Faith and Public Policy: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. On this theme, I believe it is appropriate to consider the attitude of the Christian in the Public Policy arena.

Of course, the obvious statement here is that Christians should have an attitude of Thanksgiving – we should be thankful for what we have.  This attitude would certainly fit the season.  However, what should be our attitude to those outside of our circles – more specifically, those whom we might affect in a policy setting. Here are some ideas:

1. Encourage policies that encourage personal decision-making.  The expansion of freedom is not just some old political saying, but rather an encouragement to those around us.  This is what is technically called an internal locus of control – those who believe they have within themselves the power to change their situation.  This is more common in developed countries, and I believe it is one of the reasons for upward mobility.

2. Encourage policies that produce creativity.  Easier said that done.  Although this looks similar to the thought above, encouraging creativity it more of a nurturing principle.   This begins with policies that promote the family.  I can’t find a study on this, however, my hypothesis is that children who grow up with more social interaction, rather than watching television, end up being more creative.  Children should be encouraged from young ages to work and play creatively.

3. Encourage policies that encourage hard-work.  I am more thankful for that which I produced with my own labor.  In fact, it is commonly said that we don’t carry dollars around in our pockets, but proof of labor coupons (ok, that was a little bit original, but based off of Russ Roberts).  The best way to encourage hard-work is to allow people to work.  The Freedom to work is an encouragement mainly for those who are down on their luck and need more chances to work.  Perhaps this is best done by lowering or eliminating the minimum wage. 

Have a good thanksgiving week – I’ll try to do one more post today and one tomorrow, but take the rest of the week off to be with my family.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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