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In addition to just not posting, I’ve definitely tried to avoid the muck of politics. One thing has really stuck with me however is that I think that the Democratic and Progressive left has turned into quite a selective conservative movement, much in the tradition of the modern conservative movement (does it exist?). What is the deal with opposition to Uber and AirBNB and Genetic Modification (science anyone?) or the appeal of occupational licensing if not to prevent a dynamism from “overwhelming” economic and social structures? Why is dynamism in those areas something to be concerned about, but dynamism, in say, cultural attitudes, cosmopolitanism, and so on, which are unquestionably good things, not seem to be a problem and indeed a thing to celebrate?

3 Responses to “Political Thought for the Rest of the Year”

  1. Nathan says:

    I’m not sure the left is generally in favor of dynamism with respect to cultural attitudes or cosmopolitanism either. The charge of cultural appropriation is often disparagingly hurled when someone imitates symbols from other cultures. And leftists often defend many conservative Islamic practices because all minorities must be defended. And it’s oftentimes leftists who will oppose outsourcing jobs to third world countries because the working conditions would be too exploitative by western standards.

  2. Scott says:

    Well yea it sucks, but don’t stop posting! :)

    I’d like to think I practice a “if you don’t like it, stop consuming it”/”be the change you want to see in the world” policy, so I’ve consciously tried to avoid media coverage of the election. It’s amazing how hard that is to do – I use chrome instead of internet explorer (not only because its’ better) because there is no automatic news feed that pops up every time I open a new browser window. I feel like it actually makes me stupider every time I read the headlines.

    As far as the opposition to Uber & AirBNB, it bothers me less now because I’ve learned ‘that’s the way things are,’ new entrants will always face regulatory hurdles from competitors lobbyists. What amazes me is how long it is taking the incumbents to complete their web/app development. I have no idea why their isn’t an app for traditional taxis, why their aren’t more apps for last minute hotel bookings for the wandering young millennial. These corporations must have room in the budget for this.

    I actually think that occupational licensing is demanded by consumers who would rather not have to do their “due diligence” and actually have to accept personal responsibility in making choices, and business operators like it not only because it keeps out competitors, it makes them feel “safe” – in a world with infinite and confusing legislation, we hold our breath whenever the inspector comes around and point at our “I am allowed to do this” pass. I also think it has a big brother ‘nudge’ effect on lower net worth individuals to not start a business, as of course big brother is sure they will probably fail. It also could be a ‘nudge’ to new businesses: “hey, only try one thing at a time, or you’ll end up being a jack of all trades and master of none.” I bet the government finds it annoying for their studies when they cannot quantify everything, so every labor must be labeled, organized, so their plan will receive a budget allocation.

    Similarly, consider the absurdity of publishing fees when forming in NY, not only is there a $100 filing fee, if I recall correctly, you also have to pay somewhere in the $500+ range to have it published in the paper, plus annual maintenance fees…I find that this is another nudge “better talk to a lawyer before anything to make sure your not doing anything stupid and you file your taxes correctly with a good accountant…” the entrepreneurial dream just gets more and more expensive every step of the way. Non-Profit formations is a solid $5K, if I recall correctly, which also limits the exploration of new ideas.

  3. wintercow20 says:

    “I actually think that occupational licensing is demanded by consumers who would rather not have to do their “due diligence” and actually have to accept personal responsibility in making choices, and business operators like it not only because it keeps out competitors, it makes them feel “safe””

    B I N G O

    We get it, because “we” want it.

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