Vol. 8-36 – 09-03-2023 – Priceless
Thoughts for the 4th
Someone in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” But He said to him, “Man, who made Me a judge or arbitrator over you?” And, He said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” –Luke 12:13-15
We live in a world in which people are out to get all they can get, regardless of how it reflects in the well-being of the citizenry. Workers opt for pressure to get the largest wage-benefit packages. Business owners opt for controlling expenses to gain profits to invest in the business and provide a return for those who invest in their companies. Over history, there have been violent confrontations between the two fronts.
Our world operates under markets; they buy and trade commodities on a global basis. Today with lightning speed. Have you ever watched the activity on the trading floor?
When I was putting some thoughts together for this day’s blog, I checked the prices of some commodities. Gold was $1778.53 oz (when I bought Donna’s ring it was just under $40 oz). Lithium was market priced at $74,750 per ton (that is what EVs use). Wheat was market priced at $341.29 bu. It is amazing how price levels are in the world.
You are going to be disappointed when you read today’s blog. The prices quoted above will not keep. They will be completely changed when you read this.
If you go on Amazon there are 641,333 (always changing) items under the categories of faith, hope, and love. But I am sorry to tell you that these spiritual qualities cannot be bought, nor can they be manufactured by a company. And the employees are not trained to produce any of the three.
It is odd (or is it?), that on this Labor Day no one is qualified to bring these qualities to the market so we can grab them up. Also, these qualities cannot be traded. They are the greatest gifts available. They are only available to those who have trusted Christ for them.
When I managed a business, the last unit I managed had a poor record. It had a negative return on investment. When I was assigned to manage the unit (it was a discount store), sales were poor, and the gross profit was horribly low. Employees thought if I just paid them more, magically the profits would come, and then I could afford to pay them still more.
I calculated the losses in the store and discovered if I would simply ignore the shoplifting and focus on employee theft, there would be more profit at the end of the year. It was an example of the continual battle between employees and management.
In the original days of the labor movement, there was negotiation for appropriate wages and benefits. And the pricing established by the businesses intended to be a sufficient return on investment so that the business would survive along with its investors.
It did not take long for the two sides to become distrustful of one another.
The worst of times began when people not only rejected the moral teachings of Scripture but outright called for their replacements with situational ethics. That has not changed, except for the having a gigantic input toward business and labor by the government. There is no evidence that the government has made businesses/labor organizations more tenable.
One of our past presidents said the danger is the knock at the door: Good afternoon, I’m from the government and I am here to help.
Businesses need to have a sufficient return on their sales and profits. Labor needs a proper recognition of participation through wages and benefits. Yet there needs to be a balance.
Few, very few, in government, have training in economics. So, when they knock on the door, what are they going to offer?
Our world needs nations with the strength, wisdom, and desire to let go of the things of the world to the degree of hanging on to the things that have eternal value. That will require a change in thinking and a change in misplaced wants.
If one side owns all the commodities and does not have a relationship with Christ, nothing positive will happen.