On Earth as it is in Heaven
Fred Foldvary
In the Lord’s Prayer
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth
as it is in heaven.
What do we seek?
• Give us this day our daily
Our daily bread, how?
Not on a platter brought by an angel,
but by applying our labor
to the natural opportunities
provided by God and nature.
Whose Father?
• Does “Our Father” mean “all
people’s Father”? Equally?
• Or the Father of a privileged few?
• If equally, then why the misery of
• Is the bounty of the earth for all,
or only for some?
Who owns the earth?
• Most of the world’s natural resources
are claimed by a privileged few.
• Oil, water, minerals, and space.
• But are not all children of the Creator
equally entitled to the use of God’s
natural bounty?
The economy of heaven
Scarcity, otherwise no economics.
Sufficient: scarce natural resources:
materials and space, i.e. land.
Conquest? Heaven forbid!
Two ways to gain ownership:
1) Homesteading. 2) Equal benefits.
Tramps? In heaven?
• Homesteading: first come, first
• All the good sites are claimed.
• Later comers pay rent to first comers.
• May buy land, but price keeps rising.
• Tramp beggars – those who cannot
afford to buy or even rent.
Social justice in heaven and earth
• It is not necessary to divide land into
parcels of equal value.
• Benefit of land is the market rent.
• Rent is divisible into equal shares.
• Necessary and sufficient for justice:
• equal ownership of land rent.
Applying equal benefit
• Each landowner pays rent to the
• The rent is distributed in equal shares,
• or finances public goods.
• Mother nature offers to pay for
government, with the rent of land.
• We reject the offer and instead tax labor.
Subsidizing rent and taxing labor
• Public goods generate higher rent and
land value.
• Workers get double billed:
• they pay taxes and also higher rent.
• Big landowners get subsidzed.
• Would God do this in heaven?
• Why do we do this on earth?
Why say the Lord’s Prayer?
• Thy kingdom come, thy will be done!
• Idly phrase those words?
• “We who would pray with effect ...
must work as well as pray!”
Henry George, Thy Kingdom Come.
• Poverty the fault of man, not God or
The remedy for social problems
• Eliminate the cause, rather than just treat
the symptoms and effects.
• Economic justice requires equal selfownership and equal ownership of the
benefits of land.
• If we don’t work for that, it is futile to pray
“Thy will be done, on earth as it is in
How to achieve heaven on earth
• Redistribution stifles and is futile:
the rich get their wealth back from the
rent and land value generated by
public goods.
• Instead, apply Ecclesiastes 5:9,
“the profit of the earth is for all: the
king himself is served by the field.
• Share rent, keep earnings.

On Earth as it is in Heaven