Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Dangerous idea considered

By Piers Bolt

Applied Hermeneutics’ token right-wing commentator, Piers Bolt, considers a dangerous idea.

John Allen Paulos, professor of mathematics at Temple University, writes, apparently in all seriousness:

Another way to get at the $1 trillion cost of the Iraq War is to note that the Treasury could have used the money to mail a check for more than $3,000 to every man, woman and child in the United States. ... Alternatively ... the Treasury could have sent a check for more than $150 to every human being on earth.

What? Give $3,000 to every man, woman and child in the United States? Or $150 to every human being on earth?

You mean, for free? Nought? Nada? Nil? Zilch?

What would that have done to our economic system?

The human economic value of anything inheres in its potential for making an individual's life more fruitful, comfortable, prestigious, etc., relative to others.

It follows that something cannot have value without a concomitant cost to others, in the form of reduced comfort, prestige, etc.

This dangerous idea of giving away One Trillion Dollarsfor free! – would almost certainly have caused catastrophic trade distortion in the world economy.

Since the dawn of human history, war production in a free market economy has been the optimum way – indeed, the only natural way – to distribute wealth, in consonance with the underpinnings of human economic value.

C’mon, folks, I know we’re in the realm of free ideas here, but this is courting with insanity.

(via Antony Loewenstein via Tim Dunlop)

Previously by Piers Bolt
A leftie society is a girlie society


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