Thursday, September 18, 2008

You Must Learn!

Well, Cal Thomas has dug deep to come up with the solution to the current woes plaguing our economy, in his latest article. People should be less greedy. Yep.
John McCain wants more regulations. What McCain should be demanding is an investigation, especially of those members of Congress who failed to provide oversight. It also wouldn't hurt to recommend more self-control and an embrace of the Puritan ethic of living within one's means.
No I suppose it wouldn't hurt. And I think it would be nice if people would choose to live in their means more. But I'm not sure this is really a strategy for dealing with the problems in our market.

Let's just say it, we could do away with laws against stealing if everybody agreed to not steal. But we have laws against stealing because some people do steal. And more people are tempted to steal, but are dissuaded by the possibility of jail time. Presumably Thomas wouldn't think the solution to crime is simply to convince criminals to not commit crimes.

But the same mentality doesn't apply to corporate crime. When it comes to corporate crime, our first line of defense is to convince the people running Wall Street to be puritans. The upshot of it? We waste our time scolding them, while allowing them to take the actions that have gotten us into this mess.

I'm also impressed by the contrast with another article at Townhall by Terence Jeffrey. Apparently puritanism or living within ones means isn't the solution to every problem.
Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives sent a message this week to hard-working commuters forced to pay historically high prices for gasoline: Ride a bike.
Yeah I guess if people did ride bikes we'd need less gas, and prices would go down and our supplies would last longer. Seems like the Puritan thing to do. But of course Jeffrey's point is that what Congress should be doing, instead of encouraging us to live within our means, is going out and getting more gas for us so we don't have to.

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