The Economics of Calvary

I wonder if this cartoon is based, at least in part on a saying of Laurence J. Peter, who said that
"an economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn't happen today."
I've said before that I am a financial incompetent, barely capable of balancing my own chequebook, but there seem to be people with little more competence than I have running the economies of countries and multi-national companies. Perhaps this is a function of another of Peter's assertions, (in the principle named after him) that
"In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence... in time every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out its duties... Work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence,"
People often think that Peter was joking when he framed his eponymous principle, but it is totally serious, deadly so when you consider that the lack of competence of those managing the economies of the world at present is only matched by their lack of compassion; where the answer to economic woes seems to be to penalise those already at the bottom of the pile and cut jobs of public-sector workers, whilst the banksters and politicians who were arguably to blame for the continued economic crisis get off scot free and even argue for pay increases and performance bonuses!
But as we come to the end of another financial year against such a background and in the light of all that we remembered last week, here is a simple poem by one of my favourite Christian poets, Godfrey Rust, that seems appropriate

is the only successful
planned free-market
in the history of the world,

where the cost of living
and the wages of sin
are the same

and the rate of exchange is fixed
at one life
given as a ransom
for many.

© Godfrey Rust 1992

This poem was originally published as part of the now out of print anthology "Breaking the Chains", but that and an additional 120 pages of other material is now available in "Welcome to the World."


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