Skip to main content

The Price of Societal Dishonesty

We have all heard the label “Political Correctness,” or its abbreviated form “PC.” It is a term used to describe the state of a society that inhibits the use of certain language or certain behaviors that it deems to be “incorrect,” or perhaps better said – offensive. The concept of political correctness has been with us for some time now, maybe tracing its roots back to the 60’s when the fight against discrimination took off in America, but it has clearly picked up steam big time in the past decade or so. In fact, we now see PC warriors – those who are militant – fighting to repress any group who might express views that they deem to be distasteful.  The incredible irony is that a movement that sought to enhance freedoms of those who were thought to be downtrodden or discriminated against by society, is now itself committed to extinguishing the freedom of others.


I dislike like the term “Political Correctness,” and feel that, like all Orwellian terms, it understates the toxicity of the philosophy. I prefer the term “Societal Dishonesty,” which I believe captures the essence much better. Of course, I’m not so na├»ve to know that discrimination exists and it is indeed ugly. I’ve been on the wrong end of it many times. But, I also believe that it cannot and must not be suppressed by edict but rather by shining the light of day on the ignorance that always underscores it.

Further, I am certain that we all pay a tremendous price because of this newfound intolerance, and this price has a few components to it. These include:

1.The erosion of freedom – If it is ok for government to dictate what we cannot say, then where will that end?

2.The perpetuation of a victim mentality among too large and growing segment of our population – When groups organize around collective victimhood the outcomes can never be good, as they will always seek retribution rather than invest their energies more productively;

3.The perpetuation of bad ideas that results from an absence of debate – There was a time when those who would dare to suggest that the earth was not flat would be put to death. Discouraging debate stifles evolution and retards a society. There are too many topics that are taboo today, and our unwillingness to deal with them candidly and debate them openly is and will continue to cost us dearly.

Popular posts from this blog

"No, Not You. You Are Fake News."

"No, not you. You are fake news."  These were the words chosen by our president-elect to shut down a CNN reporter seeking to question him at his recent press conference. Many hearing those words surely recoiled, interpreting them as an affront to freedom and a form of censuring. I reacted quite differently, instead celebrating the moment that a strong leader decided to hold people accountable in a public manner for their actions.

Why Rates Must Remain Low

There is an old bond trader joke that I first heard in the 1980’s when I traded mortgage-backed securities at Drexel Burnham Lambert.  It went like this:  “Upon dying, Albert Einstein finds himself in what he is told is heaven.  He encounters another individual there and asks him what his IQ is.  When he is told that it is 175 he is overjoyed, knowing that he’s found an intellectual peer with whom he can share much.  Upon meeting another, he discovers that person’s IQ is 140 and is pleased to have met another highly intelligent person with whom he can enjoy chess and other pursuits.  He is feeling pretty good about heaven, when he comes across a person who tells him that his IQ is a mere 90, and he is flummoxed.  What, he wonders, is this guy doing in my heaven and what can I even say to this person?  Then it comes to him.  ‘Where,’ he asks, ‘do you think interest rates are heading?’”

Greed & Laziness

In this most contentious and fascinating of election cycles, when nearly each conversation leads to politics, and when polarization runs so high, I ask myself - what is the essence of the debate between left and right?  What does it really mean to be a Conservative or a Liberal?