Tuesday, February 17, 2009

More Financial Lessons from Cartoons

A couple of months ago I posted A Lesson to Washington from Duck Tales. Today, it is a lesson from Calvin and Hobbes to the uninformed on how business often really operates. I found this posted on Justin Taylor's Between Two Worlds.

I have posted repeatedly on the dangers of Socialism, but I have not posted as frequently on the dangers of Capitalism. I have many friends who are extreme free-market Capitalists. These friends would like to see the market left to its own devices. I wonder, however, if there is too much of a societal difference between Adam Smith's day and our own. We now live in a post-Christian and consumeristic society, very unlike Smith's eighteenth-century Scotland.

I, too, do not like government involvement in the market, and am no advocate for governmental regulation, but we cannot make the same mistake Alan Greenspan made, presuming the ability of financial firms and C.E.O.s to regulate themselves. I would advocate self-regulation, a moral notion of right and wrong (or "conscience") that acts as a compass for business decisions. Just because one decision makes more money than another decision, does not mean it is always the one to pursue. Our economy is in the mess it is because of the immoral way of thinking that comes with the love of money (1 Tim. 6:9-10).

Unfortunately, self-regulation is only part of the answer for our corporate sector. The other answer is for our populace to reject the rampant consumerism that we have woven into our cultural identity. We should also demand products from reputable producers and sellers. We as consumers should not allow companies to get away with waste, greed, and other detrimental practices. The way we are able to regulate these businesses is with our pocket-books. Don't buy from companies that act immorally. Money talks, investors listen.

So be informed buyers. I will paraphrase Karl Barth's famous dictum, that we should read the Bible in one hand and the Newspaper in the other, and we should interpret the newspaper through the Bible. Business is not a science unto itself, with its own morality, cut-off from the rest of life. Business is, instead, a science that requires the Bible applied to it.


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Steven Douglas said...

Alessandra - Thanks for stopping by, I hope that this blog was a blessing to you. You are welcome to read and post, as long as you don't advertise products or link to other blogs (unless its pertinent). Thanks again!