Wherefore, honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; (D&C 98:10)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Public Virtue

It seems that most of my political discussions at work end on "people are selfish and there is no solution".  That there will always be those leeching off those who produce.  There will always be those who hoard the results of good fortune and hard work.  

There is a solution.  It is to revive public virtue.  In the early days of our country there was debate whether a representative government could survive.  Whether the people we good enough collectively to run themselves responsibly.  In Mormon terms I would call this, "try the virtue of the word of God".

And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just—yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them—therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God. Alma 31:5

In general conference, Lynn Robbins explained this principle in contrasting the difference between being or becoming and merely doing.

Alma discovered this same principle, that “the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just—yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword” (Alma 31:5; emphasis added). Why? Because the sword focused only on punishing behavior—or do—while preaching the word changed people’s very nature—who they were or could become.

One group in the Book of Mormon hunted the most evil part of their community.  They also preached the word of God to them.  They were successful. The pilgrims came to the New World.  Pioneers went west.  They left to build a virtuous society.  We have no immediate land to escape to.  We are all we've got.   

I believe that there still is virtue in the public generally.  We are children of God.  As we teach and encourage that spark of light in each of us, hearts will change.  

Public virtue is the collection of every private virtue.  Build up where I have influence.  Start where I have the most effect, myself.  Then to my family and friends and then community and country.  As we inspire the godly in each other, solutions will grow.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Deficit Problem: Too Big To Solve, Too Important To Fail

That the title of this Institutional Investor article. (found from Clark Judge)

It’s probably still well within the means of the United States to bring its soaring public debt under control and steer itself back to the path of fiscal stability. That solution, however, would require a massive public effort and shared sacrifice, the sort that philosopher William James might have called the “moral equivalent of war.” 
It also would require the once-or-twice in a century level of leadership that has steered the country through major crises in the past. 
The financial markets muted reaction to President Obama’s deficit reduction speech on Wednesday suggests such leadership is yet to emerge. 

Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa are moving to stop using US currency when issuing grants and credits to each other.

Standard & Poor said "there's a 1-in-3 chance that it could downgrade the U.S. top credit rating within two years. Markets were down sharply on the news"

We have to get our budget in order.  Time is running out.