Sunday, May 13, 2012

"Correcting" Economic Inequality & Tyranny

A 23-year-old student and avowed Communist, Camila Vallejo, has the government of free and prosperous Chile “on the run,” observes Mary Anastasia O’Grady in “Americas” column in the April 30 Wall Street Journal.

O’Grady writes, “How this (defensive posture) can be in Chile, the poster-child of liberal economic reform, is at first a puzzle. The answer—and this is a cautionary tale for Americans—may lie in Chile’s intellectual and political climate, which is desperately short of voices able to defend the morality of the market and the sanctity of individual rights.

“Even while the material benefits of the market economy have been piling up for decades, Chile has been intellectually swamped by leftist ideas. The common principle: Economic inequality is immoral and the state has an obligation to correct it.

“Rather than push back against this invitation to tyranny, the right too often cedes the moral high ground to its opponents.”

O’Grady make an error of sloppy writing, unusual for her, and slides across a fundamental point.

The writing matter is when she says, “the right too often cedes…” Saying “too often” implies the existence of an appropriately often time to cede the moral high ground. Hmmm… I doubt it.

The notion that the state has an obligation, somehow, to create economic equality (that is, “correct” economic inequality) comes with the problem that the state makes the decision about the correcting, and that, folks, is tyranny. Nor can the state delegate the decision, because, ultimately the state would be making the decision, a situation sounding like Obamacare expert boards and New Mexico’s public education hierarchy in which the state controls the money and therefore has control, board of education charades notwithstanding.

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