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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Follow Up: Have I Found the Liberal Economists

Wall Street also posted today in their "Informed Reader" section a short blurb about heterodox economists.

"The so-called heterodox economists question some of Adam Smith's conclusions that "markets, private property and minimal government will achieve maximum welfare," says heterodox economist David Ruccio of the University of Notre Dame. Beyond that, heterodox economists have a wide variety of positions, ranging from those who question whether humans are as rational as neoclassical economists assume to those who argue that an unequal distribution of power affects how markets work."

The article goes on to describe how their research is ignored, their ideas are gaining momentum, social mores are changing, &c. which leads me to believe that these are, in fact, the missing link--liberal economists.

But, does this logic force conservatism into the mainstream?

The Conservative Mind

Quite an interesting article today from the WSJ (click on title to view article for seven days). From the article:

"Kirk identified six elements that make the conservative mind: belief in a transcendent order that "rules society as well as conscience"; attachment to "the proliferating variety and mystery of human existence" as against the routinizing and leveling forces of modern society; the assumption that "civilized society requires orders and classes"; the conviction that "freedom and property are closely linked"; faith in custom and convention and consequently a "distrust of the 'sophisters, calculators, and economists' who would reconstruct society upon abstract designs"; and a wariness of innovation coupled with a recognition that "prudent innovation is the means of social preservation." The leading role in this mix that Kirk attaches to religion marks him as a social conservative; his insistence that religion provides the indispensable ground for individual liberty marks him as a modern conservative."

  1. Belief in transcendent order to society and conscience. Check!
  2. Civilized society requires order and classes. Do I herald elitism? Check!
  3. Freedom and property are closely linked. Unsold.
  4. Faith in custom and convention. Heck no. But its odd that this is included, because most economists are conservative, yet according to this are inherently counter-custom. Odd.
  5. Wariness in innovation. Double heck no.
  6. Try as I might, I can only count five.
According to this, I'm only 40% conservative. Far more than I'd have guessed two years ago. But look at the last sentence. When taking that into account, I can check item 4 if taken as a belief in natural order, structure beyond my own comprehension or design. Once in a while, I may be wary of innovation, if it affect my bottom line, but generally I'm in favor of it (search posts for "change" or "growth"). And the freedom and property thing... I dunno. I can be free without property (cue Buddhist mantra).

Update: And listening to Janis Joplin on 100.7 this morning, I'm reminded that "freedom is just another word for 'nothing left to lose.'"

So I'm only 40%-50% conservative. Prime range for accurately calling myself a conservative Democrat!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Don't Eat That! Daring Food Blog

A quote from the pickled pork rinds article, linked in the title of my blog post:

"I almost want to say it was like a freshly douched pork chop. But I won't. Why? Because I'm a [flipping] gentleman.

As I attempted to fish out a "good one," I couldn't help notice the alarming skin texture. For all those times I wondered what it would be like to gnaw on my grandmother's thigh, I was about to find out.