Five Economic Reforms Millenials Should Be Fighting For

I can’t believe I missed this one when it came out back in January.

Cliff notes version:

1 - Unemployment blows. The government needs to guarantee jobs in the public sector. There are millions of people who want to work, and this would anchor prices and drive up conditions for the woking class.

2 - Jobs blow. (As opposed to blow jobs, but I digress…) Every citizen should be given, by the government, a basic subsistence income every month. Combine this with #1, and participation in the labor force is truly voluntary, enabling people to get a life.

3 - Landlords blow. They don’t do anything to earn a living. They didn’t build it and rarely improve it. We should target wealthy real-estate owners and their free rides by implementing a land-value tax.

4 - Hoarders blow. The government should buy back the buildings and equipment (because the land is already being taxed). Then it can run these assets like a corporation, and pay every US citizen a universal basic income (like #2, above).

5 - Wall Street blows. We should put a public bank in every state. Therefore, when we pay taxes, the state-run bank can offer cheap loans to those that are deserving of them.

There have already been responses to this. The two that stand out in my mind are, “These five things have already been tried. It was called ‘The Soviet Union’”, and “Where are all the socialist utopias?”

The above is of course not the solution for the lost generation we currently are in. But we will have to find a solution sooner than later or it will get ugly. Never underestimate people when they have nothing to lose.

According to this source (which is, of course, totally biased but which led me to finding out Myerson’s alterior motives), the hipster bum who wrote that piece of garbage had something to do with the “Occupy Wall Street” movement.

Oh, Rolling Stone, you sure do know how to stay relevant in these modern times!

EDIT: For clarity, I’m not a Republican.

That article is, by far, the stupidest shit I’ve ever read.

Completely out to lunch.

Even the Scandinavian model, which IMO is the pinnacle of an economically sustainable social welfare system doesn’t offer this level of unearned comfort.

I honestly think the French and Germans have figured out how to live. Very high standards of living/per capita GDP and six weeks of vacation every year while still having economies robust enough to allow the more ambitious to acquire substaintial fortunes. It just goes to show that you don’t have to sell out your entire society/political system to corporate interests in the name of economic growth.

^ Many companies outside of finance offer 6 weeks + of vacation in Canada and even in the US (two non-European socialist paradises). If you give up wanting to be a buyside M&A’ing guy, you can still make six figures with a 40 hour week and 6 weeks vacation no problem. Much of the professional world has already moved to this. If you want to be a BSD, then put in your 70 hours and carry on. The finance industry won’t adjust for years. It’s an “I suffered so you can suffer” management attitude that won’t die quickly.

The Europeans have expanded this privledge outside of the professional fields and into pretty much every job so yeah the McD’s workers get 6 weeks vacation and job security… but as a professional in North America this lifestyle is attainable if you want it.

Truly stupid ideas, have been tried the world over and failed over and over. Is this a parody? It is not worth refuting the ideas one by one.

Having said that, a land tax / wealth tax / property tax is not quite outrageous (in US) - if we stop piecemeal property taxes (e.g. on houses and cars but not on stocks and bonds) and reduce income tax burden and introduce some type of consumption tax that is not too regressive.

A wealth tax would favor spending and discourage saving, which is apparently what the Fed has been trying to do all these years. At least it would be a lot more progressive (code word: sock the rich more) than the ZIRP.

But I am sure all of us have such utopian ideas, without political power they mean squat.

Typical american conversation. Tear apart a set of ideas without offering any solutions. We have a shrinking middle class, largest prison population in the world, horrible health care system (37th), lack of jobs to support a one income family, do nothing congress, a bought and paid for political process, and no wage growth. Comments like these are why countries laugh at us when we try to criticize them about their problems. Number 1 factor in whether or not you are financially successful here, your parents wealth. Number one cause of bankruptcy, medical bills. What a joke.

Actually, I totally agree with this. Unfortunately, due to human nature such a system would never be implementable.

" We must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian-Darwinian theory, he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living."

-Buckminster Fuller

What about that is “typical american” and why does someone have to offer a solution when they consider something to be a bad idea? Why isn’t it okay to simply say that you don’t think it’s a good idea?

^And the author actually did offer solutions. Granted, the solutions might be really stupid, and the implementation of the stupid solutions would be impossible. But the solutions were still offered.

Pretty much sums up my way of thinking back when I was about 15…

How can something be considered bad without a comparison to an alternative? Yeah Soviet Russia may have been a bad economic system compared to US but it is better than many african nations today. Its like the healthcare debate, while you may not agree with structure of the outcome, I dont, bitching and whining about repealing it with pointless votes in congress is not only a waste of time but fits the real definition of insanity. What have the Rs offered as an alternative? Jack sh*t. If you claim there is a problem you either have a better idea or are simply trying to tear others down by having an opinion. If you dont have a solution, leave the debates to the problem solvers because noise for the sake of noise is just wasted time and energy. I was referring to the posts not offering any solutions not the author.

Not changing anything is an alternative to changing something. In this case, the base case is the comparison. While we should encourage discussion on different kinds of public policy, most people here consider the suggestions made in the Rolling Stone article to be too extreme and thus, not preferable to the status quo.

^Agreed. While some people bitch about a “do-nothing” Congress, I would generally prefer a Congress that does nothing. When they do something, bad things start to happen (like Obamacare).

I am not generalizing the argument to include Congress, and it is this Swaption guy who has made that extrapolation. The only thing I am saying is that in this Rolling Stones case, the suggestions are extreme enough that a moderate person can reject them simply in favor of not changing anything.

Greenman left out that most ridiculous suggestion:

" Make Everything Owned by Everybody"

…and here I didn’t even know “Everybody” had a bank account. All the other suggestions, suspending my knowledge of human nature and greed, I can get on board with. This one is just absurd.

“No alternative”…Is this some talking point I missed? All sorts of alternatives have been offered through the years for all sorts of things. Go read congressional committee minutes.

Proves my point. We have one of the worst healthcare systems of any industrialized country, inflation for medical care out of control, and all you can say is “Obamacare is bad”. which is a belief not shared by a majority of people when framed as the ACA. Whats your solution, status quo? Ever studied asymetrical information in decision making?

No thank you. If I have trouble falling asleep, I just read GIPS or the Internal Revenue Code.