Dead in the Long Run?

High time preference is embodied in the timeless quip by Keynes:

In the long run we are all dead.

This is not a cop-out against saving, but a Bohemian, “apres nous le deluge” and anti-Jewish outlook. The truth is that in the long run, we are eternal, through children and the messiah and good deeds. The story of the carob tree and Choni comes to mind. Judaism is anti-nihilist, but also, as Yeshayahu Leibowitz says, “anti-delusional”.

Yeshaya 40:6 tells us how to gain eternity:

A voice says, “Call!” and it says, “What shall I call?” “All flesh is grass, and all its kindness is like the blossom of the field.

The grass shall dry out, the blossom shall wilt, for a wind from the Lord has blown upon it; behold the people is grass.

The grass shall dry out, the blossom shall wilt, but the word of our God shall last forever.

Even in this world, most outlive the short run. As Ron Paul says, “those who spend beyond their means are destined to spend within their means”.

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