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Libertarians (Koch brother) ideas are starting to be adopted


rukawa
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I've begun noticing a bunch of situations where ideas I used to see in libertarian magazines decades ago are starting to get adopted:

 

Occupational licensing reform:

https://www.brookings.edu/opinions/improving-health-care-through-occupational-licensing-reform/

 

Legalizing marijuana:

https://www.fool.com/investing/2018/12/15/the-next-3-states-to-legalize-recreational-pot.aspx

 

Reforming zoning laws:

https://slate.com/business/2018/12/oregon-is-looking-at-ending-single-family-zoning.html

 

Criminal justice reform:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/12/14/why-mitch-mcconnell-finally-came-around-bringing-up-criminal-justice-reform-legislation/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.0d479be9152d

 

Charter schools and vouchers now have obvious proponents.

 

My view is that almost all of this agenda is largely Koch brother driven. Obviously there is a tonne of stuff that is moving in the opposite direction like with immigration, war and trade. I just find it interesting how conservatives and liberals are coming together on these lower profile things. And I do believe a large part of this is due to the Koch brother influence over decades primarily through think tanks. Its really kind of impressive.

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I've begun noticing a bunch of situations where ideas I used to see in libertarian magazines decades ago are starting to get adopted:

 

Occupational licensing reform:

https://www.brookings.edu/opinions/improving-health-care-through-occupational-licensing-reform/

 

Legalizing marijuana:

https://www.fool.com/investing/2018/12/15/the-next-3-states-to-legalize-recreational-pot.aspx

 

Reforming zoning laws:

https://slate.com/business/2018/12/oregon-is-looking-at-ending-single-family-zoning.html

 

Criminal justice reform:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/12/14/why-mitch-mcconnell-finally-came-around-bringing-up-criminal-justice-reform-legislation/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.0d479be9152d

 

Charter schools and vouchers now have obvious proponents.

 

My view is that almost all of this agenda is largely Koch brother driven. Obviously there is a tonne of stuff that is moving in the opposite direction like with immigration, war and trade. I just find it interesting how conservatives and liberals are coming together on these lower profile things. And I do believe a large part of this is due to the Koch brother influence over decades primarily through think tanks. Its really kind of impressive.

 

You can add gay rights/marriage and liberalization of state concealed carry laws to the list of things that were crazy ideas found only in libertarian magazines 20-40 years ago.

 

Look at these two maps. The 1st from 1986 the 2nd from 2017.

  "Unrestricted" is true adherence to the 2nd amendment where you don't need a license to own or carry a firearm concealed in public.

  "Shall Issue" is you need a license to carry concealed but the state must issue you one if you pass the requirements (age/background check/ take a class, etc).

  "May Issue" is you need a license to carry concealed and the licensing authority doesn't have to issue you one if it deems you not the sort of person who should be carrying.  These laws were passed after the civil war to keep firearms out of the hands of freed blacks and these racist laws are still in force in some states.  In MA for example it is up to the police chief in the town you live in to give licenses only to "appropriate persons to be so licensed".  (read: white males).  For instance I got an unrestricted license to carry in MA when I was 23 years old.  If I was poor and black kid living in Boston would I have gotten that license?  The question answers itself.

  "No Issue" means you can not get a license to carry in that state.

 

1986:

map-1986.png

 

2017:

ccw-map-2017.png

 

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Firearm_death_rates_by_state%2C_2013.jpg

Legend_for_firearm_death_rates_by_state%2C_2013.jpg

This is 2013 data. I could not find gun deaths per capita by state, over time. But I suspect that would be an interesting piece of information to overlay.

 

 

You ever notice that the studies the victim disarmament crowd likes to point out always counts "firearm deaths" and never just "murder rate" or "suicide rate"  or "violent crime rate"?  You know why, because the results aren't what they want.    "Firearm deaths" include police shootings, justifiable homicides, suicides, along with murders.  When you look at just violent crime rates you can't correlate liberalization of gun laws to any increase in crime. Nor to any increase in suicides.  You can correlate them to an increase in gun suicides, but not in suicides overall.  Does it really matter if someone shoots them selves or takes vodka and sleeping pills?  Does it really matter if you are shot to death or stabbed to death?

 

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You ever notice that the studies the victim disarmament crowd likes to point out always counts "firearm deaths" and never just "murder rate" or "suicide rate"  or "violent crime rate"? 

My guess is that, perhaps comparing:

 

firearm access to firearm deaths

is more "apples to apples", than:

 

firearm access to murder rate

firearm access to suicide rate

firearm access to violent crime rate

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I've begun noticing a bunch of situations where ideas I used to see in libertarian magazines decades ago are starting to get adopted:

 

...

 

My view is that almost all of this agenda is largely Koch brother driven. Obviously there is a tonne of stuff that is moving in the opposite direction like with immigration, war and trade. I just find it interesting how conservatives and liberals are coming together on these lower profile things. And I do believe a large part of this is due to the Koch brother influence over decades primarily through think tanks. Its really kind of impressive.

So it is an interesting topic. I agree on these items you mention that the trend is more "libertarian".

 

However two points:

(1) I am not sure I see the Koch link. I wonder if there is any data to back this claim up.

(2) I don't know if these items are representative of "public policy" in general. Are we cherry picking items, or is there a real trend of increased libertarian policies?

 

Also if I were to make a guess, I would attribute the "libertarian-ization" of such items as tied to income inequality, but this is just a guess as I don't have data to support it.

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Obama funded a CDC study into gun violence, which the press never reported on and the liberal ignore, because it found things like:

1. Armed citizens are less likely to be injured by an attacker:

 

"Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns (i.e., incidents in which a gun was 'used' by the crime victim in the sense of attacking or threatening an offender) have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies."

 

2. Defensive uses of guns are common:

 

"Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year... in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008."

 

3. Mass shootings and accidental firearm deaths account for a small fraction of gun-related deaths, and both are declining:

 

"The number of public mass shootings of the type that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School accounted for a very small fraction of all firearm-related deaths. Since 1983 there have been 78 events in which 4 or more individuals were killed by a single perpetrator in 1 day in the United States, resulting in 547 victims and 476 injured persons." The report also notes, "Unintentional firearm-related deaths have steadily declined during the past century. The number of unintentional deaths due to firearm-related incidents accounted for less than 1 percent of all unintentional fatalities in 2010."

 

4. "Interventions" (i.e, gun control) such as background checks, so-called assault rifle bans and gun-free zones produce "mixed" results:

 

"Whether gun restrictions reduce firearm-related violence is an unresolved issue." The report could not conclude whether "passage of right-to-carry laws decrease or increase violence crime."

 

5. Gun buyback/turn-in programs are "ineffective" in reducing crime:

 

"There is empirical evidence that gun turn in programs are ineffective, as noted in the 2005 NRC study Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review. For example, in 2009, an estimated 310 million guns were available to civilians in the United States (Krouse, 2012), but gun buy-back programs typically recover less than 1,000 guns (NRC, 2005). On the local level, buy-backs may increase awareness of firearm violence. However, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for example, guns recovered in the buy-back were not the same guns as those most often used in homicides and suicides (Kuhn et al., 2002)."

 

6. Stolen guns and retail/gun show purchases account for very little crime:

 

"More recent prisoner surveys suggest that stolen guns account for only a small percentage of guns used by convicted criminals. … According to a 1997 survey of inmates, approximately 70 percent of the guns used or possess by criminals at the time of their arrest came from family or friends, drug dealers, street purchases, or the underground market."

 

7. The vast majority of gun-related deaths are not homicides, but suicides:

 

"Between the years 2000-2010 firearm-related suicides significantly outnumbered homicides for all age groups, annually accounting for 61 percent of the more than 335,600 people who died from firearms related violence in the United States."

 

https://www.nap.edu/read/18319/chapter/1

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You ever notice that the studies the victim disarmament crowd likes to point out always counts "firearm deaths" and never just "murder rate" or "suicide rate"  or "violent crime rate"? 

My guess is that, perhaps comparing:

 

firearm access to firearm deaths

is more "apples to apples", than:

 

firearm access to murder rate

firearm access to suicide rate

firearm access to violent crime rate

 

Yes, if you want to reduce "firearm access" regardless of if it reduces crime or not.  If your goal is to reduce crime and suicides then that is what you should be looking at.  I've always said the anti-gun crowd would rather see a women raped and killed than see her have a gun in her hand to defend herself.  Your comment about being only concerned about "firearm access" rather than about crime, violence, and suicides confirms this.

 

That's like someone being anti airplane and being concerned with airplane deaths and having no concern over transportation deaths overall.  Telling them that if you reduce air travel more people would then die in car crashes wouldn't concern them, because it would be "apple to oranges".

 

 

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I've begun noticing a bunch of situations where ideas I used to see in libertarian magazines decades ago are starting to get adopted:

 

...

 

My view is that almost all of this agenda is largely Koch brother driven. Obviously there is a tonne of stuff that is moving in the opposite direction like with immigration, war and trade. I just find it interesting how conservatives and liberals are coming together on these lower profile things. And I do believe a large part of this is due to the Koch brother influence over decades primarily through think tanks. Its really kind of impressive.

So it is an interesting topic. I agree on these items you mention that the trend is more "libertarian".

 

However two points:

(1) I am not sure I see the Koch link. I wonder if there is any data to back this claim up.

(2) I don't know if these items are representative of "public policy" in general. Are we cherry picking items, or is there a real trend of increased libertarian policies?

 

Also if I were to make a guess, I would attribute the "libertarian-ization" of such items as tied to income inequality, but this is just a guess as I don't have data to support it.

 

Koch money has gone into public policy research at think tanks such as Cato Institute for decades and (at least on these issues) public policy has moved in those directions.  And (2) of course this is cherry picking. Government has not gotten smaller, the military has not been reduced, taxation is still ridiculously high, tariffs are increasing, the fed is still printing money, military interventionism has only gotten worse, we don't have open borders, foreign aid hasn't been eliminated, welfare still exists, we are no closer to legalizing all drugs, etc, etc, etc  There are some issues where we have gone in the right direction, but for the most part the US is still moving at break neck speed in the wrong direction.

 

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I've always said the anti-gun crowd would rather see a women raped and killed than see her have a gun in her hand to defend herself.  Your comment about being only concerned about "firearm access" rather than about crime, violence, and suicides confirms this.

 

Stop putting words in my mouth and, also, it's Monday morning. Let's leave the facetious comments for later in the week.

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Koch money has gone into public policy research at think tanks such as Cato Institute for decades and (at least on these issues) public policy has moved in those directions. 

Right, but this does not prove causation.

 

No, there are other non-Koch backed libertarian organizations as well, but not as well funded.  There is a correlation, I'm not sure how you would prove causation for the shift in public opinion on these things.

 

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I've always said the anti-gun crowd would rather see a women raped and killed than see her have a gun in her hand to defend herself.  Your comment about being only concerned about "firearm access" rather than about crime, violence, and suicides confirms this.

 

Stop putting words in my mouth and, also, it's Monday morning. Let's leave the facetious comments for later in the week.

 

:)  Sorry for a Friday post on Monday.

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On gun control, the only consistent conclusion that the report you cite states, is that data is inconclusive and results are mixed. This is hardly evidence one way or the other.

 

But, I think you are jumping to conclusions that "we just want to take your guns". I've always agreed with this response by Obama, which I think is a more balanced response to the issue:

 

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On gun control, the only consistent conclusion that the report you cite states, is that data is inconclusive and results are mixed. This is hardly evidence one way or the other.

 

But, I think you are jumping to conclusions that "we just want to take your guns". I've always agreed with this response by Obama, which I think is a more balanced response to the issue:

 

 

Obama wasn't as bad as the conservatives would like us to believe he was.  He actually didn't pass or even seriously propose any new gun control as far as I know anyway.  His big thing was getting gun violence studied by the CDC, which he was successful in doing (see the link above), and he couldn't show that there was a clear link between gun control and reduced violence. Where as Trump already has supported gun control, such as the ban on bumpstocks.  So in my eyes, Obama was better on guns than conservative darlings like Trump or Reagan are/were.  But Obama really didn't answer the guy's main question in this video about why the good people of Chicago (and many other cities) aren't allowed to have/carry guns to protect themselves?  The bad guys get guns and always will, the only question is why does the government try to restrict the people who follow laws from having them?

 

He (and other left wing politicians) like to throw around the phrase "common sense gun laws", but I don't think there are any such things.  Laws should govern actions not possessions.  I'm fine with laws against threatening people with guns, or doing something dangerous like handling them in a manner that is irresponsible  (akin to aggressive driving or drunk driving laws), and of course there should be laws against hurting people with guns.  But there shouldn't be any laws about owning guns or safely carrying them (openly or concealed).  You simply can't (or shouldn't) license a basic human right.

 

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On gun control, the only consistent conclusion that the report you cite states, is that data is inconclusive and results are mixed. This is hardly evidence one way or the other.

 

But, I think you are jumping to conclusions that "we just want to take your guns". I've always agreed with this response by Obama, which I think is a more balanced response to the issue:

 

 

Obama wasn't as bad as the conservatives would like us to believe he was.  He actually didn't pass or even seriously propose any new gun control as far as I know anyway.  His big thing was getting gun violence studied by the CDC, which he was successful in doing (see the link above), and he couldn't show that there was a clear link between gun control and reduced violence. Where as Trump already has supported gun control, such as the ban on bumpstocks.  So in my eyes, Obama was better on guns than conservative darlings like Trump or Reagan are/were.  But Obama really didn't answer the guy's main question in this video about why the good people of Chicago (and many other cities) aren't allowed to have/carry guns to protect themselves?  The bad guys get guns and always will, the only question is why does the government try to restrict the people who follow laws from having them?

 

He (and other left wing politicians) like to throw around the phrase "common sense gun laws", but I don't think there are any such things.  Laws should govern actions not possessions.  I'm fine with laws against threatening people with guns, or doing something dangerous like handling them in a manner that is irresponsible  (akin to aggressive driving or drunk driving laws), and of course there should be laws against hurting people with guns.  But there shouldn't be any laws about owning guns or safely carrying them (openly or concealed).  You simply can't (or shouldn't) license a basic human right.

 

 

The homicide rate peaked in 1980, close to the year that the 10 or 30 yr bond yield peaked. 

 

https://www.infoplease.com/us/crime/homicide-rate-1950-2014

 

Now we're back to the levels of 1950's homicide rate.

 

So, perhaps buy the long bond again when the homicide rate gets back to 10 per 100,000.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On gun control, the only consistent conclusion that the report you cite states, is that data is inconclusive and results are mixed. This is hardly evidence one way or the other.

 

But, I think you are jumping to conclusions that "we just want to take your guns". I've always agreed with this response by Obama, which I think is a more balanced response to the issue:

 

 

Obama wasn't as bad as the conservatives would like us to believe he was.  He actually didn't pass or even seriously propose any new gun control as far as I know anyway.  His big thing was getting gun violence studied by the CDC, which he was successful in doing (see the link above), and he couldn't show that there was a clear link between gun control and reduced violence. Where as Trump already has supported gun control, such as the ban on bumpstocks.  So in my eyes, Obama was better on guns than conservative darlings like Trump or Reagan are/were.  But Obama really didn't answer the guy's main question in this video about why the good people of Chicago (and many other cities) aren't allowed to have/carry guns to protect themselves?  The bad guys get guns and always will, the only question is why does the government try to restrict the people who follow laws from having them?

 

He (and other left wing politicians) like to throw around the phrase "common sense gun laws", but I don't think there are any such things.  Laws should govern actions not possessions.  I'm fine with laws against threatening people with guns, or doing something dangerous like handling them in a manner that is irresponsible  (akin to aggressive driving or drunk driving laws), and of course there should be laws against hurting people with guns.  But there shouldn't be any laws about owning guns or safely carrying them (openly or concealed).  You simply can't (or shouldn't) license a basic human right.

 

 

The homicide rate peaked in 1980, close to the year that the 10 or 30 yr bond yield peaked. 

 

https://www.infoplease.com/us/crime/homicide-rate-1950-2014

 

Now we're back to the levels of 1950's homicide rate.

 

So, perhaps buy the long bond again when the homicide rate gets back to 10 per 100,000.

 

That reminds me of this website: http://tylervigen.com/spurious-correlations

 

Or do you think there is some causal link there?

 

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On gun control, the only consistent conclusion that the report you cite states, is that data is inconclusive and results are mixed. This is hardly evidence one way or the other.

 

But, I think you are jumping to conclusions that "we just want to take your guns". I've always agreed with this response by Obama, which I think is a more balanced response to the issue:

 

 

Obama wasn't as bad as the conservatives would like us to believe he was.  He actually didn't pass or even seriously propose any new gun control as far as I know anyway.  His big thing was getting gun violence studied by the CDC, which he was successful in doing (see the link above), and he couldn't show that there was a clear link between gun control and reduced violence. Where as Trump already has supported gun control, such as the ban on bumpstocks.  So in my eyes, Obama was better on guns than conservative darlings like Trump or Reagan are/were.  But Obama really didn't answer the guy's main question in this video about why the good people of Chicago (and many other cities) aren't allowed to have/carry guns to protect themselves?  The bad guys get guns and always will, the only question is why does the government try to restrict the people who follow laws from having them?

 

He (and other left wing politicians) like to throw around the phrase "common sense gun laws", but I don't think there are any such things.  Laws should govern actions not possessions.  I'm fine with laws against threatening people with guns, or doing something dangerous like handling them in a manner that is irresponsible  (akin to aggressive driving or drunk driving laws), and of course there should be laws against hurting people with guns.  But there shouldn't be any laws about owning guns or safely carrying them (openly or concealed).  You simply can't (or shouldn't) license a basic human right.

 

 

The homicide rate peaked in 1980, close to the year that the 10 or 30 yr bond yield peaked. 

 

https://www.infoplease.com/us/crime/homicide-rate-1950-2014

 

Now we're back to the levels of 1950's homicide rate.

 

So, perhaps buy the long bond again when the homicide rate gets back to 10 per 100,000.

 

That reminds me of this website: http://tylervigen.com/spurious-correlations

 

Or do you think there is some causal link there?

 

The homicide rate took off with the inflation rate.  It dropped with falling inflation.  Now back to 1950s levels.

 

Financial stress is a leading cause of divorces to fail.  Financial stress is very upsetting to people.

 

Why would one expect not to find a correlation?

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But it is most likely accidental.

 

So many other explanations like leaded gasoline.

 

The homicide rate was also high in the 1930s (9 per 100,000).  Not a good time to buy long bonds.

 

Not a good time to buy long bonds, but plenty of financial stress.  I wouldn't be surprised to see a correlation between financial stress and violence.  But there are also factors in the 1930s like the gangs created by prohibition turning to other markets like drugs, gambling, loan sharking, etc.  The organized crime created in the 1920s didn't just go away after prohibition, it's been a lingering problem.  Also the first federal firearms laws went into affect in 1934 and 1938.

 

Of course it is likely that crime and violence don't have simple causes and there are too many variables to ever get a handle on why it goes up or down at any given time.  The exact causes in the 1930s are likely somewhat different than the causes in the 1970s.  Although financial stress was abundant in both time periods.

 

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^Excerpt from: A History of Interest Rates, 4th edition  Sidney Homer and Richard Sylla

 

"Around the turn of the last century, a famous Austrian economist, Eugen von Böhm Bawerk, declared that the cultural level of a nation is mirrored by its rate of interest: the higher a people’s intelligence and moral strength, the lower the rate of interest. He was speaking of free market rates of interest, not of controlled rates of interest. In his time, market rates of interest throughout the principal trading nations of the world were historically low: 21⁄2 to 31⁄2% for long-term prime credits. And inflation was not then the problem that it would become in this century.

 

If Böhm Bawerk had said “financial strength” instead of “moral strength” and “technological level” instead of “cultural level,” more people today would agree with him, but we think he meant exactly what he said. Indeed, if these substitutions had been suggested to him, he might well have responded that moral strength in a nation as a whole is a necessary precondition for financial strength and that a high cultural level is a necessary precondition for a high technological level.

 

In any case, when the first edition of this book appeared in 1963, few students of the money market would have accepted Böhm Bawerk’s sweeping generality. Interest rates were higher than in his era, but so, some thought, were intelligence, moral strength, and cultural levels. In light of the extraordinary rate increases of the 1960’s, 1970’s, and 1980’s, however, he might win some recruits. In the last analysis, it will depend on how one measures cultural level and moral strength, and here there is room for wide differences of opinion."

 

(my bold)

 

 

 

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I've begun noticing a bunch of situations where ideas I used to see in libertarian magazines decades ago are starting to get adopted:

 

...

 

My view is that almost all of this agenda is largely Koch brother driven. Obviously there is a tonne of stuff that is moving in the opposite direction like with immigration, war and trade. I just find it interesting how conservatives and liberals are coming together on these lower profile things. And I do believe a large part of this is due to the Koch brother influence over decades primarily through think tanks. Its really kind of impressive.

So it is an interesting topic. I agree on these items you mention that the trend is more "libertarian".

 

However two points:

(1) I am not sure I see the Koch link. I wonder if there is any data to back this claim up.

(2) I don't know if these items are representative of "public policy" in general. Are we cherry picking items, or is there a real trend of increased libertarian policies?

 

Also if I were to make a guess, I would attribute the "libertarian-ization" of such items as tied to income inequality, but this is just a guess as I don't have data to support it.

 

I don't think there is a Libertarian direction in general. Its pretty clear that the direction is more and expanding government. My main argument was that for a certain set of selected issues where Koch brothers have been operating for long periods of time through think tanks they have actually managed some success.

 

The reason I linked the Koch's is that when I think about where I first heard about all these ideas, I trace it back to foundations heavily supported by the Koch brothers like Reason or Cato.  I've been seeing these ideas for decades but I found it really strange when they started appearing in Brookings institute studies or Obama started talking about them. Occupational licensing has always been a niche Libertarian idea...zoning is another one.

 

To give an example of one hasn't reached the mainstream...mens rea reform. Right now its basically a typical obscure Koch brother issue. Liberals are suspicious. But I see it as the type of issue where the Koch's could be extremely successful over the long term.

 

I didn't really include anything about guns or about weed legalization because I felt these where areas where there were much larger forces at play like the gun enthusiasts or the weed enthusiasts. There are no occupational licensing enthusiasts...its really a niche concern.

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I don't know if you are giving the Koch's too much credit though. I've been reading The Freeman from FEE since the early 90s and they deal with all of these issues frequently and they are not Koch funded. There is also the Mises Institute which also deals with all of those issues. You say there are no (anti) occupational licensing enthusiasts, but there are. They are called libertarians.

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