Ben Yuan wrote:A lot of people have stuff and we don't understand why. A lot of people do not and we don't understand why. We cannot comprehend fully the law of karma and can control human lives such that people get just what they deserve - this occurs by itself. We can encourage people to give, and that is the Buddhist approach, but to actively reorganise the world would be offensive to the security of property and order of society. Moreover, it would deprive those who are wealthy of that opportunity to generate good karma. As far as I can discern, when the Buddha instructs kings to provide wealth and jobs such that people are no longer poor, he is talking about the wealth of those kings, not the wealth which a modern government takes forcefully and redistributes. As for clinging to wealth, this seems like a bit of a mischaracterisation of how the wealthy are more likely to run their financial affairs. Certainly being stingy is bad for the poor and doesn't keep capital flowing in the market, but it also has automatic bad practical karmic repercussions for the wealthy owner of the capital, since it isn't growing if they're just "clinging" to it as you say, but rather would naturally diminish. "Further, householder, with the wealth thus gained the noble disciple makes provisions against the losses that might arise on account of fire and floods, kings and bandits and unloved heirs; he makes himself secure against them. This is the second case of wealth gone to good use." (AN 4:61; II 65-68) I am interested in what quotes you have which would give such wealth to kings, and proclaim it to be good use for kings to distribute it rather than the laws of nature, economics and karma (all causes and conditions and naturally non-forceful).
This is the most dangerous and horrifying way of thinking about Karma and wealth.
It's the ancient version of social Darwinism. Social Darwin Dharmaism.
Justifying Free-market capitalism by saying that it's wrong to "forcefully" take wealth from the wealthy and give it to the poor because it deprives the wealthy of an opportunity to give it willingly...sounds like what you're saying. I hope you don't really mean it like that.
Patrul Rinpoche says
"Even if one man were to own all the wealth and possessions in the whole world, it would not change the fact that he would still only need enough food and clothing for one person."
"Look closely at those who are apparently rich. If they are not using their wealth freely for the Dharma...they are actually poorer than the poor."
"Nothing could be more effective than trade and commerce for piling up endless harmful actions and thoroughly corrupting you."
Nagarjuna said "Amassing wealth, guarding it and making it grow will exhaust you; Understand that riches bring unending ruin and destruction."
Wealth is a greater liability to a Buddhist than any other circumstance except the most extreme poverty. Y
Moreover, using the Dharma to justify evil actions (such as letting "natural forces" ((Magic? A hole in your pocketbook?)) provide for the poor) is the most abject form of nonvirtue.
Finally, Santideva says:
"Just as no pleasures can bring delight
To somebody whose body is on fire,
Nor can the Compassionate ones be pleased
When harm is done to sentient beings."
Maybe the Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha is sometimes manifesting in the form of the IRS.
Maybe he's the guy who stole your identity and emptied your checking account to buy medicine and food for his aging parents.
Anything that brings about the benefit of beings is justified.
Sorry this is getting really off the original topic. I'm done.