Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Harry Browne, on Elitism

"The most ignorant person in the land still knows enough to come in out of the rain.  The lowliest soul in America knows better than you do what would make him happy.  How can you presume to set the rules of life for him - and to force everyone to obey your rules - and then have the audacity to claim that you're doing it for everyone's own good?" - Harry Browne

1 comment:

Hot Sam said...

I love this quote. Too often, pithy quotes amount to nothing more than bumper sticker logic, bit this one is powerful.

The great engine of the free market is self interest, and we have seen how well that system allocates resources to increase human happiness. The free market has it's shortcomings, such as market failures and equity considerations. But equity problems can be addressed by generous private charity and market failures can be addressed by limited and controlled government or experiments in decentralized solutions.

The elitists, though, think that they can play God with allocation decisions and produce better results than the dispassionate super-computer of the free enterprise system supported by property rights and general freedom.