(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Liberty

“Inequality is as dear to the American heart as liberty itself”*…

And indeed, what was true a century ago seem still to hold. Everyone seems to hate/fear inflation, but it has radically different impacts on different groups within our society…

Inflation is widening America’s wealth gap.

• Prices have risen across the nation, and so have wages across all income levels.

• The lowest-earning households gained an average of $500 in earnings last year. But their expenses grew by almost $2,000.

• Meanwhile, the upper half of earners pulled further ahead as their incomes outgrew expenses significantly.

Whom does inflation hurt the most?” from Scott Galloway (@profgalloway)

William Dean Howells

###

As we ferret out unfairness, we might cautious birthday greetings to James Mill; he was born (James Milne) on this date in 1773. A historian, economist, political theorist, and philosopher (a close ally of Utilitarian thinker Jeremy Bentham), he is counted among the founders of the Ricardian school of economics (and so, among other things, a father of monetarism, the theory that excess currency leads to inflation).

His son, John Stuart Mill, studied with both Bentham and his father, then became one of most influential thinkers in the history of classical liberalism (perhaps especially his definition of liberty as justifying the freedom of the individual in opposition to unlimited state and social control). JSM also followed his father in justifying colonialism on Utilitarian lines, and served as a colonial administrator at the East India Company.

James Mill

source

The passing of the passion pit…

 The Pike, Montgomery, PA

Connecticut photographer Carl Weese uses oversize “banquet cameras” to document that quintessentially-American institution, the drive-in movie.  While the first drive-in appeared (in New Jersey) in the early 1930s, their heyday was the golden age of suburbs, the 1950s and 60s.  First pitched as a place to bring the whole family (“no matter how noisy the kids are”), drive-ins fell victim to proliferating “hard tops” (as Variety calls indoor theaters); Daylight Savings Time (which shaved an hour out of the evening’s viewing time); the growing availability of feature films on vcr, then cable and dvd (which made for an even more convenient family film night); and rising land prices (which made many “soft tops” comparatively uneconomical to operate).  For many teens in the 50s and 60s, the drive-in provided an intimate privacy unavailable elsewhere.  That too changed, as TV sets proliferated throughout the rooms of most households…  There were over 4,000 drive-ins in operation in the 60s; today, there are under 400.

 Deer Lake Drive-In, Deer Lake, PA

 [TotH to Co.Design for the photos]

As we learn to pop our own corn, we might note that this date marked the end of one American political thinker’s life, and the beginning of another’s:

Author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat Benjamin Franklin died on this date in 1790.

 They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety (source)

And on this date in 1854, Benjamin Ricketson Tucker, the champion of  “unterrified Jeffersonianism” (AKA American individualist anarchism) was born.  Tucker founded and published Liberty, a magazine that featured everything from the social economic ideas of Herbert Spencer and Lysander Spooner to articles on Free Love; it carried George Bernard Shaw’s first article to appear in the U.S. and the first American translations of Friedrich Nietzsche.

 Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, these three; but the greatest of these is Liberty. Formerly the price of Liberty was eternal vigilance, but now it can be had for fifty cents a year. (source)

Written by (Roughly) Daily

April 17, 2012 at 1:01 am

%d bloggers like this: