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Friday Five: Real First World Problems, Economic Haikus, and More

On Fridays, we bring you the best of our blog and the best of the web. This week’s roundup includes a discussion of real first world problems, economic haikus and more. 1. Generous Self-Interest: While self-interest is seen by many as evil, Luke Holladay argues that if it is rightly understood, it can be used for great good.

We’ve developed a natural aversion to self-interest. An aversion so strong that our altruism is halted by the twisted question, “Do people give because it makes them feel good?” We think it may be better to forego generosity than risk satisfying our self-interest.

2. First World Problems: We typically think of petty nuisances when we hear “first world problems.” Chris Horst discusses the often overlooked, real problems that are facing the first world.

First world problemsare funny. It’s healthy to illuminate how petty inconveniences are, well, petty. When our biggest problems are dying batteries and forgotten Wi-Fi passwords, we have a lot to be thankful for. In contrast to dirty water and ramshackle housing, awkwardly sized pizza boxes become trivial nuisances—and rightly so. But the meme misses the truth: Real first world problems are far from minor.

3. Existentialist School of Economics: Art Carden of Samford University gives us an economics lesson with an existential flavor, by sharing some relevant haikus. 4. Buying Off Discontent: The Economic Wreckage of Disability Benefits in America: Elise Hilton of the Acton Institute describes the discouraging place that disability benefits have taken in America’s growing welfare state.

We’re in the midst of shredding a safety net for the truly needy, attempting to solve issues such as learning disabilities, under- and unemployment with a program that can’t and won’t ever resolve those problems, and are stalled in finding real solutions because the federal disability program as it stands now is essentially hiding these dilemmas.

5. What the Resurrection Means for our Work: Hugh Whelchel, executive director of the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics, discusses what the resurrection means for our earthly lives—the work that we do each day matters.

The resurrection and the coming Kingdom of God bear great implications for our faith and work. When we talk with biblical clarity about the resurrection, we discover an excellent foundation and purpose for our vocational work in this present world—not, as some suppose, for an escapist piety.