Ah, but I love Christmas. I’ve already forgotten all the great gift ideas I had over the past year. Maybe because the bursting forth of Jesus, The Prince of Peace, is so much more important. My prayer is once again that those who celebrate this season will let that celebration carry over into a physical effort to promote His work.
I’ve had some feedback on my Thanksgiving column that goes like this, “I liked it, it was apolitical.” and, “Your last column was good. There was less politics.”
I’ve also had people say they know I like to talk politics. But I hate politics. I prefer economics.
Politics is the science of coercion, while economics is the science of mutual consent. Politics is violence but economics is the science of peace. Economics is a measurement of our relationships with each other, like money.
I’ve also heard, “He’s only in it for the money.” Unless there is force or fraud involved, please tell me what is wrong with that. He’s only in it for the money could be translated to mean, “He likes to please others,” because if they accept their end of an agreement that means it is good for them.
Viewing money as a bad thing is like killing the messenger for the news he brings. It is only a tool to keep our affairs in order. I suspect a dislike for money is really an expression of envy. When the service or product we offer isn’t accepted as enough to bring us what we want in exchange, sometimes we might blame greed or unfairness. The simple fact is that we don’t agree on the price.
Inefficient industries use politics to profit when their products are not accepted for a price at which they can afford to produce that product. Economics would dictate unprofitable industries should fail so the resources that would be wasted in those inefficient industries can be put to better use elsewhere.
Whenever politics comes into play, resources are wasted in futile effort. When those resources are used where voluntary agreements dictate instead, that is progress. Progress is guided by voluntary action and is measured by wealth.
I remember a tale told by a friend who traveled to Latvia years ago. He visited a farm in a fertile region, but people were not allowed to own property. The oats were stunted and yellow. He asked about the oats and the farmer said he seeded them when Moscow told him to, in the pouring rain. Also, it was a dairy farm with plenty of manure for fertilizer. But the farmer, who got paid whether he had a good crop or not (politics, not economics) had no incentive to haul manure, so he piled it outside the barn instead. When the pile crowded the barn he built a conveyer to build a pile further away.
Just imagine a society where this scenario is repeated in every sector; where politics directs economic activity. Speak to any businessman about the amount of energy his company uses to fulfill political requirements in place of profit earning activity. You will find two reasons why my efforts ringing the bell for the Salvation Army could fall short in providing help for the needy. One is the reduced amount of wealth available due to government-caused waste and the other is the assumption that our tax dollars will do the job for us.
There will always be a need for help to those in a tight spot. So after you’ve made a tally of your personal needs and the waste imposed by government intrusions, bring those spare pennies to the red kettle. We will greet you with a smile and a heartfelt thank you.
My comrades and I hope to see you while ringing the bell at Fareway this Christmas season.