worked fine, and im on Comcast.

The "internet" might not be regulated, but the data-pipelines that the internet uses is both regulated and highly subsidized.

Libertarians tend to like freedom. While they are very anti-regulation, I don't think they like the idea of a handful of profit-driven companies in a utility-like industry (dump pipes of internet) being in charge of traffic control and would prefer regulation that ensured that all traffic is treated the same. It's like building a highway and then letting UPS pay off the police to drive at 200km/hr to make the delivery faster. The status quo in the internet is that consumers can always pay for faster service, but every piece of traffic is treated the same.

However, Cato Institute (libertarian) recently came out with a piece where net neutrality was put in quotation marks as though it's a BS concept and instead endorsed "internet freedom" - where profit-driven companies in a utility like industry get to play traffic control with no regulations.

Net neutrality is anti-libertarian. As importantly, as Tyler and other's have noted, it is bad policy and just shifts money from ISPs to big business content providers like Google. In an informal survey of IETF members (who presumably care about the Internet) support for the proposal is about evenly split, just as it is among the general public.

Rand may have taken anti-liberty positions at some points in time, but he is better than the other potential Republican nominees. Libertarians can re-evaluate who to support in the general election based on circumstances.

Dan, if you made up your IP address, and made up your transport protocols, and rejected every facet of the IETF, I can believe you.

Otherwise, no. You are lying.

Net neutrality has nothing to do with IP addresses or protocols. You are free to make up whatever protocol you like using whatever IP you like, its just that no one else will route your traffic or honor your protocol.

I think that was my point, that nothing flows without acceptance of the IETF framework. And who is the IETF?

The first IETF meeting was attended by 21 U.S.-government-funded researchers on 16 January 1986 ... blah blah blah

Again, not true and not relevant. Traffic flows just fine on private networks no matter what protocol they use, its just that everyone has chosen to follow the IETF framework due to the advantages it offers (voluntarily, i might add).

Still has nothing to do with net neutrality.

Go ahead, stop talking about The Internet, and talk about "private networks" instead. No one will notice.

I am talking about the Internet, its you who tried to change the subject to IP addresses and protocols. Again, everyone willingly participates in the Internet and IETF without NN, if everyone chose to use a different protocol, that would work too and the IETF would become moot. Net Neutrality its a solution to a problem that doesnt exist.

That's pretty funny. The Internet is very much made up of TCP/IP and the protocols.

And yes, since 1986 the protocols have defined a "neutrality." It is pretty much what peer-to-peer networking means.

Net neutrality means all traffic gets treated the same. Nothing more, nothing less. It is an exceedingly simple idea.

Net neutrality is not a solution to a problem that doesn't exist, it has been the status quo of the internet since its origin.

Electronic Frontiers Foundation has a lot of information on upsides of net neutrality and the downsides of laissez-faire for this utility-like market. They also have a team of lawyers trying to mitigate damage that may be cause from letting these utilities engage in price discrimination of both final consumers and content providers. I suggest that you review some of their material on the matter before drawing your own conclusion. Some articles can be found here:

Observe that the open source developers who built the backbone of the internet are most often very against allowing a handful of companies to decide which content consumers will get easiest access to.

Yes, markets are often good, but is it really a good thing for society, or long-run market development (think barriers to entry here) if independent media is always slow access and deep pocketed players always fast access? What about opening the doors to allowing dumb pipes to filter and control access to content? (this second is less obvious, but EFF makes a good argument, if you check out some of their material)

This is the same delusion that the paleos have -- if only we pick a true Scotsman next time we can't possibly lose!

No, libertarians aren't under any such delusion. A 'truer Scottsman' libertarian would fare worse than Rand Paul in the Republican Party primaries (and, needless to say, would have no hope whatsoever in the Democratic Party). The Republicans are currently crazy on gay marriage, immigration, and the drug war, the Democrats are currently crazy on minimum wages, regulation, free markets & speech and 'the war on women'. They're both crazy on foreign affairs. The political situation is depressing, but not the least bit surprising.

So, when you know you are in the 3%, how do you decide that you are "right' versus just "deviant?"

Serious question. Parties are rude bucket sorts on human beliefs. If a belief is held at the 3% level ... would it just work without all these pesky humans? Could it work any other way?

I do rest comfortably that the middle is bigger than most remember, with 40% non-Democrat and non-Republican we are well above deviance.

The Republicans are currently crazy on gay marriage, immigration, and the drug war,

The only crazy here is you yourself.

So, when you know you are in the 3%, how do you decide that you are “right’ versus just “deviant?"

Ah, but none of the positions are in the 3% support range (or even close to it) -- what makes libertarians unusual is the package:

- Against drug war (more support from D than R)

- Against minimum wage increases (more support from R than D)

- Against immigration restrictions (more support from D than R)

- Against the phony 'war on women' / campus restrictions on due process (more support from R than D)

- Against restrictions on gay marriage (more support from D than R)

- Against restrictions on free speech under the guise of 'campaign finance reform' or 'hate speech' (more support from R than D)

And on and on -- none of the individual libertarian positions are unusual, but as a package they don't align at all with either major party, which is why a libertarian has basically no chance to win the nomination of either party.

– Against restrictions on gay marriage (more support from D than R) -

The notion that refusal to recognize homosexual couplings (or that there are any legal obligations arising from them) is a 'restriction' merely indicates the degree to which contemporary libertarianism of the most popular sort is an adolescent complaint about others thwarting one's will.

Gochujang - different people have different positions for all manner of reasons.

Ever try to convince someone that they like a food that they in fact don`t like? Why bother? Agree to disagree. I think chocolate is best, you think vanilla is best.

Similarly, I don't think libertarians should worry about being the minority, or be excessively concerned if others thing they are "right". They hold their own ground for their own reasons, and are part of a free and diverse political system (which mainly excludes non-mainstream ideas).

It's like socialists and capitalists trying to convince each other that THEY are right and the OTHER is wrong. Sometimes some good points can be made and people will be forced to concede some things, but they hold different beliefs for different reasons and each both brings a valuable contribution to the table, in representing their own values and belief systems.

I suggest the problem is precisely when people start thinking "I'm right and you're stupid" without recognizing that there are different interests and values in society. I also suggest that this is the reason that religion is best left firmly ejected from political debate - to a firm believer everything is black and white. Better to have religious freedom so everyone can find their way, but keep the religion out of politics. There is no arguing with God, no matter whether the Flying Spaghetti Monster is real or not.

People who want (or can afford) fast internet access should be able to access better/faster service, but I don't think that consumer choice is well represented by making it difficult for newcomers to challenge deep-pocketed incumbents. I argue that consumers, not corporations, should determine the speed at which they will access their preferred online activities.

The major concern is that this will effectively enable major players to block small players from getting decent access. It would make it possible to screw with independent media, by both internet/media conglomerates and by providing plausible deniability to security agencies.

This problem is exacerbated by the fact that content producers and the owners of dumb pipes are increasingly partnered in their corporate structures. This is synonymous with saying that that can (will) try to take advantage of these structures to abuse monopoly by owning rights to both content and the pipes.

An additional issue here is that a lot of the early developers for the existing infrastructure of the internet were avid open sourcers, who feel extremely betrayed by a system that would undermine their cherished ideals of the internet. It's kind of like scientists who make groundbreaking discoveries in earlier stages of development, publish results in open source journals, then feel extremely betrayed when further development is locked away under patent systems - this is uncompatible with principles behind open source development and the creative commons. Among others, the Electronic Frontier Foundation often takes up related cases in the courts.

Dumb pipes should extract their rents from consumers, who should meet a market where all traffic is treated the same.


"The major concern is that this will effectively enable major players to block small players from getting decent access. It would make it possible to screw with independent media, by both internet/media conglomerates and by providing plausible deniability to security agencies."

A fair concern, but its not reality. NN is a big regulatory hammer for an only theoretical nail.

Its also not really clear to me why existing anti-trust laws are inadequate to deal with the situation you describe.

That may be the main concern for some people, but it's not the one that counts. The main concern is what the big owners of the pipes do to screw the big content providers. And it's not theoretical -- Comcast down-throttled Netflix bandwidth to extort a pile of money out of them.

It's entirely analogous to the way railway Robber Barons in the 19th century extorted money from people who wanted to ship goods by rail. If you were just shipping wood or coal or some other low-value product, who cares? They just charge you whatever it costs plus a reasonable profit. But if it's something valuable like beef or cheese, hey where's the cut for Southern Pacific out of that? You're making a ton of money off our rails, and we deserve a percentage of that!

The pipes aren't going to strongarm access to Wikipedia, because that's low-value goods being sent over their rails. But they see Netflix making money hand over fist, and they're asking how do we get our cut? Throttling down their bandwidth until they scream and making them pay is how.

The only solution to that kind of extortion is net neutrality.

MOFO - Theoretically, existing ant-trust laws should be adequate. But I don't think many people have much faith in American anti-trust regulators to take any action unless the wrong doings are of ridiculously obscene proportions. I doubt the regulator will feel the need to step in on behalf of independent media, for example. Consider that they appear completely indifferent to the case mention by Mark, and Netflix enjoys very wide public appeal.

@Mark Thorson Netflix changed their peering partner to one that couldnt handle the load, thats what throttled down their connection to Comcast, not some malicious action on Comcast's part.

@Nathan W, if American anti-trust regulators are not up to the task of righting the supposed wrong doings of these bad actors, why should the FCC be any different?

MOFO - Exactly (re FCC). That's why many groups are seeking explicit legislative protection of net neutrality (stronger legal protection of the status qou), and moreover seeking to prevent explicit legislative or regulatory authority to the contrary.

Small players understand that big players with deep pockets pull strings that we can't even touch, let alone pull. Does EFF get to attend meetings where these decisions are made?

Libertarianism only appeals to low IQ voters.

Libertarianism promises free lunches.


"Libertarianism promises free lunches."

-Actually, no, that's progressivism.

Actually, no, that's both. They just foot the bill to different constituencies.

To whom does libertarianism foot the bill?

The folks who fail, receive no basic support, and are left to wither and/or die.

Why shouldn't they be left to whither and die? What do they contribute to society?

So every person and thing that does not receive charity "foots the bill" for everyone who does not donate to them, in your opinion?

In contrast, we promise free word salad.

I bet every unsuccessful political movement ever has had s story like this--these ideas are great, but the people just don't understand them. But actually, it's not hard to explain a basically libertarian agenda.

Don't lock people up for stuff like drugs and prostitutes where the main victim is themselves. Don't invade or bomb other countries unless they're actually attacking or about to attack us or a close ally. Don't screw around with the markets without some really good reason. Don't give governemnt more power and resources than they absolutely need, because tehy're probably misuse them.

My guess is, this captures a lot of libertarianism, and it's easy to understand, but it's not actually all that popular. Lots of people want to lock people up for drugs or hate speech, lots more want to bomb foreign countries for great-game type reasons, lots more want the subsidies or market barriers that help them out (or help out people they like) to remain in place. Lots of people are pretty-much fine with more government power as long as they think it will mainly be used to mess with people they don't like, and are totally on-board with the government having lots of money if they think they or people they like will get some of it. And so on.

I'm not saying that low IQ voters do not understand libertarianism. My argument is that low IQ voters understand the basics enough to understand that the government having lots of money and redistributing it to them is way better for them. Who wants to let markets work themselves out when you can get a free Obamaphone?

Someone needs an urgent reality check loool

Libertarianism will never be accepted or popular because it does not account for human tribalism and psychology. It is politics and economics for those with no concept of humans as a social group. I agree with them on many things, but where they fail, it is because they cannot conceive of human behavior which is not rational and profit-motivated.

Such as?

Such as:

Parents don't want to legalize cocaine or heroin because they don't want to normalize these drugs. They want heroin to be something Bad People use. It makes parenting easier.

What parent would be happy to see their daughter selling her body in a brothel? To the extent that criminalization discourages My Daughter from becoming a hooker, it's a good thing.

Lots of people work for the government either directly or indirectly. Why would anyone vote to put themselves out of a job?

Most parents dont want their kids to be alcoholics or compulsive gamblers either, and yet we as a society dont seem to want alcohol or gambling to be illegal. The question shouldnt be "do you want your child to be a heroin addict or prostitute?" rather "if you child was one of those things, do you want society to lock them in a cage for making that choice?" Libertarians do understand human behavior, they just dont think that they should be the judge of what is acceptable for you to do to yourself.

None of what you said proves that Libertarians have "no concept of humans as a social group" or that "they cannot conceive of human behavior which is not rational and profit-motivated.", only that libertarians are more tolerant of some behaviors than you are.

Counter question for you, if you replace "Heroin" or "prostitute" with homosexual, how many parents would agree that they dont want their kids doing that? Should we make homosexuality illegal because it will make their parenting easier? If not, what makes that so different?

I'm not disagreeing with any of that. Just stating the reasons why other people are not Libertarians. They disagree with us on these issues.

Anti-libertarian IP protection appeals to high-IQ people as well. There are plenty of reasons for people of low, medium and high IQ all to be opposed to libertarianism!

2. Caplan: "I say the Left's Compromise Statement will consist in a bunch of complaints about markets. And I say the Right's Compromise Statement will consist in a bunch of complaints about Leftists." Rayward: "I say the Left's Compromise Statement will consist in a bunch of complaints about market failures. And I say the Right's Compromise Statement will consist in a bunch of complaints about anybody who doesn't worship at the alter of markets."

Rayward is wrong. There's a reason Trump is popular.

Multiple reasons, I would guess. The most salient might be "Addison Mitchell McConnell". I recently saw a datum that 62% of the Republicans polled felt 'betrayed' by their congressional leadership. Not sure if the articles accurately rendered the question or interpreted the responses, but it surprises one not. The sheer uselessness of McConnell et all just boggles the mind.

I am not sure what I expected on 2, but I didn't expect it to be so concise and correct. "Leftists are anti-market" and "Rightists are anti-leftist." It even explains the "I blame Obama" gag.

I'm not sure this was always true though. I think I was more right when the right was about solutions, and not being anti-solution. Now I am an independent because I am neither left, nor anti-left as a general principle.

BTW, note the game theory possible when the left knows that the right is simply anti-left. It frees them to generously propose right of center solutions knowing, absolutely, that the right will pull out their hair and oppose them.

Never was this played more clearly than with "Obamacare." And the whole funny story of how it was Romenycare first, and then couldn't possibly be, because liberals.

Obama didn't build that, somebody else did.

I heard that Obamacare was based on a slightly modified proposal from the Heritage Foundation from back in the Hillarycare days. In some weird world where a republican puts forward Obamacare, i think its highly likely that those on the right who most strongly oppose it would be its strongest champions, and vice versa of course with the left.

I heard that Obamacare was based on a slightly modified proposal from the Heritage Foundation

A meme promoted by partisan Democrats. A Heritage researcher named Robert Rector produced a white paper in 1993 which included a coverage mandate, ergo Obamacare is a Republican idea. Or something like that.

Interesting. Do you have a source for that?

And Romney, despite his lies - I mean protestations - implemented it in MA. So no, the notion that it's not a conservative idea to start with is wrong. Wrong.

Romney was attempting to salvage a ruined market for household medical insurance. The state of the market was not his doing, but a consequence of coercive legislation in effect for 14 years at the time he was inaugurated. He had to craft a compromise with a Democratic legislature. The liar here is you.

#6 - A libertarian future that embraces peace, tolerance, equality, the rule of law, and free trade will have its genesis in the electoral reform advancing proportional representation advocated by Lawrence Lessig. Although Lessig is avowedly a non-libertarian, his platform embodies libertarians' best hope for a voice in collective governance.

I only belong to two politically relevant groups, one of which endorses proportional representation, and the other which supports fully legalized and regulated cannabis. I'm not libertarian, but I think they usually have very valuable things to say on just about every area of policy, and would welcome any system that could give them their slice of the electoral pie - probably only possibly under proportional representation.

Most PR countries don't have libertarian parties, or even mildly so. That might be because there aren't enough libertarians who want to be politicians and control state power, or these issues are extremely non-salient compared to economics so libertarians always end up subsumed, or perhaps libertarianism is a distinctly U.S. American ideology that doesn't exist in other countries without libertarian shibboleths such as gun rights, i.e. it is modern Jeffersonianism-Jacksonianism.

"Liberatarian" is an American political term, and there is all sorts of American cultural stuff mixed up with the values of American libertarians, so it is technically correct to say that there are no libertarians outside the US.

It is incorrect to say there are no "mildly" Libertarian parties outside the US. This description fits the continental European liberal parties (usually named "Liberal") very well.

That's true that there are these European liberal parties. They usually accept the northern European welfare-state model, which is a lot more extensive than anything American libertarians would go for. They might want to tinker with it from the right, but that makes them no more libertarian than Bill Clinton

There are more than two dozen countries with distinct libertarian parties, including most of those with large economies. It is easy to get a list online. The countries that don't have libertarian parties tend to be those that either don't have meaningful elections at all or are very small.

The UK. Germany. France. Spain. Italy. We're just getting started here. Libertarians will never, ever disturb the doors of these parliaments. I don't mean six guys sitting around a table when I say political parties, by the way.

Two points about # 6. First Ron Paul ran for President as the candidate of the Libertarian Party in 1988. He got 431,750 votes, or 0.5% of the national vote.

Both Ron Paul and his son Rand, whose stands on issues are similar to his father's, later joined the Republican Party and got elected to Congress as Republicans. The Republican Party is considered more friendly to Libertarians than the Democratic Party (this isn't necessarily true, its probably true, but grant that it is true for the purposes of argument). Its rare for these two parties to not get at least 98% of the vote combined in US elections, for any office.

So assume that Libertarians make up 0.5% of the electorate. The electorate as a whole divides evenly between the Democrats and the Republicans, but all Libertarians are willing to join or support the Republicans as the lesser of the two evils. That leaves the libertarian component of the Republican primary electorate, mathematically, at about 1%, which is close to what Ron Paul actually got in his campaigns for the Republican nomination for president, and what Rand Paul looks like to get.

Now some things could happen to make these assumptions incorrect. One is that there has been a big growth in popular support for libertarian ideas since 1988. This is plausible, but if it has happened, it doesn't seem to have led to better performances for the Pauls than could have predicted by how well Ron Paul did running for president in 1988. And if there has been a big jump in support for libertarian ideas, maybe the actual Libertarian candidate for president would be doing better? As it happens, the Libertarian Party's nominee for President in 2012, a former governor, got just under 1% of the vote.

Another way this argument could be incorrect is that there is a big pool of voters who are Republicans, but only because of the super-strong two party system in the US, don't want to cast their votes for a minor/ fringe party, but would support a Libertarian running in the Republican primaries. The only problem is that these voters just haven't materialized. My conclusion is that people tend to make the mistake of over-estimating how libertarian the typical Republican really is.

Btw, the socialist running in the Democratic primaries this cycle has a similar problem, disguised for now by some obvious weaknesses with the preferred Democratic establishment/ machine candidate.

The idea of conducting elections by proportional representation has valid arguments for or against it, in the abstract. In the context of American politics, it should be evaluated as a means of breaking the two party duopoly, which is really why it gets advanced. I think having elections conducted by genuinely independent civil servants, specifically tasked to do just this, would do more in this regard.

PR is fine for most countries. The two-party system in Congress could easily be three- or four-parties. It used to be. Actually, PR is not so important in America where your primaries weaken the ability of party bosses to choose candidates, compared to countries with stronger central party organisations like the United Kingdom, where you can graduate, work for the party for a few years (called "spads"), then your boss procures your nomination to a safe seat in some shire or inner-city that you've never visited before but that you can probably keep winning for the rest of your life.

It is worth considering how PR in Congress would interact with the presidency, which is winner-take-all. In most PR countries, the parliament is proportional and half the delegates choose a Prime Minister, as happens in the United States if no presidential candidate wins a majority of the electoral college. If states split permanently into the columns of three or four real contender parties for the presidency, this might happen on an ongoing basis, so you can imagine that this would really empower Congress. More likely, the two-party system would persist, because the four-contender presidential contests are not an equilibrium; the equilibrium would be Congress's candidate versus just one other candidate, and then we get back to the current system very quickly. If this persisted, a PR Congress would be a lot like the current system.

The electoral college would need to be proportionally represented. While it would be better if the EC could formally debate, prior to the vote the EC members could negotiate in the same manner as a PR congress in that a candidate acceptable to a number of factions would be agreed to in advance in exchange for policy considerations and future votes. Some countries have a split executive, but I'm not sure how it would apply to the US.

The two-party system in Congress could easily be three- or four-parties. It used to be.

Intermittently from about 1847 to 1889 and about a half-dozen years during the Depression. And we're talking along the lines of the minor parties garnering about 5% of the available seats.

PR is fine for most countries.

No it's not. It exacerbates tendencies toward fragmentation and dysfunction (depending on the political culture - see France under the 4th Republic or Israel today), promotes systems where party bosses assemble slates wherein the MPs have little in the way of local ties (ameliorated some in Israel in recent years), and requires contrivances to replace constituent service. Supplementing constituency elections with PR (as is done in Hungary) can ameliorate the effects of gerrymandering, but there are ways to do that without introducing PR slates in elections to large assemblies. One can save PR for small municipal councils, where minority representation can be a real problem.

In the absence of PR, do you think right wing Israeli fanatics would accept that status quo of zero political representation? I surmise that they would have continued with their earlier practices of domestic terrorism, which they have basically abandoned, thanks to their ability to obtain representation in the democratic political system.

Would you consider Germany and New Zealand to be dysfunctional political systems?

Non-PR systems make it too easy for small groups of highly organized elites to maintain a near stranglehold on political power across generations of time. How is that good for governance?

There are no Israeli fanatics in serious numbers other than the KACH Movement (which never had more than one seat in the Knesset and has been gone from it for nearly 30 years) and perhaps Moledet (which never had more than 3 seats in the Knesset). You could refer to some of the ultra-Orthodox as fanatics, but not with regard to any issue the Arab population in Israel or the West Bank or Gaza would have much of a stake in.

Would you consider Germany and New Zealand to be dysfunctional political systems?

Neither use unadulterated PR.

Non-PR systems make it too easy for small groups of highly organized elites to maintain a near stranglehold on political power across generations of time.

In your imagination.

Who elects presidents? People with money. Elections are expensive, and advertising works.

Who are these people? Entrenched corporate interests, in addition to a few hundred wealthy families with either corporate or ideological agendas.

Be more specific. But I can't. The law allows them to hide their identity, so we only know about the cases who opt to self disclose.

Who do they contribute to? Why, both sides.

Why both sides? So they can influence the legislative agenda no matter who wins.

That's what I mean. And none of that is a work of imagination. It is the status quo in American politics.

A system which incorporates PR (I don't believe in pure PR - local representation should always be important, say, half of seats) would be able to offer alternatives once the existing parties become corrupted. But in the current system, no one will back anyone except for Ds and Rs because they are the only ones with a hope of winning. Hence, a system dominates by narrow elite groups over generations and generations.

Who elects presidents? People with money. Elections are expensive, and advertising works.

There are diminishing returns from advertising.

At the presidential level in recent decades, the point of the sum of campaign activities has been to mobilize the base and persuade a slice of the electorate which amounts to about 7% of the total.

At the local level, advertising serves to establish name recognition and overcome inertia. PR addresses neither of these hurdles. Rotation in office (requiring an MP occupy his office no more than 8 years in any bloc of 12) might address them.

The confidentiality accorded to small donors is perfectly sensible, and the reason for that is the gay lobby aided and abetted by the newspapers.

Art - I strongly agree with confidentiality of small donors. You can hardly buy a politician`s sympathies with a $5 donation, or likely even a $1000 donation. But people/companies who donate $50,000 or $1,000,000 are not just tossing some extra cash into the bin out of a sense of general support for the candidate, they are trying to buy his ear for when lobbying time comes.

It is worth considering how PR in Congress would interact with the presidency, which is winner-take-all. In most PR countries,

There was an article in the Journal of Democracy on this question a while back. Bottom line was that this system (in use in Uruguay) was a somewhat toxic combination. Cannot recall the mechanism that made this so.

Broadly, Conservatives are happy to have libertarians advance arguments they can't, but alliance does not mean compliance. But libertarianism can affect the tenor of politics quite well within the two-party system. The legal challenges to the ACA, for instance, were launched on very libertarian platforms. And libertarianism is giving Republicans cover to soften on criminal justice matters. In terms of affecting the sort of memes that bounce around the nation, one Milo Yiannopolous is worth ten senators.

If they get 0.5% of the vote in an election they are guaranteed to lose, surely they would quite a lot more in a PR system. Perhaps enough to pass a relatively low threshold of 3%?

And then what? The LP would have a tiny number of Congressmen and see their issues get voted down over and over again.

Every now and then, they would hold the balance of power over some piece of legislation, and would be able to make certain demands in exchange for support - but obviously only in cases where their demand was something that had a pretty decent basis of public support, for example certain simplifications in the tax code or easing off in certain areas of government control.

It would also lend their views a bit more credibility. It's a bit different to interview some "wingnut" who will never get into office than to interview an existing congressman on his positions on a piece of legislation.

I don't think libertarians are the types to waste congress's time on things that will never pass. Presumably they would mostly propose minor modifications with some reasonable prospect of appealing to the other parties.

2. OK but not enough. In particular, the market is not the usual target of left rhetoric. It's usually business or businessmen, finance or financiers, and the wealthy. So I see this as personal too. Get all the left from all around the world in a room and you will find more common ground than that. The Left Compromise Statement would definitely include planks about gender equality and secularism. So this suggests that the left is dissatisfied with - ironically? - pre-capitalist institutions. The right is essentially content with pre-capitalist institutions.

Thinking next about power. Set aside the power of the state for a second - since the state is what they are contesting - and the power of the media - attitudes to which naturally depend on the political leaning of each particular medium. The left would be hostile to the people who have the rest of the power. The right would be supportive of the people who have the rest of the power. Perhaps this relates to attitudes to authority as children. As for the power of the state, it depends on who controls it and to what purpose it is used. I'm sure most of the global left would be happy with the application of big state power in Sweden; most of the global right with big state power in Singapore.

'And job openings at' has an interesting curlicue - 'Copyright 2012 - Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok'

Funny - you thought no one would notice just who was responsible for funding MRU, while peddling that tale about Youtube, a couple of econ profs, and a $4 app?

Though clearly, it is now obvious you think no one remembers. You're probably right.

Basically, no one has ever lost a donation overestimating the gullibility of the public, after all.

Wow! You really nailed em this time! Just think of the implications when this information gets out!

VW is about to find out how much will be lost overestimating the gullibility of regulators, and their customers. Typical Germans, no wonder that place is a socialist hell hole.

You have surely never been in Germany.

I believe mskings's comment is intended ironically; he's just tossing one of prior_approval's favorite quips back at him. It's more about prior_approval's tiresomeness than an actual slight against Germany.

Precisely. VW just punked p_a pretty good.

Caplan has insulated himself from criticism by labeling his own theory "simplistic." Still:

1. As any thoughtful libertarian should be well aware, "left" and "right' are too vague to be useful. The ideology space does not map down to one dimension. This has been *especially* clear in U.S. politics over the last few months. You can't build good theory on bad premises.

2. There's a long pro-market social-democratic tradition that happily relies on markets for many things, but not all things. They're not libertarians, but you can't say "markets get on their nerves."

3. The part on the "right" is even sillier. Sure you can find "rightists" who are permanently irritated at "leftists." But there's plenty of foundational conservative thought, traditionalist or libertarian, that works from positive first principles.

"This has been *especially* clear in U.S. politics over the last few months. You can’t build good theory on bad premises."

Clear how? There are no viable third party candidates. There's simply moderate left and right, and more extreme left and right candidates. I assume you're talking about Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump here.

"There’s simply moderate left and right, and more extreme left and right candidates"

Nope. You're stuck in a bad intellectual framework.

Trump voices an ideology that makes sense to a lot of people and which can be understood very poorly in terms of left/right, especially Caplan's version, which has no purchase at all on nationalism.

Oh God, you're not a Trump supporter are you?

Also, he voices an ideology that can be understood poorly in terms of left/right because he has no ideology. He just voices whatever's popular at the moment. If you're holding up Trump as an example of a coherent ideology which shows the weaknesses of a left/right divide, you best look for a better example.

A simpler and more accurate theory of left and right:

1. Leftists are anti-rightist. On an emotional level, they're critical of rightists. No matter how much they agree with rightists on an issue, they can't bear to say, "The right is totally correct, it would be inappropriate to criticize them."

2. Rightists are anti-leftist. On an emotional level, they're critical of leftists. No matter how much they agree with leftists on an issue, they can't bear to say, "The left is totally correct, it would be inappropriate to criticize them."

This is more toward my thinking: One cannot know what a person cares about. One can know what a person says he/she cares about, and then compare that with the results of their actions. Most of Caplan's binary oppositions would rhetorically suit most leftists just fine, but not most rightists. Caplan seems simply to accept and promote what the left says about the polarization. I think #2 gives this away. Certainly the left claims to care for the poor, but how is it that the most leftist administration in US history has produced such disastrous economic results for the poor? The left will certainly agree that the right cares only about the rich. But every rightist I know thinks that people are better off with individual liberty and a job than with a government-dictated welfare check. The right, on the other hand, claims to promote smaller government, but never achieves this when they are in power.

Appealing in its symmetry, but wrong.

On a different note:

I observe that rightists think left wingers are ideologically blinded and right wingers are ideologically blinded. Clearly, there is a lot of truth to both sides in quite a lot of cases, but this hides genuine disagreements arising from different importance attribute to things like personal responsibility (right wing emphasis) or socially entrenched discrimination aka equality of opportunity (left wing emphasis).

While people may manage to cover up their own ideological biases, perhaps even so far as to delude themselves, they rarely manage to conceal which group they feel is being "too ideological" about things.

Consider Hopaulius, for example, obviously leans to the right in painting the left as more simplistic: "binary oppositions would rhetorically suit most leftists just fine, but not most rightists" and in referring to a "government-dictated welfare check" (as though the government instructs them not to work ... I thought there were actually a fair few hoops to jump through to get the first cheque).

I think right wingers are more persistent in using "lefty", "socialist" or "liberal" (a strange thing, since historically "socialist" and "liberal" were rather at opposite ends of the spectrum) almost as insults. I garnish this largely from Fox News, the National Post and the Conservative Party of Canada Facebook page. Meanwhile, left wingers are more likely to abandon the left-right spectrum and specify things like "entrenched corporate interests", "corporate controlled politicians" and "evangelicals" (USA) or "right wing Christians" (Canada) when decrying the right (from Huffington Post, CBC).

Of course, each side likes to paint themselves as the more rational thinkers, more aware of the sources of corruption in society and electoral systems, better able to pinpoint the relevant areas of failure in governance/markets. I think both would do well to take time to understand the legitimacy of the other perspectives rather than writing them off as simplistic, knee-jerk, ideological positions. Some people are pretty gullible/uncritical and are easily influenced by propaganda, but usually, even those who express themselves primarily in cliche insults and cliche positions actually have fairly sound reasons for the positions they hold.

A more complicated but accurate rendering would be:

1. Leftists manifest the sense of society and priorities common to the word-merchant element, who are commonly insulated from markets by public employment and guild architectures and often dependent for their livelihood on public policy which separates discretion over expenditure from income (and, of course, from earnings). They traffick in conceptions which enhance their status at the expense of everyone else by stigmatizing the tastes of their opposition.

2. Rightists are (taken together) an omnibus of those who are not part of the word merchant element nor are they the clientele of the word merchant element. They are employed in the private sector or the uniformed services. They do not subscribe to the various social ideologies which stigmatize them. They are irked, bored, and impatient with the pretensions of leftists.

tl;dr you think your side is the good people and the other side are the bad people.

Depends on what one thinks of the legal profession, the educational apparat, the media, and the mental health trade.

But not the thugs killing people for no reason. They are the good government employees.

Do you suggest that the right would find more appeal if they could only find better words?

Words have always ruled. The pen moves swords.

(You could have appended "btw I'm obviously right wing" to the end : ) )

So this is a theory that left and right have no intrinsic intellectual content but are based only on the dialectic between two groups of debaters? Superficially appealing in its contrarian smart-guy nature, but if true, why do the same left-right debates repeat themselves in 90 per cent of rich democracies?

6. "Libertarianism" has very little popular support:

Worst supporting link ever.

Agreed. It's a terrible, misleading link. Not that I've come to expect anything less from our friends at Vox.

When you talk about "reducing Social Security", voters hear "taking away your benefits". They aren't also thinking about, "lowering your payroll taxes".

The majority of Americans throughout the early 2000s (when privatization was being debated) consistently supported individual retirement accounts as a replacement for the existing system. The word "privatization" scared them but if you phrase it as "personal retirement accounts" you got a decent amount of support.

You've shown that rewording the question can produce different results, but not that the result you're touting is the 'true' leaning of the public.

Politics is about framing. There is no "true leaning" of the country on many issues.

So the public at large has no actual opinion?

I don't think so. Jason is right.

6. "According to an August survey by the independent polling firm Eschelon Insights, far and away the most popular candidate nationwide among libertarian-inclined Republicans is Donald Trump, the least libertarian candidate in the race."

Donald "Bozo" Trump was the only candidate to oppose the Iraq disaster, which is important to a lot of "libertarian inclined" people. But to "libertarians" like Jerry Taylor the most important thing for liberty is replacing White people with Mexicans.

" to “libertarians” like Jerry Taylor the most important thing for liberty is replacing White people with Mexicans"

Maybe it feels that way to you, but, open question: do you understand that this COMPLETELY misrepresents the way these people actually think about it?

Namely, I don't think she could care less who has what skin colour, and basically considers that a human is a human is a human.

Another open question: take a population, half white, half black. They completely interbreed resulting in a perfectly mixed race. I assume this trouble you greatly. But I don't understand why. You genes are ALL STILL THERE in future generations, just distributed a little more evenly across the population. Why does the purity of your skin colour matter so much to you?

do you understand that this COMPLETELY misrepresents the way these people actually think about it?

No I do not because it is not a misrepresentation. It merely strips away the trumpery. The error in this statement is in its excess particularity.

So ... you agree with his perspective and are equally willing to misrepresent the way that libertarians actually think about the matter in order to make the point that you want to make.

People might take you more seriously on the matter if you said something like "I know they obviously don't care about racial purity, but it matters to me and to me it seems more like (...what he said...)"

When you completely misrepresent what people say/think in order to make your point, people probably won't take you very seriously.

So … you agree with his perspective and are equally willing to misrepresent the way that libertarians actually think about the matter in order to make the point that you want to make. -

No, I understand what libertarians advocate and you do not.

Hmmm... I consider those to be white nationalists, not libertarians. I don't doubt that a lot of libertarians would be happy to rid themselves of association with this type of thinking.

But in a society where we prioritize self definition, if a white nationalist prefers to call himself a libertarian, then so be it.

Please do not try to force libertarians into a box. They are a diverse group.

Well, how did you get that half-White half-Black population? Was it through immigration of Blacks into a historically White country? Did it benefit the country to do that?

Interbreeding. I posed initially half-white, half-black, then interbreeding into a perfectly mixed race. No information on origins (or perhaps it happened so long ago that it's no longer all that relevant).

"Another open question: take a population, half white, half black. They completely interbreed resulting in a perfectly mixed race."

-Not gonna happen. And that country is going to be close to Brazil in its social indicators.

And that country is going to be close to Brazil in its social indicators.

He sayeth, informed by his sample of one.

Dominican Republic.

Comments on 2, here and on econlog are hilarious. People are remarkably bad at understanding the perspectives of others. Clearly conservatives should define themselves and liberals should define themselves. As a liberal person, practically none of the definitions of my defining trait generated by conservatives are even within the ballpark of capturing the way I think or what I value. Most are laughably weak attempts to valorize the writer's ideology. I can only imagine liberal definitions of conservatives are the same.

Often it seems like people strawmanning people's views, although I wouldn't say that of econlog or particularly often on this blog.

I dare say it happens more from the right to the left than vice versa, since leftists usually complain that rightists only care about money, the rich, and protection of entrenched corporate interests, which basically seems true, although it is usually defended under the veneer of freedom and private property.

(You could have appended “btw I’m obviously left wing” to the end : ) )

Only in America. Anywhere else on the planet I'm right wing.

So (quoting you above) you "only care about money, the rich, and protection of entrenched corporate interests"? That is the definition of rightist that 'basically seems true' to you above

I don't pose that there's anything wrong with money, with being rich or that established corporations should have access to influence over policy.

As saith the Encyclopedia Dramatica, feminism is the belief that all men should become gay. Despite that statement's strong effective accuracy, not one feminist will admit to that definition.

The only reason that feminists and gay rights folks are allied intellectually is that both challenge socialized norms about gender roles.

I've never heard of a feminist who actually thinks men should be gay, but they are the most natural ally of LGBT groups because they both challenge traditional socialized gender roles.

Of course, you cite a source that self describes as parody :)

It's not just that. Complaints about sexual objectification. Having no complaints about gay-dominated sectors, but many complaints about straight-white-male dominated sectors. I really don't think it would make that much of a difference if the insinuation were to become openly stated.

none of the definitions of my defining trait generated by conservatives are even within the ballpark of capturing the way I think or what I value.

Or they capture what you think and value but not what you'll admit to.

Yes, and conservatives defining trait is the ability to strip away the self-delusion of the left. You paragon of reason and intellect, you.

@2. Not nearly as perceptive as Arnold Kling's 'Three Languages of Politics'.

The problem is that if there are really three axes, we would expect maybe eight political tendencies. But we get two. Maybe more than two if you include all the hydra heads in right-wing politics, but the left can pretty much be arranged in moderate-to-extreme order along a single axis.

No, I think that's a misreading. There are 3 tendencies -- progressives, who put the greatest weight on the oppression/oppressor axis, conservatives, who put the most weight on civilization/barbarism, and libertarians, who put the most weight on freedom/coercion. We don't get 2x2x2 because nobody's actually in favor of oppression, barbarism, or coercion.

As a political party (as opposed to a general philosophy), Libertarianism suffers from a lack of well developed issues. What would a Libertarian candidate do in office except oppose everything?

The two best-developed Libertarian issues are probably de-incarceration / reduction of police brutality and scaling back the War on Drugs. Both issues are hugely controversial without being hugely popular, and lack a core group of voters who are committed to those as their top issues. That means you're better off joining a big coalition to advance those goals, rather than trying to elect candidates of your own.

Say what you like about evangelicals, or union voters. But both groups have core interests that will motivate big groups of volunteers, donors, and voters in election after election.

"The two best-developed Libertarian issues are probably de-incarceration / reduction of police brutality and scaling back the War on Drugs."

-De-incarceration? Don't see how that's libertarian. Reduction of police brutality, yes, scaling back the War on Drugs, yes.

-De-incarceration? Don’t see how that’s libertarian. -

It is if you realize they do not like cops or prison guards and are insouciant about why the rest of us are pleased to employ such people.

Being opposed to police brutality is not the same thing as "not liking cops".

1. The referent was 'de-incarceration' not 'police brutality'.

2. Given that complaints about 'police brutality' now incorporate the notion that police officers should be criminally liable because they do not have the unseen medical file of a man resisting arrest committed to memory 'ere executing an ordinary tackle of said man and the notion that feral young men should have a franchise to defy a lawful instruction from an officer, attempt to take away his service pistol, charge him, and continue charging him when four bullets have entered the left arm, I'll be waiting for a sensible definition of 'police brutality'.

Your knocking the shit out of those straw-men there, arent you? In at least the case of Tamir Rice, access to a medical file or whatever you are blathering about is not as relevant as the fact that he was shot to death within seconds of encountering the police. But, again, stand up and be proud of your defense of police brutality. If you represent the opposition to libertarianism, then im proud to say im not at all like you. The more people who realize what an ass people like you are, the better.

Your knocking the shit out of those straw-men there, arent you?

No, reading the newspapers and taking note of the content of the complaints of demonstrators and commentators.

People cashing government checks for having been born in the pre-electric era, don't employ anyone. They are welfare queens.

Put the bong down.

I'm sure that was a real zinger in 1965.

#2: Dr. Caplan's taxonomy is obtuse. He doesn't get and never will. He needs to stick to something he can do well, like chess.

The president of the Niskanen Center fancies libertarian concerns to include the following:

Gay rights,

There is not one item which goes under that heading that would be of interest to someone concerned with state coercion other than removal of statutory prohibitions on consensual sodomy and an end to dismissal of homosexuals qua homosexuals from civil service positions as a matter of policy. Neither has been much of a concern anywhere in the last 35 years and even prior to that only an odd random selection of homosexuals ever suffered from the former and only a narrow segment were in danger from the latter.

drug decriminalization,

A manifestation of soi-disant libertarians' refusal to acknowledge that life is lived socially and the discontents of adolescents are transient.

increasing outrage over heavy-handed police tactics,

A fantasy, by and large, but also indicative of an adolescent's worldview.

growing concern over an unjust legal system,

'Growing concern' amongst whom? Who is it other than Thomas Sowell who cares what was done to Conrad Black and Bruce Ivins?

disgust over crony capitalism,

Not really a libertarian signature. That's more Capitol Hill nexus v. everyone else.

and opposition to military deployments abroad

A manifestation of the charming Paul-bot tendency to fancy that nothing has any implications unless we will them.

But just because people buy libertarian arguments when it comes to civil liberties or foreign policy does not mean they are more likely to buy them on taxes, spending, or regulation. If they were, then Bernie Sanders Democrats would be Rand Paul Republicans.

They do not buy libertarian arguments because they grew up.

Good to see the anti-libertarian arguments are as shallow and dim-witted as ever. Keep up the good work!

I'm waiting with bated breath for your deep and non-dim witted utterances. Been waiting the whole thread.

Well i dont know if i can top "libertarians are children" as an argument so ill have to leave it be.

I'm a moderate Democrat, more or less.

No, Bryan, free markets don't make me nervous. I think they work quite well, but sometimes they don't.

Name three expansions of free market activity in the present-day U.S. that do not exist today that you support.

1. Let people buy their own cable TV boxes.

2. Remove the absurd restrictions that Texas and some other states have put on abortion clinics.

3. Institute carbon taxes or the like. Superficially this is not a "free market" reform, but it is clearly in the spirit of markets, in that it requires those who use resources to pay for their costs, rather than dumping them off on others.

4. Bonus: Increase the role that nurse practitioners and other non-physician medical personnel can play.

5. Bonus #2: eliminate restrictions that many states place on the importation and distribution of alcoholic beverages. There is no reason I shouldn't be able to order wine from a California vineyard without having to go through some rent-collecting distributor.

You better be careful naming specific "right"ish policies, no matter how minor, that you favor. A lot of people might realize they agree with you, and then instead of a blog thread war about ideology, there might actually be political compromises that make the world better. Q.v. name of blog.

I don't think #s 2 and 3 count (although #2 is more likely to count than #3). For #1, I don't have cable, and have never had it, so why can't people buy their own cable TV boxes? #s 4 and 5 are pretty self-explanatory.

I think it's interesting that political independents, moderates mostly, can both be the largest single group in the political continuum, and the most ignored. In the case of "vs libertarians" what are independents? Ten times more common? Twenty? More?

I suppose journalists could just be lazy, and independents are by their nature the least quotable group. But perhaps most journalists are ideological themselves, and have trouble seeing the invisible middle. The right journos are anti-left and the left journos are aantiit-right.

The reason was stated about 15 years ago by James Neuchterlein: the exemplary 'independent voter' is one who offers such gems as "she reminds me of my first wife' when asked to comment on a given politician.

It's hard to define "moderate".

A voter who wants to ban all immigration and impose a 90% tax on the rich would be considered a moderate for taking 1 hard right position and 1 hard left position.

Donald Trump's core voters are economically leftwing (no free trade, protect American jobs from foreigners) and socially rightwing (deport the Mexicans). Are these people moderates?

I think moderation is closely linked to pragmatism, and that is underrated both in professional and amateur commentary.

While "leftists" may fit Caplan's description (they can't bear to say, "Markets have done a great job, who could ask for more?"), I think the attitude of "Liberals" is, "Markets have done a great job, but we CAN ask for more."

Of course, that does not really get to the essence of it either because liberals don't spend a lot of time thinking about "capitalism" or "markets" as practiced in the US in 2015 as opposed to some abstract ideal or to other economic systems of long ago or far away. To say that free markets "get on the nerves" of Liberals just because they do not do obeisance frequently enough strikes me as a bit over the top.

It should be apparent that American greatness comes from an effective mix of private and public effort. Perhaps, related to Caplan's observation, leftists are more free to admit that. And yes, for the right that is harder to admit.

Case in point, the crazy deflections above that The Internet is not a government invention, and that it does not retain the peer-to-peer framework ARPA intended.

I suggest that the left is quite willing to admit that markets have played a role in American greatness, but that many on the right are very offended by the notion that any public effort ever contributed positively to anything.

The number of Republicans who want small government (and not just small transfer payments to "those people") is vanishingly small. One day Libertarians will wake up to this.

The rest of us have woken up to the reality that there is no arguing with people like you because you have no viewpoints which are not reducible to impugning someone's motives.

Says the guy who's whole argument against libertarianism is "libertarians are children and im a grownup"

I think I finally figured out why he considered these all to be childish or adolescent views. Perhaps he contemplated them all seriously as a teenager, when he was open minded, before settling on the positions that he holds very rigidly now.

So, since those were views that HE gave consideration as a youth, he now disregards anyone who holds them as "adolescent".

Art - does that sound about right? Hey, other people go through the same process, and come to different conclusions. It doesn't make them childish, it just means they disagree with you.

You did not figure it out. You're not that insightful to begin with and attempting to plum the intellectual biography of someone you've never met in the flesh thirty-odd years after the fact is a task few people would ever do well. My mother and father were Eisenhower Republicans. They both had an intellectual odyssey after 1963 and everyone's viewpoint in the family was influenced by that.

Art Deco is a self-confessed reactionary. IMO, he's basically a Victorian elitist. His worldview and opinions make sense if you understand that he wants American society to revert to the social structure and norms of 1885.

He's also a snide prick.

That said, he's not wrong about libertarianism.

IMO, he’s basically a Victorian elitist. His worldview and opinions make sense if you understand that he wants American society to revert to the social structure and norms of 1885.

Get back to me when you can think in something other than cartoons.

"Get back to me when you can think in something other than cartoons."

So sayeth the mugwump.

No, my argument is that much of contemporary libertarianism (not Hayek's, not Friedman's, not Sowell's, not Richard Epstein's, not Peikoff's) reflects the worldview and priorities of adolescents. You can see that in what interests them, which is first and foremost the drug laws.

Athey's talk at the colloquium was much more interesting than Levitt's.

OgxVyAdusSrwecCvds 1798

The very first time I smoked was at home with my mother and step-father they were like, If you
are planning to do that we had rather you did this with us.

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