The Marxist Who Became A Conservative

My favorite economist is Thomas Sowell. He is a prolific writer who uses common sense to show the application of economics to life. One of his teachers at college was the renowned economist Milton Friedman, a champion of the free enterprise system and capitalism. Yet in an interview in 2010 Sowell described himself as a Marxist who underwent a transformation to a conservative. Here is how the interview went and it is very educational.

Question: “You were a Marxist in your early years. How did you get away from it?”

Answer: “I took a job in the government.”

Question: “How did you change?”

Answer: “I didn’t change. One summer working in the government was enough to start turning me around.”

Question: “What happened?”

Answer: “…I realized the government was nowhere close to being capable of doing what the people on the left wanted the government to do and that we were lucky if they did not in fact make things worse. For example, I was in the Labor Department and they administered the minimum wage law. For me, the question was “Did the minimum wage law make poor people better off or worse off?” That was not the question for them. The minimum wage law provided one-third of their total budget and they were not going to look at this any other way. I tried to get to get into the question did this cause unemployment and stuff like that. There was no enthusiasm for that line of reasoning.”

Sowell’s realized that government bureaucracies were only interested in perpetuating themselves. Determining if the minimum wage law achieved what it was designed to do was never a serious consideration.

In the same interview, he mentioned that liberals in government were the “self-anointed ones.” He was asked to define what he meant by “self-anointed ones.”

His response was a classic. “They are the people who seriously believe they are wiser and nobler than others and the way to improve society is to have the government force people to follow the anointed ones rather than have people do what they want to do. There are all types of fiascoes that follow in the wake of his notion.”

Remember the last statement because it fits the fiasco called ObamaCare. Today, July 2, 2013, the government announced businesses don’t have to make decisions about providing health care insurance until 2015. There are two reasons for this announcement. ObamaCare costs are definitely going up according to the latest research despite Obama’s assurance that health insurance premiums would not increase. And there is a congressional election in 2014 which would be a disaster for Democrats running for re-election. The decision was purely a political ploy because ObamaCare is so toxic for Democrats who passed it without reading it.

Only when people are hit in their pocketbooks will they realize this is another costly entitlement that will reduce their take home pay. Unfortunately, it will be too late to do anything about it.


About camden41

Retired public school administrator Retired history professor: Taught Western Civilization, American Civil War, United States History, Economic History, Ancient & Medieval Foundations, American History Since 1945
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