Monday, April 5, 2010

Small Milestone, Big Thanks

My little blog logged its 10,000th unique visitor today.  I know that this "milestone" is fewer visitors than many blogs get in a single day, but whatever.  I'm thrilled, particularly considering that I only started blogging here last July, and that this is a small-time, personal blog that focuses on international trade (of all things!).

I'd also like to take this moment to thank everyone who has subscribed, commented, emailed, cross-posted, tweeted, Facebooked and otherwise contributed to this blog.  I really appreciate your support and feedback, and I have no doubt that my "success" is due in no small part to your contributions.  Hopefully, we've made a small difference.

So thank you, thank you, thank you.



Node Runner said...

Congrats Scott! Here's hoping you get 10,000 before this time next year.

Michael Smith said...

Bravo to you for making the moral case for free trade against ardent protectionists like Fletcher.

No amount of alleged good that may accrue to one man by initiating the use of physical force (or threat thereof) against other men can ever justify such initiation of force -- for the simple reason that the ends cannot justify the means.

We would never accept such an argument from an armed robber -- we would instantly reject his claim that his “need” of the money in a bank justifies his initiation of physical force to acquire it. Yet this is precisely the argument being offered by the protectionist: that the “need” of one man justifies the initiation of force against another.

It is this worship of "need" -- this enshrinement of "need" as something that trumps all property rights -- that is constantly invoked by statists to justify the expansion of government's powers. The moral principle that underlies it is expressed in the popular slogan Obama loves to assert: "Man is his brother's keeper."

This is a moral claim that requires a moral response -- not a collection of statistics that purports to prove that the total “good” achieved by one policy is better than another. As long as this moral claim goes unanswered, as long as Americans accept the idea that “the needy” are entitled to have their needs satisfied at the taxpayer’s expense, then Americans will have no defense against the endless collection of "brothers" who will emerge claiming a "need to be kept" (or who “need“ to be “protected“ with a tariff).

The proper response to the claim that “Man is his brother’s keeper” is to assert the moral principle that refutes it: namely, that all men are created equal, and all possess the equal right to exist for their own sake and to pursue their own happiness, by means of their own honest effort -- with no man having any power to force others to sacrifice for his sake, and with no others having the power to force him to sacrifice for theirs.

This principle means that no man can lay claim to being some sort of “brother” entitled to be “kept” at the expense of his fellow man. It means that no man can claim a right to unearned economic goods or services to be paid for by confiscating the fruits of the labor of others. It means that man is no more his brother’s keeper than he is his brother’s next meal -- because man is not a slave born into bondage to the misfortunes, stupidity, ignorance, foolishness, laziness, sloth or just plain rottenness of other human beings.

Our lives and our earnings belong to us, not to the government, not to “society” and not to any stray “needy brother” who appears demanding a piece of our hide.