Sunday, March 8, 2009

The communion of the world

I guess it is possible to live through these months as though there is no crisis in the world's economic order. Shops still stock goods, so if one has steady employment, is not trying to buy or sell a house, and avoids reading the newspaper, then it could be business as usual.

I have been reading quite a few articles, and last night spent some time watching current affairs programmes such as the PBS News Hour. Part of my interest is personal (I like following politics), part is ecclesial (I am a member of our Diocesan Financial Team), and part is curiosity (what is actually going on? Is there a plan? Is Obama in action able to fulfil his potential as the greatest president since Lincoln?)

But all that is idle theorizing. Yesterday I met a friend and discovered that by the end of next week he will be out of work. Within this past week our local city, Nelson, has had announcements of lots of other jobs being lost in our major industries (fish, wood production). My friend will look for work, but his applications will be ones of hundreds.

Interestingly, our wood production job losses were explained like this: we pulp pine logs to make 'medium density fibre boards' which is shipped to China to make inexpensive furniture which is sold in the United States. The soaring unemployment in the States is a direct cause of soaring unemployment in Nelson, N.Z. So an interest in whether Obama and team have a way to draw the American economy out of the mirey clay is an interest relevant to daily life here. But do they have a way out?

No comments: