Gary North’s Christian Economics: The Ethics of Destruction Originally published for the Libertarian Christian Institute4 min read
In my last article, I introduced Gary North and his book, Christian Economics in One Lesson. This book is a spin-off of Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson. North is a Christian Reconstructionist adherent of the Austrian School who believes that most economic theory is lacking by viewing economics as a value-free science. To be ‘value-free’ means leaving the ethics of economic ideas to ethicists. There might be a myriad of reasons for this line of thinking, the most obvious of which is the lack of ethical consensus which makes ethical application in economics cumbersome. Still, North believes we’re missing an opportunity by not discussing it. The heart of economics, he contends, is Christian ethics.
Hazlitt on Economic Fallacies
Hazlitt uses the idea of scarcity to teach his ‘one’ economics lesson. He applies scarcity to twenty-four different scenarios to demonstrate two major economic fallacies. First, most economists ignore things that are unfavorable to their point of view. Second, they overlook secondary consequences. Hazlitt employs Frédéric Bastiat’s broken window analogy to illustrate. But what do these things mean to average people? How can we use them to quickly identify bad economic ideas?
North believes Austrian economists make a strategic mistake in asserting that economics is value-free. The average person cannot easily identify economic fallacies. Instead, public discourse on economics is often reduced to parroting catchy slogans which promote dangerous economic policies. To make economics clear for the average person, North uses the 8th Commandment. Thus North’s Christian economics lesson is simply, “Thou shalt not steal.”
Thanks for reading my post! Add your thoughts and comments by contacting me below, or you can interact with me and my patrons by becoming a premium member at patreon.com/kerrybaldwin.
Taking up Machen’s Torch: An Archetype for Christian Libertarians Originally published for The Christian Libertarian Institute
Libertarians have often fumbled over where we stand on the so-called political spectrum. We tend to have a sense of feeling “liberal among conservatives,” and “conservative among liberals.” Even among libertarians, you can sometimes find a form of...
Does the Reformed Doctrine of Inerrancy Threaten Christian Libertarians? Originally published for The Libertarian Christian Institute
The Libertarian Christian Institute is an ecumenical Christian organization which brings together Christians from a variety of theological backgrounds. Though our theological differences don’t affect libertarianism, sometimes they intersect it. And when...
Is there a Christian view of economics? Originally published for The Libertarian Christian Institute
I had the pleasure of attending for the first time FEEcon this month. I met several interesting people, from fellow attendees to some of the speakers, including the president, Lawrence W. Reed. He spoke about the influence of his Christian faith on his...