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Nonprofits must challenge sequester cuts

The  nonprofit world needs to make its voice heard so the basic safety net of human services and caring is not eroded while the fortress protecting “too-big-to-fail” corporations means they are again undermining regulations put in place in recent years to prevent another major recession. 

Media report that those with the wealth gained more wealth during the downturn most experienced.  The typical household has regained less than half of its wealth. Those in power, however, demand everyone else continue on a path of austerity with sequestration—a political game thought to have cuts so bad it wouldn’t happen.

As voices have been raised about the need for air traffic controllers, they were kept.  As voices were raised to preserve pet military projects, Congress acted.  We in the nonprofit world must make our voices heard.  The vulnerable are more vulnerable. 

The greedy who want more through the political and economic systems play on ideologies to strengthen their grip on power.

Based on headlines, it’s back-to-business as usual, putting down those with little change in their pockets, even as economic signs seem to be improving, and markets seem to be rising—for some.

We at The Fig Tree find as we work to update information for the Community Resource Directory that the sequester cuts are taking root and being passed on. 

The cuts mean that programs for the most vulnerable people are being reduced or eliminated. 

That means more work to find out what programs still exist, what programs are modified and who are leading the programs. 

It means we are receiving more calls of people seeking resources and we are helping direct people to appropriate services.

Why do some insist on passing austerity around now when economic growth seems to be picking up?  Austerity furthers the trickle-up economy, rather than letting the wealth everyone helps create with their work flow repeatedly throughout the economy.

The story of the disciples and apostles in Acts speaks of early Christian communities sharing what they had—putting it in common.  In addition, in the story of the feeding of the 5,000, everyone is fed and there is more left over.  Jesus didn’t suggest that we take and keep, but that we spread the abundance.  That’s the way we can create more abundance for more people.

In the nonprofit/faith communities, it’s important to operate by caring and sharing values, by the economy of keeping funds in circulation through donations to support each other on an ongoing basis.

Over the summer, may we take time to play, be outdoors, enjoy the scenery—rivers, mountains, lakes, clouds, blue sky, gardens, fields and sunlight. 

May we reflect on what we see, grateful for all God’s gifts. 

May we be refreshed and renewed, to keep on raising challenges to systemic injustices and abuses, to twisted words and thinking, to power plays and propaganda.

May our hope be renewed so we act.

Mary Stamp, Editor

Copyright © June 2013 - The Fig Tree