My February: Resolutions, Justice, Health, & Lent

This year has been an interesting year for my personal convictions.  Over winter break I read the amazingly helpful book Everyday Justice: The Global Impact of Our Daily Choices by Julie Clawson.  It goes through seven major and “mundane” parts of our lives and shows how there are major global inequities, amoralities, and injustices being perpetrated behind the scenes of all these spheres of living.  She explains, with both nuance and care, these issues and then offers super-practical, nitty-gritty suggestions for living life more justly in light of these things.

My New Year’s Resolution was to take one of her seven issues each month and try to incorporate a more just way of living into that.  The issues (in chapter order): Coffee, Chocolate, Cars/Oil consumption, Food, Clothing, Waste/Pollution, Global Debt.

January for me was officially Just Coffee Month.  Other than an Irish coffee I picked up at an Irish pub (which I couldn’t confirm its trade method),  I have not spent one cent on coffee that has not been ethically traded and certified as such.  Special thanks to my friends at Elixr Coffee (on Yelp), the new best coffee-shop in Philly, for offering amazing Direct Trade coffee choices (which is far more ethical than “Fair” Trade Coffee). Continue reading

A Call for Economic Reform & Justice in Exports {2:The Good News}

Part 1 of this essay outlined Obama’s current economic aspirations and the current, seemingly unrelated economic injustices America perpetrates in its dealings.

Liberty and Justice for All… Americans

And this is where I wanted to take this. For rapid supply-side economic investment to work, there needs to be people not only “demanding” your American-made exports, but people that can actually purchase them! Obama’s export plan is meant to boost America productivity while he travels all over the world, signing economic deals with other nations (as he mentioned the other night in his State of the Union address).

A President cannot create demand; countries can want our products as much as they want, but if, because of American protectionist economic policies, they do not have the resources to purchase these things, then we will only succeed in flooding the market with useless manufactured goods and therefore lowering the global cost of these goods, which will end up hurting America. Continue reading

A Call for Economic Reform & Justice in Exports {1:The Bad News}

[“Part 2: The Good News” of this post is also up]

Now, I know that these two posts will probably not get that much traffic, and not many will read all of it; it doesn’t fit the “niche” of this blog nor its usual readership. But I just had to get these thoughts out. For those that mainly read my writings for the “religious” angle, there’s some of that at the end and, ultimately, these issues (and their solutions) really are fundamentally theological. How we look at God and how He deals with us, His world, and where He’s taking both of them really affect how the Church is the Church to a broken world. So I encourage all of you that would normally not read something like this to go ahead and take a stab at it. Leave your thoughts. Push back a little. Help me understand this better.

The Current Plan

On my way to work yesterday, I heard a very interesting interview on NPR with Andrew Liveris, CEO of Dow Chemical and author of the new book Make It in America: the Case for Re-Inventing the Economy (which I’ve just started reading, and I must say, is pretty remarkable). In the interview, he focuses on manufacturing, talking briefly about the role of manufacturing in bringing about President Obama’s recent strong emphasis on exports in job creation. Continue reading