by Leslee Kulba
Wild West blogger
I like reading libertarian books. It’s not that they’re so educational so much as I love the vindication of reading things with which I agree. Unfortunately, a lot of authors these days tend to jump to conclusions for which contradictions can easily be found, and then others have an obvious chip on their shoulder. Many like to connect dots as if they’re on some kind of medication with paranoidal side effects.
I enjoyed most of I Am John Galt, or The Eye of . . . whom? as the lad in the bookstore put it. The last chapter quoted from Milton Friedman things that politicians still choose to ignore. Some gems were:
Of course none of us are greedy – it’s only the other fellow who is greedy. The world runs on individuals pursuing their separate interests. . . . Is it really true that political self-interest is nobler somehow than economic self-interest?
When I come to the question of the dispute and difference I have made with modern liberals, the conclusion that I always reach is that the problem with the modern liberal is not that their hearts are soft, but that their heads are.
You must turn the issues over in your mind at leisure, consider the many arguments, let them simmer, and after a long time turn your preferences into convictions.
What we have now is government of the people, by the bureaucrats.
Friedman explained the differences between spending one’s own and others’ money on oneself and others. For the last scenario, he remarked:
“I can spend somebody else’s money on somebody else. And if I spend somebody else’s money on somebody else, I’m not concerned about how much it is, and I’m not concerned about what I get. And that’s government. And that’s close to 40% of our nation’s income.
When that number rose to 45%, Friedman noted:
By that test, government owns 45% of the means of production that produce the national income. The US is now 45% socialist.