Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Equality Now!

The Kingdom of Man is like a man who decided to go on a long journey. He called his employees together. To one he gave $30,000, to another he gave $12,000, and to the third he gave $6,000, according to each man's ability. He left immediately.

The one who received the $30,000 opened a small shop where he sold fine jewelry, some of which he made himself. He was honest and hard-working, and soon became known for his service and the quality of his merchandise.

He was often up long hours, studying the trade journals, and reading business reports. He often made wearisome journeys to seek out the best stones and workmanship. He had many sleepless nights. but after some ups and downs his business was successful and provided jobs for thirty people. He provided health insurance for his employees, and set up college scholarships for the children of his employees. He generously provided scholarships for young people from his community, built a new wing for the local hospital, and funded an alcohol and drug addiction center. In spite of all he gave away, his net worth increased.

The one who received the $12,000 used it to begin a repair service for cellular phones. He too worked long hours, sometimes 14 to 18 hours a day. His business was very shaky for a time, but he continued to study, made friends, and improved his skill. Steadily his reputation grew. He guaranteed his work, did repairs on time, and would work overtime to see that the needs of his customers were met. “I work for you,” was the motto that appeared on all his literature, and he worked hard to make it good. After a few years, he too had a successful business and provided jobs for six people. He contributed generously to his church, and helped fund a new Christian elementary school.

He still doubled his net worth. “The Lord has been good to me,” he told one of his friends one evening.

“What can I do with a lousy six grand,” the third complained. “The economic system is unfair. The corrupt rich class has all the advantages, and the system is prejudiced in their favor. Guys like me don't even have a chance. I should have had more than a lousy six thousand dollars. I didn't have a fair deal. How can I be expected to do anything with such a deal. I have been treated unfairly, and I am going to put a stop to it. This is America, and I have a right to economic liberty. I hate the Boss. He is unfair.”

One day he ran across his co-worker, who had received $30,000. “I know how you can invest the $6,000, and get a good return. At least you can put it in the bank and earn interest on it,” the first said.

“I do not know anything about that stuff,” the third replied. “I never had a chance; how should I know? Why should I have to listen to guys like you. You think you are so great. You're such a Righteous One. But it isn't fair. This is a terrible world, and I am going to try to do something about it. You guys are a pain to people like me. This world stinks.”

As a result, he organized Equality Now!, for the purpose of promoting “Justice for All,” as he so often would say. Before long, there were chapters in every state in the United States. “How can we enjoy the American dream,” he said, “when there is so much economic injustice?”

“There are a great many poor and disadvantaged people in this country. The rich are in charge of everything. They do not contribute their fair share to America, but just get richer and richer. Just look at those guys I used to work for. Their profits are immoral, and something ought to be done about it. It just isn't fair.”

There were other restless people who felt as he did. “Why should the rich have everything,” they said. “It isn't fair. People are created equal, and no one should make that much money. Besides, it isn't possible to make that kind of money honestly. There must be something crooked going on. Nobody cares about us, or does anything for us. We demand equal treatment. Besides, we are tired of hearing about hard work and diligence. We need more tolerance for diversity. We want our share of the pie.”

A few preachers spoke out, trying to warn the people of the politics of envy, but nobody paid any attention.

Congress and the President heard the ground-swell coming from the nation, and responded. “People who made these immoral profits over the past years are going to have to pay their fair share,” the President announced to the nation. “We have a new program that will lift the poor out of the cycle of poverty, and put them on the road to economic liberty. It will be paid for by a generous increase in the contributions of those who earn more than $12,000. It is time for them to pay. People have been victimized by the injustice of our system, and it is time that wealth be taken from those who have profited so generously, and given to those who need it so much. I have appointed the founder of Equality Now! to the Cabinet as Secretary of Equality. He will see that people are treated fairly. He knows what it means to be the victim of the rich. We need to construct a just system, so that all can have economic liberty.” He never said anything about the hospital wing or the scholarships.

Far away, the Master said, “How different my kingdom is from theirs. In my kingdom, those that have, receive more; and those that do not have, lose even what they think they have. Men refuse to understand, but soon I will return to reward my faithful servants, and to punish the wicked and the lazy.”

Great darkness descended upon the kingdom, and there was weeping and gnashing of teeth. No one seemed to know why. See Matthew 25:14-30


Note: This parable is only superficially about money.

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