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Jeff

Maybe we should just divide the US into two separate countries. Those that want less government, lower taxes, less regulation, and tighter controls on trial lawyers could live in one half and those that prefer the opposite in the other.

Evan

Jeff: OK, but you're going to have to agree to live in Iowa.

Jeff

Actually, that's why I left California and moved to Texas.

But if I were starting my career today, I'd be in Asia. For example, Macau has a top ordinary income tax rate <15% and 0% on capital gains. Plus, you'll get the currency benefits as the dollar continues to devalue.

mythago

Okay, but I don't want the lower-taxes crowd sucking tax dollars out of the other half of the country. And no whining about how bad your roads are.

Matt

I wonder if Jeff gets the irony of saying he wants "less government" and "tighter controls on trial lawyers." Somehow I doubt it.

freddy

With Jeff's Bush opinions he should suit up and go fight the war, forget Iowa Evan, send him to Iraq.

Jeff

Matt-how is it inconsistent? Trial lawyers rely on the power of a government-sanctioned legal system to extract payments. So one can wish for less government and fewer trial lawyers also. In my view, both are confiscatory wealth redistribution techniques. Maybe that is why so many politicians are lawyers?

Freddy-Bush has been one of the biggest government spenders ever. He is certainly not a libertarian. He is the worst of both parties. He spends like a drunken sailor and advocates a theocracy. If he shares my wish for fewer trial lawyers, well even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Myth-where do you live? As someone who has lived in both low and high tax states, there seems to me to be little correlation between taxes and quantity/quality of services.

Matt

"Trial lawyers rely on the power of a government-sanctioned legal system to extract payments. "

What do you mean "government sanctioned"? And actually many, if not the vast majority, of lawyers who try cases rely on private contracts with the client to "extract" payments.

"In my view, both are confiscatory wealth redistribution techniques"

Your view argues for the elimination by government fiat of private contracts between two parties. You're quite the libertarian!

Jeff

On the contrary, I do not believe lawyers or the government need to be involved at all.

Matt

Just insurers, eh? They'll make sure harms are compensated fairly. Your naivete is sweet, Jeff.

Jeff

Matt,

You're obviously a very smart guy. Surely, there are steps to be taken that empower consumers and punish wrongdoers without use of the legal system.

Take an example like medicine. How do you chose a doctor? How do you know if they're any good? Why not collect and publish a database of patient outcomes? Also, seek direct feedback from patients, perhaps something as simple as an eBay-like rating system. It seems to me even insurers would want access to a DB like this. Bad doctors would not only get far fewer patients, but would also be charged far more for malpractice insurance.

I'm OOTO the next few weeks, so I'll let you have the last word.

Best,

Jeff

Matt

"Surely, there are steps to be taken that empower consumers and punish wrongdoers without use of the legal system."

So what are they? You don't want government involved and you don't want private actors to use the legal system. Are you all criticisms and no solutions?

Most people choose a doctor by who is in their insurance plans.

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