This is a post I started back on March 5, 2009 and it still fits the current human condition. We’ve heard nothing from the Obama Administration blaming President Bush for all of Obama’s ills – 5, nearly 6 years down the line. Frankly, Obama seems constitutionally unable to take REAL responsibility for his own ills and the real pain he is intentionally inflicting on the American people by his policies, his laws, and his regulations. But it is done with purpose – Progressives don’t believe that real people can govern themselves and discipline themselves by internal governorship. Internal ” don’t do this” or “yes, I should do that” just doesn’t seem to exist in the Progressive world view. If a law doesn’t exist to prevent someone from doing something, well, Hades will descend upon us all – we can’t trust ordinary schlubs to do the right thing!
Anyways, with that table set, here’s is an article I read and started to write back then (emphasis mine, reformatted):
Here’s a hot recovery tip: Buy morality
Pope Benedict XVI is soon to publish an encyclical commenting on the errors that have led the world to the current economic crisis. In a public address last week to members of the Roman clergy, he tipped his hand, saying the church must denounce “fundamental mistakes that have been shown in the collapse of the great American banks.” He said the current global financial crisis is a result of “human avarice and idolatry that go against the true God and the falsification of the image of God with another god — Mammon.”
Accept or reject the theological construction as you will, but few would disagree that human avarice is what started us down the progressively darkening alley that our financial institutions and our government travel today.
What Benedict will prescribe remains to be seen. If he’s consistent — and popes are nothing if not consistent — his letter should include some echoes of his 2007 encyclical, “Spe Salvi,” in which he counsels in favor of an individual freedom that “must constantly be won over for the cause of good,” and in which he warns against utopian promises and structures that constrain individual freedom.
If indeed the pope chooses to go that route, he’ll face the challenge of explaining that individual freedom has to have limits, but that the limits must not take the form of freedom-crushing structures.
That’s a much easier argument for a pope to make than, say, a teacher in a public school or a professor at a public university. Why? Because the limits Benedict can talk about and the others can’t are moral. If I had a nickel for every time a reader has taken me to task for supporting “unfettered capitalism” since this financial tailspin began, my robust savings and I would be safe in the Cayman Islands right now.
Nobody with a lick of sense believes in unfettered capitalism. The questions on the table ought to be, who should do the fettering, and how? Letting government attach the fetters makes capitalism a slave to politics. That’s exactly what we’re getting now, with the federal government taking a commanding role in the economy.
We may see a different favored few rewarded with access and money, but it will still be a favored few. Consider President Barack Obama’s hell-for-leather approach to “green energy,” even though there’s not a practical glimmer on the horizon. In the bargain, the administration will punish today’s more practical, more cost-efficient energy producers. Government picks the winners and losers, and who pays? The dwindling number of Americans who actually pay taxes, and the many Americans who pay utility bills.
So how’s that government protection from Big Business working out for you?
Many people — including people on both major-party tickets in the last presidential election — argue that the mortgage crisis that was the catalyst for today’s economic mess was brought on by a failure of regulation. They’re right. But since they figured you were going to vote for whoever you thought would do a better job of fixing the regulations, they didn’t tell you the whole truth. Regulations aren’t enough. They never will be. What’s really needed is something the government cannot compel: morality in the marketplace.
That’s the fetter that capitalism needs. Oddly enough, it’s the same fetter that government needs.
John Adams nailed it: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
The regulations we need aren’t governmental. They’re internal. They’re good, old Judeo-Christian rules of self-control, like “keep your word,” or “don’t buy — and certainly don’t steal — what you can’t pay for.” Corporations are human institutions, and thus subject to every human failing. They’re only as good as the people on the payroll.
But don’t delude yourself that government is any better. It’s a human institution, just as subject to human frailties, and it’s based not on profit, but on power. A corporation can’t compel you to buy its product or behave as it wishes you to. Government can do both.
And from this view point of 2/3/2014, we see that, indeed, Government has done exactly that in healthcare – it has delineated what the product will be that private industry MUST offer and compels you, the citizen, to buy it. Given the slippery slope, what will government force us to do next?
The solution to the clear problem of immorality in business is not to be found in government. The solution is in ourselves, and in moral standards that our declining culture has worked for 50 years to declare irrelevant.
There are those that believe government regulation has to be applied to capitalism. They complain that capitalism has no morals, that it does not provide for humanitarian issues – and they would be right on issue. Capitalism is not about morality – it is about creating wealth – morality is a different dimension of the human equation – not lesser but just not part of wealth creation.
That’s what the human element is for.
Yes, government certainly has a role to play. The problem is, as our society moves away from an absolute morality as John Adams stated, not only do the internal governors fail, but as government strives to replace that inner conscience with more laws and regulations, government will fail as well in its overreach – it can NEVER, EVER define a “proper mode of behavior” for all exigent forms of behavior that runs counter to gaming the system.
Once the internal monitor fails, that little guy on your shoulder whispering in your year “umm, is that really the right thing to do?”, we all lose.
I may not be of the Catholic faith, but on this, the Pope is correct. It is not a failure of capitalism nor of government; this failure of finances is due to the failure of the internal.
forget that capitalism is m