Wesley on the Economy?
John Wesley believed that most of the economic problems of the day were caused by a growing disparity between the rich and the poor.
Wesley felt the cure was to repress "luxury, either by example, by laws, or both." He asked legislators to establish laws that would prohibit the distillation of alcohol. While he lamented high taxes upon the poor and middle class, he called for additional taxes on luxury items such as horses and carriages. He suggested people be taxed on what they purchased rather than upon what they earned.
He also expressed concern about future generations and called for a reduction of the national debt.
In short, Wesley called for higher taxes upon the wealthy and laws that would prohibit the wasting of natural products.
While Wesley did not tell the readers of Lloyd’s Evening Post about his personal actions, he organized groups of Methodists to visit the London workhouses where poor people were housed and employed. The groups also provided worship services for the inmates, most of whom were children and elderly persons.
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