Updated: May 19
With the COVID-19 craziness going on, there’s a big debate going on regarding Universal Basic Income and Income Inequality. As always, the left will say that they can pay for this by raising taxes on the rich. The premise by most on the left is that the rich only got rich off of the backs of the poor by exploiting them, thus, they are justified in redistributing their wealth to those who don’t make as much money.
There’s this idea that income inequality is an immoral thing. Many, including many prominent Evangelical leaders, buy into this narrative. Tim Keller has stated, ““There is an inequitable distribution of both goods and opportunities in this world. Therefore, if you have been assigned the goods of this world by God and you don't share them with others, it isn't just stinginess, it is injustice.”
During a recent episode of The Wax Museum Podcast, I discussed the realities and the myths of income inequality. One of the major things to understand about income inequality is that it IS a reality. It always has been. The lie is that income inequality is immoral.
The simple fact that some people make a ton of money while others don’t is not a moral issue. It’s not sinful to make more money than others. It has everything to do with your economic value to society.
The myth about income inequality is that the rich are sinful because they got rich by stealing from the poor. Now, let’s just take a second and think logically about that… how can you take something from someone when they don’t have anything? It just doesn’t make any sense.
In reality, the richest people in the world provide a service or products that most people want to buy. Think about WalMart… they’ve created a business model that allows them to sell products cheaper than virtually anyone else… thus actually helping the poor. So because they have the best prices, many people with little income are able to go shopping at their stores, thus making them one of the most successful businesses in the world. I don’t know how you can say that they got rich by ripping off the poor when they’ve figured out a way to actually sell products for less money than anyone else.
You see, the issue is not income inequality… the issue is poverty. I could care less about lessening the gab between the rich and the poor. I care more about eradicating poverty. I would argue that, in order to do this, we need to get back to small businesses and have an entrepreneurial spirit that our Founding Fathers encouraged… bring back the American Dream!
You see, Hollywood and the mainstream media has redefined the American Dream as being a super successful millionaire celebrity. That’s not it at all. The American Dream that our nation was founded on was the idea that you could have your own business, make your own money and be self-supportive. We need to get back to that spirit.
When we start focusing on income inequality, what we are actually doing is feeding into a sinful desire of jealousy. We become upset that someone else has more than us. So, what do we do? We look to find ways to take someone else’s property and take it for ourselves. This violates one of the 10 Commandments: “You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's.” (Exodus 20:17) If you are focused on eradicating income inequality, you are actually sinning. There’s no way around that.
Bridge Livwat and I discuss some of these ideas during this episode of The Wax Museum Podcast. I highly encourage you to take a listen… and start thinking about how you can begin to pursue the American Dream yourself.