Saturday, March 21, 2020

Where Are All the Economists - Er, Followers of Christ? After All Jesus Was the Best Economist Ever

I continue to be saddened by how many have such a dearth of economic wisdom. More thoughtful people discover how insignificant the covid-19 health risk actually is, the more economically illiterate people listen to the interminable hysterics of the mainstream mass media and react accordingly putting into policy extraordinarily dangerous things like mandatory isolation for all and $1,000 payments to everything that breathes.

Straight away I'd like to direct you to an article written by Joy Pullmann, so far the very best I've seen on this whole thing. There you will see that people who just aren't thinking carefully enough refuse to understand the economic costs are just as lethal as the medical costs. Note how often you hear talking heads who get lots of airplay say things like, "Oh but the human costs!" as if "Better safe than sorry" solves the problem. Sorry, but in this instance their cure is far worse than the disease.

Some people are fearful too that a socialist autocracy will result. True that. What is less understood is the U.S. has been socialist for many years now. This whole hysteria thing just makes the necessary autocratic means that much more entrenched.

Okay, so, Jesus the best economist ever? What's He got to say?

Well, first of all He did have something to say about the dangers of capitalism, but they aren't at all what the leftist progressive-minded people think. He did say those who are rich may kick back and "eat, drink, and be merry" when their very lives are required of them. You may gain the whole world, but if you lose your soul, that's the real tragedy. The point is that wealth without the proper perspective on eternity and one's own destiny is worthless. I'm afraid too many in the United States take so much for granted because we are so materially well-off. God doesn't owe anyone anything.

While capitalism's main fault is hiding the spiritual destitution of its practitioners, socialism's main fault is it enables authoritarian governments to grow and flourish. Yes, Jesus spoke about this too, but not in terms of Caesar and his legitimate authority given him by God in the fourth chapter of Genesis. (Please, I encourage you to go there and read it. Find out how Caesar got his mojo...)

Jesus spoke about the individual and whether or not he was using the gifts he was given to make the lives of those around him better. If you are given five talents, are you out making five more? If three, how about three more? If you take your one talent and bury it, you are most loathsome because of your selfishness.

The point here is that socialist-minded policy makers are working everything down to the lowest common denominator. If someone is not using his talents and is suffering his just penalty for that failure, the idea is then no one may use their talents. This is why socialist dictators have always turned their countries into impoverished hellholes.

It may happen here if saner heads do not prevail and this policymaking based on hysteria doesn't end soon.

Look at it another way -- by virtue of the famous Trolley Dilemma.

I don't know who invented it, but it goes something like this. You are the switchman at the trolley station and you see that the trolley is about to run over and kill five people trapped on the tracks ahead. But if you switch the trolley over to another track, you'll note that another single individual is mindlessly sitting on those tracks. What decision do you make?

Now there are various versions of this -- in fact I once perused a book that had a number of different renditions just for philosophical rumination's sake.

Here's my rendition for these purposes. What's going on today is that the numbers of the people are switched -- there is one person ahead in immediate danger while five are mindlessly hanging out on the other track. The highly visible and very frightened politician is screeching about that one person trapped on the track ahead -- this is that poor elderly individual who's contracted the virus and needs that scarce ventilator -- and he is putting that person on the television screen front-and-center. "AAGH!" he screams, "Look at this person I'm going to save!" He's got to make sure The New York Times doesn't notice his failure to act and make him appear mean and uncaring, that is death to the politician.

The politician then switches the trolley over to the other track, and none of the horror that will happen there is ever shown. And indeed those other five people will die.

Many will sneer, "How will they die? Puh-leeze, don't be so melodramatic."

Ahh, the economically illiterate. How much we have to put up with them. By the way, Jesus felt the exasperation too, a number of times. Check it out. Just look at Mark's gospel, chapters three, six, eight... go ahead, you'll see it. Just this from that third chapter: "He looked around at them in anger, and deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts..." Yep.

How does socialism kill? One pretty renowned pundit mentioned this one: When people don't have meaningfully productive activity and are forced to do nothing, they'll start ingesting more things to try to reduce the boredom and purposelessness. Already the No. 1 cause of "preventable" deaths is poisoning, and the main way that happens is drug overdoses. Already. So let's go insane scrambling to keep one elderly person from getting this virus thing by putting in motion the conditions for more deaths. That's smart.

There's also the crime wave that is certain to hit. Right now law enforcement has announced it will do less work because they just don't have the capacity to do their jobs nor will the court system be able to keep up. Many "non-violent" felons are being released as we speak. Great. When word about this hits, what will young, bored, criminally-minded people start doing? A terrific indicator of this situation is the recent massive increase in gun sales. Don't think there won't be a situation when some crime is taking place and someone with a gun blows away said intruder? And The New York Times blames the shooter? And this happens more than a few times? Wash, rinse, repeat...

Ahh, the blissful ignorance of the economically illiterate.

Here's the real take on how socialism kills. It is that people aren't out producing the things we need to have a decent life. It is not only for the people who buy the products but the people who sell them to be active contributing to livelihoods. In its simplest sense, right now people seem to be freaking out most because they fear there won't be enough ventilators for the sick. Excuse me, but where did the ventilators come from? This isn't Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. 

Somebody had to get up in the morning and go to work to produce them.

Sure politicians will prioritize those kinds of things, ventilators and such, but remember, there is always an opportunity cost. Something that is very valuable will still cost the next most valuable thing. What we're talking about here is the whole socialism milieu that ends up essentially being a killing machine.

When it reaches critical mass, you also get closed schools where the students will struggle with their studies if they don't have a real live teacher in front of the classroom holding them accountable. Right now the ranking politician set is planning to give $1,000 to each American, paid for with future taxpayer dollars. Where's that money coming from if the future populace isn't in classrooms right now learning to be productive individuals in that future?

Our hegemony potentates are quite potently working to look really good while continuing to destroy the country. And sure, it does just go to show how Catholicist the people in this country really are -- just heeding them and bleating along when they tell everyone to stop going to work. In a very real sense the Caesarian hordes are incessantly laboring to convince as many as they can to be needy. Not to be resilient and courageous and industrious but to expect Caesar to save them.

Are there any good economists out there with a voice?

I cannot emphasize this enough however. This is what the legacy of Cain does. Expect it, prepare for it, see it with all the spiritual discernment you can.

Even though we are in it and must address it, there is a liberation from it, however and it isn't to rebel, revolt, or have some kind of insurrection. Jesus even insisted we respect those God put out of His presence to do sin management for those who ask them to do so no matter how evil it is.

On the other hand, you may switch your allegiance to The Kingdom, and He is a Person: Jesus Christ. Caesar can't touch you if you do, in fact his job is to crack heads of those who'd interfere with God's purposes. You may join all the other World waddlers trying to find their way without Him, that's your prerogative.

But you simply won't find real, actual, authentic freedom unless you turn to The One Who Is Life Eternal. No matter whether the virus gets you or the hysteria does, if you tell Him you want to be His, He'll hold onto you forever.

Life happens. So does death.

Might be good to be in the hands of The One Who Defeated That Death.

Credit to The Babylon Bee for the satirical lead headlines shared above.