my journey to the very weird place in life I now inhabit

I have experienced countless hours the dreariest, most mind-numbing labor. I have experienced the transcendent wonder of ‘boldly going where no human being has gone before’. Both involved work. Only one involved drudgery.

I have done many things for money. Besides three years in the U.S. Army, I have washed dishes, waited tables, worked as a cook, worked as a surveyor, sold stuff (in retail and door-to-door), tended bar, taught school, worked as security guard, picked-up/delivered film/photos, driven eighteen-wheelers, and repaired/renovated/remodeled/built houses. …

how, not how much

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[This is not about any solution, only a statement of the issue.]

In terms of justice and income, what matters is how people get their income, not how much income they receive. Differences in income do generate differences in wealth (assets: property). That in turn perpetuates and enlarges differences in income, in an ever-expanding spiral (absent some external — to that process — intercession, such as redistribution via government, or the utter collapse of the society, etc.). Yet, it is not unjust to make a lot of money. …

any or all of them, incrementally or all at once, with a single change to the existing economic system

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John Locke dreamed of a minimal government, one that would exist only to protect persons and property. Adam Smith dreamed of an economic system that was fully self-regulating. Karl Marx dreamed of ending economic exploitation, i.e. ‘wage slavery’. There is a way to make any or all those dreams come true. All it would take would be one change to the existing economic system.

As a response to the Great Depression, largely due to the influence of John Maynard Keynes, government…

‘Moral relativism’ is a term used mostly by by people on the political right. It is meant to convey, most generally, a lack of moral clarity or resoluteness among ‘liberals’ and people of their ilk — if not a lack of actual moral values, period. When it comes to politics, though, people on the right are every bit as morally relativistic as anybody.

The worst of it is not that all people are morally relativistic when it comes to politics. The worst of it is the standard that is used to judge people’s actions.

The only standard that is used…

a universal ethic that even a postmodernist can endorse

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Postmodernism evolved out of post-structuralism, which formed out of the failure of structuralism to achieve the goal that its proponents set for it. Structuralism exemplified the epitome of the Modern perspective. It was the attempt within anthropology to identify universals that existed across all human cultures, most importantly, to include moral/ethical values. Such values would not merely be values that some people proclaimed to be universal, but would be empirically proven to be universal. The implications for humanity would be huge.

Alas and alack, no such values were found. For some…

concerning my output in justice and its implications

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I know from bitter experience that most people are loath to even try to accept my intellectual output concerning justice and its implications for individuals, the political process, and the economy. It seems they are put off by two things: first, the audaciousness of the claims, but even more my ‘lecturing’ (if not to say ‘hectoring’) style.

Both are a function of the strictly rational nature of my work. Since all of it is strictly rational, involving no beliefs, I simply state what is there. To construct arguments for the validity of…

then he overreached

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[Map found on “unsplash;” red dots are irrelevant.]

Back when war was thought to be a glorious undertaking, nations would actually publish their “war aims” upon getting involved in one. Germany’s aims for itself regarding the conflagration that would become known as World War I were actually rather modest: primarily, force limited territorial concessions in northwestern Europe to provide Germany more “ore” and a direct outlet on the Atlantic Ocean, and a formal acceptance of Germany’s recognized, if not formally institutionalized “economic dominance over “Mitteleuropa,” to include France. …

identifying with the ‘grunts’ at the end of Stanley Kubrick’s Vietnam War film

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“Joker,” played by Mathew Modine, is the main character and narrator in that movie. At the very end of it he is among a large group of American soldiers (“grunts,” as they called themselves) moving as a widely spaced group shortly after dark towards the position to which they have been ordered for the night. In the background almost all of the city they have been fighting to recapture, in order to save it from the Communists, is on fire.

They begin singing the theme song from…

how they exceed them in furthering our understanding of justice

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The Declaration of Independence of the U.S. famously ‘holds’ that, besides being “created equal,” people are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,” among them “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” Thus began the problematic role of Rights in the conceptual framework of societal justice.

There are many problems with Rights in that regard. For one thing, what are Rights? Where do Rights come from? What are all of those Rights? Is there a hierarchy of Rights, such that one person’s exercise of one Right trumps another person’s…

a possible economic solution

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‘Quantitative easing’ (QE) is a term used to describe a new approach to creating money. It was invented in 2009 by Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve System (our central bank), as a response to the financial crisis brought on by the bursting of a huge speculative bubble in residential mortgages in 2008. The finance industry was in danger of complete collapse, which would have caused the whole economy to stop functioning.

The purpose of QE was to create as much money as needed to prevent that from happening. …

Stephen Yearwood

unaffiliated, non-ideological, unpaid, academically trained philosopher and political economist

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