Re: Darwinism and Libertarianism (Matt Welch & Robert Frank)
While I agree with your skepticism about the societal benefits accruing from the fact that daddy bought junior a fancy suit to interview in, I think this discussion has lost view of the forest. The suit example may be a bad example, likely one that came to Mr. Frank's mind because it seems superficially similiar to his Darwinian example of the bull seals.
Getting sidetracked by expensive suits, intentionally or not, seems to have the same effect that Mr. Welch achieved through his dismissive response that "we don't want the government telling us how much to spend for suits". That is, it avoids any real recognition of the underlying issue which is the existance of classes of action that may benefit the individual in the short run but which are to the determent of the whole in the long run. It thus finesses any attempt to deal with the problem, to the immediate benefit of the few at the expense of the whole, though perhaps that is the point.