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Liberals and Scrooge

An article by Jerry Bowyer


The current edition of Townhall Magazine contains an article by Jerry Bowyer titled “What was Charles Dickens really doing when he wrote ‘A Christmas Carol’.

The following paragraphs are from Mr. Bowyers’ article.

“What was Dickens really doing when he wrote A Christmas Carol? Answer: He was weighing in on one of the central economic debates of his time, the one that raged between Thomas Malthus and one of the disciples of Adam Smith.

Malthus famously argued that in a world in which economies grew arithmetically and population grew geometrically, mass want would be inevitable. His Essay on Population created a school of thought which continues to this day under the banners of Zero Population Growth and Sustainability. The threat of a “population bomb” under which my generation lived was Paul Ehrlich’s modern rehashing of the Malthusian argument about the inability of productivity to keep pace with, let alone exceed, population growth.

Jean Baptiste Say, Smith’s most influential disciple, argued on the other hand, as had his mentor, that the gains from global population growth, spread over vast expanses of trading, trigger gains from a division of labor which exceed those ever thought possible before the rise of the market order.”

When Scrooge is visited by a ghost, the ghost points out how evil and false Scrooge’s belief system is.

When Scrooge finally realizes that zero population growth does not bring prosperity but that it is brought about by population growth, economic growth and free trade, Scrooge is finally able to enjoy his life and his associates.

Today, the left is trying to scare people into giving the government more power to control the citizens of the United States with the same type of propaganda used by Thomas Malthus. The left claims that the planet is being overpopulated, polluted and destroyed by human beings.

What the left does not understand is that all the problems on this earth are caused by government not by individual citizens.

Ronald Reagan said exactly what a disciple of Adam Smith would be expected to say, “Government is not the solution to our problems. Government is the problem.”

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