Thursday, June 13, 2019

Thou shall not covet

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, his male or female slave, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

I did not understand this as a kid. Why would wanting something be a sin?

It is a lot clearer now that I have a few miles on the odometer.

Generically, those who covet are now called Communists or Socialists. In spite of their rhetoric they are not pro-poor people. They would step on a thousand poor people while wearing golf spikes if it gave them a chance to spit on rich person.

Unfortunately, envy is an easy emotion to stoke and evil forces are doing everything they can to gain ascendancy.

Actions have consequence
If leaders promote and reward envy and those who covet, there will be consequences.

As a simple example: Suppose everybody who is a millionaire must pay a special tax to do business in a large city.

Good luck finding a plumber or electrician or somebody who runs a roofing company.

Good luck finding a doctor or a clinic.

Leaders are apt to turn around and subsidize those activities, but who wants to do the extra paperwork when you can move 100 yards outside city limits? Who wants to put themselves at the mercy of a bureaucracy that can be petty or vindictive and delay your payment or subsidy. Remember, these people are motivated by envy and feel righteous about punishing "rich" people.

Yup, those last two commandments make a lot more sense now. It is not about wanting something, it is about disadvantaging others to obtain parity.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Joe for this perspective. Always appreciate your thought provoking commentary.