Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Today's big news

Pam and I are in northern Brazil in the city of São Luis. Once known as one of Brazil's poorest areas this island city of over one million is booming. Everywhere you look there is construction going on. The city streets are jammed with cars which are mostly new. Brazil is looking more and more like a prosperous country--like the USA.

That gives me pause. What I am seeing in Brazil is progress made by borrowed money. What I am seeing on the news today about the USA is the disaster of progress made by borrowed and improperly loaned money.

For years I have heard some people in the USA warning us all that the use of unrestrained credit would finally cause a major adjustment (collapse?) of the financial systems in the USA. Looks to me like they were right. Living beyond one's means became the new American dream and now it is becoming the new Brazilian dream.

Now the blaming will begin. Poor President Bush! On the one hand he is ridiculed as being not very smart. Then he is credited with single handedly destroying the American economy because he couldn't control the American impulse to buy, buy and buy and loan, loan and loan. Has any leader ever been able to stop the greed of the rich and the illusion of the good material life being the source of happiness? There is plenty of blame to go around but blame won't fix this mess. Satisfaction found in God is the place to start.

I see some better days ahead for the USA and some worst days ahead for Brazil. I see the USA learning again that credit is not a solution. I see a new generation of Americans that can learn to defer gratification. I think this could be a time for a new generation of happier Americans to emerge with less stuff and more character. I hope I am right and I hope the followers of Jesus will lead the way back to happiness that is beyond economics.

I see some tough days ahead for Brazil because they are going to have to learn what Americans are learning today. When banks have money they will loan it to you to make more money. Some will get very, very rich and then leave the mess for others to clean up. Right now there are many Americans who are laughing at this calamity because they got out with their profits made from enticing people to borrow and borrow and borrow. These folks will learn to. The world has a way of evening things out just as God designed it to.

I remember when it took me months to get my first credit card in the 1970's. I hope it starts to take at least weeks in the USA to get those $20,000.00 limits I now have on two cards I pay off every month. Those companies hated me for paying off the card every month. Some of those companies are now out of business.

I am glad São Luis, Brazil is growing and progressing. Who does not enjoy seeing pretty buildings and shiny cars? I just hope the old Brazilian idea of paying cash holds on for a while.

By the way, the conferences here were fantastic even if most of those who attended came by bus or on bikes. They seemed to be able to live and be happy without a great deal most of us find essential.

I hurt for the USA! Still, I think this could be a great moment and it could produce an even stronger America.


Orlando said...


As always for remaining in Christ Jesus you speak/write the truth with regards to living on credit, and how God has a system to correct the wrong in this world.

I do pray for Brazil to learn from our mistake and greed in USA.

Regardless, continued Divine wisdom and as you say:

The entire Christian life I will live abides in me right now. For me to live is Christ. It is not I who lives but Christ who lives in me!

In Christ, for Christ & through Christ my brother and pastor in Christ Jesus!


bud mccord said...

Those of us in Christ are rich beyond our wildest dreams. Enjoy this day!