Somestimes its hard to be biblically honest when it comes to politics. Raised a certain way, changing political positions can be as difficult as changing religious traditions. Sometimes they are the same.
But when you do it because of your faith in the God of Yeshua, it’s really a statement that you subjugate even your closely held political beliefs to your faith.
So I was listening to conservative news radio, believe it or not, the administration was the topic. It came in stages, but it started the day before or so when I heard that the President wants to raise the minimum wage to $9 an hour by 2015. Naturally, [since I make $3.71 myself] that means I’ll either start paying employees off the books, cut their hours, or fire them. Which do you prefer?
So I ranted for a couple of hours about how insane that was. After the ranting, I started to work on how anyone could not see that. It’s quite simple because in the average sheeple’s mind everyone who pays minimum wage is McDonalds or their cousins.
There’s probably some loophole for me, and their real target is the big guys.
But think about it for half a sec, if McDonald’s pays $9 and I don’t, which employees will I get? The rejects from McDonalds. So loophole or not, my business will suffer.
Back to the issue, what this is, is just another form of redistribution (inflation is another). Theoretically, McDonalds can only raise their prices so much, so at some point to continue operating they’ll have to pay their 500,000 employees more without bringing in more revenue. The answer? Cut executives pay!
Haha, you dolt! First they’ll cut low and middle management’s pay, the guys who are not paid “minimum” wage. But that’s another story.
Anyway, that notion set my conservative leanings on edge. God is very clear on the value of ownership. Furthermore, ten percent is the number God gave for his own “tax”, and also the number God gave that the king would take. Further, furthermore throughout scripture God rewards many rich men, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Job, etc . . . In fact abundance is given as a promise of faithfulness, when and what form is up to God, but material possessions are not an evil.
But, that’s only half the picture. I can’t deny it, I won’t try. God has also defined justice for others, not just people with property. Flatly, God is for some, routine, redistribution. The Tithe for example of your income included giving to those who were “disadvantaged” (Deu 14:28-29). What is “giving” if it is not redistribution?
I am not saying the government should be the mechanism of that or anything, but at some point we should be in “favor” of it enforcing the morality we can get out of it. I say that precariously, since I know I’ve waffled back and forth. It’s a precarious position that I’ve detailed before. We all want the government to enforce right and wrong. All law is supposed to be based on moral understanding. If we were a people where the majority believed in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, I would say our law and biblical law should be about the same (with ours codefying usual application).
Unfortunately, most Americans do not live by faith so I get skittish whenever we have law based on patchwork, shifting morality. But the thing is it would be nearly impossible to live without some morality being enforced.
I can only take the step in front of me on this one. I know I don’t want a secular moral police, nor do I want anarchy.
Mainstream christians are very good at fighting for certain things. The protection of life beginning at conception. We could do better with the homosexual issue; it is wrong, but God’s problem is not what we call it but what is done. Let them call it marriage, but fight for our right not to call it marriage.
However, conservatism is more likely to identify itself with christian roots, and that is where we get into trouble. Because the conservative agenda seems to favor, yes certain moral issues, life of the unborn, traditional marriage, property rights, freedom, but at the same time we set ourselves in opposition to the ‘socialist’ side of God. We fight to lower taxes, but we do not fight to turn our nation into givers. A good way to make tithing law (call it charitable giving) would be to say if they can’t show 10% of charitable giving on their taxes (including individual to needy individual), then confiscate the remainder of that 10% and distribute it among charitable organizations. Yes, I see the obvious loophole, but in the end no law works with an unjust people.
But here’s the big one. Bringing it back to executives and the general question of whether the rich have too much. Right before my eyes were opened, I was listening to some democrat say that we are the richest country in history, how can we have a spending problem? I flew off the handle, but then I started to think about it. Two of God’s mitzvah’s came to mind. The sabbath year, and the Jubilee year.
The Sabbath year was God’s commandment among other things like letting the land rest (environmentalists should be all over this), is the commandment not to require payments or interest from debtors. Image what it would do for the economy and specifically those in debt if every seventh year, credit card companys/banks/lenders could not take a dime from you? That’s $5,400 easy for me.
The Jubilee year came every fiftieth year. During that not just could not creditor exact payment, land had to be returned to its permanent owner. All debts were canceled. Contracts of service were canceled. Imagine that? Every fifty years your mortgage evaporated, and land that was yours would be returned.
Now that would be difficult. Since God never told us which land belonged to which family, how do we know how to return it?
Well, that’s kind of silly if you think about it. Scripture teaches that some should be put to death for a crime, and for the same crime the repentant should be spared. You’re telling me, God can leave us the balance of mercy and death, but he would have a hard time telling us whose land is whose? It could be worked out if we tried. I think a simple answer would be look at each family as worth a certain share of the US. If the average family is 5 people and there are 300 million people that’s roughly 60 million families. Take 10% of land for government use (highways, military bases, federal, state, etc). Take the remaining 2.14 billion acres and that’s 35.7 acres per family.
The point is if we applied ourselves to keep the command it we would possible. And if it was done, imagine what would be the result. This is where the liberals are right. Right now the rich do have too much. But that is not because they have money, but because they have the means of production.
One objection all of this points to returning to individual or individual families the ownership of these resources. This is far different than socialism which makes them owned by the collective on paper, but the power/the real ownership remains with a select few government officials. Socialism is not the people own everything, it is the government owns everything.
Furthermore, because some of that wealth of the rich, most of that wealth, is debt in some form or another. The credit card companies “have” great wealth because they are owed great wealth. And in that sense, yes redistribution should be sought.
Too much wealth has accumulated in the hands of too few, but that is not because they did not earn, but because they did not return the means of production to the families and because they continue to hold the asset of debt. And so like with the tithe that should be enforced. Instead of fighting on everything else, we should grab this issue.
We should own it. We should not be against redistribution, we should be seeking to make it God’s way. But we don’t because it sounds communist and wrong, but that is because it can be so easily wrongly done. For example, the person who bought land that was to be returned still kept the profits from it. If you got rich off the land you had during that 50 years, God bless you! Only the land, the property that EARNED the wealth is returned. This means someone else now has a chance to get rich. We should not raise taxes on the rich, we should simply say that every fifty years debt gets wiped away and their non-family possessions returns to be divided amongst the families of America.
We should have our first, long overdue Jubilee year.
Notice this does not try to keep everyone equal. Because new failure and new profit is still possible, there is still an incentive to excel. Right after the property is returned, is the guy squanderer not going to squander again? Is the wise wealthy person going to forget how to make new wealth, he still has all the profits acquired in his life. He could make money simply by investing in what the new owner is doing. In one day, diversity of outcomes would become apparent.
Someone would say “Well, all my debt was forgiven, now I can go get more stuff!” That person will soon be giving his property back into the hands of someone who will use it wisely.
But for someone else who did inherit a bad position, and has worked to build something, and who only needs the resources given back to his family and be freed from previous debts he will have the opportunity to be that wiser user of the land.
In conclusion, I think it is a mistake to tie ourselves to our political moorings. Tie yourself to scripture and God’s ways, and drift in and out of political circles and alliances anchored to those truths. If we did that imagine the benefits that could be reaped. You could not claim that christians were racist because they would not oppress the foreigner even if both parties want to. You could not claim they don’t care about the poor because God’s commandments mean a power pause and a power reset every 7 and 50 years, respectively. You can’t claim we are beholden to special interests because in 50 years most of any corporations shareholders would be displaced by new ones. What any rich person or company does now would be actually taking care of someone else’s future holdings.
Every 50 years empires would figuratively dissolve and other families and individuals would have opportunity.
Think about how it would solve distress over home-ownership? Every 50 a person on their own land has their mortgage forgiven. More than that, if someone else richer than they, bought their land and built a nice summer house, in 50 years it belongs to your family. If property returned to families there would never be a cry for a person without a house except as a temporary result of their own foolishness or war or some great disaster, and they would have something of value (their land) to sell to get themselves back on their feet.
Redistribution should be as much our issue as the pro-life one, and the low tax one. But instead we let politics divide what God has already revealed in his word. So that moral right is pit against moral responsibility, and it should not be so.