Saturday, August 3, 2019

The Error Of Sacrificing Principle For Physical Comfort And Convenience

There are two ways to understand the meaning of the word equality. Our Founding Fathers understood it to mean that all were equal under the law; all should be equal and free in their pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness. Today, the word has come to mean economic equality; this means that money must be taken from the rich and given to the poor so that everyone is equal in wealth (or lack of it). This is attractive to many people, but we as a nation must again read these perceptive words by Abraham Lincoln:

We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men's labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name-liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties called by two different and incompatible names-liberty and tyranny (italics added).5

Unfortunately, given a choice, many people would prefer economic equality along with tyranny rather than economic opportunity with freedom. In free societies, all will not be economically equal. Those who live in a socialistic state become slaves of government regulations and government laws: citizens become compliant, they accept work quotas and state controlled prices, and because the government seeks to be "fair," the rich are inordinately taxed in order to give benefits to the poor. You obey the master out of whose hand you eat. And, as someone has said, we all desire a life of ease with a high reward. Here is how historian David A. Rausch describes the Hitler era:

Hitler had lowered wages; state governments and economies were consolidated under the totalitarian regime; and Germany began to rearm. The economy began to recover and the men were put back to work but at the high price of personal freedom. Virtually every area of German life was under the control of the Nazi regime, yet most citizens did not seem to care. Fed a steady dosage of propaganda by the press and entertained with massive rallies, parades, and "gifts" from "The Fuhrer," the German people swelled with pride at their nation's apparent comeback.6

And so, we, like the German people, are prone to believe the extravagant promises of our politicians because it makes us feel good. Of course, regardless of what we think of Social Security and Medicare, such programs have been of great benefit to many. The challenge is to think clearly about the controversial topic of what government can do and what it should do. As far as I know, no government in history has had a great record in providing expanded benefits without eventually expecting more control of its citizens.

Erwin W. Lutzer, When a Nation Forgets God: 7 Lessons We Must Learn from Nazi Germany, p. 51-53

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