Thursday, February 26, 2009

True Things versus Truth -- the Whole Truth

Most people do not make the proper distinction between TRUE THINGS and THE TRUTH. When you appear in court, for example, you do not swear to tell the court "true things." You swear to tell the court "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth."

Here's the distinction by way of example: If I have a flat tire on my way to work and I am late, I might tell my boss, "Sorry, I'm late, but I had a flat tire on my way." That would be a "true thing." What I might NOT have told my boss is, I shut off my alarm and went back to sleep. When I woke up, I only had ten minutes to get to work. So, even if I hadn't had a flat tire on the way to work, I would have been late anyway! That would have been "the truth, the whole truth."

How does this apply to our discussion?

Many people know a true thing: That a free market economy is harsh. They know that without governmental interference that businesses -- even large businesses like the automakers -- will likely fail. That such failure will lead to large scale unemployment. That such unemployment will cause hardships on many families.

Knowing this "true thing," they assume it to be "the truth" -- that it encompasses all the facts and all time.

What they do NOT take into account is that business failure is GOOD and ESSENTIAL for a free market economy. They do NOT consider that economies generally recover rapidly from such failures and soon the workers and the capital are put back to work in "profitable" rather than "unprofitable" businesses. This, in the long run, will provide increasing capital to the system and increasing opportunity for everyone. This is "the truth, the whole truth."

There is, of course, much more to this, but I think you get the general concept.

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