Ron Paul on the bailout

I am not a Ron Paul nut. But for years I have seen the federal government prop up a casino economy by easy money and an artificially inflated stock market. Of course, the end result of making the governement the source of economic prosperity is that in a time of crisis, such as now, the federal government must float the economy. It can’t be done.  Every sector of the economy is coming to Washington and asking for the money it is so willing to give to the credit markets, including the automakers. The economy is sick and has to go through some heaving to clean out the poisons we have interjected. Some congressmen are being very brave and asking serious questions, refusing to be pushed around. I can only imagine the pressure being brought to bear on them. But if you love the USA deeply and have your eye on the goal, its time to back away from the government cash cow. At the same time, the government should take on Wall Street like an umpire who sticks to the strke zone no matter who is at bat. If the government launches criminal investigations, it will gain some credibility and trust. The dialogue might open up a bit and compromise be an option to a degree. It’s time for Bush to fire any number of those in charge of regulation or who turned a blind eye to practices guaranteed to destroy share value. My congressman, even in Massachusetts, voted against the bailout.

The free market economy is a great contribution of the Judeo-Christian tradition. While it is easy in the name of compassion to back away from the demands of the marketplace, it is unwise and works at cross-purposes to those things which will bless and prosper all.

I am amazed at how in the Christian blogosphere so many popular bloggers are silent on this issue. I wonder if blogging is so much “blah-blah-blahing” until it really gets tough and those who have asked others to come to them for insight and wisdom in fact are only talking about the newest ideas and not hard realities.

In Financial Food Chains, Little Guys Can’t Win – Ben Stein

Ben Stein says it like I see it. Actually I think I am a bit more radical on this issue than Stein, but he is clear on this one issue – the rich have to be allowed to win. They insist that we privatize rewards but socialize losses. No matter which way it goes, the working man gets worked over. I have no sympathy for the person who buys a home and gambles that the adjustable rate will not rise or that the rise in home equity will protect him. On the face of it, this is stupid and requires no high school education to recognize. But this is not essentially what went wrong. What went wrong was the ability of financiers to package bad paper so that the gambles being made were hidden, hidden at least for long enough to make some quick money. If they could not have done that, the bad loan practices would have been more immediately visible and more quickly rejected. And now the very people who have lost homes, lost equity in homes and now have to extend their working lives by at least five years have to stabilize the very institutions that knowingly hid bad paper. There ought to be some perp walks, people.

In Financial Food Chains, Little Guys Can’t Win
By BEN STEIN
IMAGINE, if you will, that a man who had much to do with creating the present credit crisis now says he is the man to fix this giant problem, and that his work is so important that he will need a trillion dollars or so of your money. Then add that this man thinks he is so indispensable that he wants Congress to forbid any judicial or administrative questioning of anything he does with your dollars. Continue reading

My new laptop, Book TV and iTunes U

My church family at Coastal gave me a new laptop computer for my bithday. Wow – a great gift. Now I can lay in bed and compute!!! One of my delights has been to dip into the over 500 streaming videos at http://www.booknotes.org/Archives/?ProgramYear=2004 Brian Lamb of C-Span is one of my favorite interviewers. Short, crisp questions that allow the author to be center stage. You can download any interview you desire for a cost or view it for free on their website. So far I have listened to an interview on the topics of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Robert Frost, and Samuel Morse, plus tasted a few more that I’ll listen to more fully later on. I have also listened to lots of stuff at iTunesU, college courses online that I can listen to on my laptop or download to my iPod. My local library has plenty of cds from The Teaching Company, which records college lectures on an enormous number of subjects. I am viewing a series on the history of Rome. No reason to go brain dead!!!! What a delight.

Is the bailout a good idea? Dave Ramsay respond

Here is Dave Ramsay’s response at Christianity Today.

Q & A: Dave Ramsey
The popular Christian financial adviser on why he thinks the bailout is a disaster.

The government has rushed to aid several corporations in recent months, hoping to contain an economic crisis. President Bush urged Congress to pass a proposed $700 billion plan for the government to purchase troubled mortgage assets. Dave Ramsey tells Christianity Today why he is against the bailout and how Christians can prepare during an economic crisis. Ramsey’s show is carried on 350 radio stations nationwide, and he is the author of several personal finance books.

What do you think of the bailout?

I think it’s a disaster. It’s the largest government department ever formed in the history of man, and they are doing it in five days, and they are doing it based on a spirit of fear.

There are other things we could be doing to calm markets. All of the Bush administration appears to be in a dead dog panic. I’m afraid it’s going to pass, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to like it.

What do you recommend instead?

Change the market accounting rules. Do away with the capital gains tax, which will cause money to flood into the market instantaneously in 24 hours. Last, if we do need to do some insurance of some of these bonds, we can insure them rather than just buying them all. Only 7 percent of them are in foreclosure, while 93 percent of them are paying, so why are we buying them all—so we can make Paulson king?

Will the economical crisis affect how Christians will vote?

It translates into which person they think will go to Washington and give them the economy that they want. As a believer, I think that’s a mistake. I think we’re taught that God is to be our source. We’ve really got to stop looking to Washington to fix our problems. It obviously doesn’t have the ability to do that. People who are successful are not successful because of the President.

You meet people who think Sarah Palin is the Second Coming. People who say, ‘If we can get John McCain and Sarah Palin in the White House, everything’s going to be okay,” and it’s not.

Should this affect how Christians give? For instance, should Christians give to nonprofits that have lost money through investments?

I think giving priorities should never have anything to do with investments anyway. It should be the ministry that is doing God’s work, and what you feel God leading you to be attached to.

What will the crisis do to people’s lifestyle?

Hopefully some of this will scare people straight. Some of the consumption level will go down, some of the debt level will go down, and people will save more money.

God’s ways of handling money work: in the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil (Prov. 21:20). Having cash on hand is a good thing, always having some money. Get out of debt; the borrower is a slave to the lender. These are things that worked 1,000 years ago, they worked 20 years ago, and they worked 20 minutes ago. They will work for the next 20 years.

The emotions in the last two weeks have been more related to fear that their bank is going to close, that somehow the mortgage company is going to take their house even if they pay their bills. The other emotion has been anger at the government for talking about passing this ridiculous bailout of Wall Street.

I don’t know that I have necessarily heard anyone say, “I’m now convicted to straighten out my life.” I think the net result is that when the emotional moment leaves, people will hopefully find some contentment in what they currently have and not have to constantly own something bigger and better just to feel good about themselves.

How can Christians prepare for something like this in the future?

Have money in savings, get out of debt, live on a budget, live on less than you make, don’t co-sign, and diversify your investments. These are things the Bible tells us to do with money. If you do these things, you’re going to survive in bad times and prosper in good times. I’m not sitting here fretting that my world is going to come to an end based on what they are going to do in Washington.

How should churches prepare for this?

When people get scared, they quit giving. We may have the lowest giving in the fourth quarter than we have had in a decade. Churches that are out of debt and have money set aside for emergency, biblically speaking, are going to survive. Churches that have no cash and are in debt are going to reflect some of these Wall Street companies. They have to adjust spending to be able to live on what’s coming in and anticipate a drop right now.

Hopefully when the flowers come out in the spring, we’re going to see some better times. The only proper way to look at financial markets is over the long haul. One hundred percent of the 10-year periods of the stock market’s history have made money, 97 percent of the five-year periods have made money. So don’t let the panic of the day set your life up.

I’m voting for Cosby!!!

NEW WRITE IN CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT!
By Ben Witherington

O.K. in the spirit of full disclosure and weighing all options, Bill Cosby has now decided to throw his hat in the ring in the Presidential race asa write-in candidate. Here is his platform. See what you think.

 

(1) ‘Press 1 for English’ is immediately banned. English is the official language; speak it or wait at the border until you can.

(2) We will immediately go into a two year isolationist posture to straighten out the country’s attitude. NO imports, no exports.
We will use the ‘Wal-Mart’s policy, ‘If we ain’t got it, you don’t need it.’

(3) When imports are allowed, there will be a 100% import tax on it.

(4) All retired military personnel will be required to man one of our many observation towers on the southern border. (six month tour) They will be under strict orders not to fire on SOUTHBOUND aliens.

(5) Social security will immediately return to its original state. If you didn’t put nuttin in, you ain’t getting nuttin out. The president nor any other politician will not be able to touch it.
(6) Welfare – Checks will be handed out on Fridays at the end of the 40 hour school week and the successful completion of urinalysis and a passing grade.

(7) Professional Athletes –Steroids – The FIRST time you check positive you’re banned for life.

(8) Crime – We will adopt the Turkish method, the first time you steal, you lose your right hand. There is no more life sentences. If convicted, you will be put to death by the same method you chose for your victim; gun, knife, strangulation, etc.

(9) One export will be allowed; Wheat, The world needs to eat. A bushel of wheat will be the exact price of a barrel of oil.

(10) All foreign aid using American taxpayer money will immediately cease, and the saved money will pay off the national debt and ultimately lower taxes. When disasters occur around the world, we’ll ask the American people if they want to donate to a disaster fund, and each citizen can make the decision whether it’s a worthy cause.

(11) The Pledge of Allegiance will be said every day at school and every day in Congress.

(12) The National Anthem will be played at all appropriate ceremonies, sporting events, outings, etc.

Sorry if I stepped on anyone’s toes but a vote for me will get you better than what you have, and better than what you’re gonna get. Thanks for listening, and remember to write in my name on the ballot in November.
God Bless America !!!!!!!!!!!

Bill Cosby!!!!!!!!