A meeting of the minds

  • Article by: STEPHEN B. YOUNG
  • Updated: September 29, 2012 - 6:00 PM

Look between today's two extremes. America lies there.

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pumiceSep. 29, 1210:43 PM

Caux leaders on the Caux video discussed three Caux principles: (1) Moral capitalism is a form of business enterprise where private initiative is consistent with the common good; (2) respectful, responsible business[people] can make difficult decisions--not only about business but also about society--which involve moral and ethical questions which elude others; (3) the purpose of business is to serve society; profit is our reward for serving society well with integrity. In my opinion, the emphasis on business as the primary actor in society explains Page 2's "results" which Stephen B. Young predicts would come from applying Caux's moral sense in the 2012 political environment.

If the teams playing in The Market are individualism and communitarianism, individualism's goalpost is wider, lower and closer to the end line. After rejecting the extremes of entitlement and social Darwinism, Young lays the responsibility for our common good on a virtuous and responsible citizenry for whom the standard of life well-lived is excellence, not comfort. (Pull yourselves up by your bootstraps, nose to the grindstone and all that.) Taxation is legitimate to fund government's role--providing only those public goods which will not reliably be provided by a virtuous and responsible free market--in order that business may prosper. (The excellence/comfort standard is more flexible for business...) To ensure that the standard of life well-lived continues to be excellence and not comfort after one's laboring days are done, personal responsibility would rule in retirement as well: Public subsidy would be the last option--one should never demand too much of others in regard to funding "deficit-prone" entitlements (read, "healthcare and retirement stipends").

I wonder how Caux views Mitt Romney's pedge to "sharply cut federal spending on Medicaid health care for the poor and disabled, and turn it over to state governments.... and cut [tax] rates by 20 percent [without specifying] how he'll find the $5 trillion required to pay for [the cuts]. [F]inding that kind of money would require looking at popular deductions and tax breaks for the middle class. Those include deductions for mortgage interest, charitable contributions and state and local taxes, and breaks for college savings, employer-paid health insurance and families with children."

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pumiceSep. 29, 1210:54 PM

From the article: "[I]n foreign policy the United States would be a dynamic participant in global affairs, looking to protect and promote the moral sense through constitutional democracies and free markets and to provide checks against concentrations of power abroad that would abuse broadly accepted norms of right and fairness." Nothing about broadly accepted norms of right and fairness in Japan (the video specifically mentions Japan's dismay that the first draft of the principles of moral capitalism came down so heavily on the side of individualism), the Scandinavian countries, Germany, France, et al. where workers work less, earn more, and demand much of themselves and others in the way of health care and retirement pensions.

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chickfilaSep. 30, 12 8:17 AM

Both parties have moved too far to the left, especially the democrat party.

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chickfilaSep. 30, 12 8:43 AM

The democrat party is made up of many socialists posing as liberal democrats. They can get more of their agenda pushed through by doing this.

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stephenkrizSep. 30, 12 9:02 AM

Ah, that's "Democratic" Party. Maybe I should refer to your so-called political party as the "Republic" Party. Anyway, this article is hogwash. Barack Obama is one of the most conservative Democratic presidents of the past 60 years, all the right-wing propaganda aside. Take a look at the 1952 Republican Party platform and compare it to today's GOP platform and you will see which party has moved the furthest on the political spectrum. The current GOP platform would fit in perfectly with Franco's fascist party beliefs of the 1930s! Despite an utterly irrelevant survey of moral thinking of the past few centuries, Mr. Young has no idea what he is talking about and is simply an apologist for the corporatists who have driven this country into the ditch.

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ontherecordSep. 30, 12 9:08 AM

The extremes of both parties have moved to the right: the GOP becoming more conservative and the Democratic Party becoming more moderate. The proof of this is that you see many Repubs being defeated in primaries because they are too moderate. Not true for Democratic candidates. And many Republicans are endorsing Democratic candidates or positions (Colin Powell, Arne Carlson, Dave Durenberger, Wheelock Whitney, George Pillsbury) or switching to the Democratic Party (Arlen Specter), those who have done the opposite are much more rare. When talking about the extremes of the parties, it is important to remember which party is becoming more radical by the moment: It’s the GOP and its obnoxious little brother, the Tea Party.

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chickfilaSep. 30, 12 9:21 AM

JFK would be considered a conservative by today's democrat party and rejected much like former democrat VP candidate Joe Leiberman was. The democrat party has moved to the hard left. Joe Biden and Obama were two of the most liberal Senators in Washington before taking over the White House.

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chickfilaSep. 30, 12 9:35 AM

"And many Republicans are endorsing Democratic candidates or positions (Colin Powell, Arne Carlson, Dave Durenberger, Wheelock Whitney, George Pillsbury)" ________ Liberal RINO's can do more damage than liberal democrats.

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cstoney48Sep. 30, 12 9:48 AM

chickfila says "Both parties have moved too far to the left, especially the democrat party." Not in this reality. Check the party platforms and programs of the past forty years. Reagan for his willingness to compromise on taxes and social issues would be thrown to the wolves by the Tea Party dominated GOP. Anything or anyone which is not reactionary is branded socialist or communist by those who have no clue as to meaning of the terms. As one former GOP staffer lamented, these people would gladly vote for a fascist state and call it a return to time honored 'democratic' principles.

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chickfilaSep. 30, 12 9:56 AM

"Check the party platforms" _______ I did. The deomcrat party tried to remove God from theirs and replace it with gay marriage.

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