Tag Archives: public policy

Personal Bigotry Supercharged by Unjust Laws

Yes, personal bigotry and social pressures most certainly have their influences in any society, but the fact that racial segregation in the South needed the power of the state to assure its preservation strongly suggests that if those laws had not been in place, racial divides socially and economically would have been undermined, reduced, and been on a path to fuller racial harmony and integration that was kept on hold for a century after the Civil War.

If people “naturally” want to separate themselves on racial lines, if they “naturally” do not want to associate or do business with each other, or share common goals and visions simply as “Americans,” then why did the Southern legislatures have to impose the segregation laws in the first place? Why did they have to so forcefully and sometimes brutally enforce them?

The answer is: without such laws and auxiliary “pressures,” the race-separating walls and biases would have come tumbling down. Overnight? Of course not. Human beings far too often can be stubborn creatures, but faster or slower, in an environment of traditional American preaching and practicing of individual liberty and freedom of association inside and outside the marketplace would have cured the racial scares and attitudes that were able to persist for so long because of what lasted for an additional one hundred years in the South.

Source: Richard M. Ebeling (AIER),  “Systemic Racism” Theory is the New Political Tribalism – AIER

Data Driven Policy: More than One Science

Following the science in public policy decisions requires consulting all relevant data not just the findings of one or two disciplines. As in our personal lives, morally virtuous public policy balances different moral goods.

This means that, as valuable as epidemiology is for helping public official respond to COVID-19,  alone is an insufficient practical and moral basis for public policy. Limiting our appeal to data in this way means, as Victor V. Claar reminds us that overlooking the fact

… that saving lives through mitigation is costly in the same way that saving lives by outlawing driving is costly. As of April 30, some 30 million Americans had been laid off due to COVID-19, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, likely pushing the April unemployment rate to 19 percent, or even to 30 percent, according to a prediction by the head of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. And nearly 25 percent of American small businesses expect to close permanently within the next few months, a poll by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and MetLife indicates.

Read the rest here: Coronavirus Florida mitigation efforts and economic impact jobs

In Christ,

+Fr Gregory