If you had to choose between paying your mortgage and tithing to your religious organization, which would you do? I’ve recently had first hand experience with people who are facing this crisis, and the dilemma is a mixture of deeply rooted religious belief, morality, and fiscal responsibility.
Tithing Or Mortgage?
If you tithe 10% of your income, and your ARM resets, how do you come up with the money to pay the mortgage? If the last option is to possibly cut tithing, many people are choosing to do just walk away instead. What makes this interesting is that if the mortgage could otherwise be afforded, where does the lines of ethics, faith, and responsibility converge?
Keep this in mind: I recently saw a case where a certain large lender refused to do a loan mod because they saw that the owner was paying a monthly tithe. Because the owner could afford to tithe, the bank decided that he could easily decide to pay the mortgage instead, and refused to modify an ARM that was getting ready to reset. The question becomes one of personal conviction, is it more important to pay God or pay your lender? I don’t believe there is a right or wrong answer here, so I don’t want to blame anyone who makes one choice over another.
Choosing Between Tithing and Solvency
Obviously, the bank has a point. The owner COULD afford the mortgage, provided he break a deeply held religious belief that it is his duty to tithe to his church. For him, to not tithe is a sign that he does not have faith in God. Part of the concept behind the tithe is faith that God will provide for those that help others. The belief in that core concept eliminates the argument of morality in regards to not paying your mortgage. He believes that regardless of the outcome, it is his solemn responsibility to tithe, no matter the consequences.
It’s apparent that for many, tithing is a core principle of their religion. When their home gets in the way of religious duty, the home has to go if no other way of paying the mortgage can be found. In the case mentioned above, it begs the question. Because providing to the church is a core religious belief, has the bank violated non-discrimination laws by telling him they won’t provide a loan mod because of his tithing? If he makes $1,100 a month, tithes 10% ($110), and is refused a loan mod, would there be a case for religious discrimination if the owner finds the neighbor got a loan mod because he only makes $990/mo and doesn’t tithe?
I think someone might have a case in a situation like this if you could prove that tithing is a required core principle of your faith. A bank can’t discriminate when providing a loan to someone because of their personal faith, so what gives them the right to discriminate on a loan mod because the borrower’s faith dictates that a certain portion of their income be given to the church? On the other hand, the lender didn’t get the option of providing the loan knowing that the borrower tithes part of their salary, so who’s right?
Photo Courtesy of jemasmith via Flickr cc
Boomers retirement may be the true reason behind the labor shortage
(ECONOMY) Millennials and Gen Z were quick to be blamed for the labor shortage, citing lazy work ethic- the cause could actually be Boomers retirement.
In July, we reported on the Great Resignation. With record numbers of resignations, there’s a huge labor shortage in the United States. Although there were many speculations about the reasons why, from “lazy” millennials to the number of deaths from Covid. Just recently, CNN reported that in November another 3.6 million Americans left the labor force. It’s been suggested that the younger generations don’t want to work but retiring Boomers might be the bigger culprit.
Why Boomers are leaving the labor force
CNN Business reports that 90% of the Americans who left the workplace were over 55 years old. It’s now being suggested that many of the people who have left the labor force since the beginning of the pandemic were older Americans, not Millennials or Gen Z, as we originally thought. Here are the reasons why:
- Boomers are more concerned about catching COVID-19 than their younger counterparts, so they aren’t returning to work. Boomers are less willing to risk their health.
- The robust real estate market has benefitted Boomers, who have more equity in their homes. Boomers have more options on the table than just returning to work.
- Employers aren’t creating or posting jobs that lure people out of retirement or those near retirement age.
As Boomers retire, how does this impact the overall labor economy?
According to CNN Business, there are signs that the labor shortage is abating. Employers are starting to see record number of applicants to most posted jobs. FedEx, for example, just got 111,000 applications in one week, the highest it has ever recorded. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the pandemic-induced increase in retirement is only temporary. People who retired due to the risk of the pandemic will return to work as new strategies emerge to reduce the risk to their health. With new varients popping up, we will have to keep an eye on how the trend ultimately plays out.
Is the real estate industry endorsing Carson’s nomination to HUD?
(BUSINESS NEWS) Ben Carson’s initial appointment to HUD was controversial given his lack of experience in housing, but what is the pulse now?
NAR strongly backs Dr. Carson’s nomination
When President-Elect Donald Trump put forth Dr. Ben Carson’s name as the nominee for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, NAR President William E. Brown said, “While we’ve made great strides in recent years, far more can be done to put the dream of homeownership in reach for more Americans.”
At the time of nomination, the National Association of Realtors (the largest trade organization in the nation) offered a positive tone regarding Dr. Carson and said the industry looks forward to working with him. But does that hold true today?
The confirmation hearings yesterday were far less controversial than one would expect, especially in light of how many initially reacted to his nomination. Given his lack of experience in housing, questions seemed to often center around protecting the LGBT community and veterans, both of which he pledged to support.
In fact, Dr. Carson said the Fair Housing Act is “one of the best pieces of legislation we’ve ever had in this country,” promising to issue a “world-class plan” for housing upon his confirmation…
Job openings hit 14-year high, signaling economic improvement
The volume of job openings is improving, but not across all industries. The overall economy is improving, but not evenly across all career paths.
Job openings hit a high point
To understand the overall business climate, the U.S. Labor Department studies employment, today releasing data specific to job vacancies. According to the department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLT) for April, job openings rose to 5.38 million, the highest seen since December 2000, and a significant jump from March’s 5.11 million vacancies. Although a lagging indicator, it shows strength in the labor market.
The Labor Department reports that the number of hires in April fell to 5 million, which indicates a weak point in the strong report, and although the volume remains near recent highs, this indicates a talent gap and highlights the number of people who have left the labor market and given up on looking for a job.
Good news, bad news, depending on your profession
That said, another recent Department report notes that employers added 221,000 jobs in April and 280,000 in May, but the additions are not evenly spread across industries. Construction jobs rose in April, but dipped in professional and business services, hospitality, trade, and transportation utilities. In other words, white collar jobs are down, blue collar jobs are up, which is good or bad news depending on your profession.
Additionally, the volume of people quitting their jobs was 2.7 million in April compared to the seven-year high of 2.8 million in March. Economists follow this number as a metric for gauging employee confidence in finding their next job.
If you’re in the market for a job, there are an increasing number of openings, so your chance of getting hired is improving, but there is a caveat – not all industries are enjoying improvement.
If you’re hiring talent, you’ll still get endless resumes, but there appears to be a growing talent gap for non-labor jobs, so you’re not alone in struggling to find the right candidate.
Economists suspect the jobs market will continue to improve as a whole, but this data does not pertain to every industry.
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