Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Grim New World

As you think about current events, consider carefully your vote not just for the president, a race upon which we focus far too much, but for your legislators. The true power to make change lies with our legislators in both houses of Congress. Choose who you believe will make wise decisions to steer us away from catastrophe, and cast a determined, educated and heart-felt vote.

We knew that the current economic crisis was too big to leave the world in a pretty state, but we may have underestimated just how ugly it might get. Part of the fix several nations are considering may involve shutting down world financial markets while rewriting the rules that govern finances. World leaders are pledging joint action as they hammer out a solution, but government interference is a huge part of what caused the mess, so many of us have little faith government action is going to be the solution. After all, though he's long been vaunted as a savior during hard times, it now seems clear that FDR's policies lengthened the Great Depression by as much as 7 years. There's even discussion that fears of a Barack Obama administration and a filibuster-proof liberal Congress may well have caused the stock market decline of the past few days.

One bright note for our economy is that the price of oil is dropping, which has the potential to give us a large economic boost. American commerce and industry thrives on cheap energy. Unfortunately, not everyone is as happy with the idea. The Iranian and Russian economies thrive on expensive oil, as their oil resources are harder to extract and refine. A drop in prices might prove disastrous for the beleaguered Russian economy. The quickest way to raise the cost of oil is to increase uncertainty or damage the supply system. In a new show of aggression, Russia appears to be demonstrating a willingness to do just that. The Russian invasion of Georgia might appear to have been a very small matter indeed in a few months.

When speaking to a church school, Palin suggested the congregation ought to pray that our national leaders were making good decisions with regard to deploying our troops. Though I rarely delve into religion in this blog, what she suggested I recommend on a larger scale: pray to whomever or whatever you may worship that world leaders will be guided to make decisions that will make our current crises better, not worse.

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