You’ve put a lot of thought into your article, Ryan, and you’re right to indicate that God is more important in the human heart than an economic system. And you’re right in pointing out that no economic system is perfect. They are all rife with corruption, greed, cronyism and power struggles. But capitalism, with all its imperfections, has allowed the United States to far exceed other countries in the amount of foreign aid it gives, coming in tops at about $46 billion.
The Scandinavian countries, as you rightly pointed out, have market-based economies with large social safety nets. Consider that consider themselves to be truly socialist, such as Russia, Venezuela and Cuba, are behind in both lifestyle quality and amount they give for foreign aid.
There appear to be numerous different definitions of socialism in our country, including among the social democrats. Some want a primarily market based economy with continued private ownership, but much higher taxation to support free education, health care, etc. But some others seem to prefer to take away choice and private ownership, placing businesses in the hands of the workers.
I guess you have to ask yourself if you’re looking at a system of government from a Christian perspective, which system encourages individual giving and philanthropy more? Which system is more apt to take care of the poor among us with the least amount of corruption and misuse of funds? Which system fosters growth of faith, generosity and the better characteristics of humankind?
Those are hard things to answer, since sometimes faith seems to strengthen in the face of hardship and deprivation more than it does through wealth and plenty. Much food for thought.