The big Biblical bailout of Egypt

With all the economic problems around the world today, and governments everywhere printing money to bail out (ie buy up) banks and other companies, it is easy to forget that this has a very strong precedent in the Bible.

Consider the account of Joseph, who was at the time Prime Minister (or equivalent) of Egypt (the Pharaoh’s second in command). Joseph knew through a prophetic dream that there would be seven years of plenty, followed by seven years of famine. He collected grain during the seven years of plenty and stored it (Genesis 41:37-49). When the years of famine came, he opened the storehouses to feed the people (Genesis 41:53-57).

But note that he didn’t just give the food away – he sold it. (Genesis 47:13-26) In fact, “Joseph gathered up all the money that was found in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, in exchange for the grain that they bought.” (v14). Once the people had no money left, Joseph bought their livestock (v17), their land (v20), and the people themselves (v21).

Joseph bailed out the entire land of Egypt from their crisis, nationalising the entire agricultural industry – as Pharaoh owned the land, the livestock, and even the people.

Having nationalised the industry, he imposed a 20% tax on all produce (v23-26), which was Pharaoh’s return on his investment.

Isn’t the similarity to today incredible? But there is one big difference:

Joseph bought everything using real assets (grain) that he had saved.

Today, governments may try to buy out industry. But they are doing so using money they have fabricated from thin air, or borrowed, or taken from taxpayers.

What Joseph did was legitimate trading of real, saved assets, not the juggling of funny money. Furthermore he saved many people from starving to death.

But governments today may, just to save people from dropping their living standards a bit, use funny money to achieve exactly what he did – state control of industry. While being encouraged by most people. It is worrying that so many people are so keen to sacrifice their freedom for temporary financial gain.

What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9)

Family Party on Economic Crisis

The Family Party have released our strategy on the economic crisis. As we analysed the issue we found that our policies were already very good regarding the global situation. Our strategy:

  • Recognises that we need a cross-party response, and we wish to work with the expertise of National and Act post-election to manage the crisis.
  • Promotes economic activity within NZ to work out of the crisis.
  • Eases the burden on families during the crisis.

I would encourage you to read the full strategy. Some key points are:

  • Keeping more money in the economy through
    • Lower taxes
    • Reducing bureaucracy
    • Repealing the ETS, withdrawing from Kyoto
    • Interest rate cuts
    • An urgent review of all public sector expenditure
  • Helping families through
    • Targeted tax cuts (GST off essentials)
    • Favouring NZ companies for government contracts (maintaining employment in NZ)
    • Maintaining and expanding (where possible) employment in law enforcement and defence
    • Work-for-the-dole as a final resort if despite all the above unemployment still rises significantly, if you are paying people the dole anyway they may as well be doing something useful

We support a government guarantee of deposits because everyone else is doing it, and we risk funds being moved over to countries where there are these guarantees if we don’t do it too, risky as it may be. But our guarantee would only be extended to reputable firms and would be reviewed every six months, so is far more sensible than Labour’s very risky all-inclusive long-term guarantee.

I believe this is a very balanced response to the crisis, and takes care of the key issues for both families and the wider economy. But we recognise that we don’t know everything, and we need a National-led government to have the expertise to manage this crisis, with us in there too to ensure families are supported.

Sexually active teen girls depressed

A study has found sexually active teenage girls are more likely to be depressed than chaste girls.

Research which appeared recently in the Journal of Health Economics has found that young girls who are sexually active often experience feelings of guilt, low self-esteem, regret and shame, and are far more likely to suffer from depression than those who remain chaste.

The study found that sexually active teen girls have more than double the rate of depression of those who are not sexually active – 19 percent compared to 9.2 percent.

Dr. Trevor Stammers, a lecturer on sexual ethics and chairman of the Christian Medical Fellowship in the UK, said the new study confirmed that most girls “retrospectively showed regret about early intercourse.”

This may be partly because early sexual activity causes depression, but in my opinion is mainly the other way around – depressed teenage girls with a low self-esteem are more likely to seek to be valued in a sexual relationship than girls who are comfortable with themselves.

This is where fathers are important. A girl will want to be valued by men, either consciously or subconsciously. Without a father to value her (or with an abusive father) a girl is more likely to have low self-esteem and seek male affection and value in a sexual relationship. If we ever want to reduce our rates of teen pregnancy, depression, STDs, and single parenthood we must support and encourage fathers. You won’t stop these things with reactionary band-aids like condoms and antidepressants, you need to address the root causes – which come back to the family.

Hat tip: Family First

EDIT: If you have found this post while searching for support as you or someone you know is pregnant or has just had an abortion, Bethlehem House (Family Life International) offers free crisis pregnancy and post-abortion counseling in New Zealand. Check out www.pregnantandworried.org.nz or call 0800 3675433.

If you are not in New Zealand do some internet searching and you may find a similar local service.