Public Square

Income Inequality Isn’t the Real Problem

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Photo courtesy of Justin

Is income inequality wrong?

Not according to theologian Ron Sider, theologian Jordan Ballor, and economist Anne Bradley.

According to Christian Post reporter Tyler O’Neil, Sider said,

I think that a good, short statement of a biblical definition of economic justice is that God wants every person and every family to have access to the productive resources, so that if they act responsibly they can earn their own way and be productive members of society…I am not arguing for equality of income and wealth.

Bradley cited the Parable of the Talents as a biblical example of income inequality. Because we are all unique, we will not make the same amount. What matters is that we get the opportunity to do what we love and what we are good at, as well as how well we steward what we have.

But Sider, Ballor, and Bradley all agreed that there is something wrong with our society, something that stifles creativity and opportunity. It leads to a political and economic system that is stacked against the poor. Bradley said,

We’re creating an environment where the rich aren’t getting rich because they serve people but because they’re rigging the game.

So if income inequality isn’t the problem, what is?

Read more about the real problem here and find out how to fix it here. Do you agree? Leave your comments here.

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  • Rick Gilbert

    What empirical data supports Bradley’s statement that “the rich” aren’t getting richer by serving people but by “rigging” the game? Begin with a definition of “the rich”. By world economic standards almost everyone in the U.S. might be considered “rich”. Even if we assume that “the rich” are the business owners as opposed to the employees, in what ways are they (business owners) “rig the game”. I suggest that those owners are serving people by investing capital to employ people who deliver valuable products/services to customers. While, doubtless, a few have engaged in “rigging” the system, does he really think it is the general rule? If by “rich” he means the truly super-rich who have enough wealth they live off passive investment income, then I would argue that they, too, are serving people by investing their capital, say stocks and bonds, which then funds capital markets that ultimately fund businesses to grow, hire more, develop more valuable products and services for customers — capitalism, i reckon. Surely I am missing something in his comment.
    Meanwhile, the parable of the talents [along with many others] is a fine example of Biblical explanation of the fundamental problem — we all have various talents, abilities, drive, perseverance and results will always vary among individuals. The best we can do is endeavor to create an evironment of “equal opportunity”.

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