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Friday Five: Seinfeld, the Anti-TOMS Shoes, and How to Help the Poor

On Friday afternoons, we bring you the best of our blog and the best of the web. This week’s round-up includes some Seinfeld, the “anti-TOMS” shoes, and a book review of From Prophecy to Charity: How to Help the Poor. 1. RJ Moeller and Jacqueline Otto use a Seinfeld clip to give an anti-anti-Walmart message:
Now, corporations, like governments, are run by imperfect people. And the purpose of this short piece is not to discuss the morality of the corporate soul. The purpose of this blog is to respond to that liberal friend who is quick to condemn you for shopping at Walmart. Your friend thinks Walmart preys on mom-and-pop stores?

2. Over at Humane Pursuits, Miriel Thomas writes on The Bible and the Better Business Bureau:
But the Christian, if he’s well catechized, has something else: he has a sense of vocation. He is aware that his abilities are not his own. He knows that he has been entrusted with his talents for the sake of something greater than himself, and that someday he will have to account for his use of those gifts before the throne of his Creator. So he works, just like his colleague, to feed his family and contribute to the body of knowledge in his field—but he also works to fulfill a purpose.
3. RJ Moeller talks with Troy Senik, an editor at Ricochet.com and a a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush.
4. Elise Amyx reviews From Prophecy to Charity: How to Help the Poor
Generosity is a virtue that cannot be ignored in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Proverbs 29:7 says, “The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.” God very clearly commands us to love the poor in the Bible, yet how to properly care for the poor is one of the most controversial topics among politically involved Christian circles. Professor of politics and policy at New York University Lawrence M. Mead provides a thorough critique of U.S. welfare policy from a biblical worldview in From Prophecy to Charity: How to Help the Poor.
5. We highlighted a piece by Tate Watkins at GOOD on the “Anti-TOMS” shoes made by Oliberté Footwear:
“With TOMS,” Dehtiar says, “the best thing is the awareness they’ve created.” But he’s skeptical of the company’s one-for-one model because he believes the donations can pressure local shoemakers and vendors, in addition to reinforcing stereotypes about the developing world. “TOMS Shoes is a good marketing tool, but it’s not good aid,” agrees Saundra Schimmelpfennig, an international aid expert who blogs at Good Intentions Are Not Enough, where she aims to educate nonprofit donors about effective charity. She’s criticized TOMS for competing with local producers by handing out free goods and for being “quintessential Whites in Shining Armor.” “The idea of creating jobs that pay a fair wage and provide necessary benefits,” she says, “can have far more impact than aid.”