Congratulations are in order for the winner of our Economic Vices and Virtues Contest! The winning entry was submitted by a blogger named Paul Williams who runs a great site over at ProvidentPlan.com. If you’ll recall, in this contest we tasked entrants with reviewing John Templeton’s 5 Economic Vices and his 5 Economic Virtues and then positing which vice was most responsible for our recent downturn and which vice might be most helpful in spurring recovery. It was, no doubt, a tall order, but Paul crafted a great answer.
You can find out which vice and which virtue he choose here.
If you missed this contest, be sure to stay tuned. We’ll be running another one in May. As always the goal will be to help preserve the legacy of one of the greatest financial minds of the century.
Today we continue to explore what John Templeton listed as the five economic virtues by looking at his thoughts on charity. Again this is from his thought to Buena Vista College entitled “The Religious Foundation of Liberty and Enterprise.”
The third economic virtue is charity. Profit and exchange alone are not enough to sustain the good in society. We need to care for those in society who cannot care for themselves. At a minimum, that means giving attention to children and the aged who cannot care for themselves. God has obligated us to be charitable first to them.
We cannot help but be encouraged by the extraordinary generosity that leads American people to contribute $120 billion to charitable cause every year.
The most generous societies that have ever existed are also the freest. Why? A free economy fosters the wealth and the sense of responsibility that leads to charity. The Bible says, “Give and it shall be given unto you.”
The virtue of charity recognized that none of us are the ultimate owners of private property, for God is the ultimate owner and master of all our resources. We are merely stewards of it. It is by being obedient stewards that we can best practice the economic virtue of charity.