I grew up in a family who had to stretch their money the best way they could. So I understand those in our nation who labor hard to pay their monthly bills. As our economy continues to struggle, the President and his congressional allies are proposing another hike in the federal minimum wage.
I have already written about the racist roots of the minimum wage. The Davis-Bacon Act of 1931 was intentionally designed to prevent blacks from being hired for federally funded work projects. Raising the minimum wage also raises the cost of all kinds of goods and services for consumers, rich and poor: if the grocery store has to pay more to have its shelves stocked, it will have to raise the price of groceries. And I have also written about how raising the minimum wage will undoubtedly raise unemployment rates among the lowest skilled workers.
This third concern was raised in a recent report by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which analyzed the probable effects of the proposed minimum wages increases. The report stated that the changes would most likely eliminate at least 500,000 jobs (or as many as 1 million) by the time they were in full effect. In return, they would raise the annual income of families in poverty by about $300 a year. more >>
This week CNBC reported on its quarterly All America poll, a survey on a variety of political economy topics. (Videos of the report can be seen at the CNBC website.) One of the topics in the report was the attitude of people towards increasing the minimum wage.
Not surprisingly, most people are in favor of increasing the minimum wage. Hiking the minimum wage is always politically popular, which is perhaps why it is a go-to policy when other economic policies are not popular. Also not surprising therefore, Democrats are making a 40 percent increase in the minimum wage the biggest talking point in their economic policy agenda this year.
Of course, as every first-year student of economics can tell you, there is always a trade-off on every economic choice. Where there are winners, there are also losers. In this case, a 40 percent increase in minimum wages will have a variety of trade-off effects. One effect will be an increase in the cost of doing business, for those businesses that employ a lot of low-skilled workers. more >>
Many Evangelicals and conservative Christians are expressing support for World Vision's decision to reverse course on a policy change allowing for the hiring of gay married employees.
As the announcement of the reversal in policy change was released Wednesday, many figures commented on the new development.
Russell D. Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, expressed his approval of the reversal on Twitter. more >>
World Vision U.S. President Richard Stearns expressed grief over the child sponsorships that were canceled after the organization announced its original policy change on hiring those in same-sex marriages.
After receiving feedback from supporters and faith leaders who were opposed to World Vision's decision to employ Christians who are in same-sex marriages, Stearns said in a press conference call Wednesday that the board decided to reverse its earlier decision and reaffirm the nonprofit's commitment to core biblical principles and the belief that "marriage is an institution created by God, between a man and a woman."
"I can say from a personal standpoint, the last couple of days have been painful. We especially feel pain and a broken heart for the confusion that we caused for many of our faithful friends and partners around the country who saw the policy change as a reversal of World Vision U.S.'s strong commitment to biblical authority, which was not intended to be," Stearns commented. more >>
"Veil of Tears," a riveting documentary from Gospel for Asia that is yet to be released, tells the untold stories of millions of women in South Asia who face oppression simply because of their gender. Dr. K. P. Yohannan, founder and international director of GFA, said the film not only shows the intense suffering, but the hope these women can find when they understand that they are valued in the eyes of God.
"One of the most obvious problems in this area is that the most unreached, untouched, neglected, suffering humanity in our world is women in Asian nations," Yohannan told The Christian Post. "For example, India alone has 46 million widows. That means a girl could be 18, 19, 20 or 30, and when her husband dies, in many places that's the end of their life. Many of them end up in despair."
He talked about an island off of the coast of West Bengal known as the "Widow's Island." Seventy-five percent of the people that live on that island are women who don't have husbands and they have no hope – they have been rejected and abused, Yohannan said. more >>
While applauding young evangelicals who have taken up causes such as opposition to injustice regarding the poor, the orphaned, and the enslaved, and who have helped increased awareness of such issues as sex trafficking and world starvation, Pastor David Platt said he is concerned about the lack of enthusiasm among some Christians on other issues like abortion and same-sex marriage.
"I'm concerned for lack of zeal, not exclusively, but particularly among young evangelicals on social issues that are just as, if not in some ways much more important like abortion and sexual immorality, and so-called same-sex marriage," Platt, pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala., preached at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary on Thursday. "On some of these issues, younger evangelical Christians [and] prominent church leaders are often strangely quiet."
Platt observed, "We live in a day that we can be passionate in our stand against poverty and slavery, injustice that we need to stay passionately against, but issues that don't bring us into conflict with the culture around us." more >>