Markets Are Not Gods

One of the many reason libertarians had no choice but to evolve into the pep squad for the managerial state is they could never finish their own sentences without sounding like loons. For example, their reification of free markets, often has them sounding like primitive shaman. Their deification of personal liberty would lead them to defending morally abhorrent things like the poor selling their organs to the rich. In order to avoid this, they developed the habit of stopping short of fully stating the inevitable ends of their ideology.

One of the errors of libertarianism, as well as the various tribes of the New Right, is the mistaken belief that markets are a Platonic good. Therefore, the free market is the end, rather than a means to some end. A popular trope among those in the post-war New Right was the claim that an undesirable end, arrived at through principled means, was superior to a desirable end, arrived at through unprincipled means. It is has always been a ridiculous statement that can only have utility in the world of forms, not on earth.

The marketplace is never perfect and it can often lead to undesirable ends. This is why it has to be viewed as a tool, one of the many tools a society has to better itself and insulate itself against its own internal division. A fair and open marketplace for housing, for example, will result in the maximum amount of affordable housing. Open borders and unfettered trade will lead to the corruption of the people’s laws. An unfettered recreational drug market will end up with large portions of the population exploited by a small part.

A less emotional example of this is the market for concert tickets. It used to be that states protected the primary market by suppressing the secondary market. The internet and the unwillingness of the people in charge to enforce the laws has changed that. The primary market has now been captured by the secondary market. The bulk purchase of tickets by brokers now makes them the primary player in the market. In fact, they can control the market, by manipulating availability. That’s what’s happening with concert tickets.

With the curtain rising on her “Reputation” tour, Taylor Swift blinked.

She buckled by having Ticketmaster turn off resale ticket listings on its interactive venue charts for the first leg of her North American tour, according to music-industry veterans.

The tour, which begins on Tuesday in Glendale, Ariz., shows plenty of primary tickets still available for the first nine shows.

But the delisting of secondary, or resale, tickets — a move experts called unusual if not unprecedented — makes the inventory of available seats seem much smaller.

On July 20, for example, Swift is scheduled to appear at MetLife Stadium as part of her tour’s third leg.

About half the seats still available for that show are represented by red dots on Ticketmaster’s venue chart, meaning they are up for resale.

The other half, represented by blue dots, signify primary sales. Those are the only dots currently visible to visitors trying to score tickets for a show on the first leg of “Reputation.”

Ticketmaster’s shutting down ticket resales for Swift’s early shows perplexed many in the industry because it handed secondary sales to competing resellers like StubHub.

On blockbuster tours, Ticketmaster admittedly makes more revenue on ticket resales than primary sales.

It also left some wondering if Ticketmaster was taking orders from its parent company, Live Nation, which as the tour’s overseas promoter, has much riding on “Reputation” being perceived as a success.

Now, the libertarian argument is that the venue should simply auction off the tickets for their show and not worry about the secondary market, because the bidding process would no doubt undermine the secondary market. The trouble is, there are no pure markets, so the sophisticated players in the market, would game the auction just as they game the direct sales market now. In other words, there can never be a free market, as long as there informational asymmetry and there is always a player with an information advantage.

If we stop pretending that a free market is an end in itself, we can think about the desirable ends would like to see in something like the concert business. Obviously, one end is for the performer and the venue owner to make a profit. Without them, there is no market for concert tickets. Secondarily, you want the fans to have access to tickets at a price that they see as reasonable. The libertarian idea of an initial auction solves one problem, but the other problems require shutting down the secondary market, like we used to do.

This is a trivial issue, as the world is not going to stop spinning if Taylor Swift can no longer make a living doing concerts. In fact, if all of our mass market entertainments dried up tomorrow, people would find new ways to entertain themselves. The point I’m trying to make is economics, particularly the market place, is always an means to an end. When thinking about what’s happening to us, the question is not how best to get people cheap stuff. It is about the kind of society we want the type of people we want in it.

59 thoughts on “Markets Are Not Gods

  1. This reminds me of when the floods hit Texas a year ago and all of the free market guys were touting how price gouging was good. If the rich guy could buy the only generator in town to heat his Koi pond and the emergency shelter had to go without electricity, well that was just dandy.

    • “Price gouging” is good. Nothing stays on the shelves during an emergency without substantial price hikes. Misers are miserly. Moreover, what incentive beyond altruism is there drive a truckload of, say, bottled water to an emergency zone? Profit.

      • No, price gouging in an emergency is not good. It’s why the topic of the post is the markets are not God. I am not talking about reasonable price markups for expedited transport, or difficulty of delivery. People understand that and many states simply limit the amount you can markup during those situations.
        What most people mean by gouging is taking advantage of people to make a morally unjust buck. The market can’t help you if the only water was purchased by the guy down the street. It’s going to take three days before anymore water arrives and he’s charging $100 a bottle.

        Most places in emergency situations limit amounts that can be purchased.

        Simply put, you’re treating the market as a god who can do no wrong and will solve every problem.

        • Simply put, you’re treating the market as a god who can do no wrong and will solve every problem.

          I make no such treatment.

          You’re playing with fire, Z.

  2. Libertarianism: The belief that the government is oppressing you if you’re not allowed to get your neighbors addicted to heroin. Oh yeah, that’s a utopia.

    • Collectivism: The belief that if you get addicted to heroin, it must be someone else’s fault and government ought to do something about it.

  3. One of the errors of libertarianism, as well as the various tribes of the New Right, is the mistaken belief that markets are a Platonic good. Therefore, the free market is the end, rather than a means to some end.

    Ludicrous. Prosperity is the end; or, via negativa, minimizing human suffering is the end. Markets are clearly the best means toward this end.

    You write as though you’ve never read a word of Mises, Hayek, Rothbard, Hoppe, Kinsella, et al. If you have read these folks’ arguments, then you’re purposefully distorting the libertarian message, which is basically a nice way of saying that you’re lying. If you haven’t read these folks, then you’re ignorant and your readers deserve to know as much.

    The marketplace is never perfect and it can often lead to undesirable ends. This is why it has to be viewed as a tool, one of the many tools a society has to better itself and insulate itself against its own internal division.

    A tool for use by whom? Your view of markets sounds like that of a would-be social engineer, that of a leftist.

    Libertarianism in theory is political decentralization in real life. It is eminently preferable (to me) that leftists in Baltimore (or wherever Lagos is), like yourself, not be able to control any aspect of my economic life by force of law, including but not limited to secondary ticket markets for pop music concerts.

    • Libertarianism is a nonsense religion for people incapable of engaging the world as it is.

      • Perhaps you’re right. I thought I was engaging here with a gentleman and a scholar, not a purveyor of subterfuge.

        • Look, it is impossible for even a casual reader to not know my views on libertarianism. I’m not interested in the eleventy billionth explanation of the NAP. I know all of it. There’s a reason that no libertarian society has ever existed. There’s a reason why Hoppe himself admits that there is not solution for how we could go from what we have now to anything resembling a libertarian society.

  4. The market is indeed a means to an end; that said, as one who has been touched by the question of organ donation in more than one way, why exactly is it morally abhorrent to sell one’s own organs? Not only is one the owner of one’s own body, but to sell organs to those wishing to pay takes pressure off the donation list, seeing those on it move up a few slots a little quicker. Who loses here?

    • If you can justify selling an organ then why not a body (prostitution/slavery)? Honest question.

      • Well, as George Carlin said: “Selling is legal; fucking is legal; why isn’t selling fucking legal?”

        Can you justify prohibiting it? On what grounds?

  5. Pearl Jam tried to go up against Ticketmaster back in the early 90s and that proved to be a losing battle.

    The problem with so-called free markets is that the big companies buy out the smaller ones and then form a monopoly.

    Ticketmaster bought out there only competition Ticketron and then it was all over. They were free to fleece concert-goers as much as they pleased.

    They did finally get cornered by a class action suit , but donated some tickets to charity and it’s been business as usual

  6. The last podcast from 51:15 to 52:00 was really impactful and notched up my anger to another level.
    Hopefully, say a decade from now, speeches with this kind of talk will be acceptable on nationally televised election debates. It would really rouse the masses in our favour.

    Zman: “You know, this stuff [multiculturalism] it gets tiresome. It just becomes a burden. It’s this sack. That we all have to carry, for no other reason than–the people in charge–they think it’s fun. To see us struggle. To see us drag this sack around. This tax. And that’s ultimately what multiculturalism is…”

  7. Therefore, the free market is the end, rather than a means to some end. A popular trope among those in the post-war New Right was the claim that an undesirable end, arrived at through principled means, was superior to a desirable end, arrived at through unprincipled means.

    Yes.

    However, good or bad, markets reflect the desires of the individual people who participate in them, so fighting against the market is fighting against individual people. And anytime you decide to fight against the desires of individual people, you had better be prepared to deal with the consequences, up to and including killing those people.

    In some cases, it is absolutely necessary to fight against individuals’ desires. For example, those who participate in the market for child porn should be destroyed, no matter the cost. The market for divorce lawyers must be strictly regulated. Etc.

    But if our people are not prepared to bear the cost on an individual level, then state-based solutions are useless. For example, if you are not already investing personal time and energy in helping drug users, alcoholics, and whores, then you have no business hiring bureaucrats to do the dirty work. It’s one thing to sanction outcasts, officially and unofficially (e.g., keep them out of our neighborhoods and schools) but hunting them down on their own turf is another matter. Attempts to police the blacks are a perfect example. If blacks won’t police themselves, it’s all a wasted effort.

    The bulk purchase of tickets by brokers now makes them the primary player in the market. In fact, they can control the market, by manipulating availability. That’s what’s happening with concert tickets.

    […] If we stop pretending that a free market is an end in itself, we can think about the desirable ends would like to see in something like the concert business.

    […] Secondarily, you want the fans to have access to tickets at a price that they see as reasonable.

    This is a bad example. First, while free markets are not an end, PROPERTY RIGHTS are an end. There is absolutely no valid justification, whatsoever, to talk about regulating any market for concert tickets. Who gives a crap what “we” think are “desirable” ends in this market? Who gives a crap what fans think are “reasonable” ticket prices? If there are a million people who want to buy 50,000 tickets, that’s called a supply shortage. To bad.

    It is about the kind of society we want the type of people we want in it.

    In the West, we do not want any people who think the government should have an arbitrary ability to regulate markets…any more than we want people who think that ‘muh markets’ is an end in and of itself. We don’t want a society that turns the horror of evil into the banality of evil. However, it is ABSOLUTELY necessary to justify any kind of intervention on the basis of a transcendent moral code, which no individual (and certainly no government) has the authority to override.

    Helpfully, we need look no further for such a moral code than the Religion of the West.

  8. The free market is entirely amoral, even for libertarians. A real example are shoplifting rings that would get you amazingly good deals on eBay (when they weren’t caught). Cheaper than Wal-Mart! But that is free trade! We don’t care if abuse and theft happens in Mexico or China.

    Burglary or assassination services are priced according to difficulty and risk on a truly free market, and they go batshit insane with privatized tyranny with their insurance, security, arbitration DROs – See Stefan Molyneux 3255 podcast at 50 minutes in. If I don’t buy a DRObamacare bronze plan, they will lay seige since I can’t use the roads, cross into my neighbor’s property (their DRO won’t let them allow it), they will cut me off from water and electricity. It sounds more like the FBI laying seige to the Branch Davidians at Waco, but it is apparently all “voluntary” so it is ok.

    Another worse example is Tom Woods and Bob Murphy a few months ago asking about privatized national defense. Somewhere in there they discussed if someone wanted to get a nuclear bomb, and attempted to get parts, the same DRO seige would occur – Say, isn’t that what we did with Iran and want to do again? Sanctions?

    The fundamental error is mistaking a group of virtuous and rational people that don’t need law – even DROs – and who might defend themselves as a militia (how often do they discuss the 2nd amendment?), and trying to replace virtue with something else. Either it will be some arbitrary judgment like FICO scores (which doesn’t tell me if the person is honest), or you will have a Private Police Tyranny which they indirectly admit – and it will be worse than the current minarchy I live under. My city handles utilities and only asked for a deposit which I was refunded after a few months. No DROverweening demands. No credit check. Of course this is a heavily white and Christian area. (Some seasonal workers would skip out on the last bill, and the deposit prevents that).

    • This is exactly the consequence of trying to create a de facto “political order” in which the participants are not united by nationhood.

      The question is completely academic, since we ARE united by nationhood. And the logic of Anacapistan helpful confirms that yes, nation-states are a perfectly reasonable (and indeed preferable) outcome.

  9. I would take this further. I have argued consistently that the primary source of the POZ IS the Free Market, specifically television and to a lesser extent movies catering to female-driven mass consumerism. I did a study of the Prime Time Network Fall Premiers available on Wikipedia, from the mid 1970s up to 2006 IIRC, and found that the tipping point, where there were more hours devoted to female audiences than male audiences was somewhere between 1979 and 1981 IIRC. The methodology was simple, take the nominal hours of what the Network figured was its most important schedule, the initial Fall premiere, and either from memory via reruns or viewing, or Wiki research mark the time for each show on each network as female or male appealing.

    Think when was the last time you saw shows like “Have Gun Will Travel,” “the A-Team,” “Dragnet,” “Adam-12,” “Baa Baa Blacksheep,” “Wiseguy,” or “the Equalizer?” All had the following: NO romance, NO competition between dudes for some hot chick, fighting adversaries, bravery and intelligence in the heroes, with either discplinary teamwork (Adam 12 and Dragnet) or creative weird team-work (Blacksheep and A-Team).

    Stories pitched to women to sell perfume, feminine hygiene products, shampoo, and the like will always be POZ heavy. Women naturally find highly aristocratic, unequal, hereditary societies to their liking, with maximum sexual freedom and degeneracy. In the way that men like stories about bravery and intelligence winning the day.

    About 50 years of televised POZ has made America into a giant CW supernatural soap opera. Hungary and Poland being under the Soviet thumb and then poor are largely un-pozzed because they have not had decades of the Free Market pushing POZ. There is a reason Tim Cook of Apple hates hates hates gun owners and pushes gun confiscation and Dicks Sporting Goods CEO does not care if his stance costs shareholders money in his latest statement. The culture is deeply feminized and pozzed, where status virtue signaling amidst sexual libertinism indicates a debased Volk Christian-Marxism driven by the worst not best feminine impulses.

    But it makes a ton of money.

  10. Z: “…they developed the habit of stopping short of fully stating the inevitable ends of their ideology.”

    That, in a nutshell, is why I hopped aboard the Alt-Right ship. I got so frustrated (then bored to death) with Conservatives always reigning themselves in at the last second, just before they were about to get interesting.

  11. The question you now need to address is . . . who decides? Who decides what the desirable end is and what means shall be employed to achieve it? What is to prevent others from covertly bribing the “decider” and thereby achieving the same end result as manipulation of the secondary ticket market? In the news today . . . Iran says it may reveal the names of Western leaders that were bribed in order to secure their support of the Iran nuclear deal.

    • If you have to ask “who decides?” then you don’t have a society. You have an ad hoc collection of strangers. That’s always been the core problem with libertarianism. It can only work in a world populated with sociopaths.

      • Profound and essential. In all stable ages, no one asked “who decides?” ‘Rule’ isn’t an issue – even for those of us raised in democratic republics – for everyday people living in societies bound by rules absorbed from tradition, above all the Christian tradition.

        The freest people are those who can say, “it’s how thing are done”. They don’t have to cite imperial edicts in one era, or cite a constitution in another. It’s just the way they live.

        In our time the average person will spend research time on-line, or in a library, studying the ups and downs of eating bananas, and not even be able to name the candidates for the town board.

        Passivity is hardly the problem; it’s misdirection.

      • Even that wouldn’t even work there unless somehow against all experience the sociopaths didn’t prey on one another

        Leave me alone if not a basis for anything but a frontier society, It doesn’t work in a developed world period

        Worse even though it kind of worked in the old days if you didn’t mind choking on the air and dying of cholera but technology means you need a strong State

        The private sector will never pay for the harm it does unless forced since its main job, make money for the share holders would be impaired

        Another thing you also can’t opt out f paying for all that and have it work. You can and must increase efficiency of the State and you can and must reduce some of the States reach but you are going to have an administrative state and wealth redistribution or you’ll be disposable chattel for some multinational with he long term planning of a three year old and the psychopathy of Hannibal Lecter

      • For most of our evolutionary history, the answer was likely the tribal leader. For the past few thousand years of civilization, the answer was probably various things like warlord, king, emperor. mayor, prime minister, or national political body. All of these are limited by human frailty in the few that rise to these heights. In my opinion, any system with checks and balances is most likely to be robust and optimized.

      • I think the opposite. It only works in a world without sociopaths. Libertarianism makes a naive assumption that people will play by the mutually agreed-on rules and temper their lusts. Sociopaths don’t play by the non-aggression principle.

        You can’t have a successful Libertarian society full of sociopaths.

        Libertarianism is a White people thing. White people are on average pretty high in trust and conscientiousness. Fairly low levels of sociopathy.

        As our society has become more fragmented, less White, less homogeneous and decidedly more sociopathic, Libertarianism is less and less a realistic option.

        A bunch of Mexican peasants, Africans, East Asians and Indians are simply not going to play by Libertarian rules, because not only are their origin societies not built that way, but I’d guess there are genetic differences behind levels of out-group vs. in-group trust, conscientiousness, etc.

        ETA: I think a population orienting themselves around the Ten Commandments and the teachings of Jesus can be largely Libertarian, because they have a moral foundation within which to frame their Libertarianism.

        When “who decides” on the big questions can be referred back to a common, objective set of moral principles by which both the government and people are expected to operate, then you can let people be free to interact economically and socially without heavy oversight.

    • The question you now need to address is . . . who decides?

      The national body of men decide, on the basis of:
      3. Judge & Jury
      2. Common law
      1. Constitution
      0. Natural Law (as per Christianity)

      Other systems are alien to the West and must be destroyed, e.g.:

      0. The State (Democracy), or
      0. The State (Communism), or
      0. The State (Foreign Imperialism), or
      0. Natural Law (absent Christianity), or
      when the women of the nation are also permitted to decide.

  12. Nothing says progress more than a piece of good farmland turned into a tract of 3500 square-foot houses occupied by lawyers, financiers and school administrators, with weed-free lawns cut by Mexicans.

    Good thing that God is making the surface area of the world bigger every year, and replenishing all the mineral resources underground as well as the topsoils that grow our food; otherwise you might conclude – against all the varieties of political doctrine – that nature has limits.

  13. Off topic, apologize. Rick Moran on PJMedia wrote a piece lamenting the incivility of the White House in not apologizing for an aid’s joke about McCain. The disconnect is astonishing. Scanning 350 comments, his own readers unanimously believe that civility is something which can be unearned.

    • Many leftists and cucks are pearl clutching about morbid jokes at McCain’s expense. Have these people forgotten his whole “Bomb Bomb Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran” “joke” [sung, of course, to the tune of the Beach Boys’ “Barbara Ann”]? He is a vile, evil, despicable monster. He wouldn’t deserve a golden shower if he were on fire.

    • Moran is a talking burrito with arms and legs. And a virulent anti-Trumper. Real piece of shit IMO. Will laugh the day I read about him having a fatal coronary while taking a dump.

    • His daughter asserted that we’ll be talking about his legacy for two hundred years. Don’t know of any memorable legacy he’ll be leaving. After he passes he’ll be forgotten by most in a couple days.

      • There was a line in ‘Darby O’Gill and the Little People’ that sums up what awaits McCain: “We’ll give you a grand wake, and then we’ll forget all about you.” That’s what happened with Ted Kennedy, and the same thing will happen to McCain.

      • Well, I believe we’ll be using McCain-Feingold as an example of pernicious, unconstitutional power-seeking by incumbent politicians and favored industries for two hundred years. So there’s that.

  14. Still plodding through the French Revolution and associated literature. Read a portion of a missive written by some Russian dude in 1790 about freeing the serfs in Russia, his inspiration being the FR and Enlightenment ideas. He was sent to Siberia for this by Catherine II.
    Part of his argument follows Locke’s notion that in the state of nature man creates a right in property by working the land. He says that the serf has more right to the fields he works than the owner because he’s the one who works them. Of course, this ended up being a justification for communal property by communists later on. 35 years later Robert Owen did his American experiment in New Harmony.

    To his credit the Russian writer didn’t go this far. He suggested what turned out to be the case even in Soviet Russia. Let the serf have a property interest in the little home plot he worked, and make it alienable to him and have him taxed on it. Interestingly enough, many serfs refused this opportunity in 1860 when the Tsar ordered their emancipation precisely because they didn’t want to pay taxes.

    Anyway, the thought occurred to me that this idea is completely applicable to the internet today, and a way to view internet rights at a time when many of us are literally forced into a legal vassalage when we are forced to sign terms of use agreements.

    People establish a property right in the place they work in the internet by mere expense of labor they put into the little plot of land they set up on, and the great lord of the internet domain has no right to expel them from this plot, nor to punish them for what they do there.

    Sure, this is a communistic idea. But there is an end in mind that subverts the communists who are in charge right now.

    Andrew Anglin should get his .com back.

    With spades (heh).

    • It’s not communistic. Property-in-use has been a thing in Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence since the days of the Angles and Saxons. It was one of the justifications for kicking the Indians off their land (they don’t “use” it, so it’s not theirs). It was the basis of the Homestead Act right here in the good ol’ USA (whatever the Republican Party was in 1862, Communists they were not). It’s a great idea; I’d vote for it.

      • It’s the idea that you are creating a property interest in a domain already created as intellectual property by someone else, say Google, GoDaddy, Youtube, etc. It’s not like they aren’t using it. It is being appropriated, stolen, if you will. That is how the lord of the demesne would look at it, and how many property purists today (like your libertarians, who love Google more than their fellow man) would look at it.

        The point is that internet property is in a feudal state right now. And, like in the late 18th century, feudalism has to go.

        • Property is being redistributed against the wishes of the owner. If that isn’t communistic, I don’t know what is.

          • Property redistribution to some degree is the hallmark of every single human civilization everywhere and throughout time

            Its necessary for functioning, so is a certain amount of central planning for things like infrastructure

            It tends to go to far though and the core idea of Communism, From Each According To His Ability, To Each According To His Needs simply doesn’t work

          • I think an important point here is that the property ownership rights (server space, bandwidth usage) are in conflict with the intellectual property rights — site content.

            Take altright.org

            GoDaddy has a physical property right to its DNS servers and hosting servers.

            Spencer has an intellectual property right to his domain, altright.org

            Domain names are unlike any other property I can think of in that they can be made effectively useless if no registrar will announce them.

            It’s not trivially easy to become a domain registrar. It’s controlled by ICANN, and it’s a prohibitively complicated process if all you want to do is make sure people can see the url to your website.

            https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/accreditation-2012-02-25-en

            ICANN is an international not-for-profit that is effectively a global governmental entity. It’s entirely appropriate for it to insist that domain registratrars operate in a completely viewpoint-neutral fashion, because those domains are carrying out an international governmental function and the U.S., ought to enforce the first amendment on them.

      • One other thing. When a man swore vassalage to a lord, his wife and kids and all his descendants were stuck with this decision, just like in the social contract theory developed in the Enlightenment. You could say that social contract theory is a product of feudalism.

        In swearing vassalage, the person coming under protection makes an agreement with the lord promising his labor in exchange for that protection.

        In agreeing to a domain’s terms of use, a person is signing away rights in exchange only to make a part of his life and labor the property of another without any protection of person, property, or reputation whatsoever.

        There is no quid pro quo. You give up something of value to become the property of another.

        Analogically, this is a worse deal than serfdom.

  15. The kind of society “we” want? The kind of people “we” want in it? Who is “we”? The point is, i trust even flawed markets more than flawed individuals. If the secondary market in concert tickets prices them too high, they wont sell.

    • There can be no intelligent markets without intelligent people, yet here we educate people to be unintelligent and import more who can never be intelligent. This is just one of those things which appears to be beyond the imagination of libertarians.

    • Ok, I get the objection to “we”. You don’t want anyone to speak for you. So what kind of society do you want?

      • I was happy with a constitutional republic until “they” decided that’s not who “we” are any longer. With or without government, freedom to exchange with each other and property rights are the genesis of prosperity. Markets aren’t “God”, but they are objective. Rulers are not. Nos relinquere solus.

        • But what kind of society do you want? By that I mean, when you wake up in the morning and look out your front window as your coffee is brewing, what sort of activity do you hope to see?

          • I took a philosophy class in college about 54 years ago. The teacher asked us in the first class to justify our existence in 200 words or less. I didn’t go back. As soon as i finish that assignment, I’ll work on your question.

  16. Another way of looking at the libertarian question is to view it as an extension of the problem we’re having with our policy elites: they are simply too stupid to understand secondary markets, derivative securities, web monopolies, leveraging the mortgage asset pool for securities trading… I could go on endlessly.

    Anyone with a 110 IQ and a reasonably rigorous undergrad education should be able to understand this stuff. It seems like the intersection of those two sets keeps getting smaller.

    Thanks for the primer on the secondary ticket market. I really don’t go to many large public events, could tell some strange things we’re going on in those markets, but really couldn’t bother myself to research it.

  17. “A popular trope among those in the post-war New Right was the claim that an undesirable end, arrived at through principled means, was superior to a desirable end, arrived at through unprincipled means.” I’m not no fancy big city lawyer, but this seems to be what “legal positivism” is about — make the process of trying a case as mechanical as possible, and whatever happens is automatically “justice.” It’s just old-school Progressivism — don’t make better men to make a better society; make a better society (though laws and taxation) and men will be better. I’m always surprised the New Right didn’t see this… actually, no, I’m not surprised at all.

    • One doesn’t really need judges anymore, does one? A clerk with a flow chart could handle most sentencing these days it seems

      • The legal positivist dream. We’re 90% there, which is why constant detention without trial, plea bargaining, sentence enhancements, three strikes laws, etc. mean any interaction with the court system is a complete crapshoot. But since it’s all mechanically applied, it’s “justice.”

      • Back when my family was a still a participant in the public school system I once wondered out loud at a board meeting why, with the proliferation of “zero tolerance” regulations and other similar statutory solutions to subjective problems, we didn’t simply sack a bunch of administrators and replace them with Capuchin monkeys. The monkeys could push a “Yes” or “No” button, would work for Monkey Chow and were a crap load more entertaining. The professional educrats in there usual weaned-on-a-pickle way, were not amused.

        • The scary thing about public education is that the schools that fail are rewarded with more money, high paid experts, sinecures for cronies,etc. IOW the failure pays and pays big.

          Of course the students never see the money, it’s sucked up by a bunch of drones who can barely pass a 10th grade test.

    • That libertarian belief in market-worship is similar to the left wing belief that “green energy” will create more jobs than “bad energy”, or that “diversity” magically creates efficiencies out of the ether.

      It’s voodoo. Virtue pleases the gods, who will reward us. That is the belief.

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