Wall Street Photo

Jubilee Party on Wall Street by Shane Claiborne

Ten years ago, we threw a party on Wall Street.  It was one year after 9/11 and nine years before Occupy.  We were inspired by the ancient vision of Jubilee found in the Bible – where God invites the Hebrew people to dismantle economic inequality by forgiving debts, setting slaves free, and redistributing property.  It was God’s emancipation proclamation, the Almighty’s creative way of systemically interrupting the growing gap between the haves and the have-nots. Sure, biblical scholars are quick to point out that the Hebrew people never really practiced the Jubilee very well.  But one of my favorite scholars goes on to say, “That’s no excuse… Christians have never really practiced the Sermon on the Mount very well either.”  It was still God’s dream, God’s intention — and it is our job to keep God’s dream alive. So we threw a Jubilee party on Wall Street, ready to confront the raging bull head-on, ready to flip the tables on the front steps of capitalism’s temple. We invited the homeless folks in New York to come to the front entrance of the New York Stock Exchange where we planned to give away ten thousand dollars in cash.  They came…lots of them.  Just as the opening bell rang inside the Stock Exchange, Jubilee started rumbling \outside.  Small bills were dropped...

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Get a real job! The note with 1 per cent tip left by wealthy banker after $133 lunch as an insult to the 99 per cent

Just when you may have thought the ongoing battle between the 99% and the 1% was dying down, it may have been reignited. A wealthy banker left a $1.33 tip on a $133 lunch at the True Food Kitchen restaurant in Newport Beach, California. To add insult to injury the word “tip” was circled on the receipt, and the banker wrote “get a real job” on the bill. The picture of the receipt was taken and uploaded to the blog Future Ex-Banker by a person who was dining with the anonymous banker. As expected, the blog received a lot of attention and has now been taken down. The author of the blog wrote, “mention the 99% in my boss’ presence and feel his wrath. So proudly does he wear his 1% badge of honor that he tips exactly 1% every time he feels the server doesn’t sufficiently bow down to his holiness.” People online who had a chance to see the blog post before it went offline and those who have been made aware of it on social media outlets are outraged. One person called the tip a “tale of greed and contempt,” and another referred to it as “arrogance personified.” The Web’s general reaction to this story is eerily similar to an almost identical 1% vs. 99% scenario...

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Jesus Does Not Assume Scarcity

When my wife and I had a daughter earlier this year, we got a lot of practice writing thank-you notes. Welcoming a new person into the world is no small task, so we were genuinely grateful for the many, many friends who gave us diapers and onesies, lotions and bibs. But saying thank you for such an outpouring of support is also no small task. I was glad for the friend at our baby shower who kept a careful list of who gave what. Paul’s letter to the Christian community at Philippi ends with a thank-you note. After my recent experience with this particular form of communication, I’m struck by the way Paul breaks all the rules. Yes, he says thanks for the gift. But he quickly adds that he didn’t really need what they sent — and not because he has plenty, but because he’s learned to be content with what he has. Still, he’s glad for their sake that they were able to give. Miss Manners would be appalled. So what’s going on here? Why isn’t Paul willing to accept the terms of a normal donor-recipient relationship and just say thanks? Maybe it’s because this is a letter from a pastor. Paul isn’t just a friend writing to express his gratitude. He’s an apostle of God’s good...

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What Rules The World

  Rarely do I encounter someone that is as raw and brutal in describing their own work as did Maxine Croxall in his interview on the BBC. In his interview he gives a lot for us to think about and and at times you may even think is this a hoax. Something like The Yes Men. The interview is not a hoax and his talking points of being prepared, markets being driven by fear and greed, and that the singular goal of the trader is to make money is certainly worth further consideration.  There becomes a point to where he mentions that governments don’t rule the world but Goldman Sachs does. Is there truth, and if so how do banks/corporations do this and are you comfortable with this reality? Take a look at the video and share your...

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