On Mike Milken being history's greatest feminist

This will cause much spluttering amoung the bien pensants of our age but it is at least arguable that Mike Milken, the corporate raider, was actually history's greatest feminist. The case is ably made by Noah Smith:

Unless, of course, it can’t. Becker theorized that regulation and other government protections can shield discriminatory companies against attack. That would protect the jobs of the people who worked at those old-line companies, but would perpetuate workplace unfairness in the process.  In other words, Becker thought that competition kills discrimination. Open up the floodgates of dog-eat-dog capitalism, and women and minorities will win greater equality in the workplace.

And what was it that opened up those flood gates of dog eat dog capitalism? The invention of junk bond financing in the late 70s and early 80s in the US. And this is also exactly the time when the gender pay gap (and also the minorities one) started to shrink in that country. True, this is correlation, not a proof of causation. But when you've got a theory that predicts that if A then B, and A happens and then B does, you can start to have at least a little confidence in causation.

Further, when examining the same theory, you see that not A happening leads to not B happening then your confidence in the theory can rise again. As in Japan where the very concept of a hostile takeover is impossible to imagine, let alone a successful one, we see one of the largest gender employment gaps in the world.

All of which leads to a certain puzzlement. We have the likes of Beatrix Campbell insisting that this market orientated neoliberalism is the neopatriarchy, something that is designed to continue to keep the wimmin down. But it's precisely that market dogmatism that has led to womens' advances so far. For as Gary Becker pointed out, in a free market discrimination costs the discriminator and thus they do less of it.

Or, as we might put it, we should and do support free market liberalism precisely because it sets everyone free, women and minorities included.