POSTED ON AUGUST 24, 2011:
Love Letters/Hate Mail
Remember the presidential election and the debates between Obama and McCain on who could fix the economy? Guess what? As we can now see, it made no difference in the long run who won. There was no fix. Yes, the Dow Jones is in the 11,000-11,500 range but a number of factors point to a downturn we are experiencing now. I made the point that it made no difference who won in my column, "Who Should Lead the Nation?" (Tulsa World, October 12, 2008, p. G3). The Obama remedy was like taking an aspirin for a broken leg. The world's political and economic situation is part of the natural rhythmic cycle.
This is how nature works; the caribou herd migrates and geese go south for the winter. Man's economic system back to the 12th century follows a pattern. Kondratieff picked up on this and created his theory. My guest editorial in the Journal of Strategic Change (Migliore, pp. 1-2) added facts, all from library research that indicated these cycles can be traced as far back as the late 1200s in Great Britain. There have been nine depressions, spaced about 60 years apart since the 16th century. The waves in the United States have been 57, 54, and 53 years apart with the depression of 1836-43, 1893-97, and 1929-42 (Wall Street Journal, October 10, 2008, p. 1).
The Bible speaks about the Year of Jubilee being every 50 years. The Aztecs started their calendar over every 52 years. Prosperity peaks, creating a natural order of how we do things. This downturn is here because of all the natural mismanagement, i.e., greed and socialism.
Go back in history when the forefathers founded America. Rule number one: All produce goes into a common coffer. If you won't work and contribute, you don't eat. This is free enterprise at its best. This is a no brainer. Now we expect the government to take care of everything from birth to the grave. Reagan had it right: Government is too big! The American people let this happen. Again, this is part of the natural cycle. This recession/depression is going to create a good decade of cleansing. We need it for the long term. If the United States is to exist in the year 3000, we need to get back to basics.
My November 1985 Tulsa Tribune column, "A Look at the Year 2000," has inspired me to venture a guess about the year 3000. Some combination of genius, research, dumb luck, and/or listening to the inner spirit was amazingly accurate.
In this 2012 presidential election, the mind-set was on the economy, gas prices, taxes and debt ceiling. Important, yes, but not relevant to 2020, 2050 and the year 3000. The bigger issue is losing our moral compass. The United States is drifting off the course of the Founding Fathers. The other major issue is the rapid decline of the United States as a world economic power. The real question should be which candidate addresses these two issues.
Right now we are consumed as a nation with the financial crisis, gas prices, and the upcoming 2012 presidential election. Commodity prices are the highest in 20 years and could increase further because of rising oil prices stemming from the unrest in Libya and the Mideast, a U.N. agency warned Thursday ("Food Prices at Highest in 20 years, Agency Reports, News Briefs-Rome, Friday, March 4, 2011).
Guess what? It made little difference who won the last election for president. It was analogous to the owners of the Titanic changing captains for the ship as it steamed full speed ahead toward the icebergs. The owner debates direction and can't make a decision as the ship sails toward disaster. With all the strengths of democracy, we debate all the issues with no clear vision of the future. The Founding Fathers were insightful with the Constitution. Now we are drowning in our interpretation of the Constitution.
At one time the Roman and British empires ruled the world. Moral decline, far reaching imperialism, and attempted economic expansion brought both to their knees.
Our presidential candidates are in the middle of a debate on how to fix the economy. It has become the top campaign issue. Guess what dear friends? There is no quick fix. It's late summer, and we can see this economy is a symptom of bigger issues. North America, and the United States in particular, needs a wake-up call for fundamental change. My guess is the Dow will get down again to at least 8,500 and could go lower. Did anyone pay attention to my June 5, 2008, "Yogi Berra Was Right: It's Not Over Til It's Over" and the July 10, 2008, column "All Economic Signs Point to Recession" that predicted the 2008 Dow 7,000?
The intellectual justification is the cycle theory that has been evident since the 12th century. Since 1800, the United States has had four, clear definite cycles. All the signals indicate our economy is ready for a dramatic correction.
CONCLUSION: The bottom line...lesser of two evils. For sure, Obama could be voted out of office. His path is leading to destruction. Will the Republicans do better? Probably not, but there is a chance they will listen and get the U.S. back on course.
Interesting twist, Michelle Bachmann is a graduate of the ORU School of Law. As founding Dean of the ORU School of Business, I know firsthand the spiritual and moral compass the ORU experience provides. Sideline note: She was in my graduate Cross Pollination class. Oral Roberts always reminded us, ORU graduates go into the world where my light is dim. And on a personal basis, it is time to circle the wagons!
The next few years are shaking us back to reality. Let us get back to the basics and hope that the Chinese, Russians, Koreans, and Iranians don't run us off the map. Remember, we are infants as a country. David Boren, OU president, makes all these points in his book Letter to America.
When is the Year of Jubilee? The Bible says in Leviticus 25 every 50th year was to be anointed as a jubilee year. A return to basics would not hurt. Perhaps prosperity is man's hidden curse. Nations have used resources to make war. Some individuals have disposable income for psychiatrists, beepers, cellular phones.
Yes, that disposable income has contributed to the consumption of drugs and alcohol. Governments have vast welfare programs that have made absolutely no progress in bettering the people the aid is intended for. As a matter of fact, there is an argument that these programs have stolen the spirit and enslaved the people. What if families took care of each other? What if everyone got up every day and had to work and make a meaningful contribution? What if families united in a common community and looked out for the common well-being of the whole? (Migliore & Hedges, Episcopal Life, p. 1)
Our destiny is in our hands. We are too arrogant. This is a wake-up call. Why not answer the phone? The Lord is calling.
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