Since antiquity, the prophetic voice has stressed the interconnectedness of all creation. When Amos railed (4:1-2)
Hear this word, you cows of Bashan, who are on the mountain of Samaria,
Who oppress the poor,
Who crush the needy,
Who say to your husbands, “Bring wine, let us drink!”
The Lord GOD has sworn by His holiness:
“ Behold, the days shall come upon you
When He will take you away with fishhooks,
And your posterity with fishhooks.
I believe he wasn’t simply calling upon God’s vengeance, but pointing out what goes around comes around — and hurts everybody. After all, when Assyria destroyed the Northern Kingdom, a lot more than rich folk were hurt.
So there were people who made tons of money over the past few decades. Many were entrepreneurs remaking the global village electronically. Others were creatively remaking ways to, well, put people at risk, especially in markets that overheated.
Think the housing market. And what went around came around, as we all knew. So now New York State is feeling the pinch:
A decline in tax revenues in a slowing economy will result in a $4.3 billion budget deficit, $651 million worse than projected in July, according to a budget report issued Tuesday…
For New Yorkers, the larger deficit announced Tuesday means smaller growth in revenues for the 2008-09 state budget now being crafted. That will make it more difficult for Spitzer and the Legislature, in its election year, to follow through on plans to increase spending for schools and the public university systems, and to spend hundreds of millions of dollars for property tax relief and economic development.
As much as $500 million of the new deficit projection is blamed on reduced Wall Street bonuses to be paid in December to traders and investment bankers, a reflection of a troubled year in financial services.
Education. Health care. Support for people in poverty. Wall Street bonuses. Interconnected. We’ve forgotten that at our peril.