|| Long and Short Term Theory of Redistribution - Economics for Everlasting Life [Chapter 4]
IV. Production’s 1大 Element, 3小 Elements
What is the true element of production? Land, labor, and capital? It is because we misunderstand the answer to this question that modern economics continues to fail. Whether it’s Marxian economics, which emphasizes the worker’s work as the producer of surplus, the neo-liberal economics which emphasizes the capitalist and his management as a source of surplus, classical economics, or even Henry George’s economics that advocate for shared ownership of land all fall short in that they state that labor and capital belongs to the individual, and fail to acknowledge God’s share in their equation. Even Christians have different interpretations within the church and the scholastic sphere.
Let’s examine the elements of land, labor, and capital.
Look at these verses from Genesis chapter 1.
11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so.
12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
The verses talk about ownership of land, and we can conclude that the land belongs to God.
He is also the one whom created laborers. These verses are also from Genesis chapter 1.
27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
And he also granted them capital. Look at Genesis chapter 2.
11 The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah,where there is gold.
12 (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin[d] and onyx are also there.)
13 The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush.[e]
14 The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Ashur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden
Adam likely used various wood and metal in order to create tools for farming.
But if there was plenty of land, labor, and capital, what was it that Adam, the first human, still desired?
17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
Production does not automatically come forth from land, labor, and capital. God’s blessing is the first element of production. The others are merely minor elements. God is different from nature, and is a living God whom actively influences land, labor, and capital at the sites of production. Let’s look at an example.
After Adam eats the Forbidden Fruit, the quality of land is forever changed. Productivity of labor is also drastically decreased, and the labor hours, the essence of surplus according to Marx, becomes fundamentally reduced due to our reduced lifespan. Look at the pain that women, who are in charge of creating new laborers, have to go through. The accumulation of capital becomes difficult.
Let’s take a look at Genesis chapter 3.
16 To the woman he said,
“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you.”
17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’
“Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat food from it
all the days of your life.
18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return.”
Let’s examine another site of production. It is the story about Jacob and Laban. It’s in Genesis chapter 31.
5 He said to them, “I see that your father’s attitude toward me is not what it was before, but the God of my father has been with me.
6 You know that I’ve worked for your father with all my strength,
7 yet your father has cheated me by changing my wages ten times. However, God has not allowed him to harm me.
8 If he said, ‘The speckled ones will be your wages,’ then all the flocks gave birth to speckled young; and if he said, ‘The streaked ones will be your wages,’ then all the flocks bore streaked young.
9 So God has taken away your father’s livestock and has given them to me.
10 “In breeding season I once had a dream in which I looked up and saw that the male goats mating with the flock were streaked, speckled or spotted.
11 The angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob.’ I answered, ‘Here I am.’
12 And he said, ‘Look up and see that all the male goats mating with the flock are streaked, speckled or spotted, for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you.
If the sheep are used for production, they become capital. God had become directly involved in the production of capital.
Take a look at God’s involvement in the production of labor. It’s in Genesis chapter 30.
1 When Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob any children, she became jealous of her sister. So she said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I’ll die!”
2 Jacob became angry with her and said, “Am I in the place of God, who has kept you from having children?”
3 Then she said, “Here is Bilhah, my servant. Sleep with her so that she can bear children for me and I too can build a family through her.”
4 So she gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife. Jacob slept with her,
5 and she became pregnant and bore him a son.
6 Then Rachel said, “God has vindicated me; he has listened to my plea and given me a son.” Because of this she named him Dan.
7 Rachel’s servant Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son.
8 Then Rachel said, “I have had a great struggle with my sister, and I have won.” So she named him Naphtali.
9 When Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she took her servant Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife.
10 Leah’s servant Zilpah bore Jacob a son.
11 Then Leah said, “What good fortune!” So she named him Gad.
12 Leah’s servant Zilpah bore Jacob a second son.
13 Then Leah said, “How happy I am! The women will call me happy.” So she named him Asher.
14 During wheat harvest, Reuben went out into the fields and found some mandrake plants, which he brought to his mother Leah. Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.”
15 But she said to her, “Wasn’t it enough that you took away my husband? Will you take my son’s mandrakes too?”
“Very well,” Rachel said, “he can sleep with you tonight in return for your son’s mandrakes.”
16 So when Jacob came in from the fields that evening, Leah went out to meet him. “You must sleep with me,” she said. “I have hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” So he slept with her that night.
17 God listened to Leah, and she became pregnant and bore Jacob a fifth son.
18 Then Leah said, “God has rewarded me for giving my servant to my husband.” So she named him Issachar.
19 Leah conceived again and bore Jacob a sixth son.
20 Then Leah said, “God has presented me with a precious gift. This time my husband will treat me with honor, because I have borne him six sons.” So she named him Zebulun.
21 Some time later she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah.
22 Then God remembered Rachel; he listened to her and enabled her to conceive.
23 She became pregnant and gave birth to a son and said, “God has taken away my disgrace.”
24 She named him Joseph, and said, “May the Lord add to me another son.”
Labor, which was so essential to Marx’s philosophy, and also valued by capitalists who uses the term ‘high-skilled workforce’ to idealize the term has God directly involved in its very production. We must take this fact into consideration in today’s world where population control and decreasing birthrate is becoming a major concern.
Again, land, labor, and capital does not automatically equate to production. Look at Deuteronomy chapter 28.
1 If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth.
2 All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God:
3 You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.
4 The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.
5 Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed.
6 You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.
7 The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.
8 The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.
9 The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in obedience to him.
10 Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will fear you.
11 The Lordwill grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you.
12 The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none.
13 The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom.
14 Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them.
15 However, if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you:
16 You will be cursed in the city and cursed in the country.
17 Your basket and your kneading trough will be cursed.
18 The fruit of your womb will be cursed, and the crops of your land, and the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.
19 You will be cursed when you come in and cursed when you go out.
20 The Lord will send on you curses, confusion and rebuke in everything you put your hand to, until you are destroyed and come to sudden ruin because of the evil you have done in forsaking him.
21 The Lord will plague you with diseases until he has destroyed you from the land you are entering to possess.
22 The Lord will strike you with wasting disease, with fever and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, with blight and mildew, which will plague you until you perish.
23 The sky over your head will be bronze, the ground beneath you iron.
24 The Lord will turn the rain of your country into dust and powder; it will come down from the skies until you are destroyed.
25 The Lord will cause you to be defeated before your enemies. You will come at them from one direction but flee from them in seven, and you will become a thing of horror to all the kingdoms on earth.
26 Your carcasses will be food for all the birds and the wild animals, and there will be no one to frighten them away.
27 The Lord will afflict you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors, festering sores and the itch, from which you cannot be cured.
28 The Lord will afflict you with madness, blindness and confusion of mind.
29 At midday you will grope about like a blind person in the dark. You will be unsuccessful in everything you do; day after day you will be oppressed and robbed, with no one to rescue you.
30 You will be pledged to be married to a woman, but another will take her and rape her. You will build a house, but you will not live in it. You will plant a vineyard, but you will not even begin to enjoy its fruit.
31 Your ox will be slaughtered before your eyes, but you will eat none of it. Your donkey will be forcibly taken from you and will not be returned. Your sheep will be given to your enemies, and no one will rescue them.
32 Your sons and daughters will be given to another nation, and you will wear out your eyes watching for them day after day, powerless to lift a hand.
33 A people that you do not know will eat what your land and labor produce, and you will have nothing but cruel oppression all your days.
34 The sights you see will drive you mad.
35 The Lord will afflict your knees and legs with painful boils that cannot be cured, spreading from the soles of your feet to the top of your head.
36 The Lord will drive you and the king you set over you to a nation unknown to you or your ancestors. There you will worship other gods, gods of wood and stone.
37 You will become a thing of horror, a byword and an object of ridicule among all the peoples where the Lord will drive you.
38 You will sow much seed in the field but you will harvest little, because locusts will devour it.
39 You will plant vineyards and cultivate them but you will not drink the wine or gather the grapes, because worms will eat them.
40 You will have olive trees throughout your country but you will not use the oil, because the olives will drop off.
41 You will have sons and daughters but you will not keep them, because they will go into captivity.
42 Swarms of locusts will take over all your trees and the crops of your land.
43 The foreigners who reside among you will rise above you higher and higher, but you will sink lower and lower.
44 They will lend to you, but you will not lend to them. They will be the head, but you will be the tail.
45 All these curses will come on you. They will pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the Lord your God and observe the commands and decrees he gave you.
46 They will be a sign and a wonder to you and your descendants forever.
Thus we know that the most important element of production is ‘God’s blessing.’ Other elements of land, labor, and capital are merely sub-elements. This is a critical fact that modern economics is overlooking.