The Forgotten Man by William Graham SumnerBy Capitalist in Chief
The fallacy and deception of the socialist policy always involves touting a supposed benefit while neglecting to consider its foul side effects. In 1883, Willian Graham Sumner articulated this in terms of the “Forgotten Man”:
As soon as A observes something which seems to him to be wrong, from which X is suffering, A talks it over with B, and A and B then propose to get a law passed to remedy the evil and help X. Their law always proposes to determine what C shall do for X or, in the better case, what A, B and C shall do for X… What I want to do is to look up C… I call him the Forgotten Man… He is the man who never is thought of. He is the victim of the reformer, social speculator, and philanthropist, and I hope to show you before I get through that he deserves your notice both for his character and for the many burdans which are laid upon him.
(The above is quoted from Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt, who skillfully summarized Sumner’s thesis.)