Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Free Market Will Correct Itself???

Expecting the "Free Market" to correct itself and stop the rapid flow of cash out of the economy into the pockets of the few is like ...

Expecting a raging forest fire burning out a village to change
course and put itself out before destroying more homes.

Well, a forest fire IS likely to burn itself out, after devouring thousands of acres and who-knows how many homes.

Yes, the forest fire will stop, when it has no more fuel ...

The Free Market will "correct" itself when it crashes, after enormous damage to the nation, to the economy and to millions of people who've been "burned out" by the conflagration fueled by the greed of Wall Street Jockeys, the vanity of the hyper-rich and the wannabe desires of millions more who believe themselves to be "just a heartbeat away from being a millionaire."

The economy, like forest fires, needs regulation ... too much, and the economy slows down, of course ... too little, and the economy runs wild and consumes everything in its path.

Those who believe the Free Market will correct itself are idealists, dreamers and romantics, assuming that the Market and the forces of greed driving it will somehow suddenly develop a conscience, a heart, something loftier than its own aggrandizement.

History stands against these utopian dreams.

Theologically speaking, those who believe in a Free Market Utopia need a good dose of Calvinist reality - sin drives remorselessly toward absolute dominion, and without regulation, restraint, management, will devour everything around it, including itself.

FDR understood this ... and the best and wisest economists also know this to be true.

Like a Fire Jumper, FDR got ahead of the flames, cleared a firebreak, and brought it to a halt, after the crash and burn of a Free Market feeding frenzy.

Good economies have plenty of regulatory devices to keep the economy, like Goldilocks' porridge, not too hot, not too cold, but just right.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Breaking News: Hobby Lobby Takes Firm Stand Against War, Poverty and Monsanto

The latest news coming out of Hobby Lobby ...

In order to be faithful to it's pro-live stance on contraception, the owners of HL have declared themselves opposed to

War ... 

How many pregnant women have been killed in war? they ask.
How many injured women delivered a child without adequate medical attention?
How many fetuses were harmed and deformed by concussive explosions and the ruined nerves of the mother?

So, we the owners of HL, because we're all for the fetus, we now take a stand against war ... all war ... anywhere and any time.

And poverty, too ...

Poverty means a poor diet, and that means the fetus is threatened, and so is the mother. Without adequate nutrition, fetuses are mistreated horribly, often ending in still birth or "natural" abortions. We can't have the fetus starving. We must feed it, and that means feeding the mother. Good food, safe food, must be provided to the mothers of the world.

And furthermore, speaking of nutrition, we're opposed to the wholesale use of pesticides and herbicides, as well as genetic manipulation. All of this has created a serious decline in food nutrition, another cause that threatens the fetuses of the world.

Yes, we stand against contraception ...

And we now stand against War and Poverty ...  and will henceforth devote ourselves to peace and to all programs that promote healthy economies around the world.

And with our growing interest in food value, we're putting ourselves on record as opposing Monsanto - fetuses need good food, and we're determined to stand by organic farmers and the effort to keep America's food, water and air clean. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

On Bonhoeffer's Date of Execution, April 9, 1945

From his "Ethics" ... something I have relied upon since the early 70s ...

The responsible man acts in the freedom of his own self, without the support of men, circumstances or principles, but with a due consideration for the given human and general conditions and for the relevant questions of principle. The proof of his freedom is the fact that nothing can answer for him, nothing can exonerate him, except his own deed and his own self. It is he himself who must observe, judge, weigh up, decide and act. It is man himself who must examine the motives, the prospects, the value and the purpose of his action. But neither the purity of the motivation, nor the opportune circumstances, nor the value, nor the significant purpose of an intended undertaking can become the governing law of his action, a law to which he can withdraw, to which he can appeal as an authority, and by which he can be exculpated and acquitted. For in that case he would indeed no longer be truly free. The action of the responsible man is performed in the obligation which alone gives freedom and which gives entire freedom, the obligation to God and to our neighbour as they confront us in Jesus Christ. At the same time it is performed wholly within the domain of relativity, wholly in the twilight which the historical situation spreads over good and evil; it is performed in the midst of the innumerable perspectives in which every given phenomenon appears. …. … responsible action is a free venture; it is not justified by any law; it is performed without any claim to a valid self-justification, and therefore also without any claim to an ultimate valid knowledge of good and evil. Good, as what is responsible, is performed in ignorance of good and in the surrender to God of the deed which has become necessary and which is nevertheless, or for that very reason, free; for it is God who sees the heart, who weighs up the deed, and who directs the course of history.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Hoover, FDR, the Great Depression and American Business Leaders

As the nation plunged deeper into the Great Depression, Roosevelt, governor of New York State, went into action, believing that government has a social responsibility to provide when the chips are down.

During all of this time, a Roosevelt-for-President movement was gaining momentum.

What surprises me is how many of highest business leaders of the land were lining up behind Roosevelt. He was anti-tarrif, "damp" on the question of Prohibition (leave it to the States) and pro-active for moving the economy.

I can only think that the best heads of business understood that a healthy nation needed a strong government working on behalf of all the people.

Roosevelt created in New York State what was ultimately to become FEMA (1933), raised income taxes (graduated) and put people to work, and if work couldn't be found, helped them out to weather the storm.

What's good for all the people is good for American Business - Roosevelt understood this, and so did the nation's top financiers.

Sadly, Hooverism seems to have won the day for what is now the GOP, driven by the Koch Bros and other private-interest groups, who have little concern for America, and can only focus on their own private coffers.

As with Hoover's policies in 1931-32, a private-coffer driven economy can only spiral downward … to some ears, it sounds good - "sink or swim; you're on your own," and for those swimming, they're mighty damn proud of their achievement, even as millions drown in the murky waters of poverty. I guess they should've learned how to swim.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

FDR, Polio and Kindness

Reading about #FDR's polio, summer of 1921 …

Because of his family's enormous wealth, every specialist, therapist and all the needed equipment was provided. Throughout it all, FDR maintained a vigorous determination to make it; many a visitor found themselves leaving encouraged and cheerful. His ability to make others feel right and good was uncanny. All of life up to this point was filled with extraordinary people who believed in him, encouraged him and provided opportunity. FDR grew up in a network of people who understood the absolute value of family, community and helping one another.

As I read about all the help that was given to him, he was learning how reliant he was upon the goodness and kindness of others - a value instilled in him from the day of his birth.

And this is exactly what he gave to the nation throughout his presidency - knowing that we're all in this together, that we can only help one another, and those with the ability to help need to help those who are unable to find a way through.

No one condemned FDR for his illness, no one blamed him for his condition - they only helped.

Such is the heart of FDR's greatness … he condemned not the poor of the land, he blamed no one for their weakness, but devoted himself to endless political experiments to help everyone find a better life.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Nation of Sheep

The message of individual salvation (Come forward to be saved) has done enormous damage to American culture - we have lost what little solidarity we ever had, and these days, in parts of the nation where this individual salvation message has taken deep root, it's everyone for themselves. Whether it be jobs, clean water or health-care, you're on your own, just like you're on your own with Jesus. The Koch Brothers have played upon this mentality with great skill to their own advantage. A nation without solidarity is a nation of sheep easily fleeced.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Times Always Uncertain

When haven't times been uncertain?

For the last hundred years, times have always been topsy-turvy … but good government, working with the unions and private enterprise have always taken the bull by the horns and made strong moves.

These days, I think, there is a profound greed at work in our nation, and rather than calling it greed, it's called caution. I don't buy it for a moment.

We have a good President with vision, but a Congress stymied by state's-right obstructionists and a business ethos driven by Wall Street mania. It's time for all of these to work together FOR AMERICA!