Jul 20, 2018

Don't take the existence of wealth for granted

Just started reading Tyler Cowen's Stubbon Attachments, which isn't published in book-form yet, but looks like it's coming soon via Stripe Press. (!)

From p. 17 of my copy:

I do not take the productive powers of economies for granted. Production could be much greater than it is today and our lives could be more splendid. Or if we make some big mistakes production could be much less and we could all be much poorer. This simple observation helps us put the idea of production at the center of moral theory, as without production value is problematic.

For all of her failings, Ayn Rand is the one writer who has best understood the importance of production for moral theory, a point which she expressed enthusiastically at great length, albeit with numerous unfortunate caricatures. It is the work of capital, labor, and natural resources – driven by the creative individual mind – which undergird the achievements of our civilization. Whether or not you agree with all of Rand’s political views, do not take the existence of wealth for granted.