In Reuters, there is a story about the Pope lamenting that materialism has taken over Christmas with God as afterthought. A couple of statistics from a 2013 CSN poll shows that surface appearances can be deceiving:
68 percent believe that Jesus is God or the Son of God, down from 72 percent (2003)
The same poll also found that belief in Darwin’s theory of evolution increased to 47 percent, up from 42 percent in 2005
More American’s believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ than in Darwin’s theory of evolution.
Gallup’s findings from June 2016 show that belief in God is even more material with 89% of Americans believing in God.
These are pretty startling numbers considering that regular church attendance has been on the decline, with the highest rate of regular church attendance being in Utah at 51% in 2015.
If there is a problem with Christmas, perhaps it really isn’t Christmas. Perhaps we’re just far more satisfied with remembering Christ in our own way, enjoying time with our families and sharing the fruits of our labors than lining church pews on one of the few days off many have during the year.
Personally, I tend toward the Protestant version of Christianity. But I have been to church twice in the last 30 years. Why? Like most institutions of society, it is a human construct with all human fallibility intact. Men are not intended to judge nor rule over the souls of others. Yet they attempt it while forgetting that Christ’s message was of eternal forgiveness and redemption, and I don’t find much of that there for me or anyone else.
Big tent economics just got bigger with Trump’s appointment of Peter Navarro as National Trade Chairman, as Scott Sumner points out in his latest post on Econlog.
Students often assume that trade deficits subtract from GDP, because there is a minus sign attached to imports. What they forget is that the goods imported then show up as a positive in either the consumption of investment category. Navarro also seems to have forgotten this fact.
Navarro’s claim is not just wrong, it’s nonsensical. Naming him to lead the NTC is akin to appointing an Energy Secretary who believes cold fusion can meet all our energy needs, or putting an astrologer in charge of NASA.
Why not? Most of mainstream economics is really just voodoo, any theory is as good as any other anyway, at least according to David Romer, and taking the voodoometricians to task is frowned upon. The bad affects from voodoo-based economic and monetary policy are simply somebody else’s fault, like all those deadbeats with too much mortgage or consumer debt. None of them ever willingly take responsibility for the reality of those things in combination with suddenly, and ever increasingly tight monetary policy… and boy do those chickens come home to roost while the purveyors of bad policy are handled with kid gloves as Rome burns and the financial lives innocent people are needlessly destroyed.
I am not sorry for saying what needs to be said. None of the right lessons were learned from the financial crisis and Great Recession, and we’re in for more needless destruction in more ways than one unless many more rational people take a stand.