Thursday, March 19, 2009


A fatuous opinion piece in the Washington Post by one Steven Pearlstein has sparked a glorious outburst by economist and champion of freedom Don Boudreaux. Here are Prof. Boudreaux's final paragraphs, which are not a whit too strong:

The idea that private business persons are "arrogant" if they don't genuflect to the hypocritical and utterly immoral scumbags who work on Capitol Hill is outrageous. The idea that, if government forces a private firm to take taxpayer money, that firm should be grateful and should cooperate with the political theater that plays 24/7 in Washington sickens me beyond words.

And as I predicted here, the notion that only those firms that requested and received government help will be the ones who suffer detailed intrusions by government is naive. The obnoxious collectivism that permeates the "thinking" of persons such as Steven Pearlstein will press as far as it can to assert control over as many private choices as it can get its greedy and officious paws on.

The single greatest instance of intellectual foolishness today is the continuing pretense that politicians are serious people worthy of serious consideration. They are scoundrels, each and every one, regardless of party (although some of them, it is true, are more scoundrelly than others). For any scholar to pretend that these people are disinterested servants of the public welfare -- to pretend that the words politicians utter or send out in press releases are meant to promote any goal other than politicians' own glorification and pursuit of power -- is for that scholar to be duped to a degree that should be more embarrassing than would be the discovery that that scholar believes the earth to be flat or that Big Foot was in league with Lee Harvey Oswald to murder JFK.

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