EQUALITY & PEACE OR INEQUALITY THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL…THAT IS THE QUESTION

 

 

FACTS TO PONDER:

Here are a few quotes by leaders who have studied the research regarding greed and are warning the world about the myriad of injustices that are the direct consequence for all levels of humanity, including the wealthy and powerful, from this root of all evil (1 Tim. 6:10). 1000s of studies are confirming that this is the foe above all others that anyone with any shred of morality should be working against most.

  •  Oxfam International’s executive director, Winnie Byanima, said,
    “The richest one percent own more than the other 99 percent put together…’The world has become a much more unequal place and the trend is accelerating’” . She also said in a statement, “The billionaire boom is not a sign of a thriving economy but a symptom of a failing economic system.”
  • 8 of the richest billionaires own more wealth than the bottom half of the world.
  •  In 2017,82% of all new wealth went to the top 1% while the bottom 50% got nothing according to research by Christian aid  agency Oxfam that has been reported by many others.
  • In America, the top 3 richest people have more wealth than the bottom 50% of the country.
  • Billionaires Made So Much Money Last Year They Could End Extreme Poverty Seven Times  “The global economy created a record number of billionaires last year, exacerbating inequality amid a weakening of workers’ rights and a corporate push to maximize shareholder returns, charity organization Oxfam International said in a new report. The world now has 2,043 billionaires, after a new one emerged every two days in the past year, the nonprofit organization said in a report published Monday. The group of mostly men saw its wealth surge by $762 billion, which is enough money to end extreme poverty seven times over, according to Oxfam. According to separate data compiled by Bloomberg, the top 500 billionaires’ net worth grew 24% to $5.38 trillion in 2017, while the world’s richest person, Amazon.com Inc.’s Jeff Bezos, saw a gain of $33.7 billion. “The billionaire boom is not a sign of a thriving economy but a symptom of a failing economic system,” said Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International. “The people who make our clothes, assemble our phones and grow our food are being exploited.”
    Billionaires Made So Much Money Last Year They Could End Extreme Poverty Seven Times, SHELLY HAGAN / BLOOMBERG, January 22nd, 2018
    https://www.google.co.uk/amp/amp.timeinc.net/time/money/5112462/billionaires-made-so-much-money-last-year-they-could-end-extreme-poverty-seven-times
  • “More than two-thirds of the world’s entire wealth will be owned by the richest 1% of people by 2030, new research warns. . . The study claims that the wealth of the richest one percent grows at six percent annually, outstripping the three percent annual growth of everyone else, causing a continual movement of money to the top…Byrne, who organised the first OECD global parliamentary conference on inclusive growth, said he believed global inequality was “now at a tipping point”.“If we don’t take steps to rewrite the rules of how our economies work, then we condemn ourselves to a future that remains unequal for good,” he said. “That’s morally bad, and economically disastrous, risking a new explosion in instability, corruption and poverty.”
    https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/04/07/we-are-99-richest-1-will-soon-own-two-thirds-worlds-wealth
  • ***The world’s richest 1% are on course to control as much as two-thirds of the world’s wealth by 2030, according to a shocking analysis that has lead to a cross-party call for action. World leaders are being warned that the continued accumulation of wealth at the top will fuel growing distrust and anger over the coming decade unless action is taken to restore the balance. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/apr/07/global-inequality-tipping-point-2030  https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2014/05/piketty-inequality-capitalism-twenty-first-century/

Numerous experts in economics, such as some of the above and many others have stated that the world is experiencing the worst levels of economic injustice in all history.  When those who are rich, powerful or well off hear these things, the natural defensive reaction is to say, “So, they can’t buy the newest color TV because they are poor. Big deal.” This is not just wrong (and a projection of the desire of the rich to buy the latest techie toy), it is one of the most abusive and destructive lies in the history of the world and directly results in ruin and degradation of human lives including the very worst evils that are happening on the planet.

Let’s be very crystal clear about this since this issue affects the welfare of billions of lives. The Bible says that greed is the root of all evil (1 Tim. 6:10). 1000s of scientific studies show that greed/poverty is the main cause of m/billions of ruined lives and deaths due to bad health habits (~41 million deaths a year), poverty (~18 million deaths a year), pollution (~12 million deaths a year), loss of freedom/destruction of democracy in almost all countries currently (Princeton research says America has been an oligarchy since the 1980s), millions of divorces/family breakdown, exploitation of women and children, 1000s of suicides, educational failures, mental problems, media and government deceptions/propaganda, use of drugs, racism/prejudice, various forms of abuse, levels of trust in society, prisons for profit (with many incarcerated unjustly or far worse than their crimes merit), hunger, health problems, teen pregnancy, homelessness, Darwinism, atheism, false religions/cults, crimes of every kind, debt slavery, chattel slavery, sexual slavery/prostitution, paedophilia,  gun shootings (in schools), terrorism, war, abortion, infant mortality, environmental destruction, national stability/security/thriving and other  tragic problems that plague our world.

Some statistics showing the stark connections between greed and every form of injustice and evil are cited below this page, but whatever area of injustice or injustice you look at, if you study the research on it in depth as I have, you will find greed is a root cause of it.

One of the simplest summaries of the wide array of dire consequences for all levels of society that greed has is some very rigorous research by Dr. Richard Wilkinson. He  and others shows that greed and high levels of inequality where the top 20% have more than 9 times the wealth of the bottom 20% are very destructive to all levels of society (including the rich) in areas like these.

“life expectancy, on kids’ maths and literacy scores, on infant mortality rates, homicide rates, proportion of the population in prison, teenage birthrates, levels of trust, obesity, mental illness — which in standard diagnostic classification includes drug and alcohol addiction — and social mobility”
https://www.ted.com/talks/richard_wilkinson

God repeatedly said that He created this world so that there is enough for all to lives of peace and safety without experiencing economic injustice and all the forms of cruelty and exploitation it leads to (see Deut. 15:4) and it happened at various times in the history of Israel (1 Kings 4:25+, Neh. 5:1-13) and the church (Acts 2:42-47;4:32-35). But God said it would only happen if people followed the economic principles that He gave to the church, economic principles that the Sabbath not incidentally repeatedly points to***.

The Bible wisely does not ever require that all have equal wealth, the terribly damaging deception of communism that caused the collapse of nations. But God does say through the Bible and Ellen White that if we have taken care of our families needs and then see others in difficulty and don’t share the resources and abilities God has given to us with them, then we show that we don’t have God’s love in us (1 John 3:17, Romans 1:11,14, MB p. 138-9).  As Gandhi put it, there is enough for everyone’s need, but not everyone’s greed as Gandhi put it.

Since greed/economic injustice causing debt and poverty and resulting in all forms of abuse, exploitation and evil are the primary sin that causes all evils, the primary focus of all who love God and human life must be to focus on opposing greed and solving the problems of economic injustice, either directly or indirectly. This is precisely what Bible prophets did in over 2000+ verses in the Bible as my former professor Dr. Maynard-Reid points out in this talk. The only topic spoken more of in the Bible is idolatry, which is also often heavily connected to economic and social injustice.

Many historical cases show that when the church refuses or neglects to do this, people will turn to strong men, dictators and tyrants for “answers” or “relief”. But those often turn out to be far worse “cures” than the disease. You can read about how economic injustice, ignored by the church in Russia, caused the radicalization of Stalin and other young Russians who had been sincere Christians. Ultimately 30+ million lives were lost and a whole nation lost to atheism because the church did not follow economic justice principles that God said were crucial for the stability of nations (Lev. 25:18-19) and which again, not incidentally, are connected to Sabbath which is mentioned 6 times in that same chapter. See this link for a short summary of how economic injustice led to the trinity of evil, Darwinism, communism and atheism in Russia:
http://blog.truth-is-life.org/rights/thrive/causesofcommunism/ 

Don’t ever think that greed that causes poverty and debt are just some unfortunate events in life. They are evil to the core and are the cause of the very worst cases of exploitation, abuse and the cruelest of atrocities in history. Greed by a few puts most others in debt. And throughout history, debt has been a primary weapon of rich and powerful people to steal the most valuable assets, especially land and homes, and to force people into various kinds of slavery and even at times to sell their own children into chattel slavery or even worse sexual slavery. This has many times brought about revolutions and even wars, destroying nations, as Dr. Michael Hudson explains, citing the Romans as the empire which imposed the harshest debts in history on populations. But America and most countries around the world now have more serious levels of debt and inequality than existed even under the beast empire power of Rome.

At the worst periods of inequality in Rome, the top 1.5% controlled 15-25% of income.  But in America now, the top 1% control over 40% of wealth. This causes all manner of injustices and evil in the world. But the one positive is that it was precisely at the time when the Roman empire was  at its most beastly stages, that the Christian church united, followed God’s principles, testifying of the infallible proofs of Jesus’ resurrection (Acts 1:3, Acts 4:33), worshipping and eating together, following God’s golden rule, loving people authentically, and specifically following His economic principles (Acts 2:42-7, 4:32-35, 1 John 3:17, etc.) working to make sure that as many church members as possible were economically stable and independent, owning their own homes and land. Secular and religious scholars attest that this is the way the early Christian church was able to turn the world upside down, beat poverty and injustice that were rampant at the time and over a period of time conquered the beast of Rome. We can do the same now to the beast of greed that is trying to control the nations of the world according to God’s promises in the Bible and what the Acts church experienced (and for SDAs or interested Christians reading this, Ellen White says that the way we will have the same power as the early church did when we follow the golden rule in economics as they did. See Mount of Blessing pg. 137-9).

The most serious side effects of all forms of capitalism, communism and socialism (because they disregard most if not all the principles of Bible economics) are dire levels of inequality and debt. Throughout history, elite rich and powerful have used debt to strip people of their assets and freedom, forcing them into situations of exploitation, abuse and slavery. This is why greed is called the root of all evil.

Financial problems expose people to almost every kind of suffering and exploitation known to man. This ranges from forcing people to work far more hours away from their families, to broken families and divorce to gangs to child soldiers to chattel slavery to sex slavery/child trafficking as well as violent crimes, terrorism and war.

The greed of the rich, destitution of the poor, capitalism, communism, globalism, materialism and other factors have caused a mammoth amount of debt around the world, the highest levels of debt in all history.
http://www.nationaldebtclocks.org/

This debt is turn has fueled an incredible increase in crime, cases of abuse, and all forms of injustice. The number of slaves worldwide is now the highest ever in history according to researchers. Between 40-46 million people are now in some form of slavery worldwide.
https://www.globalslaveryindex.org 

Statistics and words like the above just do not convey to some highly sheltered people the astronomical amount of evil that is being done to innocent people because of economic injustice. So let me make this crystal clear. While you may be sincere and very naive about the consequences of economic injustice, if you are in any way supporting any policy that steals from people or causes them to go into debt, if you are buying from many large corporations and sometimes even supermarkets, you have slaves working for you and you are a contributor to the very worst evils on the planet including the breakup of many happy families, chattel slavery and the sexual slavery of innocent children.

How many slaves do you have working for you? Take this easy 10 questions survey and find out:
http://slaveryfootprint.org/

Dr. Bales, a leading anti-slavery activist, has explained that a great deal of slavery all around the world is due to people being in poverty and debt (this was almost always due to not having land rights) and because of that making risky choices because they had no other options that put them into conditions of exploitation .

“All around the world I’ve been told an almost identical story. People say, ‘I was home, someone came into our village, they stood up in the back of a truck, they said, ‘I’ve got jobs, who needs a job?'” And they did exactly what you or I would do in the same situation. They said, ‘That guy looked sketchy. I was suspicious, but my children were hungry. We needed medicine. I knew I had to do anything I could to earn some money to support the people I care about.’ They climb into the back of the truck. They go off with the person who recruits them. Ten miles, 100 miles, 1,000 miles later, they find themselves in dirty, dangerous, demeaning work. They take it for a little while, but when they try to leave, bang!, the hammer comes down, and they discover they’re enslaved.”
https://www.ted.com/talks/kevin_bales_how_to_combat_modern_slavery/transcript 

Many corporations have used slaves to make their products. Many know about it, but some are naive. Many of those slaves are unfortunately children. Here are a few examples.

Nestle Chocolate Brought to You by Child Slavery – Brainwash Update
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQvEX2Xait4

Special report Inside the Congo cobalt mines that exploit children
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcJ8me22NVs  

Chattel slavery is abusive and degrading. But possibly even worse is sexual slavery.

Here’s a real story that has happened to at least thousands and possibly millions of innocent children due directly to the evils of economic injustice. It shows how poverty, debt, and financial distress are frequently directly connected to sexual slavery of various types.

“When a poor family in Cambodia fell afoul of loan sharks, the mother asked her youngest daughter to take a job. But not just any job. The girl, Kieu, was taken to a hospital and examined by a doctor, who issued her a “certificate of virginity.” She was then delivered to a hotel, where a man raped her for two days…”Selling my daughter was heartbreaking, but what can I say?” says Kieu’s mother, Neoung..Like other local mothers CNN spoke to, she blames poverty for her decision to sell her daughter, saying a financial crisis drove her into the clutches of the traffickers who make their livelihoods preying on Cambodian children. “It was because of the debt, that’s why I had to sell her,” she says…Weak law enforcement, corruption, grinding poverty and the fractured social institutions left by the country’s turbulent recent history have helped earn Cambodia an unwelcome reputation for child trafficking, say experts.”

www.cnn.com/interactive/2013/12/world/cambodia-child-sex-trade/

This evil is happening around the world, esp. in the poorer countries, as many documentaries show.

Children Of The Sex Trade (Full Documentary)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxQm6xyDGdo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxQm6xyDGdo&t=305s

A couple excerpts from the above documentary.
~6-7:00
“20% of children who were rescued from prostitution bars have been sexually abused at home or in the community.  These children can’t make an informed choice to have sex with an old man. If there is no informed choice, that’s rape.”

~27:00
“People need to survive in this country. The safety nets that exist in Australia just aren’t there. So when families need food, they become desperate. They are easy pickings for people who have money to sort of entice them, to come into these situations. They see foreigners, they think, “they’re rich” and there’s a way of making money from them.”

In the last half of the documentary Christian activists and some Australians detectives try to organize a raid to shut down just 2 bars that were selling underage girls for sex. They show how frustratingly incompetent systems of justice are in the Philippines and Australia. Stunningly, even after girls gave testimony of how one Australian abused them, Australian authorities found no evidence  that would be admissible and withstand scrutiny in Australian courts. It is because of this kind of incompetence that child abusers all over the world are able to keep on abusing children for their twisted desires.

Some of the rescuers in the documentary above are Australian, but there are also serious problems in Australia as well.
A) “Experts say sexual slavery is a problem that’s disturbingly common in Australia.” www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2016/s4671885.htm 

B) Slavery and Exploitation: Human Trafficking in Australia https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdAlvdOz42A

C) A Korean girl named Sun* who needed money to continue her studies was told that she could make a lot of money working in Australia. She decided to go and experience a different culture. But when she arrived, she was placed in a sex parlour and told she had to repay a $25,000 debt for her flight and visa. She had to work 14 hours a day, 6 days a week without pay to pay down the debt and was pressured to perform sexual services without a condom. The boss threatened Sun with deportation if she complained too much, refused a customer or tried to go to the authorities for help. www.antislavery.org.au/home/face-of-slavery-in-australia/sun.html

D) The owner of a licensed brothel in Fitzroy, Victoria, was tried and convicted for forcing Thai women into sex slavery, also using debt and threats of deportation to force them to provide sexual services for pretty much nothing.
https://www.news.com.au/national/walk-free-foundation-slavery-report-reveals-3000-slaves-living-in-australia/news-story/88be37057b1167f99cb4af4c13a035db

In nearby New Zealand, debt also is the cause of sex slavery:
“A mother of a teenage daughter has been jailed for six years and 11 months after keeping her daughter as a sex slave and selling her body to men some 1000 times over a two-year period….To remedy their financial woes, Lata placed an advertisement on the website Craigslist which offered her daughter for sexual services….As business increased, Lata arranged for an advertisement and photoshoot with the online escort agency New Zealand Girls…Soon more men began to request the teen and her mother began taking her to motels around Auckland for as many as five “appointments” per day, each appointment costing up to $200 per hour….ata had herself been a prostitute and the court heard that this was the life she knew.”
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12034130

If you think it doesn’t happen in Europe, here is a documentary that describes how many poor children in England were systematically abused by members of the Queen’s cabinet, members of parliament, diplomats, judges, politicians, spies, senior police, officials in the children’s services division, etc.  Certain members in a ring of powerful paedophiles were even trying to reduce the age of consent to sex down to 4 years old, yes FOUR years old.  For 40 years this abuse was carried on with complete impunity. Some children were even killed to protect these criminals.

60 Minutes on the UK Gov. Pedophile Ring Network
https://youtu.be/bezVbPCK5Q8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bezVbPCK5Q8 

And lest you think that America is immune, it’s not. 1000s of children are sexually abused in America every year as well, often by powerful politicians, bankers and the rich, but also by various others including sports coaches, teachers/professors, atheists, scientists, businessmen, a few parents and tragically even a few religious leaders,

Many professors, journalists, policemen, and activists have documented terrible levels of sexual slavery and abuse in American in documentaries such as these two:

Boys for sale
https://youtu.be/P-WLg5RJzBM
https://youtu.be/_6FKEwjPmHQ

Sold For Sex: Trafficking in Nebraska https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etao-pHnjUs 

“Sold for Sex: Survivor Stories,”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jQM0xCusmo

These are other documentaries about this problem happening around the world.
Children for sale – Documentary film https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Mr5eWXsM84

Cambodia: The Virginity Trade (Crime Documentary) – Real Stories https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6qqw2a6Jw0

Paedophile Hunters (Full Documentary)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5Y7EyD-xFo

Selling sex: underage victims of sex tourists in the Dominican Republic | Unreported World
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZyppB5xTn4

Some missionaries and Christian organizations work hard to rescue children from sexual slavery or prevent  it, but most people are just not aware of the scale of the problem or its causes.
https://abcnews.go.com/International/reporters-notebook-brothel-raids-missionaries-rescuing-girls-cambodia/story?id=46100713

The systems of abuse are structural and sometime go to the highest levels of government and even the police/justice and governmental child care departments, in countries around the world.

You must understand this very clearly. Economic injustice is directly linked with the sexual exploitation of many people, including millions of children. It splits and breaks apart families and makes it very difficult for parents to protect their children from abusers.

While it happens way too often in America, it is even more common in other countries. Rabbi Steve Gutow explains:

“Although concentrated in South Asia, Southeast Asia, Northern Africa, and Latin America, slavery is a global problem that affects every nation in the world…Contemporary slavery is tied to global poverty, and it is impossible to consider one without the other….

Trafficking and slavery are tied to extreme poverty. Traffickers trick those looking for employment into slavery. They promise an education and stable employment. However, these victims soon find themselves in brothels, as household servants, in factories or in farm fields. Their captors keep them in bondage. Some are literally held with locks and chains. Others are subjected to severe psychological pressure. The global financial crisis has been a boon to traffickers.

As the world’s economy contracts, millions find themselves jobless….As prices of commodities collapse, miners, farmers, and other business owners will undoubtedly seek ways to decrease costs. Unscrupulous employers turn to forced labor—children, women, and men to mine, harvest and work, with little or no pay and without the ability to quit. This is particularly appealing to these depraved slave owners because the price to purchase a slave is at an all time low. The average price worldwide of a slave today is $90. Recently Free the Slaves, an international organization working end slavery across the globe, documented the sale of two young men together for the equivalent of $80. The expansion of extreme poverty caused by global financial crisis will further incentivize human trafficking.  

As young and desperately poor individuals seek a way out of their current circumstances, they are susceptible to the seduction of charlatans posing as saviors but truly are just slave traders. The current global economic crisis has reinforced the connection between poverty and slavery. The number of those living in poverty, those most susceptible to the siren calls of the slave traders, just keeps growing larger. Traffickers and slave owners target and victimize the most vulnerable among us, often preying on children.

Children, usually between the ages of 15-18 but as young as 8, have been kidnapped and used as soldiers. Others are stolen from playgrounds so that they can harvest cash crops, hand-weave textiles, operate dangerous equipment, and literally serve as indentured maids in people’s homes. Some parents sell their children into slavery for the money. Most of these children, like most trafficking victims, are forced laborers but a tremendous number are also sexually exploited. UNICEF estimates that as many as two-million children are prostituted in the global commercial sex trade every year.”

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/rabbi-steve-gutow/bound-together-contempora_b_411797.html

No wonder the Bible calls greed the root of all evil and identifies debt as slavery.  In many cases, it pressures or forces people in desperation to make choices that harm themselves or abuse others.

 

Economic injustice is particularly heinous because:
1) It is based on enormous amounts of theft and violation of God’s economic principles.
The reasons that this has happened are not at all an accident. They are very clear and obvious and many economists from around the world have said that they are nothing less than the most gigantic thefts in history. A few of the reasons are listed here:
You can read of the tragic history about how some of this injustice that underlies all others came about here:
https://www.vox.com/2016/5/23/11704246/wealth-inequality-cartoon

2) Those who are rich and powerful did not get that by personal merit. They got it because God gave them the ability to earn wealth (Deut. 8:18) and science shows that ~80% of their wealth came because of the family and country they were born into***.  Time also matters a lot. Warren Buffet for example said that he made his wealth because the family, country and time he was born in valued his particular skills of investing in stocks. If he had been born in another family, country or time, he would not have done very well and might even have kind of a runt or even an outcast.

3) Large sums of wealth in a few hands are always based on a great deal of injustice, theft and/or exploitation and abuse, in history and/or the present.

The Bible is very clear that greed, hoarding wealth, and luxury are some of the worst sins that exist. They were literally the sins of Sodom (as well as the most evil empires and the whore of Babylon in Rev. 18***):

“Sodom’s sins were pride, gluttony, and laziness, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door.” Ez. 16:49

Throughout history, there have been numerous cases of tragic inequality and injustice. God, as the Creator of humanity, created all human beings equal and was the first source to advocate equality for all humanity, emphasizing equality in the most crucial areas of human rights, economics, justice in law, gender rights, children’s rights and others. While many talk of equality, Biblical Judeo-Christianity is still the most important foundation of genuine equality on the earth.

Dr. Joshua A. Berman (professor at Bar-Ilan University and Associate Fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem, Israel) wrote a book titled “Created Equal: How the Bible Broke with Ancient Political Thought” that shows how the laws of most ancient nations gave the king and the wealthy and powerful many unfair privileges. But the laws that God gave to Moses were the earliest laws that treated every person as equals.

Thucydides wrote long ago about how once government impose tyranny on foreign victims, it is not long until they impose some kinds of tyranny on many of their own citizens as well and that pattern has repeated throughout history.  These unjust laws of pagan nations resulted in various kinds of serious injustices, towards both foreigners and the lower classes within their own nations. But this is also done by modern nations where political and business leaders have accepted Darwinism or other concepts of inequality and eventually oppress foreigners and then their own citizens too because they don’t really believe in equality, especially economic equality. This happened at Enron for example where Jeff Skelling based business policies on Darwinism and chopped off the lowest 10% of the workforce every year regardless of how well they performed. It led to corruption, cheating, deception and ultimately millions of innocent people’s life savings and retirement wiped out, as well as jail time for some, and the stress of it killing the CEO, Ken Lay. The documentary, “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room” documents this in some detail (see esp. from minute 17).

Equality has become much more common as an idealistic goal and there are many who talk of equality these days. But almost no one except true Biblical believers lives it out in authentic practice. Sadly, those who don’t speak up for the equal rights of others will in time become victims of injustice…or else their descendants will.

These are some of the foundation of equality that God gave in the Bible:

“Do not take advantage of foreigners who live among you in your land.  Treat them like native-born Israelites, and love them as you love yourself. Remember that you were once foreigners living in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 19:33-34

“Native-born Israelites and foreigners are equal before the Lord and are subject to the same decrees. This is a permanent law for you, to be observed from generation to generation.” Numbers 15:15

“always try to do good to each other and to all people…test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good.” 1 Thess. 5:15,21

“If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.” James 2:8-9

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28

“Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have. Of course, I don’t mean your giving should make life easy for others and hard for yourselves. I only mean that there should be some equality. Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal. ” 2 Cor 8:12-14

“If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister[a] in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?” 1 John 3:17

Equality vs. greed matters for many reasons.
1)  Dr. E. O. Wilson was a Harvard biologist renowned for publishing Sociobiology. He wrote that some people are selfish, proud, greedy, etc. and this fuels competition.  At the level of the individual, selfish people will sometimes win. But at the level of the group, “A group of altruists will beat a society of selfish individuals every time.”
discovermagazine.com/2011/jan-feb/03
http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20120417/business/704179876/ https://www.postandcourier.com/features/faith_and_values/altruistic-groups-selfish-people-win/article_5f0bf03b-5478-53cd-9a93-696b0f6b24fc.html

True religion emphasizes equal opportunity for all, and that everyone’s needs are equally important. These groups become stronger and healthier and more peaceful over time.  There are 1000s of scientific studies that show this in many countries.

2) JOHN NASH’S EQUILIBRIUM

The movie “A Beautiful Mind” reviews the life of John Nash who showed that the way to get the best results was to focus on what is best for each individual AND the group. He “proved a method for predicting human behavior in a way that both maximizes profit and serves customers interests… These were always thought to be competitive.  By showing that seller and buyer can both work toward a balanced solution, both sides gain without either one being harmed…If you have ever been offered a larger drink or meal for a small extra fee you’ve experienced equilibrium. You get more food, while the business increases profit over their fixed cost. Both sides gain, and commerce thrives. That was not what economic theory thought prior to Nash.”

www.economist.com/news/economics-brief/21705308-fifth-our-series-seminal-economic-ideas-looks-nash-equilibrium-prison  www.economist.com/sites/default/files/econbriefs.pdf  http://www.slate.com/blogs/quora/2014/07/16/nash_equilibrium_how_did_the_mathematical_concept_impact_game_theory_and.html  https://www.khanacademy.org/economics-finance-domain/microeconomics/nash-equilibrium-tutorial/nash-eq-tutorial/v/prisoners-dilemma-and-nash-equilibrium  www.economist.com/news/economics-brief/21705308-fifth-our-series-seminal-economic-ideas-looks-nash-equilibrium-prison

The disparities in concentrations of wealth that we have now have never ever before been seen in history and they have destructive effects all across society for all economic classes and races. The most basic cause of all these injustices is the loss of biblical land rights that God gave to families. Read more about this here:

This research testifies that there are direct links between the loss of land rights and injustice.

“Violence against women is the most pervasive human rights violation in the world (UN 2007)…Women land owners involved with Xochilt-Acalt (an organization to empower women with land rights) reported more progressive gender ideology, greater say in decision making, more relationship ower and control, higher levels of empowerment, greater pyschological well-being, and less physical and sexual violence than a control group of women who did not own land…owning land played an independent role in promoting women’s health”

Women’s Empowerment and Global Health: A Twenty-First-Century Agenda By Shari Dworkin, Monica Gandhi, Paige Passano  https://books.google.com/books?id=eSsoDQAAQBAJ&pg=PA304&lpg=PA304&dq=how+land+rights+prevent+sexual+violence&source=bl&ots=O4HOCNqjB7&sig=7o9INpZ28IhwESCu9KudBa-TWoA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj—HX8qncAhUNMd8KHQ6NCi84FBDoATAAegQIARAB#v=onepage&q=how%20land%20rights%20prevent%20sexual%20violence&f=false

These are a few examples of the harm that it does:

PROBLEMS OF GREED, ECONOMIC INJUSTCE & SERIOUS INEQUALITY

1) GREED KILLS MILLIONS OF PEOPLE EVERY YEAR
The most terrible consequence of greed is that it kills millions of people per year. Here are just a few of the ways that it does that.

  • In Dr. Wilkinson’s talk mentioned above, he talks about how infant mortality is higher at all levels of society from poor to rich in highly unequal societies.
  • African Americans and other minorities die at higher rates according to Harvard. Due in large measure to Darwinism, popular thinking blames race instead of injustice for the disparities. Harvard researchers report:

    The popular thinking goes that the reasons African-Americans and Hispanics nationally lag behind in income and wealth, in health and education, have to do with their own “personal shortcomings,” in the words of Harvard sociologist William Julius Wilson.  “Health inequalities are the sum total of all the other social inequalities,” Williams said. “All the other social inequalities finally end up in the area of health.”African-Americans contract serious diseases sooner, resulting in 96,800 deaths that would not have happened if they fell sick at the same rate as whites.

  • Black women are 3-12 times more likely to die in hospitals than white women in America, depending on location.
  • Bad health habits kill ~40 million per year according to the World Health Organization. Most of these are because they don’t know or follow simple health habits such as not smoking, exercising, reducing alcohol use and eating healthier food like fruits and vegetables brings enormous benefits in all areas of life. Noncommunicable diseases. www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs355/en
  • Many health related deceptions are focused on minorities and the poor and kill them at much higher rates as the documentary “Fast Food, Fat Profits” shows.
  • The documentary “Maafa 21-The Black Holocaust” cites many writings, recordings and other primary sources showing that many leaders in both republican and democratic parties cooperated to use eugenics and abortion to try to especially reduce black and minority populations. Other research shows that they did similar activities to try to eliminate many poor whites and/or sterilize them so they couldn’t have children.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsxwRJZfmMM
  • Wars kill around ~2-400,000 people per year. If you study into the real reasons behind them, they are almost always for greed of some type or another. 30+ documentaries showing this are here:
    https://filmsforaction.org/articles/documentaries-about-war/
    See also:
    http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/allwarsarebankerwars.php#axzz3fqDiONNO
  • Inequality kills people from the Caucasian background a great deal as well. ~500,000 die per year due to inequality according to this study.
    “A recent social science paper found that middle-aged non-Hispanic white Americans (ages 45-54) experienced a large increase in total mortality between 1998 and 2013. If the mortality rate had instead continued falling on its previous trend, it would have prevented nearly half a million deaths over that 15-year period….The increase in white deaths is entirely concentrated among people with a high school degree or less, a good proxy for poverty. Meanwhile, mortality rates have continued to decline among whites with any college attendance. What’s behind the increase in poor white deaths? Well, they are dying not of disease, but of suicide, chronic alcohol abuse, and especially drug overdoses. As Paul Krugman writes, it resembles “the collapse in Russian life expectancy after the fall of communism.” Why? American poverty is increasingly brutal. Male wages at the bottom fifth of the income ladder, for instance, have fallen by over 30 percent since the late 1960s, and inequality has exploded. These days, those in the top 1 percent capture virtually all economic growth.Other countries have responded to similar trends by building a strong welfare state: universal health care, free education and college, disability and unemployment insurance, maternity leave, a child allowance, paid vacation, and so on…But America has been extremely stingy about putting welfare where it’s really needed…Direct cash aid to the poor was basically killed under Bill Clinton. And we are nearly alone in the world in providing no maternity leave or child allowance.Why didn’t America build the economic structures that would ensure economic growth was broadly shared? There are many reasons, but perhaps the biggest one is racism. Research shows that American voters are less likely to support a generous welfare state because of racist attitudes; historical studies demonstrate that the New Deal was politically acceptable only insofar as it excluded blacks. But we can see today that there are concrete and unintended side effects to this preference.Whether poor whites are individually racist or not, racism is literally killing them. Martin Luther King spoke to this point, in his final sermon before he was assassinated. He related how once when he was in jail in Birmingham, he debated the white prison guards about segregation. But eventually the subject turned to the guards’ own lives (and it’s really worth listening to):“And when those brothers told me what they were earning, I said, ‘Now, you know what? You ought to be marching with us. [laughter] You’re just as poor as Negroes.’ And I said, “You are put in the position of supporting your oppressor, because through prejudice and blindness, you fail to see that the same forces that oppress Negroes in American society oppress poor white people. (Yes) And all you are living on is the satisfaction of your skin being white, and the drum major instinct of thinking that you are somebody big because you are white. And you’re so poor you can’t send your children to school. You ought to be out here marching with every one of us every time we have a march.” [King Encyclopedia]When King said the same forces keeping down African-Americans are also hurting poor whites, he obviously didn’t mean they experience the same racism. What he meant, I think, was that racism is the ultimate force behind a constellation of other proximate oppressions — lack of health insurance, bad schools, low wages, unemployment, and so forth — but when a white person is poor, they experience many of those same problems.Obviously the situations of poor whites and blacks were not identical back in 1968. Today as well, poor whites are less likely than poor blacks to be imprisoned, killed by the police, die early, and so on.But poor whites are still getting ground into mulch in this country — and it’s getting worse over time.theweek.com/articles/587242/why-poor-white-americans-are-dying-despair

These are just some of the ways that greed kills millions of people per people.

2) GREED/INEQUALITY DEGRADES/DESTROYS DEMOCRACY:
Professors Martin Gilens (Princeton University) and Benjamin Page (Northwestern University) studied public policy issues between 1981 and 2002. Their research has shown that the American government is basically an oligarchy since  a wealthy few control almost all government policy decisions, while legislation with low elite wealthy support and high public support are adopted only ~18% of the time and usually not on substantial issues despite much larger public voting numbers.

“Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence… When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organised interests, they generally lose…even when fairly large majorities of Americans favour policy change, they generally do not get it…we believe that if policymaking is dominated by powerful business organisations and a small number of affluent Americans, then America’s claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened.”
journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=9354310

This is happening to countries in Europe (as well as around the globe) www.bbc.com/news/blogs-echochambers-27074746
http://michael-hudson.com/2011/12/europes-transition-from-social-democracy-to-oligarchy/

In “Noam Chomsky: Who Owns the World? Resistance and Ways Forward”, Dr. Chomsky based on vast history stated at ~51:00 (https://youtu.be/_9CHtm2qK2g) this:

“Concentration of wealth leads to concentration of political power, almost reflexively. That leads to legislation to enhance the process, the vicious cycle, fiscal policy, deregulation, rules of corporate governance quite a lot. So the vicious cycle goes on.”

Chris Hedges documents how corporations have gutted quite a lot of American towns economically and environmentally due to desires to keep on increasing profit endlessly. He calls these sacrifice zones.
Chris Hedges on Capitalism’s ‘Sacrifice Zones’
https://billmoyers.com/segment/chris-hedges-on-capitalism’s-‘sacrifice-zones’/

See also: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful: Noam Chomsky & Glenn Greenwald
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYBJDRmSMRY

3) GREED/ SERIOUS INEQUALITY EXACERBATES EXPLOITATION OF WOMEN & CHILDREN
Much research such as this study from the UN shows inequality is a primary factor that opens many women (and some men) to exploitation.

WOMEN’S SOCIAL, ECONOMIC INEQUALITY LEADS TO TRAFFICKING, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, EXPLOITATION, SAY SPEAKERS IN WOMEN’S COMMISSION www.un.org/press/en/2003/wom1390.doc.htm

Teens who can’t get enough food will easily turn to crime or prostitution to get it.

Hungry Teens Often Turn to Sex Work, Theft, Drug Dealing to Get Fed: Report
http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/09/12/hungry-teens-often-turn-sex-work-theft-drug-dealing-get-fed-report

Poverty/inequality cause serious problems in developed countries, but some of the worst exploitation of women and children happens in 3rd world countries.

Trafficking of children and women in India
www.redressonline.com/2013/09/trafficking-of-children-and-women-in-india/

“Oxfam interviewed women working in a garment factory in Vietnam who work 12 hours a day, 6 days a week and still struggle to get by on the $1 an hour they earn producing clothes for some of the world’s biggest fashion brands. The CEOs of these companies are some of the highest paid people in the world.   Corporate tax dodging costs poor countries at least $100 billion every year. This is enough money to provide an education for the 124 million children who aren’t in school and fund healthcare interventions that could prevent the deaths of at least six million children every year.”

https://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressreleases/2017-01-16/just-8-men-own-same-wealth-half-world

Another study points out that greed causes massive concentrations of power. And power makes people think they are above the law:

“Greed produces power which produces exploitation and abuse of women. One researcher has shown that powerful people “are prone to two shortcomings: They develop empathy deficits and are less able to read others’ emotions and take others’ perspectives. And they behave in an impulsive fashion — they violate the ethics of the workplace. In one experiment, participants in power took candy from children without blinking an eye. Our research also shows that these two tendencies manifest in inappropriate sexual behavior in male-dominated contexts, echoing the accounts of the women assaulted by Weinstein.”…These findings from laboratory studies tell us that abuses of power are predictable and recurring…While I’ve been studying power, each year there’s been a new example of a powerful man sexually abusing others, and in every imaginable context — religious organizations, the military, Capitol Hill, Wall Street, fraternities, sports, the popular media, tech, labs, and universities.”
https://hbr.org/2017/10/sex-power-and-the-systems-that-enable-men-like-harvey-weinstein

4) GREED CAUSES PREJUDICE, RACISM & DISCRIMINATION

Those who are rich don’t want people to blame them for their crimes. So they usually try to foment jealousy, conflict, violence and more between various groups of people. Sometimes they will give a few more privileges to one group than another group and then try to influence them to blame each other. Other times, they will make unjust laws to do the same. Whatever the methods, they try to keep people’s attention on other groups in society instead of the greedy rich. This is one reason why poverty and racism are almost always closely connected as this research shows.

Inequality Causes Prejudice, Racism and Class Discrimination

“In a report to the UN General Assembly, a UN rights expert has emphasised that poverty is closely associated with racism and contributes to the persistence of racist attitudes and practices which in turn generate more poverty…. According to Ruteere, poverty does not result only from an unequal sharing of resources. ‘Discrimination against groups and persons based on their ethnicity, race, religion or other characteristics or factors has been known to encourage exclusion and impoverish certain groups of the population who suffer from unequal access to basic needs and services.’

In his report to the UN General Assembly last November, the UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, Mutuma Ruteere, [said] that the issues of poverty and racism are inextricably linked. As has been emphasised in the Durban Declaration, he said, ‘poverty… [is] closely associated with racism… and contribute[s] to the persistence of racist attitudes and practices which in turn generate more poverty’ (paragraph 18).

Ruteere said that as the previous Special Rapporteur on racism underlined in his report to the General Assembly in 2009,
‘racial or ethnic minorities are disproportionately affected by poverty, and the lack of education, adequate housing and health care transmits poverty from generation to generation and perpetuates racial prejudices and stereotypes in their regard’.

He noted that certain groups and individuals, including people of African descent, indigenous peoples, minorities, Roma, Dalits and migrants, are still confronted with poverty and discrimination, especially in the enjoyment of their economic and social rights. Groups that are discriminated against, such as Afro-descendants, minorities, indigenous peoples, migrants and refugees, are disproportionately affected by poverty in all regions of the world.’

The complex relationship between racism and discrimination suggests that only the guarantee of equality and non-discrimination can redress that imbalance and protect such groups from falling into or being trapped in poverty,’ the Special Rapporteur stressed.

According to the report, a history of discrimination has left a large number of racial and ethnic groups in various parts of the world trapped in conditions of ‘chronic deprivation of resources’ with limited choices and vulnerable to multiple violations of their rights. In many parts of the world, race and ethnicity continue to be persistent predictors of poverty.

The multi-generational nature of poverty, with successive generations inheriting the disadvantages of their predecessors, means that over the years poverty and deprivation have become part of the characterisation of particular racial and ethnic groups trapped in poverty. This in turn fuels prejudice against those members of poor racial and ethnic groups, exacerbating the problems of racial discrimination…

The Special Rapporteur however noted that states around the world have developed and implemented many good practices which can alleviate problems associated with the intersecting problems of racism and poverty. These include collection of disaggregated data, programmes aimed at increasing education and educational opportunities, laws which protect disadvantaged groups generally and in labour markets, poverty alleviation initiatives, and special measures aimed at enhancing equality between all groups.
www.socialwatch.org/node/16324

5) GREED/SERIOUS INEQUALITY PUTS MORE MINORITIES/POOR IN JAIL
Poverty and Inequality is a major cause of more minorities and poor people being in jail, which destabilizes families. Judges, politicians from both parties, policemen, activists and victims have all agreed that the “justice” system in America has many racist policies that unfairly target the poor. Many have shown that this is because prisons for profit, make billions of dollars from taxpayers when large numbers of people are in prison.

Fixing the System: VICE on HBO Special Report Ft. Barack Obama

6) GREED/ SERIOUS INEQUALITY DESTABILIZES FAMILIES:
When fathers are put in jail, their families often have more serious economic difficulties. This can cause anger, rage and various kinds of abuse. Economic problems, lack of a father and/or abuse can lead to addictions of various kinds and people being willing to try illegal or risky behaviors as Dr. Mate and journalist Johann Hari explain:
What is Addiction? [Gabor Maté]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5sOh4gKPIg
https://www.ted.com/talks/johann_hari_everything_you_think_you_know_about_addiction_is_wrong

7) GREED/ SERIOUS INEQUALITY LEADS TO ENVIRONMENTAL DESTRUCTION
When corporations get powerful enough, they often exploit both people and the environment for profit. This article shows how high concentrations of wealth enabled some coal corporations to pressure many men into doing coal mining for low wages and getting into debt (and there was also a lot of sexual exploitation of wives and daughters that happened went on by those who were powerful as researchers have shown.):
https://qz.com/1167671/the-100-year-capitalist-experiment-that-keeps-appalachia-poor-sick-and-stuck-on-coal/

This article (and better yet the whole series) shows how corporations produced toxic chemicals in the USA in order to make profits and that these have damaged the health of thousands and millions. They did it in America for a long time, but when the government finally instituted rules to protect people, the corporations moved to China and are doing the same thing there. In some locations, levels of toxicity in China are now 148,000 times what is considered safe in America.

https://theintercept.com/2016/09/15/the-teflon-toxin-goes-to-china/

I have just been in China for ~10 months and can testify that it’s so bad where I lived that many times I didn’t want to go outside walking since the air was so unhealthy on many days.

This is what putting greed first above all else does in real life and since capitalism puts greed first above all else (making it sound innocuous by calling it profit instead of greed), it is also the root of all evil..as is any other economic system that puts greed or profit first. That is the truth from God in the Bible and the truth of reality.

8) GREED/ SERIOUS INEQUALITY CAUSES PEOPLE TO TURN TO TYRANTS FOR RELIEF:
Extremes of wealth can eventually cause so much injustice and suffering that people will listen to anyone who promises relief…including tyrants. The new book “Young Stalin” explains how this was what happened in Russia. Extreme economic injustice led many to hope that communism would bring relief. Unfortunately, it brought a far worse situation. The documentary China’s Confession shows 5,000 years of history of how equality and belief in God brought peace and stability to the nation, while greed brought distrust, crime, fighting and war***.

China’s Confession

9) GREED/SERIOUS INEQUALITY INCREASES GUN SHOOTINGS
Harvard Ichiro Kawachi analyzed the homicide rates in each state and the District of Columbia. Kawachi found that as the gap between the rich and the poor rose, the rate of homicide rose along with it

“In all 50 states and the District of Columbia data were collected using the General Social Survey that measured social capital (defined as interpersonal trust that promotes cooperation between citizens for mutual benefit), along with measures of poverty and relative income inequality, homicide rates, incidence of other crimes–rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft–unemployment, percentage of high school graduates, and average alcohol consumption. By using a statistical method known as principal component analysis Kawachi was then able to identify which ecologic variables were most associated with particular types of crime…

“The results were unambiguous: when income inequality was higher, so was the rate of homicide. Income inequality alone explained 74% of the variance in murder rates and half of the aggravated assaults. However, social capital had an even stronger association and, by itself, accounted for 82% of homicides and 61% of assaults…A World Bank sponsored study subsequently confirmed these results on income inequality concluding that, worldwide, homicide and the unequal distribution of resources are inextricably tied.”

https://www.alternet.org/hot-news-views/factor-mass-murder-stratification-between-rich-and-poor

Dr. Kawachi’s research is here:

www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953698004006 ftp://psyftp.mcmaster.ca/dalywilson/sshrc2004/wilkinsonCrime.pdf

The World Bank study is here:

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=303838

A study done by Oxford on income inequality and violence shows a similar result.

http://oep.oxfordjournals.org/content/66/4/1090.full.html

10) GREED CAUSES POLLUTION/DESTRUCTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT
Many corporations put short term profits above people. This causes enormous destruction of the environment and at present studies show that up to 12 million people die due to various kinds of pollution per year. Just a few examples of how much harm it does.

A) Corporations that sold bananas exploited workers in many ways, forcing them to work for terrible wages while at the same time being exposed to toxic chemicals. When they got sick the corporations dumped them for younger workers.

Banana Land: Blood, Bullets and Poison – Top Documentary Films https://topdocumentaryfilms.com/banana-land-blood-bullets-poison/

B) Corporations produced Teflon in America until it was banned for being too toxic. Production of Teflon was then moved overseas to China and other countries where environmental laws are much weaker. In some places in China now, pollution levels are 148,000 times higher than levels considered safe in America.
https://theintercept.com/series/the-teflon-toxin/ https://theintercept.com/2016/09/15/the-teflon-toxin-goes-to-china/

3) People are dumping tons of plastic garbage in our oceans every year. We now have ~5+ trillion pieces of plastic floating in oceans around the planet. This is coming back to hurt people as well in quite a few ways.
There are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in our oceans. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1Cxkm6xP3c

https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/01/150109-oceans-plastic-sea-trash-science-marine-debris/

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0111913

Many animals are dying because of how we use plastic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUM58LIU2Lo

An eloquent young girl talks about how adults have a responsibility to preserve the planet for future generations, but many have not done so very well at all.
https://youtu.be/S-m36mcRHYw

Again, greed is the root of all evil. We’ve got to quit allowing greed to control the policies of our nations, businesses and other institutions in society. Survival and thriving depends on this.

REFERENCES

[1] “Created Equal: How the Bible Broke with Ancient Political Thought” www.amazon.com/Created-Equal-Ancient-Political-Thought/dp/0199832404/ref=pd_luc_wl_01_03_t_lh?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Experiencing how God’s truth energizes life!