The Family, Not The Individual, Is The Foundation Of The Economy

Posted: Mar 06, 2018 10:27 AM
The Family, Not The Individual, Is The Foundation Of The Economy

In a lecture by Milton Freidman, where he addresses the compete misguidedness of wealth redistribution, he describes the system of America as not a system of individuals, but, in fact, a system of family.  Freidman describes it to be “an incentive of family.” Freidman states:

"This is really a family society and not an individual society.  We tend to talk about an individualist society, but it really isn’t, it is a family society.  And the greatest incentives of all, the incentives that have really driven people on have largely been the incentives of family creation.  A family of pursuing of establishing their families on a decent system…the thing that is amazing, that people don’t really recognize, is the extent to which the market system has, in fact, has encouraged people and enabled people to work hard and sacrifice; in what I must confess that I often regard is an irrational way, for the benefit of their children…almost all people value the utility which their children will get from consumption higher than they value their own.  Here are parents who have every reason to expect that their children will have a higher income than they will even have.  And they scrimp and save in order to be able to leave something for their children."[1]

This is God’s structure.The base structure for society, as designed by God, is the family and its structure.  Genesis tells us that “for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”[2]  To deviate from this basic structure is to deviate from God’s plan.  Even the basic economic structure is that of a family.  Psychiatrist Dr. Rossiter accurately describes “the competent individual remains the primary economic, social, and political unit, the competent family continues to be the primary civilizing and socializing institution, and the competent society provides the overarching structure of ordered liberty.”[3]  The economic principles which govern a family structure in good order are morals, cash flow, revenue & expenses, and productivity, also transcend upward through societal organizations – communities, business, and government. All human organizations must apply and maintain these in good order; otherwise they do not survive and will fail.

“Marital commitment remains the principle foundation upon which most Americans can build a stable and secure family. [...] Parents who are married are much more likely to stay together and provide a stable environment; it should be no surprise, then, that children raised by married couples do much better in life.”[4] 

This economic structure of the family is parallel with the economic structure I have described previously (add link to God’s Sphere, Liberty, and Property Rights and Productivity: The Original Covenant with God) and coincides with the views of economist Jerry Bowyer.

The National Monument to the Forefathers, located in Plymouth, Massachusetts, is an 81 foot tall granite monument conceived and built in the 1800s that commemorates the Pilgrims’ founding and establishment of the Plymouth colony.  The monument illustrates symbolically the worldview, principles, and practices which were established by the Pilgrims - the same which our Founding Fathers also ascribed into our country’s founding and founding documents – the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.  One of the sculptured reliefs on the monument, titled Education, illustrates the primary source of education as being our elders.  Elders are depicted teaching the youth on the ways of the world through Biblical teachings, evidenced by the image of an older man with a globe and a Bible.[5]

This teaching symbol from the Forefathers monument instructs us to teach by sharing our wisdom and experience to propel our offspring to an even better relationship with God and solid abilities and knowledge to service fellow man.  This would be stewardship, or respect, toward our fellow man – God’s other children – and stewardship for God’s creation – the resources He created for us to produce to benefit others which, in turn, benefits and builds ourselves.  We must teach posterity how to be productive through the understanding God’s structure and the perils of a fallen world.  John Locke points out this very condition and ties it biblically to the creation of man.  Locke, who extensively studied Hebrew and the Old Testament,[6] writes:

"…Adam and Eve, and after them all parents were by the law of nature, under an obligation to preserve, nourish and educate the children they had begotten, not as their own workmanship, but the workmanship of their maker, the Almighty, to whom they were accountable for them."[7]

Establish a sound and moral family, and as a result, establish a strong economic foundation.

[1] Milton Freidman, Date unknown, Redistribution of Wealth, [].

[2] Guideposts, The Guideposts Parallel Bible (Carmel, NY: Guideposts), New International, Genesis 2:24, p. 6.

[3] Lyle H. Rossiter, Jr., M.D., 2006, The Liberal mind:  The Psychological Causes of Political Madness, (St. Charles, IL: Free World Books, LLC), p. 268.

[4] American Enterprise Institute and Brookings Institute, 2015, “Opportunity, Responsibility, and Security:  A Consensus Plan for Reducing Poverty and Restoring the American Dream,” (American Enterprise Institute: Washington, D.C. and Brookings Institution: Washington, D.C.), p. 32.

[5] For more information see Marshall Foster, February, March, April, May, and June, 2012, Journal, (World History Institute: Thousand Oaks, CA), [], and Monumental: In Search of American’s National Treasure DVD, 2012, (Nashville, TN: World Entertainment).

[6] Gary T. Amos, 1989, Defending the Declaration:  How the Bible and Christianity Influenced the Writing of the Declaration of Independence, (Brentwood, TN: Wolgermuth & Hyatt, Publishers, Inc.), p. 152.

[7] John Locke, 1982, ed. Richard Cox (originally published in 1690), Second Treatise of Government, “Book VI:  Of Paternal Power, Sec. 56,” (Wheeling, IL: Harlan Davidson, Inc.), p. 34.