Thursday, December 03, 2015


Some time ago, I pointed out that Von Mises thought the welfare state was a disaster because it saps the spirit of the drones:
By weakening or completely destroying the will to be well and able to work, social insurance creates illness and inability to work; it produces the habit of complaining which is in itself a neurosis — and neuroses of other kinds. In short, it is an institution which tends to encourage disease, not to say accidents, and to intensify considerably the physical and psychic results of accidents and illnesses. As a social institution it makes a people sick bodily and mentally or at least helps to multiply, lengthen, and intensify disease.
Von Mises didn't write or say "drones" but that word captures his opinion of most people as this excerpt from a letter he wrote to Ayn Rand demonstrates:
You have the courage to tell the masses what no politician told them: you are inferior and all the improvements in your conditions which you simply take for granted you owe to the effort of men who are better than you.

Charles Koch has his own Von Mises, a little known economist named F.A. “Baldy” Harper. Here one of Harper's many "Von Misian" statements:
“In my files,” Harper wrote, “is evidence from capable authorities pointing out that the shorter work week is an important cause of crime; how leisure puts many of its victims into penitentiaries where they must be cared for and serviced at a cost to be borne by people who have done no wrong in this instance.” (Harper didn’t share what that evidence was.) Harper also disliked the imposition of laws restricting child labor laws and making school attendance compulsory. These, Harper reported, were “important causes of juvenile delinquency.”

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