Yelling Fire in a Crowded European Theater and Locking the Doors
This strange philosophy is beginning to dawn on some all star commentators on the left. It used to be that in the case of a fire, you should make your way for the exits in the front and rear of the auditorium. But now some are beginning to question the incentives of that sage philosophy of the multiplex. Now they fear–who will fight the fire if everyone leaves the building? Ahhhh, we must lock the doors! That will encourage everyone to stay and save the theater….
In an article entitled “What Can Save the Euro” Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz writes:
Moreover, free labor mobility means that individuals can choose whether to pay their parents’ debts: young Irish can simply escape repaying the foolish bank-bailout obligations assumed by their government by leaving the country. Of course, migration is supposed to be good, as it reallocates labor to where its return is highest. But this kind of migration actually undermines productivity.
Which means, what, we should ban migration? If my actual brother takes out loans he can’t repay, I’m not on the hook. But if a whole flapjack generation piles on the debt, then I am responsible? What’s the moral logic there?
And then we have the usually dashing Michael Lewis, who whines in a satirical put on:
As a first, small step we propose to bestow, annually, an award to the Upper One who has best exhibited to the wider population his willingness and ability to have nothing at all to do with them. As the recipient of the first Incline Award — so named for the residents of Incline Village, Nevada, many of whom have bravely fled California state taxes — we propose Jeff Bezos.
His private rocket ship may have exploded before it reached outer space. But before it did, it sent back to Earth the message we hope to convey:
We’re outta here!
The author of Boomerang and the Big Short should know that the fiscal dynamite sitting under an insolvent Greece and California was not put there by people who left the country and state. He’s confusing effects with causes. People left because they saw the troubles ahead. They’d only be idiots to stick around.