Holy Gospel Reading of Sunday 10th June 2012
- (Matthew 10:5-16)
Verse 9 & 10 "Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep."
Though this exhortation was to the twelve disciples, this is yet another financial principle our Lord is teaching us. "The worker is worth his keep or his maintenance". That is the one principle overlooked by the proponents of LPG; liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation.
World is going through terrible economic problems for the simple reason that we fail to follow the social doctrines the Bible teaches us. Many countries including Greece, Portugal and Spain may soon become bankrupt due to economic problems. Greece is an ancient and historical nation with lots of wealth. But the problem there is the wealthy do not pay their fair share of tax resulting in the Government's inability to meet their social responsibility of taking care of the poor and elderly. Unfortunately this is a time in the history of mankind where lots of people in the baby boomer generation are becoming elderly and sick. That is leading to social problems. The new Socialist Government in France and the socialists leading in the polls in Greece are talking about taxing the rich exorbitantly. India and China saw some progress in the recent past due to out-sourcing from America and Europe. But higher unemployment levels in Europe and America may trigger those outsourced jobs to return to Europe and America.
This all points to the fact that if we do not do the right thing on our own, at some point of time the tide will turn against us. Workers are struggling in America not because they are not working hard or not because the corporations are not making profit. The corporations are continuously making huge profits in spite of the recession. But the system is rigged in favor of corporations which result in the workers not making enough for their maintanance. About 200 top corporations in America are hoarding an estimated 2 Trillion Dollar in cash reserves. That is 2,000 Billion Dollars. Add to this the wealth hoarded by the millionaires and billionaires. This is the cash which is supposed to be in the hands of the workers which should keep the economy moving. Some economists estimates that every 100 Billion Dollar spent in the economy will create One million jobs. But the rich corporations and wealthy millionaires are not prepared to put the money they are hoarding in to productive use.
The rigged system prevailing in the world has helped too much money to be accumulated by too few people. This money is sitting idle without serving any productive purposes. These are the monies apparently the corporations grabbed from either their customers by charging customers exorbitantly for the goods and service they provide; or from employees by paying them lesser and lesser wages. The rich and wealthy rigged the system in their favor by bribing or lobbying politicians. The concept of progressive taxation continued to disappear and the rich became more richer and poor more poorer. People in America are losing their homes not because they have no jobs. 92 percent people have jobs. But, their incomes have fallen over the last decade that they cannot maintain their home any more.
Governments in these recession ridden countries have two choices. First one is to tax the rich and feed and poor. That is communism which will happen ultimately when there is revolution like what is happening in Greece and France start happening everywhere. The second and a more appropriate solution is that Government borrow money from the rich and spend on developing the infrastructure which will give jobs to the unemployed and underemployed. In fact that was the way most of the recessions were tackled in the past. But this time the ruthless capitalists are blocking it in the name of austerity and deficit reduction. Austerity and deficits means nothing to people who have nothing to eat for today. Austerity by cutting social programs had never worked in the past. Taking care of the hungry and sick are more important than worrying about future debt. What will we do ourselves if we have fallen sick or hungry and we have no money left. We will definitely sell our assets or borrow to meet our immediate needs. But politicians refuse to apply that same principle when the country is sick and hungry.
As Christians we all have a responsibility to make sure that a balanced approach is taken by politicians. When I see the so called evangelical Christians of America working against the social doctrines in the Bible, I am afraid the whole world will go through situations similar to what we are seeing in Greece and Spain right now.
May this Sunday's gospel "The worker is worth his keep" guide us and the politicians elected by us in tackling the situation.