The Propensity to Cheat and to Deceive runs Parallel to the Expansion of Government

Monthly Market Commentary: August 1, 2019

It is not my intention to write about a general decline in morals over the last 50 years or so, because I really wouldn't know whether morals are now better or worse than they were at the time of our grandparents and forebears. However, what I know about the Western world is that our morals are extremely low at the present time and that to "live a virtuous life" is an almost forgotten ideal. Virtue has a connotation to honor, integrity, courage, compassion, mercy, forgiveness, respect, loyalty, honesty, prudence, grace, piety, modesty, etc. Assuming that morals have indeed deteriorated we would then have to analyze as to why they would have done so.

Maybe, it has to do with the decline in the number of families and hence family values. The fact is that as a percentage of the population fewer and fewer people live in families.

Another reason for the decline in morals may have to do with the fact that people have become "non-believers" or far less religious. In the US, Catholics reporting that they attended church in the past seven days are down to 39% from 75% in 1955.

Furthermore, the decline in morality may have to do with our educational system. Professor Richard Vedder recently wrote an article entitled Are Universities Increasingly Liars and Con Artists?

Media may also be a contributor to the decline in truthfulness. The problem has probably less to do with outright “lying” than with strong “biases.”

Above, Professor Vedder asked if Universities were "increasingly liars and con artists." Personally, I have come to believe that the entire political, economic and financial system is hugely corrupted and untrustworthy. How could anyone expect any decency and integrity from people who went through a corrupt educational system, feel no remorse about lying and cheating, and then become either politicians, spies, law enforcers, military leaders, bureaucrats, media Moghuls, regulators or corporate leaders of the world's largest companies?

As Theodore Roosevelt opined:
"There is absolutely nothing to be said for government by a plutocracy, for government by men very powerful in certain lines and gifted with 'a money touch,' but with ideals which in their essence are merely those of so many glorified pawnbrokers."

I wish my readers wonderful summer holidays. 

With kind regards   
Yours sincerely   
Marc Faber

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