Income inequality has been around as long as humans have had incomes, yet over the past year it has been presented as one of our economy’s greatest injustices. With so much shoddy zero-sum reasoning being presented, it’s refreshing to find an economist who can apply both sound economic and Biblical thinking to the topic.
Anne Bradley, Vice President of Economic Initiatives at the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics, has a blog series summarizing her research report, “Why Does Income Inequality Exist? An Economic and Biblical Explanation” In her latest post, Bradley explains what the Bible has to say about income inequality:
In the context of income inequality, verses 4-6 are of particular importance. Paul writes that the gifts are different, the service of those gifts is different and there are different types of working (the gifts manifest themselves in entirely different ways) but in all of them God is at work for the common good. So we are unequal, and that inborn inequality serves to make us all better off. How so? Because it releases us from trying to become perfect in all things, thus we can focus on our gifts and make positive contributions to the world. If I had to possess all of the gifts in a fallen world, I could never accomplish anything. The market is a God-given construct, a methodology for exercising our gifts, and through our unique contributions whether they are through the business world or motherhood, we can make a contribution to the common good.