BAR 40:01, Jan/Feb 2014
Biblical Views: Sacred Meat
Income inequality. As a commentator from the radio show Marketplace declares, it’s “not the sexiest of subjects.” But it’s a topic that interests the many who watched a six-minute video-gone-viral about wealth and income inequality in the United States (www.marketplace.org/topics/wealth-poverty/surprise-viral-hit-income-inequality-movie).
Income inequality existed in the Roman world, too. Roman economic historians debate whether 99 percent or 96 percent lived at or below subsistence level—that is, their lives were “dominated by the struggle for physical survival,” and they spent their lives primarily concerned with obtaining “the minimum food, shelter and clothing necessary to sustain life.”1