Archive for May, 2009

Islam In Iran

  When I write about Islam I have some misgivings. I know there are some peace loving ones who are not given to conflict. Then there are the legions who are true Jihadist like President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran. 
  President Barack Obama proposes to meet with President Ahmadinejad to talk about peace in the Middle East. It is unlikely they will meet and even talk but any such effort won’t work to achieve real peace. Why!
  The symptom of the problem is Ahmadinejad proposes the annihilation of Israel and the destruction of the great Satan, America. Ahmadinejad believes he has been chosen by God to facilitate an inevitable event.
   Members of his faith, Twelver Shi’as Muslims, believe the final of the Twelve Imams, Muhammad al-Mahdi, the Mahdi, is to be the ultimate savior of humankind.
  At the age of five it is said Mahdi led the prayer at his father’s funeral. Immediately Mahdi went into ghayb or occultation and was hidden by God not to have been seen since.
  As a devout Twelver Shi’a Ahmadinejad believes when world conditions are right Mahdi will reemerge and lead Muslims in world peace. The essential condition needed to set the stage for his return is for the world to fall into chaos and civil war. A blood bath such as no battle has ever produced is essential for the return of Mahdi. To that end he is committed even if it involves the death of many of his own people.
   Ahmadinejad believes he is the human instrument appointed by God to set the table for Mahdi’s return. That is, his life’s mission is to precipitate havoc, pandemonium, tumult, and bedlam.  Carnage and death to millions is his objective.
  For our president to sit down and talk with him about world peace would be to ask him to denounce his faith and renounce his life’s calling. It would mean asking him not to listen to what he believes to be the voice of his God and listen to the voice of our president. To him the voice of our president talking would   be like listening to the voice of Satan speaking. That is not going to happen.
  Iran recently launched a rocket carrying a satellite. In English the name of the rocker was “messenger” and the name of the satellite was “hope.” When he concluded his talk at the UN few knew what he meant by saying may Allah help me to fulfill my mission. His hope is the return of Mahdi. His mission is to welcome him back by global war. War is his hope. What we believe to be devilish, damnable, and diabolic he believes to be his divine calling.
  Israel and many Arab nations know and understand this. That is why they have such concern. Our former president took action in the Middle East with a noble intent only to find that those with whom he was dealing did not hold his values and standards. If President Obama insists on talking peace with Ahmadinejad it will show he doesn’t understand Ahmadinejad’s mission.
  The power brokers in the Gaza Strip are supportive of the jihad efforts of Ahmadinejad. That makes it equally difficult for Israel to talk peace with them. They believe a holy war with   Israel is a noble thing. Jihadist around the globe share the same goal, the annihilation of Israel and the destruction of the great Satan, America. They believe that is the means to the end of the return of Muhammad al-Mahdi.

Our Emerging Muslim World

Starting with the Muslim — Arab Wars in 634 AD and continuing into the late 1800s Muslim armies engaged in an unimaginable conquest. They swept across north Africa, crossed the Straits of Gibraltar into Spain. Their armies advanced into eastern Europe as far as Austria. Islam exploded from the Arabian Peninsular as far east as northwest India and west across northern Africa to the Pyrenees in Spain and engulfed much of eastern Europe. They controlled a land mass larger than any current nation other than Russia. Their Barbary pirates controlled the seas. They were intent on world dominance in order to convert the world to Islam.
Not all modern day Muslims share their desire but many do. Past ambitions were curtailed but, perhaps only delayed.
The following insights give an indication of how the demographic shift is changing our world. It is a profile of the world our children and grandchildren will inherit.
Statistical studies show a fertility rate of 2.11 per family is essential for a culture to sustain itself. Historically it is shown that if the rate drops below 1.9 that nation will fail. If it drops below 1.3 it is impossible to recover. Consider these current rates in Europe. France the rate is 1.8, England 1.6, Greece 1.3, Italy 1.2, and Spain 1.1. The rate in the 31 nations constituting the European Union is 1.38.
However, the population rate is not declining in Europe. It is growing because of Islamic immigration. In France where the rate is 1.8 among the French it is 8.1 among Muslims in that country. By 2027, one in five people in France will be Muslim. At the current rate in 39 years France will be a Muslim country.
In the Netherlands 25 percent of the population is Muslim. 50 percent of newborns are Muslim.
In Russia there are 23,000,000 Muslims. Shortly 40 percent of the Russian Army will be Muslim.
The German government was the first to speak publicly of this dramatic change. They estimate by 2025, Germany will be a Muslim state.
The 52,000,000 Muslims in Europe are expected to double in 24 years. Since 1990, approximately 90 percent of the growth has been Muslim. By 2050, Europe will be a Muslim state.
In Canada the fertility rate is 1.6. Between 2001 and 2006, the population of Canada increased by 1.6 million. Of these immigrants 1.2 were Muslim. The Muslim faith is the fastest growing religion in Canada.
In America the fertility rate is 1.6. If the Latin population is included the rate is 2.2. In 1970, there were 100,000 Muslims in America. Today there are 9,000,000.
At a recent meeting in Chicago of 24 Muslim nations they stated that at the present rate it is estimated there will be 50,000,000 Muslims in America in 30 years.
These figures show a demographic change but do not indicate what cultural change this will mean. Laws, institutions, and governments in general change when there is such a population and polity change. The ideological deviation will be a seismic shift in society.
Could it be that those of us in churches and synagogues are good timing ourselves to death and singing praise courses while not trying to change our culture or at least preserve it? Are our schools so involved quibbling over the form of reporting they fail to teach what is worth reporting? If this well goes dry we will dramatically miss the water.

Economics And Taxes

Any person who as a child had a little red wagon knows the thrill of riding in it compared to the burden of pulling it fully loaded. Things get complicated when there are more people riding in the wagon than there are pulling it.
The same is true in economics. When there are more people dependent on government than are providing for it a burden is imposed on the providers.
In America we are about there. Under new tax proposals 9% of the population will pay 74% of the taxes while 50% of the population pays no income tax. History reveals this has happened before with dire circumstances.
Pithy comments often communicate great truths. Consider:
“A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.” George Bernard Shaw
“I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself by the handle.” Winston Churchill
“Government is the great fiction, through which everybody seeks to live at the expense of everybody else.” Frederic Bastiat French Economist (1801-1850)
“If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it is free!”  P. J. O’Rourke
Further proof that the principle of taking from the rich and giving to the poor is not new. It comes from Voltaire in 1764: “In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other.”
Bronze this quote from Thomas Jefferson and put it on the mantel of your mind: “The principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.”
This by Benjamin Franklin deserves to be enshrined in our memory hall of fame: “When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.”
Against that backdrop interpret this by James Bovard, Civil Libertarian: “Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.”
A collection of quotes without one by Ronald Reagan would be incomplete. “Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
Economist Milton Friedman confirms this in his quote: “We have a system that increasingly taxes work and subsidized nonwork.”
Comfort and caution are found in these words by Abraham Lincoln: “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
One thing greatly needed in order to preserve our republic form of government and economic free enterprise system is a better informed electorate.
We have in place in America a system that can afford such education. It is the public school system. Educators are objects of my esteem. I appeal to them don’t quibble over what type reporting system to use while failing to educate youth in the virtues that made America not perfect but the greatest nation on earth. Don’t dwell on our imperfections but the principles on which our country was founded and has been enabled to survive.

History Lesson On Economics

One of my most stimulating times in school was when I took four history courses the same term. It is not to be commended. Fitting the right characters with their contemporaries in the right era can get confusing. The study of history is to be commended.
Noah Webster, known as the “Father of American Scholarship and Education,”(1788) said, “Every child in America should be acquainted with his own country. He should read books that furnish him with ideas that will be useful to him in life and practice. As soon as he opens his lips, he should rehearse the history of his own country.”
One reason our nation is in the vortex of a destructive milieu is we are being lead by members who for all practical purposes opted out of the study of history.
Harry Truman said the only new thing in the world is the history you don’t know.
Lord Bolingbroke, an 18th century political philosopher, noted that history is philosophy taught by examples. Every historical event was the outgrowth of a philosophy. By studying the events of an era the philosophy that fostered can be known. The outcome of the period reveals whether a good or and unproductive philosophy gave rise to it.
America is now embracing a basic philosophy that has been tried by a number of societies. History records the result of our current political philosophy. We are now taking baby steps tracking the former Soviet Union called Communism. We are not there but we are flirting with a precursor called socialism.
Many older members of our society lived through World War II, the Cold War and other major wars. In keeping with the statement by Bolingbroke we saw the result of the philosophies that gave rise to those totalitarian states. Their failure shouts loud and clear that the philosophy creating such governments doesn’t work.
It is amazing to listen to some leaders of congress in interviews evidence they have no sense of history as they espouse flawed philosophy that has inevitably led to failure. They evidently don’t know the lessons made graphic by history. Or, if they know them they opt to try to defy them.
We have a president enjoying a 65% popularity rating who gives evidence of little or no history of the virtues that created the greatest nation on earth. Are there errors in the fabric of our history? Lamentably there are tragic ones. Let’s acknowledge this and get over self-flagellation in order to distill from our own history the philosophy of government that gave us the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
One brief history lesson form John Marshall (1819), “An unlimited power to tax involves, a power to destroy;   because there is a limit beyond which no institution and no property can bear taxation.” History reveals it has been tried and found wanting.
Daniel Boorstin, a historian and Librarian of Congress, postulated that trying to plan for the future without a sense of the past is like trying to plant cut flowers.

The Result Of Socialism

The following came to me from Iryna a native of Russia who now lives in Anchorage, Alaska. She says the following illustrates how conditions were in Russia under socialism.
An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before but he once failed an entire class.
That class had insisted that socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.
The professor, then said, “OK, we will have an experiment in this class on socialism. All grades would be averaged and everyone world receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A.
After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B.
The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy.
As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the one who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.
The second test average was a D. No one was happy.
When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.
All failed, to their great surprise. Then the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed. Iryna asked, could it be any simpler?
There are indications President Obama is moving us toward socialism. When I write anything about him that is not complimentary it has nothing, for celerity I repeat nothing, to
do with race and everything to do with ideology. I grew up in Mississippi in a family with no racial prejudice when racism was the norm. As a child I was with my dad on many occasions when he took the unpopular position of being an advocate for all races. I have never been a racist, but I do love the American capitalistic free enterprise system that rewards excellence.
The illustration of what happened in the economics class is played out in countries where socialism prevails. Socialism would do the same thing to our work force and economy it has done elsewhere. Russia is exhibit “A” of the failure of socialism. Many older Americans observed the demise of the ideology and related economic system it embraced in Russia. It has never worked in any society. That leaves many musing over why any American would be inclined to advocate any form of it.
Capitalism is far from perfect but when allowed to freely operate it is far ahead of any governmental system that comes in second. The free market has its liabilities but it has more assets than any alternative.
Those in the above illustration represented as making F’s are ultimately the losers under socialism because eventually the producers, like the A students who quit studying because it profited nothing, quit working hard and the economic system fails.  Then everyone suffers.

What Is Socialism?

Increasingly it is being said our nation is becoming more socialistic. There is a vast mass of adults who have little or no idea what that means.
Karl Marx gave us a good working definition: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”
The government determines your ability and sets your production goals. In doing so they determine your needs as a producer and they take the rest.
Under our free enterprise capitalistic system the owner/producer is free to operate the business, make a profit as desired, pay salaries and taxes, and give to the causes of his or her choice.
Under the communist form of government the government takes your business, runs it, and keeps the profits to distribute as they wish.
Under a socialistic system you continue to own and operate your business, the government determines what your needs are and allows you to keep enough to meet your needs. They take all the profit to distribute as they please.
This takes away the freedom of the free enterprise system and inevitably results in a decrease in initiative. Socialism is an economic system with government having considerable control over the wealth of the nation and property to dole out the profits as they see fit.
This is done under the guise of social justice. The problem is the bureaucratic elite, the government in power, defines what social justice is. They determine what is fair not the people.
Consider this scenario. You own a plant that manufactures widgets. For those of us who have lived our lives under a republic form of government and have worked in a free market it is hard for us to realize socialists consider you owning the factory as being exploitation. Regardless of the pay scale and your benevolence toward the workers and charities it is still considered exploitation and this is what they sell the masses on.
In a socialist state if you decide to build what you consider a new and improved widget you have to get the permission of your unmotivated work force. You must incorporate in the design the innovations government dictates. The government also decides how the profit is to be used for the good of society.
Pause a moment before we go further. Who now would be in control of your business? There are people in government now running our bureaucracy. Are you pleased with the job they have been doing? These are the kinds that will indirectly run your business.
Socialism necessitates a larger government to make the decisions for the businesses and decide on the social good. The power no longer remains in your hands but in the hands of an unelected elite group of unknowns.
As formerly productive people become more and more burdened by the power of the many over the few they become less and less motivated. Businesses become less productive. The pattern through the years has set the stage for government to move from socialism to communism and take your business. Its  a short step.
Now a more formal definition of socialism. “Various theories or systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned and/or controlled collectively by a central government that plans and controls the economy.”
Abraham Lincoln said, “If the voters get their hind side too close to the fire they will just have to sit on their blisters.”
In the last few months America has gotten closer to the fire. Some blisters are beginning to show.

An Entitlement Culture

Organizational planning usually involves reviewing past growth, performance, and policies. The future is planned for in light of the past. Evaluating those elements is expedient. However plotting the future only in light of what has been isn’t planning it is projecting.
Planning takes into consideration changes in clientele, new media for communicating, market need, and the emerging ethos, that is, the spirit of the culture.
As America moves forward it must learn from the lessons of the past. However, to try to make the garb of ghosts past fit the emerging society is a flawed pattern. The difference is America has never had to deal with a generation reared in an entitlement world. There is now in place in our society a large constituency that has been reared thinking it is the duty of the government to give them that to which they have grown to feel they are entitled.
Many of these who otherwise could be productive have moved from the work force to the dependent class. A less productive more dependent citizenry awaits their entitlement. They actually truly believe that is the role of government.
In our schools, in government, civic, and social studies classes we have not taught them differently.
Now back to planning. Present day economists are studying past performance of the stock market, reviewing previous domestic production charts, and other past economic tends. Using this date they are projecting our future. There is a new element in that equation. It is the generation that has grown up in an entitlement world.
Our future will involve a diminished work force, a loss of confidence in public figures, eroded ethics, a deemphasis on   spiritual values, and a more socialistic government. We are a new America.
To recover from this milieu the principles that made America great and the failures that flawed her must be gleaned, decoded, and taught. Past inequities need acknowledging so that we don’t repeat them and the values derived from the virtues need to be extolled. A new and enhanced America needs to be minted to replace the now “new America.”
To help achieve this the fulfillment of work, the joy of productivity, the thrill of accomplishment, the satisfaction of a job well done, the blessing of a free enterprise system, the reward of a good work ethic, the bliss of a guilt free conscious, and the peace of mind resulting from spiritual vitality needs to be taught and demonstrated.
Noah Webster said in 1788, “Every child in America should be acquainted with his own country. He should read books that furnish him with ideas that will be useful to him in life and practice. As soon as he opens his lips, he should rehearse the history of his own country.” We have failed to teach them.
The fact so many middle aged and younger people are complaining that thinks are worse than ever indicates they have no familiarity with the 1930s. Things were much worse then.
What America is experiencing now is not a projection of the past but a well planned change. If this current change proves not to work and becomes unwanted correction must be planned based on these noted signal values. Only then can a reliable self-responsible America replace our entitlement culture.

Will Our Stimulus Plan Work?

There has never been a more truthful candidate for President than our current President. He promised change and the winds of change are blowing — gale force. We are getting what he promised and by our collective vote it was indicated what was wanted — by most but not all.
1980 the Carter administration was going out and the Reagan administration was coming in. Our nation faced significant challenges. Many who are now saying our nation has never seen times as difficult as these need to consider our history.
In the early 1980s unemployment was in double digits. Today it is approaching 7 percent.
Inflation ran rampant in the early 1980s with interest on loans between 13 and 17 percent. Today it is 4 to 5 percent.
During the Reagan years our nation enjoyed a recovery and a resurgence. There was no panic and claims of a catastrophe such as the current administration has declared. By the way what ever happened to getting away from the politics of fear?
Everything the Reagan administration did to achieve the revitalization the current administration is doing the opposite. This has prompted Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina to comment, “What we are doing is worse than nothing.”
The approach we are taking is not new. Eight times since World War II Japan has tried similar efforts without success.
Hidden in this stimulus plan is the rationing of health care for the elderly. It will require seniors to be more accepting of conditions that come with age instead of treating them. As an example, for a female 75 years of age with heart disease it could be calculated her life expectancy is 81 years of age. Consequently she has an estimated 6 years to benefit from the prescribed treatment to correct the problem. The Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research, not consisting of doctors would have a complete electronic medical report on every citizen and could use it to deny the treatment. Hence, if you are considered too old and sick to be given care in a “cost-effective” way you need to just go ahead and die. Can you spell euthanasia?
Another change involves the Census Bureau which has for years reported to the Commerce Department. Now it is to report to the office of the President. The census determines congressional districts and certain fund allocations. This change can enable the President to strengthen his party’s numbers.
Little comfort can be derived from the type of cabinet the president has assembled. Virtually every one has had to have a major flaw overlooked that would have disqualified a candidate in previous administrations. Some that finally made it through were the second person recommended for the post. Here is a chill. The people that selected those individuals might well be the people who select two Supreme Court Jurists.
It is said we are passing on to the next generation an enormous debt. That is not all together true. The debt tsunami is coming faster than that. It is going to be incumbent on younger adults of the present generation to face the deficit all this will create. Can you say “inflation?”
However, there is a bigger debt to be incurred. It is a moral debt resulting from avarice, rapaciousness,(in summary greed) and gullibility (in summary hearing a word like “change” and assuming it is all going to be good for everybody). These are symptoms of our moral condition. Until our moral and spiritual condition is changed we will never get out of this crisis. Oops, pardon that fear word.

The Cause of Our Welfare Overload

I am proud to be an American! I am delighted to pay taxes and receive such benefits as protection by our military and local law enforcement personnel, fire protection, the best roadway system in the world, schools, and many other advantages. America isn’t perfect but it doesn’t come in second to any other nation.
However, there is a limit to my ebullience over paying taxes. Some taxes goes for things I would not choose for it to go to. In reality governments take from me and spend on causes of their choice money I had rather keep and happily give to cause of my choice. Like all of us many of our preferred causes are under funded while those of the government’s choosing often get what they don’t deserve.
A case in point is Sharon Jasper who was displaced by hurricane Katrina. She has new government provided housing now. As a matter of fact Sharon has lived in government housing for 57 of her 58 years. Her children like her parents before her are now doing so.
Sharon reflected on her one year out of Section 8 housing recently: “I tried it for a year — you know, working and all. It’s not anything I would want to go through again, or wish on anyone in my family …” Your tax dollars at work.
She is back in Section 8 housing in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana. She made the above statement sitting on her sofa on her new hardwood floor by her 60 inch HD TV of which she said, “It may look nice but it is not plasma… Now they want me to pay a deposit and utilities on this dump….”
At a New Orleans City Council meeting Sharon could restrain herself no longer asserting: “Our families have been displaced all over the United States. They are being forced to commit crimes in cities they are unfamiliar with. It is a very uncomfortable situation for them. Bring them back, then let’s talk about redevelopment.” She concluded her diatribe, “I may be poor, but I don’t have to live poor.”
That mentality is more pervasive than we might like to think. Some folks need and deserve government assistance and I delight to pay taxes to help meet some of these legitimate needs, but….
John Marshall, longest serving member of our Supreme Court observed: “An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy, because there is a limit beyond which no institution and no property can bear taxation.” Are we there yet?
With gratitude I have served our state on the Board of Human Resources, the Child Protection Task Force, and other roles. I have seen compassion at its best and torpidness at its worst.
Those who abuse the system are professionals. Not professionals in the sense of being in the NFL or NBA but professionals at manipulating the system. They make a living, no they sustain their life, existing off tax dollars without paying taxes themselves. They are products of our society. They have been trained to expect something for nothing.
Meanwhile some very admirable causes go under funded and legitimate needs not met. Some hard working couples both have to work in order to pay taxes to support the Sharons in our society.
Times are tough and likely to get tougher. There will be more people with legitimate needs. I am thankful to be able to pay taxes to help a bit. Any person deserving help should not be reluctant to accepting it. However, to the Sharons of this world — get a life. It really is enjoyable. Work is rewarding.

Causes Of Economic Depression

Our current cultural and economic condition is the fog clouding our vision rising from an era with no well defined ideology. It is perhaps best classified as a period of materialism.
Spiritual, moral, and ethical values have been devalued and the vacuum filled by materialism.
An example is our proclivity for brand name shopping. There was a day when regardless of a person’s socio-economic status they could find fulfillment in spiritual values. They were somebody not because of who they were or what they had but by whose they were. People were gratified because of their spiritual value and values.
Today this same sense of fulfillment and gratification is found in not just shopping but shopping for name brands. A sense of worth is only found for some in the brand name they wear.
We have been described as spending money we don’t have on things we don’t need to impress people we don’t like.
The economic quagmire we are eye ball deep in has existed in America before. Even a global economic depression has existed. There is a period in our history known as the “great depression.” Interestingly there was economic depression in Europe at the same time but it was called “the depression.” There is a reason ours is called “great” and theirs not.
We were rocking along very much like Europe suffering a 10 percent unemployment rate. Then the government was led by President Roosevelt to get involved. Many today think Roosevelt got us out of the depression. Actually he deepened it. He doled out money and instituted government work projects. Unemployment responded to government intervention by rising to 20 percent.
I would hope the same thing that got the nation out of that depression won’t be today’s cure. World War II ended that depression.
In a more recent time America was gripped by another depression. Actually since World War I there have been several.
In a recent time the economy faltered and the stock market went into eclipse. America’s president at the time knew the government needed to act to insure a recovery. The action was to do nothing other than let the free market work its way out. To do that rather than the government getting more involved they got less involved by reduced taxes. That economic recovery is often referred to by the name of the president who advocated such an approach to economic recovery, “Reagan Economics.”
With taxes reduced more businesses could buy new equipment and that revitalized a large segment of the economy. The increased purchase of equipment resulted in more people being hired to build it. This principle rippled through the economy.
Many economists know these two scenarios and which works. More are speaking out against our current government following the Roosevelt model.
We can’t control what our government does. We can do what many have been reminded by our current dilemma to do. That is, reestablish the basis of our personal fulfillment by returning to our former ethical, moral, and spiritual values. To once more return to loving people and using things rather than loving things and using people.

Our Economic Crisis

Heroic stories abound of our predecessors’ thrift, industriousness, austerity, assiduousness, and self-sacrificing in order to live prudently and provide for the future generation. This was the norm for many generations. It is difficult to state an arbitrary date as to when this life-style changed but the older a living generation is the more pronounced it was among them. Whereas they were concerned about providing for future generations an almost imperceptive new philosophy emerged.
Simply stated it involves mortgaging the future for today. Little wonder the name given some is the “now generation.” Driven by self-indulgence giving birth by greed it slowly became the norm for many. Debt by individuals and governments gave us today what tomorrow promised. This concept permeated all of our society. It even became global in emerging societies.
Entitlement became a mantra for those looking to government with outstretched hands. Many individuals seemed to feel personal debt gave them the right to exceed their means.
This has led to the future being mortgaged beyond its capacity. Suddenly for many the future became the present and pay-up time came without them having the ability to pay-up. Institutions, industries and individuals bumped their noses against the plate glass reality of insolvency. Many who were less guilty than others were sucked into this vortex of over indebtedness. Numbers who had acted reasonably could have made it if the economy had stayed solvent were swept along by this tide.
It has been a tough class of economics 101. Lessons have been learned that will benefit legions in the future. Some slow learners will slip right back into this quagmire.
It has become ever increasingly apparent it is unwise to over extend. What our society has been guilty of we are now desiring our government to do. That is, to mortgage tomorrow for today. Haven’t we learned tomorrow inevitably comes. The money  wanted to be doled out today will come from the pockets of future generations. There is no way the future generation can handle the debt we are deferring to them any more than we can handle it today. Tomorrow will come fast enough to impact a significant segment of people who are alive today.
Our area and the state in general has a good core of competent public officials. We are fortunate. However, in the mix their voices are often in the minority of unheard.
This conundrum is too complex for the average citizen. However, individually we can work to get our personal financial houses in order.
Step one is to curb our personal cupidity, that is, our desire to obtain. That will necessitate budgeting our resources and living within our means.
Financial consultant Dave Ramsey urges people to “live off beans and rice — rice and beans” until they get out of debt.
Purchase of an item that does not depreciate is in reality an investment not a debt. An affordable mortgage on a home that appreciates is an investment.
A Baptist moved next door to a frugal Quaker. The Quaker visited him and said, “If thou neediest anything let me know and I will tell thee how to live without it.”
Score one for the Quaker.