Kaminsky on Sirota

by Don Boudreaux on June 20, 2008

in Trade

Ross Kaminsky over at Rossputin.com does a nice job exposing the serious wrongheadedness in the anti-free-trade position of David Sirota.  (Ross — like many other pro-market friends — does one thing that I refuse to do: call the anti-market, anti-trade, anti-individual-liberty crowd "liberals."  They’re not liberals; they’re antediluvian reactionaries.  I simply cannot bring myself to concede the noble term "liberal" to those people.)

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{ 11 comments }

Michael Wolf June 20, 2008 at 2:01 pm

I've long held that if Democrats (and other similarly-minded people) don't want to use the term "liberal" for themselves, we libertarians — what an ugly word! — should take it from them and start using it ourselves.

I think the initial confusion would be worth it.

Flash Gordon June 20, 2008 at 6:13 pm

I simply cannot bring myself to concede the noble term "liberal" to those people.

It was once but is no longer a noble term. The anti-market, anti-trade, anti-individual-liberty crowd, i.e. liberal Democrats, first appropriated it to themselves, then made it a dirty word, and now take umbrage at having it applied to them.

The word is now such a disparagement you would not use it to describe anyone you respect. I say let it stick to the ones who are responsible for its ignominious status.

Flash Gordon June 20, 2008 at 6:30 pm

Actually, I guess not all liberals object to the term being applied to them. One hundred professors at the University of Chicago are protesting the establishment of a Milton Friedman Institute on the grounds that he was a libertarian and not a liberal. Via Ilya Somin at The Volokh Conspiracy.

Just another example of how liberals destroy the nobility of the term liberal.

piperTom June 20, 2008 at 9:12 pm

Agree with Don, so far, but he left out anti-reason, anti-responsibility, anti-evidence, envious, and — most important — hidden agenda.

/Okay, it is getting kinda long.

Matt June 21, 2008 at 9:01 am

Who is tapping our phones and refusing judicial oversight? Who is holding people incommunicado and refusing to identify them to a judge? Who is using the power of the state to provide funding to selected religious denominations? Who is secretly searching our homes? Who is forcing us to reveal our financial relationships while making it illegal for us to consult an attorney before complying? Who wants to know what books we check out of the library?

Hint: It's not the "liberals." It seems to me that the "conservatives" have so eroded the institutions that protect our freedoms in this country that they win the prize for "anti-individual-liberty."

Flash Gordon June 21, 2008 at 12:00 pm

Gosh, Matt, nobody is doing any of those things to me. Is it happening to you? I bet not.

Matt June 21, 2008 at 5:35 pm

Are you sure, Flash? Without the judiciary playing its proper role in our democracy, you have only George Bush's word on that. Perhaps he will have as much trouble finding the transcript of your last conversation with your girlfried as he did finding Saddam's WMD…

Flash Gordon June 21, 2008 at 11:50 pm

The thing is Matt, I'm not a terrorist and you probably aren't either. Neither of us make or receive calls to numbers that have been associated with known terrorists. That means no one is interested in the conversations we have with anyone.

Flash Gordon June 21, 2008 at 11:52 pm

If any American citizen is making or receiving calls to or from Osama bin Laden or anyone in his circle, I want the government to be listening to those conversations.

Matt June 22, 2008 at 9:36 am

So do I, Flash — and so do most Americans and the judges on the FISA court. If that is all the Administration wants to do, why won't it explain itself to the FISA court?

In this case, Jefferson would have agreed with Hayek: giving unchecked discretionary power to any Executive is the road to serfdom.

Matt June 22, 2008 at 9:36 am

So do I, Flash — and so do most Americans and the judges on the FISA court. If that is all the Administration wants to do, why won't it explain itself to the FISA court?

In this case, Jefferson would have agreed with Hayek: giving unchecked discretionary power to any Executive is the road to serfdom.

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