Date of publication: 2017-08-27 04:26
Earlier in this essay, I outlined my religious conversion to Catholicism, followed by my vocational conversion from French hornist to economist. Let me close with a few words about how they are related.
As I taught about the anti-poverty properties of free enterprise, a common objection—especially among my Catholic friends—remained. “Okay,” many said, “I see that markets have pulled up the living standards of billions, and that’s great. But they haven’t pulled people up equally. In fact, capitalism has created more inequality than we have ever seen.” This spawns ancillary concerns about the rich getting richer at the expense of the poor, and the rising inequality of opportunity. My challenge as a Catholic economist was to answer these questions in good faith.
The arguments and reasoning of the Stoics were generally accepted, but not thoroughly put into practice and therefore not vigorously tested, for over a thousand years.
Those academics who study sociobiology have been a little braver, perhaps because those who work in the hard sciences are sometimes better at looking after their own, or, as in the case of . Wilson, they simply did not realize they were poking a hornets nest. Also hard science people sometimes seem to be tougher, more obstinate, stubborn, and intransigent than fuzzies.
Essays will be judged on whether the student is able to argue for and justify his or her view—not on whether the Institute agrees with the view the student expresses. Judges will look for writing that is clear, articulate and logically organized. Winning essays must demonstrate an outstanding grasp of the philosophic meaning of The Fountainhead.
The greater good is unknowable because “Society” is not a conscious entity capable of experiencing that good. Attempts to create a simulation of this deity, using elections and like methods, have been seriously unsuccessful. The state tends to behave remarkably as if it was simply a group of mere mortals, men with their own urgent needs and desires, fallible, weak, and prone to evil, pursuing their own personal goods, no different from any other organization.
On the contrary, I am a big fan of Scandi democratic capitalism, & I would gladly take more of that paradigm (I'd also happily take Scandinavian abortion regimes, as well in a happy trade - but that's a conversation for another time, perhaps).
Finally, an article about the real causes of income inequality, poverty, unhappiness, et al. As mentioned in this article, our individual and societal ills are not caused by our free enterprise system or capitalism, nor are they caused by those in the 6%. They are caused by the idolization of materialism and selfishness and the misalignment of our goal, or lack thereof, to love of God and neighbor. This means to seek and do good and avoid evil, and to share our blessings of time and money to help those who carry heavy burdens and are in need.
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