Sunday, April 13, 2008

Practical Applications of Morality

The economist Milton Friedman has been very influential in America. A recent article about him in the New York Times, "A Fresh Look at the Apostle of Free Markets," by Peter S. Goodman discusses his shortcomings.

Here is a particularly telling criticism: Mr. De Soto faulted Mr. Friedman for failing to temper his admonitions with an understanding of poverty and income inequality.

“The problem with Milton Friedman and his fellow libertarians is they never took into consideration the importance of class,” Mr. De Soto said. “They ignored the way elites were able to distort the policies they prescribed for their own benefit."

Teaching our young to care about the poor is a moral lesson. Chapter 31 of Proverbs has lessons given to King Lemuel by his mother. Here are verses 8 & 9 of Proverb 31:

Open your mouth for the speechless, for the rights of all the unfortunate.
Open your mouth, judge righteously, and defend the rights of the afflicted and needy.

Milton Friedman, as famous as he was, failed ultimately because he did not understand that leaders should care about the unfortunate, the afflicted, and the needy.

If we are to rear up a generation of great leaders here in Plano, then we parents have to be like King Lemuel's mother: providing moral lessons that will help our children become great leaders.

Great character is the foundation for great leadership, and moral lessons must come from the parents and be echoed by the schools and the rest of the community.

We parents of Plano can develop the best leaders America has seen since the birth of our country. Let's do it for our children, our community, and our country.

Robert Canright

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