Wednesday, January 10, 2007

What Would the Economy Look Like?

Thinking more about being green, I believe we may just be onto something quite significant, since the political powers seem to be concerning themselves more about the environment lately. You know, however, that someone will probably argue that as green homemakers, we hurt the economy by not feverishly spending and consuming. I have to think about that for awhile, since that philosophy (that economies would sink if we did not keep spending and throwing out so we can spend more) seems to directly contradict what the bible tells us to do. The bible tells us to be good stewards, to be thrifty, not to get in debt, not to be gluttonous or wasteful.

I think that the current view on what makes a healthy economy would be OK if there was no ceiling, no finite end to our resources. But the party has to end sometime. This side of user friendly nuclear fusion, there is only so much that we can consume and only a shrinking place in which to put all the junk. Re: debt, the piper is in the foyer, ready to be paid. The Chinese are increasingly using oil to fuel their factories to make plastic Santas and lawn chairs for the rest of us to gleefully buy at the local Walmart. About the only thing the U.S is exporting now are raw materials, food and natural resources, much as when we were the 13 Colonies. But that's another subject.

How do we stay true to our biblical principles, be good stewards of our Lord's creation and have a solid, healthy economy? Any thoughts?


  1. Anonymous12:02 PM

    I'm just writing off-the-cuff, so if I'm mistaken and someone else understands economics better than I, please feel free to contradict!

    An economy is not an entity or a purpose to itself. It is an abstraction, a sort of system that exists purely to serve the needs of a given populace. It is "good" or "bad" based on what the populace requires--not based on some theory that has a certain goal in mind. WE do not fit it; IT fits us. That's what I see, so you know my perspective.

    Now for your question itself. "Staying true to our Biblical principles" and "being good stewards of the Lord's creation," as you so aptly put it, IS the best method to have a solid economy.

    Firstly, if we do not spend more than we make--or if we must borrow, only borrow what we can afford to repay--then we do not place ourselves at risk of defaulting on our obligations. It is the default that causes our credit-card interest rates to be nearly 30%, and taxes the legal system (and the welfare system). To be honorable, to give "credit where credit is due," is a tremendous boost. What we see now is an artificial inflation of our economy, of people buying more than they can afford, and it will crash when those spenders find they can't make their payments.

    Another thing we can do is to STAY AT HOME. As we women push ourselves into the workforce--especially at the expense of more qualified men, thanks to affirmative action--we cause a "glut" on the market. It becomes an employer's market; we have to compete to get the jobs. If we stay home and let the men do the job-getting, not only would unemployment diminish drastically, but it would shift to an employee's market--the competition would become the employers trying to attract employees, meaning higher wages for them. Theoretically, of course.

    If we were to decrease consumption, by doing for ourselves, we would cause a tremendous increase in the "raw materials" market, shifting away from the "ready-to-go" market. Companies would adjust to the change; some might diminish and go out of business, but others would increase and take up the slack.

    Gas prices would come down. Yes, they would. Our demand for oil would diminish radically if half of the cars buzzing about simply stopped doing so--and the chokehold OPEC has on us would have to be loosened.

    Health care prices would drop off drastically. With fresh food being prepared, with a mind to the health of the family as opposed to "Make the food taste better than the competition's," many of today's health problems would be quickly eliminated. Insurance costs would drop off, and more families could afford it--taking further burden off of the government.

    And if we stay home, we have more spare time to dedicate to our neighbors. We would be able to anticipate someone's need and take care of it ourselves, rather than letting government shoulder it. Lower taxes would result.

    That's just what I've got.

    Mrs. Bartlett

  2. Oh, Mrs. B, this is wonderful stuff.
    You have raised so many good points, that I really need to take some time to study your comments more thoroughly. Perhaps we have a little time yet to set things right, while there are still some reasonable people out there to listen. Much prayer is needed, much prayer.


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