By Fareed Zakaria
Libertarians the new communists?
“Yes, liberty is a core American value, and an overweening state can be unhealthy. And there are plenty of self-described libertarians who have adopted the label mainly because they support same-sex marriage or decry government surveillance. These social libertarians aren’t the problem. It is the nihilist anti-state libertarians…who should worry us,” argue Nick Hanauer and Eric Liu on Bloomberg.
“Like communism, this philosophy is defective in its misreading of human nature, misunderstanding of how societies work and utter failure to adapt to changing circumstances. Radical libertarianism assumes that humans are wired only to be selfish, when in fact cooperation is the height of human evolution. It assumes that societies are efficient mechanisms requiring no rules or enforcers, when, in fact, they are fragile ecosystems prone to collapse and easily overwhelmed by free-riders. And it is fanatically rigid in its insistence on a single solution to every problem: Roll back the state!”
“Today, almost two-thirds of the jobs created in the economy require a bachelor’s degree, an associate’s degree, or some other post-secondary training. A seemingly perfect ratio – two-thirds of high-school graduates – enroll in college, both in two- and four-year institutions,” writes Monica Potts in the American Prospect.
“But about 46 percent of them fail to finish within six years. The United States has the highest college-dropout rate of any industrialized country. Students are now heading to colleges around the country, and there's no reason to think this year will be any different. If a college education is now the gateway to a middle-class job, and if we expect every student to aim for it, one big unanswered question remains: What happens to those who fail, and is there a better way to prepare them for the job market?”
“The preamble to the Islamic Republic’s Constitution stresses: ‘It is the duty of the Islamic government to furnish all citizens with equal and appropriate opportunities, to provide them with work, and to satisfy their essential needs,’” notes Jamsheed Choksy on Forbes.
“Yet, during thirty-four years in power, Iran’s Islamic regime has consistently failed to meet the economic needs of its citizens. Iran now ranks 168/177 nations in the 2013 Index of Economic Freedom and 133/174 nations in the 2012 Corruption Perceptions Index. Iran’s standing on the 2102 Human Development Index, compiled by the United Nations Development Programme, slipped two places in 2012 to 76/186 nations; it had already fallen six positions on the UNDP’s scale between 2010 and 2011.”