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Monday, May 17, 2010
Doug Wilson gives some brilliant yet basic (but rarely understood) economic lessons this morning.
[I]t is time to resort to some moral philosophy, and discussion of the seven deadly sins. And in societies like ours, envy is among the deadliest. It is the stealth killer. How many sermons have you heard on this sin in the course of your lifetime? Why is it assiduously ignored?

But there is another factor in this. God is not mocked and a man reaps what he sows. Because we do so poorly at reading the narrative we are in, because we don't see the events in chapter 10 following from the events in chapter 3, we fail to see how envy destroys the envious. We don't run the thread out far enough.

Here is just one example. Whenever you see public complaints that corporations and businesses "don't pay taxes," you can be assured that envy has done its deadly work. And what happens if everyone is persuaded, and Congress fixes everything by passing a law? (Where would we be if Congress didn't fix things for us?) Now, do corporations and businesses now pay taxes?

No, the only thing we have done is make these corporations and businesses collectors of taxes, on behalf of the government. From whom do they collect them? Why, from John Q. Envy, who now pays higher prices at, say, the gas pump.

No business ever paid a tax. Businesses adjust their prices according to overhead, and when the public clamors to have that overhead raised, that sometimes happens. The overhead is raised. And when this happens, the business makes its adjustments, collects the new money from the saps at large, and passes that money on to the government. And, the saps mutter in satisfaction, at least greedy gusses at OilCo are paying their fair share now.

But wait, there's more. Now that we have insisted that the corporations, businesses, and the government put their heads together in the collection of our taxes (we didn't know that that was what we were doing, but envious people know very little), we cannot be surprised that the relationships up there in the macro-managerial class manifest an ever-increasing coziness. An outrage, we cry! Make them do it more!

Envy is the driving engine of economic follies.


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Darius' book montage

The Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel The Main Thing
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
Overcoming Sin and Temptation
According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible
Disciplines of a Godly Man
Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem
When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor. . .and Ourselves
The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
Respectable Sins
The Kite Runner
Life Laid Bare: The Survivors in Rwanda Speak
Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak
A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I am a missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, fundamentalist/calvinist, ... anabaptist/anglican, metho
Show Them No Mercy
The Lord of the Rings
Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass
The Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception
Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming
The Chronicles of Narnia
Les Misérables

Darius Teichroew's favorite books »