July 24, 2011

Thoughts on the Debt Crisis

This is one those risky posts, because I'm not an economist and I have a history of eccentric and crackpot political opinions, for which--I brag--I have occasionally accepted corrective criticism from friends with more sense and expertise.

At our provincial chapter this past spring, when we were discussing how to improve our efforts at fund raising, a friar got up and made a spectacular speech about how the problem with development was artificial contraception. The capital in the world had become less because, spiritually, people no longer believed in a future, and practically, because there weren't as many Catholics walking around as there should have been. I don't know if anybody took the brother seriously, but I thought it was one of the best interventions of the whole week.

With that memory wanting to get into some post or other ever since, I was thinking a little about this whole national debut business.

A system of debt and credit is a standard way to make money. But the system depends on people having faith that there will more wealth in the future. It is hard to have such faith in a culture grown decadent and pointless, and in which the making of more people--on which the production of further cultural capital and wealth depend--is an optional life-possibility for those who happen to 'oriented' in such a way that they can reproduce, rather than a constitutive part of human life to which one ought be open.


Lee Gilbert said...

We are witnessing the early stages of our descent into Mogadishu. It is much more than a debt crisis.

It has many moral components, and contraception is undoubtedly one of them, but before that in the chain of causality is the hypersexualization of the culture, and before that is the supine acquiesence by the Church (priests and people)and the whole society in the literally endless de-evangelization of the culture by the mass media.

Our legislators still have a moral compass, but it only points toward re-election. We are neither going to make the cuts we need to make nor even have the discussion we need to have, because it would require too much sacrifice of the American people. And that is why we are going to go "over the falls." Because our politiians cannot bring themselves to do what needs to be done, and has needed to be done since about 1980, the bond market will make the decision for us. Then there will be sacrifice, lots of it.

Ever since receiving a small inheritance in 2000 I have been following the capital markets. After losing my shirt I finally discovered some people in 2002 who are in touch with reality. They were talking eight years ago about the realities we are seeing today. Now they are talking about "Mogadishu."

In the interests of promoting financial literacy among the people who should be giving us moral guidance in this area and who follow this blog, the people at DailyReckoning (dot)com and FinancialSense (dot) com are very good, but they have services to sell.

Karl Denninger at Market-Ticker (dot) org, however, is a private citizen, often vulgar and steamed, but spot on. As much as I love and respect the pope, imho Karl is a better moral guide in this area, because he knows what he is talking about. (After all, as someone once pointed out, if you have to travel stormy seas, whom would you prefer at the helm, a nun or a pirate? But Karl is only piratical in language.)

For example, the pope recently inveighed against speculators in the commodity markets. However, that is not greedy money. It is scared money. People are trying to hang on to their capital. The dollar is dying. The stock market is perilous. Commodities, however, look like the one safe haven. When people pile in, the price goes up.

The solution? Our politicians and the people who elect them are badly in need of conversion, but that probably will not happen till we are brought to our knees. In other words, it is just possible that a Depression will put our culture and our politics on a better footing. We will soon find out.

Social meltdown is also a distinct possibility...Mogadishu.

Greg said...

While I could go on at length, as there are so many factors involved, as Lee pointed out, I won't.

Instead, I will focus on a Catholic concern: the role of radical activists misleading Bishops into advocating on behalf of Marxists set on destroying our nation.

With extreme dismay I've seen Bishops support individuals and groups set on destroying the Church, in order to destroy the nation.

For example, Catholic groups (like CLINIC) take money from atheist billionaire George Soros, the man behind much of the mischief.

How can Bishops support the goals of a Marxist atheist? Doesn't make sense.

Many popes, including Benedict XVI have written wisely on the dangers of Marxism. Why are they being ignored?

More troubling are Franciscan groups leading the charge into ruinous Marxist policies. One group, not led by a friar, but rather led by a union organizer, has consistently promoted anti-Catholic activism under the name of Francis.

The day of reckoning will soon be upon us... may we walk with Christ and serve our brothers in order to bring peace and prosperity. As you correctly note, the culture went off the rails and we must do the heavy lifting to put it back on track.