January 20, 2010

Point/Counterpoint

Interesting exchange at Jeff Culbreath's Facebook page, where he quoted John Senior:
The whole of our semi-socialist society is a vast, lopsided dis-economy in which few do necessary work and many are parasitic. It would be rash to fix any definite degree of sin on the part of those involved in parasitic work, but from the point of view of economic health we are suffering from a plague. Economic life ...has become an occasion of sin in which virtue becomes morally impossible for the majority.
To which Michael Liccione replied:
The more prosperous a society becomes overall, the smaller the percentage of people needed to actually make, fix, or maintain things, and the more opportunities there are for leisure and contemplation. I don't think that's bad in itself. It's only bad when people aren't taught how to use those opportunities well.
Indeed, as John Adams famously said, "I must study politics and war, that our sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. Our sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain." Personally, I'd skip the porcelain. It breaks too easy and there's no one with the skills to fix it.

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