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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/12514/are-we-a-self-hating-commercial-society/

Are We a Self-Hating Commercial Society?

April 20, 2010 by

In a few short hours, I was assaulted ten times with the demand that I display social consciousness. Can we all please cut the sham and go back to plain old buying and selling? Why blur the distinction between the commerce and charity? FULL ARTICLE by Jeffrey Tucker

{ 51 comments }

danny April 20, 2010 at 9:13 am

“When there is enough left over after providing for basic survival needs, people turn their attention to widows, orphans, the sick, the symphonies, art galleries, saving salamanders, promoting religion, establishing quilt-weaving societies, and billions of other causes….”

Don’t forget The Mises Institute!

Micah April 20, 2010 at 9:44 am

“Earthen Honey Morsels”…

I have to remember that one.

J. Murray April 20, 2010 at 10:55 am

Honestly, that sounds disgusting. Honey covered dirt.

Art Thomas April 20, 2010 at 9:45 am

An even better way to save the trees is to decriminalize hemp agriculture. Hemp hurds -the woody inner portion of the hemp stalk- can be made into all kinds of high quality paper products, and require less processing and use of toxic materials like sulphuric acid to produce the final products. This was a technology that was discussed and promoted by the USDA in the early years of the 20th century, before cannabis was outlawed. Hemp produces four times more pulp per acre than timber. And that’s every year for hemp vs every 20 to 30 years for pulp timber. And this is just one of so many valuable uses if farmers were free as they once were to grow hemp. This info from Business Alliance for Commerce in Hemp.

Cybertarian April 20, 2010 at 9:49 am

“socially just coffee” ?

Why can’t whizdom prevail ? Why must stupidity prevail ? Are Americans that brain dead ?
Why has it become a crime to work for a profit ? Why must we be slaves of the commons to be considered “just” ?

Socially just coffee ? I just spit mine on my keyboard reading this. It would be so hilarious if it was not so tragic.

Russ April 20, 2010 at 3:48 pm

My understanding that “socially just” or “fair trade” coffee is not against profit. The idea is that the coffee growers are being exploited because we aren’t paying enough for the coffee, and therefore aren’t giving them enough profit! The idea, of course, is that the free market is not good at deciding what the “fair” price of coffee is.

Joseph Sunde April 20, 2010 at 9:52 am

I was at Starbucks the other day and they were encouraging others to bring in reusable cups to help “save the planet.” I could only think, “Why don’t they just give me a discount (the cost of the paper cup) if I bring in my own cup?”Certainly this would be pennies (perhaps just one penny?), but I’m sure it would encourage more people to bring in their own mug. Starbucks would experience no loss, and Mother Nature AND consumers would benefit (supposedly).It’s the same thing with “paperless pay.” I would be much more likely to switch to paperless pay if the company gave me a slight discount equalling the cost of postage, paper, etc. If they were REALLY out to “go green” this would seem to be the most highly effective way to do it.But alas, they are out for profit, and who can blame them for playing to the emotions of the dummies who actually think they’re making a difference?The whole thing also reminds me of the study that came out saying that *purchasing* socially conscious products results in ethical lapses: http://remnantculture.com/?p=357

Benjamin April 21, 2010 at 3:51 am

I think its about transferring cost to the customer, instead of raising prices. They use the “Go Green” as cover to get the customers happy about paying more. I went into the new Aldi grocery store here and they nickel and dime you on the cart and bags to bag up your goods. The more people that bring their own bag to the grocery store is more money the grocery store makes.

Jay April 20, 2010 at 10:16 am

I’m often told, by a co-worker, that fair trade coffee is a way to sustain the industry (and then follows with some enviro-babble about land sustainability of small farmers vs. large producers). If consumers are willing to pay more for the same cup of coffee to supposedly save the planet, then that is their loss. They are being fooled.

I like what Joseph mentioned about “paperless pay”. I see this often with my bills (mortgage, car note, et cetera), but see no financial benefit to me. Why should I lower their operating costs while they continue to charge me at the same rate? As soon as these “green” innovations start to benefit the consumer, they will become more popular. Discount my bill part of the cost of printing and postage, and I would be happy to oblige (even if it were mere pennies). There is also some psychology to pushing consumers to use plastic instead of cash… it’s easier to charge more or convince them to buy more. That’s another story…

I was told, while shopping for a new counter top, that I could go “green” for $85 per sq foot. This company offers a concrete counter top with broken shards of glass mixed in it to give a unique look. The cost to make this must be dirt cheap (get a variety of glass bottles, break them, melt them down and place throughout a concrete form). They market it is “green” and jack the price sky high. Granite is $50-$65 per sq. ft. Hard choice for me, but obviously there is a market for that overpriced counter top.

Ashley Smith April 20, 2010 at 10:23 am

This article reminded me of a family member of mine.

A couple of years ago, my sister-in-law got it in her head that she wanted to go to South America to do missions work for her church. It was a noble goal, though maybe not one that I would have chosen for myself.

She was still in high school and brainstormed a bunch of ways that she could raise money for her adventure. She contemplated asking family members to just give her the money, or making a personal appeal at her church in hopes that some wealthy person would donate it to her.

I was quite happy when she said that she had decided instead that she would make and sell a product that people would want in order to raise her travel funds. She had made candy suckers once when she was younger, knew how easy and cheap the process was, and thought that there would be a demand for candy amongst her friends and acquaintances. She went out and bought the sugar, gelatin, food coloring, sticks, and other items need to make the suckers with a small loan from her parents (around $15 dollars if I remember it correctly).

Then she proceeded to make suckers, buy the hundreds. Root Beer, Cherry, Lemon, and pretty much every other flavor you can imagine. Each sucker would cost between 15 and 20 cents to make, and she would sell them for $50 each.

They were an overwhelming hit. She sold them to the players on her basketball team, her classmates, her teachers, parents and families of friends, and set up shop at her church and other events. Her first $15 dollars went into paying her parents for their loan. After that, the profits went into savings, with a percentage going towards making more suckers. She continued to make more suckers and save more profits for about 5 months, until she had raised over $1000 (I can’t remember the exact amount). She was an entrepreneur. But what I found interesting is how she pitched her suckers. At first it was “I am selling these to raise money to go on a missions trip to Peru.” But as time went on, she didn’t need the appeal to charity. People just liked the suckers and didn’t care about the cause. She even was able to come up with a neat little marketing campaign. Her name is Molly, thus they were called MollyPops.

Ultimately she spent the money she had made on her trip, and supporting the various causes she found along the way. But I always wonder if she got the real lesson out of the ordeal. It wasn’t the brief time she spent volunteering in Peru that should give her the biggest life lesson. It’s the time she spend as a successful business person. She made lollipops in her spare time, after school, and managed to raise of $1000 in profits, without really any work after the production.

Your kid at the lemonade stand reminds me of her success. They had their focus toward charity, and my sister-in-law gave up her business when the goal she had for that charity event was met. But what if she hadn’t? What if she had turned it into a small business? She could have paid herself a steady income and would have had money left over to donate for a longer period of time. She may have only been able to donate $200 every few months, rather than saving up a one-time amount of $1,000, but after awhile the value of her gifts long-term would far surpass that one-time gift.

Long-term sustainable charity can only be met by the capital produced through supply and demand.

I work for a non-profit organization, and part of my long-term goal is to teach other nonprofits that while charity is good, improving economic conditions in a community by understanding economics from an Austrian point of view is the only real path to long-term success. Of course, the charitable organization world is sadly heavily influenced by proponents of socialism and collectivism, so that fight will necessarily be long-term.

mushindo April 21, 2010 at 11:57 am

Fifty dollars for one sucker? And she didnt even need the charity pitch because people liked them? Surely a typo.

Magnus April 20, 2010 at 10:23 am

Why must we be slaves of the commons to be considered “just” ?

Because the scumbag statists who control the commons are constantly trying to enslave us through this kind of propaganda. There’s nothing more powerful than getting someone to accept a false moral dictate.

Moral pronouncements are a very good enslavement tool. They are much more effective and less expensive than the old whips-and-chains method.

Plus, moral propaganda is safer for the slave-masters — it tricks people into self-enslaving, so most of the slaves don’t even see the fact of their enslavement, which means they revolt less often and less vigorously. And since most people don’t even know who their slave-masters are, when they do revolt, its usually directed against the wrong people.

William Mahrt April 20, 2010 at 10:45 am

“What’s more, if I want to give to charity, I’m perfectly capable of doing this on my own and according to my own values.”

I have three basic comments for this statement.
The first is that I believe you are forgetting about an important function of the market economy. Namely, the division of labor. Not all of us can be an expert on which charities are the most efficient, nor which problems are the most immediate in our society. The market takes care of both of these problems by appointing entrepreneurs to hire experts in this field.
The second is economies of scale. Is it not more efficient for something akin to a “charity rating agency” to take care of the task of evaluating charities and causes than it is for individual consumers to do so? It is a boon, not a bane, that we are provided with information about charities and causes through advertising rather than having to look for such information ourselves.
The third is the crux of the argument, I feel, and that is voluntarism. If you don’t like paying 5 cents extra for your lemonade to fight child abuse, buy the lemonade that is 5 cents cheaper. If there is no such lemonade, then it is obvious that 1) it is more efficient to provide the service of donating proceeds to charitable causes rather than charge less and leave such donations up to the consumer, or 2) the entrepreneur would not voluntarily engage in a trade that did not involve the donation of capital to charity.
Either way, I believe you are being in some sense hypocritical in criticizing this purely market-driven movement toward “responsible consumerism.”

Ryan April 20, 2010 at 2:36 pm

Don’t you think Mr. Tucker is referring to a social phenomenon rather than an economic one? I think we all agree where – in economic terms – these things come from mechanistically. The bigger question is why the market has to make room for these ideas. Why do we, as a society, feel the need to cloak mutually beneficial market exchanges in a veneer of profitless “social responsibility?” What’s wrong with our psychology that we don’t seem to be at peace with the idea that free exchange profits us both directly?

More importantly: If any of these claims of “social responsibility” turn out to be either completely false or no more true than each vendor’s competitors’ claims, then they are no longer serving the economic function of product differentiation. Instead, they are bold-faced lies.

Sure, the market can sort out the liars from the truth-tellers, but what has become of the market for coffee when product differentiation becomes a question of the extent to which each company seeks to alleviate 3rd World poverty? Do you think there will come a point at which this becomes intolerably absurd?

William Mahrt April 21, 2010 at 7:13 am

Sorry, Ryan, you are completely correct. I should have been clearer that all I was trying to say with regards to Mr. Tucker’s social criticism is that Austrians are supposed to be neutral on normative matters. There is no reason to say that consumers wanting to support altruistic causes is right or wrong, just as there is no reason to say that consumers somehow deriving utility from throwing money into the trash can, or donating it to the local McDonald’s, is right or wrong. In my understanding, a purely Austrian viewpoint would actually praise these “socially responsible” entrepreneurs for increasing the utility that their customers can get from their transactions. Whether this trend is economically efficient is a different question (the question being, I think, “efficient at doing what?”).
My opinion is that an Austrian undermines himself in deriding any market phenomenon–after all, at least this isn’t a charitable tax, yet.
As for the claims being false, that would be fraud. I am against fraud, as we all should be.

Ryan April 21, 2010 at 7:28 am

That’s a good point, William. As Austrian “economics qua economists” (to paraphrase Mises), we should approach these things neutrally. You’re definitely right about that.

Slim934 April 21, 2010 at 7:46 am

“My opinion is that an Austrian undermines himself in deriding any market phenomenon–after all, at least this isn’t a charitable tax”

“Well why is that? I see nothing wrong with someone showing a personal preference (or lack thereof) towards any given particular thing or towards any given social phenomenon. Making a value-free economic analysis towards one thing or another does not mean that one should not be allowed to have one’s own personal value judgments.

For example, I utterly despise most apple based products. When I get a smartphone it will likely be one of the Android OS based models. I would not buy an iPad if it were half of what Apple were charging for it. This is due to several reasons which overwhelmingly sway my value preferences one way compared to another.

But from an economic perspective I cannot help but admit that Apple has been an overwhelming social good to huge numbers of human beings. People can experience their favorite music and access mobile internet relatively easily with minimum hassle, and they can purchase at will numerous small software gadgets which do anything from play games to actual perform legitimate banking operations. They produce high quality products which many people are willing to pay for and they innovate on their product constantly.

From a value-free perspective I can understand why people buy them, but from looking solely at my own value judgments I still would not buy from them. I see nothing hypocritical in this.

William Mahrt April 21, 2010 at 9:07 am

Right, but this is the Ludwig von Mises institute, not the Jeffrey Tucker blog. Its purpose ought to be to promote sound economics and liberal philosophy. I would love to see a Jeffrey Tucker blog, by the way, because I think the man is both interesting and brilliant. However, this is not a positive Austrian article, nor is it even a normative libertarian one, because the transactions being criticized are purely voluntary. This is instead a personal opinion piece, which can only serve to polarize supporters of this movement.

jeffrey tucker April 21, 2010 at 9:47 am

William, what I’m doing here is using a familiar cultural phenom to illustrate 1) that markets and enterprise benefit everyone on their own terms, and 2) that there are dangers associated with not understanding that but instead masking every transaction in the guise of altrustic social uplift. It is indeed my personal opinion that not every article needs to be a deductive presentation of value-free axioms or a lecture on the non-aggression axiom. In fact, the site would lose half of Mises’s own writings under your strictures.

Craig April 20, 2010 at 3:23 pm

“The market takes care of both of these problems by appointing entrepreneurs to hire experts in this field.”

Nonsense. The local convenience store chain is no more expert at choosing charities than I am.

William Mahrt April 21, 2010 at 7:21 am

Craig, in nearly all cases, I agree.
However greater individual efficiency is not the only effect of the division of labor, which is why I also added an “economies of scale” argument. Let’s say the convenience store spends one day (8 hours) researching charities. You could probably do the same research in the same amount of time. But there is still an economic advantage to the store doing it, because it has in effect provided the information it has gathered to every customer who shops at the store. If you do the research yourself, you only provide the information only to yourself and maybe a few friends and family. Besides, you can always choose not to shop at the store if you don’t like their charity.

Cybertarian April 20, 2010 at 11:07 am

William Marth,

“Not all of us can be an expert on which charities are the most efficient”

My favorite charity is MYSELF ! I give to nobody and noone. I keep it all for myself. That’s the most efficient thing to do. Start giving and see how ingrate and arrogant and patronistic people become.

I was bullied at high school, my mother was abusive, teachers were cruel, society as a whole wants to eat you alive.

I’m sorry but I’m selfish, greedy, full of myself and that’s how I manage to survive in this cruel world.

William Mahrt April 21, 2010 at 7:32 am

Sounds like you don’t really have anything to pay forward, then. I don’t blame you for not wanting to donate to charity.

Engine Near April 21, 2010 at 1:23 pm

I’m swimming in cash, sorry to burst your misconceptions but I have lots of money and growing. You won’t have a penny from me.

Vincent Leho April 20, 2010 at 12:06 pm

This is an excellent article. Just right to the feeling we all have.That we are fed up of this phony altruism.

Ben Ranson April 20, 2010 at 12:12 pm

I drink a lot of coffee. I can say from experience that most of the coffee marketed as Fair Trade coffee is very good coffee. Those of you who don’t like it are free to drink Folgers.

There is nothing anti-free market about Fair Trade coffee. Many consumers prefer to drink high quality coffee “custom” roasted in small batches. Careful agricultural practices, handling and processing yield a superior product. If consumers like to think that the coffee farmer is better off in the end, well, good for them.

Another reason that Fair Trade coffee has been so successful is that, like wine, ham, cheese, olive oil, tobacco and many other products, coffee of particular varieties from a particular location often has unique and interesting flavors which differentiate it from run of the mill varieties. I find it difficult to see how a man so full of praises for expensive Spanish ham could find fault in similarly marketed coffees.

Ryan April 20, 2010 at 12:59 pm

Go visit a Salvadorean coffee orchard and try repeating this to me. The ordinary people live in hobbles, barely able to pay for necessities. They do their laundry in a river, miles away. Part of their diet consists of what grows on trees in the surrounding area. They are starving. The “fair trade” plantations are owned and operated by rich foreigners living out some bizarre 3rd world agrarian socialist fantasy, or else heavily privileged “old families” who made their fortunes by being coincidentally decendent of some slave-owning Spanish lord. Neither group has any interest in opening up the coffee market to REAL competition, so they invented this absurd “fair trade” B.S. concept as a means to subsidize their de facto lordships at the expense of every day people who would never ask for more than equal treatment under the law.

Sometimes you have to lay eyes on this stuff in person before you really understand it.

Cybertarian April 20, 2010 at 12:21 pm

The fault is not about expensive quality coffee, the fault Jeffrey Tucker finds is about fake altruism and having to sugar coat commercial enterprise with charity to make it socially acceptable. It’s this unwanted charity packaging that is at fault.

Just market this coffee as premium quality coffee and stop bothering us with the “fair” part.

Ben Ranson April 20, 2010 at 1:25 pm

A little bit of “fake altruism” is just part of marketing. If they put the image of an eight-year-old field hand spraying pesticide in the hot sun on the package, it would be hard to sell.

Cybertarian April 20, 2010 at 2:17 pm

I would be the first one to buy, as a protest against forced collectivization of everything.

Anthony April 20, 2010 at 6:52 pm

If the charity packaging were “unwanted” businesses would not use it… it is as simple as that. If you want to lament that people are ashamed of making a profit then fine, but to argue that people should not be altruistic with their own resources is both useless and counterproductive.

If you don’t want to support charities then don’t, but there is absolutely no libertarian argument against private charity supported on the basis of voluntary transactions. Also, the presence of voluntary charities makes libertarianism palatable to many who would otherwise dismiss it automatically.

Vincent Leho April 20, 2010 at 12:30 pm

William Mahrt may be right. Charities may be more efficient when undertaken by businesses.

“Either way, I believe you are being in some sense hypocritical in criticizing this purely market-driven movement toward “responsible consumerism.”

But it is responsible consumerism that is hypocritical, not this article.
There is nothing “fair” in fair trade.

Moreover, what businesses give to charities is not invested into production and reduce real and nominal wages. And so prosperity. As Reisman showed Charity is not an apropriate way to end misery. What is needed is Wealth, and so a socio-political order favorable to wealth creation and accumulation. And this require austrian-classical economics knowledge to be wide-spread in society. So the most justified charitable activities are giving time and/or money to Institution like LVMI and to make the effort to understand economics and after to spread it wide and loud.

Vincent Leho April 20, 2010 at 12:40 pm

When i buy a product, i want it to bring something to my life. All this “responsive consumerism”
is a symptom of the fact that the “moral” atmosphere of our time is saturated by altruism. And not the grand and noble altruism that make you care about families and friends, but the mucky altruism that bind you to anybody’s suffering and pain and MEDIOCRITY.

Cybertarian April 20, 2010 at 2:18 pm

I realize that most products bring NOTHING to my life, so I save my money and play the market. Profit brings happiness to my heart.

Stephan Kinsella April 20, 2010 at 2:44 pm

Great piece. I was reminded a bit of when I wrote a couple of posts a while back criticizing these kids who come panhandling, begging for money for wrapping paper or something to help fund their education: Panhandling Middle-Class Kids

Eric M. Staib April 21, 2010 at 4:10 am

To be fair, minimum wage and child labor laws keep those youths from actually doing things of value (other than the “value” of guilt relief) for their trips and things.

Mississippi Guesser April 21, 2010 at 8:56 am

I absolutely agree. When I was younger, I would get so angry that I wasn’t allowed to be employed. I ended up mowing some yards and selling gum at school to make money. Unfortunately, I couldn’t mow yards all year. I had moved from private to public school around this time, and was bored out of my mind.

I actually talked to someone the other day who believed that government ended child labor and belived it was “wrong.” I begged him to please not report me when I let the neighbor’s kid mow my yard.

DBW April 20, 2010 at 2:45 pm

I thoroughly enjoyed this article Mr. Tucker. Ironic how the same person whom you recommended to “make a living” is the the same sort of person which societies attempt to chain down as perpetual victims for ever more “social causes”, since you can’t have a cause without a victim.

jl April 20, 2010 at 3:17 pm

Sign I’d like to see on a business, pop stand, whatever:”Proceeds from each purchase go right into my pocket. I’m in it for the money. Lots of money! Some of this may go to charity, but that’s my business. Buy my product because you like it and I’m offering a good deal.”

Dan Q April 20, 2010 at 7:24 pm

There is nothing unethical about the concept of organized “charities” vs directly donating to the man on the street – as is the case with for-profit purchases of services, you are trusting the organization to distribute the donation in a reputable matter, as opposed to trusting the man on the street secretly looking to feed his tobacco habit.

Dave Martin April 20, 2010 at 7:53 pm

This reminds me of an exchange between a righty and a lefty on a discussion forum once.The righty was career military and ran a corporatist security business with all of his political connections. He was taking the high moral ground on his “serving his country” and essentially saying that the lefty did nothing of such honor.The lefty was a dentist. He defended himself by telling how his office does an annual charity event for poor children, a free teeth cleaning.I had to remind him that performing the service of dentistry benefits his fellow man, and that there’s nothing wrong with making a profit. And of course, I reminded the righty that he’s nothing more than a career parasite.

Justin Spahr-Summers April 20, 2010 at 11:42 pm

This is one of the best Mises Daily articles I’ve read in a while, and that’s saying a lot.

Excellent work.

Luke M April 21, 2010 at 1:06 am

I think that for many people, acting in ways that are ‘socially just’ or ‘good for the environment’ etc has a lot more to do with just the appearance of being an enlightened and considerate individual, it’s not really about helping others or having a deep concern for the environment. If people really cared about these things they would invest the time to study what makes a society prosperous and peaceful; i.e. they would exert the effort to come to grips with economics and why property rights are so crucial, the function of prices etc etc.

But this isn’t very ‘sexy’ and it can take a lot of time – time that could be better spent watching television or partying with friends. It’s much easier to just repeat platitudes or wear a sticker or carry green ‘enviro’ bags – i.e. to signal to others that you are ‘socially aware’ and cultivated.

Bob Murphy had a good daily article a couple months bag on philanthropy and how the government impedes it: The Race Against Government

Gil April 21, 2010 at 7:02 am

What of GM’s idea of going ‘green’ in a minimalist sense of changing the logo from blue to green?

No Freedom April 21, 2010 at 8:21 am

Luke M,

Most people are brain-dead sheep with low self-esteem, low free will and they go “green” just to fit in and do like everybody. They yield to peer pressure.

Those who have high self-esteem, strong free will and don’t yield to peer pressure are called anti-social and are forcibly drugged, shocked and locked.

There is no hope for mankind. If humanity is that stupid, then libertarians should long to become dictators. Look, the vast majority of brain-dead sheep don’t want freedom, don’t want dignity, don’t want property and are happy to be screwed by the elites.

So let’s join the fun and screw those sheeps. Given that the government runs it’s own ponzi schemes with social security, social benefits, medicaid, medicare, bailouts etc. Who can blame Madoff ? Who can blame Enron ?

Genetics seem to be engineered to give the world to a select dictatorial few, I don’t think Misesians will change biology.

You are either a slave-slave or a slave-master. Average citizens are slaves to the masters, masters are slaves to the power. They is no such thing as freedom on earth.

frank April 21, 2010 at 8:39 am

“So let’s join the fun and screw those sheeps”

It’s “fun” to condemn large portions of the population to substandard living conditions and worse for your own material gain if you’re a sociopath. And I can blame Madoff and Enron – I choose to treat people squarely, regardless of the undoubted criminality of the government in charge, and let the consequences of that way of living be whatever they are.

Luke M April 21, 2010 at 9:49 am

No Freedom,

It can certainly get frustrating at times when it feels like we’re being led further and further down the road to serfdom yet, rather than resisting, people are cheering and encouraging it. I’ll admit to having entertained such ultra-cynical and pessimistic views as you expressed but they’ve only been momentary because, well, I have principles and I try to abide by them.

You have to remember that the majority of people we’re likely to encounter have, since they were just children, been forced to attend (what to a large extent are) indoctrination camps. They never ‘chose’ democracy or voting or political parties and so forth. They’ve forever been told they ARE free and so have likely put little thought into the kind of questions and answers discussed by libertarians.

No Freedom April 21, 2010 at 1:28 pm

I have always resisted indoctrination because it always felt to me like mind rape.

Everytime someone tries to sell me or talk me into their values, morality, altruism, obedience to authority, religion etc. I resist and dislike that person.

It’s worse when it’s done in a coercive manner amidst peer pressure like schools. I have always been a misfit and a rebel and the more people try to “fix” me, the more I get bold ! Grrrr !

I have come to the conclusion that the vast majority of mankind is not worth living. I’ve been in the same indoctrination camps than them, public schools and evangelical churches and I have always resisted those assaults against my mind. If I could do it, so can they and they have no excuse.

Sheeps always get skinned and slaughtered and I don’t want to share their destiny.

Look at how the middle class is getting slaughtered in the USA !

UK ex-academic April 21, 2010 at 11:06 am

There’s a lot more on this subject (profit versus charity) in Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged”. If you haven’t read it yet, please do so!

Color me skeptical.... April 21, 2010 at 3:26 pm

I loved the article, so I hate to point out that lewrockwell.com gets a cut of amazon purchases through them. How is this different?

Daniel April 21, 2010 at 4:00 pm

By supporting LRC or the LvMI you’re doing a good thing, which I’d go so far as to call it a charity (and a real one at that)

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