this picture above was from the depression era of the 1930’s and i remember seeing it when we studied this in high school. we talked about the broken and shattered lives that were created because people were rushing into debt to join in the boom on the stock market and greed and speculation put everyone into harms way.
now there is all this talk about recessions, bubbles, housing downturns and economic stimulus packages. i don’t get economics or how the markets work very well, but we work towards making sure we have been responsible with our money and think about our future. we have investments and insurance and are working to be much more simple and responsible. we have almost paid off our consumer debt and will be able to breath easier soon.
but as i think about our economy i wonder about the morality in it. the push with this economic stimulus package is to give us all money to prime the economy. we all go out and spend it on stuff and we’ll be saved from a recession. huh? that just seems wrong to me. stuff is not the answer. maybe it’s time for our economy to seriously look at how it can sustain itself on people being free from debt, people investing in their communities and non-profits, all of us living within in means and by helping the lowest rungs of our society become better educated and equipped for jobs that will give them sustainable income to raise families and move beyond assistance and living paycheck to paycheck.
dawn heard an npr report about helping people live within their means and that inspired me to think about living below our means. what would our life look like? how would our priorities shift? what could God use that extra income for in his kingdom and his economy? what does it look like to liveCHRIST with our money and investing? should we worry at all about tomorrow or really follow God’s lead on how his provision for us will be sufficient? sufficient doesn’t seem to ever be a word people want to deal with when more and better is available too!
i’m not sure about all of this but i do know that this economy and our every more voracious consumer culture leaves a big pit in my stomach and way too many questions on my mind. we just shouldn’t go on devouring stuff and hoping to spend out way to a healthy economy and prosperous future. and even though i don’t understand it all, to me it seems just dumb.