These days capitalism is blamed for many of our economic woes. It’s not just the young people who formed Occupy Wall Street. But most Americans are fed up with executives at giant multinational corporations like Enron, WorldCom, AIG who cheat, lie and steal from workers and shareholders to the tune of billions of dollars.
Maybe we wonder: Is capitalism so great after all? Isn’t capitalism’s focus on profit the reason there’s so much greed? Doesn’t a free market cause the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer? Isn’t inequality of possessions a bad thing?
Of course capitalism isn’t perfect. It isn’t inherently Christian. In fact, we will never have a perfect economy, a perfect government, a perfect world, until Jesus comes again and makes all things new—including our hearts.
And yet the capitalist vision, though imperfect, accounts for man’s depravity and gives government a limited role to provide a check and balance on the greedy abuses of big business. So how do the principles of capitalism line up to biblical principles?