Money, Green, and God Book Review
Money, Green, and God Book Review
This paper posits to present a review of the book “Money, Greed, and God”. The author, Jay Richards, endeavors to explain that capitalism is founded on the truth in relation to human beings as liberated, morally accountable, and co-creators who are bestowed with the responsibility of stewardship and dominion of the earth. The author puts across an authoritative case in support of capitalism. A clear thesis that summarizes the evaluation of the book posits that wealth generation is the bequest of capitalism. The book is an insightful discourse on poverty and wealth, money and integrity for the 21st century. The author understands the opposition in regard to capitalism and consequently he explains the reasons why the opposition fails to convince him. The author investigates the issue behind why Christians ought to be concerned about economics and why capitalism is the most appropriate economic system.
The book endeavors to explain the way in which capitalism channels self-centeredness in service others first, prior to the achievement of one’s self-interested goals. In opening, the author expounds that while numerous people talk about combating poverty, only a small number engage their minds in devising permanent solutions. Instead, the author argues, people all too frequently content to give handouts to persons in need. While it may be required in emergency circumstances, giving handouts does not offer a sustainable long-term solution. The book argues that capitalism presents the most appropriate means of eradication of poverty. If people became serious in relation to assisting the poor, we ought to promote the strengthening of free market principles in order that other people would benefit from the affluent blessings capitalism provides.
THE BOOK IN CONTEXT AND THE CENTRAL FOCUS OF THE BOOK
The 20th century witnessed a great conflict between communism and capitalism. Early in the 21st century it is apparent that capitalism prevailed over communism. Yet numerous people who live in the successful nations continue being uncomfortable with the capitalism principles. They perceive it as an economic system, a lifestyle that relocates wealth from deprived to prosperous, that takes advantage of the planet, which is in one way or another, inherently prejudiced toward the minority, at the expense of the majority. A rising number of increasingly outspoken Christians even allege that capitalism is in conflict with the biblical teachings. After an analysis of the words of Jesus that the high regard for money is a source of all varieties of evil they conclude that capitalism, which is appears to be based on high regard for money, must as well be evil. Can it be, however, that such allegations are founded on a misinterpretation of capitalism? Can every one these people be fighting against a mere distortion? Jay Richards is of the opinion that is true and he devotes Money, Green, and God to dispelling deception and replacing it with solid facts. In the entire book, the author endeavors to prove that capitalism should not be considered as the problem, but as a viable solution.
Economics is indisputably a field that scores of people undervalue. People may define it partially, but seldom can they really explicate it. According to Richards, economics fundamentally concerns us; what is preferable, contemporary values, what we embody in symbols and language, how we intermingle with one another in a market, and particularly how we manufacture, exchange, and dispense services, goods, wealth, and risk. One requires comprehending these things, and consequently one would eventually know what they need to know in relation to economics. A more conventional definition is that economics is a science which investigates human conduct as a relationship between scarce means and ends which have substitute uses. However, how regularly do people think about what economics is and how frequently do people do so from a particularly Christian perspective?
Primary Contentions and/or Observations about the Subject. Money, Greed, and God is a study that thinks of economics from a particularly Christian perspective. The book is structured around eight mythologies, eight widespread misunderstandings concerning the essence of capitalism. The eight mythologies include the nirvana mythology, the piety mythology, the zero-sum game mythology, the materialist mythology, the greed mythology, the usury mythology, the artsy mythology, and the freeze-frame mythology.
The Nirvana Mythology. In this myth, capitalism is compared with an unrealizable principle rather than with a pragmatic alternative. All people acknowledge that, God at some point in time will prevail over every thing that is wicked. Consequently, we recognize that in the present day, all systems will essentially be imperfect. Consequently people cannot appropriately set their standards at precision. The nirvana mythology supported communism and its vision of construction of utopian nations whereby equality ruled. However, the trial was a miserable failure that cost millions of people’s lives.
The Piety Mythology. In this myth, the focus is on good intent rather than the unintentional consequences of people’s actions. A contemporary case in point of this mythology operating is found when we consider fair trade. The world is growing familiarized, to being offered with the alternative of purchasing fair trade souvenirs, fair trade coffee, and so forth. The assurance is that when people do this they get larger profits to the business at the initial stage of the process. This means the individual who grows the coffee or the individual who produces the jewelry. It is also evident in foreign aid whereby billions or even trillions of US dollars are sent to the third world countries from the first world. Though externally it may come out as though these actions depict love and compassion, the actuality is that people do not perceive the unintentional consequences of these actions. These actions over and over again bring more destruction than good.
The Zero-Sum Game Mythology. In this myth, people are made to believe that any exchange or trade entails that there be a winner as well as a loser. This however, may true whereby markets are loaded with excessive regulations. On the contrary, in the free markets, there can at all times be win-win dealings. Still, individuals are prone to the impression that, only by means of increased regulation will there be a no loss guarantee.
The Materialist Mythology. This myth insists that the prosperity is not generated but simply transferred, and typically from the underprivileged to the affluent. Despite the fact that we are centuries detached from accepting as true that there exist a static quantity of prosperity in the planet, centuries from the appreciating that one individual always acquires wealth at the expense of someone else, we remain predisposed to thinking this is based on the fact. When we reflect on the extraordinary prosperity of the minority, we disregard the fact that, in numerous cases, even the most underprivileged are currently much more contented than they were some time ago. The actuality is that prosperity may be generated, and not simply transferred.
The Greed Mythology. According to this myth, the majority of people are of the opinion that the very fundamental nature of capitalism is voraciousness.
The Usury Mythology. According to this mythology, people are made to accept as true that working with currency is intrinsically immoral. This mythology also leads people to believe that charging of interest on capital is at all times exploitative. Numerous Christians reflect on the laws of the Old Testament on the subject of usury and in one way or another feel, even though only in their conscience, that there is something dishonorable on the subject of dealing with money. But when people come to understand capitalism, they can appreciate that such bible principles, despite the fact that they might direct us in some circumstances, are regularly not as rigid as the majority of people might think.
The Artsy Mythology. According to this mythology, people confuse aesthetic mythologies with economic perspectives. The majority of people are of the opinion that capitalism is intrinsically utilitarian, generating prosperity to the detriment of all that is gorgeous. But in this regard, the author explains that it capitalism in itself is vindicated, but to a certain extent the materialist worldview prevalent in contemporary ways of life.
The Freeze-Frame Mythology. This mythology posits that, all things continue unchanged at all times. This means that the population trend will go on ad infinitum or a natural resource will at all times be required in the same manner that it is in the present day. This leads to a fascinating discussion in relation to the supposed deficiency of resources like oil as well as the prognostications in relation to the impending demise of the world as a result of global warming.
Important Conclusions Identified By the Author. As the author picks eight mythologies, and exposes the flawed philosophies that motivate them, he lifts up a multitude of issues that would cause the person who reads to pause and consider. As one reads the book, there are at least three large takeaways. Firstly, the author brings up the significance of private property. It is evident as one reads the book that, there is something intrinsic in ownership that leads people to value property in different ways. Strong laws that guard private ownership stimulate an economy at the same time as lax laws or legislation that prohibits private ownership would depress the economy. Secondly, the reader learns of the significance of economic liberty. As was evident in the recent financial downturn, the projected solutions regularly entail larger restrictions, and increased government involvement. Nevertheless, on condition that there is some structure of regulation to guarantee economic liberty, an economy can flourish. Disproportionate regulation impedes more than it assists. Thirdly, the reader learns the significance of understanding that prosperity is not motionless. There is no static quantity of prosperity in the earth that ought to be divided among all of the earth’s population. Instead, prosperity can be generated and, as that takes place, it would be proportioned to persons in dire need of it. For this reason, there is something honorable in laboring, in the establishment of capitalistic enterprises and in thriving in them, on condition that the proceeds are utilized in a manner that honors God. The book it is evident that in creating wealth, mankind acts in the image of God. Capitalism according to the author is in the economist’s mind, a unique bequest of providence. In the author’s construal, instead of being a system we are embarrassed of, we can in fact, grant honor and magnificence to God for it. Despite the fact that capitalism may fail to be the most immaculate economic system known to mankind, it seems apparent that it is the most excellent so far. Numerous other economic systems have been attempted and have proven to be seriously imperfect. God, in his divine intervention, has provided mankind with an economic system in which mankind can work and generate wealth to the glory of God.
Evaluation of the Author’s Contentions and Utilization of Evidence. The author takes the objections posed by Christians in regard to capitalism seriously. He provides religiously consistent and intelligent case for the integrity of free markets. The author supports his arguments with statistics, anecdotes, eye-witness accounts, logical arguments, primary as well as secondary sources. Examples of how the author supports his arguments include; the author dispels the mystification that money is equivalent to wealth. He cites Hernando De Soto, an economist in his book “The Mystery of Capital.” the author’s case in opposition to the minimum wage whereby he alleges that it is a structure of price fixing that attempts to allocate wealth prior to its creation. He provides a measure of reality in regard to Bono and Bob Geldof’s ONE Campaign, which sought to persuade the US government to spend at least 1% of its federal budget towards foreign aid. Citing how the wealthy governments send approximately $2.3 trillion to poor nations in the past half a century. According to Richards, realistic empathy is a spiritual bequest.
The author provides statistics from “Where is the Wealth of Nations, a World Bank’s survey. The study depicts that, in the US 82% of its 2000 per capital assets are found in intangible capital, whereby 16% is generated capital, and 3% is natural capital. Ethiopia, the poorest nation, receives 50% of its prosperity from intangible capital, 9% from generated capital, and 41% from its natural capital.
Evaluation of the Style of the Book. The author provides the reader with an expansive context of meaning of scriptural text. A case in point is the study on usury, whereby it includes numerous useful exegetical scrutinies, but also concrete background information regarding church history and tradition. The capitalism and greed chapter contain some helpful and thoughtful arguments, mainly when the author discusses the significance of the entrepreneur in the society. The author provides some essential thoughts on honorable acts and conduct expected of the entrepreneur. The book is thoughtful, and avidly argued book, well grounded in contemporary research. It would be recommend economists as well as non-economists. However, the author is imprecise as to whether, in his opinion some compulsory income redistribution is lawful and property rights as the answer to capital expansion. The issue of state participation in caring for the underprivileged is not methodically treated. However, the book is a welcome to the current debate in regard to the economics and moral concerns surrounding capitalism.