… is from page 269 of George Will’s 2019 book, The Conservative Sensibility :
Gresham’s Law (bad money drives out good money) has a political corollary: Competition to capture government favoritism tends to supplant competition as the way to prosper amid the welter of market uncertainties.
DBx: ’tis true.
A society in which everyone attempts through government coercion to live at the expense of everyone else cannot possibly be either prosperous or free – not to the extent that such attempts at mutual parasitism are real.
This reality is ignored or denied by both progressives and Trumpian conservatives. Both treat wealth as if it exists independently of human choices and institutions; thus (they mistakenly believe) there’s little that humans can do to alter the amount of wealth that exists.
Both progressives and conservatives, each choosing to focus attention on its favorite sub-groups in society while ignoring everyone else, fancy themselves nobler- and more-realistic-than-thou for feeling the pains of these subgroups and demanding that government eliminate these pains. When informed that society is larger and more complex than their childish tales imply, they react with scorn and contempt.
Progressives and Trumpian conservatives, I think, are addicted to their self-administered regular doses of self-righteousness. This debilitating mental narcotic – the progressive version of which differs surprisingly little from the Trumpian one – keeps its victims oblivious to all that they do not immediately see and smell.