Opinions Expressed in "Rants" while informed by Catholic doctrine, are merely the opinions of the author.
Are we headed towards another Great Depression?
Sure seems like it doesn’t it? Whenever we hear news of this huge company needing a government bail-out, or that company going bankrupt, or the stock market falling 700 points, we’re reminded of 1939, which most of us only know about from stories from our grandparents, or what we learned in Social Studies. I certainly find myself wondering if I should go withdraw all my money from my bank account and hide it in my pillow case.
And it doesn’t help that we need an economics degree to understand all of this stuff either, increasing our feeling of apprehension and lack of control.
Of course, the TRUTH is, the news loves to create a sensational story, likes to work us all up into a panic. Good for ratings. Chances that the stock market is crashing like it did back in ’39 are pretty slim.
Nonetheless, we shouldn’t think that our comfortable status quo is going to last forever either. The fact is, our society is inherently unjust – our affluence in the western hemisphere is at the expense of others, the world's poor, as JPII kept trying to tell us. Ours is a society of consumers, buying up products made for us at extremely unfair wages and poor working conditions on the other side of the planet. This consumerism is feeding huge, soulless multinational conglomerates to rip down our rainforests, fill the air with poison, melt our glaciers, dry up all our drinking water. Wars are fought to keep prices low, with collateral damage that we’ll never know about; news is carefully controlled to distract us with the latest celebrity teen-pregnancy. And all the while we are careful protected from having to face these immanent problems, segregated into suburban paradises that hide reality from us – so we won’t feel too motivated to do anything about it.
I think we’re seeing some of the earliest signs – that our comfortable status quo won’t last.
But you know what? That’s okay with me. Extraordinary times happen throughout history every few decades. It’s during those extraordinary times that we get to see what we’re really made of – if we’re the kinds of people who will take care of each other, like many did in the depression and WWII, or if we’re the kinds of people who loot and riot.
It’s inevitable. History goes through these cycles. And they’ll seem bad while they’re happening, but they’ll build our future generations with metal and determination and character – the likes of which we haven’t seen since the depression/war era – people like our grandparents, people who appreciate what they have.
Bottom line, I think, is not to get too excited by what we see on the news. Even the end of the world itself has a happy ending – that’s what the Bible tells us anyway.