The transfer of wealth is a phrase that has been pounded into our sub-conscience by the political class. We are constantly reminded of the evils of any system that tries to effect such a transfer. Rather, we are encouraged to cast our vote for a candidate who can create enough wealth for all of us. But can anyone really create wealth? Is there ever a candidate that is truly for change?
The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. – Ecclesiastes 1:9
The rich cannot create wealth, it’s a myth
One night I sat down and listened to a presidential debate. Each politician was jostling to position himself as the best candidate for the office of the president of the USA. The candidates attempted to convince the audience that they were better than the others at creating jobs, wealth and prosperity.
One candidate even reaffirmed his conviction about capitalism in contrast to the ‘socialism’ of the opposing party. There was something about the way he said it that kept me wondering about the subject of economics.
Then a thought struck me. No man creates wealth, it’s only transferred from one person to another or from one reservoir to another.
The act of creation is a divine act regardless of what is being created; man can only remodel that which already exists or apply a previous model to a present situation. Regardless of the field of specialty, nothing we do today is really new, every idea we have today has been proposed before at some point.
There is no novelty in science
There was a day when I was watching a science documentary. I was shocked that ideas that have revolutionized our world systems today had been in use by ancient civilizations. The heliocentric planetary system had been proposed a couple of centuries before Copernicus. Even our modern weapons of war had been utilized in their rudimentary forms by previous empires. All we have done is to improve ideas that already had been developed by ancient cultures.
The preacher writes
The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. – Ecclesiastes 1:9
There is really nothing new even in economics; we simply repackage old systems into new models.
World economic transfer of wealth systems
All the economic systems of the world are hinged on the principles of wealth transfer. The differences between the various financial systems in the world is in who receives the transfer.
Under the socialist types of governments, the wealth of the nation is spread out wide among the populace through such means as welfare, regulated wages, taxes and prices. The transfer of wealth is broadly to the general populace.
In a true capitalist system of government however, the wealth is sequestered among autocrats and bureaucrats; the transfer of wealth is mainly to corporations and their allies. Under such a system, the rich get richer, and the poor poorer.
There was a time when wealth was even transferred from the third world and slavery boomed; the richest men were those with big plantations and many slaves. The richest nations were those with the greatest armies, slaves and the means to transport the goods from conquered lands.
Global wealth is already Sequestered
Today however, people in the developed world or emerging markets own most riches on the earth. Anyone eager to annex the wealth must create a market to legally do so since wars are no longer well tolerated (even if you are a superpower).
Consider the 2008 stock market crash, where did all those trillions go? Wealth does not disappear into thin air. Here is the truth, the value of the stocks were already greatly inflated. The seller had made a large chunk of money from the buyer during the sale of the overvalued stocks. When the market eventually crashed, the stocks simply returned to their real value. The buyer lost money while the seller gained that which the buyer(s) lost. Wealth had been transferred from the buyer to the seller.
The problem most people had was that we calculated our net worth based on the overvalued stocks and consequently lived a lifestyle commensurate with this artificial estimate. When the market crashed and we saw our true worth, it was impossible for many to adjust. It was the greatest transfer of wealth since the slave trade era; a great scheme transferring wealth from the base to the top.
The Transfer of wealth during market crashes
The governments of the USA, China and some European countries began a financial stimulus after the 2008 market crash. The reason was explained as some corporations being too big to fail. What was not explained was that the stimulus was merely a transfer of public wealth into state ponzi schemes. They moved our paid taxes into the rich man’s casino to compensate for the crash.
In essence, even those among us who did not believe in the stock market were forced to make contributions. This contribution was made on our behalf by our governments through the stimulus package. This is regardless of any money we lost in the actual crash. In exchange, we got cuts to education and other social welfare funds.
The rich? Well, they got more money to eat up and share as executive bonuses. Now, the stock market is even more overvalued than it was in 2008.
Market crashes profit only the super rich
Have you wondered why most billionaires barely suffered any loss during the recent market crash? Many actually made profit, and most immediately went back into the market to buy up the now very cheap stocks. They even have stocks that increase in value as the financial markets tank. They call them bears, I guess that is because the general population gets mauled in a bear market.
A few fund managers were caught and prosecuted for running ponzi schemes, but most people suspect they were simply scapegoats to pacify the people. Does this mean we should not invest in the market? Unfortunately, we do not have many alternatives so we still have to invest there. We should be however aware that when we put money somewhere, we may make profit, but we may lose everything. If our money continues to increase without us doing anything, it may very well be a sort of wealth transfer or another. The profit has to be coming from someone or somewhere.
There are Ponzi schemes everywhere
It is interesting to note that many business plans are simply ponzi schemes. These schemes work by getting new people in who contribute money that goes to people who entered the scheme earlier. The new entrants then cash out when new members join and contribute into the scheme. These schemes are also refered to as Pyramid schemes due to its profile of a broad contributing base and a small number cashing out at the top.
Many of us think we are too smart to fall for such a scheme. Well, do you have a retirement account? That is a ponzi scheme. All the pension plans in all countries are primarily ponzi schemes regardless of how sweet they make it sound. They all rely on a new generation to contribute to sustain the ageing one. Hence the surge in immigration into countries like Germany where people just aren’t having enough children. Immigration is usually presented as a means to increase labor force to come to par with the overall population. The future would otherwise be unsustainable for the country without the increased labor force.
Wars are waged exclusively for transfer of wealth
Every war that has ever been waged on this planet has always been primarily about the transfer of wealth. There may be a secondary reason such as an insult to a foreign ruler, a terrorist act or even religion. The primary reason becomes evident by the genocide and looting that almost always follows these wars. Consequently, every nation with the exception of a very few devote a substantial proportion of their revenue to build powerful armies. These armies have the purpose of defending state wealth and sometimes to seize the wealth of others.
The annexation of foreign territory and its riches has been the domain of every empire that ever was. It is the sole reason that men build empires. There has always been a need to confiscate foreign wealth (since we can create none). It is the motivation for expansion of nations and the root cause of crime and violence in the world. This driving need is itself fed by the love of money which is the root of all evil (1Timothy 6:10). The love of money (wealth) works in direct conflict with the love of God. You cannot love both, you must hate one. We cannot love the creation more than the creator for whoever we love, him will we serve. Do not love money, but love God, do not serve mammon, serve God (Mathew 6:24).
The myth of the wealthiest generation
We have probably heard that we are the wealthiest generation in human history. I personally disagree, we have always been wealthy, we just didn’t know how much we were worth. The resources we brag about today have always been there; we just did not know what they were useful for. We become wealthy because riches were transferred to us from someone or somewhere else. That is the whole point of marketing and sales. When we make money selling a product, the money doesn’t come from thin air. It came from the buyer of our product. Our wealth acquired through pharmaceuticals is at the expense of the people who use our medication or their insurer.
Only God creates wealth, not the rich
Do you know where wealth originally came from? God created it on day one in the first chapter of the book of Genesis.
O Lord, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches. – Psalms 104:24
The riches are His, and in Exodus 19:5, God tells Moses; “for all the earth is mine”. As men, we are often pressured into expecting our blessings and livelihood to come from wealthy patrons rather than God. We endow the wealthy with god-like status and spend our lives in their service as a means to acquire promotion. Hence we become susceptible to the fear of men in contrast to the fear of God as our source of sustenance.
For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.- Psalm 75:6-7
Note this passage omits the north, because north is pointing to where the city of the great King lies (Psalm 48:2). He alone has the power to lift and put down. We are not to look to any man for our promotion because only God above can promote.
Men are only vessels used by God
Sure, we need men (or women) to sign the papers. But unless God fights for you, your promotion will not come through. Unless God builds a house, the builders labor in vain; except He watch a city, the watchmen wake in vain (Psalm 127:1). So do not be men pleasers. Rather, do everything with all your heart, mind and strength (Ephesians 6:6, Colossians 3:22) in the fear of God and He will lift you up. Dear friends how liberating is it to know that only God (not man) can promote one and set down another.
Different types of wealth, one source for all
In today’s world economics, riches can broadly be divided into three categories. Firstly, there are the natural resources such as oil, gold, silver etc. The second group are products made from natural resources such as agricultural, pharmaceutical, energy, biotechnology etc. Lastly, there are the services that utilize natural resources (utilities, banking etc.). Regardless of whichever way you choose to look at wealth, you still come back to the same source; earth. Everything depends on products from the earth. Trees are used for paper, and pharmaceutical products are extracted from plants. Computers need silicon and silicon makes up about 25.7% of the earths crust.
Buildings need steel, gravel and concrete, they all come from the ground. They were not just created when we extracted them. They have always been there, in the past we were either unaware of their value, or they belonged to someone else. The only real wealth in the world is the earth on which we stand.
Seek first the Kingdom, not the transfer of wealth
We are admonished to serve God and seek His kingdom and righteousness first. Every other thing is secondary. Let me be clear, I don’t think God wants us all to quit college for the mission field. He can of course call specific individuals for such a task. Do not give up your source of income and then wait for a calling because you will simply starve.
If you do not work, do not expect to eat (2Thessalonians 3:10). Remember the disciples? When Yahshua called them, they were busy fishing, mending nets or being tax collectors; they were not lazy or idle men. Do not be lazy, God hates laziness; rather work hard that you may provide not just for your family, but for others too.
In Ephesians 4:28, we are encouraged to stop stealing but to work hard to provide for the needy. We may argue that this passage was written to discourage Christians from stealing. I’ll put it in a simpler way, every time you collect your salary for doing a job you knowingly executed poorly or taking credit for other peoples work, you are stealing. Every time we download or stream music and videos online on pirated networks, we are stealing from the original artist.
God is the true source of our prosperity
If we do things half-heartedly, God is not bound to prosper us. All the works of our hands should be as unto the Lord (Psalm 62:12). Since God owns the riches of this world, he can transfer to us all that we need. He only requires that we fulfill the basic requirements He sets for us (Deuteronomy 28:11-13, Proverbs 13:11). He will give us goods in abundance, he will bless the fruit of our body; our children will be safe and secure. He will bless the our cattle and ground; we will not experience famine in any form nor go hungry.
God can provide food for the hungry
There was a time in college when I was praying and studying the word in my room. I grew hungry and then remembered that I did not have food or money in the house. I cannot remember what I was praying about, but it was too important to stop. So, I took half a minute to thank God that I did not have food and that I would not go hungry. I went back to my initial prayer point and continued from where I had stopped.
A few hours later, there was a knock on my door and my father showed up. Apparently there was a small argument at home a few hours earlier. At the time, cell phones weren’t readily available in the city, so he crossed state lines to see me. What was the argument about? They heard a report about an accident the last time I left home. Since they had not seen or heard from me, they became worried. They just had this pressing need to make contact and see me. Naturally, they came with lots of food and money so I did not have to cook for some time. I never told them about my prayer a couple of hours earlier, but I knew why they really came even if they did not.
God can create a job for the unemployed
On another occasion, I fulfilled a contract and returned home to my family. On my first day back, an ex-schoolmate came to my house before leaving his job and moving abroad. It was a high paying job that needed a honest Christian to manage a firm with links to several multinational companies. He wanted to know if I was interested in managing the place. I told him I just came back and could run the place if they could give me a couple of days to rest and catch up with the family. They agreed.
So three days after I returned, I started a new job without having to do a job search. God had already prepared it for me while I was hundreds of kilometers away.
The Word of God makes it clear that God is able to meet our needs, he is our provider. The lion and its cub may suffer hunger, but God will provide for his own that trust in him even if he has to send ravens to feed us (1Kings 17:6).
He never forsakes the righteous
In Psalm 37:25, the psalmist writes; I was young, now I am old and in all that time, I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging bread.
Perhaps your present need may not be food or a job. Whatever it is, God is able to take care of it. Follow the rules of the kingdom, love God and honor Him and he will see to it that you are not forsaken. In His name, you will leave an inheritance for your seed. He will open to you His good treasures and the heavens will give you rain in season. He will bless the work of your hand and you will be a lender, not a borrower. No matter how many stock market crashes there are, you will stand strong. The Lord will transfer the wealth of the heathen to you (Proverbs 13:22, Ecclesiastes 5:19). He will cause the works of your hand to prosper.