Friday , July 19 2019
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Is Marianne Williamson Crazy?

Summary:
Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure. (Marianne Williamson) Knowledge is power. (Sir Francis Bacon) These are the two quotes that I put at the top of my syllabus when I taught the Masters’ Macro course at San Jose State University in the spring of 2009. I find both inspiring and I wanted to inspire the students to go beyond whatever thoughts of inadequacy they might have. It might have worked for some of them; I’m not sure. I would not use the Williamson quote again because in retrospect I fear that it caused people in the bottom third of the class to think that they could be powerful without working. But I still find it inspiring. Here’s a segment from a recent National Review article, by Jim Geraghty, on

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Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure. (Marianne Williamson)

Knowledge is power. (Sir Francis Bacon)

These are the two quotes that I put at the top of my syllabus when I taught the Masters’ Macro course at San Jose State University in the spring of 2009. I find both inspiring and I wanted to inspire the students to go beyond whatever thoughts of inadequacy they might have. It might have worked for some of them; I’m not sure. I would not use the Williamson quote again because in retrospect I fear that it caused people in the bottom third of the class to think that they could be powerful without working. But I still find it inspiring.

Here’s a segment from a recent National Review article, by Jim Geraghty, on Williamson:

Williamson frequently weighed in on political matters with unpredictable and unexpected views. A 1993 profile by Knight Ridder News Service declared, “If it were up to Williamson, President Clinton would have summoned a group of new-age leaders, say, even Williamson, to talk to David Koresh in spiritual terms, to encourage a peaceful solution” to the Waco standoff.

A peaceful solution to the Waco standoff is better than burning men, women, and children? Wow, she must be a nut.

I’ve noticed a lot of Republicans making fun of Marianne Williamson’s performance in the second Democratic debate last week. Was she really that nutty? I mean compared to the others? I didn’t see it. Now advocating that private health insurance be prohibited, which Kamala Harris did: now that’s nutty.

Postscript:

I notice that Tyler Cowen over at Bloomberg has highlighted Williamson too, along with Kamala Harris. Tyler writes, “I do not doubt that the values expressed are sincere and represent the actual priorities of the candidates.” Really? If he doesn’t doubt Kamala Harris’s sincerity about her expressed values, he has not been paying attention. See here and here.

Tyler also writes:

Another out-of-tune message was when Tulsi Gabbard attempted to direct attention to war, nuclear weapons and foreign policy. Those issues also have gone nowhere, except as a possible means of attacking Trump.

I’m not sure she’s out of tune. We’ll see. One refreshing aspect of Rep. Gabbard, though, is how she criticizes Trump when she disagrees with him but reaches out to him when she thinks he might be persuaded to be on her side on issues of war and peace. That shows that she’s more serious about war and peace than all of the front runners.

David Henderson
David Henderson is a British economist. He was the Head of the Economics and Statistics Department at the OECD in 1984–1992. Before that he worked as an academic economist in Britain, first at Oxford (Fellow of Lincoln College) and later at University College London (Professor of Economics, 1975–1983); as a British civil servant (first as an Economic Advisor in HM Treasury, and later as Chief Economist in the Ministry of Aviation); and as a staff member of the World Bank (1969–1975). In 1985 he gave the BBC Reith Lectures, which were published in the book Innocence and Design: The Influence of Economic Ideas on Policy (Blackwell, 1986).

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