...it is tempting for progressives to dismiss complaints about redistribution of wealth as ignorant or hypocritical, as in many cases they probably are. Yet all naïveté about public budgets aside, a strong presumption in favor of being able to keep the money you earn is a valuable and powerful thing. Progressives who embrace the concept of wealth redistribution on egalitarian grounds, or who join the refrain of “tax the rich” as the main solution to our fiscal and economic problems, tend to miss the many ways in which economic unfairness can remain untouched or even affirmed by redistributive policies....
It’s important to focus rhetoric and activism on making the rich “pay their fair share”—especially during this austerity season, in which the practical alternative is watching services for the poor dramatically cut....
This can’t, however, be the final analysis of redistributive policies. Throughout the Old Testament, inequality itself is hardly the only issue. There is also the question of fair access to the means of making a living—which, in the Old Testament world, means fair access to land ownership.
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Filed under: * Culture-Watch Poverty * Economics, Politics Economy Taxes The U.S. Government Politics in General City Government State Government * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
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