Spreading the Wealth
By Sara Gunderson on November 03, 2008
Who are we kidding; capitalism redistributes wealth as surely as socialism. Capitalism left unchecked redistributes wealth from the pockets of the poor and middle class to the pockets of the wealthy. Our economic system benefits the rich and penalizes the poor. It's expensive to be poor. The least the government can do is limit the plundering. If the government can also ease the burden a bit, what's so wrong with that? Where do you think the poor and middle class spend their dollars? Paris? Not hardly. Their dollars go to Joe the Plumber and Rick the Mechanic and Mary the Shopkeeper. But somehow, according to McCain, this does not help the economy while tax cuts to the extremely wealthy does.
I find it ironic that the camp screaming about Obama's comment about spreading the wealth is the same camp that has supposedly tied itself to Christianity. Of course, I would guess that most of those Christians who have aligned themselves to the Republican Party are screaming just as loudly. They have a tendency to treat capitalism like one of the tenets of the faith, which leads me to wonder what Bible they are reading...because it sure isn't the one I read.
Some selections: (NRSV)
Deuteronomy 15:7-8, 11
If there is among you anyone in need, a member of your community in any of your towns within the land that the Lord you God is giving you, do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted toward your needy neighbor. You should rather open your hand, willingly lending enough to meet the need, whatever it may be...Since there will never cease to be some in need on the earth, I therefore command you, "Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbor in your land."
"Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?" He said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the greatest and first commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor
as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the law and the
for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.
Luke 1:52-53 (from the Magnificat)
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly:
he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.
And the crowds asked him [John the Baptist], "What then shall we do?" In reply he said to them, "Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise."
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim
release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."
All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need.
Now, Obama is no socialist. He does not expect government to solve all social ills or to pay all the people's bills. In fact, he makes it clear that the people will have to step up and do their part. But unlike the Republicans who chant the mantra of private sector charity, I think Obama actually stands the chance of motivating the people to action. Who knows, he might make government social programs redundant. But until the time when we the people start looking after our neighbor, at least the government will be there to help make up the difference.
Crossposted from: http://listeningtothewind.blogspot.com/
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