America’s Three Economies

This was an article that I submitted to the Editorial section of the Wall Street Journal on my dad’s urging.  It was not picked up, but that’s ok.  I first wrote a blurb on Dad’s Facebook page.  He called me and told me to put a little polish on it and he would give me instructions on how to submit it.  The link below is also the article that is referenced in the writing.


To the editor: 

Daniel Henninger posits (Wonderland, July 26) that this year’s election is a choice between two economies – a clash to determine whether the public sector serves the private sector, or vice versa.  The idea that this election is an absolute choice between the two forgets the third and perhaps most vital role of a third economy – the economy of morality.  In his book Rediscovering Values, Jim Wallis contends our country was built on these three economies and they should not necessarily be viewed as competing, but rather must be balanced.  By design and in light of human nature, the animal spirits of capitalism and the thirst for power, we have called upon the third economy to serve as a check and balance to the others, similar to how our three branches of government are supposed to operate. 

Public and private economies are obvious and will be discussed at length by those who are presenting this election as an absolute choice between the two.  By their very nature, public and private sectors are amoral by nature.  The third is the moral compass of our country and is wielded mostly by religious institutions.  Building a road or running a business is neither good nor bad on its merits.  Can the public or private sector be used for good?  Absolutely!  If we concede that fact though then we have also concede that public and private economies can be used for bad as well.  Therefore, it is the duty of the third economy to steer the other two economies towards good and away from bad. 

The narrative presented is that the parties representing the interests of the public (Democrats) and private (Republicans) sectors are about to enter into a Thunderdome-esque fight for America’s soul is a false choice.  When the public sector wields too much power it is socialism.  Too much in the private sector is feudalism.  Too much power on the morality side is a theocracy.  None of these scenarios are appealing, none of them have a history of sustainable success, and none of them are an efficient use of our country’s resources.  It is in the balance of the three and demonization of none where we will return to the potential that is the United States of America. 

Phillip Larsen


About larsenphillip

I'm an imperfect disciple of Jesus Christ. I am learning that my walk with Jesus gets deeper when I drop the presumptions that I have and simply follow him. I get frustrated when people put God in a box, and presume to know how He will reach individuals, work in peoples lives, and advance His kingdom. If Tony Campolo or Jim Wallis were to call me and ask me to work for them for free...I probably would. I think one day I'll write a book, and I am a nut for STL Cardinal baseball.
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