Friday, September 11, 2009

Nonsense From the Garden of Bowling Eden Green

My head is full of theories at the moment; theories about life, death, friendship, economics--about anything that has the courage to enter the romper room of my head, really, because theories are what happens when you spend large blobs of time wedged on the steps of your cement porch, disinterestedly watching the trees drop dead leaves at the end of summer in this, our American South.

One thing that pestered me yesterday was an argument between my diversity tolerance and what Brock told me last semester was called my "paternalism"--controlling or mandating behaviors and choices for the parts of the population I don't think are able to care properly for their own well-being. I wonder, mainly, if I were God {praise Him that I am not}, and I therefore loved humans much more than I, Allie, currently do, knowing that, other than providing jobs to many people, McDonald's is a wart on the index finger of society, would I have ever allowed such a business to be created in the first place? Or would I have vetoed that idea?

These are big, important thoughts that she's got in her head, you're thinking...

Plowing on...the other human enterprises that I, as God, would have vetoed: Coca-Cola, cigarettes, tanning beds.

In my favor, as an omnipotent being, I would have let chocolate manufacturing and the development of the cotton industry pass on unchecked without hesitation. But the point of contention I'm struggling with as a sentient, mildly-compassionate and halfway-reasonable human being is that some of the best economic ideas and entrepreneurial schemes are those that create enormous wealth by capitalizing on the vices of the morally weak; those too ignorant or foolish to say no (sometimes this refers to yours truly, I admit). If we want a strong and diverse economy, we must have businesses that cater to the "unlimited wants" of our society, which turn out to be increasingly specialized desires indeed. My argument, with myself and the non-sentient garden trees in my front lawn, is that offering the opportunity to satisfy our unlimited wants is the petri dish which happens to breed some of the most risky explorations of human depravity.

Plainly, for the sake of moral climate, I would turn out to be a most restrictive cosmos-governor. Because I think it's more practical and safer, in the end, than letting our good friend, Individual Vice, control the universe by way of market power. But a balanced and healthy community, as morally rich as it sounds, doesn't necessarily experience booming economic growth given the fact that nobody really wants an unlimited selection of Slinkys or an unlimited selection of the same 'ol Christian music {or do they ;)}. And given also the fact that debt and diversity of lifestyle preferences are such fuel for such an economic fire...

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