About Section

“Unless the Lord builds the house,

the builders labor in vain.

Unless the Lord watches over the city,

the guards stand watch in vain.

In vain you rise early

and stay up late,

toiling for food to eat—

for he grants sleep to those he loves.”

Psalm 127:1-2

This blog is on economics. Which is to say that it is on everything, or at least everything that matters. This blog has no specialization and I do not pretend to offer any expertise. I am not interested in such things. What I am interested in offering is truth and the stubborn nature of truth is that when it is genuine it is universal. Thus, expertise is too narrow; without the broader view of a generalist, specialization is the worst kind of lie: it is merely a part of the truth. The topic of this blog may be economics but it is economics in general. That is to say, I use it as only one of many stepping stones in order to realize a broader reality.

 

The words “economy” and “economics” are based on the Greek word oikos, meaning house. As author Thomas Storck put it, “Economic activity is meant to serve the more important aspects of life, our spiritual, family, social, intellectual and cultural lives.” Usually, however, when we hear the experts on the news discuss the “economy” we hear about everything except what actually relates to one’s house, one’s home, one’s personal life or one’s family. Instead, the newspapers and TV stations offer incessant updates on the “faltering national economy”, bombard us with statistics on unemployment, stir up controversy regarding such impersonal phenomena as outsourcing and trade deficits and feed us a glut of stock market chatter. Instead of house, “economics” has come to mean everything outside of the house. That great Catholic author of the early twentieth century, G.K. Chesterton, frequently pointed out the backwardness of this understanding of economics: “There is nothing queerer today than the importance of unimportant things. Except, of course, the unimportance of important things.”

 

Economics, properly understood, is perhaps the most relevant and important scientific discipline because it is the most personal and the most practical. It is the most practical because it is the most practiced. Not every homemaker or head of house practices chemistry or physics but every homemaker and head of house practices economics. Pope Leo XIII states in his encyclical On Capital and Labor that, “the true worth and nobility of man lie in his moral qualities, that is, in virtue.” And where else is virtue nurtured and formed in man but in the house? Thus, the object of economics is to aid in the construction of that virtuous house.

 

The scope, then, of this blog is much broader than statistics and market forces – those are just appetizers. The main course is America’s spiritual well-being, its intellectual well-being, its families, its society, and its culture. That is the focus of this blog, because those are the economics that matter.

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9 thoughts on “About Section

  1. God speed with your new Blog. We need productive discussions like this.

    BTW I am also a pro-life, anti-War, anti-torture Catholic. I also really cherish the our Constitutional Bill of Rights.

  2. Vickie and Patrick, thank you both for support! By the way, I checked out patrickvandapool.com and the site won me over immediately; I’m looking forward to reading it in the future.

  3. Cogent reasoning on display alloyed with a generous dollop of charity. A rare combination.
    Popped over from Mark Shea’s site, and glad I did. Twenty two, huh?
    If I were your folks, I’d be damned proud.

  4. As a conservative Roman Catholic, I would do further research on Rick Santorum and his policies before I make any judgements. I personally believe that he’s a strong man of faith and thus far, have been impressed with his stand on many issues. I have never heard anything to the contrary as you state.
    “All” politicans will change/or change their minds on some issues. I for one, used to be a Protestant/Democrat and have come to see the light about eight years ago, so has Newt Gingrich. People’s ideology and views change and, hopefully for the better!

  5. Interesting, very. I am an independent both politically and intellectually, and I agree with most of your piece on living to work and working to live, and I learned a lot from reading it. It’s well written and I find it hard to believe you are a catholic conservative, with all due respect. The catholic conservatives I’ve known have been some of the most hateful and closed-minded people I’ve known. You seem very kind and obviously very spiritual I would say, which I am also. I grew up catholic and attended catholic schools, and always have a spot in my heart for my priest and brother friends, and the priest I grew up listening to, but I have become disgusted with the church on so many levels — I dont want to make this about the catholic church so I’ll move along 🙂

    Anyways, I googled Weber’s “live to work, work to live” etc as I just heard it on some program and Its my first time hearing it. I find that reading your essay reminds me why I seem to get along well with people from latin american countries (generally) — those cultures don’t seem to have made money and work their God like Americans have, in my opinion. I have disagreed with the protestant work ethic for as long as I have been working, as I think we got it wrong as well (like you mentioned about the industrial revolution getting it wrong). I find I get along well with truly religous or spiritual people b/c they serve a higher purpose than accumulating stuff for themselves, but I just cannot get past the man-made and run nature of religion. The ones that preach the loudest usually have more skeletons than anyone else I think…

    Very nice work, sincerely from NYC

    • Thank you for your comment. I agree that every religion has its bad eggs. I think we see it more with Christianity than with other faiths because we live in a culture saturated Christianity and that’s what we’re exposed to. I’ve noticed, however, that there are central themes that run through all the major religions – not just Western ones – and I think that is because religion is not merely a fabrication of culture but that humanity is fundamentally religious and endowed with certain truths; which is why I feel that it is so important that our society embraces its religious side in order to have real, lasting meaning in life.

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