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David Bokovoy

Acts 4:32-35

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Vance:

In general terms of easily accessible natural resources the US has more than any other country on earth. We also started developing them relatively early in our history. More than any other single factor the pursuit of wealth drove immigrants to this country.

You also have to keep in mind that for many years we economically profited greatly from slavery.

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I'm reminded of the Talmudic jest on alleged inconsistencies in the Torah.

USU "They're not talking about ink recipes" 78

The problem I have with this Rabbinic approach is that sometimes in a religious text (especially the Bible) there really is an inconsistency that reflects the different religious views held by separate scribes/authors. In the case of the Gospel of Luke, however, and these specific parables, the inconsistency is fully resolved when one recognizes that Jesus was no more talking about the need to earn money via investments than he was a shepherd finding lost sheep, or a woman searching for a missing coin.

Best,

--DB

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The previous thread exploring this topic has branched out into other pursuits. I would like to specifically consider the biblical passage Acts 4:32-35, asking the question, "Did the primitive church live as a community without private ownership? Note the NRSV translation:

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In general terms of easily accessible natural resources the US has more than any other country on earth.

False,

There are several other countries that have more and more accessible natural resources than the US. Mexico and Russia are examples.

We also started developing them relatively early in our history.

Not true.

The US is relatively young and new to the world scene.

More than any other single factor the pursuit of wealth drove immigrants to this country.

Wrong again! Individual and religious liberty has been the major drivers for immigrants.

You also have to keep in mind that for many years we economically profited greatly from slavery.

And so the southern states were more wealthy than the northern states before the Civil War?

That explains why they lost. :P

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Vance:

You also have to keep in mind that for many years we economically profited greatly from slavery.

And of course, slavery was the perversion of private property and its needs were based on cheap labor and exploitation. But it was sustained because america stressed private property and humans became the exemplar of this property.

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The problem I have with this Rabbinic approach is that sometimes in a religious text (especially the Bible) there really is an inconsistency that reflects the different religious views held by separate scribes/authors. In the case of the Gospel of Luke, however, and these specific parables, the inconsistency is fully resolved when one recognizes that Jesus was no more talking about the need to earn money via investments than he was a shepherd finding lost sheep, or a woman searching for a missing coin.

When our regard for our fellows, the lost, the beaten, the abandoned, the widowed, informs us like the single-minded shepherd or the desperate widow, then we shall have found the front stoop of the Kingdom of G-d. The alleged inconsistencies between the world underlying the Master's parables and the specific teaching inferred from certain passages in Luke's fragmentary Acts of the Apostlescan be reconciled with difficulty but are nevertheless reconcilable.

Ownership/Non-ownership of human beings is not the end-all.

Common ownership of stuff is not the end-all.

The character of the covenant community is.

Now, is it better or worse for mankind that slavery be permitted? I honestly don't know the answer, since we have the example of the mills of post-Industrial Revolution America and UK as examples of what a different economic system can mean. Was that system superior to that enjoyed by captive Greeks in classical Rome?

Is common ownership of stuff always superior to every other system? If we look at the Soviet, North Korean and Cuban models, we'd have to say no. Yet we know that cannot be the case.

More important, on my view, is the relationship between the individual covenanter and G-d, and the individual covenanter and his fellows in the covenant.

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Guns, germs & steel.

not so.

If you had actually read Diamond, you'd know that the guns and steel were not in USmerica (else the Indians would have been the ones conquering Europe), but in Europe. USmerica does not have the natural resources of Europe or Asia.

What we do have (or had, until the state took it away), is people who were willing to take a risk and fail, if they judged wrong, but reap the rewards of serving their fellows if they guessed correctly.

For every Henry Ford, there were countless others who designed better buggy whips. He guessed right, they guessed wrong. He became rich, they foundered.

I once saw a "reality" show where the winner would be given a half-hour spot on the Shopping Channel, one guy simply refused to believe that his sunglasses-sporting tiki dolls super heroes would not be a huge hit. He'd spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on the project, had mortgaged his house, etc. The judges all told him (based at least partly on "play testing" by children in his target market), that no one would spend the kind of money (which is, do not forget, a representation of part of the buyer's life) he'd need to cover his manufacturing costs. I do not know what he did afterward (his wife may have become involved

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not so.

If you had actually read Diamond, you'd know that the guns and steel were not in USmerica (else the Indians would have been the ones conquering Europe), but in Europe. USmerica does not have the natural resources of Europe or Asia.

How silly of me to assume that the early colonists might have had anything to do with Europe. :P

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Vance:

Much of Russia's vast natural resources are locked away in the ice and snow of the permafrost. Its developed oil/natural gas wealth as such is centered around the politically unstable Caspian Sea region. Mexico is a small fraction of the size of the US, and less arable land than many of our states.

The reason that most Europeans came here was for the chance to gain wealth. The Norteamericano's lead the world in exporting animal furs long before there was a United States.

No it wasn't about religious freedom. That is just a nice fairy tale. Roger Williams the founder of Rhode Island fled the Puritans because of their religious intolerance. In many states you had to belong to a particular branch of Christianity be be allowed to vote. Patrick Henry wanted each state to set up a system of taxes to be paid to a particular church denomination. As Patric Henry was from Virginia and Episcopalian he wanted tax money paid to just his church and none other. Patrick Henry also opposed the Constitution.

Before the US Civil War? Yes. The USA had the manufacturing and the CSA had the agriculture.

The battles of Bull Run were such rousing success for the North? The reason the South lost was not do to any supposed virtue of the North, but the South depended on imported supplies and armaments. The North simply out produced them. Grant divided the South along the Mississippi, and Sherman divided the southern part from the northern.

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Honestly, I have no idea how anyone could possibly assume that Jesus

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You also have to keep in mind that for many years we economically profited greatly from slavery.

Since slavery was a worldwide practice for most the earth's history, I don't see how slavery explains it fully.

For comments on worldwide slavery, see the following:

Rodney Stark, For the Glory of God: How Monotheism Led to Reformations, Science, Witch-Hunts, and the End of Slavery (Princeton University Press, 2003)

Thomas Sowell, "The Real History of Slavery" in his Black Rednecks and White Liberals (Encounter Books, 2005)

On my to-read list: Robert C. Davis, Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast, and Italy, 1500-1800 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003)

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The basis of capitalism is that it is based on two basic principles. One is that those who have the gold make the rules, and number two is that you can buy anything in this world with money.

This is so philosophically and economically inane that I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

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WalkerW:

Laugh or cry all you want. The essence of Capitalism is to effect public policy through the acquisition of private wealth.

While nearly every country has outlawed slavery it is still practiced world wide. Including here in the US amongst the good Christian capitalists.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=2981327&page=1

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WalkerW:

Laugh or cry all you want. The essence of Capitalism is to effect public policy through the acquisition of private wealth.

Actually no it is not. That is not Capitalism that you speak of that does that.

If I really wanted to I could argue in the same manner that the light switch was really designed to kill people.

While nearly every country has outlawed slavery it is still practiced world wide. Including here in the US amongst the good Christian capitalists.

Um, no it is not. That is strike 2 for you TSS. I have a feeling that you have no idea what capitalism really is.

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Mola Ram Suda Ram:

Is that why we successfully prosecuted nearly 100 people in 2006 in the US? Because it doesn't exist in the US.

"Last year, the Justice Department initiated 168 investigations, charged 111 defendants in 32 cases, and obtained 98 convictions involving human trafficking cases.".

Here is another site for you.

http://gvnet.com/humantrafficking/USA.htm

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Mola Ram Suda Ram:

Is that why we successfully prosecuted nearly 100 people in 2006 in the US? Because it doesn't exist in the US.

http://abcnews.go.co...=2981327&page=1

"Last year, the Justice Department initiated 168 investigations, charged 111 defendants in 32 cases, and obtained 98 convictions involving human trafficking cases.".

Here is another site for you.

http://gvnet.com/humantrafficking/USA.htm

The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency estimates that 50,000 people are trafficked into or transited through the U.S.A. annually as sex slaves, domestics, garment, and agricultural slaves.

Ps. You might find this particularly interesting from a historical perspective.

http://www.jstor.org/pss/272985

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Laugh or cry all you want. The essence of Capitalism is to effect public policy through the acquisition of private wealth.

This sounds much more like crony capitalism than the economic growth attained through cooperation and free-markets. Do not conflate the two. Government with its hand in business and vice versa it the interventionism free-markets seek to avoid.

Your analysis sounds more like Naomi Klein induced nonsense than any real reading of economics.

While nearly every country has outlawed slavery it is still practiced world wide. Including here in the US amongst the good Christian capitalists.

What does this have to do with anything?

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Mola Ram Suda Ram:

Is that why we successfully prosecuted nearly 100 people in 2006 in the US? Because it doesn't exist in the US.

"Last year, the Justice Department initiated 168 investigations, charged 111 defendants in 32 cases, and obtained 98 convictions involving human trafficking cases.".

Here is another site for you.

http://gvnet.com/humantrafficking/USA.htm

What of it? You are failing to make your case here.

Here is your orginial claim.

The essence of Capitalism is to effect public policy through the acquisition of private wealth.

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WalkerW:

It appears to me that the last 30 years of Laissez faire economics has resulted in the near destruction of that very same economic system. I don't know about you but $23 Trillion is a lot of money.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aY0tX8UysIaM

Ps. Capitalism and slavery get along very well.

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The claim has been made that this scriptural focus on eradicating poverty is somehow inconsistent with the views taught currently by the Brethren. Nothing could be further from the truth. Great article in the Ensign by Elder D. Todd Christofferson:

"In your temporal things you shall be equal, and this not grudgingly, otherwise the abundance of the manifestations of the Spirit shall be withheld

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The claim has been made that this scriptural focus on eradicating poverty is somehow inconsistent with the views taught currently by the Brethren. Nothing could be further from the truth. Great article in the Ensign by Elder D. Todd Christofferson:

"In your temporal things you shall be equal, and this not grudgingly, otherwise the abundance of the manifestations of the Spirit shall be withheld

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It appears to me that the last 30 years of Laissez faire economics has resulted in the near destruction of that very same economic system. I don't know about you but $23 Trillion is a lot of money.

I beg to differ. The increase in average living standards and economic growth is largely based on market exchange and the restraint on government regulations and intervention. The U.S. economic situation changed drastically in the early 20th century, especially in the wake of the New Deal and the expansion of the welfare state. Today's current economic crisis was largely generated by the interventionism of the Fed, including the push for riskier loans and the artificial lowering of interest rates.

See the following:

Thomas E. Woods, Jr., Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and Government Bailouts Will Make Things Worse (Regnery Publishing, 2009)

Matt Ridley, The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves (HarperCollins, 2010)

Michael Shermer, The Mind of the Market: Compassionate Apes, Competitive Humans, and Other Tales from Evolutionary Economics (Times Books, 2008)

Andreas Bergh, Martin Karlsson, "Government Size and Growth: Accounting for Economic Freedom and Globalization," Public Choice 142:1-2 (2010)

Thomas J. DiLorenzo, How Capitalism Saved America: The Untold History of our Country, From the Pilgrims to the Present (Three Rivers Press, 2004)

Capitalism and slavery get along very well.

Slavery got along well with pretty much every culture and every economic system worldwide for thousands of years. But in response to your knee-jerk reaction, genocide has gone along quite well with statism in the 20th century. Do I win?

And I always prefer speaking in terms of free-markets, since the term "capitalism" was actually coined by Karl Marx in an attempt to get rid of it.

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Perhaps we should define the market as Adam Smith did: "Give me that which I want, and you shall have this which you want." Mutual benefit and cooperation. Providing a service or good unto your fellow man from which you both benefit. Greed doesn't make you rich. The people continually buying your product or service do.

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Perhaps we should define the market as Adam Smith did: "Give me that which I want, and you shall have this which you want." Mutual benefit and cooperation. Providing a service or good unto your fellow man from which you both benefit. Greed doesn't make you rich. The people continually buying your product or service do.

I agree with this and that is how I view the free market. The thing is who can do that the best. The better you do it the more money you make.

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