Saturday, May 16, 2020
Million? Billion? Trillion? It's difficult for most of us mere mortals to grasp, even though we know the names of plenty of billionaires. One of them, Jeff Bezos, has become considerably wealthier during the pandemic, even as millions have ended up unemployed and scrambling to pay the bills and end up without healthcare. Bezos has often been criticized for treating employees shabbily and the latest is that employees who've organized protests against unsafe working conditions because of the threat of COVID-19 have been fired.
Now we're told that Bezos is poised to become the world's first trillionaire, a word that doesn't exist in my spellcheck.. If you need some help with this, a trillion is a thousand billion. Of course in Canada Bezos is already over that unfathomable threshold because a trillion dollars US tops 1.4 trillion in Canuck Bucks.
Do we agree that this is just loony? The accumulation of vast wealth by a handful of people, mostly men, results in shrugs from most of us, -- whaddya gonna do? -- but it is immoral, if the bible is to be believed. Prophets such as Amos and Micah decry those who "trample the poor" in a nation which claims to be religious. Jesus and and James also offer sharp criticisms of those who focus on wealth to the detriment of others. It is as though wealth has been a new religion with it's own perverse morality.and the potentates are a law unto themselves. literally.
I feel a certain outrage, and I imagine that these billionaires will have a hell of a lot of 'splainin' to do. There are some who give a lot away for worthy causes (eg. Bill and Melinda Gates), and a number have signed the Giving Pledge but the inequity still exists. But when I begin to get worked up I try to focus on what I can do to contribute to an equitable society with the riches bestowed on me. I know I'm wealthy compared to billions on the planet, so Christ calls me to be generous one day at a time. wherever possible.