Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Pondering Economic Crises During Advent

Well, "they" are all bickering. Even the television commentators are tired of the story of the current economic saga, which keeps repeating itself. It starts something like, "if a solution isn't found by Friday the world is going to end" and continues in the vein of 'really this time they can't just kick the can down the road'. Which we all know is going to end with the can being noisily and hopelessly being kicked down the road again and again. This time there was a variation to the story in that David Cameron vetoed a bill, which has everybody up in arms, but which hasn't stopped anything except our attendance at the 'table'. Which led to my favourite quote of a Euro-minister saying, "If you're not at the table, you're on the menu"!

The Euro-sceptics are beside themselves with glee! The Europhiles are down-hearted and glum. The Liberals of the coalition predict dire consequences and all the European heads of state are on their high horses, but have not been able to come up with any solution without Britain, except the predictable kicking of the can down the street once again! I think until February or March. International political posturing is at an all time high! Merkel, Sarkozy, and Obama all want to get re-elected and David Cameron wants the Euro-skeptics off his back and on it goes...

The problem is, it seems, intractable. Each country is thinking of its own sovereignty first. There is much the same problem in the U.S. in China, in Japan -- everywhere. We live in a world of global economics, which none of us is really prepared for and which overrides national interests at every level. Our instincts nationally and personally are our own self-interests: "What's good for Britain! What's good for France! What's good for Japan! What's good for America!" -- ad infinitum ...

As individuals we bemoan losing jobs to other countries -- which is understandable on one level -- but what about the peoples of those other countries? Where is the morality of the 'common good' for all nations and all peoples? We live now in a global community but retain the motivation of self-interest that is set in the past when we were beyond the instant reach of other peoples who are now instantly accessible. This is not the way to find global solutions. This is not living in the 'reality' of where we are now in the world economy, which seems to be beyond our comprehension, let alone understanding.

Which brings me around to Advent. The time of preparation for Christians before Christmas. And the message of 'Peace on Earth and Good Will to All' ... 


  1. Hello Katherine:
    We do completely endorse all that you write here. Increasingly we are of the opinion that none of those around 'the table', and this is not to negate whatever skills and abilities each may possess, is in a position, politically or, possibly, with the intelligence required to sort this very complex situation. And so, as you say, the can will continue to be kicked.

    But how good to be reminded of the real meaning of Christmas amid the political ineptitude, conflict and violence, and hideous commercialism.

  2. Many British people here in France are very worried indeed...if Britain does leave or is booted out of the EU, who knows how this will effect our right to stay.

    France has a history of cherry picking EU legislation, applying what is beneficial, and ignoring the rest.

    I suspect that whatever happens, France will be alright.

    We live in iteresting times.


  3. @Jane and Lance:O Antiphon for December 17

    O Wisdom, Who didst come out of the mouth of the Most High, reaching from end to end and ordering all things mightily and sweetly: come and teach us the way of prudence.

    @Gaynor: Thank you. I so appreciate your own words on the current goings on. Gave me the courage to enter into the fray!

    @SP: My son in Italy is also worried. Hopefully the rhetoric will calm down and the Euro-skeptics will be marginalized...

  4. An excellent post, Broad. I'm afraid that in a time of recession and personal/national financial stringency, self-interest tends to trump any finer feelings. My niece works for Oxfam and will be out of a job at the end of the month, as Oxfam's income is so reduced it is having to make staff redundant.

    What horrifies me about happened last Friday is that our leaders appear to be in total thrall to the same City institutions whose reckless risk-taking and naked greed for profit caused most of the mess in the first place. I despair.....

  5. Well, I suppose you may have heard about the so-called "super committee" here in America. Their job was to find many billions to cut from the budget or else the world would end. They failed. There was much gnashing of teeth for a few days, but now it is largely forgotten (until the next election, probably.)

    The world goes on. The can gets kicked down the road. We who live on the road manage to get by.

  6. Well said Broad! As we gear up for election 2012 I can aleady hear the cans starting to rumble down the street...oh what a year it's going to be :)

  7. There are very few who understand the ins and outs of the particular economic mess into which we have somehow been manipulated by shadowy forces.

    I recently saw a programme on German TV where the highest placed economists actually admitted this.

    I am, however, holding on to the words of one man on the panel, a member of the German Finance Ministry, who assured us that the Euro will be saved. Eventually.

    He had a nice face, he was a philanthropist and Christian (I don't know what the latter has to do with anything but, hey, I am holding on to whatever I can hold on to), and I found him totally sympathetic, modest, not at all blustery or besser wisserisch, friendly and human. Sadly, I have forgotten his name.

    Thanks for following, I have returned the favour.

  8. These are such dark and scary times economically that it's uplifting to be reminded of the anticipation of Advent and the joy of the Christmas season.


Receiving comments is a joy and I thank you all for taking the trouble and showing your interest. Makes me feel all gooey and stuff!