From nearly thirty years ago during our last major recessionary era.
From nearly thirty years ago during our last major recessionary era.
More than three years ago Beau Weston gave the following description of centrism in a post at his blog, What I think Principled Centrism Means.
What do you think?
Forbes: Leaders Go Left, But Economists Get Back To Basics William Easterly
The Economist: Fixing a broken world: Failed States
Carpe Diem: Best Economic Indicator
Greg Mankiw: Judging Presidents
Wired: Installing a Deep-Sea Webcam
Watts Up With That (Anthony Watts): Forecasting Guru Announces: “no scientific basis for forecasting climate”
What to does it mean to be centrist, middle, moderate, or third way? Scot McKnight recently did a great series on Adam Hamilton’ book Seeing Gray in a World of Black and White: Thoughts on Religion, Morality, and Politics. (I have the book and look forward to reading it.) Scot likes to refer to perspectives like Hamilton’s as “Third Way.” My cyber-friend and fellow Presbyterian Beau Weston calls his blog The Gruntled Center: Faith and Family for Centrists. Bruce Reyes-Chow, moderator for the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., recently wrote a post about Musings on the middle way.
I relate to the general concerns of many who use these terms. Like many, I too grow weary of the harsh rhetoric and “gotcha” style of public debate. While I suspect many would classify me politically and religiously right of center (at least in my PCUSA world) there is enough about me that would keep me at arms length in many “conservative” Christian circles. I agree that dogmatic identification with ideologies of “left and right” or “conservative and liberal” probably isn’t healthy. Yet, the language of “centrist,” “middle,” “moderate,” or “third way” is not attractive to me.
First, “center” and “middle” are in between two other things. They are decidedly binary and end up defining the person by identifying who they are not, namely not the poles on the extremes. “Moderate” works the same way as it is an antonym for extreme. On the surface, “Third way” seems to get out of the “middle” metaphor. But without giving the term content, “third way” can be any set of constructs that isn’t one of the other two ways. Again, the metaphorical phrase is anchored in being contra to two poles, and thus is defined by those poles. What is a centrist, moderate, third way person for?
To illustrate further, construct in your own mind a checklist of conservative and liberal positions on a range of issues. I hold the following positions on some theological and political issues: Economically conservative (not libertarian), old earth theistic evolutionist, opponent of abortion on demand, advocate of aid and free trade to address global poverty, and advocate for women being in all varieties of service and leadership within the church. Am I liberal or a conservative? Am I centrist? If so, in the center of what? If my constellation of positions is a third way (i.e., neither left nor right), then could not there also be a fourth way? Fortieth way? Four hundredth way? The continuum metaphors and the third way metaphor don’t clarify anything for me.
Second, there is the adage that the only thing in the middle of the road is road kill. :-) There are strong overtones of blending and compromise. I’m not saying this is necessarily true of actual belief and behavior by a centrist. I’m speaking to the images called up by the metaphors. For instance, take Hamilton’s book title, “Seeing Gray in a World of Black and White.” Isn’t gray a melding of black and white that is neither black nor white? Isn’t this a gradation between a binary realities? "Seeing color in a world of black and white" seems like a more fitting metaphor to me.
Third, when some people who use centrist terms to describe themselves they immediately contrast themselves with the strident mean-spiritedness of one "extreme" or the other, (usually whichever extreme they see themselves emerging from.) Thus, for them, “centrist’ becomes more a matter of civility and less about the specific constellation of positions one holds. It is about taking a particular posture toward others. I see an element of this reflected in Weston’s blog name, “The Gruntled Center.” However, I would make the case that there are also disgruntled people who call themselves centrists and I know people who line up pretty well with left and right ideologies who are quite civil. Therefore, if “centrist” (… moderate, middle way, third way) is to be a synonym for “civil” why not just call it being civil? If it is not a synonym, then what is that makes one centrist?
Fourth, I’m distrustful of centrist terms because too often I’ve seen them used in triangulation. Here is a scenario of how it works in a deliberative body. One camp is stridently pro-life, believing abortion should be legal in only the rarest of cases. Another camp is stridently abortion-rights and believes abortion should be totally at the discretion of the mother. There emerges a third group who believes abortion should be totally at the discretion of the mother but avoids strident tactics. This third group positions itself as the “reasonable” and “thoughtful” camp, seeking a “middle way” to get the support of those troubled by stridency, knowing they already have the votes of the strident wing that shares their position. They have two sides of the triangle and that often means they win. (This could just as easily be the strategy of a “moderate” pro-life camp.) Thus, the third way is less a third position and more accurately a political strategy for capturing votes.
So then, how would I label this impetus for something different than what we’ve had? I honestly haven’t a clue! I think part of it may be that we are trying to combine to many variables into our “centrist,” “moderate,” “middle way,” “third way” constructs that don’t have any inherent correlation with each. (Many don’t like the present levels of incivility but civility necessarily related to a particular set of positions?) So how might we break down some of the variables that get caught up in this dialog about a new way of debating and relating? Over my next few posts I’m going to share some of my reflections on these issues.
The Kansas Citian: EXCLUSIVE: Bill Cowher to Sign with Chiefs
On the other hand, it could be that Cowher just wanted to move to a metro area without an NFL team. :-)
Wicked Local: Planned penny protest gains momentum among businesses
What do you think? Should we go penniless?
Watts Up With That: Philadelphia’s Climate in the Early Days
Jesus had much to say about wealth and possessions. His parables make a variety of implicit and explicit statements about economic aspects of our lives. Unfortunately, much of the teaching we receive from the pulpit and in popular Christian literature on the economic issues raised by these parables is simplistic moralization. I suspect the reason for this is that most often those doing the teaching are either theologians with little knowledge of economics or thinkers who know economics but haven’t done extensive biblical study.
David Cowan’s Economic Parables: The Monetary Teachings of Jesus Christ provides some depth of thought about the economic implications of Jesus’ teaching. Cowan is a pastor and theologian with a Masters of Theology from Oxford. He also has worked for twenty years as bank executive and journalist for a variety of business periodicals. His grasp of both theological and economic issues is well evidenced in his book.
Economic Parables is collection of reflections on thirteen of Jesus’ parables. Cowan explores the basic contours of each parable and then offers some insight on what these parables might mean for the economic sphere of our lives. Each chapter ends with a list of other biblical texts to consider as well as questions that can be used for personal reflection or in a small group study. The book is non-technical and intended for a broad audience.
Unlike so many theologians who write about markets in restrictive limiting terms, Cowan lifts up market activity as something positive without idolizing particular views of economics. His discussion at the end of the book contrasting the difference between giving gifts and market exchange helps show why markets are so important yet insufficient for economic shalom.
I really like the book’s concept. Cowan is good thinker and writer. I readily recommend this book.
Christianity Today: The Evolution of Darwin
The Economist: Bend me, shape me, anyway you want me
Electronic screens as thin as paper are coming soon
OVER the years, the screens on laptops, televisions, mobile phones and so on have got sharper, wider and thinner. They are about to get thinner still, but with a new twist. By using flexible components, these screens will also become bendy. Some could even be rolled up and slipped into your pocket like a piece of electronic paper. These thin sheets of plastic will be able to display words and images; a book, perhaps, or a newspaper or a magazine. And now it looks as if they might be mass produced in much the same way as the printed paper they are emulating.
The crucial technological development happened recently at the Flexible Display Centre at Arizona State University. Using a novel lithographic process invented by HP Labs, the research arm of Hewlett-Packard, and an electronic ink produced by E Ink, a company spun out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the centre’s researchers succeeded in printing flexible displays onto long rolls of a special plastic film made by DuPont. To make individual screens, the printed film is sliced up into sections rather as folios for magazines or newspapers would be cut from a printed web of paper.
The resulting “electrophoretic” screens are lightweight and consume only a fraction of the power of a typical liquid-crystal display (LCD). Their first use is likely to be by the American army, which helped pay for the project. It hopes its soldiers will be able to use the screens as electronic maps and to receive information. The idea is that the flexible screens will replace some of the bulky devices that soldiers now have to lug around. If that works, the retail market beckons. The first trials of consumer versions could begin within a few years. ...
Acton Commentary: The End of Capitalism? A thoughtful piece by Michael Miller.
International Herald Tribune: China censors parts of inaugural speech
New York Times: The Economy Is Bad, but 1982 Was Worse
With regard to his point about median family income falling over the last decade, there is more to the story. Family characteristic have been changing in recent years. The average family size has declined slightly. There has also been a widening of differences in family size between the top and bottom quintiles of family income. It is now 3.1 on average for the top quintile and 1.9 for the lowest. Taking these factors into account, per capita income (as opposed to family income) has been rising.
I think there is a third reason for the gloominess and the author alludes to it in the article. Almost half the U. S. population is not old enough to have memory of the recession in the early 1980s. I graduated from college in 1981. I remember it! Those younger than I am have no personal baseline to which they can compare our current troubles. Pre-1980s, and especially pre-WWII, significant recesssions were an ongoing pattern. We have become quite spoiled over the past quarter century.
There is also likely a fourth reason. A sensationalist media combined with the arrival of an election year. There are powerful interests who have a stake in making things look as bad as they can possbily paint it.
Some comparisons from Mark Perry:
The following is interesting passage from David Cowan's book Economic Parables: The Monetary Teachings of Jesus Christ.
Elsewhere in the book, Cowan makes the point I’ve made at this blog concerning Adam Smith’s famous statement:
First, “self-love” or “self-interest” are not selfishness. Looking both ways before crossing the street, getting an annual physical, and eating healthy meals are not about selfishness but they are clearly products of being self-interested. It is only through a society of self-interested individuals that relationships and communities can develop. All would be chaos otherwise.
Second, reread Smith’ quote and note that he does not call us to act in our self-interest, much less selfishness. He calls us to address ourselves to the self-love of others. Smith understood human nature (we might say fallen nature) well enough to know that we can’t reliably count on the benevolence of others to supply the goods we need. The dependable basis for ensuring that goods will be supplied is people acting on their self-love. The suppliers welfare is linked the welfare of the recipients of those goods. While this is necessary for economic functioning, Smith also wrote that highest of all virtues, well above self-interest, is benevolence. Smith was hardly an orthodox Christian but I think his insight into human motivations was correct.
Defeating Global Poverty: Rechargeable batteries as a social business
Defeating Global Poverty: Microfinance Heats up in East Africa
You don't have to be a Democrat to celebrate today. For 220 years Americans have seen one successful transfer of power after another. And now we see a transfer of power to a man who earlier in my lifetime would have had no chance at the presidency because of his race. Political struggles are ahead but today it is a proud day to be an American.
When I was at the in-laws in Iowa for Thanksgiving , we went out to the barn to check out the new "crop" of cats. This little guy had been riding around on my father-in-law's shoulder and head. Without warning, he leaped about four feet to my shoulder (the cat, that is, not my father-in-law.) Boy could he purr.
I'm a cat magnet. Just call me the cat whisperer.
(PS: Isaac, my tabby, is not impressed. He frown's upon such public displays of cats accepting humans. What is this younger generation coming to? Next thing you know they'll be fetching slippers or doing tricks for treats.)
New York Times: Where Sweatshops Are a Dream by Nicholas Kristof
The following quote comes from David Cowan in Economic Parables: The Monetary Teaching of Jesus Christ. I almost jumped from my chair and shouted “YES!” when I came to this passage; it expresses my sentiments so well.
Cowan says “consumers of poverty.” I might have said “consumers of poverty activism.” So much of what passes as social justice advocacy is little more than activist consumerism. Activists deride the church for its consumerism. Churches are charged with offering ministries that merely cater to the felt-needs of the congregants without calling for genuine transformation. What is being offered in its place?
Much of what is being trumpeted as emerging Christianity is precisely the same. Segments of the church feel disaffected from the “product” and identity being offered from the church they grew up with. New identity competitors have risen up to meet the felt-needs of these disaffected folks. These new suppliers cater to the felt-need for activism and the need for an identity that will distinguish the advocacy consumer from lesser evolved and out of style consumers of the old Christian consumerism. Populist events and online campaigns are organized so customers can have their identity reinforced by like-minded consumers. Idealistic leaders are molded for mass consumption through personal appearances, print, and electronic media. Enemies are identified and singled out (say, market economy sympathizers or U. N. skeptics) for either attack or marginalization. This too helps increase loyalty of advocacy consumers to advocacy products and their purveyors.
Meanwhile, precious few customers of this Christian advocacy product actually have seriously wrestled with the advocated issues. The willingness of people to polemically engage economic issues, for instance, without ever having taken a class in economics or even making minimal effort to be acquainted with the most fundamental economic concepts is pervasive. It should not be a surprise, since the real issue is not about the poor but rather the felt-needs of the advocacy consumer to be an advocate for justice. It is no different from the consumerism advocates deride in the “consumer church” where discipleship is not truly about discipleship but about the customers felt-need to feel spiritual. In advocacy consumerism, the poor are made an object for satisfying felt needs of consumers. So maybe Cowan is right after all. Maybe they should be called “consumers of poverty.”
True pursuit of justice requires consumption. We must consume a variety of ideas and experiences that are in the marketplace of ideas as we collectively seek God’s wisdom. We have to be vigilant in finding our identity in God and not in our systems of understanding. Regrettably, much of what represents itself as prophetic advocacy is not a healthy consumption of knowledge and wisdom but merely advocacy consumerism.
The Economist: The price of prejudice
The Economist: Technology in the recession: Less is More
Yesterday I did a post on the increasing affordability of Consumer goods over the years. Mark Perry has taken the cost of a product at a point in the past and divided that by the average hourly manufacturing wage at that time to determine how many hours it would take to earn enough to by the product. Then he does the same calculation for the product today. Here are his findings for three more consumer goods:
The Economist: Richard Neuhaus
Adam Smith's Lost Legacy: Origins of the Word 'Capitalism'
In today’s post about Consumption vs. Consumerism (Part 2) I make the observation that the price of commodities has been dropping over the past 140 years, the recent spike in prices notwithstanding. One indirect measure of what has been happening with commodity prices (like iron ore, copper, and aluminum) is to look at the real cost of consumer goods that are produced from these commodities.
Mark Perry at Carpe Diem has been shopping E-Bay for old Sears and Montgomery Wards catalogs. Lately he has been publishing some posts that compare items from 1949 to roughly the same items in 2009. He then calculates the number of hours a worker would need to work at the average manufacturing wage in order to buy the goods. Here are his first three comparisons.
Here are ads for a 1949 9.2 cubic foot Sears frig versus a 2009 9.5 cubic foot Sears frig. (Source)
"Sears Coldspot Spacemaster Refrigerator, available on sale in the 1949 Sears catalog for $224.75. The average hourly manufacturing wage in 1949 was $1.26, meaning that the average worker had to work for 178.4 hours (22.3 days or 4.5 weeks) in 1949 to earn enough money (before tax) to purchase the refrigerator."
"A current Sears model 9.5 cubic feet refrigerator, available on sale for $339.99. At the current average hourly manufacturing wage of $18.03, the average worker would have to work today for only 18.9 hours (only 2.4 days) to purchase the refrigerator."
Washing Machines (Source)
It is worth noting that even this comparison under represents the changes. Today's models are far more energy efficient and usually have a great many more features that give the user more value.
The prices of such items have been dropping for years. The price of the raw materials that go into them have been dropping for years. Technological innovation in production and recycling of used up goods will only make the goods more affordable, even with much greater global demand.
Scot McKnight just completed a great series on Adam Hamilton’s new book Seeing Gray in a World of Black and White: Thoughts on Religion, Morality, and Politics. I have the book but haven’t read it yet. I have lot of respect for Hamilton and I’m looking forward to reading it.
However, in the course of McKnight’s review, he lifted this quote from Hamilton’s book and it is a line of reasoning I take issue with:
I’ve heard this stat repeated over and over again over the least thirty years. I think the first place I probably encountered it was in Ron Sider’s Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger. It is intended to give evidence of the incredible wastefulness of American society.
But what if I were to tell you that for each hour worked, an American worker produces four to five times as much as the average worker in the world? That is the flip side of this statistic. Americans consume 22% more fuel and produce 22% of the world’s goods even though they are 5% of the world’s population.
Prior to the industrial era, the great masses of humanity have had one option:
With the industrial era a new option emerged:
As industrialism matured, a third option emerged:
That basically leaves us with two options with good and bad consequences.
Ideally what we would like is low energy consumption with few people engaged in long hours of hard physical labor. The problem is that growth and decline in gross domestic product correlates almost perfectly with growth and decline in energy consumption. Barring innovation, we will need to consume a great deal more energy resources in order to bring the rest of the planet to our level of post-industrial life. “Barring innovation” are the operative words.
A century ago, the United States had 300 million acres of land in crop production. Up until that time the ratio of cropland to population had been fairly constant. Land had been plentiful and the pressure to innovate was not strong.
If we could return to 1900 with the knowledge that the population would more than triple in the next 100 years, then project forward based on land to population ratios of that time, we would see that we would need another 700 million acres by century end. That is roughly the land area east of the Mississippi! So how many acres are in crop production today? Same as in 1900, about 300 million. Not only are more than triple the number of people fed and with the same amount of land but surpluses are sold around the world. The government pays some farmers not to grow crops in order not to depress food prices with too much supply.
Energy is the new cropland dilemma. Oil is the energy that moves the world today. The recent spike in oil and gas prices had far more to do with institutional investors diving into the commodities markets when other investments were underperforming than it did with the actual demand for oil. That said, with India and China (one third of the world) significantly subsidizing gasoline for their citizens, demand pressure had been rising faster than would otherwise have been the case. There is more than enough oil for a rapidly growing world for centuries to come but the price is still likely to creep higher in real terms. Concerns about carbon emissions are likely to put even more upward pressure on the price of oil. The economic pressure for affordable alternative energy and for technologies that are more energy efficient has been rising.
The other challenge that frequently gets mentioned is the exhaustion of natural resources. Yet for 140 years the real cost of commodities has been falling and is expected to continue on that path (the recent investor driven spike notwithstanding.) And as Donald Hay has pointed out in Economics Today almost everything we use today can feasibly be replaced by renewable and recyclable materials. The economic pressures to force such transitions simply have not yet been present.
The challenge of the 21st Century is how to create a global economy of low energy (or at least renewable energy) consumption with few people engaged in long hours of hard physical labor. The fact that 5% of the world consumes 22% of world energy is not an indictment of American consumerism (though surely consumerism is present.) It is a consequence of having discovered how to substitute energy and technology for back-breaking human labor so the masses can be free to flourish in ways unimaginable prior to our era. The next step in economic evolution is figuring out how to extend this development to the rest of the world while transforming our energy sources.
Unfortunately, there are anti-growth activists at work who wish to block this emergence. They have decided the world economy has grown large enough. With discredited Matlhusian logic they project current relationships of production and consumption forward into the future and prophecy global disaster. “Sustainable” comes to mean projecting current realities into the future as a justification for blocking growth in the present when instead sustainable is a moving target directly related to the technologies and economies we have available to us at any given moment.
One of my favorite places in the Kansas City metro area is the Arabia Steamboat Museum. For two reasons. First, it is a museum about a steamship that sank in the Missouri River in 1856, carrying supplies to settlers in the West. The ship was recovered in 1988 and countless artifacts from this supply ship are now on display. It is described as an 1856 Wal-Mart, giving incredible insight into the daily lives of people from that era.
The second reason is the way the ship was found and the way the museum came into being. A blue collar family, the Hawleys, (who owned a cooling and heating business in Independence, MO) along with friends, did the work to identify the wreckage. They put together a team to recover it on their own, investing their personal fortunes to do so. It is a remarkable story. (Click on "Museum Info" at the website and select "Arabia's Video" to get the story of the Arabia and the Hawley's.)
Sadly, one of the brothers, Greg Hawley, was killed Saturday when his pickup was struck by an 18 year old racing another teenager on the highway. That teenager is being charged with first degree manslaughter. One man's life ended and his family devastated. Another man's life horribly altered by incredibly irresponsible behavior. It is truly heartbreaking.
Here is the Kansas City Star article Historian’s hard work, innovation survive in Arabia Steamboat Museum. Peace to the families of all involved.
Nova Scotia Scott has a post today, Turkey: Family jailed for life in honour killing:
Every time I read horrific stories like the one Scott has translated here, an interesting question comes to mind.
Few of us living outside this honor-shame oriented culture recoil at this stuff. We support efforts to end it. We want to change the indigenous culture. However, one of the most fervent arguments made against economic globalization is that it destroys indigenous cultures. This is frequently made on behalf of societies where economic and governmental practices do not sustain the lives of the inhabitants, or do so at levels that are far below what we in developed nations would consider befitting human dignity. Why is it that in these cases indigenous culture is held up something to be preserved?
Mind you, I'm not saying that Western models of living are the model for the rest of the world. There are likely many models cultures could adopt and still integrate with the global economy. My suspicion is that contrary to the stated desire to protect local cultures, the driving motivator of anti-globalization folks is opposition to market economies.
Activism against consumerism is all the rage these days. But what is meant by consumerism?
I’ve been reading Economic Parables by David Cowan. He makes these observations:
Cowan writes this in his reflection on the Parable of the Rich Fool in Luke 12:13-21. The rich man in story has amassed possessions far beyond what he good use and enjoy. He has so much that he has to tear down his storage facilities and build bigger ones to hold it all. Though not explicitly stated, surely an implication of the story is that he is doing this in the presence of many who are hungry and in want.
Kenneth Bailey adds this observation about the parable:
The rich fool has become thoroughly isolated from genuine community and finds his solace in his possessions. Isn’t this the very essence of consumerism? Upon making his decision to build more storage capacity, he dies. Jesus asks us to reflect on the value of the man’s possession then.
At its core, consumerism is about trying to meet legitimate desires for identity and security through illegitimate means of excessive acquisition and consumption. Our identity and security can only truly be found in God. Legitimate acquisition and consumption flows out of our relationship with God and our relationship with those with whom we have been called into community.
All of us consume. We all participate in consumption. There is nothing unseemly about being a consumer. Being a consumer does not mean being trapped in an ideology of consumerism. Consumption is essential to human flourishing and human flourishing is about far more than having the bare minimum of food, clothing, and shelter. Human flourishing is about having time for relationships. It is about being surrounded by things of beauty both inside our homes and in the world that surrounds us. It is about opportunities for learning, exploring, and creating. It is about having a degree of security. It is about being entrusted with resources through which we enhance our lives and the lives of others. These all require consumption beyond what we need in the pure materialist sense.
Anti-consumerism activists frequently treat “wealthy” and “consumerist” as synonyms. There are clearly wealthy people who have succumbed to consumerism but there are many people who aren’t wealthy, including from among the poor, who have fallen prey to consumerism as well. Watch an episode of Clean House sometime and see how consumerism has taken hold of some average folks’ lives.
Furthermore, there are many wealthy people who are not consumerists. Studies of millionaires show that the majority live well below their means in median priced homes, drive used cars, don’t buy expensive clothes, and are quite frugal with their expenditures. That is how they became wealthy. Less than 20% became wealthy through an inheritance.
My point is that consumerism is not so easy to spot as it might first appear. In fact, I suspect the most common definition consumerism is "someone who spends at least a little more than I do." Yet few of us doubt its presence among us.
Clearly advertisers want to induce people to buy their products. Products are strategically placed in stores to induce sales. The home shopping channels provide an endless parade of stuff for the compulsive shopper. Advertisers strategically place their aids in order to motivate children to bug their parents into getting them more toys. But is this peculiar to capitalism? No.
The roots of consumerism are far deeper than the arrival of free market economies in the past century or two. Surely when John Bunyan published Pilgrim’s Progress 330 years ago, Vanity Fair was the epitome of consumerism. The roots go back at least 2,000 years to Jesus and his rich fool. They go back centuries before that to the teacher in Ecclesiastes with his warning of vain pursuits. Free market economies did not originate consumerism nor are they dependent on it. Yet their integrative and productive powers do have the ability to place us ever in the midst of a destructive Vanity Fair. A dangerous development if the people in the marketplace are not equipped to with virtue and wisdom.
I submit that it is the church, not the market economy, which is most responsible for the rise of consumerism. Market economies essentially reflect the values o f the players who participate in the economy. The church lost its influence due, not in small part, to sacred versus secular dichotomies that led factions of the church to unthinkingly embrace models of behavior from an increasingly secularized business world or to scapegoat the economy as the culprit for fostering destructive behaviors counter to the virtues that church should have been instilling all along. Frankly, some anti-consumerism activism is merely factions of the church diverting blame to the economy for the church’s failure to have effectively integrated economic life with our Christian discipleship. The reality is that when the church fails to present a compelling vision of how life has abundant meaning in relationship to God and community, the culture is going to find a substitute.
We all consume but too many of us find our identity in the things we consume. We behave as the rich fool. But there were rich fools in Jesus time in a completely different economy. Therefore, should our attention be primarily on market economies that merely reflect a human impulse that predates market economies or should it be on the communities God established to bring transformation to humanity and have failed to do so?
Kansas City Star: U.S. mortgage meltdown linked to 2005 bankruptcy law
That nasty little thing of unintended consequences emerges again.
Defeating Global Poverty: Delivering propane as a social business