J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 08-07-2018

Matthieu Ricard

Sharjah 24: Matthieu Ricard, philosopher and best-selling author of books on happiness and compassion, inaugurated the first day of the World Government Summit 2018 by asking the assembled audience to consider a more compassionate and altruistic approach to daily life for the benefit of society and the world. 3 lessons I learned from the Tibetan monk who works with the Dalai Lama and went viral as ‘the happiest man alive’ Published on January 08, 2018 In Press Reviews. I sat down with Matthieu Ricard, a Tibetan Buddhist monk who found himself famous among the TED Talk set and reluctantly decided to use the spotlight to share teachings. A scientist and a monk compare notes on meditation, therapy, and their effects on the brain. In his writing and in his life, he explores happiness…. Contemplating happiness with Matthieu Ricard Published on July 02, 2017 In Press Reviews. 

Scientific studies have shown that you can train your brain to be more compassionate; and coupling compassion with altruism can generate a positive outlook in individuals and society. French Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard-who used to be a biochemist-has been studying and practicing altruism for many years, and teaches the meditative techniques t…. A Case For Freedom of Expression Based on Altruism Published on March 24, 2017 In Press Reviews. Freedom is clearly a basic need for all living beings. How to be happy, per the Happiest Man in the World Published on March 12, 2017 In Press Reviews. 

He’s been hailed the happiest man in the world. A dialogue between Matthieu Ricard and Elizabeth Kolbert, moderated by Sam Mowe. Scientist, monk, best-selling author, humanitarian-how Matthieu Ricard discovered that caring for others is the only answer. 

Keywords: [“Matthieu”,”Ricard”,”monk”]
Source: http://www.matthieuricard.org/en/articles

Defining Economic Justice and Social Justice

Social justice is the virtue which guides us in creating those organized human interactions we call institutions. Economic justice, which touches the individual person as well as the social order, encompasses the moral principles which guide us in designing our economic institutions. The ultimate purpose of economic justice is to free each person to engage creatively in the unlimited work beyond economics, that of the mind and the spirit. Like every system, economic justice involves input, out-take, and feedback for restoring harmony or balance between input and out-take. Within the system of economic justice as defined by Louis Kelso and Mortimer Adler, there are three essential and interdependent principles: Participative Justice, Distributive Justice, and Social Justice. 

Like the legs of a three-legged stool, if any of these principles is weakened or missing, the system of economic justice will collapse. Through the distributional features of private property within a free and open marketplace, distributive justice becomes automatically linked to participative justice, and incomes become linked to productive contributions. The principle of distributive justice involves the sanctity of property and contracts. Many confuse the distributive principles of justice with those of charity. Distributive justice follows participative justice and breaks down when all persons are not given equal opportunity to acquire and enjoy the fruits of income-producing property. 

Economic harmony results when Participative and Distributive Justice are operating fully for every person within a system or institution. The harmony that results from the operation of social justice is more consistent with the truism that a society that seeks peace must first work for justice. 

Keywords: [“justice”,”Economic”,”Social”]
Source: http://www.cesj.org/learn/definitions/defining-economic-justice-and…

Review: Money, Greed, and God – Acton Institute PowerBlog

The belief that the essence of capitalism is greed is perhaps the biggest myth Jay W. Richards tackles in his new book, Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism is the Solution and not the Problem. Richards does however have a skill for tightly honed logical arguments, and he not only is able to defend free markets but tear lethal holes into many of the economic ramblings of the religious left. The overarching strength of Richards work is how he places the free market message into the context of Christian discussions and debate. Richards also provides an argument of sorts through narrative in his book by contrasting his youthful naïveté with his more mature adult self. 

The chapter on greed and capitalism contain some of the most thoughtful and helpful arguments particularly when he discusses the value of the entrepreneur in society. The author grasps and understands the arguments made by those who are hostile to the market and the religious backgrounds they come out of, and this helps his ability to respond. I have heard all of the myths and teachings Richards is so skilled at countering. The religious left will probably ignore this book rather than respond to many of the well thought out and ordered arguments. Richards takes on figures like Ayn Rand, who celebrate selfishness over the defense of the other. 

The moral argument of course characterizes the basis of the Acton Institute’s purpose and mission. The Acton hand print is all over this book of course because Richards penned the book during his tenure at Acton. Even if one is not inclined to believe or rally around the arguments made by Richards it offers a nice balance to much of the economic branding offered up by the popular culture and religious left of late. 

Keywords: [“Richards”,”book”,”argument”]
Source: http://blog.acton.org/archives/10317-review-money-greed-and-god.html

J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 02-01-2018

To Save Capitalism, America Must Look to the Private Sector

The U.S. economy grows more and more fractured, while solutions from all political tribes and ideologies are touted as “The only way.” Mostly, sometimes intentionally, they are in conflict with one another. Mick Mulvaney, the White House budget director, states: “It’s our job in government to look at both the needy and those who will pay the taxes for the needy.” One senses that the plan directs its attention more toward the taxpayers than the needy – and thus remains in denial about the current reality of crippling economic inequality. Tax cuts for years have simply been stashed away overseas, or invested in financial instruments simply to produce more wealth, not to be invested in domestic growth. Profits have steadily grown, shareholders have been enriched, as businesses have found more and more effective ways to cut costs thanks to the globalization of national economies. Shareholder primacy has become so fundamental to the way we’ve thought about business for nearly half a century that most of those in business are hardly more aware of it than they are of the air they breathe. We don’t have “Extreme poverty,” like some developing nations, but more than half our population is sliding toward insolvency. Second, businesses must invest aggressively in their own operations, directing profit into productivity and innovation to boost real business performance and grow more and more creative jobs. It’s essentially the way we did business half a century ago. Consideration should be given to the most efficient and effective way to improve compensation for employees outside the C-suite. Let me put it another way: pay people enough that it makes them feel lucky and privileged to work for you. The good news is that many private and public companies have found that doing the right things for all stakeholders makes winners out of their businesses, their employees and their shareholders. ” Many private and public companies have found that doing the right things for all stakeholders makes winners out of their businesses, their employees and their shareholders.

Keywords: [“way”,”more”,”wage”]
Source: http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/why-the-private-sector-must…

Jay Richards to Defend Capitalism at CCU Symposium

Often seen as synonymous with oppression and greed, and slammed in rabble-rouser Michael Moore’s latest film, capitalism has actually allowed more Americans to achieve a higher standard of living than those living in any other country on earth. Jay Richards tackles the mystery on October 21 at a CCU symposium, which will give students the opportunity to take two days out of the school year to ponder the fundamental values of faith, family and freedom. Richards, an author, policy analyst and documentary producer, will discuss his latest book, “Money, Greed and God: Why Capitalism is the Solution and Not the Problem.” His speech will challenge the CCU audience to face down the myths that make some Americans despise their own economic system, even though it has produced the most free and compassionate nation in the world. So why is capitalism such a hard sell? “Because it’s counter-intuitive,” Richards says. In his book, Richards confronts eight myths about capitalism, including the false idea that you cannot be a Christian and a capitalist, or that capitalism is based on greed. The truth is, it is capitalism that has freed Americans to accumulate wealth, and they in turn have become the most generous people on earth. Richards also uses graphs to explain that capitalism is the rule in countries with the highest standard of living and the most individual liberty. The economic system is routinely and cynically trashed in the media, in many secular universities, and in pop culture, including Michael Moore’s recently released film, Capitalism: A Love Story. “Michael Moore is one big bundle of cliches,” Richards says, adding that he would welcome debating Moore, and is encouraged that his pro-capitalism argument is generating interest from the media as a counter-argument to the left-wing filmmaker. He says the film’s arguments are easily debunked, though it is undeniably powerful in the way it can harden the public’s already false impressions of capitalism. In his CCU address, Richards will do some myth-smashing. “I want people to think about these things,” Richards says.

Keywords: [“capitalism”,”Richards”,”lives”]
Source: https://www.ccu.edu/news/2009/richards-defends-capitalism

Cannabis Capitalism takes California

Lynette Shaw owns and operates the only licensed medical marijuana dispensary in Marin County, California, home to both San Quentin Prison and George Lucas’s Skywalker Ranch. Marijuana is the number-one cash crop in California, with an estimated value of $10-12 billion and soaring monthly. In 2016, California voters approved a measure, Prop 64, that allows for the recreational use of marijuana by adults. No crop in California, or in the nation, will be more intensely monitored and controlled than California marijuana, in part because it has been unregulated in the past and because lawmakers want to compensate for previous lapses. Still, the major impetus for regulation and taxation has come from the state of California itself, as well as some pot consumers and their elected officials, who have regarded marijuana with a mix of fear and longing. Like Colorado, Washington and Oregon, which have both legalized marijuana, California means to extract as much money as possible from growers, dispensary owners and dealers through taxes and fees. Under Governor Jerry Brown, California created the model of the medical marijuana dispensary as a non-profit operated by “Collectives.” People who were arrested could use a medical defense and avoid prison. From the Bay Area, marijuana was exported clandestinely to LA, Chicago, New York, Atlanta, and New Orleans, where it sold for at least twice the California price. Cops in California have been arresting people for violation of the marijuana laws since at least the Summer of Love in 1967. Dozens of customers-young and old, black and white, men and women, ill, infirm and some seemingly healthy-bought ounces of marijuana with names like “Zombie” and “Blue Dream.” A man named Dan described himself as a former marijuana smuggler who had served time in prison. As Alexander Carpenter-a cannabis activist and botanist-knows only too well, marijuana folk are “Apolitical, atomized, and largely scared.” After half a century, the war on marijuana, as part of the larger war on drugs, has left scars on California society.

Keywords: [“marijuana”,”California”,”new”]
Source: http://sonomasun.com/2018/01/11/cannabis-capitalism-takes-california