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Strong opinions, weakly held

Tyler Cowen vs libertarian orthodoxy

One of the key pillars of libertarian orthodoxy is that foreign aid is bad. Tyler Cowen sets his readers straight:

I still believe that foreign aid does not raise economic growth rates, on average. But aid can alleviate human misery, such as when a visiting doctor gives vaccines or hands out medicine. (In fact per capita income may fall, as a result, if some “weaklings” are kept alive.)

I also believe that the U.S. military can make a huge difference in the immediate aftermath of catastrophes.

Imagine U.S. troops liberating Buchenwald. Would any commentators say the following? “Don’t give him that blanket, sell it to him!” “Hey buddy, get a job!” “Moral hazard: they’ll just go get captured again.” etc. I don’t think so.

2 Comments

  1. In fact per capita income may fall, as a result, if some “weaklings” are kept alive.

    Wow, what a piece of work that guy is.

  2. The concept of pure libertarianism is just as juvenile and asinine as the concept of pure fascism. Unfortunately, people take self-described libertarians far more seriously than self-described fascists.

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