Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Morning

"What gives Christianity its identity," writes Catholic philosopher Stephen H. Webb,

is its commitment to the divinity of Jesus Christ. And on that ground Mormons are more Christian than many mainstream Christians who do not take seriously the astounding claim that Jesus is the Son of God. Mormonism is obsessed with Christ, and everything that it teaches is meant to awaken, encourage, and expand faith in him...Mormon metaphysics is Christian metaphysics minus Origen and Augustine—in other words, Christianity divorced from Plato...Matter is perfectible because it is one of the perfections of the divine...This should not be taken lightly. The Mormon metaphysic calls for the revision of nearly every Christian belief...If you had to choose between a Jesus whose body is eternal and a Jesus whose divinity is trivial (as in many modern theological portraits), I hope it would be an easy choice.[1]

I have often had a similar feeling regarding the doctrine of the Trinity. Most Latter-day Saints who take time to disparage the nearly two millenia old belief have never taken the time to try and properly understand it. Given the Creator/creature metaphysical divide that had become prominent in Christian thinking since the second century A.D., the Arian version of subordinationism placed Jesus on the creature side of this divided ontology. The Athanasian alternative sought to maintain the divinity of Jesus and His rightful role as Creator. For that, we should be grateful.[2]

However, what is often overlooked by critics is that a major component of this particular Mormon view is the central doctrine of Christianity itself: the literal and physical resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.[3]

"Contemporary critical scholars agree that the apostle Paul is the primary witness to the early resurrection experiences."[4] Scholars also recognize that Paul quotes an early oral tradition beginning in 1 Corinthians 15:3. Explaining that what he has "handed on" (paredoka) to the Corinthian saints he also "received" (parelabon), Paul uses "the equivalent Greek terms for delivering and receiving rabbinic tradition."[5] This pre-Pauline creed states that

Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. (1 Cor. 15:3-8, KJV)

This creed is generally considered to be the earliest in the New Testament, dating from the early to mid-30s A.D. Paul's reception most likely took place three years after his conversion during his trip to Jerusalem to visit Peter and James (mentioned in Gal. 1:18-19).[6] It should be noted that Paul was a former opponent of the Christian movement, yet he concludes the sacred list of witnesses by giving his own name and testimony as confirmation. James, the brother of Jesus and leader of the Jerusalem church, is also believed to have originally been a skeptic. His conversion was apparently inspired by a personal experience with the risen Jesus.[7]


Philosopher Richard Swinburne has argued for a notion he calls "the principle of credulity," which states "that we ought to believe that things are as they seem to be (in the epistemic sense) unless and until we have evidence that we are mistaken...If you say the contrary--never trust appearances until it is proved that they are reliable--you will never have any beliefs at all."[8] In doing so, Swinburne establishes a common sense approach to personal experience that allows for the possibility of valid religious experiences. Likewise, Swinburne offers another "basic principle of rationality" called "the principle of testimony." Similarly, the principle states "that those who do not have an experience of a certain type ought to believe any others when they say they do--again, in the absence of deceit or deception. If we could not in general trust what other people say about their experiences without checking them out in some way, our knowledge of history or geography or science would be almost non-existent."[9] The two principles go hand-in-hand. New Testament scholar Richard Bauckham has written thoroughly on the biographical nature of the Gospels with the understanding that eyewitness testimony should not "be treated as credible only to the extent that it can be independently verified. There can be good reasons for trusting or distrusting a witness, but these are precisely reasons for trusting or distrusting. Trusting testimony is not an irrational act of faith that leaves critical rationality aside; it is, on the contrary, the rationally appropriate way of responding to authentic testimony."[10] Eyewitness testimony was the most important source and a basic necessity for ancient historians. Relying on the fragments of Papias, Bauckham finds that the second-century Christian bishop followed the standard practice of history writing: reliance on living eyewitnesses (such as John the Elder). Far from being prejudiced against written works as is commonly assumed, Papias merely preferred to hear directly from those personally associated with the historical event or person (in his case, the resurrection of Jesus). Furthermore, Bauckham argues that the non-apostolic, named characters (many with distinctively Palestinian names) within the various Gospels were likely the sources of particular traditions:

The tendency of Matthew and Luke to omit some of the names we find in Mark would be explained if these people had become, by the time Matthew and Luke wrote, too obscure for them to wish to retain the names when they were engaged in abbreviating Mark's narratives...If the names are of persons well known in the Christian communities, then it also becomes likely that many of these people were themselves the eyewitnesses who first told and doubtless continued to tell the stories in which they appear and to which their names are attached. A good example is Cleopas (Luke 24:18): the story does not require that he be named and his companion remains anonymous. There seems no plausible reason for naming him other than to indicate that he was the source of this tradition.[11]

It must be recognized that "testimony is a unique and uniquely valuable means of access to historical reality."[12]

Finally, the different effects the belief in the resurrection of Jesus had on its proponents and first-century Judaism(s) are profound. As renowned scholar N.T. Wright has attested in numerous writings, the early Christian movement was a Kingdom of God movement, a Messianic movement, and a Resurrection movement.[13] First-century Palestinian Jews understood the Kingdom of God to be the liberation of Israel as well as the creation as a whole. For Christian converts, the Kingdom of God had already come by means of the resurrected Jesus and the outpouring of the Holy Ghost. Death at the hands of pagans was not the expected fate of the awaited Messiah. The Jewish Messiah was meant to be a conquering political figure. Rather than abandoning claims of messiahship following his death, the followers of Jesus instead proclaimed that he had been raised from the dead. This final claim was the driving force behind the entire movement: a premature resurrection. Jewish traditions placed resurrection on the circumference of belief; an eschatological event that would include the coming of God's new age and the collective reembodiment of the dead. Yet, in the middle of history was the claim that a single individual had been raised, shattering all expectations about the resurrection.[14]

Larry W. Hurtado, emeritus professor of New Testament at the University of Edinburgh, finds that the claimed resurrection of Jesus led to a number of religious mutations and innovations.[15] First and foremost, an outgrowth of the Jewish divine agency tradition that placed the exalted Jesus at the right-hand of God, making him an object of devotion. This included hymnic practices, prayers, the use of the name of Christ, the Lord's Supper, confessions of faith in Jesus, and prophetic pronouncements of the risen Christ. The binitarian inclusion of Jesus in the Godhead (part of the Two Powers in Heaven tradition) led to a clash between Jewish Christians and "a group of Christian writers called "heresiologists," the anatomizers of heresy and heresies, and their Jewish counterparts, the Rabbis."[16] Early Christian writers such as Justin Martyr defended the binitarian stance against Christian Modalists and Jewish Rabbis who claimed the doctrine was ditheistic. It was not the doctrine of the Logos that was unique to Judaism, but that the Logos "became flesh among us" in the person of Jesus. Ironically, "in the move to a trinitarian theology within which the entire trinity is both self-contained and fully transcendent, Athanasius and his fellows insist that God alone, without a mediator, without an angel, without a Logos, is the creator. Logos theology is, ultimately, as thoroughly rejected within Nicene Christianity as within orthodox rabbinism."[17]

The testimonies of old followed by radical theological shifts cry out for explanation.[18] Many have been offered, though they tend to be unsatisfying or lacking in explanatory power. "Virtually no critical scholar questions that the disciples' convictions regarding the risen Jesus caused their radical transformation, even being willing to die for their beliefs. Their change does not evidence the resurrection appearances per se, but it is a clear indication that the disciples at least thought that they had experienced the risen Jesus. Alternatives must account for this belief."[19] What are the possible implications of that first Easter morning? That there is a god, that the renewal and rescue of creation has begun, that we have a role in this new creation, and that ultimate justice and joy can and will be achieved. And all this through the person of Jesus Christ.

1. For more on Webb's views, see his "Godbodied: The Matter of the Latter-day Saints," BYU Studies 50:3 (2011) and Jesus Christ, Eternal God: Heavenly Flesh and the Metaphysics of Matter (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012). For more on ancient Jewish and Christian metaphysics and divine embodiment, see Robert P. Casey, "Clement of Alexandria and the Beginnings of Christian Platonism," Harvard Theological Review 18 (1925); Christopher Stead, Philosophy in Christian Antiquity (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994); David L. Paulsen, "Early Christian Belief in a Corporeal Deity: Origen and Augustine as Reluctant Witnesses," Harvard Theological Review 83:2 (1990); Carl W. Griffin and David L. Paulsen, "Augustine and the Corporeality of God," Harvard Theological Review 95:1 (2002); Paulsen, "The Doctrine of Divine Embodiment: Restoration, Judeo-Christian, and Philosophical Perspectives," BYU Studies 35:4 (1995-1996); Paulsen, "Divine Embodiment: The Earliest Christian Understanding of God," in Early Christians in Disarray: Contemporary LDS Perspectives on the Christian Apostasy, ed. Noel B. Reynolds (Provo, UT: FARMS, 2005); Shamma Friedman, "Anthropomorphism and Its Eradication," in Iconoclasm and Iconoclash: Struggle for Religious Identity, eds. W.J. van Asselt, Paul van Geest, Daniela Muller, Theo Salemink (Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2007); Edmond LaB. Cherbonnier, "In Defense of Anthropomorphism," in Reflections on Mormonism: Judaeo-Christian Parallels, ed. Truman G. Madsen (Provo, UT: BYU Religious Studies Center, 1978). For more on the philosophical aspects of the Mormon concept of God, see the work of philosopher Blake T. Ostler.

2. "Ultimately, though, the Arian position was untenable simply because it reduced to incoherence the Christian story of redemption as it had been understood, proclaimed, prayed, and lived for generations...For Athanasius, Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa, and many others, it was first and foremost the question of salvation that must determine how the identity of Christ is to be conceived. And they understood salvation, it must be appreciated, not in the rather impoverished way of many modern Christians, as a kind of extrinsic legal transaction between the divine and human by which a debt is canceled and the redeemed soul issued a certificate of entry into the afterlife; rather they saw salvation as nothing less than a real and living union between God and his creatures. To be saved was to be joined to God himself in Christ, to be in fact "divinized"-which is to say, in the words of 2 Peter 1:4, to become "partakers of the divine nature." In a lapidary phrase favored, in one form or another, by a number of the church fathers, "God became man that man might become god." In Christ, the Nicene party believed, the human and divine had been joined together in a perfect and indissoluble unity, by participation in which human beings might be admitted to share in his divinity...Only God can join us to God. And so, if it is Christ who joins us to the Father, then Christ must himself be no less than God, and must be equal to the Father in divinity." (David B. Hart, Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2009, 205-206.) See also Keith Edward Norman, "Deification: The Context of Athanasian Soteriology" (Ph.D. dissertation, Duke University, 1980).

3. For some of the best philosophical criticisms to date, see The New Mormon Challenge: Responding to the Latest Defenses of a Fast-Growing Movement, eds. Francis J. Beckwith, Carl Mosser, Paul Owen (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2002), particularly "Part II: The Mormon Worldview."

4. Gary R. Habermas, "Experiences of the Risen Jesus: The Foundational Historical Issue in the Early Proclamation of the Resurrection," Dialog: A Journal of Theology 45:3 (Fall 2006): 289.

5. Ibid.: 290.

6. Gal. 1:18 uses the word historesai, "a term that indicates the investigation of a topic." (Ibid.)

7. "For neither did [Jesus'] brethren believe him." (John 7:5)

8. Richard Swinburne, Is There a God?, Revised Edition (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010), 115.

9. Ibid., 116.

10. Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 2006), 5.

11. Ibid., 46-47.

12. Ibid., 5.

13. For example, see N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church (New York: HarperOne, 2008); "Christian Origins and the Resurrection of Jesus: The Resurrection of Jesus as a Historical Problem," Sewanee Theological Review 41:2 (1998); "Early Traditions and the Origins of Christianity," STR 41:2 (1998); "The Resurrection and the Postmodern Dilemma," STR 41:2 (1998); The Resurrection of the Son of God (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2003).

14. This was understood as a physical resurrection. Paul's dichotomy of natural and spiritual bodies (see 1 Cor. 15:44) is not a dichotomy between physical and non-physical bodies: "The first word, psychikos, does not in any case mean anything like "physical" in our sense. For Greek speakers of Paul's day, the psyche, from which the word derives, means the soul, not the body. But the deeper, underlying point is that adjectives of this type, Greek adjectives ending in -ikos, describe not the material out of which things are made but the power or energy that animates them. It is the difference between asking, on the one hand, "Is it a wooden ship or an iron ship?" (the material from which it is made) and asking, on the other, "Is this a steamship or a sailing ship?" (the energy that powers it). Paul is talking about the present body, which is animated by the normal human psyche (the life force we all possess here and now, which gets us through the present life but is ultimately powerless against illness, injury, decay, and death), and the future body, which is animated by God's pneuma, God's breath of new life, the energizing power of God's new creation." (Wright, Surprised by Hope, 155-156.)

15. See Larry W. Hurtado, One God, One Lord: Early Christian Devotion and Ancient Jewish Monotheism, 2nd ed. (London: Continuum, 1998), specifically Ch. 5 "The Early Christian Mutation"; Hurtado "Religious Experience and Religious Innovation in the New Testament," Journal of Religion 80:2 (2000).

16. Daniel Boyarin, Border Lines: The Partition of Judaeo-Christianity (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004), 2. ""Heresiology"--the "science" of heresies--inscribes the border lines, and heresiologists are the inspectors of religious customs." (Ibid.)

17. Boyarin, 2004, 139.

18. This is true even without referencing the witnesses of the Restoration and the Book of Mormon.

19. Habermas, 2006: 292.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

"Corporations Are People"

The above comment by Mitt Romney has been considered one of his major gaffes on the campaign trail. For some, it was more evidence that Romney is too rich and too out-of-touch with the average American. To his critics, the former governor's thought-process on this issue demonstrates the corrupting influence of capitalism. Both the left and the right have been outraged by his corporate raiding and "vulture capitalism" (prompting the pro-Gingrich, anti-Romney film "King of Bain"). One could almost hear Romney explaining to the crowd, " good. Greed is right. Greed works."

However, I am of the view that Romney's remark does not qualify as a gaffe. Quite the opposite, in fact. This strikes me as a opportunity for the Romney campaign.[1] What this brief, somewhat heated exchange revealed is Romney's basic outlook on business and the economy in general. Economist Thomas Sowell has often commented about the consistent "confusion between abstract categories and flesh-and-blood human beings."[2] Explaining the fallacious nature of this thinking, Sowell writes,

Abstract people can be aggregated into statistical categories such as households, families, and income brackets, without the slightest concern for whether those statistical categories contain similar people, or even the same number of people, or people who differ substantially in age, much less in such finer distinctions as whether or not they are working or whether they are the same people in the same categories over time. Abstract people have an immortality which flesh-and-blood people have yet to achieve.[3]

What Romney's hecklers (affiliates of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement) and critics seem to miss is the abstract nature of "greedy corporations." The rhetoric invoked by these individuals often describes corporations as quasi-personal, transcendent entities that exist above and beyond flesh-and-blood people. As one writer notes, "Romney doesn't mean that corporations are entitled to some of the legal rights of people in the Citizens United sense. He means it in the sense that the money made by corporations flows in and out of human hands—or pockets, in the language of the heckler who hoisted himself on his own metaphorical petard."[4] Many, including Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, think corporate taxes apply to "the share of [the organization's] income that does NOT go to workers and suppliers. Now, stockholders are people too — but they are, on average, quite rich people, who are doing very well as most Americans suffer." The abstractions of "corporations" and "the rich" are frequently linked, if not synonymous. Yet, there is evidence that high corporate taxes do negatively impact worker wages. One study by economist Robert Carroll found that across state lines "a one percent drop in the average tax rate leads to a 0.014 percent rise in real wages five years later." In other words, wages rise $2.50 for every dollar reduction in the state-local corporate income taxes. The opposite also occurs: every dollar increase in tax rates leads to a $2.50 loss in wages. Drawing on recent research, Carroll suggests that "the least mobile factor of production is likely to bear the burden of a tax. In an increasingly global economy, labor is the least mobile because capital can flow freely across borders...When workers have more capital to work with, their labor productivity and wages will rise."

An abstraction is unable to pay its demanded "fair share" and instead places the economic burden on individuals. "After all, businesses are merely convenient ways of organizing economic activity," writes Carroll, "so while businesses write checks to pay the corporate tax (and other taxes), the burden of those taxes falls ultimately on the individuals who depend on the corporations, in their roles as investors, workers, or consumers." A similar study lists ten benefits to cutting corporate taxes, which include higher long-term growth, higher wages and living standards, lowered tax burdens on low-income taxpayers and seniors, and boosted entrepreneurship, investment, and productivity. Another study by AEI's Kevin Hassett and Aparna Mathur extended beyond the United States into differing countries. Their findings suggest that "a 1 percent increase in corporate tax rates lead to a 0.5-0.6 percent decrease in wage rates. These results also hold for effective marginal and average tax rates."[5]

Romney's breakdown of corporations into human beings parallels a particular Hayek verse from the popular "Fight of the Century: Keynes vs. Hayek Round Two" at EconStories:

The economy's not a car
There's no engine to stall
No expert can fix it
There's no 'it' at all
The economy's us
We don't need a mechanic
Put away the wrenches
The economy's organic.[6]

With the U.S. officially bearing the world's highest corporate tax rate, Romney's understanding of organizations is a much-needed example of what Chicago economist Deirdre McCloskey calls "humanomics."[7] Far from being evidence of corporatism, Romney's comments clearly define his primary concern: human beings.[8] While Krugman may be technically correct that America is not a corporation, countries and corporations are both mass organizations of people. Organizational structures influence human behavior, both positively and negatively. As a business undergraduate studying organizational behavior, I was struck by the similarities between 20th-century business models and progressive economic designs: centralized authority, top-down implementation via expert planners, and a near mechanical view of human nature. My suspicions were confirmed when I began to review the work of Princeton economist Thomas C. Leonard, whose extensive research covers the Progressive Era and its eugenics-based economic reforms. According to Leonard's 2009 article in History of Political Economy, Frederick Taylor’s scientific management was an ideological darling of his progressive contemporaries. In their view, Taylorism brought a scientific sophistication to the unruly and chaotic practice of business management. By shifting authority to the planning department, progressives believed they could design the workplace to produce more efficiently. The erosion of workforce autonomy began as Taylor applied his time and motion studies to various work activities, including the "science of shoveling." This technocratic outlook reduced workers to nothing more than cogs in a well-oiled machine. "In the past, the man has been first," declared Taylor , "in the future, the system must be first."

However, this mechanic's vision of the organization has been seriously challenged in numerous studies since the 1930s. Despite its flaws, Elton Mayo’s research influenced the nature of organizational studies for years to come. Over the next several decades, academics began to move away from the mechanistic set-up of Taylorism and toward a more fluid, organic structure. It was discovered that such a model allowed for increased adaptation, creativity, and innovation. This emerging design was characterized by decentralization, employee autonomy and decision-making, minimal regulations, and multidirectional communication. The prevailing theme in this list of characteristics is the respect for the individual and self-direction. After surveying the past forty years of scholarly research, business author Daniel H. Pink found that autonomy is “one of three basic [psychological] needs. And of the three, it’s the most important.” Though Pink contrasts autonomy with “the rugged…individualism of the American cowboy” (an image that, in my view, does injustice to American culture and market economies), he makes a profound point when he describes autonomy as “a human concept rather than a western one. Researchers have found links between autonomy and overall well-being not only in North America and Western Europe, but also in Russia, Turkey, and South Korea. Even in high-poverty non-Western locales like Bangladesh, social scientists have found that autonomy is something that people seek and that improves their lives.”[9] What has been startling to many is that increased autonomy for employees tends to lead to greater productivity and innovation in the workplace. Overbearing external forces such as rules and regulations not only stifle innovation, but can even crowd out ethical behavior as well. Creativity is clouded when coerced, as is the ability to think beyond short-term success. What this material demonstrates is that innovation cannot be forced or artificially stimulated. It must instead be given room to breathe and a chance to grow on its own.[10]

Of course, economists in favor of free enterprise have understood this for some time. In the final days of World War II, Friedrich von Hayek published his brilliant article “The Use of Knowledge in Society,” criticizing centralized planning in government policy. The future Nobel laureate described what he calls the “rational economic order” as being “determined precisely by the fact that the knowledge of the circumstances of which we must make use never exists in concentrated or integrated form, but solely as the dispersed bits of incomplete and frequently contradictory knowledge which all the separate individuals possess.” Hayek defined this as “a problem of the utilization of knowledge not given to anyone in its totality.” His 1945 defense of markets illuminated the key problem plaguing bureaucratic systems: no central authority possesses all knowledge necessary to utilize all available resources in a society. This knowledge is instead widely dispersed among millions of individuals. Taking into consideration the evolving needs and wants of society, “it would seem to follow that the ultimate decisions must be left to the people who are familiar with these circumstances, who know directly of the relevant changes and of the resources immediately available to meet them…We need decentralization because only thus can we ensure that the knowledge of the particular circumstances of time and place will be promptly used.” In short, centralized planning fails not only in practice, but in principle. Allowing autonomous decision-making not only dignifies the individual, but benefits the society as a whole.

Organizational behaviorists (both intentionally and unintentionally) have continually used Hayek’s point that dispersed workers with dispersed knowledge must be given the freedom to make decisions regarding their particular circumstances.[11] Autonomy provides workers the freedom to experiment and seek out new ideas and/or solutions without the hindrance of technicalities. It also establishes experimentation as an accepted value within the organization. Organic structures are often informal, with a variety of participation and sharing of ideas. On a macro-level, free-market economies best emulate this organic business structure; a decentralized system with minimal regulations guided by self-direction as well as the communication, cooperation, and, yes, competition between interdependent markets. Freedom (in this case, economic freedom) promotes human flourishing, including increased happiness.[12]

Steven N. Kaplan, professor of entrepreneurship and finance at the University of Chicago, has argued that Romney's skills and experience in private equity would be extremely valuable as President of the United States:

As president, he would need to cut costs, particularly entitlements. When appropriate, PE firms cut costs. He would also need to promote policies that encourage job creation and growth. When appropriate, PE firms invest in and expand their businesses and employment. And the firms make these cuts and investments not for their own sake, but to deliver results for their customers. Similarly, the president’s job isn’t to cut or expand programs for their own sake, but to deliver results to the end customers -- the voters. PE firms in general, and Bain Capital run by Romney in particular, have delivered strong results for their customers. He should argue that the experience, focus and skills that made him successful in private equity are exactly what are needed to help the U.S. economy become more productive and grow.[13]

Kaplan's own research has found that the pioneering efforts of Romney and other venture capitalists in the 1980s and 90s ultimately benefited the corporate sector and contributed to the economic success of the nation. As The Wall Street Journal's Daniel Henninger put it, "Bain Capital saved America...We are of course putting forth "Bain Capital" as not merely the Romney private-equity house but as the stand-in for the period of American economic history that ran from 1980 to 1989...Properly understood, the 1980s, including Bain, were the remarkable years when an ever-resilient America found a way to save itself from becoming what Europe is now—a global has-been."[14] In this context, corporate prosperity was coordinated with economic prosperity. When humanized, a growing economy means improved quality of life for people nationwide.

Perhaps recognizing corporations as people is not as silly as it may sound. Perhaps it reflects a deep understanding of the multiple ways business and economic decisions affect real human beings. Whatever flaws Romney may have (and he certainly possesses a number of them), a working knowledge of how society operates is not one of them.


1. An opportunity they apparently seized: "...Romney’s own campaign managers did not try to obscure the episode at the state fair, to say he had been misunderstood or to secret it away. Instead they promoted it, as an advertisement of principle, and made the confrontation the centerpiece of a solicitation to supporters. A few days later, Romney’s communication director, Gail Gitcho, told the press that the exchange had raised $25,000 within 24 hours." (Benjamin Wallace-Wells, "The Romney Economy," New York, Oct. 23, 2011).

2. Thomas Sowell, Economic Facts and Fallacies, 2nd ed. (New York: Basic Books, 2011), 153. Sowell provides a brief and concise explanation of this distinction on
Uncommon Knowledge, as does economist Steven Horwitz at LearnLiberty.

3. Thomas Sowell, Intellectuals and Society (New York: Basic Books, 2009). Kindle Edition. Ch. 4: "Abstract People In An Abstract World."

4. For the Citizens United angle, see Jonah Goldberg, "Romney Is Right On Corporations," National Review Online (Jan. 18, 2012). Goldberg quips, "What I find most fascinating about the debate over corporate personhood is the fact that the people who defend corporate personhood don’t anthropomorphize big business nearly as much as those who oppose it."

5. See also Matthew H. Jensen, Aparna Mathur, "Corporate Tax Burden on Labor: Theory and Empirical Evidence," Tax Notes (June 6, 2011); Aparna Mathur, "Corporate Tax Reform: Will the Obama Administration Do the Right Thing?" RealClearMarkets (June 1, 2011). Update: For more data on the effects of corporate taxes, see Wiji Arulampalam, Michael Devereux, Giorgia Maffini, "The Direct Incidence of Corporate Income Tax on Wages," IZA Discussion Paper No. 5293 (Oct. 2010); Kevin Hassett, Aparna Mathur, "Taxes and Wages," AEI Working Paper #126 (June 2006); R. Alison Felix, James R. Hines, Jr., "Corporate Taxes and Union Wages in the United States," NBER Working Paper 15263 (Aug. 2009); Li Liu, Rosanne Altshuler, "Measuring the Burden of the Corporate Income Tax Under Imperfect Competition," National Tax Journal 66:1 (March 2013): 215-238.

6. See GMU economist Russell Roberts' WSJ article on
F.A. Hayek's recent comeback.

7. See her brilliant book Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can't Explain the Modern World (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2010) for a more detailed discussion on humanomics and economic rhetoric.

8. For a few select articles on corporatism vs. capitalism, see Ryan McMaken, "
Chamber of Corporatism," Mises Daily (March 15, 2012); Radley Balko, "Corporatism, Not Capitalism," Reason (Sept. 28, 2008); Edmund S. Phelps, Saifedean Ammous, "Blaming Capitalism for Corporatism," Project Syndicate (Jan. 31, 2012); Sheldon Richman, "Adam Smith versus Business," The Freeman (March 9, 2012).

9. Daniel H. Pink, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us (New York: Riverhead Books, 2009), 88.

10. While Pink's conclusions are solid, I think his associating them with socialism (see the TED talk) comes from a misunderstanding of market systems.

11. For example, see Alanson P. Minkler, "The Problem With Dispersed Knowledge: Firms in Theory and Practice," Kyklos 46:4 (1993).

12. Those who favor less government intervention in the economy are reportedly happier than those who favor more. Freer economies also have happier populations: "Looking at thirty-five nations together, we see that a 1 percentage point increase in economic freedom is associated with a 2-point rise in the percentage of the population saying they are completely happy or very happy." (Arthur C. Brooks, Gross National Happiness: Why Happiness Matters for America--and How We Can Get More of It. New York: Basic Books, 2008, 91).

13. See also Larry Kudlow, "Isn't a Bainful Turnaround What America Needs?" National Review Online (Jan. 13, 2012). It might be worth pointing out that PE firms tend to be the most well-managed firms when compared to government-owned, family-owned, and privately-owned firms. See Nicholas Bloom, Raffaella Sadun, John Van Reenen, "Do Private Equity-owned Firms Have Better Management Practices?" in Globalization of Alternative Investments: Working Papers Volume 2 - The Global Economic Impact of Private Equity Report 2009 (New York: World Economic Forum, 2009).

14. For more on Bain, see the following: Mark Maremont, "Romney at Bain: Big Gains, Some Busts," The Wall Street Journal (Jan. 9, 2012); Avik Roy, "Romney Derangement Syndrome," National Review Online (Jan. 9, 2012); Kevin D. Williamson, "No, Bain Did Not Get a 'Bailout'," National Review Online (Jan. 12, 2012); Steven N. Kaplan, "How to Think About Private Equity," The American (Jan. 18, 2012); Steven N. Kaplan, "How Many Jobs Did Romney Create at Bain?" The American (Jan. 19, 2012); Peter Suderman, "The Pain of Bain Falls Mainly on Romney's Campaign? Not Quite," (Jan. 13, 2012). Update: Kimberly A. Strassel, "Vampire Capitalism? Please," The Wall Street Journal (May 17, 2012).