Friday, June 29, 2007

Around the World Wide Web 7

1. John Stossel takes on big-government conservative David Brooks. Mr. Brooks believes government should intervene in the economy; he just wishes it were he who did the intervening and not, say, Hillary Clinton.

Stossel writes,

Brooks even advocates national service, "forcing city kids to work with rural kids, and vice versa."

Why are pundits and politicians so eager to use force against others?

They used to call forcing someone to serve people slavery, but I suppose the New York Times columnist would consider such talk gauche and barbaric.

2. Michael Moore opposes profit in medicine.

"I favor the removal of private health insurance companies from this country. I don't believe that there is room for them in the equation. When you are talking about people's health, you should never have to worry about profit."


"I want [the American people] to demand that candidates of both parties come forth with specific health care proposals that will guarantee health insurance for all Americans and profit not be involved in it.”

You could explain economics all week to Mr. Moore - that profits are necessary for individuals to make rational calculations, and on and on – it would be like pouring water on concrete: nothing would sink in. Profits are selfish, and to an altruist, nothing else matters. It doesn’t matter if getting rid of profits means replacing reason and freedom with force and tyranny. Profits are selfish. Case closed.

We need the spread of a philosophy that defends rational self-interest. I wonder whose philosophy that might be?

3. Think conservatives are better about the free market than liberals? John Hawkins rails against businessmen who hire illegal aliens. He calls them selfish, crooks and motivated by "raw, unbridled greed."

These businesses that are knowingly hiring massive numbers of illegals are criminal enterprises, not much different from crack dealers in my book, and not only do I want to see them getting fined, I want to see the people running those companies doing hard time in a federal penitentiary.

Mr. Hawkins would have made a fine commissar in the USSR. "Comrade, you are pursuing a profit? You are a criminal enterprise!"

He even shows the typical leftist ignorance of the market by accusing businessmen who hire illegal aliens of paying slave wages and lowering wages for the rest of us (as if competition in employment were a bad thing). The current immigration debate is revealing the conservatives as xenophobic know-nothings. If American liberty is in their hands, then we're doomed. It's over.

David Brooks, Michael Moore, John Hawkins... I need a drink.

4. Systemic thinks we'll be discovering earthlike planets around the nearest star to the sun, Proxima Centauri.


EdMcGon said...

I'm with you until you get to Hawkins. If you are going to defend businessmen who break the law by hiring illegal immigrants, then you also need to defend drug dealers. His analogy is apt.

Think about it: You are stating that it is ok for a business to break any law in pursuit of profit.

Myrhaf said...

I do defend drug dealers. Drugs should be legal, as should anyone who comes to America. When the state intervenes in these issues of peaceful relations between consenting adults, it becomes a force of tyranny.

When the law is wrong, then one has a moral right to break it. Every foreigner who breaks our laws coming here has a moral right to do so. Every businessman who hires them has a moral right to do so. The only question these innocent people must ask themselves is whether it is practical to break these laws. Given the increasing contempt for liberty from people such as John Hawkins, this question grows in importance.

EdMcGon said...

When the law is wrong, then one has a moral right to break it.

WHO gets to decide a law is wrong, and then act on that belief?

It is one thing to oppose a law, and then work to get it changed. It is quite another to just break laws because you don't like them.

When the law is wrong, then one has a moral right to break it.

Then I assume these business owners are prepared to face whatever penalties the law has in store for them in order to defend their right to "cheap labor", which is TRULY their motivation.

If you want to promote cheap labor for business, then lower/eliminate the minimum wage. After that, if we still need more workers, than increase immigration quotas.

But there is no reason that "cheap labor" is a higher principle than "obey the law".

I will certainly grant you there have been cases where breaking the law has been justified in our past. From slave laws to Jim Crow laws, there are plenty of examples.

As far as the foreigners who come here illegally, I do feel sorry for them, and I do wish there were more legal means for them to come here, even if it meant bringing 12 million of them here.

What frustrates the heck out of me is our government seems willing to offer amnesty to illegals, but the truth is that isn't what the recent immigration bill was about. They won't seal the border and they won't offer more legal means for more immigrants to come here. That tells me they want more cheap labor, but they don't want Americans to have to do it (otherwise, why did they raise the minimum wage?).

Basically, we are encouraging MORE illegal immigrants. Why not change the laws if we want them here? If we don't want them here, why don't we do more to keep them out?

The fact is we are treating Mexicans like our new slave class. The only "liberty" in this situation is for corrupt businesses.

Anonymous said...


You sound like a typical concrete-bound conservative. You wouldn't know a moral principle if it bit you in the ass.

EdMcGon said...

How open-minded of you Anonymous (if Anonymous is your REAL name).

Let me guess, you must be liberal? The "can't argue with it, so slap a label on it and call it a day" strategy is normally employed by liberals, since most liberals can't argue their way out of a paper bag.

I would argue your points with you, but since you didn't make any points...

Myrhaf said...

Anonymous put it intemperately, but he identifies the essential problem with many conservatives, including John Hawkins. Hawkins says he is for free market's and limited governmen, but when businessmen oppose him on immigration, he sounds like someone from Democratic Underground.

Ed, the only proper function of government is the defense of individual rights. It is NOT a proper function of government to intervene in the economy. In our mixed economy the state does intervene in many ways that it would not in a laissez-faire capitalist economy, from printing paper money to taxation to welfare handouts to a vast universe of "regulations" (many of which are laws passed not by Congress, but dictated by bureaucratic whim).

Many people decide to break these non-objective laws that intervene in the economy because they understand there is a difference between a law against murder and a regulation dictating what size of screw one can use when assembling a toaster. Millions, if not tens of millions, of people cheat on their taxes every year. By your thinking, these people are all criminals, but I say they have a moral right to be selfish and to try to keep as much of their money from government theft as possible.

Businessmen have a moral right to selfishly pursue profit, even if it means breaking the unjust, immoral laws of our government. For decades our government has not seriously punished business for hiring illegal aliens because there was a general understanding that this relationship between consenting adults was not wrong and certainly was good for the economy. As our country becomes more xenophobic and statist, conservatives such as John Hawkins and you want to change this policy so that the state begins persecuting businessmen. If this happens, it will be a significant step in our march toward fascism.

If you would like to further your understanding of the principles of freedom, I would suggest you start with Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal by Ayn Rand, and Economics In One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt.

madmax said...

This recent immigration "debate" was very illustrative. It showed just how anti-capitalist the conservatives really are. Immigration in one sense really is nothing more than labor protectionist legislation justified with nationalistic, xenophobic, and sometimes racist arguments. The majority of conservative arguments have focused on "corporate evils" or "taking our jobs" or "getting cheap labor", etc. All of this is pure socialism.

The only legitimate concerns regarding immigration are the national security concerns that arise with muslim immigration. Here is the only place I would impose restrictions. The terror plots in the UK of the last few days push me further in the direction of severe restriction of muslim immigration if not outright prohibition. Also, for all muslims already in the country, I think they should have to renounce all Jihad imperatives of their religion as conditions of their staying in the country. If they are found to support political Islam in any way, then they are immediately deported. I am losing all patience with muslims (whatever little I had to begin with). Although I hasten to add that victory against Islam will not come from defensive tactics but from Patton-esque warfare where we bomb the Islamo-facist filth into oblivion; where to quote Patton, "we kill them by the bushell-full."

But outside of that, open immigration is both moral and practical. We impoverish ourselves to the extent that we keep people out of America. The conservatives once again prove that they have their heads up their asses. But then this is nothing new.

Myrhaf said...

You are right, Madmax. The immigration debate illustrates that the conservative defense of free markets, such as it is, is not based in principle. They don't give a whit about individual rights, and the moment the market opposes them in any way they sound like street corner socialists. Just look at the Nixon presidency if you want to see how it works out in practice. Or look at either of the Bush presidencies, both of which intervened in the economy more than Clinton did. And now we have conservatives like David Brooks openly showing contempt for the free market.