Econogods, Politigods, Amerigods, Oh My
by Christopher Hawk
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In a previous post, I shared some things that I felt that God had shared with me regarding politics, especially as the subject relates to economics. I also shared that I hadn't received a full picture of it all, that I expected some holes to be filled in at some future point. I believe that some holes have been filled in recently. There is a story that has been floating around the internet for a few years now. The text of the story is below. It is widely considered to be a joke intended to express the fallacy of socialism through analogy. It makes its point, that is certain. But there is a bigger point to be made from a Christian perspective.
An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had recently failed an entire class. That class had insisted that Obama's socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.
The professor then said, "OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama's plan". All grades will be averaged and everyone will receive the same grade so no one will fail and no one will receive an A.... (substituting grades for dollars - something closer to home and more readily understood by all).
After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.
The second test average was a D! No one was happy.
When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.
As the tests proceeded, the scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.
To their great surprise, ALL FAILED and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed. It could not be any simpler than that. (Please pass this on)
Remember, there IS a test coming up. The 2012 elections.
These are possibly the 5 best sentences you'll ever read and all applicable to this experiment:
1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.
2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.
3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.
4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it!
5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.
In response to this story, if everyone would just give up just because they weren't remunerated enough for what they do or the world wouldn't reward them enough for what they do (which is the gist of this story), then we have bigger problems to worry about in America than capitalism and socialism. If this is the attitude of Americans, either of those economic systems will destroy America. From an atheistic libertarian point of view, the above analogy is a wonderful example of how to try to keep America from slipping into deeper depths. But, as Christians, we should know that socialism is not the problem or the solution; we should know that capitalism is not the problem or the solution. Politics and economics merely attempt to practice damage control. They know nothing of roots. They only know of symptoms. Therefore, politics and economics can only apply bandages.
What we need in America is an uprooting, not a bandage. We need the gospel. Even the Church needs the gospel. To a huge degree, we've forgotten it. We need to understand what it means to be a servant, and we need to know what it means to carry our cross just as Jesus carried his. How can we confront the roots of the lost if we don't confront our own roots? In our notions that economics and politics can appease God, we've rejected the uprooting of our own strongholds. This whole radically different blog is definitely about challenging the religious strongholds that have become crippling strongholds in the Church in America. It is about purification of the Church. It is about forsaking our idolatry. But, in the end, it's about returning to the gospel in full--not just partially, but fully. It all goes back to the gospel.
It all goes back to the gospel. It all goes back to Jesus. It all goes back to his Godhood, his manhood, his life, his sacrificial death on the cross, and his resurrection. That's what it's about. That's where freedom and redemption are to be found. That's where the uprooting occurs. It doesn't occur through economics or politics or free markets or holy laws. Such are mere damage control. We're called to a higher standard than damage control.
We need to reject the idols that force us to compromise and water down the gospel. We need to get back into the uprooting and building that only our King, Lord, and Savior Jesus Christ can provide. We are the facilitators--not through applying bandages, but by being the facilitators for uprooting and building.
I think I will check when the next local Tea Party rally is being held. I think I may just pack my bible and go evangelize the Tea Partiers.
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