Monday, July 09, 2012

The Fall and Economics

‎"Scarcity means that everyone's desires cannot be completely satisfied, regardless of which particular economic system or government policy we choose...Therefore competition among people for those resources is inherent. It is not a question whether we like or dislike competition. Scarcity means that we do not have the option to choose whether or not to have an economy in which people compete." - Thomas Sowell, Basic Economics

3 comments:

Ransom Culhane said...

Ah yes, but the individualistic tone that Sowell (and all classical liberals) takes here is implicitly anti-family. If all individuals must compete against each other then the present order is what you end up with: women against men, children against parents, parents against children, etc, ultimately brother against brother. Loyalty is undermined to the point where the prime impetus in life is to serve the SELF.

Competition is unavoidable, yes, but it used to be that tribes, nations, communities, and families (in the large extended sense) competeted for resources. But since capitalism (as Marx mentioned) uprooted and atomized these into individuals who became cogs in a machine, competition is a brutal realm of all against all, ie, the realm of the psychopath. Basically what we have today. Now, I just can't figure out what is all that Christian about this state of affairs.

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RD said...

Outside of Cuba and North Korea, businesses generally compete for employees, investors and, most of all, customers. If this competition is attenuated or suppressed by public policy (called Communism in the last century), then the competition takes the form of groups competing for the favour of the public sector. In economic theory, this form of competition is called "rent seeking." Rent seeking is far more corrosive of the moral order than forthright competition between privately owned firms.