Wednesday, August 27, 2008


"The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof". I conclude by noting that our success, like Newton's, is dependent upon the recognition that God is a govenor who cares for those over whom He has governance. When we look to another govenor, we are always looking to the use of force. The use of force in the pursuit of wealth is like the use of dirt to oil a machine, the difference being that we almost always recognize that dirt is not particulary good for the machine, whereas the use of force almost always seems to work wonders.

I remember a pamphlet in a library of a collector. He specialized in collecting journals, family and personal histories, and local and community histories. I became intrigued by the writing of a man whose name I have forgotten. He wrote his life's story, obviously, only for his family. It was crudely printed, unedited, and bound in cheap heavy paper. But the story it told was intriguing. The man related one miracle after another that had occured to him in his life. On numerous occasions he had exercised faith to heal others and to be healed. On other occasions his financial situation had been desparate but he had exercised faith and received inspiration to remedy the problem. As the depression deepened he called repeatedly on God to help him escape poverty and privation, and was successful in truly miraculous ways. But the last "miracle" he recounts is the fact that although there was some question of his being eligible, the government bureaucrat who had the final say, granted him his request to begin receiving Social Security benefits. That was the last miracle the man recorded in his life story. I suspect that he felt that having the power of the law now to support and sustain him, and now that he could afford conventional medical care, he had no further need of God's assistance. He had turned his life over to another govenor.

Lavarr Webb co-authors a weekly column for the Deseret News. Earlier, Mr. Webb was its managing editor. Upon leaving that post, he wrote an article detailing the absolute horror and agony of that free market position. He quit it to become, what he is now--a lobbyist. His column is an ongoing debate. He defends the Republican party position. His co-author, Frank Piganelli defends the Democratic party position. In his column, Mr. Webb is always criticizing the "far right wing" Republicans--those who attempt to get government out of all activities that are legitimately part of the free market (education, health care, job training, etc). One suspects from his parting article that Mr. Webb himself would do almost anything to avoid having to return to a total free market livelihood. Mr. Webb claims faith, but like the man of the pamphlet mentioned above, his first and most reliable assurance is on the force of law. His co-author, Mr. Piganelli, is like most liberals, an avowed skeptic, with little use for anything but the force of law. One hopes, of course, that in the course of his life, he may have had a brush with the free market--possibly a paper route, or a stint a grocery bag boy, or a janitor position in college, but I doubt that if you were to look at his resume you would find any indication of any first hand experience in the free market. The number in our society like Mr. Piganelli is growing. There are now more lawyers in my county than any other profession that we could associate, even remotely with the free market. Hence, our fear and dislike of the necessity of earning a living "economically" grows yearly, as does, of course, the burden of government and other unproductive and marginally productive activities in our society.

And the reason is not hard to find. Even those who profess faith in God in other aspects of their lives, have almost no faith in God as a govenor, particulary, as God as a govenor who makes provision for our daily needs. I was always amazed, for example, when I was working with school teachers, most of whom professed some degree of faith, how many would become indignant, often angry or even belligerent, if you suggested some reform that would move the public schools more into the free market. Without a measure of force, they feel that life would be hard. I suspect that most of us feel that if we depend on the free market we will wind up like Daniel and his friends living on "pulse", whereas if we rely on the force of law we can sit with Belshazzar at the feast. To many of us would, like the children of Israel in the desert, rather have the left overs of Egyptian masters than a daily ration of manna--even if it means putting up not only with slavery, but the "diseases of the Egyptians". The result of all this is that many if not most of our people hope to live by force of law--an endeavor that is not very productive of wealth.

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