I just returned from Sydney Australia. First let me say that it is a beautiful city surrounded by water with gleaming skyscrapers mixed with venerable historic buildings. But, what I learned from the people I talked to chilled me and may portend our future in America.
Australia had been ruled by the labor party (leftist) for over 20 years. During this time they had complete control and “accomplished” many of the things we hear “progressives” talk about in America. This included raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, socializing health care and expansion of the welfare system. The results were tragic (unless you are a faithful leftist). The standard of living for most Australians is drastically down, the prices of goods, services and housing skyrocketed, satisfaction with the health care system is at an all time low, more people are “on the dole” (welfare) than ever before and the debt has skyrocketed. These are the unexpected consequences of leftist policies. Finally the left was voted out and the Liberal (conservative) party now is in power. There were 3 things I took away from Australia.
1. The importance of our faith in God and Christian values. Whilst (Aussie) touring Sydney I noticed many grand old churches. The tour guide talked about the Georgian or Victorian architecture and made it clear this was part of their past as few people attend the churches today. When people become more dependent on government their dependency on God diminishes and they quit going to church since the government is now their provider. If we don’t turn back to God we will continue on the path of government dependency and eventually a totalitarian state.
2. The system matters. In America we are moving away from a free enterprise system and personal responsibility towards collectivism. Karl Marx said “from each according to his ability to each according to his need”. Most people on the left don’t call themselves Marxists or communists but their quest for “equality” rings of Marxism. In practice in Australia the main beneficiaries of egalitarian pursuit have been those on the dole and the very rich. The working person isn’t able to buy a home (the price of a home in Sydney that would be $150,000 here is $500,000) and rent is $450 per week for a 2 bedroom apartment in a working class neighborhood. This is the unintended consequences of their social engineering. They raise the minimum wage so business owners raise the prices on goods and services and home prices rise. Those that have wealth make more money collecting rent and those on the dole wait for their monthly checks. The next step in collectivism is price controls on products, services and rents and eventually totalitarianism.
3. We need to be engaged. In the song by Matthew West (played on KLOVE) “Do Something” he cites all the problems in the world and asks God why He doesn’t do something? God says “I did I created you”. I know the most important thing I can do is share my faith in Jesus Christ and encourage believers that aren’t going to church to come back home. It also encourages me that our radio stations are bringing the Gospel to our community and sharing Christian values. The Biblical values on marriage, family, protecting the unborn, caring for the poor, widows and orphans are paramount. But also the values of hard work and personal responsibility, as God said to Adam it would be by “the sweat of your brow that you will eat your food” and don’t forget that in the parable of the talents the servants who took the masters money(talents) and doubled it were lauded, while the servant who buried the talent was called wicked. So free enterprise (capitalism) and hard work are Biblical values.
John Adams said that “our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other”. So freedom is dependent on us being a moral and religious people, and dependency on government will lead to the death of freedom.