Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Evangelical Monasticism

A fascinating story in the Los Angeles Times captures the spirit and challenges of a neo-monastic community of evangelicals in Montana. These men and women are urgently pursuing obedience to God and service to their neighbours.

It's particularly interesting to me as I've had a discussion about re-establishing monasticism with an evangelical friend of mine. There's information about the broader movement (yep, it's a broader movement) here.

Monday, January 21, 2008


Let's all for once pay heed to Lenin, alleged to have said "The worse it gets, the better." The markets are melting! O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

And all this over a little worry about an American recession. Imagine what will happen when the markets wake up and realize that the United States has about $66 Trillion (not a mistake- Trillion) in unfunded liabilities relating to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. That means that the implicit & explicit debt of America is about 600% of GDP. How the U.S. economy can survive this burden is difficult to imagine. A massive collapse is in order, far more severe than this little bump, when the markets realize that there is no way to square the circle, and that taxes will have to rise enormously. Maybe not tomorrow, but it will happen.* When it does, we're all in deep trouble.

I gather there are similar problems confronting other developed nations surrounding the huge demographic shift that is slowly transforming the West, but I gather the United States has the biggest fiscal shortfall associated with this dramatic aging of society even though the United States has the smallest demographic problem in the West.

*I discount the possibility that American voters and politicians will actually rein in spending on Medicare and Social Security as incredibly unlikely.

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