George Washington died the same way America's economy is dying: He was bled to death by his doctors. As George's symptoms got worse, his doctors siphoned out another pint of blood – believing his bad blood was the problem. With every pint pumped from his veins, he surprisingly – at least to them – got worse. These educated and elite medical professionals never questioned their original assumptions. They erroneously concluded they had not intervened enough and siphoned yet another quart of blood. Washington's doctors killed him. As his cold corpse rested in his bed, you could hear in hush tones, "If only we'd bled him out faster and sooner." The worsening symptoms were never interpreted as the proverbial light of the dashboard clamoring, "This is not working! Stop! You're not solving the problem, you are the problem!"
The doctors of democracy are bleeding out America today with their Keynesian assumptions that you can never spend too little, intervene too soon or stimulate too much. And America's heart rate is up with 9.9 percent unemployment; gold has broken out into a cold sweat above $1,200; and small businesses sound like Will Robinson's robot: "Warning! Warning! Danger! Danger!" And how does a doctor trained in bloodletting respond to worsening symptoms? The same way a government brainwashed in Keynesian nonsense responds, "Take out another pint!" Keep spending. Keep borrowing. Keep inflating.
If George Washington's corpse could talk, he'd beg us to ignore the profoundly wrong assumptions of the professionals. He might advise us to go watch "Weekend at Bernie's" when we see politicians waving America's dying hand while mouthing, "We're almost out of the woods! The recovery is under way." George might have gasped with his dying breath, "Stop helping, I can't take it!"
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What America needs is God's view on economics: Godonomics. In Proverbs 31, it outlines how economies work. This businesswoman begins with producing, finding a vineyard. Then she profits – which is a good thing, not a four-letter word. And in a free-market system, the only way to profit is when someone willingly chooses to buy your product, requiring the producer to put the consumers' needs first. Our Proverbs 31 woman does just that as she "affirms that her merchandise is good," working day and night to make the business go. From her profits she produces savings, which allow her to invest in another vineyard – blessing others, hiring more workers and producing more. From her savings she extends her hand to the poor and needy. And twice the Scriptures affirm two lynchpins of capitalism – property rights and incentive – when it says, "Give her the fruit of her hands." Those profits belong to her because she worked for them. This is called property rights. And they were the incentive of her hard work, her initiative.
Contrast this with consumer-nomics, which begins with consuming more than you produce. Since you have no savings, you must turn to borrowing to support your lifestyle. Where does this money come from? If you are an individual, it may come from enslaving yourself to the compounded interest of debt. If you are a government or government program, you only have three ways to consume. Option 1: taxing the producers, thus decreasing their profits, savings and ability to invest in new jobs. Goodbye employment. Option 2: inflating the currency, which devalues the dollar and hurts the poor, ignoring God's strong words about "unjust scales" and "dishonest weights." Option 3: enslaving itself by borrowing from other nations – ignoring God's commands not to borrow from other nations because they will have power over you, Deuteronomy 28:43. All three of these bad options pass the buck of our selfish bingeing to our children and grandchildren rather than following the advice of the Proverb that says, "A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children."
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If Washington is to be resuscitated, if he has any chance of recovering from his blind guides and bloodthirsty doctors, we must return to God's wisdom, educating others in Godonomics and seeking His founding principles ... before we, like George, are bled to death.
Chad Hovind is senior pastor of Horizon Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.