Listening to the commentary about what our government is trying to do with heath care reform, it has become clearer that they are not really trying to improve health care; it is instead about the government controlling this segment of our economy. The least that government meddling in health care will do is increase its costs. They say they are increasing competition but government control is a monopoly that eliminates competition. The public is beginning to catch on to the truth behind the rhetoric but those in power may yet manage to take this big step closer to socializing our economy.
The government take over of health care is only one aspect of a multi-front effort to fundamentally change America from a capitalist to a socialist economy. Many of the Presidents “Czars” have Marxist credentials and they are pursuing all the classic Leftist strategies such as “spreading the wealth around” and stirring up class envy. Due to the government’s big push to demonize capitalism, I feel the need to address which economic system is more biblical.
Capitalism is an economic system in which wealth and means for creating wealth are privately controlled and owned. Free enterprise enables individuals to operate businesses for profit with minimal governmental interference. The government’s role is limited to maintaining a stable currency and upholding laws which protect rights to own property.
Socialism requires state administration or ownership of goods and services in the pursuit of equality. Socialists believe that capitalism unfairly concentrates wealth (and power) in only a few. Thus socialism seeks to redistribute a society's wealth more “equally” to all its citizens.
Dignity of the Individual
One of the reasons why capitalism is more biblical than socialism is the value God has for every person. Indeed, we are made in the very image of God per Genesis 1:26-27. This gives each of us great dignity. Capitalism provides people with more opportunities to realize their worth than socialism. Capitalism motivates people to excel because their efforts are rewarded. God promised rewards for the good works of those who trust in Jesus, see Matthew 16:27. While capitalism does not deliver for equal outcomes, it does offer equal opportunity.
Capitalism requires each person to rely on themselves and God to meet their needs, thus it provides more dignity than depending on government hand-outs. The Old Testament Law required farmers to leave some of their crops in the field for the poor to glean. This meant that the poor had to do some work themselves in order to have their needs met. Socialism seeks to usurp God role in meeting our needs and it eliminates opportunities for individuals to help the poor.
Leftists often act religious to claim that socialism is more biblical than capitalism. They point to the sharing of wealth by the early Christians in the book of Acts as proof that the Bible advocates Marxism, the parent doctrine of socialism. But what they are missing is that the property sharing in Acts show individuals making free moral choices to use their property for the good of others. 2 Corinthians 9:7 says, “let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” (NKJ). If all economic decisions are made by centralized authorities, opportunities to act upon personal moral convictions are reduced.
Leftists put a high value on the good intentions of their policies. But good intentions are not worth anything without being accompanied with good actions. It is amazing how often good intentions fail to be accompanied by good actions to end up producing consequences directly opposite to what was desired.
Capitalism and socialism are based on completely different assumptions about human nature. Socialism totally disregards the Bible’s doctrine on the fallen nature of mankind and assumes that people will act morally if their basic needs are met. Capitalism recognizes our fallen nature taking self-interest into consideration to cancel out most of the consequences of greed.
For example, suppliers of goods or services generally want to make as much possible and so they will tend to set their prices high. But the self-interest of the consumer resists paying high prices so the vendor must yield some of their self-interest with a low enough price to attract customers.
No economic system is perfect and greed can taint a capitalist system but free market forces minimize that. The government’s role in a capitalist system should be limited to punishing the greediest. But excessive government control can neutralize the self-correcting balancing forces of a free market to actually cause worse economic problems. And in a socialist system, the government is the ultimate authority over all so there is no one to appeal to for justice.
Sins of Socialism
When President Obama was a candidate he revealed his agenda to transform America into a socialist economy when he told “Joe the Plumber” that we needed to spread the wealth around. But forcing people to give up their resources even for the common good is stealing, see Exodus 20:15. The end should not justify the means. A good end is sin if robbery is the means. Sure the government is entitled to taxes to pay for their role of keeping the peace but when they take on more authority than this, the taxes required to fund it is stealing.
The other thing the Obama administration is doing to dupe people into embracing their policies is to claim all their tax increases will be directed toward the rich. They have also been actively ridiculing executives for their perks and making a lot of money. This stirs up class envy which is sin. Exodus 20:17 says, “You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's” (NKJ). Of course Leftists have no concept of sin, they totally disregard what God has to say about it in His Word.
The Federal Government’s wasteful spending practices are legend. We’ve all heard of the ridiculous prices the government pays for things it buys. This is because the arrogant bureaucrats write specifications for what they want that force suppliers to jump through ridiculous hoops to comply with. Now consider that wasteful practice extended to even more segments of our economy, the system will eventually break like what happened to the Soviet Union.
Government wastefulness is sin. Proverbs 21:20 says, “there is desirable treasure, and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man squanders it” (NKJ). The bigger the government, the bigger the sin and socialism requires a significantly bigger government than capitalism.
Socialism requires debt to fund it and debt is sin. Romans 13:8 says, “owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law” (NKJ). It is obvious that “the borrower is servant to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7, NKJ) which is contrary to Gods plan for us because he wants us to be free. John 8:32 says, “you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (NKJ). The debt our government is incurring to pay for wild social programs will have to be paid back through either future taxes, future inflation or cancelled due to political upheaval. I don’t see how this country will avoid all three of these consequences.
Unfortunately the direction this world is headed is toward is more socialist than capitalist. The Antichrist, “causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Revelation 13:16-17, NKJ). This is total control, the socialist utopia. But it will end in total disaster, see Revelation 18.
Those who rob workers of their due wealth due to excessive taxes and inflation will ultimately suffer worse than we who labor… James 5:1-7 says, “Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter. You have condemned, you have murdered the just; he does not resist you. Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord.” (NKJ)