How to End Poverty: Eight Easy Steps

Credit: Kelly Short6 on Flickr via Creative Commons

Credit: Kelly Short6 on Flickr via Creative Commons

1. Ensure the justice system is truly blind, that the wealthy hold no advantage in civil or criminal cases because they can hire better lawyers or influence judges. Face the reality that many capital punishment executions are of poor minorities who end up being innocent of the crimes for which they are condemned, and find a way to solve that problem.
2. Once every fifty years return all property and businesses sold due to financial hardship back to the original owners. This creates a system of recapitalization of even the poorest among us and allows all people the means with which to support themselves.
3. Once every seven years leave all farmland, gardens, fields, etc to rest. During that time non-landowners and the poorest among us have permission to gather whatever the land naturally produces. This would require that landowners harvest twice as much as will be needed in the sixth year.
4. When harvesting land, only go over the fields and vines once. Leave whatever is missed for the unemployed to gather.
5. Loans to the poor carry no interest and food sale prices are always at cost, never for profit.
6. Every seven years all debts are forgiven every person. This removes generational debt-inheritance and discourages gross over-lending.
7. Every three years collect a tithe from every person in the community – 10% of income, produce from farms, clothing, etc. All of this is stored locally and distributed to the needy.
8. In a worst case scenario, allow a person to hire themselves out to a successful community member as an intern for a seven year term. During this time they are to work for room and board. At the end of the contract the mentor provides a severance package that serves as “start-up” capital for the person to get back on their feet.

This is a rough and somewhat elaborated outline of the laws God gave the Israelite nation regarding the poor among them. Imagine a world in which cyclical poverty couldn’t exist. It would be a beautiful world indeed.


Reference: Richards, Lawrence O.: The Bible Readers Companion. electronic ed. Wheaton : Victor Books, 1991; Published in electronic form by Logos Research Systems, 1996, S. 90.

1 Comment

  1. Jo said,

    November 5, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    Love this!

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