Poisoned Spring

The right ordering of economic life cannot be left to a free competition of forces. For from this source, as from a poisoned spring, have originated and spread all the errors of individualist economic teaching. … [F]ree competition, while justified and certainly useful provided it is kept within certain limits, clearly cannot direct economic life – a truth which the outcome of the application in practice of the tenets of this evil individualistic spirit has more than sufficiently demonstrated

– Pope Pius XI, Quadragesimo Anno (1931)

In this week’s sift:

  • Jesus Shrugged — why Christianity and Ayn Rand don’t mix. Rep. Paul Ryan can’t have it both ways: He can’t be a good Catholic as well as a good Randist. The Church is right not to let him wash his cruel budget in the blood of the lamb.
  • How Understanding Should Liberals Be?  Jonathan Haidt’s The Righteous Mind explains to liberals how conservatives can be good people too. But is there anything useful we can do with that information?
  • Bad Arguments and other short notesLogical fallacies, the pyramid of refutation, and excuses conservatives use when the facts prove them wrong. Plus:  Obama jams and does comedy. MTP regulars condescend to argue with Rachel Maddow. Maybe high-fructose corn syrup doesn’t cause autism. Where to hear me Wednesday. And more.
  • Last week’s most popular post. It’s rare for the short-notes post to be the most popular, but Working for the Man and other short notes was, with 161 views.
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  • KimV  On April 30, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    In reference to the Pope Pius XI quote, couldn’t you say the same of govt? We are heavily in debt & the future of social security is, well, there is no future. At least in a free market, individuals have the right to choose. In govt run programs, we cannot trust politicians or the media covering them nor do we get to vote in each decision. I trust the tax payers more than I trust the govt with their own choices.

    • Kim Cooper  On April 30, 2012 at 5:10 pm

      It is a right wing fallacy that in a “free market” you get the right to choose. It simply doesn’t jibe with reality. Do you get to choose, or even negotiate, the details when you sign those “agreements” you have to sign on websites or when using charge cards or getting a mortgage? No, they aren’t negotiable. That is less choice than voting for government “representatives” who don’t really represent us. At least we can write to or call our rep, and help vote him or her out of office if they don’t listen.
      A “free market” quickly turns into either a real monopoly or a negotiated monopoly, leaving us with little or no choice. The “free press”, when owned by the same big companies that offer us no choice, doesn’t give us enough timely information to stop patronizing companies that poison us, cheat us, or kill us. It just doesn’t work that way. It’s a nice hypothesis, but in real life, it doesn’t track with reality.

      • KimV  On April 30, 2012 at 10:54 pm

        I, for one, make my own choices in regards to EVERY purchase I make. I do not own a charge card & CHOSE to get a mortgage 1/2 the amount I was approved for at a very good interest rate. It’s called demand & supply. I live within my means & do not depend on taxpayers for assistance. And yes, I’ve seen my fair share of trials & had to build my way back up again. I am thankful for the businesses that have helped me along the way, from student loans to the critical healthcare my son received & the insurance that paid 80% to the job I have today that offers me those benefits. If it weren’t for the 50% of taxpayers paying 100% of the tax revenue, we’d be screwed. This includes all of the corporations that provide more jobs than our tax dollars ever could. The sad part is, conservatives & liberals want the same thing, but the liberals method is totally backwards & does not even follow the liberatarian creed. If we spoon-feed our children into adulthood, what happens when it’s time for them to fend for themselves? They don’t know how. If you give everyone a B in school, no matter the effort, what is the result? If your neighbor is struggling, help them, instead of giving your money to a government that has lost perspective & gotten our country into a mess, not to mention, spends the majority of their time pleasing big corporate donors instead of making the tough decisions necessary to balance the budget. When is the last time you saw a starving person in America? My husband is in the thick of the so-called “poverty zones”, & I can assure you, government assistance is crippling them, not helping them. If you want to help, get involved in your community & quit voting to send that money to government.

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