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iSteve commenter Lot unloads his ideas for laws:

Let’s keep going comrade!

Hard usury cap of 10% + prior year’s CPI, no exceptions, never. If the borrower can’t get a loan below 12%, he shouldn’t get a loan period. Same for businesses too. I could be talked into an even lower cap.

No payday loans, though prior rule covers them completely, the cheapest payday lenders are around 40% apr, average is more than 100%.

Require a mailed physical signature before credit/debit cards can be autobilled, aside from things like utility payments.

Long jail sentences for robodial telemarking or anyone spoofing caller IDs and email headers. Waste 20 seconds of 10 million people, and that is stealing 6.24 years of time from them by fraud. Double that and you have a reasonable punishment.

No “rent to own.”

trade embargoes of all the little island tax havens. No business incorporated in the Caymans can have any operations in the USA.

Pharma ads require FDA pre-approval. No payments by pharma to practicing doctors under any circumstance, including “speaking fees” “conference expense reimbursement” and “research grants.” If you have the power to write a script, you can’t take a dime.

Toobin Tax on all trading put an end to “high frequency trading.” There is no legitimate reason to buy and sell a stock all within 1 second. It is all front running of actual investors.

Moderate but no-exceptions tax on large inheritances.

No federal student loans. College was affordable to the middle class before the federal student loan era, it will be again.

Federal ban on ex-felon voting.

Wisdom of our ancestors: sumptuary taxes on conspicuous consumption. Example: 10% tax on cars sold for more than 100k, shoes for more than $250, wine for more than $100, restaurant meals for more than $100/person.

 
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  1. CK says:

    All for our own good since we are too dumb to not do these things ourselves. Somebody has to punish someone somewhere just because it is righteous to punish the other guy. Even the ideas that are superficially acceptable para 3 and 4 are unnecessary. Phones can be hung up or not answered, no one has to allow unsigned credit card expenses both are voluntary actions accepted by those folks who value ease over thought.

  2. anon[166] • Disclaimer says:

    OT:

    A mainstream, professional news organization taking on Progressive orthodoxy re: the hobo drug problems in Seattle. Don’t see that everyday. A throwback to actual journalism.

  3. Logan says:

    No payday loans, though prior rule covers them completely, the cheapest payday lenders are around 40% apr, average is more than 100%.

    So the guy misses a rent payment and is evicted, just so a third party can congratulate himself that the tenant at least didn’t have to pay a $40 payday loan fee.

    In discussions about payday loans nobody ever seems to talk about pawnshops, which are not dissimilar in their rates and practices. A payday loan place is basically a pawnshop that doesn’t hold collateral.

    I’m just curious why people seem to be so much more accepting of pawnshops. Just because they’ve been around much longer?

  4. Sunbeam says:

    “Toobin Tax on all trading put an end to “high frequency trading.” There is no legitimate reason to buy and sell a stock all within 1 second. It is all front running of actual investors.
    .
    .
    .
    No federal student loans. College was affordable to the middle class before the federal student loan era, it will be again.”

    Love those two.

    The student loan thing would make one heck of a shockwave. Wonder how long the adjustment period would be, or if you could sell it to Congress? Even the most MAGA elected official is still elected, and has to worry about his next one.

    Still that program has grown into a monstrosity. You are talking about real money at this point, and one heck of a starting point for balancing the budget.

    As for the trade tax…

    Can someone explain to me the economic utility of high speed trading? How is it beneficial in even a theoretical standpoint? I’m sure someone will chime in, and I’m really curious as to the rationalization for that one.

  5. Lot of minutiae. Best read in a Seinfeld credits standup voice:

    Whyyy would anyone want to send their money to the Caymans? Aren’t they dangerous animals? “Honey, I’m going to give Junior’s college fund to an alligator.”

  6. Love most of the laws, but why the felon ban? Once someone’s done their time, why not let them vote again? If you’re a ward of the state, no vote for you, but if you’re out and free, you should have your rights back.

  7. @CK

    “all for our own good since we are too dumb to not do these things ourselves”

    You say it like that’s a Bad Thing. A paternalistic government with the interests of the people at heart would do just that.

    Until the late 50s, gambling outside a racecourse was verboten in the UK. OK, some people circumvented it – in every town there were the “bookies’ runners” who took illegal bets between the punter and the illegal bookie.

    https://www.sheffieldforum.co.uk/topic/207312-who-remembers-the-bookies-runner/

    Yet its not as if the UK was stagnating up to 1960 – we created the first passenger jets and nuclear power stations in the 50s.

    Trouble is today’s UK government hates its own people, gambling companies are profiled in the FT, but “racist” tweets will send you to jail, if they’re made by white people. We’ve gone from paternalism driven by love to abusive paternalism driven by hate.

    • Agree: Autochthon
    • Replies: @dfordoom
  8. Bitfu says:

    Love, love, LOVE this list! I don’t know about you, but I always feels so warm and snuggly knowing that my leaders are looking out for my best interests! Also enhancing my ‘All is right with the world’ feeling of contentment is the fact that these types of benevolent initiatives have always work out for the best.

    Kudos Comrade Lot!

    • Replies: @scrivener3
  9. Brutusale says:
    @Just Saying

    I couldn’t support a permanent voting ban on a repentant ex-felon who did their time when any 75 IQ idiot can vote.

    • Replies: @Autochthon
    , @anon
    , @tr
    , @Ibound1
  10. CMC says:
    @CK

    Phones can be hung up or not answered,

    You’re missing the point about “[w]aste 20 seconds of 10 million people, and that is stealing 6.24 years of time from them by fraud.”

  11. @Sunbeam

    The HFT firms provide liquidity and narrow the spreads.

    • Replies: @Michael S
  12. The only new laws that interest me are those that would allow the proactive identification and suppression of criminals and criminal demographics. Also the abolition of all affirmative action, diversity&inclusion rules and similar BS.

  13. CMC says:
    @Logan

    People get evicted for a one-time 48-72 hour overdue rent payment? Like this is a serious large scale nationwide problem? Maybe we’d be better off with a national ‘the first month’s rent can be 3 days late’ rule?

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
  14. Arclight says:

    Ended federal student loans would have the most transformative effect on society – go ahead and let banks do it if they want, but without a federal guaranty they’d have to actually factor in an applicant’s GPA, test scores, and where they’ve been admitted to college when deciding to make a loan and under what terms. This would easily cut the number of ‘students’ in higher ed in half, and probably spell the end of a number of soft majors, such as anything with “studies” in the title.

    The university system functions as indoctrination centers for the left and permanent employment for tens of thousands of useless administrators and lecturers in subjects that do nothing to preserve our heritage and move our society forward.

  15. Jim Lahey says:
    @Logan

    So the guy misses a rent payment and is evicted, just so a third party can congratulate himself that the tenant at least didn’t have to pay a $40 payday loan fee.

    On a single-person, single-transaction level, you have a point, but what happens when this method of financing becomes enmeshed in every rent payment, every paycheck, for many persons in the neighborhood? Perhaps some acute event might instill some financial discipline for Mr. Evictee. He might learn a lesson from one eviction that he wouldn’t learn from years of having 10% of his paycheck skimmed by the payday loan guy.

    I could be wrong though. From my frequent in-depth interactions with the homeless and near-homeless, it’s hard to conclude that they are just normal-thinking folks who’ve fallen on hard times, and who are capable of making reasonable decisions. For some of these people it’s not a matter of education or public knowledge – but rather, I don’t think they will ever be capable of understanding something like compound interest at a functional level.

    • Replies: @Lot
  16. @CK

    “Phones can be hung up or not answered…”

    Doesn’t not answering undermine the very reason for owning a phone? So if the only way you can tolerate owning a phone is to not use it then, ummm, why own it? Don’t “robodial telemarketing” et al then undermine the very conditions that made their existence possible?

    Kant said that we are duty bound to repay a loan because if no one did so, then none of us would make a loan to begin with. I think that this is even stronger than his Categorical Imperative, “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.”

    The loan example has a nearly logical necessity to it. The generalized, form merely states a preference e.g. I won’t slug you without provocation because you may slug me and I would find that unpleasant..

    • Replies: @Cloudbuster
    , @Anonymous
  17. The problem with these laws is that they would slow down the debt serfdom our Criminal Elite intend to impose on us.

    • Agree: ThreeCranes
    • Replies: @Lagertha
  18. Pharma ads should be banned and the FDA approval for drugs optional.

  19. All great ideas, except I wouldn’t allow Pharma to advertise, period. Drugs that treat illnesses shouldn’t be classified as marketable commodities. If they’re effective, it should be up to a doctor to determine if they should be used for treatment.

    But, as we all know by now, our voice means nothing to our so-called representatives. Pharma and other lobbies make them rich, we merely elect them.

    • Replies: @jim jones
  20. @Brutusale

    “…a repentant felon who did his time.”

    One does not cease to be a felon after being relased from custody; there is no such thing as an “ex-felon” (nor is there any such thing as the more common nonsensical concept of an “ex-con[vict]”) and singular nouns take singular pronouns.

    Many of these ideas are just sensible governance. Usury was prohibited for most of human history, and even debt without interest was, quite sensibly, limited by jubilees until relatively recently (there’s a decent article about that phenomenon and the ills of its abandonment here at Mr. Unz’ site).

    “Freedom of contract!” has long been the rallying cry if scoundrels, opposing everything from minimum wages to prohibitions on children’s labour, indentured servitude, and debtors’ prisons.

    I don’t recall the case’s details, but one of several famous cases addressing the rent-to-own scam were decided in the twentieth century on the grounds that freedom of contract is sacrisanct. To this day, though, I vividly recall my professor of contracts’ pointed argument (contra some naïve student’s protest that the woman in question needed protection from the mean re-posessor because she was poor) that this position is fair enough, but it requires that she be denied the opportunity to have a stereo at all, because, since one cannot have it both ways, and, anyhow, the she was poor. If she were sensible, he quipped, she ought to be spending her money “on macaroni and cheese!

    He was right. Many – probably most – people are indeed too stupid to see to their own best interests. While it’s true patronising laws to protect them should not be enacted if they will harm those few of us who are not stupid, the ones he proposes don’t affect the intellient and competent: we would not rent-to-own, take out so-called payday-loans, gamble away our money, or drive around without using seatbelts and helmets even though we could. Getting worked up about laws preventing such stupidity and evil is not too awfully dissimilar to getting worked up about laws against prostitution, abusing methamphetamines, or sexually molesting domestic animals: precisely those most apoplectic about them on principle probably will most benefit from being held accountable to them in practice….

    • Agree: Rosie, Cloudbuster
    • Replies: @Rosie
    , @Twinkie
  21. @Just Saying

    Hey, this is no time for virtue signalling. We all know how ex-felons vote.

    • Agree: Lot
    • Replies: @gregor
  22. @Arclight

    Agree. It would also shut off a major cash pipeline to the useless Diversitarian Commissars.

  23. anonymous[293] • Disclaimer says:
    @anon

    That was fascinating…not just the story, the fact that a news organization would take on the local progressive politicians. I’ll bet there were some angry phone calls from the Democratic Party leader to the owner of that station, after the story ran.

    • Replies: @Hail
  24. I think that commenter Lot is trolling the Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren supporters on their schemes for funding Medicare-for-All and Free Tuition by taxing “wealth”, “large inheritances” and “the rich.” So don’t overthink these as concrete proposals.

    On the other hand, $250 sounds like a low cutoff to impose a Luxury Shoe Tax? Sure, it would collect money from sales on Rodeo Drive, but aren’t the kind of shoes popular with traditionally underrepresented minority groups pushing into that price range? Aren’t insulated boots that a worker may purchase for working construction during cold weather in that price range?

    • Replies: @psmith
    , @Twinkie
    , @budd
  25. @Just Saying

    Your reasoning does not match that of the prohibition: loss of the franchise is part and parcel of the punishment; unlike the incarceration and any fines and fees, it just lasts in perpetuity. The same goes for the loss of the right to bear arms. Think of it like being required to register as a sex-offender and having your contact with children limited for the rest of one’s life if convicted of certain crimes against children.

    You can still argue these permanent losses of rights are unjust as punishments, but understand they are not some kind of perverse and illogical oversight or peculiarity that inadvertantly haunts felons after they are freed; they are instead simply the part of the punishment that lasts a lifetime.

  26. Mike1 says:
    @Logan

    People are outraged about payday loans because they are so genuinely dumb that they extrapolate a $40.00 fee into an annual rate. The loans need an APR on the contract (which is sensible and the law) but this self evidently doesn’t mean someone borrowing money for a few days does this every day.

    The author forgot one thing from his list: Full time babysitter for all adults.

    • Replies: @prosa123
  27. Sean says:

    Death penalty for capital flight (as South Korea actually had) and tax avoidance shell games.

    • Replies: @scrivener3
  28. gregor says:
    @Almost Missouri

    Of course once they make “white nationalism” a felony …

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
  29. anon[332] • Disclaimer says:
    @Brutusale

    Why not ban both of them?

  30. No ownership of property by non-citizens.

    Property tax double if owner is not registered to vote from that property’s address.

    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
  31. anon[332] • Disclaimer says:

    Hard usury cap of 10% + prior year’s CPI, no exceptions, never.

    Day 2 of Lot’s regime, the front page of the Wall Street Journal reads, “What’s so bad about inflation, anyway?”

    • Replies: @CMC
  32. prosa123 says:

    Steve: you ought to do a piece on the social and economic aspects of mobile homes. They’ve gotten a recent boost of attention after John Oliver of HBO’s Last Week Tonight did a very critical report on the industry. Basically, while mobile homes provide reasonably inexpensive housing to millions of lower income people, it’s a very strange industry.

    Residents typically own their mobile homes but rent their space from mobile home park owners. So far so good, except they’re more or less at the mercy of park owners when it comes to space rental increases. Moving to a different park is basically impossible because (a) moving a mobile home is very expensive and sometimes physically impossible, and (b) there may be no place to go because local laws have almost completely stopped any new park development throughout the country. Owners who can’t afford space rent increases frequently have to move out leaving their mobile homes behind, usually selling them at a major loss.

    For their part, mobile home park owners don’t always have it easy. They have to deal with residents who more often than not are troublesome sorts, unexpected expenses, and often-dishonest onsite managers. All in all, it’s a strange industry that gets less attention that it deserves.

    • Agree: Hibernian
    • Replies: @Lurker
    , @anon
    , @ScarletNumber
  33. psmith says:
    @Inquiring Mind

    Ha, was just going to post this about the shoes. In my experience construction guys generally go cheap (I guess maybe because most of the construction guys I know work in urban/suburban areas and can readily replace their boots at the nearest big box), but oil field guys and woods workers drop way more than $250.

    In general, this kind of tax would hit American craft shoemakers pretty hard. Probably generalizes to a lot of other goods as well.

    • Replies: @JMcG
  34. prosa123 says:
    @Mike1

    People are outraged about payday loans because they are so genuinely dumb that they extrapolate a $40.00 fee into an annual rate. The loans need an APR on the contract (which is sensible and the law) but this self evidently doesn’t mean someone borrowing money for a few days does this every day.

    Payday loan fees are no big deal for borrowers who pay off their loans next payday. The thing is, not many borrowers do that. When the loan comes due in two weeks they typically can’t afford to pay it off, so they roll over the balance into a new loan … and do they same in another two weeks, on and on.

    • Replies: @Cloudbuster
    , @Mike1
  35. Bryan says:
    @Logan

    The invincible Boomer.

    If you need a payday loan, you don’t need a payday loan. What you need is a community. Payday loans obscure this fact, especially among those who do not have the savvy to grasp it on their own. Therefore, they are a public bad and should be taxed, regulated, or legislated. Pretty simple.

    Pawn shops have some of the same problems, but they are collateralized. That reduces the public bad elements of the enterprise.

  36. Bryan says:
    @Autochthon

    Agree. It was not very long ago that felons of all types were executed. An accused rapist or highwayman who was apprehended awaited either acquittal or the hangman. This was, of course, a permanent separation from the community.

  37. @CK

    Phones can be hung up or not answered

    You must not be getting many of these calls. We have a small business and a robo call or scam call comes every ten minutes. We no longer answer. We have a message on the answering machine telling callers to leave a message, because we cannot pick up the phone due to the volume of unwanted calls. The robo-callers have made the instrument nearly useless. People complain about junk mail, but you can sift it out in a few seconds and toss it in the recycling bin. The calls are an annoying intrusion.

    • Agree: larry lurker
    • Replies: @Lot
    , @Barnard
  38. @anon

    Absolutely sickening. The manufactured homeless crises in west coast progressive cities seem like they could be massively improved overnight by a determination to incarcerate repeat offenders of petty / drug crimes. The inflated self regard liberals have for themselves over ending “mass incarceration” is killing our public life. And it goes without saying these preening moron who feel so compassionate for downtrodden are actually responsible for immeasurable cruelty, allowing thousands of people to live in squalor and madness to stroke their own BS perception that they are good and generous people.

  39. @Arclight

    When Bernie Sanders talks about free college for all, he doesn’t factor in the actual value of the degree involved. He wants our tax dollars to be used to pay for some untalented kid to go to acting school or some minority person to sharpen up his grievances, coming out four years later no more employable than they were before. As a communist, surely Bernie understands that such a waste of resources wouldn’t be allowed in societies run under the system he favors. College education would only be for those capable of benefiting from it and only useful studies would be taught. If someone wants to waste their own money in college, fine, but the taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook for it.

  40. @Hank Archer

    As a farmer, I disagree. I live on a different part of the farm than the parts that I (and the bank) own. Also, you rent a farm from your neighbors. They die, and the kids inherit. Should the property taxes double because of that?

  41. jim jones says:
    @RebelWriter

    This is what we have in the UK with the NHS, doctors are essentially Government bureaucrats. If we have some sort of infection we cannot just treat it with a dose of antibiotics, we have to make an appointment with a GP and hope he prescribes what we actually need.

    • Replies: @RebelWriter
  42. CMC says:
    @anon

    Day 3: ‘CPI’s should be state or regionally determined —perhaps even city by city;’

    Day 4: ‘subsidiarity and federalism,’ a guest post by sold out action institute priest so and so

    Day 5: free trade zones; what depressed US municipalities might learn from china’s innovative reforms

    ….

  43. Bill H says:

    No advertisements of any sort for any medication which requires a prescription.

    It’s hard to describe how annoying I find these “Ask your doctor about…” ads, with their endless list of hazards which are not described as bad things the medication can cause but as things that “have happened.”

    It is absurd to list all of these cautions in a television commercial which will be seen by millions of people who do not have the condition treated by the drug, and would not take the drug if they did have the condition.

    Even for the tiny fraction who will “ask their doctor” and wind up taking the drug, they will be cautioned on the risk of their eyeballs falling out by the doctor who prescribes it to them, and again by the pharmacist who dispenses it to them.

    You cannot advertise whiskey on television, a product which can be bought in any liquor store by any adult, but you can advertise something that only a doctor can prescribe. Stupidity rules this benighted country.

    • Agree: Dtbb, YetAnotherAnon
    • Replies: @densa
  44. @anon

    I agree with anonymous’ comment.

    This video gives me hope. The Seattle City Council liberals–those who possess the a-Midas Touch in that everything they touch turns to shit–were shouted down by the small business owners. Perhaps the tide is turning. Those expressing anti-tolerant, deplorable opinions seem to have come out of the closet and banded together.

    • Replies: @ChrisZ
  45. Let’s bring back the 1960s FREEDOM. Get rid of the 1968 Gun Control Act and allow mail order guns and USPS shipping of ammunition. Get rid of the anti-smoking WAR conducted by the US government and allow smoking ads on the air (But keep the warning label on the packaging because I am sick of the idiots always claiming how they DIDN’T know smoking was bad for them .).

    Just those two ALONE would make the lefties go INSANE because getting people acclimated to government Buttinskis is their true victory.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  46. @ThreeCranes

    Kant said that we are duty bound to repay a loan because if no one did so, then none of us would make a loan to begin with.

    Kant said that like it’s a bad thing.

  47. @Logan

    So the guy misses a rent payment and is evicted, just so a third party can congratulate himself that the tenant at least didn’t have to pay a $40 payday loan fee.

    We never evict tenants for a single missed payment — often not for multiple missed payments if they’re generally decent people who communicate with us and try hard. We have numerous tenants we’ve made arrangements with to take their payment at a time that’s more convenient to their pay schedule just so they don’t have to do things like take payday loans. A lot of our tenants are simply incapable of managing their money. It flows through their fingers like water to whatever desire is immediately in front of their faces. We have to treat them like small children that have to be managed — and it’s still easier than evicting, cleaning and re-renting.

    If we ever use non-payment as a reason to evict someone, it’s usually not the real, primary reason. It’s just the easiest to document.

    • Replies: @stillCARealist
  48. @CMC

    I started using the free, for land lines, call blocking from nomorobo.com, which I think was mentioned here, and it has cut back some of the robo calls. I might sign up for their cell service which is $1.99 a month.

  49. @prosa123

    Payday loan fees are no big deal for borrowers who pay off their loans next payday. The thing is, not many borrowers do that. When the loan comes due in two weeks they typically can’t afford to pay it off, so they roll over the balance into a new loan … and do they same in another two weeks, on and on.

    You have some evidence that this behavior is typical, as opposed to exceptional?

    • Replies: @Lot
  50. @CMC

    People get evicted for a one-time 48-72 hour overdue rent payment?

    Not in blue cities they don’t. The have extensive tenant “protection” schemes in place, free lawyers, judges give multiple second chances for the usual sob stories, etc. So it can take > a year to get somebody out. Meantime you are not getting any rent.

  51. Rosie says:
    @Autochthon

    “Freedom of contract!” has long been the rallying cry if scoundrels, opposing everything from minimum wages to prohibitions on children’s labour, indentured servitude, and debtors’ prisons.

    “Freedom of contract” of contract is a euphemism for “freedom to take advantage of those who are more vulnerable and/or less intelligent than yourself.”

    • Agree: dfordoom
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  52. tr says: • Website
    @Brutusale

    But isn’t a ban on felons voting a backdoor way of banning the IQ 75 vote?

  53. Hail says: • Website
    @anon

    2.6 million views in four weeks is pretty good for a local news documentary.

    It’s a wonder what can be done when journalists practice actual journalism, instead of uncritically piling onto hate-hoax hysteria and other forms of ‘Megaphoning.’

    • Replies: @anon
  54. MEH 0910 says:

    https://altleft.com/2019/02/28/yangsters-paradise/

    Yang wisely has chosen to bypass the culture wars almost entirely and instead is focused on crafting complex solutions to actual problems. Rather than pandering to various “marginalized” identity groups, he looks at the bigger picture and remains committed to ideas which can improve the lives of everyone. The other candidates pay only superficial lip service to the issues we face, to the extent they have even thought about them at all. Yang has delved into the nitty-gritty of policy. I’m not even just talking about his “Universal Basic Income” proposal. Just take a gander at the treasure trove of policies presented on his website. This guy has thought of everything. He actually has a real plan. If even 1/3 of Yang’s ideas were implemented, the USA would be a vastly improved country. No other candidate has given any serious thought to the everyday issues that matter to Americans. Just the fact that Yang is promising to ban robocalls would be reason enough to vote for him. Yang’s American Mall Act would help to revitalize, repurpose and preserve many of these culturally important structures.

    H/T: https://www.unz.com/akarlin/what-does-everyone-think-about-andrew-yang/

    • Replies: @MEH 0910
  55. Hail says: • Website
    @anonymous

    fascinating … that a news organization would take on the local progressive politicians

    It looks to be the initiative entirely of Eric Johnson of KOMO (the local ABC affiliate).

    Born (c.1962) and raised in Spokane Valley; at KOMO since 1993. His wiki says he was KOMO sports director from 1995 to 2006, then news anchor, currently their prime-time senior news anchor.

    So Eric Johnson is a big local-media fish in a moderate-sized pond. (Seattle proper, pop.: Approaching 750,000; Seattle Metro, pop.: approaching 4.0 million).

    Institutions always reward loyalty to at least some extent, and there is significantly less chance of an intervening higher political power stepping in and ‘disappearing’ him (“Richwine-ing” him?), being that Eric Johnson is a respected 26-year KOMO veteran. Somebody new and less senior couldn’t have done it.

    Thank you, Eric Johnson.

  56. MEH 0910 says:
    @MEH 0910

    https://lionoftheblogosphere.wordpress.com/2019/03/18/robocalls-has-andrew-yang-been-reading-my-blog/

    Andrew Yang actually hasn’t addressed the technological and legal issues. That the calls come from outside of the United States, they spoof caller IDs, and our telecommunications network, for whatever reason legal or technical, is unable to stop them. But at least he mentions it as a problem for government to solve.

  57. @Arclight

    “this would easily cut the number of ‘students’ in higher ed in half, and probably spell the end of a number of soft majors, such as anything with “studies” in the title”

    I have a dream … current uni is a brilliant scam, in that the students are paying through the nose to be indoctrinated.

  58. @Sean

    Right, because the government owes you and your production, like dairy cows. Didn;t east germenay have something like this for many years?

    • Replies: @Sean
    , @Achmed E. Newman
  59. @Autochthon

    What do you think about putting monitors on people and keeping them at home rather than in prisons. If the cops know where you are at all times (and Amazon certainly does this with my packages) wouldn’t that be sufficient for most felons? Yes, the crazies and the violent need to be kept locked up for the safety of the rest of us.

    Not saying it’s a solution, but it might work to make prisons less crowded and expensive.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  60. Whether it’s Lot or someone similarly minded, I’m fully ready for some kind of benevolent dictatorship. The current system is beyond repair. The only bipartisan legislation that can get passed these days is for big business or big Israel. We need an American Pinochet.

    • Replies: @res
    , @Redneck farmer
  61. Anon[314] • Disclaimer says:
    @Logan

    I’m a landlord. Evicting a tenant after one late rent payment? I wish!

    And if someone has anything worth pawning, why not? One step on the path to a simpler, minimalist lifestyle.

    I think the larger point is that people adjust their behavior based on their environment. If they know in the back of their minds that a payday loan is possible, they tend to be marginally less careful with money. Over the entire population the total percentage of rent defaulters would probably not change that much if payday loans were banned. After all, it’s not like they’re getting payday loans years in advance. Their expenses get one month out of sync, and then they keep up. If they don’t, they default anyway.

  62. Too funny. Our ancestors sumptary taxes were pure envy and resentlent:

    Historically, they were laws that were intended to regulate and reinforce social hierarchies and morals through restrictions, often depending upon a person’s social rank, on their permitted clothing, food, and luxury expenditures.

  63. @anon

    To see how the Seattle City Council treats the serfs, check out this two-minute video.

    • Replies: @Hail
  64. Anon[314] • Disclaimer says:
    @Sunbeam

    The elimination of student loans was the big policy recommendation of Bryan Caplan’s “The Case against Education,” a book I really liked, although I’m having second thoughts about the guy since he came out with a graphic novel called “Open Borders.”

    Caplan said that private charities would step in to provide the poor and vibrant with scholarships (not loans), as they did before federal programs. Presumably the scale of such educational financing would be smaller than the federal loan program, so there might be more of an aptitude filter applied, maybe a reverse in the trend of getting rid of standardized tests like the SAT.

    Charitable donors are going to want metrics on 4-year graduation rates, jobs after graduation, percentage of grievance studies majors and other bullshit majors, and so on. Universities will respond by turning physics into a bullshit major and graduate all comers. It will never end.

  65. Anonymous[264] • Disclaimer says:

    Yes, yes, a million times yes!

    I would include something about online distributors of porn. American children should NEVER be inadvertently subjected to porn, unless they have crappy parents who allow it.

  66. Hail says: • Website
    @Harry Baldwin

    The hostile Council member is Debora Juarez. The meeting is March 11, 2019.

    The above is from the Seattle City Council website, ironically titled “Debora Listening”!

    Debora Juarez
    District 5 // North Seattle

    Committees

    Chair: Civic Development, Public Assets & Native Communities

    Vice-Chair: Housing, Health, Energy & Workers’ Rights

    Member: Human Services, Equitable Development & Renter Rights

    Alternate: Gender Equity, Safe Communities, New Americans & Education

    Contact
    206-684-8805
    [email protected]

    Do all the committees have to have some kind of SJW-signalling term shoved in before their title is approved?

    Who is Debora Juarez?

    She was elected in 2015 to represent the 5th district. A member of the Blackfeet Nation, she was the first Native American person elected to the council. […] Her mother was Native American and her father was a first-generation Mexican-American

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    , @Zach
  67. Anonymous[264] • Disclaimer says:
    @anon

    I watched that recently. According to the video a huge percentage (possibly 100%) Of the homeless have substance abuse problems and many have mental health problems. Also, the homeless pose a potential health crisis to the rest of society, due to lack of plumbing/proper sanitation and drug-related needles. For the good of the homeless and the rest of society, the homeless should perhaps be institutionalized in a manner where they can get some help with their drug and mental health problems.

  68. @Hail

    Her mother was Native American and her father was a first-generation Mexican-American

    There you go, she’s an aristocrat.

    • LOL: Hail
    • Replies: @Clyde
  69. @stillCARealist

    For example, the Hug Thug lives with his parents in Harlem, so why not just ban him from going south of 110th Street to the tourist districts? And maybe ban him from 125th St. too, now that it’s becoming a tourist district. Put an ankle GPS monitor on him and make him do a weekly blood test to prove he’s taking his meds.

  70. Anonymous[264] • Disclaimer says:
    @ThreeCranes

    Doesn’t not answering undermine the very reason for owning a phone? So if the only way you can tolerate owning a phone is to not use it then, ummm, why own it? Don’t “robodial telemarketing” et al then undermine the very conditions that made their existence possible?

    I happened to mention to my son the other day that when I was growing up, people always answered their phones because for the most part the only people who called were people you actually knew.

  71. res says:
    @DN Poolside

    I’m fully ready for some kind of benevolent dictatorship.

    Two problems with that.

    1. What happens if their definition of “benevolent” is different from yours? (think SJW)
    2. What happens next? History makes clear benevolent dictators don’t last forever.

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
  72. Clyde says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Across 110th Street – Wikipedia
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Across_110th_Street
    New York City in the 1970s. Across 110th Street portrays New York City of the 1970s, a decade when crime, drug use and poverty was at an all time high. The city economy was broke, its infrastructure crumbling and pimps and prostitutes filled Times Square. Harlem itself was a place of little opportunity.

    Music by: Bobby Womack, J. J. Johnson
    Starring: Anthony Quinn, Yaphet Kotto, Anthony Franciosa
    Produced by: Anthony Quinn, Fouad Said, Barry Shear
    Release date: December 19, 1972

  73. Lot says:
    @Jim Lahey

    “I don’t think they will ever be capable of understanding something like compound interest at a functional level.”

    I’d guess less than 5% of the population can answer a simple question about compound interest, or know what the phrase means.

    When you get to the bottom fifth of society, there is no understanding of really basic concepts about how banks and saving work.

    Have a look if you get the chance at the bank statements of low IQ people who get disability checks, or vet pensions for enlistees when the military wasn’t selective. Very good chance you’ll see a bunch of $30 overdraft charges, month after month. Some of them will be $6 for cigarettes at a gas station followed by a $30 overdraft charge, then the same thing a few days later.

    This is an enlightening post on how few people, even east asians, can get basic applied math questions right:

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/stupid-people/

    Notice none of the questions even involve algebra.

    • Agree: Clyde
    • Replies: @Desiderius
    , @Kratoklastes
  74. Clyde says:
    @Harry Baldwin

    Her mother was Native American and her father was a first-generation Mexican-American
    There you go, she’s an aristocrat.

    Typical of somewhat 3rd world BS artists snowing the Whitey libs. She is 20% indigenous at most. Gots lots more conquistador Spanish from her mother and father lineages. What is her yearly payout? Must be above 120 thousand for serving the pueblo

  75. densa says:
    @Bill H

    Agree with your comment. The pharma ads kicked in during the Great Recession, I believe. Prior to that it was more car ads and such. Drug advertising now supports the media, and the media returns the favor. It’s more like a money laundering system, than a customer eyeball benefit. At this point it is only one aspect of Big Pharma’s octopus who bribes, writes legislation and has a propaganda Wurlitzer that influences all the way down to state and local public health boards.

    • Agree: Travis
  76. Lot says:
    @Cloudbuster

    Yes there’s evidence of this.

    80% of payday loans are rollovers, average payday loan is rolled over 10 times.

    https://www.opploans.com/blog/payday-loan-rollover-short-term-loans-turn-long-term-debt/

    • Replies: @BigDickNick
  77. “How to deal with telephone robo-calls” would make a good topic for discussion. A few ideas…

    * I enjoy such calls as a form of live entertainment, a way to make a human connection (after a gauntlet of recorded messages).

    * To discourage such annoying calls, you will be doing a public service to get quickly to a human interlocutor, with the goal of wasting as much of his/her time as possible.

    * Sometimes a recorded message tells me that I have been “pre-approved” for something (a loan). I have never yet obtained an explanation of how I attained this pre-approved status, or how it differs from the approved status.

    * Much more often than not, the human you reach speaks with a foreign accent. I ask for someone who speaks English well, but most of the time the person disbelieves my assertion that their conversational English is sub-standard.

    * I like to ask where the call is from (not the company, but the location). If they give the name of a state (e.g., “Florida”), I ask the caller, “What is the capital of your state?” (Typical answer: “Orlando”, a Disney-promoted city that more famous among subcontinentals than is Miami, much less Tallahassee)

    * When the voice sounds like it is from Bangalore, I answer: “You have reached the We Hate Indians Society. Would you like to join?” I am usually hung up on immediately. I need to develop more Indian-friendly conversational people skills.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  78. Lot says:
    @Harry Baldwin

    Every business phone number in the USA gets regular robocalls from scammers pretending to be “Google directory listing” on top of the normal consumer scams.

    • Agree: Harry Baldwin
    • Replies: @Clyde
  79. @Logan

    1) Pawn shops don’t ruin your credit when you don’t repay; they just take the collateral.

    2) There is no interest charged on pawn shop loans (or at least there wasn’t last time I used one, which was admittedly a long time ago.)

  80. Ibound1 says:
    @Brutusale

    We need to ban voting by anyone who takes any direct welfare payment, including food stamps, as well as a ban on voting by those that take social security. We also need a ban on any public employee voting, including teachers.

  81. Good ideas, but note that it is called a Tobin Tax not a Toobin Tax, named after James Tobin, an American Keynesian economist of the late 20th century.

  82. Lurker says:
    @prosa123

    Slightly OT – According to the 2010 US census trailer park residents are more likely per capita to be black and hispanic than white. But this is most definitely not the impression the media likes to convey.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  83. Zach says:
    @Hail

    Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan has a homeless problem, but wouldn’t mind having an immigration problem.
    https://news.yahoo.com/seattle-mayor-responds-president-trump-211824331.html

  84. Sean says:
    @scrivener3

    The government can draft you into the army and send you off to die in a war whether you think that is right or not. East Germany was much like any other country in that respect.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  85. This is spot-on as a destination. If you or anyone know how to get there, I will be glad to listen.

  86. Tax, tax, tax. This commenter is a tax loving politicians dream.
    The US Individual Income Tax doesn’t need to be abolished, altered, reformed, made Flat, Fair or Foolish. It doesn’t need loopholes closed. The US Constitution is the biggest loophole of all.
    What needs to happen is for Americans to understand they are the objects of a grift. The grift only contains one lie, found on the IRS website. It declares the 16th Amendment created a new, UN apportioned Direct Tax. There is no Supreme Ct cite for that assertion, which the Supreme Ct has repudiated many times. Based on that one lie, the IRS uses uses FEAR , (False Evidence Appearing Real ) to intimidate the 80% of Americans who actually do no owe income taxes to submit signed affidavits every year swearing the owe taxes and meekly asking for some of their property back, without interest.
    Since 2003, hundreds of thousands of Americans have filed educated returns disputing the False Evidence- the information returns, W2 and 1099, that payroll departments have been tricked into submiing, alleging your receipts are taxable income. This process is lawful under the tax laws, including the 1998 Taxpayer Bill of Rights.
    If you want to stand up for the Rule of Law, drain the swamp, reclaim your property taken under color of law, learn the truth at http://www.losthorizons.com or the Pete Hendrickson You Tube channel.

  87. ChrisZ says:
    @ThreeCranes

    those who possess the a-Midas Touch in that everything they touch turns to shit

    “A-Midas Touch” cracked me up. It’s an extremely necessary idea for our day: to give a “kill-shot” label to all the perennial screw ups who hold power in our country.

    Unfortunately the coinage “A-Midas” may be too intellectual for mass consumption.

    Come to think of it, we should put Trump on this job. He just has to think: “I have he Midas Touch, and they have the ——— touch.” He’ll come up with something fitting and instantly understandable, like “sh*thole countries.”

  88. anon[166] • Disclaimer says:
    @Hail

    Agree. There is though an interesting aspect to the megaphone angle.

    I came across the video because it was recommended by youtube in the sidebar.

    However, I can’t help but wonder whether this story went viral organically and youtube’s famous “algorithms” picked up on that, or, whether some youtube employee is also upset with the same of problem in the Bay Area and decided to give this video a little extra help in the rankings. Sometimes all it takes is an imperceptible nudge and then things snowball from there.

    But we’ll never have any idea what the truth is. The tech/social media megaphone is so very pernicious.

  89. I recall when tort lawyers, AKA ambulance chasers, were not allowed to advertise their services. Now they bombard us with billboards, bus ads, and radio commercials urging us to sue! sue! sue! This has not improved life in America. I miss the old prohibition on these ads.

    • Agree: Dtbb
    • Replies: @Anonymous
  90. wren says:

    I sure wish we could get our elected officials and unelected bureaucrats not to work and lobby for foreign countries and companies after they leave office or their jobs.

    What could be less MAGA than that?

    For example Obama’s cyber security chief now lobbies for Huawei (and by extension the Chinese government).

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/huaweis-latest-advocate-an-obama-cybersecurity-official

    A former senator does the same. Absolutely disgraceful!

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-08/lieberman-s-zte-work-makes-him-a-foreign-agent-complaint-says

  91. @jim jones

    Do you believe you might know better than the GP what you actually need because you watched a commercial on TV?

  92. JMcG says:
    @psmith

    I agree. Lineman or logger boots start at 250. You’d kill what’s left of the American shoe trade. I think Lot would probably accept some tweaks though.
    How about 100% tax on Nike?

  93. @gregor

    Since white nationalist votes turn out not to matter anyway, what is to lose?

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  94. @CK

    Phones can be hung up or not answered …

    CK, we actually like modern conveniences to be useful, not be annoyances, simply because some scumbag is too lazy and too amoral to get a real job, but instead wants to fleece people.

  95. @res

    While I’m not quite at the Strong Man On A Horse stage, I think the answer to your second question (what happens after the benevolent dictator dies?) is, the same thing that would have happened before the benevolent dictator took power.

    In other words, the Benevolent Dictator is a last ditch move when the alternative is full-on anarchy or tyranny.

    • Replies: @res
  96. @Cloudbuster

    We had tenants that were always late with the rent. Their lives were just a series of crises. As soon as one fire was put out, the next one started.

    Also, as I see doing lots of payrolls, small businesses are regularly giving loans to employees and then having them pay them back slowly with each paycheck. There are some employees that live this way constantly. (see above).

    Our best employee needs loans from us at least once a year. Since it’s always re-paid, we don’t criticize. But, of course, we observe. I know it’s harsh, but it’s true: a fool and his money are soon parted.

    • Replies: @william munny
  97. @Just Saying

    Felons have pissed on the most basic rules of their nation and their fellow citizens. They are people who should–in an ideal world–be pitched out of the nation. They certainly have no business determining how the society is governed.

    • Replies: @Chris Mallory
    , @Dr. X
  98. @Lot

    I’ve had a couple stretches in my life when overdraft charges were a thing. Banks treat people in that class like small town cops treat tourists.

    • Replies: @Lot
  99. Lot says:
    @Desiderius

    That’s kind of surprising from what I know of you, early millennial in a low cost of living area with a fairly strong economy.

    “Banks treat people in that class like small town cops treat tourists.”

    Meanwhile Chase and Citi and Amex give me about $1500 a year in cash and flights/hotels and never charge me any fees, or if they do take them off in response to my polite request.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  100. Several of these are bad ideas. I’d trust the typical right wing think tanks like Heritage and others over this guy.

    – Regarding email + phone spam. Email spam used to be (~2000) a major annoyance for regular people. That has basically been solved by mostly technical means. Phone spam should get the same solutions in a few years.
    – Regading payday loans: https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/a-defense-of-payday-loans/
    – “10% tax on cars sold for more than 100k,” People already pay sales tax on car purchases. While $100K cars are unsympathetic luxury purchases, this is an unimpressive idea.

    The big ticket financial issues are health care + education. They consume huge amounts of money, costs have grown, and they operate largely outside of free market type systems. Those should be the top targets for reform.

  101. res says:
    @Almost Missouri

    In other words, the Benevolent Dictator is a last ditch move when the alternative is full-on anarchy or tyranny.

    Agreed about this.

    the same thing that would have happened before the benevolent dictator took power.

    Not so sure about this one. If the benevolent dictator truly was a last ditch move then perhaps. But it really is a game changer to go from democracy (or republic) to a dictator (of whatever sort). Once that kind of power acquisition is in bounds then the gloves come off all around.

    I should probably have added a third point to my original comment.

    3. Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    • Replies: @Kratoklastes
  102. Cererean says:

    Another way to deal with usury is banning compound interest, rather than capping interest rates. Only allow interest to be charged on the principal remaining extant. So if someone borrows £1000 at 10% a month, and doesn’t pay it for a year, they would owe £2200 to the lender, rather than £3138. Good debt, where the borrower is paying back more than the interest rate, wouldn’t be affected, but it would prevent people’s debts spiralling out of control.

    It needs more work doing to it, of course, such as deciding whether or not a payment is paying off the interest or the principal. Thinking about it, it seems to have more in common with a bond than a loan…

  103. @Bitfu

    Hear, hear. I think the whole list is parody, although some people here think it is wise policy.

    Lets see: no loans for poor people with poor credit, plenty of loans for richer people with better credit; require Amazon to keep millions of useless paper signatures when you could sign your name as “this is a forgery” at the store and your purchase will go through; no rent to own but rent and get nothing at the end of the term is OK; trade embargo of tax havens, Ireland?, economic development zones in poor USA communities?; FDA pre-approval, FDA has authority over such advertising now and publishes stringent rules; statutory punishments for robocalls are presently high the problem is no one knows how to enforce them.

    All in all amazing arrogance and dismissal of the ability of other people to make their own decisions

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  104. @Lot

    Soooo is it better for these people to get their car repo’ed or have their belongings thrown on the street when they are evicted? Letting people make (sometimes retarded) financial decisions for themselves is a better system than anything else.

    • Replies: @Lot
  105. The last bullet point is the only one I disagree with. You will evaporate luxuries accessible to the middle class if you tax them so much so that corporations raise their prices and cater them only to elites. Sure, you could argue 10% is not bad, but there’s many states with many more surcharges added. Trade you this idea for raising capital gains tax, not to 70+% like the commies want but 40-50% is fine (45?)

    The other points are ok in small doses, and could be balanced by shaving off a few more points from corporate tax so capital doesn’t flee, instituting remittance tax, ending foreign adventures, standing up in trade negotiations, etc…

    Also, as window-dressing, more holidays (because patriotism isn’t valued as much if overworked), and at least a week of paid family leave – maybe for marrieds only to encourage them. This will keep minds off silly UBI fantasy – pretty much amounts to expanding the EIC to unearners. Might be easier just to cover the existing donut hole in healthcare and spend a bit on infrastructure and inner cities, maybe even conservation (this is unrelated to global warming, but young people think all right wingers are pro oil spillers; Keystone XL is fine, as well as nuclear, but would be nice to make up for the natural areas lost saving land elsewhere).

  106. Twinkie says:
    @Autochthon

    He was right. Many – probably most – people are indeed too stupid to see to their own best interests. While it’s true patronising laws to protect them should not be enacted if they will harm those few of us who are not stupid, the ones he proposes don’t affect the intellient and competent: we would not rent-to-own, take out so-called payday-loans, gamble away our money, or drive around without using seatbelts and helmets even though we could.

    How would you apply this principle to gun laws?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Autochthon
  107. Twinkie says:
    @Inquiring Mind

    On the other hand, $250 sounds like a low cutoff to impose a Luxury Shoe Tax?

    No kidding. Traditional boot-makers are all but gone these days and this would kill off the rest. Cement-glued soles for everyone!

    The thing about the shoe industry is that the luxury segment contains a lot of branded, overpriced, blinged crud (Gucci et al.), but also traditional craft-makers such as Alden (or Edward Green if you are in UK) that shouldn’t be penalized.

    • Replies: @scrivener3
    , @Lot
  108. Clyde says:
    @Lot

    Lot you are the Man. You got some recnog from EStevio. Continue w JackD

  109. @Lot

    Lol.

    I’m forty-nine.

    Yeah we’re breaking back in to the white privilege class now.

  110. @Twinkie

    You know overpriced blinged crud from good stuff, and you are willing to impose your opinion on everyone else with force of law.

  111. “Toobin Tax on all trading put an end to “high frequency trading.” There is no legitimate reason to buy and sell a stock all within 1 second. It is all front running of actual investors.”

    As an actual investor I have to disagree with this. The liquidity available when buying or selling stock in the American markets is amazing. I see bid/ask spreads of a penny on a $100 stock. This means transaction costs are very low which benefits investors like me. It is HFT that provides this liquidity and it is an useful service.

    The objections to HFT seem to mostly originate from fund managers who think they have some sort of natural right to sell a million shares of a stock without affecting the price which isn’t how markets work.

    • Replies: @Lot
  112. TWS says:

    We need a jubilee. End all debts watch the banksters squirm

  113. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Harry Baldwin

    Funny how you never hear ads for suing other lawyers for legal malpractice (which is a thing).

  114. Lot says:
    @Twinkie

    I was thinking about Allen Edmunds’s US made dress shoes specifically and trying to go a little above their price point. Their homepage has their dress shoes at 245 and 310, but they tend to be discounted to around $220-$250 most of the time.

    10% on the value above $250 isn’t much though, $5 on a $300 pair of shoes. The idea is to gently discourage rather than stop conspicuous consumption goods, all while raising funds that can substitute for income taxes.

    Relatedly, you can still get made in the USA white cotton gym socks here: https://www.wigwam.com/

    I get them from Amazon, they are quite nice. I also get US made t-shirts and underwear from people who buy them at commissaries, as the main companies making them in the USA are military suppliers. I think the big plant is in Kentucky and has had several name changes.

    • Agree: Desiderius
    • Replies: @JMcG
  115. @Lot

    The Karlin piece you link to, echoes what I’ve banged on about (for 25 years now) based on the LISS/ALSS (now PIAAC) studies: the median adult in the OECD has the literacy and numeracy of a dim 10th-grader; the top 5th percentile of OECD adults have the literacy and numeracy of a bright 9th grader.

    Less than 1% of adults in the OECD demonstrate what I would consider the minimum cognitive capability necessary to analyse the effect of any single one-issue policy on their own near-term well-being – let alone its effect on the long-term future of others (including those whose productivity will be taken by force to fund the policy).

    This really does have significant social ramifications – for a start, it means that the mechanism that is used to discriminate between competing ‘set menu’ policy platforms, is specifically low-information (and should therefore be expected to produce biased, inconsistent, inefficient results).

    But leaving my anarchist hobby-horse to one side for a second, it also has implications for some basic issues of private contract.

    One of the cornerstones of the law of contract – even going back to common-law conceptions – is that the parties are legally competent to make the undertaking.

    Any reasonable reading of the word ‘competent’ must entail that the party with the lesser negotiating power is able to parse and understand the terms of the contract, including conditions precedent, and more importantly is able to recognise situations in which they don’t understand the terms.

    The ‘obvious’ solution in this instance is wrong: the ‘obvious’ solution is that if you don’t understand the terms you should get a lawyer to help (or simply not undertake the contract).

    However if someone doesn’t know that they don’t understand – because they think (wrongly) that they know what the terms mean – then on what basis is it reasonable to expect them to avail themselves of assistance?

    In general, courts take a dim view of contracts that exploit the obviously feeble-minded – the retarded, the mentally ill and people with age-related cognitive decline.

    But what about those folk who exhibit a perfectly ordinary variant of the Dunning-Kruger Effect? (DKE hereafter).

    Kruger and Dunning [1] found that the bottom 3 quartiles of a sample of Cornell undergraduates lack the cognitive machinery to recognise their own incompetence.

    The effect is not significant at the top quartile, but is strong at the median.

    So it can safely be said that at or below the median Cornell undergrad, DKE forecloses any mechanism to error-correct (because if you don’t know how wrong you are, you have no chance of establishing a way to be less wrong).

    Cornell’s a good school – top 20, globally – and although Psych undergrads are going to be cognitively below-median Cornell students, they will be significantly above the median adult. (Plus, 2 of the 4 sub-studies used a sample that was drawn from a broader subset of Cornell undergrads).

    The Kruger-Dunning findings are well-supported by subsequent work (although the field has been a fruitful source of controversy) – the links in the Wikipedia article on DKE provide a reasonably comprehensive overview.

    If we took DKE seriously, we would either not extend the right to enter contracts to the bottom 6 deciles, or… or what, exactly?

    And if we don’t permit them to enter contracts, on what basis do we permit them to vote? A contract entered ignorantly may impose unforeseen costs on the parties; a vote cast ignorantly can impose unforeseen society-wide costs. (Aaaaand… we’re back to my anarchy hobby-horse).

    I absolutely do take DKE seriously: it is one of the few Psych research conclusions that is worthy of the name… and not just because it conforms to my prejudices.

    The policy ramifications – that people who exhibit DKE should have their rights curtailed in the name of efficiency and equity – jar violently with any notion of rights worth having.

    But policy is seldom (if ever) about the efficient way to achieve objectives – otherwise cars would have a Tullock Spike, not airbags and crumple zones and seat-belts. Identify where imposing costs would have the most impact, impose them there, and policy aims are generally easy to achieve: the fact that this doesn’t happen indicates that policy has aims other than those that are publicly proclaimed.

    BTW: your list of policy proposals is good evidence that DKE can be domain-specific – that people above the median in broad cognition (evidenced by expertise in a specific domain), are unable to notice their relative incompetence when they change domains.

    My best guess at where DKE domain-specificity goes away: inside the top 1% (PIAAC’s ‘Level V’), where the first thing that crosses your mind is “Have other people with significant domain-expertise thought about this stuff before? Since I think it’s important, I should read about this for an hour or so a day, for a week or so.”

    [1] Kruger J., & D. Dunning (1999). “Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments“. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 77 (6): 1121–1134. (doi:10.1037/0022-3514.77.6.1121. PMID 10626367)

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  116. dvorak says:

    Toobin Tax

    ..the tax on guys who get their co-workers’ daughters pregnant?

  117. @Autochthon

    Your reasoning does not match that of the prohibition: loss of the franchise is part and parcel of the punishment; unlike the incarceration and any fines and fees, it just lasts in perpetuity.

    However it is not consistent between states. If it is to be part of the punishment, it should be stated that it is part of the punishment at the time of sentencing and whether it is for life, or subject to revision. I believe that most states ban former felons from being on juries too, though many people would not regard this as a punishment.

    My understanding is that states that ban former felons from voting also ban felons who were convicted in other states where they were not permanently banned from voting at the time of conviction, so this seems like an unreasonable contempt of other states.

    (For example, many felons convicted in New York retire to sunnier states in the South for their golden years.)

    As far as I know most countries do not have a ban on voting by former prisoners, and I can’t see any particular reason why the US should have that, except perhaps for offenses that involve some kind of electoral misconduct, campaign finance transgressions, or lying when running for public office.

  118. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Twinkie

    “Sensible gun control” might declare certain inner city areas to be restricted to , say, long guns-rimfires, 28 or 410 shotguns-and two shot pistols in .38 Spl or lower calibers big enough that they aren’t too concealable, plus tasers and rubber ball guns. Residents would be allowed other guns but not outside their house unless in a locked case to go hunting or to the range. (Yes, a few blacks hunt, usually for small game to eat.) Nonresidents, no way. They can carry if otherwise legal but the same restriction applies. But no centerfire rifles, no crunchentickers and damn sure no NFA weapons.

    Blacks could defend themselves but no massive fusillades of firepower to hit bystanders and damage property would be possible.

  119. @res

    Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    That is among the most masterful misdirections in human history – it ranks up there with Lincoln’s “You can fool some of the people …[etc]” (there’s some doubt Lincoln said this, but let’s go with it) .

    If Acton had framed it properly, he would have said

    Power attracts the corrupt; absolute power absolutely.

    Similarly, Lincoln’s misdirection can be framed so that it isn’t dishonest:

    You can fool fewer than 1 in 3 people, every 4 years, and be President for 8 years; 1 in 4 people every 6 years makes you a Senator for life.”

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    , @Clyde
  120. @Steve Sailer

    How about this: The Hug Thug is free to roam anywhere, but he has to wear an electric shock dog collar. There could be a free citywide Bluetooth app that allows anyone to trigger the collar for three seconds per tap if he gets within ten feet of their smartphone.

  121. Dtbb says:

    Did anyone stay and watch to the end of that Seattle story? Their solution was to replace one drug habit with another one paid for by taxpayers. Seems like more liberal social engineering to me.

    • Replies: @Dtbb
    , @Harry Baldwin
  122. AndrewR says:

    Lot for President… of Israel.

  123. Dtbb says:
    @Dtbb

    The drug bums even called it “Freeattle”. They made their slum let them wallow in it.

  124. Lagertha says:
    @The Alarmist

    That’s what worries me. I agree with a lot of what Lot suggests, but I am way beyond cynical to think it would change things anymore. There are too many competing interests of groups who despise each other. And, it is basically too late for American citizens to every unify ever again. People hate each other, and it will never be solved – multiculturalism and the annoyingly lazy term, diversity, divides people because our primordial instinct only extends to our own family/relatives/town/friends for survival for thousands of years.

  125. JMcG says:
    @Lot

    Thanks for the tip, I had no idea you could get US made socks anymore.

    • Replies: @Lot
  126. @AnotherDad

    We have so many laws that every one is a potential felon.

  127. Federal ban on ex-felon voting.

    How would this be constitutional? Except for the 15th, 19th, 24th, and 26th Amendments, voting requirements are the states’ business.

    • Replies: @Lot
  128. I’ve read the laws, but only 1/3 of the comments yet.

    Usury laws: Absolutely NOT. I get your CPI basis, but you’re missing the whole point of interest. You’d have the Feral Gov’t doing exactly what the (non)Federal Reserve Bank is doing now, artificially setting the price of money. This causes a moral hazard with perverse incentives for people/businesses to borrow for uses that they wouldn’t in a free market in money. Interest is NOT supposed to equal inflation, otherwise the time value of money is ZERO. A business who could use a new machine now, rather than save up for 1 year and buy one would beg to differ that there is no time value of money.

    I’ll lump payday loans in with this – this business is usually done with the irresponsible and stupid. The time value of money for high-risk individuals is not higher but the losses are higher – just as with car insurance for young men.

    Required signature vs. autobill – I would agree just based on the idea of a contract. I HATE HATE HATE getting autobilled, but now the phone companies charge you $5 more monthly to not do this – pisses me off greatly. Anything that gets people back toward cash is a good thing.

    Nobody likes robo-calls, but you’re still talking about 20 seconds. These same people waste 10,000 seconds a day watching TV, so … Anyway, Peak Stupidity has a solution described in more detail in Modern Peak Stupidity telephone etiquette. The deal is that we quit saying hello when accepting a call – the receiver waits, and then the caller says “Hey, is this Achmed?” (I’m trying to get this going for all unknown numbers I receive calls from, but I revert often by habit.)

    No rent to own – it’s not anyone else’s business.

    Tax havens – Anything to screw the IRS, especially tomorrow, the cruelest of days in the cruelest of months, is great.

    Pharma ads – separate the corruption part from the ads. Nobody watches those stupid ads, do they? Show of hands:

    HFT : I kinda agree, but it should be a tax on gains like any other. Maybe it’s time for real traders who don’t want to get beaten by this stuff daily, to start their own exchanges – I have no dog in this one.

    Inheritance tax, like lots of tax, hits the upper-middle class the most. The real richies will always find a way to hide the money. Small/Family business owners should be exempt.

    No federal student loans. – I AGREE for the same exact reason I DISAGREE on your usury laws. Federally-backed student loans have been a moral hazard too. You are right that college costs will go down, though this popped bubble will be real scene for the U’s. I would get affected to some degree, but too bad. They’ve been on a gravy-train for 30-odd years.

    Federal ban on ex-felon voting: Not the Feral Gov’t’s business. That SHOULD BE up to the states. Fed=Gov usurped this power during the civil rites era.

    sumptuary taxes on conspicuous consumption: Whatever. It usually backfires, as it did for the 10% luxury tax on yachts which put boat-builders out of work. It’s not-as-harmful Socialism, but Socialism nonetheless.

    .

    Sorry, Lot, I enjoy your comments, and usually agree, but this Socialism by a thousand cuts creates the same problems it does on a more comprehensive scale.

    • Agree: Twinkie
  129. ‘Lot’s Laws’

    Lot is a Zionist. The question immediately becomes not, ‘is it a good idea?’ but ‘why is he suggesting it?’

    I wouldn’t waste my time. Can’t be good for anyone but Israel and (possibly) Lot in the end.

    • Replies: @Lot
  130. Dr. X says:
    @AnotherDad

    Felons have pissed on the most basic rules of their nation and their fellow citizens. They are people who should–in an ideal world–be pitched out of the nation.

    Or, they’ve pissed on the rules of an oligarchic power clique or the rules of a corrupt party machine. All laws are not created equal.

    The justice of disenfranchising felons depends on whether the felony of conviction was malum in res (i.e., raping a five year old) or malum prohibitum (possessing an eleven-round magazine instead of a ten-round magazine in New Jersey, or blowing a .08 instead of a .1 into the Breathalyzer).

    The most bogus felony out there is “lying to the FBI” — the agency that does not even record interviews, but summarizes them with handwritten notes.

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
  131. @Sunbeam

    Back before the HFT started to dominate trading the spreads on the average NASDAQ stock was 12 cents and today the spreads are typically 2 cents.

    I worked as a market maker from 1993-2003. Before the HFTs took most of our jobs. Even stocks like INTC and MSFT and had spreads of 6 cents. The NYSE listed equities were traded by a specialist. The specialist for IBM earned an average bonus of $9 million per year for acting as the market maker for one stock.

    Back in 2000 there were 20 big NASDAQ market making firms, like Herzog , SLKC , Hembrecht , Mayer & Schweitzer , Nash Weiss & Co. , Madoff, Sherwood , Alex Brown , Bear Sterns , Piper Jaffray , Saloman Brothers, Lehman Brothers, PaineWebber, CSFB, Dean Witter , DLJP…we kept the spreads wide and bought order flow from the retail firms to scalp their orders. We settled an anti-trust lawsuit for 1 Billion dollars in 1999 , Nobody lost their license
    And this had little bearing on the partners who made millions. Many had retired before the suite was settled.

    Retail traders who placed order with E-Trade and Fidelity and Ameriprise sold us their orders for 10 cents per share. Thus when a retail client gave them an order they sent it to us to execute. Customers were paying $10 to trade with these discount brokers and we paid them $1 per hundred shares for the orders to trade against them.

    Even after the anti-trust settlement the market makers were raking in money. Thus Goldman bought my firm to get in on the action in 2001. This is how I got my job at Goldman Sachs. By 2009 my biggest clients were the HFT firms themselves. One reason they sent us so much business, we were less costly than using the exchanges , which jacked up their prices when they went public. Back in 2007 it was still practically free to trade on the NYSE , since members paid a max monthly fee. So trading was free after the first 7 days of each month for a firm like Goldman. But once the Exchanges started charging more and eliminated the cap we started trading more with HFTs , in our own free dark pools, off the exchanges , to save millions in exchange fees each month.

    Thus the HFTs would give us free liquidity , often between the exchange spreads ,And we traded with them to avoid the exchange fees and usually got better execution prices than if we sent the orders to the exchanges.

    If you want to reduce HFT we need the reduce the exchange fees and charge cancel fees. NASDAQ charged .25 to cancel certain electronic orders up until 2001. Now there is no cost to posting and cancel hundreds of orders per second, and this helps the HFT firms. But eliminating the HFT firms will reduce spreads and increase the cost of trading, reduce liquidity and increase short term volatility , since market making is too regulated now. Most of the 2 dozen market making firms from 2002 are gone now, could not compete against the HFT model.

    If you bought shares prior to 2007 the seller was most likely a market maker. Today the seller is most likely an HFT firm. The market makers made much more money in 1999 than the HFT firms earn today off your orders. While the HFT firms typically hold their positions for seconds, market makers would often hold positions for 3 to 12 minutes..

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
  132. Excellent! Lot for president of the constitutuonal convention.

    My suggestion: employees of the state and dependents of the state should not be allowed to vote. You should only be able to vote if you pay more in taxes to the state than you get from the state. Net tax payers have the best chance being responsible voters.

    • Agree: Lot
  133. @Jonathan Mason

    If felons vote in their interests, they will vote for Democrats. Democrats favor criminals over law-abiding citizens.

    I would be happy to let felons vote, as long as they cannot vote for Democrats. Democrats are the enemies of American citizens. Democrat rule ends in suffering, needless sorrow and tyranny.

  134. anon[332] • Disclaimer says:
    @prosa123

    “moving a mobile home is very expensive and sometimes physically impossible”

    “mobile home”

    “mobile”

    Hmm

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  135. @CMC

    CMC, Wasted time watching TV adds up to 154,000 years of time wasted daily (2016 numbers), making Lot’s number (6 .24 years wasted per day), even multiplied by 25 (to account for all cell-phone users) and then by 5 robo-calls per day instead of the one, insignificant – 154,000/780 = ~200X, in comparison. (Or, keep it simple, 16,200 s daily, per capita, on TV divided by 100 s on robo-calls = 162X)

  136. Twinkie says:
    @Kratoklastes

    Power attracts the corrupt

    Frank Herbert wrote, “It’s not that power corrupts, but rather that it tends to attract the corruptible.”

    • Replies: @res
    , @Reg Cæsar
    , @res
  137. @415 reasons

    The manufactured homeless crises …

    What, a crisis in people desiring mobile homes?

    Seriously, because of the previous (interesting, too) comment on mobile homes, that term of yours could mean that, as the euphemism for “mobile homes”, not to mention “trailers” is “manufactured homes”. Therefore, you must not call someone “trailer trash”! That is, ahem, “manufactured home trash” to you, buddy.

  138. Lot says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    If a mandate isn’t constitutional, the law could just tie some federal funding to a ban on felon voting.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  139. @415 reasons

    After my quip, I should have added this, but the 5-minute [EDIT] thing doesn’t work for me under iSteve posts: In that video, as I posted in Outsourcing of the Funny Farms, nowhere in all of that video that I saw (I watched more than 1/2 of it) does it get into why there are so many crazy people on the streets. NOBODY on there mentioned that, which is seriously kind of strange, as mental illness might have some PC associated with it, but not as much as with lots of other issues.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  140. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Kratoklastes

    In general, courts take a dim view of contracts that exploit the obviously feeble-minded – the retarded, the mentally ill and people with age-related cognitive decline.

    Yet Kirby vacuum cleaners (part of the Berkshire Hunt, I mean Hathaway empire) and Lowrey home organs successfully bilk gullible or lonely old people as a cornerstone of their business, have for decades, and are seemingly untouchable.

  141. @Rosie

    “Freedom of contract” of contract is a euphemism for “freedom to take advantage of those who are more vulnerable and/or less intelligent than yourself.”

    Exactly, Rosie, and that’s part of what being free means, free to be stupid. I know most Americans can’t handle that anymore. We (not counting myself) have made laws for > 5 decades now that encourage the stupid to thrive and the responsible to be burdened. Look around you – how’s it been working out, Rosie?

    • Replies: @Rosie
  142. @scrivener3

    I know you meant “owns”, Scrivener, and my response is a big FAR*.

    * That’s “Fuckin’-A Right”!

  143. Lot says:
    @JMcG

    Glad to hear you’ll buy American. They fit really well as they have more sizes than just 6-12 and 13+ that wal-mart etc has.

    If you want to try the t-shirts and underwear, you can search amazon and ebay for “DSCP.” The briefs are nearly identical to fruit of the loom and can be washed in hot water even though they aren’t white, and the t-shirts are really durable. Or ask a vet to buy you some at a commissary, I think that is allowed in moderation.

    • Agree: JMcG
  144. @Dtbb

    Suboxone, which they talk about at the end of the video, is a good way to get off heroin and return to sobriety. It relieves the cravings but doesn’t make you high or otherwise incapable of working a normal job. I know about it because it helped a family member return to being a contributing member of society.

    Methadone is usually prescribed for people on whom the counselors have given up hope. You’re not on heroin, but you’re not functioning at a very high level when you’re on it.

    I understand a lot of people would just like to write all the drug users off.

    • Replies: @Travis
    , @wren
  145. @Dr. X

    The most bogus felony out there is “lying to the FBI” — the agency that does not even record interviews, but summarizes them with handwritten notes.

    With what we’ve learned since Trump was elected, I no longer think we should even have an FBI. It’s an organization only appropriate to a police state. I don’t think the CIA is accomplishing much that’s in our interests either.

  146. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @anon

    “Mobile home” is a dysphemism. They can be moved, but only with specialized trucks, and most are permanently set up with the axles removed, so those have to be refitted. It is an expensive move.

    Ones wide enough to be comfortable are oversize loads too, you need permits, insurance and pilot cars in many cases. So mobile homes tend to stay planted.

    My advice: buy a vintage but structurally solid “road coach” bus -not a transit, and damn sure not a schooly- rather than a mobile home. A GM Scenicruiser, a MCI or an older Prevost, or if you are really vintage oriented and mechanically a little adept, a Flxible. Look for one with a four speed manual and a 6-71, 6V71, 8V71 or 6V92 Detroit that has good compression and oil pressure. And good tires.

    They are a little expensive to work on-a two cycle Detroit costs a grand a cylinder to do a major overhaul-but they won’t go down in value. You can live in RV parks pretty well, the right ones are reasonable because competition. You’ll want a “toad” too, a towable vehicle for around town driving.

    This does take a little moxie though, and mobile home denizens tend not to have much of that. There’s a reason zoning hates mobile home parks and fights like hell to keep them out.

  147. Lot says:
    @BigDickNick

    Borrowing at 50%+ interest is never the solution to a problem, and makes existing financial problems worse.

    Canada and many states have banned payday loans. It was a benefit to the poor.

    • Replies: @BigDickNick
  148. @Autochthon

    I can envision a savvy politician criminalizing an activity common among voters of the opposing party. Then get lots of convictions, but always let them off with only community service so you don’t have to spend a lot of money jailing productive members of society. Come next election, your opponents can’t seem to get enough votes because these felons and former felons can’t vote.

    If politicians are willing to completely change the demographics of the country just to win future elections, they’ll do this too.

    • Replies: @Autochthon
  149. @Joe Stalin

    AGREED.

    You’ll like this, at least, Joe: A friend recently bought a .50 caliber semi-automatic. No backgound check. He says I can be the first to fire it … oh at about $2 to $4 per round. I guess I’ll buy lunch.

  150. @Lot

    If a mandate isn’t constitutional, the law could just tie some federal funding to a ban on felon voting.

    Oh, the drinking age ruse.

    Immigration is the feds’ business, so this method is alright for combating sanctuary cities and the like. Using it on states for what are properly state issues is disgraceful.

    Would you do this either to ban or to impose the death penalty? Would you want those who disagree with your view to be able to do it as well?

    • Agree: Achmed E. Newman
    • Replies: @Lot
  151. res says:
    @Twinkie

    Frank Herbert wrote, “It’s not that power corrupts, but rather that it tends to attract the corruptible.”

    Some variations of that at https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/David_Brin#Section_3,_%E2%80%9CCincinnatus%E2%80%9D
    Here is the expanded version of the Herbert quote from that page:

    Frank Herbert in Chapterhouse: Dune (1985): “All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible. Such people have a tendency to become drunk on violence, a condition to which they are quickly addicted.”

    I think both effects are in play. Not sure about the relative magnitudes (that probably varies with time and place).

    Here’s a look at a study of this: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/why-power-corrupts-37165345/
    They seem to come down on the side of you, Kratoklastes, Herbert, and Brin. Their final paragraph is a decent summary.

    In sum, the study found, power doesn’t corrupt; it heightens pre-existing ethical tendencies. Which brings to mind another maxim, from Abraham Lincoln: “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

  152. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Sean

    We had the draft for a long time when there was no war. Lots of men were drafted between Korea and Vietnam.

    I think we should draft the homeless and other bums (welfare recipients) and make them march, pick up trash, that kind of thing in return for three hots and a cot and a small allowance.

  153. @Arclight

    soft majors, such as anything with “studies” in the title.

    Yes. I like to say, there are disciplines, and there are “studies”.

    But don’t throw the liberal arts baby out with the fart-filled bathwater. It would be wonderful if literature, art history, and the like returned to the old ways and were curated by those who both know and love their fields.

    Remember one of Conquest’s laws: Everyone is most conservative about the things he knows best.

    • Agree: Rosie
  154. @Almost Missouri

    Since white nationalist votes turn out not to matter anyway, what is to lose?

    One’s personal liberty?

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
  155. @Twinkie

    “It’s not that power corrupts, but rather that it tends to attract the corruptible.”

    No, the already corrupt.

  156. res says:
    @Twinkie

    BTW, Twinkie. If you have a moment I would be interested in your take on the survivability of US aircraft carriers in the South China Sea and farther offshore. There is a discussion of that in the current article on James Thompson’s blog. Feel free to correct any misconceptions I have there as needed. I don’t have the depth of knowledge of military history and practice you do.

    P.S. Lots of garbage comments in that thread. Maybe search for “carrier” to get to the relevant comments (which are OT for the post, but one of the more interesting things being discussed in the thread IMHO).

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  157. wren says:
    @Lot

    Two minutes of hate for you Mr. Goldstein!

    • Replies: @Lot
  158. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Mark Spahn (West Seneca, NY)

    I just run up their talk time if I have time to burn, otherwise I hang up on them. Actually the best way to hang up on someone is to hang up on yourself mid-sentence that way they assume the call dropped.

    Used to love carpet cleaning solicitations.

    “Are you using the dry method or the wet method of carpet cleaning? ”
    (Response, after she asks the supervisor in the boiler room-wet or dry)

    “Well (caller name) I’m glad you called, because I’m the (insert city) representative for the Von Schrader (opposite) method of carpet cleaning. I’d like to show you how you can improve customer satisfaction and reduce costs substantially. Tell you what, I’ll come over there and clean your office carpet as a demo. Would Wednesday or Friday afternoon be better for you?”

    CLICK, she hangs up.

    Or in the eighties, film developing places. “Can I order 500 feet of Tri-X in 35mm? That’s all I use”. CLICK.

    Und so weiter. Those boiler room callers were entertaining sometimes.

  159. Travis says:
    @Harry Baldwin

    my cousin has been taking suboxone for the last 7 years. works for him, he stopped using heroin but he is still smoking and a pack cigarettes is now the same price as a bag of heroin.

    sad that in America it is cheaper to use heroin than tobacco.

  160. wren says:
    @Harry Baldwin

    As another anotherdad I am really, really glad to read that Harry.

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
  161. Lot says:
    @wren

    That’s Dr. Goldstein to you good sir!

  162. Clyde says:
    @Kratoklastes

    All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible. Such people have a tendency to become drunk on violence, a condition to which they are quickly addicted.

    — Frank Herbert, Chapterhouse: Dune

  163. wren says:

    Excuse me Dr. Baruch, I was referring to Emmanuel, who clearly distilled Lot’s Laws out of The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism, his most famous work.

    In the Current Year however I might be addressing Emmanuel Deshawn Goldstein Mountain Dew Arandas deSodom, for all I know.

    In that case, Monday Night Rehabilitation for you! Good Sir!

  164. Lot says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    I see your point about federalism. But winning is more important. Also, I just don’t think a freed murderer for instance should have the same voting power as me.

    Sometimes we release criminals because they are old and incarceration is expensive. Doesn’t mean all further criminal sanctions should end.

    As a compromise, how about felons who fully compensate their victims and repay their entire cost of incarceration can vote again.

  165. Rosie says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Exactly, Rosie, and that’s part of what being free means, free to be stupid. I know most Americans can’t handle that anymore. We (not counting myself) have made laws for > 5 decades now that encourage the stupid to thrive and the responsible to be burdened. Look around you – how’s it been working out, Rosie?

    Achmed the Social Darwinist

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  166. @stillCARealist

    A relative has a similar experience. He regularly loans money to employees, with no interest. They always pay him back. Beyond the fact that he likes them, he believes a byproduct is they become more loyal. He also says that if they don’t get the money from him, they will spiral. It is always for dumb stuff, like not being able to pay rent after buying a new tv, but he never judges.

  167. @Rosie

    If that’s what you call it, I guess so. Did you do the “looking around you” part yet? Do you think social dysgenics made the USA a better place than it was in 1960?

    • Replies: @Rosie
  168. Barnard says:
    @Harry Baldwin

    We get a steady stream of these calls on our office landlines plus our employees average 3-5 a day on their cell phones. I don’t understand why no one in government doesn’t have a the political will to put a stop to this. It is already illegal and would be a huge winner with the voters.

    • Agree: Jim Don Bob
  169. @wren

    I hope you’re not in the same situation we were in. It was a long and painful struggle, but fortunately we have our daughter back, something we were close to giving up hope for. Six years on and off heroin, three years on Suboxone, and now off that too. Ironically she said it was harder to get off Suboxone than heroin (they don’t encourage it) but she’s completely drug-free and doing very well.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    , @JMcG
  170. Rosie says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    If that’s what you call it, I guess so. Did you do the “looking around you” part yet? Do you think social dysgenics made the USA a better place than it was in 1960?

    False dilemma.

  171. @Reg Cæsar

    Enjoy your remaining personal liberty under the tender mercies of Globohomo.

  172. @Autochthon

    Think of it like being required to register as a sex-offender and having your contact with children limited for the rest of one’s life if convicted of certain crimes against children.

    I’m consistent because I don’t think Megan’s Law should be allowed either. Once you do your time, you should be left alone.

    • Replies: @Autochthon
  173. @prosa123

    mobile home park owners don’t always have it easy. They have to deal with residents who more often than not are troublesome sorts, unexpected expenses, and often-dishonest onsite managers. All in all, it’s a strange industry that gets less attention that it deserves.

    In my neck of the woods, the only trailer parks are on 46 near Teterboro Airport and just west in Lodi. Pat from Moonachie of Opie & Anthony fame lives in them. I concur that the residents are troublesome sorts, but it doesn’t follow that the industry gets less attention than it deserves.

  174. Flip says:

    The student loan thing would make one heck of a shockwave. Wonder how long the adjustment period would be, or if you could sell it to Congress? Even the most MAGA elected official is still elected, and has to worry about his next one.

    Still that program has grown into a monstrosity. You are talking about real money at this point, and one heck of a starting point for balancing the budget.

    I’ve read that student loan receivables are now one of the Federal government’s biggest assets. I assume that much of them will be forgiven by the politicians at some point, which furthers my belief that the dollar will decline significantly in the future and that interest rates are going to go up a lot.

  175. @Lot

    In some alternative asset classes(startups) people will only invest if they think they can achieve an IRR of like 50+%.
    Uber paying its investors like an IRR of 1000% is not that different from a poor person paying 40% APR for half a year to keep their car from being towed.
    Would love to see the research that banning poor people from access to credit helps them I personally find it dubious.

  176. @Harry Baldwin

    Speaks volumes of you and your wife. And your daughter. Truly heroic.

    To fight aloud is very brave,
    But gallanter, I know,
    Who charge within the bosom,
    The cavalry of woe.

    Who win, and nations do not see,
    Who fall, and none observe,
    Whose dying eyes no country
    Regards with patriot love.

    We trust, in plumed procession,
    For such the angels go,
    Rank after rank, with even feet
    And uniforms of snow.

  177. @Prodigal son

    Interesting. Thanks.

    It sounds like if HFT firms are not front-running actual investors, then Specialist firms were even more front-running actual investors, and arguably doing it in a more opaque way.

    HFT competition keeps HFT spreads and profits down and liquidity up?

    • Replies: @Prodigal son
  178. @scrivener3

    All in all amazing arrogance and dismissal of the ability of other people to make their own decisions

    One person’s arrogance is another person’s accurate assessment of the situation.

  179. Mike1 says:
    @prosa123

    Not even close to being true. I know that is what the NYT stories highlight but the people who do this are a tiny proportion of borrowers. They are also a guaranteed default at some point.

    Missing from all the genius “I think” analysis done on this topic is the missing link: defaults. This industry lends money to very poor credit risks without obtaining collateral. Defaults are ridiculous. Small operators struggle to make anything approaching a middles class living from this business. Large operators make things work mostly from scale and access to cheap money.

    • Replies: @prosa123
  180. JMcG says:
    @Harry Baldwin

    A very, very sincere good luck and best wishes to you and your daughter. My kids are aging into the zone of peak danger and I’m scared.

  181. prosa123 says:
    @Mike1

    According to the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, (1) 80% of payday loans are taken out within two weeks of repayment of a previous payday loan, and (2) 75% of payday loans go to those who take out 11 or more of the loans annually.

    https://www.pewtrusts.org/~/media/assets/2016/06/payday_loan_facts_and_the_cfpbs_impact.pdf

  182. @Almost Missouri

    Yes , HFT firms add liquidity which narrows the spreads. The traditional market making business was hurt by the HFT firms. From 1998-2004 My firm was earning about 250 million per year making markets in NASDAQ equities, and another 300 million as specialists on the NYSE and Amex. We were one of the largest specialists firms. Today the Specialists earn 90% less and few market making firms survived.

    Clients who once gave us big orders to execute blocks of stocks now use algorithms to execute their orders. We charge them less than a penny per share to execute via algorithms , back in 2004 we were still charging up to 5 cents per share to execute orders and then making money on the order flow. Our equities trading floor still had 2,100 traders in 2003 and now they have just 200 traders.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  183. Michael S says:
    @Prodigal son

    I thought about liquidity and spreads when I saw the proposal about banning HFT. It’s an economic good…

    …but then I started wondering, what are we optimizing for? Low spreads and fast transactions are primarily useful for… day traders and swing traders. Most of whom lose money on average. And even if they make money, are largely just participating in a form of rent-seeking.

    If an individual can’t tolerate an investment horizon of a year or more, should they really be investing at all? Even the SV angel investors don’t expect returns in 7 minutes, so why do we care about that level of liquidity, when the cost of that is to enable massive institutionalized arbitrage and further expand the parasite economy?

  184. budd says:
    @Inquiring Mind

    To keep the foot pain minimal, I pay more than $250 for my shoes. Can you say orthopedic, boys and girls?

  185. @DN Poolside

    As God is my witness, I thought people who voted against Lot could fly.

  186. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Prodigal son

    A trading tax of a few basis points to add friction would be a good thing.

  187. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Arclight

    This would easily cut the number of ‘students’ in higher ed in half

    I’d vote for anyone who could bring that about.

  188. @Jonathan Mason

    I cannot disagree, sir. But ye’ve touched upon yet another reason Davis and Lee were wiser than Lincol and Grant: the former would leave the latter to lie in the beds they’d made (enjoying safer and saner beds for themselves, as evidenced by the electoratal requirements even today of, say, Mississippi, v. those of, say, Mcinchfornia…).

  189. @Don't Look at Me

    Quite. ‘Tis but one of myriad manifstations of the tyranny of the mob. I myself favor aristocracy and monarchy subject to intermittant revolution (as any remotely viable democracy must be as well; c.f. Jefferson). As Tolkien himself said, having to tip one’s hat to the squire is bad for the squire, but it is bloody well good for the commoner….

  190. @ScarletNumber

    I do not disagree, especially since, just as an inordinate amount of so-called “deadbeat dads” have been ordered to pay, literally, more money than they earn to support their ex-wives and children (often despite their being willing and able to care for those children directly themselves but denied custody or even contact with those very children), likewise many a “registered sex-offender” did not diddle a child, but, rather, urinated in an alley (“indecent exposure”) or bedded a sixteen-year-old who lied about her age at a fraternity part when he was twenty himself. However, I am only explaining the reasoning behing such sentences, not defending them outright.

  191. @Twinkie

    I reckon any quantity and quality of flaming hoops for possessing, carrying, etc. if firearms is fine if completely independent of political or social ideology, and legitimately grounded in competence handling firearms. People like you and I (combat veterans) and any number of other, responsible persons would meet such reasonableto qualifications in an afternoon’s exam. Other, goofier folk could reasonably be expected to undergo remedial training.

    In short, the whole thing should not be anybmore onerous than the process required to, say, become licensed to operate a motorcycle.

    Incidentally and tellingly, the requirements are comparable in, for example, Florida, but Mexinchifornia hasndraconian and opprsesive laws. The relative rates of homicide by firearm speak for themselves (c.f., an amred society is a polite society).

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  192. Lot says:
    @James B. Shearer

    That doesn’t make sense. HFTers make tons of money, invest in expensive equipment and programmer salaries, AND make other investors richer? All by buying and selling a stock in seconds?

    No, they are frontrunning.

    The trend toward lower spreads existed before this and reflects higher organic trade volume and computerization/automation.

    • Replies: @James B. Shearer
  193. @Lot

    Lot:

    That doesn’t make sense. HFTers make tons of money, invest in expensive equipment and programmer salaries, AND make other investors richer? All by buying and selling a stock in seconds?

    It is sometimes possible to make a lot of money and save your customers a lot of money by figuring out how to provide a product more efficiently. Look at Walmart for example.

    As described by Prodigal son the HFT firms displaced incumbent firms that were making huge and unjustified profits making markets. In the process they cut trading costs. And now that they are mostly competing with each other they aren’t making so much money. See here for one estimate:

    Total revenues brought in by HFTs from equity trading have dropped over 85% from $7.2 billion in 2009 to $1.1 billion in 2016, according to data from the TABB Group. The consultancy expects revenues to slide to $900 million this year.

    • Replies: @Lot
  194. Twinkie says:
    @res

    If you have a moment I would be interested in your take on the survivability of US aircraft carriers in the South China Sea and farther offshore.

    I have no expertise on naval aviation, so I have nothing intelligent to say about the topic.

  195. Twinkie says:
    @Autochthon

    In short, the whole thing should not be anybmore onerous than the process required to, say, become licensed to operate a motorcycle.

    Guns, though, aren’t motorcycles. Their possession and bearing are protected by the Bill of Rights, because the Founding Fathers knew that the means of self-defense against criminals, bandits, and tyrants should not be under the control of the government, which would naturally be inclined to limit their circulation among the general public.

  196. dfordoom says: • Website
    @YetAnotherAnon

    “all for our own good since we are too dumb to not do these things ourselves”

    You say it like that’s a Bad Thing. A paternalistic government with the interests of the people at heart would do just that.

    If you believe in HBD you have to believe that there are large groups of people who really are incapable of running their own lives. And it’s not their fault. They were born that way. So the government must step in to help them run their lives.

    OK, in a ideal world family, community and church could help them run their lives. But a couple of centuries of liberalism and capitalism have pretty much destroyed family, community and church so now it’s up to the government. If you accept HBD then paternalistic government is logically necessary and desirable.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  197. Anonymous[134] • Disclaimer says:
    @CK

    Was going to comment about the automatic billing: There are better ways to field this now than when I was financially (more) naive, largely due to the proliferation of those Green-Dot-style accounts you have to pre-fund, aka debit cards for poor people & illegals. Yes, they always charge a monthly fee but so did most credit cards before the last 10-15 years.

    Since it’s increasingly unlikely to have your card # dunned at point-of-sale, by skimmers and what not, the best option is not to get a separate new card but to subscribe to a security/privacy site like Abine that can generate throwaway cc’s with a predefined (funded) max — although these often give you trouble with the billing address, an issue shared by VISA and Amex gift cards.

    It used to be easy and free to do bidness with on-line voicemail or phone forwarding but the corporate world caught on to that and invariably complains when you supply a cheaply sourced #, e.g. for a verification text. Oh well, burner phones are still affordable or at least worth the expense, if you spend a large portion of your day giving out your phone number in arm’s-length transactions, lol

  198. @Lurker

    ” trailer park residents are more likely per capita to be black and hispanic than white”

    You couldn’t have made Idiocracy if you’d shown the low-IQ population as anything other than white ‘trailer-trash’, especially in the iconic opening scenes with Clevon. But the future American dystopia looks remarkably Hispanic.

    Depicting the lowest-IQ population as such would be as ‘third-rail’ as doing the same for the highest-IQ population.

  199. @Achmed E. Newman

    “the 5-minute [EDIT] thing doesn’t work for me under iSteve posts”

    Nor me, from about four days ago – can’t see the pre-approval comment, can’t edit. Has Mr Unz changed the site code, or has Steve got bored with too many OT comments?

    Anyone else getting this?

  200. Lot says:
    @James B. Shearer

    Spreads and MMs were in decline already before HFT.

    It isn’t comparable to Wal-Mart because retailers provide a service that wouldn’t exist otherwise.

    Moreover, lots of trades don’t involve MMs, but one end investor trading with another. The end investor who sets a limit order benefits from the spread, while the HFT scrapes part of it away.

    Is there also some benefits to millions of limit orders that are cancelled a second later?

    • Replies: @James B. Shearer
  201. @Lot

    It isn’t comparable to Wal-Mart because retailers provide a service that wouldn’t exist otherwise.

    Walmart prospered by offering a better product than existing retailers, HFT firms prospered by offering a better product than existing market makers.

    Is there also some benefits to millions of limit orders that are cancelled a second later?

    If you are a market maker you have to keep your prices up to date or you will lose money. You need to keep your bid price below the market price and your ask price above it. This means you have to be constantly adjusting your prices which involves cancelling the old outdated prices. The tighter the spreads the more often you have to change your prices to keep the market price bracketed. Today’s tighter spreads mean more updating.

    I am not claiming that every aspect of today’s market is perfect. No doubt there are ways it could be improved. But looking at the big picture transaction costs have decreased dramatically over the last 50 years and HFT firms are part of the reason. See here for comments by the then chief executive of Vanguard Group (which knows something about keeping costs down) about HFT.

    Mr McNabb also dismissed claims that HFT firms sniff out when a large buyer or seller is trying to trade so they can push the market against them.

    He said Vanguard had examined these so-called “market impact” costs, by looking at tracking error in its exchange-traded index funds. “We actually have a really good perspective on this, and there’s no question in our mind that the cost to investors through funds has come down,” he said.

  202. @dfordoom

    The sad part about HBD is that many of its believers only believe in it as a way to denigrate NAM’s. They never stop to think about the social implications of HBD and how best to manage them.

    Many HBD believers also hate fat people, ironically.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  203. dfordoom says: • Website
    @ScarletNumber

    The sad part about HBD is that many of its believers only believe in it as a way to denigrate NAM’s.

    Yep. And it’s a way for white people to make themselves feel better even though they have entirely trashed their own civilisation and they have no idea how to fix it. HBD is a magical solution. If we can convert everybody to belief in HBD then all our problems will disappear overnight.

    They never stop to think about the social implications of HBD and how best to manage them.

    That would be hard work. It’s amusing that HBDers always like to assume that they themselves are part of the high IQ elite even though they’re quite incapable of thinking through the implications of their own pet theory.

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