Friday, February 28, 2014

And in other economic news

African Bishops hold that divorce and remarriage could be harmful to the church's ability to evangelize to polygamous cultures. The economy of salvation also takes some strange turns. I was recently banned from posting in certain Jesuit blogs as well because of my doubt that certain Jesuits actually still cared about the teachings of the Church. Apparently, Truth is no longer economical either.

Private Property is under a mortgage to the poor

It's been a while since I posted. To be honest, I feel very beat up by the past week in the culture wars. It is time to concede the secular culture. Catholicism can't affect it anymore. The democracy has spoken- subjectivity has spoken and won out over objective truth.

Which is why I'm at a very curious point in my reading of Papal Economics. I'm in the middle of a chapter discussing Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, the social concern of the church, in which Pope John Paul II took the opportunity of the 20th anniversary of Pope Paul VI's Populorum Progresso to strongly criticize the very form of central planning recommended in the previous document. The central planning of progressive socialists, it is argued, is inherently destructive of the natural subjectivity of the actors in the marketplace- by replacing organic consumer action with central planning based on objectivity instead.

I for one find it a bit strange that the very democracy I'm struggling to understand, a democracy that has now rejected what I see as very plain objective truths regarding human sexuality and greed, is in fact what Fr. Zieba is arguing in this book FOR the existence of. I've written before on how I struggle with the idea of Freedom as License to Commit Evil, and this is what disturbs me about the approach of Catholic Libertarians to a free market.

It is possible that Pope John Paul The Great's experience with communism greatly influenced his love of the free market, but even he points out that the free market owes a great debt to those whose labor goes largely unrewarded. Piling up large profit into capital for additional investments is necessary, but it should come at a cost- a mortgage to the poor. The universal destination of goods remains one of equality- or at the very least, one fulfilling the needs of the poor. As Pope Francis put it a bit more forcefully recently in one of his homilies that went viral on the internet, anything extra that you would spend on luxury, rightly belongs to your starving brother.

As we kick off this season of lent this weekend, I would do well to remember that, especially since my Knights Council will be attacking one symptom of my external gluttony directly- with a canned food drive. I plan on giving 120 cans from my family this Lent, and doing so will barely put a dent in our pantry. Must remember to check those expiration dates as well while I'm doing it, some of that food has been on the shelf a very, very long time. If I can't find 40 cans per person in my family to give that have good expiration dates, I'll buy some, but the exercise should at least give us the chance to look.

Monday, February 24, 2014

On the lighter side of economics

Does anybody have a pre-paid cell phone and a square account to donate to this entrapreneur?

Not really radio silent

But dealing with an odd economic situation of my own. When I filed my taxes last week, they were rejected by the IRS- because apparently, my wife had already filed her taxes.

This was news to her, as we had been waiting on Schedule K forms (death in the family and an estate to deal with) to be able to file at all.

I'm working my way through the fun "this might be identity theft" process with the IRS, and that is eating up all my spare reading time.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Economics of Sex

The real and rather interesting non-religious argument against contraception:



Oddly enough, Pope Paul VI, author of Populorum Progresso predicted exactly this in Humanae Vitae.

Going back to Papal Economics, Fr. Zieba claims that Pope Paul VI was disconnected from reality on economics in his encyclicals. I put forth that he was in fact *very* attached to the reality of the law of supply and demand- and could see coming that human beings were losing out to the impersonal equation dictating price- is exactly why Populum Progresso looked to the State for some sort of balance in enforcement of morality, and in Humanae Vitae, called for an end to contraception to reset the high price of sex.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Ok, going back on my promise

But I guess this is as economic related as it is socially conservative. A co-ed blogs about the crappiness of her latest hookup, which apparently cost ~$276 for what was supposed to be a OKCupid internet date.

BTW, I'd assume artisanal ginger ale, is the type of thing you might find at a farmer's market in New York City. Just guessing though.

I am impressed by how various companies profited from this young woman's foray into the Valley of the Culture of Death though. I thought Planned Parenthood did STD testing and Plan B for free.

The Utopia of Jesus Christ

You can consider this a declaration that this blog will now be switching again from social conservativism to Papal Economics. Due to an article I read today, and a promise elsewhere to read Papal Economics, I'm kicking off with this post. But despite my own history of reading Papal Catholic Social Teaching encyclicals, I'd like to start with something a bit more basic in light of current debate on the minimum wage: Matthew 20:1-16
“1 For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay them a denarius[a] for the day and sent them into his vineyard. 3 “About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4 He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ 5 So they went. “He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. 6 About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’ 7 “‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered. “He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’ 8 “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’ 9 “The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’ 13 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ 16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”


This reading gives us a very basic idea of what Christian economics should look like. Yes, there is direct reward for work done, but there is also a concern for the needs of each individual worker taken by the owner of the vineyard. He didn't punish those who were hired late- a denarius was enough to pay for a day's bread and a place to sleep. Every one of his workers had the same basic needs, whether full time or part time, and deserved reward for using their time in the vineyard. Should we as Christians do any less?

Better yet, in a nation where often the profit of the wealthy depends on the contraception and abortion of the poor, where many businesses find their profit margin in pushing working people on to food stamps and subsidized health care, are we truly giving our modern equivalent of a denarius to minimum wage workers? Or are we instead saying, these people aren't worth enough to be given an opportunity to be a part of the culture of life?

For once, I'd like to truly invite discussion on this topic. Next post will be on the preface and chapter 1 of the book.

Monday, February 17, 2014

The lengths some people will go to

to deny the existence of God is amazing to me. A mathematician sees proof of God, but decides that the universe is a simulation created by a very advanced programmer. Gee, I'd call that God, wouldn't you?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

On conservative support for the Death Penalty

Let's see if I've got this straight: The government that we don't trust to spend our taxes wisely, who can't be trusted to keep a prisoner safe and locked away from society due to some court decisions against cruel and unusual punishment, is the same government you trust not to execute you when it becomes convenient for them?

A case of demonic ignorance in my own life

War is Hell, they keep telling us. And demons from hell use war. I have to wonder if I would have fallen into sexual and gluttonous sin as easily, had my condition been understood at a younger age. As it was, I was in my mid 20s by the time Asperger's was included in the ICD-10 coding which, after 20 years of comments, is becoming mandatory in the United States for insurance coding October 1, 2014, in the CM and PCS revisions. It was first included in the DSM-IV in 1994- I was already 23. I wasn't diagnosed until I was 30, and I've spent the last 10 years of my life analyzing myself and dealing with the effects. I have a ways to go, especially in the area of gluttony- I'm currently more than 120 lbs overweight. Many of the material effects of what some in an earlier age would have termed a Spiritual Truth about me, are hard to deal with- it is as if there is a portion of my brain I can't control; and for many years, refusing to acknowledge this truth did great harm to my relationships.

Where would we be with my mental illness had Hans Asperger's hospital not been bombed out in 1943?

Demonic ignorance is real, but it is NEVER the fault of the ignorant. External forces have been trying to hide information needed to make rational decisions for a very long time.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Atheism- a sign of demonic?

Could ordinary, everyday agnosticism be a sign of demonic posession? It would explain a lot to me. It would explain why people who plead for tolerance for their own sins, are so incredibly intolerant of the sins of others. It would explain the spread of divorce and abortion following the invention of easy contraception. It would explain why men concerned only with business abandon family and friendship in pursuit of profit. And it would explain, once and for all- why I can't understand.

Friday, February 7, 2014

What every mother should read and know

A fanfic- a "Previously unknown" Letter from Screwtape to Wormwood on how to tempt mothers

In a gay, gay world

Only gays are allowed to be angry. Your church is vandalized and your parishoners physically threatened and your priests attacked by naked femen for not enthusiastically embracing gay marriage? Forget it, it is only what you deserve.
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Oustside The Asylum by Ted Seeber is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at http://outsidetheaustisticasylum.blogspot.com.