Tag Archives: poverty

Thoreau on poverty

There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root, and it may be that he who bestows the largest amount of time and money on the needy is doing the most by his mode of life to produce that misery which he strives in vain to relieve. –Henry David Thoreau

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Book Review: Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem

In a presentation sponsored by the Heritage Foundation, Jay Richards presents the major themes from his excellent book, Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem.

In his book, Jay explores the question of why Christians should care about economics and why he believes capitalism is the best economic system we’ve come up with so far.

In his opening Jay makes the point that while many people talk about fighting poverty, few people employ their minds in coming up with permanent solutions. Instead, Jay argues, we are all too often content to dole out handouts to those in need. While that may be necessary in emergency situations, it is not a sustainable long term solution.

In his book Jay argues that capitalism is the best means of lifting entire nations out of grinding poverty. If we are serious about helping the poor, we should encourage the spread of free market principles so that others can enjoy the rich blessings capitalism is known to provide.

Jay’s book is centered around addressing eight myths about capitalism. These myths include:

  • Can’t we build a just society?
  • What would Jesus do?
  • Doesn’t capitalism foster unfair competition?
  • If I become rich, won’t someone else become poor?
  • Isn’t capitalism based on greed?
  • Hasn’t Christianity always opposed capitalism?
  • Doesn’t capitalism lead to an ugly consumerist culture?
  • Are we going to use up all the resources?

In the last question Jay makes the case that capitalism is the best economic system for protecting the environment.

Overall I’ve found Jay’s book to be one of the most helpful resources in explaining to both Christians and non-Christians why capitalism is the solution and not the problem.

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