Whelan Research Academy, Owerri Imo state, Nigeria email@example.com
The greatest problem of human society, and root of much social crises, is the lack of a reference natural law for equitable wealth distribution. Jesus Christ’s diagnosis of the key ills of the society of his time and solution prescriptions offer a path to the generation of a reference natural wealth distribution law that is valid for all times. In his Critique of Money (Christian Critique of Money = Parable of the Talent. The unit of money in both Greek and Roman empires was called Talent, like the Dollar is unit currency of today’s world), he noted the inherent, zero-sum, Mathew Effect (systematic, time-wise, transfer of wealth from the poorer to the richer in a money-driven economy). To put the centrality of Jesus’ critique of money in a realistic perspective, one references St Paul’s idea that “Money is the root of All-evil! (Pauline Approximation of Evils; “The love of money is the root of all Evils”; 1 Timothy 6: 10. The Pauline approximation of evils to money is a classic simplifying assumption, for operationalization and easier solution). In other words, to solve society’s money-powered zero-sum wealth distribution problematic is to uproot most evils in the society by the minimization of the role of money in the economy.
In his Triumphal Entry Symbolic Actions, Jesus: i. Used the Procurement of a Colt for Jerusalem journey to teach the Priority of Utility Need over Surplus Utility Possession ii. Used his Jerusalem Entry Majestic Procession to assert Jewish Sovereignty and denounce Roman Imperialism (At the heart of imperialism is the Usufructuary Law; predation-by-sword) and iii. Used Whipping of Temple Money Changers to denounce Usury (At the heart of Usury is Law of Compound Interest; predation-by-guile). Most problems of the world, from ancient times to date, arise from these two Eurasian Predation Laws, working in concert. The spirits Roma and Mammon, acting together continuously, transfer wealth from the poorer to the richer until they, inexorably, would destroy the world.
Jesus Christ, from his teachings and actions as well as reflections of his disciples, understood this phenomenon deeply and worked to avert the inevitable catastrophic end. He encapsulated the solutions in the Lord’s Prayer, which he taught his followers. At a Pauline approximation level, (money is root of all evil), Christians are those who subscribe to the solution prescriptions of the Lord’s Prayer and live by it. Without conscious subscription to the essences of the Lord’s Prayer, one cannot be a follower of Jesus Christ’s teachings…a Christian.
THE LORD’S PRAYER SOLUTION PRESCRIPTIONS AGAINST MONEY-ROOTED EVIL
Within the Lord’s Prayers Jesus prescribed solutions to the diagnosed problems as follows: i. Natural Laws are to be foundational for solutions (Thy Will be done; on Earth, as it is in Heaven) ii. Universal Basic Income (Give us this day our daily bread!) and iii. Universal Debt Forgiveness/Jubilee as imperative generic solution (Forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors). Jesus had lived in Alexandria, Egypt’s main city in the Roman Empire of his time. Alexandria was the city with the highest Jewish population during Roman times (more than Jerusalem). In Alexandria, since the Greek Ptolemy Pharaohs, the Primacy of Natural Laws/Laws of Isis (Iwuala) as mirror of Laws of God/Heavenly Laws (Iwuchukwu) had been taught and venerated. That was the tradition throughout Africa, of which Egypt was a civilizational part (The Roman scholar, Lucius Apuleius, had drawn attention to the universalism of African civilizational devotion to Isis/Mother-Nature):
“The whole world worships this single godhead under a variety of shapes and liturgies and titles … But the peoples on whom the rising sun-god shines with his first rays – eastern and western Ethiopians (Black Africans) and the Egyptians who flourish with their time-honoured learning – worship me with the liturgy that is my own, and call me by my true name, which is Queen Isis”
- Apuleius, The Golden Ass –
Anyone who lived in Africa then, or now, and understood the African worldview (Uwaizu) would most likely frame natural law solutions to the problems he had diagnosed, as Jesus did. The prescriptions of Universal Basic Income and Universal Jubilee are, precisely, the two key solutions that serious socio-economic thinkers, mostly, canvass today, two thousand years after Jesus. They are the solutions that would save the world, which are, ultimately, unavoidable to save the world.
WORLD AND AMERICAN EMPIRICAL DATA THAT VALIDATE MATHEW EFFECT
Two sets of data are presented to argue the subject. One set of data is on World income size distribution from 1820 to 1992. The quintile distribution data was derived from a table compiled by French economists Bourgignon and Morrison. The second set of data is on quintile size distribution in the United States of America from 1970 to 2020. In fact, the American Dollar is to today’s world what Talent was to the Greek and Roman empires, as hegemonic basic unit of money. Both sets of data show, very clearly, the Mathew Effect of zero-sum transfer of wealth over time, from the poorer to the richer segments of society, of the money-powered economy as Jesus had noted.
Economist, JM Keynes, developed a set of empirical rules called Marginal Utility Laws. These laws note that in a market economy (of earnings, consumption, savings, investment and profits), the more people earn above ‘our daily bread’, the less proportion of their extra (the extra is also called marginal, hence ‘marginal utility’) they consume/utilize. Therefore, they save proportionately more, invest more and earn more in the future. Because the ‘rate of savings’ are proportional to the initial ‘extras’/marginal, the ‘Savings’ are in geometric proportion to the
extras. The rate of investment is in geometric proportion to the ‘extras’. Profits/future earnings are in geometric proportion to the ‘extra’, etc.
Compared to someone with two (2) extra talents, one that starts with only one (1) talent hardly grows in future earnings. He might as well have ‘buried’ his one (1) talent. Burying/fixing is one way of expressing what we call ‘constant’ in modern parlance. The Babylonians developed the law of compound interest long before Jesus was born. Therefore, these concepts were known to the learned of his time. This is why the law against Usury was in the Old Testament. This is, also, why the Jubilee law was instituted among the Jews in the Old Testament. Jews are resented for not extending their Jubilee to non-Jews (A key difference between Judaism and Christianity, at a Pauline scale, is that Jesus preached Universal Jubilee). This is why the money-changers who employed these ‘Mammon’ principles, knowing the deleterious implications, were considered sinners.
Without money, imperial Rome would have no effective way of implementing the Usufructuary law on a sustainable, long term and long distance, basis. Imagine if the Romans had just demanded only agriculture produce from people around the empire. Collecting and managing the quantum of Frumentum, as Romans called Grains, would overwhelm them. Money facilitated and facilitates all the manipulations and exploitation of imperialism. The modern world wars have been Imperial/money wars, like in ancient times. This is why Christ, and Christians like St Paul, considered Money the root of evils. The War-on-money is the principal War Jesus fought and the main reason Romans and Jews agreed to crucify him. The Earth is on the verge of physical destruction, because of money (A 4th February, 2022, joint statement by Russia and China to end the hegemony of American dollar in the world is a major cause of current world crises, of which Ukraine is a collateral victim). If the World applied Christian, natural distributive, economics there would be minimum strife.
THE WORLD AND AMERICAN INCOME DISTRIBUTION EXAMPLARS.
Since about 1500 AD, when European imperialism (driven by the Spirits of Roman Usufructuary Law and Babylonian Compound Interest) invaded the world and tripped the World Wealth Distributive Order, wealth has continued to be pumped from the poorer to the richer peoples of the world (Table I).
Table I: Income Shares of World Quintile, Q, Groups: 1820-1992
*Note that the sum of 3 + 5 + 9 + 17 + 65 = 98; that is the sum of the first six members of the sequence described by 2n + 1, minus 33; the factor 0.98 restores this ratio from the 100 percent frame.
Time-wise regression on each of the quintiles from 1820 to 1992 yield the following:
Equation 1. Equation 2. Equation 3. Equation 4. Equation 5.
Because what was tripped is natural system (laws of Earth mirroring laws of heaven) as Jesus implied, which people can perturb but no one can destroy, we can today state confidently how wealth was, approximately, shared in the World in 1500 AD (by working on the numerical artifacts left by the perturbation process): Sn = n + 1; 1 ≤ n ≤ 5, where n are quintiles, in ascending order of wealth holding, of world population grouped in 5 equal groups of 20%. That is to say, in 1500 AD world wealth was shared among five equal groups of population in, roughly, the following percent ratios: 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 or 2: 3: 4: 5: 6.
Today the poorest quintile possess less than 1% and richest quintile monopolizes more than 80%. The slope of the gain in income of the top quintile (0.08) equals the slope of income share loss by the bottom 80% of the population, with sign reversed (-0.08) from 1820-1992. This is a zero-sum distribution (-0.08 + 0.08 = 0.00). The interesting thing is that no powerful agency, such as nation state for nationals, advocates for justice for the peoples of the world as a whole, so the process keeps on rolling on, which is advantageous for scientific analysis.
- This quintile distribution in the United States is similar to that of the whole world (Table II).
Table II: USA QUINTILE SHARES 1970-2000
The data on quintile distribution in the United States of America, engine-driver of the present world economic order, is such that from 1970 to 2020 the share of the top quintile of the population has risen with a slope of 0.19, while the slope of the aggregate loss of income to the rich by the bottom 80% is -0.19. This is, like the whole world, a zero-sum distribution (-0.19 + 0.19 = 0.00). All efforts to roll back the relentless Mathew effect of, systematic and continuous, wealth transfer from the poorer to the richer segments of American society (in spite of ‘welfare’ and other efforts) have been ineffectual to, totally, stop or reverse the pervert process…as Jesus predicted would be the case 2000 years ago. The one who recognized the problem and proffered solutions so long ago deserves a hearing in our benighted age.
A very interesting case is South Africa. People expected the income gap between the haves and have-nots to start closing at the end of apartheid, 1990. Nothing like that happened, and will happen, as long as South Africa economy is money-driven:
“South Africa is the most unequal country in the world, having seen a widening gap between the haves and have-nots since the end of apartheid in 1994, according to the World Bank”. (https://mg.co.za/news/2022-03-10-south-africa-remains-most-unequal- country-world-bank-report-finds/). Therefore, only the kind of solution Jesus proposed exists as true solution.
THE LORD’S PRAYER PRESCRIBED SCIENTIFIC SOLUTIONS TO WORLD INCOME INEQUITY AND ASSOCIATED SOCIAL INSTABILITY
As Jesus Christ articulated in his Critique of Money, known ordinarily as the Parable of Talent, wealth is pumped continuously, and infinitely, from the poorer to the richer in a money- driven economy. This results to social stresses and all kinds of anti-social misbehaviors, tagged sins. This in turn results to general social instability. He identified the two key sources of this phenomenon as the Roman Usufructuary Law and Babylonian Usurious Financial System. Tables I and II contain empirical proof of his surmise. Table III contains theoretical decrease in the Coefficient of Incomes Equity, CE, for the whole World, because of the Mathew effect. The timeframe for this precipitous drop of world equity ties well with the age of European imperialism and colonialism.
Analysis of the available data indicates that ideal distribution occurs when the ratio of the shares of the fifth quintile, SQ5 to the first quintile, SQ1 equals 2.72. That is when SQ5/SQ1
equals the base of natural logarithm. Under this circumstance ln SQ5/SQ1 = ln 2.72 = 1.00. No modern society is known to exhibit at this level of distributive efficiency. Some homogeneous nations, like the Czech Republic, with SQ5/SQ1 of 3.34 and CE of 0.83 come close (https://tradingeconomics.com/sweden/income-quintile-share-ratio-s80-s20- eurostat-data.html). At extreme inequity are, usually, racialized countries like South Africa, with SQ5/SQ1 of 34 and CE of 0.28. Brazil used to compete with South Africa for the most unequal country position. Social justice issues in such countries should not be left to local sovereignties, but internationalized.
Table III: Continuous Decrease in Coefficient of Equity from Mathew Effect
R = SQ5/SQ1
COEFFICIENT OF EQUITY = 1/ln R
1500 9.31 1600 7.78 1700 6.25 1800 4.72 1900 3.17 2000 1.66
The mechanics of the Mathew
clearly irreversible process. The two solution mechanisms proposed by Jesus: i. Systematic provision of Universal Subsistence Income and ii. Universal Debt forgiveness/Jubilee are the obvious best solutions available. Any true Christian should crusade for their implementation to save the world from social disintegration and climate catastrophe.
Seen from Eurasian worldview Jesus Christ is a Great Magi; a great miracle worker. Seen from naturalistic African worldview Jesus is a Great Scientist, whose social science points to the safe road out of current global socio-economic quagmire. There is, clearly, a scientifically manifest, practical, reason why Jesus proposed a Universal Jubilee to cancel all debts across board. There is no avoiding this course of action. With the Mathew effect, spontaneously, transferring wealth from the poorer to the richer who in a money-powered economy is the true creditor? Moreover, who is the true debtor? In a zero-sum economy, the true creditor is, indeed, the poorer. It is the poorer that has his share of the social wealth, continuously and automatically, transferred to the richer person that is indebted. In a Eurasian philosophy dominated world order, clever and distractive, arguments will arise over this. But, like Jesus Christ prescribed, there no way of avoiding a universal debt write-off…a universal jubilee to usher in a new world order in which
31.97 3.43 0.81 40.13 5.16 0.61 48.29 7.73 0.49 56.45 11.96 0.40 64.61 20.25 0.33 72.77 43.84 0.26
effect, as deducible from Keynes marginal utility rules, indicates a
Human laws (Iwuoha) mirror the laws of Nature (Iwuala), which in turn mirror the laws of Heaven (Iwuchukwu).
- Apuleius, Lucius; Walsh, P.G. (Trans), 1994. The Golden Ass. New York: Oxford University Press.
- The Holy Bible.
- Bourguignon and Morrison. The Size distribution of Incomes among World Citizens: 1820-1990.
World Development Report 1992; World Bank and Oxford University Press (http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTPGI/Resources/13243_The_size_distribution_of_income. pdf).
- Bourguignon and Morrison. Distribution of Income Among World Citizens: 1820-1990. The American Economic Review 92 (4): 727-44.
- Osuagwu, CG (2003). Truth and Chaos: Dynamics of Truth Within Igbo Cosmology. African World Communications/Agof Associates Ltd (Publishers), Owerri.
- Osuagwu, CG (2016). African Holistic Worldview Paradigm for Interdisciplinary Climate Change Science. “The 12th International Conference on Dryland Development”, August, 21-24. Library of Alexandria, Egypt.
- Osuagwu, CG (2003). Quantum World Incomes Order and African Poverty. Paper presented at the symposium On “World Economic Order and African Poverty” in honour of Economics Professor E. A. Anyanwu. Owerri, Nigeria, 31 May 2003.
- Osuagwu CG (2014). Obamanomics and economics beyond Cambridge.
- World Bank (1987). World Development Report, 1987; pg. 253. Oxford University Press, New York.