The Economic Recovery: Financial Rapture

2011 March 10

The economy of our nation and the world is slowly starting to think about recovering and the millions of people who have been doing nothing but trying to hold on for the last two years may be starting to get some sort of hope that things are about to get better (if for no other reason than they are at the end of their ropes and recognize that things WILL change in their immediate financial future, either getting better or falling off the cliff).  However, we all know that over the last two years, certain people have done very well.  Either they went under early, relieved themselves of debt through restructuring of some kind (restructuring including holding a gun to the world’s collective head and demanding a trillion dollars from the United States government), or they have been able to successfully reinvent themselves in the new landscape in which we find ourselves.  The Dow industrial average is up 85% since its bottom, investment bankers are recording the largest bonuses in history (before or after their malfeasance helped to drag us to the brink of Thunderdome), and as reported today by the Associated Press, “corporations are sitting on the largest cash reserves in the last 50 years.”  So it seems like things are going to be alright, we weathered the storm, cleared the debris, and are beginning to rebuild a brighter, better future…for the elect.

I use that term intentionally because it seems to me that an adequate analogy to what has happened in the last two years is that of the heretical, baseless, Protestant Christian belief in “the Rapture.”

For those unfamiliar, the Rapture is the thought that “the elect,” true Christian believers, will be whisked away from the Earth in anticipation of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, thus sparing them from enduring the horrendous events of the End Times and Armageddon, when the world will be cleansed of its sin and make way for the Kingdom of God.  This belief takes as its justification passages from the New Testament books of 1 Thessalonians and Revelation, finds no basis in the tradition of mainstream Christian history (the history that goes back to First Century Palestine), and is not a doctrine of belief forwarded by any of the big three Christian denominations (Eastern Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, and Anglicanism).  There is even a precise number of the “elect,” 144,000.

It is increasingly apparent to me that what we have gone through over the last two years has been an economic “Rapture,” in which there are those who have already bounced through, around, or over the wasteland that has been, emerging seemingly unscathed from the crimes and tribulations of the financial collapse.  The equivalent of the 144,000 to be spared Armageddon, it is incomprehensible to them that there are those for whom the collapse is not over, the storm has not ceased, and the recovery does not exist.

Resting on their lofty perch, they decide that it is now time to decimate public budgets to lower the deficits, the creation of which kept them afloat and saw them through.  They have decided that it is the unions and government workers, those who receive public assistance, and the damned unemployed themselves, who threaten their continued financial security.  They react with indifference when confronted with the fact that if government budgets are slashed as they propose, the job losses could top 700,000.  “So be it,” the Speaker of the House is quoted as saying when confronted with that fact.  Dismissive and arrogant, as though the people who are still fighting everyday to make it to the next day without going over the cliff (to keep the lights on, the roof overhead, the food on the table) are simply the chaff that must be winnowed from the wheat on the threshing floor.

3 Responses leave one →
  1. March 10, 2011

    I hope the “so be it” becomes the corporatist version of “let them eat cake.” Hopefully, the anger in the middle class will be awakened and unleashed non-violently at those that have allowed the top 3% of our population to capture 95% of all American Growth since 1969…that number gets even worse when you factor in the top 10%; then 98% of all of the economic growth in America over the last two generations has been “shared” by only one in every 10 people.

    Down with the Kleptocracy. Thieves in white collars need to go to jail just as thieves with no collars have been for years. Walker in Wisconsin is simply a modern day Javert, trying to punish people for stealing bread while the real elite, the outrageously rich, feast on everything that is grown until it is gone.

    Nice post Mike…keep it up.

  2. March 13, 2011

    They aren’t even stealing bread, they negotiated for it and now it’s being stolen from them, BY JAVERT!

  3. Mankindof permalink
    March 21, 2011

    This is neither here nor there, but you got some things wrong regarding the Rapture.

    The word comes primarily from from 1 Thessalonians 4:17 (”rapture” is one translation of the Latin; another is “caught up”), but the idea appears in several places. E.g., Matthew 24:30-31. There’s a lot of debate amongst Pentecostals about the timing of the Rapture, though I always thought it was ridiculously clear on the face of the language that it was an event that was part of the Second Coming. The phrase “the elect” is actually used throughout both testaments, and is not tied to the notion of the Rapture; it is typically synonymous with righteous followers of God, whether the Hebrews of the Old Testament or the Christians of the New. And lastly, the 144,000 are expressly NOT raptured during the Second Coming. They are 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel — i.e., Jews — whom God protects during the Tribulation, Armageddon, etc. They have nothing to do with the Rapture, and in fact it is not even the precise number of people who are supposedly going to Heaven. (The Jehovah’s Witnesses are the only group who believe that.) It’s just the number of Israelites that God sets aside for special protection. Although, again Pentecostals disagree amongst themselves — some believe the two instances in Revelations involving the 144,000 actually believe they are two different sets of 144,000 people.

    Whatever. It’s all bunk. I’m just pointing out that the main body of folks who believe in the Rapture do not believe only 144,000 people get to go, and “the elect” doesn’t even refer to the Rapture. So while I like the points you are trying to make above, you might want a different exclusionary religious analogy.

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