“Those who perform these vital services (feeding, clothing, and sheltering their fellow citizens) are activated by the incentives of the marketplace, perhaps even by “greed,” another fashionable buzzword that puts the anointed and the benighted on different moral planes…

…What is crucial is that public service not be service defined by the public itself through its choices of how to spend its own money in market transactions, but defined for them by third-party elites.”, Thomas Sowell, “The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy” (1996)

NOTABLE & QUOTABLE

Thomas Sowell on what defines “public service.”

May 27, 2014 7:34 p.m. ET

From Thomas Sowell’s “The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy” (1996):

One of the never-ending crusades of the anointed is for more “public service.” Like so many of the special buzzwords of the anointed, this phrase does not mean what the straightforward sense of the words seems to say. Not every service to the public is a “public service” in this Newspeak. For example, those who deliver tons of life-sustaining food to supermarkets are not engaged in “public service,” as the anointed use the term. Neither are those who build a roof over people’s heads or produce the clothes on people’s backs. Those who perform these vital services are activated by the incentives of the marketplace, perhaps even by “greed,” another fashionable buzzword that puts the anointed and the benighted on different moral planes. . . . What is crucial is that public service not be service defined by the public itself through its choices of how to spend its own money in market transactions, but defined for them by third-party elites.

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Posted on May 28, 2014, in Postings. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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