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Archive for January 4th, 2022

Leftism and Hypocrisy

I periodically write about our leftist friends who display remarkable hypocrisy on issues such as taxation, education, Covid, and climate.

Here are just a few examples.

Gee, it’s almost as if there’s a pattern.

Writing for Reason, Professors Jason Brennan and Christopher Freiman highlight more of the hypocrisy that seems so prevalent on the left.

It’s been a bad year in public relations for Champagne socialists—or if you prefer, Neiman Marxists. The socialist Twitch streamer and Young Turks host Hasan Piker bought a $2.7 million house in Beverly Hills, complete with a swimming pool and an outdoor widescreen… Millionaire Aurora James designed Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s show-stealing “Tax the Rich” dress, which she wore to the $35,000-per-ticket Met Gala. The phenomenon of egalitarians living in luxury while denouncing the evils of inequality is not new. …socialist Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders…remains within the top 1 percent of U.S. earners and the top .02 percent worldwide. Curious observers may question why Sanders, a tireless critic of the 1 percent, doesn’t sell his $575,000 vacation home and give the proceeds to charity or offer them as a general donation to the U.S. government via pay.gov. The same goes for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a longtime progressive who has a net worth of over $10 million… When the disconnect between personal behavior and expressed ideology is this dramatic, and when the person gets rich and famous for expressing that ideology, we have to wonder whether he was ever sincere or was instead merely trying to promote himself. …Talking about socialism is cheap (indeed, even lucrative); a $2 million donation is not. Yet rather than bear a real cost to really help the poor, Piker and other prominent egalitarians adopt a philosophy that they think demonstrates their good hearts but that allows them to live high.

So is there any defense of this type of hypocrisy?

Sort of, though I’m not sure it’s very persuasive.

In a Wall Street Journal column last year, Ted Rall defended rich leftists by claiming that put values above self-interest.

‘Limousine liberals” have driven full circle—or rather the term has returned to its origins. Coined in 1969 by Mario Procaccino, the Democratic Party’s unsuccessful challenger to New York Mayor John Lindsay, the epithet described “hypocritical wealthy do-gooders insulated from the negative fallout of their bad ideas,” in historian David Callahan’s definition. “This theme,” Mr. Callahan has written, “remained a staple of conservative attacks.” Sen. Ted Kennedy was a classic example. He sent his kids to exclusive private schools at the same time he was telling working-class whites to bus their kids to distressed schools in the slums. …The accusation of hypocrisy or inauthenticity is…less logical… Had Kennedy gotten the tax system of his dreams, he and his family would have been poorer. He voted his values, not his self-interest. That’s admirable.

P.S. Libertarians can be hypocrites, of course, but the only article I’ve analyzed on the issue was not convincing.

P.P.S. By contrast, there are plenty of hypocritical Republicans.

P.P.P.S. The champion hypocrites are the bureaucrats at the OECD and IMF, who reflexively support higher taxes while receiving very generous tax-free salaries.

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