Yes, it’s nice when, after years of rejecting the incredibly erudite and literary examples of the epistolary art we’ve submitted, the Washington Post published a letter we wrote. And cut out the main point — which is that there is a solution to the current economic malaise that doesn’t rely on either massive redistribution or a miracle to implement.
Here is the letter as submitted. The first two paragraphs are what appeared in the paper last Monday. As you can see, truncating the letter made us look like a bunch of hard-hearted conservatives (please, no comments about "Is there any other kind?"). The only thing we can figure is that the Post figured their readers can’t understand anything other than the traditional “liberal” and “conservative”
In reference to his column “Updating Conservatism” (Washington Post, 05/30/14, A17), Michael Gerson is correct that conservatism (and liberalism) could stand updating. He is also correct that workers “require . . . a level of education and skills that antiquated governmental institutions seem incapable of providing for much of the population.”
It is not, however, government’s job to provide such individual goods, but to safeguard the common good. Despite Mr. Gerson’s claim that “ ‘do it for yourself’ does not seem response or realistic,” providing the environment within which people can “do it for yourself” (take care of their own needs through their own efforts) — the common good — is the job of government.
Half a century ago in a 1964 interview in Life magazine, lawyer-economist and ESOP-inventor Louis O. Kelso gave his solution to the problem of labor-displacing technology and job loss: “If the machine wants our job, let’s buy it.” By removing institutional barriers that inhibit or prevent “ordinary” people from becoming capital owners, the government would be doing its job to take care of the common good and reducing the need for the State to take care of people.
Of course, a brief letter — even the untruncated version — doesn’t even give a real glimpse of the Just Third Way. For that, you really need to visit the CESJ website, especially since its upgrade.