Friday, March 29, 2013

So Dr. Ben Carson Was a Fan of the Robber Barons

Well this isn't surprising in the least. 

A few weeks ago, Tom Ashbrook, of NPR's On Point invited newly minted conservative heartthrob, Dr. Ben Carson to discuss a variety of topics, from health care, to economics, to political correctness. The entire interview was nearly an hour long so there was lots of stuff to comment on (which I will revisit in subsequent posts, hopefully), but one in particular stood out.

When discussing the topic of taxation, Carson talked about how the likes of John Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, and Cornelius Vanderbilt were unfairly criticized for supposedly being evil, greedy businessman, when in fact, according to Carson, they exemplified the U.S.'s "rich history of generosity". Yes, what people in the past would have called "robber barons", right wingers like Carson wistfully remember them as the far more noble "job creators".

Fortunately, one of the show's listeners thought that sounded weird as well, and called out Carson on his hagiography, by pointing out that thousands of workers were exploited by these magnanimous folk. Carson responded by saying that there "is absolutely nothing done that is perfect", and that he didn't understand what point the caller was trying to make. Tom Ashbrook tried to help Carson out by asking if the exploitation of the Chinese working on the railroads was a good thing, to which Carson replied that it (along with slavery) wasn't, BUT:

I can go through a whole list of bad things and we can concentrate on them, or we can learn from them, and we can move on and do things better. But to just take the bad, and say that negates the good I think is a spurious argument.

"Nobody ever talks about the GOOD things that happened when we didn't have child labor laws!"

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