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Tithing Breaks Poverty Cycles?


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16 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

I strongly recommend you get yourself into a poverty cycle -- a real one, not some pampered First World sense of unfulfilled entitlement. Do you know what it even looks like? I went to church with a family whose livelihood was hand-making bricks. They had to produce 30,000 bricks per month just to pay their contribution to their sons' missions, two of whom were serving at the time. Then came school fees and food. They had a single powerpoint in their two-room home, so electricity thankfully didn't cost much. But before all of this, they paid tithing. They knew they were being blessed for their faithfulness not because life was good but because they were surviving on less than literally everyone around them.

But that's not even what we're talking about here, is it? The immediate blessings of faithfully tithing? No, specifically we're talking about breaking the cycles of poverty. So once you get yourself into real poverty, it needs to be a genuine cycle, so get married and have some kids. Then faithfully pay your tithes for decades as you raise those kids and as they start their own families. Then see what the outcomes in your own family look like. Are your grandchildren as poor as you were? How are they faring in comparison to your neighbours' grandchildren?

As I wrote earlier, I literally don't know a single genuinely poor Saint who has faithfully done the above who complained that it didn't work. And I have a strong feeling that they'd be less than impressed that you're presuming to complain on their behalves.

A better remedy to breaking the generational cycle of poverty? Take that 10% of your income that you give to the church and instead invest it in a market vehicle like a high yield bond or mutual fund. Invest that 10% each year and reinvest market gains each year. Do that for 30-40 years. Maybe use some of those funds to help send your children to college, to position them for higher-earning careers. Teach your children to use that same investment strategy, and encourage them to pass along that wealth and knowledge to their heirs. Within only a couple generations, poverty will be be alleviated for an entire family. If one had begun this strategy in 1980, investing $2000 a year since that time at a annual rate of return of 5% (with interest compounded), you could expect have approximately $250,000 by now. That is a more sound and proven method for alleviating generational poverty.

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1 hour ago, Walden said:

A better remedy to breaking the generational cycle of poverty? Take that 10% of your income that you give to the church and instead invest it in a market vehicle like a high yield bond or mutual fund. Invest that 10% each year and reinvest market gains each year. Do that for 30-40 years. Maybe use some of those funds to help send your children to college, to position them for higher-earning careers. Teach your children to use that same investment strategy, and encourage them to pass along that wealth and knowledge to their heirs. Within only a couple generations, poverty will be be alleviated for an entire family. If one had begun this strategy in 1980, investing $2000 a year since that time at a annual rate of return of 5% (with interest compounded), you could expect have approximately $250,000 by now. That is a more sound and proven method for alleviating generational poverty.

I think this is a problem with the current system where requesting financial disclosure is sinful.  Tithes take the above option away from the faithful.  Potential retirement savings instead go to the church.  Now the church says that it is using the tithing in a fashion that benefits everyone through building temples, maintaining church facilities, supporting education, and doing some charity.  However, it cannot be verified that this is all that is going on with the money donated.  One needs to resort to mormonleaks in order to see how the church has at least 30 billion invested.  What else is going on?  Sure, the church does some good with tithing money and I don't dispute that.  What I would like to know, as I still have family involved, is does the church really need all the money?  Does it need 10%?  It used to require members to consecrate all above subsistence, but that changed to 10%.  Perhaps 10% needs to be reduced?  How about a tax deduction for the poor members who are struggling?  Maybe reducing tithing burdens is the better way to lift poverty stricken individuals and families out of the poverty cycle?  Maybe use the vast church wealth and government connections to lobby for better governments in some of the poverty stricken countries?

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2 hours ago, Exiled said:

I think this is a problem with the current system where requesting financial disclosure is sinful.  Tithes take the above option away from the faithful.  Potential retirement savings instead go to the church.  Now the church says that it is using the tithing in a fashion that benefits everyone through building temples, maintaining church facilities, supporting education, and doing some charity.  However, it cannot be verified that this is all that is going on with the money donated.  One needs to resort to mormonleaks in order to see how the church has at least 30 billion invested.  What else is going on?  Sure, the church does some good with tithing money and I don't dispute that.  What I would like to know, as I still have family involved, is does the church really need all the money?  Does it need 10%?  It used to require members to consecrate all above subsistence, but that changed to 10%.  Perhaps 10% needs to be reduced?  How about a tax deduction for the poor members who are struggling?  Maybe reducing tithing burdens is the better way to lift poverty stricken individuals and families out of the poverty cycle?  Maybe use the vast church wealth and government connections to lobby for better governments in some of the poverty stricken countries?

There is a perverse paradox on being anti-government involvement even to campaigning on a few issues in one nation and wanting the institutional church to work to install new governments overseas.

3 hours ago, Walden said:

A better remedy to breaking the generational cycle of poverty? Take that 10% of your income that you give to the church and instead invest it in a market vehicle like a high yield bond or mutual fund. Invest that 10% each year and reinvest market gains each year. Do that for 30-40 years. Maybe use some of those funds to help send your children to college, to position them for higher-earning careers. Teach your children to use that same investment strategy, and encourage them to pass along that wealth and knowledge to their heirs. Within only a couple generations, poverty will be be alleviated for an entire family. If one had begun this strategy in 1980, investing $2000 a year since that time at a annual rate of return of 5% (with interest compounded), you could expect have approximately $250,000 by now. That is a more sound and proven method for alleviating generational poverty.

That lasts one generation and the next spends it all.  I also think you vastly overestimate the investment opportunities available to indigents in Africa and Asia. And $2000 a year......that is more then some people make in a year.

Edited by The Nehor
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52 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

There is a perverse paradox on being anti-government involvement even to campaigning on a few issues in one nation and wanting the institutional church to work to install new governments overseas.

That lasts one generation and the next spends it all.  I also think you vastly overestimate the investment opportunities available to indigents in Africa and Asia. And $2000 a year......that is more then some people make in a year.

So, how exactly does tithing lift those in Africa, Asia or S. America out of poverty when there isn't much of an economic base to begin with?  It seems that whatever economic resources there are should remain in the local area and not be harvested by colonial powers or churches.  Those resources should remain in the countries to be reinvested locally thereby locally lifting those out of poverty.  The church's model takes resources, sends them to SLC, then pays bills supposedly, and then puts the excess into investment vehicles.  All of this doesn't benefit the poor in these countries.  Is there something that I am missing?

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5 hours ago, Walden said:

A better remedy to breaking the generational cycle of poverty? Take that 10% of your income that you give to the church and instead invest it in a market vehicle like a high yield bond or mutual fund. Invest that 10% each year and reinvest market gains each year. Do that for 30-40 years. Maybe use some of those funds to help send your children to college, to position them for higher-earning careers. Teach your children to use that same investment strategy, and encourage them to pass along that wealth and knowledge to their heirs. Within only a couple generations, poverty will be be alleviated for an entire family. If one had begun this strategy in 1980, investing $2000 a year since that time at a annual rate of return of 5% (with interest compounded), you could expect have approximately $250,000 by now. That is a more sound and proven method for alleviating generational poverty.

The problem with savings and investments for poverty level families I have heard reported is that when disasters happen (as they happen to most at some time in their lives), the savings and investments are wiped out because that is their only option.  If they have money in savings, creditors can go after them.  There is not enough financial padding in their lives to allow them to get ahead.  So theoretically that might work, but for the majority our current economic system doesn't allow that to be the perfect solution as you present it here.   I don't have any background in this, so there may be corrections I am not aware of.

How many in poverty stricken areas even have access to investing in bonds and funds in your view?

The Church does provide a community that may be able to provide a useful support ( I say may be because I don't assume it works effectively everywhere, but from what I hear it works well in many places, hopefully most where it exists).  Sometimes working together is more effective than working alone.  In many places the Church does this for nonmembers as well as members, such as the Clean Water projects.  The inexpensive educational programs and educational funding eases the pressure that the usual route of education can have, micro loans is another proven aid.

Edited by Calm
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17 minutes ago, Exiled said:

The church's model takes resources, sends them to SLC, then pays bills supposedly, and then puts the excess into investment vehicles.  All of this doesn't benefit the poor in these countries.  Is there something that I am missing?

You are assuming a model which doesn't line up with what we know (Quinn's info on Church funds going into a country as well as ignoring humanitarian projects and welfare policies, for example).

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14 hours ago, The Nehor said:

That some people are morons does not mean knowledge about reality is pointless. That some people are spiritually deaf does not mean God does not speak.

That some people rely more on evidence over spiritual feelings does not mean they are not spiritual or believe in a higher power.  That some people question certain claims does not mean they are spiritually deaf. 

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1 hour ago, Exiled said:

So, how exactly does tithing lift those in Africa, Asia or S. America out of poverty when there isn't much of an economic base to begin with?  It seems that whatever economic resources there are should remain in the local area and not be harvested by colonial powers or churches.  Those resources should remain in the countries to be reinvested locally thereby locally lifting those out of poverty.  The church's model takes resources, sends them to SLC, then pays bills supposedly, and then puts the excess into investment vehicles.  All of this doesn't benefit the poor in these countries.  Is there something that I am missing?

Probably that the church puts more into less developed nations then it takes out?

Oh, and the whole God giving blessings to his saints thing.

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1 hour ago, Ouagadougou said:

That some people rely more on evidence over spiritual feelings does not mean they are not spiritual or believe in a higher power.  That some people question certain claims does not mean they are spiritually deaf. 

Have you asked God about this concern?

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2 hours ago, Exiled said:

The church's model takes resources, sends them to SLC, then pays bills supposedly, and then puts the excess into investment vehicles.  All of this doesn't benefit the poor in these countries.  Is there something that I am missing?

The 'windows of heaven'? :unknw:

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Money, and how you earn more of it, is complicated. The problem with a lot of assumptions in this thread is that they take a couple variables, lump them together, and hold everything else constant. Or they esteem quantifiable variables, while discarding intangibles.

Giving tithing related blessings a value of zero, and holding that value constant, there still might be other variables wherein paying tithing becomes a net benefit above and beyond investing earned income. These variables might include increased social capital, uptake of employment-related programs run by the Church, in-kind and cash contributions drawn from church welfare, similar contributions not indexed to formal welfare, decrease in crime and increase in public trust from greater social cohesion, and other things I'm not considering.

Would these variables, if caused or correlated with tithing payment, outweigh investment income from foregone tithing payments? Maybe, but I don't think those variables should be discounted.

Now, if you're someone who believe that blessings should be assigned a value higher than 0 (if we're going to quantify the value of blessings), then you have to toss that in as well. If you're the kind of person who would assign a >0 value to blessings in the first place, I would assume you'd consider that value to outweigh or co-contribute with other variables to outweigh investment income from foregone tithing payments.

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7 hours ago, Walden said:

That is a more sound and proven method for alleviating generational poverty.

You do realise that the principles you mentioned are all taught by the Church in various formats, including intensively through its self-reliance courses, right? No doubt you've also read some of the reports on the outcomes of the Church's self-reliance programs?

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39 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

You do realise that the principles you mentioned are all taught by the Church in various formats, including intensively through its self-reliance courses, right? No doubt you've also read some of the reports on the outcomes of the Church's self-reliance programs?

Is this taught before or after they have gotten their 10% of your income?

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7 minutes ago, Walden said:

Is this taught before or after they have gotten their 10% of your income?

What a perfectly ugly attempt at crafting a 'gotcha question' ...

Self-reliance courses are available to all, members and non-members alike. At any given point in our stake, we would have two to three up and running. Feedback (again, this is in our stake) has been 100 per cent positive. Our current elders quorum president and his wife did the personal finance course last year, and they can't stop talking about how life-changing it was. We were recently speaking to a completely inactive ward member and her non-member boyfriend (they live together), and they said the same thing.

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45 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

What a perfectly ugly attempt at crafting a 'gotcha question' ...

Self-reliance courses are available to all, members and non-members alike. At any given point in our stake, we would have two to three up and running. Feedback (again, this is in our stake) has been 100 per cent positive. Our current elders quorum president and his wife did the personal finance course last year, and they can't stop talking about how life-changing it was. We were recently speaking to a completely inactive ward member and her non-member boyfriend (they live together), and they said the same thing.

It's almost like some people aren't interested in actually having a conversation. 

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5 hours ago, Ouagadougou said:

For me, it's not a matter of concern; rather, it's based on logic and the fact that I have to come to my own conclusions, regardless if it aligns with what the church wants or approves.  

Well, you have chosen your god. Good luck.

Edit: Okay, this one is okay.

Edited by The Nehor
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7 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

You do realise that the principles you mentioned are all taught by the Church in various formats, including intensively through its self-reliance courses, right? No doubt you've also read some of the reports on the outcomes of the Church's self-reliance programs?

The Church used to have a category for perpetual education.  Apparently that category became self funding, and we no longer donate to it.  There is a category for humanitarian aid, however.  I'm grateful for that when I see all those yellow shirts helping down in Panama City, FL.  Our son in law said when they got there, the Church was handing out maps to neighborhoods, shovels and chain saws.  People were camping out on the Church grounds.  That's typical of the Church and church members I know and love.

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This Saturday our stake is travelling to a small town about an hour away to help any elderly or otherwise needy residents prepare their homes for the fire season. The local fire brigade is coordinating it. We’ll all just show up with tools and cheerful hearts. And of course none of it will show up on any official reckoning. One of the blessings of faithfully paying tithes that hasn’t really been mentioned yet is what happens to the hearts of those who’ve seen the windows of heaven opened. Because we have been given much ...

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8 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

This Saturday our stake is travelling to a small town about an hour away to help any elderly or otherwise needy residents prepare their homes for the fire season. The local fire brigade is coordinating it. We’ll all just show up with tools and cheerful hearts. And of course none of it will show up on any official reckoning. One of the blessings of faithfully paying tithes that hasn’t really been mentioned yet is what happens to the hearts of those who’ve seen the windows of heaven opened. Because we have been given much ...

But that is not the point or intent of the OP's premise/question. The original question was specific to the claim that paying tithing breaks poverty cycles. Those of us who question this specific premise do not question the spiritual feelings that tithe payers may experience in giving their money to the church. I too feel good when I donate money to the charities that I support, but I do not anticipate or expect that I will be financially blessed by making that sacrifice in donating my money to those organizations, nor do the leaders of those organizations make such claims.

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