Wednesday, February 11, 2009

From the Greatest Generation to the Worst Generation in Just a Single Generation

At some point this week Congress will most likely pass close to a trillion dollar stimulus package. This drastic measure, pushed hard by President Obama, will be in addition to the two trillion dollars Congress has already given away in the past year to "jump start" the U.S. economy. It may be also be just a tenth of what some economists estimate could become a ten trillion dollar government spending spree to fend off depression. The extraordinary 2009 spending policies passed by Congress are being based on economic principles called Keynesian Economics. John Maynard Keynes (1883 - 1946), a British economist, is often credited with the simplest explanation for the cause of the Great Depression, though his solution for getting out of it was for the most part rejected by his own generation.

Keynes believed in what he called "the circular flow of money." One person's spendings goes towards anothers earnings, and when that person spends his earnings he is, in effect, supporting another's earnings. This circle continues on and helps support a normal functioning economy. When the Great Depression hit, however, people's natural reaction was to hoard their money. Keynes believed that when people "stopped" spending, the circular flow of money collapsed and the economy came to a standstill - causing the Great Depression to deepen and lengthen even further. Most economists believe if it were not for World War II and the massive amount of manufacturing required to support a world wide war, the Great Depression could have extended well into the 1950's.

Keynes proposed a solution to end the Great Depression based on government. He wrote that governments should "prime the pump" with massive federal spending. By priming the pump he meant governments should "kick start" the money flow in the economy through governments actually buying things on the open market itself (i.e. real estate, banks, etc . . ) or by borrowing money to improve roads, bridges and public works. Keynes believed that once primed, the economy would once again see circle of money and their would be economic growth rather than contraction. Keynes ideas spawned a slew of interventionist economic policies proposed by liberal politicians during the Great Depression. But only government spending on "public works" eventually passed, and even then, under great opposition. The people of America in the 1930's just couldn't stomach government borrowing and spending that would increase the national debt, believing it would burden future generations.

When Keynes was asked, "Where will your economic theories and resultant government spending policies leave our country in the long run?" he gave his famous response:

"In the long run we are all dead."

In other words, Keynes didn't believe one should care about the long run as a nation. One should only think about the present. My economics professor at the university where I studied, a Keynesian himself, put it like this: "Why should the government care about borrowing trillions of dollars? When it comes time to pay, they can print money to pay what they owe."

Keynes flippant response brought him great criticism at the time. Why? Millions of people living in the 1930's and 1940's possessed different values than Keynes. These people, whom Tom Brokaw described as "The Greatest Generation," believed that a person should sacrifice for future generations. To them, the end was not death. They believed in legacy, future security and an eternal state. They had their eye on their own children and grandchildren. For this reason they revolted against Keynesian economics and a vast majority of the spending proposals liberals proposed in Congress during the 1930's and 1940's were rejected.

What has happened to our country since then? It seems that we as a people have gone from "the greatest generation" who sacrificed for the good of the future, to "the worst generation" who desire government to spend trillions to give us a better life, a better job, a better house -- and this transformation from selflessness to selfishness has occurred within the course of "a single generation."

May God help us all.

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson


Dr. Mike Kear said...

I go more for Austrian economics rather than the Keynesian type. Austrian economics, however, really requires the family to be the family and the church to be the church, both entities operating as God designed them. Both the family and the Church have a biblical mandate to function in such a way that poverty is minimized and God's Kingdom is advanced. The government should be small and efficient, not the overlord of all things public and private that it has become through the disfunction of the family and the church.

Keynes was wrong and Paul was right: In the long run we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

Stephen said...

Dr. Mike Kear - Amen!

The problem is neither financial nor fiscal, it is spiritual and moral. The "render unto Caesar" commandment is a model for limited government. Many Christians, left and right politically, seek to solve problems resulting from spiritual and moral deficiencies through the agency of government. Hence, tax "contributions" become charity and a surrogate for Biblical charity.

Kevin said...

The older I get the more Libertarian I become. At the rate I’m going, I’ll retire to a desert island and declare it a sovereign, tax-free nation.

By that time I should be able to buy nukes on ebay to ensure my sovereignty. Abstinence Articles

Ramesh said...

All the below links are from NYT:

The Reckoning: Articles in this series have explored the causes of the financial crisis

How the Government Dealt With Past Recessions

Tracking the $700 Billion Bailout

Adding Up the Government’s Total Bailout Tab

The Debt Trap: A series about the surge in consumer debt and the lenders who made it possible

Bernard L. Madoff

J. Guy Muse said...

No doubt about it, Keynesian Economics is ruling the day. Where are the Milton Friedman voices that are so desperately needing to be heard on this matter?

Anyone who has ever lived in a nation (like we have) where the government spends this kind of money knows two things inevitably happen: 1) local currency devalues to the point that it takes a wheel barrel of money to go grocery shopping, 2) people become more and more dependent upon the government for being their savior.

Is this really the path we want to go down as a nation?

greg.w.h said...

GuyMuse wrote:

No doubt about it, Keynesian Economics is ruling the day. Where are the Milton Friedman voices that are so desperately needing to be heard on this matter?

In a nation that practices democratic polity--which is very similar to congregational polity--you are that voice. Speak up!! Teach your neighbors! Write and call your newspaper reporters, editors, and publishers!! Hold your Congress Critters accountable!

The address to directly send email to President Obama is:

Trust me: a flood of email and phone calls will eventually convince our national leaders to pay attention. The audacity of hope is that you pick up your phone, turn on your computer, put pen to paper or stylus to touch screen and ask them to reconsider.

Greg Harvey

Unknown said...

there is a lot of truth to the idea of present day pragmatic economics but I think our biggest generational sin is being naive and ignorant. Probably, like you say, the reason we get deceived so easily is that our temporary greed blinds us. We are fat on populist ideas.

But I think it could be more than simply degenerate selfish policies. I think behind all of this is philosophical confusion about the best way to live in the world. The administration rejects the idea of lowering taxes on businesses because of a concept and a need to be advocates for the poor. While you and I believe that the private sector, through churches and communities, when operating in freedom, will look out for the interests of the poor. They believe that it is government's responsibility. Of course when I see these folks work it is hard to see their best intentions too much.
here is a great video I found discussing the morals of capitalism with Friedman

Anonymous said...

"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem."

...Ronald Reagan

kehrsam said...

Wade: You promise to give up economics and I'll not take up preaching! ;D

Seriously, you are beating up something of a straw man here: Human nature has not changed, and unless regenerated by the Holy Spirit all of us are totally depraved. The "Greatest Generation" was great because they faced great tasks and obstacles; should we face a second Great Depression, the current generation will behave in much the same way.

Keynes Money Cycle was not original to him, either. It is simply an idealized extension of one of Adam Smith's ideas, that specialization of work or production led to greater efficiencies than everyone fending for himself. This is undoubtably correct, and even Biblical. Compare Paul's instructions regarding parts of the body and roles in the church.

We are facing a crisis, and yes, Baptist voices need to be heard. Frankly, I don't care whether the nex generation can afford our current standard of living or not. I do care whether they are aware of the Good News, and so that is where I want to place my efforts.


M. Steve Heartsill said...

Wade, at first, I thought you were talking about Kenyan Economics. Amazing how first reactions can be wrong.

Christiane said...

Good Morning, everyone

I used to teach economics: to sixth graders. Don't ask me how, because you have to be able to understand abstract concepts with some degree of ability , and many sixth graders just 'aren't there yet'.

Maybe many Americans aren't, either.

What DO they know about economics?
I'm not talking about 'what they're told by others', but what do they know concretely?
Yes, they understand CONCRETE economics very well: foreclosures, loss of property values, inability to get loans, job loss (particulary upsetting when their tax dollars have paid for their company to send their jobs overseas), it goes on and on.

Just for a moment, try to remember a time when you or a parent or spouse was 'laid off' or 'fired'.
The medical insurance is no more.
The worry, sometimes amounting to anxiety, the canceled plans and dreams for children's educations, and so many fears and hopes for the future.

The reality of this is what many in our country face and many more will soon be facing:
google up the graph lines that show the rate of unemployment compared to the last two recessions and OMG, the 'unemployed' line for now is almost going downward vertically.


So. If you don't want Obama to try to sort this out with an aggressive plan,


red light word here is 'positive'
but maybe it should be 'productive'

Nice to see Republicans waking up after a long, long, eight-years long sleep. 'bout time.
One wonders 'why not sooner?'

Think about who gets hurt the most by this crisis: the TRULY vulnerable in our society who MUST depend on us for their existence.
Take care of them, as is right.
The rest of us will be all right, having done what we are called to do as Christians. L's

P.S. Maybe we need 'the lean years' to bring back what is truly important in our lives. Just hate to see the innocent among us suffer.

How are all of you planning to survive, if, no, WHEN this crisis hits 'home'?

Ramesh said...

Off Topic:

Dr. Tom Ascol: Reflections on the dust-up over Calvinism at SWBTS

Fbc Jax Watchdog: Memo To Maurilio
As the Watchdog website winds down in the last few articles before putting down the pen for at least temporarily and hopefully for good, just a few last messages to be shared.

Alan Paul said...

What I have always done Christiane - With His help. I trust the Lord to provide for my family's needs.

I DO believe we need the lean times - without them we would take greed, selfishness, arrogance, etc. to a whole new low never before thought of.

Anonymous said...

Since a gross waste of money is the theme for this comment stream, I thought it would be appropriate to expose this bit of (old?) news I found. You all can take this how you like, but it seems to me that our seminaries are sacrificing their principles for the sake of the almighty dollar. Wade recently scared SWBTS into keeping their 5 pointers for fear of losing reputation which of course leads to loss in funds. But here is something else I found interesting. Southern (and it pains me to say this) Seminary has decided to help train the next generation of charlatan preachers by allowing their students to intern with some of the most crooked pastors in the convention. Once you review the link I will post you will clearly see that Bellevue Baptist Church can buy anything it wants, including a seminary (as if the MidAmerica is not enough for them). Have the PhD standards at Southern really dropped to this standard? Or is it simply that the fat Bellevue check forces 5 pointers to drop their pants for a season.

I am ashamed to be in a convention with BBC and their pastor. I am ashamed that my dream seminary has sought fit to spend a night in the harlot's den.

Of course you can decide for yourself:

Click here

I have another issue with Southern at the moment. This article in Towers Online would seem to forget that there are literally thousands of SBC church who cannot find pastors. Yet it advocates sending fully trained MDIV's to mega churches to be "further trained"

HogWash!!! Get a Bible, and get behind a pulpit 3 times a week to people who smell like people and learn to love them!

Stick them in a small rural church for a year and I guarantee they will never turn out to be like Dr. Financial Gaines.

Is this convention "BLIND"? or just "BLINDFOLDED"!!!!!

greg.w.h said...


There is room to say exactly the same thing through questions and examples without the judgmental tone towards Gaines, even if you fundamentally disagree with him.

I use the example of the closing of the Seminary campus in Semarang, Indonesia to make the same point: when the students moved from the villages to the city of Semarang, they often didn't want to move back. So the mission came up with the plan to replace the central campus with Theological Education by Extension for ALL churches based on materials created specifically to address the education gap between a village pastor and the central message of the Gospel.

To be honest, the programmed instruction wasn't much more difficult than AWANAS material. Which meant these leaders could turn around and directly use it in their teaching from the pulpit. And by doing that, they engaged the next generation of leaders at the exact place where they lived both physically and spiritually.

And by doing this, the Mission reaped another benefit: it put the indigenous pastors in front of the leadership of the national churches. So when the missionaries were forced out of Java later, indigenous pastors were at all levels of leadership in leading the churches.

Jerry Rankin understands this, by the way, and a lot of the portions of the IMB model that aren't obvious to Americans are based on those experiences. This includes the continual re-assignments. Just as pastors train the members, the most important work of missionaries is to identify leaders who can become those pastors and train them. And then move on just as Paul consistently did.

The BBC internship program is closer to that model, though, than just the seminary experience by itself. But I think your approach would be even better. But remember that the closest churches to a long-established seminary are often the most resistant to student leadership. So moving the students further away from a local seminary (or collecting them in either distributed local church buildings or distributed local regional campuses) might be better yet.

Best of all is the testimony of Phillip would went wherever the Holy Spirit took him. The Holy Spirit is the most important professor in each pastor's personal seminary experience.

Greg Harvey

Lin said...

What is even more chilling is to think of the inflation that will come due to this measure. It might be a few years, but it will come. And guess who inflation hurts the worst? Those who are on fixed incomes and welfare. The ones Obama wants to help.

On another note, we do not teach economic history in this country. That is a huge failure. When the stock market crashed in '29, Hoover had made many mistakes leading up to that but there was one thing he did right. Since the federal government had NO power to regulate the market at the time, Hoover called the Governor of NY and asked him to stop the margin calls. The governor refused. And the rest is history. The NY Governor at the time was FDR.

And his works and spending program only prolonged the depression. Actually, the war brought full employment.

And now we are repeating the same scenerio. Except we now know that what you start giving you cannot take away.

greg.w.h said...

Normally I ignore my mistakes if I think the reader can get the gist of what I was trying to say, but this one needs a correction:

Best of all is the testimony of Phillip who went wherever the Holy Spirit took him.

greg.w.h said...

Lin wrote:

And now we are repeating the same scenerio. Except we now know that what you start giving you cannot take away.

Bill Clinton deserves credit for reforming welfare and putting strict limits on how long someone could receive it IN A LIFETIME. The Democrats are reversing or extending those constraints, though, and putting us back where we were.

But we did successfully take away promised benefits in a way that was and is consistent not only with American values, but also with biblical views on social justice. People need to work if they can for their own spiritual and mental health.

Remember that the failure of Carter led to the philosophical change that Reagan led. The Democrats have the same opportunity that Reagan had, but they're returning to their old vote-buying schemes. Democracies fail when the citizens realize they can vote themselves the largesse of the treasury...or the printing of innumerable, worthless currency.

Greg Harvey

Kate Johnson said...

We live in an age of entitlement. If you doubt that, just listen to what the people asked the Pres during his town hall meeting... can you get me a house, a better car, better benefits for my job at McDonalds... paa-lease... What happened to self-sufficiency?

But I do want to throw something into the mix... There once was a time when the church took care of widows and orphans, feed and sheltered the homeless, ministered to the wounded. Then came big government and we let them do our job. Churches used to be the shelters for abused women and children. Now, does that happen? I actually was speaking at a very large church in our area, and before I spoke on domestic abuse and what the church can do to minister, the pastor stood up and told them all that, "if someone comes to your door needing shelter because of abuse, send them to the local domestic vioelnce agency. Don't tkae them in. That's what social service agencies are for." Needless to say, I was stunned and appalled. But I shouldn't have been. This pastor just had the gumption to say it out loud. (And, yes, I know there are churches doing what I have described as our responsibility, but that is not the norm.) Please DO NOT think this means I am anti-church, I am far from it. I love the church as Christ intended it to be - a salve of human kindness and compassion.

So we have made our bed. Will we continue to lie in it?

God help us, indeed.

New BBC Open Forum said...


Not wanting to derail the topic here, but since you brought it up I'll respond this one time. One minor point, MABTS is not "owned" or controlled by Bellevue. They did donate the land the building sits on and contribute some money every year, so perhaps there's some sense of obligation to the church, but most of the professors there are not Bellevue members and there's no love lost between them and Gaines. It's the same with "Love Worth Finding." That's a totally separate entity from Bellevue. You may recall MABTS president Mike Spradlin (and James Dobson) calling for any pastor who willingly covered for a sexual predator step down from the ministry. While he didn't mention any names, there was no doubt in anyone's mind which pastor he had in mind since the Paul Williams story and Steve Gaines' coverup of it were all over the news at the time. The source for many of the Steve Gaines jokes going around was none other than people at the seminary. (I'd never heard "Financial Gaines," but it's more appropriate than you probably realize. "No Gaines, no pain" was another one.)

President Emeritus, Gray Allison, was preaching at a funeral (or memorial service) for a longtime, elderly Bellevue lady last year, and Steve Gaines attended. Allison remarked that this dear lady had the privilege of sitting under three fine pastors during her years at Bellevue. (That would be R.G. Lee, Ramsey Pollard, and Adrian Rogers.) Gaines reportedly sat up straight in his seat with a shocked expression, and Spradlin joked you could hear the backs of the elderly attendees crack as they suddenly straightened in their seats upon hearing this remark.

Make no mistake about it, that "pastor intern" position was created by Gaines "Sr." specifically for Gaines "Jr." This was at the same time dozens of longtime staff were being laid off and thousands of $$$ were being spent on the annual "Family Fun Festival," a Halloween carnival (they just don't call it that) on October 31st for the whole community which would rival most county fairs. (Kiddies are encouraged to wear costumes, just not "scary" costumes.) We're talking huge carnival rides, inflatables, pony rides, a petting zoo, concession stands, free candy, a couple dozen Porta-Potties (essential to keeping the unwashed masses from trashing the facilities), etc. This less than four months after a 4th of July celebration with one of the biggest fireworks shows in the tri-state area that had to have cost thousands of $$$. That was open to the community, too. There were security problems, and beer cans littered the grounds afterwards. All this under the guise of "Bellevue ♥'s Memphis." IMO Bellevue ♥'s money and showing off more. Spending money on stuff like this reminds me of some of the "pet" projects in the government "stimulus" bill, so perhaps it's not so off topic after all. Waste is waste regardless of who's doing the wasting.

I predicted some time ago that when "Jr." finishes seminary he will be hired to fill the associate pastor position at Bellevue which has been left conspicuously unfilled since the departure of Mark "We Have No Bylaws" Dougharty in 2007. Just before "Jr." and his very pregnant wife moved here last summer it was learned by residents of Bellevue Woods, the "retirement community" adjacent to and owned by the church, that "Jr." and his wife and the baby which was due shortly would be living in one of the Bellevue Woods units. The minimum age for BW residents is 55, no exceptions. Even Gaines "Sr." isn't old enough to live there. Understandably, the residents in that building didn't want to live with nothing but a thin wall separating them from a family with an infant who was likely to cry in the middle of the night. There was finally such an uproar from the residents that the idea was scratched, and last I heard they were living in missionary housing owned by the church. With the Gaines family the #1 rule is "rules don't apply to us."

I like your idea much better. Put them in small churches where "people smell like people" and let them get a good dose of reality. Perhaps they could develop some humility at the same time.

Lin said...

"Bill Clinton deserves credit for reforming welfare and putting strict limits on how long someone could receive it IN A LIFETIME. The Democrats are reversing or extending those constraints, though, and putting us back where we were."

Greg, I was not even thinking about welfare. I was thinking of middle class entitlements such as social security, medicare, all the money thrown at education with horrible results, growth of government (which now has the largest unions), etc.

How much of that has been taken away? None. It has grown.

New BBC Open Forum said...

And the thing about Medicare is, when you reach Medicare age you have no choice but to use it. You cannot get a primary private insurance policy at that age, only supplemental policies. More and more doctors are now refusing to treat Medicare patients because they're paid so little.

New BBC Open Forum said...

P.S. Bellevue has had student interns from MABTS for some time now. Here is the caliber of some of the students they've selected. One of these characters was found to have posted porn on his MySpace site and posted the same stuff on underage girls' MySpace pages. (I saw it myself.) Of course, nobody cares. {shrug}

Christiane said...

Dear LIN,

You mentioned 'all that money thrown at education'.

Well, the money didn't make it into the classrooms. I've taught with torn and ancient textbooks, when we could get them.
But I taught anyway.

And supplies?
None, unless the teachers bought them.
So we bought them.

The next town over made its teachers clean the school before and after classes because they could not afford housekeeping staff.
So the teachers scrubbed the classrooms and the toilets.

Trust me, the taxpayers were not getting ripped off, the kids were.


Lin said...

L's, I agree with you. It mostly goes to the bureaucracy that is not in the classroom.

Anonymous said...

"One of these characters was found to have posted porn on his MySpace site and posted the same stuff on underage girls' MySpace pages. (I saw it myself.) Of course, nobody cares. {shrug}"

Note to all SBC Search Committees and Entities:

Never hire someone who has been an intern at BBC.

WatchingHISstory said...


Now that Steve Gaines and Bellevue Baptist is the off-topic discussion will I be free to contribute to this topic? I hope so as I feel I have a contribution to make alongside NASS' nasties!

Anonymous said...


My last couple comments have been in appropriate. Just so you know where I was coming from. There is alot of Internet dirt on this man and his church. I have been angered by it all day.

Feel free, from my perspective, to take the torch. I am sorta over it.

Christiane said...


"Between heaven and earth,
Like a lamb just shorn.

Dear Lord, I lay my head to rest
Upon the altar of thy Sacred Breast.

In times of suffering and pain,
Feign there, would I e’er remain."

Mary Catharina
of Ireland

Native Arkansan said...

Revrend Kev:

I didn't thank yer last couple o' comments was in appropriate. There's lots o' wastin' going on in the goverment and in big ol' mega type churches too.

Did ya see this one? Dat's funny!

WatchingHISstory said...


Steve Gaines inherited the mess left to him by Adrian Rogers. Dr Rogers was a benevolent dictator. He along with a few close knit friends ruled the church and naturally no one complained. He never had a church conference and was not questioned by anyone.

Rogers covered up a messy situation by a previous staff member by paying him $500,000 hush money. The man had an affair with a local Sunday School student and he embezzeled some money from the church.

Gaines could never match this corruption.


gmommy said...

I'm afraid the people who were actually harmed by the minister of perversion at BBC would disagree with you.
In your mind only.... would a pastor "affirming" a minister who had just confessed he was a child molester be LESS corrupt than the possibility that AR approved a cash settlement for a minister who had an affair, got fired, and sued the church later.

You have never been a member of BBC and your source for this story about AR is from a blog.
How do you know it wasn't made up to see you go nuts with it?

You are not the litmus test for who is corrupt or if the story is true.
After say you see snakes that no one else sees and growl while on hands and knees and call that Spirit filled.

Your only source for the story you say is worse than allowing a sexual predator to have free access to our most vulnerable are the people you call ugly names and accuse of lying.

Chris Ryan said...


I was so refreshed to read your comment. I get so sick of listening to people complain about govt spending, but not being willing to give their money directly to the poor and the needy if the govt stopped its entitlement programs. We can't have our cake and eat it too. We either need to let the government do our job and stop complaining or we need to step up and be the church.

Personally, I am in favor of the second.

WatchingHISstory said...


Will anyone ever talk about the fact that Steve Gaines kept Paul Williams confession secret for six months, that it is something that most anyone would have done in SG's shoes.

NASS's sheep are using 20/20 hindsight to judge SG. If you were the new pastor of a church like Bellevue following AR and you found out that PW had been sodomizing his own son for 12-18 months 17 years ago while AR was his pastor. What would you have done?

You would hope against all odds that this would go away and you would not have to face it. Gaines mis-calculation was that he hadn't considered what young Williams had endure with Adrian Rogers. The son knew what this would have done to AR's Bellevue and he could not risk that. So he suffered 17 long years silence confiding in his friends only. His friends insisted he go to Gaines.

So when Steve Gaines became pastor he knew that he was accessible.

If you are going to fault SG then it is my opinion that you need to fault AR as well. AR's inaccessibility to the young son cost him a life of pain and sorrow.

Perhaps AR would have acted fast but He would have covered it up with money and no one today would know anything about it.

Tim G said...

This is your best post EVER! Nice job!

Neil Cameron (One Salient Oversight) said...

Let me just point one thing out - if you think that the Bible mandates small government you are misreading God's Word.

The Bible (and thus God) nowhere limits government to the size advocated by Austrian economists and Ayn Rand readers.

Romans 13 tells us some of the role of government, but that passage was written to ensure Christians pay their taxes or else they will suffer when the state punishes them.

The fact is that neither communism nor free-market capitalisation is supported or proscribed in the Bible. If we believe in the sufficiency of scripture we must therefore assume that it is the choice of the Christian to follow what he/she thinks is the wisest political and economic route.

I write about this in more detail here.

oc said...

Free market "capitalisation".
Does that mean whatever the market will bear determines the price of letters in regard to the upper-case alphabet?

Kate Johnson said...

thanks, and I agree with you. But notice how you are the only one to respond? :( Somehow, we always get sidetracked.

I get really frustrated because my husband and I run a non-profit ministry, Christian Coalition Against Domestic Abuse. When we started it we envisioned that we would be supported by other Christians and churches. To my dismay, this is harder than I thought. So I am left with applying for grants and federal funds from non-Christian sources. I know it shouldn't be this way. I know that God wants Christians to step up, but the reality is....

And so we look to papa government to handle our social ills rather than Papa and His people. Sad, very sad.

Kate Johnson said...

BTW, you can check us out at

Only By His Grace said...


And Southern Baptist wonder why the working poor, Democrats and Union members feel very uncomfortable coming to a Southern Baptist Church. Why? Just read your article and the comments.

Phil in Norman

Christiane said...


I'm L's and I am not a Southern Baptist. I really don't think my comments would offend Democrats or union members or the working poor, whom I have served professionally for many years.

So may I, as a commentator, be excused from 'the comments' as a whole ?

I do VOTE at a Southern Baptist Church, which is my voting precinct and I CAN verify that for years, a gauntlet of Republicans have formed a line on either side of the walk-way going into the voting building and, at times, were, shall we say, vocal in their attempts to intimidate.

I never assumed that the Church permitted this, nor that these people were from the Church.

The last time I voted, they were not there and the walk-way entrance had been cleared, so that voters could come in and out without harassment.
Someone must have reported the attempts at intimidation to the authorities.

I do agree with you, the tone of the blog and comments are interestingly one-sided 'as a whole.' And much more 'abstract' and theoretical than many readers can identify with, but still they have provided an interesting window into "Republican' reaction to Obama's efforts.

I do not take this in a negative way myself, but as a respectful observor, I had hoped for more positive suggestions that did not come as to how to resolve our nation's economic crises.

I should have been glad to read the positive viewpoints on ways to restore our levees, fix our aging infrastructure, and remove our children from the blight of those schools that are at best shabby and at worst, a danger in some respects. (My school had a WALL pull away from a wing off of the main building and, it was only at that point, the city agreed to begin to build a new replacement school. I taught in one of the classrooms on the side of the building where it happened, so I can speak as a witness.) L's

P.S. May I suggest that the people you named: Democrats, union members, and the working poor, might be very comfortable visiting in SOME Southern Baptist churches: like Kevin's, and Rex Ray's, and Wade's, and Bob Cleveland's, and many others.
I am very certain of that from the Christian witness of these people here on this blog. :)

Neil Cameron (One Salient Oversight) said...

BTW Wade you're off beam about Keynes. Borrowing money and pump priming is only half the story.

Keynes also argued that governments should run fiscal surpluses and even contract in size during economic expansions as a way of balancing out the deficits during recessions.

This sort of practice would've been far more beneficial for the United States than the fiscal policy practised since 1981. Both Reagan and Bush 2 cut taxes and increased spending and ran huge deficits. 25 years of fiscal profligacy is now coming back to haunt America.

Had Reagan and Bush 2 been Keynesian, there would be little or no net government debt.

Ironically it was the Republicans who are mainly responsible for these deficits.

I'm not saying that Obama and his stimulus plan are going to work - I just think that there's far more going on here than many conservatives realise.

Neil Cameron (One Salient Oversight) said...

More on Keynes:

The quote "In the long run we are all dead" comes from a book called A Tract on Monetary Reform and says this:

It would follow... that an arbitrary doubling of [the money stock], since this in itself is assumed not to affect [the velocity of money or the real volume of transactions] ... must have the effect of raising [the price level] to double what it would have been otherwise. The Quantity Theory is often stated in this, or a similar, form.

Now "in the long run" this is probably true. If, after the American Civil War, the American dollar had been stabilized... ten per cent below its present value ... [the money stock] and [the price level] would now be just ten per cent greater than they actually are.... But this long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead. Economists set themselves too easy, too useless a task if in tempestuous seasons they can only tell us that when the storm is long past the ocean is flat again.

In actual experience, a change in [the money stock] is liable to have a reaction both on [the velocity of money] and on [the real volume of transactions]...

The phrase "In the long run we are all dead" was therefore a warning for Economists to take into consideration the future after they have died! He's actually asking Economists to look beyond their own notions of "the long run".