Darrow Miller and Friends

It’s Not “The Economy, Stupid” … It’s the Moral Vision

Photo by Damian Brandon at freedigitalphotos.net

The global economy isn’t exactly robust. Should the world’s governments pick up Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign slogan, “It’s the economy, stupid!” ?

No. Those who follow this mantra are mistaken.

Undergirding any political/economic system is a set of ideas, a moral and metaphysical infrastructure.  The political, economic, and social institutions of a society are derived from principles, which Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines as “the cause, source or origin of anything; that from which a thing proceeds.” All physical infrastructure is built on mental infrastructure.

We live in a highly visual and tactical world. We are so busy living in the moment, focusing on our senses, feeding our appetites, that we seldom reflect on the first principles that underpin a society.

Economic issues are important, and economic policies should be guided by transcendent truth. God has much to say on the matter. But when a nation is floundering, economic circumstances are rarely the problem. Rather, economic problems flow from faulty ideas.

When the economy is floundering, the political class is tempted to seize power, creating more and more complex laws that lead to tyranny. They (and we) often fail to examine the moral and metaphysical elements which give rise to these destructive tendencies. Every society chooses between being

  • moral or amoral,
  • just or corrupt,
  • truthful or devious,
  • lawful or lawless,
  • beautiful or vulgar,
  • serving or selfish,
  • diligent or lazy,
  • wise or foolish.

As a nation’s people and leaders choose lies over truth, the immoral over the moral … as they opt for conspicuous consumption over delayed gratification, that nation will begin to die.

It’s not the economy stupid; it’s moral vision that will determine the future of a nation.

Here are some truisms very relevant to today’s political climate:

  • The larger the government (more laws, larger bureaucracy), the smaller the people.
  • The larger the people (more self governed, self motivated, and creative), the smaller the government.
  • The larger the government the smaller the place of God in the life of the people and nation.
  • The larger the place that God has in the life of the nation, the smaller the government may be.

Yes! It is the moral vision!

– Darrow Miller with Gary Brumbelow

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Darrow is co-founder of the Disciple Nations Alliance and a featured author and teacher. For over 30 years, Darrow has been a popular conference speaker on topics that include Christianity and culture, apologetics, worldview, poverty, and the dignity of women. From 1981 to 2007 Darrow served with Food for the Hungry International (now FH association), and from 1994 as Vice President. Before joining FH, Darrow spent three years on staff at L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland where he was discipled by Francis Schaeffer. He also served as a student pastor at Northern Arizona University and two years as a pastor of Sherman Street Fellowship in urban Denver, CO. In addition to earning his Master’s degree in Adult Education from Arizona State University, Darrow pursued graduate studies in philosophy, theology, Christian apologetics, biblical studies, and missions in the United States, Israel, and Switzerland. Darrow has authored numerous studies, articles, Bible studies and books, including Discipling Nations: The Power of Truth to Transform Culture (YWAM Publishing, 1998), Nurturing the Nations: Reclaiming the Dignity of Women for Building Healthy Cultures (InterVarsity Press, 2008), LifeWork: A Biblical Theology for What You Do Every Day (YWAM, 2009), Rethinking Social Justice: Restoring Biblical Compassion (YWAM, 2015), and more. These resources along with links to free e-books, podcasts, online training programs and more can be found at Disciple Nations Alliance (https://disciplenations.org).


  1. Ana Roncal

    January 10, 2011 - 2:40 pm

    I loved the DNA website… thanks for teaching… “It’s not the economiy stupid” is what our candidates need to hear … we have several presidential candidates who are economists… what about our moral corruption?

  2. Lynn Scrutton

    January 12, 2011 - 11:10 pm

    Well written, thank you. What a fresh and valuable view, something worth investing thought into. Yes, “Economic problems flow from faulty ideas.” i see the political climate has much to do with the character climate.

    The photo by Damian Brandon is stunning.