Monday, March 24, 2008

Resource: Kimzey Lecture

IS THERE ENOUGH? The Law of Scarcity vs The Law of Consecration Bruce W. Kimzey

1997 David O. McKay Lecture at BYU Hawaii

Hat tip to GMA for alerting me to this lecture. I don't have any proof, but I suspect that the quality of this lecture may be linked to the fact that Dr. Kimzey was born in Wyoming. On a more serious note, this is one of my all-time favorite readings.

Some excerpts:

"While there is no scriptural guidance to dictate the level at which wants become nonessential, it would seem safe to argue that many, if not most, American LDS church members have reached that level. In place of the desire for more and better material goods and services, a desire for sharing and strengthening others must be substituted. After generations of scarcity indoctrination and the lifestyle it creates, even the most active members may have difficulty reducing their desires for more goods."

"Is there enough? Under modern economic principles there is enough to create growth in rich nations and some growth in poor ones, but the gap between rich and poor will grow over time. Is the best economic system one that creates inequalities in the name of efficiency, and creates output without regard for conservation of resources? Or is there an alternative system which can create both efficiency and equity, where there are no rich and no poor, where cooperation can replace competition, and where workers and owners share the rewards of production?

The law of consecration is actually the only way to ever solve completely the problem of scarcity. A market economy is an efficient way to allocate scarce resources and to produce goods that maximize current satisfaction, but by definition markets cannot solve the problem created by unlimited wants and limited resources. No level of efficiency and economic growth will ever eliminate scarcity, or create equality between rich nations and poor."

Please read the entire lecture. It is excellent.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Resource: Otterson Article

Conscience, Not Religious Dogma, is the Motivator, by Michael Otterson. From On Faith.

An excerpt:

"Statements are on record from virtually every president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints back to the mid-19th century. Many of them are wrapped up in the powerful concept of stewardship - that the Lord has given us dominion over the earth, but that we are occupiers rather than possessors and that we will be held accountable for its use."

Michael Otterson has served as director of media relations for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 1997.