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Bernie and his supporters
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Kerby Andersonnever miss viewpoints

Years ago, I decided to put together a sermon that dealt with the subject of envy. I wasn’t sure I had ever heard a message on envy, even though it is considered one of the seven deadly sins. To be fair, I have heard messages on coveting, which is after all one of the Ten Commandments.

Envy isn’t just a biblical subject. Envy is also a political subject. A quarter century ago, Doug Bandow (Cato Institute) wrote his book, The Politics of Envy: Statism as Theology. One of his arguments was that citizens filled with envy usually do not want public policy changes so that they can get more money. They want to take money away from other citizens who have more than they have.

Anne Hendershott argues in her essay adapted from her book that envy is a destructive emotion. The success of a nation to control it, she says, will determine the greatness of that nation. I was struck by the picture they put with her article. Senator Bernie Sanders is speaking to a crowd filled with Bernie signs about the fact that the richest billionaires have so much more money than the rest of America.

But consider the irony. Everyone in that audience has food, clothing, shelter, and a bank account. They will go home to apartments or houses that have heating, air conditioning, electricity, appliances, televisions, and much more. While they are being encouraged to envy the rich, they don’t even consider that billions of people on this planet would consider anyone in the audience to be incredibly rich.

Tomorrow, I will go into more detail about how envy is used by politicians to advance government programs and tax policy. But don’t miss the irony that much of the world would consider Americans wealthier than they could imagine.viewpoints new web version

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