Mary O'Keeffe taught my section of Ec 10 (Harvard’s full-year introduction to economics) back in the 1977-1978 school year. (Ec 10 is taught almost entirely in section, with the big lectures only icing on the cake, so she was my main instructor.) She gave me permission to reprint these thoughts that she posted on her Facebook page:
I don’t agree with everything the brilliantly eclectic Miles Kimball writes, but this piece [“Scott Adams’s Finest Hour: How to Tax the Rich”] resonates very deeply with my soul. (For those who don’t remember my earlier reference, Miles was a student in the very first intro econ class I taught at Harvard as graduate teaching fellow in the late 70s.)
He is far more nuanced and thoughtful than I would have guessed from those days–but I suppose that I too have grown more nuanced and thoughtful. I think both of us realize that there is good and bad in everything and everyone, and try to find ways to elicit the good in ourselves and others.
(Miles, who was raised a Mormon and is now a UU [Unitarian-Universalist] with a deep reverence for the good parts of his upbringing, thinks there are both good and [bad] things about his cousin Mitt Romney as well as good and bad things about President Obama. I think the same is true of everyone–some good things and some bad things–we are all flawed human beings operating in a highly imperfect world, and though I think I come down far more clearly on the side of President Obama than on the side of Mitt Romney, I think there is value in trying to understand everyone’s ideas and point of view and trying to find the best of what is within each of us.)
In short, I like this essay [“Scott Adams’s Finest Hour: How to Tax the Rich”] very much.
I am especially pleased that Mary likes my post “Scott Adams’s Finest Hour: How to Tax the Rich” yesterday since that matches my own judgment about the importance of that post compared to most of my other posts. I tweeted that it was “My most important post in a long time”–though since my blog has been in existence less than three months, “most important post in a long time” here means “best of the 62 posts after both ’You Didn’t Build That: America Edition‘ on July 24th and ’Teleotheism and the Purpose of Life' on July 25th.”
Mary wrote this addendum to her review:
Your post [“Scott Adams’s Finest Hour: How to Tax the Rich”]–by the way–reminded me of the sense of pride I feel in being part of a community of taxpayers that collectively finance public goods that exhilarate me and that I can share with the community at large.
The sudden joy of the realization one day that everyone in our community could have access to the breathtaking views from Thatcher State Park overlooking the Capital District and the bike-hike path running along the Mohawk River and the stunningly gorgeous roses in Schenectady’s Central Park Rose Garden and our great public libraries and nonprofit volunteer theater groups’ free performances in the public parks and the community spirit of all the varied denominations of churches that work together in service projects filled me with such exhilaration that I wrote this post on my own blog: