Friday, May 28, 2010

Profits By Any Other Name

Whether it's big pharmaceutical, big oil, big insurance, or a small plumbing company, the idea that there are billions of dollars in profits being made in this big government political age is unacceptable. This hearkens back to the Marxist roots of socialism where profit was seen as the unfair taking from the laborer the fruit of his labor that was rightfully his.

For all the caterwauling about this "problem" of profits from the most compassionate amongst us-(whisper)and fabulously well to do too-there seems to be a huge blind spot by those singing the loudest.

Keeping with St. Marx's idea of profit-the difference between the value that the worker has created and the wage that the worker receives from his employer-there is an entity, the same entity in fact that Marx saw as the savior for the oppressed proletariat, that seems to be getting away with a little profit action in their own right. That entity would be the state. And as Shakespeare once alluded, you can change the name of your irk, but that doesn't change the fact that your a hypocrite.

So how is this so? Well consider Marx's definition-that I got here by the way. The next time you look at your pay stub look at the difference in the wealth that you have created by the sweat of your brow, minus of coarse what your employer has taken for himself. That would be your gross. Then look at the amount that you received from your employer. Or the next time you purchase an item that "costs" ten dollars, pay attention to how much of the tender representing your labor you must hand over at the cash register. Upon a little reflection you will begin to realize that your employer is not the only one feeding at the trough of your labor.

Now go home and turn on the TV and watch your president, the most flagrant example of such, living like a king, vacationing, flying to and fro making important speeches, and batting spheres around. His ability to do this comes from non other than the taking of the sweat of your, and millions of other's, brow. While some prefer to call this taxing, according to Marx, it is profits.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Hypocrite's Hypocrite

A lady reading a magazine with a picture of the conservative Dr. Laura Schlessinger on its cover was asked about the story. "It says Dr. Laura doesn't practice what she preaches" was the reply. This raises a question, does this lady or the author of the article live up to any kind of standard? The truth is that both might just as guilty of the same sort of hypocrisy for no one really lives their lives without some sort of standard.

The problem arises because Dr. Laura, a self proclaimed Jew, holds up a Judeo Christian standard of morality. But if the foundations of the charges of hypocrisy are analyzed, Christians may actually be the least culpable, and their accusers the most. How can this be?

First, consider that without a standard from which to measure, the word hypocrite is meaningless. Christians not only point to an objective set of moral standards that apply to everyone, they also point out that all fall short of those same standards. So let's consider the Christian standards. But let's not stop there but also examine the standards held by those who are quick to accuse Christians of hypocrisy. The charge cuts both ways.

The starting point of Christianity is the admission of the fallenness and depravity of all mankind, including self. It points to a God who cannot be both just and merciful. God's wrath puts all of mankind in a position of condemnation before Him. But his mercy provides an escape. As an aside, it is in recognizing this that we begin to understand the ire of those who are vehemently opposed to Christianity and relish in debasing it. Who, after all, likes being confronted with the truth that they are condemned?

But this is also why the good news is good news. So, that said, not only does the Christian agree with God that he has fallen short of God's standards, but he also acknowledges his failures before man. That said, anyone who accuses Christians of hypocrisy are actually a little late to the party.

Secondly, what of the standards held by those quick with the Christians-are-hypocrites accusations, and how do they fair in holding to their standards? They have their standards too you know. This is proved by the fact that accusations are being made. If one has no standard then there is nothing for another person to fall short of, and no reason to accuse.

The fact is that no one has no standard. In the same way that it is judgemental to judge someone as being judgemental, it is also hypocritical to judge someone as being hypocritical if the person making the judgement has fallen short of his own standards. And no one has not fallen short of his own standards, no matter what those standards might be. So, in one sense, all people except Christians are hypocrites. Of course I don't buy that. There are clearly glaring Christian hypocrites.

It seems to be a common thing in these acrimonious times for accusations of "does not practice what he preaches". Although such charges may be true, it is also true that the one making them is making them from a position of self-righteousness. In the end it is just as important to realize that everyone has standards to fall short of as it is that all fall short of standards. The teachings of Christianity embrace this reality. The fact that the accusers do not raises the question of who is the more authentic hypocrite?