Ignorance By Choice

One of the conclusions I must draw from observations made over a number of yeas is that far too many of the Left are ignorant. I'm not talking about the kind of ignorance that comes from not being exposed to ideas, facts, or events outside one's experience, but willful ignorance, ignorance by choice.

Reading the comments of pro-union readers of South Carolina governor Nikki Haley's opinion piece in the WSJ about the NLRB's suit against Boeing were telling, showing (to me) how much of their thinking was pure indoctrination, not backed by fact or evidence. Their hatred of businesses in general and Boeing in particular was out in the open. If such reactions revealed anything, it was their willful ignorance about how the economy operates, how businesses function, where money actually comes from, and how unions have changed and are not the organizations they once were.

Many of the positive views of the unions expressed by the pro-union commenters were right out of the 1930's. Far too many of them seem to think that if it weren't for the unions “protecting” the working man today we'd all be working for slave wages and child labor laws would be struck down and all our kids would be working in the textile mills again. They truly believe only a union can provide fair wages, benefits, and working conditions that otherwise would be unavailable to anyone. That may have been true back 100 years ago, but not today. With all of the labor and employment laws on the books (many brought about by the work of the unions decades ago), the need for unions for that kind of protection no longer exists. But to read what some of the pro-union have put forth, you'd think we were only a day or two away from going back to those bad old days.

And then there's this bit of willful ignorance in which far too many of them indulge: money, and where it actually comes from.

Do they truly believe the money is all just piled in bank vaults, “meant to be shared equally amongst Americans”? To listen to some of them, the answer is yes. But it overlooks one principle that so many of the rest of us recognize as being a fundamental truth: Money isn't owed to anyone, it is earned. And that money isn't just sitting in piles in bank vaults where it does no one, even the rich, any good. It has to be used, has to circulate to be of any good to anyone. Otherwise it's just piles of paper with pictures of dead presidents printed on them.

One of the other falsehoods that many of the Left believe at a gut level appears to be that wealth is a zero sum game, and that for someone to become wealthy someone else has to become poor. They either don't realize or care that the size of the proverbial “pie” they want to portion out to everyone is not static. It grows and shrinks with the economy. And of those who do understand the size of the pie changes, far too many of them believe only the wealthy benefit when the economy grows, and only the middle class and poor see their share of the pie shrink when the economy shrinks. The truth is everyone gains and everyone suffers as the pie grows and shrinks. Everyone.

But why confuse them with the facts? They aren't interested in any case.