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Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness

Ben Sargent dishes lobster rolls from secret digs in Brooklyn
Black market lobster pusher
Photo credit: NYDailyNews.com

When we start thinking about things that human beings ought to, by our standards of decency, have a right to, liberals tend to add more items to the list and libertarians fewer. Or none.

It’s not that liberals are necessarily more kind or libertarians less so, but that libertarians believe it’s counterproductive and wrong to force anybody to do anything. Many ideas that seem like good things couldn’t work at all without some degree of force, and when you have to force people to act in ways they believe aren’t in their best interest it has unintended consequences. We humans are pretty crafty when it comes to getting around rules we don’t like, and that tends to change outcomes in unexpected ways. Well, unexpected if you had unrealistically high hopes about the power of rules vs. the power of human ingenuity.

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