Gap between rich and poor new form of slavery

A group of leaders of the largest coalition of Reformed churches says that the growing gap between rich and poor is a new form of slavery. They are calling upon members to question and challenge globalization that increase the gap. The Geneva-headquartered World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) groups 75 million Reformed Christians from 214 churches in 107 countries. The Rev. Setri Nyomi, Presbyterian theologian from Ghana, explained that the Accra Confession meant that churches and Christians needed to question whether their lifestyle and actions contributed to or hindered overcoming poverty.

From the United Church of Christ website:

Leaders of the world's biggest grouping of Reformed churches, which includes the UCC, have compared the effects of economic globalization to the transatlantic slave trade, and said that Christians need to combat this modern form of "enslavement."

"As a matter of the integrity of our faith, we must say, 'No' to slavery in all of its forms," said the president of the UCC-supported World Alliance of Reformed Churches, the Rev. Clifton Kirkpatrick. He was speaking at an October 18-28 meeting in Trinidad of Reformed leaders from around the world.

"While we acknowledge this year the 200th anniversary of the passing of the transatlantic slave trade act by the British Parliament, we are painfully aware that slavery is still with us," said Kirkpatrick in his October 20 presidential report to WARC's main governing body, its executive committee.

Read the article here

Farm Bill Reform is being debated in the US Senate this week. For more information on how this bill can impact world and domestic poverty go to Episcopal Public Policy Network

Comments (3)

From what I've read, the jury's still out on the overall long-term benefits of economic globalization. That said, however, these leaders overstate their case (and damage their credibility), when they equate globalization with "enslavement."

This attack on globalization is nonsense and dangerous nonsense although I have no doubt about the good intentions. The focus on gaps rather than the lifting of incomes across the strata is misguided. Take away globalization and everyone is worse off.

This is explained well here,

"An ideological fixation on inequality is especially perverse when it comes to less-developed nations. In these cases, we must be most concerned with increasing absolute standards of living across the income scale, and especially at the bottom. ... [The evidence is] globalisation is improving life for poorer workers around the world. Excellent! And that's about all we need know to get four-square behind expanding global trade.

Now, it is certainly interesting to explain the difference in rates of wage increase -- once we have firmly grasped that there is increase across the board. The IMF study finds that trade alone brings up the bottom and tends to reduce inequality. However, technology transfer and foreign investment, which tends to be tech-related, has bid up the price for certain kinds of highly skilled labour faster than it has for lower skilled labour, more than offsetting the equalising tendency of trade alone."

Globalization has increased the return to education in poor countries. Hence the growth in the gap and the lifting of all incomes. That's a good thing.

An article on globalization and MDGs and the involvement of Seattle area churches in the Seattle paper today here

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