Better-Off: Benevolence

It was previously stated that America’s 1776 experiment resulted in generating more production, more industry, and more wealth than any other cultural and economic phenomenon in the history of the earth. America has also generated morebenevolence and humanitarian aid to the rest of the world than any other cultural and economic experiment in history. 

A review of the economic and cultural story of America reveals that it is not only fascinating, but it is a one-of-a-kind story. A lot of textbooks completely leave out the uniqueness of the God-fearing aspects of the early incorporators. Without their respect and inclusion of what we have just been calling the Economics of the Interior, the grand experiment of 1776 would have turned out very differently. But nothing could be more important to the understanding of the 1776 experiment’s uniqueness than an investigation of the Economics of the Interior as it fits into the sequence and scope of the cultural economics of America. 

The Americans developed and adopted a philosophy based on the rule of law and the adherence to the Bill of Rights. They were a grateful lot and often spoke of God’s kindness and generosity and thanked him for his blessings. They honored and supported their neighbors and respected those rights of individual and personal property. When their neighbors were in need, they would gather around to protect them or even help them plow a field or erect a barn. 

They experienced the freedom to pursue their own individual self-interests, but never confused that freedom with the license to become greedy or given over to destructive selfishness. Through the years they discovered as individuals and as a culture that the more they generously gave out to help their neighbors become better-off, the more they all individually became better-off. Their personal qualities of morality, honesty, industriousness, and their religious faith worked to bond them into a functioning and successful community, and gave them the necessary strength to overcome the hardships and uncertainties of a new nation. 

Those cultural and economic traits became the ethos and identity of America. The country became a nation of people who loved, who cared, and who reached out to help others become better-off. And, as we learned in the section on Economics of the Interior, when you practice those characteristics of goodness and transfer them into the lives of others, then goodness is multiplied and returned to you as a result. That truth applies to individuals and that truth applies to a nation. 

America became strong, healthy, and capable. Its wealth was not just in financial strength but in character of the citizens, and favor in the sight of other nations. As we learned earlier, the wealth of a nation is measured by production. Production results in income. The ability to generate income through individual production determines the gross domestic product (GDP) of the country. GDP is recognized as a measure of wealth. No other country has produced like America. But neither has any other country in the history of mankind been as generous as America. If there were to be such a thing as gross national generosity (GNG) America would be champion there as well. 

This year the United States government will give out of our nation’s wealth nearly fifty billion dollars in aid and assistance to other less fortunate countries. That is a lot of money from our production and earnings. It is unprecedented. No other country in history even comes close to that amount. 

But in addition to what our government gives to the needs of others around the world, our private sources, like Project C.U.R.E., church denominations, private and public foundations, corporations, and individuals give another whopping seventy billion dollars in charity and aid to other countries. 

What would this old world look like were it not for the kindness and concern of America? What would have been the recorded history for the past nearly two hundred-fifty years had the 1776 experimenters not included into the cultural and economic design of the nation the Economics of the Interior that included and encouraged these generous philosophical distinctives?

God Has Given, God is Looking for a People, God’s Economic System is not Based on Greed, God Always Repays when you Give . . . but You don’t Give to Get, God’s Multiplication begins with Your Subtraction, Success in God’s Economic System will Cost You Everything You Value More than God.

Next Week: Messed up Psyches? 

(Research ideas from Dr. Jackson’s new writing project on Cultural Economics) 

© Dr. James W. Jackson   

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