Java Zen:Thinking Out Loud Wednesday, 2017.05.24
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
taking.

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

2007.04.15

Being Physically Sick Is Better Than…

…watching daytime television.

I was sick for a few days last week. Bad cold. When ever bugs like that descend upon my person for a visit, my distinct preference is to be sick 100% and push through the fight toward wellness. It’s rare when I’ll take medication of any sort. And all the cold/flu fix-it-up potions and pills from the Super Drugs-R-Us Store do squat for 1) making me feel better and 2) shortening the illness. My immune system is faaaaaaaaar more capable of accomplishing the task of returning to health than any pharmaceutically manufactured cold remedy could ever be. Supporting my body’s natural abilities toward optimum health is where I put the effort. So it’s lots of sleep, soups, teas and generally sweating through it.

Convalescing as I was, I tuned into broadcast television for the first time in over 18 months. I don’t have cable and except for the occasional nature show on PBS, the only thing showing on my television set was fed in through the DVD player. (Netflix is your friend!) Watching for about an hour had me feeling worse than before, and not just because of the cold. Flipping through the channels (all 10 or so of the regular broadcast channels) revealed nothing but crap. The sinking feeling I got, the feeling that had me feeling generally worse than before tuning in, was that people, lots of them, are actually watching this junk and most likely enjoying it. And as far as the news…the phrase “sound bite” suggests a generous portion of information when compared to what is actually delivered. That’s what passes for reporting? Being fed such nano-news nuggets leaves viewers with the feeling they are “informed?”

Broadcast television will continue to be excluded from my diet. And I won’t even have to work at it.

I found repair after a few moments with the elegant splendor of nature. The tulips survived the snow…

Tulips

…and the apple blossoms are on the verge of exploding.

Apple Blossoms

Alas, I will miss this treasured proclaimation of Spring this year as work will have me on the road this coming week. Hey, do you suppose hotel television is better in that margarine sort of way? I’ll explore and report back.