Income Inequality

Income Inequality March 7, 2013

As I was gearing up for the second class period focused on The Communist Manifesto in my First Year Seminar course, this video came to my attention on several blogs I subscribe to.

How can anyone think that this degree of inequity is acceptable? And it pales in comparison to the inequity that exists on a global rather than a national scale.

I lived for a few years in a post-communist society, as well as for longer still in another European country that has a greater extent of socialism than the United States. I’m aware of the strengths and weaknesses of each. And I simply do not buy the argument that is sometimes offered that “capitalism is the lesser of two evils.” This would probably be true, if there were only two evils to choose from. But the United States does not have some sort of pure unadulterated capitalism – many of the things the early communists advocated as revolutionary ideas are now taken for granted here – and so it is possible to combine elements of both. And there are other options which rarely even get mentioned.

One of the things that some of my students objected to in the Communist Manifesto was the proposal to abolish the right of inheritance. I pointed out that there was something similar in the law pertaining to the Jubilee year in the Bible. No individual or family would, under that law, be allowed to accumulate wealth indefinitely.

That some people think the level of inequity highlighted in the video is not a problem is astonishing. That some people who call themselves Christians may not be bothered by it just illustrates once again that there is a huge gulf between the economic visions embedded in the Bible, and the views of those today who pay lip service to Biblical authority.

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