The eye of the needle

Gareth Bale will be paid £13 m a year to play football for Real Madrid.  In defending the sum, the world of football referred to the wealth of Bill Gates, the amount of tickets and t-shirts a star player can sell, and that ultimate idol, the free market.   And that maybe he will only be able to earn that for twenty years, and then has to scrape by, whereas a nurse on £25,000 will be able to work until 65 to build up her pension.   Well, that’s fair then.

At one level the issue of the moral response to this lies with the footballer himself.  You can do a lot of good with that and have some spare change left over.  If he pays tax, then that pays for quite a few nurses.

Jesus had some sharp things to say about the wealthy, though I think they can enter the Kingdom.   What we are paid depends a lot on our efforts and drive and choices, on luck, on the unacknowledged efforts of others, the framework set by society and many other things.  People trying to read a specific economic system from the Bible tie themselves in knots.  (Slavery allowed, lending money at interest not allowed, land to revert to its original owner every fifty years…)

More relevant is discussion in the government about raising the minimum wage.


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