Sunday, March 27, 2011

The day when Austerity catches up with us

Gregory Mankiw, former chairmen of President George W. Bush's Council of Economic Advisors has engaged in a bit of debt fear mongering with a "what if" presidential address. So, I thought I would try my hand at a "what if" scenario involving the consequences of prolonged austerity.

The following is a presidential address to the nation-to be delivered in March 2026-

My fellow Americans, I come to you today with terrible sadness. Our country faces imminent collapse. The food and freshwater shortages which you are all familiar with have reached critical levels. The Protean Flu has overwhelmed medical facilities and the death toll continues to rise. The fundamentalist organization, the Christian Domination Brotherhood,has taken advantage of the chaos. A wave of bombings and assassinations targeting federal facilities and federal employees has crippled the government. These events are the direct consequence of choices made long ago. Now we are almost out of options.

For many years, the government has lived under the shackles of austerity. We promised ourselves long ago that we would not burden future generations with debt. So we cut. And froze spending. And levied punishing taxes (who can forget the hated and regressive Mankiw VAT of 2012). And thus condemned the future.

Our fresh water and food crises have followed from our forefathers' refusal to accept the science of anthropogenic climate change (if they could only see the Great Southwest drought or the food riots). This ignorance coupled with fear of debt made investment in agricultural research and development and water conservation/treatment infrastructure impossible.

The rise of the Christian Domination Brotherhood is directly connected to our past battles over Middle Eastern oil and refusal to address massive unemployment. Those of us who are old enough remember the oil wars that began in 2013. So many brave men and women were killed or permanently scarred by these horrific battles. To add insult to injury, they returned to a homeland wracked by economic recession. Jobs were not available for these former warriors and veteran medical services were reduced in the name of austerity. Many of these rejected veterans turned to religious zealotry and vowed revenge on the government that abandoned them. In the years since the oil wars, the hordes of the unemployed have only grown and consequently so have the numbers of the Brotherhood.

A different path could have been taken by previous generations. A path of full employment and planning for the future. Sadly, time's arrow only travels in one direction. So, tonight I am announcing that martial law is being declared. Recent intelligence reports suggest that the Brotherhood has acquired a number of nuclear devices and is planning to use them on vital points of the national infrastructure. This will not be allowed to happen. We will defend this country.


mike norman said...

Kevin, good post. Very scary and most likely to turn out very prescient as well.

Anonymous said...

Oh I imagine the Christian Sisterhood would be manning the soup kitchens and hospital beds...

Tom Hickey said...

sforst, check out Dominionism and Dominion Theology.

Matt Franko said...

The mainstream of Christendom is currently missing much in the way of the economic outcomes God desired for His people, Israel; and hence what that may mean for the world today or what kinds of policies they (Christians) advocate for today.

Much of what was/is in the law of Moses were economic ordinances and statutes; this is how Moses framed it for Israel back then:

“See! I have taught you statutes and ordinances just as Yahweh my Elohim had instructed me, for you to do thus within the land where you are entering to tenant it. And you must observe and obey them, for that is your wisdom and your understanding in the eyes of all the peoples who shall hear of all these statutes and will surely say: Surely this great nation is a people wise and understanding.” – Deuteronomy 4:5

It seems from my point of view that the only economic directive that Christendom has really embraced is "Tithing", and they dont even get that right.

But what they unfortunately seemingly completely ignore include directives that outlawed:

Interest or Usury: "If thou lend money to any of My people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury" (Ex.22:25; Lev.25:36,37; Deut.23:19).

For us today we should consider: The Natural Rate of Interest is Zero.

Property ownership: "the land where you are entering to tenant it".

The land was assigned by Joshua via "casting the lot" or an 'allotment', and their receiving of their allotment was guaranteed under the law. Thereby also guaranteeing them access to their means of subsistence, while at the same time outlawing economic rent.

Which today we might consider a "Job Guaranty" or today we might at least press for full employment policies above all else.

And it wasn't like these laws were a pick and choose which ones you like and conveniently ignore which ones you dont like, they were a package deal:

"Yet it is easier for heaven and earth to pass by than for one serif of the law to fall." (Luke 16:17)

Unfortunately most in the body of Christ today do not seem to recognize the wisdom of the economic laws and ordinances of Moses, and the economic outcomes they were designed to produce.


Kevin Fathi said...

If one redefines what being a Christian means, then perhaps our Christian friends will not be manning the soup kitchens and the hospital beds.