Saturday, February 17, 2018

Economics Upside-Down – The Eight Commandment

Monday, December 1, 2008, 3:26
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Economics Upside-down

The eighth commandment

Exodus 20.15; Deuteronomy 5.19

“You shall not steal.”

Exodus 22.6

“If fire breaks out and catches in thorns so that the stacked grain or the standing grain or the field is consumed, he who started the fire shall make full restitution.”

You mean, take responsibility?

When I think of the state of the world’s economy, I can’t help but recall a line from the movie, Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves. The flustered Sheriff of Nottingham, in a moment of abject exasperation, stabs the top of a table with a dagger, over and over, with increasing frustration and anger. The house witch, observing, says, “Something vexes thee?” What in the world has happened? It’s really quite simple. A relatively few people, thinking they could beat the odds, took some very high-stakes risks in real estate investment. Bankers just knew they couldn’t lose, just because they were making loans that could not possibly be repaid, for they fully intended to bundle those “instruments” into investment packages for hedge-fund managers or other banks. Borrowers, assured by loan officers that their properties would continue to rise in value, and that, by the time their ARM raised its hoary head, they’d be OK, took out loans that would catch up to them before they had improved their lot sufficiently to meet their obligations. Default spread like a virus in a Petri dish, triggering a wave of bank closings, stock dumping, job losses (with the attendant unemployment payouts), liberal cries of “We must do something to help main street!” echoed by conservative cries of “To the rescue of Wall Street” and, well, the rest is history. Greed, irresponsibility, blame-shifting, and mere self-interest ignited like a brushfire, and, suddenly, everyone’s field is ablaze.

Is there any sense in which we might all share in the blame for this economic upheaval?

“In the Gates” is a devotional series on the Law of God by Rev. T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is editor of the Worldview Church. He serves as dean of the Centurions Program of the Wilberforce Forum and principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He is the author or editor of twenty books, and has contributed chapters to four others. His essays, reviews, articles, papers, and poetry have appeared in dozens of national and international journals, and on a wide range of websites. His most recent books are The Ailbe Psalter and The Ground for Christian Ethics (Waxed Tablet).

Scripture quotations in this article are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, (c) copyright 2001,2007 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Editor’s note: The use of a translation other than the Authorised Version in an article does not constitute an endorsement in whole or in part by The Christian Observer.

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