IMF chief twists Adam Smith’s view of inequality

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

February 1, 2011
Smith lived in an age of personal responsibility. Poor relief was a local, personal affair, as was the “beneficence” that Smith praised as the highest virtue. “Beneficence,” wrote Smith, “is always free, it cannot be extorted by force.” Forced redistribution would have offended Smith’s notion of justice, and he would instantly have spotted that “social justice” is a weasel concept that reverses the notion of justice entirely… Smith would have thought it ridiculous to suggest that a nation might become wealthier or happier by forced “redistribution”.

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The equality obsession

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

September 17, 2010
The key to understanding the modern liberal position is that it seeks — consciously or unconsciously — to promote and exploit primitive, moralistic, economically challenged assumptions for political ends (which is pretty much a definition of left-wing politics). The alleged answer to “inequality” is “redistribution,” of which modern liberalism is the champion. The problem is that such redistribution is both morally dubious and economically damaging, not least to “the poor.”

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Conspicuous donation

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

June 30, 2010
A couple of weeks ago, the world’s richest men, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, launched a scheme to “invite” America’s billionaires to give away half or more of their wealth… Capitalism and philanthropy have in fact always been closely allied since the days of John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie (whose reward was to be dubbed “Robber Barons”)… Unfortunately, universal support for the idea of “giving something back” implies that business fortunes were the result of “taking something away.”

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Rights not a cure for Indian Act

Monday, April 5th, 2010

April 02, 2010
Education is the real key to enabling future generations to live in and contribute to the modern world. Unfortunately, too much aboriginal “education” is built around the notion of “preserving the culture.”… While more secure individual property rights may be necessary, they are very far from sufficient to solve the terrible problems — including isolation, dependency, substance abuse, mismanagement and joblessness — inflicted upon natives by well-meaning paternalism, self-serving humbug, and the depredations of their own “leaders.”

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