It would be tough for me to single out my single least favorite member of my alma mater Princeton's faculty. However, Peter Singer would certainly be in the running. TJIC fisks some of Singers recent writing in the NY Times. I will leave you to read his thoughts, except I wanted to comment on this paragraph of Singer's:
"¦The rich must - or so some of us with less money like to assume -
suffer sleepless nights because of their ruthlessness in squeezing out
competitors, firing workers, shutting down plants or whatever else they
have to do to acquire their wealth"¦
I could probably write a book just from this quote, but let me just focus on two responses:
- It helps prove my long-time observation that politicians, artists, and academics of a socialist bent who frequently criticize business have absolutely no idea what they do day to day or how they make money or create value. Most have been an artist/academic/politician since the day they left school, and if they have held a real job in the value-creation part of the world, it is seldom as any type of manager or supervisor. Singer knows no more about wealth creation than I do about sub-atomic particles. The amazing thing, though, is that the NY Times would never quote me on sub-atomic particles but frequently gives Singer a platform to hold forth about wealth creation. Economics is a science too, just as much as physics. As I said in that linked post:
Economics is a science. Willful ignorance or emotional
rejection of the well-known precepts of this science is at least as bad
as a fundamentalist Christian's willful ignorance of evolution science
(for which the Left so often criticizes their opposition). In
fact, economic ignorance is much worse, since most people can come to
perfectly valid conclusions about most public policy issues with a
flawed knowledge of the origin of the species but no one can with a
flawed understanding of economics.
- Read the statement, and really think about what he says, remembering that he really believes these exact words. Forget about the squeezing out competitors part -- presumably we capitalists are just bashing each other so this is likely the least of his arguments (not to mention how many people Singer likely "squeezed out" in the competition for scarce tenure and professor positions at Princeton). Think about his statement that the way wealth is created is by "firing workers" and "shutting down plants." So the logical implication is that the corporation who ends up with no workers and not assets will be the richest? And here all this time I have been stupidly growing my company by trying to hire more good people and add on productive assets.
Singer is as qualified to write about business practices as I am to write about South East Asian mating rituals. Each of us is equally experienced and knowlegeable about these topics. Somehow, though, the NY Times sees fit to publish Singer and my beloved University pays him to teach. Unbelievable.