A Biblical Approach to Economics
Joey Engle (’20) drafted his oration on capitalism as a Junior at Dayspring Christian Academy. Joey was a finalist in Dayspring Christian Academy’s Headmaster’s Oration Competition in 2018 and presented his oration at our annual Remember America Speaker Series in 2019.
Capitalism is an economic system that has functioned efficiently throughout the course of history. According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, capitalism is “an economic system based on private ownership of property and business, with the goal of making the greatest possible profits for the owners.” Meaning that instead of the government controlling production and citizens’ wages, the responsibility is on the private companies to produce goods and pay their employees. Many believe that socialism is a superior system to a free-market since a government-controlled economy shrinks the overall wage gap, which effectively prevents greed and treats the disabled more fairly. This economic model fails to produce its favored outcome, meaning capitalism is the best model for an economic system because it fulfills God’s plan of individuality, keeps people motivated, and it has proven to be successful.
Capitalism (or a free market) promotes the principle of individuality, which God instilled in each person. God created each person unique and gave each one special talents to use to bring Him glory. James B. Rose, author of the book, A Guide to American Christian Education for the Home and School: The Principle Approach, states, “God being the source of all power, His power flows into society through the individual. This gives each individual an independent value.” A nation with its foundations set in God’s Word should focus on the worth of each person through Christ, meaning a citizen’s contribution should be personalized, valued, and rewarded as an individual contribution, not as part of the whole. Some people argue that socialism is a more effective system because it helps provide “fair wages” for the poor and impaired citizens. God instructed Christians, however, to aid and assist those in need. For instance, Proverbs 19.17 states, “Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done” (New International Version). A free market system allows us the freedom to aid the less fortunate, which enables them to see the work of Christ in our lives.
A capitalist society provides the ultimate economic system because it generates motivation. This economy rewards a person based on the amount of work he pours into a business. The harder one works, the more likely he will receive higher wages. This incentive motivates people, creating a field of thriving competition in which products will improve in an attempt to outdo other businesses within that specific market. Economic opposition ultimately benefits the lives of all who are part of the system because quality products are made for a reasonable price. Rose correlates biblical ideas with the system of capitalism by explaining, “God gives His sanction to the free market, under which wages rise as high as possible without creating unemployment.” The Lord approves a free market system where citizens reap the highest pay without negatively effecting the economy or themselves.
In addition, capitalism is the best economic system because it prevents laziness. In a socialistic economy where everyone earns a set amount of money, people can thrive by living on others’ hard work without putting in any effort, resulting in a hurting economy. Conversely, in a system where the individual benefits from his own work, many more people are concerned about maintaining their own well-being by working harder. Some people, however, believe that capitalism provokes greed and business owners take advantage of their employees, yet, in a free-market economy, the worker gets to decide where he is to be employed, thus allowing him to choose the company which treats him respectfully. Freedom of choice hurts the corporations that treat their employees worse than their rival companies, providing incentive for the companies to indulge their workers with noble benefits. A free-market economy invites thriving competition, which eventually benefits the entire population.
History proves that capitalism in the most successful economic system. For example, in the 1970s and early 1980s, the Japanese economy boomed as a result of capitalism. After World War II, Japan had very little remaining infrastructure, so the U.S. installed a capitalist economy to rebuild Japan. This system not only revived Japan, it propelled the nation to the top economy in Asia. Japanese businesses compensated their employees well, and the efficient pay system made the companies competitive among themselves, thus increasing the quality of the products without drastically raising the price.
On the contrary, socialism was detrimental to several countries over the course of history, especially to the Soviet Union in the mid-1900s. The land, paychecks and price of goods were all owned and controlled by the Soviet government. Therefore, motivation was lacking, resulting in lower quality products. The standard of life in turn deteriorated, which led to the demise of the whole economic system by the early 1990s. History has proven that a capitalist economy are more effective than socialism.
Capitalism is the greatest economic system, because it correlates with God’s plan of individuality, provides motivation for the workers, and has proven successful in the past. As Americans, it is crucial that we maintain our free-market economy for future generations so that they may continue to enjoy freedom that the Lord sanctioned for us.
At Dayspring Christian Academy, we are committed to raising up the next generation of Christian leaders who acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus Christ in every area of life, demonstrate a biblical worldview, become citizens of excellence in Christian character and scholarship, and aid in the restoration of America’s biblical foundation. If you would like to learn more about Dayspring Christian Academy, please contact Karol Hasting at 717-285-2000 or schedule a private tour using the button below.