Ken Connor

"If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother.  Rather be openhanded and freely lend him whatever he needs....  Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.  There will always be poor people in the land.  Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land."  (Deuteronomy 15:7-15 NIV)

Despite some encouraging signs of recovery, many people are still struggling in the wake of the current economic crisis.  Unemployment numbers continue to rise, home foreclosures are at record highs, and investment portfolios remain ravaged by a volatile stock market.  Relief is needed, and action is required.  While economic relief and recovery continues to be the primary focus of our leaders in Washington, there is considerable disagreement over the best way for the government to address our economic woes.

It is apparent that the economic problems of the country—along with the resulting social problems—are being used as weapons of political warfare and packaged as evidence for or against various agendas, policies, and ideologies.  Thus, while everyday Americans struggle to keep food on their tables and roofs over their heads, politicians and pundits debate the merits of the free market and engage in the blame game.  Was the economic collapse the result of too much or too little regulation?  Is it Bush's fault, or Barney Franks's?  To nationalize or not to nationalize?  These are certainly questions worthy of answers, and as we move forward as a nation we would do well to analyze how different responses to the economic crisis today might affect America tomorrow. 

Ken Connor

Ken Connor is Chairman of the Center for a Just Society in Washington, DC.