John Allison

“The “common good” (or the “public interest”) is an indefinable concept. There is no such thing as the public. The public is only a number of individual people. When the common good of a society is regarded as something apart from and superior to the individual good of its members, the good of some people takes precedence over the good of other people, with those others consigned to the status of sacrificial animals.

“Altruism should not be confused with benevolence. Altruism means that other people (society or the tribe) are more important than you are. Altruism is an unquestioning duty to others. It is not about being nice to people. It is about self-sacrifice.

A classic economic error made by liberals is to assume that good intentions produce good outcomes. Economic theory unquestionably demonstrates that so-called good intentions often produce very bad outcomes. This is the “law of unintended consequences” that is so relevant to policy makers and others who not only fail to achieve their aims, but also cause results that are directly opposed to their aims—as when central banks and regulators seek to ensure “safe and sound” banking, but instead make banks and the system more dangerous and precarious. However, if you are an altruist, moral good is defined by your intentions to help others, not by the actual outcome. In fact, altruism often serves as an excuse for bad behavior (and bad intentions).

“Where did the idea of “affordable housing” (that is, subprime home finance) come from? Everyone has a right to a house. Provided by whom? Everyone has a right to free medical care. Provided by whom? My right to free medical care is my right to imprison a doctor to make him provide that care or to force someone else to pay for the doctor. This is exactly the opposite of the American concept of rights. America’s Founding Fathers believed that each of us has the right to what we produce and what we create, not to what someone else has created.

Altruism leads to a redistribution from the productive to the non-productive. In fact, it implies that no one has a right to her own life. Everyone is everyone else’s property. This is a rejection of the concept of rights.”

Excerpt From: John A. Allison. “The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure:  Why Pure Capitalism is the World Economy’s Only Hope.” McGraw-Hill, 2013. iBooks.

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It is a shallow morality that justifies generosity with some one else’s money.  Just as there is very little nutrition (in the long term)  in stolen food.