Mises Economics Blog
The Angry Economist
Civilian Gun Self-Defense
In The Pipeline
ARI Changes its Tune
The Institute posted an apologetic clarification today, which I think is outrageous. Once upon a time, you could count on ARI to be a beacon of extremism radical, principled consistency. Not any longer, I fear.
This good paragraph:
Is followed by this ugly weaseling:
No, it isn't. Public emergency relief to foreign victims is pure, unmitigated theft. That wealth simply leaves the country. It is much worse than domestic public disaster relief, which I oppose, but where at least Americans are the beneficiaries.
Theft is not among the most innocuous violations of individual rights. More innocuous violations are things like building codes, government-granted utility monopolies, nutrition and warning labeling, spectrum licensing (as opposed to sale), etc.
Okay, I've got egg on my face. In my prior article about tsunami aid, I accused conservatives of arguing "we're not as bad as you think!" — but here, it's the Ayn Rand Institute doing it! "Outright theft isn't so bad, compared with other things the government does!" Huh!? As theft benefiting foreigners, it's worse than any of the domestic social programs, which I know ARI to consistently oppose. It looks like they've gone soft.
Perhaps I'm being too hard on them. Unlike conservatives, they're not conceding the moral dimension — they still oppose public disaster aid — but they appear to be defending it while they oppose it. I thought ARI was made of sterner stuff than this. I'm shocked. This is outrageous.
I'm compelled to use this quote: "In any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win. In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit." (Ayn Rand, of course, who must be spinning in her grave.)