If Men Were Angels

by Edward J. Dodson

One of the issues we face in every society is how best to limit the powers of government to those essential to individual liberty, equality of opportunity and the protection of our equal right to a healthy physical environment. History and our contemporary experience both support the conclusion that there is no fixed set of functions to be performed by government at all times and in all places. Continue reading

Thoughts on the Tree of Knowledge

by Dan Sullivan

Some theologians have speculated that the story of Adam and Eve was a metaphor for the transition from hunter-gatherer tribes to agricultural tribes.

In modern versions of the Bible, God commanded Adam to till the garden. However, Young’s literal translation says, “And Jehovah God taketh the man, and causeth him to rest in the garden of Eden, to serve it, and to keep it.” Nothing about tilling. Continue reading

Job Description

by Steve Sklar

Suppose you were one of the very few — suppose you sometimes felt you were the only one — who knew well the rare and all-but-forgotten insight that could arrest and reverse the ruinous progress of the world. Suppose you were in fact the sole repository of unique wisdom discovered over one hundred and fifty years ago, wisdom once widely discussed, known and admired, but now buried under the weight of academia and official contempt — an edict to ignore and forget — set upon it by the few immensely powerful people who have the loss of wealth and power to fear from the wisdom.

Suppose that in that insight lay the path toward the eradication of grinding and widespread and growing poverty and all that comes with it — the fear of poverty, war, corruption, oppression, institutionalized cruelty.

bob37Suppose that those who are most respected for their knowledge and understanding of such subjects, in fact all of the official figures of authority, were arrayed and could be relied upon, through long habit and financial encouragement (of which they may sometimes hardly be aware), to deride and decry any notable public recommendation of that wisdom.

What would you do about it? What could you do about it?

I think, first and foremost, you would have put the calculation of odds, the analysis of prospects for success, entirely behind you. Your adversaries, in the inevitable fight to disseminate understanding, would, perhaps rightly, call you Quixotic. Doomed to almost certain failure, you would have to disregard odds in order to act.

Courage, then, would have to be a starting point. Henry George possessed that kind of courage. He would take on anybody — motivated by the insight that the social “institution” of private property in land is the cause of our greatest social ills. He was naturally determined, witty, ambitious, sanguine, and above all he had heart. He enjoyed a fight and he had the mental and spiritual equipment to carry it on

To pick up the mantle where it has lain fallen for many decades and bear it on, one would need something like that.

Sympathy from

wsjAt first glance, the recent Wall Street Journal article about Henry George and his followers — on the front page! — seemed like a good thing; any ink is good ink, right? Well, perhaps not. The piece was on page one, yes — but it occupied the space in which the WSJ likes to toss in some quirky comic relief. We provided stressed-out businesspeople with a chuckle for their subway ride. Continue reading

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

by Michelle Alexander. New York, 2012, The New Press. Review by Lindy Davies

The title is “in your face” — what does she mean, “The New Jim Crow”? We have an African-American President; Affirmative Action is well-entrenched in education and employment; people aren’t anywhere near as freaked out over mixed-race couples as they used to be. Continue reading

Re-Solving the Economic Puzzle: What’s It Gonna Take?

Re-Solving the Economic Puzzle, by Walter Rybeck, 2011, Shepheard-Walwyn. Review by Lindy Davies

That’s the question that kept occurring to me as I read Walt Rybeck’s new book. I mean, if a really nice guy like this, with an impressive list of career accomplishments and a quietly powerful, lucid style — if a guy like that can’t get the reading public to wake up to truly obvious facts, well — What’s it gonna take? Continue reading