Tyler Cowen’s partial solution on poverty in America as printed in the New York Times:
If we are looking for a remedy, a greater interest in strict religions would help many of the poor a lot — how about Mormonism for a start? Just look at the data. Many other religions prohibit or severely limit alcohol, drugs and gambling. That said, this has to happen privately rather than as a matter of state policy…..
It has to be the individual’s fault. There are the deserving and undeserving poor, and it can not be systemic.
Will Tyler argue that the agnostic, aethestic or liberal Christian dominated areas of the Northeast are economic hellholes compared to the Southern Baptist Belt and counties with high concentrations of Southern Methodists?
Will Tyler argue that America in 1932 was a hedonistic waste land strewn with lazy layabouts, but something happened after September 1939, and more specifically during the Summer of 1940 that made America, or at least America’s mass unemployed see some religious revival during these time periods that led to rapid mass employment?
Did America suddently get more religious in 1996 compared to 1991 as the Slackers/Gen X were now getting stock options instead of making great music?
No, he is trying to blame the poor while not looking at his theory that there is no such thing as demand sided recessions. It is so much easier to blame the poor for being poor instead of saying that inadequate demand means inadequate jobs which means “job attractiveness improvement” becomes an ever increasingly expensive positional game of crab bucket politics.
Nah — can’t have that thought as it could call into question too much….
So Tyler Cowen is the asshole of the week