Black Markets

He who names, wins. And one of the things that statists, tyrants and bullies like to do, when their regulations have shut virtually every productive thing down, is call the small remaining enclaves of free transactions “black markets.” Black markets, aye.

And of course, there is a certain kind of Christian who, when Congress (in one of their periodic righteous frenzies) repeals the law of gravity, will wag a censorious finger under your nose and chide you for disobeying Romans 13. “They expressly repealed that law. And here you are, still sticking to the ground.”

Now it appears to me that Obama and his minions are merrily engaged in over-reaching. People who don’t normally get sticker shock are starting to get it, and some people you wouldn’t expect are getting a little blue around the edges when it comes a trillion here and three trillion there. People who can’t see the fallacy in minimum wage laws when the hike is 25 cents an hour are somehow able to see it right away if you mandate that everybody must now earn a hundred dollars a minute — so that we can all be rich, rich, rich!

The fact that reality sometimes settles in if you get the decimals (and some economists talking sense on television) situated far enough to the right, is a fact that might mean there is some hope. That being the case, it is possible that Obama will not get his grandiose health care plans through. Might not happen, and we can only hope. Nevertheless, health care plans are sure headed our way.

Now, as we gear up for that debate, Christians need to get a few things straight about freedom, law, Romans 13, and whether or not we have to obey when Congress repeals the laws of supply and demand. No, wait. It is not whether we have to obey — the issue is whether or not we could, even if we wanted to. So Congress now says you have to float around your living room. They say all the water in your yard has to flow uphill. They say that all items available for your purchase must cost less than they do, and they must still mysteriously appear on the shelf available for you to purchase them at that magic price. You gonna obey them? You think you’re Peter clambering out of the boat, but there is no Jesus out there.

It doesn’t matter if the rationing (by whatever means) is of gasoline, bread, or health care. If government control of the item you want to buy drives the legal price lower than the actual costs of producing that item, then you will either go without (because the shelves are empty), or you buy that item at the real cost out the back window in the alley.

Now, take a really simple example. We finally have universal health care (yay! free medicine for everybody! unlimited medicine like there is no tomorrow!), and then, to the shock of pretty much everybody, we find ourselves with six month waiting lists for basic care. Free for everybody a long time from now. Your six-year-old daughter gets a terrific tooth ache that is not in any way life-threatening, but just makes her life miserable. You are on the universal (and apparently interminable) waiting list, but it is going to be a while, sorry, ma’am. But you have a dentist friend in the church who will take care of her tooth after hours, and he will do it tonight for a simple cash payment. What do you do? Your options are:

1. Wait for the legal treatment. Make your daughter sacrifice for the socialist cause. Teach her that toothaches build character.

2. Get the free market treatment, but confess your sin afterwards. Feel real guilty about it.

3. Get her the free market treatment, and go home whistling.

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Matthew 6:1-24
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Matthew 6:1-24

The point of the Gospels is to highlight that Jesus came to overturn rulers and their laws. Everywhere you look in the Gospels Jesus is “violating” Sabbath rules, and excoriating the “religious leaders” and “experts in the Law” for not being merciful, even when it means you go against the “authorities.” Jesus emphasizes in several places that mercy triumphs over judgment, that mercy is obedience to God’s Law and that mercy is the very love of God. If anyone in history has ever been completely anarchical and counter-cultural, it was Jesus. Have you ever noticed that Romans 13:1-7 is specifically… Read more »