What’s so awesome about the capitalist ideal? It’s a system based on individual freedom and voluntary consent. You’re allowed to do what you want with your own body and your own stuff. If other people want to cooperate with you, they have to persuade you; if you want other people to cooperate with you, you have to persuade them. Can consent really be “voluntary” if some people have a lot more to offer than others? Absolutely. Some people are vastly more attractive than others, but that does nothing to undermine the voluntariness of dating. Under capitalism, how people use their freedom is up to them; they can try to get rich, they can relax, they can help the poor, all three, or none of the above.
Nor are classical liberals and libertarians emotionless, compassionless people. The vast majority of us believe in helping the needy; we simply think aid is better given in a bottom-up, voluntary way than dispensed by a centralized government. We disagree among ourselves on how to achieve social goals. But it’s outrageous to suggest that we don’t care.
Alice Temnick poses some probing questions to philosopher Elizabeth Anderson and others who believe that bosses in many of the private companies that exist and compete in market economies have power equivalent to that of tyrannical dictators.
The policy point is that Mr. Trump’s tariffs are trying to revive a world of steel production that no longer exists. He is taxing steel-consuming industries that employ 6.5 million and have the potential to grow more jobs to help a declining industry that employs only 140,000.
Like King Canute, Mr. Trump is trying to roll back the economic tides. The difference is that Canute knew it was folly.