Posts Tagged ‘money

07
Nov
10

Here’s Your Trickle Down

Hey, Tea Party morons and most other Republican supporters (and no small amount of independent voters, too)!

Do you want to know why people who earn $250,000 or more should be taxed at a higher rate (like the wealthy used to be in the early- and mid-20th century)?

First of all, they represent around 3% of the U.S. population, so they most certainly aren’t the bulk of hard-working Americans who have trouble making ends meet.

But you know what the real reason is?

This figure:

The richest 1% of Americans now take home almost 24% of the income in the nation, up from around 9% of the income in 1976.

Yeah, do you still believe the myth launched by Ronald Reagan, and perpetuated by Republicans ever since, that if you let the wealthy keep more of their money, the whole nation will benefit?

If you do, you’re an idiot, as there is no clearer evidence of the fact that if you give them huge tax breaks so they can hang on to their excessive wealth, they don’t spread it around. Instead, they hoard even more of it.

Company executives get paid more and more outrageous salaries even though they don’t work THAT much harder than their employees (do you really think your company CEO works 40 to 100 times harder than you do? Get real). Companies won’t give workers raises that match or keep ahead of inflation, and take away more and more days off and more of their benefits, and make them pay more and more for health insurance…just so that they can keep making their top execs richer and richer.

Reagan’s trickle down theory DOES work.

But it isn’t money trickling down to all of us poor folks and us blue collar, pink collar and middle class professionals.

It’s the hot piss of the rich running down our backs as they laugh.

28
Nov
08

Misplaced Priorities

buying-onlineSo, Mrs. Blue tells me today about some woman she sees on a discussion thread today who’s commenting about how times are so tough she doesn’t mind standing in a long line to get some fancy, high-tech, 30-something-inch television for $400.

Look, I understand the desire to have things, and even the “need” to some electronic entertainment options. But if we are honest with ourselves, how many of us really do truly need a TV bigger than a 24-inch screen and do we really need some bells-and-whistles, thin as hell, plasma HD flat screen or whatever the hell is out these days?

No.

And making like it’s some big sacrifice to stand in line for a “deal” like this on Black Friday (the big post-Thanksgiving Day shopping blitz that traditionally occurs, for those who don’t know) is insulting to people who can’t even afford a new no-name bulky TV. You tell me you’re standing in line for a decent DVD player that is being sold for $30, and you’ll get more respect from me.

Our priorities are skewed, and even with the economy tanking, we’re still trying to figure out how to buy stuff we don’t really need. It’s just that now, because the economy has been tanking, those things cost less. But most of us don’t have as much money, so the fact the unnecessary shit costs less just means that you’re spending what little you have—something you should probably be keeping around for an emergency—just to have something that, in the current economy, you need even less than you did before.

26
Nov
08

Money Matters

cashWell, as part of this challenge to blog every single day in November, I’m supposed to post about money at least once this week.

Problem for me is that I rarely find much reason to talk about money in this blog. I’ve talked about tithing once or twice and I’ve talked about the love of money being the root of much of the evil in the world, but it’s just not a topic I think about much.

Maybe that’s because I don’t really have any right now.

Also, it’s because while I have a lot to say about faith, sex, churchgoing, sex, God’s love, Jesus, doing right by others, porn, sex, and so many other varied topics, money just doesn’t ring with me much in addressing matters of Christianity or the relationship of Christians to the world. People who have (or enjoy) prosperity ministries or the Word of Faith movement love to talk them some money stuff, because they often assume if you have enough faith and pray right, you’ll get your check from God.

Yeah.

But, I’ve got to talk about money. So here goes:

You need some.

Damn, you want more than that? OK.

Here’s the thing. We are exhorted in the New Testament that we should not be of the world, even though we have to live in the world. This extends to money as well. We need money to survive. And if we prosper, it’s always nice to give the credit to God and testify to our blessings (while reminding ourselves that not all our faithful brethren are also so blessed). But we shouldn’t fixate on money.

It won’t do to take the passages about how God will take care of our needs too literally. If we expect God to just hand us what we need, what we’ll get is a nice comfy cardboard box in an alley. Clearly, we need to work, and we need to seek ways to make a good living. And we look to God to fill in our gaps and bless us to advance and prosper in our work over the long run.

But don’t chase after money. That path so often leads to drifting. Drifting away. Away from helping others. Away from family. Away from God and His Word.

(Figured with people gearing up for the holidays, might as well knock this topic off today, since Lord only knows how many of you will bother checking any blogs, mine or otherwise, until after “Turkey Day.” For those of you not in the United States and unfamiliar, Thursday of this week is the Thanksgiving Day Holiday. Google it if you need to. It’s basically a day of gorging and watching American football.)

(Thanksgiving Day itself will bring a special holiday installment of “Acts of the Hummus Idol.” Will also be whipping out two more installments of the Cleansed By Fire novel soon, most likely one on Friday and another one on Sunday or Monday.)

20
Aug
08

Green Is the Color of Evil

People often say that “Money is the root of all evil.”

They are wrong.

Because that isn’t what the Bible tells us.

What it tells us is:

“The love of money is the root of all evil.”

The love of.

Paul, in his first letter to Timothy (chapter 6, verse 10 of 1st Timothy, if you’re curious), tells us:

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. (King James version)

A slightly more clear meaning might be gotten from International Standard Version though:

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, in their eagerness to get rich, have wandered away from the faith and caused themselves a lot of pain.

An important thing to note here is that the audience for this message consists of the Christian believers. The warning is that pursuit of wealth can lead to failures in our faith walk. That’s not to say that the message isn’t applicable to non-Christians, too; it is. After all, much of the evil in the world by people of any religion, or lack of religion for that matter, can be traced to the quest for wealth or economic power of some sort. Also, this passage shouldn’t be construed as saying that Christians cannot be wealthy.

But it is a warning. And a good one.

How many times have we seen major televangelists with huge audiences and wealth end up going into all sorts of excesses, whether financial, sexual, behavioral or otherwise? Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, Jimmy Swaggert, Oral Roberts, Robert Tilton and many more in the 1980s through the early 2000s alone, and now Joel Osteen, via his wife Victoria’s alleged violent and abusive misbehavior on a flight.

In the gospel of Luke, chapter 16, verse 13 (and in Matthew chapter 6, verse 24 as well) we are told:

No servant is able to serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stand by and be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

(Mammon, by the way, is a term that was used to describe riches, avarice, and worldly gain in Biblical literature. It was personified as a false god in the New Testament.)

If you make your focus the pursuit of wealth, you cannot focus on God. Plain and simple. I don’t believe someone like Donald Trump is born again. I just don’t. He is so about the money and nothing but the money that I cannot imagine how there could be room for God in him anywhere.

We can gain wealth; we can even become truly wealthy. But we cannot do it by wanting to be rich or desiring to have riches or we will lose sight of what really matters: The things of heaven and of the spirit. And when we have wealth, we don’t have to give it all away but we do need to use it wisely, give generously and use what we have to help others and not simply enrich ourselves.

Money is not in and of itself evil. But we need to get over the idea that white is good and black is evil. The fact is that all too often, evil is green, because money is often involved somehow. (Well, green in the United States, anyway; evil is a bit more colorful in most other nations with their pretty, pretty cash denominations)




Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

Jeff Bouley

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Jeff Bouley

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