Sunday, January 03, 2016

Progressives and progess

Did Los Angeles (and other US cities) "lose" their streetcars because of a corporate consipracy? It's an old and tired view that some people cannot shed. Most of us drive cars (here and abroad) for the obvious reason that they serve us best. Consumer choice still guides resource allocation. We can be grateful.

Today's LA Times mentions the demise of LA's Red Cars once more. The author of the piece ends up agreeing with the obvious, but not after a detour that respectfully reviews the consipracy view.

My nomination for best nonfiction of 2016 (so far) is Fred Siegel's The Revolt Against The Masses. The Progessive view, on full display via today's Democratic party and Europe's Social Democats, has been evolving for about 100 years. Progressives have long  rejected or dismissed the idea of progress (D. McCloskey calls it The Great Fact). Siegel's thought is that progress is untenable for Progressives because they did not have a hand in the creating the material progreess we all enjoy. A disnmissive view is natural. The beauty of bottom-up resource allocation is beyond the pale.