Thoughts on Freedom by Donald J. Boudreaux Self-Interest, Part 1 Donald Boudreaux (firstname.lastname@example.org) is chairman of the economics department of George Mason University and former president of FEE. FEBRUARY 2003 53
posted on 03/12/2003 6:31:52 PM PST
Well reasoned article. - Thanks.
Did you post it directly to the backroom?
posted on 03/12/2003 6:39:54 PM PST
A corporation gave me a job, not some do-gooder philanthropist or some ranting raving rock star.
I believe the Capitalist system is the most just economic system. That said, it seems that the author defines most helpful as making the most money. Money is not everything. And to reduce human beings to mere cogs in an economic machine distorts their humanity. People have souls. Mother Theresa met people's needs both spiritual and physical. I agree that good hearted folk should not attempt to save the world. They also treat people as abstractions. One should be loving (kind,good) to those one meets in life. Milken, I recall went to jail. All his money could not purchase his freedom. Nor can it purchase his soul. You made a caricature out of kind persons ( I agree that altruism has its dark side, but so does self interest). Witness the CEO's who gave themselves raises while laying off thousands of workers. As a culture with so many people following the money wherever it takes them, we have become a rootless society. What good is making a lot of money like old man Potter in It's a Wonderful Life if our communities end up becoming a Pottersville. While I would like to make more money, I also want to raise my kids in a decent place. We are not economic islands untouched by other people's behavior and the market does not care for virtue. But it is necessary.
posted on 03/14/2003 7:11:07 AM PST
(Fides quaerens intellectum.)
"If I cared equally as much about some stranger in Santa Fe or Santiago, would I resist interfering in his life to govern his choices in ways that, to me, seem best? 'Sir, you shouldnt watch so much TV; your time would be better spent reading Tolstoy' or 'Mr. Jones, you should put that extra $100 into your savings rather than spend it on tickets for a football game.' Remember, were imagining that I care as much about this stranger as I care about myself; he means the world to me. I truly yearn for him to have a happy and good life; I desire this outcome every bit as much as I desire to have such a life for myself and every bit as much as I desire that my son enjoy such a life. It would pain me terribly to see this beloved stranger make choices that seem to me to be unwise for him."
Don't most people realize that everyone has a different idea of what brings them happiness? It is for that reason that healthy families, who "truly yearn" for one another "to have a happy and good life" do not harass one another as the author implies people would. While I agree with the gyst of the article, I think his example is so weak as to detract from it.
This is a wonderful article with terrific possibilities for discussion. It will die of neglect in the smoky backroom and that sux.
posted on 03/14/2003 9:21:38 PM PST
(When choosing between two evils, pick the one you haven't tried yet.)
Part 1 eh ? So far I like what I have read . I'm going to mash the link and see for myself .
posted on 03/14/2003 10:00:48 PM PST
by Ben Bolt
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson