I got e-mail from Cynde Sears in response to last Sunday's Phony Campaign Update. If you'd like to read that first, go ahead. I'll wait.
Ah, good. You're back. Here's her response:
Brief comment here: I think Mitt, whose behavior was under discussion, is more of a lemonade kind of guy. (Although he might make it with Perrier.)
While my original post took Cynde Sears to task for "irritating judgmentalism", her response caused me to regret that a little. Although my mostly-libertarian politics should imply a live-and-let-live attitude, I can be kind of judgmental myself.
[OK, stop laughing.]
And when you're judgmental about the judgmentalism of others, the whole enterprise turns into a sort of Ouroborosian dining on one's own tail, and I have no idea what sort of wine would go well with that.
So, although I'm a lousy Christian, I reread Matthew 7:1-5 and will try to take that to heart, for at least the next few minutes.
I still think her criticism of others' behavior is economically misguided. Like many who claim the "liberal" label these days, Cynde Sears looks at the economic decisions of other people—from "major corporations" down to individuals like Mitt Romney—and thinks: I could do a better job than that.
Even occasional readers know where I sit on that topic: scale up that attitude, add political power, and you find yourself in the Choomwagon riding down the Road to Serfdom. Again, see David Boaz for more specificity.
But the "cheap people" comment caused me to recall an even more appropriate response: this classic Slate article from Steve Landsburg, who mused on the economics of Ebenezer Scrooge-like behavior, the kind that Cynde Sears finds so distasteful. Brief excerpt:
In this whole world, there is nobody more generous than the miser--the man who could deplete the world's resources but chooses not to. The only difference between miserliness and philanthropy is that the philanthropist serves a favored few while the miser spreads his largess far and wide.
If you build a house and refuse to buy a house, the rest of the world is one house richer. If you earn a dollar and refuse to spend a dollar, the rest of the world is one dollar richer--because you produced a dollar's worth of goods and didn't consume them.
Christmas is coming, so I suggest you Read The Whole Thing™. God bless Us, Every One!