Java Zen:Thinking Out Loud Sunday, 2017.11.19
It is often said that capitalism—that is, a market economy—is morally
obnoxious because its "trickle-down economics" inevitably creates inequality of
income and wealth. Now it is certainly true that "trickle-down economics" has
that effect. It is also true, however, that if you want economic growth and
greater affluence for all, there is simply no alternative to "trickle-down
economics," which is just another name for growth economics.

The world has yet to see a successful version of "trickle-up economics," an
egalitarian society in which the state ensures that the fruits of economic
growth are universally and equally shared. The trouble with this idea—it is,
of course, the socialist ideal—is that it does not produce those fruits in the
first place. Economic growth is promoted by entrepreneurs and innovators, whose
ambitions, when realized, create inequality. No one with any knowledge of human
nature can expect such people not to want to be relatively rich, and if they are
too long frustrated they will cease to be productive. Nor can the state
substitute for them, because the state simply cannot engage in the "creative
destruction" that is an essential aspect of innovation. The state cannot and
should not be a risk-taking institution, since it is politically impossible for
any state to cope with the inevitable bankruptcies associated with economic risk

		Irving Kristol, Income Inequality Without Class Conflict, Dec. 18, 1997


A Great Light has Gone Out

Janet Laurel 1953-2005

Companion, confidant, best of friends, beloved wife, and soul partner. Godspeed, my love. Peace be the journey. I miss you.

“There is no cure for birth and death other than to enjoy the interval.”

George Santayana

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.'”

Erma Bombeck 1927-1996 American author, columnist

“One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life, and that is love.”



Farewells and Tributes

Said goodbye to my Grandmother this week, Lucile D. B. Engel. At 95, she finished her work here last Friday morning and set sail for the after-life. I made the drive from Denver to Sioux Falls for the funeral. While I had seen bunches of people die in the various nursing homes I’ve worked in and seen people die in hospitals, TV ER style, surrounded by a tornado of disposable medical supplies and everybody shouting (where’s the peace in that?), this was the first member of my family I’d ever seen where the light had left. And Grandma has a tremendous light. She suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune with legendary grace and humor. (more…)


An open letter to KUSA TV in Denver and the Board of Directors for the Komen Foundation.

This letter was originally written last fall. My wife’s health over the holidays prevented me from tracking down all the contacts to whom I wished to send this letter. Her health is much improved at the moment. She is off oxygen although her energy level is considerably diminished. I apologize for the delay and hope that my comments may still be of value.

November 22, 1999

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am writing this letter in the hope of initiating a positive change in the way breast cancer survivors are treated during Denver’s Race for the Cure event. I have shared this letter with organizations and people not directly involved with the Komen Foundation’s Race for the Cure in the hope that my experiences will assist them in avoiding some of the unfortunate trends I’ve observed with the Race for the Cure event in Denver. (more…)

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