What If The Economy Never, Ever, Gets Better?

Humans are part of the universe, not its masters.  … the interrelatedness of all things, as expressed in Buddhism, is also lived in the tradtions of indigenous peoples…  Sulak Sivaraksa

This is in an article on Huffington Post, “Buddhism and the End of Economic Growth”.  The article discussed causes of our current economic malaise.  It was an  out-of-the-box way of looking at things.

It got me to wondering what will happen if we have a recession that lasts as long as, say, Japan’s has lasted.  Japan’s has been going on for many years and continues.

Republican McCain was defeated by Obama as the economy deteriorated.  Suppose President Obama is defeated  because of a poor economy.  We would expect the new Republican President and Republican Congress to impliment the reforms they believe will improve things.  But, what if they don’t help at all?  Four years and they are out again.

It seems possible the public might slowly conclude, “You know, nothing the Federal Government does improves things.  Nothing I do, myself,  improves my circumstances.  Maybe this is the way it’s going to be for my lifetime and that of my grandchildren.”

Would we change the way we think?   For example, if nothing in the U. S. was “exceptional” any more, would we retain our religiously based view of “American Exceptionalism”?

Would we like going to the mall if we couldn’t by much there? Would we look more, or less, to our faith?

Christianty has always adjusted to its circumstances.  Maybe it would borrow just a bit from the Buddha.


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23 Responses

  1. I think that the people born during or at the end of the Great Depression would get along fine. I am one of those people and shopping at malls holds no attraction for me. I was raised by frugal parents and I am frugal–have been all my life. I know how to live light and without encumbrances both economically or socially. I am not so sure how the generations after mine would adjust…they have been accustomed to much more affluence and do not know how to be frugal.
    As for relying more on one’s faith—–hard times have an impact on a lot of folks who might seek spiritual things more. It would not change my spiritual life….I have been— and am sold out to the LJC …the almighty triune God. That is a constant in my life…..I can’t speak for others.
    My father used to say that the present generations would learn a lot from another Depression…maybe it will happen and maybe my Dad would be right. Maybe the present generation would learn how to “use it up, wear it out, make it do , or do without” as the generations that came up in the teens, twenties and thirties decades.

    1. Opie, I wish you would add to the discussion more, rather than just make moronic snarky comments. I suspect you have something to offer besides hate.

      Too bad your intelligence is clouded by your stupidity. (sleep on THAT tonight)

  2. Henry

    If America is concerned about earthly wealth, we can choose to recover. The formulation for earthly wealth is simple. Wealth comes from the ground (furnished by the good Lord). If we extract and process this wealth ourselves, we become wealthy. If we have others extract and process this wealth, we pay them to do such on credit and become poor, even if the processing is done by slave labor.

  3. Over the course of nigh 50 years, my economic circumstances have been a rollercoater of money to burn vs. sifting through the ashes for a missed coin.

    Faith didn’t necessarily falter, but was really ignored when things were crappy. Faith did not sustain me, but frustrated because I didn’t understand why the God I’d known for 30-some years decided to wreck my life since I was being honest. (thought God had dumped me because I was a homo. I grew up in a fundie environment)

    Now that I have comfortable economic and relationship circumstances, my spirituality has arrived at a comfortable level as well. Which is why I refer to myself as a man of faith.

      1. Henry, I’m a gay man raised in a Midwest Lutheran environment (mother owned a book & bible shoppe, just for fun)

        Navigating the path through understanding the God that loved me before I was conceived through God condemning me to hell because I turned out a fag, and then back to an okay place in regard to spirituality was pretty damn treacherous.

        I chose to be straight for 35 years with disastrous results. Don’t even start with pray-the-gay-away shit.

        Tried it.

        So did Ricky.

        Doesn’t work.

        Read TGA. I think I’ll write a book and make a zillion dollars and get that house in the Caribbean I’ve been wanting. 🙂

  4. doubtful

    There are already great similarities between Buddhism and Christianity. You miss all of them because of your ignorant perception of Christianity.

    If we re lucky, when the economy stays tough people will realize that the two party system benefits only politicians and will begin to think for themselves and consider the issues the politicians are hired to consider rather than the stupidity that politicians and the media try to focus attention on.

    1. Kevin 2:32 “Everthing is cyclical; it’s a fact of life.” In economics, there are lots of forces that try to push things in cycles, weather, over and under production, etc., so one would conclude it is likely we are some place in a cycle. But, they move at unpredictable times and rates. Down cycles have lasted a long, long time in the past. I would agree the odds are better than 50/50 this one will not last so very long. But, Japan’s has not turned up. This one is acting different than others for quite a while.

  5. Bob

    Mac, write the book and get Zillions, I love a great success story.

    My grandfather died a millionaire, and he always said, “we” meaning he and his wife my grandmother we did everything we could to never get into debt. Grandpa and grandma got their wealth slowly, carefully, and they are a great inspiration to me. It helps me to think of wealth as my own individual concern, rather than the country’s as a whole. I can do nothing about 300 million people. But I can be frugal with my own money. I can be patient with growing my own personal wealth. I can grow a garden.
    I can enjoy the simple things instead of spending tons on what mainstream says I ought to spend on and I can save that money instead. Good luck everyone.

      1. Henry 12:37 I though Christians believed what the Bible says, something like, don’t worry, the Lord will provide. It’s OK for a nonbeliever like Bob to think he has to take care of himself, but I’m not sure it’s OK for the faithful.

        1. Henry

          “I though Christians believed what the Bible says, something like, don’t worry, the Lord will provide.”

          Find me that verse you are thinking of, Jon. I would like to review.

          1. Henry

            Correct, Jon. She answered the question posed to you.

            I would like to add to our previous discussion that the Lord provides for Bob AND Bob needs to work. The sparrow has to work, so do we. Not worrying doesn’t consist of waiting for the Lord to drop riches in our lap. I do not believe the scriptures say that. They say “By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat.”

  6. You know something Jon? That Biblical admontion “do not worry” works really well!
    Here is a comment from a Bible Scholar named Warren Weirsbe who has written commentaries on nearly every Bible book:
    “Worry is like a rocking chair..it gives you something to do but you don’t get anywhere”

    Very simple and very true.

    Phillipians 4:4-8 plus the5. 6 and 7 chapters of Matthews gospel speak to “worry”
    Also Proverbs 3: 5 and 6.
    Plus tons more that need not be posted here and now.

    1. entech

      I agree, I especially like the last words of Mathew 6 “sufficient unto the day the evils thereof”. Sleep well and face the day with renewed energy.

  7. entech

    Jon, September 23, 2011 at 12:58 pm. You comment on the Christian idea of the Lord will provide. We could go back a long way and think of Manna from heaven, or perhaps the 23rd psalm. But as the Sermon on the Mount is highly regarded as one of the foundations of Christianity you need look no further than Mathew 6:31 – 34.

    You could think that 6:11 has been answered in excess as you eat your unlimited fish sandwiches and consider how the lilies of the field live so well when they neither work nor want.

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