780 Billion

Sunday, February 08, 2009
Is the latest value of the latest American stimulus package. (as I write this in O'Hare)
It's cash they intend to borrow, to get the economy running again.

Borrowed, as in it has to be repaid.

The engine of our economic system is consumption. When people want a new car or new shoes that are up to date, they buy those things which in turn drives the economy.

When they get laid off or they get fearful, they don't spend as easily. So today people are not spending.

The government then tries to kickstart the economic engine (consumption) which is sputtering and going out, by spending 780 Billion dollars, and hopefully that will get more people working and spending again and the engine sputters back to life again.


It still has to be repaid, and it might result in inflation down the road but to date it's the only option the nations seem to have come up with.

It just makes me nervous. Too many variables and the basic engine is faulty. Consumption.

Of course it's only the opinion of a pastor who lives in a field.
Who knows how wrong I may be.


  1. It is a difficult model.

    No-one is satisfied with living a minimal existence: could we go back to subsistence farming? So some have to farm, some have to manufacture, everyone wants warm houses and nice clothes. Then we find that stuff can be made cheaper in countries where living standards are less expensive.

    So we develop an economy based around things being made and sold. Where does one draw the line on what can be made, and how cheaply and where it should come from?

    I agree that borrowing is likely not a real answer, and it is there to help dea with the results of bad debts and greed way up the financial food chain. How can society, particularly one as possessions-obsessed as the west and especially the untied states re-think its economy into a more balanced form? Profit is good, right, and even more profit is even betterer?

  2. Makes me nervous too. I understand the economic reasoning. Its the ethical and moral implications of spending and spending and more spending that make me nervous.

    But then we Christians should live with a slightly un-worldly view of life shouldn't we? At least we shouldn't just see life as a positive profit margin, we are obligated to look at what this does or doesn't do for the marginalized and for future generations. Maybe we are helpless to do much but I think we still have to see things from a different perspective.

  3. It's all based on credit & money people don't have. If borrowing were limited to mortgages with reasonable payments given to those who can make those payments I think many issues our economy faces would be fewer and less impacting. Let me add investment in building or starting a feasible business to the reasonable borrowing.

    But, no. Gotta have that new TV or toy or fanciest car. In many ways a growing economy is a facade.

  4. Yeah, I don't have much for answers either, yet. Just where this leads makes me uncomfortable.



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