On Earth as it is in Heaven Fred Foldvary foldvary.net/works/on-earth.html foldvary.net/works/on-earth.ppt 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 bread. 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 poverty? • 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 served. • 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 community. • 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 nature. 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 heaven.” 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.