While reviewing literature patrolling the outer perimeter of our War Chest bunker, I came across some enemy thoughts exploding faintly in the distant horizon of the idea wars. University of Connecticut Law Professor James Kwak’s book: Economism – Bad Economics and the Rise of Inequality (2017). He starts with the proposition that ideas matter… a lot, not because they are incontrovertibly right, but rather because they have the power to shape how people see the world and are used as weapons in how resources are allocated… and defended. His thesis is that “economism” is an ideology used by the wealthy and powerful to exploit everyone else by overemphasizing simplified economic concepts in how the world is viewed.
I liked (but disagree with) his book because Kwak recognizes the lasting intellectual fire power of Ludwig Von Mises (1881-1973) and Friedrich Hayak (1899-1992). He believes the wealthy started with those ideas and then relentlessly and ruthlessly pushed targeted notions onto the public and politicians via conservative think tanks. He then advocates wealth re-distribution justified with the tired old marginal utility concept (extra wealth is more valuable/useful to the poor than it is to the rich). Government, it is argued, has the responsibility to make the world a better place. Remember Aristotle’s flutes? How should flutes be allocated? …to the wealthiest? No, flutes should be distributed to the best flute players. But Hayek already ripped to pieces the idea of a collectivist, Government planned economy. And that’s the only real alternative to capitalism – no matter how loudly the G20 Summit anti-capitalism protesters scream.
In fact, Kwak is the pot calling the kettle black when he argues that conservative ideology and the “anti-tax chorus” is hegemony. The methods of Socialism are completely based on deceiving the public with propaganda. In case you forgot, communism/socialism will not and cannot work because it’s:
- Idealistic and utopian
- Treacherous – selling an intellectual bill of goods
- Effected by the Social Engineer, the worst type of person to run things
- Contrary to the Rule of Law
- Destruction of freedom and prosperity
- Forces people to rely on the favor of the mighty
- Distorts the definition of liberty (replaces true freedom with the freedom of the barracks)
- Bad guys always end up on top
- Destroys truth by relying on propaganda
- Does not work – millions have suffered and died trying – enough is enough
Fortunately, we are safe behind our reinforced bunker of assets and awareness. Throw another intellectual sandbag in front of your Estate Planning War Chest.