Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

November 11, 2012

VASICEK: We’re living in a changing world

By Ed Vasicek
Tribune columnist

Kokomo — As our nation sobers up from its intoxicating campaign season, we must exchange Utopian promises for the harsh reality that America cannot be what she used to be. The world is racing toward change, and we must adjust. The Sunday after elections is a good time to consider such changes.

The wanting west

Thomas Sowell wrote, “Not since the days of slavery have there been so many people who feel entitled to what other people have produced as there are in the modern welfare state, whether in Western Europe or on this side of the Atlantic.”

Europe’s unemployment rate is soaring, and some of the members of the EU have provided their citizens with so many benefits and freebies that it is bankrupting the Union. Greece and Spain are among the more notorious offenders.

With America’s deficit rising to the point that our credit rating is on the line, will the U.S. also be forced to pay the piper in the near future? I am 56. Will there be any social security benefits to speak of if I retire at 67? What about my children?

China

China is clearly becoming the world’s dominant economic force.

“In China, it’s estimated that there are close to a million millionaires and 600 billionaires. Those numbers are going up, too: half the world’s billionaires will come from China within the decade.

While the West stagnates, China is expanding by leaps and bounds. China’s upper and middle classes are growing at an amazing clip, even as America’s middle class has contracted anemia.

The new Chinese wealthy classes shamelessly inhale luxury items. The Chinese government has embraced a viral-capitalism. Capitalism in the U.S. and EU, for example, was moderated by a Judeo-Christian perspective regarding human dignity. This indirectly gave rise to trade unions, anti-trust laws, labor laws, and patent protection. The Chinese– while paying lip service to some of these principles – have ignored such moderating influences. Anything goes if it makes money.

India

Most of us have had experience talking to support personnel whose version of English is different than ours. Many of these folks are located in India.

The Silicon Valley, however, is also beginning to relocate to India. According to Buisnessweek.com, “Karnataka has emerged as the computer capital and center of high-tech industries, especially software. Bangalore has for long been known as India’s answer to Silicon Valley, and this is the city where most large software companies have set up shop and operate out of state-of-the-art facilities. The Government of Karnataka has also been extremely positive about the software and services marketplace and has helped create the relevant telecom and policy infrastructure conducive to the growth of this sector.”

A recent BBC article, Rajini Vaidyanathan discusses the fact that American entrepreneurs – some of the once employed by organizations like EBay or Google – have left those organizations and relocated to India so they can initiate their own new enterprises.

Clearly the world is shrinking, and our position in the world must change with it. It seems as though the only thing that isn’t changing is the constancy of change itself. That is why we need amazing wise leaders. Whether our candidates of choice occupy the seats of authority or not, we need to strive to remain: “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Like the ship in a storm, all hands must row together.

Ed Vasicek is pastor of Highland Park Church and a weekly contributor to the Kokomo Tribune. Contact him at edvasicek@att.net.