The economic tectonic plates are moving! The European Common Market economy is threatening to unravel, with Greece’s ratings slumping to triple C drawing ever nearer to failed state status. If Greece goes, it will take a number of over exposed European banks with it, and economists are watching nervously because they know once the decline starts nothing will stop the dominoes from tumbling.
America is not so much better off. President Obama may have gotten rid of Osama Bin Laden but he’s certainly not finding it easy to get rid of economic malaise and the resultant unemployment.
No American president since Franklin Roosevelt has won re-election with unemployment higher than 7.2%. Unemployment is currently running at 9%. Obama’s own economists most optimistic estimates have unemployment running at 8.6% at the time of the next election.
It’s been said that the function of economists is to make astrologists look good.
There was no consensus among economists predicting any of the most recent crises. The one exception was E.F. Schumacher, the man with what we would now call spiritual intelligence.
In his book ‘Small is Beautiful’ published way back in 1973 Schumacher said presciently, “If human vices such as greed and envy are systematically cultivated, the inevitable result is nothing less than the collapse of intelligence itself .
A man or culture driven by greed or envy loses its capacity to see things as they are.
A man driven by greed or envy loses the power of seeing things as they really are, of seeing things in their roundness and wholeness, and his very success’s become failures . If whole societies become infected by these vices, they may indeed achieve astonishing things but they become increasingly incapable of solving the most elementary problems of everyday existence.
The gross national product may rise rapidly: as measured by statisticians but not as experienced by actual people, who find themselves oppressed by increasing levels of frustration, alienation, insecurity and so forth.”
Eventually everybody is a loser.
He went on to say…”After a while even the gross national product refuses to rise any further, not because of scientific or technological failure, but because of the creeping paralysis of non-cooperation, as expressed in various types of superficial thinking and escapism on the part, not only of the oppressed and exploited, but even highly privileged groups”.
The cause of war: Failure to live in harmony with the laws that govern the universe.
Dorothy L. Sayers said, ”War is a judgment that overtake’s societies who may have been living upon ideas that conflict too violently with those laws that govern the universe… never think that wars are irrational catastrophes: War is what happens when the wrong ways of thinking and living bring about intolerable situations.”
So currently we are faced with the ‘Arab spring’ and the revolt of ordinary people against their oppressors.
The book of Haggai in the Old Testament talks about the end times when there will be a series of shakings. This is when God permits arrogant leaders to build self-serving structures that are out of kilter with the laws that govern the moral universe. At this time we are told, his fist will pound the table of history and everything that is out of kilter with his justice mercy and compassion. It is predicted that the earth will be shaken to its foundations and will collapse, exposed for what it is.
It makes you think.