Sunday, February 8, 2015

(Re-Post): "Who Really Wants to Solve Poverty?"

Special Announcement: Due to illness, I am forced to modify my posting schedule for at least the period from Feb. 2nd until Feb. 15th, and possibly for a longer period (details will be provided if/when they become necessary).  Consequently, I am reducing the number of my posts to two per day and will be relying on audio, video, and re-posts to a much greater extent than normal during this period.  Thank you for understanding and for continuing to visit On Liberty Street!

Original post date 9/22/14: Not the liberals or progressives in the United States, that's for sure. And that's also the answer to this question raised and addressed by philosopher and OLS hero Stephen Hicks in his most recent article for the website Every Joe.  Here's an excellent slice of this must-read article (indeed, it will be required of my undergrads this semester when we get to this area of my class in just a couple of weeks):
Most socialists will tell you that they became socialist out of concern for the poor. They came to believe a network of ideas: That only the government can guarantee a minimal standard of living. That the great power of government can be applied efficiently and benevolently as a quick fix for the problems of the most desperately poor. That we are morally obligated to give the government a blank check to do so. They also came to distrust or despise free-market capitalism, which they came to believe sets the rich against the poor and not only fails to guarantee the poor a livelihood but actively exploits them.
We all have our theories. But we also know that humans are prone to take any set of morally-charged beliefs and let them harden. It is also all too easy to make one’s firmly-held beliefs central to one’s personal identity and to take challenges to them as attacks on one’s identity. It becomes almost irresistible then to ignore new data, to resist challenging interpretations, and to react with hostility against those who make them.
So it is with our current generation of socialist-friendlies, for whom it has become a gospel that Thou shalt not say anything good about free markets. That is a gospel that prevents them even from celebrating the improvement in the lives of 600 million human beings.
Click here to read the rest of this excellent article.  [ht: NotPC]