It’s Where You Start That Determines Where You Finish

I enjoy articles on economics. The first thing I attempt to determine however is the writer’s starting point.

If a writer  starts from the premise that “government planners” can successfully control the allocation of scarce resources better than free markets, then I know that the author isn’t living in reality. He instead lives in a daycare world.  His “finish”, no matter how sophisticated his thinking, can be summed up as all us children nicely sharing our little resources like Tonka Toys.  Of course those who write from this perspective see themselves as the grownup women watching over us selfish children and our resources with a keen eye on who gets to play with what.

Many “economists” still live in such a world.  Because resources like, say, food, simply appeared on their tables at dinner time, and cars appeared in their driveways at 16, and a full government or daddy-funded education just appeared, seemingly from nothing, experience has conditioned them to feel that resources simply appear from nothing and the driving question is not how to get them but rather how they can be fairly distributed. That homes, medical care, education, or food are not a right that can be guaranteed by man is utterly unfathomable to those who start with such thinking.  Such starting points determine the finish; though like all Utopian dreams, that finish must ever be in the future requiring patience from those who suffer interminably from their failures.

On the other hand, writers whose starting point is the realization that resources are the result of risk and hard work, not to mention human factors such as self-interest and motivation, are much more trustworthy.  Good thinking must necessarily be aligned with reality.

As for me, I’m much more confident in the economics of one whose thinking was forged in making payroll and successfully competing for business in a hostile world while simultaneously thwarting greedy lawyers, and power-hungry politicians and their bureaucrats.  I’m much more inclined to think this person’s economics more insightful than those of tenured theorizers whose circumstances insulate them from the consequences of their stupid “ideas”.

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5 Comments

Filed under Economics, fairness, Government, Harsh Reality, Worldview

5 responses to “It’s Where You Start That Determines Where You Finish

  1. I enjoyed this piece. You might, too. (And if that didn’t work, here’s the address: http://paulgraham.com/gap.html)

  2. This post is a brief introduction to why most western Marxists come from the upper-middle class and often even elite Ivy League schools.

    • I am continually amazed that so many don’t see that many of those who have “more than their fair share” of resources are too often the ones who are crying the loudest that resources must be more evenly distributed… everyone else’s that is. I have come to believe that when the rich sing the song of wealth redistribution, they are singing it to the envious masses who like the tune. But the wealthy have something totally different in mind, like social engineering experiments, and they need the envious masses to keep themselves in power to pull it off.

      Thanks for dropping by.

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