Radical Markets

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JasonL
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Radical Markets

Post by JasonL » 04 Jun 2018, 10:27

Have you guys heard the Econtalk or in other places the Glen Weyl Radical Markets spiel?

http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2018/0 ... on_ra.html



From MR:

"The authors call for perpetually open auctions, quadratic voting, a kind of apprenticeship system for the private sponsorship of immigrants, a ban on mutual fund diversification within sectors (to preserve competition by limiting joint ownership), and creating more explicit markets in personal data. If nothing else, it will force you to clarify what you actually like about markets, or don’t, and what you actually like about economics, or don’t."

The perpetually open auction is a Georgist strategy that applies to all property in their end game but it focuses on land and IP. Basically, you are forced each year to specify a value for a piece of property you hold such that if someone offers you that amount of money you would be forced to sell it. You are taxed on the value of that asset at that price each year. The idea there is patents and land in particular, but exclusionary asset ownership in general, are sources of great wealth accumulation that may never be through normal market forces aligned to best productive use. There is no real distinction between a home owner in Manhattan and a patent troll sitting on a prime patent other coders would like to use - and holding those assets costs nothing relative to their actual value if a sale were forced. They think the real gains on this strategy are so large you could fund something like $20k/per household in "asset dividend" after you collect those taxes and redistribute them.

It's interesting to think about. Lots of impracticalities, but some element of truth as well. It strikes me as a very good approach to maximizing IP. The assumed liquidity of homestead is just not real talk, but I appreciate the effort.

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Shem
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Re: Radical Markets

Post by Shem » 04 Jun 2018, 11:16

An interesting idea, but without an exemption for a person's primary residence, it's about as unrealistic as the Capitalism Fairy coming down and giving all the good little children railroads. The first time granny loses the family home to greedy land barons you'd have a joint session of Congress to understand like repeal.
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Warren
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Re: Radical Markets

Post by Warren » 04 Jun 2018, 12:39

The perpetually open auction is a Georgist strategy that applies to all property in their end game but it focuses on land and IP. Basically, you are forced each year to specify a value for a piece of property you hold such that if someone offers you that amount of money you would be forced to sell it.
"Perpetually open auction" is an awkward and incoherent phrase. Crafting such a deliberately misleading descriptor makes me suspicious of the whole scheme right from the get-go.
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JasonL
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Re: Radical Markets

Post by JasonL » 04 Jun 2018, 12:53

I think that’s a Cowenism but the authors may use it.

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dead_elvis
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Re: Radical Markets

Post by dead_elvis » 04 Jun 2018, 13:08

Warren wrote:
04 Jun 2018, 12:39

"Perpetually open auction" is an awkward and incoherent phrase. Crafting such a deliberately misleading descriptor makes me suspicious of the whole scheme right from the get-go.
The concept reminds me a little of biblical "Jubilee", only on a shorter time frame. Which I've seen seriously argued as a solution to inter-generational inequality. No one can own land beyond a certain time frame, it's just temporarily leased from The Commons and every now and then the reset button is pressed.

And I think both concepts suffer from discounting the value of stability and predictability. Perpetually open auction, the way it looks to me, would be creating in essence a property tax that has the potential for random unlimited increases, which is something society has generally reacted against.
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JasonL
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Re: Radical Markets

Post by JasonL » 04 Jun 2018, 13:27

Georgism always looks like that to me. It is at first abhorrent, then wait maybe he's onto something, then no actually not net of how people actually behave it's a mess. I see why people keep going back to it though, and it does make sense for IP.

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Re: Radical Markets

Post by Highway » 04 Jun 2018, 13:49

If the point is to declare a value to tax things, then one thing that would probably end up happening is a push to severely lower property and whatever else is subject to the scheme tax rates, so that everyone could claim an inflated value for the property and end up paying about the same in tax. The tax rates don't exist in a vacuum, nor do the property values, and we all know you can't just assume "all other things staying the same."
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dead_elvis
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Re: Radical Markets

Post by dead_elvis » 04 Jun 2018, 14:14

JasonL wrote:
04 Jun 2018, 13:27
and it does make sense for IP.
I think you might be right. Do you think this is a better or worse idea than compulsory licensing?
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Re: Radical Markets

Post by JasonL » 04 Jun 2018, 14:25

I don't have enough info really. What I like about this is the setting of the value of the patent is constrained by a willingness to pay the tax for high exclusionary rights. Someone willing to pay the price has full access rights including the right/duty of re-sale.

In a compulsory license regime, the idea is a patent holder is required to let 3rd parties use patented IP in exchange on a use licence basis with associated fee. I'm not super familiar with how compulsory licensing sets the rates for the licence, nor if there are implications to the licensing agreement per se. That is, I don't really follow how license use may differ from ownership.

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Re: Radical Markets

Post by Warren » 04 Jun 2018, 17:22

Having the owners set the price for tax purposes, then forcing them to sell if anyone meets that price is just a non-starter for several reasons. Not the least being that it's another form of regressive taxation. But maybe it could work if when someone made an offer on your property you had the option of selling or paying the tax at that value.


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Re: Radical Markets

Post by Kolohe » 04 Jun 2018, 17:34

It sounds like a version of eminent domain when you put it like that. I'm not that opposed to eminent domain. (I don't like Kelo of course)
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Re: Radical Markets

Post by Highway » 04 Jun 2018, 17:49

I think when Heinlein talked about this idea in Number of the Beast (yeah I've read it a few times), there was a caveat about the current owner, in order to fend off a 'hostile' buyout at his assessed price, could raise the assessment value at the time someone tried to buy it, but was then on the hook for something like 5 years of back taxes at the newly assessed value.

Like Jason said above, it's one of those "No, that's horrible... well, wait a minute, maybe if it was like this... no, it's still horrible" kind of things.
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Re: Radical Markets

Post by Eric the .5b » 04 Jun 2018, 23:11

Looking into quadratic voting online (because I'm not listing to an hour-long podcast tonight)...I guess this is meant for referenda? Everywhere it comes up, the quadratic pricing scheme gets explained, but nowhere except perhaps the Posner/Weyl paper (which I'm also not reading, tonight) bothers to explain how to calculate how many points people get to allocate in a given election.

And it seems to be a straight-line path toward "the most single-minded, single-issue voters get what they want". Five minutes after we get this, gun and abortions get banned.
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Re: Radical Markets

Post by Jadagul » 04 Jun 2018, 23:48

Eric the .5b wrote:
04 Jun 2018, 23:11
Looking into quadratic voting online (because I'm not listing to an hour-long podcast tonight)...I guess this is meant for referenda? Everywhere it comes up, the quadratic pricing scheme gets explained, but nowhere except perhaps the Posner/Weyl paper (which I'm also not reading, tonight) bothers to explain how to calculate how many points people get to allocate in a given election.

And it seems to be a straight-line path toward "the most single-minded, single-issue voters get what they want". Five minutes after we get this, gun and abortions get banned.
I think that last statement is really wrong (assuming arguendo the second-to-last). Abortion has really invested voters on both sides. On guns, the pro-gun side is if anything smaller but more motivated.

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Re: Radical Markets

Post by Shem » 05 Jun 2018, 00:13

OK, well, the invested voters with enough money win, then. It's essentially a recipe for oligarchy.
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Eric the .5b
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Re: Radical Markets

Post by Eric the .5b » 05 Jun 2018, 00:49

Jadagul wrote:
04 Jun 2018, 23:48
Eric the .5b wrote:
04 Jun 2018, 23:11
Looking into quadratic voting online (because I'm not listing to an hour-long podcast tonight)...I guess this is meant for referenda? Everywhere it comes up, the quadratic pricing scheme gets explained, but nowhere except perhaps the Posner/Weyl paper (which I'm also not reading, tonight) bothers to explain how to calculate how many points people get to allocate in a given election.

And it seems to be a straight-line path toward "the most single-minded, single-issue voters get what they want". Five minutes after we get this, gun and abortions get banned.
I think that last statement is really wrong (assuming arguendo the second-to-last). Abortion has really invested voters on both sides. On guns, the pro-gun side is if anything smaller but more motivated.
Depends on whether abortion-rights voters are as single-issue as anti-abortion voters, and I suspect they aren't. Perhaps this is true on the gun right side.
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Jadagul
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Re: Radical Markets

Post by Jadagul » 05 Jun 2018, 01:04

Eric the .5b wrote:
05 Jun 2018, 00:49
Jadagul wrote:
04 Jun 2018, 23:48
Eric the .5b wrote:
04 Jun 2018, 23:11
Looking into quadratic voting online (because I'm not listing to an hour-long podcast tonight)...I guess this is meant for referenda? Everywhere it comes up, the quadratic pricing scheme gets explained, but nowhere except perhaps the Posner/Weyl paper (which I'm also not reading, tonight) bothers to explain how to calculate how many points people get to allocate in a given election.

And it seems to be a straight-line path toward "the most single-minded, single-issue voters get what they want". Five minutes after we get this, gun and abortions get banned.
I think that last statement is really wrong (assuming arguendo the second-to-last). Abortion has really invested voters on both sides. On guns, the pro-gun side is if anything smaller but more motivated.
Depends on whether abortion-rights voters are as single-issue as anti-abortion voters, and I suspect they aren't. Perhaps this is true on the gun right side.
There are a lot of pretty single-issue-ish voters on both sides of the abortion issue. It's hard to say how that would shake out without a lot more data than I have, but I don't think it's obvious. And depends on the details of whatever you're doing.

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Re: Radical Markets

Post by Warren » 05 Jun 2018, 01:22

Eric the .5b wrote:
05 Jun 2018, 00:49
Jadagul wrote:
04 Jun 2018, 23:48
Eric the .5b wrote:
04 Jun 2018, 23:11
Looking into quadratic voting online (because I'm not listing to an hour-long podcast tonight)...I guess this is meant for referenda? Everywhere it comes up, the quadratic pricing scheme gets explained, but nowhere except perhaps the Posner/Weyl paper (which I'm also not reading, tonight) bothers to explain how to calculate how many points people get to allocate in a given election.

And it seems to be a straight-line path toward "the most single-minded, single-issue voters get what they want". Five minutes after we get this, gun and abortions get banned.
I think that last statement is really wrong (assuming arguendo the second-to-last). Abortion has really invested voters on both sides. On guns, the pro-gun side is if anything smaller but more motivated.
Depends on whether abortion-rights voters are as single-issue as anti-abortion voters, and I suspect they aren't. Perhaps this is true on the gun right side.
Pro-Choice is absolutely the mirror of Pro-Life, in both numbers and dedication to the cause. Though abortion is like the Korea of American politics. Neither side has declared an end to hostilities, but they've fought each other to a standstill and so long as the front line doesn't move, everybody has something else they could be doing.
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Re: Radical Markets

Post by Fin Fang Foom » 05 Jun 2018, 13:17

Things are only radical if they involve BMX!

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dead_elvis
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Re: Radical Markets

Post by dead_elvis » 05 Jun 2018, 21:35

JasonL wrote:
04 Jun 2018, 14:25
I don't have enough info really. What I like about this is the setting of the value of the patent is constrained by a willingness to pay the tax for high exclusionary rights. Someone willing to pay the price has full access rights including the right/duty of re-sale.

In a compulsory license regime, the idea is a patent holder is required to let 3rd parties use patented IP in exchange on a use licence basis with associated fee. I'm not super familiar with how compulsory licensing sets the rates for the licence, nor if there are implications to the licensing agreement per se. That is, I don't really follow how license use may differ from ownership.
I'm realizing that it could be I'm misinterpreting the goal (didn't listen to the actual podcast); if the goal is to avoid people squatting on things that could be put to the highest and best use, then I imagine compulsory licensing will ensure that; perpetual open auction would still allow squatting, for a premium. To take the ASCAP/BMI model (for music), it's even better (libertarian-wise) because it's private and not a tax. I like the idea of compulsory licensing for patents because imagine if as soon as the work is done, everyone else gets a shot at doing something useful with it, and the owner still makes bank for the license. I imagine progress would be a bit faster than it is now.

I think you're right to ask how the rate is set, and that seems like the sort of detail where one would find devils. ASCAP/BMI seems to me to try to strike a balance between getting the most possible for the owners while not being so high that it pushes users to drop it entirely or look for ways to cheat. How this might work for patents might get gnarly, but surely our best and brightest could work something out.

And since I haven't thought about this stuff in many years, just googled to see what's out there, mises.org has a bit on this. About half way down the page:

https://mises.org/library/reducing-cost-ip-law
If the purpose of the patent system is to provide some incentive to innovators, then receiving a monetary payment should be sufficient. Patent injunctions should be abolished entirely. The only remedy should be an award of damages (for past infringement) or a compulsory license (ongoing royalties based on future "infringement").

This would prevent patentees from shutting down competitors. At most, they could impose a small "tax." Litigation costs, insurance premiums, and the ability of patentees to extract unreasonable royalties from alleged infringers would be radically curtailed. On the other hand, because patentees would still be able to seek reasonable royalties, there would still remain a substantial incentive to file for patents.

The compulsory licensing approach is not new. Some countries impose compulsory licensing on patentees who do not adequately "work" the patent. The United States already provides for compulsory licensing in certain cases, as the US government threatened to do in the Cipro anthrax drug case. Also, in the wake of the recent eBay case, some courts are awarding some form of ongoing royalty of compulsory license instead of an injunction.
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Re: Radical Markets

Post by Jasper » 06 Jun 2018, 10:44

Shem wrote:
04 Jun 2018, 11:16
An interesting idea, but without an exemption for a person's primary residence, it's about as unrealistic as the Capitalism Fairy coming down and giving all the good little children railroads. The first time granny loses the family home to greedy land barons you'd have a joint session of Congress to understand like repeal.
I read a story several years back, maybe one of Banks's Culture novels, that had a brief description of a digital-age society/culture that all had mobile residences and factories. It never got deep into the hows or whys, but I always thought it was neat idea.
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