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This Month's Scripture Verse:

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
2 Timothy 3:1-5


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Comments Which Conservatives Block From Their Blogs For October 8, 2014

Oct 6

To Joe Carter and his blogpost on how unemployment can be a spiritual problem. This appeared in the Acton blog.

This isn't a bad post. But there is a difference between saying that unemployment is a spiritual problem because of the effects it brings and saying that unemployment has spiritual ramifications. After all, unemployment is caused by economic factors and therefore should be viewed as an economic problem whose solutions address those factors. Two such factors include technological unemployment, which is when the number of job displacements caused by using technology surpasses the number of new jobs being created, and the outsourcing of jobs overseas. Both technological unemployment and the foreign outsourcing is at least partially done to save labor costs as is the underpaying of employees some of which requires government assistance programs to sustain low paid employees and their families.

This tendency to cut the pay of employees in order to increase profits is sometimes itself a spiritual problem. That problem in general can be called sin. This particular sin is due to the succumbing to greed and the viewing of employees as disposable object of profit.


To Elise Hilton and her blogpost on why Americans can't find jobs. This appeared in the Acton blog.

I think it is odd that when we have corporations who subsidize their payrolls with government assistance programs and who outsource jobs overseas, some of which will be filled by sweatshop and trafficked labor. that corporate mistreatment of employees is not listed as a cause for unemployment. Some of the jobs outsourced  were jobs requiring college degrees and technological training--I know because I had some of these former employees in my classes.

It is also odd that when companies use government assistance programs to subsidize their payrolls that low pay is not cited as a demotivating cause for unemployment. We should mention the stagnation of or drop in the median income of certain workers to underline the problem with low or underpaid jobs. We should also mention that some of these corporations whose payrolls benefit from government assistance programs are doing all they can to avoid paying taxes for the infrastructure and other services from which they benefit. And their avoidance of taxes hurts the locations in which they reside by increasing government debt.

But in the end, what is never examined is the economic system and its sacred cows and how our economic system's basic values practiced by its participants might be a cause for unemployment. I have talked to several employed people who recognize that their jobs are constantly on the chopping block of shareholder profits.

BUt with all of these problems, what we see in the above list is what we see in people who externalize evil. That what is one is always  perceived as what lies outside oneself.


To Joe Carter and his blogpost on farm subsidies. This appeared in the Acton blog.

Describing the free market as merely a market that is free from distortions and disinformation can be  misleading. That is because what some call a free market is a market that is free from regulations that protect some of its participants. One only needs to go to the housing bubble crisis and some of the unregulated financial products sold by our financial institutions to see the need for restraints on the market.

Perhaps, there are other considerations not being  recognized or acknowledged when citing farm subsidies. First, some subsidies were put into place to help reduce the risk of business failure for some farmers. At the same time, other subsidies have been put into place in order to pad the income of some including agribusinesses. The latter is due to the implementation of free market values of maximizing profit and competition. The latter use of subsidies also points to the self-sabotaging effect that the free market can have on itself. Both uses of subsidies might point to stability and sustainability problems inherent in the free market itself.

Also, please note that greed causes some participants in the free market to manipulate, even without government help,  the market for their profit. So there seems to be an externalizing of problems by some defenders of the free market because their ideology assumes that the free market functions sufficiently and thus all problems are due to outside interference.


Oct 7

To Repair_Man_Jack's diary entry published by Red State about how election season drives some to support war. This appeared in the Red State blog.

There are two questions which are never asked when our nation contemplates before entering our next war:

1.    Will starting this war enter us into a Kobayashi Maru scenario?
2.    Should we follow the money before deciding on entering the next war?

So has the 2003 invasion of Iraq put us in a no-win situation where we can neither withdraw from nor leave alone? Neither Democrats nor Republicans asked that question when contemplating the invasion. Rather, the bipartisan focus of our elected officials was on addressing an imaginary set of disturbing "facts." That is not to say that groups like ISIS would never emerge if we had left Saddam Hussein in power. After all, ISIS is in Syria while Syria has its own brutal dictator. But we did stir things up by invading Iraq and the question is whether things will ever calm down.

The second question never asked before entering the next war is, who really benefits the most? And by asking who benefits the most we are asking about is using war to turn a profit. This question has been asked at least since before entering WW I by people but not by those in government who are pushing for war. Concerning the Iraq invasion where the role of private-sector contractors in war zones expanded exponentially, we must not just ask about how big our Military Industrial Complex is, we must also ask about those contractors who promised to clean up the mess our weapons created. Like foreign military aid, war pays out handsome profits to those businesses that enable the fighting. Thus, not only must we ask who will benefit the most from our fighting ISIS before engaging with them, we must also ask, who saw their profits soar from our invasion and occupation of Iraq? For while this article rightfully condemns the two-face approach of certain Democrats, are those who consistently vote for war and occupation, or as the article called them, 'Winter Soldiers,' any less ambitious or self-serving than the Democrats named above?

The above are important questions to ask because it seems that, with the way this country and world is going, we will forever have to decide on entering a new war. And included in the concerns about our "national interests" and security must be concerns about whether once we enter the conflict, can we quit and whether those who enable the fighting are the real intended beneficiaries of the next war. For those questions might help us understand why our country should refrain from sending our troops and send the war promoters instead.

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