Our recent economic values are not inconsistent with our other values. Statistics bear out a substantive change in the way Americans look at life. Say, from the 1950’s until now. But, what is showing up is symptomatic of a deeper illness.
We are not the same people! We are a nation adrift, and without a compass.
David Brooks of the New York Times wrote an article recently citing the recklessness of our economic values. We spend like there is no tomorrow and build generational debt. He lists personal debt rising two and a half times since 1960 and talks about the Wall Street abuses. Brooks seems to think we have spent too much time on other social values i.e. traditional Christian values. Although, he did not use the word Christian. That is my interpretation.
Well, those “other” values were deteriorating as well, in the same time frame, as the economic values. Look at anything! Look at divorce, white-collar crime, alcohol abuse, etc.
Christianity provides internal restraints, the absence of which, calls for external restraints. External restraints restricts freedom. You have to be moral to be free. It’s an old lesson that our founders understood real well. Madison said, ” if men were angels, no government would be necessary.”
Do you really believe the Congress would be straining to write restrictive legislation for bankers if the bankers had an abundance of internal restraint or “morality”.