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   PoliticsDiscussion Board For libertarians


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From: sense4/18/2015 8:16:22 PM
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Conservatism cannot survive a libertarian takeover
foxnews.com

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From: sense4/18/2015 8:52:58 PM
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Declining Desire to Work and Downward Trends in Unemployment and Participation by Tyler Cowen on April 18, 2015 at 9:00 am in Economics | Permalink

That is the next (and for me final) NBER paper from the macro workshop, by Barnichon and Figura, the pdf is here. Their main claim is quite startling, and very important if true. Here is the abstract:

The US labor market has witnessed two apparently unrelated trends in the last 30 years:a decline in unemployment between the early 1980s and the early 2000s, and a decline in labor force participation since the early 2000s. We show that a substantial factor behind both trends is a decline in desire to work among individuals outside the labor force, with a particularly strong decline during the second half of the 90s. A decline in desire to work lowers both the unemployment rate and the participation rate, because a nonparticipant who wants to work has a high probability to join the unemployment pool in the future, while a nonparticipant who does not want to work has a low probability to ever enter the labor force. We use cross-sectional variation to estimate a model of nonparticipants’ propensity to want a job, and we find that changes in the provision of welfare and social insurance, possibly linked to the mid-90s welfare reforms, explain about 50 percent of the decline in desire to work.

Did you get that last bit? Wild. The Clinton-era welfare reforms lowered the incentive to work. Another part of the paper explains the possible mechanisms in more detail:

We conjecture that two mechanisms could explain these results. First, the EITC expansion raised family income and reduced secondary earnersís (typically women) incentives to work. Second, the strong work requirements introduced by the AFDC/TANF reform would have, through a kind of “sink or swim” experience, left the “weaker” welfare recipients without welfare and pushed them away from the labor force and possibly into disability insurance.

The authors have strong reputations, but is it true? Stay tuned, and look for my live-blogging in the comments section of this post…

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From: sense4/18/2015 10:34:18 PM
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Rand Paul and the Future of Conservatism
townhall.com

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From: sense4/18/2015 11:15:14 PM
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Libertarians Outnumber Both Liberals and Conservatives
townhall.com

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From: sense4/18/2015 11:33:00 PM
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From: sense4/18/2015 11:37:26 PM
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To: sense who wrote (7)4/18/2015 11:46:28 PM
From: sense
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To: sense who wrote (5)4/26/2015 11:29:57 AM
From: TimF
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Libertarians Outnumber Both Liberals and Conservatives

Not really. 59 percent of people may have said (and in some ways may actually be) "fiscally conservative and socially liberal", but that combination doesn't really equal libertarian. Many of those 59 percent are rather statist. Some consider themselves "fiscally conservative" if they support reducing the deficit through tax increases. Others say they are socially liberal, and would support all sorts of coercion in the name of their "socially liberal" values. Meanwhile most support all sorts of government control and regulation.

Libertarian can be a broader term than just minarchist. It could be defined include all sorts of people who want a lot less government but not an absolutely minimal government. But any definition that catches 59 percent of Americans pretty much amounts to useless one.

Moving to the 44 percent that called them as libertarian in the poll, well I suppose that's good news in the sense that the libertarian brand may be becoming more popular, but how much of government could you really get 56 percent of Americans to say they support getting rid of? Certainly not the bigger spending programs, and a ton of intrusive regulation and government favoritism or interference would also get majority support.

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