Jobs: The Only Real Way to Economic Growth

I’m not done with my study of Christian economics. I have not dug into John Calvin, William Perkins, Richard Baxter, or really even John Wesley that much on these things. But what I do know now–with a degree of certainty–is from St. Antonino to Martin Luther to the Puritans, to John Wesley and Adam Smith and P. T. Bauer, is that there is a general consensus among them that the only really reliable way to make money is through hard work at jobs. Economic growth comes from diligent, productive hard work at jobs; and from the wages their labor generates.

All of the Christian economic theologians looked with skepticism and even strong caution against investing in the stock market. Mostly the feeling was that the stock market is a deceptive racket, a waste of time and money, and not a very reliable way to make extra money on the side. Working at a job was seen as the godly and reliable way to make money; but the stock market was just seen as a con game, a way to get ripped off, go into debt and bankruptcy if you buy stocks on margin, or just go plain broke from a gambling addiction.

Seeing that working hard at jobs was viewed as the only reliable way for money-making and economic growth–it follows that any economic growth philosophy should be focused on upgrading jobs and increasing wages. The only condition, is that both St. Antonino and the Protestant economic theologians, warned that the money we make should not be “evilly acquired” from our jobs, nor should it be generated by adopting Machiavellian character traits like deception, cruelty, self-interest, and competition. The Golden Rule should totally govern our work ethic: “Do to others what you would have them do to you” (Matt. 7:12).

Working at home–always assumed for the wife in Proverbs 31–was the preference of the New England Puritans, the Amish, the Mennonites, and the “back to the land” hippies (Gary North, Puritan Economic Experiments, p. 20; Art Gish’s Beyond the Rat Race; Scott and Helen Nearing’s The Good Life). For the Puritans, owning a family farm was viewed as efficient and profitable. Telecommuting now makes this possible for more job categories than only farmers.

It seems the way to economic growth for a Biblical Christian is to telecommute for jobs that pay the most–and which also allow for minimum interaction with Machiavellian colleagues, gratuitous cussers, and flirtatious co-workers. Investing is always to be viewed as a secondary thing–and even so, with great caution and even skepticism of the stock market. Mortgaging for private property is good, Biblical, Puritan, and considered advisable by financial planners. Rent payments are money-eaters and are a conflict of interest with money-making income from jobs. It is also advisable from financial planners, and the history of American economics, to get into a 10-year FHA-insured mortgage with a HUD home. The reasons for this are simple: 1. 10 years means that private property is acquired faster than 30 years; and making payments on homes no longer becomes a money-eater. 2. If you fail to make an FHA mortgage payment because you fall on hard times, then the U.S. government will make the payment for you.

In short, the history of Christian economics has shown me the following:

1. Economic growth is generated by hard work at jobs; and if you wish to grow rich, then you need to focus on upgrading your jobs and increasing your wages. Asking for a $2 an hour or 12% raise on the anniversary of your hire date is a way to go about this: asking for subsequent raises once a year is considered acceptable, ranging from 10% to 20%. You can use Glassdoor to estimate the fair market value, of the salary range for your specific job title, in your industry, and with your years of experience. Working a side job is another way to make more money. If you think you’re missing something, you could always receive guidance from a licensed NCDA career counselor. FlexJobs.com, for example, might be a good place to start looking for jobs with more responsibilities and higher wages, and which are 100% remote and require no travel at all. E-blasting your cover letter and resume to companies from a LinkedIn verified email list, bought from Fiverr, can be valuable as well–all you need is an inexpensive Chrome extension called GMass; and you can send 500 emails from one Gmail account with the click of a button.

2. The stock market, by and large, is a waste of time and money; and you are more likely to lose money in it, than make extra money from it. Even if you are a careful investor, because of the economy–with its fluctuations in supply and demand–is far too unpredictable for the stock market to supply any kind of reliable money-making force for you.

3. Telecommuting is more conducive to peace of spirit, efficiency, profitability, and living the Christian life, than working in an office or elsewhere in public.

4. FHA-insured mortgages for a 10-year HUD home plan are highly desirable, because the U.S. government will help you out if you miss a mortgage payment; and the quicker you own private property, the quicker you can save what you earn without having to give it away to a landlord. These types of mortgages helped World War II veterans when they came back home; and greatly factored into what is today called the “American Dream” and the “Golden Age of Capitalism.” Micah 4:4: “Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the Lord Almighty has spoken.”

About Wesley Gospel

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