Beware Liberals and Conservatives Delivering ‘Catastrophic News’, by John Tamny

A lot of progress has been spurred on by laziness. From John Tamny at

It’s little known today, but a major driver of Henry Ford’s interest in machines was an aversion to work. And horses. Born into a farming family in Michigan, Ford’s migration away from “the land” was rooted in a desire to avoid the dawn-to-dusk toil that defined life for an overwhelming majority in the 19th century.  

So, while Ford is most known for having democratized access to the automobile, it’s less known that Ford Motor Company also mass-produced tractors. 650,000 in 1927 alone. In his words, “What a waste it is for a human being to spend hours and hours behind a slowly moving team of horses in the same time a tractor could do six times as much work.”

Ford’s intimate knowledge of how machines multiply human productivity while reducing time on the job came to mind while reading Washington Post columnist Max Boot’s recent assertion that “Russia is in a demographic death spiral.” Who is the source of Boot’s pessimism, or optimism? It’s none other than American Enterprise Institute fellow Nicholas Eberstadt.

Eberstadt is the leader of a strain of conservatives thoroughly convinced that the main crisis awaiting us is a consequence of people in more developed countries choosing to have fewer kids. Eberstadt is to “demographic death spiral” what Michael Mann is to “catastrophic global warming.” Both have flocks to feed, and feed them they do with narratives that actual market signals formed by actual information thoroughly reject.

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