I’m still on holidays, but I have enough time to make a quick recommendation and it is this: get to know the views of Walter Williams. Williams authored “The State Against Blacks” in 1982, in which he lays out his case that government regulations intended to help minorities have had devastating consequences for blacks. I highly recommend the book, but these are busy times and you may prefer the PBS documentary “Good Intentions”, which is based on the book. Here is Part 1 -
Part 2 -
aaaaand Part 3 -
The whole thing is less than 30 minutes, so don’t pass it up.
Here is a clip from the upcoming filmed version of “Atlas Shrugged” -
I remember when I read “Atlas Shrugged” that it wasn’t until this scene that I really became engaged with the work. Since then, many other readers have told me they had the same reaction at the same point, and for most of us the pivotal revelation was Phillip’s eagerness to obtain a donation from his brother Hank, despite being embarrassed to have his organization associated with someone whose values they consider unworthy.
I am further intrigued by the moment in which Hank confirms Phillip’s accusation that he, Hank, doesn’t really care about the underprivileged. In Phillip’s eyes, this will not do. It is not enough that Hank makes a huge donation. He must care.
Libertarians are often accused of not caring about the poor because they wish to dismantle the welfare state. But ask any libertarian, and he will tell you that a libertarian society will be better for the poor. Given that, then even if the accusers are correct, so what? Why would anyone care if libertarians care?
I cannot tell you what most libertarians will be doing at 8:30 PM, 26 March 2011, but you may be assured that precious few of them will be turning out their lights and sitting in the dark in recognition of Earth Hour.
Being not only environmentally but also economically aware, libertarians recognize that advancements in science and technology are blessings that should not be rejected, but rather spread to all peoples so that we may drive away disease, ignorance, and hunger. Where market forces are permitted to function without interference, conservation and maximization of resources are the rule. Although increasing wealth may initially cause environmental degradation, affluence ultimately makes affordable the costly good of maintaining a clean environment. In light of this, I hope you will join me in declining to participate in Earth Hour, and in electing to celebrate Human Achievement Hour: