I would counter, as I have since 2009, that you and your intellectual kindred fail to grasp that politics is moral not merely empirical. That humans are tribalists not universalists. That universalism suits the interests of the academy’s revenues, but not the interests of all polities. The human morality is roughly translatable into a prohibition on free riding. And that under plenty, humans share excess in exchange for status, and under duress humans punish free riders.
What you have seen in the great recession is a evidence of moral expression that will always exist under democratic polities that are able to express moral instincts. Under the great recession we are punishing free riders built up under the era of plenty.
You may call this irrational. But the use of this moral intuition is doing precisely what those who carry that instinct intuit that it should: punishing free riders – even and extreme personal expense. The middle class votes against its material interests out of altruistic punishment of free riders.
Until we find an institutional means of controlling free riding, we will continue to see this behavior in high-trust high-altruistic-punishment societies. And it is only high trust high altruistic punishment societies that matter. Because they are always the only societies with wealth to distribute. Since those societies are the only ones that produce excesses.
I will not live long enough I think, to restore morality to economics. But at some point someone will. Because good economics is empirical. And empirically – humans do, and must, act morally. And morality is a synonym for the prohibition on free riding.
Democracy is incompatible with your interpretation of ‘good’ economics. And economics without morality is not scientific, but ideological and dysgenic.
The Propertarian Institute