Let them die

Tyler Cowen speaks his mind, outraging the sensible types at Balloon Juice and elsewhere. I don’t have a whole lot to add, except that I think I know exactly how Cowen’s mind was working when he said that. He’s in love with economics as an abstraction, so yes, the fact that poor people will die of diseases that rich people would not is simply an elegant consequence of the machinery of the universe, not something to be upset or outraged over, much less try to fix with economic policy.

Cowen is a proud Aspie, which is not really an excuse. I spend energy on anti-libertarianism because it’s how I fight my own tendencies in that direction (and whatever the medical diagnosis is, the symptom is loving systems more than people).  Maybe he’s got more of it, but I refuse to believe that it is an excuse to be a douchebag.



One thought on “Let them die

  1. Love of systems isn’t the Aspie/Libertarian disease, as other ideologies and psychological types share this affection, which becomes affliction because of the Aspie embrace of very concretistic solutions to problems defined at high abstraction levels. These libertarian Aspies start from an extremely grand utilitarian morality, but their implementations–let them die (Cowen) and increase their numbers grossly (Hanson)–are myopic. These theorists think about program at a completely different abstraction level than they think about the issues.I discuss this disconnect between the abstraction level of issues and programs in my blog Juridical Coherence at http://tinyurl.com/88d329b


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