As anyone above the political age of seven understands, egalitarian rhetoric is simply the means to an authoritarian end. Even if the compassionate socialist consciously wishes to avoid that end, it is nevertheless inevitable, because Man.
To be a socialist is to not know what Man is. For which reason it is vital to be ignorant of history, psychology, and anthropology (and the anticipatory wisdom of these embedded in religious mythology and metaphysics).
The free market is a means of transforming self-interest into collective benefits, while socialism is a means of transforming the public interest into private benefits. Or maybe you think Charlie Rangel, the Clintons, Harry Reid, Al Gore, et al, are just brilliant businessmen.
In the same book, Williamson says "the laws of economics can no more be set aside than the laws of physics and biology"; and this is precisely what we've been discussing these last several posts: that there exists economic truth, and that this truth must relate to other truths and ultimately to Truth as such. Which is why we need a word for this multi-undisciplinary approach. Perhaps economystics.
Which needs to be distinguished from the vulgar economystagoguery of the left. What the left doesn't understand is that the free market is already magic. You can't force it to be more magic without inevitably making it less so.
Greece, for example, has spent the last several decades trying to overcome the laws of economics, and to squeeze more magic out of the economy than there is in it. Why?
It must go back to what we were saying yesterday about envy and greed. No matter how much prosperity is generated by the free market, man can always imagine more. But as Socrates said, the unexamined loan is not worth leveraging.
If the free market is the goose that lays golden eggs, it is as if the leftist force-feeds it steroids and fertility drugs while dining out on all the future omelets. Meanwhile the goose just gets sicker and sicker. Obama should be arrested on charges of animal cruelty, for he is flipping a feeble bird to the next president.
Here's an example of a corollary of Williamson's Law: "A government can't control the economy without controlling people. And [the Founders] knew when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose" (some guy named Reagan, in Williamson).
So, let me get this straight: some guy named Obama is holding a gun to my head and telling me to shut the fuck up if I know what's good for me. Isn't that something gangsters do? In the movies?
Here's a politically incorrect thought: the free market is all about risk. The successful entrepreneur turns risk into profits. As such, "Highly risk-averse people do not start businesses."
What do they do -- or not do and call it doing -- instead? Well, at the extreme end, they get government jobs. They get tenure. They join public employee unions. Those are as far from risk as it is possible to be, for these privileged parasites enjoy all the benefits with no exposure to risk (unless their greed ends up killing the host, as in Greece).
After all, they're living off Other People's Money, so there is no incentive to use it wisely. Under normal circumstances, money teaches us how to use it, but only if it is our money. One learns nothing by spending someone else's money.
In fact, Williamson tosses in a little economic homily by Milton Friedman, who says there are four ways to spend money, each with very different built-in incentives. To summarize, you can spend your own money on yourself; your own money one someone else; someone else's money on yourself; or someone else's money on somebody else.
This outlines four degrees of personal responsibility in descending order. In the first case you're going to be very responsible with your money (unless you're stupid or impulsive or insane), whereas in the last case you have zero incentive to be responsible. Indeed, you can even call yourself charitable and magnanimous at no personal cost. What a beautiful racket!
And guess what: "that's government. And that's close to 40 percent of our national income" (Friedman).
About that beautiful racket, I was reading an article this morning about Hillary's unpopularity, which includes this cranial-slapper: "Most troubling, perhaps, for her prospects are questions about her compassion for average Americans, a quality that fueled President Barack Obama's two White House victories."
Note how the writers -- "journalsts" -- refer to it as an objective quality in him instead of a perception in the eagerly 'bamaboozled mob. Obama's compassion fueled two White House victories? Is that what you call being profligate with other people's money?
Yes. For anyone left of normal.
Back to the idea of risk-aversion. What is the left but a massive institutionalized wish to avoid risk? Now, it is a biologically incorrect truism that girls are more risk-averse than boys.
Which is why, on balance, little girls grow up to be big Democrats, and why Hillary thinks she can be the first person to become president by waging a campaign targeted solely at the dickless of both sexes. It worked for Obama. He lost the white male vote by a glandslide, but it didn't matter.
So, what have we learned today? Not much. Probably just this: