Thursday, July 18, 2013

'Libertarian populism' is no gimmick

Liberals bash 'libertarian populism,' but it's no gimmick | - David Freddoso:

July 14, 2013 - "The District of Columbia Council members passed a 'living wage' law on July 10, forcing certain large businesses to pay a minimum wage of $12.50.... The measure's sole target is Wal-Mart, which in response threatened to open just three of its six planned stores in D.C.... Three Wal-Mart stores and 900 new jobs could go down the drain. That's an expensive luxury — the city lost 4,000 private sector jobs in May....

"The opponents of Wal-Mart's market entry from the day it was first announced — especially local labor unions and Wal-Mart competitors in the District — have adopted Wal-Mart's playbook. As Wal-Mart has done elsewhere, they are using government to increase or protect their own market share and to wound or destroy the competition....

"The damage such behavior causes to the economy and society has long been a concern of Washington Examiner columnist Tim Carney's. Today, people have taken to calling his critique 'libertarian populism.'

"Despite its growing relevance, some voices (such as the New York Times' Paul Krugman) simply dismiss it as a political gimmick, without even exploring its merits. They are making a big mistake.

"Here's the problem: Government too often is for sale, and it's become so powerful that everyone must either bid on it or become its victim. As Carney has repeatedly shown since the publication of his 2006 book, The Big Ripoff, this is a large and growing societal problem."

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