Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Self-congratulation as a basis for economic policy
A careful observer will notice a certain meme in liberal writing - a meme of evil corporations exploiting poor helpless workers. For example, a liberal poster here claimed the 19th century coal mine owners were "further impoverishing workers and enriching owners". One question never asked (let alone answered) is why exactly the workers would leave their friends and relatives, their homes, villages and towns and move across the country in order to work for heartless mine-owners? Were they masochistic, or they saw certain benefits which are/were not apparent to the liberal by-standers?
And the second question, also rarely asked - did the mine owners improve the lives of those workers when they offered them jobs or did they make those lives more miserable? And if the answer to this question is "yes, indeed getting a job in the coal mine was a step up for workers", - does it mean that the mine owners did more good than evil - possibly more good than all the liberal do-gooders and busybodies ever dreamed of?
The liberal post also reminded me of an old story - back in 19th century the new immigrants who recently arrived to the NYC lived in horrible over-crowded, rat-infested apartments and the liberal busy-bodies eventually pushed through numerous laws that made such dwellings illegal. And what do you know - these ungrateful immigrants were upset at the do-gooders - apparently, the immigrants chose to live in overcrowded apartments so that they could save money and send it to their relatives in progressive Europe - or they used money to send their kids to better schools. It was also reported that poor immigrants and the house-owners would conspire against the government authorities and numerous inspectors with an explicit goal to continue living in the squalid conditions. Dumb bustards - instead of thanking the liberals, they cursed them! But in the end, with new laws and tough enforcement of these new laws (monitored not only by the government bureaucracy, but also multiple liberal activists and progressive reporters) the housing costs skyrocketed - and the ability of poor immigrants to save money was severely diminished.
All in all, as this story demonstrates that more evil than good comes from the attempts of well-meaning but ignorant and self-adoring liberals to improve the lives of the "masses". Apparently, freedom to choose can be beneficial to the common people - while leaving the self-important liberal activists without anything keep themselves busy with (and be outraged about). It should not surprise anyone that individual liberty (particularly in economic affairs) is hated by American liberals - it robs them of the right to feel morally superior.