Friday, June 12, 2009

OK, here's two more graph you need to understand.

Once more into the fray. Hopefully these two graphs will help put a clue into somebody's head.

Home Values have been in a steep bubble and are still overvalued. Compared to median wages, the prices of homes are still way beyond affordable.

When adjusted for inflation, wages in this country have hardly budged since the 1970s - yet our expenses are at 2009 levels. Globalization, which began in earnest in the late 70s and early 80s, caused this. First world workers who have Judeo-Christian ethical and safe working conditions cannot compete with third world sweatshops. So jobs went away, wages stagnated due to surplus workers, and people began living on credit cards to maintain their standard of living. Now, however, they're out of borrowing power and essential spending has left most people with little or no discretionary income to spend.

This is the entire basis of the economic crisis right now.

How does this affect our communities?

There is serious denial in the budget and planning committees of the federations and shuls out there. Projecting increases in income of any kind right now is insane, thinking if they just "meet with big donors more" they can solve the glaring red ink is just not realistic.

The shuls and federations and charities and schools are going to HAVE to GET REAL. We are going to have to find ways of doing things that don't require money. We're going to have to cut expenses and eliminate all unnecessary spending. We're going to have to live within our means, and that fact that some events or programs have "always been this way," has NO MERIT in this reality. NONE. ZERO. NADA. SQUAT.

And we are going to have to find ways to stay focused without thinking money is going to fall from the sky to accomplish this!


And our attitudes about spending what money we do have MUST CHANGE. We HAVE to support each other's businesses. We HAVE to direct our charitable giving to local concrete causes that directly benefit children, the elderly and the poor, not fluffball feelgood pc or political stuff in some other state or nation.

And the Chereidi are going to have to STOP trying to be in control of everything, and this bickering about who's sect is better or best or "not Jewish" has GOT TO STOP. When Torah observant families have nowhere to turn because the Chereidi snub them and the Reform reject them for having Torah standards, we have reached the point where, frankly, Judaism as a whole deserves to crumble. This SENSELESS HATRED cannot go on. It's DIVIDE AND CONQUER in disguise, class.

Economically, things simply are not going back the way they were before. Living wage jobs are not going to spring up out of the grass. Instead of letting ourselves be divided, we have to split off from the western economic paradigm. Greed is NOT good. Good stewardship and local community support isn't "communism" or "socialism," it's TORAH - the world's first sustainable economy commentary, if you will.

Man's way has not worked, class. How about trying God's way for a while?


SJ said...

The Torah has private ownership, allows for profit motive, competition, and has rules for fair play in business. Looks like an early commentary on the western economic paradigm if you ask me.

Ahavah Gayle said...

Yes, but debt had to be completely forgiven every 7th year, property had to be returned every 50th - and the tithes were divided to the levites and the poor and needy (today's equivalent might be a food bank). The prophets commanded businessmen NOT to join "house to house" and displace those in poor neighborhoods for new development and such like - and, of course, the halacha also covers a great deal of territory on supporting businesses that don't violate the above rules and don't exploit foreigners and don't cause hardship to widows and orphans, etc.

It is failing to follow the Torah guidelines that has caused a lot of this mess.

The Western economy as it NOW functions is not based on private property or small business ownership - it's based on exploiting people of other races at slave wages in conditions the robber barons themselves would never endure, loading people with debt until they can't bear it up anymore, refusing to forgive it, then taking their property away from them permanently.

How many gentile and Jewish businesses exploit migrants because they can pay them less, refuse to give them sabbaths or benefits, make them work long hours, and ignore health and safety regulations with impunity simply because the migrants can't do anything about it? The West says "what the market will bear," the Torah says, "business with respect and compassion."