One of my favorite pastimes is to read the letters to the editor section of newspapers to get a sense how people are thinking about the issues of the day.
Below is a letter that was published in the Record in response to my previous letter criticizing the newspaper’s editorial praising the New Jersey’s Attorney’s General lawsuits against a few gas stations and several motels for the crime of “price gouging” during Hurricane Sandy.
According to the letter write he wouldn’t “want to live in Murray Sabrin’s world, where neighbors and friends exploit each other for every last dollar in the name of the free market.” (Emphasis added) Huh?
In my world, there would be peace, liberty, and prosperity.
In my world government agents would not be sexually molesting passengers at airports, the government would not be spying on the people, the government would not be trampling on anyone’s constitutional rights, the government would not hamper the free enterprise system, the government would not subsidize any business, would not redistribute income from producers to non producers, and the government would not be trying to “make the world safe for democracy.” In addition, in my world the dollar would be as good as gold so the purchasing of our money would not decline.
In short, in my world government exploitation and plunder would cease so freedom would reign.
In the letter writer’s world, supply and demand is extortion, rising prices are extortion, private property is extortion, and “reasonable” laws and soldiers’ sacrificing for the “common good’ is the essence of “decent society.”
In other words, the letter writer’s world can be summed up in one word, statism–the belief that government power creates a “decent society.”
America has been on a philosophical decline for nearly 100 years. The ideology of collectivism has infiltrated our religious institutions, our schools, our colleges and universities, the media and yes-corporate boardrooms.
Elections will not reverse the “road to serfdom.” Nothing less than a philosophical revolution will save us from the same fate that befell every empire in history.
Regarding “Politics, economics and price gouging” (Your Views, Dec. 8):
I certainly wouldn’t want to live in Murray Sabrin’s world, where neighbors and friends exploit each other for every last dollar in the name of the free market.
Most people understand that while the free market can bring out the best in our society, the freedom it affords also has the ability to bring out the worst as well. Fortunately, we have the government to step in and enforce reasonable laws to protect citizens from exploitive businesses, especially in times of emergency such as Sandy.
Simply because you have the ability to extort more for your product or service in an emergency doesn’t justify that action in the name of the free market. For a society to succeed, simple decency must be part of the fabric. It’s what fills our hospitals with volunteers and keeps emergency responders working 24-hour days. It’s what has neighbors taking in neighbors when the power goes out. And it’s what sends soldiers away from their families to make the greatest sacrifice of all, not for the bottom line but for the common good.
The free market has no brain or conscience; it seeks only profit. Society should not let it blind us as our sole guiding light.
Leonia, Dec. 10