A month ago, Manchester lost an extraordinary resident. Through no fault of its own, The Bennington Banner did not publish his obituary; I don't think anyone thought to submit it. The reason I am writing this is to acknowledge this man who was an important figure in our family's life as well as hundreds of others.
You see, Floyd Eastman was born in Dorset, Vermont in 1908 and lived to the incredible age of 107 years! People who were in Manchester a long time ago will remember Eastman's Market, right downtown in Manchester Center, where you could buy the finest cuts of meat, sharp cheddar cheese off a huge wheel on the counter, and local maple syrup. But you also got a friendly welcome, a chat, and usually a story or two as your order was prepared.
In addition to having the market, Floyd and his wife Addie were our landlords in an apartment upstairs over them when, after Dad came home from service in World War II, we needed a place for our young family to live. Addie and Floyd became like grandparents to us, treating us with love and kindness for quite a few years until we outgrew the apartment.
I just think that it's noteworthy when a hard working native Vermonter lives to such an amazing age, and wanted to share it, hoping some of you may remember.
Stop cherishing the causes
A widely acknowledged economic "problem" of this political year is the increasing gap in wealth between the so-called 1 percent and the rest of us. Economic inequality was recently explored in the Jan/Feb 2016 issue of Foreign Affairs. In one of the essays the author quoted the so-called Bossuet paradox – "God laughs at men who complain of the consequences while cherishing the causes". It struck me that this was a precise description of the situation in our economy today.
We complain of economic "consequences" such as "inequality", but "cherish" the present form of the market economy that "causes" such inequalities. The common suggestion in the above referenced articles and in what passes for political discussion these days, is that these "consequences" can be avoided by proper government regulation. Nowhere is it suggested that the basic structure of the economy itself is the "cause", and that fundamental change rather than piecemeal regulation is required.
Fundamental to the operation of an economy is the nature of the units of production created to deliver goods and services, and how the money supply is to be made available to fully utilize the productive energies of our citizenry.
Two scientifically legitimate "why" questions that challenge what we cherish, but for this reason cannot be asked without derisive responses, are:
1. Why does our economy still overwhelmingly support "largeness" in the units of production that deliver goods and services to the population, when modern technology now makes that unnecessary?
2. Why is money creation still left in the hands of the private banking sector when modern technology now makes that unnecessary?
I have explored these two questions in my newly published book, Escaping an Evolutionary Dead-End. Should The Bennington Banner be willing that these "not to be asked questions", be publicly posed, those willing to accept them as being scientifically legitimate can satisfy their curiosity by visiting authorwfc.com.