Wednesday, June 08, 2011

The economy

Growth is slowing down. Official figures have reduced the expected growth in the UK economy this year by 0.2% while keeping next year's figures the same at 2.5% It looks as though the economic recovery is stalling. Despite this, teh recent visit of the IMF was supportive of George Osborne's policies and dismissive of Labour's plans. The reason given was that the setbacks that have taken place this year are temporary ones. Four have been identified. Oil prices have risen because of the turmoil in North Africa, the Japanese earthquake has caused a breakdown of manufacturing supply chains, the Greek crisis has renewed the threat to the European financial systemhas and the European Central Bank’s has decided to start raising interest rates somewhat prematurely.

The Greek crisis seems to have settled again and Spain has not joined teh failed economies, quite, Japanese parts are signaled to start moving shortly and Saudi Arabia seems secure so that OPEC are talking about switching on the oil again.

It is going to be a long slow recovery but 20 years from now it will be seen as a blip.

Meantime over 400,000 new jobs have been created in the private sector in the past year.


Burke said...

We seem to be on the edge of a double dip recession here on the US. Some think we may be going into another depression from which we will never fully recover.

From what I read, it seems that the European Union is in a lot of trouble, too.

One interesting thing happening here is the explosion of talk about Ayn Rand and the conflicts among Christians here regarding her. The chairman of the House Budget Commitee, Paul Ryan, is a Rand fan who has proposed a budget that (supposedly) contains large cuts. It's being called The Ayn Rand Budget in some circles.

The Religious Left is attacking the Religious Right because Rand was an atheist and saying that Jesus would be on the side of the leftists and their welfare programs, etc. Just one of many examples of this can be seen here:

As I see it, the economy is going into the dumps and whoever is in power is going to get blamed for it. I think this is going to be true throughout the rest of the world also.

The lubricant for all this change going on worldwide is and will continue to be the Internet.

It has changed everything.

Terry Hamblin said...

I find it hard to categorize Christianity as either Left or Right politically. I am very suspicious of people who do so. It seems to me that Jesus is concerned about individuals being in a right relationship with God. This means recognizing our own failure to live up to God's standards, being completely sorry about this and trusting in the sacrifice of Jesus to pay the penalty for our failure. It means accepting the Holy Spirit's control of our lives rather than our own selfish desires.

How we live then does not depend on how wealthy we are but how obedient we are. Some Christians in St Paul's day were among the richest and most powerful; some were slaves. St Paul recognized that you could be a good Christian in either situation.

It is not good Christianity to be hoodwinked by an economic system that does not work. We are certainly encouraged to be generous to the poor and needy; but in real life it turns out that right wing people are more generous donors to charity than left wing people. But a very important injunction by St Paul is, "He who will not work shall not eat."

Opressing the poor, especially by fraud and deceit is anti-Christian.

Burke said...

"It means accepting the Holy Spirit's control of our lives rather than our own selfish desires."

From what I have read here, Doc, you are fairly well off financially. And you certainly deserve it. In my philosophy, those who accomplish great things do so by making those around them richer just by trading with them, by giving them something more valuable than than that which they receive in exchange.

I would say, for example, that Bill Gates has done more for mankind than all the Mother Theresas of the world put together. Most leftists and many Christians, however, would have a very different view. They would say that people like you and Gates are being selfish and worldly, etc, They would use your altruistic beliefs against you and demand that you sacrifice even more.

Strictly speaking, selfishness is just concern with one's own interest, and the prosperity of the modern world was created by businessmen and others working in their self interest.

What do you think the Holy Spirit would have to say about this?

If I were a leftist, however, I would be

Terry Hamblin said...

That attitide would mean that Jesus is selfish for wanting to win moe souls to himself. All altruism would then be contaminated if any good man wanted the good. No selfishness muct mean wanting something to oneself. The Bible never condemns owning property and indeed Old Testament heroes were rewarded with property - see Abraham and Job.

When I commented on teh fact tha Socialism just doesn't work, I meant that it takes as a given that men are naturally good, when the reverse is true. Capitalism takes flawed human acts and transforms them into good. Socialism turns good intentions into evil consequences.

Burke said...

"When I commented on teh fact tha Socialism just doesn't work, I meant that it takes as a given that men are naturally good, when the reverse is true. Capitalism takes flawed human acts and transforms them into good. Socialism turns good intentions into evil consequences."

But isn't such a view a contradiction? If "good intentions" lead to something bad, how can they be good?

Isn't the whole idea of there being a dichotomy between theory and practice false? Are there good treatments for CLL that don't work?

As for selfishness, Kant held that Christians doing good deeds in the hope of getting into heaven were selfish (I've been told). One must act only "from duty" or the act was of no "moral import.".

In the real world, the only truly selfless person is a corpse, as far as I can tell. It's not surprising that 140 years or so after Kant the Germans and the communists (who were all really socialists) were "virtuously" sacrificing people to the supposed public good.

Terry Hamblin said...

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. We don't achieve what we hope for. It is lack of knowledge that means that what we think will end up well ends up badly.

I think you have hit upon an argument about semantics. Every new treatment tried in CLL seems good at first. It is only after it has been tried and found wanting that it is perceived as bad.

I don't accept that Christians do good hoping to get into heaven. We do good things because they are good. In Galatians 5:22 St Paul taks about the fruits of the Holy Spirit. One of the 9 fruits (and I'm not hung up on there being only 9)is goodness.

Getting to heaven is shorthand for being in close relationship with God. Only those who see that as an aim to be attained should seek it. Those who find the idea of God distasteful wouldn't be happy there.