The Value of Money Earned


At least here in the West, our political discourse too often devolves to mutual assumptions of bad intentions.  In this regard, the cliché about what each side thinks of the other holds some truth; conservatives think progressives are dumb, and progressives think conservatives are evil.  In other words, those on the Left tend more often to believe that their ideological opponents are either recklessly cavalier or outright hostile toward their fellow human beings.

Comments from Nigerian Roman Catholic Archbishop Augustine Akubeze, while certainly not providing cover for every economic policy of the Right, give a good starting point from which one can see how conservatives consider even their economic policies to be the most moral course:

“The leaders of our future must be formed with a mentality that only the truth sets a people free,”  said Archbishop Augustine Akubeze, during remarks at the conference.

“Corruption will be eradicated if the students begin to learn that only money that accrues to a person as a result of hard work can be enjoyed.”

Given the setting in which those suggestions were made and the theme of the conference (“Peace and National Development”), one can infer that the archbishop was applying the principle on a national scale.  That is, developing countries should find their own wealth within, not rely on wealth donated from other countries.  As with any economy that relies on a massive influx of money from a limited number of sources, the charity model enables corruption by creating distribution choke points.

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But the principle applies more broadly.  Only money freely given in exchange for something — money earned — is truly rewarding.  Moreover, it contributes to a sense of mutual value in human relationships.

Charity is good and necessary, but it can’t become the basis of an economic system.