Thursday, August 04, 2005

The Quaker Economist

I recently found an online journal with a distinctive combination of pragmatic pro-capitalist economic views and Quaker concern for the poor and oppressed. Here are a few provocative articles.

On Globalization: It's no news that low wage jobs are being outsourced to developing countries. The data show that contrary to anti-globalism rhetoric, on average developing countries benefit from this process in terms of standard of living. Here's an argument that the moral approach is to allow and even promote the globalizing trend which tends to equalize living standards between poor and rich nations.

Systematic Peace: This article touches on the effect of the 'spoils system' on corruption and social strife especially in Latin America. It also argues that attributing social ills to immorality has a bad track record, and advocates ways of addressing malfunctioning social systems.

Culture of Democracy Aspects democratic cultures share are examined, including emphasis on contracts, compassion, rule of law, private property. Of interest, as a Quaker Libertarian the author departs from the common libertarian view that redistribution of wealth is always 'confiscation' or theft; he feels that when done in the context of the rule of law, it is justified at times.

Recycling: Despite the feel-good aspect of recycling, it's not uniformly, or even mostly, better for the environment, and has significant costs which might be better spent on other environmental measures.

Unjustified Violence: Quote--"History shows us that governments that take power and order citizen/producers about, not only do not end poverty but worsen it... To me, violence is abhorrent, whether conducted by the Symbionese Liberation Army, Zapata, Guevara, Lenin, Stalin, Arafat, Sharon, Bush, or the French Revolution of 1789. Whoever uses violence to "promote the poor" does not, by definition, have his or her "heart in the right place." It saddens me when people of peace, carrying a deep concern for the poor, should honor those violent revolutionaries who had cruelly killed many and who, by grabbing power, increased the poverty they allegedly decried."


At 5:05 PM, Blogger J. James Mooney said...

Doctor Doctor where'd you go? I enjoyed your comments from time to time.


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