We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
...what if you are afraid to control your own destiny? What if you have such low self-confidence that you believe it isn’t worth it to even try, that a Steve Jobs is the exception rather than the rule?
The Episcopal Church has long turned from a spiritual message to a secular one with a spiritual paint job. The secular message has been, "The government shall be all things to all people." It's been accompanied by a thread that runs through the history of the Christian church, that the wealthy did not earn what they have and so have no right to keep it.
And now the Trinity parish is hoist with their own petard. Imagine that. "We need more and you have more." The Episcopal Church, among others, has been telling those who think they are poor that they are, and that they are poor because the rich are rich. It isn't so but there are Scriptures that can be used to suppor the idea that the rich don't deserve to be rich. Now it comes back to the Church itself.
Regarding the first item, there's a bit of a chicken-and-egg question there. While there is some truth to the claim that the "unhappy people" as described in that article become liberals because they want the government to take care of them, another whole class of people stay "stuck" in their lives because they buy into a bunch of liberal premises and ideas. As someone who has spent most of my adult life in and around universities in one capacity or another, it's obvious to me that one reason there are so many Marxists and leftists on campus is that the structure of higher education and the tenure system effectively encourages it and tells them that the "outside" world is worse and more exploitative, etc. To some extent their leftism becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The shale gas article is, indeed, interesting. I have small problem, however, with the closing sentence of Professor Dyson's Foreword:
"Because of shale gas, wealth and health will be distributed more equitably over the face of our planet."
No person or thing, and certainly not shale gas, can "distribute" health and wealth more "equitably" over the face of our planet. It is certainly possible that portions of the world now heavily dependent upon burning coal (or wood, charcoal, etc) for fuel may achieve improved, even western levels of, health and wealth.
Such an outcome will certainly seem more "equitable" to people, especially those who achieve greater health and wealth, but it will not be a result of the "distribution" of health and wealth - it will be the result of achievement through effort, pure and simple.
Trinity Church's hipocrasy: They support OWS trespassing on another's private property, but not their own! And the Church is supposed to be a place of refuge. They deserve what they are getting and more.
that a Steve Jobs is the exception rather than the rule?
He is. Fewer than 5% of even those startup companies that get as far as an IPO are still in business in 5 years.
I'm not saying one shouldn't try. I am saying that starting any kind of business, even in a country more business-friendly than Obama's US, is a gamble at bad odds -- a gamble best made with money you can afford to lose.
This is why it's crucial that the law continue to let people be rich. It's not impossible for a poor person to create lasting jobs, but it is so risky that most will never make the attempt.