Free Enterprize/Democracy?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by drfuss, Nov 17, 2006.

  1. drfuss

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    While studying the Old Testament prophets, I keep observing that the complaints against Israel are similiar to our own situation in the U.S.

    Our free enterprize economic and government systems are based on everyone for himself.

    In the stock market, we try to buy low and sell high (of course at the expense of others who end up buying high and selling low).

    In our legal system, the people with the money get the good lawyers and the poor are poorly represented and justice is not fairly administered.

    Our CEO's get filthy rich while many workers live near poverty.

    One measure of success of a political party is how much money can be raised. Contributions gain access and influence.

    The main complaints of most of the Old Testament prophets was that the poor and fatherless were not treated fairly and the legal system was corrupt.

    Since our systems are based on everyone for himself, are our systems morally wrong?
     
  2. Rufus_1611

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    Your observations are very astute and I would say yes, our systems are morally wrong.
     
  3. drfuss

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    Any ideas on what systems would be morally better?
     
  4. Timsings

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    It is the nature of systems to be morally corrupt. The worst ones claim they aren't.


    Tim Reynolds
     
  5. LeBuick

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    A system where greed was not the foundation.
     
  6. KenH

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  7. blackbird

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    Theocracy! A government of God, for God, by God!!!
     
  8. drfuss

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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by drfuss
    Any ideas on what systems would be morally better?

    LeBuick writes:
    "A system where greed was not the foundation."

    Sounds good, but isn't that what communism was supposed to be? Too bad sinful man had to be involved.


    Kblackbird writes:
    "Theocracy! A government of God, for God, by God!!!"

    That is what the Hebrews had after Joshua. It worked for a generation or two. Then the sinful nature of man entered the picture.

    KenH provided:
    www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=34361

    Interesting article, but wouldn't this liberty promote man to be more greedy and unfair to the poor.

    Timsings writes:
    "It is the nature of systems to be morally corrupt. The worst ones claim they aren't."

    I agree, all systems become morally currupt because sinful man is involved in running them.

    In most systems, man is supposed to try to better his own situation which usually has to be at the expense of others. Is this wrong?

    Our system is based on trying to better ourselves. Is this the Christian thing to do? Remember Paul told the slaves to accept their station in life and not to try to be free.
     
  9. KenH

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    Our nation was founded upon the principle that the government which governns best governs least. I agree with that principle.
     
  10. blackbird

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    As far as fallen man governing themselves --- yes --- government which governs best governs least

    I mentioned theocracy --- Infallable, inerrant God governing redeemed and resurrected man ---- theocracy is the government of God's Heaven!!!
     
  11. LeBuick

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    I'm just foolish enough to believe there can be free enterprise without greed. Thay one can get his "just dues" without gouging his fellowman.

    You're right, too bad that hinges on sinful man. :BangHead: :BangHead:
     
  12. StraightAndNarrow

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    Just curious. Do you get that from the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution?
     
  13. webdog

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    I second Theocracy. Now if we could only apply it in our churches first...
     
  14. Jonathan

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    No. The basis is the desire of each individual to maximize value and to provide the potential for a reward for risk.

    No. In the stock market, we look to buy shares in companies that will do well and grow in value (i.e. maximizing value). As these companies do, we share in this growth in value. As we do this, we do not do it at the expense of those whose shares have not grown in value. You are under the impression that the economy is a zero sum game where one may only prosper if another suffers. If this were true, the total value of the stock market would have remained constant since its founding.

    Even a perfect system would still have fallen folks involved. In the case of the legal system, the best lawyers are those who have honed their skills to such a level that their services will bring a higher compensation in the marketplace. This does not bring about injustice. Injustice comes as a result of bad law or of good laws being improperly applied.

    Again, this is not a zero sum game. In most case, you could distribute the CEO's entire salary among the workers of a company and the individual impact would be sparse. The real problem is the board of directors system that rewards CEOs in spite of poor company performance. As an investor, I see that this system frequently hurts company value.

    I agree that this was a consistent prophetic theme. However, the description are always of sinful and illegal acts rather than the combined actions of individuals to pursue increased value.

    If it is morally wrong for individuals to pursue increased value, then it is all the more morally wrong for individuals to seek a fullness of joy/happiness/pleasure. But that is precisely what we are commanded to do in Scripture.

    A free market economy appeals to this basic desire for happiness that God has instilled in us. Failings occur not because of the system but rather because of how we, in the flesh, choose fleeting pleasures rather than those that last.

    Barring a theocracy where Christ alone is the authority, a free market economy is the least immoral system possible on earth.
     
  15. Karen

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    Bingo, Jonathan!
    (I have a degree in and did graduate work in Economics.)

    No one states the issues more succinctly than Walter Williams.

    See his article on Capitalism and the Common Man.
    www.gmu.edu/departments/economics/wew/articles/fee/capitalism.html

    Very well-worth reading. Among his points are that capitalism is the economic system that made it possible to become wealthy by serving others.
     
    #15 Karen, Nov 21, 2006
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2006
  16. drfuss

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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by drfuss
    In the stock market, we try to buy low and sell high (of course at the expense of others who end up buying high and selling low).


    Jonathan writes:
    No. In the stock market, we look to buy shares in companies that will do well and grow in value (i.e. maximizing value). As these companies do, we share in this growth in value. As we do this, we do not do it at the expense of those whose shares have not grown in value. You are under the impression that the economy is a zero sum game where one may only prosper if another suffers. If this were true, the total value of the stock market would have remained constant since its founding.

    Are you suggesting that long term stock investments are okay, but buying low and selling high in the cyclic market is not? Dealing in the cyclic market, someone has to be losing money.

    Interesting.
     
  17. Scott J

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    The free enterprise system is the most just available. It was strongly affirmed in the parables of the Lord. It simplies recognizes personal property rights and rewards efficiency while punishing waste. It is only as good at doing this as the integrity of the people in the system. The depravity of man is progressively more evident the more man tries to "adjust" the outcomes.

    The free enterprise system is the most just regardless of what type of gov't it operates under.

    Yes and someone who is so careless as to expose himself to too much risk will be punished because his behavior is an inefficiency in the system. In a free enterprise system, there will be more wins than losses over time as wealth increases. It is a win across the board opportunity. As JFK said, a rising tide lifts all boats.

    This goes back to the system being dependent on the people in it though, doesn't it? Good willed people share the bounty. Selfish people won't.

    But the economic system doesn't cause this. In fact, the free market system is just more honest about it. Socialistic programs just allow selfish people to make someone else do something about the problem... or so they think. In fact, a socialistic system is just more inefficient as it manifests selfishness.

    In a free market, some will be richer, some poorer. In a socialistic system, the majority are equally suppressed.

    By the way, "many workers" in America? Not really. By world and historical standards, people living beneath the poverty line in America are "filthy rich".

    Which is why our founders tried to create a system where power could never be centralized in gov't.

    Charity comes from the heart irrespective of the economic or political system.

    No. It is wrong because the hearts of the people are selfish... not because the system itself is somehow evil.

    Do you really think a governmental invention by men can change the evil in men's hearts?
     
  18. Scott J

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    Capitalism and free markets aren't precisely the same thing. They coexist and are in some respects complementary.

    However, the buying and selling of stocks are again a means of rewarding efficiency and punishing waste. If integrity is enforced, it is a good system to ensure both plenty and a just distribution of wealth.
     
  19. Scott J

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    From Jefferson... but it was more his operational philosophy than "separation of church and state".
     
  20. Scott J

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    All systems by the way can be corrupted by greed. A free market just doesn't give shelter to the greedy or reward them so easily.
     

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