"Remember the sabbath" is a costly commandment. Our culture’s assault on it extends far beyond Sunday.
Unemployment is a human crisis. Yet the Obama administration, Congress and the Fed mostly act like it's not their problem.
In our corner of the economy, excellent pastors got fired and many took wage and benefit cuts. In some cases, the congregations didn’t realize that their decrease in membership was a national trend that had a lot to do with shifting demographics.
The glory of American politics is that voters get to "throw the rascals out"—whether or not they understand who the rascals are or the nature of the crisis the nation is in. Very little could have done by any government during this worldwide economic slowdown to address the high unemployment, except more government stimulus, which is what voters say they don't want.
The events of the last two years have been humbling—even for New Yorkers, a breed not easily humbled. When I first moved to Manhattan, I was often startled when someone offered a complimentary comment about another person, saying that he or she was “really smart.” The pride that went before the particular New York fall was, more than any other human frailty, our peculiar brash pride in putative cleverness, savvy and smarts. Now there is no escaping the embarrassing fact that a lot of very smart people in New York never saw the present economic crisis coming, and that many of those smart people had been participating in the foolish decisions that contributed to it.