1. I finished Bringing the Hidden to Light, reading S. Tamar Kamionkowski’s “‘In your blood, live’ (Ezekiel 16:6): A Reconsideration of Meir Malul’s Adoption Formula.” In Ezekiel 16, God comes to baby Jerusalem, which is polluted by blood, and tells her “In your blood, live.” Some scholars tie this statement to adoption. The author of this article, however, sees a apotropaic function in this statement—“apotropaic” meaning a ritual that protects the child from evil. V 4 says that the child’s umbilical cord was not cut, nor was she salted, and the umbilical cord and salt perform apotropaic functions in many communities. Moreover, the severing of the umbilical cord seals a baby’s membership in the community.
2. In my reading today of Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson, Hazlitt argues that the government shouldn’t be making loans to people because they may not pay them back. That’s my understanding of what he’s saying. Hazlitt prefers private loans because private institutions give loans to people who are reliable or who have good credit; otherwise, the private institutions can go under. But the government gives loans to people who don’t have good credit.
The government may be easier than private institutions when it comes to giving loans to people, but does it give them to anybody and everybody? The Sean Penn character in The Assassination of Richard Nixon didn’t get his small business loan!
Hazlitt says that the good, reliable farmers suffer when the government gives loans to the bad farmers. Interest rates go up, and so do farm prices. Hazlitt doesn’t explain how, but it probably has to do with enough bad farmers defaulting. Moreover, there’s only enough stuff to go around. If the government is loaning a bad farmer money to buy land, then that’s less land for the good farmer.
Hazlitt makes good points. But what are his options for people who’ve made mistakes in life and now have bad credit? “You made your bed, now sleep in it?” Or does he believe there’s some way for them to make lives for themselves?