Tag Archives: Economics Capitalism Government

Economics and Government

Last Sunday I stated that it appears to be a good intention to lay the heaviest taxes on the rich and redistribute the wealth to help the poor. But the unintended consequence is that this decreases the buying power (and the charitable giving power) of the rich, and if the rich buy and / or give less, then the businesses who supply commodities are hit because customers buy less or not at all.
Then when the government becomes the channel for redistributing wealth to the poor, the government workers get paid to do it and they actually benefit more than the poor whom they are supposed to help.
So here’s the other half of my view: Why can or cannot we the churches do this?
In some ways it appears that we cannot, e.g. poverty stricken areas like Appalachia where no one is rich enough to help, and there are few professionals to discern/diagnose a true disability (as compared to laziness), and who know how best to help the poor and disabled. Government agencies involve professionals in this role. A few Sundays ago I cited Psalm 72:12, 13 which states that the righteous king delivers the poor when he has no helper. This indicates that one responsibility of the government is to help the poor if no one else can – a second resort, not the first resort.
A Christian friend of mine who is a historian says that in the Great Depression, the government had to intervene because the churches were unable to do enough.
Jay Richards, on the other hand, says that government programs don’t help or have helped very little, and are actually an interference – for one thing, taking money that could have been given directly as charity (p. 54, 55, 124).
But are not government programs like the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation and Bureau for the Visually Impaired good and necessary? They are composed of professionals which may not exist in every church. And the service is based on Judeo-Christian principles of help and compassion.
The Methodist Church is the founder of Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus. If churches can do that, can churches start and run operations like the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation?