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Joey Advises Jeb Bush

ResponsiblyIrresponsible
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7/21/2015 4:27:21 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Recently I made a post on Jeb Bush's remarks regarding Americans "working longer hours." In that post, I defended him from phony attacks which strawmanned the essence of his remarks. To recap, he was referring to (a) unemployed, (b) involuntarily part-time employed, (c) marginally attached workers and (d) voluntarily part-time employed due to policies such as the ACA, which partially delinked health insurance from employment status. It's possible to make a moral argument on the latter, but the first three are truly a no-brainer: unless you want to be branded as hating the unemployed and underemployed, disputing the essence of his remarks is just stupid.

Anyway, all of these factors, insofar as they persist, can spell problems down the road. A well-documented phenomenon in the academic literature is negative duration dependence--the longer you're unemployed, the harder it is for you to get a job. Much of this is due to workers' skills atrophying over time. There's evidence now that this is likely the case because labor-market slack persists in spite of record levels of job vacancies; indeed, even accounting for job search frictions or even a relatively inelastic labor elasticity with respect to income (i.e., people will re-enter only once wages post broad-based gains), it's clear that there's *some* evidence of a skill mismatch, and this doesn't bode well for the future of labor force participation, for productivity, or for trend growth -- or, in economese, the LRAS curve. It's a dynamic problem, as well, which is to say that hysteresis is a process currently unfolding even as the labor market improves--think of it as an exponential decay function. Not to mention, within the BLS's category of "marginally attached" we have workers who are actually marginally attached to the labor force -- people not currently looking, but who would if thy saw economic prospects rebound -- and discouraged -- people who are not currently looking and who wouldn't begin to look even if the economy were to pick up, because they're convinced, for whatever reason, that no jobs are available. Increase the longevity of resource underutilization, and run the risk of (a) cyclical problems, again, turning structural and (b) exacerbating the "discouraged worker effect."

Today, I'm going to play the role of Jeb Bush's advisor. He cited the problem -- people aren't working long enough, there's a significant amount of latent labor-market slack, and we run the risk of this being a "new normal" unless something is done. Here's the advice I have for him on capitalizing on his remarks, which can, truly, only be done through detailed policy proposals at this point, because only then will people -- rightfully -- take him seriously.

But, first, a preface: drop the growth target. We can hit whatever nominal GDP target we want in the long run because autonomous policy changes can move inflation up and down, but we *cannot* hit whatever RGDP target we want. Current estimates are as low as 1.5 or 2 percent for longer-run trend growth. I can't think of a practical way to hit 4. Heck, the last time we hit 4 percent was amid the boom of the Clinton years. I'm with Noah Smith on this, which likewise caused this an "illusion" [http://www.bloombergview.com...]. Amid an aging population, declining global fertility rates, slowing labor force growth, a technological slowdown, low levels of labor force participation, ongoing headwinds (deleveraging, credit standards, fiscal consolidation at the state and local level), and low productivity -- much of which is cyclical, though a direct byproduct of overly tight policy which threatens to become much worse -- 4 percent growth for an extended period is nothing more than fanciful thinking. Drop the promise for "4 percent growth" and focusing on *boosting* trend growth.

Policies Jeb Bush Should Support Tomorrow

For some of these, I'm going to echo several of James Glassman's ideas, though I'll go further in some directions.

Firstly, Bush needs to do something about stagnant levels of real wages since the onset of the financial crisis, especially since academic estimates such that labor elasticity is someone high with respect to income. He can handle this indirectly with policies -- that I'll get to -- geared toward boosting productivity, though the simplest way to induce people to return to the labor force is by appointing a Fed Chair willing to overheat.

Of course, this sounds as though I'm violating the first rule of monetary economics grounded in Alesina and Summer's 1993 paper which admonishes politicians injecting themselves into monetary policy. I agree with this: I don't want dipsh1ts like Rand Paul, Richard Shelby, Elizabeth Warren, Jeb Hensarling, et al. involved in monetary policy. It's highly complex, and wildly above their pay grade, which is better suited toward knee-jerk political pandering. However, it's indisputable that monetary policy has been far too tight over recent years using any plausible indicator of its stance -- real interest rates relative to the equilibrium real rate or NGDP growth relative to trend. I've met Janet Yellen, and I greatly admire her, but she isn't willing to take the necessary steps to see through a stable labor-market recovery, glued to this specious notion of "gradualism." Therefore, Jeb should appoint a Fed Chair willing to readily pursue a regime change. The first name that comes to mind is Greg Mankiw, though he may be more inclined toward lackluster price-level targeting for political pragmatism. The gains of that are heavily contingent on how far back you draw the index -- and I'd bet my bottom dollar that won't be far -- but it beats the hell out of inflation targeting, and is the closest thing to "targeting the forecast" we'll ever see. Another great choice is Larry Summers, though he's probably too busy authoring Hillary Clinton's economic plans to serve for Jeb.

Secondly, Congress needs to pass a stimulus. Indeed, this would make Mankiw's job a heck of a lot easier unless the policies were passed in conjunction and forecasts of longer-run growth were revised upward -- which, again, builds the case for an NGDP level target. The goal of the stimulus would be solely to shift the LRAS curve outward, and would likely entail investments in research, education, infrastructure, job training, and green energy.

Thirdly, Jeb needs to tell John Boehner and friends to fck off, and actually bring an immigration reform bill to the floor. He can wrap it in superfluous bullsh1t like "border security," but he knows that the returns to immigration, both to current and trend productivity growth, are astonishingly high. Passing it is a no-brainer.

Fourthly, he needs to go HAM with curtailing onerous regulations that hinder productivity and discourage innovation. Again, this is easier said than done, but insofar as the Fed properly manages Dodd Frank (as it has been), calls for more aggressive Wall Street regulation will wane.

Fifth, he needs to sh1t-can the federal tax code and replace it with a progressive consumption tax -- one which untaxes savings and capital income with exemptions for lower levels of consumption. He would most likely want to phase the PCT in for the sake of mitigating the ramifications of transitioning from a consumption-based to investment-based economy -- as the savings rate, surely, would rise -- but there's no reason to hold out on hitting the "golden rule capital-labor ratio" as predicted by Robert Solow's 1957 paper.

Sixth, he needs to increase labor market flexibility to account for the current skills mismatch. He can do this by transitioning current welfare programs to a lump-sum NIT (e.g., EITC) and abolishing policies, like the MW, which price unskilled and young laborers out of the job market.

That sounds like enough for now.
~ResponsiblyIrresponsible

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ax123man
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7/21/2015 7:35:16 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
"I Dream of Jeannie" or something like that.

It's not going to happen because the goal of government is to stay in power, not help anyone (else). If it sometimes appears as if they are trying to help the rest of us, well, see previous sentence.

The history of man is that some rule and some are ruled. The only thing that changes is the sophistication of the methods. Everything I see in the world came into focus once I understood this.

You're a smart guy, that I can see. But your just playing their game. OTOH, get good enough at it and you too can, if you choose, live very well while producing nothing.
ResponsiblyIrresponsible
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7/21/2015 7:44:41 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/21/2015 7:35:16 PM, ax123man wrote:
"I Dream of Jeannie" or something like that.

It's not going to happen because the goal of government is to stay in power, not help anyone (else). If it sometimes appears as if they are trying to help the rest of us, well, see previous sentence.

The history of man is that some rule and some are ruled. The only thing that changes is the sophistication of the methods. Everything I see in the world came into focus once I understood this.

You're a smart guy, that I can see. But your just playing their game. OTOH, get good enough at it and you too can, if you choose, live very well while producing nothing.

I think this is overly cynical--and that's coming from me, someone who is (or was, at least) amongst this site's most cynical.

Irrespective of political reality, these are the policies Jeb -- or Hillary, or Bernie, or anyone -- should take on. The politics don't really interest or concern me. Many of these policies aren't politically palatable, but politics doesn't good make economics, though good economics *can* make good politics. Whether Jeb and friends see that is another question, though it doesn't much concern me.

I also would dispute that politicians are diametrically opposed to helping people. I can point to good things about *several* of the current candidates. Sanders is for campaign finance reform and extensive investment in education; Hillary took up Larry Summer's idea of an Infrastructure Bank; Jeb long ago expressed support for education vouchers and currently supports immigration reform.
~ResponsiblyIrresponsible

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ax123man
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7/21/2015 7:53:39 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/21/2015 7:44:41 PM, ResponsiblyIrresponsible wrote:
At 7/21/2015 7:35:16 PM, ax123man wrote:
"I Dream of Jeannie" or something like that.

It's not going to happen because the goal of government is to stay in power, not help anyone (else). If it sometimes appears as if they are trying to help the rest of us, well, see previous sentence.

The history of man is that some rule and some are ruled. The only thing that changes is the sophistication of the methods. Everything I see in the world came into focus once I understood this.

You're a smart guy, that I can see. But your just playing their game. OTOH, get good enough at it and you too can, if you choose, live very well while producing nothing.

I think this is overly cynical--and that's coming from me, someone who is (or was, at least) amongst this site's most cynical.

Irrespective of political reality, these are the policies Jeb -- or Hillary, or Bernie, or anyone -- should take on. The politics don't really interest or concern me. Many of these policies aren't politically palatable, but politics doesn't good make economics, though good economics *can* make good politics. Whether Jeb and friends see that is another question, though it doesn't much concern me.

I also would dispute that politicians are diametrically opposed to helping people. I can point to good things about *several* of the current candidates. Sanders is for campaign finance reform and extensive investment in education; Hillary took up Larry Summer's idea of an Infrastructure Bank; Jeb long ago expressed support for education vouchers and currently supports immigration reform.

I'm not saying they are diametrically opposed to helping people. Are you saying Sanders desire for campaign finance reform isn't winning him votes? These are all standard policy positions. Meaningless. I don't believe politicians are sinister. What I do believe, very strongly, is that we make decisions on a subconscious level that are strongly driven by self-interest. Until we all accept that we'll never find an ideal socio-political system that allows humans to live the most fulfilling lives possible. Do you think any politician runs for office without knowing what the opinion polls are saying?
ResponsiblyIrresponsible
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7/21/2015 8:12:15 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/21/2015 7:53:39 PM, ax123man wrote:
I'm not saying they are diametrically opposed to helping people.

You said that their primary goal is to acquire and maintain power, and insinuated that that which might appear as an attempt to help people is merely an illusion underlying their real motives. You made -- and correct me if I'm wrong, though I don't think I am -- a case analogous to Mitt Romney's: throw people an occasional bone so they vote for you, when in reality you don't care.

Are you saying Sanders desire for campaign finance reform isn't winning him votes?

Of course it is. In fact, I think his authenticity is the primary reason he's drawing such huge crowds. He's wrong on a whole lot, but campaign finance is one area alone that could actually cause me to abandon everything else and vote for him. But the reason he's winning votes is because people are tired of the bought-and-paid-for, blow-dried politician, and they see Bernie as someone who, unlike Hillary, won't simply talk the talk, but will walk the walk. I don't think he's talking about campaign finance simply to "win votes." He doesn't even have a bloody Super PAC, which itself severely limits his chances.

These are all standard policy positions.

I disagree. He's the only person who actually *talks* about campaign finance, other than, ironically, Donald Trump, who has admitted that he has the power to make any politician, their party affiliation notwithstanding, dance. Of course, I don't think he wants to overturn Citizens United. I think Hillary has signed on once, though it's not something, to my knowledge, that she talks about -- and given her past dealings with Goldman and friends, as well as her husband's record of deregulation, I don't think she's sincere about any of it.

Meaningless. I don't believe politicians are sinister. What I do believe, very strongly, is that we make decisions on a subconscious level that are strongly driven by self-interest.

And this is a regular debate in economics with respect to government intervention: if people are perfectly rational, self-interested individual, we wouldn't need laws, for instance, banning discrimination, because rational actors with perfect information would realize that racism is wrong, and boycott businesses that bar racial minorities. The problem, though, is that people are not merely self-interested, nor are the mechanisms which would spawn people to act in their self-interest -- competition, perfect dissemination of information, symmetric bargaining power -- in full effect.

But, again, that's largely beside the point. People do act in their self interest to at least some degree, though without question there are other factors, altruism amongst them, which may drive people in the right direction. I think that's largely the case with Bernie Sanders. Absent our archaic campaign-finance laws, I think that would be the case with Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush. Why? Because genuine campaign finance reform would actually transform elections into a "free market."

Until we all accept that we'll never find an ideal socio-political system that allows humans to live the most fulfilling lives possible.

Why does it need to be ideal? Nothing is *ideal.* Why can't we take steps to incrementally improve the system, even if that first step is convincing people -- as I've been trying to do -- that much of what these politicians are saying (I've done this with Bernie as well, and I will with Jeb the second he fcks up) is bullsh1t. If people demand good policies, they'll get them. That may take time and effort, and it might requiring uprooting the system (again, campaign finance reform), but it's spectacularly more productive than sitting around and spouting cynicism. I think you're too smart for that.

Do you think any politician runs for office without knowing what the opinion polls are saying?

No, not at all.

Well, maybe Rick Perry does, but that's because he's a moron, lol.

The point is, politicians don't listen to opinion polls; they listen to their donors. If the donors and the opinion polls match up (hint: the opinion polls are much, much more liberal), everything would be rainbows and unicorns, yet it isn't.
~ResponsiblyIrresponsible

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ax123man
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7/21/2015 8:41:13 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/21/2015 8:12:15 PM, ResponsiblyIrresponsible wrote:

"people are tired of the bought-and-paid-for, blow-dried politician"

This sentence has been uttered before every election almost since there were elections. I really can't imagine how people can continue to do this over and over.

"if people are perfectly rational, self-interested individual, we wouldn't need laws"

What does law have to do with government, other than having a monopoly over it at the moment? Law predates government and has existed without it.

Campaign finance reform isn't going to change anything. The goal in politics is to live well without producing anything while yielding power over others. This didn't change when kings sought a new source of power when the "divine right" went out of favor, but you think it will with campaign finance reform in a democracy.

From where I'm standing, it looks like stockholm syndrome.
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7/21/2015 8:49:37 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
What does law have to do with government, other than having a monopoly over it at the moment? Law predates government and has existed without it.

This is , to put it bluntly, incorrect. Law has existed without government. Why on Earth would this idea even formulate in your head. Law, is enforced by the government, and law is written/created by the government.
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ResponsiblyIrresponsible
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7/21/2015 8:50:27 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/21/2015 8:41:13 PM, ax123man wrote:
At 7/21/2015 8:12:15 PM, ResponsiblyIrresponsible wrote:

"people are tired of the bought-and-paid-for, blow-dried politician"

This sentence has been uttered before every election almost since there were elections. I really can't imagine how people can continue to do this over and over.

What would you suggest they do otherwise? The only way to change the system, realistically, is to work within it, and I think now people are waking up, which is why Bernie is drawing such large crowds.

"if people are perfectly rational, self-interested individual, we wouldn't need laws"

What does law have to do with government, other than having a monopoly over it at the moment? Law predates government and has existed without it.

This is just silly; law is coercive in nature, and adherence to the law is rooted in a credible threat of consequences. It can only exist in the presence of a government. We can have a contractual agreement in the absence of a government, but you have no method of recourse should I violate that agreement sans, say, assaulting me or picking my pocket. That's not law; that's anarchy.

Campaign finance reform isn't going to change anything.

I couldn't disagree more; Citizens United is the vehicle by which politicians gain and maintain power, and the mechanism by which they achieve that is pandering to the donor class. Remove the enabler, and we'll see both the seasoned politicians *and* the policies change drastically. There would be virtually nothing underlying pandering to corporations because they're physically unable to buy off politicians. The public would see right through it because politicians would literally need -- in the absence of blowing X millions on ads -- to publicly broadcast their views.

The goal in politics is to live well without producing anything while yielding power over others.

For many, that's the goal now. Remove the enabling mechanism, and that changes entirely.

This didn't change when kings sought a new source of power when the "divine right" went out of favor, but you think it will with campaign finance reform in a democracy.

How is this in any way analogous? We don't live in a monarchy. No one serves by divine right or has unchecked power. This is a complete non-sequitur.

From where I'm standing, it looks like stockholm syndrome.

Not even close, and a complete misuse of the term to boot.
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ResponsiblyIrresponsible
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7/21/2015 8:53:07 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
In reality, I'd really like to dial this thread back to the topics discussed in the OP, none of which deal with the moral justification for government, the nature of law, or cynicism over government power.
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TheProphett
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7/21/2015 9:00:50 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/21/2015 8:53:07 PM, ResponsiblyIrresponsible wrote:
In reality, I'd really like to dial this thread back to the topics discussed in the OP, none of which deal with the moral justification for government, the nature of law, or cynicism over government power.

As would I, but those who.... feel it their need to find a piece of a well written statement and criticize it (cough cough cough), must be satiated. Now let's return to the Jeb dilemma.
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TheProphett
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7/21/2015 9:09:06 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Thirdly, Jeb needs to tell John Boehner and friends to fck off, and actually bring an immigration reform bill to the floor. He can wrap it in superfluous bullsh1t like "border security," but he knows that the returns to immigration, both to current and trend productivity growth, are astonishingly high. Passing it is a no-brainer.

I agree. John Boehner is all talk and criticism, goes on and on about how crappy the immigration policy is, and blames it on Obama. If he wants to get somewhere, he needs to formulate a plan and put it into action. Can't talk the talk if you can't walk the walk.
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ResponsiblyIrresponsible
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7/21/2015 9:12:01 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/21/2015 9:09:06 PM, TheProphett wrote:
Thirdly, Jeb needs to tell John Boehner and friends to fck off, and actually bring an immigration reform bill to the floor. He can wrap it in superfluous bullsh1t like "border security," but he knows that the returns to immigration, both to current and trend productivity growth, are astonishingly high. Passing it is a no-brainer.

I agree. John Boehner is all talk and criticism, goes on and on about how crappy the immigration policy is, and blames it on Obama. If he wants to get somewhere, he needs to formulate a plan and put it into action. Can't talk the talk if you can't walk the walk.

Exactly, and the worst part is, he doesn't even need to come up with a plan. The Senate passed one a long time ago (about a year ago, if I'm not mistaken). It's sitting on his desk, but he refuses to take it to a vote. When Jorge Ramos (whom I love, btw) pressed him on it, he came up with this loony "the President has eroded the confidence of the American people because of his executive delays to the ACA" response. It's really quite disgraceful.
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ax123man
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7/21/2015 9:40:03 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/21/2015 8:50:27 PM, ResponsiblyIrresponsible wrote:
At 7/21/2015 8:41:13 PM, ax123man wrote:
At 7/21/2015 8:12:15 PM, ResponsiblyIrresponsible wrote:


"The only way to change the system, realistically, is to work within it"

Does that mean we must participate in politics? I don't think so. "The system" to me is made up of individuals going about there business every day making a living, raising a family, etc. It does NOT include spending your day forcing others to live a certain way. I simply choose to ignore anyone who lives that way. These are people who don't exist to me.

"now people are waking up"

There it is again. One of those many uttered phrases.

"This is just silly; law is coercive in nature, and adherence to the law is rooted in a credible threat of consequences. It can only exist in the presence of a government. We can have a contractual agreement in the absence of a government, but you have no method of recourse should I violate that agreement sans, say, assaulting me or picking my pocket. That's not law; that's anarchy.

It looks silly, I suppose, if all we've known for centuries is a government monopoly. Except it has been that way at various times in history. Kind of hard to ignore that. Ireland in the middle ages is one example. There kings had pretty much nothing to do with law. I see no reason why the force of law needs to come from government and I'd say the burden of proof that it does would be on you. Just saying it does because it does isn't proof.


Campaign finance reform isn't going to change anything.

I couldn't disagree more; Citizens United is the vehicle by which politicians gain and maintain power, and the mechanism by which they achieve that is pandering to the donor class. Remove the enabler, and we'll see both the seasoned politicians *and* the policies change drastically. There would be virtually nothing underlying pandering to corporations because they're physically unable to buy off politicians. The public would see right through it because politicians would literally need -- in the absence of blowing X millions on ads -- to publicly broadcast their views.


This simply ignores a broad view of political systems and history completely. Like I said before, if the loss of the power of God (divine right of kings) didn't change anything, how on earth is a tweak to democratic financing going to?

Your liberal - ok. So the way you get played is this: Democrats in power aren't stupid. They know the free market works best pretty much unfettered. But, they want their cut. So the masses must be convinced that the market is flawed. Not that hard - the average American still thinks tariffs are a good idea. Ha ha. So, that way they get to make the rules. You're happy because your team says it's going to fix XYZ, and maybe sometimes they actually even try to fix XYZ. However, that ultimately fails, but it's easy enough to get Paul Krugman to blame it on snow, china or the lack of QE.

By they way, unless campaign finance reform includes completely reforming the election process, primaries, open state caucuses, etc where only very deep pockets can participate, your little reform bill isn't going to do squat. And do you really think the deep pockets are going to let that happen?
ResponsiblyIrresponsible
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7/21/2015 9:53:28 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/21/2015 9:40:03 PM, ax123man wrote:

"The only way to change the system, realistically, is to work within it"

Does that mean we must participate in politics? I don't think so. "The system" to me is made up of individuals going about there business every day making a living, raising a family, etc. It does NOT include spending your day forcing others to live a certain way. I simply choose to ignore anyone who lives that way. These are people who don't exist to me.

Yes, I actually am saying that to change the system you need to in some way participate in politics. That could be actively organizing, as many people have done recently, or contacting your representative, or simply informing yourself and others and voting accordingly. That's working within the system. All sophistry about "coercion" aside--because that's what government is, and the second you insinuate that it ought not exist, you preclude yourself from holding a radical discourse on it--that is the only way to actively channel your frustration toward the current political class, whose political futures are heavily contingent on the support, and in some sense monetary contributions, of you and your peers.

"now people are waking up"

There it is again. One of those many uttered phrases.

It's true. Have you seen the numbers Bernie is pulling in? It's astounding.

It looks silly, I suppose, if all we've known for centuries is a government monopoly. Except it has been that way at various times in history. Kind of hard to ignore that. Ireland in the middle ages is one example. There kings had pretty much nothing to do with law. I see no reason why the force of law needs to come from government and I'd say the burden of proof that it does would be on you. Just saying it does because it does isn't proof.

My goodness...

A monarchy is a form of government. Whether "law" is crafted and enforced through a democratic legislative process or authoritatively enforced by a king, it is nevertheless "law." Even insinuating that current society could in any way be analogous to the Middle Ages, again, literally precludes you from being a rational participant in the discussion. I explained to you why law, by definition, mandates the existence of a government. That you choose to ignore that distinction isn't exactly conducive to a productive conversation.

This simply ignores a broad view of political systems and history completely.

How? Tell me what history, specifically, that I'm missing.

Like I said before, if the loss of the power of God (divine right of kings) didn't change anything, how on earth is a tweak to democratic financing going to?

It did change things... are you seriously suggesting that medieval Europe is in any way comparable to modern Europe? Are you totally uneducated on the French Revolution or feudalism? How about the Salem witch trials? This is bullsh1t. You're completely ignoring the history and evolution of the political system.

Your liberal - ok.

No, not remotely, nor do I view economic issues through the lens of politics. People who that piss me off royally, and I'm regularly astonished and enraged by their seeing ignorance.

I mean, read my post: do they sound like exclusively liberal ideas to you? I don't think so.

So the way you get played is this: Democrats in power aren't stupid. They know the free market works best pretty much unfettered. But, they want their cut. So the masses must be convinced that the market is flawed. Not that hard - the average American still thinks tariffs are a good idea. Ha ha. So, that way they get to make the rules. You're happy because your team says it's going to fix XYZ, and maybe sometimes they actually even try to fix XYZ. However, that ultimately fails, but it's easy enough to get Paul Krugman to blame it on snow, china or the lack of QE.

This is all a strawman because I'm not a Democrat. It's true that (a) markets are inherently flawed and that (b) monetary policy has been too tight (QE doesn't equate to easy monetary policy, but more on that later). I also am in complete support of free trade and hate ignorant people who parrot protectionist talking points. Hell, I had a post a few weeks ago lambasting stupid people -- I called out Dean Baker, actually, who's in lockstep with Krugman on a lot (though not trade) -- for making dumb arguments against the TPP.

By they way, unless campaign finance reform includes completely reforming the election process, primaries, open state caucuses, etc where only very deep pockets can participate, your little reform bill isn't going to do squat.

What reforms are you referring to? I'm certainly open to them, though I highly doubt the absence of them would douse *all* of the impacts of campaign finance reform.

And do you really think the deep pockets are going to let that happen?

They don't have if people actually informed themselves on the issues and stopped voting against their economic interests. That's where I come in.
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ax123man
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7/22/2015 5:50:45 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/21/2015 8:49:37 PM, TheProphett wrote:
What does law have to do with government, other than having a monopoly over it at the moment? Law predates government and has existed without it.

This is , to put it bluntly, incorrect. Law has existed without government. Why on Earth would this idea even formulate in your head. Law, is enforced by the government, and law is written/created by the government.

You are saying that because X currently exclusively creates Y, X must always create Y. This is irrational. A monopoly is not necessary to have law. History proves this as does the works of various authors today.
ax123man
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7/22/2015 6:03:50 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/21/2015 9:53:28 PM, ResponsiblyIrresponsible wrote:
At 7/21/2015 9:40:03 PM, ax123man wrote:


It's true. Have you seen the numbers Bernie is pulling in? It's astounding.

Not really, this happens all the time. Every single adult on this planet has made mistakes that look bad in the press so every single candidate can be eliminated if need be. Herman Cain led the polls, Ross Perot got 19 million votes. How about Ron Paul? One of the most exciting candidates in decades, squashed like a bug. Sanders will be President if those in power think it serves their interest.


It looks silly, I suppose, if all we've known for centuries is a government monopoly. Except it has been that way at various times in history. Kind of hard to ignore that. Ireland in the middle ages is one example. There kings had pretty much nothing to do with law. I see no reason why the force of law needs to come from government and I'd say the burden of proof that it does would be on you. Just saying it does because it does isn't proof.

My goodness...

A monarchy is a form of government. Whether "law" is crafted and enforced through a democratic legislative process or authoritatively enforced by a king, it is nevertheless "law." Even insinuating that current society could in any way be analogous to the Middle Ages, again, literally precludes you from being a rational participant in the discussion. I explained to you why law, by definition, mandates the existence of a government. That you choose to ignore that distinction isn't exactly conducive to a productive conversation.

And we were having such a nice discussion. What basic human drives have changed since the 12th century? Do we still have families, did marginal utility or the disutility of labor not exist then? Did self interest change? The fundamental need to survive? The drive of some to control others?

No, none of this has changed. The presence of cell phones or Americas got talent doesn't change anything. But your convinced I'm irrational.

Here's what you said about law:

"law is coercive in nature, and adherence to the law is rooted in a credible threat of consequences"

This doesn't prove the necessity of government, which is a monopoly of force in a territory. How does your statement show that a monopoly is necessary?

I know I'm not going to get anywhere with this debate, especially in a post discussing American politics, who you should vote for, etc. But I'm not just making this stuff up. There is a whole body of knowledge discussing this written by some very intelligent authors.
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7/22/2015 8:26:01 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/22/2015 6:03:50 AM, ax123man wrote:
At 7/21/2015 9:53:28 PM, ResponsiblyIrresponsible wrote:
At 7/21/2015 9:40:03 PM, ax123man wrote:


It's true. Have you seen the numbers Bernie is pulling in? It's astounding.

Not really, this happens all the time. Every single adult on this planet has made mistakes that look bad in the press so every single candidate can be eliminated if need be. Herman Cain led the polls, Ross Perot got 19 million votes. How about Ron Paul? One of the most exciting candidates in decades, squashed like a bug. Sanders will be President if those in power think it serves their interest.

That's just not true. Irrespective of whether he'll actually win, he's been drawing record crowds [http://www.wsj.com...]. It's not possible to brush this off as having occurred on a loop, because that just isn't the cas.


And we were having such a nice discussion. What basic human drives have changed since the 12th century? Do we still have families, did marginal utility or the disutility of labor not exist then? Did self interest change? The fundamental need to survive? The drive of some to control others?

None of those have necessarily changed, evolution notwithstanding, though nevertheless human behavior is *far* more complex than simply appealing to self interest or responding to incentives.

No, none of this has changed. The presence of cell phones or Americas got talent doesn't change anything. But your convinced I'm irrational.

I didn't say you're irrational; I said you're oversimplifying something that's far more complex than you led on.

Here's what you said about law:

"law is coercive in nature, and adherence to the law is rooted in a credible threat of consequences"

This doesn't prove the necessity of government, which is a monopoly of force in a territory. How does your statement show that a monopoly is necessary?

I didn't say that it was necessary normatively, but by definition, it's required to actually *enforce* a law by definition because, otherwise, there's no method by which parties to a contractual obligation can seek recourse.

I know I'm not going to get anywhere with this debate, especially in a post discussing American politics, who you should vote for, etc. But I'm not just making this stuff up. There is a whole body of knowledge discussing this written by some very intelligent authors.

Care to share some of that?
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ax123man
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7/22/2015 12:00:52 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/22/2015 8:26:01 AM, ResponsiblyIrresponsible wrote:
At 7/22/2015 6:03:50 AM, ax123man wrote:
At 7/21/2015 9:53:28 PM, ResponsiblyIrresponsible wrote:

I didn't say you're irrational; I said you're oversimplifying something that's far more complex than you led on.

"literally precludes you from being a rational participant in the discussion" :)


Here's what you said about law:

"law is coercive in nature, and adherence to the law is rooted in a credible threat of consequences"

This doesn't prove the necessity of government, which is a monopoly of force in a territory. How does your statement show that a monopoly is necessary?

I didn't say that it was necessary normatively, but by definition, it's required to actually *enforce* a law by definition because, otherwise, there's no method by which parties to a contractual obligation can seek recourse.

the key here is the word monopoly. It is separate from force,. I don't believe monopoly is required to have law. In 12th century Ireland, you had a Tuath, a few thousand people, that made and enforced law. Kings were not involved in this. Law came from descendants from a certain families in that Tuath. Justice (as it was in most places until recently) was based mostly on "making the victim whole" by way of some kind of payment. I believe banishment might come in to play at times. Due to the size of a Tuath, you could fairly easy move to another. You could also own land in another Tuath. Justice was administered be a scattered group of special practitioners, with no connection to a king. Jurists judged cased, and sureties were used as enforcement, which were some form of payment. If you couldn't make a payment, you might have to work it off, so to speak.

You can say that all this makes up some form of loose government. Fine, but I'd argue it's fundamentally different than what we have today:

The small size of the groups has many advantages. You could vote with your feet. In addition, it is impossible to wage full scale, global war. Taxes from kings was low for the simple reason they had limited power. Kings could only get away with fighting regional battles with neighboring tuaths. There was a very strong, distributed, separation of powers. Justice did not involve putting large portions of your population in jail. This type of system takes advantage of the idea of subsidiarity. Despite the many small units of law making, there were many commonalities in law between Tuaths and ways to deal with inter-tuath issues (unlike this idea we have today with the federal govt. overstepping bounds based on the commerce clause).

(this is all from memory, so, caveat emptor)

In addition, I would assume you would agree that we shouldn't make an assumption that the evolution of politics and social structure ends at democracy. If that is true, what IS next? Stop for second and ask yourself this: why don't existing governments discuss this? The only politician I know who ever did was Ron Paul, and he was only a politician technically, not in practice. No instead, even asking the question brands you, usually, as a heretic. That to me is quite telling.


I know I'm not going to get anywhere with this debate, especially in a post discussing American politics, who you should vote for, etc. But I'm not just making this stuff up. There is a whole body of knowledge discussing this written by some very intelligent authors.

Care to share some of that?

Sure. Regarding economics, I'm a fan of the Austrian discipline, born out of Carl Menger. I'm not an expert. It's an avocation for me. Current economists I like: Robert Murphy & Hans Herman Hoppe. Hoppe especially has some very interesting work one many subjects.

As far as the discussion about anarchy vs government, the stuff about Ireland:
"Libertarian Anarchy" Gerard Casey

Hoppe on governmental history, democracy
https://mises.org...
https://mises.org...

Immigration
https://mises.org...

Defense
https://mises.org...

How the law is used as a method of rule
http://faculty.msb.edu...

Rothbard on the state
https://mises.org...

You don't have to buy into any of this, but I think anyone with an open mind will have their views modified in some way after reading this stuff.

I apologize for calling you a democrat. That was awful. I normally peak at a profile but got in a hurry. I think that I assumed that based on you mentioning Sanders. Do you really believe this stuff?

"If we are truly serious about reversing the decline of the middle class," Sanders said, "we need a major federal jobs program which puts millions of Americans back to work at decent paying jobs. At a time when our roads, bridges, water systems, rail and airports are decaying, the most effective way to rapidly create meaningful jobs is to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure"

It's utterly flawed from the perspective of economics. It would affectively result in shifting resources (with politicians taking there cut). Yea, maybe some portion of the middle class wins, but at the expense of others. Wealth is the creation of things people want, which can only be determined by the human action of a voluntary trade. I don't like the roads where I live much either, but push to shove, I'd rather spend my income on something else. Additionally, I'd assume you'd agree that taxation that results in jobs that create things we don't want is not a net benefit. The test of profit must be in place in order to determine if wealth is created. (profit gained via voluntary exchanges) This seems like basic stuff.
ResponsiblyIrresponsible
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7/22/2015 12:36:22 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/22/2015 12:00:52 PM, ax123man wrote:
"literally precludes you from being a rational participant in the discussion" :)

That's not calling *you* irrational. That's saying that whatever notion you were spouting is inconsistent and irrational, and insofar as you double-down on it, your futures responses would a

the key here is the word monopoly. It is separate from force,. I don't believe monopoly is required to have law. In 12th century Ireland, you had a Tuath, a few thousand people, that made and enforced law. Kings were not involved in this. Law came from descendmount to a death spiral. ants from a certain families in that Tuath. Justice (as it was in most places until recently) was based mostly on "making the victim whole" by way of some kind of payment. I believe banishment might come in to play at times. Due to the size of a Tuath, you could fairly easy move to another. You could also own land in another Tuath. Justice was administered be a scattered group of special practitioners, with no connection to a king. Jurists judged cased, and sureties were used as enforcement, which were some form of payment. If you couldn't make a payment, you might have to work it off, so to speak.

That doesn't sound like a formal system of law to me, but that aside, I'm sure you're aware than a 12 century practice hasn't the slightest bearing on policy today and that what you're advocating isn't the least bit practical. I mean, you sort of hijacked the thread with this hogwash, and I'm trying as hard as I can to dial 1 for reality.. but it's pretty hard.

You can say that all this makes up some form of loose government. Fine, but I'd argue it's fundamentally different than what we have today:

It is fundamentally different than the one we have today, which is precisely why it isn't the slightest bit practical: the structural underpinnings are *entirely* different, there's no political will for it, etc.

The small size of the groups has many advantages. You could vote with your feet. In addition, it is impossible to wage full scale, global war. Taxes from kings was low for the simple reason they had limited power. Kings could only get away with fighting regional battles with neighboring tuaths. There was a very strong, distributed, separation of powers. Justice did not involve putting large portions of your population in jail. This type of system takes advantage of the idea of subsidiarity. Despite the many small units of law making, there were many commonalities in law between Tuaths and ways to deal with inter-tuath issues (unlike this idea we have today with the federal govt. overstepping bounds based on the commerce clause).

Again, sounds great, but wildly impractical.

(this is all from memory, so, caveat emptor)

In addition, I would assume you would agree that we shouldn't make an assumption that the evolution of politics and social structure ends at democracy.

I suppose.

If that is true, what IS next? Stop for second and ask yourself this: why don't existing governments discuss this? The only politician I know who ever did was Ron Paul, and he was only a politician technically, not in practice. No instead, even asking the question brands you, usually, as a heretic. That to me is quite telling.

Well, yeah, that's the court of public opinion: his positions weren't politically palatable nor his proposals feasible -- and, mind you, a lot of what Ron Paul advocated for what just unbelievably stupid, starting with monetary policy and ending with revoking the Civil Rights Act. It was a whole lot more than his position on democracy, though I'm actually *with* him in one sense: I don't think rights ought to be put up for a vote, which is why I support the recent Supreme Court decision on gay marriage in defiance of Scalia.

Sure. Regarding economics, I'm a fan of the Austrian discipline, born out of Carl Menger. I'm not an expert. It's an avocation for me. Current economists I like: Robert Murphy & Hans Herman Hoppe. Hoppe especially has some very interesting work one many subjects.

I've never heard of Hoppe, though Murphy is a giant fraud. I mean, the Austrian "discipline" isn't much of a discipline as it is a hodge podge of lunacy. But take Murphy in particular: a few years ago he had a bet with Brad DeLong that year-on-year CPI would hit 10 percent within some time period. He was obviously embarrassingly wrong, though undeterred by reality.

As far as the discussion about anarchy vs government, the stuff about Ireland:
"Libertarian Anarchy" Gerard Casey

Hoppe on governmental history, democracy
https://mises.org...
https://mises.org...

Immigration
https://mises.org...

Defense
https://mises.org...

How the law is used as a method of rule
http://faculty.msb.edu...

Rothbard on the state
https://mises.org...

You don't have to buy into any of this, but I think anyone with an open mind will have their views modified in some way after reading this stuff.

To be honest, it's really not something I'll that interesting in reading into it. It's much more in the way of philosophy than policy analysis, the latter of which actually is interesting to me.

I apologize for calling you a democrat. That was awful. I normally peak at a profile but got in a hurry. I think that I assumed that based on you mentioning Sanders. Do you really believe this stuff?

That wasn't awful, lol. I mean, given the loony nature of the GOP today, I'd even take the label with pride.

Do I believe what stuff? Sanders and I agree on a lot, but he's also wrong on a whole host of issues (taxes, MW, trade, regs, etc.).

"If we are truly serious about reversing the decline of the middle class," Sanders said, "we need a major federal jobs program which puts millions of Americans back to work at decent paying jobs. At a time when our roads, bridges, water systems, rail and airports are decaying, the most effective way to rapidly create meaningful jobs is to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure"

It's utterly flawed from the perspective of economics. It would affectively result in shifting resources (with politicians taking there cut). Yea, maybe some portion of the middle class wins, but at the expense of others. Wealth is the creation of things people want, which can only be determined by the human action of a voluntary trade. I don't like the roads where I live much either, but push to shove, I'd rather spend my income on something else. Additionally, I'd assume you'd agree that taxation that results in jobs that create things we don't want is not a net benefit. The test of profit must be in place in order to determine if wealth is created. (profit gained via voluntary exchanges) This seems like basic stuff.

No, it isn't the least bit zero-sum. I advocated something similar in my OP, though not for the sake of closing the output gap, which I'd prefer monetary policy to do.

I'm practically out of space, but I'm just baffled that you find it to be zero sum. Stimulus doesn't necessitate moving resources -- which is to say it doesn't require tax hikes. Running deficits *right now* wouldn't move interest rates or inflation upward by much, so I really don't see where your complaints are coming from. If the money is spent productively, it is to the benefit of everyone.
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ax123man
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7/22/2015 1:52:52 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/22/2015 12:36:22 PM, ResponsiblyIrresponsible wrote:

You can say that all this makes up some form of loose government. Fine, but I'd argue it's fundamentally different than what we have today:

It is fundamentally different than the one we have today, which is precisely why it isn't the slightest bit practical: the structural underpinnings are *entirely* different, there's no political will for it, etc.

Yea, I get that and understand your point. This outlines part of the problem though - we keep trying to solve issues in 4 year increments. It is impractical RIGHT NOW because everyone believes it's impractical - circular reasoning. But how practical (in the same sense - ie because it didn't currently exist) was the idea of socialism prior to Karl Mark? Communist manifesto 1848, Russian revolution 1917. Wow. But I suppose thats A LONG LONG time for you because it's 17 election cycles?


The small size of the groups has many advantages. You could vote with your feet. In addition, it is impossible to wage full scale, global war. Taxes from kings was low for the simple reason they had limited power. Kings could only get away with fighting regional battles with neighboring tuaths. There was a very strong, distributed, separation of powers. Justice did not involve putting large portions of your population in jail. This type of system takes advantage of the idea of subsidiarity. Despite the many small units of law making, there were many commonalities in law between Tuaths and ways to deal with inter-tuath issues (unlike this idea we have today with the federal govt. overstepping bounds based on the commerce clause).

Again, sounds great, but wildly impractical.

I don't see how, other than arguing "people would never buy into this", which I agree with. In other words, the arguments against are because we're against it.

Sure. Regarding economics, I'm a fan of the Austrian discipline, born out of Carl Menger. I'm not an expert. It's an avocation for me. Current economists I like: Robert Murphy & Hans Herman Hoppe. Hoppe especially has some very interesting work one many subjects.

I've never heard of Hoppe, though Murphy is a giant fraud. I mean, the Austrian "discipline" isn't much of a discipline as it is a hodge podge of lunacy. But take Murphy in particular: a few years ago he had a bet with Brad DeLong that year-on-year CPI would hit 10 percent within some time period. He was obviously embarrassingly wrong, though undeterred by reality.

So what? Are you saying the ability to predict price movements validates your economic position? Are you serious? Have you read what Murphy said to follow up on that? Shall we talk about mainstream economics prediction of the housing bust vs the Austrians. This is all old, tired, worn out news.

http://consultingbyrpm.com...


That wasn't awful, lol. I mean, given the loony nature of the GOP today, I'd even take the label with pride.

Agreed, the GOP is ..eh, fill in some word that DDO won't let me. On the other hand, any government involvement in the economy is only better than socialism to the limited extent of the percentage of govt spending to GDP. Well, that and the fact that 100% socialism seems to have the rather tragic outcome of killing tens of millions.

"Stimulus doesn't necessitate moving resources -- which is to say it doesn't require tax hikes"

Come on, think about what you just said. "Because taxes aren't raised, it's not moving resources". Bull. Government CANNOT CREATE RESOURCES. It can only shift them around, I don't care if you apply post WW2 budget cuts and just use whats left. It's still non-voluntary taxation, so it cannot show that it creates wealth, defined as things people want. Why not have every unemployed person start tomorrow digging and re-filling holes then if this creates wealth?

Between discussed intellectuals here, which side has the incentive to take the position that they do? What worked for Karl Marx & Keynes works for DeLong, Piketty, Krugman. It pays to take this position, in a big way. In contrast, Mises lived his life in obscurity, having dared speak out against the god of communism and the very visible hand of government. This is nothing more than intellectuals in support of the state.
ResponsiblyIrresponsible
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7/22/2015 2:05:31 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/22/2015 1:52:52 PM, ax123man wrote:
Yea, I get that and understand your point. This outlines part of the problem though - we keep trying to solve issues in 4 year increments. It is impractical RIGHT NOW because everyone believes it's impractical - circular reasoning.

It's not circular, but self-reinforcing. If people believe it's impractical, it becomes impractical, because they'll merely waste their vote on some corporate stooge like Hillary Clinton.

But how practical (in the same sense - ie because it didn't currently exist) was the idea of socialism prior to Karl Mark? Communist manifesto 1848, Russian revolution 1917. Wow. But I suppose thats A LONG LONG time for you because it's 17 election cycles?

When in the world did I say that reform is contingent on election cycles? I don't recall every saying that. The only analogous case you could make was the transition from command-based to market-based economies in the 90s for countries like Poland and Russia, and that on its face did seem impractical, but as I'm sure you know, it had fairly significant ramifications.

Again, sounds great, but wildly impractical.

I don't see how, other than arguing "people would never buy into this", which I agree with. In other words, the arguments against are because we're against it.

It depends on what exactly you're making an argument for. If you're arguing for Austrian voodoo, then yes, I will oppose you outright, but my argument wouldn't be "I'm opposed to you because I oppose you"; I would oppose you because you'd be arguing for nonsense.

So what? Are you saying the ability to predict price movements validates your economic position? Are you serious?

That wasn't it at all -- it's that he was so egregiously wrong, because his analysis was rooted in sophistry. Krugman/DeLong were able to predict virtually no inflationary buildup via a textbook Macro 101 model that Murphy doesn't accept. For inflation to actually build as a result of QE -- that is, for us to endure an era of stagflation -- the LRAS curve must be perfectly vertical. It wasn't, and Murphy's egregiously failed prediction and subsequent humility were astonishingly in poor taste.

Have you read what Murphy said to follow up on that? Shall we talk about mainstream economics prediction of the housing bust vs the Austrians. This is all old, tired, worn out news.

http://consultingbyrpm.com...

I haven't read it. Summarize it for me -- I have a lot of things to do and don't really feel like blaming hogwahs.

But, no, "predicting" the housing bust doesn't count when you also predicted six other recessions that didn't actually happen. And they were wrong on the cause: "loose" mon

Agreed, the GOP is ..eh, fill in some word that DDO won't let me. On the other hand, any government involvement in the economy is only better than socialism to the limited extent of the percentage of govt spending to GDP. Well, that and the fact that 100% socialism seems to have the rather tragic outcome of killing tens of millions.

I'm not even sure what you're saying. Obviously I'm not suggesting 100% socialism, but government involvement in the economy *is* by definition socialism. I'm arguing for a mixed economy. How can you bifurcate the two?

"Stimulus doesn't necessitate moving resources -- which is to say it doesn't require tax hikes"

Come on, think about what you just said. "Because taxes aren't raised, it's not moving resources". Bull. Government CANNOT CREATE RESOURCES. It can only shift them around, I don't care if you apply post WW2 budget cuts and just use whats left. It's still non-voluntary taxation, so it cannot show that it creates wealth, defined as things people want. Why not have every unemployed person start tomorrow digging and re-filling holes then if this creates wealth?

I would be all for that, actually, and Keynes suggested it -- but it's a less productive allocation of funds, and thus it's lackluster.

This has turned into a semantical game, and depends a lot on how you define resources. If "resources" refers to currency by which we can go out and buy stuff, then yes, the government most surely can create that, and the Fed has been doing it for a long time *without* spiking interest rates or creating hyperinflation as your Aussie buddies predicted.

But, seriously, how is running a budget deficit shifting resources? If anything, at zero interest rates, it's mobilizing otherwise-useless resources.

Between discussed intellectuals here, which side has the incentive to take the position that they do? What worked for Karl Marx & Keynes works for DeLong, Piketty, Krugman. It pays to take this position, in a big way. In contrast, Mises lived his life in obscurity, having dared speak out against the god of communism and the very visible hand of government. This is nothing more than intellectuals in support of the state.

This is really nothing more than ad hominem, and I really don't care how they lived their lives, though to say that Keynes "works" for DeLong, Pikkety, or Krugman is just silly. I'm interested in policy substance, and on that Keynes had the far better argument.
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16kadams
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7/22/2015 2:21:16 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Joey, if we increase immigration and increase productivity, we could hit 4% growth. So Boehner, plz die m8 & hlp economi grow bi hlping jb hlp d mexicens
https://www.youtube.com...
https://rekonomics.wordpress.com...
"A trend is a trend, but the question is, will it bend? Will it alter its course through some unforeseen force and come to a premature end?" -- Alec Cairncross
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7/22/2015 2:23:32 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
It's true that people often take things out of context or otherwise go rather nutty about stuff that politicians say.

I don't see anything wrong with aiming for an increase in the GDP, if it comes with people working longer hours. Heck, you work more, you get more money, right? I realize that will not be the case 100% of the time, and that people on a fixed salary may not have the opportunity, but for people who are paid by the hour, an extra 27 hours in a week, versus the base 40, means you've grossed more than twice as much. (I work about 4000 hours a year, and the difference between that and 2000 is HUGE.) It may not be for everybody, but the personal incentive is such that I don't see how a suggestion for "people to work more" is a bad thing.

I have no idea what the relation between "more work" and an increased GDP would be, i.e. a given number of extra hours would equate to "X" amount of increased GDP.
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7/22/2015 2:25:37 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/22/2015 2:21:16 PM, 16kadams wrote:
Joey, if we increase immigration and increase productivity, we could hit 4% growth. So Boehner, plz die m8 & hlp economi grow bi hlping jb hlp d mexicens

I highly doubt that. Read the piece I linked from Noah Smith -- global fertility rates are actually down, so a mass immigration effort would probably hit diminishing returns sooner than expected. Increasing productivity is great, but we're talking, literally, doubling trend growth. I don't see it.
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ResponsiblyIrresponsible
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7/22/2015 2:29:01 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/22/2015 2:23:32 PM, Porkloin wrote:
It's true that people often take things out of context or otherwise go rather nutty about stuff that politicians say.

I don't see anything wrong with aiming for an increase in the GDP, if it comes with people working longer hours. Heck, you work more, you get more money, right? I realize that will not be the case 100% of the time, and that people on a fixed salary may not have the opportunity, but for people who are paid by the hour, an extra 27 hours in a week, versus the base 40, means you've grossed more than twice as much. (I work about 4000 hours a year, and the difference between that and 2000 is HUGE.) It may not be for everybody, but the personal incentive is such that I don't see how a suggestion for "people to work more" is a bad thing.

I have no idea what the relation between "more work" and an increased GDP would be, i.e. a given number of extra hours would equate to "X" amount of increased GDP.

I think there's a certain point where we would want to draw a line in the sand, both for moral reasons and for reasons of actual productivity, because without question there's a point of diminishing returns: i.e., workers will become resentful, morale will tend to fall, productivity will tank, etc., and obviously no one desires that. My concern isn't with having people work more than 40 hours, but closing the gap for people who want to work more -- unemployed, marginally attached, involuntarily part-time employed -- but currently do not. The problem is that the media assumed that Jeb was referring to dismantling the 40-hour workweek, when obviously that wasn't at all his intention, irrespective of whether that would be a good idea unto itself (and, to be honest, I'm largely with you that it wouldn't necessarily be a bad idea to at least ever so slightly increase the amount of hours worked per person).
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7/22/2015 2:30:59 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/21/2015 4:27:21 PM, ResponsiblyIrresponsible wrote:




Firstly, Bush needs to do something about stagnant levels of real wages since the onset of the financial crisis, especially since academic estimates such that labor elasticity is someone high with respect to income. He can handle this indirectly with policies -- that I'll get to -- geared toward boosting productivity, though the simplest way to induce people to return to the labor force is by appointing a Fed Chair willing to overheat.

Agree. More bottom up or more top down m8? He needs to push for bottom up m8




Secondly, Congress needs to pass a stimulus. Indeed, this would make Mankiw's job a heck of a lot easier unless the policies were passed in conjunction and forecasts of longer-run growth were revised upward -- which, again, builds the case for an NGDP level target. The goal of the stimulus would be solely to shift the LRAS curve outward, and would likely entail investments in research, education, infrastructure, job training, and green energy.


Yeah, sure. Make sure to invest on infrastructure, education, and scientific research when you do it. Also, since I am still kind of a deficit hawk, I think we might as well reduce all that waste, fraud, and other sh!t too. That way you can appease morons like me with a stimulus that works. Oh, and cut the corporate tax rate to 26% plz

Thirdly, Jeb needs to tell John Boehner and friends to fck off, and actually bring an immigration reform bill to the floor. He can wrap it in superfluous bullsh1t like "border security," but he knows that the returns to immigration, both to current and trend productivity growth, are astonishingly high. Passing it is a no-brainer.

Yeah. I am weird - I want border security but don't at the same time. Jagdish Bhagwati notes that immigration too fast can actually be a bad thing, so I guess securing the border is fine... But fences hurt Jaguars D: !!!!! But yeah, making a pathway to citizenship + making it easier to get working Visas and green cards is a must. Also, make it a lot easier for PhD's from other countries to work here! We will need them after the scientific research funding from the stimulus :P


Fourthly, he needs to go HAM with curtailing onerous regulations that hinder productivity and discourage innovation. Again, this is easier said than done, but insofar as the Fed properly manages Dodd Frank (as it has been), calls for more aggressive Wall Street regulation will wane.


Yesssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

Also, DOWN WITH ICD-10! FVCKING SH!T RUINING PRIVATE PRACTICE AND FORCING THEM TO JOIN LARGE GROUPS, WHICH HURTS PATIENT CARE! FvCK YOU OBAMA

Article my dad wrote about it http://www.abqjournal.com...

Fifth, he needs to sh1t-can the federal tax code and replace it with a progressive consumption tax -- one which untaxes savings and capital income with exemptions for lower levels of consumption. He would most likely want to phase the PCT in for the sake of mitigating the ramifications of transitioning from a consumption-based to investment-based economy -- as the savings rate, surely, would rise -- but there's no reason to hold out on hitting the "golden rule capital-labor ratio" as predicted by Robert Solow's 1957 paper.

I agree. But since a PCT is impossible to pass, I would agree with closing all the fvcking loopholes for everyone, yeah fvck off. Use that new revenue to rek the payroll tax as much as possible, and lower the corporate tax to the revenue maximizing point of 26%, or even 24% since that is the OECD average. That is a good start I think. Also, he could even go for abolishing the payroll tax and funding SS with normal taxes like we do for everything else... that is a vote winner!


Sixth, he needs to increase labor market flexibility to account for the current skills mismatch. He can do this by transitioning current welfare programs to a lump-sum NIT (e.g., EITC) and abolishing policies, like the MW, which price unskill

Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.

I heard an argument that is kinda interesting, though: EITC encourages businesses to pay their people less because they say "well, government will make up for it I guess." His argument that it was complementary was QI (it is for single mothers but hurts minorities and young workers, see Neumark Wascher 2014), but that reasoning is intriguing. I suppose he could support a federal law that flips off the states and forces them to lower it to 7.25/hour, and link it to inflation so it stays at 7.25 forever... I guess that is a compromise XD

Maybe push for a lower minimum wage (maybe $5 or $4) for younger (under 21) workers.
https://www.youtube.com...
https://rekonomics.wordpress.com...
"A trend is a trend, but the question is, will it bend? Will it alter its course through some unforeseen force and come to a premature end?" -- Alec Cairncross
16kadams
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7/22/2015 2:34:25 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/22/2015 2:25:37 PM, ResponsiblyIrresponsible wrote:
At 7/22/2015 2:21:16 PM, 16kadams wrote:
Joey, if we increase immigration and increase productivity, we could hit 4% growth. So Boehner, plz die m8 & hlp economi grow bi hlping jb hlp d mexicens

I highly doubt that. Read the piece I linked from Noah Smith -- global fertility rates are actually down, so a mass immigration effort would probably hit diminishing returns sooner than expected. Increasing productivity is great, but we're talking, literally, doubling trend growth. I don't see it.

Also I think we hit 3.9 somewhere in Reagan's term so he was close too

This is true, but EITC and other welfare policies that encourage work and can increase the worker participation rate, plus immigration, may get us close to that. I mean short-term, at least.

This graphic kinda shows it (https://www.aei.org...). If we got it back to 1980 - 2000 levels, I bet we could get to 3.5%. I dunno. I like to be an optimist.

I am John Lennon on this one. But his song gives me cancer.

Cause imagine all the people,
living in poverty,
because there are no economic incentives,
to grow the economyyyyyy
Imagine all the people!
Starving in the streetsssss
everyone is equal
equally poor like meeeeeee
https://www.youtube.com...
https://rekonomics.wordpress.com...
"A trend is a trend, but the question is, will it bend? Will it alter its course through some unforeseen force and come to a premature end?" -- Alec Cairncross
ResponsiblyIrresponsible
Posts: 12,398
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7/22/2015 2:40:41 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/22/2015 2:30:59 PM, 16kadams wrote:
At 7/21/2015 4:27:21 PM, ResponsiblyIrresponsible wrote:
Firstly, Bush needs to do something about stagnant levels of real wages since the onset of the financial crisis, especially since academic estimates such that labor elasticity is someone high with respect to income. He can handle this indirectly with policies -- that I'll get to -- geared toward boosting productivity, though the simplest way to induce people to return to the labor force is by appointing a Fed Chair willing to overheat.

Agree. More bottom up or more top down m8? He needs to push for bottom up m8

It depends a lot on what you mean by "bottom up." Technically, monetary policy is more "bottom up" than fiscal policy, but the latter is more targeted and the effects more certain, believe it or not.

Secondly, Congress needs to pass a stimulus. Indeed, this would make Mankiw's job a heck of a lot easier unless the policies were passed in conjunction and forecasts of longer-run growth were revised upward -- which, again, builds the case for an NGDP level target. The goal of the stimulus would be solely to shift the LRAS curve outward, and would likely entail investments in research, education, infrastructure, job training, and green energy.

Yeah, sure. Make sure to invest on infrastructure, education, and scientific research when you do it.

Precisely -- if I had my way, it would only consist of productive investments. The CCC or something like it, tbh, is a drop in the bucket. Yes, it employs otherwise underutilized capacity, but it does absolutely nothing to productive capacity.

Also, since I am still kind of a deficit hawk, I think we might as well reduce all that waste, fraud, and other sh!t too. That way you can appease morons like me with a stimulus that works. Oh, and cut the corporate tax rate to 26% plz

We can reduce waste and fraud, sure, but the proposal unto itself sort of requires not giving a sh1t about the deficit. I really don't see any long-term harms of it at all:

(a) crowding out can't happen -- short rates are pinned at zero and there's already a dearth in Treasury supply, so long rates won't spike at all.
(b) debt intolerance isn't a thing because #wenumbah1
(c) Inflation? We need some inflation.

How about 0%? Lol. This proposal doesn't even feature a corporate income tax, but sure, I'm for slashing it.

Thirdly, Jeb needs to tell John Boehner and friends to fck off, and actually bring an immigration reform bill to the floor. He can wrap it in superfluous bullsh1t like "border security," but he knows that the returns to immigration, both to current and trend productivity growth, are astonishingly high. Passing it is a no-brainer.

Yeah. I am weird - I want border security but don't at the same time. Jagdish Bhagwati notes that immigration too fast can actually be a bad thing, so I guess securing the border is fine...

How so?

But fences hurt Jaguars D: !!!!! But yeah, making a pathway to citizenship + making it easier to get working Visas and green cards is a must. Also, make it a lot easier for PhD's from other countries to work here! We will need them after the scientific research funding from the stimulus :P

I agree completely -- except for the jaguars: screw them!


Fourthly, he needs to go HAM with curtailing onerous regulations that hinder productivity and discourage innovation. Again, this is easier said than done, but insofar as the Fed properly manages Dodd Frank (as it has been), calls for more aggressive Wall Street regulation will wane.


Yesssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

^^

Also, DOWN WITH ICD-10! FVCKING SH!T RUINING PRIVATE PRACTICE AND FORCING THEM TO JOIN LARGE GROUPS, WHICH HURTS PATIENT CARE! FvCK YOU OBAMA

This too.

Article my dad wrote about it http://www.abqjournal.com...

I'll read it as soon as I get a free minute, lol.

Fifth, he needs to sh1t-can the federal tax code and replace it with a progressive consumption tax -- one which untaxes savings and capital income with exemptions for lower levels of consumption. He would most likely want to phase the PCT in for the sake of mitigating the ramifications of transitioning from a consumption-based to investment-based economy -- as the savings rate, surely, would rise -- but there's no reason to hold out on hitting the "golden rule capital-labor ratio" as predicted by Robert Solow's 1957 paper.

I agree. But since a PCT is impossible to pass, I would agree with closing all the fvcking loopholes for everyone, yeah fvck off. Use that new revenue to rek the payroll tax as much as possible, and lower the corporate tax to the revenue maximizing point of 26%, or even 24% since that is the OECD average. That is a good start I think. Also, he could even go for abolishing the payroll tax and funding SS with normal taxes like we do for everything else... that is a vote winner!

I'm not convinced that it's hard to pass insofar as we were to quell all the PR attempts to market it as something it isn't. I mean, it's a bone to the GOP and the Dems: it untaxes capital income and savings, which the GOP loves, and it's highly progressive, which the Dems love. Hell, you could throw them a bone and tax the 10 millionth dollar of consumption at 90% or something. It really isn't a revenue killer, lol. And, not to mention, slashing that rate would *actually* boost consumption, which the Dems should adore.

Funding SS with normal taxes, minus the PCT, just sounds.. bleh. I'm for slashing the payroll tax as much as the next guy, but that's a surefire way to balloon the deficit and give way to calls to slash SS.

Sixth, he needs to increase labor market flexibility to account for the current skills mismatch. He can do this by transitioning current welfare programs to a lump-sum NIT (e.g., EITC) and abolishing policies, like the MW, which price unskill

Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.

^

I heard an argument that is kinda interesting, though: EITC encourages businesses to pay their people less because they say "well, government will make up for it I guess." His argument that it was complementary was QI (it is for single mothers but hurts minorities and young workers, see Neumark Wascher 2014), but that reasoning is intriguing. I suppose he could support a federal law that flips off the states and forces them to lower it to 7.25/hour, and link it to inflation so it stays at 7.25 forever... I guess that is a compromise XD

You mean complementary with the MW?

Yeah, its possible that pre-EITC wages would fall a bit, but in reality, who cares? More labor market flexibility pushes the NAIRU downward and increases current employment and, much like in Germany, wages will eventually rise.

Maybe push for a lower minimum wage (maybe $5 or $4) for younger (under 21) workers.

As an intermediate step, yeah, I'd take that. Maybe for under 18, though.
~ResponsiblyIrresponsible

DDO's Economics Messiah
ax123man
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7/22/2015 2:43:31 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/22/2015 2:25:37 PM, ResponsiblyIrresponsible wrote:
At 7/22/2015 2:21:16 PM, 16kadams wrote:
Joey, if we increase immigration and increase productivity, we could hit 4% growth. So Boehner, plz die m8 & hlp economi grow bi hlping jb hlp d mexicens

I highly doubt that. Read the piece I linked from Noah Smith -- global fertility rates are actually down, so a mass immigration effort would probably hit diminishing returns sooner than expected. Increasing productivity is great, but we're talking, literally, doubling trend growth. I don't see it.

Not to mention the long term (i.e. NOT 4 year election cycle) historical trend is and likely always will be toward reduced work hours. Productivity is driven by technology and machines not men with large muscles and the assumption that humans will suddenly change their fundamental nature and laws of marginal utility will no longer apply to work and leisure.

Btw, I read the Noah Smith link, and I'm frankly tired of seeing this stuff which relies on Ceteris paribus assumptions and the false idea that the economy is a mathematical model that we've mastered. Typical human hubris.
ResponsiblyIrresponsible
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7/22/2015 2:44:52 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/22/2015 2:34:25 PM, 16kadams wrote:
At 7/22/2015 2:25:37 PM, ResponsiblyIrresponsible wrote:
At 7/22/2015 2:21:16 PM, 16kadams wrote:
Joey, if we increase immigration and increase productivity, we could hit 4% growth. So Boehner, plz die m8 & hlp economi grow bi hlping jb hlp d mexicens

I highly doubt that. Read the piece I linked from Noah Smith -- global fertility rates are actually down, so a mass immigration effort would probably hit diminishing returns sooner than expected. Increasing productivity is great, but we're talking, literally, doubling trend growth. I don't see it.

Also I think we hit 3.9 somewhere in Reagan's term so he was close too

But we've never actually hit it, to my knowledge, for an extended period of time. I mean, we hit 5 percent at one point last year; that's not the new trend line, it's an anomaly. We always grow slightly above trend after a long period of resource underutilization. If we really wanted to hit 4 percent for a quarter, of course we could do that. Jeb wants to shift the trend line upwards, and that is what I question.

This is true, but EITC and other welfare policies that encourage work and can increase the worker participation rate, plus immigration, may get us close to that. I mean short-term, at least.

I agree on this.

This graphic kinda shows it (https://www.aei.org...). If we got it back to 1980 - 2000 levels, I bet we could get to 3.5%. I dunno. I like to be an optimist.

I read that article in the WSJ (I think it was "Silicon Valley economists doubt productivity slowdown"). In fact, I linked to it in the OP, lol. It's funny that the AEI took it up.

I mean, there are two different periods there. Productivity tanked in the 80s, largely because of the oil bust (permanent LRAS shock), and then rose from 95 to 2004 due to the IT boom, though those gains are long gone. Whether that would actually let us hit close to 4 is another question entirely, and depends a lot on labor supply elasticity.

I am John Lennon on this one. But his song gives me cancer.

Cause imagine all the people,
living in poverty,
because there are no economic incentives,
to grow the economyyyyyy
Imagine all the people!
Starving in the streetsssss
everyone is equal
equally poor like meeeeeee

Lol.
~ResponsiblyIrresponsible

DDO's Economics Messiah