“Yes, but…”

Bryan Caplan wrote that in his first 17 years of life, he never encountered an opponent to policies like the minimum wage, FDA and social security. And he grew up in “bland Northridge, California”, not some “leftist enclave.”

He has me beat by 5 years. I, too, did not grow up in a leftist enclave. Just a “bland” midwestern town where the populist defenses for these policies that Bryan wrote more about in his post were taken as gospel.

Caplan’s post is worth reading. In it, he criticizes intellectuals who “yes, but…” the writings of French Economist Frederic Bastiat’s, who dismantles these populist defenses.

Caplan asserts that said intellectuals don’t display higher regard for Bastiat’s work for fear of damaging the political base they need to sport their solutions on the rest of us.


4 thoughts on ““Yes, but…”

  1. The link takes me to a Wikipedia entry on infant mortality. I realize that Bryan has written on the economics of having more children, but I’m not sure I get the connection. I must admit that from an early age my parents explained the follies of minimum wage, the FDA and social security. Perhaps that’s because we had as guests in our home the likes of Leonard Read, Henry Hazlitt and Hans Sennholz. Anyway, I the infant mortality thing went way over my head.


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