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Yeah! People should only make enough to hire two or three people tops. I see these for-profit organizations that provide employment for hundreds of people and I think, that’s way too much. And the people that spend gobs money on buying products and services from other people? We’ve got to put a stop to that. 

Heard this quote this morning by coincidence. “Many applaud the one who “seeks first the kingdom” but criticize the one for whom “all things are added.” Matt. 6:33 We should not throw judgement at a person’s harvest in life if we don’t know what he sowed.

Lord, remove jealousy from my heart.

The thing is, when there are people making enough money to buy diamond-studded collars and silk-covered beds for their dogs and cats without a second thought, while there are people whose wages are so minuscule that they have to decide between paying the rent or feeding their loved ones or paying the medical bills for themselves or their loved one, things are gravely out of balance and something has to give. If a person can’t by get on, I don’t know, five hundred thousand a year, they need to reorganize their priorities.

What about the salesman that sells diamond-studded collars? Are we going to tell this fellow that he has to sell his collars for less because we don’t like the fact that his lucrative business allows him to pay for a silk-covered bed for his pet? 

And what about the manufacturer who sells the silk-covered bed? Are we to say that he then has to make less money on his beds because we don’t like the fact that he has enough money to go to fancy restaurants while others don’t have enough money to eat?

And what about the world-class chef at the restaurant? Are we to say that he has to be paid less than what people are willing to pay him for the meal? And that He shouldn’t be able to afford to send his 8 kids to a private school just because we see others that can’t afford it?

And what about the teacher at the private school? Should we say that she can’t accept the salary that she negotiated because we don’t like the fact that she has a steady job with retirement benefits and there are others out there that don’t have that option?

It’s easy to separate it into an “us and them” type of thing, and legislate how much we think everyone should be compensated for their talent, skill, drive and ambition.

But when someone earns money, it isn’t because they stole it. Earning something means you brought value to market and traded it for currency. 

It’s their right to use that currency in whatever way they want. It’s their personal property, just like their talent for sales, bed-making, the culinary arts, or teaching is their property that they used for the benefit of others. 

If they want to give their money to a homeless person, non-profit, political candidate, golfing buddy, car salesman, or a multi millionaire, it should be their right because they earned it. 

I think it’s a ridiculous thing to say someone “can’t get by” on 500,000 per year. No one is saying that and you’re throwing up a strawman argument because that is easier to defend against than it is to defend the sanctioned theft of wealth and possession. 

Robin hood was a criminal regardless of who he gave the money to. 

A free market society rewards work. I heard a quote from an immigrant recently. He said, “I’m glad I moved to America, because everyone that wants to work can work.” There are so many jobs available. Add to that the fact that there are enough government unemployment programs and Christian non-profits that people don’t have to starve while they are in between positions. 

I remember the first time I went looking for a summer job, and now for the first time I’m currently looking for someone to hire. I don’t make very much right now, but you can bet that the more value I create for the economy, the more people I can support in the form of employment and the purchase of their goods and services. 

Ceilings and floors on prices and wages create market distortions and destroy the idea of a fair wage for a fair amount of work. It’s actually a holy idea. How many parables in scripture have to do with a land owner or a farmer or a nobel giving wages to his workers?

It’s not a sin to be rich. It’s a sin to covet that which does not belong to you. 

If a free market “rewards work”, it isn’t rewarding people enough for it. I work grocery retail and my employers don’t pay me nearly enough for the hours that I put in, or the harsh treatment I get at the hands of my customers. I’ve been sworn at, snapped at for not being quick enough in waiting on people, pushed on the floor; I’ve even been groped by men who don’t see me as anything more than a toy. I’m fortunate enough to be renting the top half of my family’s house, but there have been weeks when I could just pay the rent and barely had anything left over to pay for necessities, like medicine when I was sick. 

And then there’s people who will tell you to your face that this kind of work “isn’t a real job”, never mind that the work you do provides them with food, so they don’t have to raise it in their garden or forage for it in the woods.

This isn’t about coveting what doesn’t belong to you, this is about having enough money to pay for the things you need just so you can live and feel like a human being and not like an animal scrabbling to survive in the jungle. Meanwhile, you’re making your way to work in a rat car that needs to be repaired but you can’t afford it just yet, and there are people out there who buy a whole new car the minute it has something wrong with it, rather than fix the old one. We expect the poor to be thrifty, why shouldn’t the rich practice a little thrift as well and be closer to their brethren?

And while it’s noble to think that multi-millionaires are happy to give money to homeless people, the truth is, they’re more apt to buy another sports car for their kids than they are to donate to charity. I’ve found that the most generous people are the ones who don’t have a lot themselves and yet are ready and willing to help people who are even worse off, and it boggles my mind. 

Cool. I like talking about this. Just to be fair, I’ll take this one step at a time. 

Firstly, you need to find another job. The free market is paying you exactly what you agreed to be paid for the work you’re doing. If the work is harder than what you agreed to when you were hired, then you need to find another job. There are quality places to work, you don’t need to feel like you’re being shorted. 

As a quick side note, there aren’t any places to work where you get to avoid people, and people are the cause of most of the world’s irritations. No work environment is stress-free, but it sounds like you have a particularly bad situation, and you need to find another job. They are out there, and if you don’t believe me, then that’s one of the more pressing facts we disagree on, not these other things. 

No one is saying to be more thrifty. I’m saying that it’s possible to increase the value you bring to market, and to sell that value for a higher price. You’re not a minimum wage worker. You’re someone who can educate themselves and create intrinsic value from thin air. You can go find a job where an employer pays you for your value or you can sell your value direct-to-consumer by starting your own business. Or a mixture of both. 

You know how to deal with people? Scour the internet for articles and books on how to handle customer service with professionalism. Then market yourself to clients and employers as someone who can solve their people problems.

You know how to handle inventory? Shop jobs at a couple of warehouse companies. You might even be able to get them into a bidding war over your skills and can negotiate a more than adequate salary. 

I teach music and I’m able to charge whatever I want for my services. If I need more money than what I’m making then I have to find more clients or raise my prices. If the higher prices turn people away then I have to find a way to make my music lessons worth more to match what I’m charging. 

Money isn’t as limited as you think. It’s created every day. (And not just by the Fed printing it.) Working for your grocery store is creating value that wasn’t there before. 

Consider this hypothetical for a moment. I invent something awesome. Let’s say it’s a thing that clips onto your phone that keeps it cool enough to go twice as long on a charge. It costs me $10 dollars to make each one, I charge $12 and people love it enough that most would probably buy it for $20 if I wanted to charge that much. Either way, I end up selling it again and again to person after person. This thing that never existed before is now benefiting hundreds, thousands, and eventually 10 million people own the product. I have made 20 million dollars. 

And now the media hears about it. “Peter Webb has 20 million dollars while children are starving on the streets!” Did I do anything wrong by making that money? Did I steal it from the people on the streets? Wasn’t I willingly given the money, $2 at a time, by people who were blessed by what I made? 

Here’s the kicker: what makes me more despicable than the people that walked by the homeless person with that $12 in their pocket on the way to buy something non-essential from me?

Theoretically 120 million dollars just walked by 10 million homeless people, and none of them stopped to give the money away. 

Let’s not put the blame of poverty on the rich people. It rests on all of us equally. We all gave the rich people their money instead of giving it to starving people. And now we demand that they stop being greedy? 

Everyone who bought an iphone decided to give money to Steve Job’s company instead of giving it to charity. 

Everyone who bought a package of skittles is deciding to give their money to a corporation instead of to a non-profit or to the widow next door. 

The rich people are not more greedy than everyone else. Their wealth just means they blessed more people, more efficiently than we did. 

Another side note for the “inheritance” exception. Getting money from rich family members isn’t evil. The rich family member did something to bless people, and we as a society rewarded them for it. They can do whatever they want with their money.  

You say "Shouldn’t rich people practice a little thrift and be closer to their brethren?" I’m not sure if you’re saying

a) That poor people would feel better if rich people would stop driving around in quality vehicles or 

b) That rich people need to give more money away

But either way, it’s their money and to tell them what to do with is it theft. You’re only allowed to spend your own money. Their decisions are between them and God and they will be judged on how they handled their wealth. 

But remember, in the story of the master and the talents, it was the person who had the least that got punished for not using it wisely. Rich, poor and middle class people will be accountable for 100% of what they were given. No more throwing stones.

And lastly, about the generous people bit. I’m willing to bet you know less than 5 people who make 500,000 a year or have a net worth of over 10 million dollars. I’ll bet that we can both agree that neither of us know about the generosity of extremely wealthy people from any personal experience. 

But what I do know is that 50 of such people in America gave 7.7 billion dollars to non-profits last year. They are making a difference. Are we?

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