Issue: March 2009

Volume 9 Number 3

Trying to Understand the 2008-2009 Recession: Part 1, Perspective and Causes

[1] The unemployment rate—the fraction of adults currently working for pay among those who are either working or actively looking for a job the nation’s labor force that is unable to find work—was officially measured at 7.6 percent in January of 2009 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the federal agency tasked with measuring […]

Trying to Understand the 2008-2009 Recession: Part 2, Remedies

In a companion article, I examined how the current recession compares with previous U.S. recessions, and explored the reasons why the economy is in its current state. In this article, I describe and explain the various remedies by which the federal government is attempting to slow the economy’s downturn. What is being done to turn […]

Reflections on the Economic Downturn

[1] I have ambivalent thoughts about the current efforts to address the economic recession in the United States, and, by extension, the world, since it is abundantly clear that economic contractions in the United States dramatically affect the rest of the world. On the one hand, I certainly would like to see my pension accumulations […]

The Economics Underlying the Ethics of Fiscal Stimuli

[1] The bursting housing bubble and subsequent recession has renewed interest in macroeconomic stabilization policy among economists and non-economists alike. With politicians feeling pressure from constituents, government action appears to be inevitable. Daily newscasts bring word of new policies aimed at curing the nation’s economic woes. The most popular proposals involve boosting aggregate demand through […]

Introduction to the Reviewers

[1] Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the essential Lutheran theologian for our dispirited post-modern age, reminds us that the field of ethics – the sometimes disciplined effort to understand and elect “the good” or “the right” – belongs to the realm of the penultimate in human affairs. Accordingly, the issues arising from and surrounding morality, justice, the good […]

Luther and the Hungry Poor

[1] It was at the 11 o’clock Eucharist on a recent Sunday. The presiding minister was in the middle of the Great Thanksgiving. “In the night in which he was betrayed, our Lord Jesus took bread and gave thanks,” he read taking the host in his hand for us all to see. “This is my […]

Luther and the Hungry Poor

[1] Luther has always been a difficult read, as Martin Marty has informed us.[1] His worldview changed repeatedly. It follows that his writings are filled with contradictions and paradoxes.[2] Samuel Torvend appears to have missed the counsel of Benne, Marty and Edwards for he sees Luther as a whole intellect from the pounding on the […]

Lutheran Ethics in a Troubled Global Economy

Samuel Torvend. Luther and the Hungry Poor: Gathered Fragments (Fortress Press, 2008). 978-0-8006-6238-7. [1] With the negative externalities of globalization ever more present in the United States due to the sub-prime mortgage meltdown and its effects on the United States banking and finance infrastructure and individual lives affected, social ministry is more relevant than ever. […]

A New Deal for the Global Economy

A New Deal for the Global Economy The Current Crisis “Money is a singular thing. It ranks with love as man’s (sic) greatest source of joy. And it ranks with death as his greatest source of anxiety.”[1] [1] The current global crisis began as a crisis about money but quickly became a pandemic global economic […]

A Lutheran Resolution on the Civil War and President Abraham Lincoln’s Response to a Lutheran Delegation

[1] The General Synod met in May 1862 for the first time since the beginning of the Civil War and adopted a resolution on “the State of the Country” prepared by a committee headed by W.A. Passavant. By this time ecclesiastical ties between the Southern synods and the Northern synods were broken, and no delegates […]