Yet another banking scandal is in the news today. This got me thinking about the right wing of the Republican Party. I know that the Tea Party and the religious right are not quite the same, but there is substantial overlap between the two groups. This means that there is a large group of politically active (or at least conscious) people in the U.S. who are evangelical Christians fundamentally opposed to government regulation.
Isn’t this odd? Evangelical Christians are supposed to believe that humans are sinful creatures prone to deal dishonestly with their fellow creatures. And yet these same folks seem to believe in a radically laissez-faire economy. Admittedly, market forces can efficiently allocate resources. But unregulated markets that turn a blind eye to those who lie, cheat, and steal do not efficiently allocate resources. They simply reward the least virtuous.
Evangelical Christians should be the most vocal advocates of government regulation of the marketplace to assure that everyone plays by ethical (or, if you prefer, moral) rules. Government is not a perfect referee, of course, but isn’t an imperfect referee better than none at all.? Apparently, many so-called Christians don’t think so.