Saturday, May 24, 2008

Getting Started

Hi all,

Just getting set up here. So much has been happening lately that I wanted a place to put down my thoughts, ideas and feelings where others could check them out if they want.

First, an explanation of my title.

I am currently working on writing a K-12 curriculum which incorporates the ideas of political liberty and free market economics. It's a fantastic job which involves lots of reading, and then working to organize my thoughts, all on matters close to my heart and mind! Ideas are the force behind my life, and yet those ideas seem to separate me from so many people. This curriculum-writing job is giving me the chance to sort out my thinking and to try and better understand how and why I disagree so strongly on such important matters with people I love and respect. How can such good people disagree on what seem like such fundamental issues?

The world is a wonderful place, but there are things that could be better. We all seem to want peace, less suffering and a good life for everyone. Yet, our ideas on how to achieve these goals are often diametrically opposed.

While doing the background research for this curriculum, I realized that much of what concerns me centers on the issue of wealth. So many people have concluded that we have too much wealth, use too much energy and that the rich are rich at the expense of the poor. But, I think we can never have enough wealth, that life requires energy and wealth requires lots of energy, and that production and trade of wealth create a better life for everyone. To put it more succinctly:

Wealth is not the problem. Poverty is the problem. Wealth is the solution.

The solution to what? To hunger. To physical suffering. To much of the sickness and premature death in the world. To the lack of education. To the lack of opportunity. To improving the environment. To solving whatever problems humans choose to tackle. Greater wealth means more resources to devise solutions, to mitigate damage, and to protect ourselves from the forces of nature (whether an earthquake, a tsunami or a change in climate.) Wealth provides choices and flexibility.

Wealth is good.

But too often now, the creators of wealth are vilified. Money, that ubiquitous tool which simplifies trade, is "the root of all evil." Wealth is seen as a zero-sum, or even negative-sum, prospect, if not between men, then between men and "the environment." Even honestly obtained wealth is "tainted" and therefore justifies coerced redistribution.

But what is wealth? What are the conditions necessary for its production? Is one's man's gain truly another man's loss? Why or why not?
What is peace? What are the conditions for its creation and preservation? What are the best rules for peaceful, and just, human coexistence?
What is man's place in the world? Is he a part of nature? Or, the Destroyer of nature?
We live in a finite universe, but when coupled with man's reason and creativity, does that necessarily mean that "resources" are limited? Does "limited" necessitate government-enforced regulation and rationing?

These are the questions I am wrestling with. I have some ideas on the answers, but I need to further sharpen the clarity and consistency of my thinking. Then, I will be able to make better decisions, prioritize my actions, and improve my ability to communicate.

I intend to share part of that journey on this blog. I envision book reviews, journal-type entries, "letters-to-the-editor, " recommendations to articles or websites of interest....who knows what else.

I have been following a few blogs by some friends (see my links) and have been inspired. Let me know what you think and inspire me further!!


1 comment:

Sue said...

You go girl!

"Poverty is the problem."

I love it.