Saturday, May 17, 2014
The Sterling Lesson: So What?
Walter Williams, who is less charitable towards Donald Sterling than Larry Elder, sees little need to publicly express indignation regarding the recently-publicized remarks of the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. After noting the many ways that Sterling's desire to make money trumped his privately-expressed views on race, Williams suggests the following:
The takeaway from the Sterling affair is that we should mount not a moral crusade but an economic liberty crusade. In other words, eliminate union restrictions, wage controls, occupational and business licensure, and other anti-free market restrictions. Make opportunity depend on one's productivity.I respectfully disagree that we needn't mount a moral crusade, but I could agree that the emphasis should be less on castigating Sterling and more on the positive goal of greater economic freedom for all, which is as moral a cause as it is practical. Without the widespread disapproval that racism has today, legalized racial discrimination could easily make a comeback. That said, dwelling on such disapproval without working towards the goal Williams suggests would be to squander a golden opportunity.
"[I]f there's anything we need to get over, it's the mistaken idea that life can choose to treat us one way or another." -- Michael Hurd, in "Are You the Windshield, or the Bug?" at The Delaware Wave
"The first rule for changing yourself is that you must do it for yourself." -- Michael Hurd, in "Change for Me!" at The Delaware Coast Press
"After a lull in cases of eminent-domain abuse over the past several years, we are increasingly hearing complaints from home and business owners about government attempts to take property for private development projects." -- Dana Berliner, in "Eminent Domain Abusers Are Making a Comeback" at The Wall Street Journal
In Greater Detail
The first Hurd piece does a good job of showing how the mistaken idea he discusses can creep into one's thinking and, by implication, how much vigilance can be required to root it out.
If I have a spare moment and an open feed reader, the blog Clients from Hell is usually good for a quick laugh. The blog mostly concerns the travails of web designers, whose work is very frequently misunderstood, taken lightly or both. In fact, two very frequent problems are clients who think the work can be done instantaneously (and often, with little or no guidance), and clients who don't want to pay.
I don't want to make too much of this, but I can't help but speculate that much of this ignorance and contempt is rooted in the widespread cultural influence of the Labor Theory of Value, which doesn't acknowledge the role of the mind in productive work.
5-18-14: Added Dana Berliner article to "Weekend Reading" section.