The Spoils Of Intelligent Libertarianism

by Patrick Appel

Yglesias offers a charitable take on libertarianism:

I think libertarianism is best understood as a kind of esoteric doctrine. There’s strong evidence to believe that people who overestimate their own efficacy in life wind up doing better than those with more accurate perceptions. It follows that it’s strongly desirable for society to be organized so as to bolster myths of meritocracy. This will lead to individual instances of injustice and to a lot of apparently preventable suffering, but over the long-term the aggregate impact of growth (which, of course, compounds) on human welfare will swamp this as long as we can maintain the spirit of capitalism.

Tyler Cowen nods his head. The basic insight of libertarianism –skepticism towards government action– is a healthy political ballast when used selectively.