Letter to the Editor: Jesus' teachings are in line with capitalism
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
A recent Public Forum letter asked: “Which system reflects Christ’s teaching?”
The writer asked, “does capitalism or socialism reflect Christ’s teachings?” A bit of research in the Bible would show that the Bible supports capitalism from cover to cover.
God granted men land and possession. With this grant, God expected the men to increase their wealth. The Parable of the Bags of Gold in Matthew 25 demonstrates that mankind is expected to increase his wealth. The employee is also expected to increase his employers’ wealth in accordance with their ability.
The Bible tells us in many places that we must work to eat. Ecclesiastes 5:18 sums it up; “Here is what I have seen to be good and fitting: to eat, to drink and enjoy oneself in all one’s labor in which he toils under the sun during the few years of his life which God has given him; for this is his reward.”
Jesus tells us that we as individuals are required to care for the poor and needy. Nowhere in Jesus’ teachings does he authorize us to transfer our individual responsibilities to the government or anyone else. Caring for the poor and needy is a personal requirement.
The writer has a misconception of capitalism. In a capitalist economic system, production is carried out for private profit, and decisions regarding investment and allocation of factor inputs are determined by business owners in factor markets.
In socialist economic systems (socialism), production for use is carried out with decisions made regarding the use of the means of production. Production is adjusted to satisfy economic demand; investment is determined through economic planning procedures.
The writer’s description of socialism better fits Karl Marx’s Communism, which is a hypothetical stage of Socialist development articulated by Marx as “second stage Socialism” in Critique of the Gotha Program, whereby the economic output is distributed based on need and not simply on the basis of ability or labor contribution.
The economy in the United States is in practice, a mixed economy. Generally, a mixed economy, refers to market economies with substantial state interventionism and/or sizable public sector alongside a dominant private sector.
Jesus’ teachings are all in line with capitalism. By paying attention to what the Bible teaches, we will find that Jesus expected us to be self-reliant and not dependent.
We are to obey government’s laws but those laws should never replace individual responsibility according to Biblical teachings.