Sunday, May 10, 2009


Capital is an important issue. Economists refer to the plant and equipment that makes work more productive as Capital. There seems to be nothing inherently wrong with Capital. It is has actually allowed made our lives vastly better. I can write better with a computer than my fingers. Shares are just a record of ownership of capital.

The more important question is who should own capital. Most Americans think it should be privately owned. Marx thought it should be publicly owned. So Communism is really state capitalism. The Russian experience shows that state ownership of capital is inefficient. My view is that the scriptures do not explicitly forbid state ownership of capital or private ownership of capital or shared private ownership in companies. Capitalism is just free ownership of capital by whoever produced it.

The more important question is how capital is obtained. It is morally wrong to steal capital. This applies to the state or private individuals. Both have done plenty of steeling capital in their time. The morally correct way to obtain capital is to consume less and save to buy it.

The other important question is what is done with capital. The Bible warns that owning capital is risky, because we can easily slip into trusting it or worshipping it. Capital can be used to control other people. On the other hand, the Bible seems to respect good use of capital. It distinguishes between good and bad use of capital.

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