So I don’t believe everything in the Bible in it’s most extreme literal form. It’s one of the reasons I really dislike quoting single verses, or even sections of scripture, without full context. Especially the old testament.
But at the end of the day, it’s funny how everything loops back on itself in such a way that I can’t help but see the correlation to some of the more sound teachings that I learned directly from studying the Bible.
For example, I made this post in a conversation on government tax policy (that stemmed from this TED video) I was having with a group of colleuges. And while I’m sure there’s probably some flaws in my statement below… I found myself describing something at the end that I didn’t intend, and didn’t realize until I read it after writing it… Here’s my original post:
We all think we have the answer… But national, sound, economic policy in a democracy (heck in general, not just a democracy) is extremely unlikely, no matter what model you believe in.
Issues like taxes, entitlements, who creates the jobs, fiat currency and debt bubbles… It’s all just part of the bigger model… And the bigger models (both Classical and Keynesian) know that free markets and capitalism have their flaws (especially when mixed with actors who can vote about economic policy either directly or indirectly). The reason I tend to prefer the Keynesian model is that it accounts for why the markets break out of equalibirum, and gives us an actor (the government) to help “dampen” the waves.
The problem is voters (and therefore the government) are EXTREMELY short sited, and have messed up views on both Classical and Keynesian economics, which result in the majority of voters wanting classical economic policies when times are good (IE: no government intervention, low taxes) because it results in the times being even better, and wanting Keynesian policies when times are bad (IE: government intervention to reduce taxes/create entitlements when times are bad). So they want to best of both worlds… And that’s neither economic model…
In bad times the classical model would call for times to be as tough as they can be, with no “bail outs”. It would not be fun.
In good times the Keynesian model would call for higher taxes in the good years to help form “reserves” at the government level for the bad times. (Thus reducing how bad the bad times would be, but also reducing how good the good times are).
By the Keynesian model we are more closely using right now, taxing the rich to offset the poor (if done properly and efficiently) should help start moving it in the right direction as well (within that model)… But ultimately, they’ll lose on the properly and efficiently requirement (or so history would tell us, but hey, sometimes they get lucky), and based on some of the numbers I’ve seen, the policy will barely make a dent.
So instead of using either model in a way that works out in the long run… we keep trying to use a model where the government acts both when it should and when it shouldn’t, which breaks both models. I’ll take Keynesian economics with extremely sound government policy if I could get it… but I can’t, although I’ll giver Bernake credit… he seems to have some sort of magic formula he’s playing from that keeps it from collapsing time and time again. I’d take classical economics as a second choice because it’s easier to understand, generally harder to “break”, and governments have been willing sometimes to use it in the past… but I’ll never get that back either without some major pain (Even if Ron Paul took office, I highly doubt he’d be able to get everyone on board in a non-painful way).
So I’m left with one conclusion: It’s broken, and for the moment, unfixable by the general population. Education of the general population with a strong marketing campaignmight work or help, but in the current world, the debate would devolve so quickly into name calling, it’s highly unlikely to change public opinion. All we can do is continue to buy time, and work within a single model to the best of our ability (which thankfully economics is one of those things that will self correct, albeit painfully regardless of which model you run with). Hopefully until humans do what they do best… Find a way to eventually eliminate problems at the root cause.
My lame attempt at it:
Unlimited Free Energy + Replicators (energy to matter devices) sounds like our best hope to me (although I’ll probably never see it in my lifetime), but then you have a new “war” to worry about, the one where copyright law, and internet law come into play. Ultimately the War on Computation (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUEvRyemKSg). And for that, we’re going to need a solution that’s far more difficult to see… (maybe it’s 100% required free information sharing, but that too will probably never be seen, at least not in my lifetime)… If it was, we would have reached a point of sharing everything at no cost, and no privacy…. A much different world than we live in now, and likely to have some sort of outcome like that which was seen in in the classic Pixar film Wall-E.
Which is why at the end of the day, I come back to faith… Faith in God. Faith in humanity as a whole. Faith that we won’t just all decide to kill one another, but rather work together when times get tough… So tying this back to the original conversation about agree or disagree with the guy… I don’t really care about tax policy… The economy, businesses, etc, will all adjust to whatever the government does… But do I think the wealthy could do more to help the poor? Always. Do I think the semi-poor could do more to help the poor? Always. We can all do more to help others.
So my lame attempt at envisioning a future where these problems don’t exist… Is where I didn’t realize what I was describing… My end game description of free energy and free, open knowledge, sounds very much like Eden to me (and by somewhat a direct correlation, Heaven)… And by definition, where we were “created” to live. It wouldn’t surprise me that when Humans manage to create this world (with or without the existence of God in the first place), we will find that humans are as happy as humanly possible. It makes me think that if humans really did make up God (which I don’t believe), they sure did a very good job figuring out that the beginning would need to be our end.