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Posted by: thepinetree on 09/14/2022 09:49 PM Updated by: thepinetree on 09/14/2022 09:49 PM
Expires: 01/01/2027 12:00 AM

Looking for Upward Economic Mobility? Make Friends at Church. ~ By Ted Gaines

Roseville, CA...It's tough to survive in California if you're poor. Green-energy schemes drive our electricity rates 80-percent above the national average. Gas prices make every trip to the gas station gut-wrenching. The median home price is above $800,000 and our state sales and income taxes are the highest in the nation. It’s a state that leaves people shaking their heads in hopelessness and asking, “how will I ever get ahead?”

Our state could make a million policy changes to prevent our citizens from living paycheck to paycheck, but that solution is not likely found under the Democrat-led Capitol dome. What if that solution was found in our churches?

Recently, Harvard University economist Raj Chetty and a team of researchers analyzed the Facebook accounts of more than 72 million users ages 25-44 and found that cross-income friendships are a key determinant of upward mobility. That is, if you are poor, it helps your financial prospects to have wealthier friends.

That may not sound surprising, since exposure to upper income people could introduce others to behavioral norms, entrepreneurial ideas, or investment habits (among many other possible influences) that have contributed to wealth creation, but the study goes on to elaborate where those friendships develop. You might think schools are the answer, but in the absence of vouchers for school choice, most public schools are just mirrors of their neighborhoods and replicate the residential income stratification in the local housing market.

College? Sure! At least a little bit. But Chetty’s study found that college friendships also cluster by economic status. There is some intermixing, of course, but not much. Friendship groups there tended to reflect socioeconomic status, not transcend it.

Sports were another likely answer that proved underwhelming in Chetty’s research. They, too, tended to cluster people by income and not open the doors of friendship across wealth lines.

Chetty did find one place in particular where people of all incomes were vastly more likely to become friends: church. Chetty found that poorer people are about 20 percent more likely to make wealthy friends at church.

To be sure, most churches also pull from their local environments and aren’t immune to some of the same income sorting mechanics found in schools. Some of the megachurches, of course, pull from a wider area and include more members from all socioeconomic backgrounds.

But the real magic at church appears to be God, not geography. At church, shared faith seems to supersede the day-to-day, worldly issues that can be very different for the rich and poor, making conversations and relationships difficult to start or sustain. God is the same whether you are worried about filling up your gas tank or buying a vacation home. He is the bond that ties us all together, man and woman, young and old, rich and poor.

Church attendance can bring us closer to God, strengthen our families, bring us peace and happiness, and help us build loving, supportive communities. These advantages have long been known and appreciated by those who make church worship a regular part of their lives.

There are a thousand factors that can help people find financial success. Besides Chetty's findings, a strong family can provide emotional support, startup help, or even provide childcare that can free up someone to do the work needed to flourish. Many entrepreneurs have succeeded wildly simply by entering an established field and outworking their competition. A law degree will likely lead to excellent earnings, regardless of one's friend group.

But we should not ignore God. With this recent research showing that church might unlock upward mobility, worship can nourish the pocketbook as well as the soul.

Senator Ted Gaines (Ret.) was elected to represent the Board of Equalization’s First District. He is a leading taxpayer advocate, defender of Prop. 13, and is committed to providing trustworthy and transparent representation for nearly ten million constituents in 30 counties of northern, eastern, and southern California. For more information, visit

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No Subject
Posted on: 2022-09-15 00:00:02   By: Anonymous
I don’t even know where to begin with how warped this perspective is. Oh my! God help us if this is our leadership.
Your actually saying we should go to church to develop relationships that can help us personally financially? What about the kindness, compassion, and Christian “values”?

[Reply ]

    Posted on: 2022-09-15 05:34:05   By: Anonymous
    No Mr. Gaines, the real magic at church is meeting the new unregistered sex offender the church has brought in to replace the last quickly departed pastor or priest.
    Recent studies indicate your twice as likely to be continuously sexually assaulted by your pastor or priest than to suddenly find yourself on an economically upward mobil arc.
    Time to be truely honest with voters Ted.... The only thing you're likely to find at church are sexually repressed Republican sex offenders waiting for new families with young children to molest.

    [Reply ]

No Subject
Posted on: 2022-09-15 07:21:27   By: Anonymous
Yes the support and fellowship you find at church where everyone has a common belief is great. But to think you are going to join a church to get out of the rut you are in, is not the answer because you are going for financial guidance and help and not Godly worship and fellowship. So you don't have the same goals and reasons for being there as the existing members have. That alone is a recipe for disaster. Existing members would hope to make you a believer but it will be hard because that's not what you are looking for.

[Reply ]

Lost all respect
Posted on: 2022-09-15 08:34:20   By: Anonymous
I just lost all respect I had for Ted Gains. You are no more than a tool for the religious right infiltrating our country and trying to normalize Christian nationalism. Start spewing the bull*bleep* that MTG does and you get all the nut bags voting for you.

[Reply ]

    Re: Lost all respect
    Posted on: 2022-09-15 09:38:17   By: Anonymous
    Yep, we should be infiltrated by Muslim culture instead, because they have nothing but love for everybody.

    [Reply ]

      Re: Lost all respect
      Posted on: 2022-09-15 09:59:25   By: Anonymous
      ^You nailed it! Yes, bring on the Muslim peace, love, and understanding. Tired of these Christian hate mongers.

      [Reply ]

    Re: Lost all respect
    Posted on: 2022-09-15 10:09:57   By: Anonymous
    Let's give Mr. Gaines a break. Like most Republican males, he's probably struggling with his sexual identity, or mommy issues. Men who cannot navigate that crisis of emotional and sexual identity often find themselves adopting the structured and judgemental dogma of fundamental religion, Christian, Muslim, etc.
    So please show Mr. Gaines some understanding.
    However, never, ever vote for this nutjob.

    [Reply ]

      Re: Lost all respect
      Posted on: 2022-09-15 11:43:20   By: Anonymous
      No doubt he's in the closet

      [Reply ]

Posted on: 2022-09-15 09:13:08   By: Anonymous
From the mouths of holy rollers come the most noble ideas. JFC, Ted the tool.

[Reply ]

    Re: Brilliant
    Posted on: 2022-09-15 19:42:44   By: Anonymous
    What about tne seperation of church and state ?

    [Reply ]

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