Seduced by the dark side of Socialism
In her book World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy
Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability" Ms. Chua has been
seduced by the myth of Zero-Sum Economics. One can see this
in her quotes asserting that markets concentrate wealth in the hands
of a few, as well as her assertion that the majority 'takes advantage of'
This does not and cannot happen in a truly or even nearly true free
market. Due to the nature of competition, even a monopoly cannot
take advantage of its clientele. Certainly, the people and businesses
that have been the most prosperous, profitable and successful have
always been ones that have made their customers lives better.
Henry Ford could have been said to have had a near monopoly.
I have no love for mister Ford, for many reasons, but we don't
need to go into that here. But, as a businessman, he paid his
worker extraordinarily well for a host of reasons. He built his
product to a dramatically high standard and low cost for his time,
too. What he realized was that his competition was the horse
and people walking, not other car manufacturers.
In her Philippine example, she forgets to note that while the rule of
law was in place and the 'wealthy minority' of the Chinese merchant
class remained in the Philippines, it was an enormously wealthy country;
Clean, prosperous and safe. Reason Magazine talks about this, using
the example how a generation or so ago, the Philippine people used to
import housekeepers and nannies from Hong Kong. Today, the
opposite is true.
Clearly she shares the philosophy of the Socialists (in America we
call them Democrats and Republicans.) Calling for 'the wealthy' to
'do more' and 'share their wealth' by building Schools and Hospitals
(and more). She wants them to hire people based on their ethnicity.
We have names for those two things. 'Taxing the rich' and 'Affirmative
Action'. Of course, no one can point to an example of how those
particular ideas out of a socialist utopian handbook have ever worked.
On the theory of a blind pig in rooting in a forest sometimes finding
an acorn, she does glance on getting it right. Of course, the problem
is not what she thinks it is, namely that a minority takes advantage of
a minority, but rather that the rule of law is set aside and _people
like her_ set things up for the majority to take advantage of the
successful and productive minority.
You can't run a motor without the sparkplugs.
Copyright February 2004 Bruce Cohen
Libertarian Congressional Candidate