Saturday, August 31, 2013

Vision of Limited Government and Prosperity

This new discipline of keeping a daily journal was ignited by my reading of Leonard Read's books. Three days ago, I wrote in my journal that I read three chapters from three separate books. They are "Vision", "Thou Fool" and "Life's Greatest Occupations". And so today, since my remaining task for tomorrow's worship is just to include two songs in the PowerPoint presentation, I now have sufficient time to start writing about my thoughts about these three chapters. Let me start with "Vision". 


The man was Lord Tennyson. Leonard Read described him as a man of vision, of foresight. Such foresight is an outcome of politico-economic knowledge (p. 4). 

To demonstrate the power of vision, Read cited the experience of the Pilgrims when they landed at Plymouth Rock. There was no development that time, but after seven generations, numerous countries were amazed and sent their delegates to inquire about the key to the Pilgrims' prosperity. Among four reasons, two caught my attention. Actually, they can be summed up in just one - limited government. 

If the government task is just confined in keeping the peace and pursuing common justice, that would be good for society and for economic development. Once the government transgressed this boundary, social and economic woes are the inevitable results. The modern day ideas that the government is perceived "as the endower of the rights to life and livelihood" (ibid.) are basically idolatrous. The state has usurped the rightful place that belongs only to God. Such ideas unless corrected will produce nothing but the erosion of society's moral fabric and increasing poverty.

Read without claiming such foresight, made prediction nonetheless, a very unfortunate prediction. He saw not a bright future, but economic disaster due to the increasing power of the government through socialistic means:

"I can foresee not the wonders but the disaster that lies ahead if our present decline into planned economy and welfare state-socialism continues" (ibid.) 


Read, Leonard E. ( 1978 ). Vision. New York: The Foundation for Economic Education, Inc.

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