Politicians Play "Heads I Win, Tails You Lose"
No one likes to lose, even at Tic-Tac-Toe or flipping a coin. The phrase, “Heads I win, tails you lose,” describes those who attempt to use trickery to prevent losing to their opponents. It also illustrates the politicians’ current attempts to frame issues to assure that their positions will win.
Presently, debate rages over wealth redistribution, taking from the wealthy to give to the poor. For many months, politicians have disputed the pros and cons of this issue. Primarily, the subject concentrates upon increased taxes upon the rich (without defining them). They think that increased taxation of the wealthy will improve the conditions of the poor. (Even Robin Hood took from the government, not private citizens, to give to the poor.)
In their attempts to support their plan, proponents of increased taxes have resorted to using the Bible to endorse it (see here). Ironically, those who refer to the Bible for confirmation of their proposals have simultaneously declared that America no longer qualifies as a Christian nation.
They have invoked the “Heads I win, tails you lose” strategy. They quote sections of the Bible that appear to support their cause, but conveniently disregard those parts of the Bible that refute their position. One cannot choose isolated phrases from the Bible to suit one’s fancy. Biblical scholars describe this interpretation error as “proof texting.”
Granted, the Bible does frequently urge people to care for the poor and disadvantaged. However, it never instructs government to take money from those who have it and give it to those who lack it. Since the advocates of wealth redistribution quote the Bible to support their ideas, an examination of disregarded sections from the Bible on these issues becomes necessary.
In the Parable of the Talents, Jesus Christ taught certain truths that apply to our immediate circumstances (Matthew 25.14-30). In the parable, a man called together his workers before a lengthy trip. He distributed to them various amounts of money based upon their different abilities.
Upon his return, he evaluated his workers. In the master’s absence, one man turned his 5 talents into 10, another turned his 2 talents into 4, but the third unwisely buried his single talent. In the end, the master took that one buried talent and gave it to the one with 10 talents.
In this brief parable, Jesus taught that some have greater abilities and money than others. Those who do nothing with the share given to them lose it. In the end, the one who dispensed the goods to the workers in the first place did not take from the successful ones and give it to those who lacked. Instead, he recovered what he had given to the one who buried his gift and gave it to the one with the most talents and abilities.
These principles contradict the modern approach. “Helping the poor” consists of more than outright grants of money to the poor. The Bible describes how help can come from many other avenues.
• Those with greater funds can loan to those appropriately qualified to bridge difficult times (Leviticus 25.35-37).
• Those in need can receive grants of money in exchange for a share of future earnings, which can benefit both parties. In this case, the one who contributes funds to the enterprise looks only to potential earnings to recover the contribution (Exodus 14-15).
• Those blessed with higher incomes can hire those in need to perform some of their duties. The Bible describes how farmers must not reap the corners of their properties nor collect the grains left on the ground from harvest. Those in need could then glean these residuals for their benefit (Leviticus 19.9-10).
• Those in need, especially the elderly, must look first to family for assistance before seeking aid from those outside of family (Exodus 20.12; 1 Timothy 5.4).
• If a person does not work, they should not receive any benefits (2 Thessalonians 3.10). Obviously, some cannot work because of physical impairments. They should receive assistance. Yet, no one who chooses not to work should receive free money. How did America, built on the industry and hard work of its citizens, decline into a nation where work has become demeaning while money for not working has become acceptable? Unfortunately, millions of people game the system, receiving money without performing any responsibilities in exchange.
These references provide only a few of Biblical instances that reject the notion of something for nothing. Instead, Americans must refuse this fallacious proposal, and take steps to reform the bottomless pit of social welfare in all of its forms. The impossible becomes possible only with a start to reform it, followed by the determination to complete it.
“Heads I win, tails you lose” describes a sucker’s bet. America has played it many years to its precarious detriment. Sadly, the USA now reaps the consequences of its misplaced gamble. To entrench it further guarantees America’s eventual demise.