When he ripped off the third seal, I heard the third animal cry, "Come out!" I looked. A black horse this time. It's rider carried a set of scales in his hand. I heard a message (It seemed to issue from the Four Animals): "A quart of of wheat for a day's wages, or three quarts of barley, but all the oil and wine you want.
Rev. 6:5 & 6
Kinda sounds like the 1%, dontcha think?
"The sin of your sister Sodom was this: She lived with her daughters in the lap of luxury - proud, gluttonous, and lazy. They ignored the oppressed and the poor. They put on airs and lived obscene lives. And you know what happened: I did away with them.
Ez. 16:49 & 50 (Both sets of passages were taken from The Message bible version)
Kinda looks like the 1%, dontcha think?
So this morning I saw a video that Shane Claiborne posted. It really caught me off guard because it was so beautiful. If you don't know who Shane is, go over to my links and click on The Simple Way, or buy his book "The Irresistible Revolution." I recommend that book very highly. (Lucky for you, I have it over in the Books I Recommend section to the right. Hint, hint.)
Anyway, a few words before you watch the video. I don't think I am alone in saying this, but most people I know are fed up with the American economic system. Don't get me wrong, I believe in the concept of Free-Enterprise. Of all the systems that are currently out there, I think it is the best at providing over-all prosperity for a nation. That having been said, I don't particularly like the one that America uses.
However, I don't think it is so much the fault of the system as it is of the culture. Americans are the most individualistic people on the planet. While treating people as unique individuals is good, the way we take it to the extreme creates nothing more than selfishness & indifference. (Which in my opinion, anyway, perfectly sums up the philosophy of Ron Paul.)
It's almost as if we think it is perfectly normal & natural to simply look out for number one, get what you can get, and ignore the others around you...unless they can give you an advantage. It doesn't matter what you do to the people below you, as long as you turn a profit you deserve that bonus...even if it is obscenely out of proportion to the wages of others.
Case in Point: The store I work at has had a wage freeze for three years now. We have to take a one-week UN-paid vacation. We get no more overtime, nor an extra buck an hour on Sundays. Yet, every manager got their bonuses.
I work with a gal who is in her late 50s. She is one of the hardest workers I have ever met in my life. She makes $8.50 an hour and has never received a raise. Nor will she unless this time around, our idiot Union bosses can actually negotiate a relatively fair contract.
Yet, as I said, every manager got their bonuses.
Excuse me if I think there is something profoundly unethical about that.
For some reason, most likely because this is what we have grown up with, Americans find this to be the normal way of operating. We think it is fine and dandy for the CEOs to make multiple millions in bonuses, while cutting the workers, wages and benefits of the people on the bottom. We just assume that this is how it's done.
Perhaps we need to start asking some questions about that.
It's no secret that other countries all have their own versions of economics and free-enterprise. Unless you want to remain in the outhouse of luxury, socialism and communism are really bad ideas to try. But, I find it interesting how the various cultures actually impact a nation's economy more than pointy-headed economic formulas.
I had heard many times that the Japanese do things differently than us. I had been told that in many of their corporations, when it comes time to make cuts, it's the folks at the top who take the hit first because they are the ones who make the most and can afford it. I have no idea if that is the norm, but it certainly seems to be the moral way to do things. (Honestly, if you are at the top of the economic food chain, and you can't afford to take a financial hit, then you really must be living wrong.)
One last thing before you watch this news clip; America generally likes to pretend that it is a "Christian" nation. This is a heaping pile of steamy dog-doo sitting in a lovely, freshly fallen snowbank. But let's stick with that nonsense for a moment. Let us contrast that idea and the way we do things over here, with the foul, heathen laden nation of Japan with it's Shinto/Buddhist culture.
Take a look. (In particular, watch Mr. Nishimatsu's expression when he is told how much American executives make in bank.)
Which Capitalist/Free-Enterprise system looks a little bit more like the principles spoken of throughout the bible? Which one do you think looks a little more Jesus-like?
Perhaps American culture needs to do some rather serious repenting.
Something to think about, anyway.