The answer’s been there all along.

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It can get discouraging watching the news – violence, poverty, corruption etc. The problems seem so complex and unsolvable but the answer has always been there, so simple!

It was delivered to us by a lowly carpenter two thousand years ago, yet we haven’t implemented it. The answer is love (or it might be more clearly stated compassion). You see if you love someone you share with them, even down to your last mouthful. Jesus statement “sell all that you have and give to the poor,” or Acts, “All that believed were together and had all things common,” sound pretty scary, but imagine if everyone actually did that. Not at the barrel of a gun (as in communism) but voluntarily out of love, there would be plenty for all. God has always given enough it’s just not shared out evenly.  (I just read in among the many articles regarding the “Paradise Papers” half the world’s wealth is in the hands of just eight people – imaging sharing that out!) Capitalism and our various economic systems are not Christian ideologies, quite the reverse in fact. Sharing would end world poverty and much of the disease prevalent in poor nations (also probably in rich ones too, as the wealthy no long overindulged lol!) What about the loafers? I hear someone ask. Again simple, Love does its best and works hard for the sake of others. Communism, though admittedly a lot more biblical than capitalism, left out the love part (not to mention God) – that’s why it didn’t work.

“Do unto others as you’d have them do to you,” that means wars would cease – you can’t kill/hurt someone you love! Crime would cease because you also don’t steal from someone you love. Overall health would improve as greedy corporations, brought to their knees by love, ceased polluting and destroying the earth and big pharma became benign at last.

Of course I’m a dreamer, such changes would take hundreds of years to implement even were all to be willing (and many are not) as Jesus said “how hard it is for the wealthy to enter into the kingdom”. The change would need to be gradual one heart at a time. But it annoys me when I hear folks blame things on God. He gave us a good plan in the beginning, but we thought we were wise (what comes of listening to “serpents”) and put our own plans into action instead. You can see where that brought us! Then Jesus came to give us the plan again, and at first it worked, till the church itself became part of “the establishment” and compromised to stay safely under that umbrella, gradually getting further and further sucked in.

I have little hope of these changes taking place, (at least till Jesus returns to finally take over before we wipe ourselves out). It’s hard for most folks to even think outside the box of our present economic systems etc. but then there are always those wonderful individuals, who warm the heart by their courage in following the true plan for mankind, those of whatever religion, creed, or lack thereof, whose love and compassion overcome their fears to give all and in giving all find all, for “God is love.”

Political Idiocy.

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Sometimes the stupidity of politics outrages me (mostly as I suspect the people involved are not really stupid!)

i understand (though I don’t condone it) that the political/economic system is set up to serve the super rich elite (those fabled 1% who have the semi rich firmly in their pockets and forced to play their capitalistic games by “the rules”.) I know this is why they choose to slice the income of the incapacitated with one hand while giving tax breaks and subsidies to big corporations with the other. Even so some things make no sense at all.

Some examples:

1) Constantly upping retirement age. With a limited amount of jobs available someone is going to end up on benefits. Us old age pensioners are relatively cheap to keep, many have their own homes/ private pensions and no dependents (other than the odd dog or cat). A young to middle age man out of a job generally has a family to support and especially nowadays is caught in the trap of highly expensive private rental. Do the math! I know the young man may not be qualified to do the job early retirement would leave open, but the jobs would shuffle down the line to reach his level.

2) Having a minimum wage (a very good thing) but not making it obligatory for employers to pay it. Instead the government tops it up with benefits. Not only is this financial nonsense but its humiliating for those that need to claim it and tends to deplete self esteem needed to climb the ladder.

3) Selling council houses (they’ve been doing it since Margret Thatcher’s day) when there is an incredible shortage of housing available. Instead many hard working families in full time employment are forced to claim housing benefit in order to pay increasingly exorbitant rates to private landlords (for non UK folks a 2 bed apartment is usually at least £1250 per month where I live and that is not an expensive area  – definitely suburbia). Again do the the math – was it worth it to sell the council houses? Duh!

I could go on but I think you are getting the drift.

(I must add that I’m thankful that at least the social benefits safety net exists – We could be in a far worse system so I do count my blessings! – but some common sense could save money needed to sustain the NHS for example, which this government seems intent to sell to the highest bidder regardless of their integrity.)

 

food for thought. (I always wondered how they recovered so quickly. Here’s the story)

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Iceland Sentences 26 Corrupt Bankers To 74 Years In Prison
by Maurice Bedard | Jan 8, 2016 | News – LoanSafe.org

(Source: AmericanNewsx) – Iceland just sentenced their 26th banker to prison for his part in the 2008 economic collapse. The charges ranged from breach of fiduciary duties to market manipulation to embezzlement.
When most people think of Iceland, they envision fire and ice. Major volcanoes and vast ice fields are abundant due to its position on the northern part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. (A hot July day in Reykjavik is around 55 degrees.) However, Iceland is also noted for being one of the Nordic Socialist countries, complete with universal health care, free education and a lot other Tea Potty nightmares. Therefore, as you might imagine, they tend to view and react to economic situations slightly differently than the U.S.
When the banking induced “Great Recession of ’08” struck, Iceland’s economic hit was among the hardest. However, instead of rewarding fraudulent banking procedures with tons of bailout money, they took a different path.
Prior to the recession, Iceland had one of the more thriving economies in the world, in spite of the fact that their total population (327,000) wouldn’t even fill a mid-sized American city. When the recession struck, they were among the earliest and hardest hit. However, instead of running to the vaults to shower the banks with money, they let the banks fail. They also resisted traveling down the European/Republican austerity road. Instead, they kept their social programs intact at a time when they were most needed.
And, they sent fraudulent bankers to jail.
When Iceland’s three major banks collapsed, it resulted in defaults totaling $114 billion in a country with agross domestic product (GDP) of only $19 billion. In October, 2008 the parliament passed emergency legislation to take over the domestic operations of the major banks and established new banks to handle them. They did not, however, take over any of the foreign assets or obligations. Those stayed with the original banks, right into bankruptcy.
They then brought charges against several banking executives for fraud and market manipulation, resulting in sentences ranging from four to five and a half years. As the special prosecutor said,
Why should we have a part of our society that is not being policed or without responsibility?
In the U.S., we simply tapped a few wrists with small fines, that ended up being paid by their respective banks.(Can you say “got off scot free?”)
Sending the bank executives off to play rock hockey for a few years didn’t solve the problem, but it did send a message not to do that again.
At its worst, Icelandic currency, the Icelandic krona (ISK) was trading at around 250 ISK per Euro. In order to qualify for an IMF (International Monetary Fund) loan, Iceland raised interest rates to 18%, which, of course, attracted bank deposits. Iceland also received a $2.5 billion loan from Europe’s Nordic countries.
To power its recovery, Iceland utilized its natural advantages such as its clean, cheap geothermal energy to attract the tech industry. Icelandic commercial fishing remained strong and as the general world economy picked up, the tourist industry bloomed. The deeply depreciated krona also helped make Iceland and Icelandic products very attractive, economically. On the banking front, they facilitated domestic debt restructuring and fiscal adjustments as conditions changed.
As to how it has all turned out, here’s what the International Monetary Fund Survey has to say about it:
Iceland has rebounded after the 2008/9 crisis and will soon surpass pre-crisis output levels with strong performance in tourism and fisheries. Debt ratios are on a downward path and balance sheets have broadly been restored. The financial sector is back on track though with some important items remaining on the docket.
As the above survey also states, Iceland is “the first 2008-10 crisis country in Europe to surpass its pre-crisis peak of economic output.”
The krona is now running 142 ISK per Euro. (up from 290/1 in 2008) The 2014 inflation rate was 2.05%.(down from 12.59% in 2008) The wage index is running at 190.9. (up from 132.8 in 2008)
Btw, they did all this while keeping their social welfare intact. (There goes another bagger day-dream.)
Iceland’s President, Olafur Ragnar Grimmson explained how the country managed to recover from the global financial disaster,
We were wise enough not to follow the traditional prevailing orthodoxies of the Western financial world in the last 30 years. We introduced currency controls, we let the banks fail, we provided support for the poor, and we didn’t introduce austerity measures like you’re seeing in Europe.
When asked whether or not other countries, Europe in particular, would succeed with Iceland’s “let the banks fail” policy, President Grimmson gave his answer,
Why are the banks considered to be the holy churches of the modern economy? Why are private banks not like airlines and telecommunication companies and allowed to go bankrupt if they have been run in an irresponsible way? The theory that you have to bail out banks is a theory that you allow bankers enjoy for their own profit, their success, and then let ordinary people bear their failure through taxes and austerity. 
People in enlightened democracies are not going to accept that in the long run.
(Source: AmericanNewsx)

Well done denmark!

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social

Not only this but I know from my daughter (who married a Dane and lives there) that social services there not only work, but are administered in a very practical, as well as compassionate way. An example she told me – if you are unemployed social services will give you basic income to live on, but (if you are not disabled etc.) only if you agree you to study a field where more people are needed. This further education is free and linked to your study (stop studying and the income stops). This is a win, win, idea for both parties. Eventually you graduate, get employed and begin to pay taxes. Denmark invests is her most important resource – her people!