Inequality

The Christian should care both about extreme wealth and poverty, the former because money easily becomes idolatrous and the latter because Christians are to love all and anyone in pain and misery ought to experience the grace of Christians. This recent set of graphs reveals the Top 1% are getting richer and richer while the poor are on the decline in income.

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than fifty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • BradK

    It may or may not be relevant, but the time frame of these graphs called to mind this article and graphs regarding per capita GDP vs median family income…

    http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2008/09/gdp-per-capita.html

    Something seems broken about our economic system.

  • http://www.debatingobama.blogspot.com Gregmetzger

    Wow. Very telling graphs. Calls to mind the graph I found on taxes and job creators covering a similar period of time.

    http://debatingobama.blogspot.com/2012/11/taxes-and-job-creators.html

  • Randy Gabrielse

    Part of what is broken about our economic system is that those who make their money in the market, that is by buying and selling money, pay a lower percentage rate — 15% on the money they make “Capital Gains” than do those who actually work, (either in manufactring, building or service industries) to earn their money. Thus Warren Buffet’s comment that his secretary pays a higher rate of taxes than he does.

    While we are listening to all the angst about the sequester, perhaps Christians could pay attention to the Europeans, who are extending a tax on these financial trades and security trades. One recent proposal here in the states was to tax such trades at one half of one percent, that is one half penny per dollar. The Center for Economic and Policy research suggested that this simple device would raise $353 billion per year. Even if the tax reduced the volume of trades by 25%, it would still bring in at least $265 billion per year. Britain already charges a “stamp tax” on every trade, and much of Europe has just moved to extend their tax on trades to all trades anywhere of European stocks.

    If we Americans allowed this, perhaps we could restore the Earned Income Tax Credit here in Michigan. Two years ago, it was reduced from 20% of income to 6% of income. That has meant that an addtional 9,000 children in Michigan have slipped into poverty.

    Peace,
    Randy Gabrielse

  • James Abney

    For better or worse inequality seems here to stay. In our internet/international corporation age, we now have people who own a large portion of industries in the world. For example, Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder, owns some appreciable percent of shopping. People like this are simply going to have more money than people whose work only touches a few people. This isn’t unjust in itself. What is unjust is when government give them special breaks or lower taxes brackets, as with the capital gains percentage mentioned above. Last year I paid more income tax while a seminary student than the General Electric corporation.


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