Economics 101

What Both Bernie Sanders and George Will Contribute to the Christian Debate on Income Inequality

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Anne Bradley has a new article published over on Patheos, “What Both Bernie Sanders and George Will Contribute to the Christian Debate on Income Inequality.”

In it she explores how Christians can find truth in the views of both of these men, even though they sit on different sides of the income inequality debate.

She writes,

Christians know God made us each with equal dignity. When we hear about vastly growing inequality, it’s no wonder our heart aches.

Those who want to stop growing wage gaps between the rich and poor fear a class divide in which the upper class looks down on the poor. The one percent oppresses them through special privileges and crony influence in society. Such a “Downton Abbey” breed of society—as some call it—would be a moral ruin.

God doesn’t see social classes. He sees unique individuals. However, it’s difficult for our culture not to connect income to human worth at some degree. We know one person is not inherently better than the next, yet such a great wage disparity seems to say otherwise.

So how can Christians on either side of the aisle work towards a solution together?

Bradley suggests creativity is key to any answer the Bernie Sanders and George Wills of the world can come up with:

On the issue of income inequality, Christians are faced with this challenge: to guard against upper class exploitation of the poor and to avoid feeding into class envy at the same time. Perhaps the answer lies with our creative human nature… Each individual is created with equal dignity and unique gifts to contribute to society. For that reason, we should turn our focus on policies that unleash the creativity of each human person so we can all grow the income pie together.

Read the whole article here.

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  • Glenn Brooke

    Excellent, Greg, thanks for referring us to this article.

  • I think as Christians we must be more informed about income equality and why we are concerned about this debate. Do we want more for ourselves or are we advocating for others. There are lots of opportunities to help those in need without creating more political debate. I recently heard that world hunger is down in the world. Also the major business publications and the IRS report that the top 1% control 33% of all assets. Most of these people and I’ll define most as between 75-100% are first generation millionaires, multimillionaires and billionaires. They did not inherit their wealth but started in the bottom 20%. The problem could be intrinsic motivation vs. extrinsic motivation which Dan Pink speaks about in depth in his book Drive. I think the path to success is there – we just have to learn from those who have demonstrated the ability to go from the bottom 20% to the top 20%.

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