After all, how long could we expect our economy to flourish even as the bedrock values that secure its health disintegrate? If indeed recent generations have cared less for the virtues of hard work and familial responsibility, of wisdom and frugality, of honesty and fairness and charity, then the “conclusion” of the story in financial collapse seems not only understandable but inevitable.
In other words, it is easy to blame the financial crisis on the misdeeds of the princes of Washington and Wall Street -- and future entries in this series will examine these as well. But perhaps it is also we who are to blame. In the aftermath of the financial crisis there will be much examination of the financial and governmental structures of our society. Let us hope there is also a self-examination amongst the American people. If it is true that the atrophy of our collective moral fibers helped to create the conditions for the economic collapse, then the recovery of our economy for long-term health will require not only legal and legislative measures but also a general re-strengthening of our moral character as a people.
Other articles in the "Faith@Work" series: