On Earth as it is in Heaven

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.
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