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selling your soul
... for a pair of flip-flops
flip flops?
A story
about a
wedding
reception
“You’ve had the
bad fortune of
being placed at
a table of PhD
economists.”
“What can you tell me
about addressing global
poverty?”
The key, it
 turns out,
      is ...
TAXES.
“You must create
an upward spiral
which depends on
a thriving justice
system. And
justice isn’t
cheap.”
“When people pay taxes,
that helps fund
infrastructure - including
legal infrastructure, which
makes lasting prosperity
possible.”
So taxes
 are more
important
than most
  people
  realize.
8 Millennium Development Goals:
     1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.
     2. Achieve universal primary education.
                The Human
                                    Conventional View

                                God created the world as perfect,
                                                                        Emerging View

                                                                        God created the world as good, but


     3. Promote gender equality and empower
                Situation: What but because our primal                  human beings – as individuals, and as
                is the story that
                                ancestors, Adam and Eve, did            groups – have rebelled against God and
                we find         not maintain the absolute               filled the world with evil and injustice
                ourselves in?   perfection demanded by God,             like a terrible disease. God wants to save
                                God has irrevocably determined          humanity and heal it from its sickness,
                                that the entire universe and all it     but humanity is hopelessly lost and


     women.                     contains will be destroyed, and
                                the souls of all human beings –
                                except for those specifically
                                exempted – will be forever
                                punished for their imperfection
                                                                        confused, like sheep without a shepherd,
                                                                        wandering farther and farther into
                                                                        lostness and danger. Left to themselves,
                                                                        human beings will spiral downward in
                                                                        sickness and evil.



     4. Reduce child mortality.
                                in hell.1
                Basic           Since everyone is doomed to             Since the human race is in such desperate
                Questions: What hell, Jesus seeks to answer these       trouble, Jesus seeks to answer this
                questions did   questions: how can individuals          question: what must be done about the
                Jesus come to   be saved from eternal                   mess we’re in? The mess refers both to
                answer?         punishment in hell and instead          the general human condition and its


     5. Improve maternal health.
                Jesus’ message:
                                go to heaven after they die? How
                                can God help individuals be
                                happy and successful until then?

                                    Jesus says, in essence, “If you
                                                                        specific outworking among his
                                                                        contemporaries: living under domination
                                                                        by the Roman empire, and divided into
                                                                        various competing sects.
                                                                        Jesus says, in essence, “Other people and



     6. Combat HIV/AIDs, malaria, and other
                How did Jesus       want to be among those              groups – including your own religious
                respond to the      specifically qualified to escape    leaders - are leading you farther and
                crisis?             being forever punished for your     farther astray. I have been sent by God
                                    sins in hell, you must repent of    with this good news – that God loves
                                    your individual sins and believe    humanity, even in its lostness and sin.
                                    that my Father punished me on       God graciously invites everyone and


     diseases.                      the cross so He won’t have to
                                    punish you in hell. Only if you
                                    believe this will you go to
                                    heaven when everyone else is
                                    banished to hell.”2 This is the
                                                                        anyone to question and reject what they
                                                                        have been told and instead follow a new
                                                                        path. Trust me and become my disciple,
                                                                        and you will be transformed, and you will
                                                                        participate in the transformation of the



     7. Ensure environmental sustainability.
                                    good news.                          world, which is possible, beginning right
                                                                        now.”3 This is the good news.

                1
                  Of course, there are many modern western non-religious ontologies and framing stories too,
                plus Eastern ontologies and framing stories – both religious and irreligious.



     8. Develop a global partnership for
                2
                  This reflects a Calvinistic Evangelical protestant version of the message. The popular Roman
                Catholic version might say, “You must believe in the teachings of the church and follow its
                instructions, especially those regarding sacraments.” The popular mainline or liberal Protestant




     development
NEEDED:
  a theology of taxes (and
     capitalism in general)
Societal Machine
Machine: a
complex tool
                      Prosperity
 fashioned to
    achieve a
       desire.
                 Societal Machine
Prosperity



              Security

Societal Machine
Prosperity



Equity      Security

Societal Machine
Prosperity



                Equity      Security

                Societal Machine


The Ecosystem
Heat



Solar Energy
                              Prosperity

               Resources
                                                  Waste
                           Equity      Security

                           Societal Machine


         The Ecosystem
Heat



  Solar Energy
                            Prosperity




Resources                                                  Waste

                 Equity
                                         Security
                   Societal Machine

                  The Ecosystem
Heat



       Solar Energy
                                 Prosperity



                                                                Waste
    Resources

                      Equity
                                              Security
                        Societal Machine

Our Equity Systems are under-developed, corrupted,
dysfunctional, or dominated by political and financial
powers.
Heat



       Solar Energy
                                      Prosperity

                      Resources
                                                          Waste
                                   Equity      Security

                                  Societal Machine


                The Ecosystem


Tax reform is essential to a healthy, balanced equity system
- transparency, wise policy, progressive rates, values.
What do
flip flops
 have to
 do with
   this?
Heat



Solar Energy
                              Prosperity

               Resources
                                                  Waste
                           Equity      Security

                           Societal Machine


         The Ecosystem



                           Framing Story
Heat



      Solar Energy
                                     Prosperity

                     Resources
                                                         Waste
                                  Equity      Security

                                 Societal Machine

The Failure of the World’s Religions
to provide a framing story capable of
healing the societal machine - i.e.        Framing Story
Good News.
Prosperity: guided by the
 common good, shalom.
Security: “if only you knew
 what makes for peace.”
Equity: Just and wise tax
 policy to support
 sustainable shared
 prosperity and security.
What do
flip flops
 have to
 do with
   this?
Hear this, you that trample on
 the needy, and bring to ruin
 the poor of the land, saying,
 ‘When will the new moon be
 over so that we may sell
 grain;
 and the sabbath, so that we
 may offer wheat for sale?
                       - Amos 8
We will make the ephah
 small and the shekel
 great, and practise deceit
 with false balances,
 buying the poor for silver
 and the needy for a pair
 of sandals (flip flops),
 and selling the sweepings
 of the wheat.’
                    -Amos 8
Buying the
 poor and
 needy for
  a pair of
 flip flops?
The Lord’s Prayer


1. Our Father above us
 and all around us …

2. May Your unspeakable
 Name be revered.
3. Now, here on earth
 may Your
 commonwealth come.

4. On earth as in
 heaven may Your will
 be done.
5. Give us today our
 bread for today.

4. Forgive us our
 debts* as we forgive.
3. Lead us away from
 the perilous trial.

2. Liberate us from the
 evil.
1.For the kingdom is
 yours and yours alone.
2. The power is yours and
 yours alone.
3.The glory is yours and
 yours alone.
4.Now and forever, amen.
5. Now, here on earth may your
  commonwealth come.
4. Here on earth may your
  dreams come true.
3. Hallelujah
2. Hallelujah
1. Amen.
What do
flip flops
 have to
 do with
   this?
Paul Stiglitz: Of the 1%, By the 1%, and For the 1%


Americans have been watching protests against oppressive
regimes that concentrate massive wealth in the hands of an
elite few. Yet in our own democracy, 1 percent of the people
take nearly a quarter of the nation’s income—an inequality
even the wealthy will come to regret.


The top 1 percent may have the best houses,
educations, and lifestyles, says the author, but “their
fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live.”
It’s no use pretending that what has obviously happened has not in fact
happened. The upper 1 percent of Americans are now taking in nearly a
quarter of the nation’s income every year. In terms of wealth rather than
income, the top 1 percent control 40 percent. Their lot in life has
improved considerably. Twenty-five years ago, the corresponding figures
were 12 percent and 33 percent. One response might be to celebrate the
ingenuity and drive that brought good fortune to these people, and to
contend that a rising tide lifts all boats. That response would be
misguided. While the top 1 percent have seen their incomes rise 18
percent over the past decade, those in the middle have actually seen
their incomes fall. For men with only high-school degrees, the decline
has been precipitous—12 percent in the last quarter-century alone. All
the growth in recent decades—and more—has gone to those at the top.
In terms of income equality, America lags behind any country in the old,
ossified Europe that President George W. Bush used to deride. Among
our closest counterparts are Russia with its oligarchs and Iran. While
many of the old centers of inequality in Latin America, such as Brazil,
have been striving in recent years, rather successfully, to improve the
plight of the poor and reduce gaps in income, America has allowed
inequality to grow.
It’s no use pretending that what has obviously
happened has not in fact happened. The upper 1
percent of Americans are now taking in nearly a
quarter of the nation’s income every year. In
terms of wealth rather than income, the top 1
percent control 40 percent. Their lot in life has
improved considerably. Twenty-five years ago,
the corresponding figures were 12 percent and
33 percent. One response might be to celebrate
the ingenuity and drive that brought good
fortune to these people, and to contend that a
rising tide lifts all boats. That response would be
misguided.
While the top 1 percent have seen their incomes rise
18 percent over the past decade, those in the middle
have actually seen their incomes fall. For men with
only high-school degrees, the decline has been
precipitous—12 percent in the last quarter-century
alone. All the growth in recent decades—and more
—has gone to those at the top. In terms of income
equality, America lags behind any country in the
old, ossified Europe that President George W. Bush
used to deride. Among our closest counterparts are
Russia with its oligarchs and Iran. While many of
the old centers of inequality in Latin America, such
as Brazil, have been striving in recent years, rather
successfully, to improve the plight of the poor and
reduce gaps in income, America has allowed
inequality to grow.
... a modern economy requires “collective
action”—it needs government to invest in
infrastructure, education, and technology. The
United States and the world have benefited
greatly from government-sponsored research
that led to the Internet, to advances in public
health, and so on. But America has long suffered
from an under-investment in infrastructure
(look at the condition of our highways and
bridges, our railroads and airports), in basic
research, and in education at all levels. Further
cutbacks in these areas lie ahead.
... when a society’s wealth distribution becomes
lopsided ... The more divided a society becomes in
terms of wealth, the more reluctant the wealthy become
to spend money on common needs. The rich don’t need
to rely on government for parks or education or medical
care or personal security—they can buy all these things
for themselves. In the process, they become more
distant from ordinary people, losing whatever empathy
they may once have had. They also worry about strong
government—one that could use its powers to adjust
the balance, take some of their wealth, and invest it for
the common good. The top 1 percent may complain
about the kind of government we have in America, but
in truth they like it just fine: too gridlocked to re-
distribute, too divided to do anything but lower taxes.
The top 1 percent have the best
houses, the best educations, the best
doctors, and the best lifestyles, but
there is one thing that money doesn’t
seem to have bought: an
understanding that their fate is
bound up with how the other 99
percent live. Throughout history, this
is something that the top 1 percent
eventually do learn. Too late.
What do
flip flops
 have to
 do with
   this?
Mark 14:7
The poor you will always have
with you...
Jesus is quoting Deuteronomy 15:
Every seventh year you shall grant a
remission of debts. 2And this is the
manner of the remission: every creditor
shall remit the claim that is held against a
neighbour, not exacting it from a
neighbour who is a member of the
community, because the Lord’s remission
has been proclaimed. 3From a foreigner
you may exact it, but you must remit
your claim on whatever any member of
your community owes you.
4
•     There will, however, be no one in need
    among you, because the Lord is sure to
    bless you in the land that the Lord your
    God is giving you as a possession to
    occupy, 5if only you will obey the Lord
    your God by diligently observing this
    entire commandment that I command
    you today. 6When the Lord your God
    has blessed you, as he promised you,
    you will lend to many nations, but you
    will not borrow; you will rule over many
    nations, but they will not rule over you.

                                        47
• 7 If there is among you anyone in need, a
  member of your community in any of your
  towns within the land that the Lord you God
  is giving you, do not be hard-hearted or
  tight-fisted towards your needy neighbour.
  8
   You should rather open your hand, willingly
  lending enough to meet the need, whatever
  it may be. 9Be careful that you do not
  entertain a mean thought, thinking, ‘The
  seventh year, the year of remission, is near’,
  and therefore view your needy neighbour
  with hostility and give nothing; your
  neighbour might cry to the Lord against you,
  and you would incur guilt.

                                          48
•   10Give  liberally and be
    ungrudging when you do so,
    for on this account the Lord
    your God will bless you in all
    your work and in all that you
    undertake. 11Since there will
    never cease to be some in
    need on the earth, I therefore
    command you, ‘Open your
    hand to the poor and needy
    neighbour in your land.’
                               49
•

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Greenbelt flip flops

  • 1. selling your soul ... for a pair of flip-flops
  • 4. “You’ve had the bad fortune of being placed at a table of PhD economists.”
  • 5. “What can you tell me about addressing global poverty?”
  • 6. The key, it turns out, is ...
  • 8. “You must create an upward spiral which depends on a thriving justice system. And justice isn’t cheap.”
  • 9. “When people pay taxes, that helps fund infrastructure - including legal infrastructure, which makes lasting prosperity possible.”
  • 10. So taxes are more important than most people realize.
  • 11. 8 Millennium Development Goals: 1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. 2. Achieve universal primary education. The Human Conventional View God created the world as perfect, Emerging View God created the world as good, but 3. Promote gender equality and empower Situation: What but because our primal human beings – as individuals, and as is the story that ancestors, Adam and Eve, did groups – have rebelled against God and we find not maintain the absolute filled the world with evil and injustice ourselves in? perfection demanded by God, like a terrible disease. God wants to save God has irrevocably determined humanity and heal it from its sickness, that the entire universe and all it but humanity is hopelessly lost and women. contains will be destroyed, and the souls of all human beings – except for those specifically exempted – will be forever punished for their imperfection confused, like sheep without a shepherd, wandering farther and farther into lostness and danger. Left to themselves, human beings will spiral downward in sickness and evil. 4. Reduce child mortality. in hell.1 Basic Since everyone is doomed to Since the human race is in such desperate Questions: What hell, Jesus seeks to answer these trouble, Jesus seeks to answer this questions did questions: how can individuals question: what must be done about the Jesus come to be saved from eternal mess we’re in? The mess refers both to answer? punishment in hell and instead the general human condition and its 5. Improve maternal health. Jesus’ message: go to heaven after they die? How can God help individuals be happy and successful until then? Jesus says, in essence, “If you specific outworking among his contemporaries: living under domination by the Roman empire, and divided into various competing sects. Jesus says, in essence, “Other people and 6. Combat HIV/AIDs, malaria, and other How did Jesus want to be among those groups – including your own religious respond to the specifically qualified to escape leaders - are leading you farther and crisis? being forever punished for your farther astray. I have been sent by God sins in hell, you must repent of with this good news – that God loves your individual sins and believe humanity, even in its lostness and sin. that my Father punished me on God graciously invites everyone and diseases. the cross so He won’t have to punish you in hell. Only if you believe this will you go to heaven when everyone else is banished to hell.”2 This is the anyone to question and reject what they have been told and instead follow a new path. Trust me and become my disciple, and you will be transformed, and you will participate in the transformation of the 7. Ensure environmental sustainability. good news. world, which is possible, beginning right now.”3 This is the good news. 1 Of course, there are many modern western non-religious ontologies and framing stories too, plus Eastern ontologies and framing stories – both religious and irreligious. 8. Develop a global partnership for 2 This reflects a Calvinistic Evangelical protestant version of the message. The popular Roman Catholic version might say, “You must believe in the teachings of the church and follow its instructions, especially those regarding sacraments.” The popular mainline or liberal Protestant development
  • 12. NEEDED: a theology of taxes (and capitalism in general)
  • 14. Machine: a complex tool Prosperity fashioned to achieve a desire. Societal Machine
  • 15. Prosperity Security Societal Machine
  • 16. Prosperity Equity Security Societal Machine
  • 17. Prosperity Equity Security Societal Machine The Ecosystem
  • 18. Heat Solar Energy Prosperity Resources Waste Equity Security Societal Machine The Ecosystem
  • 19. Heat Solar Energy Prosperity Resources Waste Equity Security Societal Machine The Ecosystem
  • 20. Heat Solar Energy Prosperity Waste Resources Equity Security Societal Machine Our Equity Systems are under-developed, corrupted, dysfunctional, or dominated by political and financial powers.
  • 21. Heat Solar Energy Prosperity Resources Waste Equity Security Societal Machine The Ecosystem Tax reform is essential to a healthy, balanced equity system - transparency, wise policy, progressive rates, values.
  • 22. What do flip flops have to do with this?
  • 23. Heat Solar Energy Prosperity Resources Waste Equity Security Societal Machine The Ecosystem Framing Story
  • 24. Heat Solar Energy Prosperity Resources Waste Equity Security Societal Machine The Failure of the World’s Religions to provide a framing story capable of healing the societal machine - i.e. Framing Story Good News.
  • 25. Prosperity: guided by the common good, shalom. Security: “if only you knew what makes for peace.” Equity: Just and wise tax policy to support sustainable shared prosperity and security.
  • 26. What do flip flops have to do with this?
  • 27. Hear this, you that trample on the needy, and bring to ruin the poor of the land, saying, ‘When will the new moon be over so that we may sell grain; and the sabbath, so that we may offer wheat for sale? - Amos 8
  • 28. We will make the ephah small and the shekel great, and practise deceit with false balances, buying the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals (flip flops), and selling the sweepings of the wheat.’ -Amos 8
  • 29. Buying the poor and needy for a pair of flip flops?
  • 30. The Lord’s Prayer 1. Our Father above us and all around us … 2. May Your unspeakable Name be revered.
  • 31. 3. Now, here on earth may Your commonwealth come. 4. On earth as in heaven may Your will be done.
  • 32. 5. Give us today our bread for today. 4. Forgive us our debts* as we forgive.
  • 33. 3. Lead us away from the perilous trial. 2. Liberate us from the evil.
  • 34. 1.For the kingdom is yours and yours alone. 2. The power is yours and yours alone. 3.The glory is yours and yours alone. 4.Now and forever, amen.
  • 35. 5. Now, here on earth may your commonwealth come. 4. Here on earth may your dreams come true. 3. Hallelujah 2. Hallelujah 1. Amen.
  • 36. What do flip flops have to do with this?
  • 37. Paul Stiglitz: Of the 1%, By the 1%, and For the 1% Americans have been watching protests against oppressive regimes that concentrate massive wealth in the hands of an elite few. Yet in our own democracy, 1 percent of the people take nearly a quarter of the nation’s income—an inequality even the wealthy will come to regret. The top 1 percent may have the best houses, educations, and lifestyles, says the author, but “their fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live.”
  • 38. It’s no use pretending that what has obviously happened has not in fact happened. The upper 1 percent of Americans are now taking in nearly a quarter of the nation’s income every year. In terms of wealth rather than income, the top 1 percent control 40 percent. Their lot in life has improved considerably. Twenty-five years ago, the corresponding figures were 12 percent and 33 percent. One response might be to celebrate the ingenuity and drive that brought good fortune to these people, and to contend that a rising tide lifts all boats. That response would be misguided. While the top 1 percent have seen their incomes rise 18 percent over the past decade, those in the middle have actually seen their incomes fall. For men with only high-school degrees, the decline has been precipitous—12 percent in the last quarter-century alone. All the growth in recent decades—and more—has gone to those at the top. In terms of income equality, America lags behind any country in the old, ossified Europe that President George W. Bush used to deride. Among our closest counterparts are Russia with its oligarchs and Iran. While many of the old centers of inequality in Latin America, such as Brazil, have been striving in recent years, rather successfully, to improve the plight of the poor and reduce gaps in income, America has allowed inequality to grow.
  • 39. It’s no use pretending that what has obviously happened has not in fact happened. The upper 1 percent of Americans are now taking in nearly a quarter of the nation’s income every year. In terms of wealth rather than income, the top 1 percent control 40 percent. Their lot in life has improved considerably. Twenty-five years ago, the corresponding figures were 12 percent and 33 percent. One response might be to celebrate the ingenuity and drive that brought good fortune to these people, and to contend that a rising tide lifts all boats. That response would be misguided.
  • 40. While the top 1 percent have seen their incomes rise 18 percent over the past decade, those in the middle have actually seen their incomes fall. For men with only high-school degrees, the decline has been precipitous—12 percent in the last quarter-century alone. All the growth in recent decades—and more —has gone to those at the top. In terms of income equality, America lags behind any country in the old, ossified Europe that President George W. Bush used to deride. Among our closest counterparts are Russia with its oligarchs and Iran. While many of the old centers of inequality in Latin America, such as Brazil, have been striving in recent years, rather successfully, to improve the plight of the poor and reduce gaps in income, America has allowed inequality to grow.
  • 41. ... a modern economy requires “collective action”—it needs government to invest in infrastructure, education, and technology. The United States and the world have benefited greatly from government-sponsored research that led to the Internet, to advances in public health, and so on. But America has long suffered from an under-investment in infrastructure (look at the condition of our highways and bridges, our railroads and airports), in basic research, and in education at all levels. Further cutbacks in these areas lie ahead.
  • 42. ... when a society’s wealth distribution becomes lopsided ... The more divided a society becomes in terms of wealth, the more reluctant the wealthy become to spend money on common needs. The rich don’t need to rely on government for parks or education or medical care or personal security—they can buy all these things for themselves. In the process, they become more distant from ordinary people, losing whatever empathy they may once have had. They also worry about strong government—one that could use its powers to adjust the balance, take some of their wealth, and invest it for the common good. The top 1 percent may complain about the kind of government we have in America, but in truth they like it just fine: too gridlocked to re- distribute, too divided to do anything but lower taxes.
  • 43. The top 1 percent have the best houses, the best educations, the best doctors, and the best lifestyles, but there is one thing that money doesn’t seem to have bought: an understanding that their fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live. Throughout history, this is something that the top 1 percent eventually do learn. Too late.
  • 44. What do flip flops have to do with this?
  • 45. Mark 14:7 The poor you will always have with you...
  • 46. Jesus is quoting Deuteronomy 15: Every seventh year you shall grant a remission of debts. 2And this is the manner of the remission: every creditor shall remit the claim that is held against a neighbour, not exacting it from a neighbour who is a member of the community, because the Lord’s remission has been proclaimed. 3From a foreigner you may exact it, but you must remit your claim on whatever any member of your community owes you.
  • 47. 4 • There will, however, be no one in need among you, because the Lord is sure to bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you as a possession to occupy, 5if only you will obey the Lord your God by diligently observing this entire commandment that I command you today. 6When the Lord your God has blessed you, as he promised you, you will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow; you will rule over many nations, but they will not rule over you. 47
  • 48. • 7 If there is among you anyone in need, a member of your community in any of your towns within the land that the Lord you God is giving you, do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted towards your needy neighbour. 8 You should rather open your hand, willingly lending enough to meet the need, whatever it may be. 9Be careful that you do not entertain a mean thought, thinking, ‘The seventh year, the year of remission, is near’, and therefore view your needy neighbour with hostility and give nothing; your neighbour might cry to the Lord against you, and you would incur guilt. 48
  • 49. 10Give liberally and be ungrudging when you do so, for on this account the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. 11Since there will never cease to be some in need on the earth, I therefore command you, ‘Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbour in your land.’ 49 •