Great minds expose the issues in our current economic and cultural war. Problem is, most of us are not paying attention. Distractions are consuming. A current one is watching Cher’s son, Chaz Bono, on “Dancing With the Stars.” On that note, I’m wondering if he wishes he’d just stayed home. It’s painful to watch, yet la-la-land really is a magnet. And there I digressed, or did I?
Most of us try to follow along with issues, but they’re complicated; muddied by rampant verbicide, the distortion of the definition of words. Allow me to recommend two genius authors who clarify for me what we’re up against: Friedrich A. Hayek, considered one of the 20th century’s greatest economic intellectuals, and Jeffery Sachs, a renowned one-worldest and current adviser to the U.N. Secretary-General. Their viewpoints on America’s financial and cultural health are starkly contrasting, and most informative; a must read. No matter your party or your occupation, they empower the reader with understanding, for truly, without perspective, we are doomed.
Take those befuddled Wall Street protesters, for example. For sure it’s easier to be led by the loudest voices or to just follow the red or blue line. That we know. And, here in the East Valley, with our pristine communities and well manicured streets, it’s especially easy to do la-la-land. But, have you noticed the vast number of empty strip-mall shops, your unemployed neighbor, or perhaps you’ve donated to food banks and heard stories of the new homeless? If our awareness is underdeveloped, we’ll dance with the demise of our freedoms and national security.
Hayek, a Nobel Prize winning economist, warns that those who do not understand the issues may feed into “lower intellectual standards” within society, “where primitive instincts prevail” and power brokers manipulate with something as simple as words. Yes, current philosophies need to be studied so we can clarify our own terms.
Hayek’s work is significant, a keystone among conservative economists and philosophers; see his “The Road to Serfdom.” Some call him a prophet among economists. Recently the Heritage Foundation distributed a summary of “Serfdom” to its membership. See details online.
Sachs, the director of the Earth Institute, is the author of multiple books and articles on “ending extreme poverty.” See “The Price of Civilization: Reawakening American Virtues and Posterity.” His goals sound great.
In a recent Wall Street Journal book review (Oct. 1, 2011) Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) challenged Sachs’ theories, as someone should. He labels Sachs “a crusader against our free enterprise system.”
Noted is the power Sachs has attained in world influence; his ideology envisions a level, economic playing field, worldwide. Yes, “redistribution of wealth.” That term sounds fair to the unlearned, but Hayek clarifies and issues dire warnings of an economic collapse if governments continue to interfere with commerce and citizen ingenuity.
He clearly explains why recessions are needed to adjust and naturally administer health back into an out-of - economy. When government messes with it, as we’ve seen over the past decade, it makes everything so much worse though it’s easier to feed citizens “cake” to keep them “happy.”
Hayek points out that the theories of the Sachs of the world count on “the docile and gullible,” the unread and unlearned, to get into lockstep.
Thus, both Sach’s and Hayek’s intellectual deciphering is worth studying and demands response — otherwise, our children are doomed to boogie the night into socialism, right into the dawn of fascism.
• East Valley resident Linda Turley-Hansen (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a syndicated columnist and former Phoenix veteran TV anchor.