The late Bill Niskanen on inequality:
Rawls recognizes that individual well-being is dependent on more than income and wealth, but he does not acknowledge the implications of the fact that the other dimensions of well-being are not fungible. Consider the following example.
One young man is healthy and handsome, spends his days on the beach, has his pick of young women companions, and makes $10,000 a year by busing tables in the evening. Another young man is confined to a wheelchair, has congenital body odor, has never had an intimate relationship, and, with no other life, makes $100,000 a year as an expert computer programmer. In this case, who is worse off? Who should redistribute what to whom and how?
David Boaz writes at Cato @ Liberty:.
So the Associate Publisher of The Nation sends me an email asking me, “Have any lefty relics gathering dust in your closet?” They’re having a fundraising auction.
As it happens, I do have some lefty relics I’d like to get rid of. I have:
- Nationalized health care
- Government Motors
- The idea that the Constitution grants “plenary” powers to the federal government
- The War on Poverty
- Racial preferences
And by the way, when National Review asks me for conservative relics, I’ll have a list for them, too.
Juan Carlos Hidalgo of the Cato Institute reports:
One of the worse kept secrets in Latin America is that Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos believes in drug legalization. Back in the 1990s he co-signed an open letter to then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan calling for an end to the war on drugs. And, since assuming office last year, Santos has hinted on several occasions that a new approach is needed in drug policy.
Earlier this week, Santos finally came out supporting the legalization of soft drugs, such as marijuana. In an interview published by Metro World News, Santos said that he favors legalization “provided everyone does it at the same time.” However, Santos balked at the idea of being the first sitting president to propose this in an international forum, citing mostly political reasons: “I would be crucified if I took the first step,” he said.
Despite Santos’s lukewarm endorsement of drug legalization, he adds his voice to the growing number of Latin American leaders calling for ending prohibition.
Colombia legalizing drugs won’t solve the problem; the U.S. must do it. Santos says that everyone must do it at the same time, but leaders in Colombia and Mexico are willing. They are only waiting for the U.S..
They will be waiting a long time.