Friday, October 26, 2012


This week it struck me that every day God feeds people, clothes people, and puts a roof over our heads, not to mention provides a myriad of other daily blessings which constantly surround us; He does this for both Christian and pagan alike, and yet we struggle to have faith in Him.

On the other hand, people put so much faith in politics, yet when was the last time the President did anything for you?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

You Think You Have it Bad

I am about halfway through a wonderful book, that I only started 2 days ago.  It's a history of the Dust Bowl by Timothy Egan called The Worst Hard Time.  Very few histories of this time have yet been written, and most likely because the survivors refuse to talk about it.  The author asked one gentleman, now in his 90s, for an interview because he had kept a daily diary of this part in his life.  The survivor agreed, but then shortly saw his wife burning the diary in the fireplace.  When he asked her why she responded, "nobody needs to hear about that time.  It was too horrible to talk about."

He tells an excellent history, most of which I had never known before.  For example, during World War I the Russians were not able to supply Europe with wheat, because of the fighting.  As a consequence, the U.S. secretary of Agriculture, who was Herbert Hoover, set up the first-ever government price-fixing on wheat to encourage Americans to grow more of it.  He set the price unnaturally high ($2.00 per bushel at that time), and everyone started plowing for wheat.  Ranchers converted to wheat farmers, farmers planted entire crops in wheat, even big city types bought farms in Oklahoma, just to plow and plant in wheat fields.  Of course the market was soon glutted, and after the stock market crash of 1929 the price of wheat fell to 20 cents per bushel--less than half the cost of growing it.

As a result, farmers couldn't afford to plow their fields while piles of wheat rotted in barns and at the railroad station.  By this time Herbert Hoover was now president and refused to offer government assistance, because he wanted the free market to fix the problem of the wheat surplus.  The same Herbert Hoover who caused the problem 10 years earlier by government intervention in the market.

The early 1930s brought one of the worst droughts the High Plains had seen in a long time, and since farmers couldn't afford to farm, acres and acres of farmland was left exposed to erosion.  This created the Dust Bowl, which at one point destroyed 13 million of the 16 million acres of farmland in Oklahoma (not to mention the surrounding states).

Most of these High Plains settlers lived in dugout homes, which were essentially holes dug straight into the prairie.  One family of 7 had to share just over 500 square feet of living space.  Although the stock market crash ruined the farmers' finances, most could still subsistence-farm and grow enough food for their own family, until the Dust Bowl hit.  Once the land was destroyed, the farmers also began to starve.  One family with 4 children said they each had their "Dinner Night."  There was only enough food to have one family member eat dinner each night, so they rotated, and once every 4 nights you got to eat.  The worst hard time is certainly a fitting name.

Friday, October 12, 2012

I am Rich.

Republicans want what's best for the middle class.  Democrats want what's best for the middle class.  This argument continues on the same issue, ad nauseum.  This may sound repetitive, since I was posted on this here, but there is no middle class.

The Bible talks about the rich and the poor.  What we call the "middle class" is just an excuse for rich people, who aren't as rich as other rich people, not to have to call themselves rich.  Considering the fact that "middle class" people in the United States usually own their house, a couple of cars, three healthy meals a day (at the very least), and a closet full of clothes to wear, means that they are wildly wealthy compared to most of the world today, and even most people throughout history.  If you cling to the label "middle class," then you can excuse yourself from all the Bible verses that exhort and challenge the rich, especially in regards to their obligation to provide for the poor and be generous with their blessings, because of course that's not you--that's the guy down the street who owns a nicer house with cooler cars.

There is no doubt that healthy societies are those that have a small disparity between the living conditions of the very rich and the very poor, which is what contributes to the idea of the middle class.  But in our current political climate this guise of "helping" the middle class, just promotes the idea that everyone needs the government's help.  The middle class needs the government's help and the poor need the government's help.  Who should complain when the corporation CEO decides that he, too, wants in on the government's help?