I first heard it as a powerful illustration in a talk about how men look to false hopes for their security and well being.
The same principle holds true here with the financial big boys and their attitude towards easy money (aka "lower interest rates"). The fact is, that we have a dedicated Keynsian as head of the fed, with a "religious" faith that easy money is the way to stimulate the economy. (In essence, this means simply print more money when we need it) He has seen Japan for the last 20 years and he has a terror of deflationary recession. Thus his famous line about "we will be throwing money out of helicopters if that is what it takes."
The book of Jeremiah (that is the Bible,folks) talks about the people putting their trust in broken cisterns, which hold no water. Men put their trust and hope in that which cannot rescue them. Thus is the trust of fools who believe that violating the basic rules of fiscal discipline can "save" an economy. The principles are as timeless as Proverbs: Hard work and thrift brings prosperity. Your property is YOURS (more technically correct, it belongs to God, but you maintain a delegated sovereign right to control over it). Wealth gained by deception is an illusion and will not last. Men (including leaders) are corruptible, weak, and untrustwothy. The borrower becomes the lender's slave.
One of the most recurring themes in those timeless principles is that God hates "deceptive weights." In the old days, men "measured" the gold/silver you paid for an item, and corrupt merchants would keep two sets of counterbalances. This allowed them to lie to you about how much your money was worth. Inflating a nation's currency is simply a more technological method of the government progressively changing the weights, thus progressively stealing wealth from its citizenry, and making our currency "worth less." (yes, the double entendre is intended)
The one reliable indicator of how much money there actually is in the economy is the M3. Interestingly enough, the gov't has decided about a year ago that they no longer need to publish it. There are other more abstract indicators out there, but the government chooses to rely on the "consumer price index" to measure the effects of inflation, rather than the source. The problem with the CPI is that it is a crock of manure. No one who fills up with gas or goes to the grocery store believes that our inflation is rising at less than 4% a year. This may be a difficult thing for the "party of the evangelicals" to grasp, but your government is lying to you. They are ruining our economy and the wealth of future generations because of one simple reason: they won't stop spending, regulating, and doing what bureaucrats love to do, accumulating power.
Printing money will NOT stop the slowdown. It won't save the economy, but it will ruin the dollar. If you are too young to remember those happy times of the 1970's (I was in grad school), then you don't know what it is like to have the economy slow (very few jobs, and lots of folks losing theirs) combined with inflation (every month prices are going up, up, up). The problem is that now, inflation is thought of as a cure, rather than a disease, as it will "get the economy going again."
The ultimate evil of inflation is twofold. One, it hits the poor the hardest. Two, it benefits the rich AT THE EXPENSE of the poor. The middle class, although they cannot "keep up," at least have salaries which will index for inflation. The poor do not, nor do the elderly. They don't know why, but they fall further and further behind. However, the flip side is that inflation benefits the very wealthy elite, because they "see" the money first, before it loses its spending power. Nowhere is this more true than the big money managers and bankers on Wall Street. This is an economic evil of tremendous proportions, stealing from the powerless to give to the rich. It is not just unwise. It is evil. Advocates of "social justice" who are perpetually arguing for more government intervention are encouraging you to dive right into the broken cistern. Likewise, those who wave the flag of "terrorism" as a justification for maintaining an empire of over 800 military bases around the world are, in fact, destroying your future security in the name of upholding it.
We have to stop spending, both on the Republican vision of "empire" and the Democrat nanny state. Both are liars who are selling you water from a broken cistern. You can only get away with it for so long. Our time is coming rapidly.