The Dominant Campaign Question
By Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson
Naturally, America’s attention is focused on the economic crisis. It is clear that something—actually, a lot of things—have gone terribly wrong. Our financial system is in tatters, the housing market continues to deteriorate, and even once-mighty GM appears terminal. We worry about our banks being safe, our jobs being secure, and our retirement plans surviving the ongoing economic earthquake. We are uncertain, scared and/or stunned. More than anything else, American voters want the candidates to reassure them that everything will be okay and that a President Obama or President McCain will restore normalcy.
As natural and understandable as everyone’s concern is, the glib question posed by journalists and pollsters—“What would you do to fix the economy?”—is preposterous. Do you really think that the presidential toolbox contains instruments to determine the “right” price for each of the millions of houses; the “right” interest rate for each of the millions of mortgages; the ability to unwind trillions of dollars of leverage in the financial system; the wisdom to manage banks, insurance companies, pension funds, etc.—and to attempt such undertakings without causing painful economic disruptions? Forget the Constitution here (the political class already has). Even if you give the president unlimited powers, he and his team—no matter how bright they are and how hard they try—cannot possibly “fix” our enormous and complex economic mess.
It is pathetic to see Americans holding out blind hope that a mere president has some sort of magic wand that can make these problems go away so that we can live happily every after. The very question—“What can you do to fix the economy?”—is shockingly ignorant. It presumes that the President of the United States either has supernatural powers (see “President, Savior, or Santa Claus”) or that he has or should have the political power to construct a “great society” with a vibrant economy through central planning. Such a question is more appropriate for a communist country than for a free (formerly free?) society.
Neither candidate is speaking economic truth. There is no clear explanation of how government policies caused this mess. Neither candidate understands that if markets are allowed to adjust prices to reflect actual values, then the economy will return to solid footing faster than if government continues to nationalize businesses, inflate credit, and engage in the hubris of central planning.
Instead, economic nonsense emanates from both camps. [...]
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In their respective times they will serve the purposes of the Lord. So that one of them will be able to completely carry out the tasks the Lord had assigned to him, the other one will rule first so that things will be set in place because just like kings David & Solomon, they have different tasks assigned to each of them. David was not allowed to build the Lord's temple because he was a warrior, the defender of their nation. Solomon in his time was not allowed to fight because he was the builder of the Lord's temple.
It shall be in like manner also with these servants. They are both geared up for their respective assignments. In their respective times, the Lord will will stir and guide their hearts so that they will be able to accomplish their tasks.
This recent global financial crisis is just like the fog in a season which causes pilgrims to slow down and be cautious in their journey. When this financial crisis is over, there is a bigger task that lies ahead -- and one servant's strength fits that burden. When that season is fulfilled, the other servant will then follow to serve.
(You may be interested to read also this old blog entry of mine.)