Speaking of Jeffrey Sachs, he has a new book out called “The Price of Civilization”. Apparently there is nothing really new there, it is your usual redistributionist ideals dressed in new clothes. Here is a good critique from Paul Ryan.
Ryan notes that the one positive aspect here is that:
“Mr. Sachs is honest enough to acknowledge that the “rich” are not nearly rich enough to pay for his ever-expansive vision of government. We’re told that “each of us with an above-average income” (i.e., $50,000 per household) must “understand that if we are prudent, we can make do with a little less take-home pay.”. Not sure if the OWS folks would like that very much.
But the best part of Ryan’s review is that he understands that at the end of the day, Sachs’ argument is not really about money; it is about purpose.
What is the purpose of the United States? The founders defined it clearly as “man’s right to his own life, to his own liberty, to the pursuit of his own happiness”. The America Sachs and all the liberals before him, from Rousseau to Michael Moore, wants is a place where ‘happiness’ is given to you. Where people can live comfortably from the fruits of other people’s work; where the rewards for achievement are capped in a way where inequalities are diminished; a place where government chooses what is good and what is bad for each one of us.
Not a place of pursuit but a place of complacency.
Reading this very touching eulogy to Steve Jobs by his sister, I was reminded of how unique his achievements were. The man who built beautiful machines, as I heard the other day.
But at the same time, it is clear that Steve was after all just another person… “Once, he told me if he’d grown up differently, he might have become a mathematician” his sister remembers.
That again takes me to my Fountainhead analogy that so many people misunderstood. If you read Rand’s book you see that she hardly mentions politics or economics in it. Roark’s story is really about innovation… it is about the power of one person’s mind. So much so that Toohey’s mission is not to tax Roark but to stifle him. Toohey wants to destroy excellence and promote altruism as the ultimate social ideal.
Toohey defines it best himself:
“Don’t set out to raze all shrines — you’ll frighten men. Enshrine mediocrity, and the shrines are razed.”
So my question to you is: what would Steve Jobs have become if he was not an American? And what if America was not America anymore?
To use an expression liberal’s love, the question really is: what country do you want to have?
Why do we have this disproportionate number of innovations, from Windows to Google, from Apple to IBM, from the best universities in the world to WalMart… why are all these human advances coming out of one country?
Why do we have Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Robert Noyce, Gordon Moore, Sam Walton, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Jeff Bezos, and so many others, thriving in this one specific place in the world?
What was the last revolutionary breakthrough that came out of Europe? How about China?
Nothing is simply a coincidence. You should never change what you don’t understand.