I have a great admiration for Jesus, who, in my book was probably one of the greatest teachers, philosophers, doctors, and shrinks who ever lived.
Like most of the TRULY progressive people on the planet, he met the inevitable fate that awaits those who dare to take on the establishment, and do not bow down, neither to the powers that be, nor to the social body (US, in our desire to belong, and that NO ONE, NOBODY stick out in any way or form to worry US about OUR normality...).
If you think that George Bush (and his beliefs) is an idiot, you RISK discarding the precious wisdom that Jesus Christ offered (for free...) around him in those three years that he traveled around, living a nomad's life.
Our economic leaders would be WELL ADVISED to meditate over, and ponder, the parable of the talents, because Jesus was anything BUT a namby pamby, goody goody "liberal" in his economic theories. (WE are namby pamby and goody goody. WE (those of us who espouse the classic, dogmatic "liberal" creed) are naïve people living in a Disneyland cloud cuckoo land.)
Enough for the prologue. The parable, from Luke 19,11-27 :
"And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the Kingdom of God should immediately appear (pie in the sky ALWAYS looks more attractive than life in the hic et nunc...).
He said therefore, "A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, "Occupy till I come".
But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, "We will not have this man to reign over us."
And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, that he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.
Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.
And he said unto him "Well, thou good servant : because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities."
(Idem for the servant with 5 pounds.)
And another came, saying, "Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin : for I feared thee, because thou art an austere man ; thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow."
And he saith unto him, "Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow :
Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury ?"
And he said unto them that stood by, "Take from him the pound and give it to him that hath ten pounds.
For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given ; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.
But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me."
If you read all the way through that you MUST realize that the image that "we" have of Jesus of Nazareth is light years away from who he REALLY was, and what he said.
Something to keep in mind (re your comment to Hell on the current post, Thai...) : it is necessary to differentiate in Jesus' teaching when he is talking about... the way things ARE, and the way he thinks that they SHOULD be. Here, in my opinion, he is talking about the way things... ARE.
Our economic leaders would be well advised to consider this parable attentively, and Barack SHOULD know it, if indeed he learned anything at all from Jeremiah Wright and can apply it to HIS life.
It's not by "reducing" our economies, and our spending to make them conform to a piece of paper (with lots of numbers on it...) that we are going to get out of the mess that we are in.
In order to live well, we are "condemned" to grow. But... grow... HOW ? In what domain(s) ?
Our parents' generation assumed that growth = acquisition of material objects, and a comfortable lifestyle. They were emerging from a period of historical privation, and their desire to materially better THEIR lives, and their children's, was entirely natural and understandable. This kind of "growth" however, is no longer viable for our society, or for our species.
By the way, John Maynard Keynes was a quixotic mystic who probably knew his New Testament pretty well...