Some Common Sense.

I saw a story on tonight’s news about “tent cities” springing up in major cities around the country. Places like Reno, Portland, Seattle, LA, and shockingly, Columbus, Ohio.The AP story cites that “homeless advocacy groups and city agencies are reporting the most visible rise in homeless encampments in a generation.” Those who’ve lived on the streets for years are being joined by an influx of families that have been “evicted” from homes they can’t afford because of the sub-prime lending fallout.Local governments are now stepping in and regulating these tent cities by providing clean water, fencing and even security, until more conventional housing arrangements can be made.There’s something disturbing about this news as the economic crisis comes to a head. Something unnerves me that this could be happening in our country in 2008, while we have a Capitol building full of elected officials scrambling to concoct what will forever be known as “The Great Bailout.”Even though “Bailout 1.0” didn’t make it past the House, “Bailout 2.0” very likely could, and it won’t look much different; a heavily debt-funded stop-gap, attempting to buy time for the markets to right themselves. All the while, more shanty towns and other symptoms of an unstable nation will continue to fester.In Jim Wallis’ book, “God’s Politics,” he tells a story about a conversation he had with Bono regarding the Old Testament prophets. In the book, Wallis mentions archaeological evidence linking known times that prophets were vocal with unearthed foundations of dwellings differing drastically in size. And that eras where the housing sizes were more equivocal, the prophets were silent.If we’ve entered an era where folks are trading shingles for nylon tents, it’s time for the prophets to speak up against the injustice. In reading up on the crises we’re facing, I came across an initiative being endorsed by financial guru and debt-slayer, Dave Ramsey. It’s called the COMMON SENSE PLAN and it puts the screws of fiscal accountability to our elected senators and representatives, regardless of party affiliation, by hanging their jobs in the balance. As Ramsey and Wallis both allude to: budgets are MORAL documents, and that we as a nation should assume a posture of repentance instead of continuing to make bad corporate decisions with our spending.I wrote both Senator Richard Lugar and Senator Evan Bayh, and if I can get the House’s website to function, my district representative as well.I encourage you to read it and send it to your respective states elected officials.Pray for wisdom and guidance for our leaders.


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