1) Throughout centuries there have been countries, individual companies, and individuals who have become wealthy through the exploitation of other countries or individuals. There have been many examples of such acts, like in the situation of the African American and European colonies. I don’t believe there can really be any reparation made for the horrible ways in which colonies used to fight to get ahead, but I do believe that going forward there should be no exploitation in order to get ahead. Money can be a very powerful force. As Christians, we have to make sure that we are not letting money become an idol, so much that we are willing to do anything to get ahead economically. I absolutely believe that is important to work hard and that is what God commands us to do. We see in 2 Thessalonians 3:10 it states, ““For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work, shall not eat”” (NIV). God commands us to be hard workers and we will be rewarded for that work, but getting ahead economically through exploitation of others is not something we should take part in. It says it perfectly in Leviticus 25:14-17, “If you sell land to any of your own people or buy land from them, do not take advantage of each other” (NIV). When it comes to getting ahead the only way to do so that is honoring to the Lord is by working hard and never cheating anyone.
I do believe if someone is wronged and exploited in the future there should be proper reparations taken. 2) There are definite positives and negatives, benefits and costs that come from economic growth. When people look at it most would say they would choose economic growth, but there are costs that come with such and that should not be looked over. Some of the benefits that come from economic growth are as follows. One benefit is of course the jobs. When there is economic growth in a country that is going to increase employment, which is always a good thing. Once there are more jobs there are more opportunities for people to make money, which will decrease poverty. Another benefit from economic growth is the increase in the quality of living. With economic growth there is a going to be a wide spread increase in better products. Some may not even consider these, but many countries have a majority of homes without bathrooms, kitchens, roofs, or doors. With an increase in the economy we obviously are provided the luxuries of indoor bathrooms and roofs over our heads. A third benefit to economic growth is medical discoveries. Not only do we have the simple cure for a headache, but we have increases in medical discoveries and treatments all the time. A fourth benefit to economic growth is an increase in education. With increases in the economy come increases in opportunities in education.
With large economies there is more money available to education, which gives us the necessary skills to work when we get older and thus further the economy. A fifth benefit to economic growth is the increase of transportation and communication. Developments in these two categories are an avenue for more increases in the economy. Along with these benefits there are costs that come with economic growth. One of the costs would be the increase in demand which means longer work weeks for individuals. The increase has, for many Christians, taken time away from their relationships with God. A second cost would be the destruction of the family because of the parent’s greater interest in their work. Another cost is the displacement in certain jobs because of technology increases. This will put many people out of work, like older workers and minorities. A fourth cost would be the environment degradation. The last cost that can come with economic growth is the increase in greed. With an increase of money there comes an increase in power and many times the increase in power can come with a sense of entitlement. 3) When it comes to the definition of mercantilism, having a positive trade balance is required.
This meaning that your exports are greater than your imports, thus you’re gaining from trade. I don’t believe wanting a positive trade balance means that you’re a mercantilist. I think you can want a positive trade balance in order to have economic growth without wanting to cheat others, but unfortunately most people in business today do not have a moral compass. Since this is the case many people will do whatever it takes to have a positive trade balance, including mercantilism. Countries like the United States can have economic growth and a high standard of living while having a negative trade balance year after year by becoming more independent. When countries have strong economies they can keep increasing that economy domestically mostly with technological progress. 4) The winners in the economic growth can share their gains with the losers. There are many different ways that they can share their gain. Of course through trade they will be helping out the losers by providing new forms of technology and innovations that will help increase their economy. Another form of sharing your economic growth, especially for Christians, is charity. It is so important to remember that our money is truly not our own. All the money in the world is the Lords and we are to use it to glorify Him and further His Kingdom. That is why there are so many people asking for financial donations for missions and other charitable organizations in order to help out the “losers” who are less well off.