Category Archives: Society

Taxes or Debt?

Economists define ‘the wealth of a society’ as its total stock of useful assets – homes, cars, buildings, roads, factories, cattle, money, gold … et cetera. Let us call this definition D1.

A definition serves merely as a starting point for a logical exploration of related ideas. However – and necessarily – the direction which the exploration takes depends on the definition. In any discussion of ideas, a  conscious effort is needed to understand how it is influenced by the definitions of its basic terms.

Continue reading Taxes or Debt?

Response to the Bank Chairman

The Chairman of a large global bank recently gave a TV interview about the state of the world economy [1]. Not surprisingly, the Chairman gave what was intended to be a sound and learned justification for a world order characterized by barrier-less trade.

However, the justification came out as being utterly sophomoric in its quality. That is to say, it was not too different from how a privileged undergraduate might argue in a college debate. Only the mannerisms were different – the uncle spoke, not the nephew or the niece. Continue reading Response to the Bank Chairman

Gutless Wonders

The English word ‘gut’ is rich in its range of meanings. In Biology, ‘gut’ means ‘intestine’ – as in ‘gut bacteria’ or ‘gutting a fish’; this meaning extends to the racquet strings used in sports such as tennis and badminton. In common usage, ‘guts’ refers to ‘courage’, as in ‘having the guts to take on the huge challenge of _______’ (fill in your favourite). Continue reading Gutless Wonders

Life at the Top

Full disclosure: While the author has at times felt being “on top of the world”, he cannot claim any personal experience of “life at the top”. However, being a keen witness and a dogged student, the common idea of “top” fascinates him. After all, a crazed race to “the top” inevitably leads to injustice, crime and war. But anyone obsessed with “reaching the top” can provide only a self-serving report of his or her life. Therefore an objective if light-hearted study is attempted here. Continue reading Life at the Top

It’s the Rapacity, Stupid!

Case 1: Imagine, in a picturesque suburban neighborhood, two pet dogs of immediate neighbors quarreling over a bone – growling, barking, snarling, lunging; that is, a typical instance of canine conflict over a prized object.

Imagine that the two owners come out and notice the conflict. How might they resolve the conflict? Surely this would be a simple matter, with several decent solutions. For example, the “bone of contention” may be tossed into a covered garbage bin. Or one of the neighbors may come up with a second bone so that each dog has one. Or each neighbor may simply drag his or her dog – growling and snarling – away from the conflict.

This would be civilized behavior. The neighbors would smile at each other, exchange a civility or two, and go happily back home. We can conclude rightly that a “higher intelligence” at work resolved the conflict. Continue reading It’s the Rapacity, Stupid!

Identity & Peace

The human child needs protective nurture which stretches from birth to at least teenage. The earliest part of this nurture – that is, the first few years after birth – provides to the child the innermost core of ‘identity’, including core values. A child’s eager young mind takes in whatever is offered by parents, teachers and other trusted adults. This is the ‘ABC’ of healthy childhood nurture. Continue reading Identity & Peace