Defending the Indefensible

Kudos to John Stossel for devoting a show to “Defending the Indefensible” (based on the book by Walter Block called “Defending the Undefendable“) on his Fox Business program. He invited Reason‘s Nick Gillespie and Cato‘s David Boaz on to defend insider trading, price gouging, child labor, human organ sales and a few other unsavory practices. That’s a good start, but I wonder if we could do better.

What are some defensible beliefs that the general public finds unpalatable? For me, it would be legalizing all drugs, eliminating licensures, opening the borders, withdrawing all military bases around the world and prosecuting members of the Bush and Obama Administrations for war crimes.

What about you?

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5 Responses to “Defending the Indefensible”

  1. Bob Says:

    Licensures in terms of copyright patents or professional licenses?

  2. Bob Says:

    Oh, explain the reasoning of that for me. That’s an interesting idea.

  3. Andy Hallman Says:

    I don’t think we can justify forcing people to obtain licenses in order to perform an occupation. I think the licenses just serve to keep out competition so that entrenched firms do not have to modernize in order to stay in business.

    I think the safeguards that licenses supposedly provide can be done by private rating firms similar to Consumer Reports.

  4. Bob Says:

    Interesting. A strong counterpoint might be that requiring professional licensures allows for professionals in numerous occupations to remain instilled with the best of knowledge and skills required to successfully perform in that position.

    But removing licensures would not necessarily eliminate the need for professionals to be educated, knowledgeable, and skilled in their occupation. For example, if the American Bar Association removed all requirements for obtaining a license to practice law tomorrow that would not mean any random person would all of a sudden be able to go and practice law successfully. A strong knowledge of the subject and practice of law would still be necessary, as well as collaboration and membership with other professionals also performing skills and holding knowledge in that area. Extensive research, progress, and education in the discipline of law would still be strong also.

    I suppose many professions already operate this way, not requiring a license or certification of any kind. But there is still a strong shared knowledge and skill base for the workers in that profession, as well as advancing discover of new knowledge along with a common ethic for how the profession should be practiced.

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