I’ve been thinking about what it means to earn your income recently. We have an economy that makes compensation almost completely independent of any conscious evaluation of how valuable or difficult your work is. I suppose your employer may make such an evaluation, but the variation in how much money your employer gives you is much smaller than the variation based on what job you have.
In some sense, earn just means money your received for doing a job. However, earn can also mean getting something you deserve. So here is my hang up, I think if you earn a nice living, you should be thankful for it. Because, while you earned your salary in a legal sense, in a moral sense you really don’t deserve 10-20 times more income than others working as many hours or as hard.
What do you think? Is it accurate to say that our system of capitalism necessarily means no one should feel that they deserve their income from a moral perspective, and as a result they should respond with thankfulness and charity? Or, is this standard limousine liberal self-loathing?
P.S. I came across some Biblical instructions on lending. As you might expect, one is supposed to loan money with no interest and forgive all debts every seven years. But just as I was about to ponder whether Christians should be picketing pay day loans, I read this: You may charge a foreigner interest, but not a brother Israelite, so that the LORD your God may bless you in everything you put your hand to in the land you are entering to possess. Deut. 23:20. Ug.