Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Praying for Scandinavians

I checked out the blog of a guy I respect last night. He's trying to find a good way to love poor folks and he's made many sacrifices to do so.

But I wonder if he's lost his way temporarily in the ideological forest.

He cued the blog with an article by an American living in a Scandinavian country who wanted to point out that rich western Europeans aren't as rich as we think.

I was as stunned by this revelation as I'm sure you are.

The American ex-pat who wrote the article went to great lengths to show that the Scandinavian economic and social model isn't all it's cracked up to be. He was scandalized by the fact that some Scandinavians have complaints about their culture and economic system and that some of them actually have to "take their own lunches to work."

Oh, the suffering humanity of it all!

Seems the Scandinavians are lost in the dark falsehood of a capitalist economic and social system which isn't exactly like the American capitalist economic and social system. Milton Friedman would definitely not approve!

The fact that the Scandinavian countries are at the top of the all the current measures of well being and wealth and economic competitiveness isn't relevant. The fact that they're all highly western and clearly capitalist countries isn't important.

Those blue-eyed blondes are damnable socialists! Their governments invest more in the social well-being of their citizens than the American government does which makes them a long term threat to the well-being of the world. Again, let's pray for those lost economic souls.

One of the readers of the blog commented that the article "drove the last stake into the heart of liberal, socialist economics." He proclaimed himself one of the "real progressives."

Pretty amusing. I'd encourage him to curb his enthusiasm and calm down. Maybe a steam bath or some yoga would help relax his overactive imagination.

I'm all for reasonable takes on capitalism and I'm no supporter of centrally planned economies of any kind, but when bright and well meaning Christian people get this disconnected from reality you normally suspect you're dealing with a case of ideological fixation.

I spend significant time in some of the poorest countries in the world. I'd guess there are more important issues of economic justice to deal with right now than supposed shortcomings of one of the wealthiest regions in the world.

I'd encourage the best and the brightest believers who are concerned about the poor to drop the ideology and get a little more practical.


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