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Author Topic: Is your religion your financial destiny?  (Read 1300 times) Average Rating: 0
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Marat
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« on: May 15, 2011, 06:48:48 PM »

The economic differences among the country’s various religions are strikingly large, much larger than the differences among states and even larger than those among racial groups.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/15/magazine/is-your-religion-your-financial-destiny.html?_r=1

The article mentions the relationship between education and income levels. Some churches, such as the Orthodox Church, are outliers in the data showing income levels not as high as would be expected from the levels of education. Why do you think that is?

This information is based on US data. It would be interesting to know if this holds true in other countries as well.

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« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2011, 07:36:04 PM »


So, it seems Jews and Hindus make the most money.  Interesting.

I'm just glad to see the Orthodox listed.  Too often we are completely overlooked.

So, why do the Orthodox make "less" money, even though they have good educations?

Maybe, because Orthodoxy teaches that money isn't everything.  Our goal in this life is not to make the most money, so that we can buy the biggest house or the newest automobile.  I would hope it is because we know how to be "content" with what we have.  "Enough" is enough, we don't need more.

I would rather make enough money to pay the bills, and yet have time left over to accomplish things for the Church.

Rather than work crazy hours, and accumulate tons in the corner bank, I would rather use my time to accumulate treasurers in Heaven.

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« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2011, 08:03:46 PM »

I'm so glad for a link to the study...
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« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2011, 09:00:41 PM »

The main reason why Hindus are so far out there is that as a rule only top caste Indians have been able to emigrate. There is probably something of the same bias in the Jewish categories, except backwards (upper class Jews had a better chance of getting away from Hitler).

Anglicans, well.....  angel
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sainthieu
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« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2011, 10:05:42 PM »

...income levels not as high as would be expected from the levels of education...

About 25% of my parish consists of highly-educated young adults who attend a very prestigious local university and have advanced degrees, but insist on a ruggedly individualistic way of life in which authenticity, service, Christian fellowship, and the Orthodox Church count more than worldly attainment. They're very idealistic.

On the whole, I suspect most converts to Orthodoxy are pretty eccentric; they move against the flow.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2011, 10:09:14 PM by sainthieu » Logged
Sakeneko
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« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2011, 12:47:38 AM »

The main reason why Hindus are so far out there is that as a rule only top caste Indians have been able to emigrate.

Not accurate.  I work in Silicon Valley in the high tech industry.  Every boss I've had in the past twelve years has been Indian and at least nominally Hindu.  Those I got to know well enough that I asked or was told their caste were anything from Brahmins to Sudras. Caste might have something to do with how much money a family has in India, but it does not have much direct influence on who goes to the top universities.  

Family wealth, however, is a major part of who gets an education, and is therefore able to go to university.  Among that group, performance in school determines who goes to the IITs (India's equivalents to MIT or CalTech) or an equivalent, and who goes to a second-ranked school.  Of the people who come to America, performance at college is the major deciding factor in either gaining entry to a top-ranked US graduate school or obtaining an H1-A visa to work.  (H1-A visas are for highly-trained people, usually with at least the equivalent of a U.S. Master's degree in their field.)  In other words, wealth and academic performance are the factors that matter, not caste.

I strongly suspect that, if you control for a) education level and b) field, the amount of money made by Hindus and every other group that they examined would be explained.  Entrepreneurs and engineers tend to make a lot of money; most Indians who come to America fit into one of those categories.  If I look at the people I go to church with, the majority are as well educated as the Indian bosses and coworkers that I've had, but often in fields that don't pay as well.  There are quite a few college professors (including one of my priests a few years ago), a number of teachers, several people who work for the government, and a number of people who work for a church or other small non-profit organization.  This even applies to the two doctors I know at church: both work for a large managed medical firm rather than being in practice for themselves.  Those jobs often require degrees as advanced as jobs in the high tech industry require, but they don't pay anything like the same salaries.

That doesn't mean that they aren't as worthy of respect as the jobs that do, of course.  And *there* you'll find a key factor.  (I agree with several others who have noted this already.)  What the parents and community value often has a great deal to do with how much education a child gets, how hard they work at school, what types of college majors they choose, and what fields they end up working in.  If we Orthodox value fields that don't get the highest salaries, but put a great deal back into the community and improve lives, I think we should hold our heads high.  Making a fortune honestly is nothing to be ashamed of, but failing to do so because you chose to teach the next generation how to read and write is also nothing to be ashamed of.  And choosing to be a priest and working for a minimal salary at a small mission church (as many of our priests do) is one of the most honorable professions I can imagine.  But anybody who does it to get rich is obviously not smart enough to be a priest! ;-) 
« Last Edit: May 16, 2011, 01:02:17 AM by Sakeneko » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2011, 01:31:56 AM »

I'm actually a bit surprised that Evangelicals, with their prosperity gospel, aren't higher on the list.

Among Orthodox Christians I've never encountered much of a care for money, in fact I've noticed if anything people are repelled by the idea.

As for myself, my goal is to make enough money to pay off my student loans as quickly as possible, after which I only want to make enough to get by.
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« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2011, 02:54:45 AM »

Well, you see, those who believe in the prosperity gospel most fervently are certainly in that group that makes over 75K a year...it just happens to be that they make WAY, WAY, WAY over 75K a year...more like 7.5 Million a year.
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« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2011, 06:02:57 AM »

Sakeneko, I accept your correction but the point is still that differential immigration is responsible for the location of Hindus on the chart.
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« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2011, 07:22:46 AM »

I don't think that the financial status of the person depends upon his religion.It is based on countries economical status.
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« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2011, 09:22:37 AM »

I don't think that the financial status of the person depends upon his religion.It is based on countries economical status.

Historically, the largest Orthodox population concentrations in the US have been in the 'rust belt', the area with the oldest, slowest growing demographics. While the Church is growing in the South and the West, the population dispersion of Orthodox has a lot to do with these statistics. We have many engineers, lawyers etc..in our parish and in our neighboring Greek, OCA and Ukrainian parishes, but their earnings in upstate New York do not track earnings in more economically active parts of the country. So you just can't take statistics at face value. Also, we are such a small segment that the weight of our population center would skew the analysis far more than for say, the Roman Catholic faith.
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« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2011, 11:29:25 AM »

Sakeneko, I accept your correction but the point is still that differential immigration is responsible for the location of Hindus on the chart.


There is a troubling tendency among non Hindus to try and twist facts to fit prejudices. Ie: try to explain everything involving Hindus in terms of caste system, whether it has anything to do with it or not.

As for 'differential immigration', I will point out that Chinese, Koreans, and many others also manage to get here because their families have enough money to get them into a US university, or other means that involve their families having more money. SO why are Hindus making more money than these groups?

Many immigrant groups benefit from 'differential immigration'. In fact other than poverty stricken Caribbeans who float in on rafts or desperate Mexicans who flee across the border, I cannot think of any group that doesnt have differential immgration.

Just for once, just once, I would like to see people simply praise the Hindus for doing well. Rather than searching for reasons to devalue their contribution.

« Last Edit: May 16, 2011, 11:34:51 AM by rban » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2011, 11:33:05 AM »

Does anyone think it is easy for a group whioch has a different skin colour and a religion that is highly different from every other to perform so well despite this?

One would think some people would be full of admiration for these people. But no. Even when Hindus do well, it is just an excuse for people to bring up 'caste system' etc. And when the caste argument is disproven, then fabricate something else. Like 'differential immigration' or some garbage. Anything to put a negative spin. EVen a good news story is an excuse to attack Hinduism.


« Last Edit: May 16, 2011, 11:39:18 AM by rban » Logged
Sakeneko
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« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2011, 02:24:17 PM »

Sakeneko, I accept your correction but the point is still that differential immigration is responsible for the location of Hindus on the chart.

Certainly.  I think you'll find that is true for any religion whose membership in the U.S. is heavily slanted towards first-generation immigrants, as is the case with Hindus.  It costs money, takes pull, to get past the extremely high barriers to immigration that the U.S. has thrown up in the past century.  Family wealth, influence, and education help a great deal.

Most Orthodox in America aren't immigrants, though.  The majority are probably comprised of second- to fourth- (or even fifth-) generation descendants of immigrants from predominately Orthodox areas, and converts.  The converts aren't a small part of that any more.  (None of my ancestors for at least six generations came from predominately Orthodox countries.)
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« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2011, 06:43:13 AM »

Sakeneko, I accept your correction but the point is still that differential immigration is responsible for the location of Hindus on the chart.


There is a troubling tendency among non Hindus to try and twist facts to fit prejudices. Ie: try to explain everything involving Hindus in terms of caste system, whether it has anything to do with it or not.

As for 'differential immigration', I will point out that Chinese, Koreans, and many others also manage to get here because their families have enough money to get them into a US university, or other means that involve their families having more money. So why are Hindus making more money than these groups?

The differential immigration of technically college-educated Indians is well-documented. Like it or lump it, the big flow of Indians into the USA is disproportionately of the college-educated, particularly in computer science and mathematics. It has become something of a political problem in India, where they are understandably a little unhappy that a lot of people educated there end up working abroad.

Quote
Just for once, just once, I would like to see people simply praise the Hindus for doing well. Rather than searching for reasons to devalue their contribution.

I do not follow the logic of this. Nobody is devaluing the contributions of Hindus in the USA; indeed on that point the chart speaks for itself.
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« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2011, 05:01:12 PM »


As for 'differential immigration', I will point out that Chinese, Koreans, and many others also manage to get here because their families have enough money to get them into a US university, or other means that involve their families having more money. So why are Hindus making more money than these groups?

The differential immigration of technically college-educated Indians is well-documented. Like it or lump it, the big flow of Indians into the USA is disproportionately of the college-educated, particularly in computer science and mathematics. It has become something of a political problem in India, where they are understandably a little unhappy that a lot of people educated there end up working abroad.

[/quote]

So the inflow of Koreans and Taiwanese is not disproportionately college educated math/science?

I see that among all Asians, not just Hindus.

Smart Koreans come here, smart Hindus do as well. There is zero evidence that Indians do it any more so than Taiwanese or Koreans, they all do it equally.. We make more money here, not because they send America their less qualified while India sends America her best......... but maybe because our best are superior to theirs?

And the brain drain scaremongering and alleged political issue of smart Hindus leaving for the USA is just that .. scaremongering and allegations.

Indeed, most successful Indians are either returning to India to start up firms (esp with the poor fiancial situation here), investing in firms back home while staying here, etc.

There is no downside here. Stop looking for one.

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« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2011, 05:06:10 PM »


Quote

I do not follow the logic of this. Nobody is devaluing the contributions of Hindus in the USA; indeed on that point the chart speaks for itself.


You do not see how bringing up 'caste system' and differential immigration exudes negativity?

The problem is not with the chart, it is with people who are trying to explain the chart with caste and differential inflows.

How about just a simple explanation? Hindus are where they are on the chart cuz they're just really really smart.

I realize that such an explanation might not have the desired negativity, but maybe it's accurate.
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rban
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« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2011, 05:07:35 PM »

BTW I have the real answer. Sadly, no one has asked me yet. They all seem to prefer their caste and differentiality explanations.
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« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2011, 10:52:22 PM »

How about just a simple explanation? Hindus are where they are on the chart cuz they're just really really smart.

I realize that such an explanation might not have the desired negativity, but maybe it's accurate.

... as opposed to all those other people who apparently are not smart.  Roll Eyes  Roll Eyes  Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: May 18, 2011, 10:52:37 PM by Keble » Logged
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« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2011, 10:59:39 PM »

How about just a simple explanation? Hindus are where they are on the chart cuz they're just really really smart.

I realize that such an explanation might not have the desired negativity, but maybe it's accurate.

... as opposed to all those other people who apparently are not smart.  Roll Eyes  Roll Eyes  Roll Eyes

Didn't say that/ Hindus are where they are because they are smart and capable.

It is up to other groups to discuss why they are where they are on the chart. As a Hindu, I can only explain Hindu performance.
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