Call it what you may, logic or common sense, I admire those who rely on it in making life's important decisions. I also wonder why so many of us don't - at home, at work, in education, in politics.
It may be only human to act irrationally or emotionally, but there's a price to pay. The price often is economic, as the recent book What's the Matter With Kansas? points out.
The author makes the case that many blue-collar Midwestern voters have put emotionalism over their economic interests. They elect people who are passionate about abortion or evolution but often act contrary to these constituents' economic interests.
So I have been scratching my head over a few things lately that just don't make a whole lot of sense to me.
No Child Left Behind. It's main purpose, it seems to me, is to test everything that isn't nailed down in our schools and punish school officials for not showing constant yearly improvement in test scores.
Call it the Wall Street approach. It rewards short-term thinking, and often with the same tragic results:
On Wall Street, they puff up company profits to try to please analysts, and one day we end up with an Enron. In schools, they puff up test scores to please the education bean-counters, and we end up with a Camden. The focus is not on teaching, but testing.
Actually, Wall Street is morally superior in one respect: The victims of its nutty expectations are not children.
Consider also the proliferation of gambling parlors and palaces around our region. Pretty soon there will be so many of them that people can just sit on their stoops and throw coins into a slot machine. At least driving to Atlantic City gives us time to think twice.
But is there a more regressive or more sneaky way for government to make us part with our money?
The vast majority of us who will drop our cash in these places can ill-afford to. Yet we go out election after election and insist that we are fed up with paying for the work of government in the form of taxes.
Doesn't make sense.
And finally there is this crusade against illegal immigrants - in some of our sleepiest little towns.
Which is worse: Having people with funny accents and possibly suspect papers double-park on Main Street, or having Main Street empty of shoppers?
Wouldn't it make more sense to find ways to make these people legal residents - most of them are here just to work - and then ticket them for double-parking or playing loud music or cramming themselves 12 to an apartment?
At least then they would stick around to pay the fines.
Contact South Jersey Commentary Editor Porus P. Cooper at 856-779-3906 or firstname.lastname@example.org.