Main Street vs. Wall Street: The U.S. House kills rescue bill

Monday, September 29, 2008 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Here's my take on the failure of the $700 billion rescue bill in the U.S. House of Representatives today (That is wrongly perceived as a "bail out" for wealthy people): I think the angry public is cutting off their nose to spite their face.

Lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives must respond to districts of voters, especially since they must run for office every two years. Senators are less influenced by smaller districts since there are only two senators per state and serve for six years. In my view, the U.S. House is more susceptible to leading by emotional consensus than is the Senate. House members who hold office for short two-year terms become overly concerned about re-election. This causes representatives to choose to satisfy ill-informed constituents, more than make decisions based on larger concerns like the overarching national necessity for a properly functioning market.

I think that President Bush offered a workable solution.

Many people are upset with "Wall Street" in terms of greed, corruption, executive pay and such. There is a perception of "Main Street vs. Wall Street," but this is not exactly the case. Many folks think the $700 billion deal is designed to make rich people richer. Everyone wants a "cut" of that pie.

I think that doing the deal is more about protecting our investments such as our home values, savings, retirement accounts, college loans, home mortgages (for qualified borrowers!), small business lines of credit, etc. Most folks haven't looked into how financial markets work, so that news of abuse in financial institutions or failures make "Wall Street" appear entirely corrupt.

Then there's the whole problem of people thinking the deal is about "socialism." Again, as with financial markets, a lot of folks don't know what socialism is, so rather than respond with informed statements, we react with fear.

If public opinion is going to drive this process, we may have to endure a serious financial market crash that makes the public feel the pain. Then, the same people who opposed the deal will enthusiastically support it.

Some say that the "market will correct itself." Yes it will, but this won't punish Wall Street more than it punishes us. Wall Street is not a person with a mortgage to pay or kids to raise. The "fat cats" might become a little slimmer, but they have the resources and expertise to survive any financial crisis.

Under any scenario, I think it is only the lower and middle classes of citizens that will suffer without this, or another form of financial rescue bill.

We need to pray for wisdom for our congress, and that God would allow the spirit of discontent, unforgiveness and anger to lift from our national consciousness.



Community Organizers

Friday, September 05, 2008 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

It is callous and unwise to make light of community organizing, which is a subset of the professional field of social work. Community organizing requires a broad range of competencies, empathy, and a high level of planning to manage both small and large operations.

Community organizers are responsible for "meals on wheels" type efforts, reforming ex-offenders, church ministries, at-risk youth programs, revitalization projects, and more. Our government actually does far less in comparison to what people are doing for one another in the community.

People who circle their socio-economic wagons to separate themselves from others are usually clueless, as we have seen. If it were not for the work of community organizers, a lot of the troubles and troubled people in the city would spread more aggressively into suburbs and small towns.

So rather than belittle community organizers, we should thank God that they do a job to benefit our society as a whole. The work is worthy of anyone who aspires to executive or political leadership. I believe it is a moral imperative to serve before asking to lead.

Finally, community organizers and the millions of people they have served are also voters who pay attention to callous messages.


Family First

Tuesday, September 02, 2008 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

On Monday, as Hurricane Gustuv threatened to devastate the Gulf Coast, John McCain released a statement from Gov. Sarah Palin and her husband about the pregnancy of their 17-year-old daughter.

Sarah and Todd Palin stated their strong support and love for their daughter, as well as her intentions to marry the teenage father. We would expect this response from loving parents.
What I don't understand is why the Palins chose to expose Bristol to the harsh limelight of a national campaign during a crisis in their daughter's life. Looking back at Sarah Palin's introduction by McCain, we see Bristol hiding her abdomen with her infant brother and his blanket. Is a political stage the best place for her? The governor's decision to bring her 5-month-old special-needs baby on the campaign trail seems like another odd choice.

Obviously, these decisions were the Palins' to make. However, I think this sends the wrong message on family priorities at a time when promiscuity among teens is sometimes a cry for deeper parental engagement.

McCain has taken the theme "Country First" for his convention, but I suggest that home and family should trump opportunistic political ambitions when special needs arise.