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Category — Political Philosophy

A Moral Defense of the Oil Industry

“It is the oil industry, not its opponents, that deserves the moral high ground. The moral arguments against oil pretend to be progressive but are in fact re-hashes of primitive philosophical doctrines. For example, ‘sustainability’ is a relic of centuries when human beings repeated the same lifestyle over and over–instead of finding better and better ways to do things.”

Imagine you are an advertising executive, and a CEO asks you: “Do you think you can help improve the reputation of my industry?”

You respond, “Sure, what are some ways your industry makes people’s live better?”

He replies, “Well, actually, our product helps people in just about everything they do. This past year, it helped take 4 million newlyweds to their dream destinations for their honeymoons. It helped bring 300 million Americans to their favorite places: yoga studios, soccer games, friends’ houses. It made possible the bulletproof vests that protect 500,000 policemen a year and the fire-resistant jackets that protect 1,000,000 firefighters a year.”

“If you do all that, how could you be unpopular?”

“We’re the oil industry.” [

December 5, 2012   22 Comments

Political Economy 101: Some Quotations to Ponder

The recent election is reason to step back and examine the dangerous institution of politics and why it needs to be a small part of everyday life. Two very wise men said as much long ago. Voltaire (in 1764): “In general, the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other.” Bastiat (in 1848): “The State is the great fiction through which everyone endeavors to live at the expense of everyone else.”

And to the 20th century and H. L. Menken (in 1924) who likened “a good politician, under democracy” to “an honest burglar.”

And now for two 21st century observations, one from on-high and the other from the ground:

“When government undertakes tasks for which it is ill equipped it squanders the authority necessary for carrying out its core responsibilities. Pervasive rent-seeking, bad for our economy and worse for our republic, should be discouraged instead of rewarded. If government becomes integral to securing every advantage and assuaging every grievance, then governance becomes impossible.” (Richard Voegeli)

“I’m not looking to be loved [as New Jersey governor]. I get plenty of love at home—and when you’re looking for love in this job, that’s when deficits get run up.” (Chris Christie)

Thomas Sowell

Here are some salient quotations from the Marxian-turned-free-market-economist Thomas Sowell (1930–): [Read more →]

November 8, 2012   9 Comments