Mark Perry calls for an end to government restrictions on competition in the shipping and shipbuilding industry. He’s right. The Jones Act must go. (My father, grandfather, several uncles and cousins and friends, and, for a time, my mother, worked at Avondale Shipyards, just outside of New Orleans. My first summer job was at that shipyard. And so there’s little doubt that my family benefitted from the Jones Act – benefits that were unwarranted and ought never to have been made available.)
Social scientists who disregard ethical issues abandon one of their central roles in bettering the human condition, and ethicists who ignore social science in formulating their moral prescriptions are negligent for not asking whether those solutions will achieve their stated ends. Only when both realize that ought implies can will we get public policies based on an accurate understanding of human interaction.
Writing for the American Spectator, Ross Kaminsky explains the immorality of “Progressivism.” Here’s Ross’s conclusion:
Progressive tax rates to fund redistribution are simply the transfer of one person’s property to another, something that in any other circumstance would result in jail time. Similarly, raising the minimum wage and making it easier to qualify for government-mandated overtime pay are little different from a mugger who says that taking your wallet at knifepoint is OK because he’s going to give half of the money to charity. (Unfortunately, business owners are more despised than muggers by today’s Democrats.)
Although it is understandable when conservatives engage in the debate over the economic merits of what Frédéric Bastiat called “legal plunder,” doing so without a more fundamental moral dismantling of the Progressive vision concedes the premises of the discussion to the left, giving it a substantial political advantage and dooming my children and yours to a lifetime of debt, devaluation, and degraded opportunities. And that’s just wrong.