First, let’s start with a quote:
The fundamental principle of Christian economics is the creation. Secondarily, it is the providence of God in sustaining the creation. This is where economic theory should begin: original ownership and providence. But this is not where other economists begin. Far more often, they begin with the concept of scarcity and the division of labor. Scarcity is not the central principle of economic science. Neither is the division of labor. Adam Smith began with the division of labor, and this set back the cause of liberty for at least 180 years. He should have started with ownership. A socialist can claim to be in favor of the division of labor. A socialist is never in favor of private ownership.
There is no question that the story of the fall of man focuses on an act of theft. So, theft should be the focus of all discussions of economic law. The overwhelming bulk of economic laws in the Old Testament and the New Testament focus on restrictions against theft. The laws specify what constitutes theft. In other words, the heart of Christian economics, after the doctrines of creation and providence, and after the doctrine of the dominion covenant, is the integrity of private property. If this were not true, this would not have been the only prohibition in the garden of Eden. That prohibition should make it clear to all of us: theft is the archetype sin of mankind. It is the alpha and omega of sin. Joseph’s brothers stole his liberty by selling him to slave traders (Genesis 37). A subsequent Pharaoh enslaved the Israelites, stealing their liberty (Exodus 1). Jezebel stole Naboth’s vineyard to benefit her husband (I Kings 21). Judas was a thief (John 12:6).
The details of Christian economics can best be found in the details of the laws against theft. If we study the laws against theft, we prepare ourselves for understanding the operations of the market order. Understanding ownership and property rights is fundamental to a correct understanding of all economics, and Christian economists have a moral obligation to make this clear. If they don’t get this clear, who will?
I have a hypothesis.
I think that thieves, as they grow more committed to the doctrine of theft, become less able to accurately see reality.
Which means that naturally, thieves lose the ability to count accurately, they lose the ability to calculate the cost accurately, they lose the ability to determine the future with a reasonable level of accuracy.
God hates His enemies, and He finds ways to (often gradually, sometimes suddenly) take away His gifts and grace from those who hate Him.
One way to illustrate this is the inevitable Great Default, and the coming destruction of the Welfare State.
(The article Parabolic Debt: Politically Unstoppable is the latest in a long, grim series on the issue. Warnings that no politician cares to hear, until it is WAY too late… because if he did, the public – who loves the free money, and resent being told to cut back — would make sure to not re-elect him.)
Another example of the innumeracy of the politicians (and, implicitly, the innumeracy of the general electorate) is in the Financial Times article There is nothing cute about innumeracy (May 8, 2017)
Last week Diane Abbot showed on live radio that she did not understand place value and was an all-round dunce at maths.
When asked what it would cost to employ an extra 10,000 police officers, the UK shadow home secretary’s reply was “Well, um… about £300,000.” Then, when queries, she said: “Sorry. (nervous laugh) No. Sorry. (pause) They will cost…. they will… (pause) it will cost…. about, about £80 m.”
The interviewer did a swift sum in his head and pointed out that would mean £8,000 per copper. Thoroughly humiliated, Ms Abbot started to spew out random numbers with such desperation that by the end she was babbling about an additional quarter of a million police officers on the street.
This excruciating exchange was evidence of something troubling: it is perfectly possible to be a member of the British ruling class and be astonishingly rubbish at numbers.
Ms Abbot is in possession of one of the finest educations in the country to offer. She went to grammar school in north-west London and onto Cambridge university, where she was taught by Simon Schama, the historian. Yet to divide £80m by 10,000 was quite beyond her.
The old British Ruling Class, the Noble Aristocracy, was often badly skilled here too, but at least they did not pretend to rule by merit and intelligence… unlike our current Masters.
And no, I am confident that it is no different in the U.S. or the rest of the Western World. Especially when it comes to socialist economics: a.k.a., the economics of theft, “theft by majority vote.”
“Foolish leaders, for a foolish people.”
Evil blinds a man… and a nation.