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May
22

From David Brooks: Building Spiritual Capital.

My own remarks, with link to opinion piece below. One of the more harmful effects of the tremendous success of the American paradigm is that even those citizens who define themselves as spiritual or religious but strong walls around their expression of this sensibility when in a public forum. The problem with this is that if it is true that Christianity in particular is at core relational, it cannot be...
May
21

Part I: A Retrospective Interpretation of the American System: Justice as Maximizing Utility for “All Men” Bounded by Kantian Ethical Restraints

A Retrospective Interpretation of the American System: Part I Assumption One: The purpose of a just political system in the Western world is not to realize deep oral values. It is to maximize economic utility and political stability with Kantian ethical restraints. Corollary One: The paradox. Activists are usually motivated by a desire to realize a deep moral value. All political movements that seek...
May
21

Wall Street’s Lack of Ethical Care: selfishness as morally normative.

From the article: “Cohn thinks it’s possible, even likely, that the causes of the 2008 financial crisis can be traced in part to this permissive culture. “All the problems that we are seeing in recent times, at least to some degree, might be supported by a norm, or by an environment, that tolerates these kinds of behaviors,” he told me. “They think it’s okay to manipulate interest rates,...
May
19

From the NYTimes, regarding the Trans Pacific Trade pact: “Free Trade is Not the Enemy”

I want to be open to the possibility that the Trans Pacific trade pact may be better than not having it. This is the second argument that makes claims that, if true, are important. Here’s the claim: “But if the TPP passes, the poorer countries in the pact will have to conform more to the standards of the United States, Japan, Australia, Canada and South Korea — all signatories to the...
May
17

On the supposed reasons for the breakup of the Democratic Party.

The New York Times Magazine cover article for May 17th regards the breakup of the Democratic Party. Link below with my remarks here. To me there is an obvious route for the Democratic Party to gain voters. 1) Leaders need to first admit and then understand that the turn towards identity politics in the 1970s was a turn away from basic economic justice and well being that must be the core focus of any...
Apr
24

Remarks on equality from the NYTimes philosophy blog.

Excerpt: “Extreme wealth inequality also leads to the de facto control of government by the rich (plutocracy), and so is incompatible with democracy. For this reason we need to disperse concentrated wealth through property and inheritance taxes, or even better, revise rules that allow excessive concentrations of wealth to build up in the first place. For example, stronger anti-trust regulations,...
Apr
15

Some thoughts on the American right and moderation

I wrote these remarks in response to a friend who argues that the Federal government is too big today. “I used to be a very “conservative” free market Randian. Never a libertarian however. Here is my assumption: When we take a political position, we need to take into account where we are relative to the past. The political pendulum has swung way to the right since 1980. In the 1970s, it...

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