Today in the Religious Economy

23 Apr

1. Come on Hasids! You’re bringing the rest of us down.

Meet the Poorest Community in America

If people want to work in a religious setting and make less than they would earn at B & H, that’s a choice people make,” said Gedalye Szegedin, the village administrator.

Still, poverty is largely invisible in the village. Parking lots are full, but strollers and tricycles seem to outnumber cars. A jeweler shares a storefront with a check-cashing office. To avoid stigmatizing poorer young couples or instilling guilt in parents, the chief rabbi recently decreed that diamond rings were not acceptable as engagement gifts and that one-man bands would suffice at weddings. Many residents who were approached by a reporter said they did not want to talk about their finances.

From NYT

2. Tyler Cowen tackles the most pressing question in America today: Would converting poor people to mormonism help fight poverty?

Religious Conversion as an Anti-Poverty Strategy

Hypothetical for you: would a massive conversion of low-income people to Mormonism reduce poverty? Utah looks to have some good demographics, which must be somewhat due to to the fact that 60% belong to the LDS church: http://www.adherents.com/largecom/lds_dem.html

They have the lowest child poverty rate in the country, the highest birth rate but the lowest out-of-wedlock birthrate.

Is Mormon conversion a viable development policy?

Read the full piece at Marginal Revolution

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