The recent PBS documentary, Thinking Money: The psychology behind our best and worst financial decisions, never mentions religion, but I couldn’t help but relate the worst money decisions it describes to belief in God. (My favorite connection between money and God is the George Carlin routine about an all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-wise God who just can’t manage money. His “messengers” always need more.)
Consider these 5 points from the PBS documentary, along with my related God thoughts.
Money Point 1: Security
People used to work for the same company all their lives and retire with a comfortable pension. Today’s workers are insecure about their financial future, which makes them more vulnerable to financial charlatans. For instance, some brokers promise big upsides to penny stocks with essentially no downside, even though such faith in future rewards almost never pays off.
Related God Thought
People who are insecure and unhappy in this life are more vulnerable to evangelical charlatans who promote big upsides in an afterlife. This requires lots of faith, often furthered by a financial “love offering.”
Money Point 2: Gambling
Most casino gamblers lose money most of the time. But casinos are designed so that a few players will occasionally win big if they play long enough. People remember wins more than losses (an example of confirmation bias), and so they return again and again.