I posted a column this morning at the Cypress Times explaining why I so often come down on the side of ‘capitalism.’ In this essay, I’d like discuss what I really believe the relationship between capitalism and Christianity is, and if anyone likes what I have to say, you can make up for my loss …
The headline I read today was “New charge on dinner tab is in bad taste.” The opening paragraphs seemed to set the stage for the article:
Nothing succeeds in the travel industry like a bad idea. The latest hidden mandatory add-on is a “health” charge added to restaurant bills. As far as I know, this scam cropped up first in San Francisco, but you can count on it to spread.
The rationale for this one is to cover the employers’ mandatory contribution to the City’s “Healthy San Francisco” health-coverage system. The charge actually is levied on employers, but at least some restaurants are adding a few dollars or percentage points to each customer’s bill to cover this charge.
For example, consider a family with children that would prefer to have the mother stay home to care for those children. Unfortunately, the income isn’t there to support it, and so the mother has to get a full or part time job. Thus, this family becomes enslaved to a societal structure that makes it difficult to act on the principles and priorities they believe. Ah- but upon further examination, the income is there to support it. When we look at the pay stub, thousands of dollars, every month, are being automatically withdrawn by the state and federal government for taxes and social security.
Put this money back into the hands of this family and suddenly it is possible, even easy, to have one of the spouses stay home.
This example is meant to illustrate the principle that taxation has a direct impact on freedom. As Christians, we should not be indifferent to the effect that governmental policies have on individual groups.
But it is the nature of the human beast that after enough time has passed- 20 years will do, but in today’s media saturated 24/7 news cycle apparently 20 minutes will do, as well- the things of the past are just that, the things of the past. “Those things won’t happen again.” “Things are different today.” “We’d never let that happen again.” “We are smarter today.”
This, I’m afraid, is all wishful thinking. Very dangerous wishful thinking. Under the cover of this mentality the principles of old are allowed ever deeper reach into the operations of free societies. But God cannot be mocked. If you plant a corn seed you will get a corn plant. If you plant these principles you will reap their fruit. You may delay it a little while or change its expression, that’s all.