Believe it or not, I’m going to trash Bitcoin on spiritual grounds. Is there no limit to my irreverence? Most people know almost nothing about bitcoin and the bewildering array of cryptocurrencies that are swirling around it now. Even for computer nerds like me, it’s a serious struggle to get a handle on it, and… Continue reading Beware of Bitcoin
I’ve written about freedom before, where I began by presenting some ideas from William Cavanaugh’s book Being Consumed, in a post called Economics and Freedom. Then later I threw my own quirky economic ideas into the mix with another post called Fake Freedom. But now I’m tackling a formidable French author, Jacques Ellul, on the… Continue reading Radical Freedom
How does one approach economic freedom from a moral perspective? Obviously it’s not enough to say, “Freedom means I can do anything I want, and nobody can stop me!”. But is it enough just to add the following proviso? “I should not exercise my freedom in a way that prevents others from exercising their own… Continue reading Fake Freedom
You’re not an island, right? But you think you are. Take world poverty. You probably think you’re innocently minding your own business over here — while various nefarious characters over there are the ones robbing the destitute. Nope. They couldn’t do it without you. To get a handle on that, we need to look at… Continue reading You’re Not an Island
It’s pretty unclear nowadays what’s capitalist, what’s socialist, what’s radical and what’s not. Actually it’s easy at the extremes. Pure capitalism (market does everything) pure socialism (government does everything) — they’re both too radical for most people. Except for some fringe libertarians, most reasonable people are seeking some position in between radical capitalism and radical… Continue reading Radical, Really?
Yep. But first … You don’t have to be an Economics student to get the message. It’s natural to want more. You can’t fight human nature. We’re acquisitive animals. It’s in or deepest nature to satisfy ourselves to the fullest extent possible. Economists say we’re insatiable. That doesn’t mean I’ll eat chocolate until I get… Continue reading Abundance, Really?
I refer to that period of history, and that movement called The Enlightenment. It happened around the 18th Century. The Catholic church was at a low point at the time, wielding excessive power with excessive rigidity. The rising Protestant churches were still feeling out their protest ideology. Major thinkers were looking for escape from the… Continue reading Unenlightened and Proud
How many oil pipelines do we need? Answer — less than we already have. So let’s stop here and look at the science. Analysts have settled on a figure — a bottom line re environmental warming. Ecological disaster can be avoided if we keep the future global temperature rise down to 1.5 degrees. That may… Continue reading Standing Rock: A Pipeline Too Many
It was an economist named Robert N. Nelson, in a book called Economics as Religion, who put me onto this concept. Mainstream economists idolize free competition as the ultimate social value which must govern everything we do if we are are to be free people. Yet Nelson rejects this kind of purist idealism and points… Continue reading The Market Paradox
I’m not really anti-capitalist, but consider these: Capitalism is in the addiction business. Capitalism is at war with love. Capitalism is a regime of hard-core materialism and radical individualism. So what does this have to do with porn? Not hard to guess, if you stop and think about it a moment. Let’s introduce the topic… Continue reading Pornification of the Economy