No capitalist gets our money unless we voluntarily choose to exchange it for whatever he’s selling. As Mitchell puts it, “Capitalism is the only system that gives people the liberty to make their own choices.”
Telling Guatemalans or anyone else “Do not come” is no different from telling them to stay in the place where they belong. The long-suffering victims of tyranny, corruption, and government planning are properly resentful of American officials who give them such a condescending admonition.
If you’re going to tolerate politicians, and a political government for them to operate in, what should they be allowed to do? Not much.
“The Biden administration,” CNN reports, “is considering using outside firms to track extremist chatter by Americans online.”
The last 25 years have delivered amazing economic and technological progress for humanity. *Political* progress, in contrast, is hard even to detect during this period.
After “Don’t blame the victim,” the second-most obvious maxim for blame is, “Only blame the perpetrators.” Precisely who, though, are the “perpetrators”? Another deep criticism of my approach is that I blame too narrowly. Instead of concentrating blame on specific wrong-doers, we should blame large swaths of society – or even whole countries.
Last week, I reported on two myths about socialism. My new video covers three more.
Unsurprisingly, not all economists agree on how to approach what used to be called “political economy”. Adam Smith in 1776 defined it as “an inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations”. It was understood that the default state of mankind was poverty, so the question was how people become wealthy.
Episode 054 looks at two Stoic topics: the first from Seneca who wrote, “Nothing can satisfy greed, but even a small measure satisfies nature. So it is that the poverty of an exile brings no misfortune, for no place of exile is so barren as not to produce ample support for a person.”; and the second from r/Stoicism, a post by Ok_Intern_4405, which started, “I’m in my late twenties and I feel I am constantly pressuring myself to make good use of time, whether it is a conscious decision or not. I imagine a number of you could relate. Maybe it’s the rat race that has gotten into me, I’m not sure. But looking at the success of my peers, I can’t help but feel the need to not waste any second of my life.”
Episode 448 has Skyler giving his commentary on the following entries to r/shitstatistssay: @NathanHRubin writes, “Millennials don’t hear socialism & think about the USSR or the Cold War… we think about Canada, Switzerland…”; PixPls writes, “It’s time that teachers stood up to their states and just said ‘No’. And while they are at it, a 20% raise is in order.”; Wordsmifff2991 writes, “The biggest cause of poverty is greed… Yes Jeff Bezos I’m talking to you.”; and NeonDepression writes, “There wouldn’t be any value without labor period. The worker HAS to create it for there to be any wealth whatsoever. Property inherently is theft… There is no such thing as a free market when people are forced to work in order to live. Thats called coercion.”