Capitalism is Not God’s Dream for Humanity

Capitalism is often deeply intertwined with the American’s idea of patriotism and Christianity, and for good reason. Capitalism, like the Christian life, encourages discipline. As seen through America’s rise as an economic super power over the past century, capitalism can give a man with a good work ethic the opportunity to move from rags to riches, achieving the American dream of full life, liberty, and happiness. In recent years, however, more Christians have questioned the negative affects of capitalism on humanity and whether American Christians should accept all capitalistic ideas as part of their worldview.

Like Victoria Van Vlear, who recently posted an article on Evangelical Outpost called Why You Should Listen to Communists, I believe we can learn more about capitalism and its limitations by studying the economic system that juxtaposes it: communism. Unlike Victoria, however, I am not surprised that communism’s founder, Karl Marx, was able to revolutionize entire countries with his theory. Marx was eccentric, yes. And there is no denying that communism has been used to oppress people in horrific ways. Yet Marx’s ideas point out some serious flaws in capitalism, flaws that we American Christians cannot ignore if we are to be responsible stewards of our possessions and love others well.

Therefore, I’d like to take a Marxist perspective on some of the harmful effects of capitalism. The problems capitalism creates, though different than those of socialism, can still be severe and debilitating. Capitalism creates vast wealth but also immense poverty. It provides jobs and products for consumption, but it also promotes alienation, overconsumption, and exploitation. Capitalism has brought us wealth, but this wealth might come at too great a price.

– Let’s begin with alienation. Marx tells us that capitalism alienates us from the purpose of our labor, because in a capitalistic society the worker ceases to labor out of his or her own will and volition and begins to labor to meet another person’s goal. In other words, most of us are working for The Man. According to Marx’s essay Alienated Labor, man differs from the animal inasmuch as he “makes his vital activity itself into an object of his will and consciousness.” Man creates through conscious, vital activity. As beings created in the image of the Creator, an essential part of our being must be to create and labor to bring our ideas into reality. In a capitalist society, however, we waive our right to labor for our own purposes, trading our labor for wages in order to fulfill the desires of another human being. In Alienated Labor, Marx goes on to argue that the result of this is “man (the worker) only feels himself freely active in his animal functions…and feels himself an animal in his human functions.” In other words, when we sell our labor instead of experiencing the fruits of it ourselves, we can feel enslaved. Work can become the thing we do just to make money rather than a sacred opportunity to exercise our image-bearing quality of creativity. As a result of this shift in our understanding of labor, work becomes the place where we feel least human and least fulfilled, which entirely contradicts the intrinsic nature of labor as an expression of our purpose and humanness. In a capitalist society, our labor is only as valuable as the wage we are receiving. In a perfect society, however, our labor would do more to enhance human dignity: we would see the whole fruits of our labor rather than paper money equivalent to our labor.

– Next comes overconsumption, which is partially a result of alienation from labor. Because his work makes him feel like an animal, man looks to physical pleasure to help him feel more human. It is for this reason that Americans live for the weekend: we have sold our entire week to someone else, working in someone else’s office for someone else’s purpose, so that on the weekend (the only time that wholly belongs to us) we can live in excess for the final and exclusive end of experiencing pleasure and fulfillment. As man grasps at appetitive pleasures in search of purpose, capitalist society continuously uses advertising and stereotypes about economic status to suggest that consuming makes him more human. Capitalism encourages consumption to a fault: industry purposely engineers dispensable things, and the things industry creates still don’t fulfill the majority of humanity’s basic needs. A trip to a majority world country like Swaziland brings the realization that a number of people have cell phones that will break in three years but come from a village that still has no access to clean water. While many go without food, there are thousands of cars in dealerships all over our own country with no one to buy them. Instead of focusing on improving the health of humanity, capitalism has led to an excess of material things falsely deemed necessary and ignored true necessities.

– Finally, capitalism allows for the fulfillment of the purposes of some at the expense and exploitation of the majority. As we grow alienated from our labor and our humanness, we become alienated from one another. As demonstrated in the documentary The Corporation, virtually every corporation in the United States outsources labor from parts of the world where protection for workers simply does not exist. CEOs like Phil Knight of Nike Inc., have, in the past, completely ignored the conditions in their factories because their factories exist halfway around the world.* Few have ever actually visited their factories to see the working conditions, allowing the CEO’s primary focus to be monetary gain rather than concern for the human condition. Capitalist society is structured in such a way that exploitation becomes a necessary evil in order to create competition, and the capitalist can even exploit without coming face to face with the consequences of his actions. In this way, capitalism damages the morality of the capitalist.

I am not positing that communism represents an adequate solution for or response to the problems created by capitalism. I am positing, however, that Marx predicted the negative effects of capitalism that we are experiencing today, and that makes him worth listening to. I never would have been able to identify these problems if I hadn’t read Marx. We ought to listen to communists, and not just to compose better arguments against their ideology. We ought to listen to communists because they can help us see the problems with our system and work with us to respond to these problems in ways that improve the quality of life for the worker.

Realizing some of the flaws of capitalism helps us remember that the American Christian is not inherently a capitalist. To be a rich Christian (and that includes us—most American Christians are rich compared to the majority of the world) amidst poverty and hunger is to contradict the main focus of the Christian faith: human reconciliation and flourishing and the advancement of God’s kingdom. You might believe that the pros of capitalism outweigh the cons, but Christians, at least, should think hard about what it means to subscribe to any system that does not promote human flourishing for all.


*Nike has, as of late, improved their social responsibility. For details, click here.

The State Of Our Union Is…Confused.

President Obama’s State of the Union address was nothing new.  As all politicians do, he called attention to a few high points of the past year, but primarily focused on the future, laying out a fresh list of promises that few people truly believe he can make good on.

The President took aim at Big Business, especially the medical and insurance industries, blasting them for making record profits while average Americans struggle.  What is more interesting is that he went on to warn Congress that now is not the time to gut funding for medical research that helps to save lives.  We have to wonder if the President is aware of how much of those record profits the medical industry invests in just the kind of medical research he wants to protect.

The real issue here, though, is not the specifics of where certain money is being spent, but rather an entire political philosophy.  When the President suggests that high profits for private companies can actually have a negative impact on society, and that any reduction in government-funded research is unacceptable, he is implicitly saying that the responsibility to do such research should be entrusted to the government rather than those private companies.  It would be better, in his mind, for the medical industry to hand over more of its profits to the government (paying more of their fair share, as it were) so that the government can do more of the same work that the medical industry is already doing.  I’m not arguing here that this is either good or bad.  The President’s underlying philosophy could be right.  I merely point it out because, sadly, the underlying philosophies of our politicians are rarely scrutinized and examined in light of other issues, which often leads to confused voters and even more confused politicians.

An excellent example of this political schizophrenia came from two of the President’s more praiseworthy statements.  In his best line of the night the President said, “What makes a man is not the ability to conceive a child, but the courage to raise a child.”  He went on to say that our rights as individuals are always wrapped up in the rights of others, highlighting the importance of community and cooperation.  Taken alone, these statements are excellent and any Christian on the conservative side of the spectrum ought to be able to endorse them wholeheartedly.  What may seem puzzling to some, then, is the President’s radical Pro-Choice agenda and his newfound but staunch support for gay marriage.

President Obama rightly acknowledged that a stable family structure is best not only economically, but also for raising healthy and productive children.  The redefinition of marriage is at odds with this truth.  In every nation that has officially redefined marriage on a large scale, marriage is disappearing.

More important is the issue of abortion.  How can you hope to encourage young men to think of fatherhood as something that requires courage when all the consequences and “dangers” of sex and pregnancy are so easily removed, and with no remorse?  When you continue to push the “easy way out” on the one hand, any calls for courage on the other hand ring hallow.

Moreover, why is radical individualism only a bad thing, and why are the rights of others only important, when it comes to gun control or higher taxes?  Why does the President not chide the radical individualism of the successful businesswoman who seeks an abortion because a child is simply inconvenient at the moment?  Why is she not to be reminded that her rights are tied up in the rights of others, necessarily limiting her choices?

Again, our current way of political discourse in America is not set up to handle these underlying philosophical questions, so I don’t place all blame upon the President or his party.  Mr. Obama may be wrong, but Conservatives and Christians in the media are failing to say so in an intelligent and persuasive manner.  We are all caught up in the culture of soundbites and shouting matches.  Worse yet, when we finally do tire of this unhelpful bickering, we retreat into the amusement of trivialities.  Senator Marco Rubio delivered a winsome, articulate, and at times passionate response to President Obama’s address on Tuesday night.  All day Wednesday, the biggest topic of discussion was Rubio’s 3-second, awkward reach-and-sip from a mini water bottle.  This mildly humorous non-event has received more attention than anything the President said in his speech.  That’s a sad statement.

I don’t exactly know where to go from here.  But I do believe that if conservatives and independents start demanding more thoughtfulness from their representatives while refusing to reward the escalating “cycle of soudbites”, things can only change for the better.

You can start right now by NOT posting that angry knee-jerk response to your brother-in-law’s annoying Facebook post.


The Virtues of Capitalism – Book Review

As a quick primer, The Virtues of Capitalism: The Moral Case for Free Markets by Scott Rae and Austin Hill does an excellent job of hitting the talking points and fleshing out some of the back-story of the world’s most powerful economic system.  However, this book only offers a thin analysis of capitalism’s most profound moral and philosophical underpinnings.

Continue reading The Virtues of Capitalism – Book Review

A Rush to the Middle… Class

It’s the speech the White House Communications Office spends a year writing, and the news media spends a couple days dissecting.  It was important enough that the Framers mandated that the president “shall, from time to time, give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”  It is crucial for the political momentum of the chief executive in his role as chief policymaker, and it is forceful enough in its impact that Thomas Jefferson refused to deliver it in person to avoid being perceived as too monarchial.  And for this president, it was the speech the White House hoped could reboot a disappointing first year in office.

In many ways, President Obama’s first State of the Union address was successful.  Mindful of his often stilted, professorial tone, the president ad-libbed in response to the crowd, and delivered the more conciliatory portions of his speech with candor.  He did not recapture the rhythm and excitement of his campaign addresses (especially those from the last few months of the presidential race), but he wasn’t the boring, rational law professor again, either.  He managed to hit populist notes without seeming trite, academic reasoning without channeling Ben Stein, and delivered some grand passages without straying into ostentatiousness.

It’s hard to avoid comparing the speech to President Reagan’s 1983 State of the Union, when the country faced many of the same challenges.  President Obama did not flinch from these challenges, and he did not mince words when it came to our progress.  Perhaps he was a bit optimistic about the effectiveness of his policies, especially the stimulus package, but the State of the Union is, first and foremost, the president’s biggest moment as national cheerleader.  And though he fell into the familiar presidential pattern of blaming the previous administration for the problems he’s been unable to solve, he also gave credit where credit is due to President Bush’s actions in his last months to save Wall Street firms from utter collapse.

If anything, President Obama’s first State of the Union was a speech for the middle class.  The economy took center stage, and he launched into what was the flattest part of the speech, a long list of proposals for drawing the US out of its slump.  With a few key omissions, this speech could have been given by President Bush.  It was remarkably moderate, and touted policies like tax cuts and spending freezes that appeal to conservatives, with only a couple issues like the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell thrown in to appease the far left of his own party.  And, rightly responding to valid criticism that he’s abandoned his promised bipartisan approach for Chicago-style politicking, he reached out to Republicans on health care reform.

But if anyone from either party has a better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors, and stop insurance company abuses, let me know.  Let me know. Let me know. I’m eager to see it.

I know many conservatives doubt that sincerity, but from the look on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s face, it seems the president will be hearing from the opposition quite soon.

The Supreme Court, usually just in attendance for tradition’s stake, didn’t receive such a conciliatory overture.  One of the more surprising developments of the night was President Obama’s direct condemnation of the recent 5-4 decision for Citizens United v. FEC.  According to released transcripts, the president was apprehensive enough about breaking with precedent so drastically that he added “With all due deference to separation of powers” before delivering his remarks.

…last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests –- including foreign corporations –- to spend without limit in our elections.  I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities.  They should be decided by the American people. And I’d urge Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps to correct some of these problems.

Though short of a constitutional amendment there’s not much either Congress or the Executive Branch can do about the Court’s unfortunate decision, it underscores the seriousness of the decision’s impact that the White House included the comments in the year’s most high-profile speech.

In all, it was a brave speech.  At a time when his job approval ratings suggest serious trouble for his agenda, President Obama did not play it safe.  He tweaked the Republicans throughout the speech, of course, but they were not the only targets for his criticism.  His call to publish all earmark requests by name on a website before each vote was a thinly veiled slap at the House and Senate Democrats for using earmarks in the most blatant bribery Congress has seen in quite awhile in exchange for votes for the health care reform bills.  It seems a bit hypocritical for the head of the Democratic Party to publicly rebuke his colleagues for tactics the White House tacitly approved.  But whether it was genuine outrage, or frustration at his inability to wrangle his gatekeepers and the Democratic congressional leadership, or a belated mea culpa, the proposal is a brilliant idea for an administration that strives for increased transparency before a skeptical public.

The most important moment of the night came late in the speech.  Like a disappointed dad, the president chided lawmakers for playing politics as a zero-sum game, where winning and losing are all that matters and governing for the good of the people falls by the wayside.

We can’t wage a perpetual campaign where the only goal is to see who can get the most embarrassing headlines about the other side -– a belief that if you lose, I win. Neither party should delay or obstruct every single bill just because they can.

The Democrats immediately erupted in applause, and without missing a beat, the president turned to them and said “I’m speaking to both parties now.”  And there was silence on the left.  It was a beautiful moment for conservative and progressive alike.

Cynicism seems to be much on the public mind lately.  In his farewell address on The Tonight Show, Conan OBrien said that above all, he didn’t want his young viewers to become cynical, despite the blatant crooked dealing evident in the late night wars that took his show from him.  From time to time, political and social leaders raise the alarm at the increasingly divisive and juvenile tone of cable news media and political backbiting.  But even in this Neo-Gilded Age, the kind of frankness and equal opportunity offending the president brought to his State of the Union Address can break through the predictable back and forth.  Whether or not it will turn to any kind of true soul-searching that could lead to bipartisan efforts in the nation’s capital remains to be seen, but from time to time, we pause to listen to the nation’s chief executive and wonder, for a few days at least, if it could.


I :heart: My Boss: Achieving Employee Efficiency

Two facts: It has been pouring rain in Southern California for three days.
I can be an incredibly stubborn person.

Added together, they created the scenario in which I refused to drive to work and instead literally waded down sidewalks covered in a foot and a half of water. One mile and thirty minutes later, I was sloshing through the lobby to the back.

I spotted my store manager Bruce in the office. “Hi Bruce! Hey, do we have any spare socks around here?”

“Socks?” He looked at me inquisitively. “Why would we have socks? Hey—you’re wet!”

An astute observation. “Yes, Bruce,” I said wryly. “I am very, very wet. My socks are very, very wet.”

Resigned to developing incredibly wrinkled and fusty feet over the next six hours, I clocked in. Fifteen minutes into my shift, Bruce walked up and threw a plastic bag at me. Inside were two brand new pairs of socks. He had gone out into the pouring rain to buy me dry socks.

I was still slightly shocked and whelmed with gratitude when Maria, an assistant manager, came over to say hello. “You’re wet!” she observed.

“That’s because I swam to work.” She laughed, shot a ‘you-crazy-kid’ look my way, then told me to go drink some tea or coffee while she covered register for me. Which I did…after changing my socks.

In a free-market economy, businesses are often criticized for treating employees like commodities instead of people. In response, companies argue that competitive markets don’t allow certain luxuries: labor is expensive–eight dollars an hour doesn’t include ‘chat’ time. Have fun off the clock. Efficiency is a necessity.

Hopping through the breakroom on one shod foot to retrieve a towel, I realized something: Efficiency may be necessary, but it isn’t only found within a two-dimensional definition.

My part-time job is at a Panera Bread bakery/café. Our store is profitable and creates quality product, but also, all the workers (managers included) hug each other hello and goodbye. Everyone genuinely cares about each other, and asks about school and work, relationships and history. Of course, like any group of people who spend many hours together, there’s also drama and intrigue, quarrels and alliances. At quarterly full-store meetings, there’s sometimes yelling and maybe a little cursing—but there’s a lot more laughter and even greater teasing.

I call that capitalism done correctly.

There are alternative ways to pursue success. Machiavelli offers some advice for the ambitious in his ‘how-to’ political guide, The Prince:

…it is far better to be feared than loved if you cannot be both…Men worry less about doing an injury to one who makes himself loved than to one who makes himself feared. For love is secured by a bond of gratitude which men, wretched creatures that they are, break when it is to their advantage to do so; but fear is strengthened by a dread of punishment which is always effective.

Applied to business, perhaps Machiavelli would suggest that a company will achieve maximum employee production by being feared by its workers, extracting labor through the threat of suspension or lay off. In Capital, Karl Marx describes economic ambition along the same lines. “Capital is dead labor,” he writes, “which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labor, and lives the more, the more labor it sucks.

I’ve worked at cut-throat businesses where employees complete tasks under fear of management. They do the bare minimum, getting away with everything they can, and are generally unhappy. Any conversation between co-workers is almost exclusively complaints about management. Who wants to make a profit that way? What a miserable manifestation of free-market economics.

Companies functioning under the belief that efficiency requires fear should think again. My co-workers and I work hard—not because we are afraid of being fired, but because we respect and have affection for our managers. Everyone—manager or hourly—is allowed to make mistakes without fear of punishment. We’re human. Does that detract from the store’s ability to compete in a fierce capitalistic economy? No. Profit/People isn’t an Either/Or.

The amount of ‘regulars’ at our store astounds me. I’ve worked in other restaurants, and none compare. I believe that the general rambunctious joy of the employees has a lot to do with that: I know that I, for one, actually look forward to work, and that cheerfulness is expressed in playful banter and sprightliness between myself and the customers. I thought the ‘whistle while you work’ song was merely Disney optimism. And then I started whistling while I worked. I’ve convinced a customer to sing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” with me. I’ve, after closing, smacked a co-worker with a baguette while singing “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer.”

Maybe–probably–‘corporate’ would disapprove of these antics. I actually don’t know much about the ‘corporate’ office, other than that they are the creators of regulations and paperwork. Their view of employees might differ from that of the managers I see every day, but it really doesn’t matter. Profit is made at the grassroots, made in the interactions between company and consumer. A business that wants this level maximally effective should adopt a broader perspective than what can be seen on paper, and encourage their management to establish community with employees.

Labor expense might go up a little, and maybe there will be an occasional dry socks expense. Bruce probably spent around $10 for those socks–included with them, though, he also got one fiercely loyal and hardworking employee. ‘

Taxing Tiny Tim: California Raises Taxes for Parents

In a bizarre twist that reminds one of Scrooge rather than Schwarzenegger, the state of California decided last spring to significantly reduce its dependent tax credit.  In other words, it just became even more difficult to raise future California tax payers.

California parents can no longer count on their little ones for the $309 per child tax credit they enjoyed in previous years; according to the state, each child is now worth a mere $99 credit.  This effectively raises a parent’s taxes by about $210 per child, per year, placing a significant burden on the large families that need this credit most.  This cut, which was buried in the massive budget package Governor Schwarzenegger signed in February, will be an unwelcome surprise to many parents.

It is no secret that California is in serious financial trouble.  Tax increases are inevitable; however, since the funds that California is attempting to raise through this tax increase will come from parents, one wonders why lawmakers continue to subsidize a very profitable organization that aims to prevent parenthood altogether.

Planned Parenthood receives millions of dollars from California taxpayers each year.  The organization claims that none of these dollars directly fund abortions; however, money is fungible.  The tax dollars Planned Parenthood receives for preventive care services enable it to devote other income to providing abortions, and thanks to the recent cuts in dependent tax credits, California will soon have more of those tax dollars to give out.

In the long term, higher taxes for parents will mean fewer California children.  As one blogger pointed out recently,

Economists have a rule: If you want more of something, subsidize it; and if you want less of something, tax it.

If California wants to encourage the growth of the next generation of voters and taxpayers, it’s going to have to stop penalizing parenthood – not because families have caused the current deficit, but because they are its best long-term solution.

Surprisingly, most pro-life, pro-family Conservative commentators have been slow to target the tax code’s anti-family bias.  Ramesh Ponnuru is a notable exception, but the McCain campaign’s tax policies indicated that Ponnuru’s recommendations have fallen on all-too-deaf ears.  It’s easy to rally around a perceived injustice, but difficult to do the harder work of real reform; in this case it seems it’s even difficult for commentators to suggest we do so.

The Right has an unfortunate tendency to present negative solutions to social problems when positive solutions would be both more effective and more attractive to potential detractors.  The current move to defund Planned Parenthood is a prime example of this tendency.  While many pro-life organizations are working to defund Planned Parenthood, few are focusing on viable alternative solutions that would help families with children who have already been born.  In their zeal for saving future families, pro-life activists have sometimes failed to help existing families thrive and expand.

While Planned Parenthood should certainly lose funding, households struggling to raise children should not; after all, parents raising children will frequently bear and raise more children if they have the economic means to do so.  Our social and economic success depends on stable families, and our laws and tax policies ought to reflect this fact.  Unfortunately, as California illustrates, they often penalize the parents whose children will be the source of tomorrow’s income.

Worse, our tax policies burden stable families while our welfare programs encourage single parenthood.  Readily available programs like WIC and Healthy Families do help women and children in one way, but also hurt them by making it easy for husbands and fathers to leave them, secure in the knowledge that the state will provide what they will not.  For many women the state is provider, protector, and enabler – all at the expense of the mothers and fathers whose children the state so desperately needs.

A comprehensive, long-term solution to California’s budget problems would involve both the removal of tax dollars from economically destructive organizations like Planned Parenthood and positive tax exemptions for those raising children.  Unfortunately, the pro-life movement has not always put enough emphasis on the positive side of this equation.  If pro-lifers want to win the hearts and minds of the citizens of California, they need to offer positive solutions to the social and economic problems that have usually been addressed through some form of negation.  California will have to do the same for its families if it hopes to solve its financial problems – as even Scrooge eventually realized. ‘

Tea Party Pictures from Yorba Linda, CA

By Joi Weaver
Wednesday, reports came in from across the country of citizens gathering in crowds by the thousands, protesting increasing governmental intrusion into their lives, protesting the use of excessive tax to pay for wasteful programs created by representatives who no longer listen to the people they claim to stand for. I attended the tea party in Yorba Linda, California, and found it the scene of energetic, but peaceful, protest.
The large crowd stood in chilly spring winds, listening to the speakers.

We had a few costumed protestors as well: a man in colonial gear carrying a modified Gadsden flag, and another in Civil War garb, who spoke to the crowd at the end of the day. The latter is a historical re-enactor, and spoke of the necessity of learning from history.

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Party Like It’s 1773: A Report from a Tax Day Tea Party

Tax Day Tea Party

It’s not clear how many attended the hundreds of “Tax Day Tea Party” events held throughout the nation today. The estimates are pouring in, but we’ll never really know for sure how many showed up to protest. That’s the nature of a real grassroots movement, especially on the Right.
We do know, however, that thousands of those who did attend these events did so because they are fed up with… well, with a lot of things. It seems to me that the Tea Party movement isn’t as unified as it might appear – at least, the rally I attended wasn’t.
I spent the afternoon at one of the Orange County, CA rallies – in downtown Santa Ana. There I saw people protest such varied things as their tax rates, the supposed cover-up of President Obama’s Birth Certificate, Prop 1A, the recent DHS Report on “right wing extremist activity”, government “pork” spending (there were pig balloons everywhere!), and the recent California tax hikes. There were also some calling for the recall of CA Assemblyman Anthony Adams and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Here are a few shots of the crowd:

Continue reading Party Like It’s 1773: A Report from a Tax Day Tea Party

Evangelicals Curbbed the Housing Bubble

Sorry Chris Hitchens, but God is pretty great for the economy. At least, that’s what the New York Times is saying.
According to New York Times reporter Zubin Jelveh, there is good reason to think Evangelicals curbed the housing bubble. The article credits Evangelical optimism for the second coming of Christ as a possible reason why Evangelicals did not participate in the house buying frenzy during boom times and are now taking advantage of cheap housing during bust times. I credit the Evangelical idea of stewardship and a Bible based disinterest in “keeping up with the Jones’.” Regardless, belief in God and an understanding of life that is bigger than a merely reductionist, materialist view of the world is to be credited for sparing Americans an even greater burden of debt than what currently exists. ‘

Markets, Morality, and the Problem of Fractured Thinking

In two recent posts, Julia Kiewit and Robin Dembroff remarked on the free market. At a glance, it may not seem like the two were remarking on the same thing, but they were. Julia engaged the free market in the abstract through her brief essay. Robin, on the other hand, addressed a problem that has occurred related to free markets, namely the problem of drug related warfare in Mexico. Each of these posts prompted a number of responses worth remarking on because I think that they demonstrate the problem of fractured thinking by disregarding important thoughts on morality and limiting possible solutions to Mexico’s problem.

Continue reading Markets, Morality, and the Problem of Fractured Thinking