The idea that Donald Trump has built an economy that is so beneficial to the average American is flawed. He has built a bubble with tactical moves that temporarily inflate the economy. Like the tech bubble or the real estate bubble, while it is in growth everybody seems happy because it looks good on paper. However the bubble is going to explode, and we will be facing another recession. The average middle class American can lose much of their investment in such a situation. If they have enough resources to ride out the recession until the next bubble starts growing, they may be OK. However, the average middle class American does not have the kind of resources to ride out a deep recession. In this situation, the wealthy, who do have enough resources to ride out an economic downturn of this magnitude buy up the investments that are suddenly very cheap. This drives even more of the wealth to the already wealthy, further pushing the middle class toward poverty. Bubbles and recessions are not accidental. They are intentionally driven to increase wealth of those who are privileged enough to have the resources to ride out the hard times, while buying up the resources of those who do not. Then, we are tasked with bailing out the corporations who inflated the unsustainable bubble in the first place (for those who clutch pearls at the mention of socialism, this is the very issue people decry about corrupt socialist regimes). It is a double hit to the middle class who have lost their investment value AND are forced to bail out the culprits who caused it. Those who were rich enough to buy up the cheap investments have not only cornered a large amount of wealth, but the masses are also paying to make their investments worth something again.
Think about the prodigal son, he demanded his inheritance up front, then lived his life in a luxurious bubble… until it deflated. The money inflating his bubble was not endless. Eventually, his poor decisions caught up and he found himself in a pigsty (his own personal recession). Eventually he went back to his father and brother and was accepted back into the family where he continued to benefit from his father’s resources (he was given something he did not deserve, a corporate bailout, as such). The difference between the prodigal son and what we are seeing now, is that the son saw the error of his ways and repented. He was willing to become a servant in his fathers household. He actually learned something. He did not use his previous experience to once again go out and blow up another bubble to continue parasitically siphon the family’s livelihood.
Many who decry socialist concepts point to corrupt socialist regimes that enriched a few in power at the expense of the powerless. This is the primary argument leveraged by people who argue against socialist ideas. However, there are countries such as Finland, Denmark, etc that have shown this does not have to be the case. Given that under our capitalist system, the same abuses direct the resources primarily to the powerful/wealthy, then that argument that the system is corrupt should apply here as well.
Now, with that said, if Christians are truly going to be honest, the early Christian community was most definitely organized as a socialist-leaning environment. Resources were shared among the community to ensure no one went without. When Ananias and Sapphira tried to put a capitalistic spin while claiming to be fully invested members of the Way (early name for Christianity), they paid a huge price for their theological dishonesty. This was an example of taking God’s name in vain— claiming to be representatives of God while harboring greed.
Prodigal Son: Luke 15:11-32
Ananias and Sapphira: Acts 5