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America and the global society are faced with a volatile market. There is no consciousness of the long term or the short-term effects of the economic crisis.
Those who have a negative view of the economy believe the present crisis has the potential of being more devastating than the 1929 Great Depression because we now have an international economic system where all major economies can rise or fall based what happens in a country in which they may have little or no major influence.
The American model of capitalism has been the world standard since the beginning of the 20th century. Most of the major industrialized countries have heavily invested in American banks and businesses. When major American companies prosper the world economy benefits because of the high volume of money invested in American businesses.
My first lesson on the 1929 Great Depression did not come from reading history books. It came from a man who was the son of a slave. He was born in 1882 and died in 1976. He was my grandfather, a man who believed in prayer and relied on common sense. He lived through the indignities of Jim Crow laws that denied him full American citizenship. He rode on the back of buses and drank from separate water fountains, used separate restrooms, was served food in the brown paper bags because he was denied service inside restaurants. He was not allowed to sleep in public hotels and motels when he traveled. Jim Crow signs “colored only” reminded him he was not totally free from slavery. It is from this man that I learned some of the most important lessons in life.
He lived through the 1929 Great Depression. A combination of the depression and the destruction of his cotton crop brought on by a Bo weevil forced him to abandon a small farm in South Carolina and move to North Carolina in search of employment to support his family. He later worked on a railroad project during the presidency of Franklin Delano of Roosevelt. He witnessed the devastation of the American economy but survived because he understood his survival was in the hands of God and prayer.
If my grandfather were alive today, he would probably offer the following advice:
(1.) Ban unnecessary pork projects, politicians should find private funds for their pet projects.
(2.) Reward government agencies that stay within budgets
(3.) Set up a software program that would monitor bonuses, expenditures, and profits of major corporations—government and private. Safeguards need to be built into the software to alert shareholders of overspending and over-budgeting. Shareholders should be aware of massive projects and salaries of major corporations. The software, in addition to an oversight board, combined with rewarding whistleblowers has the potential of maintaining the integrity of major businesses and corporations when the markets recover.
(4.) Overhaul the present credit and mortgage systems. It is immoral to pay more than $200,000 for a 30-year $60,000 mortgage. Homeowners should be able to pay off modest priced homes within 15 years with reasonable interest rates. Paying off mortgages will leave consumers with more money to spend which would boost the economy. The slavery of paying unethical interests on credits cards also needs to stop.
(5.) The present tax system needs to be overhauled where it is more consumer-friendly. American citizens should not have to file a long complex tax form that is not user friendly. A fair tax system needs to be in place where federal and state governments receive most of their revenue from the taxation of consumer products and foreign imports.
(6) Promote energy and employment plans of each presidential candidate. Create new jobs through drilling for new sources of oil. Construct new nuclear plants and invest in wind, electric and natural gas energy projects.
(7) Simplify banks where they will no longer be overburdend with too many services. Banks can be better regulated and employees would be more efficient if there was a reduction of services offered.
(8) Sponsor regular ethics seminars on the rewards of honest business practices and the penalties or jail time for unethical business practices
(9) Hire employees and elect leaders who have the ability to confront a crisis and find solutions.
(10) Money management skills need to be taught as a curriculum in schools. Young people need to know about the value of money. There is a generation of youth and young adults who do not have a clue about money management some believe you can continue to withdraw money from an account without depositing money. The value of honest hard work needs to be stressed.
(11) The media, the federal government, elected officials, major companies and community leaders need to encourage consumers to buy and invest in American made products. America needs to regain control of the businesses and industries that made this country great. Tax breaks and incentives need to be given to companies that stay in America. Patriotism needs to be stressed over excessive profits.
(12) I believe in capitalism but the economic events of the last few years, suggest regulations and safeguards need to be in place to battle personal and cooperate greed. A sliding payscale similar to the one used for schoolteachers and government employees need to be in place for major banking, investment, mortgage and credit executives who manage companies that have large retirement holdings. Salaries and bonuses should be based on a small percentage of the company’s profits, and not the extreme salaries paid to a few executives under the present financial system. Businessmen who make most of their money through the sale of goods and services should not be under the same restrictions as those who work in mortgage, banking and investment companies. Every business regardless of its nature should make sure its employees and stock holders’ financial interests are protected against over zealous dishonest executives. No executive is worth more than the collective millions of shareholders who invest in a corporation.
Finally, America must turn to prayer; it is going to take a super natural intervention to solve the present economic crisis. The bible records the history of the Judeo Christian faith where God intervened when people prayed for solutions during difficult times. There are times in the scripture where God delayed his judgment. King Hezekiah became seriously ill he prayed to God and he was blessed with fifteen additional years of life. (2 Kings 20:1-6)
Some religious leaders are teaching these are the last days. These could be the last days, but it has been my experience God works in mysteries ways and does not think as man thinks.
God is loving and kind; he answers prayers of the righteous. This is a time to call for regular prayer sessions to address the state of our economy. God is the only one who can solve our major economic crisis. Man needs the guidance of God in addressing all of his major issues.
Most of the suggestions, shared in this article were revealed to me when I was resting in bed one night. I do not know if the suggestions are relevant in addressing the present economic crisis but I do know prayer works, prayer has worked in my personal life. Countless members of my church have testified to the miracles of prayers. I believe with all of my heart the present economic crisis can only be resolved if the righteous rise up united in prayer, the kind of prayer that brought my grandfather through the Great Depression of 1929.