"He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water." Isaiah 49:10

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Biggest Economic Problem We Face

By Fidel “Butch” Montoya

President Obama has had his hands full as he works to shore up a failing economy. The Stock Market continues to drop even as the new stimulus package is signed and ready to go. Depending on what economist you hear, the billion dollar stimulus and spending bill may or may not make difference.

In a time when even the President used words like "catastrophic" if the billion dollar stimulus bill did not pass, American’s faith in their government grew weaker. In fact, in order to sell the deal to the Congress, the President went about it all wrong. He claimed the sky was falling…and for all of us ‘chicken littles,’ that sounded pretty alarming.

Now that the stimulus bill has been signed and the money is ready to be spread around the country to charge up local economies beset by the downturn in the economy, we are to believe all is well. After hearing bad news about how damaged our economy is, we are now expected to open our wallets and spend again.

Well, the truth is, this billion dollar stimulus bill is not the complete answer to a world-wide recession. For years we heard the benefits of the ‘global economy’ and how it would create a market for our exports. Now we know that being intertwined with the global economy means when one country’s economy slows down, it has world wide implications.

Japan, the second largest economy is suffering a major downturn in their economy. Goods and services are piling up in the warehouses as consumers refuse to spend what little money they have.

The seaports which receive the ship loads of containers full of exported goods are empty. Longshoremen are losing their jobs simply because the trade traffic has reached a low point. No one is buying and that is not good. The stimulus package signed by the President in Denver is supposed to jump start the economy.

What is confusing is the fact that no one can actually quantify the number of jobs that the bill is going to create. Everytime a spokesperson with the White House uses a number, it gets larger and larger. Yet when pressed to show how the bill will actually create jobs, no one can say for sure.

We now have a billion dollar stimulus bill that when compared to the world economy is a drop in the bucket. We are talking about trillion dollar loses and a world wide economy that is reluctant to respond to any positive moves.

In fact, polls indicate that Americans are becoming much more worried and stressed out about the economy. There is a national fear of losing one’s job and facing the consequences that may follow. Already, major corporations are shedding jobs without any prospect of hiring new employees.

We are looking at the highest unemployment numbers in years. Yet everyday we hear more people losing their jobs, and consequently, their homes, their cars, and in some cases their families.

America is facing a crisis that it has never faced in terms of the impact the economy is having here at home and around the world. As we read and hear about other world economies, we know we are in for some tough times.

I can think of no one other than the Republicans in Congress that want our President to fail. I am at a loss for words to describe the attitude displayed by the Republican leadership in the House and in the Senate. I can not imagine why they are not supporting efforts to get our economy moving again.

For the past eight years, the Republicans spent money like it was water, in turn creating a deficit unheard of. When you go back to when President Bush took office eight years ago, there was a surplus in the Federal Budget. Now eight years later, the Republicans have seemed to have forgotten their wild and spending ways.

Our economy is in trouble….BIG TROUBLE, but we are not united in our efforts to solve the problem.

As more and more Americans lose their jobs, we will see a first class nation began to understand that our standard of living is falling. We are losing major corporations like the automotive industry – which if they do fail, thousands of workers will lose their jobs. In addition, the domino effect will be catastrophic as the waves of workers who supply parts, sell cars, and directly or indirectly tied to the car industry lose their livelihoods.

It is time we unite and whether we voted for President Obama or not, support the best efforts of this Administration to deal with the problems we are facing. President Obama is facing issues ‘experienced politicians’ cannot handle, yet we have placed our hope and futures in the hands of a 47 year old man.

Is the end near? Are we doomed to a world wide depression? Will we survive the economic devastation? I do not know of anyone who can answer those questions, and that is the biggest problem we face.

Fidel “Butch” Montoya
H. S. Power & Light Ministries – Latino Faith Initiative
Denver, Colorado 80212

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