Economics: What is Keynesianism?

You may have seen or heard the term Keynesianism in the last few months, as a description of the Obama administration’s policy. From the right, calling that policy Keynesian is a criticism, but the left seems to embrace it as the only right way.

Daniel Hannan links to this 7-minute video clip from the Cato Institute, which provides a nice, simple explanation of Keynesian theory and its faults. BTW, kudos to Daniel for being a public voice for millions of sensible people.

In other news… From my late reading of late, I’m beginning to perceive a basic worldview conflict that manifests in the areas of politics, education, economics, religion, and elsewhere. I’m going to give it some more thought, and then try to express it here.

A Ray of Light

There are questions answered by moral principles that do not change. Then there are questions with answers than vary from one situation to another. Both kinds can become politicized. The Church has something to say about moral questions, whether they have been politicized or not.

In every age, there are some who contradict and challenge unchanging moral principles. That’s dangerous, because morality is one of the few things that separates human beings from animals. Then again, some human beings seem to think they are no more than animals. Contradictors notwithstanding, morality exists, and humans are not animals.

Abortion is a focal point of controversy about the value of human life. Advocates consider the choice of the “mother” more important than the identity of the “fetus” as a human being. (Can you be a mother without a child?)

On the abortion side of this cultural divide are advocates for embryonic stem cell research. That’s research into stem cells taken from living human embryos, resulting in the death of those embryos. Advocates claim that embryonic stem cells are potentially more useful than kinds which are not harvested through the death of a human embryo. That claim is dubious. What’s more, there have been thousands of over 100 successful “miracle treatments” resulting from research into the other kinds of stem cells, while embryonic stem cell research has consumed millions of dollars without the same any happy endings. You may recall celebrities like Michael J. Fox and Christopher Reeve beating the drum and pulling heart strings for embryonic stem cell research. Ironically, there have now been successful, documented treatments for Parkinson’s, paralysis, heart damage, and other problems from adult stem cells, and nothing at all from embryonic stem cells. Yet even if embryonic stem cells were promising, that could never justify the genocide necessary to harvest them.

Now, the executive branch of the American “Federal” government will be adding my tax dollars to the millions of private dollars pouring into the bloody black hole of embryonic stem cell research. (Sorry if that sounds bitter. I’m just trying to state the facts. If the facts sound morally wrong, then perhaps they are.)

The nation’s halls of power may be given over to those who want to kill innocent human lives, but the truth is still out there. The Bill of Rights is still respected just enough that the truth can be expressed by citizens like me, and reported in places like The Washington Times. If world history is an accurate measure, then America’s slide into socialism — even under our friendly version of fascist principles — will finally suppress such free expressions. But for now, the truth is still out there.

Tired and Overwhelmed

The Bi-Colored Python Rock Snake highlights an article in the British press about our President’s low-key reception of the Prime Minister. The main point of the article didn’t interest me nearly as much as the handful of reasons speculated for the President’s departures from customary etiquette. He’s tired, not getting enough sleep. He’s overwhelemed with domestic economic conditions. He’s suffering from nicotine withdrawal. I have to sympathize with the poor man. Just think: General Motors may not survive the decade in its current form. What’s a President to do?

With all due respect, I suggest that Mr. Obama consider following the Constitution more closely, especially the part about limitations to the Federal government’s powers. It’s not only beneficial for the good of the people, but for the well-being of its leaders. Too many bucks have stopped at his office over the years, that should have stopped long before reaching it. Likewise, too many bucks have been stopped there that should have been passed on to the divine power above 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. That the President is not omnipotent should be accepted by all, but it seems some still want the pretense, if only to win elections.

Much better for us all to stay within our constitutional, civil vocations.

A Hymn in the Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary

This short hymn is a poem by John Donne. The hymn is absolutely beautiful, and perfect for Lent.

Wilt Thou forgive that sin where I begun,
Which is my sin though it were done before?
Wilt Thou forgive those sins in which I run,
and do run still though still I do deplore?
When Thou hast done, Thou hast not done,
For I have more.

Wilt Thou forgive that sin in which I won
Others to sin and made my sin their door?
Wilt Thou forgive that sin which I did shun
A year or two, but wallowed in a score?
When Thou hast done, Thou hast not done,
For I have more.

I have a sin of fear that when I’ve spun
My last thread I shall perish on that shore.
Swear by Thyself that at my death Thy Son
Shall shine as He shines now and heretofore.
And having done that, Thou hast done.
I fear no more.