July 28, 2014

Chris Banescu: America Slouching Towards Fiscal Armageddon


Chris Banescu, a frequent contributor to the Observer and noted blogmeister in the Orthodox world (who irritates the liberals to no end), has a new article published on American Thinker today. Good work Chris! Source: American Thinker and ChrisBanescu.com America is in grave danger. Our government's out-of-control spending and our politicians' refusal to implement meaningful budget reforms are leading us towards a fiscal crisis that can undermine our very way of life. We are spending ourselves into oblivion. With each passing day, we are $5 billion in deficit spending closer to the edge of an abyss that can cripple our economy, destroy America's wealth, and lead to catastrophic social consequences for all current and future generations. Yet our leaders in Washington refuse to face reality and continue to play political games while the country's budget crisis deepens and the threat grows exponentially. In February of this year the US federal budget deficit grew by a … [Read more...]

The USA and the New World Order: A Debate Between Alexandr Dugin and Olavo de Carvalho


AOI Observer reader Fabio Lins has a keen interest in political philosophy and culture. Occasionally he sends me links of debates happening elsewhere which always prove interesting and timely. Yesterday he notified me of an online debate between Russian nationalist Alexandr Dugin and conservative Brazilian philosopher Olavo de Carvalho. I asked Fabio to write an introduction included below. The current globalization process is like the multi-headed hydra. Unlike the mythological monster, it seems to have no heart which, once slain, would stop it. Internally, American conservatives feel and see it as the wave of liberal ideologies and policies that threaten to choke and destroy the very roots of the country. Externally, many conservatives from their own cultural perspective see in these same liberal global forces an expression of American imperialism. These same forces which fight American conservatism are understood as tentacles of American conservatism itself. The … [Read more...]

Msgr Barreiro-Carámbula: The Morality of the Growing Public Debt


Source: Spirit and Life | Monsignor Ignacio Barreiro-Carámbula If we promote the family and the related idea of generosity with life, we have to be concerned with the ability of young couples to form and raise their families. In order to raise children, a family needs a degree of economic stability; and even more it needs a real non-inflationary economic growth that steadily creates jobs, and also allows for the reasonable increase of salaries in real terms. As a consequence, we should promote an economy that will not be depressed by the obligation of paying off our growing public debt. It is time to discuss the moral injustice of constantly increasing the public debt limit. The troubling situation of skyrocketing public debt has to be seen within the context of the current economic crisis. This crisis has short term causes in the mismanagement of financial institutions in the U.S. as well as in the housing bubble that was produced, in part, by government programs that decoupled … [Read more...]

Emerging and Submerging Markets in the Third World

Click to enlarge.

Source: Forbes | By Jerry Bowyer Reprinted with permission of the author. A couple of months ago I was shown a report published by a major Wall Street firm that placed Egypt at the top of a list of countries with attractive bond yields. Part of my job is to sit on investment committees for financial management firms and help them evaluate investment valuations, and I was helping my client analyze a report that had placed Egypt in a “must have” position. “Look what’s at the top of the list,” said my client. “Egypt,” I said. “Why would they do that?” he asked. “Natural resources,” I said. That was their mistake. Economists call the presence of a monopoly of resources, or of choke points in the shipping of resources, the “commodity curse.” Oil, gold, diamonds, uranium and so forth in large quantities correlate with poverty, not wealth; with stagnation, not growth. Two centuries ago, Adam Smith looked across the Atlantic and saw two Americas, North and South. He said that the … [Read more...]

Piero A. Tozzi: The New Global Morality: DADT Repeal and Secretary Clinton’s embrace of “Universal Standards”


Apart from from the health care rationing that Obamacare would foster on American citizens, I argue too that the questionable morality of the self-selected administrators of the project would drive policy decisions in directions that violate traditional norms. "Do you really want people like Hillary Clinton or Barbara Boxer making your health care decisions?" I ask. Sound alarmist? Read the reasoning behind Clinton's praise of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal below and you will see that the goal is much broader than many advocates are letting on. Source: Alliance Defense Fund http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2010/12/153126.htm Press Statement – Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Hillary Rodham Clinton Secretary of State Washington, DC December 18, 2010 This is a historic step forward for all Americans, a step toward a more perfect union and a more perfect reflection of our core values. As the President and I have repeatedly said, we are committed to universal standards … [Read more...]

Memo to Jim Wallis: Christ is not a crypto-communist/ socialist

Anthony posted this in the comments but it is so good I am posting it here. Source: On Living Simply: The Golden Voice of John Chrysostom St. John Chrysostom: Should we look to kings and princes to put right the inequalities between rich and poor? Should we require soldiers to come and seize the rich person’s gold and distribute it among his destitute neighbors? Should we beg the emperor to impose a tax on the rich so great that it reduces them to the level of the poor and then to share the proceeds of that tax among everyone? Equality imposed by force would achieve nothing, and do much harm. Those who combined both cruel hearts and sharp minds would soon find ways of making themselves rich again. Worse still, the rich whose gold was taken away would feel bitter and resentful; while the poor who received the gold from the hands of soldiers would feel no gratitude, because no generosity would have prompted the gift. Far from bringing moral benefit to society, it would … [Read more...]

If states were countries…


Look at the economic strength of the US compared to the rest of the world. There has to be a way to turn the problems around. Source: Strange Maps. Click to enlarge. … [Read more...]

Chris Banescu on American Thinker

Chris Banescu, occasional contributor to AOI Observer and webmaster of Orthodoxnet.com has an essay published on American Thinker today: How to Cripple the Free Economy. Congratulations Chris! … [Read more...]

Debt, Credit and the Virtuous Life

Orthodox Church Fathers 3 scaled

By Fr. Gregory Jenson Our economic life is concerned with more than just the objective exchange of goods and services.  Far from being morally neutral, it is an expression of how we understand our dependence on God and neighbor and is the means by which we fulfill, or not, our obligations toward them.  Both for reasons of morality as well as long term economic efficiency, we cannot overlook or minimize the centrality of personal virtue, and of a culture of virtue, to the success of the free market.  It is not enough for me to be good; we must be good together.  Or at minimum, and whatever our personal moral shortcomings, culturally we must value and reward moral excellence. Jack Cashill understands this and in his new book, Popes and Bankers: A Cultural History of Credit and Debt, from Aristotle to AIG, he traces the changing moral attitudes towards lending and borrowing in Western culture.  From the beginning the author is clear that we cannot … [Read more...]

On the ‘edge of the abyss’

Acton Institute

By John Couretas on the Acton blog: From the Greek daily Kathimerini: Witnesses said that protestors marching past the building ignored the bank employees’ cries for help and that a handful even shouted anti-capitalist slogans. [ ... ] It took a statement from President Karolos Papoulias to best sum up Greece’s dire situation and the frustration that many people are feeling with the political system. “Our country has reached the edge of the abyss,” he said. “It is everybody’s responsibility that we do not take the step toward the drop. Responsibility is proved in action, not in words. History will judge us all.” From columnist Alexis Papachelas, in the same paper: Now we have an intelligentsia that is hooked on patron-client exchanges and mediocrity, and a political establishment whose biggest concern is keeping its piece of the pie safe. On the flipside of the same coin we have a culture of protest in which anything goes and which tries to justify every “accident,” like … [Read more...]

Greece Shows What America Would Be Without More Borrowing


AOL Daily Finance By Peter Cohan On May 2, Greece announced a deal to get a bailout from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. But as part of the agreement, Greece needs to cut government spending in ways that are causing social unrest. That chaos could get so bad that Greece might decide it's better simply to forget about the bailout and "restructure" its debt. Greece will make budget cuts ranging from $40 billion to $53 billion each year so that by 2014 its budget deficit falls from the current 13.6% to below 3% of GDP. And this will mean recession in Greece for years: A 4% GDP contraction in 2010, a 2.6% decline in 2011, followed by anemic 1.1% growth in 2012. … [Read more...]

Prophet Jim Wallis Explains the Doctrine of Coercive Repentance


More Wallis dressing redistributionism in Christian garb. ++++++++++++++ By John Couretas. Source: Acton Institute In a new column on Sojourners, Prophet Jim Wallis reveals that Wall Street financiers are coming to him for confession, sometimes skulking along darkened streets to hide their shame: Some come like Nicodemus – a religious leader who came to talk to Jesus in private – at night. Many have felt remorseful about what happened on Wall Street and how it has hurt so many people. They describe the behavior in their profession with words such as “greedy,” “risky,” or “reckless.” These business and banking leaders do feel sorry, but repentance means that remorse must be coupled with a change in the behaviors that led to the problems. The Prophet, who can read their very thoughts (”repentance and accountability were far from their minds”), bids them to change their ways and reminds them about God and Mammon. … [Read more...]