Poverty, Charity, Justice
Faith and Business Conference, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
- Concern the poor is at the heart of Christianity.
- James: Pure Religion is this, to care for the widow and orphan in their distress and keep oneself unstained from the world
- John Chrysostom and St. Augustine on Lazarus: Indifference
- Care for poor not simply charity, but justice
- Charity and Justice must be ordered by reason and oriented to truth
- Charity without truth becomes sentimentality
- Charity must be prudent
- Imprudent charity can increase injustice
- Logos: We need a heart and mind for the poor
Part I: The Dominant Framework of Social Justice and the Response to Poverty
A Global Poverty Industry: “The Social Fact”
End of WWII, break-up of colonialism: Social Engineering was dominant model
We planned the war, now let us plan the peace
- Delay development of Business
- Crony Capitalism
- Subsidize Corruption
- Mistake of Intuition (Daniel Kahneman)
- Zero-Sum Game
- Anthropological Fallacy
- “Naïve Intervensionism” Nassim Nicholas Taleb
NGO’s (Non Governmental Organizations)
- Non-governmental or Para-State?
- Government financed private organizations?
- NGOs can crowd out local business: Enersa
- Haiti: “Republic of NGOs”
- Haiti and Orphans
- New approach with possibilities
- Entrepreneurship is social
- TOMS Shoes
Key Question: How do people in the developing world, in poverty, create prosperity for their families and communities?
Part II: Underlying Philosophical and Theological Problems
Charity v. Humanitarianism
- Charity—Caritas, Agape
- Seeking the good of the other.
- Keeping eternal destiny in focus
Subjects vs. Objects
- Human Persons are not “objects“ of our charity
- Persons are “subjects,” the protagonists of their own development
- Limited, Reductionist way of looking at the world
- Industrialist model of planning
When we understand human beings as created in the image of God it changes everything about the way we understand poverty, missions, and development.
PART III: Inclusion and Justice for the Poor: Poverty and the Institutions of Justice
Infrastructure, Healthcare and Education
- The fallacy of Correlation
Inclusion and the Institutions of Justice
Including brief introduction to the Jewish and Christian sources of the institutions of justice
- Clear Property Title
- Justice in the Courts and Rule of Law
- Freedom of Association
- Open Exchange
When economies become heavily regulated they become dominated by big business, powerful interest groups, and entrenched bureaucracy, the poor get locked out because they lack the political, economic, and social contacts to navigate a bureaucracy dominated by powerful players
- Institutions of Justice do not arise in Vacuum
- Acemoglu and Robinson recognize the importance of institutions but limit and neglect culture
- Christianity has large role to play in helping to build the moral ecology of justice
There will always be poverty and suffering that will require human love. We will always have the need for almsgiving— Economic development alone will not solve all our problems. There will always be poor people who cannot help themselves and need our care. We must care for the widow and the orphan in their distress.
Yet, for majority of the world’s poor—the problem is not one of charity or lack of goods, the problem is the poor lack the institutions of justice that enable them to create prosperity for their families and their communities.