Economics for my Son

David Burchard Writings Leave a Comment

Son, never do business with someone you have no ability to hold accountable.

You will be tempted to play loose with that word “never”. Surely sometimes it pays, you’ll think. Yes, son, sometimes it pays. As a rule, it just makes you a chump. Any potential gain is not worth being a chump.

If you live in a town of more than 50,000 people, know that they all want to take advantage of you. They want to use you, cute old ladies and little kids alike. They live in a place so big that anonymity, and therefore avarice, thrives. In a place of such greed, you need a predeveloped system of personal commerce that emphasizes slow gain, hard work, objective value, and maximum accountability. You simply must refuse to deviate from this system. Deviate and be made a fool. What price are you willing to put on your honor? Comply in being made a fool, and you mock every good man that ever bore your blood and name. Better to die.

If you live in a town of less than 50,000, you don’t have access to the same sized market. What you do have, however, is a commodity of immense value, trust. You have trust, not because people in small towns are good people, but because small towns are places of interpersonal knowledge. You know one another. You see one another. And therefore you are maximally accountable for your actions to one another. If a man cheats his neighbor, how many times getting the tar beat out of him in the parking lot is his cheating gain worth? Your personal system of commerce does not have to be as stringent in such a place because of its natural accountability. That said, living in such a place, never do business with a stranger. He either comes and goes, or he stays and ceases to be a stranger eventually.

If you discover a con man, beat the devil out of him. This is love of neighbor. He is a predator and must repent or go elsewhere.

It is not always time to work. When it is, work harder than anyone.

Do not love a deal. Deals are more often than not ploys to sell shiny trash. What is too good to be true is too good to be true. Work for a fair market price, not more, not less. Pay a fair market price.

As far as it is possible, avoid business with Muslims or Jews. Though they will tell you otherwise, both religions teach that it pleases their god to lie and cheat and steal from you.

Neither love nor hate money. It doesn’t have value in and of itself. Its value is found in how well it can facilitate the exchange of service, building works, generosity, and giving back to God.

Do not focus on accumulating objects of emotional, airy, idealistic value, like stocks, cash, or cryptocurrency. Focus on accumulating objects of utilitarian value, a home, land, tools, vehicles, weapons, physical books, etc.

If you steal from God, or love money, know that he will cut you down. Steal from God and, in his timing, he will take back the money he has given you. You will either face calamity in this life, or make bad financial decisions, or you will die and have your money wasted by those who inherit it. George Whitefield once gave all he had on him to some poor Christians. His fellow traveler criticized him. Some distance down the road, a highwayman demanded all they had on their persons. Whitefield smiled. Without exception, give 10% to God. If possible, be the highest percentage giver in your church.

I’m no economics whiz, son, but these are lessons from experience. Take them and, with them, build a prosperous economic life for the family.

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