Friday, January 27, 2012

Economic Freedom and Moral Freedom

Most American voters who cast their ballots base their decision solely on economic issues. The famous 1992 campaign slogan “It’s the economy, stupid!” still accurately describes the voting preferences of most Americans. Social issues take a back seat to economic issues in elections.
What people who vote solely on economic issues do not realize is that economic freedom is directly linked to moral freedom. Indeed, economic freedom is impossible without moral freedom, because every economic system is predicated on a moral system.
But what most people consider to be moral freedom is in reality moral slavery. The modern conception of moral freedom is license – the ability to do what one wants. And license is fundamentally connected with an inability to control oneself – in any matter, economic or otherwise.
On an individual level, if someone considers vice or frivolous goods more important than saving or providing for a family’s basic needs, then he or she will be in economic peril. A person who can deny himself nothing on a moral level finds it impossible to deny himself anything on an economic level. If a person is unable to control his own spending habits and act morally, he will not make - indeed, not be able to make – correct decisions about his own economic situation.
The same holds true for a country. A country whose citizens and politicians cannot conduct themselves morally will ultimately destroy itself economically. The values governing a culture affect the economic development of that culture. If a culture is strong, promoting virtue in its citizens, then that country’s economy will prosper. A culture that is steeped in vice will see its economy suffer accordingly.
America now faces trillions of dollars in debt because it refuses to deny itself anything. Even small budget cuts are fought tooth and nail by legislators seeking to pander to their constituents – and the thought of real budget cuts is greeted with horror by politicians.
Our culture is one that cannot save anything, where people consume all their wealth on frivolous items. Our culture is enslaved to its own lack of virtue – endangering our economy as well as reflecting our lack of morals.
If America ever wishes to get itself back on a sound economic footing, it must adopt a sound moral code. Only a country grounded in sound moral principles can economically survive in the long run.

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