Sunday, March 1, 2009

Economic and Spiritual Reform

"Prosperity is when people buy things they can't afford; recession is when they stop doing it."
- H. E. Martz, The Wall Street Journal, 1963.

"There is something about the possession of wealth which is not good for the soul, perhaps. It places artificial value on secondary things. A man losing a million metal tokens will put a revolver to his temple and pull the trigger. But he has lost nothing but money. He has deprived himself of life because misfortune has deprived him of luxuries."
- Clarence Budington Kelland, The American Magazine, 1930.

"The economics of installment selling [buying on credit] is far worse even than at first it seems... Installment buying, as a habit, is enervating [weakening] to character because it leads straight to serfdom [similar to slavery]. If anything is un-American [or I would add, un-Christian], surely that is!
- J. George Frederick, The Independent, 1926.

"In a forum at Washington National Cathedral, historian Thomas Cahill said that because of his Christian faith, he believed there might be a silver lining to the dark cloud of financial crisis hovering over all of us. He said this might be an opportunity for the people of our nation [and world] to discover that they are more than shoppers."
- James P. Wind, Congregations, 2009.

The surest path out of this economic recession is the long slow path of teaching ourselves and our neighbors the basic virtues of patience, planning, compassion, courage, and discipline along with the fundamental growth skills of innovation, collaboration, and foresight. We have placed ourselves in a hole dug by our own foolishness, and we can only escape it in any lasting way by learning true wisdom. There are no quick-fixes.
- me
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