Friday, July 01, 2011

Large Protests in Syria and Economic Woes May Hit Close to Home Come August

In Syria there are massive protests against the regime. Note that there has long been a wary alliance between Alawis and various non-Sunni groups, including Christians, which has allowed a stifled, yet pluralistic country. The large majority in Syria are Sunni.

How all of this will play out for Christians is hard to say.

In other news, something like $400+ billion in US Treasuries are set to mature in August alone - meaning that the Treasury has to issue new debt which is then sold to generate $$ to pay off the maturing debt and interest. Oh, add to that the current account payments (Medicare, Social Security, VA, Pensions, Military pay, Federal Pay, contract payments, etc., etc.). Oh, but we're right up on the debt ceiling already at ~$14.5 trillion. Treasury can't issue new debt without some headroom.

Did you see that New Jersey avoided the normal public funding process and instead ran to JPMorgan for a ~$2.5 billion loan to cover their budget gap (bridge financing - heh). And the State of Minnesota is going into the holiday with a budget crisis and looming government shutdown.

Some will say - so what? We look to the Lord! Indeed. But I think we are watching a societal change as fundamental as that which happened in the years from about 1910-1920. I think that power structures, governmental structures, and economic structures are all in line for massive changes, and a lot of this may be very unpleasant - leading to potential totalitarian regimes, possibly hard line fascism or other oppressive ideologies, and misery for many. Sometimes it seems the Church is asleep through all of this, conducting its insular meetings and conventions and writing contests without giving much thought to what's on. I will class myself here too. We have 44.7M people on foodstamps in this country, an unprecedented figure. We have millions in foreclosure or having been foreclosed out of houses. We have high jobless rates and inflation - higher than the "official" and manipulated stats. Are we looking to help any of these folks?

For my part, I am changing my practice to focus more on foreclosure relief work. As one blogger writes:

When you socialize the losses and privatize the gains for a powerful few, when you reward the perpetrators and punish the innocent and unsophisticated victims of fraud, when you idolize greed, selfishness and deception and vilify simple hard work and honest decency, how can one really expect a healthy, vibrant economy? You are birthing a monster.

Austerity will not improve this picture, and will inflict intense misery on the growing number of unfortunates. They know this, but they don't care. When the oppressed react, there will be calls to put them down, to subdue them, savagely. Provoke and react. Never waste a crisis, and if you need it, create one.

This is the road to hell.

The Banks must be restrained, and the financial system reformed, with balance restored to the economy, before there can be any sustained recovery.

From Jesse's Café Américain



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