Friday, August 31, 2018

The Advantage of Keeping the Economy Human

From Return to Order:
The human ability to create and invent new things is one of these unique things. The fear of automation all too often corresponds to a lack of courage to find new and creative ways of doing things. Dr. Richards believes that Americans need to return to those skills of creativity, resilience, and empathy for the needs of others that they once practiced in the past. This return to creativity includes the courage to face failure and start over again.

Yet another human advantage over machines is the ability to pursue happiness. Dr. Richards makes the distinction between happiness and its pursuit. Happiness is readily reduced to easy pleasures, which ultimately frustrate. The pursuit of happiness necessarily involves the struggle and suffering that accompanies a life of virtue. Happiness often results from overcoming adversity and hardship. It is not surprising to see this professor of economics at Catholic University citing Saint Thomas Aquinas, who asserts that true “happiness is secured through virtue.”

Finally, humans have the unique ability to build relationships and institutions that support their pursuit of happiness. Dr. Richards calls upon readers to reject to cold bureaucratic (and mechanical) governmental programs or one-size-fits-all solutions that solve nothing. Natural human institutions like those of family, community and faith are needed. Ultimately, he claims that “to instill virtue, the virtue-forming institutions, not government must lead.” (Read more.)

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