Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tax the Rich: The Grand Economic Fallacy

There's a fundamental economic fallacy posited by the Obama administration and certain other politico pundits and many Democrats that is plain idiocy.  It's that taxing the rich solves our economic woes.

There's a discussion going on HERE at LinkedIn that finally makes plain how stupid this is. My contribution, albeit simple by comparison, was this:
That the rich horde money, at least in the United States, is a gross fallacy. I wish someone would do a simple study and list where the rich put their money when they make it. Here's a short list, and please note that everything on this list, benefits the "working" class (as if the rich are not working...another fallacy) and benefits the government when the tax the working class income. (1) the rich build large houses (they hire construction teams and materials. (2) the rich buy material goods (the working class designs, manufactures, transports, sells, delivers, installs, and maintains those goods). (3) the rich invest their extra money in corporate stocks and government bonds (all which allow companies to invent, design, build, sell, distribute goods -- every step of which employes the working class). (4) the rich leave a small portion of their income in bank accounts (which the banks use to pay their employees, and invest in corporate and government bonds, which, likewise go to employ people and get taxed as income. the rich do not horde their money. They spend and invest it. And every dollar that is spent or invested employs and gets taxed. Bingo! You have economy expansion.
Michael D. Greaney, CPA, MBA, (Director, ESOP Admin Svcs, Equity Expansion International, Inc.) post says it even better at the above link.

Please pass this on. We really need to kill this silliness that the rich are somehow evil for knowing how to generate wealth. Oh, that the poor would learn the the same techniques. It has little to do with repression and everything to do with freedom.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Choleric in a Phlegmatic World

My relatives claim they don't understand me. I'm mostly choleric in temperament. They say I get upset without warning or cause. I claim there's plenty of warning and cause if they'd stop ogling their navels and take some Christian responsibility for the state of a culture and world busting at the seams. My conclusion is that all of the men and some of the women in my extended family are phlegmatic or sanguine, and so I'm expected to be like them. A phlegmatic temperament (calm and unemotional) is the "Christian ideal" in many sectarian environments. Infact, 100 years ago, a choleric or melancholic temperament would be considered evil.

I wasn't made to be calm and unemotional when everyday I am made aware of families and individuals who are being destroyed due to substance and physical abuse, suicide, murder, poverty, and the greed and power-thirst of political leaders that repress and imprison their people. As Christians we're called to be salt and light to a hurting world, and every morning we have to ask ourselves "What does that mean I should do today? How should I live and conduct my life so to change a hurting world? How do I make use of my gifts and skills to change what is bad for good?"

There are many answers to those questions as there are individuals in the world. But what frustrates and saddens me is the laze-faire, calm and unemotional attitude that so called Christians exhibit when they get together for social gatherings. There are many such events in my life. In my immediate extended family there are six families with 20 some individuals. If you count birthdays, anniversaries, and special events, there is an event every week of the year that is cause (for some) for celebration I am often invited (because I'm married to phlegmatic-sanguine woman that everyone loves) to these family gatherings. All of the individuals claim to be Christian and are active in their churches (all Protestant except Pam and me.) And what is the conversation like at one of these gatherings? Here's the top subjects:

a. The beautiful cakes and fancy dishes the women (and one man) made.

b. How cute the kids smiles and antics are.

c. What life was like back in up-state New York in 1920.

d. The weather.

e. Pictures and video of the last time everyone got together.

f. The beautiful matching outfits some of the kids are wearing.

g. How to assembly and play with the new toys the kids just got.

h. What happened on the last trip to the beach or pool.

i. The next party.

There is no discussion about spiritual, social, or political issues that might change the world for the better. (Well there is one man who wants to do away with the Federal Reserve and use gold to buy groceries.) The only prayer I've ever heard at one of these events is the polite prayer before the meal. The only Scripture is the brief pause before opening the plethora of Christmas presents that occupy the net 10 hours of time. (Okay, there is the children's Christmas pageant staged with costumes that also occurs on or near Christmas, but with no current social reference.) But none of these things flow over into the current state of affairs of our world, or what anyone is doing outside the care and well-being of their immediate family... aside from asking for money for a annual, guilt-assuaging mission trip.

Where are the on-gong projects and passion for the things of God OUTSIDE our families celebratory care and well-being? Privately, within these families there are the prayers, and there is the instruction about many things Christian, but where and how does that bleed over into our gatherings as Christians. Should we not be:

a. Holding prayer vigils for the hurting families and people we know?

b. Engaging in discussions about the state of our efforts, projects, and sacrifice of resources for evangelizing a world who needs the truth?

c. Sharing what life was like during revivals in our country's history?

d. As a group making and packing up food to take to an unfortunate family?

e. Discussing the current social and political state of affairs and brainstorming solutions of how we as Christians should act and live to change things?

f. Getting together to make clothes and quilts for families that have no family to give them such things?

g. Take truck loads of the toys laying around our house to those kids who have none?

h. Using a trip to the beach or resort to plan an intervention to change the social, political culture?

i. Discussing the best and worse ways to evangelize people who don't want to or have not heard the Gospel message or the benefit of being a Christian?

j. Training ourselves and kids in group activities to be cultural influencers for Christian values, or to improve our skills other than to sit around and eat cake?

k. Discussing significant books, essays, speeches and action to be taken to make a difference?
l. Invite missionaries and evangelists, or social activists into our gathers to talk to us about their work and to recruit us in their sacrificial efforts?

m. Take field trips with the whole family to cultural events (not to sports events but to art exhibits et al) where our minds and souls can be up-lifted to higher values and achievement?

n. Invite family members who have accomplished something noteworthy to share with the group their preparation, work, and results, to inspire us to do similar things?

Now, perhaps some of these things happen when I'm not around. More than one person in my family has told me they don't want to discuss spiritual matters with me... because they're Protestant and I'm Catholic and my assertive personality gets in the way of what they believe. (They are their own infallible source of truth. Ironic isn't it?)   One Thanksgiving after dinner as we were all sitting around a living room, I entered a discussion about how the near-adult daughter of one family needed to search around, and in the words of my daughter, for "a church to attend that matched her beliefs." It was pure moral relativism, and no one else saw the moral ineptitude that was on display or being passed on to the next generation. It stirred my emotions that the values the discussion was promoting within Christian ranks was atheistic in origin.

I have long held that it is the fallacies of Protestantism that have allowed grave sins like contraception, abortion and euthanasia to be so prevalent in our legal system. We are way down the slippery slope. 100 years ago no Christian Church (protestant or otherwise) would have allowed contraception. Today they all do, except the only church that hasn't changed it's definition of truth or how its determined.  If Protestants weren't so inclined to following their own beliefs the moral state of our society would be much different. When I see that thinking spread in my own family, out of the mouths of my daughter and son, I need to speak up, and not softly so as to be politely be told "well, dad, we don't believe that... (so shut up)".   On our recent Northern Michigan sail trip we were sailing up the St. Mary's River on our way to Sault Saint Marie and on our right was the prominent St. Joseph's Island. When I pointed out to our Protestant adult children on board that the Catholic missionaries in the 1500's had named most of these land masses and cities, I was met with a sudden, dead silence. I had breached the peace by citing fact.

I was brought up in a family with preachers and missionaries who frequented our house. The discussions at the time (albeit we were Protestant) were always about the state of the Church, Evangelism, or Missions in the far flung parts of the world.

Maybe it's because I'm too choleric and verbal about my faith in a phlegmatic world. I am easily saddened at the passivity and negligence paid to spiritual matters in our family gatherings, especially when everyone claims to be Christian. I suspect it's a deep prejudice of all things Catholics. I am still stung as I recall not too long ago when my father-in-law and children accused me, behind my back, that I had brainwashed my wife, Pam, into being Catholic. They have never apologized for coercing my wife into a pastor's study and trying to prevent her from becoming Catholic, while I was out of town on business. They call Pam a saint, but they totally ignore the truth she holds silently within her. That saddens me. Truth cannot be bottled up without serious negative consequences not just in our family, but in those parts of society that my family will grow up to affect and effect. Am I wrong to feel responsible? Some would say yes, and the solution is to ignore it. But I see no logic in ignoring what is morally wrong, inept, and dangerous to culture. While should anyone tolerate what is wrong. They don't tolerate what they see is wrong in me.  I am reminded of the Old Testament Priest Eli's punishment at the hand of God for not disciplining his adult sons. Eli as a high priest, and his sons where priests as well, active in the synagogue and teachings things by example that were morally wrong. Eli said nothing. But God had the final word. (1 Samuel 2:27-36).

Our lives are short. There is much work to be done. Who will do it? Who can sleep long with so much hurt around us, and who can spend their days making fancy deserts, and wrapping birthday presents, and playing at the beach when the world is busting at the seam?

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Blues According to the Gospel - AL JACQUEZ

Al Jacquez Meet one of the acclaimed voices and song writers of Americana Blues and Soul. I guarantee you've never heard anything like this on any Gospel radio station, but you should have. Al has been singing these gospel tunes in some of the smokiest blues and soul clubs from NY to LA. Finally, after years with several bands and labels, and encouragement from guys like me, he's stacked his best on a CD that's only available here and at his live concerts. This album is not even on iTunes. THE BLUES ACCORDING TO THE GOSPEL.

Please lick on the link and go this Al's webpage at Nineveh's Crossing and listen to the mp3 samples and read his bio. Then come back here and let us know what you think in the com box.

And please tell your friends. We have to  help this guy sell CDs and make a living, and write some more of this great music. You can sing to it, dance, and cry to them. Remember that name, Al Jacquez. But his CD today. Spread the Word.
  1. New Testament Shuffle

  2. Comin' Home

  3. Rubin Stacy

  4. Train is Comin' Closer

  5. How Did I Get Here?

  6. Desperate Measures

  7. Spreadin' the News

  8. Six Days o' Sinnin'