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Talking about religion, or faith to use a more general term, is about as popular a thing to do as overpaying your taxes, especially in the policy world. We shy away from the topic because of the personal, sometimes intense, reaction it elicits and, I suspect, because faith feels a little soft, emotional, even anti-intellectual when compared with hard political and economic realities. But since faith impacts U.S. policy, it is a conversation we ought to be having.
Nearly every time there is a news story about the billions of dollars flowing to poor countries as remittances, someone worries that not “enough” of that money is being saved and invested. A case in point is today’s piece in the Washington Post. Latin American workers in the US will send home $45 billion this year, but “only a small portion … has gone to economic development.”