Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
I am posting this as a discussion topic because I don't know if this is flowing from God or just my own personal frustration. Of course my sense of justice is probably somehow connected to my What Would Jesus Do outlook.
What if we as a collective Quaker body, Conservative, Liberal, etc. gather together a list of the ten top paid CEOs in the US and then pray about boycotting their companies for one full month - like a fast. Then go on to another and another. Maybe take a break and discern what good if any it has done for economic disparity and then discern the next step?
What would the purpose of this action be?
Hopefully to increase wages for those on the lower rungs of the pay scale or in the alternative lower the price of the product or spending more on environmental or food safety practices. If it was a medical insurance company it could reduce medical insurance premiums. If it was Walmart or McDonalds it could increase their minimum wage which they claim they can't without raising prices. Many factors would have to be taken into consideration before picking a company from among the top ten. Effect on employees, companies environmental practices and others. Size of the company would be important in order to magnify the effects of a small beginning. Watch Cesar Chavez for for some food for thought. Grapes anyone? It's possible that the money involved isn't sufficient to make a difference but the disparity seems innately wrong and this is an attempt at brain storming for a way to address the disparity outside the governmental structure that I personally perceive as owned by the corporations and unions that manage the political donation purse strings.
No I don't think so. That's why I'm looking for wisdom to address the disparity in income. If everyone who wanted a job that paid enough for them to educate their children and get medical care for their family had one I don't think I would be bothered. Many people are at the bottom of the pay scale because they made poor choices when they were young and we are an unforgiving society. Others had positions that could be filled just as well by younger and cheaper labor and were therefore let go. However, I do believe that living "LARGE" just because you can is innately wrong but that it is a matter of conscience which can be addressed by those who believe it is wrong peacefully in prayer and by trying to influence public opinion and not seek government redress as I don't believe Government should tell people how to spend their money. Homelessness and hunger are problems that must be addressed by those who have been blessed with two coats, and should not be left to the Government operating in what claims to be a capitalist based economy. Hope that helps.
That money has "Caesar's" picture on it because it's the product of a governed society; and that society isn't yet under Christ's government. Money represents a claim on the collective economic wealth of a whole society, and the divine purpose of that society and its economy is to provide for the economic needs of everybody. [This is a simple extension of what the Torah says about Who owns the land and what purpose it's intended to serve.]
To have some people deprived of what they need for a full life, while others "enjoy" a wasteful excess -- is innately questionable, and requires some obvious functional purpose to justify it. In the society of Jesus' day, wealth was based on a disproportionate share of a limited resource -- land -- and the conventional wisdom of the day was that it was gained at everyone else's expense.
The conventional wisdom of our time has been that unequal wealth was justified by, and reflected, some people's greater contribution to the common good. This notion has become increasingly untenable as more and more of the money in circulation has been devoted to activities that simply shift money from one pocket to another (while costs are being increasingly shifted in the opposite direction.) 'Clearing house' statistics amply demonstrate this: These show the daily net payments between financial institutions; that daily fluctuation dwarfs the flow of money changing hands for tangible goods and services by a factor of more than 1000.
It isn't necessarily wrong for people to compete for a chance to contribute in some specific, limited-need way to their society. What is wrong has been our increasing tendency to make people compete in painful and degrading ways for a chance to hold their heads up, to contribute to the common good in any way whatsoever, to receive what they need for economic survival.
It doesn't take a statistician to see an inverse relation between 1) the "wealth" of a nation's favoured few and 2) the poverty (and social anxiety) of that nation's general population, especially its poorest citizens. The I Ching considers a shift of wealth from the poor to the rich to be a social 'loss' -- and how do you feel about the economic health of this nation, hmmm?