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Scrooge McStock

Just like use of the first Thanksgiving as a cudgel against the commons, defenses of Ebenezer Scrooge like this Christmas’s Mises Daily article “Correcting Scrooge’s Economics” and Bleeding Heart Libertarians post “Merry Christmas, Mr. Scrooge!” (“Scrooge, then, isn’t as bad as he’s made out to be.”) are a year’s-end holiday perennial on certain parts of the libertarian right:

Yaron Brook, president and executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute

“I think Scrooge is clearly misunderstood and used to vilify business.”

Fred Smith, “Charles Dickens’ Ebenezer Scrooge Was The Ultimate Job Creator” (Forbes, reprinted at the Competitive Enterprise Institute)

“By the tale’s account, Scrooge was honest … perhaps excessively so.”

Ted Roberts, “Ebenezer Scrooge: In His Own Defense” (the Foundation for Economic Education’s Ideas on Liberty)

“And may we all have a Merry Christmas on happy, full stomachs—thanks to inexpensive, imported corn.”

It should be noted that FEE, like Roderick T. Long, is usually more Santa than Scrooge, as Howard Baetjer Jr.David R. Henderson, Daniel Oliver, William E. Pike and Sarah Skwire can attest.

Michael Levin, “In Defense of Scrooge” (Mises Daily)

“So let’s look without preconceptions at Scrooge’s allegedly underpaid clerk, Bob Cratchit. The fact is, if Cratchit’s skills were worth more to anyone than the fifteen shillings Scrooge pays him weekly, there would be someone glad to offer it to him. Since no one has, and since Cratchit’s profit-maximizing boss is hardly a man to pay for nothing, Cratchit must be worth exactly his present wages.”

Art Carden, “Christmas and Consumption” (Mises Daily)

“One of my favorite Christmas stories is A Christmas Carol, but my reasons for liking it so much have changed over the years. As I’ve learned more economics, I’ve come to see that Ebenezer Scrooge’s tight-fisted, miserly ways have some admirable qualities.”

Butler Shaffer, “The Case for Ebenezer” (Mises Daily)

“As I became older, I decided that Mr. Dickens had given Ebenezer Scrooge an undeserved reputation for villainy”

Thomas E. Woods Jr. calls Shaffer “devastating” towards “That Bum Bob Cratchit” on Mises Daily’s sister site LewRockwell.com.

Walter Block, Defending the Undefendable (predating, but excerpted in Mises Daily)

“The miser has never recovered from Charles Dickens’s attack on him in A Christmas Carol. Although the miser had been sternly criticized before Dickens, the depiction of Ebenezer Scrooge has become definitive and has passed into the folklore of our time. Indeed, the attitude pervades even in freshman economics textbooks.”

Though it should be duly noted that Mises Daily has been slacking of late. Last year, rather than posting a new Scrooge article, “Ebenezer Scrooge, Humanitarian” merely linked back to Shaffer and Block.

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