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Wit and Wisdom

Same Song, Different Words

Sitting in a former chapel of the National Labor College in Silver Spring, MD, recently, enthusiastically participating in the free-for-all opening night of the annual Great Labor Arts Exchange, singing along to stories of triumphant faith, feeling the fellowship of fellow activists--I was struck not for the first time, but more strongly, by how much we had in common with those we are supposed to be least like...and least like.

It was Friday night, not Sunday morning; the walls were bare of religious insignia; there was no (or only discrete) mention of God-- but there was no doubt we were in church.  We felt the warmth of the gathering, we contemplated a power greater than ourselves, we were inspired to believe and act in better ways.  I think an evangelical Christian would have immediately recognized the mood even if confused or offended by the message.

The goal should certainly be familiar: a happier world of justice and peace.  Differences only arise in identifying the obstacle to that worthy end.  Among politicized religious conservatives, it is big government and a bureaucratic culture that stands in the way of moral and economic progress. My fellow labor singers and I place the blame on big business and unfeeling, unrestrained capitalism.

In both cases, though, the cure concocted is the same:  educate, organize, mobilize.  I think the focus of the Tea Partiers and religious rightists is way off-target, and that many of them have nasty (racist, xenophobic, homophobic) agendas.  But many others, I’m convinced, are motivated by a sincere desire to do right, and to do it with others.  So they gather, and share, and sing.  Just like us.  And that gives me hope that one day we can all sing the same songs, together.

28 Comments to Same Song, Different Words:

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Guest on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 9:37 PM
Thought you might find it helpful to know that the housing crash that is responsible for our economic crisis was predicted years ahead of time: In 2006 ... Peter Schiff Was Right 2006 - 2007 (2nd Edition) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2I0QN-FYkpw In 2003 ... Ron Paul Calls the Housing Collapse in 2003 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9S3lXDOQ7ec In 2001 ... Ron Paul: "This real-estate bubble will burst, as all bubbles do" (part 3) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KONpt9a6HrI In 1999, when Gramm-Leach-Bliley was being considered ... CONFERENCE REPORT ON S. 900, GRAMM-LEACH-BLILEY ACT SPEECH OF HON. RON PAUL OF TEXAS IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Thursday, November 4, 1999 "Government policy and the increase in securitization are largely responsible for this bubble. In addition to loose monetary policies by the Federal Reserve, government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have contributed to the problem. The fourfold increases in their balance sheets from 1997 to 1998 boosted new home borrowings to more than $1.5 trillion in 1998, two-thirds of which were refinances which put an extra $15,000 in the pockets of consumers on average— and reduce risk for individual institutions while increasing risk for the system as a whole." ... ... "Government regulations present the greatest threat to privacy and consumers’ loss of control over their own personal information. In the private sector, individuals protect their financial privacy as an integral part of the market process by providing information they regard as private only to entities they trust will maintain a degree of privacy of which they approve. Individuals avoid privacy violators by ‘‘opting out’’ and doing business only with such privacy-respecting companies. "The better alternative is to repeal privacy busting government regulations. The same approach applies to Glass-Steagall and S. 900. Why not just repeal the offending regulation? In the banking committee, I offered an amendment to do just that. My main reasons for voting against this bill are the expansion of the taxpayer liability and the introduction of even more regulations. The entire multi-hundred page S. 900 that reregulates rather than deregulates the financial sector could be replaced with a simple one-page bill." The housing crash was not caused by the free market, but by government interventions into the market. Yes, crashes are related to capital market failures, which is why the Left blames the free market on them. But the failures come because they were misled, by artificial interest rates, into making malinvestments. These malinvestments are artificial bubbles - such as the Roaring 20s, which was also caused by artificial interest rates and not the free market - and because they are artificial, they MUST crash. Bubble prices are, by nature, unsustainable. The malinvestments represent a destruction of wealth caused by false prices; The crash represents a return to real market prices. But the more government tries to prop up prices, the longer it will take to recover, and the greater the economic destruction will be. Learn why capital markets crash, and why America benefits at the expense of other nations; It's not because of our supposedly free market, but because of fiat money: Smashing Myths and Restoring Sound Money | Thomas E. Woods, Jr. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAzExlEsIKk "What About Money Causes Economic Crises?" with Peter Schiff - Ron Paul Money Lecture Series, Pt 3/3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npJ0CUT8d_Y
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