Welcome to volume 2 of The COVID Files!

Just what are "The COVID Files"? Well, this is where we narrate and document (somewhat playfully) some instances of strange, goofy, or hypocritical actions that have made the news during these "uncertain times" of which we are constantly reminded.

In volume 2 of The COVID Files we file these three stories:

  1. A Farewell to Arms--and Legs and Cardio (Matthew 23:1-3)
  2. 'Til We Tweet Again (Proverbs 17:5)
  3. Hair Today, Golf Tomorrow (Proverbs 18:13)

(X-files remix portions of episode intro and outro extracted and edited from the free download from instrumentalfx.co)

Welcome to volume 1 of The COVID Files!

Just what are "The COVID Files"? Well, this is where we narrate and document (somewhat playfully) some instances of strange, goofy, or hypocritical actions that have made the news during these "uncertain times" of which we are constantly reminded.

In volume 1 of The COVID Files we file these four stories:

  1. Can You Afford to Hoard? (James 4:13-14a)
  2. Finger Lickin' Oops! (Proverbs 21:23)
  3. You Didn't Make the Cut! (Romans 2:3 and Luke 20:46-47)
  4. We Don't All Scream For Ice Cream (Proverbs 29:7)

(X-files remix portions of episode intro and outro extracted and edited from the free download from instrumentalfx.co)

 

We take a break from our series on economic topics to honor mothers for yesterday's Mother's Day.

We look at three role models of mothers from the Bible:

  1. Eve - the mother of all progeny
  2. Hannah - the mother with a promise
  3. Jochebed - the mother with protection

I was privileged to interview Dr. Shawn Ritenour on the topic of how the Austrian School of economics correlates to the Bible.

Dr. Ritenour shares his Christian testimony that brought him from an eclectic background to an elder in the OPC.

As a young man he stumbled on a book entitled Human Action by Ludwig von Mises that opened his eyes to a passion for economics.

Dr. Ritenour gives his insider experience from working at the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

We discuss topics from Austrian economics as God's "common grace" to a Christian economist's view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shawn%20R.jpg?itok=e-mxQLAY

Dr. Shawn Ritenour current serves as a professor of economics at Grove City College and is a member of the faculty in the Foundation for Economic Education Faculty Network. He also is a scholar for the Ludwig von Mises Institute. He formerly worked for two years at the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

He holds a B.A. in Economics from Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa, and a Ph.D. in economics from Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama.

He is the author of the book Foundations of Economics: A Christian View.

He has authored articles for mises.org.

Lecture videos available on YouTube include the following:

Austrian Economics as Common Grace

It's Wrong to be Ignorant of Economics

 

Check out Dr. Ritenour's websites:

(book) www.foundationsofeconomics.com

(blog) http://foundationsofecon.blogspot.com

Interest on savings accounts and loans seems like a simple concept. Yet, the powers-that-be can simply fiddle with certain interest rate numbers and bring whole countries to their knees!

Understanding interest rates can be vital both to our individual financial health as well as a large economy.

Let's answer some questions:

  1. What is interest?
  2. What should normally determine the rate of interest?
  3. Is it actually immoral to charge interest?
  4. Should a banking monopoly or government be in charge of setting interest rates?

 

Sources Cited:

Shawn Ritenour, Foundations of Economics: The Christian View (Eugene, Oreg.: Wipf & Stock, 2009) Kindle edition, 192-193.

D. T. Armentano, "The Economics of Price Fixing," Foundation for Economic Education, accessed April 20, 2020, https://fee.org/articles/the-economics-of-price-fixing.

 

What is inflation? Is it rising prices? Or is it something that actually causes prices to rise?

Even Presidents of the USA get this wrong! Hey, almost everyone now gets this wrong!

Historically, and even just a few decades ago, inflation was always an increase in the supply of money.

In this episode we trace how the definition changed and why.

We examine what real inflation is and how it affects the economy.

We compare it to counterfeiting to see if there are any significant differences.

What does the Bible say about this practice? Does God allow people to do this or condemn them for it? Does inflation violate the commands against dishonest balances and theft?

 

Sources Cited:

"What is the Real Definition of Inflation?"

https://inflationdata.com/articles/2010/07/21/real-definition-inflation/

 

"Definition of Inflation"

 https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/inflation

 

Scriptures Cited:

Hosea 12:7-8

April 13, 2020

Why the Resurrection?

Yesterday was Easter Sunday--Resurrection Day.

Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. Let's think deeply about why.

Our salvation is wrapped up in everything about who Jesus is and what He did. The resurrection is our hope. When we reflect on why, we understand that the world is hopeless without it.

 

Scriptures cited:

Philippians 3:10-11

Matthew 8:16-17

John 11:21-27

1 Corinthians 15:12-21

Revelation 21:1-5

We continue our study of money and economics by looking at how banking evolved (and how I contend that it devolved in modern times).

We ask and answer these questions to solve the puzzle of money and banking:

  1. What is a bank?
  2. How did banks begin?
  3. What do banks do?
  4. How did fractional reserve banking happen?
  5. What really is wrong with fractional reserve banking?
  6. What are some possible solutions to fractional reserve banking?

We see from history that "full reserve" banking came first, and fractional reserve banking arose from banking misbehavior.

We see the challenges that keep away full reserve banking today, but we propose how it would work and actually be better for the economy.

March 31, 2020

BONUS: Equal Pay Day 2020

Yes, this is a bonus episode: two episodes for the price of one week here on Truthspresso!

Today, March 31, 2020 is officially "Equal Pay Day." This is the date selected for the year when women allegedly have to work extra to match the wages that their male counterparts earned through December last year. So, the average woman working "full time" earns about 80% of what the average man working "full time" earns.

We've dealt with this topic months ago on Truthspresso, but let's celebrate the day by giving this topic a fresh look.

Disaggregating the statistics, we note that differences in total hours worked, career choices, and the roles involved in pregnancy and caring for children contribute to this "gender wage gap."

What happens if the government forces some form of "equality" with these aggregate statistics of averages? Would women gain or would they and the economy lose?

 

Sources cited:

"Column: Close gender pay gap — especially now during the coronavirus crisis"

https://www.staradvertiser.com/2020/03/29/editorial/island-voices/close-gender-pay-gap-especially-now/

 

"Which Majors Have the Highest Concentrations of Men versus Women?"

https://www.goodcall.com/news/recent-georgetown-study-shows-which-college-majors-are-dominated-by-men-and-women-02108/

 

"Details in new BLS report suggest that most of the gender earnings gap is explained by age, marital status, children, hours worked"

https://www.aei.org/carpe-diem/details-in-new-bls-report-suggest-that-most-of-the-gender-earnings-gap-is-explained-by-age-marital-status-children-hours-worked/

We continue our series on understanding money by looking at how the Bible defines money. We see how God's plan for the nation of Israel was to have a sound money based on weights of gold and silver. God pronounced harsh judgment on those who deceived and robbed people through false balances.

We outline four steps from the Bible that reveal God's money vs. the manipulators

  1. God created the money
  2. God measured the money
  3. God stabilized the money
  4. God punishes those who manipulate the money

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