Getting too close to the end to apologize for solutions.

So far any explanation of a solution had to be finnessed, diluted, apologized , clouded, worded so the reader would think it was their idea or otherwise manipulated to get under the conservative radar. The simple explanation is that human rights has to displace profit as the goal of capitalism. Greece is not a warning shot. Greece needs to be the model for the solution. Money has to serve man. You don't have to rob the rich (although that is what it will be called) to give to the poor. Simply make money work. Give rewards, even awarding nobility if it will work,, to entrepreneurs that invest in jobs producing ventures. The problem in Greece is too large and complex to assign or ascribe a universal solution. In my opinion there is a universal application of a concept that caused the problem. The contemporary short sighted goal of world financial policies. Analogous to every preceding problem that ignored a fixed supply of a resource resulting in a faltering, failing and illogical repair. In this case the resource is money and policies operated as if there was no limit to the amount of money. The goal was to accumulate money without a plan to replace the money. Consequently money was accumulated and taken out of the world economies. Accumulated through fees and removed from economies using it to securitize fee producing entities. Money has to be spent for it too have any value. Analogizing success and failure of monetary policies to success and failure of professional sports gives a clear picture of the need for rules. Without rules in professional sports there soon would be one super team, all the money would be concentrated and then game over. There is not an endless supply of money therefore rules have to be instated to keep money in the game.




Hey Chet,
Solutions are difficult. Solving the world's problems consists of a planning phase, and an execution phase. The first is easy. The second is a challenge.

The first step to finding a solution is to have an accurate theology and anthropology - a correct view of ultimate reality and the nature of humanity.

The reason I say that is that first, you need to have an understanding of the design intent and purpose for which humanity exists, and then you need to have an understanding of the nature of humans and how they act.

Now you can come to your own conclusions about those two things. If you conclude the universe is somehow self-generated, without purpose, and random, and that people are basically good, though they have no intrinsic value (a typical humanist-materialist world view) you will come to one set of solutions.

If you come to the conclusion that the universe is designed by intention of a super-intelligence who has definite ideas about right and wrong, and that humans are of great worth, individually, though they are inherently flawed (i.e., fallen, sinful, corrupt, etc.) (A typical Christian world view) You will come to a very different set of solutions.

There are, of course, other possibilities, and you may choose whichever suits your fancy.

If you choose correctly, then the solutions which follow will be based on reality, and will be accepted by humanity, since they are consistent with the basic tendencies of mankind.

I am sorry for appearing so theological, but we are constrained by reality, and if we attempt solutions which are contrary to reality, they will have unintended consequences. (The preceding statement presupposes that reality exists, in some general sense, independent of our perceptions.)

For example, my brother, a veteran of Vietnam, was initially very pleased at the elimination of the draft, but now recognizes that it makes it easier for the elite to be warmongers, since their sons are exempt. Many other examples of apparently unintended consequences could be found.

That said, my basis for solutions would be:

While people have an intrinsic value and dignity which does not stem from their competence or goodness or accomplishments, they are inherently imperfect. All persons have a certain ruined nobility. There are traces of what they should be, but they are corrupted, broken, imperfect. This applies to you and to me and to everybody else. We know what is good and what is evil, but we don't always want to do what is good. And often, we rationalize things we know are bad, because we want to do them. A corollary of this is that we are not perfectible. We can be better, but only to a certain extent.

In addition, we live in a world where a lot of bad things happen. While there is great beauty in the natural world, there is also a continuing life and death struggle. There is a spider hiding in the milkweed blossom, waiting to catch the honeybee. I came across a milkweed plant a couple of weeks ago, and there were three honeybee husks on the blossom and adjacent leaves, all sucked dry. Another bee was feeding on the nectar. I didn't see the spider. Perhaps it was eaten by a bird.

One other limit we must deal with is the desire people have for control. This is a basic characteristic that people have, in varying degree to have within their power, the ability to assure that their life is not disrupted. If I recall correctly, John Calvin identified this desire of people to exercise control over other people as the core, root, essence of human wickedness.

When I put all of this together, I conclude the world is a complicated place, and easier to make worse than to make better.

Myself, I look at my 401k, and think, "I have enough money to retire, to live well, and never worry about being in want." This is an illusion, but it is a seductive illusion. It is the desire to have and to maintain control over our lives.

So we look at economic systems. In particular Capitalism.

Capitalism is built on the practice of wage-slavery. Wage slavery is much like traditional slavery, with the exceptions that the owner's rights are usually limited to the work for which the wage-slave is hired (though this is as a result of legislation, not inherent to the relationship) and that the relationship can be terminated by either party at any time.

The benefit to the owner is that he doesn't have to concern himself with housing, feeding, and clothing his property, but he can leave them to address those things themselves.

Most of us are wage-slaves. We want someone else to take the risks, invest the capital, and shield us from fluctuations in the economy. We are happy with our wage, though the value of what we produce is clearly greater (on average) than what we receive. My employers have made billions of dollars from the things I have developed for them. I have received a regular paycheck. That is the arrangement.

The engine of capitalism is greed. It is like the gasoline in an engine. Just as a gasoline explosion which is not contained in a cylinder and timed to occur at the right position of the engine is dangerous and injurious, greed which is not channeled into a path which produces value is offensive and harmful. In this way, Capitalism to some extent harnesses human wickedness, and uses it to create value.

However, the Capitalist is human, and has that unsatisfied desire for control. So there is a tendency for the capitalist to use the power he has (to hire and fire, to restrict goods, to set prices) in order to gain more control for himself.

Because of the basic wickedness of humanity, the capitalist won't acknowledge that in taking more for himself, he is taking away control from those whom he employs. Or he will justify it to himself on the basis that he is their benefactor. This is the relationship between wage-slaves and their masters.

Since even in the worst of us, there is that sort of ruined nobility, he may recognize to some extent, that his wage-slaves should be dealt with fairly, and from his own perspective deal somewhat fairly with them, but to rely on that is to rely on human goodness, which is unlikely to be reliable.

This system of economics has been around, and has been working, in some sense, for at least 2000 years. But it got a real boost with the industrial revolution. Because technology made it possible to produce far more value for the same amount of labor. At first, the capitalists took all the value for themselves, and treated their wage-slaves very badly. Few things are uglier than pure capitalism, unalloyed by any human kindness.

The situation is different now, thanks to (among other factors) the union movement, and the political structures which began to regulate the practice of wage-slavery. However, the engine of capitalism is greed, and the desire for the control which comes from acquiring more.

Since prices are fixed by the market, and not directly under the capitalist's control, the way to acquire more is to lower costs. And of course, the cost of wage-slaves, like the cost of raw materials, transportation, facilities, etc., needs to be minimized.

This is the inherent moral flaw of capitalism. The labor (the cost of wage-slaves) is considered to be a commodity like iron ore. It (we) has no moral significance. This is also the essential moral flaw of formal slavery. Slaves are treated as property. Their inherent dignity and worth is not acknowledged. They are alienated from their inalienable rights.

So if we want to improve capitalism, we need to address this flaw. We need to bring men into agreement with God that individual people are of great value, though they are not very good.

And that brings us back to theology.

In fact, the only way to improve capitalism is to make people better.

So preach the Gospel. Because anyone who understands the value God places on each person, and who cares about what God cares about, will treat people better than they would without this understanding. And don't hold out too much hope of success, since we are not perfectable.

Beyond that, pursue solutions which are in keeping with the gospel. (That recognize the intrinsic value of every person, that allow people freedom of conscience, that lighten the yoke of wage-slavery).

In addition, be kind. The people around us have difficult lives. A kind word is like a healing balm.

Do not look for salvation from the political process. The pretenders running for office are all false messiahs.

And finally, recognize that while our individual circumstances may be difficult compared to that of those around us, we enjoy health, personal liberty, physical security, freedom from hunger and thirst, access to legal redress and due process and other benefits (in the USA) which are completely unprecedented in the history of the world until now, and which place us in a better situation than most of the people of the world today. Yes, there is injustice and wickedness. And we may individually suffer greatly from it. But in general, we have it pretty good.. It is OK to try and make things better, but be grateful.

Whenever I am feeling sorry for myself, I read the autobiography of Frederick Douglass. If you think you've had it bad, reading that will adjust your perspective.

End of ramble.


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Dr. Jon

Dr. Jon,
Thanks very much for your time and consideration. I whole heartedly agree. I would just like to take into consideration the people suffering in spite of the solutions available to help them. I feel blessed and lucky but I have always had questions about why a world rich in resources tolerates poverty. I was active in the United Mine Workers as an elected officer for the mine where I worked. It has always puzzled me why it is not enough for managers to make a profit. In the lower income brackets It seems that they also need to make the people suffer that make money for them. Existence of all life focuses on procreation. I think that is enough reason to elevate human rights to the guide for life and laws. In the realm of the universe there are a microscopic set of conditions that allow life. The earth! It seems people should celebrate that miracle rather than strive to deny happiness and a good life. Thanks again for your time. Chet

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Chester L Ruminski