Oh, definitely. Time to be on guard. Scarcity may be the basic premise of economics, but economics is a senses-based social science. In fact, all of science is senses-based, which makes for a wide margin of error to say the least. Furthermore, because human nature is an inescapable factor in the science of economics -- unlike in the hard science of physics, for instance -- the margin for error increases so much the more.
Take gravity, as observed by a physicist. Human nature has no bearing whatsoever on how fast a falling object accelerates. But when it comes to supply and demand, as observed by an economist, human nature has tremendous bearing.The economic concept of scarcity, particularly, leaves tremendous room for error due to the limited scope of the natural man's knowledge. In Part One, I defined scarcity as "the observation that economic resources are always 'scarce' relative to human beings' needs and wants." Now compare that definition with the one given at Wikipedia:
Scarcity ... is the problem of infinite human needs and wants, in a world of finite resources.Human needs and wants are infinite? Oh baloney. They are not. Take this glass of orange juice that I'm sipping as I write this. How in the world could anyone either need or want an infinite amount of orange juice? Ridiculous. But typical.
The natural man, being limited to what he can see, hear, smell, taste, and touch, never sees the whole picture. So what does he do, after by trial-and-error, he stumbles upon some principle here or there that seems to work? He then proceeds to exagerate it beyond all bounds.
Scarcity may work well as the basic premise for economics and free markets, but it is a lousy premise upon which to base one's entire view of life. To see the whole picture, we've got to come back to the Word of God.
I Thessalonians 5:21For believers, the rightly-divided Word of God is the standard by which we prove all things. On that basis, in Part One, we saw that scarcity -- as described by economics -- lines up well with the consequences of Adam's fall. But there is more to the story. A lot more. The basic questions of life always come back to God, His purposes, and His plans. If there is a God, why did He make the earth? The Word of God declares that:
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
Isaiah 45:18aEarth isn't just some happy collection of space dust that happened to whirl together in orbit around the sun, where various random interminglings of atoms eventually produced a species of animals known as human beings. Not if the Word of God is right. If the Word of God is right, God made the earth to be inhabited.
For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited...
It is noteworthy along these lines, that the more that intelligent-design-based scientists take into account the scientific variables required for it to be inhabitable, the less scientific evidence they find that our earth could be the product of mere chance.
The book The Privileged Planet, written by astronomer Guilleromo Gonzales along with Jay W. Richards, discusses many of these discoveries. In Chapter Two of Order My Steps in Thy Word, "God's Blueprint for Creation," on pages 24-26, Dr. Wierwille also wrote on this subject, but from a Biblical research perspective:
A person cannot know the greatness of God by his five senses. In order to understand spiritual things a person must have the spirit of God within.* Now the Word of God is the most remarkable document in the whole world. Even though God's written Word is in the senses realm, a man who believes it can receive holy spirit and begin to understand the spiritual realm.When it comes to understanding economics -- as we research the Word of God on the subjects of recessions, depressions, and the Biblical Jubilee -- our basic premise as believers is not scarcity. Our basic premise is that God made the world to be inhabited. That He has graciously provided the human race with everything that we need to live the abundant life that Jesus Christ promised.
For the most part, people never see the greatness of God's Word because they are "natural" people, people without God's spirit. The natural man never will understand God's Word; he simply cannot understand it. I wouldn't criticize a blind man for his analysis of a great masterpiece of art, would I? So why criticize a natural man for his blind attempt to analyze the spiritual truths in the greatest masterpiece of all time, the Word of God?
W.W. Kinsley, in describing the masterpiece of God's Word, wrote the following:The more profoundly phenomena have been studied by scientists and scientific philosophers the more gloriously have shown out the truths ... that God has busied Himself through untold ages in preparing for man's advent, that man has been the grand goal of His endeavor, the ultimate Thule of His creative thought on this planet; that all this prolonged preparation could not have been merely to render comfortable a short-lived and low-planed animal existence; that this patient approach could not have been to a consummation so inconsequential and unworthy...Blind chance was not the author of life. Explore the mineral kingdom; explore the animal kingdom; explore the vegetable kingdom. From the lowest to the highest, there are marks that specifically call our attention to the superbly conceived reality of that which we observe. Some great design, some great intelligence confronts us everywhere we look in the realm of creation. We can always see an intelligent purpose behind this realm, which was brought about by some type of consistent power.
Without seeing the bigger picture of life, which includes God, His purposes, and His plans -- as revealed no where else but the Word of God -- economists, along with the economic theories they produce, will always fall short.