While Occupy Wall Street seems to have spent its mass protest energy, the movement continues to muster strength in its rhetoric about the elite "one percent" and the long-term consequences of growing income and wealth gaps between the haves and the have-nots. Capitalism has created wealth, but many argue that that wealth has not benefited the greater population. Is this an inherent flaw in capitalism? Or are there other issues that need addressing first?
The global financial meltdown exposed structural inequalities in economic systems that protect the rich and leave the poor vulnerable. Recent news headlines report a widening income gap, stagnation among the middle class, and limited social mobility. Has capitalism failed? How can teachings and practices from religious communities help shape an economic system that is more inclusive and fair, and that better reflects religious ideals?
Timothy Murphy, Progressive Christians Uniting
While many people still retain faith in capitalism, Christians are called to a different allegiance.
Drew Cleveland, Evangelical, Kern Pastors Network
Despite our flaws, we desire to be a civilization that allows for social mobility, rewards ingenuity and hard work, and values the freedom to be self-sufficient.
Joerg Rieger, Progressive Christian, professor
Abrahamic faith is deeply concerned about the material well-being of people. The question is, what is our material vision?
Rhyd Wildermuth, Pagan blogger, "A Sense of Place"
Capitalism hasn't failed. And if the last three hundred years has taught us anything, it is that there is no hope against it.
Nimue Brown, Pagan blogger, "Pagan Leadership"
Capitalism functions in exactly the same way as any other faith position. It is only our belief in money that makes money viable as a system.
David Dashifen Kees, Pagan blogger, "The Wild Garden"
I propose a better question: if it's working for some, for whom has capitalism failed?
Joe Carter, Evangelical author and editor, Acton Institute
Ayn Rand didn't understand capitalism. Or altruism. Or Christianity. Or reality.
Tim Suttle, Progressive Christian blogger, "Paperback Theology"
If capitalism isn't working, it's not because the system is flawed, but because we are flawed.
Greg Forster, Evangelical, Kern Family Foundation
Open access to market exchange and secure property rights for the poor are not just good for growth, they're basic commitments of equal human dignity.
Roger E. Olson
Is the Growing Gap between Rich and Poor Prima Facie Evidence of Injustice? Yes. In the world today the richest one percent hold more wealth than the poorest forty-eight percent. And gap is widening. In the United States today the richest ten percent hold more wealth than the poorest forty-three percent and the gap is [Read More...]
Kern Pastors Network
Our inadequate theology of work and economics has encouraged our culture to think about religion in a way that forces it out of cultural life.
By Colin Kerr, author and campus missionary Is liberal Christianity committing suicide? New York Times columnist Roth Douthat thinks so. Yet by forecasting the inevitable demise of mainline churches that move in the direction of affirming women in church leadership and genuinely welcoming gays and lesbians, he provided a rare opportunity for some healthy soul-searching [...]
One major reason that more Christians are not critical of capitalism is a simple belief that it works pretty well compared to most economic systems.
The belief that I am only in the “real world” once I am making a salary and contributing to the capitalist machine is a noxious lie we are primed to breathe and believe.
As many others do, Catholic and non-Catholic, I find very much to admire in Pope Francis. But I’m afraid I’m going to have to register some reservations about his new “apostolic exhortation,” Evangelii Gaudium (“The Joy of the Gospel”). The Roman Catholic Church has long had a problem with free economic [Read More...]
What will happen when life kills the American dream? The current socio-political system is increasingly not working for those who work hard and smart to achieve. That will mean the need for a change, hopefully for the better, for a system that works for the people, not against them.
Countless detractors over the years have argued that capitalism is intrinsically immoral. Is it true?
Jesus said nothing about implementing any Christian principles in government, unless one includes the future Kingdom of God he envisaged as involving “government.”