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When Profit Is A Crime 03/20/2009

Barney Frank

Congressman Barney Frank benefited from and defended the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac collapse. He has been promoted to Chairman of the Financial Services Committee.

 

It is quickly becoming a crime to make a profit or be successful in the United States of America. The class warfare that has simmered for decades escalates with each passing day under our current leadership. The creators and sharers of wealth sit squarely in the crosshairs of the new profit police. In a nation that has experienced unsurpassed prosperity, we are witnessing the disassembly of healthy capitalism and the free market system. What was once the "land of opportunity" for those who wish to work hard, establish a solid income and make a profit is losing ground to an ever-growing welfare state. Much of our population has become not only unprincipled, but also foolish, deceived and manipulative enemies of sound principles.

In 1776, John Adams said, "The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our people in a greater measure than they have it now, they may change their rulers and the forms of government, but they will not obtain a lasting liberty."

Liberty is not under assault from profit and success. Our freedoms are fading because of a lack of virtue, which primarily means "conformity to a standard of right" and "morality." Greed is, has been and always will be a problem. People that take advantage of others and exploit them for their own selfish purposes lack virtue. They are guilty of despicable practices, but profit is sometimes a byproduct of greed, not the root cause of it. The end does not justify the means; therefore, the profit does not justify the greed. Logically, then, it is the greed that must be condemned, not the profit. If the means to gain a profit are proper, then the profit is simply the rightful reward. A farmer that produces a bounty of wheat probably worked very hard to achieve it. Many people would benefit from his surplus. But even if that farmer had stolen the machinery to work the land and cheated some of his employees, we would not blame the wheat for his bad behavior.

Much of the gross manipulation of the past decade continues to wrap itself in a cloak of deception. The economic collapse, led by the government-controlled entities of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, can be directly attributed to a serious lack of virtue which continues to grow in influence.

"Everyone should own a house," they told us. So they coerced banks to give loans to people who could not afford them. Some of these people were uninformed while others were foolish. All of them were manipulated by a corrupt system. The federal government then guaranteed the bad loans, allowing bankers to pocket huge, up-front loan fees while government-appointed officials overseeing the program received massive financial bonuses. When some lawmakers questioned this program, they were accused of trying to "lynch" the head of the program, who is an African-American, and told that the loans were "riskless." (Watch the video to see elected representatives in Congress viciously and foolishly attack the regulator who warned of a crisis over four years ago. You need to hear this for yourself!)

In truth, everyone should have the opportunity to have a house if they can afford it. Every American should have the opportunity to earn a profit, so they can buy a home if they so choose. If not, there is nothing wrong with renting! I would think that most people now understand this, but the fallout will continue to cause many people pain -- except for those who defended the housing scheme and have been rewarded with more influential places in the new administration. But we must not allow ourselves to be deceived by the same people who helped create the problem as they try to pass the blame.

If we are going to have a secure future and sound economy, we must encourage and reward hard work and virtue. Those who deal honestly, seek to make a profit, create jobs for others and give charitably from their resources, whether large or meager, make America strong. Those who rig the system for their own political and personal gain will rot the foundation until the whole country collapses.

We are seeing money rain down from Washington and it only takes a moment to recognize that this very money was taken from our wallets and purses. Even if you, as a productive citizen, get a piece of this government windfall, you will be taxed out the nose. Remember, it was your money in the first place. Unless the government prints more of it, which drives down the value of the dollar, they have no money that they did not first confiscate from the people. When government taxes us to get their money, then doles it out according to their preferences, profit is limited in the private sector and government dependency expands.

It has barely been two months and already we're seeing billions of dollars in government "bail out" go to waste. We can be angry with the corporations and executives who appear to be taking advantage of the system, but remember that the system was put in place by the government officials that the majority elected. Those who lack virtue are benefiting because too many people lack wisdom. Our government has become the debtor to certain countries that continually violate the very principles we claim to believe. At any moment, they could devastate our economy and encourage our downfall.

I don't think it's too late to turn things around, but we cannot depend on the government to rescue us. You and I must be the starting point for everything that is virtuous and good. Then perhaps we will again encourage hard work, reward honest profit and increase the spirit of generosity.


Author: James Robison

Editor: Randy Robison

Word Count: 963

About the author: James Robison is the founder and president of LIFE Outreach International, a Christian media ministry and mission relief organization. He and his wife, Betty, host of the television program Life Today; He has authored numerous books, including The Soul of a Nation, The Absolutes: Freedom's Only Hope and True Prosperity.

Media Contact: Randy Robison, editor at jamesrobison.net . Photo available upon request. Reprint rights granted with attribution for complete, unedited article. Revisions allowed only with approval.