Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!

December AD 2009
Our Lady of the Rosary
Parish Bulletin


Pray that Grandson Will Be a Good Muslim?

The Moral Aspects of the Great Depression (Continued)


Pray That Grandson Will Be a Good Muslim?

    Question:  In what I had always considered a Catholic publication, a women asking what to do about her grandson’s conversion to Islam was told:

Islam is a religion that worships with us the one and true God.  Pray that your grandson may be a good and devout Muslim and draw closer to God.  Perhaps then he may show his girlfriend and child the respect he owes them, and build his family on a foundation of faith.[1]

    Can this possibly be right?!  (A.H.-New York)

    Answer:  No, it is not, and for a number of reasons.  One does not have to be a Muslim to realize that children are to be conceived and raised in holy matrimony.  It is precisely the Modernist notion that “all religions are good” that has dragged Christendom and Catholicism down to the level of accepting any and every moral theory—and nothing at all—as being equally acceptable.  Losing his faith and becoming a Moslem clearly did not keep the grandson from “playing house” with his girlfriend, nor did her Moslem religion keep her chaste.  Islam can only draw him further away from the true God.

    “Faith,” the foundation on which the grandson is urged to “build his family,” is the belief of all that the true God has revealed to His people about Himself and what He asks of us in dealing with Him and our neighbors.  Faith is absolutely not a belief in any of the errors taught by Mohammad in the Koran and the Hadith (collected sayings and .deeds of Mohammad).  If these errors have any supernatural origin it can only be from the evil one—“all the gods of the gentiles are devils....”[2]

    The “one true God” does not reveal Himself in one way to Europeans, in another way to Americans, and in yet another way to Arabians.  The “one true God” is “the Father of lights, with whom there is no change, nor shadow of alteration,”[3]—a truth denied both by Islam, in which Allah is said to abrogate old revelations in favor of new ones, and by Modernism, which holds religious truth to be nothing more than changeable sentiment.[4]  That “Islam worships with us the one and true God” is debatable.

    A responsible Catholic parent or grandparent must, of course, be loving—but also firm.  Leaving the Faith was wrong, as was fathering a child out of wedlock.  The proper actions for the grandson are to return to the practice of the Catholic Faith, and to take responsibility for the needs of the child—the physical needs certainly, and spiritual needs like Baptism and Catholic education if at all possible—and, possibly, marriage to the mother, if that is appropriate.  These actions are what the parents and grandparents must urge, and for which they must pray.

    And, while at it, they ought to pray for the conversion of Franciscans as well.


Moral Aspects of The Great Depression (Part XV)

[Continued from last month]

    Question:  Were there moral aspects to the Great Depression?  A lot of people suffered for well over a decade.  Shouldn’t someone be held responsible?  Can we prevent such a thing from happening again?


    Some of what the “alphabet soup” agencies did during the depression was useful to the nation.  The Civilian Conservation Corps, CCC, planted enormous numbers of trees.  The Works Progress Administration educated, fed, and clothed people, in addition to its less useful arts and literature programs.  The Tennessee Valley Authority, TVA, generated electricity with hydroelectric plants.  But all of these programs were financed by taking wealth away from the private sector (businesses and individuals) through taxes, inflation, and the accumulation of public debt.  This burden on the private sector postponed real economic growth, thereby prolonging the depression.

    In some cases—the TVA is a prime example—the government forced private entities out of business, either by law or by use of its “infinite money supply” to squelch competition.  Investors in these private businesses were wiped out, and useful plant was sometimes abandoned.

    As we have noted before, there are only so many bridges, dams, and hospitals a municipality can use, and afford to maintain after the federal government leaves.

 ● GNP  GDP  GPP ●

    GNP, GDP, and GPP were not alphabet soup agencies.  GPP, gross personal product, is a realistic measure of what the economy produces.  It includes whatever is Consumed, Saved, and Invested.  (GPP=C+S+I)  Clearly, what was consumed had to have been produced, and savings and investments can only come from the surplus production that was not consumed.  Most people don’t keep much of their savings under the mattress or in a bureau drawer for unexpected needs, but rather invest it in short term bank accounts, so C+I is usually an adequate estimate of the gross personal product.

    Gross national product, GNP (later gross domestic product, GDP) are government collected statistics purported to measure the productivity of the country’s economy.  GDP is said to measure the total of all goods and services produced in the course of a year.  The problem is that it adds the cost of Government to a nation’s actual production. (GDP=C+S+I+G)  That is a fallacy, of course, in that government produces nothing, while its costs are borne by taking wealth away from the working and productive citizens.  Sometimes, what the government does is useful, and even morally laudable—say, in providing national defense, or in feeding those who would otherwise starve.  But it does these things not by producing, but by consuming what has been produced by the private sector, always taking form the nation’s wealth, and sometimes taking years of a man’s life, his limbs, or life itself in order to “produce” its “product.”  Having no profit motive, government is normally the most wasteful means of doing anything.  And some times what should be “useful and morally laudable” is not—governments sometimes do fight unjust and unnecessary wars, and sometimes their welfare programs keep capable people from working and fulfilling their own needs.

    So, if one counts GDP as the government does (GDP=C+S+I+G), the nation’s real productivity is grossly overstated—particularly in times when government spending is high.  The extreme case is wartime GDP, which is always high, even though things are being destroyed rather than produced, consumption and investment are cut way back, and the only saving is by those owning shares in the munitions and military supply companies.

    The situation during the depression was very similar to what we have in 2009, with a positive growth in GDP, even though unemployment is high, and both consumption and saving/investment is down.  Even though real production was (is today) down, increased government spending puts a positive spin on the GDP—a government serving measure if ever there was one.  But that increased spending must come from taxes, inflation, or debt that one day must be paid.  All of these are burdens on real production, and can only make a weak economy worse.

● AAA—Agricultural Adjustment Administration ●

    Keynesian economic theory predicted that the Depression could be overcome by keeping wage and price levels artificially high, rather than allowing to seek their natural level.  On the contrary, such practices interfered with the capital formation and volume of sales needed for a recovery.  In some cases—and this is one of them—the government’s efforts went beyond counterproductive to bizarre.  On May 12, 1933, the Agriculture Adjustment Act created the Agricultural Adjustment Administration.  In an effort to raise farm prices, the AAA created artificial shortages by taxing those who processed agricultural products, and then using the money to purchase and destroy vast quantities of food—at a time when many Americans were doing without, living on higher priced imports, or literally starving to death.

    Curiously enough, while Wallace [named FDR's Secretary of Agriculture in 1933] was paying out hundreds of millions to kill millions of hogs, burn oats, plow under cotton, the Department of Agriculture issued a bulletin telling the nation that the great problem of our time was our failure to produce enough food to provide the people with a mere subsistence diet. The Department made up four sample diets. There was a liberal diet, a moderate diet, a minimum diet and finally an emergency diet - below the minimum. And the figures showed that we did not produce enough food for our population for a minimum diet, a mere subsistence.

    The AAA produced all sorts of dislocations in our economic system. For instance, we had men burning oats when we were importing oats from abroad on a huge scale, killing pigs while increasing our imports of lard, cutting corn production and importing 30 million bushels of corn from abroad.

    Wallace himself said: "It is a shocking commentary on our civilization." That was not so. That kind of thing was no part of our civilization. It was, rather, a shocking commentary on the man who engineered it. It was a crime against our civilization to pay farmers in two years $700,000,000 to destroy crops and limit production. It was a shocking thing to see the government pay one big sugar corporation over $1,000,000 not to produce sugar.[5]

    Making things more expensive and making sure that they were in inadequate supply brought no relief to the depressed economy.  Prosperity means that people have more than they need, and don’t have to work long hours to get it—the AAA brought not prosperity, but more of the already abundant poverty.

    It seems also to have introduced a new layer of insanity on top of the existing fraud, theft, and corruption.  But, at least this time, the Supreme Court struck down the law establishing the AAA, something it failed to do with many other unconstitutional New Deal initiatives.


[To be continued]



[1]   Messenger of Saint Anthony, October 2009, p. 9.

[5]   Flynn, The Roosevelt Myth (Book I, Chapter 5) p.48-49.




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