Sunday, April 08, 2012


You may have seen that Rick Warren -- who knows jack about economics but gets asked about the subject anyway -- said this in an interview with ABC's Jake Tapper:

But regardless of all the problems that we see out there, I think they all have at their root a spiritual cause. And we have overspent… We have not been a responsible -- we’ve bought things we didn't need with money we didn't have to impress people we didn't even like. And now we're paying the piper....

The biggest problem for all of our economic problems is our inability to delay gratification. I want it and I want it now, and I'm going to buy it even if I can't afford it. And not only have people done that, the government's done it.

I can barely work up the energy anymore to refute this pig-ignorant nonsense. People bought more house than they could afford because bankers and others in the financial services industry told them it was harmless. They maxed out credit cards and home-equity credit lines because those same purveyors of credit encouraged them to do so. In his main line of work, Rick Warren would at least talk about Satan as a tempter who leads people to do evil. In this case, there's no Satan -- people just lead themselves to evil. Warren can't bring himself to identify the terrestrial devils because he's a Republican and their bankers, and no Republican can ever say a bad word about anyone who's successful in business.

Warren also said this:

The only way to get people out of poverty is J-O-B-S. Create jobs. To create wealth, not to subsidize wealth. When you subsidize people, you create the dependency. You -- you rob them of dignity. There are a lot of negative things that happen to us. Rather, we should be focusing on wealth creation and job creation, in my opinion....

OK -- f that's what Warren believes, I hereby promise to write his church a big fat check, even though I'm an atheist, if I see him denouncing this and calling for it to be reversed:

Federal Funds to Train the Jobless Are Drying Up

With the economy slowly reviving, an executive from Atlas Van Lines recently visited Louisville, Ky., with good news: the company wanted to hire more than 100 truck drivers ahead of the summer moving season.

But a usually reliable source of workers, the local government-financed job center, could offer little help, because the federal money that local officials had designated to help train drivers was already exhausted. Without the government assistance, many of the people who would be interested in applying for the driving jobs could not afford the $4,000 classes to obtain commercial driver’s licenses. Now Atlas is struggling to find eligible drivers.

Across the country, work force centers that assist the unemployed are being asked to do more with less as federal funds dwindle for job training and related services....

Federal money for the primary training program for dislocated workers is 18 percent lower in today's dollars than it was in 2006, even though there are six million more people looking for work now. Funds used to provide basic job search services, like guidance on résumés and coaching for interviews, have fallen by 13 percent....

Warren says in the Tapper interview that his church helps parishioners with job training and other employment services. Wonderful. But his church doesn't help the whole damn country. The federal government does -- or it tries, with less and less money.

Go against your Republican instincts, Rick, and grab the airtime so many media outlets are willing to give you to demand full restoration -- or, for that matter, expansion -- of this job assistance funding. Do it, and I'll write your church a nice check.

But I won't ever have to write that check, because that's something you're too Republican to ever do.


Ten Bears said...

At the core, though, when you weed out all the bullshit he's right - "'We' have overspent… [People] have not been a responsible -- [people] bought things [they] didn't need with money [they] didn't have to impress people [they] didn't even like. And now [we are all] paying the piper..." Everything our grand-parents warned us against.

Steve M. said...

Yeah, but it couldn't have led to financial collapse without a financial services industry willing to extend the credit to us. In our grandparents' day, that was a risk for banks -- if they lent money to too many people who couldn't pay back, they could go out of business. But "too big to fail" means that if they lend recklessly, we just give them more money, and they don't suffer at all.