Defending the virtues of liberty, free markets, and civilization... plus some commentary on the passing scene.

Freedom's Fidelity

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Required Reading: Thomas Sowell is Lord of Us All III.

I've said it before, if you can only read one author in the world, without a doubt it should be Thomas Sowell. And this might be my favorite Thomas Sowell column ever. True, I probably say that in the wake of each of his new columns, but I have read this one three times today and find myself positively giddy with each successive read. I'll try to have the discipline to not excerpt the whole damn thing, but you got to promise to follow the link and read the whole thing, deal? Okay then.

The latest liberal crusade is against the Wal-Mart stores.

A big headline on a long article in the New York Times asks "Can't A Retail Behemoth Pay More?"

Of course they can pay more. The New York Times could pay its own employees more. We could all pay more for whatever we buy or rent. But why should any of us pay more than we have to?

According to the New York Times, there is a book "by a group of scholars" due to be published this fall, arguing that Wal-Mart has an "obligation" to "treat its employees better."

This can hardly be called news. Nothing is easier than to find a group of academics -"scholars" if you agree with them - to advocate virtually anything on any subject. Nor is this notion of an "obligation" new.
Sowell's just getting warmed up here, go read the rest to see how he masterfully carves economic truth out of lofty rhetoric and then concludes:

It would be devastating to the egos of the intelligentsia to realize, much less admit, that businesses have done more to reduce poverty than all the intellectuals put together. Ultimately it is only wealth that can reduce poverty and most of the intelligentsia have no interest whatever in finding out what actions and policies increase the national wealth.

They certainly don't feel any "obligation" to learn economics, out of a sense of "social responsibility," much less because of any "social contract" requiring them to know what they are talking about before spouting off with self-righteous rhetoric.
Brilliant. Read the rest.


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