Counterfeit

In Matthew 17, Jesus told Peter to catch a fish and take a four drachma coin from its mouth. I was young the first time I heard the story. It seemed odd to me. Jesus did not need the fish. He could have made dozens of the coins with his spoken word. I suppose he could have also used many other methods as well. But, he told Peter to get the coin from the fishes mouth.

In the musical, “Fiddler on the Roof,” we could hear the whimsical song, “If I Were a Rich Man.” I totally enjoyed the song long before I saw the movie or play. To be sure I identified with it. Actually, I still do. I’m not greedy. I would be very happy with a million or two. I would not turn down five or six. It would not solve all my problems but it would solve most of them.

What does the one thing have to do with the other? Although God can make money, He rarely if ever does. On that day, when Jesus was asked about the taxes, if Jesus produced the money out of thin air, that would have been an act of counterfeiting. The money He would have made would have been produced outside the authority of the government and Jesus recognizes authority, even human authority.

I don’t know how that works completely, but had he made that coin, that would have been a sin, and Jesus does not sin. It does go beyond that. Let’s say God took pity on me, and maybe a few thousand others. He spoke the word and instantly, we would all have five million dollar bank accounts. That would not only be counterfeit in mass, but it could be very damaging to our economy.

That money represents work, skill and knowledge. When it is just given to me, it short circuits the system. It can and would likely negatively effect our economy. Suddenly, there would be millions more money in circulation and hence, each dollar would be worth less. Therefore, God would be improperly taking the representation of the work of thousands and giving it to me. I would benefit from the work of others wrongfully, as would the others.

So now, the government, in all its wisdom has decided it is okay to redistribute wealth. I get to benefit from the sweat of your brow and you get to benefit from the sweat of mine. Never mind the product of our work. Never mind my laziness. All those who have worked so hard to build those apartments. Never mind them. Let them go into debt while those who refuse to work live in the fruits of the work of their landlords.

God does not redistribute wealth because he knows it is not right. Why should the government know better.

Communism is a relatively new economic system. Capitalism is as old as trading. I will give you so many of these if you give me so many of that. I will help you build your home if you will provide food and clothing for me. If you provide me a boat, I will provide fish for you.

The coinage only made it all simpler. At first it had no government backing. However, over time, only the governments coined the money. At least that is the way it was supposed to work. Then they started taxing to pay for mutual defense and roads and such. Now it has gotten into a tangled mess, but it works the same.

The problem is that that there are a number of things that throw things out of kilter. There is, of course robbery. As mentioned a fore, counterfeiting. Then there is gambling and lotteries. In the blink of an eye, gambling can transfer the equivalent of large amounts of work from one to another. Such things throw the capitalists system out of kilter.

The man that loses all his wages cannot pay his rent. The gambling sites draw crowds of unsavory types. And then of course, those that own the “house” live on the fruits of the labor of others without adding one thing to society. Indeed, they become the “rich men” as sung of in the above song.

The work they do is a counterfeit work. But they are not alone. Those in government know how to counterfeit their contributions to society too. They tax some while they give to others… all the time skimming some off for themselves. It is the most important reason to keep government small. It is one of the most important reasons to limit the power of government. It is the biggest reason FOCs get involved in government.

It is one of the biggest reasons that governments fail.

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