Is Satan Good for Clients?

October 2004
Journal of Financial Planning;Oct2004, Vol. 17 Issue 10, p23
Academic Journal
This article discusses various issues surrounding the field of financial services in the U.S. as of October 1, 2004. High labor productivity, a good work ethic, and high savings and investment rates are important for making a nation prosperous. But what is really good for economic wealth is a fear of eternal damnation. That is the theory of a study put out by the Federal Reserve of Saint Louis. The paper, Fear of Hell Might Fire Up the Economy, has undergone two public revisions following criticisms about its statistics, but the authors are still sticking to their original promise that a fear of hell produces less corruption in a nation's people, and less corruption is good for business ethics and business. That translates into higher per capita incomes. One has to wonder about the premise in light of Enron, WorldCom, mutual fund scandals, and other sordid business stories over the few years, but it is known that a greater percentage of U.S. citizens than most people in the world believe in hell. Separately, one in five adults in the U.S. provide unpaid care to another adult, according to a study by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. The study also found that 17 percent of caregivers provide more than 40 hours of care a week.


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