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September 01, 2011

Comments

chris

The debt debate illuminates our larger national problem. The nation is broke and we find ourselves fighting over crumbs.
A new dynamic need to be created. We need a Joseph who can provide wisdom and judgment through our current years of famine.

We also need a prophet of grace to detox the political paralysis and provide the good soil for growth to occur.
How can the church move from being bystanders to engaged citizenship. Our moral respond has to oblige us to do a 360 view of the challenges and bring a non partisan vigor to the debate.

Monte

Chris, what evidence is there that "the nation is broke"? I have always understood "broke" to mean that there is no money, yet American banks and corporations are sitting on trillions of dollars that they currently refuse to invest. The Social Security Trust Fund is often called "broke," but if we paid an average of $100 a year more in taxes, it would be in fine shape for as long as we can reasonably see into the future. What, exactly, is "broke" about America?

In the region of the country where I live, the auto industry has long been a key element and it was (by all accounts) "broke" two years ago and now it is doing very well. The turn around featured the same things that so many Americans seem to be afraid of; government intervention, negotiations with labor unions, borrowing money, etc. Maybe God has already supplied the prophetic figure we need and we are just afraid to let me lead.

Monte

"let him lead" ... I don't know how that typo appeared. Freudian slip?

chris

The Lord may own all the cattle on the hillside, but we are broke from the commonwealth we share from a taxing and entitlement system. The monies that companies may have is NOT the government's and that is certainly governed by the rule of law. I would beg to differ on the health of the auto industry in the midwest. Japan's demise has provide temp relief. and FOrd who did not receive any Federal help is the healthiest, most sustainable company.
I do agree that there
are two competing models for goverment's involvement in the economy. Next year's election will again be a referendum.

I am glad you think we have a Joseph. It seems that the majority is not sharing that sentiment.

I do think the church can be non-partisan and lead the nation in repentance and prayer for our leaders especially the super 12 that will be making decisions of long lasting implications over the next few months.

chris

This column shares some keen insight into a business person's perspective on job creation et al.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-05-26/carter-economic-stagnation-explained-at-30-000-feet.html

Monte

Chris, thanks for the link to that piece. I found it interesting and more articulate than several things I have read on the same topic. I feel for the business owner and the frustration of constantly changing rules. Is there really a way out of this situation? If we simply did away with all regulation would it not result in the deaths of tens of thousands of people? Not to mention much larger numbers who would be dealth with unfairly or lose large amounts of money? If we were to freeze all regulatory activity for five or ten years would that make things more predictable, or would it entrench outmoded rules that really need to be revised? Is not this the inevitable result of a society that has become much more technologically complex, has much more information about public health issues, etc.? Why is this a problem in America and not in Germany or China? This sounds to me like an "answer" that is oversimplified and not entirely rooted in reality. Can you sketch a regime that would make things significantly simpler and more encouraging for this owner of a small business? I confess to not seeing it.

Rich DuBose

Being far removed from where decisions are made does not mean we are less guilty if we added our vote to policies that result in exploitation and injustice. The problem is, many don't understand what they are doing. Issues are presented in ways that cloud and cover the naked greed and selfishness that drives them.

chris

The narrative of the rich robber baron is so woven within our perspective. Sure there have been some but why do we think that business leader who are ethical and upright in the minority?

Warren Buffett is attempting to break the mold. He gave away $30B to the Gates foundation. Most are unaware of his favorable tax treatment of his gesture. He wrote a much commented-on editorial on the need for the rich to pay more taxes, talking about how his tax rate is less than his administrator. Warren knows fully well that capital gain is treated differently than consumption to afford a stable capital base for future development. He invested $5B in BOA giving this bank viability as they go through a painful transition.

He is the post boy of the good rich, which the President even quoted in his jobs speech.
His action is pure genius as he is acting according to his own best interest and getting kudos for it. He knows that our country is on the precipice of financial disaster and his billions will be worth next to nothing if America defaults.

As to the regulation uncertainty, business is not saying to forgo said although the popular narrative would have us believe. The straw man of the race to the bottom and a Wild West scenario is not the game plan of most companies. Why use the profile of the bad apples as shown on 60 minutes as the mojo of most? Are there bad churches and non-profits too?

Look at the signature legislations of the present administration, healthcare and banking. The procedural rules are still being written, evolving with exemptions being granted to some.

How in heavens can one plan a multi-year game plan with large, dynamic cost factors like these?
Societal value should not measure by the sackcloth and ashes syndrome only. What would non profits do without the infusion of for profit contributions?

I would encourage us to broaden our vision as to what qualities we affirm as worthy of our adulation.

The courage and innovation of the business community are also God-given gifts.

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