The search for equality: will they ever learn?

At the end of the 18th century, there were two great Western revolutions — the American and the French. Americans opted for the freedom of the individual, and divinely endowed absolute rights and values.

“A quite different French version sought equality of result. French firebrands saw laws less as absolute, but instead as useful to the degree that they contributed to supposed social justice and coerced redistribution. They ended up not with a Bill of Rights and separation of powers, but instead with mass executions and Napoleonic tyranny.

“Unfortunately, the Obama administration is following more the French model than the American.”

Professor Hanson describes Obama’s Ideal Revolution and the inevitable outcome.

“Official stories change to fit larger agendas.” … “We are back to the daily revisionism” … “Once-nonpartisan federal agencies are now in service to the goal of changing America from cherishing an equality of opportunity to championing an equality of enforced result.

“Our revolutionary inspirations are now Georges Danton, Jean-Paul Marat, and Maximilien de Robespierre, not the Founding Founders.”

Think about it. Take a look at the actual history of nations and the health and welfare of their peoples. Why do so many ignore the misery to delve into fantasies again and again? Why do they expect different results this time?

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Black Nationalism

“Imagine mixing a little Marxism, a generous portion of Islamism, and throwing in bits and pieces of class envy, class warfare, and a compromised version of Christianity that Jesus Christ would fail to recognize, stir it all together with a generous portion of anger and hate thrown in, and you’ve got Black Nationalism.”

“A political ruling elite lusting for a global order are setting us against each other. They are trying to create crisis, and racism is the easiest tool at their disposal. Generations of Americans have been trained to believe falsehoods, and to war against each other without really knowing the reason why. We are told that only white people can be racist, and all of them probably are. If someone has been handed a lousy hand in life, it’s not their fault, it’s the fault of somebody else. We have been taught we are all victims of one kind or another. Slavery, stringent laws, big corporations, our parents, Christianity, the republicans, and a whole slew of historical figures that used their wealth to get power and their power to get wealth, we are told, are the cause of all of the woes of society. . . but government will make it all better. Government will tell you how to act, where to live, what to eat, and provide a minimum mediocrity of a life through welfare services, food stamps, and a housing program. You may be miserable under the government’s programs, but everyone will be equal—equally miserable. Nobody will be able to be a greedy business owner. Government will take care of all of those things. All the government asks in return is that you raise your children in their institutions with their curriculums and their version of morality, lay down any arms you may have to protect yourself and only allow the government to be armed (it is for your protection, of course), and give the reigning political party your undying loyalty every election because if you don’t, your subsistence from them will be cut off by the heartless republicans”

[Douglas V. Gibbs: Ferguson, Missouri, and Black Nationalism]

Then there’s Randall Hoven on Black People Getting Shot Left and Right’.

“Who cares about cosmic inflation during the first seconds of the universe’s existence when black people are getting shot left and right by police officers and vigilantes?” That is what Chanda Hsu Prescod-Weinstein, a postdoctoral fellow in physics at MIT, thought to herself upon hearing the news from Ferguson.

Are black people getting shot left and right by police officers and vigilantes?”

“Even if the police were lying in every single case of the 410 “justifiable homicides” in 2012, then police were responsible for 3% of the murders in 2012. Who was responsible for the other 97%? Vigilantes?”

“Of the 2,648 black victims in those cases, 2,412 of them (91%) were murdered by other blacks. (Also, blacks killed 431 whites and whites killed 193 blacks.)

Feel free to peruse the FBI numbers yourself.”

But no, even an MIT physics postdoc has drunk the kool-aid and reality (facts) don’t matter.

worried, yet?

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Vietnam redux

Bruce Walker describes Obama’s Vietnam

“The very preventable Holocaust that Cambodia and Vietnam endured happened because of gutless American presidents and in spite of the courage and honor of our fighting men.

“Whatever the faults of George H. Bush, he fully grasped the reasons we failed in Vietnam, and he scrupulously avoided those in Desert Storm, a war against a much more powerful Iraq (we tend to forget that the battle-tested Iraqi army had outfought, in a decade-long war, an Iranian army three times as big.) We had a specific goal, and we used every weapon we had to achieve that goal. Leftists at the time predicted that this would be “another Vietnam,” but they were utterly and pathetically wrong.

“Obama, now, is demonstrating that it is possible to repeat all the mistakes of Vietnam.”

This is just another example of conveniently distorting history. Columbus Day used to be a celebration of exploration and discovery and now many try to make it an example of Western Culture oppression. Forget the context of the times or what really happened. Paint the picture to suit one’s fantasies. Again, in the mid-East, the effort is to squash the oppression of Western Culture and bash the U.S., especially. Overlook the tragedy and try to ignore the suffering. Again.

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Who defines marriage, how did the Great Depression end, the Age of Insanity

The Washington Times columnists hit the current issues:

Mario Diaz: Marriage is not on trial, but America is. “Cultural norms may change, but the divine principle of matrimony will not”

“the proponents of marriages outside of natural marriage, between one man and one woman, will never be satisfied. Never. They will always feel like their relationship is not equal. Guess why? (Please tell me you got the answer right.) Because it is not. A state license does not create a marriage. Societal approval does not create a marriage. You can deny the law of gravity all you want, but if you step off of a balcony, you are going down.”

Stephen Moore: How did the Great Depression actually run its course?.

“The real issue is what caused the economy to surge after the war was over.”

“Here’s what happened. Government spending collapsed from 41 percent of GDP in 1945 to 24 percent in 1946 to less than 15 percent by 1947. And there was no “new” New Deal. This was by far the biggest cut in government spending in U.S. history. Tax rates were cut and wartime price controls were lifted. There was a very short, eight-month recession, but then the private economy surged.”

“The less the feds spent, the more people spent and invested. Keynesianism was turned on its head. Milton Friedman’s free markets were validated.”

“In sum, it wasn’t government spending, but the shrinkage of government that finally ended the Great Depression. That’s what should be in every history book — but isn’t.”

Robert Knight: Living in the age of insanity

“America’s leaders are helping degrade the culture like it’s their job

If you’re a regular consumer of news, you may be feeling what I’m feeling right now.”

“With lightning speed, the federal judicial Borg has ordered a majority of states to ignore the clearly stated wishes of their citizens. As the Supreme Court yawns, black-robed tyrants below are ordering everyone to pretend that brideless or groomless weddings are really “marriages” — or else. Anyone not buying this fiction is a “hater.”

Insanity is rearing its bizarre head in every corner of America. An Obama-Biden sticker on your car is a tip-off, unless you’re in the Free Stuff Army or run an abortion clinic, in which case it makes perfect sense.”

“shocking “Middle America” is what the insane, leftist, perpetually adolescent culture is all about. When its proponents get into seats of power, they even walk around like crazed children with giant gavels.”

“At some point, we need to acknowledge that people who appear to be clinically insane are running the culture and the government, and that we need to do something about it — starting in November.

In the meantime, prayers for our country could do wonders.”

Not to mention Ebola, marijuana, and jihadi workplace violence.

worried yet?

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Bush bashing, Tyson edition

It appears that another media figure has been caught in an episode of gratuitous and imaginative Bush Bashing. Rich Lowery describes The Cult of Neil deGrasse Tyson

“The problem is the belief of his fans—encouraged by him—that science has all the answers; that anyone who believes in physics must adhere to a progressive secularism; that anyone not on board is—to borrow from the accusations of Tyson’s defenders—guilty of anti-intellectualism, climate “denial” and racism.

“Properly understood, science is a tool, an incredibly powerful one, but still just a tool. G.K. Chesterton wrote long ago, “Science must not impose any philosophy, any more than the telephone must tell us what to say.”

“The Bush quote controversy reminds us that the self-styled champions of science are, like anyone else, prone to sloppiness, pomposity and error. Just don’t tell the adherents of the Tyson cult. It’s not polite to scandalize the faithful.”

There is the usual defense of the acolytes – same behaviors as the climate alarmists and others trying to defend dishonesty and irrationality.

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Commitment

Professor Hanson asks Bomb or occupy — or neither? and says “Blowing things up and going home allows trouble to reignite.”

“Wars usually end only when the defeated aggressor thinks it would be futile to resume the conflict. Lasting peace follows if the loser is then forced to change its political system into something other than what it was.

“Republican Rome learned that bitter lesson through three conflicts with Carthage before ensuring that there was not going to be a fourth Punic War.”

There are plenty of examples to compare and contrast. Where the U.S. upheld its commitment after victory in Germany, Japan, the Balkans, and Korea and where it did not as in Vietnam and Iraq. Will we ever learn?

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End or means? The Humane Society case.

The Washington Times has an editorial: The inhumane society — “A prominent animal-rights charity is not a friend of the furry kingdom”

Many of the organization’s donors presume they’re helping unloved puppies and kittens. Instead, they unwittingly pay for demonizing hunting, encouraging vegetarian diets, promoting global-warming hysteria and devising outlandish rules to drive meat producers out of business.

It was revealed that a years long campaign against the Circus was a fraud with witness bought and paid for and allegations fabricated. Ideology had overtaken ethics and morality and provides a lesson for those thinking about contributing to many ‘feel-good’ causes.

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Political tactics: hit job on the ‘enemy’

The left adores the ad hominem and Fox News is near the top in its pantheon of candidates for ‘most evil.’ Jeffrey Lord describes another example in how a hit job on Fox News in a Veterans’ letter attacking Bolling, Gutfeld, hid liberal activists.

It was a hit job. Sixty veterans signing a much publicized “Open Letter to Fox News” — yet the signers were mysteriously never identified beyond the military branch in which they served.

No wonder. I have been through the list of sixty, and it is filled with Obama campaign workers, one ex-Obama White House aide, liberal activists, Democratic Party congressional candidates, Democratic Party state legislators, and more. The letter was sponsored by the Truman Project, a ten-year-old think tank with a focus on national security. Its board of directors includes Hunter Biden, the son of the Vice President. None of which was even whispered in the haughty “Open Letter” that was distributed to a media all too eager to go along with an attack on Fox News and two of the co-hosts on the Fox show The Five — Eric Bolling and Greg Gutfeld. Instead the letter was presented as a source of genuine outrage from average, non-partisan American veterans — while keeping the real identity of the signers secret.

And you wonder why Americans are cynical about politicians?

The Truman Project has quite deliberately and deceptively made this “Open Letter to Fox News” appear to the media and the wider public as if its signers are nothing more than outraged veterans. Nothing to see here more than that…just look, report it and move on. Which, in fact, is what all those “news” outlets above not to mention the wider social media did. Not a one of them published the backgrounds of the signers.

But in reality this snarky letter is filled with signers who have either worked directly in the Obama White House, have served in or have run for state or federal office as Democrats, or have worked as activists for various liberal causes.

The lack of honesty is a problem because it rubs off on all. It suffers from the tendency to think ‘everybody does it’ if they are a politician. Only when the body politic begins to make distinctions between those that do and those that don’t will such tactics fade.

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Racist mindset

Patricia L. Dickson is accused of being too logical. An example is her explanation that Poverty In The Black Community Is The Result of Culture Not Racism

A black female friend and I once discussed how our historically unemployed (lazy) relatives often claimed that we were rich simply because we had things that they did not. I said to her that surely they understood that we worked for everything that we have. Her response to me was that they did not understand how we acquired what we had. I told her that it was illogical for someone not to correlate money or possessions with work, and I refused to believe it. Well, a short time later, my friend’s comments proved true.

Until the black community looks inward to solve its problems, nothing will change. Many problems in the black community are the result of a self-imposed inferiority complex. That is why it infuriates me so much to hear race baiters telling poor blacks that they are victims. The victim mindset causes complacency and impotence of action in an individual. One reason that the black community has regressed instead of progressed is due to the victim mindset that has caused cognitive blindness and mental paralysis. Blacks cannot continue to blame society for how blacks Americans are perceived. The black community must examine its culture and its effect on the lives of the individuals in the black community.

Looking inward is always a good start for discovering a source of problems as it is where you can find those things over which you have the most control

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Death can be ignored if the cause sounds good

Bruce S. Thornton on When Activism Kills

The irrational battle against GMO is just one front in a larger environmentalist war against the modern world. Climate change is another, one equally reflective of the dislike of industrialism and capitalism, which have created and distributed more wealth to more people than was even imaginable a century ago. The attack on hydraulic fracturing, part of the war against carbon, irrationally harms its own goal to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide, for the switch from coal to natural gas, which emits half the carbon of coal, to generate electricity can “green” the environment more than anything the environmental lobby does. Particularly in the developing world, economic development, which for now is dependent on carbon-based energy, is the best way to protect the environment in the long run. Spending money on improving the environment is the luxury of those who aren’t worried about their children eating for one more day.

Those who have the luxury of abundant and reliable food can afford to decry the economic expansion that is the developing world’s best hope of mitigating the myriad problems afflicting their people. It is criminal for rich Westerners to agitate for policies that keep the benefits of biotechnology from those desperate for its boons, and to pass the costs of their idealism onto those least able to suffer the consequences.

How many must die before the implications of a desire and fantasy can be considered?

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Partisanship on criminalizing the opposition

John Hinderaker presents the detail on the partisan attack on free speech and gutting the First Amendment so as to be able to further efforts to criminalize political opposition.

On Thursday, Harry Reid brought SJ Res 19, to repeal the heart of the First Amendment, to the Senate floor for a vote. The result must be considered stunning by all Americans who value their freedoms. Every Senate Democrat–every one, a 54-vote majority–voted for First Amendment repeal.

To my knowledge, not a single Democrat, either inside or outside of the Senate, has spoken up in opposition to that party’s war on free speech.

Worried, yet?

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Endemic corruption

It started with a misplaced telephone call. That revealed the collusion to obstruct investigation. Arnold Ahlert describes The Obama DOJ’s Subversion of the IRS Investigation

It’s going to be an uphill climb for Democrats. In a Fox poll taken in June, a whopping 76 percent of Americans, including 90 percent of Republicans, 74 percent of independents and 63 percent of Democrats said they believed that Lois Lerner’s emails were “deliberately destroyed” by the IRS. The gaffe committed by Fallon would be amusing were it not for the reality that it is yet another indication of the endemic corruption that infests the Obama administration, their Democrat colleagues and a willfully somnambulant mainstream media. All of them seemingly prefer to run interference for one of the most powerful agencies in government, than allow the truth, no matter how inconvenient, to come out.

It will take the people to demonstrate that this corruption must end and the people are, at present, rather weak in opposing such behavior.

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The reluctant warrior who doesn’t learn from history

Gary Anderson says If You Liked Vietnam, You’ll Love the War With the Islamic State.

President Obama is repeating three key strategic mistakes that President Johnson made in Vietnam. First, he has embarked on an open ended commitment; there was no measurable end state. … f the president’s aim is to destroy the military forces of the Islamic State, he is making the second mistake by thinking it can be done by airpower alone. … That brings us to President Johnson’s third great mistake; he allowed North Vietnam to become a sanctuary.

Young progressives of Barak Obama’s generation were taught by their professors that the Vietnam War was an evil undertaking few had the inclination to seriously study. Obama himself described it as one of the “dumb wars” when he was a candidate. There are no dumb wars; there are however, wars fought in a dumb manner. Our president appears to be embarking on one.

Vietnam was one of the first military wins that was given away by a government that got tired of the carry through and abandoned an ally by emptying its promises of continuing support. Iraq was another such episode. In both cases, the human cost has been tragic. Now its trying to fix one case by ignoring what history can tell us — again.

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Anti-reality: vaccine edition

At The American Interest: Terminally Hip Parents Deny Vaccines to Children. “The reason why? Bad science. The Hollywood Reporter has the story“.

“There is a kind of “Boko Haram”, western-knowledge-is-forbidden aspect to a lot of fashionable thought these days. The goal almost seems to be to keep our kids away from the accursed knowledge of Dead White European Men that will warp their innocent young characters. The evil medical accomplishments of the horrible so-called scientists rank, of course, highly in the catalog of Western horrors. And because of these experiments in de-Westernization, kids are suffering, even dying.”

Mass suicide in this case is rather more obvious than usual.

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Revising history

Stanley Kurtz explains: Why the College Board Demoted the Founders

What is the core of the American story? What is American history about? For a long time, Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address was thought to offer the most succinct and profound reply to these questions.

More recently, revisionist historians have developed a different answer to the question of what America’s story is about. From their perspective, at the heart of our country’s history—like the history of any other powerful nation—lies the pursuit of empire, of dominion over others. In this view, the formative American moment was the colonial assault on the Indians. At its core, say the revisionists, America’s history is about our capacity for self-delusion, our endless attempts to justify raw power grabs with pretty fairy-tales about democracy.

What Anderson does not say is that “current practice” in early American history is to indict the Founders for oppression, privilege, and racism.

Anderson’s proposed new narrative of American history vacillates between ignoring core events of our political history and dismissing them as delusional window-dressing for America’s imperialist ambitions.

In other words, Anderson’s proposed new narrative of American history closely matches the narrative of the new APUSH Framework, and is clearly political in character.

Anderson’s contribution to the new Curriculum Module highlights the work of Francis Jennings, the most famous critic of “the myth of the vanishing Indian.”

Anderson’s target in The Dominion of War is the American conviction that liberty and equality are the “core values of the Republic.” Believing this, says Anderson, Americans find it difficult to see their actions as imperialistic, as motivated by anything other than a legitimate defense of liberty.

American exceptionalism is out and America as a self-deluded imperialist power is in.

Jennings and Anderson are able to place Native American influence and white imperialism at the center of American history only by treating the acquisition of territory as what matters most.

Defenders of the redesigned APUSH Framework deny a political agenda. All we’re doing, they say, is teaching students how to “think like historians,” how to deploy critical thinking skills and analyze primary sources with the cool detachment of an objective and mature professional academic. Sadly, teaching students how to bring our forebears up on charges of war crimes is what “thinking like a historian” has been reduced to in this age of the leftist Academy. It’s got little to do with detachment.

We must conclude that what the College Board presents as objectively based historical revisions and politically neutral pedagogical techniques are nothing of the sort. Critical thinking skills are deployed only against the traditional American narrative. Leftist pressure groups elicit cheerleading. America’s Founding is demoted, not because revisionists have proven it marginal, but because they dread and abhor its political legacy. In sum, the College Board’s pretensions to political neutrality are a sham.

This is ‘mainstream academic history’ on parade. The real question is why such a warped and twisted viewpoint gains such credibility. What is this obsession about imperialism that ignores so much? What is this obsession to tear down and destroy what have given so much?

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aspirational vs envious

It’s New York measured against Hong Kong. Richard W. Rahn – Hong Kong, an aspirational society to emulate – “The currency of Hong Kong is effort, rather than envy”

Why is Hong Kong succeeding while New York City is receding? They are both world-class cities with about the same per-capita income and great natural harbors.

Hong Kong, like Singapore, South Korea, Chile and Switzerland are aspirational societies, rather than societies consumed with envy, like France. Work, saving and investment are not punished in aspirational societies, and there tend to be less social conflict and a higher level of civility. The United States used to be an aspirational society, but has increasingly become an envious society.

The leaders of China understand that aspirational societies work and those based on envy do not — but an aspirational society requires both economic freedom and individual liberty. Those who seek to control the lives of others, whether they are in Beijing, Paris or Washington, fear aspirational societies and thus, seek to regulate them — out of existence.

Envy, hate, and greed – it isn’t capitalism but rather the take from those who have to give to those who appear to need (or those who are friends of those in power). Powerful emotions overwhelm the ability to learn from history or from reality.

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Criminalizing politics

Paul Mirengoff takes a look at the McDonnel case and the matter of criminalizing politics. This is after the battle criminalize Governor Walker.

But how does one distinguish these offenses from the common situation in which individuals, companies, and unions give money to candidates substantial amounts of money in the hope that they will favor them in some fashion? In theory, the distinction turns on whether the recipient accepts the donation with the understanding that he or she will perform official acts in exchange.

The problem, as professor Bellin observes, is that a jury is permitted to infer such an understanding from circumstantial evidence. If the jury thinks it sees “knowing winks and nods” (these words actually appear in the jury instructions in McDonnell’s case), it can render a verdict that will send the public official to prison for a long time.

The “knowing winds and nods” standard, if one can even call it one, leaves prosecutors with enormous discretion to go after public officials they dislike for personnel reasons or want to injure for political purposes. The ridiculous, politically-motivated attempts to portray Governors Rick Perry and Scott Walker as criminals demonstrates that prosecutors will take advantage of this opening.

Such prosecutions are being used as political weapons by unscrupulous ideologues but is also a part and parcel of that ideology the presumes guilt in certain classes.

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Who your hero?

Sundance: It Begins Again – “Justice For Mike Brown” Attacks – Springfield Missouri Black Mob Attack White Couple

In the course of researching the Trayvon Martin case we uncovered an almost immediate pattern of racial violence which occurred as a direct result of the inflammatory race-baiting spotlighted by the grievance industry and the national media. Throughout 2012 and 2013 we found dozens of these attacks – 14 immediately after the verdict. … On August 20th 2014 the pattern begins again

The problem is that Martin and Brown are rather odd choices for hero and the act of self defense is a rather odd one to impugn. Such oddities don’t seem to impair those seeking rationalization for racial violence stoked by resentment and envy — and propaganda. 

Race isn’t the only centerpoint. Consider Snowden. He is hailed as a hero in some circles yet many are beginning to realize his treason has had a big impact on Islamic terrorists efforts in covering their tracks.

Then there’s the assault on cops as if to foist responsibility for criminal behavior on them. The DOJ isn’t helping much, either.

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Moral outrage

The Slut Walk epitomizes liberal moral outrage against morality itself. It’s also a tragic metaphor for our era’s weird revolt against sanity and time-tested truth about human nature.

Robert Knight onHow a moral code outrages the secular left – “The notion of personal responsibility gives the secular severe heartburn”

It’s a long list and Knight provides selected examples.

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Moralizing markets

There is a struggle some have about the wealth created by modern capitalist markets. Kevin Brown hits this in his column Capitalism and the Common Good — How to gear the free market so that people floursh.

As people of faith, we need not deify or demonize the market. Instead, I propose we focus on ensuring that the market’s consequences create the least possible damage and the greatest common good for our neighbors near and far. The market may be one gift from God, but he’s given us a greater gift in the church. Together, we can watch out for the most vulnerable members of society lest they slip through the cracks of our global marketplace.

The biggest problem is that he confuses causation with correlation and neglects the inherent moral issue centered on the temptation of man. From “The Coltan Conundrum” to child labor laws, he confuses the sources of evil. He shows an awareness of this:

Stanford ethicist Debra Satz says that in Adam Smith’s classical economic vision, markets flourish when they are grounded in property rights, with appropriate government regulation and social conventions. In other words, well-functioning markets do not so much produce these attributes; they need to be grounded in them. Thus Christians can be actively involved in shaping the regulatory environment and the moral and ethical social conventions that allow for healthier markets.

The ideology is the false assumption that corrupts thoughts and lends bias. It is one that delves into motivations rather than actual behavior.

The market is regularly tempted to think of humans less as persons and more as “factors of production.”

The economist occasionally surfaces in this mudstorm:

UK political philosopher Jonathan Wolff says that for an economic system to survive, it need not be optimal, just superior, to other systems. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be the best available option in an imperfect world. As an economist and a Christian, this strikes me as a helpful vantage point in moving the market debate forward.

At the practical level, most critics of the market system advocate some form of a planned economy, … this only introduces new problems. In planned economies, we do not see the same level of innovation or effectiveness … Planned economies also hinder the supply and demand forces that ultimately provide consumers with the best prices. … We must also note that a paternalistic environment usually discourages human creativity, initiative, and industry. And these are all ways in which we bear the image of God. There is a spiritual cost to a planned economy.

While Brown wails on at length about “collateral damage” he seems to forget how the market brings this into personal consumer decisions (along with context and other issues). In marketing, this aspect of the transactions is known as the brand. People will pay a lot to get what they want from a vendor who has an image they endorse. You can see this in the assault on WalMart (and others) regarding merchandise made in China, for instance. The key here is that a market system is not simple. It is composed of many transactions and each one has many factors that involve personal choices. As the first quote above signifies, the issue with markets, the angst and moralizing, isn’t really about the market system but rather about individuals and the choices they each make every day and for every purchase.

That is the fundamental problem. Instead of looking at ourselves, we are looking for a scapegoat. Ragging on that scapegoat isn’t going to solve anything as long as each of us as individual humans do not take possession of our faults and failures

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