Friday, September 26, 2008

Being honest

Thomas Jefferson

The great principles of right and wrong are legible to every reader: to pursue them requires not the aid of many counsellors. The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest. ... Let no act be passed by any one legislature which may infringe on the rights and liberties of another.... The god who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time: the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them.
Thomas Jefferson
A View of the Rights of British America
The Portable Thomas Jefferson, pp 20-21

This seems timely. Being honest, trying to question where things don't add up, is not easy. There are consequences. You may be ostracized. I found that F. A. Hayek's work The Denationalisation of Money pointed the way two decades ago, though I had some disagreements. It's a shame it was so taboo in academia. We'd be in a better position today if people had been more open to discussion before any crisis, as Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz recommended in 1986 in their article "Has Government Any Role in Money?" I still wish to engage in this discussion as best I can. It's senseless to shun the questions for fear of the questions themselves. Reality is there regardless.

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