Take Audrey Hepburn in “My Fair Lady.” In her role as Eliza Doolittle, she not only turned in a wonderful performance but also delivered a lesson about upward mobility that is particularly timely today in light of the latest war of modern progressivism: on nail salons.
It started, as these things often do, with a two-part exposé in the New York Times, one focusing on the lousy pay and the other on the health threats. This provoked howls of outrage, and was in turn followed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo invoking “emergency measures,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) citing federal legislation on product safety she’s introduced and of course New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio presiding over a “day of action.” The left-leaning Economic Policy Institute declares nail salon abuses a function of “national policy failures.”Almost perfect textbook Public Choice Economics, this is. McGurn spells it out, Ms Doolittle turned to the private sector (Professor 'enry 'iggins) to lift herself out of poverty;
Eliza didn’t place her hope in new regulations for street-side flower mongering. For Eliza, upward mobility was about acquiring the skills she needed to get ahead, in this case proper English and the manners that went with it.
How different this is to the approach to nail salons now being worked out in New York and Washington. Like so many other bursts of progressive passion, chances are that while their bid for more government will make the pols and activists feel better about themselves, it will do little to improve the lives of these women.We hope that George Bernard Shaw turns over in his grave.