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Archive for the ‘Economics’ Category

God’s labor market

An analysis of the labor market for protestant ministers in the United States

Below is an excerpt from a paper I wrote in 2003 analyzing the labor market for pastors.  The full article can be found here.  Enjoy this excerpt:

“In a free market setting pastoral wages will always be very low when compared to other professionals. These low wages are due, in large part, to the vast number of perceived close substitutes that churches are willing to employ…

The free market model does not appear to be the best model for churches to use to set their pastoral wage. While it is true that by using the free market model churches can reduce the cost of employing a minister, the minister the church employs may not be able to perform all the duties the church expects of him. This may be because the minister is forced to work elsewhere or because the substitute hired is not a close enough substitute…

As discussed earlier, it is clear that the church founders and early church leaders felt that a congregation needed to provide its minister with a wage upon which he could live. If churches were to focus on this as their goal, rather than focusing on “how little can we pay the pastor and get away with it,” the church would be in a much better position…

If the church continues to use the free market model to pay ministers they will have under-qualified, overworked, unhappy ministers who can not meet the expectations of the church. A new model for pastoral pay must be found. This new model will not be as economically efficient, but it will, hopefully, create a system that encourages investment in qualified, caring ministers who can shepherd over the church to which they have been called.”

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The Big Bank Bailout of 2008

Lot’s of people are talking about the bailout the government has proposed.  However with the exception of this article and (for a slightly more scholarly look) this article, few sensible words have been spoken.  The plan proposed by the Bush administration would be acceptable if there was enough oversight built into the proposal.  It would be inappropriate to give unchecked powers to any individual or entity.  There needs to be oversight and accountability.  If this oversight is built into the system then the proposed bailout would probably be successful. (more…)

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Values and Goals

Identifying my basic values

What do I do?

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