Tuesday, September 16, 2008

On Risk in a Free Society

Increasingly, we coddle children in America. And now, we're coddling adults. Since when was America such a risk-averse society? That's why I like this piece today by William Murchison:
Whenever markets mess up, control freaks blame it on too much freedom, on undue latitude for plungers and gamblers and similar riff raff, when the blame properly rests with the gambling instinct itself, which is a part of human nature. If it weren't, and thanks goodness it is, the first man to peek outside the cave and see the possibilities of a home on the hillside would never have tried it. "Too much risk!" he would have muttered (in caveman-ese).
With the mortgage and banking crises, this is the theme I return to. So the Fannie/Freddie fiasco was probably too big of a failure to ignore, but we can learn from failure. We may coddle children, but last I checked we do also still teach the lesson that winning isn't everything.

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