Highlights of Jubilee National Prayer Breakfast

Watch the videos of the prayer breakfast, October 16, that ended the national fast for global debt cancellation. The fast was led by United Church of Christ pastor, David Duncombe, who fasted for forty days while walking the halls of Congress. John Thomas and Linda Jaramillo, of the UCC joined Rev. Duncombe by lobbying Congress on the first day of the fast.

Note especially the somber and thoughtful reflections of the Rev. Duncombe, which are in the second video below.

For a complete set of twenty videos of the Breakfast, click here.

Joe Stiglitz on George Bush

In this month’s Vanity Fair, Joseph Stiglitz has written a powerful critique of the economic policies of the Administration of President George Bush. Stiglitz, as you may recall, was the Chair of Bill Clinton’s Economic Advisors, then Chief Economist for the World Bank, Nobel Economics prize winner, and now a professor of economics at Columbia University.

The article was entitled "The Economic Consequences of Mr. Bush." Here is an excerpt from that article. For the entire article, click here.

When we look back someday at the catastrophe that was the Bush administration, we will think of many things: the tragedy of the Iraq war, the shame of Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib, the erosion of civil liberties. The damage done to the American economy does not make front-page headlines every day, but the repercussions will be felt beyond the lifetime of anyone reading this page.

I can hear an irritated counterthrust already. The president has not driven the United States into a recession during his almost seven years in office. Unemployment stands at a respectable 4.6 percent. Well, fine. But the other side of the ledger groans with distress: a tax code that has become hideously biased in favor of the rich; a national debt that will probably have grown 70 percent by the time this president leaves Washington; a swelling cascade of mortgage defaults; a record near-$850 billion trade deficit; oil prices that are higher than they have ever been; and a dollar so weak that for an American to buy a cup of coffee in London or Paris—or even the Yukon—becomes a venture in high finance.

And it gets worse. After almost seven years of this president, the United States is less prepared than ever to face the future. We have not been educating enough engineers and scientists, people with the skills we will need to compete with China and India. We have not been investing in the kinds of basic research that made us the technological powerhouse of the late 20th century. And although the president now understands—or so he says—that we must begin to wean ourselves from oil and coal, we have on his watch become more deeply dependent on both.

Up to now, the conventional wisdom has been that Herbert Hoover, whose policies aggravated the Great Depression, is the odds-on claimant for the mantle “worst president” when it comes to stewardship of the American economy. Once Franklin Roosevelt assumed office and reversed Hoover’s policies, the country began to recover. The economic effects of Bush’s presidency are more insidious than those of Hoover, harder to reverse, and likely to be longer-lasting. There is no threat of America’s being displaced from its position as the world’s richest economy. But our grandchildren will still be living with, and struggling with, the economic consequences of Mr. Bush.