The Money Illusion Manifesto

Here’s the gist:

I would like to argue that most of the really important public policy issues are not even part of the ongoing debate in the press.  Here are some examples:

1.  The huge rise in occupational licensing.

2.  The huge rise in people incarcerated in the war on drugs, and also the scandalous reluctance of doctors to prescribe adequate pain medication (also due to the war on drugs.)

3.  The need for more legal immigration.

4.  The need to replace taxes on capital with progressive consumption taxes.

5.  Local zoning rules that prevent dense development.

6.   Tax exemptions for mortgage interest and health insurance.

These 6 policy failures impose enormous damage on the country, far more than the issues typically discussed on the evening news.  Why aren’t they discussed?  I would argue that it is partly because the disagreements tend to break down on values, not ideology.  Most idealistic intellectuals agree with me on all of these issues.  They are not issues that divide the left and the right.  It’s also true that most real world politicians agree on these issues.  However their views are exactly the opposite of the views of intellectuals.  Hence there is no “policy debate” in either the political or intellectual arenas, and hence no “fight” for the media to report.  They become invisible issues.

I think this list goes a long way to explaining why idealistic progressives find so much to like in pragmatic libertarians.

Second Opinions