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Hurray for Trickle Up Economics!

I’m a proponent of “trickle up economics”. It’s an economic strategy that works, unlike the “feed the wealthy” school, that in the first half of the 20th century was called “leak through” and in the 1980s was called “supply side” and “trickle down” economics. It was also called “voodoo economics” by a past Republican presidential candidate.

I think the following quote sums it up nicely:

‎”There are those who believe that, if you will only legislate to make the well-to-do prosperous, their prosperity will leak through on those below. The Democratic idea, however, has been that if you legislate to make the masses prosperous, their prosperity will find its way up through every class which rests up on them.”

– William Jennings Bryan in 1896

Nice Article – “How Ayn Rand became the new right’s version of Marx”

Thanks to Marc Thompson on Make It Plain for finding this well written article in The Guardian:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/mar/05/new-right-ayn-rand-marx

Quick thoughts after reading the above article…

A lot of what Ayn Rand wrote was eerily like Marx:

  • Marx’s “Property is theft” turned into “Taxation is theft”
  • Marx made heroes, essentially, of the proletariat, casting them in the role of the producers and the wealthy (capitalists) as parasites. Rand turned that around and made heroes of the capitalist wealthy, casting them in the role of “producers”, and of the poor as “parasites”
  • Where Marxism preached the supremacy of the collective where everyone owns everything and thus no one owns anything, she taught the supremacy of selfishness and hyper-individualism

…I can go on with the anti-comparison, but it’s too creepy. Obviously, she had such a hatred of communism (as the communists were enemies of her family), that she attempted to create its exact opposite. Anyone who attributes depth of meaning to her writings is really complimenting, in a strange and unconscious way, Marx, as she obviously used Marxism as an anti-model, with little original thought of her own, outside of her near-worship of sociopathic behaviors of the child murderer-and-dismemberer William Edward Hickman.  Reference here for one of many summaries about this evil man that she so admired.  Warning:  It’s not for the faint of heart.

I have to emphasize, though, and the article touches on it, that while Alan Greenspan worshiped the woman, I think he partially did so as she attempted to create a morality around the very selfish Austrian School of Economics, where Mises and Hayek taught that true democracy is not through one man, one vote, but rather, through one dollar one vote- a bias clearly in favor of the wealthy. They also taught a contempt for unions, a living wage, indeed, for social justice, distributive justice, or any value-based economics.   Hayek taught that we should never treat one another as neighbors in favor of an unregulated, savage marketplace- as ugly a notion as can be. Greenspan probably worships Rand as she tried to place a thin veneer of philosophy in front of such an antisocial, anti-humanist, anti-Judeo-Christian-Islamic creed.

Great Quote by St. Augustine

“Let us, on both sides, lay aside all arrogance. Let us not, on either side, claim that we have already discovered the truth.”

What Pro-Life Really Means

I sense that there are some misinterpretations as to what “pro-life” means according to Catholic teachings. It means a *lot* more than simply being against abortion. It means creating an environment where women don’t wish to have an abortion. Which of course means finding out *why* women who wish for abortions want them. Simply making it illegal doesn’t address those concerns and so will hardly lessen the desire.

When women who want abortions overwhelmingly say over and again that the reason they want to abort is because they fear that they can’t take care of the child, or pay for health care, food, daycare, or education, then we should *listen to them*. When other countries who address these concerns see a correspondingly massive drop in abortion rates (even if they have far less strict abortion laws), then we should *learn a lesson from them*.

Instead, we tend to default to a “Let’s overturn Roe v. Wade. That will fix it” attitude. Surprise: I doubt it will fix anything if the previously mentioned concerns aren’t addressed.

Too, “pro-life” according to the Catholic Church is hardly voting for someone who says, “Hey, I’m pro-life. Vote for me!”. Catholic pro-life also means being for the dignity of life at all life stages. It means, as per Church teachings, being against the death penalty. It means being for health care availability for all (as per paragraph 2288 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church). It means being against military action in all but the most extreme of circumstances of self-defense. It means, yes, a societal preference for the poor so that the poor have the opportunity towards self-realization. It means, too, being less of a gun-worshiping society.

It’s important when making determinations on who to vote for to keep in mind that Catholic pro-life means a *lot* more than the narrow definitions of what the media broadcasts or the quick, “I’m a pro-lifer!” statement by politicians. There are plenty of politicians out there who say they’re “pro-choice” but, because they support pre- and post-natal care, because they seek to create an environment where women choose to keep the baby, do a lot more to lessen the number of abortions than some other politician who says he or she is “pro-life”, but doesn’t do anything to facilitate a pro-life society.