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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Beyond Fixing the U.S. Government's Debt

After a number of failed attempts over decades to solve a problem, it is natural that the problem itself would barely get mentioned, let alone any cure. I submit that the U.S. federal debt is a case in point. President Reagan made it an issue in 1980, and Congress has tried to mandate for itself automatic spending cuts and tax increases, but to no avail. The desire for instant gratification outstripped self-discipline. This could perhaps be said of the society generally. 

The full essay is at "Beyond Fixing the Debt Problem."

Corporations and Political Debate: Taxation & Regulation

Under U.S. law, the corporation is a legal person, whose wealth can constitute political speech protected by the first Amendment. It is no matter that the corporation is an artifice constructed by the state for economic purposes: to concentrate wealth in order to produce goods or provide services. That such an entity would lobby and spend money (or “speak”) for political purposes may from this standpoint seem strange, or out of place. To be sure, political influence can indeed help the bottom economic line, but is a corporation a political actor if the purpose is economic? 

The full essay is at "Corporations and Public Debate."

On the Pull of Religious Belief

John Blake of CNN asks, “Have you ‘walked the aisle’ to ‘pray the prayer?’ Did you ever ‘name and claim’ something and, after getting it, announce, ‘I’m highly blessed and favored?’ . . . If this is you, some Christian pastors and scholars have some bad news: You may not know what you’re talking about. They say that many contemporary Christians have become pious parrots. They constantly repeat Christian phrases that they don’t understand or distort.”[1] Making matters worse, such Christians treat their religious beliefs as if they constitute knowledge. This, as well as the presumed wherewithal to claim anything due from God, is highly impious and yet the claimers are certain that they have true belief.

The full essay is at "Religious Belief."

[1] John Blake, “Do You Speak Christian?” CNN, July 31, 2011.