“Render Unto Caesar!”
As a child, I was always delighted to see the lights of Salt Lake City, as we drove out of Parley’s Canyon and suddenly the entire Salt Lake Valley was before us.
Each time I arrived, I thought about the incredible cooperation necessary for so many people to live near each other and create the immense infrastructure necessary in a large city.
Now, living in Salt Lake City, I am still impressed at the cooperation of people utilizing the same spaces, sharing the sidewalks, roadways, parks and other public infrastructure.
As I ponder the creation and maintenance of public spaces, I realize the importance of each person doing their part.
If we each do our part, to put a small portion of our income towards the creation and maintenance of walkways, roadways, and parkways; water lines sewer lines and power lines; then there are sufficient resources to create and maintain them.
Each of us utilize these things. It is critical that we each assist therewith.
The street musician who earns $10, standing on a sidewalk uplifting passers by with their songs, can pay a percentage of their earnings to assist in the maintenance of that sidewalk.
The farmer who earns $100 selling fruit at a market in the park, can pay the same percentage of their earnings to assist in the maintenance of that public park.
The book seller, who earns $1000 selling books to take us around the world in words, can pay the same percentage of their earnings to pay for the power poles and wires which bring the light for readers to see each word on those precious pages.
The superintendent over shops sewing sleeves on shirts and soles on shoes and the workers who work there as well each day, earning $10,000 in pay, can put the same percentage of their earnings in play, to maintain the buses and trains, which transport the workers each way.
The corporation which gets $100,000 selling phones and computers in stores everywhere, so families stay connected, can pay their same percentage to maintain the highways to carry the phones and computers from here to there.
The entrepreneur, who’s idea succeeds, who sells that idea for $1,000,000, or receives that amount from shipping goods to places near and places far away, can pay that same percentage therefrom, to pay for the interstates and airports to transport the items to glistening cities somewhere nearby and somewhere over the sea.
It has been said that if we give a little more to the billionaires they will then have enough to be benevolent.
The excuse is that, because they are rich, they must know how to work with money!
They know how to collect money.
They don’t work with money.
They don’t use money.
They only collect money!
Those who know how to work with money don’t collect it. They use it.
When the teacher in a public school receives monetary compensation for their efforts to teach children numbers and letters and how to use them in mathematical equations and to write words and sentences; the teacher uses some of their wage to purchase organic fruit from their neighbor who is a farmer; the farmer then pays the neighbor who is a mechanic to fix his tractor; the mechanic pays the neighbor to is a carpenter to build a table for his family, to eat upon it their dinner of vegetables from the neighbor farmer, and beds for the children to sleep in, so that they will be nourished and rested sufficiently to learn letters and remember numbers in school. That is how money is utilized!
And if these neighbors are wise, they will each have a small savings in preparation for a moment of need.
It is common for religions to request an amount from each parishioner or disciple to cover costs of infrastructure or assist those in need.
For thousands of years a tenth of all increase has been required of each practitioner in some religions. Equally required of the widow with only a mite and the wealthy merchant who clangs his glistening coins into the coffer for one last listen to his lucre.
Why do we not allow the widow to do her part?
Why do we not require the wealthy to do their part?
We have allowed a system to be pushed into place in which the middle wage earner is assisting those physically unable to assist themselves, the poor who will “always be among us;” and propping up the aristocrats and oligarchs who have lobbied themselves away from paying any taxes at all into the national structure which allowed them the pathway, safety and security to accumulate that wealth.
If God asks equal recompense from all who utilize the world He created for us to thrive in; we would be fools to let the wealthy keep their entire collection of coins, gathered through the infrastructure of our nation, established for “We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranqulity, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity….”