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Ingratitude and Infrastructure

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1 Chronicles 29:14 includes the following passage where David declares the glory of the Lord: “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.”

Forgotten Gratitude

A wise man once said, “the best way to appreciate what you have is to remember that it is all from God.” One thing that the United States lacks is gratitude. As a whole, our country has forgotten to be grateful. This fact is no more painfully evident than when one considers the presumptuousness found in President Biden’s fact sheet on the infrastructure bill that was recently proposed in Congress. It reads, “too many lack access to affordable, high-speed Internet and to quality housing.”

When one considers that the United States is so ridiculously privileged that we consider “high-speed internet” a necessity, it becomes painfully obvious that our nation is out of touch with reality. Consider the words of economist Tim Worstall writing in 2013: “The poor in the US are richer than around 70% of all the people extant. The poor in the US are about as poor, perhaps a bit richer, than the poor in other rich countries.”

Infrastructure Bill

This infrastructure spending bill is being sold as if it is a means of resolving inequity. Not only is this inequity nowhere near the monumental problem it is portrayed to be, but the methodology being employed to reduce it is poorly targeted and demonstrates the problem of central planning. It purports to resolve inequality by fixing roads, bridges, and transport in under-served areas. Nonetheless, the bill’s actual text belies that stated goal.

Less than 6% of the total $2.5 trillion attached to the bill would be spent on highways and bridges for American communities, under-served or otherwise. Although Democrats have contested this claim as Republican propaganda by pointing out that spending has been allocated to other forms of transportation, they have chosen to allocate that funding to transit like Amtrak, which accounts for less than 1% of travel.

Song of Gratitude

While there is nothing wrong with improving the well-being of the United States, our nation needs a reality check for our incredibly privileged way of life. There may be large gaps between the rich and the poor, but that is not because the “poor” are truly worse off than other countries…it’s just because the rich are richer! The fact that there is a gap at all is merely a reflection of 1 Samuel 2:7, which says, “The Lord created poor and rich; He humbles, He also exalts.” The fact that there is a difference is not inherently bad. In the context of this story in Samuel, Hannah is pouring her heart in worship to the God who gave her a promised child. Hannah understood her gift came from above.

Give Thanks in All Circumstance

Instead of utilizing poorly planned centralized “infrastructure” bills that misplace resources to solve problems of alleged inequity, we should focus our resources on more important (and more realistic) problems. Our nation has been incredibly blessed, but too often, our rhetoric surrounding that blessing has become tainted by overly critical ingratitude. We should remember the admonition of 1 Thessalonians 5:18: “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

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2021-06-03T10:31:23-04:00
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