Tuesday, November 12, 2013

David Brin's halfway house

David Brin pens a sort of halfway house out of current liberal economic insanity by recommending that today's liberals reclaim Adam Smith as one of their own. It's not a bad point and I certainly applaud it. It would have been a better point if he hadn't studded the post with false accusations that the right doesn't study Smith and that it's entirely ignorant of his other major work, The Theory of Moral Sentiments. He's recycling old accusations about what the right is and what it's about that simply aren't true. But perhaps he has to in order to inoculate himself from ejection from the tribe.

I think if he's going to be serious about this, he's in for a big surprise. In doing a bit of googling on the subject of false accusations of the right disproportionately favoring crony capitalism, I came up with the following by me over at Obsidian Wings. Over two years later, I can't improve on it so might as well quote it.
It always astonishes me the superficial level of analysis on the left about how the big bad capitalists tilt the system to nefariously aid their interests. Of course they do, but how? Dig deep into the details and you will find, time after time, the use of big government to pass rules and regulations that hinder their upstart competitors (direct and indirect) and leave themselves largely free to continue making disproportionate profits.

The solution seems obvious, to enumerate all the regulations, sift through them, get rid of the ones who give the rich an unfair advantage, and maintain the structure as a regular counter to the inevitable attempts the well off will sponsor to put in a new crop in future.

But looking at the mechanics of getting rid of the unfair privileges of the upper classes and you find yourself looking at a process that is a lot more like a tea party Republican's platform than a progressive Democrat's. So put your shoulder to the grindstone and enumerate all the governments, enumerate all their laws, rules, and regulations. Identify in each what is upholding unfair privilege for the rich and you'll find a large cadre of tea party people right there supporting the repeal.

I don't believe for a minute that the left will actually do this because their anti-corporatism is a sham, a shakedown, an appeal for a check written to shut the leadership up. I would be pleasantly surprised to be wrong and more than happy to collaborate on freeing up our economy from welfare for the rich which is another thing that is choking this country.
 So I'm hoping and praying that +David Brin is sincere and his initiative prospers. It would make for a better country, even with all the false accusations regarding the right.