The View From 1776
Sunday, April 29, 2007
No Postings for a Short While
Other matters will absorb my time over the coming days.
Print this Article • Email A Friend • Permalink
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Imus and Virginia Tech
The inconsistency of atheistic materialism. There’s more there than Marx allowed for.
Our thoroughly secularized society explains events and behavior, human nature itself, as the product of the material conditions of living and earning a living, in accord with the Marxian thesis.
In The German Ideology Marx and his colleague Friederick Engels wrote:
As individuals express their life, so they are. What they are, therefore, coincides with their production, both with what they produce and with how they produce. The nature of individuals thus depends on the material conditions determining their production.
Present-day liberals therefore deny the concept of a higher law, of timeless moral truths emanating from God the Creator of the universe. They fancy themselves capable of restructuring society, and human nature in the process. Hence the endless stream of new Federal welfare-state programs. In the liberal view, economic and social problems can be cured only by bountiful application of the most materialistic of all things: money.
School massacres, of which Virginia Tech is the latest and deadliest example, predictably are thought by liberals to result from a material factor: the availability of firearms. In liberal theory, make guns unavailable, and you change human nature.
Zero consideration is given to Judeo-Christian teaching that evil exists in the world and that it can be combated only with God’s help. Zero consideration is given to morality.
Liberals ignore the inconsistent fact that no massacres occurred prior to the Baby Boomer student anarchism of the late 1960s and 1970s. Students of that era were so knowledgeable that they told their professors what to teach, and it had to be “relevant.” Relevance turned out to be destroying the historical traditions and moral standards on which the United States was founded.
Note that it was the complete absence of standards, what liberals call “tolerance,” that prevented the Virginia Tech authorities from inquiring into the character of the assassin, even after his behavior and his classroom work had profoundly alarmed some of his teachers and fellow students. In a good, liberal society of moral relativism, anything goes. It’s not permitted to question people’s standards or actions (unless, of course, they are conservatives).
The Imus case exemplifies a different sort of inconsistency in liberals’ materialism, as well as their hypocrisy.
On the one hand, liberal media icons like the New York Times’s Frank Rich and other authors happily and repeatedly appeared on the Imus show. They raised no objections to Imus’s grossly distasteful remarks, because exposure to his large radio audience did wonders for their careers and their book sales.
On the other hand, when Imus characterized the Rutgers women’s basketball team as prostitutes, liberals had to denounce him. He was offending the black voting community, which liberals’ regard as their private property.
This is what is known as moral relativism. With no moral standards, if I like it, it’s OK; if you don’t like it, as the liberals say, “Get used to it!”
Initially Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson focused their condemnation on Mr. Imus and ignored the almost universal use of identical language by black men in describing women. When that inconsistency was pointed out, rap musicians and record producers quickly defended such language as simply the “reality” of the street.
Liberals in this case ignored the Marxian doctrine that material conditions surrounding people determines their nature and their actions. Why was everyday language of black men Ok when they uttered it, but altogether unacceptable when Imus used it?
When Bill Cosby denounced such aspects of the prevailing black social culture, he was attacked and ridiculed by liberals, both blacks and whites (see Bill Cosby Collides With the Liberal Establishment).
The only liberal “standard” appears to be materialistic regulation of economic behavior and the absence of all restrictions on hedonism and sexual promiscuity.
Tradition & Morality • (11) Comments
Print this Article • Email A Friend • Permalink
Krugman and Friedman - Part Three
Krugman is tarred with his own brush.
In Paul Krugman’s New York Review of Books article (Who Was Milton Friedman?), he wrote:
But there’s an important difference between the rigor of [Milton Friedman’s] work as a professional economist and the looser, sometimes questionable logic of his pronouncements as a public intellectual…. And is must be said that there were some serious questions about his intellectual honesty when he was speaking to the mass public.
That assessment applies with equal, if not greater, force to Mr. Krugman himself.
Let’s take an example from the recent book Econospinning, by Gene Epstein, the economics editor of Barron’s, one of the premier publications of the financial world. Mr. Epstein notes that Daniel Okrent, in his last column (May 22, 2005) before leaving his position as the Public Editor (ombudsman) of the New York Times, had this to say about Times columnist Krugman:
Op-Ed columnist Paul Krugman has the disturbing habit of shaping, slicing and selectively citing numbers in a fashion that pleases his acolytes but leaves him open to substantive assaults.
Mr. Okrent’s job as ombudsman was to call to task unacknowledged falsification or unfair slanting of news and opinion articles appearing in the Times. Mr. Epstein had corresponded with Mr. Okrent earlier to point out several errors (or deliberate misconstructions of government economic statistics) that had appeared in Paul Krugman’s columns. Okrent had then confronted Mr. Krugman in writing, asking for either an explanation or a rebuttal.
All he got was an evasive response in which Mr. Krugman wrote:
I’m sure that a careful search through 100 or so columns will find some errors or misrepresentations. So would a careful search of anyone’s work.
The point here is that Mr. Krugman’s work is not just “anyone’s.” He is presented by the Times as an authoritative voice in economic matters: a Princeton economics professor and winner of the John Bates Clark Medal, which is awarded every two years to the nation’s most promising economist under the age of 40.
Mr. Krugman is supposed to be something more than just another purveyor of biased political opinion, someone who facilely distorts economic data to support liberal-socialist causes. In fact, Paul Krugman’s columns in the Times too often are nothing more than just that.
As an economist, Mr. Krugman is obliged to look at all relevant factors and to make a careful assessment of their effects. This he signally fails to do. He is therefore either ignorant and a poor economist, or he is a falsifier for political purposes.
A typical example:
Mr. Krugman’s column In Broad Daylight, The New York Times, September 27, 2002, asserts that the electric power shortages and outages then being experienced in California were the result of deliberate reductions of output by the electric utility companies in order to extort higher prices and higher profits. Which is analogous to saying that a grocery store would “steal” from its customers by periodically shutting down the store to prevent sales.
Mr. Krugman fails even to mention that the utility companies were suffering huge losses under low, fixed electric rates at a time when their fuel costs were going through the roof as oil prices surged and oil was in short supply at peak demand for gasoline and electricity for air conditioning. Much of California’s power was from hydroelectric sources, but power shortages elsewhere in the country were being met by distributing power among all areas in the power grids.
Many other examples could be cited. In fact there is an internet industry of bloggers who regularly report Mr. Krugman’s distortions and prevarications.
The mostly widely noted of Mr. Krugman’s failed economic predictions and propagandizing has to do with his faith in the liberal-socialist nostrum that economic recessions are the result of too little money in the hands of consumers.
In the Keynesian economic theory to which Mr. Krugman subscribes, economic downturns can be cured only by enacting new Federal spending programs. He neglects to explain how the United States managed to become the greatest industrial power on earth prior to 1933, when the New Deal first made Federal spending programs the standard remedy.
When the Bush tax cuts were proposed, Mr. Krugman repeatedly broadcast the liberal-socialist party line that “tax cuts for the rich” would fail to pull the economy out of the dot.com bust and economic recession that started at the end of the Clinton administration.
He was obviously completely wrong: we are now enjoying the fifth year of one of the strongest economic booms in history, with one of the lowest unemployment rates on record.
Blinded by their faith in the superstitious ignorance of socialism, Mr. Krugman and his fellow liberals are unable or unwilling to confront the undeniable facts of history: every tax cut has produced an economic boom and a surge in employment; every government spending program has produced inflation.
Economics • (2) Comments
Print this Article • Email A Friend • Permalink
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Two Current Views on Iraq Prospects
Updated pro and con on the Bush “surge.”
It’s now obvious to everyone that Congress, dominated by liberals from both political parties, is intent upon following public opinion polls, no matter where they may lead. That is truly an example of the blind leading the blind.
The public are uninformed about the intricacies of the military and foreign policy considerations in Iraq. People just want to get back to their usual pleasures and they no longer want to be reminded of the unpleasant reality of Al Queda’s threat to our survival.
Richard Clarke, a counterterrorism adviser on the U.S. National Security Council under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, rehearses the liberal scenario: had we confined our military action to Afghanistan, we could have crushed Al Queda; going into Iraq has caused Islamic jihadists to assault us with terrorist tactics.
Mr. Clarke offers no explanations or analysis for his views.
How, for example, would we have been more effective in destroying Al Queda operations centers located in Pakistan by eschewing military action in Iraq?
Is, as Mr. Clarke declares, the absence of Al Queda attacks here since 9/11 a demonstration that Al Queda will not be made more likely to attack us by a renewed demonstration of liberals’ lack of backbone, revealing once again that the United States is a paper tiger when led by Democrats?
Is it possible that Al Queda have continued to attempt repetitions of 9/11, but have been thwarted by United States and allied counter intelligence?
Read Mr. Clarke’s views in his April 25, 2007, article in the New York Daily News, Put Bush’s ‘puppy dog’ terror theory to sleep.
For a far more detailed and carefully reasoned appraisal of the President’s surge campaign, read Arthur Herman’s How to Win in Iraq ? and How to Lose in the April 2007 issue of Commentary.
Foreign Policy • (5) Comments
Print this Article • Email A Friend • Permalink
As France’s political and economic power diminishes, German and Russian power is filling the vacuum. This partly explains why we have so little help from other nations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Awakening Russian Bear
By Jeff Lukens
The fearsome Russian Bear appears to be coming out of a 16-year hibernation. President Vladimir Putin says he wants to regain Russia’s prominence in the world community, and his actions are backing up his words. Unencumbered by Marxist dogma, he is attempting to regain Russia’s superpower status by the old Soviet method of intimidation.
Putin has directed the seizure of assets of the oil giant Yukos, and restricted oil supplies to Eastern Europe. But if he can decree such gross confiscation of property, then there is no rule of law and Russia’s reforms mean nothing. Moreover, Moscow has drastically raised energy prices and threatened an oil cutoff in former client nations that have dared to pursue economic and political independence apart from Russia.
Putin sees Russia’s vast petroleum reserves as more than a means to economic growth, but as an avenue to superpower status once again. Last year, Russia was the second-highest oil producer in the world after Saudi Arabia. Their GDP has grown at an average rate of 5.5% since 2000, largely by energy exports.
Now that world oil prices are high, and rising, his strategy is working. But if they fall, Russia will be in trouble, as was the USSR following the price collapse of oil in the 1980s.
Russians wearily remember the early days of democracy following the collapse of the USSR. That was a time when an erratic, and perhaps alcoholic President Yeltsin governed the country. It was a time when their money became worthless, and crime ran wild.
Most Russians would rather have a strong and secure nation than one that guarantees personal freedoms. This sentiment, and the growing economy, is the basis for Putin’s broad popularity. A recent poll found only 16 percent of Russians surveyed want to see Western-style democracy remain in their country. Predictability is perhaps the greatest comfort to the average Russian.
Demographically, however, Russia is a nation that is slowly dying. The country has dwindling birthrates, and amazingly, declining life expectancy. That portends a bleak economic outlook unless they can leverage their energy resources to attain higher growth rates. This is Putin’s strategy.
Since he became president, rising oil revenues have allowed the Russian defense budget to grow enormously. Defense outlays for 2007 are at a post-Soviet high of $32.4 billion, rising 23 percent in the past year, and four times expenditures of 2001.
Any discussion of energy prices ultimately leads to the Middle East.
Instability in the Middle East leads to higher oil prices, and works to Russia’s financial advantage. For obvious reasons, therefore, Moscow wants to stir the pot. But it’s a balancing act. They don’t want to unnerve things so badly that the Saudis, or anyone else, feel so threatened that they glut the market with cheap oil.
Other sources of revenue come from sales of arms and nuclear technology. In arms sales alone, Moscow exported $6 billion in 2006 to more than 70 countries. Before Putin, most Russian arms sales were those of old Soviet-era armored vehicles and military aircraft. Since they shipped them to Africa and other remote places, no one was overly concerned about it.
But recent sales have increasingly turned to sophisticated weapons, including precision-guided munitions, and advanced air-defense systems. And they are selling them to rogue regime Iran and to Venezuela, among others. They have the dual purpose of aggravating the U.S. while earning Russia money.
For its part, Washington may have unnecessarily provoked Putin as well.
Following 9/11, Putin agreed to allow Americans to stage the Afghanistan invasion from bases in former Soviet central Asian republics. Washington’s reluctance now to depart from these bases has become troublesome to Moscow.
Overreach by NATO hasn’t helped either. With China to the east, radical Islam to the south, and NATO’s advancement from the west, Putin fears Russia is being threatened and encircled.
When the Soviet Army departed former Warsaw Pact countries in Eastern Europe, they were not expecting NATO to expand eastward. But that is exactly what happened. Not only did Poland and the Czech Republic join NATO, the former Soviet republics of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia have joined too.
These days, the most important political question in Russia is over who will succeed Putin when his second term expires in 2008. He is much admired, and almost certainly would be reelected if he were eligible to run. Though the Russian Constitution forbids him from running for a third term, it doesn’t stop conjecture that he may do so anyway. No matter what the law or his legitimacy may be, many believe he has the support and authority to stay in power. His actions in 2008 will foretell much about which direction, whether cooperative or confrontational, the country is heading.
Russia’s culture and history are tied to Western civilization. While recent events may give pause, we should encourage those foundations, and work to advance our common interests. The fight against radical Islam—whether in Iran, Iraq, Chechnya, or elsewhere—is one that Russia should unite with the West.
During the Cold War, the Soviet Union was our adversary. Russia need not be our adversary today.
Jeff Lukens is a MoveOff Network member, and a staff writer for the New Media Alliance. He can be contacted at http://www.jefflukens.com
Foreign Policy • (5) Comments
Print this Article • Email A Friend • Permalink
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Success in God’s Eyes
Real success is following God’s will, not making lots of money.
Sunday’s sermon at the Long Ridge Congregational Church (non-UCC) in North Stamford, Connecticut, was delivered by Rev. Steve Treash. His message dealt with success in the things that really matter.
While confidence is, by some measures, thought to be the best predictor of academic and business success, it too easily becomes exclusively self-confidence. As with Peter’s wanting to walk across the water to meet Jesus, that sort of confidence falters the moment we take our eyes off Jesus as our savior. We begin to sink and can be saved only by calling for the Lord’s help.
True success in this life is doing God’s will to the best of our abilities.
The Old Testament story of Joseph in Egypt illustrates the right kind of confidence that leads to success.
Joseph had endured a string of grave misfortunes. His older brothers resented his ostentatiously seeking to be their father’s favorite son. The brothers took his bright coat and threw Joseph into a well, intending to leave him there to die. When a caravan bound for Egypt appeared, the brothers hauled Joseph out of the well and sold him to the caravan merchants as a slave.
In that adversity Joseph learned that his real strength came from having confidence in God and trusting Him to show the right thing to do.
Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there. The LORD was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. (Genesis 39:1-4)
Potiphar’s wife falsely accused Joseph of sexual misconduct with her, and Joseph was thrown into prison. Once again, Joseph’s salvation was his unwavering confidence in God.
Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined. But while Joseph was there in the prison, the LORD was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the LORD was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did. (Genesis 39: 20-23)
The same pattern was repeated and Joseph later became Pharaoh’s chief lieutenant in administrative charge of the Egyptian government. Throughout all of his ups and downs, Joseph maintained steadfast confidence that God had a purpose and that he must follow God’s will. This understanding was clearly revealed in the climactic scene when his famine-stricken brothers come to Egypt pleading for food and are shown into Joseph’s presence.
Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. (Genesis 45: 4-5)
Along with confidence in God, we must have resilience, vigilance, and reverence that allows us to maintain our focus on God’s will and to forgive our transgressors, as Joseph did his brothers.
We must be vigilant to seek God’s guidance in keeping to proper moral standards and in fighting off temptation. The Apostle Paul, writing to the church in Corinth, reminds them of the historical tribulations of the Israelites and how God repeatedly delivered them from temptation.
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
As Paul counseled Timothy, worldly success is not the goal:
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6: 6-12)
Tradition & Morality • (2) Comments
Print this Article • Email A Friend • Permalink
The Scottish Enlightenment & America’s Founding
Our model of the world ? our paradigm ? determines our knee-jerk reactions. Having lost a critical element of our original paradigm, Americans have turned to tyranny without recognizing it for what it is.
What Alexis de Tocqueville said of the French nation under socialism in the early decades of the 19th century now applies to us. After almost fifty years of socialism, Tocqueville said, the French had become self-centered and indifferent to the general welfare. To get their welfare-state benefits, they were prepared to accept any degree of despotism, so long as the rulers gave lip service to “Liberty, Equality, and Brotherhood.”
Robert Curry contrasts that with our now lost, original paradigm.
The Founders’ Tradition
By Robert Curry
We have had to the present day two different traditions in the theory of liberty…[one] was made explicit mainly by a group of Scottish moral philosophers led by David Hume, Adam Smith and Adam Ferguson…Opposed to them was the tradition of the French Enlightenment.?? F. A. Hayek, The Constitution of Liberty
America was founded during the Age of the Enlightenment, and the Founders quite naturally looked to Enlightenment thinkers for the ideas and arguments they used in the great task of crafting our system of government.? Hayek’s point is important because only one of these?Enlightenment?traditions, the Scottish one, influenced the founding, and it did so?decisively.? The French Enlightenment had virtually no influence on America in its formative years.? The Founders were?steeped in the Scottish tradition, and that was the?tradition they relied upon.? As Daniel Walker Howe put it, “the Scots spread a rich intellectual table from which the Americans could pick and choose and feast.”
The?Scottish Enlightenment was made up of men who delighted in vigorous debate.? And yet, as Samuel Fleischacker has?written, “the Scots did tend to share some general views—on the sociability of human nature, on the importance of history to moral philosophy and social science, on the dignity and intelligence of ordinary people—that were of great importance to their followers in America and elsewhere.”??Those?shared?general views informed the American debate,?and provided the basis of a fundamental agreement among the Founders.?
This fundamental agreement is a matter of the utmost importance.??How different our history might have been if there had been a significant party among the Founders committed to the ideas of the philosophes!? For Voltaire and Diderot the political ideal was the enlightened despotism of a reforming monarch, like Frederick in Prussia or Catherine in Russia.? Government by the people was folly because, as Diderot wrote, “the general mass of men are not so made that they can either promote or understand this forward march of the human spirit.”?? Fortunately for us the Founders did not have to debate these fundamental issues.
Today the situation is reversed.? The central role the Scottish Enlightenment?played in America’s founding has been largely forgotten.? Even the fact?that there was?a Scottish Enlightenment has been eclipsed by the prominence of the?French Enlightenment.? When well-educated people?discuss the Enlightenment, they almost invariably are actually discussing?the French Enlightenment.? The strange result is that we Americans, not realizing?that America?was?made in the foundry of the Enlightenment,?are prevented from recognizing?how much?America is?even today?an Enlightenment enterprise.?
If?we want?to try to re-capture the view from 1776 in order to understand the thinking of the Founders,?perhaps the best place to start is where the Founders began—with the?Enlightenment tradition of liberty that informed their thinking.
Constitutional Principles • (0) Comments
Print this Article • Email A Friend • Permalink
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Suicide Bombers and Abortion
Training Islamic children to become suicide bombers has much in common with abortion.
For an excellent analysis of the Supreme Court’s recent Carhart decision on partial-birth abortion, see The Supreme Court and Reasonable Hope by Richard John Neuhaus on the First Things website.
Reactions to Carhart raise the question whether our hedonistic, pro-choice liberals have any better claim to rectitude than Islamic jihadists.
Even liberals who blame the United States for Islamic aggression profess distress at the horrific phenomenon of Islamic families proudly urging their children to blow themselves up in order to kill infidels.
Those same liberals strenuously uphold the “right” of any woman, without the slightest recourse to due process of law, to murder her unborn infant. No tears are shed for the innocent life butchered in the abortion process.
The thought of Islamic parents subjecting their children to such inhumanity is revolting, but no more than the self-congratulatory piousness of abortion supporters.
Both liberals and jihadists are intent upon furthering a cause. They care not a whit about the lives of their children, who are expendable in the causes of hedonism or political power.
Jihadists claim to be following the Koran as the literal words of Allah. Their mullahs tell them that forcing non-Muslims to submit or die is the highest calling that they can attain, and they are eager to die for it.
Liberals in the United States are just as eager to kill unborn babies in the social justice cause of a woman’s “right to choose.” That disingenuous phrase, however, is a smoke screen for the historical fact that the 1973 Roe v Wade case was a product of the anarchist free-love of the Baby Boomer generation. It was nothing more nor less than legitimizing sexual promiscuity.
Like the jihadists, Boomers in the late 1960s and early 70s believed that their cause justified extreme violence. They thought it cool to blow up college computer centers and police stations, or to rob banks and kill people in the process. Nancy Pelosi’s generation adopted the Weatherman slogan, “Bring the war home; ice the pigs; kill your parents.” Speaker Pelosi still likes the first part of that slogan.
For liberals, abortion as a convenient way to deal with the potential consequences of sexual promiscuity is just another instance of John Dewey’s pragmatism. Dewey based his views on the Darwinian hypothesis that there is no such thing as morality; the only operative guideline is might makes right, survival of the fittest. Be self-centered and do only what benefits you, no matter the cost to others. If it works for you, do it.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg deplored the Carhart decision, among other reasons, for introducing morality into a legal decision. Morality, however, came, not from the Court, but from a strong majority of Congress who adduced it as a foundation for the statute banning partial-birth abortion.
Justice Ginsburg overlooks the fact that Roe v Wade had exactly zero legal basis, but was instead no more than the Supreme Court’s expression of what a majority of the Justices thought “ought” to prevail.
Liberals are again talking out of both sides of their mouths at the same time.
Tradition & Morality • (5) Comments
Print this Article • Email A Friend • Permalink
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
First Do No Harm
Who does more real, assessable harm to students? An Imus, or the liberals who loved to be featured guests on his radio program? The secular education of atheistic, materialistic liberalism is akin to physicians prescribing arsenic instead of vitamins.
Steve Kellmeyer has an interesting perspective on the media farrago over Don Imus’s remarks and his firing.
The Best of Racists
By Steve Kellmeyer
Don Imus has been in the news lately. His remarks about a women’s college basketball team have been correctly attacked as racist, he has lost his job, he has been, dare I use the term, blacklisted.
Now, while no one has endorsed what he said, neither has anyone asserted that his remarks actually caused real or lasting damage to anyone. No one on the basketball team is alleging that the remarks have made it impossible for her to play or complete her college classes. No one is alleging fiscal or emotional harm.
But what if Imus’s remarks had caused lasting harm? What if the derogatory statements caused so much turmoil that it actually reduced the team’s ability to play basketball, or reduced the players’ ability to complete their education?
What would we do if we discovered that engaging in certain kinds of conversation actually harmed the young lads and ladies who were taught that conversational style? Conversely, what would we do if we discovered that engaging in certain kinds of conversation actually improved the lives of the young men and women who engaged in it?
Well, that’s a rhetorical question. You see, we know what kinds of conversation harm people and what kinds help people, so we promote the ones that damage them and denigrate the ones that assist them.
Researchers at Long Beach University in California have demonstrated that the scholarship gap between white students and persons of color is easily bridged: just get all students involved in a faith community.
According to William Jeynes, professor of education at California State University, Long Beach, examination of data gathered in the National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS) demonstrates that “Religious faith and intact and stable family units are two resources that enable youth of color to achieve at the same levels of white students.”
He found that the quality of the school has essentially no effect on learning ability. Rather, the driving forces were family stability and religious fervor. The more religiously active the family, the higher the academic scores. The entire academic “race gap” can be explained in terms of religion and family structure.
Indeed, highly religious minority students actually outperformed the aggregate of white students in certain academic areas, such as their desire to take college placement courses and their likelihood in being left behind a grade in school.
Viewed in this light, we can see that atheism is simply a form of racism.
This is actually not surprising. Atheists tend to be eugenicists, which is to say, they tend to be racists. Christians do not wish to “breed a race of thoroughbreds,” as Margaret Sanger urged. American Christians may have enslaved blacks, but English Christians, and subsequently American Christians, were also at the forefront of the abolition movement. Catholic Christianity invented the orphanage, the university and largely invented the hospital. Because Christians who live Christian Faith care for the well-being of every man, Christians improve every man.
Contrast this to the atheists, who simply write off large segments of humanity as insufficiently well-endowed by genes or circumstance, unworthy of the social resources necessary to maintain them.
For a logically consistent atheist, altruism enables mediocrity. There are people whose best will never even approach adequacy; investing resources into these people is a dead loss from an atheistic economic perspective.
The Christian economy of value strenuously denies this. Every person has intrinsic worth because God, who alone knows the value of all things, has loved that person into existence and continues to love and maintain that person in existence for all eternity. The widow’s mite is worth more than the whole treasury of the Temple. The best that the least among us produce is worth more than anything the intellectual elite can manufacture.
Therein lies the source of the problem: the intellectual elites instinctively know this. Just as a bully harasses his victims as a way of denying his own inadequacies, so the elites harass religious belief precisely because it completes what they cannot complete.
Insofar as the intellectual elites insist on destroying students’ faith, they destroy students’ futures. But it is better that other human lives be destroyed than that any atheist be forced to face his own weakness or be forced to acknowledge a power greater than himself.
America’s elites natter on about racism, they project racism onto everyone they encounter, because they are racists. They are too narrow-minded to believe that other people may not think as they do, may not value the same things they value.
To a mind that cannot see beyond the skin, the greatest danger is the minds that can see beyond skin, the persons who can see the image of the living God dwelling within. The schools must be stripped of this knowledge, men and women cannot be allowed to learn these truths, for if they do, society as we know it will be destroyed.
Visit MoveOff Network Members
Education • (19) Comments
Print this Article • Email A Friend • Permalink
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Krugman and Friedman - Part Two
Round two of New York Times columnist Paul Krugman vs Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman.
In Krugman and Friedman - Part One it was demonstrated that Mr. Krugman made non-factual statements about classical economics and the 1930s Depression.
He misrepresents other facts elsewhere in his lengthy article Who Was Milton Friedman in the February 15, 2007, issue of The New York Review of Books.
In that article, he writes:
Although [British economist John Maynard] Keynes was by no means a leftist - he came to save capitalism, not to bury it - his theory said that free markets could not be counted on to provide full employment, creating a new rationale for large-scale government intervention in the economy.
That is equivalent to stating that Lenin was not a socialist, he was just anxious to control every aspect of every individual’s economic life. As he doesn’t consider Keynes to be a leftist, it would be interesting to know Mr. Krugman’s definition of leftist.
Keynes’s prescription to provide full employment was, as Mr. Krugman himself states, massive and continuous government intervention in economic affairs. That is a succinct description of socialism.
If “free markets could not be counted on to provide full employment,” the alternative was government-regulated markets under socialism, which is the policy we have had since publication of Keynes’s General Theory in the 1930s. Agriculture has been socialized, top to bottom. The government tells farmers what they can plant and how much of it, while controlling prices via import duties and domestic price supports. Business is swaddled in regulations to such an extent that the United States has more lawyers and accountants per capita than any other place on earth.
For a more extensive discussion of socialism’s nature, see Socialism Defined by the Socialists.
With regard to whether Keynes “came to save capitalism,” that’s not unlike the alleged assertion by a military serviceman during the Vietnam war that it had been necessary to destroy a village in order to save it.
Did Keynes in fact save capitalism?
The facts suggest otherwise. No matter how assiduously President Roosevelt pursued Keynesian policies, unemployment never averaged in less than double digits until the start of World War II, when the entire economy was mobilized for war production and military service. At its lowest point, in 1937, unemployment was 12 percent of the workforce. In 1939, at the outbreak of World War II in Europe, unemployment was 16.7 percent of the workforce.
Mr. Krugman continually damns the tax-cutting policies of President Bush. Since 2000, he repeatedly has predicted either economic recovery with high unemployment, or failed economic recovery. Unfortunately for Mr. Krugman’s reputation as an economic seer, the economy is still climbing, and unemployment is only at 4.4 percent.
Given the 1930s’ numerous, always changing regulations and waves of new regulatory bureaus strangling business, together with what amounted to tax punishment for increasing sales and earnings, business was paralyzed and scared to death of what the President might decide to do next. As most people know from observing the stock market, business hates uncertainty, but that’s what the nation had for the entirety of the New Deal. With business cowed into fearful waiting, the only effective employer was the Federal government.
Following Keynes’s advice, President Roosevelt imposed extremely high income tax rates on wealthy individuals (in the 80% + range) and corporations (up to 42% on corporate income, plus 70% of retained earnings), coupled with deliberate inflation of the currency and deficit spending to raise consumption expenditures among the lower economic ranks and diminish that of the upper ranks. (Egalitarian redistribution of income is, of course, a cardinal objective of socialism).
Keynes’s theory was that unemployment resulted from people saving too much and not spending enough on consumption goods. Therefore government intervention had to fill the gap by spending in the form of wages paid to lower income groups. Hence the WPA and a host of other ad hoc Federal works agencies.
Keynes said that it did not matter what the government spent money for. It would work just fine to employ workers to dig holes one day, then to fill them the second day; and thereafter to dig and refill the same holes ad infinitum.
That may not be socialism in Mr. Krugman’s estimation, but it is very far removed from capitalistic business. Only a sophistic mind like Mr. Krugman’s could maintain that such a state of affairs was intended “to save capitalism, not to bury it.”
Of this miasma, Mr. Krugman writes:
Keynesian theory initially prevailed because it did a far better job than classical orthodoxy of making sense of the world around us….
Mr. Krugman should have said that Keynesian economics appeared, to intellectuals educated to belief in socialism, to offer a better explanation of Depression era economic conditions. In the 1930s liberals were confident that both Soviet economic policy and Keynesian theories were revealed truth, the unstoppable wave of the future.
Not only was Keynesian theory a fictional characterization of the real world, but it led to disaster.
In addition to the Rooseveltian New Deal horror, when Keynesian economics was again tried on a grand scale under President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society in the 1960s, the result was equally disastrous. We got stagflation: the highest inflation in our history, coupled with high unemployment and the degeneration of our industrial heartland into what came to be called the Rust Bowl.
Keynesian economics gave us a five-fold increase in crime; burning cities like Newark, Detroit, and Los Angeles; inflation that wiped out more than half the value of everybody’s personal savings and forced women into the full-time work force at double the increase rate for men, just to pay the rent and grocery bills; an education system, for the first time Federally funded, that simply collapsed under the weight of teachers unions and the Federally-mandated PC and multi-cultural curricula; soaring numbers of people on welfare rolls; and single-parent families, along with the highest illegitimacy rates ever recorded in any society in world history.
If these results, in Mr. Krugman’s opinion, arose from “a better explanation for economic reality,” it would be fair to say that Mr. Krugman has no purchase on reality.
Mr. Krugman’s approval of Keynes’s theories presumably arises from his being personally a Keynesian economist and consistently an advocate of socialistic policies. In a famous analysis (The structure of Scientific Revolutions), Thomas S. Kuhn observed that when one’s professorial career is founded upon advocacy of an hypothesis, even when it’s proved untenable, it is necessary to defend it for self-preservation. Such is Mr. Krugman’s case.