Severe Moral Imbalance

The USA — no doubt along with many other countries — is suffering from severe moral imbalances.

Americans think it is horrible for someone to use a racially or sexually insensitive word, but they enthusiastically support politicians who take their money and use it to fund genocide.

They think a man who guns down a dozen people in a school or a club is the most diabolical person imaginable, yet they would not even consider abolishing a federal agency that has caused, at minimum, hundreds of thousands of premature deaths (the FDA).

Many of them regard a woman’s breastfeeding her child in public as obscene, yet virtually naked female entertainers and models are pretty much de rigueur.

And the list of such unbalanced moral judgments might be greatly extended. There seems to be no ability whatsoever to differentiate between what is small and what is large, between what is trivial and what is serious in regard to bad behavior.

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Robert Higgs is Senior Fellow in Political Economy at the Independent Institute and Editor at Large of the Institute’s quarterly journal The Independent Review. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Johns Hopkins University, and he has taught at the University of Washington, Lafayette College, Seattle University, the University of Economics, Prague, and George Mason University. He has been a visiting scholar at Oxford University and Stanford University, and a fellow at the Hoover Institution and the National Science Foundation.

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