In an interview with high net worth investor Stephen B. Streater, he offered the story of a U.K. inspector predicting a disaster at Fukushima (the Japanese nuclear power plant severely crippled by the 2011 tsunami.)
The story goes that the British inspector told the Japanese he “did not see their bicycle.” As the inspector explained, when everything fails one can always pedal a bike furiously upwind away from the failed nuclear plant.
The Japanese said they had thought of everything and, therefore, saw no reason to need a bicycle.
After the tsunami, the Japanese Prime Minister came within minutes of having to evacuate 50 million people because of the core meltdown.
3 Reasons Why You Need a Bicycle
- You can never think of ‘everything’.
- You cannot know the future (James 4:14).
- You never know when a tsunami might hit.
Although you may not realize it, there is a presumption of knowledge about the future whenever you incur debt through unsecured borrowings; loans without a ready source of repayment.
Debt is risky because we cannot know how future events will impact our ability to pay.
In his acceptance speech for the 1978 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences entitled The Pretence of Knowledge, Friedrich von Hayek said as much. (If you’re not familiar: Hayek is generally associated with the Austrian school of economics as opposed to Keynes and the Keynesian school.)
Hayek closed his acceptance speech with the following:
“The recognition of the insuperable limits to his knowledge ought indeed to teach the student of society a lesson of humility which should guard him against becoming an accomplice in men’s fatal striving to control society – a striving which makes him not only a tyrant over his fellows, but which may well make him the destroyer of a civilization which no brain has designed but which has grown from the free efforts of millions of individuals.”
Current U.S. and Europe central banks are basically Keynesian, characterized by government spending to stimulate the economy.
The One Reason Why You Incur Debt
A lack of contentment in present circumstances is, frankly, the one big reason you incur debt.
Yes, there may be an occasion when your house declines in value, and a mortgage becomes a debt under the aforementioned definition. But what I’m talking about is using your credit card despite the reality of not having enough cash in the bank to make that mortgage payment.
Operating this way is basically saying, “I do not think God will provide.”
Individually, we participate in our material culture by seeking significance in possessions, but to obtain those possessions we often borrow.
Though a case can be made that government or federal debt is different than personal debt, the ‘why’ remains the same.
- You want something now, so you demand that your government supplies and satisfies.
- The taxes will be paid.
Our materialistic, capitalistic system thrives on that borrowing. When borrowing slows, economic activity is greatly reduced. As a result, a not-so-subtle pressure to incur debt remains pervasive.
Known as “the paradox of thrift,” what is good for an individual (which is to save and get out of debt) is not good for the overall economy.
Our government currently does not have the flexibility to respond to internal or external crises due to the debt burden. Likewise, personal debt restricts one’s ability to follow your heart as God would lead. Debt is bondage.
As Chuck Bentley, president of Crown Financial Ministries, discussed in his talk, “Famines Happen,” the Bible contains several stories of people eventually having to sell themselves into slavery to pay back debts (Genesis 41:21 & Nehemiah 5:5).
Yes, such debt collection practices have been abolished, but a high debt load remains a very real type of bondage for the borrower.
How Would You Answer, “Where is Your Bicycle?”
To stretch the metaphor a bit, as a Christian, you have The Ultimate Bicycle – the ultimate means of escaping a possible Tsunami of Debt…
To live a life of freedom, free of anxiety, your debt has to at least be controlled. We can help you create a manageable debt repayment plan, enabling you to live the abundant life for which you were created.
Contact Me and let’s talk about the reasons you can’t afford to be without Your Bicycle!
CLICK HERE for more on the opposing economists, Hayek and Keynes, and be sure to watch the two highly entertaining video parodies shared there!