Comments about ‘Religion enhances mobility toward American dream, LDS Church says’

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Published: Tuesday, Aug. 20 2013 12:15 p.m. MDT

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Salt Lake City, UT

The Bible Belt was the area of the nation with the worst income mobility.


So exactly how does this "gospel of prosperity" (Calvanism) work? I have been religious my whole life, served a mission, got two engineering degrees (rigorous route to go) and now I have been out of work for more than a year with 20 years before retirement -- social mobility in reverse! In fact, I lost my job mostly due to my religious affiliation. So much for you live righteously and you prosper; I am not buying it.

In fact, I would attribute what is happening to Anti-Christ doctrine (Social Darwinism, or survival of the fittest) -- "every man prospers according to his own genius" is really a lie, as the most unscrupulous and greedy are the ones prospering the most. Just witness the financial thugs on Wall Street with their million dollar bonuses after they were rescued by tax payers after sinking the world economy. Winner take all, or the biggest thugs take all?

So, please, spare me the righteous will prosper, when I know first-hand what a big lie it is.

JD Jones
Salt Lake City, UT

"That's why Salt Lake City — dominated by Mormons — has mobility levels that compare with Denmark's (cited earlier in the column as one of the international leaders in social mobility)."

The above quote begs the question: Why is the Deseret News trying to make a case for Mormonism when it's clear that social capital leading social mobility is possible without being religious? Denmark is the least religious country in Europe, and yet it seems that Mormons are being compared to a high standard of social capital and social mobility. Instead of focusing on Denmark, the writer immediately talks about the ways in which religious institutions generate social capital instead of talking about how a non-religious country manages to generate so social capital and social mobility. The article seems to hint that social capital and social mobility is less likely to occur without religion. Clearly this can't be the case if the writer is comparing the LDS Church to an unreligious Denmark.

The question we should be asking is this: What can everyone learn about a very non-religious country?

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT


Don't have a job? Make yourself marketable.

It really IS that simple.

It's not Mitt Romney's responsibility to get you a job or pay your bills. It's yours.

Deal with it.

Far East USA, SC

"It's not Mitt Romney's responsibility to get you a job or pay your bills. It's yours.
Deal with it."


Another passionate conservative.

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

It's because when you pay tithing you get blessings, even rich blessings.

Roanoke, VA

@Chris B re "Don't have a job? Make yourself marketable. It really IS that simple."

The only thing simple about that remark is its callousness. There are plenty of unemployed people who've made themselves very marketable who are having difficulty in a sick market.

Far East USA, SC

make the

"compassionate conservative"

Roanoke, VA

JoeBlow ... I'm a compassionate conservative. Should I ask DN to remove my first comment?

Riverton, UT

It is interesting to me how many jobs there are out there that people will not take because those jobs are "beneath them".

You might think about that dimelo, JoeBlow, & Moontan.

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

Joe Blow,

Are you going to correct the "make the" comment now? You're really struggling here aren't you?

I reiterate. The only way this country will ever succeed is for each person to say "my problems are my problems." The problem with handing out other people's money is eventually their money runs out. And we're still in the same place


Other findings of the study:

"We found significant correlations between intergenerational mobility and income inequality, economic and racial residential segregation, measures of K-12 school quality (such as test scores and high school dropout rates), social capital indices, and measures of family structure (such as the fraction of single parents in an area). In particular, areas with a smaller middle class had lower rates of upward mobility."

"We caution that all of the findings in this study are correlational and cannot be interpreted as
causal effects. For instance, areas with high rates of segregation may also have other differences that could be the root cause driving the differences in children’s outcomes. What is clear from this research is that there is substantial variation in the United States in the prospects for escaping poverty. Understanding the properties of the highest mobility areas-and how we can improve mobility in areas that currently have lower rates of mobility–is an important question for future research that we and other social scientists are exploring."

Sorry Charlie!

@Chris B
The man has two engineering degrees how exactly is he suppose to make himself more marketable? Bu hiding his education so he can get a poverty level job at Walmart? that sounds goof then we can pay through our taxes for his food, healthcare and loan defaults while Walmart makes massive profits.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY


Yes, but religion here is more fractured. Still, I have witnessed the social capital aspects. But there are other issues (education and historic wealth among them).


It is not a prosperity gospel issue. Nor does it mean that none suffer. Simply that, on average, the social capital is a benefit. BTW, sorry about your situation. It is very difficult. I hope it improves for you.

JD Jones

It’s not that it is not possible without religion. Simply that religion supplies social capital. Also, Denmark is tiny and much less diverse than the US.

Mister J
Salt Lake City, UT

What about Mississippi?

Highest per capita church attendance yet lowest literacy rate.

Salt Lake City, UT

@Chris B
"Make yourself marketable. "

That's only legal in Nevada. (Yes I know I am taking that comment way too literal but an obnoxious comment is rather worthy of a snarky response).

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT


Yes there are.

And it's STILL THEIR responsibility to pay their own bills.

And no point does that responsibility shift to Mitt Romney.

Liberals would be wise to learn that.

Bountiful, UT

I find it interesting that Denmark and Utah have high social mobility. It is a fact that Utah has the highest percentage of people of any state in the United States that are Danish. Do Danes have a natural talent for social mobility?

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

Sorry Charlie,

Please tell me you don't believe the only way to make yourself marketable is through engineering degrees.

What is the solution to someone who is out of work.

Make yourself more marketable. That is always the answer.

Sorry if that's tough to hear.

Salt Lake City, UT

@Twin Lights
"But there are other issues (education and historic wealth among them)."

Absolutely. My comment was too brief to adequately note that I'm not trying to say religion is a hindrance, just that I question the idea posed in the title.

"Also, Denmark is tiny and much less diverse than the US."

Incidentally, Salt Lake City (or Utah since the state as a whole scored rather high too) is rather tiny and much less diverse than the US (as a whole).

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