Wednesday, October 15, 2008

dobson lost his focus

Dr. James Dobson comments on the current economic crisis and presents portions of his interview with the late Larry Burkett, who makes some dire financial predictions in a discussion of his book The Coming Economic Earthquake


A friend forwarded me a link from Focus on the Family. Dr. Dobson's broadcasts on Monday and Tuesday of this week were about the recent economic meltdown. He played portions of a 1992 broadcast with Larry Burkett which warned that government budget deficits would result in a future economic meltdown.

I think the world of the late Larry Burkett. He was the pioneer in applying Biblical principles to personal finances. I've used his materials; I admire his ministry; he helped millions of people.

Although in 1992 Burkett did predict an economic meltdown, he did not predict the current meltdown.

The cause of the current crisis has absolutely nothing to do with government deficits. The causes of past financial crises, the October 1987 stock market crash, the S&L crisis in the late 1980's, the Japanese banking crisis of the 1990's had zero to do with government deficits. (Sure they might have caused increased deficits, but that would be getting the casual relationship backwards.) Japan's government had budget surpluses before their banking crisis!

Larry Burkette died some time ago so he didn't make the false connection between deficits and the current crisis. Dobson did. This is not an easy or obvious topic. No one expects him to know about financial crises. Dobson was completely outside his depth; speaking about things where he is incredibly ignorant. Being on radio made it embarrassingly ignorant.

People trust Dr. Dobson because of his core competencies. When he speaks on other topics, his loyal listeners extend their trust to him. Dobson has a responsibility to his listeners. He failed in this responsibility. He mislead people who trusted him.

Maybe Dr. Dobson needs to again focus on the family.

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