"What if we can't make government smaller?" the Niskanen Center's Will Wilkinson asks. He says that the evidence, particularly Wagner's Law, shows that government spending is impervious to political assault, and libertarians should make their peace with big government. Instead, libertarians should focus on reforming regulations to foster competition and the market process. I have … Continue reading Can Government Spending Be Cut After All?
The other day I referenced Tom Watson’s piece in Salon, rejecting any libertarian involvement in the Stop Watching Us demonstration (as you might recall, libertarians were the ones who use a “few positive civil liberties positions as a predator uses candy with a child”). Watson’s piece generated a useful response in Salon from David Segal: … Continue reading The Value of Left-Libertarian Alliances
Kevin Carson was good enough to drop by and comment on my posts about his book, Studies in Mutualist Political Economy (here and here). I copy the comments below with my responses: (Kevin) Thanks again, Jason. In general, I don’t think any paradigms are falsifiable; you can add epicycles to anything. And I think a … Continue reading Left-Libertarian Economics: Response to Carson
In my last look at left-libertarian economics, I argued that Kevin Carson's resurrection of the Labor Theory of Value adds no new information to standard, neoclassical price theory. Carson wishes to disapprove morally of profits but does not show that capitalists add nothing to the value of production. In particular, Carson acknowledges that capitalists contribute … Continue reading Left-Libertarian Economics’ Critique of Capitalism: Part Three
In this post, I continue my series on left-libertarian economics by examining Kevin Carson's arguments for the labor theory of value (LTV) in Studies in Mutualist Political Economy. I argue that this is one area in which left-libertarian economics does represent a degenerative research program, that is, a body of scientific theories that protects itself … Continue reading Left-Libertarian Economics as a Degenerative Paradigm: Part Two
"Left-libertarianism" can be defined in one of at least three ways. It can refer to "liberaltarianism," a tactical stance and set of policy positions combining a substantially libertarian thrust with a preference for making alliances with the modern center-left. It can refer to a revisionist philosophical movement that differs from Robert Nozick's entitlement theory of … Continue reading Is Left-Libertarian Economics a Degenerative Paradigm? Part One