"The Poverty of Nations" - a critical review

Summary

“The Poverty of Nations: A Sustainable Solution”, by theologian Wayne Grudem and economist Barry Asmus, has received much attention since its publication in 2013, particularly in evangelical circles. The authors address an important yet neglected topic in this clearly written, well organised book, which is accessible to a popular audience.

This critique focusses on the substance of the book’s main analysis. It is written primarily for readers of the book but could also be taken as a list of things to consider by anyone enquiring into a biblical perspective on designing economic systems to alleviate poverty and promote human flourishing.

The goal of the book is "to provide a sustainable solution to poverty in the poor nations of the world" (p25). This is a highly important topic, not least from a biblical perspective, and yet relatively little has been written on it from a distinctively biblical perspective, despite a vibrant secular debate. This is probably in part because it is an extraordinarily complex topic. It sits at the intersection of two disciplines – biblical interpretation (hermeneutics) and economic systems – each of which is complex and contested in its own right. Any serious attempt to write on this topic is therefore to be welcomed and any critique couched in the recognition of the challenges faced by such authors. That said, it is a pity that the authors do not engage anywhere near as much with what Christian scholarship is available on this topic[1], as with a few popular secular works which they cite heavily.

The conclusion of the book is that “continually producing more goods and services is the only route from poverty to prosperity” (p65), and that this can only be achieved by a “free market” system – in particular a version most closely aligned with the Austrian School of economics (a non-mainstream school of economic thought) and a North American libertarian political vision.

In our view the main analysis in the book suffers from several major problems, some but not all of which are discussed in the book review by Winnie Fung[2]. First, the main analysis is grounded on too narrow a definition of poverty. While wider aspects of poverty are discussed these are not integrated into the main analysis and therefore the conclusions drawn. Second, it is apparently blind to problems arising out of the authors’ unqualified call for “continually… more” goods and services, as if permanently growing production can guarantee prosperity. Third, the authors’ present a version of libertarian capitalism as if it is the only form of capitalism or a ‘free market’ system, despite the fact that no country has adopted this approach; meanwhile they entirely neglect varieties of capitalism that are arguably more biblically aligned and more effective at achieving the goal of the book. Fourth, there are serious problems with their biblical, economic, and historical analyses.

These weaknesses notwithstanding, we believe the values summarized in the end of the book (chapter 9) emanate from a biblical anthropology that can provide helpful guidance in state-building in any part of the world, at any given time. These values include, though are not limited to, responsibility and accountability (to both God and to neighbour), the importance of healthy family and social relationships, cognisance of right and wrong, awareness of the presence of sin in the human heart, rewarding hard work, as well as the respect of basic freedoms and property rights. Many of these values emanate from the Scriptural Ten Commandments.

As for the main argument of this book, it is unfortunate that this crucial value discussion is hardly integrated in the main analysis and conclusions of the work. For these reasons, Grudem and Asmus’s proposed solution to poverty is at best partial, and if implemented, may end up causing damage that better designed market-based economic systems would avoid.

We close by outlining what we believe would be a more productive approach to addressing the question of poverty and design of economic systems to promote human flourishing in line with biblical wisdom.

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Too narrow a definition of “poverty”?

Much in the book turns on how the authors define “poverty” and “prosperity”. As the authors themselves say, “When speakers and hearers mean different things by a key term, clarity in analysis and discussion is hindered. Definitional clarity is important” (p137). It is therefore surprising that they do not clearly define these central terms, or related terms that are scattered through the book, such as “human flourishing”, “welfare”, and “well-being”. 

The definition of “poverty” and “prosperity” that the authors’ seem to intend -- taking together passages scattered through the book – is reasonably holistic and biblically consistent (though the lack of reference to the Old Testament concept of "shalom" is surprising)[3]. They affirm that “per capita income does not tell us everything we need to know about a nation” (p46). They include not only the “material” or “economic” (the qualifiers are used interchangeably in the book) aspects, but also the psychological, emotional, relational/social (with family, friends, God, and others [p41-43, p364]), and spiritual (p366). They reference approvingly the capabilities approach of Amartya Sen, whose definition of poverty they summarise as a “lack of freedom to be able to make meaningful choices—to have an ability to affect one’s situation”.[4] And they criticise “a merely ‘material definition of poverty’ that can cause… more harm than good." (p42)

However, the definition that governs their analysis appears to be narrowly material. The non-material aspects are not integrated into their analysis and so do not inform the resulting conclusions. This is despite occasional statements to the contrary such as “material prosperity is a secondary issue” (p41).

A narrowly material focus is only defensible if there are no trade-offs between material and other aspects. If that were the case, one could focus on overcoming material poverty, and then separately add what is necessary to overcome other aspects of poverty.

But material and non-material aspects of poverty often involve trade-offs. For example, working longer hours can contribute to the authors’ stated objective to “increase the production of goods and services” but at a cost to other valuable aspects of life such as family, friends, church, health, and wider flourishing of the individual and the community. This is clearly not the authors’ intent: "we also hope that such material prosperity does not come at the cost of the loss of interpersonal relationships, the loss of love for family, and alienation from God" (p43). Yet it is an implication of their analysis. 

The narrow focus on the production of goods and services is exacerbated by the choice of GDP as the primary measure, without regard to what goods and services comprise it. This neglects the warnings of the father of the GDP measure himself, Simon Kuznets. In 1934 he wrote "the welfare of a nation can scarcely be inferred from a measurement of national income as defined [in GDP]"[5]. This has since been seconded by many prominent economists, including a number of Nobel laureates (Daniel Kahneman, Robert Solow, Joseph Stiglitz and Amartya Sen). In 1962, Kuznets further wrote: "Distinctions must be kept in mind between quantity and quality of growth, between its costs and return, and between the short and the long run. Goals for more growth should specify more growth of what and for what."[6]

The problems of “continually…more”

The authors’ largely unqualified call for continually more goods and services is deeply problematic on both the grounds of empirical economic evidence and of biblical hermeneutics. Their call goes well beyond what can, at this stage, be affirmed: that producing enough goods and services[7] is necessary to address material poverty, and thus poverty in a more holistic sense, and producing more goods and services is likely to contribute to prosperity, all else being equal.

Empirical economic evidence[8] shows that, while subjective measures of well-being do indeed increase with the income that is ultimately derived from the production of more goods and services, and that income explains around two-thirds of the variation between countries, the additional well-being we obtain from additional income decreases as our income rises[9], as our neighbours incomes rises in line with our own (the problem of ‘keeping up with the Joneses’), and as we get used to higher income. These effects all exacerbate the negative effects that come from focussing narrowly on income or material aspects of poverty, and thus neglecting the trade-offs with other aspects.

There are serious problems with the biblical hermeneutics that the authors use to justify the call for ‘continually more’. First, they neglect the many passages that warn of the dangers of the pursuit of material wealth (e.g. Genesis 4.7; Proverbs 14.12; Matthew 6.24; Luke 12.13-21; Galatians 5.16; 1 Timothy 5.9-10). We humans are so susceptible to idolise wealth in place of God that an unqualified pursuit of continually more will lead to human brokenness, even if it contributes to material prosperity (and there is a question of whether that contribution can be sustained in the long term in the face of the brokenness induced). Second, the passages on which they lean heavily (e.g. Genesis 1.27, Ephesians 5.1) which affirm human creative activity, and (e.g. Proverbs 10:4, Proverbs 31, and 2 Thessalonians 3) which affirm industrious behaviour, do not constitute a mandate for continually more goods and services, at least not without making an unwarranted leap.

Hermeneutical problems are also present in the authors’ overly positive appraisal of humans’ “unlimited wants”. In their economic analysis, “unlimited wants” play an instrumental role of ensuring that there will always be demand to match the supply from producing continually more goods and services (p173).[10] As a description of fallen human behaviour this seems reasonable, if simplified. But the authors go further in arguing that “unlimited wants” for goods and services were “part of God’s original creation” before the fall (p218). For this, we see no adequate biblical foundation. While they acknowledge (in passing) that wants can be distorted by sin, such distortion is “not caused by increased prosperity” but is rather a risk that comes in its wake (p220). This seems to us to underplay the biblical link between unlimited wants and the over-desire that leads to idolatry, and the problems of consumerism seen in the contemporary Church and society. 

Ignoring the varieties of capitalism

The authors compare several different types of economic system (Chapter 3) in their search for a sustainable solution to poverty.

Unfortunately, their comparison includes only one version of capitalism – in the title of their chapter, “The Economic System” (emphasis ours). This system is one that students of political economy will recognise as North American right-libertarian[11] with roots in the Austrian School of economics, though it is not labelled as such in the book. No country in the world has adopted this in practice[12]. Meanwhile there is no serious engagement with the varieties of capitalism actually in use across the world developed, emerging, and developing countries – many of which are arguably more effective in mitigating poverty and promoting prosperity than the one version considered (see next Section). There is, for example, no mention of the successes of social market economies of Germany and Nordic countries, whose public policy was substantially influenced by Protestant theology and worldview[13]. The European Union as a project, with roots in the vision of Christian reconciliation[14], and today a champion of regulated free-markets, is essentially ignored in the book. Instead, there is merely passing reference to ‘various undesirable forms of “capitalism”’, specifically “state capitalism” or “state-guided capitalism” – which are in any case dismissed with little analysis – and “crony capitalism” or “oligarchic capitalism” (pp76, 132, 212-4).

The space spent tearing down the straw-man of slavery – an economic system we doubt any reader would seriously consider – would have been better spent on examining the varieties of capitalism. The space spent on debunking hunting and gathering, subsistence farming, tribal ownership, and feudalism utopic visions of communism will perhaps be most useful for readers harbouring misplaced romantic notions or utopic visions of how these systems could operate. But we wonder how many readers that will apply to and suspect many more would have benefitted from a more thorough-going analysis of the varieties of capitalism instead.

Filling the field full of straw men also risks conveying an overly rosy view of capitalism, rather than an even-handed assessment of where it facilitates and where it frustrates human flourishing, in some respects aligned with and in others against the Kingdom of God.

Critique of their biblical, economic, and historical analyses

In addition to the above concerns, there are specific and serious problems with their biblical, economic, and historical analyses. We will now consider each in turn.

Biblical analysis

We share the authors’ belief that the bible has much to teach us about economic systems. But we differ on the nature of what can be learned, and how. In short, the authors interpretation of the bible takes the bible as authoritative on the design of economic systems in a way that we consider too simplistic, neglects several key texts, and tends at times towards reading the conclusion into, rather than deriving it from, the text.

First, implicit in Grudem and Asmus’ approach seems to be the assumption that the bible gives authoritative instruction on economic systems and implies a complete and unique blueprint for the ‘right’ economic system. Their preferred system is presented as a “divinely ordained process that is built into human nature” (p132) and operates by “the providential hand of God” (p133).

We prefer J. I. Packer’s approach: the bible “contains all that the Church needs to know…for its guidance in the way of salvation and service” but is “not an inspired ‘Enquire Within Upon Everything’”[15]. We should not expect the bible to give authoritative instruction on economic systems, still less prescribing one system, any more than on Hebrew grammar or ancient near eastern botany.

In our view, a more appropriate way to interpret the bible on matters of economic systems is to seek to derive social principles from the bible (without neglecting other areas of doctrine). These derived social principles then need to be sufficiently abstracted from their original socio-historical context and then re-applied in a contextually sensitive yet critical manner for today’s context(s).[16] Systems designed to the same principles will then likely exhibit some similar characteristics. Consistent with this there is both substantial variety and similarities in the economic systems of nations that have been shaped by the bible and a Christian social ethics (amongst other influences of course).

Second, many biblical texts which are highly relevant to the design of economic systems are neglected. The Sabbath laws are scarcely mentioned. The Jubilee is cited (Lev 25:10) only in connection with human freedom or private property whereas many Christian theologians[17] see it as a fertile source of inspiration for biblically-attuned economic reflection. The prophets, speaking of injustice in the economic systems of the time – not least Amos and Micah – are ignored. These neglected biblical materials are not so supportive of the authors’ thesis.

Third, the interpretation of the texts that are discussed tends at times towards reading the conclusion into the text. This is especially the case with references such as Genesis 1 and Proverbs 31, for example. The authors see the “dominion” mandate, given by God to humankind in Genesis 1, as advocating the “free market”. This seems to us a considerable leap and precludes recognition of where other biblical texts point to weaknesses of “free market” arrangements. Also, the authors seem to draw unwarranted macro or system-level conclusions from micro or individual-level virtues in Proverbs 31. That these virtues might serve a person and their families/communities well in the context of a particular economic system does not equate to a biblical endorsement of that system.  

Economic analysis

We agree with the authors that markets can contribute greatly to human welfare, harnessing the self-interest of diverse individuals to increase overall productivity without the need for a central coordinator.

But the book’s assessment of markets is one-sided. Not once do they mention “market failure”. They cite extensively from Adam Smith’s 18th century work[18] articulating the benefits of markets, but little from the two and a half centuries of literature since, which shows – in both theory and empirics – how markets fail and do harm.

Cause of market failure include externalities (effects of one person’s decision on other people without corresponding compensation, leading to e.g. pollution, congestion, damage to health), concentrations of market power (which allow the few to abuse the rest and lead to production than would be socially optimal), inability to provide public goods (e.g. law enforcement, national defence, sewer systems, public parks), and imperfect information (with various consequences such as consumers being misled or exploited, and insurance coverage being unavailable to some people).

These market failures mean that a ‘free market’ – of the kind the authors promote – is less effective than a regulated market, even with regard to the narrow goal of continually increasing the production of goods and services. And they undermine the social and environmental basis of the system, ultimately risking its self-destruction if not checked.

Finite natural resources are depleted at unsustainable rates (agricultural soils, forests, fisheries, aquifers, minerals, fossil fuels), contrary to the baseless belief championed by the authors that “the earth’s resources will never be exhausted” (p.339). The earth’s environment is damaged in ways that are irreversible at generational or even civilizational timescales (e.g. damage to the ozone layer, climate change, pollution with hazardous chemical or nuclear materials). Our financial system is destabilised by rising indebtedness of households relative to their ability to service that debt, which is in turn driven in part by growing income inequalities. The political system faces a crisis of legitimacy, and nations are put on the road back to populist authoritarian government. We reap a society that worships and serves money, and then is destroyed by that greed and idolatry.

Varieties of capitalism have arisen in part from attempts to address market failures in different cultural contexts, and successes in mitigating market failures have been largely due to public policy and regulation. The very limited policies and regulations mentioned in chapter 7 – contract enforcement, education, and trading standards on marketed goods – are necessary but far from sufficient. State institutions, such as universal healthcare and direct financial support for vulnerable groups, address market failures, even though they themselves can be subject to “state failure” and need improving. Some countries with such institutions have higher GDP per capita than the US (e.g. Norway) and better overall living standards (e.g. France and Finland). In poorer countries, many of the “other goals” of development work, which the authors criticise (p49-52, 65-106), aim to address market failures (e.g. inequalities or abuses of power that lead to unjust prices and distribution of the surplus from production).

The book’s assessment of how markets shape the humans within them is similarly one-sided. We agree that free-market systems can promote healthy interpersonal and societal values and virtues (p198-206), but they can also erode healthy and unhealthy behaviours[19], undermining the achievement of the intended goals and leading us off to other less laudable goals. In the face of such a dynamic it is unwise simply to “hope that material prosperity does not come at the cost of the loss of interpersonal relationships, the loss of love for family, and alienation from God" (p43, similar point repeated pp364-367).

Finally, we highlight problems with the authors’ reliance on GDP per capita as a measure of the production of goods and services. While this is not essential to their main economic analysis, it does illustrate a lack of nuance in the economic analysis. The problem is what is ignored in the definition of GDP. First, GDP ignores goods and services consumed within the same household that they are produced, such as cooking, cleaning, maintenance, and childcare. Paying someone else to raise your children adds to GDP, whereas raising your own children does not. Remarkably the authors appear to recognise this explicitly and yet make no adjustment for it in their analysis.[20] Second, GDP ignores the depletion of finite natural resources such as minerals and fossil fuels. The value these add as inputs to subsequent production is counted as if the resources themselves were “produced” by those extracting them, rather than counting only the value added of the extraction and refinement activities. In this way there is no recognition that these resources are no longer available to future generations. Third, GDP ignores negative externalities such as pollution and the emissions that accelerate climate change, which arguably should be subtracted from the value of production processes that cause them.

Historical analysis

It is laudable that the authors draw on history to inform their analysis of economic systems. That said, the historical analysis at times lacks important nuance.

The characterisation of the role of Protestant-Catholic differences in Northern vs. Southern European economic performance is over-simplified. The authors cite Weber’s thesis that the Protestant work ethic and trust in society is particularly conducive to capitalism[21]. There may be truth in this, but the authors neglect more nuanced recent research on that issue[22], and research which shows that “free markets” as a form of social organization were first conceived in (Southern European, Catholic) Italian city states in the Renaissance period (as was modern banking), leading to a blooming civil economy, and this tradition lives on in parts Europe whose population is predominantly Roman Catholic[23].

Their interpretation of the Industrial Revolution in Great Britain (p56) is overly romanticised. The benefits are highlighted, but nothing said of the costs, such as the working conditions of the time, and the fact that “employers could set wages as low as they wanted... people worked fourteen to sixteen hours a day for six days a week”[24].

The impressive growth in some Asian nations in the second half of the twentieth century is cited as evidence in support of the authors’ thesis that the route to “from poverty to increased prosperity [is] through the same process: continually creating more goods and services” (p59). But they pay little attention to the central role of government and regulation in all of these systems, which are far from the “free market” systems they recommend.  

Towards an alternative?

The goal towards which economic systems should be designed is the mitigation of poverty in all its aspects – both material and non-material – and the promotion of human flourishing as biblically understood. It is necessary to produce enough to meet human needs, and for particularly poor communities this may be a central concern, but production is not sufficient and may be in tension with other aspects of flourishing that ought to become more central in wealthier communities. For example, the bible is clearly concerned with right relationships between and among God and all parts of his creation, including us humans.

No economic system can perfectly achieve this goal, due to the dynamics of human sin. If the system that God prescribed for Israel in the Torah could not do so, less still should we expect economic salvation from the systems wrought by humanity.

No one economic system can be universally the best (or least bad) for all times, places, and peoples given the variety of physical environments and of cultures that emerge from our God-given creativity. Today’s economic systems are a far cry from that of Ancient Israel, and no two contemporary market-based economies are the same.

Market-based systems are in many respects the “worst except for all the others that have been tried from time to time”. They are a good place to start from, but we must be alert to their weaknesses, and willing to learn from the relative strengths of other types of systems (e.g. the explicit value placed on relationships and family in tribal societies).

The challenge then is to improve the economic system(s) we find ourselves in, to better harness its strengths to promote flourishing, while mitigating the negative effects of the system and the sin within it. Or at times simply a relentless effort to slow the degradation of the system.

The wisdom needed must be synthesised from biblical inspiration, social theory, and empirical experience spread across many cultures and generations. That wisdom must then be re-contextualised in today’s economies – the most complex social systems in human history. It will truly require the collaboration of many parts of the one body.

To meet this challenge, we must collaborate as many parts of the body of Christ. Whatever economic system the Church finds itself living in, love and justice require this of us.

Written by the Berlin Writing Group:

Arttu Makipaa, Peter Eckley, Andrew Hartropp, Roger Revell, Samuel Johns

References

Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (Oxford: Clarendon, 1869)

Andrew Clark, “Four Decades of the Economics of Happiness: Where Next?” in The Review of Income and Wealth, 64(2), 245-269, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1111/roiw.12369

C. L. Glossner and D. Gregosz, 60 Years of Social Market Economy: Formation, Development and Perspectives of a Peacemaking Formula (Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, 2010)

Clifford Cobb, Ted Halstead and Jonathan Rowe, “If the GDP is Up, Why is America Down?,” The Atlantic Online, Reprinted from The Atlantic 276 (4) (1995), 59-78

Donald Hay, Economics Today: A Christian Critique (Leicester: Apollos, 1989)

Dr Bryant Myers, Walking with the Poor: Principles and Practices of Transformational Development (Orbis Books, 2011)

Francis Fukuyama, Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity (Free Press; 1st edition, 1995)

J. Helliwell, “How's life? Combining Individual and National Variations to Explain Subjective Well-Being,” in Economic Modelling, 20, 331-360, 2003

James I Packer, Fundamentalism and the Word of God (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1958)

James K A Smith, You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit (Brazos, 2016) 

Jeff Fountain, Deeply Rooted: The Forgotten Vision of Robert Schuman (First Edition, The Schuman Centre, 2010)

Luigino Bruni and Stefano Zamagni, Civil Economy: Efficiency, Equity and Happiness (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2007)

Mandeville, B, The Fable of the Bees or Private Vices, Public Benefits (republished by Liberty Press, Indianapolis, (1714), 1988)

Manfred Max-Neef, “Economic Growth and Quality of Life: A Threshold Hypothesis,” Ecological Economics 15, 115-118, 1995

Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (Routledge Classic, London, (1905), 2001)

Michael Schluter and John Ashcroft (ed.), Jubilee Manifesto (Leicester, UK: Inter-Varsity, 2005)

Outman and Outman, Industrial Revolution Almanac (New York: UXL, 2004)

Richard Layard et al, “The marginal utility of income” in Journal of Public Economics 92, 1846-1857, 2008. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpubeco.2008.01.007

Roger H. Nelson, Lutheranism and the Nordic Spirit of Social Democracy (Aarhus University Press, 2017)

Winnie Fung, review of Wayne Grudem and Barry Asmus, The Poverty of Nations: A Sustainable Solution (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2013), Faith and Economics, 63, Spring, 2014, 65-71

Footnotes

[1] For example, Walking with the Poor: Principles and Practices of Transformational Development, Dr Bryant Myers (Orbis Books, 2011); Jubilee Manifesto, ed. Michael Schluter and John Ashcroft (Leicester, UK: Inter-Varsity, 2005).

[2] Winnie Fung, review of Wayne Grudem and Barry Asmus, The Poverty of Nations: A Sustainable Solution (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2013), Faith and Economics, 63, Spring, 2014, 65-71.

[3] Shalom frames prosperity in terms of the right ordering and fullness of relationships. Strong's Concordance 7965 Shalom means completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety soundness, tranquillity, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord.

[4] Ibid., 71, quoting economist Amartya Sen.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Cited in Clifford Cobb, Ted Halstead and Jonathan Rowe, “If the GDP is Up, Why is America Down?,” The Atlantic Online, Reprinted from The Atlantic 276 (4) (1995), 59-78.

[7] We leave aside some technical issues on how they measure production of goods and services – per capita income and GDP – since they are not essential to their comparative analysis of economic systems, but readers should be aware that their selection and definition of these measures is not entirely in line with textbook economics.

[8] For a literature review see A. Clark, “Four Decades of the Economics of Happiness: Where Next?” in The Review of Income and Wealth, 64(2), 245-269, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1111/roiw.12369

[9] R. Layard et al, “The marginal utility of income” in Journal of Public Economics 92, 1846-1857, 2008. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpubeco.2008.01.007; J. Helliwell, “How's life? Combining Individual and National Variations to Explain Subjective Well-Being,” in Economic Modelling, 20, 331-360, 2003; and Manfred Max-Neef, “Economic Growth and Quality of Life: a Threshold Hypothesis,” Ecological Economics 15, 115-118, 1995.

[10] Additionally, in a highly questionable assertion that ignores well established economic literature, “unlimited wants” are also used to dismiss the possibility of involuntary unemployment in a “free market” so long as the “government does not interfere”.

[11] Even the North American economy, in practice, has many features which are not present in a ‘pure’ free-market system (for example, the presence of significant government regulation of economic activity)

[12] Occasionally national governments have ostensibly aspired to implement the libertarian version of a free market system, for example the military junta in Chile in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

[13] See e.g. Roger H. Nelson, Lutheranism and the Nordic Spirit of Social Democracy (Aarhus University Press, 2017); or C. L. Glossner and D. Gregosz, 60 Years of Social Market Economy: Formation, Development and Perspectives of a Peacemaking Formula (Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, 2010).

[14] Jeff Fountain, Deeply Rooted: The Forgotten Vision of Robert Schuman (First Edition. The Schuman Centre. 2010).

[15] James Packer, Fundamentalism and the Word of God (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1958), 96-97.

[16] Donald Hay, Economics Today: A Christian Critique (Leicester: Apollos, 1989)

[17] Including (but not limited to) Walter Brueggeman, Chad Myers, Kathryn Tanner, and Ellen Davis

[18] Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (Oxford: Clarendon, 1869)

[19] Consider, Mandeville, B, The Fable of the Bees or Private Vices, Public Benefits (republished by Liberty Press, Indianapolis, (1714), 1988) or James K A Smith, You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit (Brazos, 2016).  

[20] “A loaf of bread baked and eaten at home is not counted in GDP because it is not sold in a market. But loaves of bread baked in a home and then sold in public are counted, because they have been sold in a market and a monetary value can be attached to them. The size of a nation’s GDP is the main factor that determines its wealth or poverty" (p48).

[21] Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (Routledge Classic, London, (1905), 2001).

[22] For example, Francis Fukuyama, Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity (Free Press; 1st edition, 1995).

[23] Luigino Bruni and Stefano Zamagni, Civil Economy: Efficiency, Equity and Happiness (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2007).

[24] Outman and Outman, Industrial Revolution Almanac (New York: UXL, 2004)

Peter EckleyComment