The Virtue of Selfishness
Friday, January 23, 2009– Exodus 20:17 “Do not covet…” is the tenth commandment given to Moses and Israel. Combined with other passages that speak against greed like, Lk. 12:17 “Watch out and be on guard against all greed because one’s life is not in the abundance of his possessions” and passages that warn against oppressing the poor, Amos 2:6-7, the Bible presents a formidable ethic for all ages regarding wealth and its dangers. This part of biblical ethics the socialist Leftards of our country understand and practice with a holy zeal. Hypocritically and inconsistently I might add. When was the last time you heard a Demoncrat criticize the wealth of anyone of the Hollywood elites? Of course not; they are major contributors to the DNC. Any critiques of George Soros, a billionaire finacier of all things Leftist? Nope.
On the other extreme we have the Elmer Gantry coterie of Health & Wealth Gospel Preachers such as the ever smiling, Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn, Creflo Dollar, etc., etc. These modern day “money changers” and sadducees are all over the TV and the book racks with self help pablum and gospel lite that are paving the roads to hell with good looks and good intentions. I all too well remember the 90’s and the PTL scandals with the Jim and Tammy Baker Show, Jimmy Swaggert, and Robert Tilton. The spirit of Tetzel lives on in the modern day church (?).
In the last year or so the entire Western Civilization’s Financial World has been rocked. With the rapid rise in oil prices driven by speculators in the commodities markets more so than real demand and supply issues, the housing crisis caused by government regulation combined with bad business practices of Countrywide and other major mortgage leaders, the banking crisis again caused by a combination of government regulations (created by Jimmy Carter, added to by Bill Clinton and forwarded on by the Demoncrat controlled congress recently) and bad business practices, we now have the beginnings of a complete financial collapse and a second Great Depression.
While all this was going on the US was in the midst of a shameful Presidential Primary and election where the MainStreamMedia absolutely ignored its job of digging for truth and reporting facts and completely sided with Obama based upon skin color alone. Every opportunity was taken to bash big business, put out phony economic news based upon economic fallacies instead of solid economic theory and the Amerikan people were sold a bill of goods.
The Demoncrats complained of some people trying to make a virtue out of selfishness, see these 2 stories:
And of course Ayn Rand had a book out years ago called, The Virtue of Selfishness, so this got my attention. Ayn Rand was a noted atheist but a very conservative author who escaped from the Soviet Union as a teenager and wrote about the oppression of collectivists and the need for freedom and capitalism. Her works were very influential on me during my college days at OU.
In recent days, with all the investment firms and banks, auto manufacturers and other businesses going broke, receiving federal free money, etc. we are still hearing about big CEOs getting their huge salaries and bonuses despite leading their companies into bankruptcy. Here is a story from today about the CEO of Merrill Lynch, acquired by Bank of America:
I absolutely believe it is a sin for these big business executives to take big bonuses and luxury benefits when their company is going down the tubes and the average employee is getting laid off. That is oppressing the poor. And poor leadership as well as bad style.
However, I do not begrudge the rich CEOs their salaries, for the most part. It takes an incredible amount of work, experience, skill and determination to run a company well. It ABSOLUTELY IRRITATES ME TO SEE CONGRESSMEN AND SENATORS WHO HAVE NEVER HELD A REAL JOB OR RUN A COMPANY TO GRILL OIL COMPANY OR AUTO COMPANY CEOs about their pay, their company’s PROFITS or to tell them how to make cars, etc. Professional Politicians need to remember that a company’s number one priority is to be profitable, to make money. Talk about HUBRIS! How much salary is too much? I don’t think that can be answered by anyone. But if your company is doing poorly, a CEO of integrity should decline any bonus pay or perks. If you are laying people off, you better lead by example and take a cut yourself. Anything other than that, is greed and sinful.
America is being ruined by greed from the top, to the bottom. This is seen in our inability to save, our high individual debt, our love for all the latest toys, cars and fashions, and our attitude of “Give it to me ’cause I deserve it ’cause I’m a victim” mentality. Greed is not just for rich CEOs, it is an equal opportunity sin. I am guilty.
So what is to be done? 1) Congress and the new President ought to call for and implement large tax cuts for corporations, small businesses and individuals. Tax cuts help businesses at every level and help consumers and workers. 2) Congress should stop trying to bail out any private business; let them use the bankruptcy laws. 3) Congress should cut spending severely and immediately. 4) Congress should bring in banking, investments and economic academics and experienced businessmen to examine what happened and why.
As a Conservative, I usually vote (while holding my nose) for Republicrats. I have noticed that there are not many Republicans with spines in the Senate or House and they are all fawning over the new administration (John -I never met a Demoncrat I didn’t like- McCain). The Republicrats need to grow spines and just say NO to Demoncrat inspired socialism.
Back to the Bible…the assumption behind the 8th and 10th Commandments in Ex. 20 (do not steal, do not covet) is the private ownership of private property. The neccessary antecedent for conducting your business with biblical integrity is being able to own your own business in the first place. The principle of SELFISHNESS OR, BETTER, SELF-INTEREST, is inherent in the biblical idea of private property, land ownership, and conducting business in a way that does not oppress the poor and does take care of your family.
We need to educate the Church and our lost world about the biblical idea of self-interest and private property. Being rich is not a bad thing, Job was rich, Abraham, Isaac, jacob and David were rich. Money is not the problem, the love of money is a huge problem. We need godly men and women in the business world and in the Government to take a bold stand for Capitalism and the Virtue of Selfishness. The Collectivists are coming, and their warped vision for the world is going to ruin what is left of Amerika.