Quote of the Day

During the period that  Occupy Wall Street was making the news, I often said that I agreed with many of their problem diagnoses but absolutely disagreed with their proposed solutions.  They, like I, decried the abuse of government power via Cronyism by private parties, e.g. protection and bailout of Wall Street bankers.  Their solution, though, to increase government power never made any sense to me.

Here is Michael Huemer via Don Boudreaux:

Predatory behavior does not occur merely because human beings are selfish.  It occurs because human beings are selfish and some human beings are much more powerful than others.  Powerful, selfish people use their positions to exploit and abuse those much weaker than themselves.  The standard solutions to the problem of human predation all start by cementing the very condition most likely to cause predatory behavior – the concentration of power – and only then do they try to steer away from its natural consequences.  The alternative is to begin with an extreme decentralization of coercive power.

One Comment

  1. bigmaq1980:

    Totally unrealistic, unscientific, and unfeeling...

    "Of course, this alternative is ridiculed as ‘unrealistic’ by those who wield coercive power, as ‘unscientific’ by those who fancy themselves to be the intellectual sherpas of those who wield coercive power, and as ‘unfeeling’ by those naïve enough to believe the false promises to work for the public welfare typically issued by those who wield coercive power." - from the same link.

    Actually, your quote is a very sharp summation.

    In my discussions I try to steer towards the conclusion that big government IS the problem.

    We necessarily trade some amount of freedom for every bitty thing we ask the government to do for us.

    The more power the government has, the more it attracts the wrong kinds of people for the wrong kinds of reasons.

    Inevitably, it gets abused, and we are the abusees.