Journal “ECONOMY OF UKRAINE”, 2014, #1
Journal “ECONOMY OF UKRAINE”, 2014, #1
UDC 330.33.01; 336
L. L. K I S T E R S K Y,
Professor, Doctor of Econ. Sci.,
Director, Institute for International Business Development,
Head, Chair for International Management
of the National Academy for Statistics, Accounting, and Auditing
TO END A DEPRESSION:
ECONOMIC PERCEPTION OF THE BIBLE
The crisis management concepts of J.M. Keynes and the Nobel laureate P. Krugman, as well as those of the leading Ukrainian economists, are analyzed, and the expediency to use their formulas in Ukraine for ending the contemporary recession is considered. It is shown that the realization of state's controlling measures aimed at overcoming the crisis is in harmony with Bible's economic postulates, which are actual for any times.
Keywords: crisis, government regulation, investment demand, Keynesianism, Christianity, Bible, personnel, employment, growth.
World experience shows that a purely pragmatic approach to economic development, while providing acceptable rates of growth, does not solve many fundamental problems of a society, which entails the growth of extremism and shocks, crises and social difficulties. Though, in today's world, these problems are exacerbated in both - individual countries and in the international system as a whole. A vivid example of those problems demonstrates the 2008 global economic crisis, from which have not yet found any exit either individual countries and international organizations, or major economists of our time.
In the discussion about the concept of recovery, developed by the Nobel laureate P. Krugman, leading Ukrainian economists V. Heyets and A. Gritsenko, in their article consider the capabilities and features of practical application of the proposed approaches to the search for ways to overcome the crisis, including in Ukraine. However, the ideas and views, as set out in the article, reach far beyond theoretical discussions with the Nobel laureate about overcoming the current financial and economic crisis affecting the fundamental problems of modern civilization development.
Paul Krugman’s book  provoked a strong reaction among economists, politicians, and journalists worldwide. Some reviews of the book contain the question: “What would Keynes say?”. Indeed, the author of the book, and the authors of the article give due attention to one of the basic tenets of John Maynard Keynes, following which would help accelerate overcoming modern recession. The essence of this postulate is that austerity, with which governments are now trying to overcome the crisis, should be used to deter "overheating" of the economy during the boom. Application of this method in a recession leads to further deterioration of the labor market, deter revitalizing the private sector, which could pull the economy out of the crisis.
These recipes of the most respected economists of the past and present centuries until now were not properly applied in crisis management practices. The only exception was the "New Deal" in the United States applied by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to overcome the deep recession of 1929-1933. During the first term of his presidency, Roosevelt raised nationalization share of GDP, increased the regulatory role of the state in the economy, raising taxes and budget spending, which led to a reduction in unemployment and revived the economy. The success of the "New Deal" has largely stimulated J.M. Keynes to publish in 1936 his main work "General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money". 
Thus, Keynes, in fact, brilliantly summarized and developed the successful experiences of the Great Depression, as well as his own practice to combat the crisis in England, laying down deep theoretical foundation of state regulatory functions. He convincingly showed that the system of market economic relations is not a self-regulating and ensuring effective employment and economic growth requires timely and balanced state regulatory actions aimed at investment stimulating of economy.
Over time, the ideas of J.M. Keynes were being supplemented and transformed, but unchanged remained important regulatory role of the state in the process of overcoming the crisis in the economy. So, in 1980, the U.S. President Ronald Reagan to revive the economy has resorted to a drastic reduction in taxes and increased economic liberalism. But then everything went according to Keynes.
Subsequently, the qualitative changes of the second stage of the scientific and technological revolution, technological and social transformation, the internationalization of production and capital, as well as the development of globalization have significantly reduced the effectiveness of national means impact on the economy, especially in small and medium-sized countries. An example is the modern United Europe, going through an extremely difficult phase in its development, caused by severe financial and economic crisis.
In the struggle with the current economic crisis in Europe, many governments do not rely on the advices of John Maynard Keynes and Paul Krugman, but on the IMF prescriptions, reducing government spending and investment programs, thereby contracting demand and driving the economy into recession. To this important for Ukraine circumstance attention is paid by V. Heyets and A. Gritsenko. In Ukraine, unfortunately, there is no stable layer of politicians who would have a sound economic knowledge and abilities, aptly described by the authors, not " to fill in holes " in the economy, guided by expediency of the political situation, but to conduct systemic economic policies, including those aimed at overcoming the present crisis (pp. 5, 6).
It is worthwhile to pay special attention to the problem of employment, which could not be solved by government spending cuts. The need to maintain and develop an effective system of employment as an instrument of macroeconomic policy and an essential component of the regulatory state strategy was justified by both - J.M. Keynes and P. Krugman. No wonder the title of the main work of John Maynard Keynes in the first place among the most important macroeconomic indicators contained precisely employment . Practice shows that unemployment does not only adversely affect the economy, stifling its growth, but also demoralizes people. The same view is held by V. Heyets and A. Gritsenko, noting that in Ukraine, unfortunately, the problem of unemployment has not been dealt with adequately (pp. 7, 8).
However, the approaches analyzed in the process of discussion offer the use of various state regulatory measures to overcome the crisis, that is, after the onset of the recession. Probably it is worth trying to hold certain public policies to prevent the predicted crisis phenomenon, or at least to mitigate them. In this regard it should be noted that the basic principles of organization of economic relations in the society were described as far back in the Bible, although so far they have not been analyzed and presented in a clear system of economic knowledge.
The Bible offers a wide range of economic postulates and recommendations for a successful and harmonious development of a society. Many of its chapters provide direct instruction of an economic nature, which are highly relevant for any time and level of technological development.*
The importance of biblical provisions for construction and development of market economy in Ukraine was noted by A. Plotnikov, who believes that “... the market economy foundations were laid on the basis of perception in the spiritual sense of the word, which is fully back to the Bible” [3, p . 3].
During the years of self- study and analysis of the economic aspects of the Bible, the author has attempted to compile, organize and present the biblical economic postulates and regulations in relation to the modern economy.** However, in a magazine article it is not possible to cover all the economic ideas of the Bible, which can be useful in the implementation of government economic and social policy. This requires a separate publication of a monographic format. Therefore, let’s concentrate on the presentation of the Bible’s most important economic ideas that correspond to modern scientific approaches, are useful for economic transformation and reform, as well as are in tune with the discussion topic of the magazine.
First of all, in the Bible it is highly recommended to pay attention to the selection of diligent and skilled personnel. This principle at all times is the key to the head of state. King David said to his son Solomon about the importance of involving professionals before starting big business: "and there shall be with thee for all manner of workmanship every willing skillful man, for any manner of service: also the princess and all the people will be wholly at thy commandment " [4, 1 Chron. 28:21]. As a fundamental principle for recruitment the Bible commands not to rely on personal loyalty or age group, but on professionals of all ages who could not only flatter a ruler, for flattery and pleasant untruth lead to the weakening of power [4, 2 Chron. 10:3-19 ].
The Bible repeatedly emphasizes the importance of professionalism in any matter: because people have different talents, and they should be engaged in what they have skills [4, Rom. 12:6, 7, 8]. We often justified by “political expediency” promotion to the highest level of people who do not have adequate education or talent, but do not even possess moral and ethical principles. Such officials hold power due to notorious quotas and political allies, for whom a high post in the executive branch is not a difficult job and a huge responsibility, but merely means of satisfying political ambitions and getting access to the budgetary expenditures.
The Bible contains a direct instruction on the inadmissibility of low payments to employees for work and lawlessness of delays and non-payments of wages (“Woe unto him...that useth his neighbor’s service without wages, and giveth him not for his work” [4, Jer. 22:13]). At the present stage of development of society low share of labor cost in the price of goods has led to the growth of the shadow economy, corruption and, ultimately, to a weakening of statehood in Ukraine.
Diligent and skilled labor should be rewarded adequately. Most people are hardworking by nature, as the Bible says: "He that laboureth for himself; for his mouth craveth it of him” [4, Prov. 16:26]. Indeed, especially under present technological standard, higher level specialists who secure economic development deserve a significantly higher fee for their work. Their wages should be brought closer to European standards as soon as possible. V. Heyets and A. Gritsenko noted that such a system of wages would allow, if necessary, to attract the best foreign specialists (p. 9).
Entrepreneurship has always been an essential component of life for individuals as well as for society as a whole. Many chapters of the Bible contain professional economic advice to entrepreneurs which are very relevant nowadays (for example, that before the implementation of project necessary calculations should be made: "For which of you, intending to a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him " [4, St.Luke. 14:28, 29].
The striking example of the violation of this biblical principle in the modern history of Ukraine is the construction of an oil pipeline "Odessa - Brody." "Fathers" of the project first took "political decision to build" and then foreign crediting institution ordered to incompetent Ukrainian graduate students to develop a feasibility study with a rationale for the project implementation. As a result, Ukraine has received a long-term burden on the budget to repay the loan, because so far it is not clear what to pump through the pipeline and in what direction.
A teaching on the organization and management of small and family businesses occupies a special place in the Bible. First of all, the Bible says that the one is worthy of respect who is self-sufficient in the work and earns a piece of bread: “He that is despised, and hath a servant, is better than he that honoureth himself, and lacketh bread “ [4, Prov. 12:9]. Family business is considered to be a backbone of small business, and the Bible notes the importance of transferring businesses from generation to generation within a family [4, Num. 36:7 , 8, 9 ]. As practice of the developed market economies shows, such an approach creates jobs and increases self-employed, entrepreneurial tradition are being laid, constantly improving the quality of goods and services.
According to the Bible, the role of government in the development of entrepreneurship is, above all, in the absence of double standards, and enabling the creation of equal conditions for all business, removing barriers to the development of entrepreneurship: “Divers weights, and divers measures, both of them are alike abomination to the Lord” [4, Prov. 20:10]. Thus, and this is confirmed by the practice of developed market democracies, it is the private sector, especially small business, which is the main driving force for the development of not only the economy and society as a whole; and that is why it deserves every state support.
Unfortunately, in Ukraine, social charges on employers and taxes were formed contrary to biblical tenets and are of confiscatory character, which causes a high level of the shadow economy in the country.
Much space in the Bible is devoted to the instructions for financial resources management. The parable of the buried talent is sufficiently well known and often referred to by people in everyday life. A parable from the New Testament about a rich man, who gave ten pounds ( Greek silver coin) to ten people, is much less known, although it has the same economic sense [4, St. Luke 19:13-26 ]. This parable, in fact, contains fundamental principles of financial management, which are not always observed in the modern economy. The Bible specifies that the money should be there, where they are provided a profitable and safe use, and are not kept idle in a hiding place. In contemporary Ukraine, nationals store outside the banking system (estimate), an amount comparable to the annual budget of the country, that is outside the economy enormous resources are kept, which are so lacking for development programs and economic reforms.
Teachings on regulatory activities in agriculture and farming are assigned one of the most important roles in the Bible; they are contained in many chapters and cover virtually all areas of the industry chain - from growing different crops and breeding animals to the storage and processing of products [4, Prov. 13:23, Prov. 11:26 ]
Provisions on land ownership and changing forms of land ownership registered, perhaps, most clearly and strongly. The Bible says that unsettled transactions in land may lead to its misuse, subsequent impoverishment of the people and degradation of the state. It also spelled out the system of punishment (especially for corruption and bribery) for irregularities in land transactions.
In fact, the Bible instructs to maintain trade relations in the sphere of land ownership and transfer of land titles, although with some specific limitations of modern character. This refers to a modern land use rights as land lease for 49 years with the right to repurchase, “And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession. The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is mine, for ye are strangers and sojourners with me“ [4, Levit. 25:10, 23].
Given the undeveloped land market relations in Ukraine and the loss of skills of the private land ownership, it would probably be advisable not to divide farmland shares into small domains, but to preserve state ownership of this category of land for a certain period, using the biblical land rental recommendations.
Even more stringent are the Bible requirements with respect to tenure in a city: "But the field of the suburbs of their cities may not be sold; for it is their perpetual possession" [4, Levit. 25:34]. Fortunately, new Kiev authorities began to return to communal ownership thousands of hectares of urban land illegally sold out or transferred by the city administration for bribes. The Bible is very strict about any property in the city, including real estate; even if an owner sold his town house, he has the right to redeem it within a year from the date of sale, " And if a man sell a dwelling house in a walled city, then he may redeem it within a whole year from after it is sold; within a full year may he redeem it " [4, Levit. 25:29]. Thus, in modern parlance, within a city the Bible recommends keeping a communal ownership on land and a conservative approach to real estate issues. Moreover, the Bible is extremely negative to the concentration of real estate and land in a few hands: " Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth" [4, Isa. 5:8]!
The Bible pays an important attention to one of the oldest forms of human activity - trade. It often contains reflections and regulations regarding the ethics of trade and its role in economic development, taxation of profits from trading, traders place in the social hierarchy, and many other trade-related recommendations.
The first mention of trade in the Old Testament contains guidance on ethics. The necessity is stressed for the use of common weight measures, their accuracy and correctness; shortweighting and shortchanging are sharply condemned by the Bible: "Thou shalt not have in any bag divers weights, a great and a small. But thoushalt have a perfect and just measure shalt thou have: that thy days may be lengthened in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee" [4, Deuter. 25:13-16].
The Bible prescribes that one should import only the best, unique, and from a manufacturer: "And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, ...And they fetched up, and brought forth out of Egypt a chariot for six hundred shekels of silver, and a horse for an hundred and fifty: and so brought they out horses for all the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, by their means" [4, 2 Cron.1 : 16,17]. If guided by such an approach, Ukraine should reduce imports of cheap goods and products that can be produced by national manufacturers and import mainly high-tech goods with unique consumer qualities.
Contemporary Ukraine is a world recognized exporter of labor, including the most qualified - researchers in various fields of science, information technology specialists, and artists. The Bible prescribes a very different approach. Skilled labor should be invited into the country and smart people should be stimulated to work in Ukraine [4, 2 Chron. 2:7, 8, 10, 13, 17, 18].
In Ukraine, for a long time there is a reduction of population, not only because of demographic reasons, but also because of continuous legal and illegal outflow of citizens abroad due to lack of decent jobs. On this occasion, the Bible says: "In the multitude of people is the king’s honour: but in the want of people is the destruction of the prince" [4, Prov. 14:28]. Of course, in modern conditions a state should strive not only to the quantitative growth of the population, but, above all, to qualitative.
However, presently, one should not take this biblical postulate too primitively without considering the consequences for people who actually secure economic growth. At one time in Ukraine " a ruler " couldn’t find anything better than to give money for the birth of a child, and subsequent leaders were only increasing the premium, competing in populism and creating exorbitant social burden on the society and on budget expenditures. Practices not only in Ukraine, but also in developed democracies have long ago confirmed immorality and economic irrationality of such “premium".
Payments for child birth, as it is done in some countries, could be reserved at deposit accounts with special financial institutions with subsequent use for education, business creation or housing.
Debts (internal and external) have long been almost the basic sign of not only the global economy but also of the entire system of international economic relations. The problem of debt management is known as long as the absence of its solution. Moreover, in recent decades the problem as a virus, spread from developing countries to developed and encompassed even the most powerful contemporary economic group - the European Union.
The Bible contains a number of recommendations with respect to debt management. Current international practice often contradicts with these recommendations; in particular, regular debt relief to LDCs leads to inefficient use of resources by those countries. Others recommendations of the Bible in this area are, so far, beyond lending practices and debt management techniques. It is interesting to note that the debt write off is permitted to a neighbor or to a brother, that is, in the biblical interpretation, to citizens of the country. But with a foreigner it is recommended to recover a debt: "Of a foreigner thou mayest exact it again: but that which is thine with thy brother thine hand shall release" [4, Deuteron. 15:3].
The Bible repeatedly expressed the idea that oneself should not borrow, but lend deposit, because it brings power over other nations: "For the Lord thy God blessed thee: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, but thou shalt not borrow; and thou shalt reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over thee"[4, Deuteron. 15:6]. This idea is fully in line with the current practices of Ukraine, when international creditors and donors advance claims to the country which are not quite acceptable but indispensable for repaying old debts accumulated to the same creditors.
Credit relations occupy a special place in the Bible. Many guidelines and recommendations of the Holy Scripture are extremely relevant not only for the Ukrainian economy, but also for many other developed countries. The Bible prescribes that credit instruments should be treated very selectively and not all borrowers deserve being credited.
So, the Bible recommends not to credit neighbors, i.e. citizens. But foreigners, whom you want to win economically, can be provided loans to, "Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of any thing that is lent upon usury: Unto a stranger thou mayest lend upon usury" [4, Deuteron. 23:19, 20]. Probably, it means that needy neighbors should be provided with financial support, as prescribed in many chapters of the Bible. So come in many developed countries (EU, USA, Canada), where government programs available to citizens socially important loans, particularly long-term, a symbolic interest. For example, long-term loan for a purchase of a first home can be obtained with the interest rate of 2-4 % per annum.
To maintain effective demand in the country and promote investment programs the state should pursue an active and timely regulatory policy. Modern recipe of this policy is contained in the Article V. Geyt and A. Gritsenko. They offer to create state not for profit credit and financial institutions to support development projects. For this does not result in higher inflation, resources should be introduced into circulation by creating real value. Moreover, such an approach would help to reduce interest rates. Open and transparent activities of these institutions under public control could create "islands” of uncorrupted relationship; that is especially important for a country which got stuck in corruption. In particular, this approach can be applied to solve acute housing problems, road construction - sectors that may be "locomotives" of the economy and, more importantly, the internal market (p. 13, 14). Implementation of this recipe could also help to involve to the turnover of the economy idle multibillion-dollar financial resources of the population. This approach is fully consistent with the biblical guidelines on the management of cash resources and financial support of its citizens.
In the modern economy loans against collateral (real estate, land, vehicles, etc.) became a widespread practice. In Ukraine as well as in other countries there are frequent bank failures that were actively handing loans against a pledge, thereby contributing to " overheating " of the economy, bringing its decline and crisis, thus making mortgage resources illiquid. The Bible says: "No man shall take the nether or the upper millstone to pledge: for he taketh a man’s life to pledge" [4, Deuteron. 24:6].
Organizing an effective and fair system of taxation in the state is perhaps one of the central components of economic prescriptions of the Bible, which states that taxes should not be too high, as it leads to tax evasion, social disobedience and, finally, to rebellion. The Bible describes the case when people asked the king to weaken a heavy yoke promising to serve him properly, but, contrary to the advice of elders, he refused to cut taxes and sent his representative to report this to the people. In response, the people stoned him [4, 2 Chron. 10:3, 4, 6, 7, 8,10,11,16, 18].
The Bible repeatedly states that taxes should be levied differentially, that there should not be a single tax rate for the rich and the poor; tax system should be designed to support the poor, not rich, "He that opresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want" [4, Prov. 22:16]. Further, this same idea is formulated even more vividly: “And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites ... And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you. That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury. For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast she had, even all her living " [4, Mark 12:41-44].
In Ukraine, the system of tax allocations and social charges does not correspond to the biblical approach. Not only that taxes and social payments in Ukraine are quite high for a transition economy with unsteady and immature market relations and undeveloped entrepreneurship, so they are still the same for all taxpayers, whether a multimillionaire or barely surviving small businessman.
The New Testament contains a proverb in which Jesus shows an example of mandatory tax payment - paying it for himself and for Peter [4, Mat. 17:24-27]. In the Bible, the need for tax payment was repeatedly discussed between Jesus and his disciples; his responses to the disciples on many issues have long become classic and idioms, although in some cases lost their original meaning. An idiom "To Caesar the things that are Caesar’s ..." is the result of discussions between Jesus and his disciples of the need to pay tribute to Caesar: "...bring me a penny, that I may see it. And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is the image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar’s. And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s" [4 Mark. 12:15-17]. Thus, Jesus makes it clear that it is indispensable to pay taxes.
Similarly, the Bible prescribes to the authorized by the commandment to "take the law of tithing," and all the rest - to pay it as an evidence that they are alive [4, Eur. 7:5-8 ]. Thus, two main types of payments are carried out - taxes (levies and duties) and only servants of temples are exempt from paying them, and the tithe which should be paid by all. The Bible democratically recommends negotiating the amount of taxes to be paid in order to avoid conflicts and disobedience between the monarch and payers of levies and duties to maintain the life of the state and its further development; whereas tithing is more social in nature and is allocated to funding of science, arts and culture, to support the church and its ministers, as well as the needy.
Such an important component of functioning of a state and formation of its budget revenues as customs is also mentioned in the Bible. Representatives of various professions, including publicans, requested advice regarding their activities: "Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do? And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you "[4, Luke. 3:12, 13]. For fees collection the Romans built special premises in some way corresponded to our customs. Publicans enjoyed great influence and trust in a society, but their aides often were embezzlers and extortionists and were considered oppressors, sinners, and thieves. Thus, economic abuses in collecting duties caused the New Testament to prescribe publicans not to take more than due and to adhere to agreed fees.
The Bible contains quite detailed instructions on a number of important components regarding economic development, such as science, education and the area of knowledge in general, which is an important component of human activity. King Solomon, renowned for his wisdom, saw a dream in which God appeared and promised to fulfill his every desire, and Solomon asked him: "Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad. And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for yourself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like onto thee all thy days" [4.3 Kings. 3:9, 11, 12, 13].
Thus, in the Bible prosperity of a state is directly related to the improvement of knowledge. The need to prioritize the development of “intelligent component” of society was relevant at all times, but especially important it has become today. The article of V. Geyts and A. Gritsenko notes that it is necessary to generate other employment strategy. It is highly advisable to reduce costs in the system of production of goods and services. And such branches as education, science, health and culture should be developed in terms of production and employment (p. 9).
Knowledge and mind, as the Bible says, give meaning to a possession of material resources through their wise use for development of a state: "There is gold, and a multitude of rubies: but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel" [4, Prov. 20:15] .
The Bible, in modern parlance, prescribes rulers to spare no means for science and education: "Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it. I wisdom dwell with prudence, I find out knowledge of witty inventions"[4, Prov. 8:10-12]. State Expenditure on the knowledge, according to the Bible, brings prosperity and well-being of the country, and those who do not support science and education will face degradation: “Poverty and shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured” [4, Prov. 13:18] .
Science and education in Ukraine for a long time need systematic convergence and evolutionary reform. In contrast to developed countries, where within the system of old prestigious universities science and education are closely linked and their financial support by firms and individual philanthropists is developed, the system of knowledge in Ukraine is dispersed among academic, branch and university components that have little to do with each other. Besides, science and education in Ukraine do not use extensive opportunities for international scientific cooperation with the financial support from the EU.
Without additional budgetary costs it is possible today to make better use of available resources if bring closer together intellectually and organizationally academic science with the university one, securing their interpenetration, including in the educational process. In addition, it is advisable to adopt legislation stimulating connections of business with a domestic science and education.
The Bible has repeatedly expressed the idea that the strong should support the weak, the poor and, in modern parlance, the vulnerable populations in general. The ideas of social policies aimed at supporting those in need dominate in many chapters of the Bible [4, Levit. 19:9, 10]. The Bible calls for support of charity, as it not only helps to solve social problems of a state, but also contributes to its economic development by supporting consumption and greater involvement of the people in wealth creation: "Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness; Being enriched in everything to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God "[4, 2 Corinth. 9; 10-11]. In Ukraine, it is advisable as soon as possible to pass a law to encourage philanthropy at the national level to stimulate useful activity of citizens.
In the framework of this discussion the author attempted to provide the basic economic tenets of the Bible and to show their correspondence to modern scientific approaches, the use of which is necessary to overcome the deep economic recession, to raise ethical standards of governance in modern society and to prevent acute crises in the future.
1. Krugman P. End this depression now! New York and London: W. W. Norton &
Company, 2012. – 259 p.
2. Keynes J.M. The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money. – London: Macmillan, 1936. – 362 р.
3. Plotnikov A.V. Christian foundations of a market economy. - K.: Ukrainian Christian University of Business and Technology, 1993. - p.3. [In Russian].
4. HOLY BIBLE, Authorised King James Version, Collins Bible publishers since 1839.
Received August 6, 2013.
* The article is published in the framework of the discussion initiated by the NAS academician V.M. Heyets and corresponding member of the NAS A.A. Gritsenko in their article "Out of the Crisis (Reflections on the relevant due to read) " // Economy of Ukraine. - 2013 . - № 6. - S. 4-19.
* This article discusses not ideological components of religion, such as cosmogony and anthropology, spirituality, morality, ethics, etc., but only postulates and economic precepts that are fully correlated with the existing scientific approaches, fragmentary or situational recommended by modern economic science and applied in practice.
* ** The author is in no way diminishes the importance and moral influence on society of the two other major world religions (Islam and Buddhism), the more so because the Bible and the Koran, for example, contain a number of general provisions and prophecies.