Additional pledges have brought the monetary amount of the Economic Well-Being Award to $37,500
- View the PBS Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly presentation on The Economic Well-Being Award
- New York Times Article on the Economic Well-Being Award
The Economic Well-Being Award
A Comparison of Two Periods of U.S. Economic Indicators:
|1.||Average annual unemployment rate:||4.6%||6.4%|
|2.||Average annual Federal budget deficit:||1.8%||14%|
|3.||Number of Federal budget surpluses||8||4|
|4.||Average annual number of people on the Federal payroll:
(Note: comprehensive data is available starting in 1962)
|5.8 million||4.7 million|
|5.||Average annual economic (GDP) growth rate (adjusted for inflation):||4%||2.8%|
|6.||Average annual inflation rate:||3.4%||4.3%|
|7.||Federal debt as % of GDP:||DECREASED 68%||INCREASED 173%|
information sources available on request
The above information shows that the U.S. economy was much stronger in the period 1946-1971 than it was in the period 1972-2012. The congregation of Bay Ridge United Methodist Church (BRUMC) in Brooklyn, N.Y., is offering an award of $33,000 to an economist, or group of economists, who identify the factors associated with the stronger economy in the period from 1946 to 1971, and the factors associated with the weaker economy in the period from 1972 to 2012.
BRUMC has two goals in offering the award. First, in the spirit of democracy and American pragmatism, we hope that knowledge of the factors actually associated with our stronger and weaker economies during these 67 years in our recent past will help our nation establish evidence-based principles and policies that have the highest probability of success in creating stable and sustainable economic growth and broadly-shared prosperity. Democratic pragmatism means: 1) that the economic goals that almost all of us would probably agree on (for example, lower unemployment and federal debt) should be established through a transparent and truly democratic political process; and 2) that the principles and policies we use to achieve our goals should be based on, and their success should be measured by, facts – rather than the ideological preferences, such as liberalism, conservatism, libertarianism, and socialism, that currently divide us. Second, we hope this project will promote a better understanding of our economy, because our economy has a profound and pervasive effect on the well-being of every person, family, community, institution, business, and government, every day.
We invite all institutions, organizations, and people of good will to pledge to increase the monetary value of the award. We invite academic economists, historians, policy experts, and representatives of the pledging institutions to serve on a panel of judges, which will determine the terms of the submission and judging process, and the recipient(s) of the award.
Many individuals and institutions of good will may have their own reasons for engaging in this project in some way. BRUMC’s motives are spiritual and moral. Because we are followers of Jesus, we gladly embrace His teaching as God’s Way of Life in this world, in this life. Jesus’ teaching places the highest value on the well-being of every person, the entire social body, all creatures, and the land, air, and water that sustain life on earth. BRUMC offers The Economic Well-Being Award in response to the following core principles of Jesus’ teaching: 1) God’s Way of Life is grounded in a vision of life “…on earth as it is in heaven” (The Gospel of Matthew 6:10, and 25:31-46); 2) God’s Way of Life will be achieved when we love every person, the entire social body, all creatures, and the land, air, and water that sustain life, as Jesus has loved us (The Gospel of John 13:34); and 3) the love that Jesus lived and taught produces loving action (The Gospel of Matthew 7:12; The Gospel of Luke 6:31 and 10: 25-37; and The Gospel of John 14:15).
What can we do to help the generation growing up now, and future generations? We can strive to create an economically secure, well informed, compassionate, and healthy population. This is the strongest foundation for civil liberty, and economic justice, for all.
We believe that the factors associated with economic strength and broadly-shared prosperity, and the principles and policies derived from those factors, will be in harmony with the principles of Jesus’ teaching because His principles harmonize the moral, spiritual, political, economic, and institutional dimensions of life. Jesus’ teaching addresses at least three of the purposes of our government, expressed in the Preamble to our Constitution: “to…establish Justice…promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” BRUMC offers The Economic Well-Being Award because we believe that the development and use of knowledge is essential to fulfilling the principles of Jesus’ teaching and the highest purposes of our Constitution.
Contact: Rev. Robert Emerick, Pastor – firstname.lastname@example.org
paid for by Bay Ridge United Methodist Church – www.bayridgeumc.org
|A Comparison of Some U.S. Economic Indicators:|
|Average annual unemployment rate:
“unemployment rates for previous years”
|Average annual Federal budget deficit: www.presidency.ucsb.edu/data/budget.php||1.8%||14%|
|Number of Federal budget surpluses:||8||4|
|Average annual number of people on the Federal payroll:
NOTE: comprehensive data collection started in 1962
|5.8 millon (1962-1971)||4.7 million|
|Average annual economic (GDP) growth rate:
(adjusted for inflation)
|Average annual inflation rate:||3.4%||4.3%|
|Federal debt as % of GDP:
www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/historicals (Table 7.1)
|DECREASED 68%||INCREASED 173%|
Contact: Rev. Robert Emerick email: email@example.com