Tag: free market capitalism

Well-Worn Ideological Grooves

This week, over drinks at a fresh, new watering hole on up-and-coming H Street, NE, my companion and I struck up a conversation with a local resident, artist, and dandy. (Yes, dandy. His hair is what got the conversation started.)

We all three appreciated in varying degrees the change coming to the street. Having been about to up-and-come for quite a while now, H Street seems actually to be taking off. There’s quite a lively scene on the eastern end now, known as the Atlas District.

Change isn’t always easy, though. Increased commerce and gentrification along the street are apparently already raising property values and increasing property taxes, which some longtime local businesses can’t afford.

So it is with capitalism, though, remorselessly serving the tastes of the masses, shoving aside the businesses—institutions, really—that can’t keep up.

Now ask yourself: Where is it part of “capitalism’s” nature that increased property taxes push out long-time local businesses?

Note how the ideological grooves people trace again and again don’t quite match actual events.

(If you’re the kind of person who would debate this kind of thing at the bar, though, don’t come to H Street. It’s still too cool for you.)

Is Libertarianism a Sign of Mental Illness?

I don’t know whether this belongs in the comic-relief category or the future-threats category, but the Harvard Law School is having a conference to analyze the “free market mindset.” The basic premise of the conference seems to be that people who believe in limited government are psychologically troubled.

The conference schedule features presentations such as “How Thinking Like an Economist Undermines Community” and “Addicted to Incentives: How the Ideology of Self Interest Can Be Self-Fulfilling.” The most absurd presentation, though, may be the one entitled, “Colossal Failure: The Output Bias of Market Economies.” According to the description, the author argues that the market “delivers excessive levels of consumption.” Damn those entrepreneurs for creating so much wealth!

In the good old days of Soviet dictatorship, the regime classified dissidents as being mentally ill (after all, only a nutcase would fail to see the glories of communism).

Now that leftists at Harvard want to portray laissez-faire philosophy as being somewhat akin to a mental disorder, maybe the next step will be re-education camps for Cato staff? Maybe the next “stimulus” bill could include a few earmarks for such facilities? I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I get sent some place warm.