Maisie McLazy finally managed to get to the keyboard to tell us that our poverty is structural and there's nothing anyone can do about it. McArdle tells us that some people on both sides are upset that "free trade" made them poor and after shedding one crystalline tear, she briskly informs her audience that tvs would cost far too much if we eliminated competition in the marketplace.
It's just a matter of the lesser of two evils.
Does market liberalism create some outcomes that many, even most, people won’t like? Yes. But the defense of market liberalism is not that it is perfect, only that it is less imperfect than any of the alternatives we can see.
The problem is that growing numbers of people are experiencing the imperfections of free markets right now. The industries that supported their parents have disappeared. They see no path to the financial security that Americans once felt. So what if the market liberals are perfectly correct? So what if this impersonal system of specialization and exchange has produced the greatest flowering of prosperity, health and opportunity in human history? That's small comfort to those Americans who are not feeling prosperous or healthy. That's small comfort to the Americans who have lost opportunities while others have gained them.
No one likes to be told that they are at the mercy of impersonal forces, however ultimately benign. The populists proposing protectionism may not be able to offer prosperity, but they can offer the illusion of control. In times of great uncertainty, that’s an easy sell.
On the other side, the people trying to sell the benefits of the free market face a real hurdle. And not just because they are the people who benefit the most from that system. In a future column, I’ll talk about why the death grip of the educated elites on the policy priorities of both parties has become such a big problem -- for them, for American workers, and for the entire political system.Yes, Megan McArdle is richsplaining why you have to be poor: You are at the mercy of benign impersonal forces that just happened to spontaneously spring up to make the very rich much richer and the middle and lower classes much poorer.
She thinks you're stupid enough to believe she cares and she deeply believes that she must be right and the lower classes must be wrong. Money talks and it told her so.