Friday, January 19, 2018

Musings on "Free Market" Healthcare

Even though it's difficult to imagine today, healthcare in the U.S. prior to the twentieth century, once resembled a free market for the use of one's skills. Before extensive formal educational requirements were put in place, rural areas were still more likely to have practitioners as well.

Much has changed. In a post for the Mises Institute, "Do We Have a Free-Market Medical System"? Hunter Lewis notes that for some observers, profit based healthcare "should be outlawed", while others are upset that healthcare is "socialized". How to think about this? He writes:
So what do we have? I think the most apt description would be "crony capitalist" medicine, one in which powerful special interests conspire with government officials to create legally mandated monopolies, with the specific goal of thwarting free market competition...There are many honest and dedicated medical professionals sincerely devoted to the healing arts. But they are trapped in a system that can more accurately be described as a crony capitalist nightmare.
Granted, while healthcare in the U.S. is hardly the result of a vast conspiracy theory, crony capitalist medicine does describe a relative default position, for knowledge use protectionism. This approach has undermined legislation time and again, which possibly could have made the system more accessible and efficient.

Nevertheless, physicians have lost some of their hard won autonomy in recent decades. The added healthcare value they worked diligently to create, is now shared by hospitals, insurance and pharmaceutical companies. However, at a macroeconomic level, a symbolic focus on physicians remains relevant, for their earlier twentieth century successes have shifted the relative value of other human capital representation downward somewhat, in general equilibrium.

How so? Physicians increasingly expressed a preference for a customer base which was only partially representative of general equilibrium. In other words, they increasingly catered to clientele who were the most advantageous to serve. Through a focus on wealthier patients, physicians were ultimately able to raise the status of healthcare to that a respectable profession, on a par with other highly skilled professions.

For physicians in the U.S. healthcare is still largely a free market, in the sense that many physicians remain free to choose both their patients and the services they wish to provide. The problem of course is that this circumstance is one sided, since too many rights to the use of practical knowledge are now limited. Consequently, here's where any semblance of a free market for healthcare starts to break down, for citizens lack means to pursue healthcare options outside the services of today's physicians. Production rights need to be restored so that citizens can once again improve their lot through their own efforts, which is all the more important when they lack the monetary means to reimburse skills which require high levels of investment and sacrifice.

Again, physician discrimination for the use of one's scarce time, is understandable. That's a form of discrimination which - given the scarce reality of our time - all of us have little choice but to employ. Just the same, we need to extend that freedom of our time preferences both ways. In particular, it would be cruel for the physician to discriminate, if he or she does so in ways that deny others the ability to help themselves, especially when no one else can reasonably be expected to come to their aid. First, let's do no more harm. Why not think twice, before we needlessly tie the hands of those who otherwise might discover not only means to help themselves, but also others as well.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Will We Heed Adam Smith's Warning?

How so? After all, his warnings regarding arbitrary government limits to trade with other countries, are still taken to heart by many economists. Indeed, Adam Smith's anti-mercantilist arguments from "The Wealth of Nations" are perpetually relevant.

Nevertheless, Smith had other equally important concerns about economic dynamism. In particular, his emphasis on the dangers of spending in excess of ongoing wealth generation, is often either dismissed or approached in an altogether incomplete framing. Since many of these debt and austerity related discussions tend to be ideologically, financially or mathematically oriented, the underlying nature of real economy wealth creation versus wealth capture or redistribution, has yet to be fully taken into account. If only more dialogue could be devoted to a close reexamination of real economy wealth creation, given the recent historical context of service sector dominance!

Perhaps Adam Smith's warning re continuous progressive wealth origination wasn't taken seriously, since it wasn't as crucially relevant during centuries of tradable sector growth and dominance. Plus, Smith's framing of "irresponsible" individuals who were inclined to spend in excess of what they contributed to the marketplace, has long since shifted to institutions in which "irresponsibility" isn't quite the relevant issue.

Rather, time based product as organized by non tradable sector institutions, has displaced much of the individually provided time based product still largely supported by wealthy individuals in Smith's time. This institutionally supported time based product, continues to rely on price making (for administration) within the monetary circulation of general equilibrium, because it never seemed necessary before, to organize via the price taking patterns which immediate reciprocal capacity makes possible. Only recall that a marketplace for time value, would allow for the immediate (time "debt") reciprocity and wealth generation of price taking.

Meanwhile, even though both policy makers and citizens are concerned about the possibility of shifting too much debt responsibility into the future, no one has yet envisioned structural means to avoid this problem. Yet not doing so means the problem gradually worsens. Too many national institutions can eventually become fragile, if all of them extensively compete for an equilibrium dependent set of available resources, during periods of economic stagnation.

Also, in Adam Smith's time, he could hardly have imagined, how financial tools would eventually change the structure of economic activity beyond recognition. Alas, these financial tools also reduced the economic "inconveniences" that came with "just in time" wealth creating reciprocity, by replacing them with the institutional conveniences - if occasionally uncertainties - of future responsibility.

Smith didn't need to think about how time based services generation might be reorganized so as to generate wealth, since centuries would pass before indirect services compensation would place excessive demands on original wealth. Smith's primary concern in this regard was simpler in nature. One might think of it as a request for societies engaging in wealth creation, not to squander too much of their participation in activities which could potentially reverse the forward path of progress.

At some point that rationale was lost, yet there were understandable reasons as to why. One only wonders how Adam Smith might have felt about the proliferation of financial product in our time. Much of today's services dominance was also made possible due to financial product innovation. Valuable though much of this process became for twentieth century growth and dynamism, increasingly it poses new problems, as societies struggle over which groups "should" even be allowed to benefit from institutions participating in high skill and time based services.

Heeding Smith's warning is not about imposing austerity, even though some have confused it as such. We need to step well beyond the economic theoretical circumstance of Smith's lifetime, to envision a reciprocal mechanism which also functions as a wealth creating mechanism for present day knowledge. Yet it's not enough to accomplish this part of the task and consider the job done, because the macroeconomic context for doing so, is every bit as important. Without a sufficient macroeconomic understanding for time centered wealth, chances are too many arguments for mercantilism would still hold sway, for policy makers and citizens alike.

Adam Smith's warning has even more relevance in today's economic circumstance, as nations shift away from wealth creation dialogue, towards the cultural dialogue of who "deserves" redistribution. While some moral arguments are certainly worth having, I do not believe that moral arguments which pit one group against another for government benefits, serve any productive purpose. It's time to concentrate instead on new forms of wealth creation, so that talk of nationalism might ultimately fade into the background. Fortunately, we have the ability to pick up wealth creation dialogue where Adam Smith left off, in this historical moment of service sector dominance.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Does Perfect Price Discrimination Affect General Equilibrium?

And is perfect price discrimination more of a problem for institutions which rely on time based product, given the growing scarcity of time aggregates in relation to other resource capacity?

Price discrimination incentives for the context of this post, include the extensive requirements of human capital investment for physicians in the U.S. In particular, twentieth century physicians were careful to preserve a direct negotiation position with patients and customers. After all, if they had not done so, other institutions would have quickly stepped in to impose "greater efficiency", which would have translated into quick losses for their personal time management. Such losses would have been even more difficult to bear, given the costs of access for their production rights.

However, physicians preserved direct negotiation in an environment of growing general equilibrium division between (a full range of) time aggregate value and global wealth value. The effects of price discrimination for time based product become more pronounced, as total wealth continues to expand in relation to the full range of aggregate time value. In this organizational setting, healthcare gradually becomes limited to higher income levels. Possibly the only reasonable way to address this general equilibrium coordination problem, is to generate local settings where time value can be negotiated without the (presently necessary) total correlation of aggregate monetary wealth.

From Economics Online:
First-degree price discrimination, alternately known as perfect price discrimination, occurs when a firm charges a different price for every unit consumed. The firm is able to charge the maximum possible price for each unit which enables the firm to capture all available consumer surplus for itself. In practice, first-degree discrimination is rare.
Is first-degree discrimination actually rare? After all, U.S. hospitals appear to be organized so as to encourage this practice, even as physicians are sometimes inclined to make amends with more benign institutional norms. Nick Rowe also has concerns about the practice of perfect price discrimination. He writes:
I have always thought, and taught, that Perfect Price Discrimination leads to an effective allocation of resources. I now think that is wrong. It only seems to work if we use partial equilibrium reasoning, for a single monopolist, that practices PPD...It doesn't work in general equilibrium. 
Ultimately, if everyone took the route of perfect price discrimination:
If you make the rich pay more, because they are willing to pay more, nobody will do any work to produce anything. 
One of Nick Rowe's commenters sent him a paper which appeared to reflect Rowe's concerns, "Is Perfect Price Discrimination Really Efficient?: Welfare and Existence in General Equilibrium*" Even though the math made it difficult for him to understand (and of course impossible for me), there were still some pertinent aspects of the paper which seem useful to highlight, here. In the abstract the authors noted an inefficient equilibrium, yet
we validate partial equilibrium intuition by showing (1) that equilibria are efficient provided that the monopoly goods are costly...However, we find that Pareto optima are sometimes incompatible with surplus maximization, even when transfer payments are used.
Indeed, the requirement of education more extensive than other countries, rationalizes the high cost of this monopoly good in the U.S. Nevertheless, the lack of "Pareto optima" for transfer payments, in this instance, also translates into the fact that no government can give additional healthcare time to patients and consumers, which physicians don't already have at their disposal.

This also explains why there's no such thing as "surplus maximization" for sought-after time based product, especially given the fact technology is used (thus far) to change the product into something which is not necessarily time based at its core. What's more, as technology increasingly augments the income and leisure of high skill providers, the result is one example of Nick's observation that people could eventually lose their incentive to work.

Still, the above explanation is a production perspective. How might one think about broad decision making re consumption, in a labor force participation context? One example is employer provided healthcare, which was advantageous at the outset because it allowed insurance markets to seek consumers (workers) who - in relation to total population - were relatively healthy. U.S. healthcare was initially offered to those who didn't find healthcare consumption particularly necessary in many instances. Unfortunately however, as employees age, they are in greater need of the healthcare benefit. Which in turn encourages employers to fire older workers. The shared employee responsibility for healthcare - given its costs - encourages age discrimination, as employees become more expensive.

For the worker, a process can be set into motion after losing full time healthcare with benefits, which eventually leads to a premature exit of the formal workplace. As we age, our employment offers tend to be less likely to include full health coverage. In particular: once workers experience health setbacks which may include bankruptcy, there's a growing awareness of excess risk for remaining employed in work which takes an additional toll on health. And this may be the only work on offer in many locations, especially without a college degree. Once older workers face health risks which could prove more substantial than their personal resources, it may actually be less risky - odd though this sounds - to stay out of the formal workplace, so as to preserve one's health as best as possible.  In short, healthcare price discrimination, even though it is supported by partial equilibrium validation, doubtless contributes to reductions in labour force participation which have yet to be fully understood.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Notes on National Debt and Long Term Growth

A recent post from Tejvan Pettinger, suggests an opportunity to review a few issues I've highlighted re national debt. His post also served as a response to a reader's question:
What is the impact of persistent national debt on economic growth?
His reader's concern is all the more important, as not only are U.S. debt levels approaching those of the 1940's, but U.S. national debt as a portion of GDP, is now in fifth place among large countries. Granted, while those earlier debt levels were readily brought down, much has changed since then. And I'm hardly alone, in suspecting that national debt reduction has ceased to be a simple matter. Today, far too much economic activity is dominated by sectors which rely on wealth capture, rather than wealth generation.

Specifically, national debt has occasionally proven simpler to manage in the past, whenever tradable sector activity in particular either experienced productivity gains, or tradable sector dynamism was regained after bouts of recession or depression. And today's non tradable sector dominance lacks these aspects of growth potential, because much of it either stabilizes output without growth, or purposely limits output at the outset.

Might the wealth capture of non tradable sectors, also have presented unique problems for growth, early in the twentieth century - especially prior to the Great Depression? (Had I been earlier in life to economic studies, this is one area I'd be pursuing in earnest right now.) Nevertheless: Even though the future dominance of non tradable sector activity was already beginning to take shape in mid twentieth century, not until the seventies, did these sectors begin to pose the current crowding out problems which now affect long term growth. Equally important, is that governments continue to hope for additional growth, so as to have means by which to reduce today's high debt levels.

Pettinger writes:
In summary, there is no obvious link between national (public sector) debt and levels of economic growth.
This observation likely holds for long periods of time in which tradable sector wealth remains in a dominant general equilibrium position, especially as large portions of public debt tend to be oriented towards real economy or supply side outcomes, during a nation's formative periods. However, the recent rise of redistribution and non tradable sector dominance, has not truly had the chance to be reflected in national statistics (so far as I am aware) as a correlation point, other than our most recent sectoral shift episode. In other words, this could be a first representation for the U.S., which illustrates wealth capture in relation to earlier growth gains where extensive wealth serves as point of origin.

He continues:
However, some free-market economists argue that above certain levels very high national debt can curtail economic growth because there is crowding out of the more efficient private sector.
Indeed, this sentiment has inspired countless essays and posts on inefficient governments as contrast with the "efficient" private sector. Unfortunately, private sector inefficiencies are now a major part of the problem re economic dynamism, particularly in terms of addressing long term debt reductions. In all likelihood this accounts for skepticism on the part of some economists, that substantial growth will result from recent Washington tax cuts.

What's at stake in this dilemma? The crowding out of potential growth, which is especially needed as a source of revenue to address high national debt levels, is hardly just a matter of expecting government to "get out of the way". And likewise, we can't expect some participants in the private sector to get out of their own way by changing their stripes.

It is in part for these reasons, that I've suggested time arbitrage as a point of new wealth origin, which could also address the long term crowding out effects of non tradable sector activity. Time arbitrage could function as a private sector wealth creation option, which need not impose the private sector austerity of artificial supply side limits. Even though it's difficult to make progress towards renewed growth in the captured wealth of general equilibrium conditions, it's still possible to generate new wealth at the margins, thereby reducing long term debt.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Why Do Nations (Still) Prefer Export Led Growth?

Indeed, after all these years, and particularly during periods of economic stagnation. Is there a basic psychological element to "Make (fill in the blank) great again", which is somehow being missed? While arguments against mercantilism are just as valid as they've ever been, there's a problem: we've scarcely advanced the goalposts for public understanding which matter most in these arguments, since Adam Smith discussed this issue at length, centuries earlier.

Meanwhile, as policy makers and special interests continue to place more barriers in the way of economic participation, the wealth capture of our non tradable sectors has become so complex that it boggles the mind. How is it possible for anyone to realistically reverse the damage? Sure, while exports-as-growth sounds "crazy" to economists and others who pay close attention, not everyone has time to pay close attention. For those who don't, policy makers recognize that export led growth as "solution", probably sounds reasonable to many who lack an instinctive feel for the stakes involved. And since it's only becoming more difficult to publicly discuss what's at stake, populists of the left and right find it easier to engage citizens in wishful thinking.

Even though I remain convinced that globalization and free trade are key to future prosperity, unfortunately I can understand why many have doubts. Especially since too many sectors have reduced long term growth prospects, by making excess demands on wealth generation for too long. The wishful thinking that populists tend to encourage, often serves as excuses with moral overtones, so as to not think too long and hard about the matter.

Certainly I'm as guilty as anyone when it comes to wishful thinking, for I'm old enough to remember a time not so long ago, when small salaries could still (mostly) take care of basic wants and needs. Many of us harbor some path in our minds by which "getting there from here" could be possible, once again. However, there's one way in which I part company with many populists, for it's neither possible or desirable, to return to a simpler past through some imagined reversal of events. Too much wealth would be destroyed in the process.

That past is gone. We need instead to envision the possibility of new places and means for wealth generation, rather than pining for "glory" days past. If we can rebuild prosperity on new terms, economists will no longer need to spend their days - for instance - trying so hard to "prove" in the public's mind that export led growth is an irrational concept. If we are willing to take part in the building of a more dynamic economy (instead of waiting for someone else to do it), export led growth could simply be shown as unnecessary. Ultimately, many citizens may be reluctant to let go of the idea of export led growth, no matter how much economists try to make it so, until they can have greater confidence in their ability to navigate the course of their own working lives.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Educational Supply Chains: A Decentralized Role for AI

First, consider the potential for learning processes as self supporting supply chains, which in turn allow educational investments to directly disperse wealth and knowledge. Why education as a supply chain for growth? Since today's institutions mostly "random mine" skills and knowledge, the benefits of human capital are somewhat lacking in growth statistics. In "The Importance of Education and Skill Development for Economic Growth in the Information Era", Charles Hulten argues that the BLS assigns a "relatively small role to education", which he (understandably) believes is insufficient. How might we create a better organizational platform for human capital, in which education becomes a stronger component of economic dynamism?

Presently, as institutions randomly mine the investments of human capital, many aspects of knowledge use have to "wait in line" for tradable sector wealth origin - even to the extent that advanced economy workers "wait" for resource origin flows from emerging economies. Granted, these original wealth sources are supplemented via the monetary flows of physical assets (housing) and a wide array of debt backed instruments. Nevertheless, too much non tradable sector activity remains on the negative side of the ledger, in terms of a general equilibrium growth base. Possibly the non tradable sector activity of new housing (not its loan activity), is the major non tradable sector contributor, to the positive side of the wealth creation ledger.

Meanwhile, too much educational investment in general, has come up short in terms of providing directly to economic dynamism. Another way to think about this: When labour and human capital serve primarily as residuals (for both primary and secondary market activity), the potential for a knowledge continuum is broken or at least disrupted, at numerous junctures. Is it possible to provide stronger connection points - even a recognizable supply side chain - for knowledge use in general?

One way to approach this problem, is via the use of coordinated time arbitrage in knowledge use systems. Time arbitrage as a single price commodity unit, would allow individuals and groups to immediately cancel time debt, as it occurs in daily activity. Individuals would also be able to "buy" time insurance from others in the event they can't work, via voluntary service hours. This approach would allow purposeful matched time (and its accompanying knowledge use) to function as an ongoing continuum. Personal time value, along with skill and knowledge, would function as a supply chain model, making human capital a central component of growth and wealth creation.

Among the reasons people fear artificial intelligence, is the fact that human capital - despite its importance -  is still organizationally structured as a production residual. Whenever individuals need to specify their time as containing higher monetarily value than that of others, their time use becomes dependent on general equilibrium system flows. In other words, the costs of skills differentiation will frequently remove any first mover position for knowledge use we might hold, since one must enter their knowledge and skill into organizational processes which are also aligned to "wait" for the total compensation of the system.

So long as an excessive amount of labour remains in either secondary markets or residual production positioning, even professional groups end up in defensive positions, arguing for humans to remain "embedded in the loop". Calls for continued management via human judgement, have a more emotional element than the technical maintenance which AI will (more naturally) require, in the form of human assistance. In all of this: Since human capital is still organized as peripheral or "as needed", high and low skill levels are becoming default positions - even though average skill is more representative of human populations in general. Consequently, average intelligence would likely be an important characteristic, for the time based and educational supply chains of the future.

It is the central role of our time in knowledge based supply chains, that makes it possible for deep learning AI to assist us - meaning not inevitably the other way around. How so? For instance: One of the primary advantages of time based services in desirable regions, has been their ability to replicate specific and desirable skill sets - think brain surgery as an example. The deep learning of AI makes it possible to disperse specific skill replication functions as well, so that many skills sets can eventually be applied in environments which otherwise may lack "cutting edge" human skills capacity.

Decentralized services generation would mean an altogether different approach for deep learning AI is possible: One that includes helping locals assist one another with important service functions, especially during their primary educational years. It's the wealth generating capacity of equal time coordination, which allows these groups to make their dependency break with general equilibrium monetary flows for time use. By decentralizing service capacity, each group can build a continuum for progress which holds a reasonable chance of permanence, insofar as time use functions are recorded and preserved.

In knowledge use systems, humans would often seek the assistance of deep learning AI. However, this approach accentuates personal autonomy, and is quite different from that of human assistance for technology as part of a centralized system. Time arbitrage can allow for greater dispersal of knowledge use. It's the use of knowledge - not just its acquisition as investment - which drives economic dynamism and moves society forward.

When human capital functions primarily as a production residual, there's good reason to be concerned about educational investment roles, once general equilibrium capacity becomes constrained. Yet it is precisely the ability to build time based local wealth, which could allow human capital to fully function as a central part of knowledge based processes. When purposeful time serves as an economic core, deep learning AI - important though it is - would often provide a supportive role for the experiential product that people wish to share on more personal terms.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Some General Equilibrium Issues for Small Incomes

A couple of recent posts, papers and articles remind me of the general equilibrium problem which lower income levels face. Housing as a "set aside" store of wealth which inhibits liquidity and velocity, is of course one of the more obvious issues. Further, general equilibrium distribution or redistribution no longer responds well (efficiently) to resource dictates - no matter the source or purpose. Let's briefly consider both.

For instance, there's Scott Sumner's suggestion to make peace with "unaffordable housing". While this approach is far from perfect, it remains the logical way to increase output via general equilibrium means. Recall that general equilibrium can only coordinate aggregate wealth in a complete context of full resource capacity, yet aggregate time value does not yet contribute to general equilibrium capacity in a wealth origination context. Meanwhile, new traditional construction is a leading edge of wealth generation, insofar as it serves as a repository for the higher income levels of skills compensation.

Nevertheless, the output which could bring more of the marketplace within reach of lower income levels, has proven difficult to imagine in ways that are agreeable to all concerned. Possibly the best way to supplement this unfortunate general equilibrium result, is to create new forms of productive agglomeration which would thrive in scattered and decentralized settings. Such an approach would reduce the global extremes of skill and income coordination, which now inhibit the framing of services generation for low income groups. A defined equilibrium for services and broad ownership of building components, would make it possible for lower income levels to expand the marketplace definition (hence output) of non tradable sector activity.

Otherwise: Without options such as these, many citizens with small incomes, will struggle to maintain sufficient levels of personal responsibility and social engagement in today's society. This reality holds not only locally, but across international contexts and cultures as well. After all, much of today's recognized economic time value aligns with global wealth capacity, hence no longer exists in relation to other time value in aggregate.

And so long as societies rely on the prosperity of human capital which lacks any internal coordination point for time aggregates, human capital can't be allocated as efficiently as other forms of capital. One could even think of a marketplace for time value, as a framework in which human capital experiences efficiency gains that place time use capital on a par with financial capital. So long as aggregate time value only exists in relation to total or global resource capacity, traditional housing and service generation will continue to present problems for lower income levels.

Land contributes the largest general equilibrium coordination of value, in terms of productive agglomeration for knowledge use, as today's most important wealth source. Wherever productive agglomeration is clearly evident, housing valuations begin to align with the same land valuations which are correlated with the aggregate values of global resources. In "Land is Underrated as a Source of Wealth", Noah Smith cites a recent Vox study and emphasizes at the outset:
In the long run, housing does about as well as stocks. It's also a major driver of inequality.
Alas, his reasoning is another way of describing how extensive land value is closely associated with certain forms of human capital valuation, even as other vital aspects of human capital have little formal economic definition in general equilibrium dynamics.

Also note that land isn't easy to tax so as to make a tangible difference for redistribution, in terms of inequality. How do we know? There's a recent, even somewhat odd example which just occurred. Rather than completely remove the mortgage interest deduction, policy makers opted to cap mortgage deductions instead. The result is that higher income levels will consequently still be taxed for - yes - land which holds the highest values in terms of economic access and value. Given renewed arguments for land taxation as redistribution to address inequality, there's too many complex general equilibrium dynamics at play, for policy makers to claim taxation sources for the "right" reasons - however those reasons are perceived.

General equilibrium settings have proven notoriously difficult, for any redistribution which purportedly addresses inequality. I believe it would be helpful to distinguish housing, land and time based service generation as defined equilibrium components, so as to reduce exposure to global extremes in skill and compensation which are not readily amenable to redistribution. It's worth a try this time to allow people to help themselves, since policy makers and other elite have bungled the process of doing so in their stead.

How so? When societies attempt to "help" lower income levels from what they often perceive as a never ending supply of wealth, they become tempted to serve up portions out of that general equilibrium pot with major helpings for themselves. Timothy Taylor provides some beautiful examples how this unfortunate reality plays out, in "When Invoking Poverty and Necessity is a Ruse". His post is absolutely spot on and deserves to be read in its entirety.

Ultimately, no one can "force" affordability in the wealth dynamics of general equilibrium. And today's major issue in terms of general equilibrium values, are the constraints of productive agglomeration. This is where the vast majority of today's wealth is contained, yet the primary sources of knowledge use are still limited at the core. That - in turn - impacts the housing output and land values which are perceived as "well suited" for economic access.

Fortunately, it's possible to greatly expand the output of productive agglomeration, via defined equilibrium settings. After all, arbitrary limits for productive agglomeration bear the greatest responsibility, for today's extremes in terms of land use valuations and housing options. And just as Scott Sumner emphasized, increased output is the best way to make a marketplace more accessible to all.