If you want to see the moral bankruptcy of the modern progressive left, the UK’s Guardian newspaper is often a good place to find it.
After the successful launch of an innovative new rocket by SpaceX this week, the intellectual rot was on full display at the Guardian Wednesday with an article called, “Why Elon Musk’s SpaceX launch is utterly depressing.”
The brilliantly successful launch and landing are depressing, according to the article, because there are people with basic needs around the world, so a billionaire such as Musk has no right to go spending his money on something the writer considers frivolous.
The writer laments that wealth isn’t “distributed fairly,” which he says is the only reason Musk has his billions.
The only point the article makes which is actually sane is when it points out that Musk’s current endeavors are often underwritten by tax subsidies, but this should be an argument for getting rid of the subsidies, not for telling Musk he can’t build rockets and earn advertising for Tesla by sending a car into space.
The writer and his ilk want a mass leveling that would impoverish everybody. Even worse for the future of humanity is that it would prevent wealthy mavericks from pushing ideas and technology forward with their money.
It’s free markets and risk-taking people with money who change the world. As markets have become more and more free around the world over the past century, more people have been lifted out of life-threatening poverty than in all of history combined. What’s more, the spread of free market ideas works automatically to help people lift themselves out of dire poverty, whether the intentions of the participants are altruistic or not.
Look at the chart below. See how the world’s average income limped along in dire poverty for centuries? When did income start shooting up? (Click the chart to see it at twice this size.) It happened more and more as technological progress started moving forward with the Industrial Revolution and individuals increasingly had the freedom to keep the money they earned. As we’ve gotten into the modern Information Revolution, the income trend turned even more sharply up.
Progress hasn’t been perfect — and it’s been stifled along the way by those who would drag us back to the bad old days when economic output was controlled from the top down like in some old Soviet gulag — but the free market has done more to lift people out of poverty than anything else in history.
If the writer of the Guardian article really cared about the needs of the poor people around the world who he wrote about, he would want more individual freedom and a stronger free market — because that’s the only thing which has ever consistently freed humans from the misery and early death which have been the lot of most of our forebears.
The free market creates wealth. Progressive distribution simply equalizes misery.
This writer and his intellectual cousins around the world want nothing other than for money to be taken from everybody in order to have it spent according to their own priorities. They pretend to be altruistic, but what they really want is full control over everybody — which would essentially make all of us their slaves.
Those of us in wealthy countries have a strong interest in making the market more free, but the people who have an even bigger interest — whether they know it or not — are those poor people around the world who desperately need help the most.
We have a moral and practical responsibility to defeat these vile totalitarians.