Monday, August 27, 2012

Why Should I Brush Your Teeth?

Bryan Caplan and Bill Dickens get into an argument over welfare.  See here.

This is really long, so I'll summarize.  At one point, Caplan says: Let me close by asking you a question I publicly asked Paul Krugman: Why are you so forgiving of people with irresponsible lifestyles, but so outraged by people who don't want to pay taxes to help people with irresponsible lifestyles?  This seems morally perverse.  If you're going to single anyone out for condemnation, it should be the person who behaves irresponsibly in the first place, not the complete stranger who asks, "How is this my fault?"

Dickens gives his response.  But, scroll down to the comments section and look for the powerful Thomas Sowell's comment.  Sowell points out a classic debate blunder (or maneuver if you're on the losing side).  Bryan Caplan asks a question that could be interpreted equivalently as "We should encourage people to brush their teeth so they don't need as much dental work." Dickens response is "People with bad teeth regret not having brushed them earlier in life." Sowell notes that Dickens doesn't even respond to Caplan's point.

At any rate, this requires some reading.  So, get comfy before diving in.

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