Cool idea for the next week or so

6 01 2012

Why make an argument when you can use snark instead?

Towards the end of last semester, someone in my house posted this in the kitchen. I’m not entirely sure why–perhaps they thought it was exceptionally witty, perhaps they knew better but thought it would get my goat anyway.

For a moment I was a bit frustrated. I’ve had to answer casual critics of  free markets for years now. Attacks come from both left and right. No, I don’t want children to smoke (or starve, or remain illiterate). Yes, I would still wear a helmet if it was legal not to, though to do so should be an individual’s choice. Yes, I think synchronized swimming is pointless. It becomes tiresome rather quickly.

Then, I realized that this could be the basis for some useful commentary– I had on my hands a teachable moment, i f you will. Instead of meeting snark with snark, why not provide a brief rejoinder to each of the concerns presented?

That’s what I aim to do on and off over the next several days. There are a few important topics to address here, some of which that carry over multiple panels, including:

• Personal responsibility and the nanny state

• Coordination and individualism

• Competition

• Charity

• Regulation

• Development and infrastructure

The classical liberal approach to these very real problems is superior to any state-centric solution–and it won’t lead to Somalia-like chaos  (Somalia is itself a deeply misunderstood case). Stay tuned over the next few days for more, and feel free to comment or chime in on any of the topics!




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