The Gift of Giving

 

Wow!  When you see, and hear someone doing the work of the kingdom of God, you take note…

A conversation with John Montgomery, Founder and CIO Bridgeway Capital Management:

 

Reference:

Bridgeway Capital Management (BCM): OUR COMMITMENT

“BCM’s articles of incorporation state that it will donate 50% of its profits to charitable causes. Over the years, BCM has granted tens of millions of dollars and time to more than 500 different nonprofits. Bridgeway includes all of its Partners (as permanent staff members are known) in the giving program.”

 

Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)

‘Tis the Season…to be a Capitalist

Yes, I know, Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus, the greatest Gift of all and the advent of God’s Kingdom here on earth.  But at this time of the year especially, giving reminds us of what capitalism gets right all year long.

  donation fund

Here some quotes from George Gilder’s book “Knowledge and Power:  The Information Theory of Capitalism and How it is Revolutionizing Our World:”

“Capitalism begins with giving.  Free markets and exchanges are characteristic of capitalism, but they are a result of entrepreneurship ~ not a cause of it….

The anthropological evidence, detailed in the original Wealth and Poverty, suggests that capitalism begins with the gift and continues with competitions in giving.

A gift will elicit a greater response only if is based on an understanding of the recipient’s needs.  As any baffled beneficiary of a costly but unwanted Christmas present can attest, giving is difficult and requires close attention to the lives and longings, tastes and talents of others.  In the most successful and catalytic gifts, the giver fulfills an unknown, unexpressed, or even unconscious desire in a surprising way.

A successful gift startles and gratifies the recipient with the unexpected sympathy of the giver. In order to repay him, however, the receiver must come to understand the giver. The contest of gifts leads to an expansion of human sympathies…  

In deciding what new goods to assemble or create, therefore, the givers and investors must be willing to focus on others’ needs more than their own…

 Profit is thus an index of the altruism of an investment….

 The conventional wisdom, whether liberal or conservative regards charity or generosity as essentially simple ~ just giving things away without calculation or continuing concern with their true use.  The hero of this narrative is the anonymous donor, while the investor is seen as a Shylock, extorting usurious gains from lending money, or a Scrooge, extracting his profits from the exploitation of workers.  A welfare system of direct money grants financed by anonymous taxpayers through the choices of their elected representatives is, in this view, the ultimate expression of compassion and charity.

 Dumb money, however, does more harm than good.  It is extremely difficult to transfer value to people in a way that actually helps them.  Excess welfare hurts its recipients, demoralizing them or reducing them to an addictive dependency that can ruin their lives.  The anonymous private donation may be a good thing in itself.  It may foster an outgoing and generous spirit.  But society as a whole is more likely to become charitable and compassionate if the givers are given unto, if the givers seek some form of voluntary reciprocation.  Then the spirit of giving spreads, and wealth gravitates toward those who are most likely to give back, who are most capable of using it for the benefit of others, who are most knowledgeable and best informed, whose gifts evoke the greatest returns.  Even the most indigent families will do better under a system of free enterprise and investment than under a supposedly “compassionate” welfare system that asks no return.  The law of reciprocity ~ that one must supply in order to demand, save in order to invest, considers others in order to serve oneself ~ is essential for a humane society.

 At the heart of capitalist growth, however, is not the mechanistic homo economicus but conscious, willful, often altruistic, inventive man.  Although a marketplace may work mechanically, an economy is no sense a great machine.  The market provides only the perfunctory dénouement of a tempestuous drama, dominated by the incalculable creativity of entrepreneurs, making purposeful gifts without predetermined returns, launching enterprise into the always unknown future.  The market is the conduit, not the content; the low-entropy carrier, not the high entropy message.

Capitalism begins not with exchange but with giving, not with determinist rationality but with creation and surprisal.

 (emphasis mine)

***

Some interesting thoughts about poverty from the British doctor Theodore Dalrymple’s book “Life at the Bottom”:

What do we mean by poverty?  Not what Dickens or Blake or Mayhew meant.  Today no one seriously expects to be hungry in England or to live without running water or medical care or even TV.  Poverty has been redefined in industrial countries, so that anyone at the lower end of the income distribution is poor ex offico, as it were ~ poor by virtue of having less than the rich.  And of course by this logic, the only way of eliminating poverty is by egalitarian redistribution of wealth ~ even if the society as a whole were to become poorer as a result.

Such redistribution was the goal of the welfare state.  But it has not eliminated poverty, despite the vast sums expended, and despite the fact that the poor are now substantially richer ~~ indeed are not by traditional standards, poor at all. As long as the rich exist, so must the poor, as we now define them.

Sojourners or So Jesus?

Are you as a Christian morally perplexed by the economic based social justice issues of the dayIf so then I highly recommend the following book!  And, if you read Sojourners Web Magazine – the Social Gospel’s Mother Earth Magazine – then I really, really, really recommend the following book to you.  This book will help dispel the notion promoted by Sojourner’s Jim Wallis that government can be a proxy Good Samaritan. It will help counter the Marxist nonsense you will read on the Sojourner’s web page.

Here is a blurb about the book:

 Defending the Free Market:  The Moral Case for a Free Economy by The Rev. Robert Scirico, President of the Acton Institute.

 Introduction:  The End of Freedom

 Here are the chapter titles:

A Leftist Undone

Why You Can’t Have Freedom without a Free Economy

Want to Help the Poor?  Start a business

Why the “Creative Destruction” of Capitalism is More Creative than Destructive

Why Greed is Not Good – and Why You Can Get More of It with Socialism than with Capitalism

The Idol of Equality

Why Smart Charity Works – and Welfare Doesn’t

The Health of Nations:  Why State Sponsored Health Care is Not Compassionate

Caring for the Environment Doesn’t Have to mean Big Government

 

Sojourners, Jim WallisRepublican budget is an immoral document.”  What a load of partisan crock!  Wallis plies you with this pietistic propaganda so as to pluck at your heart-strings!  He’s implying that government has the moral responsibility to determine who gets what in our society. Why on earth would anyone put government in this position?  Oh yes, the Evil One would.  Jesus never called the government to come and follow Him.  Jesus never told government to do anything for the poor.  Never.  Judas wanted that but Jesus, never. Sadly, though, people, completely ignoring history, subscribe to Sojourner’s brand of Gnosticism – mixing gospel with government. They do so not just at their own peril but also at the peril of the poor.

The U.S. Senate controlled by Harry Reid and the Democrats has not passed a budget in over 800 daysThis is morally reprehensible.  With no budget there is no accountability to the American people with regard to how taxpayer money is being spent.  I don’t have to tell you that when there is no accountability for how our money is being spent then there is a lot of sleight of hand going on.

 From a recent Weekly Standard Web Article titled “Just Reminder — It’s Been 800 Days Since the Senate Passed a Budget

The House Budget Committee on Thursday released a report “demonstrating that economic hardships have been made worse by Washington’s misguided interventions and the lack of a credible plan to lift the crushing debt burden.”

The report, “Debt Overhang and the U.S. Jobs Malaise” comes at a timely moment: it has now been 800 days since the Senate has passed a budget. 

“It’s really incredible” said Rep. Todd Young, R-Ind., a member of the House Budget Committee, “Democrats don’t get it. They either have trouble figuring out their priorities or they don’t want to reveal them to the American public.  Instead we just get criticism for our plan, which is the only comprehensive plan out there.”

 Wallis is a radical redistributive leftist hell-bent on radical redistributive social “justice.” Yet for Wallis and his ilk, true justice, justice for all,  is just collateral damage in the war against poverty.  It is to be thrown out the window for the sake of putting the poor on a pedestal.  And with this shameful idolatry (remember the Israelites worshipping a golden calf – a facsimile representation of God?) comes the same old Robin Hood story – it’s perfectly OK to steal from the rich especially if you can villainize them first.  Wallis and Obama know that a sucker (subscriber) is born every day.

 You will be told by socialist quacks like Wallis (Marxist ideologues in sheep’s clothing) that voluntary charity doesn’t go far enough, that government needs to be involved.  

Remember when the disciples brought a young boy to Jesus in response to enormous hunger needs?:   

“Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”

The loaves and fishes freely offered by the young boy went as far as Jesus wanted it to go – to thousands of people!  And so too, the widow’s mite.  Don’t buy Wallis’ loaves and fishes.  They will cost you everything.

 The Democrats have done incredible damage to wealth creation, human initiative and human flourishing with their reckless spending and onerous regulations.  They tax and regulate people out of business while at the same time building more casinos to strip away money thereby creating more poverty and more economic dependence. I live in Chicago. I see first hand the devastating results of the Dem’s social programs.

 Voting for Democrats is like shooting yourself in the foot and also killing the poor person whose neck you are holding down to the ground with the jackboot of your “charity.”

 The Republicans are correct – we need economic freedom for people – all people – to thrive. The Democrats redistribute what isn’t theirs to distribute.  All private property and human rights are at risk under Obama the Terrible and a Democrat regime.

 The Rev. Scirico’s book came out this year.  It encapsulates much of what I have been posting about over many months. I have been writing about social justice issues ever since learning that Christians are now recycling socialism under the guise of social gospel.

Here some of those posts:

Just-Fair-Equal: The Stooges of Progressivism

Joseph and the One Percent

When You Wish Upon Obama

The Lord Hears the Cries of the Poor. All Other Listen Up

Course Correction Needed

Outsourcing – a short story

Here is the web site where you will find the Rev. Scirico and others who can explain economics, charity and human flourishing better than Sojourners ever will:  http://www.acton.org/

 There you will find such topics as:

 The Tortured Logic of the Obamacare Law

 Black Scholars Give Obama an “F”

Final thoughts:

“No matter how much people on the left talk about compassion, they have no compassion for the taxpayers.” Thomas Sowell, economist

“Barack Obama’s political genius is his ability to say things that will sound good to people who have not followed the issues in any detail — regardless of how obviously fraudulent what he says may be to those who have. Shameless effrontery can be a huge political asset, especially if uninformed voters outnumber those who are informed.” Thomas Sowell, economist

Marxists know that when you redistribute money you redistribute values.  They stole this knowledge from Christ.  So, what values does government redistribute?

If we make government the dispenser of charity will Christ be seen?

Do we give to the poor in the name of Uncle Sam or in the name of Jesus?

Government should not be the middle man between us and our brother.  That would be dehumanizing.  And, enabling dependence on what is not of God is not compassionate.

When the poor receive alms from us the response we long to hear is “that’s So Jesus.”

*****

In Sweden, giving to charity, absurdly, came to be considered a lack of solidarity, since it undermined the need for the welfare state.” – Roland Martinsson

Stolen Goods

The American economist and academic, Walter Williams, talks about redistribution of wealth:

“A right, such as a right to free speech, imposes no obligation on another, except that of non-interference. The so-called right to health care, food or housing, whether a person can afford it or not, is something entirely different; it does impose an obligation on another. If one person has a right to something he didn’t produce, simultaneously and of necessity it means that some other person does not have right to something he did produce. That’s because, since there’s no Santa Claus or Tooth Fairy, in order for government to give one American a dollar, it must, through intimidation, threats and coercion, confiscate that dollar from some other American.”

“No human should be coerced by the state to bear the medical expense, or any other expense, for his fellow man. In other words, the forcible use of one person to serve the purposes of another is morally offensive.”

“For the most part, income is a result of one’s productivity and the value that people place on that productivity.”

“One of the wonderful things about free markets is that the path to greater wealth comes not from looting, plundering and enslaving one’s fellow man, as it has throughout most of human history, but by serving and pleasing him.”

“People who denounce the free market and voluntary exchange, and are for control and coercion, believe they have more intelligence and superior wisdom to the masses. What’s more, they believe they’ve been ordained to forcibly impose that wisdom on the rest of us. Of course, they have what they consider good reasons for doing so, but every tyrant that has ever existed has had what he believed were good reasons for restricting the liberty of others.”