If any of you have a positive image of myself that you would rather not have change, please discontinue reading now.
I am a small 'l' libertarian. What this means is that I annoy conservatives because I don't believe in legislating morality (i.e. drugs should be legalized, gays should be able to marry, etc) and I annoy Liberals because I believe that the government's job is to stay out of the way (i.e. end all entitlements, abolish the income tax, etc). Why am I telling you this when I have striven so hard to keep politics out of this site, aside from my favorite links? Because a girl called me stupid this weekend and it filled me with glee. A glee that I'm still buzzed from as sad as that may seem.
I had the unfortunate experience of being required to go to school last Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 9am to 4pm each day. The official title of the class was Professional Responsibility, but the content was about the market, ethics, and law. The first two days were a bore as the pharmaceutical kids took over. I wasn't interested in arguing about the drug industry's creation of diseases and their 'public service' announcements to raise awareness of this awful state in order to find consumers for their drugs (i.e. anxiety disorder and Paxil - c'mon, who isn't anxious?) or in the glorification and funding of breast cancer research at the expense of other diseases that kill many more Americans, but just aren't sexy enough. Pardon the pun.
What I was interested in was in our discussions of the third day of insider trading, which I think should be legal (the price of the stock reflects the true value due to insider knowledge, as well as being practically unenforceable Martha aside), corporate negligence aka tort, and in universal human rights, which is really a misnomer as there are no such things.
I won't go into all of the fun little arguments I had that day. Let's just get to the girl who called me stupid. We're talking about universal rights, which I've already stated are relative to society and that until a market fails, the only rights a person has are the ones granted by the government. Once the market fails and people no longer accept the current state of things, political will and action changes the rules and additional rights are granted. Rights, not being inherent, but granted. As you can imagine, this annoyed some of the bleeding hearts in the class. I heard many a sigh. Yes, I was beginning to giggle.
The professor then posed a hypothetical situation where a U.S. company owns a factory in another country. Above the exit to the building is a large sign that states that anyone caught stealing will be turned over to the authorities and punished to the full extent of the law. Inevitably, you catch someone stealing. You turn him over to the police. The police take the person outside and shoot him in the head. What do you, as the owner of the company, do? Many comments such as leave the country, dock a person's pay if caught stealing, etc were given. I raised my hand. The professor, at this point was smiling because he knew what was coming. I said to change nothing. Keep the rule as it exists. Everyone in the factory saw the thief shot. The likelihood of someone stealing again is zero.
It was then that this girl said I was stupid. No argument. Just a playground retort. I simply laughed. No greater compliment can be paid a debater than to insult rather than argue. I'm still smiling, but it's an evil smile.