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Enlightened Conservatism

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Perspective

While perspective has been explained, the importance of it in the analytical process is often missed. How you look at a problem, when it is complex and you have limited information, may often depend on how it is solved. For many years a statistic was found that married men made significantly higher incomes than unmarried men. The logic that was presented and defended was that men that had responsibilities and a stable environment, particularly with the challenges of raising a family, were more motivated and operated in an environment of stability that let them succeed better in the business environment. This seemed particularly logical, and research often could confirm many of those statistics because it could focus upon how questions might be asked. Recent studies take a very different view. They come from a different perspective believing that women marry responsible men. In other words, when a woman chooses a husband she chooses someone who is dependable, who is driven, and who would be a very good provider. So the very characteristics that a business would want in an employee were the same standards that a woman would want in a husband. Thus, the class as a whole was preselected to be successful when it entered business and the difference results from that concept. The issue is simply that both would be logical approaches to the analysis of a problem. But if you start with one set of ideas, it is often very easy to take all of the information and group it according to the way that you see the problem. You have to conduct more research to be sure you fully understand the issue as a whole.

Additionally cultural perspectives change economic and political systems. In America people focus on the equality of opportunity rather than equality of result because it is a fundamental of market economics. The strong focus on opportunity is why there has been limited class friction even though politics often pushes class warfare. Americans do not focus as much on envy of the wealthy when they have the opportunity to be like them and aspire to an education to enhance opportunity. If the economic opportunity is not present, the culture might well adopt much more of a class sensitivity. Understanding many of these relationships between economics, politics, and media/culture, which are often not obvious, is where you gain a true perspective of the whole. That has to start with one perspective of how to judge what you want to accomplish because everything is viewed from where one stands. To me, that perspective needs to be character, conscience over convenience, as exemplified by the acceptance of personal responsibility.

Tieman H. Dippel, Jr.
August 2002
 
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