How We Could Recover And Why We Won’t

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. —”The Declaration Of Independence

Since the “recession” began in 2007 we have lost over 9,000,000 jobs.  However, the job market began shrinking before that with the quiet and consistent transfer of jobs by large corporations to other countries where the labor costs were much cheaper.  So predicting how long it will take us to get to a place where the economy is healthy and our lives once again feel secure requires certain knowledge.  It is easy to go back and figure the rate at which we lost the jobs.  So the first thing that we need to do is know how many jobs will be added each month and of course, when this adding will begin.  I am no economist, but I do know that we can’t solve for x if x is all that we have.

Our jobless rate and the rate at which we increase jobs is solely in the hands of the major corporations that have already proved they have no interest in anything that does not increase profits in the short term.  The largest corporations, those that have replaced American workers with either computers or just outsourced them would have to return the jobs to American workers.  Once those jobs were returned, the income tax paid by those workers would begin to flow into the Treasury.  These workers would once again require and be able to pay for the goods and services provided by the small business owners which in turn would need to hire additional workers.  Businesses that were once built to service employees of the larger businesses would once again be able to open up, thereby employing more workers.  This would deliver more income tax to the government and more money circulating in the economy, which would bring more jobs.

However, the largest corporations. those having the ability to hire the largest number of people in the shortest period of time have proven themselves too consumed by greed and addicted to wealth and power to to consider giving anything voluntarily.  It would require the government doing something like changing the tax laws that give them so many breaks and loopholes, and connecting tax breaks to hiring employees, maintaining employees, and perhaps providing health benefits.  This would bring the workplace back to where it once was before the cancer of greed was so widespread. But this is not going to happen, there is no way for a government controlled by the corporations to turn around and do anything that big business does not want.

The argument that the rich will not hire if we increase their taxes is moot, since they have not hired even though regardless of their tax rate, they have so many loopholes that they barely pay any taxes and still these corporations only increased their profits by decreasing their American workforce.  In fact, the following article shows that the more incentives we give them the more they take from us.

How Corporations Built to Loot Lobby to Win

Posted on October 4, 2011 in Inequality news, Legislation, Taxes

Some of America’s most flush corporations are demanding a tax holiday on their profits sitting offshore. But the last holiday, a new Institute for Policy Studies report makes clear, produced a nasty hangover.

America Loses: Corporations That Take “Tax Holidays” Slash Jobs
Need a job? You might want to dial up WIN America, the business lobby that’s calling on Congress to declare a “tax holiday” on the profits U.S. firms have sitting overseas.
WIN America — short for “Working to Invest Now in America” — didn’t exist until earlier this year. Since then, the 18 major corporations and 24 trade associations that make up the group have spent a remarkable $50 million on their “tax holiday” campaign. They’ve hired, news reports last week revealed, 160 lobbyists.
Now that’s job creation. Of course, your shot at getting one of those jobs will rise enormously if you happen to be a Capitol Hill insider. The WIN America new hires include at least 60 former staffers of congressional leaders — with 42 of those formerly employed at the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees, the two panels that write up all America’s tax laws.
Why does WIN America need all these insiders? To get a new “tax holiday” into law, the corporate giants that make up WIN America are going to have pull an inside job. WIN America’s proposed “tax holiday” may be the most outrageously rich people-friendly piece of legislation now pending before Congress.
That’s not, of course, how WIN America’s small army of lobbyists is positioning the measure. They’re claiming that corporations will “repatriate” all those profits they have overseas as soon as Congress gives them a tax “incentive” to do so. Those repatriated dollars, WIN America pledges, will help create jobs in America.
In theory, that sounds good. But we don’t have to depend on theory to gauge the value of a corporate tax holiday. We can look to past practice. Incredibly recent past practice. Congress, turns out, gave Corporate America a tax holiday on overseas profits just seven years ago, in 2004.
That tax holiday handed 843 U.S. companies a tax break that cost the U.S. Treasury $92 billion. What did American taxpayers get back? Not much. In fact, the Institute for Policy Studies revealed last week, not anything at all. Most of the firms that claimed a tax holiday in 2004 went on to reduce their workforces.
Tax holidays don’t create jobs. They do create windfalls for top corporate executives.
The new IPS report, America Loses: Corporations that Take ‘Tax Holidays’ Slash Jobs, looks at the 58 corporate giants that together accounted for almost 70 percent of the overseas profits repatriated after the 2004 tax holiday.
These 58 job destroyers — led by Citigroup, Hewlett-Packard, Bank of America, Pfizer, Merck, Verizon, Ford, Caterpillar, Dow Chemical, and DuPont — went on to shed almost 600,000 jobs after their tax holiday tax break.
But don’t these companies have a perfectly reasonable defense? Haven’t we experienced a Great Recession since 2004? We certainly have. But these 58 corporations aren’t hurting. These firms are currently holding over $450 billion in spare cash.

Of the 58 corporations that the new IPS report puts under the microscope, notes report co-author Scott Klinger, only eight reported losses between 2008 and 2010 — and 43 have registered profits every single year through Great Recession hard times.

“If companies were struggling, and unprofitable, then dramatic downsizing might be warranted,” adds Klinger. “But when companies are prospering, sitting on record levels of cash and saying they need tax cuts to hire workers, their argument makes no sense.”

Tax holidays, on the other hand, do make sense for top execs. A huge share of the overseas profits these execs generate come, the new IPS report notes, “from accounting acrobatics that shift profits generated from sales in the United States to foreign tax havens where corporations face little or no income tax.”

Tax holidays give these executives a second bite at the tax-avoidance apple. They don’t pay taxes overseas or, thanks to tax holidays, back home either. Tax holidays, as IPS report co-author Chuck Collins puts it, give preferential treatment to companies “built to loot” over companies “built to last.”

The new IPS America Loses study suggests a variety of steps we ought to be taking to end this preferential treatment. Passing one key reform bill now pending before Congress, the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act, would shut off most of the tax loopholes that encourage profit shifting overseas — and raise an estimated $100 billion a year.

Congress can do a great deal, the new IPS report sums up, “to strengthen the U.S. economy and create and protect jobs.” But a “tax holiday” that rewards CEOs who pile up profits by shedding jobs and sashaying around the tax code only strengthens — and protects — our most shameless corporate looters.”

So, we are at the mercy of the greediest and most shortsighted people in the country.  These are the same people, who guarantee their profits by investing in political candidates who, having only two years before the next election can only represent their benefactors and never have the time to represent their constituents.  Our government has been successfully arranged by those with special interests, to be capable of only doing nothing.  It is called a two party system, however, it is more like five parties working under the umbrella of two.  This assures our failure just as does any tribal system – no union, no success.

We live in the deeply divided states of America.  So divided, that the needs of the many are lost to the needs of the few.  The corporations have the government so deeply in their pockets that there is no way out so long as our government is set up to promote the continued intrusion of corporate influence.

“A State divided into a small number of rich and a large number of poor will always develop a government manipulated by the rich to protect the amenities represented by their property.”
–Harold Laski
British political theorist (1893-1950)

There is no lobby for the people…oh, of course, it is supposed to be Congress.  This lobby is new.  It is happening while we are all talking about the deficit and building the economy.  The corporations cheat the government, sorry, I mean cheat the people with a growing sense of entitlement.  It is the government that prostitutes itself to the corporations that was and is continuing to be responsible for the destruction of this country.  These Congressmen are totally aware of all that these corporations are doing.  They support what they are doing, fighting any jobs bill that prevents the following from happening:

The Massive Rewards for Corporate Tax Dodging
Posted on August 31, 2011 in Inequality news

Corporations don’t dodge taxes. People do. The people who run corporations. And these people — America’s CEOs — are reaping awesomely lavish rewards for the tax dodging they have their corporations do.
The latest annual executive compensation report from the Institute for Policy Studies, released today, tells an old story — with a stunning new twist.
The old story: The pay gap between what CEOs and workers in the United States take home continues to widen. Last year, S&P 500 CEOs walked off with 325 times more pay than average American workers, up considerably from the 263-times gap in 2009.
The new twist: Many of America’s major corporations are now actually paying their CEOs more in compensation than they pay in federal taxes.
“Ample evidence suggests,” notes the new IPS report, Executive Excess 2011, “that CEOs and their corporations are expending considerably more energy on avoiding taxes than perhaps ever before — at a time when the federal government desperately needs more revenue to maintain basic services for the American people.”
Among the report’s other key findings:
Of last year’s 100 top-paid corporate CEO, 25 took home more in pay than their company paid in 2010 federal income taxes.
• Of last year’s 100 highest-paid corporate chief executives in the United States, 25 took home more in CEO pay than their company paid in 2010 federal income taxes.
• These 25 CEOs averaged $16.7 million, well above last year’s $10.8 million average for S&P 500 CEOs.
• The 25 firms that paid their CEOs more than Uncle Sam last year reported average global profits of $1.9 billion. Only one of the firms reported negative global returns. Eighteen of the 25 firms last year operated subsidiaries in offshore tax haven jurisdictions. The firms, all combined, had 556 tax haven subsidiaries.
• The most profitable of the 25 firms: General Electric. GE last year ranked 14th among U.S. firms in global profitability. GE received a $3.3 billion tax refund, despite reporting a whopping $5.1 billion in U.S. pre-tax income.
• Of the 25 companies that paid their CEO more than Uncle Sam, 20 also spent more on lobbying lawmakers than they paid in corporate taxes. Eighteen gave more to the political campaigns of their favorite candidates than they paid to the IRS in taxes.

How can this happen?  It happens because there has been a consistent effort to dumb down America.  The public schools are so bogged down with too many students, too few teachers and so many tests that have to be passed by the students in order for the schools to get their funding, that they only teach students to memorize, and no longer teach them to think.  Why, in such a rich country, is the education of the children who represent our future so low on the list of priority?  The only logical reason is that so long as we keep turning out generations of Americans who can memorize what they are told, but not think, discern, or question the information given to them, the powers that be can manipulate and control the government as much as they want.

THINK, PLEASE, then send your prayers and support to those courageous men and women who are marching for change, marching to be counted, marching to insist that the American Dream be return to it’s rightful owners, the American People and…marching for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

And let your congressman know that you know what he or she is doing and will not stand for it.

When the storm is over – we will be free

I remember when I was growing up.  Each year my Mother, sister and I would spend one month in Atlantic City.  It was wonderful.  During those summers I made many friends, one was Wanda Wingate.  She lived in Philly.  From the age of about ten, until I finished high school we would write letters to each other every week.  Each week I would sit and tell her all of my highs and lows.  I share all of the intimate details of my life with only her, and she with me.  We exchanged advice, shared each others happiness and tried to support each other through our sadness.   I loved getting her letters, reading them over and over and placing them in a box.  Through her I met my first great love, Jeffrey Goldson.  He was a few years older than I and when he went off to college we would write to each other a few times a week  I loved to stare at how he formed the letters of each word, I loved the scent of the paper because it carried his scent.  The internet is a wonderful place to share, and to learn – but it came at a great cost.  It cost us those letters, those moments of going off to a quiet place to hold those pages and feel the energy of the person who is writing.  I think that our letters intensified my love for him.  And in his box, I could reach in a pull out the letters and feel again that love whenever I needed.

Then I remember so vividly the first book that moved me, it made me fall in love with reading.  I remember the way that it smelled, I remember the way that each page felt against my fingers – I remember this, but I neither remember the title nor the name of the office, just the feel.  There is no e-book that can compare with the feel of a good book in your hands.

Two of my favorite shows when I was young were “Little House On the Prairie” , and “The Waltons”.  The families in those shows had very little.  Life was hard work, but somewhere in that hard work was a sense of quality of life.  All that they had was the love of family and community, and somehow, life seemed to me so much better then.  They were not plagued by depression – even in the depression.  The wealth of each family was their bonds, bonds created out of necessity and lack of distraction.  But their wealth could not be given a price.  I remember when I was in my own business and making more money than I every imagined that I could make.  I would drop ten thousand dollars in a boutique without blinking an eye, but I have never been so unhappy in my life.  I wore the quality of my life on my back – Escada, Ralph Lauren  my gold rolex, my Fendi purse, wallet and cigarette case.  My life had no other value.  I know now that the ability to feel joy and happiness are what we pay for those things.  The more I bought, the more my soul was being drained out of me.  I did not know it.  A junkie first gets high to feel a little rush, to be taken out of himself for a short time.  This is the same thing that happens when we find ourselves with money.  We buy things that we could not have bought before just to be taken out of the self that we once were.  What we don’t realize is that whether the addiction is to a drug, alcohol, food, or money – we are not taken out of ourselves, instead, our self, is taken out of us.  We don’t realize this, until we kick the habit by choice or by force.  Then we find that ‘living’  feels so much better than anything that we could buy or steal to make us feel like we are living.  If one is born poor, he always looking through windows at the people who have everything.  That experience makes them feel that they are not whole.  So it is their journey to strive to have those things in order to see that nothing in the material world can increase us, to the contrary, it decreases us.  Then there are those who are born with money and the status that it brings.  They do what they have to do because they are raised to feel that who they are is about what they have and how they appear.  Only by losing or giving up what they have, can they learn who they are.

There are two cycles of wealth and both are natural as the cycles of day and night and as much a part of our journey.  These cycles occur to the individual soul as well as to the collective.  There is the cycle of material wealth, where it is our path to gain materially at the cost of the spirit.  This is followed by the cycle of spiritual growth, where it is our path to gain spiritually at the expense of the material.  These are set by God, and we can no more change, extend or redirect them anymore than we can the rotation of the earth around the Sun or the moon around the earth.  We can change these no more than we can change day to night and night to day.  There are many minor cycles within each great cycle, but it is the great cycle that rules through it all.  If you are on the spiritual cycle individually, you may win the lottery – then lose all of the money.  If you are on the material cycle, individually, you may be down to your last dime and come up with an idea that brings you material wealth for the rest of your life.  As a whole, we are so deeply engulfed by our addiction to the things that we don’t need, that we can’t see how life could be better  or even tolerable without them.  We have become enslaved by our material addiction collectively, that we fear losing our chains.  In the Rider Waite Tarot deck the Devil Card has a man and a woman chained to the Devil.

devil

The important thing about this image is that the two people chained to the Devil have their hands free and the chains around their necks are more than loose enough to be slipped right off.  The Devil represents money, power, status, all of those things that are our addictions in the material world.  It seems that the Devil has possessed these people, but in fact, they can leave at any time.  They have taken on the horns of the devil because they have become that which they have coveted.  This is the material part of the cycle.  The Major Arcana, or first 22 cards of the Tarot deck depict the “hero’s” journey from fool to wisdom.  We have been the fulfillment of this card.  But we are entering a Spiritual Cycle.  So, since we will not voluntarily remove the chains, we must be shaken at the roots, we must lose what we have allowed to posess us in order to be free, and so, the card that follows the Devil is the Tower.

tarot_tower

If the natural disasters of the past years have shown us anything, they should have shown us that we cannot control life. We do not know when we will be struck by a disaster. Personal safety is an illusion, just as homeland security is an illusion. We are each on our own clock’s and they will each stop ticking at the appointed time, whether we are in the Twin Towers or walking along the desert. All that we have built and held onto can be lost or taken away from us in a moment. How much better would we feel if we gave what we had to those who have nothing rather than just losing it? Once upon a time the world was immense, and one could comfortably live a lifestyle of opulent excess, ignorant of the starvation and suffering that our excesses could ease. Now, it is not the case.

And [Jesus] told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man brought forth plentifully; and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns, and build larger ones; and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God will say to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” Christianity. Luke 12.16-21

Imagine how the earth was created—how the body was created. The earth was given limited resources. The earth could have been created as a garden in which the food and shelter and everything that we could ask for simply grew as quickly as we could harvest it. Or, we could have been given the power to manifest everything we wish to have merely by desiring it to be. But that is not the case. And knowing that the force that guides the Universe is love, we must know that this is not to punish us. No, the earth has limited resources and some men are born with access to those resources while some are born without that access. This is the Divine Design, it places before us the opportunity to choose righteousness, the path must be chosen to have value, one cannot be forced out of fear of punishment or fear of rejection, the path of love must be chosen out of love—the need for love and the desire to give love. It is obvious that in the wild animals do not have this choice. Animals know only one path, and for the lower self in man, the animal way is the natural way. Yet as humans, we are able to reach into our souls and find the strength to rise above the natural choice to the spiritual one.

What causes wars, and what causes fighting among you? Is it not your passions that are at war in your members? You desire and do not have; so you kill. And you covet and cannot obtain; so you fight and wage war. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. Christianity. James 4.1-3

We are containers with limited space within. We may fill that space with the things of the world or with the things of the spirit or, as it is for most of us – some proportion of both. Everything that the world of flesh has to offer contains an addictive quality. From the moment that we take our first breath – we are engulfed in an addict’s paradise. It is through this addictive garden that we evolve and it is our susceptibility to addiction – not the choice of drug, which marks the level to which a soul has evolved. Addiction is attachment plain and simple, but it is easier for us to raise ourselves above judgment (in our own eyes) if we limit our focus to what one is addicted to rather than that one is addicted. For one to be addicted to cocaine is bad; yet to be addicted to attention – is ok. It is bad to be addicted to alcohol – but power is ok. We become addicted to food, to comfort, to routine, to family, to nation, to form of worship, to race, to position, to war, to being divided or even to being united, to injustice or even to justice. Addiction is attachment.

All of these things that we attach ourselves to will one day be no more. And the extent of our suffering – the intensity of our hellfire, will equal the intensity of our attachment. We are all born within the garden of our own struggle. The lesson is to love your brother as yourself without condition. There is a story of a man who went up to the greatest Jewish religious leader and asked him to condense the entire teachings of all the sacred Wisdom into one sentence and the Rabbi, without hesitation said, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you”. There are innumerable gardens in which to grow that flower and we are each born in one of them. Some learn through greed, some through religious hatred some through bigotry, some through the need for power and some as victims of the powerful. You can learn the lesson by the choice you are faced with while riding in a limo passing a poor child in a ghetto, or a homeless man on the street. You can learn the lesson being the poor child or the homeless man. Both roles are means to the same end and neither one is a punishment or a reward. The awareness of the other on both ends engenders an emotional response, which in turn forces a choice. The choice that we make in those moments will feed the soil that we sow and determine what we will ultimately reap.

On earth, our parents threaten the harshest punishments on actions that will cause us the greatest harm. They do this out of love for us. So it would stand to reason that the Source of all Love would place the greatest admonishment on those things that hurt us personally the most. And to Do unto others what we would have others do unto us is wise because what we do to others we really do to ourselves. When we harbor hatred, resentment, or anger towards another we create an energetic umbilical cord between the other and ourselves which flows from soul to soul feeding each with poisonous energy. When we are told to forgive, we are really being told to release ourselves from the flow of that poison; to forgive is only to release.

All that belongs to us or will ever belong to us is what we can take with us. All that we can take with us is what we can carry in our souls. Unconditional Love is spiritual tender. Those emotions that can only exist in the absence of Unconditional Love are spiritual debts. When we act selflessly from our hearts we are making deposits into our spiritual retirement accounts. When we act selfishly without regard for others, we are making withdrawals. The account must be full in order to retire from the suffering of this world. How many lifetimes it takes us to fill that account is up to us. There is no judgment. But to retire from suffering, it must be full.

We are here to learn to cherish that which is ours to pass through, with love and appreciation, that which is not ours and to know the difference. We are happy when we receive, when we acquire, when we are applauded, we are happy when we are loved. Happiness is contingent on an action that is happening and when it is no longer happening, we are no longer happy. But our being is transformed into the most elevated joy when we give and the more difficult the gift is to release the greater the feeling of sacrifice – the greater joy that fills us. Remember that to sacrifice is to make sacred. Feed your own body, you satisfy your body, but feed the body of another who is in need and you satisfy your soul.

3. I searched in my heart how to cheer my flesh with wine, my heart yet guiding me with wisdom, and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what it was good for the sons of men that they should do under heaven all the days of their life. 4. I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards; 5. I made me gardens and parks, and I planted trees in them of all kinds of fruit; 6. I made me pools of water, to water there from the forest where trees were reared; 7. I bought men-servants and maid-servants, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of herds and flocks, above all that were before me in Jerusalem; 8. I gathered me also silver and gold, and the treasure of kings and of the provinces; I got me men-singers and women-singers, and the delights of the sons of men, musical instruments, and that of all sorts. 9. So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me. 10. And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them; I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced because of all my labor; and this was my portion from all my labor. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labor that I had labored to do; and, behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was no profit under the sun. Ecclesiastes 2:3-10

God, Spirit, All-That-Is, placed a certain amount of resources on the earth for all life to share. It is limited, but it is always just enough. Regardless of what we tell ourselves about the greatness of our effort, we cannot earn more than our share, we do not deserve more than our share. And what is our share? It is that which leaves enough for every other person on the planet to have their share. Those of us who have more than we need to live comfortably are hoarding the food, the shelter, and the medication that could save the lives of those who are dying because of their lack. And the blood of those who die because of our greed is on our hands. The difference between life and death for a child in Africa is a few dollars; the difference between a life of poverty and suffering and a life of hope and possibilities is a few dollars. We are not only our brother’s keepers; we are our brothers. We are one body human containing one Spirit immortal, and to tell ourselves that what happens in the Sudan will not effect us, it the same as saying that cancer in the foot, untreated, will never effect the heart.

All children are our children, all lives are our lives, and any life that we are able to save becomes our responsibility to save. To whom much is given, much is expected. It makes no difference what lies we tell ourselves in order to buy our ten thousand dollar bags, and six million dollar homes, a child’s face is embedded in every one of those dollars and a child’s life or death is written into those choices that we make.

Jesus said to [the rich young man], “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions. And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, it will by hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of Heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Christianity. Matthew 19.21-24

The depression that sweeps the industrialized nations is the price of our greed. The Bible says that money is the root of all evil, but it is not evil, it is the most addictive of all drugs and so it is the root of the greatest spiritual pain. Money is the key to the material kingdom. Money brings worship, adulation, slaves, all things that feed the ego. Yet, it is not money that is the problem it is the hoarding. The more money one hoards, the emptier one is Spiritually because the energy of material possessions in much denser and weighs down our energy fields leaving little or no room for spiritual joy to permanently root itself within us, not because we make money but because we hoard it for ourselves and do not send it back out to do good works.

“For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matthew 16:25, 2.

Today the Spiritual force of the Universe has made the world one in which we know children are dying needlessly. The world is small enough for us to know where and when men, women and children are being senselessly slaughtered because of the color of their skin or nature of their beliefs. We know, because this has been deemed the time of revelation, when we are revealed for what we are—and what we are is reflected in what we most value, not what we tell others we most value, and not in what we tell ourselves we most value. In this moment, we can stand strong as healthy wheat, wheat that gives nourishment to all, or as weeds nourishing only ourselves at the expense of others. All that we each deserve is enough to live a healthy loving life. All that we have beyond that is what would give that same quality of life to another. I once worked eighteen hours a day and was paid more than generously for that effort; I had a house in the suburbs and three bathrooms in my New York apartment. At the same time a woman sharecropper in Mississippi worked the same eighteen hours a day and could not afford indoor plumbing. I was not being rewarded for being a better person in this life or any past life, what I was being – was tested. It is time for the harvest.

We must learn and not forget that it does not matter how healthy, wealthy or wise we are, the time and manner of our death is not within our control. How long we will keep whatever we have is also not within our control, all outcomes are beyond our control. Now is the time when we are to be seen clearly, we cannot hide or pretend. The true measure of the man is not how much he has, and it is not how much he gives, but how much he is willing to give of that which he cannot bear the thought of living without.

We are being tested, and more than this, we are being given an opportunity through the suffering in the world to show the power of the light that we have within us. The world has become small enough for us to see the needs of others, small enough that we must make a conscious choice with every penny that we waste on selfish pleasures. We are no longer only responsible for the consequences of our actions but we are responsible for the consequences of our lack of action as well.

The Universe is not something around us, it is the substance of our being. God is not a separate entity; God is the Great Self, the Great Soul of which each of us is a part. God is Love; to live in God’s image is to live in the image of love and to love in the image of God. No one is empty, we are all full, those who are empty of attachment to the world are full of Spirit, and those who are filled with worldly attachments are empty of Spirit. Some are half full of the world and half full of Spirit, each have our own proportion of both and that is our choice.

Do you not feel this time  different than any other? This time is not a test it is a gift. It is a gift to us from Our Source, a chance to wipe out our karma with good works, to purify our souls with unconditional love. To strengthen our faith and show our love of All-That-Is by giving without fear of not having enough left for ourselves, for the enjoyment of the world is empty, but the joy of Love is a cup that constantly runneth over. What are the fires of hell? They are the tests and temptations that we must go through on this earth to burn away our attachment to the material – to mammon. The fires of hell are no more or less than the suffering that we endure living with the desire for what we do not need, the fear of losing or actual loss of what we do not own, and the blindness that keeps us from knowing that having and losing in this world are both illusions and what is of value to our souls is always a part of them.

He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that you may always have enough of everything and may provide in abundance for every good work. As it is written, He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor; his righteousness endures forever. He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your resources and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way for great generosity.

Christianity. 2 Corinthians 9.6-11

We must join hands, join resources, and realize that it is not what we have that creates happiness it is what we share.  That is what we will be left with when all is done.  We will have all that we need to live.  Above that we will have the spiritual wealth that is priceless.  We will lose much to gain much more.  We cannot recover we must recreate.  And as hard as it is for many of us to believe, it is in the plan that we will.  We are being shaken from the Devil by the Tower.  But once we have lost all that stands between us and each other, between us and compassion, and between us and God, we become wealthier than we could ever dream because our wealth will flow from an unlimited Source.  It will be spiritual and we will re-birth our humanity – the card in the deck which follows this, tells this story, it is The Star

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After the tower of all that is false and illusion has crumbled to the ground, we are left with abundance of all that is real and eternal.  The world as we know it is ending, its cycle is over.  The Star represents abundance, a bright future – and most importantly it is a future that one of freedom.  True freedom is owning nothing and being owned by nothing, but being a part of everything.

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Lets Try A Common Sense Recovery Plan

I am going to approach this economic crisis that we are in, in two ways, the mundane and then, the spiritual. I first want to say personally, that I am deeply entangled in what is happening to so many people. This is my story:

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I purchased a house with my husband that was well within our ability to support. However, my son has a learning disability and I found that in the special class in which he was placed, there were no text books, and basically no teaching going on. The only recourse that I could see was to send him to a special school. The insurance paid for counseling, but not for diagnosis, which was a $2000.00 expense. The medication that he was taking was very expensive even with insurance and so was his tuition. Being hounded regularly by mortgage brokers who made offers that were so good, while we were unable to continue to pay for our son’s tuition, we said “yes”. Of course, at that moment when we promised the tuition payments would be brought up to date, the closer for the mortgage company comes in with the ‘switch’ as in ‘bait and switch’, and we really did not get the mortgage that we were promised, but we were already too in need of the money to back out.

At this point, we can’t pay for food, clothing ,utilities, the mortgage and continuing tuition, so we accepted the many credit card offers that came in, only to use for living expenses. Without knowing that the interest rates would only equal a loan shark. I explain my story because when I hear politicians concerned over the fact that the government helping the people who are losing their homes could penalize those tax payers who were not abusive, I think that this is ludicrous. I believe that bailing out the institutions who prayed on those of us struggling so that their executives could bring home embarrassing paychecks is what is insane.

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That was personal, now, here is what is logical to me. I have been hearing lately, predictions that this recovery will happen by the end of 2009 or 2010. I still don’t see how. The reason that I don’t see how is because there is a difference between a PH.D. in economics and common sense. Since the 1980’s there has been little government regulation of industry and what regulation there was, was clearly overlooked. And what has happened? This is called the benefit of small government. No matter what anyone says, we are here because the Government wasn’t. Let me repeat, this is what happens when the government does not regulate industry. This is no government intervention in business. As opposed, to total government intervention into our private lives as we have had since 9/11. Ok, Business= no government – the common citizen = Big Brother.

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The average CEO went from making 50 times as much as the average worker to 500 – 5000 times as much in that time period. So, while the top of the food chain was experiencing a boom, the bottom was experiencing a bust. The cost of living steadily increased as the incomes on top increased, so the rich grew richer, the poor grew poorer, and the middleclass just grew poor. But no one in Washington saw this coming. No regulators, no analysts, no oversight committees it was just POOF- it all happened in two months! Almost Supernatural!

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In the past two years we have lost over 2,000,000 jobs – more than half of those this year. Millions of families have lost their homes, everything that they have struggled to build. Now, the government thinks that putting more money into the banks will help the economy recover. How? If – the banks lend, it will only be to those will good credit which leaves out everyone who has lost their jobs and or homes. Or, it will be fixed by tax breaks. Again, How? If I am an employer who pays for store space in order to sell shoes that no one can afford to buy – why would I hire more employees to stand around doing nothing? Why would I keep the employees that I already have standing around doing nothing? What kind of tax break will make this work for me? If the small businessman receives a large tax write-off for losses, he will be really grateful that now he will be able to make his own mortgage, he is certainly not going to increase production of merchandise that will sit on the shelves because no one can buy. If I were a manufacturer or a store owner I would appreciate my tax break come in the form of paying customers, after all, to go from 50% of nothing to 35% of nothing really isn’t a big incentive. And I think that I can speak for many Americans when I say that an extra 25.00 in my paycheck each week would only change how many times a week we eat pasta. Perhaps an extra 50.00 might help us add a steak night. As for shopping, my department store of choice is The Goodwill Superstore and I am afraid that unless the tax break can in effect double our income, or guarantee a future income, that will remain the only other store I enter outside of the supermarket.

Today, we need 2,000,000 jobs. We don’t even have to create an industry to do it. Hire teachers, hire police, hire firemen, hire healthcare professionals. Hire laborers to build more and better schools so that our country can compete in the industrialized world, good clinics so that everyone can receive adequate healthcare. Instead of guessing how much bad debt the banks have. Let the government take over the mortgages that are at risk of foreclosure and renegotiate loans with terms that people can afford. Let the government take over the homes that have been foreclosed on, locate the families and again renegotiate terms that they can realistically pay. Do this, and it is a win, win situation. The government will see more of its money than it ever will if it gives it to banks. The school system and healthcare system will not be the worst one in the industrialized world, people will be better protected, crime will decrease and most of all – we will have some money to spend and maybe we will not be so afraid of spending it. Then create a supplemental healthcare system for those who cannot afford insurance, and for those medical crisis that insurance companies don’t pay for which destroy the livelihoods and lives of millions of Americans. All of this, if done, can create employment today – create spending today, because if we don’t do it today, by the time the government has created 2,000,000 jobs we will need 8,000,000.

The Republicans like to call this wasteful spending, pork. I believe that tax breaks, at this juncture, is wasteful spending. This is my opinion. Arguably, I am a little miffed. But I would be even if it was not happening to me because I see what has been going on as unconscionable. You know how I think it could have been avoided? I think that if the government renamed the minimum wage a “livable wage”, and raised it to meet the increase each year of the cost of living, corporations would have had to raise all of the wages on up and those at the top would have had less to steal. In fact, if I knew a ballsy litigation firm, I’d beg for the largest class action suit ever seen against these CEO’s of Wall street who created this mess, took government money and still spent in only on themselves while the rest of the country lost everything. OK, now this is my non-spiritual take on this situation. My next post, will be my Spiritual view of what is happening in the world, why it must happen, and how it fits into Astrology and the indigenous predictions.