“Strike at the Root.” A political cartoon, by me.
“Only white people can be racist.” This is the conclusion drawn by many activists of the modern day, who exert their various energies toward the goal of attaining justice for society. The reasoning goes that racism is prejudice plus institutionalized power, so only white persons can be racist. Let’s look at whether this is true and what it really means.
Imagine that you made a bet with someone. It doesn’t matter what the bet is over–it may be the outcome of a football game or the toss of the dice. But whichever game, and for whatever reason aside, you and a rival enter into a wager. The stakes are as follows: The loser’s house will be burned to the ground. Now, assuming that you take the bet, you are aware that you are entering a wager where someone’s house will be burned down. To such a bettor, the desired outcome is a house burning down. Of course, you will surely wish that it shan’t be your house, but you will wish that a house burn down. You’ll just wish it’s the house of your rival. Notice I have said nothing of intentions or motives. Morally speaking, it does not matter why you are taking the bet. Maybe you need the winnings for emergency surgery or to make your car payment. But the reason does not matter. No matter what the outcome, someone’s property will be destroyed for the benefit of a short-term gain by the winning party.
It is despicable to take a bet where you know that no matter what, someone’s house will be destroyed. What would be more despicable still would be to delude yourself into thinking that your rival will be better off, and/or that the destruction of his house is either secretly benefiting him or the charred rubble is just an illusion. Of course, if you were the loser you would not fall for this assurance; you would recognize the lie for what it is and you would want your house back. If this situation seems absurd, it is only because I have substituted the words “house” and “wager” for “liberty” and “vote.”
by John Everett
[Also available from Amazon]
No one can deny that there are many problems facing us today. Poverty, illiteracy, corruption, and so on are enduring obstacles in our lives. Many people do their best to combat these problems, but in order to do this effectively we have to first figure out what is causing these problems. The trouble is, people can’t seem to agree on the causes of most of these issues. It seems that everyone has different answers. Depending on the person you ask, you might hear the answers: because of the poor, because of immigrants, because of rich corporations, because of lobbying, because of corrupt politicians, and so on. What I would like to discuss now, however, is an answer that hasn’t been very popular but is steadily gaining traction. There is a radical movement that puts forth the idea that government in general is the primary cause of most societal problems. Not a certain Government in particular, mind you. Not a Republican Government or a Democratic Government. Not a parliamentary or congressional Government. Just government in any of its myriad forms. Such a simplistic worldview suffers from a fundamental problem, and I want now to explain what it is.
This was a diagnostic writing I did for my English composition class. I had one hour to complete it; this is the finished essay.
Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” However, it is hard to believe that just a few people can make a significant difference. Given the many great challenges that the world faces, it seems impossible to change anything for the better unless one can attract a lot of people and spend a lot of money.
Assignment: Can a small group of concerned individuals have a significant impact on the world? Plan and write an essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue. Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations.
“Asking a liberal where prices and wages come from is like asking a six-year old where babies come from.” -Thomas Sowell
It’s all come to this, the final showdown. The third and final part of my debate with Mr. S begins on page 2 after a brief aside. This third part contains a lot of graphs and charts that present data in an easy-to-digest form, but also has enormous walls of text. Wait, that’s how I’m going to start this? Let me try this again: Inside you’ll find many of my arguments presented with pictures to visually represent vast amounts of data, making it easier to see and understand. (There, that’s much more fun!)
“There is only one difference between a bad economist and a good one: the bad economist confines himself to the visible effect; the good economist takes into account both the effect that can be seen and those effects that must be foreseen.”
When dealing with the economic effects of a policy it is paramount that we are able to see the unseen. In my debate with Mr. S last week several studies on minimum wage effects were referred to but not sufficiently analyzed (my bad). Especially in regards to the Krueger & Card study, it is important to realize that economists with an agenda will make the info say what they want the info to say. For example: the gender gap!
“The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him.” Leo Tolstoy
In case you haven’t heard, lately there’s been a lot of debate concerning the minimum wage. Opinions are varied but among those who are most outspoken on the matter, most want the wage to be raised to $11 per hour. Every side brings up important points, but what most human beings forget to do when debating is to let the facts dictate opinion instead of the other way around. This may bother you, and if it does I hope very much to convince you, but I believe that the minimum wage ought to be abolished. As in, a $0 minimum wage. And about 50% of economists agree on that point. If you don’t, but you’re open-minded and willing to learn, read on.
Many thousands of years ago, when our fragile race was still new, there lived two men who were quite gifted, but also quite poor. The first man had a knack for sewing clothes but hungered for want of food. The second man quite skillfully grew vegetables but cried in pain, for his back was scorched by the fires of the sun. One day the first man took up an armful of his clothes while the second man carried a bushel of his crops. Desperately the two wandered aimlessly until after a while they happened upon one another.
The hungry seamster and the naked farmer stood at a distance with their wares, each having what the other wanted. Lo, there was but one misfortune keeping them from quenching their desires. The government had not been invented yet, so these two merchants were incapable of trading with one another. Without the economic guidance of the government, they could only stare at one another, dumbfounded. O, how happy we are, for without the government we all would be everlastingly poor!