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Sidewalk
Member



Joined: 2011/11/11
Posts: 706
San Diego

 Re:

Have no fear, MaryJane!

We wrangle here in the love of Jesus Christ, having different opinions molded within us by the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, of lives touched by different blessings and different stabs of pain. One can deduce from our styles of writing that we are not of the same mind, but committed to the same Christ. He will receive us all, will judge us fairly, will gently lead his lambs into all truth.

Back to the fray...

I can see that little can be gained in continuing the argument for capitalism and its role in prosperity. For what it is worth, shooting the torpedoe at Dick Cheney, a Christian gentleman of wealth, wisdom, and a gentle spirit is repugnant to me.

When Vice President Cheney advocates for a strong national defense, he does so in view of his knowledge of just how dangerous the world is and is becoming. He is not advocating the starving of children as the Master of Ridicule insinuates. He does not see feeding children as a function of government at all, that is the responsibility of parents in the pre-socialist American system. He only suggests that the responsibility of the federal government is to ensure the safety of the people against all potential military threats. That is both complicated and expensive!

And without a thriving free market capitalist system, we will not be able to pay for it.

The day you are looking down the barrel of some aggressor's gun and realize everything you have and even your own life now belongs to someone else, you may have a moment to think back and say, gee- Dick Cheney was right!

Here's a little quote from Milton Friedman to think about:

A bit of Milton Friedman in honor of his birthday today ....
"Fundamentally, there are only two ways of co-ordinating the economic activities of millions. One is central direction involving the use of coercion—the technique of the army and of the modern totalitarian state. The other is voluntary co-operation of individuals—the technique of the market place."
"Indeed, a major source of objection to a free economy is precisely that it does this task [protects individuals against coercion] so well. It gives people what they want instead of what a particular group thinks they ought to want. Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself."

Your witness, counsellor...


_________________
Tom Cameron

 2014/7/31 18:16Profile









 Re:

Now Sidewalk, I want to give you a wee quiz. Can you name the richest country in mainland Western Europe whose economy all other Europeans rely upon and who have the highest standard of living in Europe? One clue, the country is run by the unions :).........bro Frank

 2014/7/31 18:29
Sidewalk
Member



Joined: 2011/11/11
Posts: 706
San Diego

 Re:

Ya got me there! Is it Detroit??

As I think through European politics, and it would be easy to put those following this into a bleary-eyed coma if we go too deep, I see very little that has much economic attraction. Your phrase, "controlled by unions" is scary enough as those who would be a society's entrepreneurs are already on the bus heading out of town. Why should I build it if you are just going to take it from me? The old standard of Conquest and Plunder has new clothes but its heart is unchanged.

Great Britain is largely socialist, still believing that high taxes will yield prosperity if the right people are in charge. Meanwhile, the Muslim population grows and strains against the limits of the public dole. A while back the queen sent up a trial balloon to see if she could tap into welfare funds to help heat Buckingham Palace. The British public was not amused.

France decided that the rich should pay 75% of their income to the government. Whereupon the rich decided there were other places to live. Many have already left, taking their money with them.

Germany is socialist, with very high taxes to fund their vision. But they are very clever, and don't tax their exports. It makes their high quality products very competitive worldwide, and funds the programs at home.

Italy is still waiting for a stable government to last more than a few days. Hard to generate wealth when you have no idea who is going to steal it from you tomorrow.

Switzerland. Lots of money there, but much of it is being hidden by people who don't live there and the largest currency in Switzerland is... secrecy!

My guess for richest country would be Luxembourg. With an average annual income of about $80,000, it is largely union run with the "Confederation of Christian Trade unions."

Their motto, "Man at the Center of our actions."

They must be Pentecostals.


Back in 1986 I moved from frigid Minnesota to California with my wife and four children in a creaky old motorhome. I had no job waiting, just the belief that with hard work and the blessing of God we would be fine.

I stumbled through some attempts at jobs for a couple years, then decided to strike out on my own to start a garment business. The purpose was never to get rich but to be able to raise the children and squeeze in as much ministry as I could. A large part of my confidence was that in a capitalist society, I could do whatever I wanted without getting some government or union boss's permission. As long as I followed reasonable standards, I was welcome into the marketplace.

For me, the American dream comports easily with my own Christian standards. My work is honest, my ministry all above the table. My competitors control my "greed" as it were, because my customers are free to seek other vendors of the things I sell.

Everybody wins. I know I am wealthy because all my needs are met and I always have some to give away. Don't worry, my account numbers on the computer at the bank don't get anybody very excited...


_________________
Tom Cameron

 2014/7/31 21:26Profile
rookie
Member



Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4794


 Re:

Brother Frank posted:

"The Richest Presidents Of All Time - Inflation Adjusted:"


These men all were poor in comparison to:

Gen 14:14
Now when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his three hundred and eighteen trained servants who were born in his own house, and went in pursuit as far as Dan.

What about Job, Joshua, Hezekiah, Solomon, and David?




_________________
Jeff Marshalek

 2014/7/31 21:43Profile









 Re:

Interesting experiment, count the number of personal pro-nouns in the following paragraph by Sidewalk......

"I stumbled through some attempts at jobs for a couple years, then decided to strike out on my own to start a garment business. The purpose was never to get rich but to be able to raise the children and squeeze in as much ministry as I could. A large part of my confidence was that in a capitalist society, I could do whatever I wanted without getting some government or union boss's permission. As long as I followed reasonable standards, I was welcome into the marketplace.For me, the American dream comports easily with my own Christian standards. My work is honest, my ministry all above the table. My competitors control my "greed" as it were, because my customers are free to seek other vendors of the things I sell."

I counted twelve, but then isn't that what our modern system is all about, me, my and I? Men proudly boast what they have achieved , how they made it all on their own without any help from anyone, how they are the makers and over half the country are simply takers. You see I hear that from so many people, and with the other side of their mouths, in polite Christian circles they say with all the humility they can muster " It's all God, He done everything and everything I have belongs to Him." Then they go out into the world and tell anyone who cares to listen how they are self made men and never took any help from anyone. Quite a juxtaposition dont ya think? :)

Your competitors control your greed Sidewalk? Awww, how Godly of them, why they're just, well just ministers really :)......bro Frank

 2014/8/1 5:10
Sidewalk
Member



Joined: 2011/11/11
Posts: 706
San Diego

 Re:

Well, shame on me! Bad person, Sidewalk! Bad, bad, bad!

Gotta love Sermon Index! Never a shortage of friends to pulverize your testimony and rub it back to you with salt!

I guess to MaryJane's original question, when the shift began- perhaps it was when we Christians forgot to love one another! Not sure when that happened, but we'll just have to deal with the realities that confront us.

It's been a fun thread, MaryJane, thank you. I guess we've all learned things.


_________________
Tom Cameron

 2014/8/1 11:48Profile
rookie
Member



Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4794


 Re:

This is my personal experience as I have grown older...

I lived in Southern California for most of my early adult life. I have been a union member all of my adult life. I now live in Pennsylvania and still part of the union and am still employed in the skilled trades.

For about 24 of those years I spent in California I constantly saw the economic world through a Fabian Socialists influenced environment knowledge base. Then one day a Conservative Mennonite family moved from Lebanon County Pennsylvania to the mountain where I lived. They started a home construction business in our community. I had been a Christian at that point for about 7 years. But I had never witnessed anyone who actually viewed their economic enterprise through Biblical precepts. I saw a part of life which I had not witnessed prior to the Martin Family setting a thriving business.

The story is long, but this I attest to...their form of conducting business, according to Scripture, more resembled a form of capitalism than the Fabian Socialism I was accustom to. I saw the Lord bless the entire community through the honest hard working enterprise that this family lived by.

So I stand in affirmation in the liberty that Sidewalk has begun to experience in his own life.


_________________
Jeff Marshalek

 2014/8/1 12:22Profile









 Re:

I would agree with Rookie that hard work, just simply hard work, brings rewards. There is a world of difference between simply working hard and being honest, than trying to beat the next fella. Finney went as far as to say that Christians should not be shop-owners because they would have to want to do better than their fellow shop-owner down the street, underpricing him, under-cutting him and so on, wanting to see yourself do better than the next guy. I am not sure I would go as far as Finney, but I can see where he was coming from. There are some people who gamble now and then and they do not lose too much, but I dont like casinos because of the huge harm that it does to people. There are some people who like the occasional glass of wine, but there is a huge amount of people who get caught up in alcoholism so that is why I dont like the alcohol business. Some guys may like to smoke an occasional cigarette, yet the vast majority of smokers are addicts and it kills millions, I dont like the cigarette business. I am sure there are a thousand anecdotes for every possible industry, yet of course that does not bestow upon that industry any virtue. For needs must we go into the world and if it stays that way we remain safe. Yet, so many are lured by the sirens onto the rocks of destruction by the industry of capitalism where the main ingredients are pride and greed..............bro Frank

ps Rookie, I was a Bricklayer for 25 years.

 2014/8/1 12:44
rookie
Member



Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4794


 Re:

Brother Frank...(not trade union brother Frank)

To further explain the Martin family business, they were honest to the point where one of my friends contracted them to build him a house. My friend was not a believer and though he is still not a believer...he testified of his experience of dealing with the Martin family in this way...


"They are painfully honest."

Whenever there was a question to the quality of their work on his house, the Martin's basically gave him the shirt off their back to make things right.

Further, the quality of the homes that they built surpassed anything the local population had ever witnessed. So their business thrived. The Martin family through their business was able to open a kids camp to minister to the disadvantaged children from LA and Bakersfield area. Through the profits of the business the Martin family traveled to Central America and opened up a similar ministry.

And then, the sons of the Martins came of age, and were sent out to establish a business and ministry in the Central San Joachin Valley.

And then, further, some of my brothers in Christ were given jobs locally building houses with them. My brothers were trained in both the skills and business concepts, with the goal of teaching them to go out on their own and establish small businesses for themselves.


These experiences opened my eyes to see God's economy in a new way. God's call comes with provisions to accomplish His work.

Just a thought Brother Frank,

Jeff


_________________
Jeff Marshalek

 2014/8/1 14:55Profile









 Re:

Great testimony Rookie. I love the phrase " They are painfully honset.' What a breath of fresh air that is.............bro Frank ( brother in the Lord) :)

What was/is you trade Jeff?

 2014/8/1 17:39





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