Friday, December 25, 2009

Winner Take All?

I've made it about halfway through the book "winner take all society", and I don't know if I'll finish.

My opinion of the book can be summed in a response to a statement on the one hundred seventh page of the book:

"If the goal is to maximize society's total income, how many should compete for the recording contract?

I answer this with another question: Whose place is it to decide the contestants in such a contest, anyway? Sure, letting too many people compete for such a contract may be inefficient from an economics perspective (though I think the verdict is out on THAT conclusion), but if faced with a choice between inefficiency and freedom, I will choose the latter EVERY TIME. I think Ben Franklin said it best: "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

This "safety" includes economic safety as well. Our society would do well to remember that.

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