You are here

Letters

People make rational choices every day

Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

Editor,

Mrs. Mele Lynch cannot engage in a …“logical…” discourse if she is also engaged in personal attacks.

Calling my rebuttal to her letter …“emotional impulse and prejudice………” is …“gratuitous logic,…” to embarrass or discredit one…’s opponent, but it contributes no logical value to the debate.

Can we keep the dialogue free of personal attacks, shall we?

She has no answer to my assertion that she puts higher priorities on protecting the environment than preserving Tongan traditions?

Instead, she sidestepped the question with a do-good wish list calling for …“Preserving tradition through intelligent and rational choices….”

Ask an economist and she…’ll be reminded that …“people make rational choices…” when they make economics decisions in a free-market society. They…’ve chosen whatever gives them the greatest …“utility…” from their scarce resources. Therefore, whatever they decide to spend their time and money on is a …“rational choice….” They’re not so stupid when it comes to economics choices.

She calls for them to choose according to her prescriptions.

And if it…’s up to her and Richard Wolfgram to decide Tonga…’s economic standards, they…’ll have a riot on their hands:

- They…’d get rid of all automobiles; people want automobiles.

- They…’d want to abolish old Tongan customs; people want to see old customs preserved.

- They…’d want …“criminals can do community work……;…” but …“chain-gang…” imprisonment is against the Law.

- They…’d want people to ride bicycles; people want to drive cars.

- They…’d want people to walk for physical exercise; people want to drive cars.

- They…’d want bike paths built instead of roads; people want roads built for their cars.

- They…’d want people to adopt Chinese, Korean, and Taiwanese work ethics; people want to continue using Tongan hard-work ethics.

- They…’d want Nuku…’alofa in marbles like Rome in the days of Emperor Augustus (31 B.C. …— 14 A.D.); people prefer a Nuku…’alofa just like it is in 2006 A.D.

Mrs. Lynch might want to read this most recent article on the economics of business and environmental conservation: It…’s Easy Being Green, Forbes; 10/2/2006, Vol. 178 Issue 6, p34-34, 1p, 1bw.

Companies including 3M, Ford Motors, and The Body Shop are examined in this article. Despite their good-will efforts to employ environmental good-sense methods, they could not turn a profit doing so.

People do make …“rational choices…” each day…. 

Sione Ake Mokofisi

sionemokofisi [at] mac [dot] com