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an article against 'galtists'

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Warning: this article may not be worth your time. http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?articl...over_inequality[/quote

I see that Elsworth Toohey is alive and well, unfortunately. While it is true that the social system of capitalism made great achievements possible politically, those individuals still are the ones who actually formed something useful on their own and with their own mind. Is society really impoverished by having personal computers or the telephone or the theory of evolution? Not at all, of course, but I think the author has creativity envy, so all he can is spit at achievement and claim that everyone did it -- yes everyone! I mean, how could you explain it any other way? It wasn't Darwin, it was the Church who made that possible; it wasn't Alexander Graham Bell, it was that guy trying to shout over a great distance; and it wasn't Bill Gates, it was that other guy who thought that a megabit was for large horses. Everybody was involved -- especially since everyone contributed to a civil society, which Ezra Klein (sorry, he doesn't count, since he wrote the article) wants to remove. Why should Hank Rearden be the only one to profit from Rearden Metal? Why indeed, since he made it, I mean why does that count so much in a moral society?

The collectivists are definitely coming out of the woodwork.

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We live in a world, in other words, where great luck ensures great rewards...

I'd like to sit down with him in a game of no limit hold 'em and see if his "great luck" can consistently hold vs. my talent, and see who is "ensure[d]" the "great[er] rewards" over time.

Chance favors the prepared mind--Louis Pasteur

edit to add quote

Edited by EC

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Every time I read articles like this, I think of a reality show format I have myself thought would be enjoyable. It would go like this:

Divide the people into two groups. Both groups, 50 people each, would move into different houses surrounded by 100 acres of land, and live there for a year. The one group would consist of gangbangers, people living on welfare and other types of "unprivileged" folk. The other group would consist of 50 Fortune 500 CEO's. The unprivileged group would move into a huge mansion with big screen tv's, jacuzzis etc, butlers, housekeepers, economic advisors, lawyers etc. while the CEO's would move into ten small deteriorating trailers without any help.

The goal of the show whould be to accumulate the most wealth during the year, and the teams would every week go to a market where they would sell things they have created. The surrounding area would be rich with trees, plants, wildlife etc. and the shows organizers would every now and then leave "hidden treasures" to be found, that the teams could use. The "unprivileged" group couldnt use the "help" to actually create the wealth for them, but both teams could use outside help(carpenters, plumbers, butchers etc.) with the money they have made every week.

Now i can guarantee you, that the CEO group would have 10000x times more wealth created during the year, while the "unprivileged" group would just stay in the mansion watching movies and trashing the place up.

Because i hate it when people make such a big deal about what family someone was born into, or how "unprivileged" some people are and how the CEO's dont actually deserve their huge salaries. Too bad were never going to see this show on the air :D

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Too bad were never going to see this show on the air :D

Why would highly successful people take a year off to be on a reality show? Maybe a few weeks or something?

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Every time I read articles like this, I think of a reality show format I have myself thought would be enjoyable. It would go like this:

Divide the people into two groups. Both groups, 50 people each, would move into different houses surrounded by 100 acres of land, and live there for a year. The one group would consist of gangbangers, people living on welfare and other types of "unprivileged" folk. The other group would consist of 50 Fortune 500 CEO's. The unprivileged group would move into a huge mansion with big screen tv's, jacuzzis etc, butlers, housekeepers, economic advisors, lawyers etc. while the CEO's would move into ten small deteriorating trailers without any help.

The goal of the show whould be to accumulate the most wealth during the year, and the teams would every week go to a market where they would sell things they have created. The surrounding area would be rich with trees, plants, wildlife etc. and the shows organizers would every now and then leave "hidden treasures" to be found, that the teams could use. The "unprivileged" group couldnt use the "help" to actually create the wealth for them, but both teams could use outside help(carpenters, plumbers, butchers etc.) with the money they have made every week.

Now i can guarantee you, that the CEO group would have 10000x times more wealth created during the year, while the "unprivileged" group would just stay in the mansion watching movies and trashing the place up.

Because i hate it when people make such a big deal about what family someone was born into, or how "unprivileged" some people are and how the CEO's dont actually deserve their huge salaries. Too bad were never going to see this show on the air :P

Ah, but part of the Rawlsian thesis is that the CEOs' work ethic was determined by environment and genetics.

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I see that Elsworth Toohey is alive and well, unfortunately. While it is true that the social system of capitalism made great achievements possible politically, those individuals still are the ones who actually formed something useful on their own and with their own mind. Is society really impoverished by having personal computers or the telephone or the theory of evolution? Not at all, of course, but I think the author has creativity envy, so all he can is spit at achievement and claim that everyone did it -- yes everyone! I mean, how could you explain it any other way? It wasn't Darwin, it was the Church who made that possible; it wasn't Alexander Graham Bell, it was that guy trying to shout over a great distance; and it wasn't Bill Gates, it was that other guy who thought that a megabit was for large horses. Everybody was involved -- especially since everyone contributed to a civil society, which Ezra Klein (sorry, he doesn't count, since he wrote the article) wants to remove. Why should Hank Rearden be the only one to profit from Rearden Metal? Why indeed, since he made it, I mean why does that count so much in a moral society?

The collectivists are definitely coming out of the woodwork.

I realize this guy was never going to get much of a hearing on Objectivism Online anyway, but I think you have misconstrued his position. The author clearly recognized that it was Darwin and Bell and Gates who accomplished those things. His claim was that Darwin, Bell, and Gates are not so outstandingly different from everyone else in their field as to deserve the singular praise they receive. We worship Darwin and not Wallace because Darwin got a tip which made him send his book to press a few months earlier. We worship Bell and not Gray because Bell got to the patent office a few hours before Gray. That's it. Wallace and Gray are forgotten (by most), and Darwin and Bell are remembered, essentially because the latter two won a footrace, not because of any actual difference in intellectual merit. The "galtist" claim is that what matters in life is merit, and Klein is saying, but look at all these people with merit who got nothing for it, and all these people with merit who also had to have large swaths of luck to be successful.

I think he's got a more difficult argument, for that specific point, than respondents have allowed. Of course, the author should not have inferred that we therefore get to steal money from Darwin, Bell, and Gates.

Edited by ctrl y

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Grey probably made more money than Bell in his lifetime.

As for Darwin Vs. Wallace...Darwin spent 20 years researching and writing a great book detailing and supporting the theory. They both came up with the theory, but Darwin was the one who convinced people.

Here's a quote from an article;

It was not until he was 50 years old, in 1859, that Darwin finally published his theory of evolution in full for his fellow scientists and for the public at large. He did so in a 490 page book entitled On the Origin of Species. It was very popular and controversial from the outset. The first edition came out on November 24, 1859 and sold out on that day. It went through six editions by 1872. The ideas presented in this book were expanded with examples in fifteen additional scientific books that Darwin published over the next two decades.

What finally convinced Darwin that he should publish his theory in a book for the general educated public was the draft of an essay that he received in the summer of 1858 from a younger British naturalist named Alfred Wallace , who was then hard at work collecting biological specimens in Southeast Asia for sale to museums and private collectors. Darwin was surprised to read that Wallace had come upon essentially the same explanation for evolution. Being a fair man, Darwin insisted that Wallace also get credit for the natural selection theory during debates over its validity that occurred at a meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science at Oxford University in 1860. We now know that Darwin deserves most of the credit. In 1837, one year after he returned from the voyage on the Beagle, he made detailed notes on the idea of evolution by means of natural selection. At that time, Wallace was only 14 years old. In addition, it was Darwin's book, rather than Wallace's essay, that had the most impact on the Victorian public. Darwin not only described the process of natural selection in more detail, but he also gave numerous examples of it. It was his On the Origin of Species that convinced most scientists and other educated people in the late 19th century that life forms do change through time. This prepared the public for the acceptance of earlier human species and of a world much older than 6000 years.

http://anthro.palomar.edu/evolve/evolve_2.htm

Edited by dadmonson

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CTRL Y you do realize that potential doesn't equal actual right? Just because a man might have been first it doesn't change the fact that he wasnt. The losers in a trade of the kind that you mentioned has to to accept the fact that in seeking to trade with other people he must face the possibility of a competitor winning the race. In all types of competition this is true.

Edited by dadmonson

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CTRL Y you do realize that potential doesn't equal actual right? Just because a man might have been first it doesn't change the fact that he wasnt. The losers in a trade of the kind that you mentioned has to to accept the fact that in seeking to trade with other people he must face the possibility of a competitor winning the race. In all types of competition this is true.

Dad's right. And the Statist/altruist/socialist wants us all to live in some sort of perverse kindergarten where no one ever looses and as a result no one ever wins. If you give Wallace the same credit as Darwin just because he was a day late and a dollar short where does it stop?

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Ezra Klein is a fool. I've spent the last 22 years of my professional career dealing with self-made men and women. For the most part, these people are business owners who made their way in the world by working their asses off. They persevered when times were tough and the only way to make things happen was to go out and get it done on their own. Were other people a part of their success? Sure. Did they occasionally get lucky? Absolutely, and sometimes they were unlucky too. However, to claim that luck and “society” are the primary sources of success makes a mockery of the hard work and innovation required to achieve that success. Of course, none of this matters to a moocher like Klein. All he sees are the trappings of success while choosing to ignore the effort that went into creating that wealth. As I said before, the man is a fool. Too bad his friends are running this country.

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I realize this guy was never going to get much of a hearing on Objectivism Online anyway

He got plenty of a hearing. He advocates enforcing what he (or a majority, or an elite chosen by unspecified criteria) consider fair, because individuals by themselves are bound to be too unfair with their free choices. It's the same old crap, with the terms "fair" and "society" pulled out of thin air.

But , if more hearing is required, I have another observation:

If he is going to personify Society, and assign it a consciousness able to know things and hold expertise ("But the credit, properly distributed, should really accrue to the collective knowledge and expertise of society." -that's a quote from the article), shouldn't the name (Society) be capitalized?

How would this guy like it if the credit for this nonsense went to ezra klein, the block of wood masquerading as a "commentator"?

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Certainly, but is he old and accomplished enough to present himself as an intellectual authority and be paid for it?

Apparently several left-wing rags are willing to pay for his swill.

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