Darrin McMahon reviews, in the Wall Street Journal, Deirdre McCloskey’s magnificent new volume, Bourgeois Equality. Here’s the closing paragraph of the review:
To leave markets free to do their work, and ordinary people empowered to innovate and improve, is an achievable goal. But as Ms. McCloskey warns, a “clerisy” of naysayers has assailed bourgeois values from the start, dismissing capitalism as unjust and decrying its freedoms as illusory. Those voices are still strong, and growing stronger, on both the left and the right, urging retrenchment and retreat. As “Bourgeois Equality” reminds us: If we hope to leave a better world to our children, this is not a time to be building walls.
There are other terrible results. It will make it harder to be a parent and a worker. It will intensify the problem of job lock. There is also a strange materialism implied by the rules, as if the whole point of working is the immediate paycheck you receive and not the experience you get, the network you grow, and the personal capital you build.
Not content to ruin the lives of lower-skilled workers with overtime-pay diktats, the Obama administration further harms such Americans with restrictions on credit markets that serve these Americans. Jeff Jacoby explains. A slice:
Without payday loans, many consumers will be left with worse options. In states that have banned such loans, households bounce more checks, endure more harassment by debt collectors, and are more likely to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
The Obama administration will not improve the lot of low-income working people by demolishing the payday loan industry. Some desperate debtors, unable to get the cash to pay an urgent bill, will find themselves with phone or utilities shut off. Others, in the Wall Street Journal’s pungent phrase, will be compelled to “visit Fat Tony the loan shark.”