by Reid Ashbaucher
The economic woes of the world are not too hard to understand when broken down to the concepts of individual success. Sounds like an oxymoron—consider the following. As individuals, our success or failure comes with a wise or unwise decision-making process. We all know if you spend more money than you take in, you will eventually go bankrupted. We also know that if you put unqualified and unwise people in charge of anything, you will eventually end up with a decline in your organization. Proverbs 13:20 states: “He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.” (NASB) Individuals succeed based on their skill, knowledge, wise choices and God’s sovereignty. This also works on a company level as well. However, when we apply this to government, we run into problems. Why? Because there is an additional element to consider within the dynamics of government and that is how decisions are decided and why. Democracy governments normally base their policies on politics and self-preservation. Within this dynamic, there are as many bosses as there are voters. Therefore, government runs as a collective operating to please that collective. The result is, if there is no unity or consensus of the majority of that collective, then failure results. Let us apply this concept to the European Union.
The EU got together and decided it was a good idea to pool all their money together and make one currency. The problem with that is everyone in the EU has a different view of how their society should work. Greece wants retirement age to be 58 and thinks everyone should pay for that. Other countries only want to work a 35-hour workweek and no more. If I want to get ahead so one can live a little more comfortably in retirement, well, that may be a no—no. In the end, it seems that everyone wants someone else to pay for his or her lifestyle with no individual effort or responsibility. Thus, this brings us back to our opening statement. If the world operated as individuals, with individual freedoms to do so, the world would not be in the financial condition it finds itself in today. A partial solution: the collective needs to be a little less selfish and government needs to allow the freedom for the collective to act as individuals while being held responsible for their actions, at the same time the individuals should hold their governments equally responsible for its actions.
If there were a moral lesson to this commentary, it would be this: SELFISHNESS on all sides is the destructive force behind the world’s economic woes. The Holy Scriptures states it best: “Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to his edification. For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, ‘The reproaches of those who reproached Thee fell upon Me.’” (Romans 15:1-3; NASB)