Monday, October 10, 2011

The Value of a Dollar

For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.- 1 Timothy 6:10
I can't be silent any longer. This has just been eating away at me for sometime and I've had enough. I don't want to get political because I think we have enough "politicians" in the blogging and social media world already. But I feel that it is my job as citizen of a great community and nation, and as a minister of the Gospel to just go ahead and speak out on the politically in-correct. So here it goes...

In case you haven't heard, our country is in the middle of an economic recession. It's bad. It's not as bad as it could be, but this is the worst economic condition that this generation has ever seen. The current unemployment rate in America jumps up and down from anywhere from 9% to even a little over 10%. The current unemployment rate of my home state of Kentucky is anywhere from 9.5% to as much as 11%. The housing market is in disarray. Now's the time to buy if you can get a good loan. Now is NOT the time to sell being that you will probably not get anywhere near the value of your home let alone what you were hoping to sell for. This economic hurricane has trickled all the way down to our local communities. Yesterday I paid $3.19 for a gallon of gas. I was so excited! But then I came back to reality and realized that I'm still getting ripped off and I'm still hashing out anywhere from eight to twelve percent of my paycheck just to fill my gas tank. Small businesses are closing because they cannot compete with the low prices of the mega-stores. "Mom and Pop" restaurants are having to close their doors after only six months in business because they quickly see that running a small business in this economy has become a tough feat to accomplish.  The power of the American dollar is quickly becoming a joke in the world's financial institutions. Financially speaking, times are tough.

Basically Americans are unable to live the lifestyle that they were able to live ten years ago. And you know what this does to Americans??? It makes us mad! We want to be able to go and purchase whatever we want and whenever we want because the Declaration of Independence has given us the "right to the pursuit of happiness." And let's be honest, most Americans are happy when the checking account is full. We think that more money ultimately make us happier. lists "money" as the number two leading cause of divorce in America, second only to "communication." Money problems make us angry! I've seen more people become irate over an expired coupon that was not accepted at our restaurant even though it was only going to save them 97 cents. That's right 97 cents. As in, less than a dollar. But hey, in today's economy, every cent does matter.

But I also think that hard economic times have made us delusional. I question many decisions that our local, state, and federal government leaders have made in order to "encourage economic growth." The leaders of one local community are seeking to offer more liquor licenses so that the city can generate more revenue. But at what cost? How many more drunks do we need walking our streets at night or even getting behind the wheel of a car. At least it's helping us make more money right? What about the decision by many local communities to begin selling alcohol on Sundays? What use to be considered a sacred day by our communities has now become just another day to have fun. People use to go to church on Sundays to find peace. Now all they have to do is seek temporary relief at the local tavern. But hey, it's generating more money right?

How about the decision by one local community to open a strip club. Now men and even women can blow off some steam while gawking and lusting over young women like they are a piece of meat. As long as their spending money right? Don't forget our state lotteries! Did you know that Illinois and Kentucky (my two home states which both have legalized state lotteries) have the tenth and thirteenth worst unemployment rates in the nation? Guess what number one is.....go ahead take a guess......ok I'll tell you....Nevada! Now I haven't been to Nevada but I here that there are plenty of casinos there. Maybe they don't have enough casinos in Nevada to help the state out of the financial mess that it's in. They should go ahead and open more casinos. Like, they should have an ENTIRE CITY FULL OF CASINOS. Hmmmm... That would help them for sure. At least they would have more money right???

NO! Enough of these policies that are meant to "generate revenue." The only things that these policies are generating is the debilitation and ultimately moral breakdown of our communities and our nation. Let me ask you this: How many families have been saved from break-up because of the local bar? How many families have been helped by the local strip club? How many families have been financially rescued by the lottery? COMMUNITIES CANNOT BE BUILT UPON THE VICES OF MEN! If this is the case, then it is the vices of men that ultimately become the life-force of the that community. That's what happened in Sodom, Gomorrah, Athens, and Rome. Morality had taken a back seat to the lusts, desires, and economic expectations of the cities. In his recent book titled Storm Warning, Billy Graham says that "American's god; wealth and abundance have become the measure of Americas success." I believe that this statement is hauntingly true.

I won't deny that something has to be done to save our communities from financial collapse. But I think that we must do so in the ways that made this nation the super-power that it was. Ingenuity, excellence, and effort should become the pillars of our economic strategy. But more importantly, something MUST be done to save our communities from moral bankruptcy. It's like my man JC asked "What does it profit a man to gain the world, and yet lose his own soul?" So what's the value of your dollar?