Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Free Market and Faith...........Read it through, you won't be sorry

Can Free-Market Values Survive In An Increasingly Secular World?

By Steven Malanga | Posted Wednesday, January 28, 2009 4:30 PM

(Z: This is one of THE best, and scariest, things I have EVER read...I would very much appreciate your input):

The 18th century English cleric and theologian John Wesley was troubled by a paradox that emerged as his teaching spread. He, like other Protestant thinkers stretching back to Calvin, taught that one could honor God through hard work and thrift.

The subsequent burst of industry and frugality generated by Wesley's message improved the lot of many of his working-class followers and helped advance capitalism in England.

But "wherever riches have increased, the essence of religion has decreased in the same proportion," Wesley observed, and subsequently pride and greed are growing more common, he complained.

The emergence of what Max Weber described as the Protestant ethic represented an important point in the evolution of capitalism because it combined a reverence for hard work with an emphasis on thrift and forthrightness in one's dealings with others. Where those virtues were most ardently practiced, markets advanced and socie-ties prospered.

And, as Wesley foresaw, what slowly followed was a rise in materialism and a reverence of wealth for its own sake.

Today, we seem to be living out Wesley's most feared version of the pursuit of affluence unencumbered by virtue.

Scam artists perpetrate giant Ponzi schemes against their friends and associates. Executives arrange compensation packages that pay themselves handily for failure. Ordinary people by the hundreds of thousands seek a shortcut to riches by lying on mortgage applications. Heartless phony bailout schemes take the last dollar of people already in distress.

To survive all of this it seems capitalism needs a new dose of restraint. But absent a vast religious revival in the West, which seems unlikely, where will a renewal of the virtues of the work ethic come from?

That question becomes ever more difficult to consider because as religious practice fades and our institutions reject traditional values, so too does the memory of the role that these elements played in the rise of capitalism.

In the Church of the Middle Ages, work was something the faithful performed to survive, not something that had a value of its own. The most important occupations were not determined by the market but by church leaders: the monastic life first, followed by farming and then crafts.

Although the Church saved what was left of Europe's culture and economy after the fall of Rome, the continent's standard of living barely changed for 1,000 years under a worldview that was suspicious of all but commerce on the smallest scale.

Calvin undermined that view by placing work in a new religious context. Work was something that God willed us to do — even the rich. The worldly success that one achieved through hard work was a sign that one was perhaps a member of the elect.

But the fruits of hard labor weren't meant to be spent lavishly on oneself. The Protestant reformers preached that the faithful should reinvest the profits of hard work in new ventures rather than squander them because it seemed unlikely that people who were profligate were saved.

Over time this view of work became so widespread that many of the West's institutions accepted it, especially in America, a land settled by dissident religious sects that embraced the Protestant ethic.

By the middle of the 18th century Ben Franklin could publish a best-seller with the title "The Way to Wealth," a secularized guide to work values filled with observations like "a penny saved is a penny earned," and "early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise."

By the early 19th century de Tocqueville could marvel that America's preachers seemed as interested in promoting prosperity in this world through industriousness as "eternal felicity" in the next. Our public schools reinforced this message, not because it was religious but because it became the American way.

It was also here in America that the Catholic Church, initially suspicious of capitalism because it was thriving in Protestant countries, embraced the work ethic.

As vast waves of poor immigrants from Catholic countries, most especially Ireland, streamed into America in the 19th century, church leaders, worried about a backlash, set up schools that taught the children of these foreigners the same virtues of hard work, thrift and the pursuit of advancement that Wesley had transmitted to the English working class.

Within a generation, the Irish of America were thriving the way their countrymen across the Atlantic wouldn't prosper for nearly another 100 years.

But Wesley's paradox has been a part of this landscape of work and prosperity, too. Secularism rose in the U.S. in the late 19th century and peaked in the Roaring '20s, another age of materialism. Then the Great Depression and World War II brought a revival of religious observance, which continued during the boom years of the 1950s, before another decline began in the 1960s and continues through today.

Perhaps most pointedly, the values of the Protestant ethic also began to disappear from our larger society, especially from our schools, whose principals and instructors, largely schooled in American university education departments that have abandoned the idea that there is a common set of American cultural values, found such Franklinesque admonitions as "there are no gains without pains" too old-fashioned.

(However, one can occasionally find a football coach or phys ed teacher who echoes this wisdom.)

The gradual disappearance of the Protestant ethic has shifted the emphasis in our economy from work and production to work and consumption — but most of all to consumption. A culture of thrift has become a culture of debt, and in the process many people have blurred the line between the legitimate competitive activity that is so essential to capitalism and criminality.

When Franklin wrote that the bailiff does not visit the working man's house because "industry pays debts," he probably wasn't thinking of the no-doc, no down payment, interest-only, adjustable-rate mortgage with a balloon payment given to someone who conspired with his mortgage broker to obtain a loan for which he isn't qualified.

The meltdown of the financial markets in the last few months has left us grappling with how we can keep markets free and principled at the same time. The only debate so far is between those who want more government regulation — who want to impose from the outside via the regulator's eye the restraint that our institutions once tried to instill in us — and those who think that more government will only undermine our prosperity.

Neither side seems to be winning the public debate because most Americans are probably equally as appalled by the shortcomings of the markets as they are by the prospect of more government control of them.

People instinctively know something is missing, just not what. A religious revival in America seems unlikely. Is it equally as unlikely that our institutions, most especially our schools, would once again promote the virtues that made capitalism thrive and Western societies prosper — not just hard work, but thrift and integrity, or what we once called the Protestant ethic?

Malanga is an editor for RealClearMarkets and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

Z: I have been saying this for a few years now..."Capitalism doesn't work without good, honest people" This man NAILS it, in my opinion. What do you think!?

By the way, when I Googled CAPITALISM IMAGES for an image for this article, the letters automatically turned to PRO CAPITALISM in the Google line.......is it so gone that they needed to add PRO? wow (ALL images were negative..ALL)

z

53 comments:

Ducky's here said...

You completely ignore the Renaissance and Moorish Spain in your discussion of early Protestantism.

I have to think that ignoring the most prosperous areas of Europe should send you back to the drawing board.

Z said...

Ducky, do you EVER stick to the facts? How's about concentrating on what was written? (and I didn't write it, I make that clear, I hope! I wish I HAD)

Put aside the Renaissance and MOORISH SPAIN...we're dealing with the free market in America and faith here. I'd like to hear what you have to say if you would please stick to what was written. This is not an overview of the world and wealth. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

The looter-in-chief, Barack Obama, is now signing the "Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act."
It seems that her claim is that over the course of her career she was paid around $200K LESS than her male collegeages.

I haven't a clue about the truth of her claim. Let's say, that in her case it was true. Is this something worthy of a LAW? Does it surprise anyone here that the head looter would sign a law tying the hands of employers on compensation? A law like this HURTS women seeking jobs because employers think TWICE about hiring young women in particular, because they tend to get pregnant and need time off. They CANNOT be paid the same as their male co-workers who stay and work.

This is a mess, and elections have consequences. Atlas Shrugged is coming to life.

Morgan

Anonymous said...

If where I work is any indication, morality and business are mutually exclusive concepts.

Z said...

Morgan, I'd heard about that...he just signed a law enabling many people to sue past bosses for issues such as the one you describe. This is a terrible can of worms and this must be his payback to the lawyer lobbyists. Looks like he's paid back Planned Parenthood, ACORN, environmental groups will be coming, etc...They say he's going down the line ruining the country with horrible bills for payback for getting in...there'll be more. He's not through yet. got LOTS of people to pay off...the 'chicago way', dontcha know.
The upshot will be even LESS hiring now...it was bad enough he's been so pessimistic! Who'd hire ANYBODY hearing this president's gloom and doom!?

I hope we can stick to the subject of the posted article, but I SURE do think Morgan's right in pointing out this law he's discussing....but, we got steamrolled again....We'll have to get used to it, sadly...

Anonymous said...

This is a VERY good article and commentary Z! I'm not even done with it yet, but I came across this:

"To survive all of this it seems capitalism needs a new dose of restraint. But absent a vast religious revival in the West, which seems unlikely, where will a renewal of the virtues of the work ethic come from?"

There's absolutely no problem with "capitalism" as a system, it's as good an idea as we've ever had to make each other happy economically. Even our "poor" are the richest poor in the history of the world.
The left's "cure" for the inequality inherent in Capitalism is THE EQUAL DISTRIBUTION OF MISERY! This isn't even debatable if you read history.

That said, our basic morals are indeed religiously inspired. Western Civilization sits on a bedrock consisting of the Judeo-Christian tradition, and more recently the Enlightenment. That bedrock does seem to be shifting, and it's making our foundations all the more tenuous.

Capitalism WITHOUT Judeo-Christian morals is more like Libertarianism: which has MANY laudable ideas, but lacks basic morality in my opinion.

Given the choice between Libertarianism and a Socialist Cleptrocracy--like that favored by Barack and the Dems--I'll take the former EVERY time. But what a WRETCHED choice! Unfortunately, the distracted masses will choose the LATTER every time because they've been dumbed down by the government school system, and SO many of them get some sort of government check.

Anyways, let me get back to this great article!

Morgan

Ducky's here said...

Okay z, here's a fact.

The rise of capitalism had little or nothing to do with Protestantism and quite a bit to do with the steam engine.

GDP in Northern Europe remained flat during the days of mercantilism and your so called "Protestant work ethic". It only climbed with the invention of the steam engine which comrade Marx had a lot to say about.

The "free market" (LMAO) doesn't make Christians.

Z said...

Ducky..oops! Don't look now, but the quote should be exactly the opposite...YOu say "The "free market" (LMAO) doesn't make Christians."

That's exactly right...

Morgan....Yes! Jews and Christians...absolutely....we made a darned good country; and we need to get back to our faith to get that darned good country back.

I'll be gone for a few hours..am eager to read more comments..thanks!! xxx

shoprat said...

Revivals do tend to follow economic hardship and we are in for a prolonged period of economic difficulty that will last several years. The Great Depression created the greatest generation and perhaps the depression we are now entering will do the same. Since we failed to learn from history we must now repeat it. Wealth without virtue leads to decadence.

norwegianwood said...

I don't think it can be boiled down to protestantism or capitalism ..there are TOO many other factors for the rise of the wealth of this nation as a whole. AND, it totally ignores that while we're 'mostly' a Christian nation with many factors to include the Catholicism from Europe, Judaism, Budhism, Hindi,etc, we also are a nation of atheists, agnostics, mystics, wiccans, etc...and we ALWAYS have been. That Christians held the majority doesn't mean that THEY formed the most egregious of our slip to materialism, which by the way, wasn't REALLY the deal until POST WWII and our rise DUE in large part to the crushing ruin of the European economies etc. I think the impact of secularites from all backgrounds combined with overt atheism and HOLLYWOOD cannot be overstated with regards to the decline of the moral fiber of this country. It IS a failure of the church to REMAIN principled and active, more than the work ethic that church promoted.

As to the larger point, if I understand the article correctly, that what we need is a revival of those early church values to not only turn this economy around, but more importantly, to get back on the right track as Christians in a Christian nation with Christian values. I've been saying that for years. IF so many churches had not been MORE concerned with 'materialism' and keeping the butts in the pews--i.e. MONEY--we would not likely be in this said state of moral decline. But when the leaders OF our morality, FUDGE the doctrine to 'keep up with the times'--i.e. to keep people coming--then we see the MOVE to a ME, ME, ME society.

I found an interesting article that relates, in a way:
http://hushmoney.org/501c3-facts.htm

here's a snippet of it:
For a 501c3 church to openly speak out, or organize in opposition to, anything that the government declares "legal," even if it is immoral (e.g. abortion, homosexuality, etc.), that church will jeopardize its tax exempt status. The 501c3 has had a "chilling effect" upon the free speech rights of the church. LBJ was a shrewd and cunning politician who seemed to well-appreciate how easily many of the clergy would sell out.

Did the church ever need to seek permission from the government to be exempt from taxes? Were churches prior to 1954 taxable? No, churches have never been taxable. To be taxable a church would first need to be under the jurisdiction, and therefore under the taxing authority, of the government. The First Amendment clearly places the church outside the jurisdiction of the civil government: "Congress shall make NO LAW respecting an establishment of religion, nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

You see? WHY would our churches feel the NEED to even BE 501? Greed. Plain and simple.

I AGREE that we NEED a revival of the church in this country. WE NEED to stop LAYING down as Christians on EVERYTHING from no prayer in school to abortion and sex education being taught there; from teaching our children that Christmas and Easter are about GETTING and not focusing so much on the GIVING; to SAHM/wives taking BACK their strong role of leadership and volunteerism in the church and the community..all of that.

The BEST 're-investment' you can make is to TITHE to your church and the missions. The RETURN may not be one that you SEE right away...but the FAILURE to make that investment is SEEN EVERYWHERE today.

P

Anonymous said...

Here's another FANTASTIC opportunity for comment:

---"The meltdown of the financial markets in the last few months has left us grappling with how we can keep markets free and principled at the same time."---

This isn't as complicated as it might seem. Laws protecting against FORCE and FRAUD are the only legitimate laws. And they need to be FEW and STRICTLY enforced. Both are VITAL. Anything else is a recipe for disaster.

---"The only debate so far is between those who want more government regulation — who want to impose from the outside via the regulator's eye the restraint that our institutions once tried to instill in us — and those who think that more government will only undermine our prosperity."---

This seems to be a false choice. More regulation is almost never BETTER regulation. It just leads to bigger bureaucracy (sp?) and more innefficiency. Wealth is squandered. This undermines our prosperity and our freedom.


---"Neither side seems to be winning the public debate because most Americans are probably equally as appalled by the shortcomings of the markets as they are by the prospect of more government control of them."---

INFORMED Americans CANNOT be appalled by "the shortcomings of the market" because, in essence the "market" is nothing more than one person's needs being fulfilled by another person for just compensation. In a free market, BOTH people walk away happy!
It's vitally important not to confuse disgust with fraud and bad behavior with the "market."

Unfortunately, with government propaganda taught in the schools and on the TV, the "free market" and capitalism are demonized as the victimizers of the poor!

We are engaged in a propaganda battle, and our side has almost no stomach for the fight because it's a disgusting spat that we don't like. The left wallows gleefully in the mud, and we don't have much heart for it.

We conservatives offer TRUTH, FREEDOM, and FREE MARKETS. The morals and ethics are up to you.

The left offers bread, circuses, handouts, propaganda, and grinding poverty. The morals are upside-down and FORCED on you.

Morgan

Z said...

I just heard Coach Tony Dungy on his new book, UNCOMMON...

He said something that dovetailed this article... "I liked hiring guys who were hard working, putting their team ahead of themselves..." etc....
He was asked "Did you hire mostly Christians?" His response was "Well, I didn't go out particularly for Christians...but it seemed like those guys fulfilled those requirements I mentioned.."

I'd throw in faithful Jews in this mix, too. ANY good person, actually...but I thought his particular reference to Christians (he is one) and good teamwork, ethics, etc., was really part of this work ethic and putting the team ahead of the individual....

In all his coaching years, only one team member objected to prayers for the team...and he was just told he didn't have to. interesting.

Anonymous said...

Duckster wrote:
"GDP in Northern Europe remained flat during the days of mercantilism and your so called "Protestant work ethic".

WRONG! In Holland and England mercantilism caused those economies to ROCKET! The fact the the idiot frogs and others failed to grasp the brilliance of the fledging free markets don't diminish the accomplishment of the countries who did!

Of course the steam engine helped, but the Romans and Phoenicians and Carthaginians didn't have it. They DID have flourishing trade and empires built on the wealth of trade and markets.

Morgan

Anonymous said...

Well said Shoprat!
"Wealth without virtue leads to decadence."

Ducky's here said...

WRONG! In Holland and England mercantilism caused those economies to ROCKET!

---------------------

That's the entirety of Europe?

Ducky's here said...

As for Holland, what about the "tulip bubble"?

Markets were screwing up beck then too.

Also you'd have a tough time maintaining that Holland wasn't extremely secular.

Tony C said...

As religion has become less and less important to the family at home, the carry over effect of less morality in the workplace is only a natural progression.

The Biblical principles of honoring your debt, earning your wages, and respecting authority are all too subjective and easily lost in the 'it's all about me, it's all about now' attitude of American society today.

Very good post...much needed.

Anonymous said...

Z, Tony Dungy is a CLASS act! I might just buy his book.

Morgan

highboy said...

Ducky can dance with history from hundreds of years ago all he like, but the fact is that THIS country, with its strong foundation in much less government and a leadership based on the red-letter teachings of Christ (yes I know many of the Framers were deists, it doesn't change the fact that this country was founded on Christ's teachings) has thrived when the government has kept its fingers out of the economy as much as possible. Maybe its a coincidence maybe not.

I.H.S. said...

Shoprat said,"Revivals do tend to follow economic hardship..." I guess I've been in revival for a while now. :)

This was a great article, and I think I'll be rereading it a few times.

Blessings.

Ducky's here said...

It's also worth pointing out that the nation most responsible for the enlightenment and the industrial revolution, Scotland (NOT ENGLAND) was nearly the poorest in Europe but it was the most literate.

Watt, Kelvin, Hume, Smith, Maxwell et. al. were vigorous questioners and not men of Puritanical obedience.

Anonymous said...

The problems outlined in this article are not something that results from 19th Century capitalism. History is replete with examples of human greed uncomplicated by religious doctrine. Piers Paul Read tells us in his book The Templars, “It is also clear that in this, as well as in all other crusades, the penitential motivation was combined with the hope in the minds of many of the participants that they would both save their souls and make their fortunes: it was wholly accepted among all parties to these incessant conflicts that risk should have its reward.” In my view, the principal criticism of Marx is that he was purely idealistic and made no allowances for human nature. The fact is that nothing works well sans honesty as a principle virtue, and the evidence would seem abundant whether one is discussing American capitalist enterprises, or the corruption of Soviet Russia, or the vices attached to any regime one cars to mention. No, not even the Popes can be held up to the standard of honesty . . . for cleverly concealed beneath every economic endeavor is the filth of politics: the means justify the means.

Read continues his instruction by illustrating the activities of Frederick of Hohenstaufen, not once but twice excommunicated after his assumption as Holy Roman Emperor . . . perhaps the worlds first true skeptic in matters both spiritual and temporal. I think the word we use today is “pragmatic,” as in Barack Obama and a score of leaders in both house of Congress and of both political parties. So then, if we understand the greedy nature of man, and if we assume that everyone requires supervision, how do we accomplish that? The problem with legislating morality is that legislators are for the most part immoral; it makes no difference whether they are purely communists, socialists, or devoted capitalists.

Well, you did ask for my point of view . . .

Brooke said...

So has Dungy been thrown under the bus yet?

Just sayin'...

Ducky's here said...

The Biblical principles of honoring your debt, earning your wages, and respecting authority are all too subjective ...

--------------------------

You're describing the Japanese shogunate also. These priciples are hardly unique to the Bible.

Ducky's here said...

In my view, the principal criticism of Marx is that he was purely idealistic and made no allowances for human nature.

------------------

The worker doesn't want to subvert the bourgeoisie, the worker wants to BE the bourgeoisie.

You are absolutely correct.

Anonymous said...

Z. Great article.
Methinks that an overpopulated world will require a more holistic approach to our economic woes.
Marxist cronyism obviously will not work. That is obvious to all but the most casual observer.
Nor does unchecked transnational corporate capitalism.
Both sides are so corrupt and or blinded by ideology that reality has become occluded to them.
I think that in an increasingly complex world we may need a complex way of dealing with this.
problem. Sometimes a complex solutiion will be needed.
Yang and yin.
The point I am trying to make is that the same old left right paradigm isn't working.
The engine that drives modern capitalism is fueled by overpopulation. This worked fine in a world with a small population. Not now. The neocon right seems not to see this.
The Godless left seems to go completely in the other direction.
Reward failure pander to the have nots. Stir up resentment against those who are successful etc.
Rather like luddite lemmings.
We need some fresh ideas not the same old repdem ruruns.
This is why I liked Ron Paul.
Oh well.
I think though that we may be past the point of no return.
Hope I am wrong.

Lost in aztlan

Ducky's here said...

z, your interpretation of the so called "Protestant work ethic" seems to come down to this. The poor are poor because they don't work and are therefore not among the elect.
Give them charity as you will but they have no moral expectations.

Is that it?

How does your "work ethic" deal with the business cycle, unemployment, imperialism and other economic issues?

CJ said...

The Protestant Ethic is a familiar explanation for the prosperity of America but we've mostly heard about it in the last few decades through leftist criticism of the whole idea, the same way capitalism is criticized. Which no doubt means there's something to it as an explanation of the nation's wealth.

There's also Adam Smith and I don't know a lot about his ideas but there's something in there about self interest under the freedom to pursue your own prosperity -- not the kind of self interest that sits around and waits to be taken care of, though; rather the kind that takes advantage of opportunities.

The Protestant Ethic probably more specifically applies to American prosperity.

Another way to look at it is that general obedience to God's laws brings prosperity while greed and dishonesty are a recipe for failure.

Anonymous said...

Mustang, of the many FINE opinions I've read here, yours truly stands out. I enjoyed it thoroughly. You did write this, and it requires parsing:

--"The problem with legislating morality is that legislators are for the most part immoral; it makes no difference whether they are purely communists, socialists, or devoted capitalists."--

I LOVED the wisdom and wit of the pre-semicolon statement. As for the latter part of that statement, it's not accurate to lump communists, socialists, and devoted capitalists into the same boat.
The devoted capitalist is a DIFFERENT creature altogether.
He devotes himself to increasing his fortune and/or his business, and he does this by offerering goods or services to his fellow man. IOW he is FORCED to make someone else happy to make his fortune. It's a win-win situation.

Now, if he commits fraud against someone or breaks the law, he WILL screw his life up, and pay. Unless of course he's nominated to head the Treasury! LOL! Then again, in this administration, that's where Capitalism and Socialism meet.

Communists and Socialists on the other hand use the GOVERNMENT as an instrument of plunder, and that is their policy! NO ONE is made happy by this transaction except a VERY small group of cleptocratic ideologues.

My point is that the Capitalists tend to be FAR more honest and virtuous because it PAYS for them to be good to their customers. The OPPOSITE is true for the Socialist or the Communist (a socialist with a rifle).

Morgan

Ducky's here said...

There's also Adam Smith and I don't know a lot about his ideas but there's something in there about self interest under the freedom to pursue your own prosperity

---------------------

Read Smith, he is always taking the side of workers and is a VERY strong advocate for unions.

Smith in no way endorsed the laissez-faire abuses that masquerade under the so called "work ethic".

Primarily he was pointing to a way out of mercantilism.

Ducky's here said...

CJ, you seem to be describing the Joel Osteen ministry.

CJ said...

I hate Joel Osteen so I have no idea what I've said that fits his ministry.

Decent capitalism has to be good to the workers, Ducky, that's both being true to God's Law and good for productivity. I don't see why the Protestant Ethic would slight workers. A God-fearing Protestant would have to take good care of them.

Anonymous said...

It's what Berlin termed "the unavoidability of conflicting ends" or, alternatively, the
"incommensurability" of values. He once called this "the only truth which I have ever
found out for myself... Some of the Great Goods cannot live together.... We are doomed
to choose, and every choice may entail an irreparable loss." In short, it's what Michael
Ignatieff summarized as "the tragic nature of choice".

Ducky's here said...

Decent capitalism has to be good to its workers.

-------------------
So you support unions, minimum wage, unemployment benefits and other leftist ideals?

Ducky's here said...

and Brooke, any nation has limits on speech.

It is nearly always unlawful to use speech to incite violence and a danger to the social order. Now you walk a fine line here but can it be helped?

Holland has a judicial view that comparing a portion of the population's religion to Nazism may be doing just that.

I can't completely disagree, no.

Ducky's here said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ducky's here said...

A God-fearing Protestant would have to take good care of them.

----------------------------

Although , CJ, in the current melt down there seems to be no grace for either the grasshopper or the ant.

CJ said...

So you support unions, minimum wage, unemployment benefits and other leftist ideals?

No, that's changing the subject because I was talking about God-fearing employers who would be fair to their workers.

But of course most employers aren't God-fearing these days so I'm for some laws that protect the worker, laws, not unions. But I'm no economist and I don't run a business so this has to remain a vague ideal. But PROTECT is the word, and FAIR and WITHIN REASON is the guideline, not robbing the rest of society to take care of them, and not demanding so much from employers that you drive them out of business, which happens all too often.

CJ said...

When you've got a melt-down we're all up a creek, Ducky, even with the best of intentions. But the melt-down is of course the result of NON-God-fearing practices, proving the point I've been making.

CJ said...

And the point of the article too.

Z said...

Tony C says what I feel (as do others of you, but I think this quote says it all) :"As religion has become less and less important to the family at home, the carry over effect of less morality in the workplace is only a natural progression."

Mustang (welcome back!);We suffer from this now. One cannot legislate morality, NO DOUBT ABOUT IT.

We didn't have to back then. Simply said.

Morgan! I hope you DO get the book. He sounds like a FABULOUS man. My limited knowledge of football, of course, precludes me from having heard his name until this morning! (I guess THAT's a shocker!) Ask me ANYTHING abuot the Lakers!!!! (Smile)

CJ/Ducky...I'm laughing my head off at the thought of CJ admiring or sounding like "Joel 'well, Larry, you don't HAVE to believe in Christ to go to Heaven' Osteen!" Hilarious! The thing is, nobody says anybody MUST be a Jesus believer to get to heaven but, for pete's sake, don't be a Christian minister and deny it!!! LOL! BE SOMETHING ELSE!!

Ducky: Capitalism isn't "good to workers" when it makes them dependent on the union teet.

Lost...you said "We need some fresh ideas not the same old repdem ruruns." you're so right. WHEN are we having lunch or dinner at Casa??!! I'll email.

P? Profound advice..thanks. We might not see the benefits now, but they'll be there. Thanks...graet thinking, as usual.

FJ...the tragic nature of choice is scary. whoa

Anonymous said...

CJ wrote:
"Decent capitalism has to be good to the workers, Ducky, that's both being true to God's Law and good for productivity. I don't see why the Protestant Ethic would slight workers. A God-fearing Protestant would have to take good care of them."

Yes indeed sir! The smart capitalist pays good workers GOOD money! Or he loses them to the competition and he takes a hit in the pocketbook. It's pretty easy to understand.

Morgan

Anonymous said...

Duckster wrote:
Ducky's here said...
Decent capitalism has to be good to its workers.

"So you support unions, minimum wage, unemployment benefits and other leftist ideals?"


No! Now, the unemployment "benefits" are at lweast of SOME questionable good. On the whole, leftists IMPOVERISH everything they touch. The Rust Belt is the biggest creation of the American belt, and Detroit is going to be it's glittering jewel VERY soon! You leftists have LOTS to be proud of Ducky.

Morgan

Z said...

My friend Roger sent me this email....

I don't agree with him on the founding of our country AT ALL, but I do what he says about today resonates...sadly!

"I've wondered about this (sort of) for a long time and here's what I think. America has two "stories" or paradigms about its founding. The "romantic" version focuses on freedom of religion, faith, the hand of God in the founding, truth, justice and all those nice ideas. The "practical" version--maybe the REAL version-- is that our founding was really a business deal. The investors who funded projects like the India Company or other ventures to explore and exploit American resources, were cold hearted businessmen who wanted only 1 thing---a large return on their investments. Take the cash and dash. The fluffy version was to assuage the people who would do the work to make the investors rich, so greed and avarice trumped love and truth. Turbo capitalism has gone over the edge. Also, America is no longer really a country, merely a large stock exchange or shopping mall. There is no more American character because we don't want to offend anyone--anyone with money to invest that is! We the people no longer control our own country and both major parties are responsible for this. I think we've gone to "the customer is always right" and away from the rights of the people. Anyway, those are my brief musings on the topic."

(He's commenter Tio Bowser's dad!)

Z said...

From another brilliant friend of Z's:

"Ducky" is a good name for this guy - he's all wet. Wonder if the steam engine would have sparked an industrial revolution in ancient China which kept their other marvelous inventions (the water clock
e.g.) for the emperor's delight."

Anonymous said...

Regarding the founding of the country, Paul Johnson cites the lack of a religious presence as the reason Roanoke failed. I notice that discussions about whether the country was founded on Christian values. The discussion then becomes a debate over whether Washington et. al. were Christians or diests. The settlements in America were several generations old by Washington's time. Should "Founding Fathers" be limited to Washington and his colleagues, or should it also extend to the John Winthrops?

Did people make money off of colonialism? Sure. Does that mean they were exploiting people? Not necessarily. Isn't the standard of living markedly better in lands that were once European colonies than in places never influenced by Europe?

Can capitalism survive in a secular society? I like capitalisms chances better than socialism. The point of capitalism is that thousands of people are working to bring you goods and services, and it is not dependent on their altruism. Does Hong Kong qualify as an example of capitalism w/o a religious culture?

Josh Muravchik documents failed attempts at socailism in his "Heaven on Earth" book. He said the one with the religious element was the only successful one, though it was only temporary (the Jewish kibbutz).

My point? I don't have time to make one. Feel free to try to arrange these thoughts into some kind of coherent point, but I'm getting tired. Good night.

-Tio Bowser

JMK said...

Economic socialsim cannot exist absent political fascism.

Musollini was a major figure in Itlay's socialist movement prior to becoming its leader.

Collectivism = primitive tribalism.

Feudalism is the updated version of socilaism/collectivism.

There can never be anything near "economic equality" (often misnamed "economic justice") so long as private property rights are respected and given that private property rights are enshrined in our Constitution...well, economic equality just doesn't seem to be in the cards for U.S.

And thank God!

The market-based economy (and America has the SAME regulated market-based economy that Sweden, Japan, France, Germany and England all have, is the ONLY economy that cherishes and rewards that talented tenth of the breed that innovates, creates and opens up opportunities for the rest.

Papa Frank said...

It is EXTREMELY telling of liberals and leftists (read ducky) when they equate owners being good to workers with unions and minimum wage and unemployment. What the heck would any of these things have to do with a good and fair workplace???
Workers working under a godly and good owner would need none of them!!!

Z said...

Thanks for the excellent input tonight, Guys.
Tio..I'm tired, too!!

But, good reading, thanks.

Anonymous said...

JMK wrote:
"Economic socialsim cannot exist absent political fascism"

Wise words! I see it all over the place today.

Morgan

Z said...

JMK and Morgan..so true.
And the Left calls US Fascism when Fascism, by definition, is total government interference/control.

You sure can't have socialism without that. And we're almost there.....

Elmers Brother said...

"Gain all you can; Save all you can; Give all you can."

John Wesley

Z said...

Elbro..VERY good advice there..never heard it before..thanks.xxx