The hot topic right now that I see, especially among Christian friends of mine, is the “Inequality of Wealth” in this country. Now, this is a real issue and needs to be addressed but lets first look at why this topic is so prevalent and popular.
I believe this is happening for two reasons. One, we genuinely want to help the poor and powerless in our society. Many friends of mine believe and hold to Micah 6:8 which basically says, “Do justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly.” (Note: Just checked my tattoo to make sure I quoted the verse right) This is a great desire and I whole-heartedly encourage and support this desire. We, as Christians, should strive to live this verse out in our daily lives.
Its reasons two that I have a problem with. Two, and I think this is the bigger issue, we are so frustrated with big-box companies and the “One percent” not giving the way WE WANT that we are ok with, and in some cases even agree with, the government interfering. Is this really the way we should go? We see graphs, stats, and facts that tell us the poor are suffering. We see plenty of evidence all around us that companies in the US and overseas don’t really care about their employees. We also see the affect the minimum-wage, dead-end job is having on this country. People are upset and for good reason.
There is a deeper issue here. One that won’t be solved by the government “making” companies and the vaunted one percent give of their hard-earned riches more generously.
The root issue here is companies and the rich elite are being told they are selfish, they are hard-hearted, and that because they are rich (TOO RICH according to some) they should give much more than us to the poor. Is it our responsibility to tell someone else how to spend their money? Should I, as a lower middle-class worker, complain and demand that the wealth of this country be redistributed? Should the rich be punished for their success?
We assume that every rich man or woman gained their riches by abusing their employees and that they hoard it in their mansions. We assume that the rich avoid taxes like Howie Mandel avoids germs. We are being told that they are the problem without being told the whole picture.
Let me ask you. If someone told you forty-percent of your income was going to taxes, what would you do? What I asked you to pay more right after you just got a raise? You’d cry foul, wouldn’t you? You certainly wouldn’t enjoy that raise nearly as much.
Should companies be more generous? Absolutely. However, this country was founding on the freedom of a company to refuse to do exactly that. We have no right to tell someone “You make too much! Give me some!” The idea of being one of those one-percenters used to be a goal in this country. It used to be if you worked hard and, honestly, got a little bit lucky you could be one of them.
I agree with many people who point to the mega-corporations and loudly decry their treatment of their employees and the lack of permanent, sustainable careers at these corporations. Those are GREAT questions and those are REAL problems. However, we as a country have gotten lazy. Instead of voting with our wallets and voting with our ability to be the ones to create those new companies, or be the ones to change those corporations from within, we’ve turned to the government as the answer.
We look at how wealth “should be ideally distributed” forgetting that there is no such thing. People will succeed when they shouldn’t, people will fail when they shouldn’t. You can’t look at someone’s paycheck and say “Well, I’m going to take from this person since they make more and give it to this person.” It not only doesn’t work but it goes against the fundamentals of hard work and keeping what you earn.
This country has just hit the fifty-percent mark for the percentage of the population who receives some type of government assistance and I honestly ask, “Could that not be contributing to the overwhelming poverty and inequality that we see in this country?” I don’t believe its the only reason but why is that being not discussed?
We seem to believe, as a country, that it would be “better” if wealth was more evenly-distributed. We seem to believe that if we just spread the wealth out a little bit more everything would be better.
That is a lie.
If we really want to reinvent this country, we need to stop blaming the rich and martyring the poor. The are good rich people and there are evil poor people, and vice verse. If WE really want to change this country, maybe WE need to stop looking at paychecks and starting looking at the character of those who inhabit this country. If WE really want to change this country, maybe WE need to encourage companies to be more generous.
Maybe, WE THE PEOPLE, need to support the poor with our time, money, and effort. Maybe, WE THE PEOPLE, need to get out of our pews and get back into our communities. Maybe, WE THE PEOPLE, need to lead the charge by inspiring the next generation to be self-sufficient and not rely on the government. Maybe, WE THE PEOPLE, need to stop blaming inequality and the unfairness of our economy and start making a difference.
Maybe, WE THE PEOPLE, need to make the government obsolete.
Socialism isn’t the answer. Capitalism isn’t the answer.
This country WILL ONLY CHANGE when WE THE PEOPLE rise up and tell companies we’ve had enough. This country WILL ONLY CHANGE when WE THE PEOPLE decide that we want the freedom to succeed, to fail, and especially, to keep what we have earned. We have allowed greed to taint our view of the rich and we’ve allowed our love of celebrities and possessions to taint our view of NEEDS. We have allowed ourselves to be sold the lie of EQUALITY.
The answer is we need families to be together again. We need to say NO to teen pregnancies and single-parent homes. We need to say NO to a lack-luster education system, fifty years behind the world our students live in. We need to say NO to race and class warfare and a government big enough to take away everything from you at a whim. We need to say NO to heartless companies and cookie-cutter, assembly-line, so-stupid-a-monkey-could-do-it jobs.
Our countries has ALOT of issues and none are easy to fix. But its OUR responsibility to fix those issues NOT the government’s.
Socialism is a lie. Just like unfettered capitalism is a lie.
WE THE PEOPLE need to create close-knit communities that love their neighbor as themselves. WE THE PEOPLE need to “redistribute” the wealth to those who are less fortunate, not mandatorily, but FREELY.
You can claim I speak of an idealized society that doesn’t exist but if it doesn’t, then its our fault.