Posts tagged government
Posts tagged government
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"Governments never learn. Only people learn."
Happy 100th birthday, Milton Friedman!
What does it mean to be a “Man of System?” In the words of Adam Smith in his Theory of Moral Sentiments:
”He seems to imagine that he can arrange the different members of a great society with as much ease as the hand arranges the different pieces upon a chess-board.”
Some of this, it seems, is entirely natural: we all want to control the various aspects of our life. In fact, having that control is part of what we tend to call “growing up.” Yet some of us can take it too far; we start to control our friends, our relationships, sometimes even our family.
Government, perhaps, might be the same way. While everyone can support a well-ordered government, one that is “in control” of itself, there may be a limit on what we should control. The “Man of System” wants to use government as a total solution to the problems of society, but is that its proper role?
What do YOU think?
Time for a debate!
On Friday, we released a brand new video with Bleeding Heart Libertarian’s (http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/) Matt Zwolinski discussing 3 reasons in defense of Sweatshops (See video above). In it, Zwolinski says that, regardless of whether sweatshops treat workers fairly, sweatshops can be good for the poor. Here’s why:
1. The exchange between the worker and the employer is mutually beneficial
2. Even if sweatshop labor is unfair, it’s a bad idea to prohibit it.
3. It is better to do something to end the problem of global poverty than it is to do nothing.
Not surprisingly, our new video sparked an interesting debate among Libertarians. Among them is fellow blogger of Matt Zwolinski, Roderick Long, who blogged why libertarian’s should oppose sweatshops. Although Long agrees with Zwolinski that it may be true that sweatshops are better than other alternatives, he says that we must ask WHY sweatshops are the better available alternatives in the first place. Long goes on to explain that “the answer is that these workers live under oppressive regimes that have violently closed off other options.” Read the blog post here: http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2012/06/why-libertarians-should-oppose-sweatshops/.
That being said, David Henderson of a EconLog weighs in with another interesting perspective. Henderson disagrees with Zwolinski on a few points, such as when Zwolinski says "Now, of course, most anti-sweatshop activists aren’t trying to shut down factories." Henderson says he disagress on this point because his impression is that that is exactly what activists are trying to do.
Henderson’s biggest quarrel within the debate, however, is with an analogy Long makes in his blog post. Long compares what Zwolinski refers to as workers’ being “free to choose within their constrained set of options” with the scenario “someone puts a gun to your head and demands your money or your life, you have, of course, the Sartrean freedom to choose either way.”
Henderson’s says that Long misses a key point with his analogy— who is holding the gun to the person’s head? He says that the bad situations that 3rd world workers have to deal with are not created by the employers that hire sweatshop labor, they are simply “offering the person not just his life but a better life.” Henderson concludes by comparing Long’s logic to Schindler’s List. He says:
“I wonder if Professor Long, who wrote a post titled, “Why Libertarians Should Oppose Sweatshops,” would also, had he been an adult in the early 1940s, have been willing to write an article titled, “Why Libertarians Should Oppose Schindler Employing Jews.”
Read the rest of Henderson’s blog post here: http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2012/06/matt_zwolinski.html
Clearly, there is a wide debate among libertarian’s over whether or not sweatshops are good for the poor. So add to the debate and tell us what YOU think!
Should education be left to the government, or would school choice be better? In our short video, Prof. Dills says there are 4 things you should know about school choice.
"The man who produces while others dispose of his product, is a slave." - Ayn Rand…
Do you agree?