So, I've recently stumbled into a corner of the internet I'd (somehow) avoided up till now. As much as it pains me to expose myself to it, there are meaningful segments of America which agree with me.
I know, I know, how would I be able to explore ideas in my own ersatz way when people who make lots of sense might now plausibly lead me down a compelling path? But it's worth taking a few moments to highlight this agreement, because I think even when I disagree with these people, they are acting in good faith and have good ideas often enough to be worth people's time.
To be completely honest, I'm hedging here too much. It's worth my time. I'm just nervous. I don't like listening to people who take ideas out from in front of me. Give me time to get there, I think I nearly always do.
So I'll merely point out that it's absolutely correct when Eric Weinstein says American citizens have an asymmetric access to the American labor market and we ought to have a Kaldor-Hicks aware regulatory stance towards allocation of that (excludable, largely-rivalrous) asset. That's an absurdly important idea, and years of my own thought about immigration have been shaken up by that statement.
I've also said previously that some very strange thing happened in the 1970's – some weird combination of obesity metrics, the rise of video games, cost disease, wealth gaps emerging because of strange productivity to labor relationships. I've made this critique so much in person I guess I forgot that I've only made it occassionally on this blog. There was basically a decade where everything in America started breaking.
While most of the charts at WTF Happened in 1971? are at least somewhat misleading, there's a signal in the noise there. America's number one priority must be maximizing freedom and creating an intensely dynamic economy. Discourse is terrible because the pie isn't growing, and this is a reasonable candidate for "the only thing we should talk about until we resolve it" (I am very aware I say this during a pandemic).
There are lots of other values we ought to stand for. But none of them will matter if we continue down this path – and none are truly harmed by any steps you'd take to advance a highly free and dynamic economy.