Apart from the Bible, I'd tend to recommend three books for people to read to better understand Biblical economics and politics.
The first is Marvin Olasky's "The Tragedy of American Compassion," which demonstrates clearly that a permanent underclass did not occur until government started providing welfare assistance without a moral component. It should be required reading for all who want to get into politics, especially those who take Ron Sider, Jim Wallis, and "Sojourners" seriously. (for the uninitiated, these are the primary Christian advocates of more government involvement in charity)
The second is "The Millionaire Next Door," by Stanley and Danko. Those who believe that wealth is a result of "winning life's lottery" and advocate its confiscation via income or estate taxes desperately need to read this. Contrary to popular opinion, millionaires generally won't be found driving BMWs, sitting in a corner office, eating caviar or drinking $100 per bottle wine. Rather, you saw them in an older F150 on their way to fix someone's plumbing or electrical issues.
The third, and newest, is Arthur Brooks' "Who Really Cares; the Surprising Truth about Compassionate Conservatism." Although it's (IMO) slightly misnamed--it's really about private, not public, initiative--it's valuable in that it makes the point that the religious, conservatives, and family men are the most likely to contribute to all kinds of charities. They are more likely to give time, money, blood, United Way and other contributions by statistically significant margins despite earning less money than their theologically, culturally, and politically liberal peers.
In other words, the old joke is true; a liberal is one who is generous with someone else's money.
Back from St. Louis - It's a long drive from the Twin Cities to St. Louis, with a significant chunk of it in Iowa. With stops for gas and a meal, it's typically about a 10-hour ...
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