This is an astounding piece that I found in a journal on future trends in a scholarly article written by a business school professor. The primary focus of the article is how China is structuring its economic engine to compete successfully with the United States and Europe. He describes why the West is losing in this competition:
"J. P. Morgan can lose $9 billion on speculative trading in financial derivatives. Bank of American has lost $40 billion over the last four years on their failed acquisition of the mortgage lender Courntywide. A large number of big U.S. corporations pay no taxes to the federal government; instead, many of them receive tax benefits from the government. The Greek government can be forced to pay 436 million [Euros] to secretive investment funds ... who speculate against the established network of governments, central banks, and international financial institutions.
"People watch all this with disbelief. It is not a question of whether the law makes such behavior permissable. It concerns the ethics of the very system that supports national economies and underpins the global economic structure.
"History books are full of pages describing how originally successful systems have dug their own graves by allowing distortions, aberrations, exploitations, and abuses--in short, forgetting why they were established. Any political system or economic model finds its legitimacy in delivering human security, wealth, and welfare to the people. But what we see now is that a growing share of the enterprise system, particularly in the area of financial institutions, is violating this golden rule. ...
"Many of those who exploit the system are not entrepreneurs. They have not launched new products, and they feel no responsibility to safeguard the livings of their thousands of employees. They merely shuffle financial assets around, they invent new and sophisticated financial instruments, and they display this ingenuity simply to enrich themselves by grabbing money from elsewhere.
"As the profits they earn do not stem from production, they must come from other parts of the economy. Consequently, the part of the economy providing goods and services is forced to subsidize the nonproductive part."
What Does this Mean?
The economy may not improve significantly at any point in the next few decades. Congregations, pastors and Christian ministries may be faced with long-term increases in poverty and unemployment, the resulting pressures on families and pinched church budgets. Of course, the work of Jesus is not determined by the economic climate.
Source: "China's Effort to Redefine Corporate Governance," by J. O. Moeller. World Future Review, Fall 2012, pp 5-11. Moeller is a professor at Copenhaben Business School and Singapore Management University.