Thursday, March 21, 2019

Is the World Going Mad?

By Don Boudreaux

Upon returning home from campus late last night I opened an e-mail from one Ms. Leah Grant. I don’t know her, but she is quite angry with me. (I was unaware that “apologetisies” is a word.) Here’s my response to her:
Ms. Grant:
You are “nauseated” by this column of mine from January in which I argue that soaking the rich reduces the amount of goods and services available for everyone to consume. And you single out the following paragraph for special scorn, calling what I here wrote “pitiful dead white male apologetisies”:
Of course, in reality the material goods and services that are so abundant in our society are not rained down randomly on us from the heavens. These things must be produced by us. And to produce them requires human creativity, risk-taking, saving and work effort. The more reluctant are individuals to perform on these fronts, the fewer are the goods and services we have to consume.
First, while I am certainly white and male – and perhaps also pitiful – I am emphatically not dead.
Second, you have it within your power to prove wrong my point about wealth creation. Here’s how: day in and day out for the next several years do nothing but lounge lazily on your couch and write angry e-mails such as the one you wrote to me, or Skype with your fellow socialists about the unfair press that socialism receives from some quarters as a result of the collapse of Venezuela’s economy, or simply retch in disgust at your misfortune for having been born into such a unfair, unjust, and nasty world. Do nothing for weeks, months, and years but loaf about and hurl hatred at those of us whom you call “apostles of oppression” and “[such a potty-mouth!] for billionaires.”
Let me know after several years how much food, clothing, subscriptions to The Nation, and other material riches rain down on you from on high. Send to me pictures of your bounty. I’ll be curious.
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030

The above originally appeared at Cafe Hayek.


  1. I am wondering why you would take the time to respond to her diatribe. Clearly, facts no longer change a person's mind, unless they are willing to hear information that may conflict with their assumptions. Not seeing her note, I assume she is not one of those people. You are just throwing barbs, which may make you feel better but just add distress to the system. I would be more efficient to respond with kindness. It confuses idiots which is really more fun.

    1. We employ mockery and belittling arguments against such people, not for the purpose of changing their minds necessarily, but rather for the purpose of changing the minds of those bearing witness to such confrontations and arguments; The audience is the target, not the shrill, close-minded, dogmatic Leftist.

  2. I've always been dumbfounded by the discipline and energy that people like Boudreaux, Thomas Sowell, etc. exhibit when schooling the uninformed. I mean, how can any expert in economics find it in themselves to repeatedly, and in detail, refute the emotional claims of people who know nothing about free market economics, and refuse to learn anything about free market economics? Honestly, I don't know how they do it, over and over and over; but I'm glad they do.

    1. Their efforts always do impress and delight. Of course it is futile in most instances but when you hold passion about what you know to be true you just have to tilt at windmills