COVENANT … CALLING … COMMERCE (Civics American)
“One Nation Under God”
ALMOST 3,000 YEARS AFTER the COVENANT at SINAI, The PILGRIMS, WHO SAW THEMSELVES as NEW ISRAELites, EMBARKED on a VENTURE INTO THEIR OWN DESOLATE WILDERNESS … DERIVED from the BIBLICAL IDEA of COVENANT.
Submerged with American thought and culture – especially Constitutionalism …
– COVENANT IDEAS formed a significant part of the FOUNDATION of the United States, a continued INFLUENCE on AMERICAN LIFE.
From their earliest beginnings, the PEOPLE and POLITICS comprising the United States have BOUND THEMSELVES TOGETHER through COVENANTS to erect their New World order, DELIBERATELY FOLLOWING BIBLICAL PRECEDENTS.
TheCOVENANT, “SOCIAL CONTRACT”, concluded on the MAYFLOWERin 1620, remains the FIRST hallowed document of the AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL tradition.
For the patriots of Samuel Adams it was “solemn league and covenant” against British OPPRESSION; for the framers of the CONSTITUTIONAL compact of 1787;
JEFFERSONwho referred to the young republicin his first inaugural address as a “CHOSEN country” …
Lincoln often characterized the American Union as “a regular MARRIAGE” … for millions of ordinary Americans, the CONCEPT ofCOVENANT HAS BEEN REFLECTED IN REAL EXPERIENCES from JAMESTOWN to the PRESENT … whereby INDIVIDUALS and FAMILIES HAVE COME TOGETHER to ESTABLISH GOVERNING ARRANGEMENTS BY COMPACT.
The PURITANS: COVENANT Comes to the New World
Thefirst political principles systematicallyenunciated in America were extensions and adaptations of the Puritans’ federal theology which SAW ALL SOCIETY as an OUTGROWTH of the BASIC BIBLICAL COVENANTS BETWEEN GOD and HIS PEOPLE.
John Winthrop referred to the GOOD COMMONWEALTH AS ONE COMMITTED to “FEDERAL LIBERTY,” or the FREEDOM to FREELY HARKEN to the LAW of the COVENANT.”
The Puritans sought to PLACE ALL RELATIONSHIPS AMONG PEOPLE ON a COVENANTAL BASIS.
TheirCONGREGATIONSwere COVENANT-FORMED PARTNERSHIPS of “SAINTS” (separated) which came into existence only when potential MEMBERS COVENANTED AMONG EACH OTHER, and survived only so long as the covenantal act remained valid (potentially but not necessarily forever).
All through the colonial era Americans went from compact to compact– a score of compacts and agreements on one frontier after another.”
Richard Niebuhr: “one of the great common patterns that guided men in the period when American democracy was formed…was the PATTERN of the COVENANT or of FEDERAL society.”
Puritans who settled in New England combined a FUNDAMENTAL CONSERVATISM WITH an UNHESITATING RADICALISM, to become a PARADIGM for OTHER ASPECTS of THEIR APPROACH to LIFE
a social science dealing with the RIGHTSand DUTIESof CITIZENS
REFLECTIONs of Our Common “American” Heritage
as well as their responsibilities … engaging in the political process.
The word civics was an American English invention, modeled on politics, from the Latin civicus, “of a citizen” – you are considered part of the nationand have an active rolein determining what that nation does
civic knowledge and engagement including considering alternative viewpoints (pluralism), appreciating diversity, analyzing the role of citizens in the political process, monitoring and understanding. current events, and thinking critically about political information.
promoting the quality of lifein a community, through both political and non-political processes.”
Civic engagement includes both paid and unpaid forms of political activism.
A responsible citizen has knowledge about his/her role in community, stateand the world.
A responsible citizen has a role in making the world a BETTER place to LIVE
A CHANGE AGENT acts out regarding “DUE PROCESS” of justice in social, economic, and environmental sectors
VOLUNTARY RESPONSIBILITIES of AMERICAN CITIZENS
- Voting. While voting is a right and privilege of citizenship, it is also a duty or responsibility.
- Staying informed. …
- Community involvement. …
- Practicing tolerance. …
- Passing it on
GOD CREATED a world of PURPOSE … MEANING … COMPLEXITY
CALLING… It is the “CREATION’s” RESPONSIBILITYto FIND ONE’s “PLACE” and PURPOSE in GOD’s CREATION…
American “IDEALS” regarding “rights”, responsibilities … impulses and convictions leading to
ALTRUISM (well-being “neighbors” … “strangers”)
natural rights, social contract, popular sovereignty, limited government and republicanism
… and their influence on the foundation of the United States of America
democratic republicanism – representative government based on popular sovereignty (“we the people”) … “limited” government through free and fair elections; the active participation of the people, as citizens … protection of the human rights of ALL citizens
POWER DIVIDED … SEPARATED …
MAJORITIES and MINORITES … politically, geographic “FEDERALism)
INDIVIDUALism. … “COMMUNITY”
VOLUNTEERism … NOT “COERCED”
“OPPORTUNITY”(equality of “starting point” … NOT “outcomes”)
Achievement … Action … Work
NOT “COMMERCIALIZATION” (materialism)
voluntary, free exchange – mutually beneficial
“BE FRUIT-FUL and MULTIPLY” …
“GOD’s anti-DOTE to this world’s temporary CURSE of TOIL”
“The PURSUIT of HAPPINESS” …
“EARNED SUCCESS” (not “entitlement”)
Ben Franklin grasped the truth about MONEY’s inability to deliver life satisfaction –
“money never made a man happy yet, nor will it.
The more a man has, the more he WANTS. Instead of FILLINFa vaccuum, it MAKESone.”
ARTHUR C. BROOKS … “The Battle” … For Our Economic Souls …
FREE ENTERPRISE … FORMULA for wealth creation…LIFE SATISFACTION#3
There are THREE BASIC THINGS that make people HAPPY:
1)MEANINGin their lives,
2)CONTROL over their environment, and
3)SUCCESS in CREATING VALUE in the world.
… the way people get these things is NOTwith MONEY or POWER or FAME –
… it is with their VALUES
people who are serious about healthy values in their LIVES, FAMILIES, and COMMUNITIESare MUCH HAPPIERthan others.
The data say that these VALUES come in EIGHT CATEGORIES: faith, family, personal liberty, private morality, non-materialism, opportunity, work, and service to others
What HAPPY AMERICANSknow is that nothingis more important than these values for building truehappiness.If we know we have the POSSIBILITYof earning success,we know wecan improve our livesand our lot.
That is one of the GREAT GIFTS of the American free enterprise system– the OPPORTUNITYfor people to re-invent themselves, to work toward a future that is BETTER than their past.
Progressive TAXATION dismantles the cause-and-effect relationship between working hard and achieving success. …
Tax REVENUES will actually DECLINE in the long run because of the negative impact on incentives for successful people to work and earn
Obama’s economic “vision” does NOT produce a “fair” society– “If you think spreading moneyaround by forceseems like an odd definition of fairness, you’re not alone.”
Americans seek FAIRsociety LIFTING UP (not LEVEL-ing) those in POVERTY
The SYSTEMthat enables the mostpeople to earn the MOST success is free enterprise, by matching up people’s SKILLS, INTERESTS and ABILITIES
FREE markets … UNequal incomes … be NOT ASHAMED…it’s THE ENVY of the world”
The ENVY (not tnterprise) solution to poverty is SIMPLE: REDISTRIBUTION.
Re-distribution simply spreads money around.
Even worse, it attenuates the ability to earn success by perverting economic incentives.
By shifting wealth from the rich to the poor, they believe they can solve poverty, but this is a FAILING strategy.”
The PUBLIC “WELFARE STATE” PERPETUATES POVERTY, NOT “LIFTING” PEOPLE OUT of POVERTY, FOSTERING “DEPENDENCE”, NOT INDEPENDENCE.
HISTORY’s BIGGEST ECONOMIC HOAX#I –
There is “NO FREE LUNCH”… the MYTH of “ROB[BING] HOOD”
RE-DISTRIBUTION DOES NOT “FIX” POVERTY
“RE-DISTRIBUTING WEALTH is STEALING … NOT SHARING…
TOO BIG WILLFAIL … based on theft … secrets … lies … DEADLY SINS … are DEADLY …
Bigger bureaucracies, bigger labor unions, and bigger state-run corporations.
It will be harder to be an entrepreneur because of punitive taxes and regulations. The rewards of success will be expropriated for the sake of attaining greater income equality.
HISTORY’s BIGGEST ECONOMIC “HOAX” – #2? –
“greed-capitalism” CREATEDa WORLD in NEED
HUMANITY was-is BORN “in NEED” … capitalism does NOT MAKEpeople “selfish” ….
They are BORN that way …
WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT the “TRAGIC REALITY” of “SELF-ishness”? …
UTOPIA = NOWHERE …
REJECTION of “REALITY” … a World in “SIN” (missing the mark)
“MISERY” is the “NATURAL” STATE of HUMANITY (“encouraged” by Marx-ism) …
“WEALTH” and ”HAPPINESS” is “EXCEPTIONAL”… NOT the NORM …
Opportunity breeds happiness and efforts to diminish economic inequality –
without creating economic opportunity. It will actually lowerAmerica’s gross national happiness, not raise it.
STIMULATING PROSPERITY, NOT SIMPLY ALLEVIATING POVERTY, SHOULD BE the GOAL FOR HELPING the POOR and VULNERABLE
Study after study of impoverished communities around the world shows that PROSPERITY, NOT POVERTY IS THE RIGHT FOCUS IF WE WANT TO ‘LIFT PEOPLE UP”.
ONLY free enterpriseTRULY addresses the ROOT CAUSES of poverty.
REAL solutions are NOT based on a RE-SLICING of the EXISTING ECONOMIC PIEby government officials and bureaucrats, effectively taking money from the well-off and giving it to the poor through punitive taxationand growing welfare.
“STIMULUS”: Take a gallon bucket to a swimming pool. Take a gallon from the deep (“rich”) end. Then go poor the gallon in the shallow (poor) end. What effect does this have?”
They are based on an expansion of the piein ways that will increase everybody’s share through policies and a CULTURE that CREATES INCENTIVES for ALL AMERICANS.
“A RISING TIDE RAISES ALL BOATS.”
It allows the “poor” to tap into the GENERATIVE POWER of entrepreneurshipand ultimatelylets them earn their own success.
Free enterprise is essentially a formula NOT JUST for WEALTH CREATION,
… but LIFE SATISFACTION.
“FIXING” POVERTY is BEST DONE by CREATING-GROWING WEALTH
“ENVY” – “EQUALITY in MISERY” is a FAILED, MARX-ist “BAIT and SWITCH”
ENTERPRISE – The MORALITYof MORE…. NOT the “LOGICof LESS”…
Most Americans DO NOT see free enterprise as just a material economic matter – it as kind of a LIFESTYLE ISSUE.
ENTERPRISE – COMMERCE is a FOUNDATION of “AMERICA” … (the “pursuit of happiness”)
It’s true that today, the richest one percent of Americans own a third of America’s wealth.
One % owns 35 %!… SO WHAT?
Some claim that the RICH GET RICHER at the EXPENSE of the POOR
But that’s a LIE.
The greedy-evil-capitalists-CHEAT-the-poor message (ENVY)
“Wall Street” creepy financier, Gordon Gekko – “GREED” WORKS …
“It’s a ZERO-SUM game. SOMEBODY WINS; SOMEBODY LOSES”
A (fallacious) ZERO-SUM GAME…
IF SOMEONE MAKES MONEY, HE TOOK IT FROM EVERYONE ELSE.
ALIENATION is ‘NATURAL” … BUT HUMANITY has the CAPACITY to “TRANSCEND” materialist NATURE (altruism) …
HOSTILITY (zero sum exclusive) vs HARMONY (rising tide) inclusive) …
The more the rich have, the less others have.
It’s as if the economy is a pie that’s already on the table, waiting to be carved.
The bigger the piece the rich take, the less that’s left for everyone else.
The economy is just a fight over who gets how much (the left-over “scraps”)
But this is ABSURD
fallacious thinking based on ASSUMPTIONS … not necessarily true …
Bill GATES MADE-CREATED a HUGE slice of PIE, but he DID NOT TAKE it FROM ME
By starting Microsoft, Gates BAKED MILLIONS of NEW PIES
Gates made the REST of the world RICHER, too
ENTREPRENEURS CREATE things.
Over the past few decades, the difference in wealth between the rich and poor has GROWN.
This makes people UN-comfortable
“ENTERPRISE” (interests and “greed”) produces WEALTH (“blessings”) … and “ENVY” (burdens)
REALITY = HUMANITY = “ALL MIXED UP”
POWER “CORRUPTs” … BUT MARKETS (can) CORRECT … alienation vs. altruism
“RICHES” … are “RELATIVE”
“RICH” … “POOR” … COMPARED to WHAT?
BUT WHY is it a problem if the poor DID NOT GET POOR-er?
It leaves out the INNOVATION that makes life BETTER for BOTH the RICH and POOR
Even poor people today have ACCESS …. OPPORTUNITY … to cars, food, health care, entertainment and technology that rich people lusted for a few decades ago.
90% percent of Americans living “BELOW the POVERTY LINE” have smart phones, cable TV and cars. 70% percent own two cars.
ARE “BLESSINGS” UN-EQUAL BETTER THAN “BURDENS” EQUALLY SHARED MISERY (LEVEL-ed LOW)?
COVENANT … CALLING … COMMERCE (Civics American)