I write today about the mindset of so-called liberals and many of their emotional brethren of the bleeding-heart-libertarian-left (a compound oxymoron of the first order). They view the world from a lofty perch, in judgment of all and sundry; for example:
- The redistribution of income and wealth increases global (or national) well-being.
- Free migration of people across borders increases global well-being.
- War is a bad thing because so many people are killed.
What’s missing from such statements? The particular instances of bad or good that cut in the opposite direction: the harm to those whose income and wealth are redistributed; the harm to those whose jobs are lost, and whose taxes rise to support indigent immigrants; the lives and livelihoods of family, friends, and countrymen that are saved by defeating foreign enemies.
The same mindset also operates on a smaller scale. Consider this, from reason.com:
Wages too low? Force employers to pay more.
Too many uninsured? Force Americans to buy coverage.
Not enough parental leave? Force companies to provide it.
Rich people speaking too freely about politics? Rewrite the First Amendment so you can stop them.
A horrific school shooting? Take guns away from people who didn’t do it.
People drinking too much soda? Ban big servings or tax the stuff.
Fantasy sports gambling getting too popular? Shut it down.
I would add: Some people not saving enough for retirement? Force others to subsidize them. That’s just a start; the list could go on and on.
All of this omniscience gives me a headache. It is my devout wish that liberals and liberaltarians would SHUT UP! No one died and made you God.
* * *
Positive Rights and Cosmic Justice
Cato’s Usual Casuistry on Matters of War and Peace
Lay My (Regulatory) Burden Down
The Pseudo-Libertarian Temperament