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Harbingers

Forerunners of things to come...

Homeostasis in the American 2-Party System

It takes a major social upheaval in the American political system, such as civil war, to cause a major political realignment that goes as far as the downfall of one political party and the rise of another. The Republican Party historically began as an anti-slavery activist party in 1854.

"I owe mah soul to the company stoh!"

Wikipedia refers to the company store economic model as the "truck system." The line in the title of this note is, of course, taken from the song "Sixteen Tons," composed by Merle Travis and popularized by Tennessee Ernie Ford. The song title refers to the tonnage of coal mined daily by a coal miner living in a camp owned and operated by the mine owner. The miners are, in effect, indentured servants or slaves because they have no possibility of working their way out of the system. This is because they are paid in scrip, rather than money, which can only be redeemed in the camp.

Neither a Hayekian nor a Marxist be...

Ralph E. Ancil (Prof. of Economics at the Franciscan University in Steubenville and President of the Wilhelm Roepke Institute), gave a clear critique of the pure market subjectivism of Friedrich Hayek in "Hayek’s Serfdom: Fifty Years Later." The title of the piece refers, of course, to Hayek's famous (or some would say infamous) The Road to Serfdom which, written while he was in England at the tail end of World War II (1944), is a prophesy of the mess we are in today and will most likely be in tomorrow.

Successful predictions. The stuff of movements for reform.

Way back in the 60s there were two alarmist predictions that were made. There were the predictions of Pope Paul VI about the impact of the contraceptive mentality on the general decline of sexual mores and there were the predictions of Paul Ehrlich about the negative consequences of burgeoning world population. The world, of course, reviled the former and hailed the latter. As far as I can tell, it still does. Whose predictions turned out to be accurate and whose inaccurate? You would think that the accuracy of prediction would have some impact on people's attitudes toward the claims of the predictors, but apparently, for the vast majority of people, it didn't and doesn't.

Their predictions were even issued in the same year, 1968. How's that for a coincidence? How ironic that both have gone by the name of Paul. St. Paul, pray for us!

"Why does the same-sex marriage debate seem so futile?"

Michael Cook has attempted, in a somewhat worthy fashion, to analyze why the contemporary marriage debate has yielded so little understanding. See "Why does the same-sex marriage debate seem so futile?"

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