Friday, September 17, 2010

Hoenig on the "Common Good"

Jonathan Hoenig has a good editorial out at SmartMoney. I particularly liked this section (links omitted):
From Zimbabwe to Venezuela, we’ve often noted how a philosophy makes or breaks an economy, not its natural resources. The most prosperous countries have always been those in which each individual is left free to pursue their own self interest, not be compelled to serve the so-called “public good”. “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” refers to your life, your liberty and your happiness. Is self-sacrifice and an unwavering pledge to serve the “common good” really as central to the American ethos as the president always suggests?

There’s no question that the relentless call to put the “common good” ahead of greedy self-interest runs directly contrary to the to the rugged individualism and rational self-interest on which the country was founded. The “pursuit of happiness” protects the right of every man to live for his own happiness, not be made a means to an end for the “common good.”

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