Fan though I am of the free market and economic development, it’s still important to remember we live in a fallen world. Here’s some good reminders of that from John Teevan on Acton PowerBlog. Take a look.
So Why is Sustained Prosperity a Peril? Nearly everyone on earth prefers a life free from poverty and from the need to focus on survival. Call it liberty or call it comfort, everyone prefers this life. Now nearly 2b people enjoy that level of living thanks to the growth of economic freedom. But there are problems.
- People think that nothing can go permanently wrong.
Money cures everything and there is plenty of it and always will be. Period.
- People think that all moral issues are irrelevant.
Ask Miley Cyrus…the latest casualty who is also a Disney role model: see #9.
- People think that they can afford anything and suddenly want everything.
So the richest people on earth fuel their lives with even more debt financed stuff.
- People are dissatisfied with life and find it boring. They are also ungrateful.
Mental illness, substance abuse, and suicide are ever increasing.
- People think that all who lived before their era were deficient or foolish.
In olden days people had to work hard, be moral, and watch out…what idiots!
- People think that it is not necessary to learn, work, or stick to it to have a comfortable life.
If I get a job I like, fine, otherwise I’ll just move back home with my folks. Big deal.
- Governments believe the economy can be taxed to pay for any government program.
If the rich just paid their fair share we’d all have comfortable incomes; spread it around.
- People forget what a life of discomfort was like and are ‘spoiled’.
OK, I broke the blender, but the jerks at Walmart wouldn’t take it back.
- People adopt a new value system that is narcissistic and worships the self.
How can I go to work today? It’s my birthday. All drama–all the time, for many.
- Governments believe that the welfare state is the only compassionate use of such prosperity.
Even a single dollar of reduction of social security will leave grandma out in the cold.
We must be very careful of prosperity. It has a way of deluding us into thinking that we can afford anything and that we can absorb any shock. For seven decades this has been true. But now we have changed our thinking and our planning and our savings as we ignore the possibility of real economic disaster: Beware.