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Church Deacons vs. the Welfare State

Written by Gary North on July 23, 2016

When those of us who reject the idea of the welfare state make our case against state-funded wealth-redistribution, someone will say: “What are you doing to help the poor?”

It’s a legitimate question, even if asked rhetorically?

Why? Because you can’t beat something with nothing.

There will come a day when the welfare state will go belly-up. The USSR did in 1991. China did in 1979. Venezuela is going through it today. Even North Korea will at some point. Welfare states run out of other people’s money. Then they collapse.

The unfunded liabilities of the Western welfare states will eventually produce the Great Default. That is the day that people will be serious about finding alternatives.

People who know the welfare state is morally corrupt and also statistically doomed should be testing alternatives. There are small-scale tests going on, but in the United States, the biggest pool of private funding is the churches.


We know from Pareto’s 1897 wealth distribution law that about 20% of the churches in any community will have about 80% of the members. These are the leaders.

In 1890, the average Protestant church in America had 90 adult members. In 1776, the average Protestant church had about 75 adult members. Today, it’s around 90. Nothing has changed.

Megachurches have at least 1,000 members.

We know that the Pareto law applies to church leadership: 20% of the members do 80% of the work. This cannot be changed. There are programs for changing it, but they cannot change the churches in general. “Don’t mess with Pareto.”

We know that about 20% of the churches in a community have about 80% of the members.

So, church leadership will come from 4%: 20% of 20%.

(For the rest of my article, click the link.)

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