Thursday, October 29, 2009

The economy and the power to make things better--Part 2 of 5--Past and present realities

In the past, families envisioned great times as industries grew and so did employment, and the future was promising. Enlightened entrepreneurs looked protectively after workers; those leaders less inclined to share the wealth were obliged to sign labor contracts through unions. In either situation industry and the American workforce was a viable partnership, each partner benefiting through benevolent relationships. Even when work was slow during recessions or depressions, local employers cared for struggling families.

Unfortunately, it took wars to perk up sagging economies. Two world wars lifted industry out of the doldrums. During each national crisis the American workers were ready to pitch in and do their part. They did not debate. They simply helped. A job needed to be done, and they were there to do it.

Enlightened entrepreneurs remembered that each worker had to support a family, so they compensated their workers fairly. Quality of life in the early period of America’s industrialization consisted of family, the church, and an unyielding faith in God. As the family enjoyed income security, they had time to share. And they shared laughter, often in the company of friends and neighbors. Because the employers were benevolent, there was great respect for business leaders. Business ethics were crowned with an unwritten commitment to look out for each other at all times. Accounting was simple and free of tricks. Honesty and fairness fostered respect in the workplace. God was happy because his people were satisfied.

Industrialization was conceived to make life simpler, more abundant, and more secure. America was producing things in large volumes to make them affordable. America had a sound manufacturing base, and America was making money. Sunrise and sunset defined the day for work and shopping. Evenings were for the family, and Sundays were days of rest for fun and laughter. God was the center of family life.

Subtle changes gradually appeared on the horizon. “Efficiency experts” entered the scene. There were shifts away from the personal relationships workers enjoyed with entrepreneurs. Professional managers—“Paper Barons”—appeared to run the business on a new and impersonal platform. The new focus was on the bottom line. Ethics was put into the back seat, and the once-vital work ethic slowly faded into oblivion. The 1960s saw the beginning of the end of manufacturing in America.

This shift to a service economy broke the backbone of the American family. Cheap labor overseas overpowered the American workforce with the approval of management. The American workforce in textiles, shoes, and eventually high technology was hung out to dry by its business leadership. Besides the loss of jobs, America is losing all rights to genuine American technology. Business leaders claim to need the technology transfer to manufacture American-brand products overseas. God is troubled.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The economy and the power to make things better--Part 1 of 5--Assessment of contemporary life

The world revolves around the economy. Today’s economic and social ills—jobs, financial chaos, health care, education, lack of respect for the other person—raise havoc with the economy; correction requires spiritual renewal—i.e. we must do extremely well in service to God and country and work ethics as the Golden Rule; relying on the government to handle what are personal obligations will not do. Americans, like other members of the global economy, suffer an identity crisis as human desires and lust for power have overtaken us. To overcome the identity crisis, we must live according to whose we truly are; we are God’s people and his children of hope. God supports us; therefore let us make ample use of his presence in our lives. The spiritual connection is the most powerful force on Earth and is indispensable for overcoming human greed and lust for power. We believe that the current harsh and adulterated economic conditions demand changes in attitudes and behavior beyond ordinary means.

We need divine help. Two devastating wars and unresolved conflicts in Palestine continue to drive the resources of America to the breaking point. Compounding America’s situation even further is a health care crisis that remains unresolved, and the outsourcing of jobs further complicates the economic hardship—this despite the fact that America has an abundance of talent.

Helpful guides for achieving economic independence:

1. Identify the shortcomings.

2. Make the commitment to adjust attitudes and behavior.

3. Explore solutions to overcome the problem of man-created disasters.

4. Devise the plan for change and improving the current dire conditions.

5. Provide the resources to implement the plan.

6. Persevere. Since conquest in resolving overwhelming issues call for a firm commitment, let us ask: “Am I willing to make the necessary commitment to handle the present economic crisis and social ills?” Only a positive response will guarantee America’s future of hope.

7. Important considerations for implementing changes

7a. Many economic problems today are the result of lack of government scrutiny of questionable activities because laws, rules, and regulations to control irresponsible human behavior are not in place. Many lawmakers favor a free market economy, but a free-for-all greed and lust for power is not a free market economy.

7b. Ultimately, economic issues are moral issues. And like all other moral situations, economic problems also call for spiritual solutions.

7c. Therefore, it is up to us as spritual beings in the modern world to address moral decay and expose morally deficient leaders in business and finance: bankers, 401k managers, hedge fund operators, venture capitalists, private equity manipulators, and all others who deal with the resources of the general public in irresponsible ways. A 5% investment in a company by a venture capitalist will guarantee takeover and subsequent abuse of the public trust by cashing in the equity value of companies because irresponsible bankers and 401k managers, the pencil pushers of modern times, are partners for a fee with greedy takeover manipulators.

7d. Let one thing be certain: Anyone more interested in personal greed and lust for power rather than the common good does not deserve the respect and the honors associated with ethics in active community life.

7e. Good human conduct is watching out for the community and each other. This is the necessary first step in the healing of social ills as well as in providing a spiritual solution to today's economic ills. God expects us to build bridges for making the world a better place through job creation; thus we join forces, locally and globally, to condemn economic greed and personal lust for power. As we cry out for divine help in the present dilemma, God will surely guide us in working our economic needs to help families become economically independent. We believe that the solution to the moral decay that is responsible for current job losses through outscourcing demands a spiritual solution. And God is waiting to hear our prayers to help restore the job security of American families.

7f. He will inspire and encourage seekers of truth for the common good with visions for solving our job woes. But we must act, locally, and collectively as a nation, to plan the future that will make us a better people.

In this writing, past conditions and future expectations are looked at in detail in Part 2, 3 and 4, with Part 5 being A National Prayer seeking divine intervention. In every instance, the emphasis is on unity; unity alone will make certain a successful solution and prevent further damage to the American Spirit. Part 3 is especially important, for it shifts the current burdens into God’s hands where they belong; business leaders and ruthless politicians for too long have manipulated what rightfully belongs to the kingdom of God on Earth and all his people. The time is here and now to stop the hijacking of God’s wealth and overturn arrogant ideas about human greatness; disastrous wars already indict the falsehood of self-centered ambition, greed, and lust for power as the ongoing egocentric behavior keeps consuming resources and energies to serve God and country; therefore, only when we yield to God will things improve. Part 4 presents a future of hope as God’s way for quality of life. Part 5: A National Prayer