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Posts Tagged: economics

The Problem with Giving Tuesday

Dec. 14, 2016By: Darren CarlsonAuthor Bio

An interesting post from Amy Reynolds:

But then, in Giving Tuesday, we give to organizations that help those in poverty–often workers who may have been involved in the goods we buy.  How can we fail to see the irony within this?  Since this day just started, and we in the US like our specially named days, what about a different way to help, that actually connected with all the buying this season entails.  Informed Sunday.  That’s what I would support. What if, as Christians, we connected the buying and the giving; our consumption with our concern for others we do not know. The idea that we are not our brother or sister’s keeper, that we are not responsible for the conditions under which our goods are produced — it’s a lie.  We are called to live in covenant with God and with others.  While the market may be depersonalized, when we buy items, we lend our support to the business practices of the seller.  We are connected to the workers involved.

Read the whole thing here.

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Why is Half the Planet Stuck in Poverty?

Dec. 7, 2016By: Darren CarlsonAuthor Bio
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Commerce, Not Aid is the Key in Economic Development

Feb. 4, 2016By: Darren CarlsonAuthor Bio

Have you ever thought of giving clothes away as harming someone? 

Elise Amyz writes:

Many young Christians look up to social entrepreneurs like U2’s front man Bono, co-founder of ONE, and Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS Shoes, for their companies’ philanthropic missions. However, academics and economists have criticized both men for dumping aid into impoverished communities, which ends up hurting the economy by undermining local business.

Screen_Shot_2016-02-04_at_1.59.10_PMLast year, Bono came to a “humbling” realization and publicly announced his conviction that commerce is the key in economic development, not aid. Now, Mycoskie is joining his side.

Another article traces how TOMS former policy of buy one/get one actually hurts the poor and how they have now began manfacturing shoes in Haiti and have put 100 Haitians on their payroll to do so.  

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How Being a Small Town Pastor Changed My View of Economics

Dec. 3, 2015By: Darren CarlsonAuthor Bio

I was an economics major in college, but that does not mean I really understood how to understand wealth in light of my Christian faith.  It is easy to take shots at wealthy people.  They (we!) have nice car(s), nice house(s) and spend money on things we don't necessarily need.  We hear calls for radical living and giving often and might even questions someone's faith when they have so many nice things relative to what we have.  So what did being a small town pastor have to do with softening my hard line stance on wealth?

My church was made up of contractors.  Some of them were very gifted carpenters.  Others were skilled landscapers.  Another was a builder.  Who do you think employed them?  It was people who had "extra money" to spend on remodeling their home by either upgrading rooms they had, building an addition or landscaping their property.  Now these people could have spent their money on feeding children, planting churches, providing clean water or a whole host of worthy endeavors.  But if this money had been donated to charity, the members of my church would have been out of job, unable to use the skill they had learned to provide for their families and therefore needing the church to care for them.  Even more so, I would have been out of a job, as the church members would have had no money to pay my salary.

So next time you think about being hard on people who don't give away all of their discretionary funds, just remember that there are a lot of people in your church who's job relies on people spending their money on services your members, who have been gifted by God, can provide.

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Econ Thursday: A Wise Investment?

Sep. 28, 2015By: Darren CarlsonAuthor Bio

Is this a wise investment?

Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, [1] a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table. And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor.” But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial. Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”


This is most certainly not a passage about an economic system, but it does serve as a check to those of us who are constantly telling people to think through their donation from every angle. The woman poured at a years worth of money on Jesus that could have gone to feeding many people.

Adoration and devotion trumps "wise" giving.

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