Now’s the Time To ReAffirm Tax Exemptions for Religious Institutions

Cunning Deceit: Defenders of tax exemptions and deductions argues that if we got rid of them charitable giving would drop. It surely would, although how much, we can’t say. But of course government revenue would go up, and that money could be used to, say, house the homeless and feed the hungry. We’d have fewer church soup kitchens — but countries that truly care about poverty don’t rely on churches to run soup kitchens.

Governments don’t care about the poor, and are highly inefficient distributors of the widow’s mite—monies stolen from citizens via taxation and endless borrowing to house the homeless and feed the hungry are propaganda fronts to distract citizens from plunder from banksters, Wall Street, the military industrial complex and the surveillance industrial complex. — Robert John Stevens

Is Christ the Answer to Poverty?

Will acceptance of Christ begin to lift people out of poverty? This question is of ongoing interest to me.

Here’s a case study in poverty—if a people reject you because you deliver the wrong message about God, you may find yourself begging for food from house to house, run upon and trodden until you are dead:

58 And it came to pass that they were all convinced of the wickedness of Korihor; therefore they were all converted again unto the Lord; and this put an end to the iniquity after the manner of Korihor. And Korihor did go about from house to house, begging food for his support.

59 And it came to pass that as he went forth among the people, yea, among a people who had separated themselves from the Nephites and called themselves Zoramites, being led by a man whose name was Zoram—and as he went forth amongst them, behold, he was run upon and trodden down, even until he was dead. — Book of Mormon, Alma 30:58-59

Poverty Impedes Cognitive Function

The poor often behave in less capable ways, which can further perpetuate poverty. We hypothesize that poverty directly impedes cognitive function and present two studies that test this hypothesis. First, we experimentally induced thoughts about finances and found that this reduces cognitive performance among poor but not in well-off participants. Second, we examined the cognitive function of farmers over the planting cycle. We found that the same farmer shows diminished cognitive performance before harvest, when poor, as compared with after harvest, when rich. This cannot be explained by differences in time available, nutrition, or work effort. Nor can it be explained with stress: Although farmers do show more stress before harvest, that does not account for diminished cognitive performance. Instead, it appears that poverty itself reduces cognitive capacity. We suggest that this is because poverty-related concerns consume mental resources, leaving less for other tasks. These data provide a previously unexamined perspective and help explain a spectrum of behaviors among the poor. We discuss some implications for poverty policy.

Poverty is a catch-22—it lowers IQ but IQ is needed to escape poverty. What is the alternative? Well, it helps to start with a large IQ and a mind filled with education. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches Christ gets people out of poverty—once converted to the gospel people are better able to get themselves out of poverty.—Robert John Stevens

The Scarcity Mindset: What happens when you have too little

When you’re experiencing scarcity, your mind focuses on whatever it lacks,” he says. If you’re lonely and want to make someone interested in you, the last thing you should think about is, “I want this person to like me.” But lonely people can’t help but focus on that, and it makes them uninteresting to talk to, so it backfires.

A Harvard study from last year showed that the grating effects of poverty can create the equivalent effect of pulling an all-nighter every night, and drop IQ by as much as 13 points.

How Truly Free Markets Help the Poor

An excellent article that enlightens our thinking:

…if the minimum wage is $10 per hour, and a worker only produces $8 of goods or services per hour, he will never be hired. Naturally, with a little experience, an unproductive (in the economic sense of the word) worker becomes more productive with job experience. But with a minimum wage, how is the worker supposed to get his first job? He can’t. As a result, many workers caught up in this catch-22 become long-term welfare recipients or they turn to black markets where they are branded criminals by the legal system.