Thanks for stopping by, whether you got here by a link or hitting "next blog" -- I am glad you are here. I've also done some writing on homeschooling, and what I learned thinking I was teaching.

Friday, May 4, 2012

A Shell Game?

Milton Friedman, was an economist who wrote:

What kind of society isn't structured on greed? The problem of social organization is how to set up an arrangement under which greed will do the least harm; capitalism is that kind of a system.

If what we are facing now is the fruit of the least harmful arrangement . . . I wonder how our country will flourish in the coming decades.

I don’t understand how we got into the financial mess convulsing the world – but I believe the hole we have dug is dangerously deep.  I wonder about who our rescuers will be.

Last night we watched the second installment of Frontline’s reporting on money, power and Wall Street.   The financial crises convulsing our world today is the handiwork of young financiers who in the 1990’s came up with a way to manage risk, and legislators and politicians who took away some laws that reined in bankers’ excesses prior to the 1929 crash and world-wide depression. (Mr. Clinton repeals legislation.)

The technical description is beyond me – but what I think happened is some folks figured out how to make a few bucks – and more folks wanted in.  Even the authors of the new sources of wealth didn’t fully understand what they had created, and startlingly, their customers didn’t either. And none were prepared for the bills when they came due – whether they were banks, insurance companies, municipalities or European nations, now tottering on the brink of ruin. 

Everybody forgot: “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”  

When the elected and appointed leaders of our country could have imposed discipline, restraining or reforming, Frontline reports, they did not.  The failure goes deep and wide. 

Jeremiah and Ezekiel, prophets who understood the depth of Israel’s sin condemned practices that resound in today’s world:  

·      From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit. Jeremiah 6:13
My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to listen to your words, but they do not put them into practice. With their mouths they express devotion, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain. Ezekiel 33:31

The men of Issachar were commended for understanding the times – I don’t know exactly what that means. (I Chronicles 12:32) But I am hoping those with the authority will get wisdom, have understanding and courage to do the right thing. The more things change, the more they sure seem to stay the same. I think I’ll be camping in Ecclesiastes this summer.

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