The situation at St Paul’s cathedral in the UK has brought the issue of financial ethics to the forefront of The Church’s thinking. If I’m honest, I didn’t know anyone in the church for whom it wasn’t already. Global finance is a topic that is too big for one person to fix by themselves and I am a bear of little brain but I will continue to engage with the issues as they arise. One of my friends posted some of their difficulties with the protest on Facebook.
I think my issue with the protests is that, in the UK, we have free healthcare, education, social security and endless affordable distractions and comforts.
If a banker can make a million by skimming off a thousandth of a percent off the business – is that really a bigger sin than one of us choosing to buy cheap imported goods without asking about worker welfare?
A dozen men cream off a tiny proportion off the bottom of a balance sheet vs a million britons promoting child labour in the third world and putting a thousand local breadwinners on the dole by shutting the mills and factories?
Then I started to think about all of these issues and the global situation. I believe resolutely that my lifestyle should not be at the expense of someone living in another country. I do not want goods available on the high street at the expense of the poorest in society! However, I think that reading the protester’s cause as about the “bankers” misrepresents them. Their website sums up their position with no mention of bankers at all.
Our global system is unsustainable. It is undemocratic and unjust, driven by profit in the interest of the few.
The protesters are bringing attention to the global financial system and the way in which it operates. This is the system that allows a big corporation to produce goods using child labour and sell them on the high street to an unsuspecting public. This is where the bottom of the balance sheet it. This is the place where the cream is found.
Please watch the TED talk above about inequality. The economy in the UK works relatively to other economies. However, it also works relatively between the people within it. #OccupyInequality