For those of you who’ve been listening to my morning radio program, you’re all-too-familiar with the “Leviticus 19:36” principle. In this sometimes dry book of the Old Testament we find God’s warning against using dishonest measurements for grain and liquid. While that may sound like an irrelevant concept to those of us living in the twenty first century, it is more applicable to our current condition than you may think. It’s all about reading the passage in the context of its times.
Most economies at the time of the writing of Leviticus were agrarian based. As such, God’s warning about using honest liquid and dry measures were directed toward their trade practices. Most economic transactions were completed by the barter system which, quite often, included the transfer of milk, grain and the sort. As such, God’s warning to use honest measurements would be the equivalent of His telling us in our time to avoid currency manipulation.
As it turns out, Seth Lipsky recently addressed this very topic in an edition of Imprimis, a publication of Hillsdale College. Lipsky held forth on the concept of a fiat (effectively unsecured) currency, such as the dollar, and the danger inherent in allowing it to float without any point of reference. Since the removal of the American Dollar from the gold standard, the dollar’s value has inflated and deflated rather wildly, which poses a very real threat to the property rights of all Americans. Think about it: if you hold a CD account worth $400,000, you’d prefer the value of those dollars to remain constant. Consistent inflation will leave you with a devalued retirement fund, a diminished college account and real properties that don’t generate a real return on your investment.
Truth is the foundation for the future. I’ve oft discussed the importance of absolutes as they pertain to marriage, education, and the defense of the preborn. Now, I’m as convinced that Truth must be the foundation of our economic policy. I’ve frequently stated, in defense of traditional marriage, that “if marriage is defined as everything, it truly means nothing.” The same is true with the value of our currency: if its value is absolutely relative, it is absolutely worthless.
I believe it’s time for Americans to demand accountability from their government. We must work to reduce the deficit, balance the budget and set American currency on a consistent standard that precludes constant cycles of inflation and deflation. The property rights and freedom of the American People are contingent upon it.