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.
"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?
@dimelo,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.
"It's not Mitt Romney's responsibility to get you a job or pay
your bills. It's yours.Deal with it."AhhhAnother passionate conservative.
It's because when you pay tithing you get blessings, even rich blessings.
@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.
make the "compassionate conservative"
JoeBlow ... I'm a compassionate conservative. Should I ask DN to remove my
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.
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 ascausal 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."
@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.
atl134,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).Dimelo,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 JonesIt’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
What about Mississippi? Highest per capita church attendance yet
lowest literacy rate.
@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).
@Moontan,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
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?
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
@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).
Charlie,I have 2 BA degrees and one MA degree. I am working 3 jobs
that are below my level of education. I am also getting help from other sources.
Help from others and helping yourself is the only way to success. You also might
have to move. Good luck. It is very hard. It also helps to know people. That is
why joining a church, political party, or club might help. By the way college
education is paid for by taxpayers in Denmark. It also has a small population
who are hard working and have strong cultural ties to their homeland.
Chris B:Your ignorance really shows in your response to Dimelo. A
lot of us have experienced the same thing as he has. Many good IC
designers for instance cannot get a job precisely because of Mitt Romney and
others like him who outsource good IC design jobs to China and India and then
for good measure bring tens of millions of Asians over here to give the rest of
the design jobs to them here in my own country. It is called artificial market
manipulation (to keep the wages down, but only for those on the bottom as we do
not import CEOs) -- so that the CEOS and Mitt Romneys can walk away with
millions of dollars the rest of us get pushed out of a job by a market saturated
by Asians. I would like to see you "make yourself" marketable under such
extreme conditions -- oh, but you businessmen have all the answers (just maybe
that is why the economy is in such a mess, and the few are walking away with it
all). According to you the 1% are the most marketable of all, because they are
walking away with 93% of the profits. Get a clue.
It is quite clear that Chris B is attempting to make a joke here.Everyone take it easy, please.
The two words progressive liberals hate the most - "religion" and
"American dream". The new liberalism effectively kills the American
dream and of course forces atheism.
The contacts of LDS through their wards and stakes can be enormously useful to
them. And the LDS Church welfare program is a model for many to copy. But the
LDS Church has consistently opposed government social welfare floors such as
social security and medicare. It's as though the Church sees government as
a competitor to be crushed. So, the Church is very much a mixed bag from my
point of view, a socialist. It overwhelmingly means well, but is ignorant of
thinkers such as (and especially) Marx. The Church is wonderful, and leaves
much to be desired politically, at the same time.
I do not believe what matters most is the people who run the system and not the
system itself. Denmark has a very liberal system that works. Mormons have a very
conservative system that works Both probably have very competent people running
things. I do agree; however, that Socialism takes away incentives, but our
current system pays management and a CEO way too much. How about a system that
has more incentives for hard work. Why is labor taxed more than capital? Tax
labor less, pay higher wages for higher profits. Have tax free benefits to the
poor. Lower taxes for manufacturing in America. Give social security to those
who have earned it and need it. Not to the lazy or the rich. These are my ideas.
God helps us change for the better. Other people can call it what they want and
live in their world of cynicism. But I'm happy and I do better every time I
rely on the Lord for my support and aid. It's pretty simple.
Lots of engineering jobs out there in the world. You want a job in your field,
you just might have to MOVE where the jobs are. You can't just get a couple
of degrees in Engineering and then chose to live where jobs using your expertise
aren't.Sometimes interesting that they chose to call it social
mobility when it really DOES REQUIRE mobility. You can't park yourself in a
one-horse town and expect to find the job you want.
What Denmark has in common with Utah is that a high percentage of the people
live according to religious principles. Denmark may have the lowest numbers of
people who belong to a religion, but they still obviously have a high number of
people who live according to religious principles. The number of people
professing to belong to a religion is irrelevant. What is important is the
number of people who giving willfully to the poor and needy and who try to help
people in need.
@ dimelo; obviously you may have Engineering Degrees but you don't know
what prosperity means. Why people always associate prosperity with wealth is
beyond me. This makes zero sense. Prosperity could mean good health, a
good family things like that. Get off the prosperity equates to money and you
will understand what real prosperity means and maybe count your blessings and be
grateful to God.
Johnny Moser:I have worked in Engineering for 20 years in 6
different states -- the problem is H1B visas coming over and taking all the
engineering jobs now. And it is against their laws for me to take jobs in India
or China. So, you have all the answers apparently, what do I do now?If you are 1 of 4000 plumbers in Denver CO and they dropped 20000 plumbers
from India in your town, and the same is happening in all the other cities, your
job is going to be gone, no matter how good of an engineer you are. But then
again, you all have the answers to everything, right?
ImABelieverI have a family with young children I need to provide
for. I am supposed to go to Walmart then and try to provide for a family on
poverty wages, and be grateful for my family nonetheless? I am not hearing too
many practical answers. By the way, I am grateful for my family; I would like to
be able to provide for them, and being wealthy has not ever been an option for
us (I think you misjudged my situation).
To: Dimelo, I wasn't judging the situation. I was stating the fact that
people don't understand what the definition of prosperity means. People are
so narrow minded and cynical anymore it is frightening. Before texting, emailing
came along people actually used the brain that God gave them. Now many
aren't functional and are only short sighted.
@dimeloMy heart goes out to you. I was out of work from October 2008 to
November 2011.I am working at about 1/3 the pay I was making in 2000.I feel like I'm working for the health insurance.I'm 59 years
old.The American Dream hasn't worked for a lot of us lately. Our
cheese has been moved and there isn't much we can do about it.Now, about the article. Utah is filled with "social capital," an
interesting buzzword.Utah is also highly polarized between LDS and
Gentiles. The Mormon connection is not as strong in the business and political
world as our detractors suppose, but that still isn't much consolation to
those who feel they are on the outside.
Sorry Charlie!SLC, UT@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."You can make yourself marketable
by creating your own work. If no one hires you, get off your butt and hire
yourself! there are trees to cut, lawn to mow, trash to pick, and millions of
other services that you can provide. I am an engineer - work 3 jobs and loving
it, 2 of which I created. You will be waiting a long time for Jesus to get you a
VSTI tried to send you some references, but keep getting
censored.On Romney outsourcing jobs to China, just google
"Romney outsourcing jobs to China," and you will see plenty hits come
My heart goes out to anyone without work and it is callous for anyone to not
express charity for anyone without work. The problem I have is with those who
believe that Socialism is the answer for unemployment or government answers for
those who are unemployed. I'm quite baffled at the ignorance that people
exhibit about the benefits of a free people. If they only realized that the
government involvement in everything from minimum wage laws to federal taxes is
destructive of free creative people. It is not a zero sum game, something for
which progressives are prone to view the world. Sustainable growth, zero
population, abortion, Climate change, etc., etc. It goes on ad infinitum. When
enough people understand freedom, job opportunities will return. Please pass
May it please the moderators: Uh...Yeah. Saying that SLC is almost as
awesome as Denmark is not necessarily the best way to make a point. And the
Bible Belt is nowhere nearly as fawesome. I will add this to my list of Des
News sources that provide "evidence" of how much better off religious
people are in every way, shape, and form.
What an entertaining post board. I actually turned off the TV and had to run
get my Depends!All the best to dimelo and others struggling. It is
disheartening, especially after all the education cost and effort. Two of my
five kids had to struggle with unemployment for a year or so, after upward
mobility induced them to get their MBA. Now they have student loans to pay off,
and they would have been better off remaining in their good jobs, sans the
masters... But they went after their dream all the same.Now tell me
why my Norwegian cousins live in one of the highest good economic countries, pay
50% in taxes, and have a state-religion/ but are not a very little religious
folk?The math don't add up...
Once again, this is shallow analysis. If we're to believe that
organized religion is the key competent, why are so many european countries
doing so well at class mobility, despite being comparatively irreligious?
Furthermore, why are some of the least mobile states in the US in the deep
south, which is exceptionally religious?Mormonism unquestionably
plays a large role in SLC's success. I think a major part of that is the
geographic focus of our congregations. Rich and poor members are not segregated
nearly to the extent that you'll find in other denominations. Your ward
will not be exclusively rich or poor people, etc. SLC's demographics and
history also make this easier, compared to a place like Atlanta, or Chicago. Shrugging this off as "well, if only more people went to
church!" completely lets the massive political and societal circumstances
for these inequalities off the hook. It's irresponsible, and it isn't
What is wrong with Romney outsourcing jobs to China?If he OWNS a
company, it's his.He can do whatever he wants with it.Again, Romney doesn't owe me a job, you a job, or barack a job.It's MITT'S company, he can decide what to do with it.Any of you crying to could allow me to come live in your house with you, but
you don't?Why?Are you all evil people who
won't let me live in your house?Same idea. It's YOUR
house, you can do whatever you want with it.You don't owe me a
home.And Mitt doesn't owe you a job.It's HIS
company.Don't like it?Start your own company. Besides, aren't liberals the ones OK will illegal immigrants coming
into the country and taking jobs here. That's worse than Mitt sending jobs
oversees. Because illegal immigration, for the liberals who forget, is illegal.
Either way its giving jobs to non-Americans, but Mitt does it the legal way.
Why is it ok for Mexicans to take our jobs but not Indians liberals?Great job Mitt!
In my case (a programmer), when the market became swamped with programmers, I
made myself maketable by going back to school and changing professions. Now I
am in an HR office and I still use my programming skills, with a HR twist.Make yourself more marketable sounded good to me, so I did it, and found
a better job.HMMMMMMMM....
I can see Chris B is still going to cling to his "all is well in Zion"
and the real problem is with the laborer who is compensated next to nothing
despite all evidence to the contrary (all is not well in Zion and the laborer is
being oppressed), and just going to church solves all these problems -- we will
all be upwardly mobile then, just like Mitt. The greater point is masses of us
on the bottom will never see any social mobility because of people like Mitt who
pull up the ladder once they are on top. The US has the highest wealth
inequality of all OECD nations, the richest nations.Hispanic
immigrants coming in illegally and taking jobs away from citizens, when jobs are
scarce, yes is the same as Indians taking jobs away so CEOs can take more money
for themselves, only the jobs Indians take away are the remaining few that pay a
living wage. But the greater fight is with the 1% taking it all and leaving
crumbs for the rest of us to fight over -- that is the real problem, and it
especially includes Mitt Romney and his ilk (D&C 49:20).
To "Nosea" and what is your solution? Mitt Romeny and other CEOs are
doing their job by providing their company's product at the lowest cost
possible.You realize that it isn't the going to church aspect
that creates the upward mobility. It is fully participating in a large group
with many connections that creates the upward mobility. It just happens to work
well within the LDS community because Wards and Stakes comprise poor people and
wealthy people, and they are all well connected together.If you
don't like it when US companies outsource to foreign countries where labor
is cheaper, what do you propose to do so that US wages are cost competitive with
other countries? Are you going to make labor cost more by adding more
regulations, taxes, and mandated benefits?As for illegal jobs, what
is plan there? Are you going to round up the illegals, give them amnesty so
their labor cost increases, or what?You are against a lot, but offer
@dimeloMy nephew who has an engineering degree was out of work for
almost two years. His wife had emotional health problems and left him and took
their daughter. He was barely making it. I saw him at our family reunion last
month and was prepared to give him my sympathy and offer whatever help and
advice I could. To my surprise he finally had landed an engineering
job he wanted and was dating a terrific women who had been through a lot
herself. He never turned his back on his faith though I know he must have
thought about it. It was actually his religous foundation that help him right
his course.He also did what Chris B. suggested. He made himself
more marketable by moving to a different state and researching the company and
job he wanted. I am also an engineer and know that it can be up and down. From
my personal experience my faith has never hurt me in the long term but I have
had to learn patience.Hang in there and I really do wish you the
RedShirt:Is this the same RedShirt that was telling everyone that
Germany has worse social mobility than the US because Germany is a socialist
country? Put a limit on how much salary can be taken per individual
(a maximum income rate), to check the unbounded greed very much destroying our
nation right now, and we will all fair better. Or go back to Eisenhower tax
rates for the wealthy at 80% for higher income brackets and we will return to
the much more equal society we had back in the 50s and 60s. Or quit importing
10s of millions more of immigrants (to drive down wages so CEOs can get $10s of
million in bonuses), when there are already 10s of millions out of work. Use
tariffs to level the playing field between workers in different countries,
instead of ramming through unfair "free-trade" agreements that always
disadvantage workers to enrich 1%.The greater point is we are doing
nothing to solve the problem, only doing everything to make it worse (catering
to the 1% to the detriment of the 99% in every law passed by Congress for
instance) -- and it is getting worse for all but 1%.
To "Nosea" the problem is far worse than you can imagine. You and your
ilk complain about the wages that people earn now, yet refuse to accept the fact
that it is because of government and the corruption that is present there that
things are getting worse. Then, the fact that your ilk wants to expand
government and make it even more powerful will not help the problem, but will
continue to make things worse.Since all the studies out there have
shown that in the past we had greater social equality, why is it that rather
than look at what was working in the past you are looking at failed systems?During the 50s and 60s you claim that things were better. Lets look at
what we had then coming from the government. We had actual budget surplusses,
fewer regulations, a simple tax code, less government welfare, smaller state and
federal governments, and so forth. Why not advocate for what we had when things
were better rather than advocating for more government and more regulation which
ultimately destroys social mobility?
@patriot"The new liberalism effectively kills the American
dream"Except liberals think that one of the biggest problems
facing this nation is a lack of mobility, while the entire premise of the
American dream is based on mobility, the idea that anyone can make it.
@RedShirtWe have less government regulation now and way more corporate
control, government for the 1%; just look at the legislation that gets passed.
It is far less meaningful regulation on the 1% and corporations than in the 50s
and 60s (just look at the size of lobbying groups now, K-street or shadow
government did not exist in the 50s and 60s not even close to like now), and
things are way worse for mobility now than in the 50s and 60s. The check on the
greedy then to keep them from lobbying was high tax rates for high incomes; CEOs
kept their salaries low because of this, 40x the rest, whereas now with less
regulation they are at 500x everyone else in salary, and thus the much bigger
wealth gap now than then. Yes the government is corrupt now, but only because of
the bribes and lobbying of the 1% that did not exist to the same extent in the
50s and 60s. That is the reason for the bigger wealth gap, government for the 1%
now versus government for the 99% then.
To "dimelo" in what fantasy land do you think we have less government
control and regulation?If we have less regulation now, explain why
these news outlets have written articles on the increased costs of
regulations:"Yearly regulatory costs rose $70B during
Obama's first term, study says" Fox News"New
Regulations Batter The Middle Class. Obama Changes The Subject" Forbes"Regulations Under Obama Cost Households $14,768 Yearly"
NewsmaxIf there are fewer regulations, why did the cost of
regulations jump so much?Here is the other problem that you have not
addressed. If the regulations are to keep the greedy in check, why is it that
the greedy have not been slowed?Breitbart reported "Capitol
Cronyism: Obama-Backer Warren Buffett Helped Shape Bailout Rules, Then Made
Massive Profits from Them". By granting the power to the Federal government
to bail out private businesses, we have invited more corruption. Warren
Buffett's greed allowed him to make tons of money through corruption in the
government. If the government had said "no" to the bailouts, then
Buffett could not have profited. He used regulation to profit. Why keep giving
more power to those who sell it to the highest bidder?
Downtown424 posted:=Furthermore, why are some of the least mobile
states in the US in the deep=south, which is exceptionally religious?A lot of people think the Bible Belt (that I think you're referring
to) is indeed "exceptionally religious"; is it? Back in 1987
sociologist Rodney Stark taught at the University of Washington that it's
an illusion; people in the Bible Belt aren't any more religious than people
in the Northeast or the Midwest.
A lot of people complain here about the 1% of the population that are taking 95%
(or so) of the income. Let's say a CEO of a large successful company is
making $500,000 a year. I currently have a pretty good job, but for the record
I did my time as a Wal-Mart associate for six months, at which point I was
making about $18,000 a year. Now if we were going to make things more fair, as
some people have argued for, and perhaps make things more like they are in
Germany, as some other people have argued for, then we need to put in government
regulations that will get the salary of the CEO more like the salary of the
Wal-Mart associate. My concern is, once we put those regulations into place,
what happens if the CEO's salary goes down, but my salary goes down too?
What if the CEO's salary goes down to $100,000, but my salary goes down to
$15,000? The goal would have been accomplished; things are more fair than they
were before; but I'm making less money than I was before the regulations
came into effect.
RE: Dimelo, this "gospel of prosperity" (Calvanism) work?Calvin's influence on America's founding is unmistakable. The
nation's patriotism, work ethic, sense of equality, public morality, and
even elements of democracy all sprang in part from the Calvinist taproot of
Puritan New England. When Calvinist preacher Jonathan Edwards told worshipers in
1741 that they were loathsome spiders held over the pit of hell by the gracious
hand of an offended God, he wasn't speaking a heretical creed but the basic
vocabulary of American faith. By most logic, the stern system of
Calvinism shouldn't be popular today. Much of modern Christianity preaches
a comforting Home Depot theology: You can do it. We can help.
I posted:=The goal would have been accomplished; things are more
fair than they were=before; but I'm making less money than I was
before the regulations came into=effect.My point is that the
free market is as successful a system as it is because it is precisely that,
free. People realize that the only thing between themselves and fabulous wealth
is the limits of their imagination, so they put there all into the free market
system and keep at it, hoping their efforts will lead them to success. If you
try tinkering with the system to make things more fair, you run the risk of
changing the system so much that the incentive to work hard might go away, and
then suddenly everybody is going to be worse off.