Tag Archives: Year of Jubilee

ALCOHOL, EUROPE AND THE ECONOMY

Hollande and Iranian Pres

The British and French governments seem to belatedly be realizing the threat from Islamization.

When the French president Francois Hollande entertained the visiting Iranian president last week, an official luncheon had been arranged to welcome the visitor and his entourage.  But then the Iranians objected to wine being served at the meal.  London or Washington would have simply switched to non-alcoholic grape juice, but not the French.  The very idea of a meal without wine was unthinkable, so they promptly cancelled the lunch.

Good for them!

Across the English Channel, the Palace of Westminster, home to the Houses of Parliament, is in need of some urgent repair.  While the building is being renovated, parliament will meet in another hall. This hall is owned by a group with Islamic connections and will not allow alcohol in the building.   Parliamentarians are used to having ten bars to choose from in their own hall.  They will now have no alcohol for a few months!

Perhaps a dry spell might help them focus better on the threat from growing Islamic influence.

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Meanwhile, consumption of alcohol must be up across America as people follow (or don’t follow) the US presidential election.   It’s a means of escape.

Our bank manager dismisses all the candidates as being “useless.”   His point is that not one of them offers a solution to the problem of the $19 trillion national debt – which, of course, threatens the very existence of the country.

It’s a world record.  Never before in history has any country owed so much.   It cannot go on.

We are in unchartered territory, as no nation has ever been in this great a fiscal mess.

Since I wrote this segment, plans have been revealed for $4.1 trillion more to be spent, in a record budget by the Obama Administration. This will include a major allocation for cyber-security, seen as the single biggest threat to the United States.

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I’m writing this on Tuesday afternoon while watching “Dumbo,” the Disney classic about a flying elephant.

I should add that Diane and I are watching two of our grandchildren. This is their favorite movie.  They are both three years old.

When I finish, I could switch over to one of the news channels and see the latest from New Hampshire, where primaries are being held today.

But I think I will stick with escapism.

The grandchildren will be asking for “Little Einsteins” next.

It’s going to take an Einstein to make even a dent in the problems that confront us.

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We watched “The Big Short” on Saturday night.  The movie is a factual account of how the housing bubble burst a few years ago.   It’s engrossing on one level, unbelievable really.  However, I should warn you, it contains a great deal of bad language.

Sunday we were able to watch “Murder of a President,” a 2-hour PBS “American Experience” documentary, about the assassination of President John Garfield in 1881.  His assassin was, at least, delusional and may have been paranoid schizophrenic.  But it wasn’t the assassination as such that killed the president.  It was mistakes by his doctors and one doctor in particular.   Medical science has certainly come a long way since Garfield’s death.  Back then, they did not even know the importance of cleanliness!

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It turns out that $750 million in Obamacare subsidies went to illegal aliens last year.  That partly explains why the IRS has just presented me with a $6,500 tax bill, mostly for Obamacare.   I’m still reeling from the shock and may require medical care, but can’t afford it thanks to the bill for Obamacare!

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That’s not to say it’s better elsewhere.

The former Greek finance minister today warned that Europe is going through a depression.   Yanis Varoufakis warns in The Independent that Europe is sliding back into the 1930’s and a new political movement is needed.    He is launching the “Democracy in Europe Movement 2025” (DiEM25 for short).   He says that Europe is run by a cartel, not by its people, even though European countries are all democracies.

The self-described “erratic Marxist” says he wants to remove power from an unaccountable, authoritarian elite and distribute it fairly to the continent’s citizens.” (The Independent).

Americans will recognize this as similar to the arguments made by people like Bernie Sanders.  They have a point when they say that 1% owns 99% of all wealth.  From what Mr. Varoufakis is saying it’s no different in Europe.

It’s clearly time for a new economic system as the current one is increasingly failing people.  As things are predicted to deteriorate this year, calls for change are only going to increase.

Citizens of the US and UK should be thankful.   Mr. Varoufakis holds them up as a model of financial success compared to other western nations.

I’m not so sure about that.  We may be better off than most, but we certainly can’t be complacent.

Unfortunately, both Mr. Varoufakis and the prime minister he served under, Alexis Tsipras, are avowed atheists, influenced more by Karl Marx than anything in scripture.  But they should take a look at Leviticus, chapter 25, and specifically at the Year of Jubilee.  Only the cancellation of all debt will help revive the world economy.

Hopefully, all debts will be cancelled before I have to pay the IRS!

Back to “Dumbo” and some sanity……..   Maybe I should also have a beer, but it doesn’t seem right while watching “Dumbo.”  Come to think of it, Dumbo drank alcohol when he fell into a barrel of it – that’s why he saw all those pink elephants!  A beer it is!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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DEBT, DEBT AND MORE DEBT

debt

I heard a few days ago that there are twice as many Cash Advance outlets as Starbucks in the US.

Now, there are plenty of Starbucks stores around.   In fact, it seems that they are on every third or fourth block but, apparently, there are twice as many places lending people money at exorbitant rates of interest.

It shows that an increasing number of people are desperate.

When they have to pay a bill or borrow cash to buy a birthday gift for a loved one, they need to borrow the money.   They have no savings, no bank account and no credit card.   Sometimes they are simply maxed out, having borrowed and borrowed until they cannot borrow any more.

Borrowing from cash advance places does not improve a person’s financial condition in the long term.   The APR can be a staggeringly high 1800%, depending on how quickly the money is paid back. Sadly, most of those borrowing from such places have little understanding of how to handle money.

With this in mind, it’s encouraging to note that Croatia has become the first country in modern times to cancel the debts of its 60,000 poorest citizens.

When you think about it, this may be a quick and effective way of getting an economy moving again, assuming the 60,000 can be taught how to live within their means.   Further borrowing would only repeat a negative cycle.

Debt cancelation is not something new.   You can see evidence of it in the Old Testament.   Leviticus, chapter 25, commanded the cancellation of all debts every fifty years.   It was known as the Year of Jubilee and began on the Day of Atonement at the beginning of the 50th year.

Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants.   It shall be a jubilee for you; each of you is to return to your family property and to your own clan.”  (verse 10)

In addition to what we read of ancient Israel, the Babylonians had a similar system of debt cancelation.

It’s arguably the best way to get western economies moving again.

At a higher level, it could even be applied to countries like Greece, who are overwhelmed with debt.   The problem, though, is that Greece has been guilty of reckless over-spending and does nothing about corruption.   These would have to be dealt with at the same time as canceling debt obligations.

But canceling debts may be the only way out of the fiscal mess the West is in.