September 14; Integrity Is Predictable–Working One Way All The Time; Without Variation
MANAGEMENT BY THE BOOK:
365 Daily Bible Verse &
One-Minute Management Lessons For The Busy Faithful

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Chapter Nine: Finance; September 14

Do not have two differing weights in your bag–one heavy, one light.

Do not have two differing measures in your house–one large, one small.

You must have accurate and honest weights and measures,

so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.

Deuteronomy 25:13-15

Integrity Is Predictable–Working One Way All The Time; Without Variation

Weights

Your Business Professor is working in China and I ask my client his opinion on the local custom of haggling price over everything. Everything.

I thought he would wax nostalgic on the old style interaction of true competition: buyer vs seller. The best pricing equilibrium of quantity demanded with quantity supplied. A romantic Asian metaphysical transcendence of commerce. Did he like the Chinese pure sales process…? I wondered.

He hated it.

I didn’t understand. (Your Business Professor can be such a dope.)

Most retail shoppes in that part of the world are modest mom and pop storefronts –where every price is negotiated and designed to extract the last Yuan in consumer surplus.

Shopping in this environment is exhausting for Your (western) Business Consultant. Different cultures. I learned the rules and etiquette; when in Rome…

And I overpaid for everything. I think.

My client went on to explain, “Every time you buy something it takes so long to reach an agreement…it takes too much research for little items.”

Another local consumer said the non-stop haggling was “draining.”

So why does this system continue?

There is a cultural lack of trust. It is all buyer beware in Mandarin or Cantonese. No transaction is completely trusted; no set price would ever be recognized–

1) There is no confidence in a fair offer given or accepted. And,

2) There is every expectation to be cheated by all parties.

Without adherence to common moral principles we must substitute external controls to govern business behavior; efficiency demands a framework of standards and accountability.

There is an ancient Jewish tradition of the prohibiting of “differing weights” for commodities. Established known weights would be used with a fair scale to measure items, grain to gold. A dishonest merchant would use a lighter or heavier weight to tip the scales for unjust enrichment.

Different prices, different weights and measures for different people. This is frightfully inefficient. Natural Law meets Deuteronomy for good business.

However, the West may not be too much different from the East. Western governments use ‘progressive’ taxation that discriminates against wealth and income. The richer the person the higher percentage of income is paid in taxes. The rich pay more to fulfill their civic duty.

Where did this nonsense of variable tax “pricing” using differing income brackets or “weights” come from? It may have its origins in modernity in the liberal Democrat Party.

General Motors CEO, Alfred P. Sloan reflected on Big Business and Labor unrest in the 1940’s,

President Truman formally backed up the union’s controversial insistence that our “ ability to pay” should affect the size of the wage increase. We [at General Motors] successfully resisted this unsound proposition, but there is no doubt in my mind that the President’s statement served to strengthen the union’s public position.

Honest government and honest business do not charge a rich man more merely because he has the ability to pay more. This has a Scriptural basis and may be the reason many “Progressives” are enamored with a progressive tax code which forces high earners to pay higher taxes.

Honesty and trust and transparent, consistent pricing make for good business.

Do not have two differing weights in your bag–one heavy, one light.

Do not have two differing measures in your house–one large, one small.

You must have accurate and honest weights and measures, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. Deuteronomy 25:13-15

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