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Beyond Sowell

Bob Kinsey

I would suggest Butch Mazzuca expand his horizons beyond the dogmatism of Thomas Sowell, who functions strictly within an economic model that has disconnected itself from the multiple interconnections economics has with all other studies of the human condition. But even within the model one must wonder if the drive to pay the least amount for labor doesn’t eventually starve the very demand side of the equation in the law of supply and demand. (Check out Henry Ford in this regard.) In addition, the market adjustments that take place in balancing this law can become horrendous when measured in human terms. One example of that is devastation in social systems and individual human lives which the free (read “irresponsible”) movement of capital creates, and from which only the very well-off can protect themselves (and indeed profit, which Mazzuca entitles “earning wealth within their lifetimes”). Only now is labor, no longer organized to exercise sufficient clout to bargain collectively (oh, the horrors of collectivity except when organized as corporation!), beginning to realize the full dimensions of this whole piece of economic behavior. An economic system – or economic systems – are the ways in which humans organize to provide the needs and wants of their species. Its laws are not “God” but descriptions of the ways in which some of these organizational types function, without fully taking account of the many other costs which are ignored in the laws. A system which appeals to the basest of human needs and urges, without ever costing out the impact of that system’s impact on either the environment, the human community or even the growth of individuals to their full spiritual and moral possibilities — even ignores that whole aspect of human need and want – can end up building cities that find themselves under water and sludge next to vast dead spots in the ocean and praying for an interventional salvation in the most infantile of ways. Even among the sometimes successful and the very rich it creates people who drink quarts of vodka or do lines of coke or wander from affair to affair to deaden the pains of meaningless trivialization. As such it would appear that the laws of economics may have been handed down by a rather bestial deity “slouching towards Bethlehem to be born.”Bob KinseyEdwards


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