A Parable Re-framed

The economy of a small island off the west coast of Europe yielded unprecedented levels of growth over many years. Whether it was due to the wise decisions of politicians and economists, or the result of exposure to the favourable breezes of economic growth from overseas, nobody really knew, but the impact was startling.

All over the country, landowners divested themselves of the family holdings for huge sums of money. Young families, unable to afford homes nearer their work places, moved to newly built housing estates miles from the centres of population and the road network was improved to facilitate the commute.

On every street corner expensive restaurants and luxury car dealers did a roaring trade. In the cavernous out-of-town shopping centres, queues formed outside the designer-labelled stores and prices soared – even a cup of coffee required a letter from the bank manager.

Taxes were cut and cut again; debt mounted; regulation was eased.

Eat drink and be merry, the commentators said, new times have come.

Meanwhile, waiting lists in hospitals rose, schools crumbled. And when the monstrous recession finally revealed itself, services to the most vulnerable were hit hardest, in an effort to get out of the mess.

You fools, said the international money watchers, now you belong to us.

From Luke 12: 16-20

2 thoughts on “A Parable Re-framed

  1. When will we learn that to pay tax is a privileged way of sharing with those who have less? Pay tax, then hold our governments to account for how it is spent… preferably on equality of opportunity for those who have less, not tax breaks for the rich or bail-outs for the banks.

    Tax is the practice of community, not some communist trick to steal from the rich. But you have to ask, why are the rich so afraid to give it away?

  2. thanks for the comments Cheryl. I guess these views are one expression of how countercultural a message christianity can be.

    By the way, I finished that book you recommended and thought it was fascinating. Must chat

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