Thursday, February 19, 2009

Why Stand Ye Gazing?

And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

-Acts chapter 1:9-11

So our world is crumbling around us. Our credit-driven, consumer-based culture is imploding. It isn't coming back, not anytime soon. The shadow banking system that supplied the credit is gone. The in-balances in our country and in our world, both socio-economic and purely economic, are correcting with a vengeance. These forces will drag us back to baseline kicking and screaming.
Stop gazing into the heavens! You can't get it all back, not with the best crafted stimulus package. The best that stimulus will do for us now is soften the landing, with the possible side effect of lengthening the suffering.
I hate to break it to you, but true global economic stability is 7-10 years away- with 10 years being more probable. The official unemployment rate will rise to 10% and stay there if we are lucky, if our government mis-steps then it will be even higher.
At that point an upswing will be in the works but not without a major world military conflict erupting alongside.
So forget about fixes, forget about getting it all back right now. Take your eyes off the heavens and focus on the work that all of us need to be doing at this time.
What is this work? Solidarity. Solidarity within families. Solidarity within communities. Solidarity within our nation. The trumping of stark, unyielding ideology by common concern for not only survival but progress.
Start within your circle. Make nice! Resolve family differences and squabbles now so you can function together later. Because you will need to pool your abilities and resources down the line.
Continue this within your community of friends, workers, and acquaintances.
When we begin to do this then our nation will come together... as it stands we are in a very lamentable state... we are strongly divided on many lines... witness the legislative standoffs not only in DC but also in California. As I said before, the current Republican every-man-for-himself mantra must be fully discredited in the eyes of Americans before we can join together and move forward. The current Republican agenda trends in the opposite direction of the national solidarity we need. A very welcome sign of the recovery of our nation will be continued Republican losses of congressional seats in 2010, it doesn't matter what party they lose them to, coupled of course with the re-election of Obama or the election of another non-Republican president in 2012. Even if Republicans get spanked in 2010 and appear to change their ways afterward, they will still not be ready to be trusted with the presidency. I pray that the electorate wises up.
It is interesting to note that it is an established fact, that if your family makes less than $50,000/yr, voting for the Republicans is not in your best economic interests. So why do lower-middle class families do it? The Republicans have co-opted the religious right's culture war to snare those voters. For these people, it's all about homosexuals, abortion, and God. It's ingenious really. If you are one of these people, understand this, that fighting the culture war on the level of government is a losing proposition for your cause. Give people social stability and they will sign on to stable lifestyles. Republican ideology does not result in social stability- it's essentially libertarian outlook results in a controlled anarchy where the powerful get to make the rules. The not-so-powerful either get socially raped by powerful interests or rebel not just through activism but also through lifestyle- and boom! The republican ideology has just succeeded in creating the "deviants" it pretends to abhor.
I don't want to blow government money on non-deserving projects and people either. But then the answer is strong regulation, which the Republicans have also consistently failed on. So I am justified in attributing libertarianism to their ideology. The Democrats haven't always pushed for enough regulation either, but there is still no comparison to be legitimately made.

No comments: