The Free Marketeers Responsibility

Pimentel opposes economic growth; Hassett and his free market friends would like to see more of it. Pimentel is the darling of extremist anti-immigrant agitators; Hassett has published articles advocating a moderate immigration policy. Pimentel advocates "democratic" but nevertheless state-ordained population control; Hassett, as a classical liberal follower of F. A. Hayek,21 could not be suspected of supporting such a program, and I have little doubt that he must regard the rest of Pimentel's social ideas with an appropriate degree of revulsion. Without question, Hassett chooses to trot out Pimentel not because he is a Pimentelist, but because he sees an advantage in recycling a discredited study to make a political point.

Yet, aside from the issues of academic honesty and rigor involved in engaging in such a procedure, there are serious questions that Hassett and the other Pimentel-parroting pro-OPEC "libertarians" need to answer. For example, given Pimentel's public prominence resulting from his Sierra Club campaign, is it really possible that these people do not know they are citing a Malthusian zealot? And given the vital importance of the energy independence issue for the national security and well-being of the United States, is it really appropriate to deal with it using such fakery?

As the Bible says, a rotten tree cannot bear good fruit. Pimentel's analysis is pure bunk. Having cleaned the stable, it's time for us to move on.

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