December 4, 2003

Sowell On Busybodies

Thomas Sowell, a guy who always talks plainly and makes sense, has a terrific series this week in his Townhall column called "The High Cost of Busybodies". In Part One, the aforementioned busybodies make laws to prevent people from paying for organ donations:

With more than 80,000 people on waiting lists for various organs, and many dying while waiting, why prevent such transactions? One reason is that third parties would be offended.

You know the words and the music: How terrible that the rich can buy other people's body parts -- and that the poor are so desperate as to sell.

If you think that you have a right to forbid other people from making such voluntary transactions, then you are saying that your delicate sensibilities are more important than the poverty or even the deaths of other people.

In Part Two the busybodies make laws to "preserve farmland", but their motives have more to do with their own self-interest:

The real reason for preventing farmland from being sold to those who might build housing on it is that the people who live in that housing might not be as upscale as those already living nearby. Developers -- heaven forbid -- might build apartments or townhouses in a community where people live in single-family homes.

In other words, developers might build some of that "affordable housing" that some people talk so much about and do so much to prevent.

Read them all, including Part Three, on the crisis of a lack of "affordable housing", which strangely enough occurs mostly where busybodies are concentrated in great numbers.

Posted by dan at December 4, 2003 9:29 PM