Thomas E. Woods, Jr., is the New York Times bestselling author of 11 books, including The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History and Meltdown (on the financial crisis.) A senior fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, Woods has appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, FOX News, FOX Business, C-SPAN, Bloomberg Television, and hundreds of radio programs... (Read More)
For some reason, the finger-waggers at Salon think they’ve got us stumped with this one: “If your approach is so great, why hasn’t any country in the world ever tried it?”
So this is the unanswerable question? What’s supposed to be so hard about it? Ninety percent of what libertarians write about answers it at least implicitly.
Let’s reword the question slightly, in order to draw out the answer. You’ll note that when stated correctly, the question contains an implicit non sequitur.
(1) “If your approach is so great, why doesn’t local law enforcement want to give up the money, supplies, and authority that come from the drug war?”
(2) “If your approach is so great, why don’t big financial firms prefer to stand or fall on their merits, and prefer bailouts instead?”
(3) “If your approach is so great, why do people prefer to earn a living by means of special privilege instead of by honest production?”
(4) “If your approach is so great, why does the military-industrial complex prefer its revolving-door arrangement and its present strategy of fleecing the taxpayers via its dual strategy of front-loading and political engineering?”
(5) “If your approach is so great, why do businessmen often prefer subsidies and special privileges?”
(6) “If your approach is so great, why do some people prefer to achieve their ends through war instead?”
(7) “If your approach is so great, why does the political class prefer to live off the labor of others, and exercise vast power over everyone else?”
(8) “Special interests win special benefits for themselves because those benefits are concentrated and significant. The costs, dispersed among the general public, are so insignificant to any particular person, that the general public has no vested interest in organizing against it. An extra 25 cents per gallon of orange juice is hardly worth devoting one’s life to opposing, but an extra $100 million per year in profits for the companies involved sure is worth the time to lobby for.
“If your approach is so great, why does this happen?”
(9) “If your approach is so great, why don’t people want to try it out, after having been propagandized against it nonstop for 17 years?” (K-12, then four years of college.)
[NOTE TO NEW YORKERS: Please come to the Woods/Murphy event in Manhattan on Saturday, June 8!]