A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Is the Economy Built on Wishes and Wants?

Bishop Wright with some thought-provoking and no doubt controversial words.


Anonymous said...

The Bishop may call his comments a signpost toward a diagnosis and freely admit he has no solution, his signpost and suggested solutions are on target and bold! In the US, democracy, the free market economy and Christianity are often viewed as one and the same. The comment about rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer is an excellent statement concerning the value of people. Do we exist for the purpose of securing the wealth of the few at the expense of the many? Is our economy a giant pyramid scheme? It does not have to be, but it appears to be just that. If one looks at the wealth of our nation, who owns it,
who makes the most wealth per year, and how the laws controlling wealth are written, one is left with grave doubts about our economy. From a biblical point of view our economy is found wanting. From a theological point of view is a persons value based upon how much that person can earn someone else, or is it found in the life and work of Jesus? Either or thinking is often a mistake. In this case however, we have to ask are the two answers at all compatable? Is it ok for a relative few to live in the possession of extreme wealth while 45+ million people live without adequate health care? There is a direct relationship between those who have riches and those who live in poverty. I was reminded of Lukes story of the rich man and Lazarus while visiting L.A. We were passing our sandwhiches to people living under the highway bridges. People living in cardboard boxs were passed over by people driving every luxury car, suv, and truck imaginable. We too have the scriptures to teach us better.

Anonymous said...

I think that the argument that the rich are getting rich at the expense of the poor is somewhat self defeating. If we think being rich is the problem, why do we want to make the poor more wealthy? Who determines when the poor have become not poor anymore?

Forced distribution of wealth has been tried and found wanting and refuted by many thinkers. Accumulation of wealth isn't the problem. Corruption and greed are what lead to suffering.

I agree with the bishop that we have a tremendous problem with the current system where entire economies can be stifled by debt repayments while their citizens suffer, but I have a hard time figuring out why this is the problem of the lender. There are systematic problems in many of these countries that have led them to this situation, none of which have much to do with a lender investing in the country and expecting repayment.

I would hope the efforts of the church would be primarily directed at enabling people to avoid greed and corruption so that their dealings with wealth provide for proper treatment of those without it.

Unknown said...

Interesting article.

And yes, I agree, the foundation of our US ecconomy is "good feelings" and lately lots of greed.