Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Last Laugh

What a week! America teeters on the precipice of financial collapse. How does one digest that! 401K's, IRA's, bank accounts, stock portfolios, home prices, all are susceptible to sudden and large declines or losses as the grease of commerce (credit) in the consumer society dries up, and all the moving parts of our economy seize into motionlessness. Why does such bad news seem so often to come in the fall, perhaps that's the very definition of poetic justice.

Basically, we're in this fix because this generation of Americans feel we are entitled to have what we want and to have it now. It must be grabbed, after all, before we're too decrepit to enjoy it. Anyone with a bit of chutzpa can live large: dream homes; hobbies; vacations; jobs that are exciting, interesting, even pleasurable; early retirement with walks on sandy beaches. Don't work, scrimp, save, and plan for these things, that's for old-fashioned schmucks. Grow into your mortgage, tap your home equity, borrow from your 401 and pay yourself the interest, Visa is accepted everywhere, no worries--no one even plays the pipe anymore. Dream big, live large.

Wall Street will end up getting the blame for all this, not the irresponsible government and never the avaricious American people that vote it into office. American business exists to make money supplying what Americans want. If we want a stupid thing, there's plenty of smart folk out there who will find a way to market it to us. Once one smart guy finds a way to the meat, the rest of the piranhas flop over each other trying to get a bite too. Is this really surprising to anyone?

Where are the Christians in this Christian nation, particularly in the financial field, the government, and mostly on the consumer side of the counter? Jesus told us we could not serve God and mammon at the same time. Boy, have we tried to prove him wrong. Tell me, what does the the last laugh sound like when it rolls from heaven?

Addendum: This may shed some light on the question of where were the Christians on the consumer side of the counter. (HT: Paul Grabill)