The title caught my eye. I was prepared to take a tangent. I didn’t have to. You did a good job in explaining a lot of the topics. I have one question and one comment.
Q. What would Friedman have thought of the FairTax plan (encouraging production and savings rather than consumptionism, with a prebate (negative tax).
Comment: The confusion generated by economics policies and ideas, I think, is that nowhere is there room in the discussions for raw materials economics that enable people to be good as stewards and caretakers of the resources their grandchildren will require. All economics discussions end up being anthropocentrically anchored to “jobs” and “growth”, as though perpetual extraction and fanatical competitive consumptionism/wastage is somehow not on the risk side of the equations. I don’t think the ‘pie’ is finite in conventional terms, but that the opposite of consumption is not frugality: it is generosity. If humans were creating and producing toward a goal of resource increase rather than planetary extraction, then many of the social difficulties tend to go away. We aren’t allowed to talk about the Invisible Hand holding a gun to our heads for the benefit of the money, which always votes for the other money and doesn’t have any feedback from future people.
Efficiency is the straightest road to Hell if you don’t know what the goal of humanity is.