William Watson Is No Free Enterpriser

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William Watson is one of the most free enterprise-oriented economists and journalists in all of Canada. A regular contributor to the National Post (the neo-con Canadian counterpart to the War Street Journal), he is a professor of economics at McGill University. With “friends” like this, however, the philosophy of laissez-faire capitalism hardly needs enemies.

Writing in the Vancouver Sun newspaper of 6/23/11, supposedly to counteract the egalitarianism of Michael Moore, Watson instead takes comfort from the fact that equality has not been reduced as much as many had feared. Under the title of “The little guy
didn’t suffer as badly as feared,” Watson exults in the countercyclical properties of, yes, income taxes and unemployment insurance, and thus, believe it or not, supports these policies on that ground.

What is wrong with downright inequality? Some people are more productive than others. The market rewards individuals based on their contribution to the well being of others. Necessarily, some will end up with more wealth than other people. What is this fetish with egalitarianism on the part of a presumed defender of markets?  If even the Watsons of Canada apologize for inequality, yearn for egalitarianism, what hope is there for that country?

12:53 am on July 20, 2011
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