Mudcat Café message #963031 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #59921   Message #963031
Posted By: Strick
06-Jun-03 - 12:39 AM
Thread Name: BS: Conservative, Liberal, or Human Being?
Subject: RE: BS: Conservative, Liberal, or Human Being?
Mr. Miller, several nearly random thoughts. So are you questioning the basic theory of economics or the kinds of choices made if you rely solely on it? If the former, consider a discussion I heard about hunger in the United States on NPR this morning. A most interesting point: where there was real starvation in this country in the past, the issue is now nutrition. People who are in need tend to buy the most cost effective food, which, unfortunately is high in calories, but low in nutritional value. They spoke about a problem that would shock our ancestors: hunger that results in obesity. Whatever you want to believe about it this is a major improvement in the human condition brought about by the market you don't want to believe in. This is also true in the "third world". The vast majority of issues with starvation in the world today are not related the economically "oppressed"; they're the result of war and tribal conflicts, forceful interruptions of market forces. There are other issues to be sure, particularly with issues of dislocation like Globalization. Unfortunately, that's the 21st Century's equivalent of the Industrial Revolution. Better to focus on how to help the people it's going to affect most (like knowledge workers in North America and Europe as their jobs "flee" to Asia over the next 30 years -- "Knowledge workers of the World Unite! You have nothing to lose but your PDAs!") than trying to hold back the tide. These changes will not result from myths, but from inevitable economic forces.

If the later, consider this article: Housing in New York City It's from the Economist which I admit has a conservative bent, but what it says is true. Intefering with market forces has a cost and more often than not that cost hurts most those the interference is intended to help. Interference is sometimes warranted; both sides of an issue often advocate interference in different ways for different reasons. We should choose our battles and be damned sure to consider the longer term impacts of the places we do interfere.

As to starting your own businesses, don't make a classic mistake. The fact that Newton's laws can explain the universe under some conditions doesn't invalidate that you need Einstein to explain it in others as the scale of things changes. You can't always tell the shape of a curve, particularly the kind of "S" curve you're talking about, from examing one short segment. The forces that drive economies of scale are real.

Finally, I'm glad you draw comfort what you think it means to be a liberal. Things I'm sure that no conservative really ever gives adequate consideration. Why do you deny that people who consider themselves conservative can do the same? Their values are different but as real and meaningful to them. Non-conservatives just don't always give them adequte consideration. Heaven forbid any such courtesy should be extended to moderates who don't automatically accept whatever either extreme wants them to believe. ;)