When our moral fundamentals are weak, the economy will explode

Ghana’s economic problem is a moral one. It is a result of moral decadence sipping our economic potentials every day. And when our moral fundamentals are weak, the economy will expose us.

The economy cannot be well if the economic agents (humans) are morally deficient. Indeed, Adam Smith foresaw that economic gain can corrupt economic process, and can potentially separate us from a moral compass. Therefore, economic analysis is not overstepping its bounds by stepping into the zone of human behavior and virtue. Human civilization will be hopeless without morality. We are generally self-acquisitive, and so, without moral codes, we will have no regard for the needs and rights of others.

In a survey of 60 cultures around the world conducted by anthropologists from the Oxford University in their paper entitled, “Is it good to cooperate? Testing the theory of morality-as-cooperation in 60 societies”, they identified the following moral rules: helping your family, helping your group, dividing resources fairly, returning favours, deferring to superiors, being brave, and respecting other’s property. These moral tenets are fundamental to economic success and are nearly same as the moral underpinnings of Japan.

Japan’s moral credential is very solid. There exists a correlation without doubt between moral ethos and economic development. And when our moral fundamentals are weak it shows in the strength and architecture of our economy.  Confucianism is at the apogee of Japanese development. It is confucianism reinterpreted and ‘japanized’. Unlike in China where confucianism had benevolence as it’s virtue, in Japan confucianism had loyalty as it’s central virtue. In japan, loyalty represented the will to serve, even at the sacrifice of one’s own life. There was little room left for individual conscience to flourish. Little room for ‘the self’.

This provides an economic and business attitude for a general Japanese.

The Ghanaian economic ecosystem has a very weak moral standard emanating from our view of life. Life is for thyself, we think.

People are defined according to their level of wealth without questioning the source of the wealth. We glorify riches and respect riches, not virtues. People with high moral coefficients are not important to society and are seen as perfectionist who do not appreciate the object of life. They are seen as relying on morality as the opium of their economic deficiencies.

But is the object of life riches, or wealth?  Not so! Unfortunately, we run out of life before realizing that life is not physical wealth. Aristotle indicated in his writings in Nichomacean ethics, that, the life of money-making is one undertaken under compulsion, and wealth is evidently not the good we are seeking; for it is merely useful and for the sake of something else’.

The Ghanaian economy is weak because the fundamentals of our morality is similarly frail. We are corrupt, and perpetually so because our society cherishes and acknowledges the rich and despises the poor (in wealth). As a result of this, we have become a group of hypocrites always chasing wealth regardless of the loss it causes our society.

Many CSOs engage in self-centered advocacy. They undertake advocacy to be noticed and rewarded from the same corrupt and immoral sources. These CSOs do not care once they will also benefit. If they will not, they will continue to bark hypocritically as if it were service to country. Can’t you see these CSOs all over? They benefit dishonestly in turns but behave as if they are for national good.

Go to the church and pay a tithe of even ¢2, 000 and see if you will not be the chairman of the next harvest or a co chairman of same? Where you got the money from is of no relevance to the church. The interest is your provision of money to build and drive the so call work of God. There is no dirty money, for the church, all money be money.

Corruption in the church is rivaling circular corruption. Morality is only of cosmetic status in our churches today.

But the church ordinarily ought to be brewing morally upright humans, and influencing morally deficient beings to conform to ethical standards. But they are rather laundering criminals by associating with them.

Our economy is suffering because our moral fundamentals are weak.

Where are the taxes we collect?  The Ghana Revenue Authority collected ¢3.6 billion extra revenue in 2022 than expected. In other words, it exceeded its revenue target by ¢3.6 billion in 2022. In fact, the trend was same in 2021. The average required tax to GDP of 17% recommended by the IMF is not our problem as an economy. But this notwithstanding, why is our economy so weak and has rendered the citizenry mainly jobless and impoverished.

We are self-seeking, so our wealth is not evenly distributed. It is in the hands of the political outliers. As a result of weak moral equity, we have no shame for ill-gotten wealth.

Don’t be deceived! The developed economies have strong moral fundamentals underpinning their social and economic architecture. You know why they resign under slight dishonest complexities? They view dishonesty as a serious moral vice.

People commit suicide in Japan if they perceive shame coming to them. The force of moral principles is heavy on their conscience, and it shapes their view of development.

According to the Greeks, people/leaders who think of themselves only are idiots. Their actions oppose the public good. They act not from the perspective of humanity, but for self. A morally weak behavioral stance.

Our economic woes is largely a result of corruption, lack of shame, self-acquisitiveness, and other moral vices eating our societal structures. It has nearly little to do with competence.

Maybe, we are suffering from the Dunning-Kruger effect; we are so morally bankrupt that we are not able to recognize our moral weakness.

Until we pay attention to our morality as a people, including valuing our individual INTEGRITY, we shall forever continue to face deep economic challenges in this country. We must expand economics into the area of morality, because the latter can corrupt the former.

Am I talking too much?

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