Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Which Came First, the Callousness Or the Libertarianism?

Megan McArdle's feelings about chickens:

I haven't mentioned it until now, but I'd like to urge California voters to support Proposition 2, which bans excessively confining situations for farm animals. It is not perfect, but it does provide some protection for animals from the most grotesque penning practices.
Megan McArdle's feelings about the poor:

I've lived on a very tight budget, but even in my most impecunious student days, I wouldn't have freaked out if my eggs had suddenly cost 5 cents more apiece. I'm sure I could have found a few beverage containers to return for the deposit. If there are really people so poor that paying 50 cents more for a dozen eggs will push them into starvation, then they need an increase in their food stamps.
Somehow I doubt McArdle spent her college days wondering how she was going to be able to pay for groceries for her kids and the gas to go buy them. Eggs have already increased in price the last year from about $1/dozen to almost two dollars. Megan thinks it's fine; just return soda bottles or get an increase in food stamps to help the poor, confined chickens.

Say, didn't Megan downplay torture of human beings? And didn't she say that people shouldn't get more food stamps because they'll just buy more food? I don't understand how someone can have compassion for cows, chickens, and pigs, yet can't dredge up an ounce of concern for her fellow man. A bird kept in a cage is far more important to her than a man hooded, bound, tortured, and kept in a cage. Maybe if he laid eggs Megan would care, but I'm not sure even that would do it.

How can this be? Is there anything even resembling a logical explanation for this?

6 comments:

clever pseudonym said...

Not that poor people need an increase in food stamps since they're all fat anyway. But it's not a big issue, since there aren't really any dairy farms in California. Apparently. Good heavens, she's just plain *dumb*.

Memo to Megan: I know it might surprise you to learn this, but not all poor people are actually on the food stamp program or receive government assitance. "Just increase their food stamps" isn't going to solve the problem for most.

Susan of Texas said...

I hope Megan never encounters economic hardship. She would be holding up convenience stores within six months.

clever pseudonym said...

I always saw Megan as more of a jumper, myself.

Dillon said...

"I don't understand how someone can have compassion for cows, chickens, and pigs, yet can't dredge up an ounce of concern for her fellow man."

Easy. Animals are cute and cuddly, while poor people are immoral scum.

To understand what McArdle is thinking at any give time, you should first apply what I call "Megan's Razor". Consider the most callous, poorly thought out and self serving reasoning that could possibly result in the conclusion she has reached, and you will most likely be correct.

clever pseudonym said...

I also think Megan's assumption about poor people is that they asked for it somehow with their own behavior or inability to "pull themselves up by their bootstraps." Her worldview is so simplistic and black and white, that she doesn't consider for a second that there are other circumstances beyond personal control that result in poverty. The animals don't have the means to improve their conditions and didn't ask to become meat. Poor people, on the other hand, deserve their travails by causing them themselves.

Susan of Texas said...

Ah, it seems I missed that undercurrent of delight at depriving someone else of something when one's own needs are always met.