I Am Charlie

On Wednesday morning, Jan 7, 2015, in Paris, two jihadist terrorists stormed into the offices of a satirical magazine called Charlie Hebdo. They were armed with AK-47s, a shotgun and even an RPG. In short order they killed 12 people and wounded 11 others. Why? In their words “We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad. We have killed Charlie Hebdo!” The magazine had previously republished the Danish cartoons from 2005 that depicted Mohammed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jyllands-Posten_Muhammad_cartoons_controversy), had put out an issue that was supposedly edited by him, another with a cartoon of him on the cover and other like pieces.

Lest you think that it’s an anti-Islam magazine, they did plenty of irreverent pieces on Christianity and Judaism as well as other cultural taboos. If I was a cartoonist I’d do a couple of other offensive cartoons (I was thinking Jesus reading Origin of Species and Moses breaking off the 11th commandment (don’t get caught) from the bottom of the tablet) and grab one of the funniest Danish ones. If someone reads this and can draw the cartoons or something similar I’d be glad to put them up, with or without attribution as you choose.

The pen may be mightier than the sword … in the long run. 20+ people just paid the short-run price.

What’s the Solution

The real problem is that there are NO solutions possible to most human problems. There are only tradeoffs. Even so, people emotionally demand the impossible and that’s where the ideologues step in with their invalid premises and promises.

The only thing that is unlimited is human desires. All resources are finite and their most efficient economic allocation is learned through the mechanism of prices. Some win, some lose but most people, on average, improve their lot. No politician or appointee or committee or any other human-created group can possibly have sufficient information to more efficiently allocate those resources.

That is assuming that people actually have the freedom to make their own decisions as to what they really want and at what price they’re willing to pay for it, no matter whether or not that’s what some elite thinks they do or should want.

The self-proclaimed elites on all sides insist that they are the ones who should decide what people can or can’t have or do because they are so much wiser or more moral or more caring or whatever label they chose to use. They may mean to rule well, but they do mean to rule. What they do with the economy is just one of their tools.