Is Christianity and Capitalism compatible?
The Philippines has an open market economy greatly influenced by the capitalist ideals of the Western world. The capitalist economy promises good life for its hardworking people. As of August 2015, the Philippine government prides itself as one of the fastest growing economy in Asia with a current annual GDP of 5.2% in Q1 and an IMF forecast of growth as high as 6.7%. However, the economic growth is not felt by the common masses as most live in poor condition. The latest SWS survey in the Q1 of 2015 shows 51% of Filipinos perceive themselves as poor. It seems the people that benefited from the growth of the economy are only the rich. The Forbes reported in 2014 that the 50 richest Filipino collectively earned almost half of the Philippine GDP. The 50 richest Pinoys earned $8.45 Billion in 2014 which is 51% of the $16.6 billion earned by the country. Thus the cliche, the rich is getting richer and sadly the poor is becoming poorer.
The question then, how did 85% of the Filipino people who are Christians allow such injustice to take place? Regardless of affiliation, the Roman Catholic and the Protestant church have great influence in the mind and attitudes of the people. The mainline Christian teaching is to help the poor and the needy yet the Filipino people exist in a capitalist economy that seems to do the opposite? Is capitalism incompatible with the Christian teaching or is it being abused? But Jay Richards says that capitalism is the solution. If capitalism rightly drives us to do our best to produce better quality products, be competitive in a setting with equal opportunity to succeed and rid ourselves of poverty; should Christianity then blame the poor for being lazy, not competitive enough and responsible for their poor state?
What do you think?
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