Sunday, February 23, 2014

Is Low Inflation Hurting Global Economy?

People who think in terms of having a "growth economy"
and "inflation-adjusted cost of a loan" so as to keep loans
 'less expensive', do not like low inflation.
Chamber of Commerce thinkers see that when prices
barely move, many people postpone purchases because
the same price will still be available
in six months.

I see that overpopulation and high inflation are
what's really scary in the long term. And if people can postpone
purchases and increase savings and decrease debts, then that is what
creates a solid economy. Economists who work for lenders sing a
different song.

In short, I'd say we're at a good spot right now.

Austin Assisted Living: Emeritus' Vista Oaks, Lakeway TX

A few months ago, I moved my elderly mother out of a high priced assisted living facility into a much more reasonably priced one. This new placement is superior in every way.

The caretakers are not run ragged because of 'bottom-line' dictates and the administration is familiar with all of the residents' needs. The building is on a single floor and no elevators are required. Employee morale is high and turn over low because they are valued. In short, if you are looking at assisted living facilities, avoid the larger ones with too many "moving parts" -- there's too much room for communication breakdowns and confusion.

The Four Stages of Spiritual Development: Scott Peck

Scott Peck, author of books such as The Road Less Traveled, describes four stages of spiritual development:

I is chaotic, disordered, and reckless. Very young children are in
Stage I. They tend to defy and disobey, and are unwilling to accept a
will greater than their own. They are extremely egoistic and lack
empathy for others. Many criminals are people who have never grown out
of Stage I."

"Stage II is the stage at which a person has blind
faith in authority figures and sees the world as divided simply into
good and evil, right and wrong, us and them. Once children learn to obey
their parents and other authority figures, often out of fear or shame,
they reach Stage II. Many so-called religious people are essentially
Stage II people, in the sense that they have blind faith in God,
and do not question His existence. With blind faith comes humility and a
willingness to obey and serve. The majority of good, law-abiding
citizens never move out of Stage II."

"Stage III is the stage of
scientific skepticism and questioning. A Stage III person does not
accept things on faith but only accepts them if convinced logically.
Many people working in scientific and technological research are in
Stage III. They often reject the existence of spiritual or supernatural
forces since these are difficult to measure or prove scientifically.
Those who do retain their spiritual beliefs, move away from the simple,
official doctrines of fundamentalism."

"Stage IV is the stage
where an individual starts enjoying the mystery and beauty of nature and
existence. While retaining skepticism, he starts perceiving grand
patterns in nature and develops a deeper understanding of good and evil,
forgiveness and mercy, compassion and love. His
religiousness and spirituality differ significantly from that of a
Stage II person, in the sense that he does not accept things through
blind faith or out of fear, but does so because of genuine belief, and
he does not judge people harshly or seek to inflict punishment on them
for their transgressions. This is the stage of loving others as
yourself, losing your attachment to your ego, and forgiving your
enemies. Stage IV people are labeled as Mystics.
Peck argues that
while transitions from Stage I to Stage II are sharp, transitions from
Stage III to Stage IV are gradual. Nonetheless, these changes are very
noticeable and mark a significant difference in the personality of the

Comment: If one realizes the above, then one can be more tolerant about
the spiritual beliefs of others -- or lack thereof. At the same time,
if you are aware of where various others are on the
above developmental scale, you can better decide how open you can
afford to be with them.

Don't Know Much About the Bible?

"Don't Know Much About the Bible: Everything You Need to Know About the Good Book but Never Learned" is an excellent book (and audiobook) for anyone who is willing to look at
the deeper meanings contained in it. Of course, spiritual truths abound;
but human foibles of famous are also highlighted. Abraham and Moses
were both saints and human. Many many wonderful points that the Bible
make are given credence that just reading the Bible by itself does not
necessarily allow. However much you appreciate the Bible now, that will
be multiplied exponentially as you see things you'd not seen before.