Early this morning the world broke into morning prayer time to inform me that the stock exchange in China dropped almost another 8% overnight and that I should expect more trouble today on Wall Street.
Several thoughts occur.
Being a bona fide complete and total non-economist, I have absolutely no idea whether this all represents the biggest financial story of the 21st century in development (eclipsing 2008), or the second biggest, or merely a blip on the big computer screen of the world.
I can’t help thinking.
Would it not be the height of irony if communism finally did bring down capitalism, not in the ways envisioned by any earlier revolutionaries, but rather by a communist system undertaking to do capitalism and ultimately not sustaining it well, or perhaps at all?
Are you and I compelled to follow the scenario that this trouble represents absolute threat to what might be called variously our ‘happiness,’ or ‘way of life,’ or our ‘hopes for the future’? For years now I have heard about China pouring money into the USA and owning a lot of ‘stuff’ in this country – certainly not least in the world-class megalopolis beside which I sit and write this morning.
Does my happiness and life and hope depend in the end on dollars and cents? (I know, now I’m getting crazy!). I must learn about economics so that I can speak to whether or not …
I agree with what I hear Pope Francis saying, that an economic syste
m that puts humans first is the only just one; and that a system that puts profit first is ultimately not only inhumane but immoral,
must I agree with ‘the Donald’ whose every word and gesture seem to indicate that the economic system works when it works for ‘Number One,’ for little old me, and the rest of you be damned?
For the moment, and I suspect for longer, my native sympathies – formed as they are by the Gospel of Christ, though I am a miserable disciple of his and carry on only by divine mercy – are toward Francis.
In fact, whatever might happen on the markets today, if it just happened to remove from Donald’s personal coffers the $1,000,000,000 he is willing spend on the run for the presidency, it just might be worth the sacrifice this would impose on my retirement and yours.
Is human life a numbers game? Or is it something more?
Maybe we are going to find out.