Monday, February 13, 2012

Dude Where's My Ethical Consumerism?

My reply to Gary Chartier's reply to my comment on Matt Zwolinski's post on the New Student Libertarian Movement


Dude, where's my ethical consumerism?  Yeah, all that stuff you mentioned is boringly clear to me so let's try a topic that you're evidently not familiar with...ethical consumerism.  What was so powerful about Charles Johnson's article?  Nothing.  Not a damn thing.  You know why?  Because he didn't even once mention ethical consumerism...and unfortunately neither did Rand Paul.

All Rand Paul had to do was ask Rachel Maddow if she would purchase goods/services from a business that engaged in discriminatory practices.  Obviously she would have said no.  Then he could have asked her if she would encourage a boycott of such a business.  Obviously she would have said yes.  Then he could have asked her, assuming that the business did not change its practices, if she would start a business to compete with the unethical business.  What would her response have been?  Obviously she can afford to start a why wouldn't she have a responsibility to provide employment or products/goods to the people that were being discriminated against?

That would have been powerful.   But why would Rand Paul just stop there?

It's not hard to guess where you would have wanted the conversation to go..."by far the worst thing governments do is to make war"... Violence, Wars, and States

Clearly Rachel Maddow is a huge supporter of consumers being allowed to engage in boycotts...and obviously she's against wars.   So how would she have responded if Rand Paul had asked her whether taxpayers should be allowed to boycott wars?  Would she have said no?  Would she really argue that consumers should be allowed to boycott unethical businesses but taxpayers should not be allowed to boycott unethical wars?  Perhaps she would have asked how taxpayers could possibly boycott unethical wars.  Rand Paul's response would have been allowing taxpayers to directly allocate their taxes.

Rand Paul, Charles Johnson...and Gary Chartier...dudes, where's my ethical consumerism?  It sure wasn't evident in your own article.  Although you did recognize that war represents a misallocation of resources...but do you really think that taxpayers wouldn't also recognize that it represents a misallocation of their own hard earned money?  Do you really think that only you and Eisenhower grasp that war has opportunity costs?
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron...Is there no other way the world may live? - Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953 
So here's my question to you, Gary Chartier. Do you support allowing taxpayers to engage in ethical consumerism?  In other you support allowing taxpayers to directly allocate their taxes?


  1. Close... but still a miss....

    The answer is not to merely reallocate stolen loot, but the stop the theft in it tracks...

    And that is what Rand Paul would have said - end the Fed and end Income Tax ... and literally, overnight - no more Wars of the Empire.