At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Ps. 16: 11)
The righteous considereth the cause of the poor: But the wicked regardeth not to know it.Proverbs 29:7
The causes of poverty are various and complicated. It is the task of the righteous and the wise to seek them out, and to ponder and evaluate the cause of the poor. The wicked, however, cannot be bothered. When the righteous seek out the causes of poverty, they do so in such a way as to enable them to take up the cause of the poor—to take the case, in other words.
At the same time, at least in our era, the wicked have used the poor very effectively in their sloganeering. For the one who “regards not to know it,” it is very easy to proceed straight to the speech in which you cry up as a solution another elephant dose of the problem. And when the righteous seeks out the causes of poverty, and takes up the cause of the poor, his righteousness is evident—but it is not evident to the wicked, who readily accuse him of being heartless and cold.
Examples can be readily multiplied, but let’s take the simple one of wage and price fixing. If the poor people have a hard time buying things, then why don’t we just institute price controls to keep prices from rising too high, and why don’t we establish minimum wage laws to keep wages from falling too low, and presto! Haven’t we fixed the problem? The poor now have a job that pays well, and the prices have thoughtfully remained low for them. Well, we have fixed the problem for all those who “regard not to know it.” But for the man who “considereth” what is going on, we have done nothing of the kind.
Why were we so stingy in our solution? In our price controls, why didn’t we cut the price of everything in half? And why didn’t we triple the minimum wage? The reason we did not do that is that it would have revealed how this entire scam is being run by charlatans. If we cut the prices in half, we could afford to buy absolutely anything we found on the empty shelves. And if we tripled the minimum wage, we would be receiving a very fine wage if we had a job anymore, which we don’t. In the name of fighting poverty, we have transformed poverty into grinding poverty.
The righteous thinks about it. The wicked can’t be bothered.