Progressives often wrap themselves up in a lot of libertarian-sounding jargon. But when push comes to shove, progressives are more comfortable with coercion than free association. James Taranto links this piece in his Friday Best of the Web:
A longtime singer and guitarist with the Zucchini Brothers and a substitute teaching assistant for Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex BOCES [school board], Powell has lived frugally for years. He works about three days a week as a sub, earning about $70 a day, with no benefits. From March to October, he rides his bike 20 miles to work when work is available....
Part of that survival--or so he thought--included shopping at Wal-Mart to take advantage of cheaper prices for himself, his partner and her two children. Then his discussions about Wal-Mart with Sandra Carner-Shafran, a teaching assistant at BOCES and a member of the Board of Directors of New York State United Teachers, started churning inside him. . . .
"I don't like what Wal-Mart stands for," Powell said, noting the mega-chain's scanty health insurance for staffers. "Because of all those things they can lower the prices."
He and his partner agreed to go on food stamps for their family rather than shop at Wal-Mart any longer.
Please observe the moral choice he made that is being applauded by those on the left: Rather than get low cost food from Wal-mart, which generally* transacts with its suppliers, employers, and customers through mutual self-interest and the consent of all parties in each transaction, he has decided it is MORE MORAL to get his food expropriated from the American taxpayer without their consent. Lovely. By the way, it is ironic that he is mad that Wal-mart employees accepts jobs with no health benefits when he in fact has made the same choice himself.
*The exception being that Wal-Mart does use the force of government via imminent domain to obtain land where the free will of landowners would not cooperate and to get special tax credits from local governments to get area citizenry to subsidize its business. If Mr. Powell were to protest these practices, I would be all for it, but my guess is that he is not protesting government handouts to Walmart by signing up for... government handouts for himself.