Friday, May 22, 2009

Wealth and tithing

Today’s exhibit in stupid logic tricks: People who talk about how people who have a lot of income should be admired for the strength of will it takes to pay so much money in tithing.

Let’s think about it for a moment. If someone makes $20,000 a year, after tithing $2,000 they have $18,000 to live on, while if someone makes $1,000,000 a year, yeah, sure, they tithe $100,000, but that leaves them with $900,000 for the year—and i’ve taken enough math and done enough budgeting to recognize that it’s easier to figure out how to get by on $900,000 than on $18,000. Really, it’s the poor who tithe that we should praise!

(Of course, i do realize that if you have no income, then tithing’s easy, so…)


Butter said...

The thing is, in wards where there is a lot of wealth there actually is an issue with people paying a full tithe. It's not as bad in wards with a lot of poverty. It's odd because it would seem easier to pay if you are wealthy, but I guess it's not in reality.

David B said...

I've heard this before, but as far as i can tell it's a Mormon urban legend--there's no way to tell if it's true or not, so it gives us a nicely safe way to hate the rich.

I've been financial clerk a couple times now and i haven't seen a correlation between tithepaying and wealth, but that's a very limited sample. Is there any way to figure out whether tithing really is lower among the affluent generally across the whole church?