I’ve almost finished reading Tucker Carlson’s new book, Ship of Fools. In said publication, the author rightly denounces Republicans, Democrats, conservatives, liberals, the punditry class and special interest groups for supporting certain policies that have had and continue to have deleterious effects on the US population. A good amount of the book is a breath of fresh air for those of us who continue to remind others that blind loyalty to party and indiscriminate acceptance of mainstream narratives, instead of faithful adherence to first principles, is what has led to America’s precipitous moral, social and political decline.
Nevertheless, a good portion of Carlson’s book reveals how flawed the talk show host’s views are with respect to free market economics, certain conservative ethics and his proposed solutions for America’s ills.
For example, he blames conservatives for their staunch defense of what he describes as the “excesses” of capitalism and the negative effects this has had on workers. He presents unrestricted immigration into the country from the Third World as a microcosm.
Anyone that has studied proper economics knows that Carlson mischaracterizes the free market and the conservative position so as to make his point appear valid and moral. Carlson implies that capitalism has its inherently unjust aspects and claims that there are those who unscrupulously defend such aspects. This is a gross misrepresentation of capitalism and of the conservative view. True Conservatism teaches that people populate the free market. As such, many will abuse the free market, not the other way around. This teaching highlights what Christianity teaches about man being a fallen being, able to corrupt whatever he touches.
Adam Smith, who wrote one of the most authoritative books on the subject of free markets, (The Wealth of Nations) gave an example of this:
“People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices….”
Hence, what is Carlson’s solution to these so-called excesses? Government intervention, in essence. This is contradictory, if not borderline madness. He proposes more of what has helped precipitate the national ills in the first place – the unrelenting growth of government and its intrusiveness in private affairs, leading to near societal collapse within the US. The weakening of the nuclear family? The welfare state had a hand in its diminution by incentivizing single-parent homes. The depressing of American wages and ethnic tension? Blame government sponsored open borders policies for the importation of low-skilled, low wage earning, non-assimilating persons into the labor force. One could also blame the government’s penchant for regulating everything under the sun, including the implementation of minimum wage laws and price controls.
Ironically, Carlson makes a point of denouncing these dreaded policies within his book. One would think he’d notice the incongruity within his views and right his own ship. (Pun intended.)
It is this skewed thesis which leads him to propose the latest lunacy – namely, government ought to prohibit children and adolescents from owning smartphones.
In the name of fighting against the sadness and isolation caused by mindlessly consuming frivolous content on a smartphone, Carlson proposes that government step in and do the job parents refuse to do. Instead of sternly rebuking parents for being lax in their duties, he demands the feds “ban smartphone use for children”. More nanny state interventionism so that lackadaisical parents can continue to feel justified about offloading their rearing responsibilities onto others, including daycares, the public school system, Hollywood and Silicon Valley.
What could go wrong?