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The Hacker News libertarians (who are, despite our shared nausea, far smarter and more reasonable than the right-wing of any other community, I'll note) believe they will be future technology "barons". Pretty much everyone I've ever met with conservative leanings expects to be fabulously wealthy one day-- the smart ones and the idiots alike. (I once heard a community college drop out making $8/hour defend Republican economics, opening with the sentence "if I make a few million dollars...")

At least 95 percent of them are going to achieve upper-middle-class status but not great wealth or connections. They'll have decent jobs and nice lives, but they won't be dick-swinging robber barons. They won't be on the short list for garden parties thrown by Sequoia partners. When this fate befalls them, they'll swing hard to the left.

Excuse me, but as one of the Hacker News Libertarians (tm), I find your analysis quite patronizing.

I believe in free markets because I think they are best for everyone, not because they are a situation I expect to take advantage of. I don't know whether or not I will be wealthy some day. I haven't even decided if the attempt is how I want to spend my life. While a freer market would make it easier if I did try, that is not why I favor it. I favor it because it would make such an attempt easier for anyone who wanted to try. Because I believe it fundamentally just for individuals to own what they create, to profit from their labors however they can, to be able to spend their money freely on anything anyone else is willing to provide at whatever price they find mutually agreeable.

I think it is the fairest way to distribute wealth--those who create it keep whatever they make--and the surest road to prosperity.

Now, you can disagree with me about that opinion. I could well be wrong about whether markets work, or whether they're fair, or whether they make everybody prosperous. Hackers are famously conoisseurs of ideas, and I am no exception. I like new ones.

What I resent is false analysis of my motivations, the prediction that I'll change my opinion if I cannot realize selfish, unlikely dreams. Please give your opponents the benefit of the doubt; we are all decent people trying to make the world a better place for everyone, we just have different ideas on how to do it.

Have the courtesy to address my opinions, and not my person.


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