Who Lacks Understanding?

Did you happen to see this response to John’s living wage column in today’s ABQ Journal? If you really want understanding check this eloquent critique of progressives/socialists like Ann Kass.
Excerpt (you should read the whole thing):
· Employment and Wages: If I was going to sell my old TV set on eBay, most people would not think to have the government tell me how much I should be willing to accept for the TV. For me, even $20 might be enough, if the TV was not being used and just taking up space in my house. Can you imagine government agents descending on me and saying – “I’m sorry, but people much smarter than you have decided that $20 is too little for you to accept for that TV. We would rather you get nothing than get too little.”
Well, that is exactly what happens with labor. The government that does not tell me how much to sell my TV for does tell me that I can’t sell my labor below a certain price. They would rather me not work at all than work for $4.50 an hour. The arrogance of this is startlingly clear in lesser developed countries.
Progressives do not like American factories appearing in third world countries, paying locals wages progressives feel are too low, and disrupting agrarian economies with which progressives were more comfortable. But these changes are all the sum of actions by individuals, so it is illustrative to think about what is going on in these countries at the individual level.
One morning, a rice farmer in southeast Asia might face a choice. He can continue a life of brutal, back-breaking labor from dawn to dusk for what is essentially subsistence earnings. He can continue to see a large number of his children die young from malnutrition and disease. He can continue a lifestyle so static, so devoid of opportunity for advancement, that it is nearly identical to the life led by his ancestors in the same spot a thousand years ago.
Or, he can go to the local Nike factory, work long hours (but certainly no longer than he worked in the field) for low pay (but certainly more than he was making subsistence farming) and take a shot at changing his life. And you know what, many men (and women) in his position choose the Nike factory. And progressives hate this. They distrust this choice. They distrust the change. And, at its heart, that is what opposition to globalization is all about – a deep seated conservatism that distrusts the decision-making of individuals and fears change, change that ironically might finally pull people out of untold generations of utter poverty.

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