Thursday, April 29, 2010

Jesus Christ is the Son of God: Mormon Messages

I testify that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and I know that the greatest happiness comes in and through Him. Knowledge of His character is the greatest blessing we can receive. The greatest joy is to share that knowledge with our families.

Seven Principles for Highly Effective Economies

Here are some ideas for strengthening the economy.

First principle: the real goal of the economy is always quality of living. Unemployment rates, productivity measures, wages, goods, and services are all aimed at improving quality of life. The value of money is always measured by how much quality of life it can buy you. So, whenever the government increases the money supply without increasing the goods and services that are available, the money-to-quality-of-life ratio increases, and the value of money decreases.

Second principle: work is the staple of the economy. Work produces everything that improves our quality of life. If work ceases, then the value of money drops. If productivity decreases, then the value of money will as well.

Third principle: the economy is and must be dynamic. It is ever changing. Government bail outs are probably a bad idea, because they slow down that change. As the population size changes, as immigrants move in, as new products, services, and technologies are developed, new businesses and operations will grow and old ones will die off.

Fourth principle: all economic transactions should, ideally, maximize the overall improvement of the quality of life. This happens naturally, because people will not usually agree to a transaction that does not benefit them. Dishonesty slows down and drains the economy because only one party benefits from the transaction, and sometimes their increase of quality of life is less than the harm they caused to somebody else, resulting in an overall drop. Unnecessary debt decreases quality of life, as do unnecessary government spending, wasteful personal spending, and so on.

Fifth principle: poorer people benefit more from the same amount of money rich people do. This does not mean that the government should always intervene. It does mean that richer people funding non-profit organizations, paying for the education of those who are less fortunate, and helping those who cannot help themselves is an economically intelligent decision for the group as a whole. According to the Bible and the revelations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, this will also allow those who have more than they need to draw closer to God and avoid hell.

Sixth principle: reasonable volunteer work makes everyone happy. When people have more time than they need, using that extra time to work to benefit others may result in a higher overall quality of living, since the poor generally benefit more from the same goods and services than the rich do, since the rich are already comfortable and have their needs met.

Seventh principle: love is more valuable than anything that money can buy. Therefore, a mother staying home to nurture her children more, or a father turning down a lucrative job that would take him away from his family, are often wiser decisions that will result in a higher quality of life for the family. A lower standard of living, in some cases, can lead to a higher quality of life.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Responsibility and Liberty

Does a Statue of Responsibility impose values on others? Yes. But only values that are necessary for society to function.

Democracy is designed to encourage freedom of religion, speech, belief, and life goals. However, this freedom depends on honesty. It depends on trust. It depends on us respecting each others' rights. Compassion alone does not protect others' rights. We must fulfill our duties: to our families, to our communities, to our country.

Liberty does not, and cannot, mean freedom from the consequences of our actions! If you steal or kill, you are punished. If you are intimate with someone, the girl can get pregnant. If you have children, you have a deep responsibility to take care of them.

Every action has natural consequences. Every choice has responsibilities. It's even true in physics and biology! You reap what you sow. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

If America continues its current route of avoiding responsibility in favor of freedom from consequences, then it will fall apart as surely as the Soviet Union did. We will take out debts with no intention of repaying them. We will have children with no intention of raising them. We will get jobs with no intention of producing the promised goods or services with good quality.

Hence, responsibility is the necessary counterpart for liberty, or the people of the United States of America will never achieve the unity envisioned by George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and, I believe, by God.