Thursday, January 31, 2008

Shared sacrifices make us feel good about ourselves

To ensure a better future, people in ancient times made sacrifices to their various gods. The instinct that shared sacrifice makes things better must be part of the wiring of the human mind. The idea continues to have adherents. For example, in Denver yesterday, Bill Clinton said:
"We just have to slow down our economy and cut back our greenhouse gas emissions 'cause we have to save the planet for our grandchildren."
It is possible that such a statement could represent the result of a thoughtful policy analysis. However, that does not appear to be the case here, though, because in the same speech, Clinton made an apparently contradictory suggestion that a good energy plan would increase jobs and wages.

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