Bible-based free market economics
The mainstream media present government economic policies
as rational, respectable, etc. You're supposed to either agree
or disagree with them based on some straightforward "dichotomy
of identity" eg you're a conservative or a liberal
(or a capitalist or a socialist). And that's the end of the
An alternative narrative which the media largely ignores
concerns the origins of supposedly respectable economics.
A good example is the move towards "faith-based"
welfare provision in the United States. Where did this idea
Well, George W Bush is apparently very sympathetic to the
ideas of a certain Marvin Olasky. Olasky has an economic theory
called "Bible-based free market economics" in which
God is a sort of cosmic Landlord and Investment Banker, and
each person's responsibility is to maximise the return on
the Owner's investment.
In this theory, a kind of strict laissez-faire market economics,
which prohibits minimum wage and other workers' rights, has
been endorsed by Lord God The Property Owner. Olasky
argues that welfare rights are the result of a liberal effort
to "uncouple welfare from shame". Without shame,
he says, how will the poor be driven to work and God?
Perhaps people should know about the weird, wacky
ideas underlying economic policies which may have dramatic
effects on their lives? Perhaps it's an area worthy of media