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The Bust Is Good

10/26/2008 Comment

Jeffery Tucker asks at Inside Catholic: What’s Wrong With Failure? It’s a subject Catholics are more likely to understand than most. After all, we’re the ones with the big statues of our failed leader front and center in our churches.

Writes Tucker: “As angry as many people were about the bailout of Wall Street, something else makes people just about as angry: falling stock prices. It is probably for this reason that Washington decided to take the risk and push one of the more outrageously extravagant spending programs in the history of the world.”

He continues, “What’s really at issue is a deeper problem that is culture-wide: the intolerance toward failure. We can’t face it.”

He sees it in the financial world, and he sees it on kids’ playing fields.

“No matter what the kid does, there is always someone around to say, ‘Good job.’ Those two words are said tens of thousands of times during the sports season. Everything is a good job, and there are no bad jobs, no mistakes, and certainly no failures. Improvement is part of the structure of the universe, so of course there is no such thing as failure. If you do and do and do, you can’t but improve.”

What happens when you take that mindset to the bank? You get the last three weeks.

“The freedom to fail has been replaced by the implacable human right to succeed in all walks of life,” writes Tucker.

“Here is the bitter reality,” he concludes. “The bust is good. It is needed. It will right our economic structures. It could also help repair the damage that inflationary credit has done to our outlook on life. Maybe in the future, instead of expecting someone to yell ‘good job’ at everything we do, we will learn to see merit to recognizing that we are not so hot at everything in life.

— Tom Hoopes

Filed under inside catholic, wall street, weekend commentary

About Guest Blogger/Tom Hoopes

Tom  Hoopes
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Tom Hoopes is Vice President of College Relations and writer in residence at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. He has written for the Register for more than 20 years and was its executive editor for 10. His writing has appeared in First Things’ First Thoughts, National Review Online, Crisis, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside Catholic and Columbia. He has served as press secretary for the Chairman of the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee. He and his wife, April, were editorial co-directors of Faith & Family magazine for 5 years. They have nine children.