Charles Dickens is 200 years old today.
The bane of social darwinists then and now. Here's an encore of a pan of Dickens' A Christmas Carol from a Tea Party affiliated pundit:
Dickens's ignorance of basic economics would, if acted upon by Scrooge, have produced adverse consequences for Cratchit himself. Had Ebeneezer paid Cratchit a higher salary for his work, he [Scrooge] would very likely have been able to attract a larger number of job applicants from which he could have selected employees whose enhanced marginal productivity might have earned Scrooge even greater profits. At such a point, terminating Cratchit's employment would have been an economically rational act by Scrooge. As matters now stand, Scrooge's employment policies have left him with the kind of groveling, ergophobic, humanoid sponge we have come to know as Bob Cratchit; a man we are expected to take into our hearts as an expression of some warped sense of the "Christmas spirit." Being an astute businessmen, Ebeneezer Scrooge was well aware of the marketplace maxim that "you get what you pay for."
Unaccustomed as Commissar Dickens is to the informal processes of the marketplace, we would not expect him to tell us anything about competitive alternatives for Cratchit's services. Perhaps there are employers out there prepared to pay him a higher wage than he is receiving from my client. If this is so, then we must ask ourselves: did Bob Cratchit simply lack the ambition to seek higher-paying employment? It would appear so. At no time do we see this man exhibiting any interest in trying to better his and his family's lot.
High praise indeed!
Happy 200 years to the bane of social darwinists then and now, from Thomas Carlyle to Rush Limbaugh. He's the darling of people of good will and still has a wide and devoted readership.
Thanks for everything, and here's to another 2 centuries of enthusiastic readers!