Forget the Rhetoric; Follow the Money
One of the biggest misunderstandings between many people is the flow of money and, especially, the flow of money from the purchase of foreign goods. “Buy American” or “buy Australian” are common refrains. But these slogans are the rhetoric of those who don’t follow the money.
The outcome of this rhetoric, when heeded, is an economic system that is poorer, not richer, because you cannot make Americans or Australians rich by legislation. But that does not stop some people from trying.
Follow the money, though, and see the outcome.
Imagine I buy goods in the United States. I only have Australian dollars with which to make the purchase. The American seller does not want to miss the sale, so he takes the Australian dollars. But he can only spend them in Australia, since Australian dollars are not legal tender in the U.S. This particular American, however, cannot find anything in Australia he wishes to purchase.
Fortunately, there are places of exchange which match Americans who have Australian Dollars but do not want to buy anything Australian, with Americans who don’t have Australian dollars but who do wish to purchase Australian goods. One sells his Australian dollars, the other buys it. They “swap” Australian and American dollars, and both walk away happy.
Now, the American who wishes to buy Australian goods can do the same. Thus, appearing on the horizon is another happy Australian seller about to make a sale to an American customer.
It turns out that following that money was not so difficult. Australian dollars spent overseas return to Australia sooner or later for purchase of Australian goods, as if the money had never left the country in the first place.
This is the simple principle of exchange. That is, exchanging goods and services is good for everyone. National borders don’t change this, but they often make the exchanges more difficult. It helps to remember the words often attributed to Frédéric Bastiat, who said that “if goods and services do not cross borders, armies will.”
Ian Hodge is an accomplished musician and music teacher, an executive manager and a management consultant to business owners.
Dr. Hodge began his working career as a professional musician. His interest in Christian economic theory, however, led to a move into the investment industry, where he made his way to the ranks of executive management. His first position as a CEO outside of his own company was a turnaround situation, and he found this was “his” place in the business world. For the past 16 years has been a business consultant to help turn around struggling businesses. He has clients in USA, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.
He actively uses his consulting skills to help train church pastors, elders and deacons in leadership and church growth practices.
As a musician, he worked with several singers around Australia and the South Pacific as their accompanist and music director.
A current project is the development of SonCross Academy, an online school that starts with the Bible, providing lessons in music theory and piano, economics, business, history, philosophy and theology for ages 8+. www.soncrossacademy.org.
Ian Hodge received his Ph.D. degree from Whitefield Seminary in “Christian Intellectual Thought – Economics”. He has written over 500 articles on topics such as business management, economics, education, law, finance, health, philosophy, politics, theology, and music as he explores the application of a biblical world view. He runs his own blog at www.biblicallandmarks.com.
He is the author of:
· Why Would Anyone In Their Right Mind Believe the Bible? An introduction to the Christian Faith.
· Baptized Inflation: A Critique of “Christian” Keynesianism.
· Is This The End of Religious Liberty? The Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination and Intolerance Based on Religion or Belief.
· Making Sense of Your Dollars: A Biblical View of Wealth.
· How To Be Diabetes Free . . . For Life. An analysis of the biology of diabetes, and how this disease can be prevented and even halted.
· Ian Hodge’s Read, Write & Play Music, a self-teaching program that instructs young students on how to write (compose) music.
· Powerhouse Piano, online video and live lessons in classical piano.
· Publisher, editor, William the Baptist. A classic in Christian literature, reissued with an introduction by Dr. Hodge.
In his spare time, Ian can be found actively debating atheists on his city streets and elsewhere (anywhere) whenever the opportunity arises.