life-is-unfair

The stated of goal of most progressives is equality. To them the greatest injustice in the world is for inequality to exist between people. That is why they complain about things such as “white privilege” and discrimination. According to progressives these things point to the rampant injustice that exists in this world.

It is not hard to find inequality in life. For example, what I am paid as a pastor is much more than a pastor serving a small church, even though the smaller church pastor, with fewer volunteers and no assistant, has to put in much more time than I do.

Or consider the fact that often the highest paid player on an NFL team is the quarterback, but his success often depends on players getting paid millions of dollars less.

Then there is the reality that a person born in the United States has a greater privilege and a better chance at success than a person born in Liberia.

Inequality is all around us and comes in different forms. It is a reality of life. Yet, are these things really unjust? Is the inequality that exists in this world evidence of injustice?

Ludwig von Mises wrote:

“If we reach the conclusion that only private ownership of the means of production [capitalism] makes possible the prosperous development of human society, it is clear that this is tantamount to saying that private property is not a privilege of the property owner, but a social institution for the good and benefit of all, even though it may at the same time be especially agreeable and advantageous to some.”(Liberalism: The Classical Tradition; p. 11)

The point I want to draw from the above quote is: “private property is not a privilege of the property owner, but a social institution for the good and benefit of all.” In other words;  Life is unfair, but that doesn’t make life unjust. The reality of private property will make life unfair, but the existence of private property is a benefit to everyone.

In Matthew 20:1-16 we read a parable Jesus told about a vineyard owner. This man was wealthy and owned a large vineyard. This enabled him to hire workers to bring in the harvest.

Now who do you think worked the hardest to bring in the harvest?

Without a doubt it was the workers who were hired for the harvest. They labored during the heat of the day while the owner made numerous trips into town. Though the hired workers worked the hardest, it was the vineyard owner who received the biggest benefit. This reality didn’t make things unjust even though it feels unfair. It was the vineyard owner who risked his wealth, put his land into production, and by doing so he benefited the workers as well as the surrounding community. A benefit they would not have had if the land remained unused.

It is easy to label the unfairness and inequality of the world as injustice, but the truth is that unfairness and inequality are part of life. True injustice is the result of unequal treatment from the law.

An example of injustice is seen in this video:

It is an injustice that it takes the poor 289 days to start a business while it takes the rich less than a week in Peru. Injustice is what happens when government favors one segment of society over another. It is this favoritism in government that God hates and that we should fight against, rather than the unequal distribution of wealth and privelege.

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