Tuesday, December 07, 2010

What Is that Animal?

Economics, in its broadest sense, is all over the news these days, generating as much confusion as clarity. A great deal of the confusion is over what this animal "economics" is. The taxology debates and the resulting public policy squabbles usually leave a scent that we are tempted to identify with a skunk. So, to help clear the air, I'd like to share the best brief definition of economics that I have ever read. I came across it a couple days ago as I read Redeeming Economics by John D. Mueller.

"Economics is essentially a theory of providence."

Understanding economics is based on knowing God and knowing ourselves. This animal "economics" turns out to be a a study of the featherless biped Man in his relationships with God and others. So Jesus' command to love the Lord our God and to love our neighbor turns out to be at the heart of economics. If we leave that out, we have misidentified the animal.

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