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Taking Biblical Financial Justice Severely

Taking Biblical Financial Justice Severely

CNN lately reported that Donald Trump made $434 million in 2018.

How is that so many working-class evangelicals are so keen to look previous earnings inequality? Are evangelicals solely Bible literalists with regards to homosexuality however not with regards to cash? Solely seven passages point out homosexuality. Why do they get a lot adrenaline whereas so many biblical rants concerning the wealthy get ignored?


Working evangelical followers of a homeless revolutionary Messiah whose message was at all times for the poor and sometimes towards the wealthy have someway grow to be the largest voting block for a brand new American aristocracy. Do evangelicals see who is de facto successful on this economic system?

Below Donald Trump’s 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, taxes on capital features and dividends — key sources of earnings for the rich — had been diminished. Personal fairness managers paid a 20 p.c most tax charge, practically half that of different working Individuals. Company tax charges had been slashed from 35% to 21% whereas 75% of Individuals paid the identical or extra in taxes in 2018.

Worse nonetheless, underneath Trump’s 2017 tax regulation, the variety of firms paying NO federal tax doubled in 2018. Meaning you, me, and the common working American bore America’s tax burden whereas mega firms like Amazon, Delta, Chevron, IBM, Normal Motors, Molson Coors, Eli Lilly and 53 different company giants paid nothing. Zilch. Nada.

Absolutely even probably the most die-hard Trump supporter is just not okay with this.

I perceive why politicians do nothing about The Nice Company Tax Heist now underway. Because the 2010 Residents United Supreme Courtroom ruling decided that, minus paying taxes, firms are in each different approach an identical to pure individuals, politicians can obtain limitless monetary assist from firms. The bare willingness of politicians to serve company pursuits is smart.

What I don’t perceive is how evangelical Christians are so simply turned towards the widespread good. Why ought to working individuals bear the burden of a tax construction that exacts cost from their wages with ruthless effectivity however provides insanely wealthy firms the authorized means to pay nothing? Why do those that don’t personal shares, who don’t have respectable jobs, who drive on crumbling roads, whose public faculties are uncared for, and whose public infrastructure is approaching Third World requirements — why don’t they battle again?

Perhaps as a result of Individuals have been taught to consider that the one different to rapacious free market capitalism is the failed socialism of the us, Cuba, and Venezuela. Perhaps too many Individuals consider that to prepare our well being system to serve all Individuals the best way we do water, fuel, electrical energy, and different utilities would result in the seizure of personal property and state management of the technique of manufacturing. Common sense appeals for common well being care, funding in public training, and a tax coverage that expects the wealthy to pay their fair proportion for the general public good equals Soviet gulags.

A latest dialog I had over dinner with a retired power government made shockingly clear the reality about what’s actually taking place to Trump voters:

Me: How do you are feeling concerning the U.S. economic system?

Retired oil man: Nice! It’s roaring. Trump has unleashed the animal spirit of capitalism again into the economic system.

Me, surprised: Uh, wow. How?

He: Chopping taxes. Eradicating laws. Liberating capital from authorities restraint.

Me once more: Appears the advantages are going to the rich and highly effective. What about wage earners from, say, rural Southern Ohio the place I’m from?

He, with brutal honesty: It’s not for them.

Me, virtually choking: However they voted for him! Are you saying the economic system is just not for the individuals who voted for Trump?

He: Sure. It’s not for them. They’re a misplaced technology.

Painful however true. Regardless of the constructive employment figures steadily cited by the president, this economic system is just not for everybody. It’s not for the various Individuals who maintain “negative wealth” and have debt exceeding the worth of their belongings. It’s not for 40% of Individuals who can’t cowl a $400 emergency expense. And with white median wealth 41 occasions better than median Black wealth, the economic system isn’t for Black people both.

This economic system is for the richest 5% of Individuals who personal two-thirds of America’s wealth. It’s for the richest 1% who personal greater than half of all of the shares. It’s for the mega firms that don’t must pay taxes. This economic system is for Donald Trump who made $434 million {dollars} final 12 months.

America is present process a large redistribution of wealth upwards to the highest of the earnings ladder, and white working-class evangelicals are serving to make it occur by persevering with to assist Donald Trump. Not because the days simply previous to the Nice Melancholy have concentrations of wealth among the many mega wealthy been so excessive.

How are evangelicals who take the Bible severely so simply gaslighted by scare techniques about socialism? Marx’s well-known slogan, “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” sounds lots just like the Exodus ethic that “the one who gathered much did not have too much and the one who gathered little did not have too little” (Exodus 16:18), doesn’t it? The financial coverage of the Regulation of Moses was not “the invisible hand” of the free market however the Yr of Jubilee, the forgiveness of money owed and the redistribution of property each 50 years (Leviticus 25). Not even Bernie Sanders is looking for the top of personal property like the primary Christian neighborhood did, holding all the things in widespread and giving to anybody who had want (Acts 2:44,45).

Simply because socialism stole from the Bible doesn’t imply Christians shouldn’t take biblical financial justice severely.

The Bible is stuffed with scathing critiques of financial preparations that favor the wealthy on the expense of the poor. The economic system is a matter that ought to lead conservative and progressive evangelicals to widespread floor. The Nice Company Tax Heist impacts us all.

As an alternative of parroting speaking factors that defend an financial system designed to maintain them out, working-class white evangelicals ought to be a part of progressives in searching for financial justice and social equality. These denied a dwelling wage, ample faculties, and respectable healthcare are all in the identical boat. We learn the identical Bible, we hear the identical warning,

“Listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Your wealth has rotted and moths have eaten your clothes. …You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter.” – James 5:1-5

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