Bible Studies
Written by Jim Jordal   
Wednesday, 04 July 2012


By Jim Jordal

Historians still debate the exact cause of George Washington’s death in 1799. What is known is that as treatment for his severe throat infection he agreed that his doctors should bleed him, resulting in the loss of a large amount of his blood volume. The exact cause of death is still unknown, but we do know that losing that much blood certainly did him no good, since he died soon afterward.

His doctors were prominent, well-trained physicians who adhered to the 2,000 year-old practice of removing blood from a patient to relieve inflammation or "bad" blood as they called it. I’m sure they were mystified by his death since they had done everything possible. That they could be mistaken probably never entered their minds.

There is an analogy between the role of blood in the body and money in the economy. Blood transfers nutrients, oxygen, and other essentials of life to the cells. In the economy, money plays a similar role in carrying goods and services to all parts of the "body." When the amount of blood in the body is severely reduced, as in George Washington’s case, the patient weakens or dies. When the supply of money is reduced the economy also weakens by falling into recession or depression. Many monetary theorists blame the Great Depression on a shortage of money due to Federal Reserve tightening of the money supply in the erroneous belief that if thrift was good for individuals it must on that account alone be good for the entire economy. George Washington’s doctors relied on traditional treatments and the patient died. Washington D.C. doctors (economists and politicians) do the same today with similar results.

The "patient" today is the stumbling economy and its suffering people. Whatever else is wrong with the patient, his major problem is a shortage of blood, or money. It’s common knowledge that the Federal Reserve System’s governors have an excessive fear of inflation. This phobia often leads to tight money policies when the exact opposite is needed. Today, they correctly have instituted a very loose monetary policy (low interest rates coupled with encouragement toward borrowing), but that is not working because people and businesses are too uncertain of the future to want to risk borrowing money. It’s well known that corporations and banks are right now sitting on several trillions of dollars that they won’t put into circulation due to fear of the future.

The patient does not need more large bank bailouts, or tax cuts for the rich, or austerity measures for the poor—all of which are now being touted by various political parties. What the patient needs is more purchasing power so that he can participate in a healthy economy. That infusion of money can come from fiscal policy, or renewed government spending for infrastructure. It can come from tax cuts, although that’s difficult politically because of deficit issues. The best place for it to come from would be greatly increased job opportunities. But that’s difficult when the government still rewards companies for slashing jobs or sending them overseas.

In the absence of any of these methods for increasing purchasing power, the patient will remain comatose at best. Low interest rates are not working. Stimulus programs seem inadequate. Banks and business will not put surplus funds into circulation. Tax cuts threaten future fiscal responsibility and anger the rich who feel that they are the source of the "golden eggs" of progress. Government seems politically hamstrung as it agonizes over small details while allowing the patient to remain in a stupor.

Meanwhile the spread between rich and poor widens in the U.S. with no seeming hope of any quick reversal. But we have yet to pay any heed at all to what God says. Federal reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was for a while nicknamed "Helicopter Ben" because of his seemingly facetious statement a few years ago that any recession could be ended immediately by filling helicopters with currency and dropping it over cities.

That’s not a ridiculous idea, except to the economic "doctors" who still believe in bleeding the patient through austerity and scarcity. That he will not recover under this treatment seems lost on them.

If we did things God’s way we’d begin to institute some principles from biblical Jubilee (Lev. 25) that encourage release from debt, no usury, no financial oppression, and adequate purchasing power for all. But we haven’t suffered sufficiently to adopt God’s way, so we’ll remain in our national travail and human suffering.