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Whoever loves money never has enough;
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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Comments Which Conservatives Block From Their Blogs For December 2, 2015

Nov 26

To Hunter Baker and his blogpost on how Christians should live their faith after the Obergefell decision. This appeared in the Gospel Coalition

I think there is a fourth option. What was listed above included two ways to coexist with the LGBT community in particular and society in general and one way to keep fighting the fight to control culture. There is another way to approach this subject that would seem to be another way to coexist but is more aggressively friendly than that. Rather than looking to control or to refrain from offending, we need to look to share society with those who are different as equals. This is more than just coexisting. This involves actively guarding the rights of those with whom we have great disagreement because we want them to have an equal place and voice in society.

With this way of sharing society with others as equals, we could still keep the orthodoxy and orthopraxy of the Benedict Option as well as be aggressive in sharing the Gospel and what God's Word says about sex as in the Gagnon option. However, our orthodox beliefs and actions will not interfere with our defending the equal rights of those from the LGBT community especially those who want to practice same-sex marriage in society. Our only stipulation should be that such marriage should not be allowed in any Bible believing church. 

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To Joseph Sunde and his blog about Christian hospitality for the Syrian refugees. This appeared in the Acton blog

Though there are good things said in the article above about how we should approach the refugee problem, we should not be impressed with ourselves when we risk caring for Syrian refugees. Why? We should remember that with few people and resources than we have, Syrians  took in 1,000,000+ refugees from Iraq as they fled both our invasion and its aftermath. In fact, we might also want to personally investigate any connection between our interventions and refugees coming from where we intervene.

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Nov 30

To Andrew Spencer and his review of a book on business ethics by Michael Cafferky. This appeared in the Gospel Coalition website.

Certainly, my comment here is going to be grounded in some ignorance having not seen the book at all, but it seems to me that Christian books that tell us how to act and think in the current business world would be like a Christian book that tells us how to own slaves in the pre Civil War South. Yes, one can treat one's own slaves back then or one's own stakeholders today nicer and even humanely, but the basic economic structure that allows one person to own another goes unchallenged.

So my hope is that this book does challenge the basic structure of our capitalist economic system. In particular, I hope this book challenges the way that Capitalism objectifies and thus makes workers disposable. I hope that this book challenges the notion that a business owner by virtue of wealth has no obligation to make one's employees owners  by virture of work. I hope that this book challenges the notion that a business owner by virtue of wealth has no obligation to give some power over the business to the community in which the business resides. For if all this book does is to tell the business owner how to own one's business, then the structural flaws of our economic system that cause so many wrong decisions by business owners will remain untouched. And the end result will be that this book will allow Christians involved with business to have their cake and eat it too.

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To Bruce Edward Walker and his blogpost on how new IRS rules will allow nonprofits the option of recording the identity of any giver of donations over $250 by Social Security Number. Walker blamed this on Shareholder Activist trying to curb the power of dark money, something Walker denies is a problem. This appeared in the Acton Blog

The IRS proposal is less rediculous as denying our problem of how money controls politics. But why blame shareholder activists for IRS policies targeting all nonprofits? And when the proposed rules cite the option of a nonprofit filing Social Security numbers with the IRS, why be bothered? After all, if it is an option, then both the nonprofit and the donor have choices. That is certainly different from proposing the identification by Social Security number as a  requirement.

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Dec 1

To Joe Carter and his blogpost describing how the effective marginal tax rate is hurts the motivation of people taking low wage jobs. In the blogpost, Carter uses a hypothetical example of a single family of two who go from the parent having no stated income besides gov’t assistance to a full-time $15/hr job

First, The calculation of the effective marginal tax rate is individual. It is only the median tax rate that is 31%. Picking a hypothetical case of a person without any explicitly stated income with a child dependent might significantly alter how much of that 31% effective marginal tax rate would apply to the case. The table in figure 1 from the CBO report cited above does not support Carter's particular hypothetical case. We should note here that the 31% is an estimate based on a simulation. 

Second, the purpose of the article is confusing. Is the purpose to argue for a higher minimum wage or for lower taxes or for fewer benefits? If it is an argument for lower taxes, where do we make up the difference seeing that our deficit spending increases and services are cut or threatened? If it is an argument for fewer benefits, what happens to those who do not get offered the $15/hr job? If it is an argument for a higher minimum wage than $15/hr, why not state that explicitly?

Third, the other benefits of having a job are not mentioned in the article. That starting a job that pays enough for people to support themselves which can lead to better jobs and higher pay in the future could an incentive for taking the $15/hr job. Here, we might want to point out that how people weigh the current monetary benefits of staying dependent over future benefits, both monetary and nonmonetary ones, that come from being employed will partially depend on the values taught by the economic system employed by the society. An economic system that places a higher value on maximizing one's personal profit will cause more people to weigh the difference between being dependent and working strictly by a 'what's in it for me' mindset. After all why should those in the lower economic classes have a different value system than the wealthiest in society?



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