Redistributing Other People’s Income Is Not the Way to Help the Poor
Religion & Liberty Online

Redistributing Other People’s Income Is Not the Way to Help the Poor

True help for the poor recognizes that they are people, says J. E. Dyer, not income-levels in a “redistribution” equation.

After many years, we have learned what happens when we seek to “redistribute” income or wealth. The goal of “redistribution” becomes more important than actually helping the poor. The abstract idea of removing income or wealth from some and transferring it to others trumps everything else. Seeking to “redistribute” income or wealth is not, in fact, a very good method of helping the poor; it is better characterized as a method of wielding power and seeking to control outcomes.

Presuming to move around the earnings and assets of other people in this way is not based on any biblical principle. In fact, I believe it has become critical—for Christians, in particular—to acknowledge that God has not commissioned us to stand in this relation to each other. There is no basis in any scriptural concept for the idea of coercing “redistribution” among our fellow men. Instead, scripture is clear that we are not to identify our fellow men as the source of our problems, either individually or collectively.

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Joe Carter

Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).