About Me

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Mike hopes to see the world turned upside down through local communities banding together for social change, especially churches which have recognized the radical calling to be good news to the poor, to set free the prisoners and oppressed, and to become the social embodiment of the reign of God on earth as it is in heaven. He lives with the blessed memory of his wife, in Durham, NC, and has three adult children living in three different states. He also shares his life with the Mt. Level Missionary Baptist Church in Durham, the faculty and students of Shaw University Divinity School in Raleigh, NC, and the faithful fans of Duke and Baylor Basketball in his neighborhood.

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Bailout 13: Breaking Up the Oligarchy

An excellent analysis of the current state of the banking industry was mentioned on truthout. It comes through several layers. The interview I read was from Bill Moyers, and he was talking to an analyst whose piece he had read, MIT's Simon Johnson. Johnson participates in a blog called The Baseline Scenario. It is a pretty interesting site, and readable.

The conversation starts around Johnson's experience while working for the International Monetary Fund. He points out similarities in the current US economy to the oligarchic systems which can be found in places like Russia, Indonesia, Thailand, or Korea.

In the US, folks tend to be lulled into believing that vigorous democracy is alive and well, even though such enormous amounts of money sway elections, and the people appointed to regulate industries are mostly industry insiders. Over a decade ago, John Howard Yoder, writing about the church in relation to the modern nation-state, proposed that the US was better described as a plutocracy than a democracy. Now, with a few executives of huge corporations seemingly able to do whatever they want with huge amounts of taxpayer money, maybe Johnson is right to see an oligarchy in place. It is an excellent interview for reading or watching.
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