Never enough

One of the methods that should raise questions is when a response to someone is never enough. When an environmentalist can never be satisfied with the efforts to reduce environmental impact, when the socialist can never be satisfied with efforts to solve social ills, when these folks are never satisfied and every effort is never enough for them, then you have reason to question their integrity.

Wal Mart is an excellent foil to illustrate this. Michael Rosen talks about Damned if They Do… over at TCS.

The same Sierra Clubber goes on to say that “you can’t be a good progressive and support Wal-Mart because Wal-Mart is saving money on energy—that’s all they’ve done so far.”

Here, perhaps, is the crux of the issue: nothing Wal-Mart does—no matter how praiseworthy—will ever find favor in the eyes of “progressives” since its motivations will always be assumed to be profit-driven.

But in fact, the very opposite conclusion should be drawn: the company deserves high marks for finding creative ways to make socially-beneficial changes profitable. Far better that the private sector devise efficient ways of improving our environment, ensuring health coverage, and providing affordable prescription drugs—all while furnishing goods at very low prices—than that unions, green activists, or government officials dictate the way they run their businesses.

In many ways, this is like the church that foments anti Iraq war efforts. In doing so, it forgets that what its efforts implicitly approve include those 23 points that were defined in the authorization to go to war in Iraq. It forgets its Christian ethos by selecting only one target and then attacking that target on suspicious grounds. Like the anti Wal Mart contingent that is so focused on corporate greed that it forgets the positive social impact, the church gets focused on the word ‘war’ and forgets the human misery that led to it.

Every now and then you can find an honest environmentalists who realizes that the goals of the movement would be best served by the global human population being reduced to a few hundred thousand. But even those sidestep the reality of their conclusion. The rest of us need to come to grips with reality, solve the problems in front of us the best we can, and keep our attention on making the world a better place rather than on attacking what we think are our nearby enemies.

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