This political season, some fear donkeys, some elephants, and others rhinos; but it’s pigs we must keep our eyes on. Animal Farm warned us that Pigs are those political leaders that think “all are equal, but some are MORE equal than others.” Yes, pigs make rules for others that don’t apply to themselves. Although pigs can be found wearing red or blue shirts these days, some animals are more piggish than others. You can always spot political porkers by their love of overeating from other people’s troughs, and their preference for coercion over conversion.
Milton Friedman rightly called Socialism a force–forcing someone to do something, believe something, or give something they wouldn’t freely choose. The irony is that those who are most offended by the idea of “converting others” through ideas, religion, or reason, are often the most in favor of mandating behavior modification. Both political and religious coercion stand in opposition to the Bible’s call to an inside-out transformation of an individual and a society.
God lays out principles -Godonomics- which outline liberty, prosperity, and generosity throughout the Bible. 2 Cor 9:7 “So let each one (individualism not collectivism) give (not force) as he purposes in his heart (not as someone forced him to), not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” Should we all be more generous? Without a doubt! Is it shameful that we buy a$4 a cup morning coffee, without even considering that half the world lives on less than $2 a day? Yes. So, what should we do about it– convert hearts or coerce pocketbooks?
Consider some philosophy: If God owned everything (and He does) and God could accurately discern who is needy (which He can) and God had the power to take from one group and give to others (which He could), then why doesn’t He? The one Person who could ethically, morally, and accurately coerce others, chooses not to. How presumptuous is it to adopt a method that God (the only One qualified for the job) won’t use?
Karl Marx’s philosophy was built on the need for coercive external liberty-killing force while the Bible motivates others through conversion internal liberty-releasing grace. This grace motivates individuals toward generosity and compassion. The end game of Marx is a large government that steals your liberty, prosperity, and generosity.
The Bible teaches that Christians should be people under authority and should pay our taxes: “We should render to Caesar what is Caesar’s.” It may not be popular, but it is in The Good Book. But to misquote Porky Pig, “That’s NOT all folks.” He also warned us about a big coercive government.
In 1 Samuel 8, God’s people want to set up a government like other nations. They want a king with lots of power and influence. They want a big government. God, through Samuel, warns them about the “behavior of a king.” And over and over and over Samuel says, “He will take.” He will take a percentage of your income, a percentage of your land, and a percentage of your harvest. What was “Yours” will become “His.” And despite example after example of the loss of liberty, personal prosperity, and property, the people say, “We will have a King over us.” And the King does exactly what God said he would do. He taxes, he takes, and the whole nation declines because of it. The people choose to exchange liberty for perceived security. But government always takes more than it gives. It’s the nature of mankind’s sinful heart.
God won’t stop us, but He will lovingly warn us that government is like that man-eating plant from the Little Shop of Horrors. It is never satisfied. “Feed me Seymour.” It just grows and grows until everyone is eaten.
Naively assuming that government’s motives are more altruistic than industry is to fall prey to the con job in Ocean’s Eleven. George Clooney’s men robbed Andy Garcia’s Casino by showing up in police uniforms, when they were called in to stop the heist. The very people who robbed the bank were called in to stop the robbers. When the regulators of the future economy were the robbers, overspenders, and inflators of the previous economics mess, it looks like Porky Pig has more job security than ever.
The mafia’s “protection,” the Godfather’s horse head, and the socialist’s “nudging” are triplets that share the same father: coercion
For a free, first session of Godonomics, visit: http://www.godonomics.com/watch-session-1