Wednesday, November 21, 2012

November 21, 2012

Franklin Graham: Pray for America and Obama
by Todd Beamon
November 20, 2012

The Rev. Franklin Graham, the president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, is calling for prayer for the nation and for President Barack Obama this Thanksgiving week:

"Our country finds itself in perilous times, facing uncertainty and anxiety stemming from economic challenges, global instability, and threats to our freedom and security as a people. Having just come through a divisive national election, I am urging pastors across this country to lead their congregations in praying daily for our president, Barack Obama, and all of our elected leaders – for wisdom, Divine guidance, and that God would accomplish His will and purposes.

“While politics is noticeably partisan, prayer must never be partisan. Americans need to come together, and people of faith should lead the way, by praying diligently for our leaders whether or not they agree with them or their policies. God's Word commands us to pray for 'kings and all who are in high positions' (I Timothy 2:2).

“When we look at the moral and economic decline of our nation and the international threats before us, it should be clear that we cannot solve these monumental problems without the help of Almighty God.

“As Americans this Thanksgiving, may we be reminded to thank God for His blessings; and may we also remember to pray for our nation and the protection of our freedoms. Our future may very well depend on our prayers.”

Read more:

Sad: More Americans Than Ever Use Food Stamps for Thanksgiving
by Kate Hicks
November 20, 2012

Just another one of the myriad blessings many of us can be grateful for this Thursday: a Thanksgiving turkey. A new study from the Sunlight Foundation indicates that, thanks to economic hardship, more Americans than ever will be forced to set their Thanksgiving tables using food stamps -- hardly a budget that allows for an opulant feast on a day centered around dinner.

The Food Stamp Challenge, which challenges higher-income families to live as if they are on food stamps, estimates that a person on food stamps has a budget of about $1.25 per meal. In other words, a family on food stamps must buy an entire meal per person for less than the cost of an average cup of coffee.

This Thanksgiving, 42.2 million Americans will be on food stamps, according to the Economic Policy Institute. This is roughly the size of the populations of California and Connecticut combined.

Not surprisingly, feeding millions of Americans isn't cheap. The cost of the SNAP program last year reached $72 billion, the highest to date, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Although the election -- and subsequently, the rhetorical reminders of economic hardship -- are both over, these figures remind us that the reality is, many of our fellow Americans are still hurting. It's worth saying a prayer for those who are struggling, and certainly a reminder not to take a single bite for granted.

Read more:

‘Capitalism Doesn’t Work for Everyone’: This Is the Limbaugh Monologue GOP Consultants Will Hate
by Becket Adams
November 20, 2012

Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson in an article published on Monday proposed a solution to the GOP’s “demographic problem”: Create and champion a new form of capitalism that “work[s] for everyone.”

And by “work[s] for everyone,” Mr. Gerson means a system where economic growth ensures prosperity for all.

While this might sound like a nice idea, talk radio host Rush Limbaugh was not impressed. Indeed, during a monologue that’s sure to agitate GOP consultants eager to give the party a facelift, the radio host stated in no uncertain terms that “capitalism doesn’t work for everyone.”

“Stop and think, now. Is that even possible? Is there a system, is there a person, is there a government, is there a place where whatever is going on works for everyone?” Limbaugh asked.

“It used to be opportunity. Opportunity is what people wanted. Opportunity is all they wanted. Just give me a shot. Just let me prove myself. Just let me have at it. Let me try to be the best I can be. Let me use whatever talents and ambition I’ve got. Let me employ excellence as it applies to me, as I know it,” he added.

“That’s out the window, and now people are demanding outcomes. And of course we have some messiahs coming along guaranteeing or promising outcomes.”

“Making capitalism work for everybody is not capitalism. That is a ‘Command Economy,”’ Limbaugh explained. “Capitalism working for everybody is not capitalism, and by the way it’s not possible. There’s not one bit of proof that it can be done.”

Now before consultants and “analysts” start piling on Limbaugh for admitting the reality of failure, it’s important to note that much of conservative host’s monologue is identical to the philosophy of Milton Friedman, the Nobel Prize-winning economist responsible for rescuing the U.S. economy from the Carter administration.

For instance, when Limbaugh says capitalism can’t guarantee prosperity, but that it offers the best opportunity for prosperity, he is walking directly in the shadow of Friedman. Indeed, as far as economic systems are concerned, capitalism has been the most successful in bringing prosperity and wealth to the common man.

“The record of history is absolutely crystal clear,” Milton Friedman once said during an interview on the The Phil Donahue Show.

“[T]there is no alternative way so far discovered of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system,” he added.

Furthermore, Limbaugh, like Friedman, argues that people — not governments — are responsible for people.

Limbaugh’s monologue centers around the idea that success can be achieved through hard work and personal responsibility. This was the entire basis of Friedman’s economic philosophy:

Final Thought: Now we’re not saying Limbaugh is the next Milton Friedman. What we’re saying is that his monologue sounds like many of the speeches given by Friedman, one of the most successful and effective economists of the 20th century.

And maybe Limbaugh has a point. Rather than transforming the free enterprise system into something that it’s not, perhaps the GOP should fight to defend it and promote it as Friedman did.

Who knows? Maybe they’ll win a few elections.

Read more:

No comments:

Post a Comment