There is the sector of society who posit that comfortable “reality” is a better solution to human sadness than truth. And the reason that we drink tequila is the same reason we believe in a non quote surrounded reality. Because truth is a painful but it is a beautiful thing. My argument is that if you can find some sort of beauty in reality without resorting to faith you have found something great. Rare, but great. Or is religion something that is a natural byproduct of our obsession with happiness. I think I’ll continue believe something incredibly painful but real because it allows me to view things in an unusual light. And my goal in life is not to know more than anybody else (jeopardy weirdo (Jennings) perhaps?) but to know more things that matter than most, and to know things that matter you have to live a painfully godless existence.
So maybe my obsession with economics is a result of my obsession with a morality that I’m trying, damn hard I might add, to derive from politics and the mechanisms employed which affect our day to day lives.
I think we have morality, unlike Dawkins, not because we evolved in tribes but because we have brains big enough to think critically.
Milton Friedman, one of my favorite thinkers, passed away today. Some quotes:
‘One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programmes by their intentions rather than their results.’
‘A major source of objection to a free economy is precisely that it … gives people what they want instead of what a particular group thinks they ought to want. Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.’
‘I want people to take thought about their condition and to recognize that the maintainence of a free society is a very difficult and complicated thing and it requires a self-denying ordinance of the most extreme kind. It requires a willingness to put up with temporary evils on the basis of the subtle and sophisticated understanding that if you step in to do something about them you not only may make them worse, you will spread your tenticles and get bad results elsewhere.’
‘The society that puts equality before freedom will end up with neither. The society that puts freedom before equality will end up with a great measure of both.’
‘The most important single central fact about a free market is that no exchange takes place unless both parties benefit.’
‘It is because it’s prohibited. See, if you look at the drug war from a purely economic point of view, the role of the government is to protect the drug cartel. That’s literally true.’
‘Hell hath no fury like a bureaucrat scorned.’
‘If an exchange between two parties is voluntary, it will not take place unless both believe they will benefit from it. Most economic fallacies derive from the neglect of this simple insight, from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can only gain at the expense of another.’
‘Inflation is the one form of taxation that can be imposed without legislation.’
‘If you pay people not to work and tax them when they do, don’t be surprised if you get unemployment.’
‘There is no logical basis for the prohibition of marijuana. $7.7 billion is a lot of money, but that is one of the lesser evils. Our failure to successfully enforce these laws is responsible for the deaths of thousands of people in Colombia. I haven’t even included the harm to young people. It’s absolutely disgraceful to think of picking up a 22-year-old for smoking pot. More disgraceful is the denial of marijuana for medical purposes.’
“This election does not show that voters have abandoned their belief in limited government; it shows that the Republican Party has abandoned them. In fact, these results represent the total failure of big government Republicanism…
“The Republican Party now has an opportunity to rediscover its identity as a party for limited government, free enterprise and individual responsibility. Most Americans still believe in these ideals, which reflect not merely the spirit of 1994 or the Reagan Revolution, but the vision of our founders. If Republicans present real ideas and solutions based on these principles we will do well in the future.”
The GOP Establishment won’t/can’t seize this opportunity and so will lose in November, but the Moonbat extremism that afflicts the Democrats will quickly squander their gains.
“With Bush finally using the veto, the period leading to the 2008 presidential race will be stalemate in Congress and continued opportunity for the creation and articulation of a credible new conservative alternative. The Democrats only hope will be a triangulating Hillary, but even that won’t work if her negatives remain at their typical level.”
The Democrats will harry him to his political grave for this.
And all against the backdrop of a housing market crash, with the risk of recession in 2007 rising by the day.
The price of new homes was down 9.7pc in September from a year earlier, the worst fall since the slump of 1981. The US Federal Reserve now talks of “ghost towns” to describe the bust flattening the once red-hot markets of Arizona and Florida.
The army of estate agents, surveyors, builders, and the like, made up 55pc of the 2m jobs created by the US economy from 2000 to 2005. Cash withdrawn from home equity reached 6pc of GDP last year.
If you believe the US economy can hum along briskly for another two years as this prop is smashed away, I’ve got an ocean-front property in Arizona that I could sell you.
For better or worse, the perfect storm is gathering with malevolent intensity right above the Oval Office.