Here’s Emory University economist Paul Rubin, writing in the Wall Street Journal, on how to improve the free-market’s p.r. by emphasizing that the vast bulk of what transpires in markets isn’t competition but, rather, cooperation. A slice:
Again, the words matter because viewing the circumstance in terms of competition could lead to penalizing those who are viewed as outcompeting him, even though they did nothing wrong. It might even lead to banning certain terms in transactions—with minimum-wage laws, for instance—that make it even more difficult for the poor person to cooperate. The cooperative metaphor, by contrast, would suggest that the solution is increasing the skills of the poor person, giving him something to sell on the market.
Economists originally borrowed the competition metaphor from sports, events that exist to choose winners and losers. But in economics, everyone can win from exchange. Economists should make that distinction if they want to convince more people that a market economy is a powerful tool for human flourishing.
Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby reminds us of a sad anniversary: on New Year’s Day 1959 the murderous, repressive, and repulsive Fidel Castro and his goons took power in Cuba.
Reason’s Ron Bailey discusses Edward Snowden’s interview with the Washington Post. According to Bailey, Snowden “comes off much better than the pack of liars who run the NSA or the enablers who ‘oversee’ its activities in Congress or in the Administration.” Indeed so.
In his latest Washington Post column, George Will accurately observes that “Progressives”
are tone-deaf in expressing bottomless condescension toward the public and limitless faith in their own cleverness.