Thursday, December 06, 2007

The New Christian Economics

Procrastinator's Link of the Day™: Meet Supply-Side Jesus, Al Franken's unholy re-interpretation of Jesus's teachings based on classical economics. (Hopefully the humour is still present without readers having to take a first-year economics course or immerse themselves in Christian conservative notions about politics and the economy.)

Unlike the almost anarchistic Jesus of the original four gospels, Franken's Jesus helps the poor by refusing to give them free handouts, relying on wealth trickling down through rampant consumerism, and eventually sailing to Rome to bceome a politician.

Speaking of trickle-down economics and first-year courses, here's some corrective medicine for students who've been misled to believe Adam Smith was the father of modern capitalism:

"To widen the market and to narrow the competition is always the interest of the dealers ... The proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce which comes from this order, ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and ought never to be adopted, till after having been long and carefully examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most suspicious attention. It comes from an order of men, whose interest is never exactly the same with that of the public, who have generally an interest to deceive and even to oppress the public, and who accordingly have, upon many occasions, both deceived and oppressed it."

"What improves the circumstances of the greater part can never be regarded as an inconveniency to the whole. No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable."