The New Yorker has an article on poverty in America, RELATIVELY DEPRIVED. The first part is a facinating look at the history of the measurement of powerty in America. Then assuming that the human urge of envy is not a sinful behavior to supress but natural inclination to support, the second part is a typical proscription of liberal economic policies as the solution to the ills of our time.
As PJ O’Rourke says:
But then there’s the tenth commandment: “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covert thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor’s.”
Here are God’s basic rules about how the Tribes of Israel should live, a very brief list of sacred obligations and solemn moral precepts, and right at the end of it is, “Don’t envy your friend’s cow.”
What is that doing in there? Why would God, with just ten things to tell Moses, choose, as one of them, jealousy about the things the man next door has? And yet think about how important to the well-being of a community this commandment is. If you want a donkey, if you want a meal, if you want an employee, don’t complain about what other people have, go get your own. The tenth commandment sends a message to collectivists, to people who believe wealth is best obtained by redistribution. And the message is clear and concise: Go to hell.
Consumption-ability is an article on the amazing progress in absolute wealth in just the last 30 years.