Goshen News, Goshen, IN

March 14, 2014

LETTERS FOR MARCH 14, 2014: Choose wisely in life

Goshen News

---- — A German monk exclaimed that, no “greater sin” lies within a man than to steal nourishment from another. Adorned with jewels, applauded by his peers, deemed pious, “such a man ought rather be hung from the gallows.” Thus were Martin Luther’s regards for money gluttons and usurers.

Life’s nourishment comes from nature’s bounty. We feel rich or poor according to our having access to Earth’s sustenance and by industry’s productive capacities to process natural resources into needed consumer goods. Our ever-increasing rates of production require ever-greater rates of resource depletion per unit of labor. Nature’s capital is being greatly diminished as more become employed in this competitive process. Obtaining an economic advantage has become the obsession of all desiring increased incomes, sense of well-being, profits and possibly great wealth.

Forbes recently reported that 87 individuals command more of nature’s transformed nourishment (wealth) than half the world’s combined population. Demands beyond that needed to support life now define individual success, wealth and personal worth.

Future generations will likely regard our excessive appetites as an intrusion into their quality of life. Nature’s capital transformed into financial papers and computer data bytes will offer little nourishment for them. Present successes may be deemed as our sinful failings.

Consolation may come from knowing that a few boldly spoke out. A German monk, Pope Francis and our Lord warned against serving mammon (wealth and possessions having debasing effects). Whom one serves has life-defining results.

— Lynn Slagel


God’s economy is a win-win

There seems to be an “economic Darwinism” philosophy in our midst. We know greed caused our depression/recession that hit us six years ago. yet where is the outrage at the powers that caused this? Christians believe they must have atoned for their sins. Now it’s more important to go after the 3 to 5 percent of welfare abusers.

In a recent article, Charles Krauthammer wrote of the ACA as a jobs killer. His twist is that people who volunteer to take time off will just sit idly by waiting for the “real” workers to support them. How insulting. He conjures up Marxist utopian thought for this. Perhaps he’ll touch on people who’ve been laid off not by their own choice and not because of the ACA.

Walmart is a huge employer. According to the Bloomberg Business Week in the last five years its has added 455 stores. Yet during that time Walmart cut its work force by 20,000. No wonder they’ve been at the bottom of the American Customer Satisfaction Index the past six years.

On Feb. 1 “Washington Spectator” published an article on Detroit’s bankruptcy, stating banks working on the case, “may have breached ethical and possibly legal obligations to the city.”

Detroit’s credit was downgraded and it had to pay between $250 million and $350 million in interest immediately. Michigan’s Constitution states that all pensions must be paid. However, city workers have to wait for payment or they may not get the full benefit.

Our leaders want to cut pensions for any public job. Of course, anything to do with labor is verboten since unions are inherently evil.

I believe God’s economy is win-win. That’s why he has the theocracy enforce the jubilee (Lev. 25). Maybe we do need a revival of God’s spirit.

— Brian Hartman