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Another Day Another “Woe”

Check out this story from my university.  This illustrates perfectly why progressives will never be satisfied.  A hundred years ago socialists claimed moral supremacy by supporting the “right” of everyone to the basic necessities of life, which at the time included things like food and shelter.  Using this battle cry, they managed to take over several countries and people starved in record numbers.  Meanwhile in America the poor became increasingly obese.  Now they claim moral supremacy by supporting the “right” of everyone to the basic necessities of life wich include, apparently, access to broadband internet, a luxury without which people have somehow managed to scrape by for some 6000 years.

This type of rhetoric is obviously targeted at the most naive members of society which is no doubt why they do this stuff around college campuses.  It’s a really bold move to come out in support of more free stuff for people.  But if you even think about these claims a little bit, the absurdity is undeniable.  For instance, take statements like this:

The telcos have failed America. We have third-world broadband.

Then click the link a couple lines above it and discover–no doubt to your horror–that the U.S. is 9th among OECD countries in broadband subscriptions per 100 people.  What a colossal failure of the free market that is.  I mean, all the telecoms have done for us is invent a new life-changing technology and disseminate it to a large portion of the population for not very much money.  But according to our governor, in a TV ad which I saw but can’t find, half of low-income people in Washington don’t have it.  (It’s so sneaky how she says it too, she says something like “half of low-income families don’t have broadband–that’s right–half.  She sort of glosses over the “low-income” part and repeats the “half.”)  So this makes us a third-world-country?  That only half of our poor people have broadband internet?  I guess that explains why progressives are fleeing our shores in droves for more enlightened countries like Cuba and Vietnam, where no doubt the broadband internet flows like water.

This attitude that whenever something cool gets invented everyone has a “right” to it is so absurd the only explanation I can think of for people believing in it is that they haven’t really thought about it.  So I’m  trying to do my part to get them to think and you can too.  The next time you see one of these people, ask them what would make them satisfied.  What would a society that was fair and just enough for you look like?  Everyone would have food, and housing, and broadband, and healthcare?  How big would everyone’s house be?  What food would they eat?  How much healthcare would they get?  I mean does everyone just get as much healthcare as they want?  What if someone can be kept alive for one more day at a cost of a million dollars, do they have a “right” to that?  How will the answers to these questions be determined?  Perhaps more importantly, where will this stuff, this food and housing and healthcare and broadband come from?  Who will invent the next drug or the next broadband when as soon as they do, it gives everyone in society a claim against them?

Obviously these questions have no answers (at least not answers that progressives would acknowledge), because they are making that most fundamental of economic errors–assuming no scarcity.  This is why they will never be satisfied.  We keep getting more stuff, our lives keep getting easier, and they keep getting more angry because there is still scarcity.  There is always something that somebody has that somebody else doesn’t have so there’s always something to get outraged by if you are inclined to this way of thinking.  And if you do, then every great invention will become a source of “woe” in no time.

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