Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Eye-rolling headline of the day

Forbes originally headlined a column posted on their website today "Leave BP Alone". They've since changed it to Don't Forget The Fruits Of Freedom. I guess I wasn't the only one who thought their original headline was hysterically funny. Funnier still is the fact that the original headline accurately describes the contents of the column, which argues that regulating the oil industry means that it won't be able to learn by experience.

Freedom means responsibility. It also means failure, accidents and mistakes. This, in turn, leads to learning, which is why successes outweigh the failures. However, humans must be free to understand the consequences of their actions. Without consequences, there is little learning.
When freedom prevails, the ingenuity and inventiveness of people creates incredible wealth. This is the source of the natural improvement of the human condition. Capitalism is created by free people. Socialism, on the other hand, is what happens when people trade their freedom for the perception of safety. And when people trade in their freedom, they trade it in for a less dynamic, less safe, life.


So there you have it: regulation = ignorance. Paging George Orwell.


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FORBES.COM COMMENTARY NEWSLETTER JUNE 08, 2010

Leave BP Alone
Brian S. Wesbury and Robert Stein
When government tries to eliminate risk, it often creates even more.

Analyzing Altruism
Oren Harman
Is it an evolutionary inheritance or a cultural construction? We may never know.

BP's Endless Nightmare In The Gulf
Richard A. Epstein
Punitive damages and criminal prosecutions will only make matters worse.

The Government's Peculiar Assault On Profits
John Tamny
Why further fining oil companies and airlines will do more harm than good.

Turkey's Two-Faced Aid For Gaza
Claudia Rosett
On real humanitarian relief, Erdogan talks big and gives small.

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