Dr. Anne Bradley, in Why Does Income Inequality Exist? An Economic and Biblical Explanation, explores economic reasons and Biblical views on income inequality that exists in our society. She then draws the following five conclusions that build on top of one another.
- “Diversity is a Biblical premise of Creation. We are born with different gifts.
- By focusing on our gifts we can unleash our comparative advantage and bring value to the marketplace by serving others.
- In a free society, absent cronyism, disparity of wages is not a sign of injustice.
- If we care about a society that reduces poverty and assists the poor, we should be concerned not about income inequality but the relative prosperity of those at the bottom and their income mobility.
- An opportunity society is the best way to unleash the creativity and dignity with which we are created and serve others with our gifts.”
I agree that our society attaches different monetary values to different gifts and Biblical justice does not call for income equality. I also appreciate the focus on income mobility as a way to enhance “the relative property of those at the bottom” of the income ladder.
At the same time, I find the prescription — “if we care about a society that reduces poverty and assists the poor, we should be concerned not about income inequality but the relative prosperity of those at the bottom and their income mobility” (emphasis mine) — less than fully satisfying. Specifically, I think the solution, in our society, is both to work for income mobility and against income inequality.
Let me explore….