Specific economic principles in the Baha’i Writings, a deepening (part two)



“… The Master has definitely stated that wages should be unequal, simply because that men are unequal in their ability, and hence should receive wages that would correspond to their varying capacities and resources.  This view seems to contradict the opinion of some modern economists.  But the friends should have full confidence in the words of the Master, and should give preference to His statements over those voiced by our so-called modern thinkers.”  -Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 551.  (Letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, dated 26 December 1935.)

“…The workers could either be granted a wage that adequately meets their daily needs, as well as a right to a share in the revenues of the factory when they are injured, incapacitated, or unable to work, or else a wage could be set that allows the workers to both satisfy their daily needs and save a little for times of weakness and incapacity” -‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 317.

“Now I want to tell you about the law of God.  According to the Divine law, employees should not be paid merely by wages.  Nay, rather they should be partners in every work.”  -‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Bahá’í World, Vol. IV, p. 454.



  1. Should wages be equal?
  2. Will people earning less be deprived of opportunities?
  3. Can workers be partners with their employers?




Once work is done and money is earned, then the question of taxation arises.


“We see you increasing every year your expenditures, and laying the burden thereof on your subjects.  This, verily, is wholly and grossly unjust.  Fear the sighs and tears of this Wronged One, and lay not excessive burdens on your peoples.”  Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 253; and The Proclamation of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 12.

Each person in the community whose need is equal to his individual producing capacity shall be exempt from taxation.  But if the income is greater than his needs, he must pay a tax until an adjustment is effected.  That is to say, a man’s capacity for production and his needs will be equalized and reconciled through taxation.  If his production exceeds, he will pay a tax; if his necessities exceed his production, he shall receive an amount sufficient to equalize or adjust.  Therefore, taxation will be proportionate to capacity and production, and there will be no poor in the community.”  -‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 217.



  1. Should people be taxed equally?
  2. Can graduated taxes help the poor?
  3. Is it possible that some people will not pay tax in a divine economy?

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